Monday, November 14, 2011

Arrived in Brazil

Hello from Brazil!!!!

Holy cow this is the craziest thing ever!!!! I cant believe it! I don't have too much time so I will start from when I started to brazil from Atlanta. It took me awhile to figure out how to use this dang computer because everything is in Portuguese, lol, but we're all good now.
It was so great to talk to you guys. I loved it so much! It was amazing to hear everyone's voices again! I talked to dad last in Atlanta and while I was talking to him an elder ran over and said they were boarding the plane right away, so I had to go pretty quick. Sorry about that, but I walked over and got on the plane right away. It was a huge plane but unfortunately I was in the very back of the dang thing so my seat didn't recline at all. And lets just say that planes are not very comfy. So we got on and I was sitting next to the elder who was serving in Salt Lake as well, so we got to be good friends through out all this traveling. As we started to move, and the plane made its way to the runway, it really started to hit me that I was going to Brazil. It was the weirdest feeing I have ever had. I was so excited but really scarred at the same time and I had no idea what to think. The plane took off and I was on my way to Brazil. I watched all the lights of America pass away as we went out over the ocean. The first hour of the flight was great, then as time went on, I started to get super tired and I couldn't get comfortable to save my life. So I just looked out the window and watched Jamaica, Cuba and all those cool places pass by but I don't think I saw a little elder Romney running around in Jamaica haha, it was to dark, but anyway the flight went on and on and on and on and on for forever!! I am not lying, it was the longest flight ever. First, because it was just a long flight to begin with, and second, I could not fall asleep, it was horrible. I really only slept good for like 15 mins. I couldn't get in a good spot to sleep so I was pretty frustrated and the last two or so hours of the flight I just wanted to be there already. But the time finally came and we landed in Sao Paulo! Flying over the city was so crazy. It was morning and we could see everything. It is an impressive city for sure. It is so huge, like mind blowing huge! So that was really cool to see brazil and all the houses and buildings as we landed. I got off the plane and bam! HEAT and HUMIDITY! It smacked me in the face pretty hard lol I was sweating pretty good just walking through the tunnel to the airport. Once we got in, we had to go straight to customs. That was interesting. We walked into a big room and this lady was yelling, "Foreigners in this line!" I started walking the other way not realizing that I am now a foreigner lol. The lady nicely grabbed my shirt and put me in the right line. It was pretty funny. The other elders where laughing at me. It was weird realizing that I was now a foreigner. So I got to the front of the line hoping I had filled out all the paper work correctly. I went to the window and the lady said something that I didn't understand so I just gave her my passport and the paperwork and she did some stuff said some stuff and I just smiled at her because I had no idea what she was saying. She handed me my stuff and everything was all good. The next step was getting my bags. That went great and it was really fast. Then we went out of that room and there where two people waiting to help us with everything. They helped us exchange our money and then we headed over to get our plane ticket to Porta Alegre. I got my ticket and everything was going smoothly. We had a couple hours to sit and wait for our flight, so we went through security. I was expecting the same kind of thing as in salt lake, but no lol the security was pretty much nothing, so I made it through with no problems there. I found my gate and then tried to find a place where I could call you guys but there was nothing. Sorry about that. We had a long time to wait till the flight so a couple elders and I just sat and people watched the whole time. OH! I forgot we met up with some more elders in Sao Paulo and one of them was elder law from my district in the MTC. It was great to see him. We stayed together the whole time. We boarded our plane and headed out. The flight was good and took little more than 2 hours. I did get about hmm 20 mins of sleep so that was awesome! Well it was good until we started our decent to land and that was a nightmare. I don't know what was going on but the plane kept going up and down, up and down, and this is when I started to feel a little sick. lol not good. Just before I got to the point of throwing up on the plane, we landed. We headed out and met two elders who had been sent to pick us up. One was the assistant. We talked to him for a minute and then went out to get a shuttle. There were 6 elders and one sister, all new, going to Santa Maria, so that was cool. Outside was so stinking HOT and so humid. I was sweating big time haha. We were standing waiting for a shuttle and someone asked the elders how far to Santa Maria? They then informed us, .... 5 hours..... All I could think was NO!!!!!!!!!!!!!! lol I wasn't to excited about the ride but I was excited to drive through town and see everything in the city. We started driving and I have to say the shuttle was pretty nice. I mean nice for brazil. haha We started and the city was awesome and I saw some super cool things, then we left the city and it is just grass and rice farms from there to santa maria lol with some houses and tiny towns mixed in. So the drive was pretty cool. The best part was I got like an hour of sleep!!!!!!!!! oh yeah!!! I was really excited as we got closer to Santa Maria, even though I was super tired. The first thing we did was went to what they call the big house. Its a... well.... big house that has 8 beds in one room. hah They use it for transfers and stuff. We dropped our bags off there and headed to the mission presidents house. He lives on top of like an 8 story building. We got there, said hello, or Oi, to the family and they took us to the roof to look at the city from there! It was so crazy. I will try and send pictures, but it was so cool. We could see a ton and it was surreal just to sit there and look and know that I was in brazil and this was my mission. It was a very special moment for me. After looking for awhile they got some pizza for use to eat and I was starving. We didn't eat a lot the whole trip. The last time I ate was in Atlanta and had Panda Express!!! yummy! After dinner, they told us we could call our parents and let them know we had arrived safely. I got so excited! We only got like 1 min though, so I called mom and that was great! I was so excited to call her from brazil! way cool! After everyone called their parents, we headed back to the big house to sleep!!! yay!!! The president wasn't at his house because he was traveling for zone conferences. When we got to the house, it took awhile for everyone to get settled down and ready for bed. When I first laid in bed, it felt wet, it was weird and I thought to myself, "What the heck is this?" Then I realized it was wet just because it was so humid! It was hard to fall asleep but I was so tired nothing could stop me, not even the bugs crawling on me. I woke up to a huge clap of thunder and a lightning storm, just my luck! The houses here don't have glass in the windows. They just have open bars or slats. It was pretty loud and it was raining so hard. It was actually pretty nice to just sit there and listen to the storm. I love storms haha I don't think the girls would have liked it very much. lol but it was raining really hard and it was lightning so often it was really cool. After enjoying that for a little while, I fell back to sleep and woke up in the morning getting about 4 hours of sleep. I was soaked. lol I had been sweating pretty bad. Getting ready was fun. there were 8 of us and only one shower. Ok. so the shower was the crazy! Let me just say this.. you could shower and sit on the toilet at the same time! It was still raining in the morning and we had to be at the church for zone conference. The good news was that mom got me an umbrella. It came in handy as we started walking in the poring rain. I was thinking that it would be just a short walk and we would be there. I was wrong. It was about a 30 min walk to the church in the rain on my first day in Brazil, but I have to say it was so awesome walking through the middle of the city. There were lots of people and it was like nothing I have ever seen before! The city is so awesome! I love it! When we got to the church, I met the mission president. He is really cool but he only knows a tiny bit of English so it was kind of hard to talk with him, but I had and interview with him and understood almost everything he was saying. He helped a lot by talking super slow. After the interviews, it was time for zone conference. There were a lot of Elders there and I even saw someone I knew from the MTC. Zone conference was all in Portuguese of course and I don't know Portuguese, so the president had the American elders translate for us.

Ughh I am running out of time so I need to cram a ton of stuff in really quick with not a lot of details sorry!
The conference was good. The next day we had training and we got our new companions! My companions names are Elder Blanco, who is from sao paulo, and speaks no English. The other is Elder Gillett. He is from Utah but he goes home in three weeks so its just for a short time. They don't speak any English with me, so most of the time it is hard to communicate. They are both super cool! We get along very well and they help with the language a ton. Portuguese is coming along pretty well actually. I am surprised I can understand Elder Blanco a lot because he talks slow for me. But when it comes to the locals... no chance.... I don't get anything!!!! When training was done, we headed to our areas. This is when I found out I had yet another 5 hour bus ride... ugh and our bus left at 9 pm so we traveled through the night. I didn't sleep at all on the bus, it was horrible. We got home a little after 2:30 am and went to bed around 3. I slept great for 3 1/2 hours.. till we had to wake up at 6:30. My first area is Alegrete! It is so awesome!! It is everything I ever wanted it to be!!! Its the coolest little town ever! I love everything about it! All the roads are cobblestone and most of the houses are brick shack things. The people are pretty poor around here. We actually live in a pretty nice place for the area, its not bad at all. It is pretty hot around these parts. haha, but its not horrible. I sweat a lot and when I get in bed at night my skin feels so weird; like salt. As for water... I have a little filter thing at the house that I use when I am there, but we aren't here a lot and I need water so we are forced to drink the regular water. Its probably not great but its either drink the water or turn into a raisin and die of heat exhaustion. I choose water. I probably wont die from it I hope lol sorry mom you probably don't like me drinking the water.... I love you!! but I have to. Anyway, my areas is so cool and my trainers are great, they help a ton. Church was ... interesting. There are only about 38 members who come so it's super tiny. It's weird going from salt lake to here. The singing in church was awesome lol there is no piano and everyone well is pretty bad at singing haha it was so funny to hear everyone sing. Everyone sings their own thing, its great! I contacted 8 people yesterday! The language isn't horrible. I am doing alright. I really like Alegrete. I love being in Brazil; its the craziest place I have ever been! I cant believe I am really here! I am doing great. Have a great week. I love you all!!

p.s. All I eat is rice and beans with some kind of meat lol and I got bit by a bug the other night and now I have a rash looking thing on my arm where it bit me. lol Fun stuff being in brazil but I am so excited to be here!!