President and Sister Silva
Beach outside my apartment in Biguacu
Well first let me say... Its been a much better week than it was last week! It was about time I got out of the CTM, I was starting to go a little crazy.
I left the CTM on Tuesday morning at 4:00 a.m. and headed for the airport. The airport in São Paulo is absolutely insane! We boarded our airplane and got to Florianópolis about 2 hours later where we met up with the mission president and his wife and the two assistants. We hopped on a bus and headed to the mission home about 45 minutes away. As soon as we got to the mission home, we all waited in this room together for our turn to come around to interview with the president. I met him and he is a really awesome guy. He doesn't speak English...but that's not the point! Very nice guy. That same day we had missionary orientation with the president. I was the only American among Hispanics and Brasilians (who are practically all fluent) and the entire thing was in Portugese. Super unfortunate because I really understood nothing haha. But I met my companion, Elder Magalhães (he looks American, but you know he isn't! Look at his name). Very cool guy! Very patient with me and with my awful Portugese! We found out where our area was and it is a city within Florianópolis called Biguaçu. It is right next to a filthy beach that smells awful, so there really is no temptation to go there hehehe. We arrived to our apartment there and we are rooming with two other Elders who are really awesome! Elder Albano (Uraguay) and Elder Gonzales (Columbia). Awesome dudes but the apartment was autrocious. We did a little cleaning the next day because all of my OCD senses were tingling... All good now :)
We went to a members house the next day and the people here are awesome. She literally had nothing and fed us so so well. This lady lived in a house that was pretty beat up and very very VERY small but we shared our message and left. Very different than what I expected. All of the lunch appointments we have had, the members either have EVERYTHING or NOTHING. There really has not been an in between stage...The people here are very kind and love the missionaries so so much. I definitely feel the love here.
For the first three days we had no water in our apartment which was very interesting and kinda gross haha. I hadn't showered in 3 days... Yeah... We got that all worked out and ate with members a lot those 3 days. We walk a lot here and the ward is very spread out and covers a lot of area. I really don't mind it because I've been sitting for the past 6 weeks. I don't mind it at all! The food here is absolutely fantastic and I have yet to have a single bad or "weird" meal. Beans and rice every day, and some kind of meat to accompany it. So good!
Lately, because me and my companion are new to the area, we have to do a lot of walking and knocking (clapping) doors. We have met so many people and it is absolutely astounding how open people are to hearing about the gospel. It is so different here, and I love it. Even though I really can't understand anything anyone says, and I can't say anything, it's still awesome!
I love every single one of you to death and hope you've had as good of a week as I've had!
Eu amo vocês!
The CTM Volleyball crew
President and Sister Swensen