Hello all! I´ll answer Mom´s questions first, since I don´t have a lot to talk about.
Tell me a bit more about Elder Baltazar:
Elder Baltazar is from São Paulo, 20 years old and he is a Corinthians fan (they won the Brasil Cup yesterday... he was happy about that).He has an older brother, an older sister and one younger brother. His family is from Ceará, but his Dad moved to São Paulo a while ago. He wants to study at BYU but he was working IT with Mercedes Benz to get the money for tuition, the visa and all that.
How often do you eat with the members? Describe the food they serve you. What do you eat in your apartment?
We eat lunch with members everyday except P-day, and pretty much always its Rice, Beans, Pasta/spaghetti, salad and meat, usually chicken. In my apartment, it’s usually just baked sandwiches or rice. Cheese and meat is pretty cheap here (R$20 for a kg of fresh mozzarella). They make a lot of juice with fresh fruit too... they just put the fruit in with water and blend it... voila! Juice!
How many elders in your apt now? Still eight?
Still eight... Elder Heath, Matos, Hawkes and Dean still haven´t been able to get to a new house in Palmeiras.
What are the streets, houses and buildings like?
Most of the houses are one floor and have a front room then a small walkway that passes a bedroom, then bathroom; kitchen etc and another bedroom. They are all pretty skinny and made of brick and stucco, and only tile floors. The streets are either normal pavement or just dirt with some rocks. It just depends on where you are.
How do most people get around there? Are there lots of cars, pedestrians, bikes, scooters or public transportation?
Bikes, motorcycles and cars. Lots of bikes and lots of motorcycles. Everybody uses the bus too. R$2.00 to get on the bus and you can go pretty much anywhere (they have transfer stations all over)
Did you spend much time with Elder Empey (another missionary from the Columbia Basin)?
We were in the same district and room in the São Paulo MTC, but now he is 10 hours south in Joãozeiro, so I haven´t seen him since our first day.
Have the mosquitoes found another victim yet?
They haven´t bothered me in a while!
Tell me about the weather.
Hot, humid (but I can´t tell) about 85 degrees everyday and its always windy. Sometimes there are clouds but they literally take one minute to go from one side of you to the other. They go FAST.
What is your schedule?
6:30 get up, mope around, shower eat
8:00 start studying
11:00 finish studying, head out
12:00 Lunch with members
1:30 study for another hour (new part of training)
3:00 head back out for our main block of proselytizing
9:00 go back home, eat change clothes, shower again
So that´s basically what I have been doing. This week hasn´t really been too eventful. Most of our investigators just weren´t ever home for some reason, so we found some other people to teach. We have been working a lot with the members (the ward missionaries and the youth specifically) and we´ve been getting references and teaching lessons with members (we had 10 this week... HOLY COW). WE try to keep a good amount of people that we teach going so we always have something to do, so that what we´ve been focusing on. Other than that, nothing of note has really happened.
We did have a stake conference this week which was cool. President Souza and his wife spoke, as well as a Seventy, so what I could understand was awesome. We had a family of investigators (small family, husband, wife and a young child) who came with a member there and another investigator come with us on a bus there. They all enjoyed it which was great! They all seem to love the singing. It was cool for the family because they went to the meeting, and then they went to the house of Elouisa´s mom, since she lived close. So it was a great opportunity for them.
Other than that we have a busy week planned. A lot of investigators who are progressing really well and a lot of things we want to do with the ward and the ward missionaries. We want to start an activity with the Book of Mormon and give members a copy to give to their friends and work from there. Also, we want to get references from certain people in the ward. n addition to that, we´re going to talk to the bishop about starting an english class with the wards in our area. Lots of things to help find more people to teach. All in all this has pretty much been my week. Just working working working.
I can´t think of anything else to write so I´ll just leave you all with this!
Love you all!