Another week has passed and it seems like it was about a span of 2 days. We had a lot going on this week. Primarily, I had a companion exchange with my district leader. He took the place of my companion. Anyways, I really liked it. It was really refreshing to work with a diferent guy. He's way cool, from Sao Paulo and he likes to talk so that was good for my Portuguese. He said that my Portuguese was really good for only being in the field for 4 weeks. That made me feel good. We talked a lot on the bus. I kind of surprised myself at how much portuguese I knew. If i didn't know a word I would just write it down after he told me. His area was way nicer than mine. I'm in the Vila and he's in the middle class apartment part. It was way more quiet and chill, as there weren't many things going on. It seems like in my area there's always someone with their trunk open every half mile with huge speakers blasting some brague(sp?). The main thing I learned from this companion exchange is that there really is a better way of doing things and having fun with your companion is possible! There was an American in his apartment when I stayed over who is on his last couple weeks before going home. He was giving me some pretty sweet advice. Anytime I had a question about Portuguese he knew everything. It was sweet. I've discovered that in Portuguese, you kind of have to find your way around what you want to say or mean, whereas in English, it's very expressive and there are like 12 words that mean one thing. In Portuguese, there's one word that means one thing. My Portuguese is definitely improving though. I can talk with my districh leader on the phone in Portuguese and he was reeeeeally surprised I could do that. I guess all this studying is paying off! I can have actual conversations with people with the limitied vocabulary I have and they're surprised that I've only been in the field for 4 weeks. Other times it's like duhhhh.......... haha. I had a dream in Portuguese one time this week. I've been told that's a good thing.
This week in the culture of my area began Carnaval. One word to describe this event...Noise! We live in an apartment with an open window with bars on it and pretty much all day we just here *doon ch doon ch doon ch* It's soooo hard to study or to just be a missionary in general. Nobody is home and everybody is drunk. Our Mission President made it so we have to be in our residence at 5 every day until Thursday. I dont even know what to do with myself! I tried to study Portuguese but it was just too loud. haha. A couple days ago I made cookies with the recipe mom sent me. They were good just not mom good because all the ingredients are fairly different here. All of the sugar is crystal, we had to make our own chocolate chips, and we used margarine instead of butter. But, my roommates loved me and rightfully so. One time I was taking a shower and I was drying off and when I looked down, there was a huge roach on my leg. Needless to say I flipped out and kicked that thing off so fast.. uhhhh.
Our investigators for last week and the week before are progressing. They came to church again and they really liked it. They want to get baptized but said they need to know more about everything before they commit. It's pretty awesome. We've become really good friends with them and they really like the church. It is way different than any other church here. All the churches we walk by are always super loud and obnoxious. It's a huge contrast. It's amazing how someone can just accept a new concept like the gospel and acknowledge it as the truth without even studying it fully. That's the Holy Ghost! People are totally different here during sacrement. They move around and talk to their friends in different pews. They walk up to the stand and sit with the bishopric and then go back to the congregation. I'm just sitting here like, uhhhh. haha.
The people here are way laid back and definitely don't have any resemblance of rigid, strict american culture. It's kind of awesome. Everyone here calls me McCaully Caulkin, or however you spell that. Even more so than people did in the U.S. I just can't escape it!
I was talking with my District leader and he said I will probably be transferred next we because I sent an email to the President saying it wasn't working out between my companion and me. I'm totally fine with that! I tried to make it work. I set goals for us to follow all the rules, and for him and I to help each other out more, and he agreed, but he just didn't carry out the committment. Nothing really changed. I'm ready for a change. I like the members here though and it's going to be hard to leave them if I really am transferred. The kids are hilarious
Well! That's all I've got for this week. Hope all is going well with everything. I'll keep Dylan in my prayers, sounds like he's having a hard time. I pray for the family all the time. Love you all!
Elder Dallin Stephen Carroll