Oi Minha Família,
Things are going well! I am getting settled in. Wow, Mom you understand me so well, even though you are so far away! That is exactly what is going on! My companion doesn’t realize that I don’t understand anything, but I have made drastic improvement on understanding people from last week. I think last week I understood about 10%, and now I understand like 60%-70%, depending on whose speaking. So, I am getting there.
So, we baptized another girl...the kid’s sister from last week. She chose me to baptize her. We teach their whole family of like eight people. The names are all close, and they are hard to remember because I have never heard them before, but that is getting better too. I don’t say a whole ton in the lessons, but I bear my testimony. I taught some other people the whole Restoration lesson, and I just hope they understood me. Some people are too nice to stop me, or act like they don’t understand. Other people laugh and that’s the worst, but whatever haha. So, pretty soon I will be able to say whatever I want, and understand everyone! That will be sweet.
But this last week was crazy! So, we are opening this area, and in the first week we already had three exchanges or divisãos. One with Elder M from Goiana 2 who is American and been out for four months, and the other with the Zone Leader Elder M, and another with the other Elder in Goiana 2. So two of them were in my area, and I was taking these Elders around my area, not knowing what’s going on or where anyone lives or anything. It was a blast, but I felt bad because I wasn’t much help. The Zone Leader, Elder M, was crazy though, he is American and been out a year and a while, he was asking people how to get places, answering all the phone calls, basically doing everything. I was trying my best. He was awesome though!
So, my companion is really spontaneous and sometimes during almoçco (lunch) with the members, he just says, Elder Hoyt has a message to share, without telling me anything prior. And I don’t want to act like I’m not prepared, so I just act like it was planned and everything. The family told me my Portuguese was good, and that they understood everything! So that was sweet. I read a scripture from Alma 32 about the seed that grows and swells, and bore my testimony to them. So things are going sweet!
So, we get lunch with the members every day! And it is always rice and beans, just like everyone said! That is the one thing I was prepared for haha. They always have spaghetti as well, or pasta and some type of meat. The lunches are awesome with the members. My favorite is the juice and the desserts. The desserts are like puddings of different things like coconut, or limes. They are so good, and the juice is fresh and homemade of fruits I have never heard of, but taste awesome!
We do walk everywhere, and use taxis or buses when we need to leave our area for meetings and things like that. The buses are pretty nice, better than the Detroit buses haha. And the taxi drivers are kind of crazy, they get you there really quick. There are no lanes on the roads, so you pretty much just go wherever there is space, and everyone has motorcycles, so they can just go wherever they want. There are always people on the street just sitting there as we walk by or people walking. It is sweet here.
There is a member in the ward who is the Seminary teacher (coincidence), she is like my mom here. She helps me to learn the language and helps me have faith to learn and everything. We always seem to run into her when things are rough, so I know that I am being looked out for. So I was sick last Saturday for half the day, and I had some stomach issues, and felt all achy and stuff, but I took Advil, and I eventually got better. I think it might’ve been something I ate, but not sure. I am fine now though.
It is a great challenge to learn the language, but it is sweet. When I struggled when I was sick, I said my prayer at night, and I wrote it down in my notebook. So, as I was saying it, I wrote it down. It was very cool...I want everyone to try it. It organizes your thoughts very well, and makes you really think deeply as to what you want to say.
So, I have been missing everyone! I pray for you all every night and morning! The family truly is where we have the most joy. I love all you guys and love thinking back to those times of family vacation where we had our own family testimony meetings. Those were so awesome! Seriously, those effected my life greatly, and I will remember that forever. We talk a lot, but very rarely do we get to share the true feelings of the heart because they need to be done in reverent settings. But thank you Mom and Dad for doing those. I will do them one day when I have a family.
Being on my mission has also changed my perspective of callings. I now know how important it is to fulfill callings and serve in the Church. Missionary service doesn’t end with the mission! You can serve your whole life. I want to fulfill all my callings 100% my whole life. I know you all do too. But my understanding of how the Church works is growing, and it is so perfectly organized and inspired by Heavenly Father for the strengthening and blessing of His children, even here in Brazil! And even in Russia...here it is pronounced “hoosia”, so that’s fun. And my name is pronounced Hoych. I love you all, and will talk to you next week! Tell Lorenzo Happy Birthday! Tell him sorry I was sick for it! I love you all!