Monday, May 2, 2016

Letter #37

Dear Family and Friends,

Okay, first for the all important call, my companion will call at 4, and I´ll call at 5, our time here...Look up the time difference for Quissama, i really don´t know what it is.

So Tuesday, I went to the President´s house, for the first time. The arriving missionaries always visit his house, but as I arrived late, this was my first time. Think 15th floor suite, looking out over the ocean. Yeah, it´s pretty.

There, we received a little bit of training by the assistants to the President, and then by President. Finally, the new missionaries came in. When they were walking in, I thought, I hope I get to train that one. And I do have that opportunity! His name is Elder Cardoso. He´s from the south, from Curitibia.

He was baptized 4 years ago, the only member in the family, but then became inactive for three years, before returning and feeling the need to serve a mission. He is 22, and is obedient and diligent which is fantastic. He graduated at 20 from college with a degree in physical education and then worked as a trainer and bodybuilder for a couple years. He broke his foot twice and for this, stopped training professionally, but he said while training professionally, he only ate chicken, rice, sweet potatoes, and egg whites. For three years. And in the spirit of training and unity we make all the food purchases together, so I too am now eating an increased amount of above foods. Which, hey, I like. (and now he occasionally eats other things too).

We left on this great adventure Tuesday, going to Campos, and stayed the night there, then left early for another couple hours to Quissamã; I woke up halfway there, and it looked like I was in Africa. Swaying grass, mountains forming the backdrop, a brilliant sun, and sparse trees.

The town is beautiful, old, and very rich. I´m sure I´ll talk a lot more about it, but lets just say, that Quissamã is reputed to be the richest town in Brasil, in terms of receiving government money. We´re close to the beach, which technically is part of the town, and offshore is basically the center of Brasil´s gas industry. And the town receives a substantial part. Like 300 million per year 5 years ago. But as gas prices have tumbled, so has the town's revenue. But still, before knowing any of this, we visited the city center and I couldn't believe how big it was!!! The city only has 22,000 people, and almost everyone works for the town government or is retired. Everyone. Just for two examples, here the buses are free. For everyone. And the town´s tourist department, prints material that would make the national park system there look like children's work. We visited, and they have a beautiful brochure documenting the history of almost every single bench in the city. And the brochures, are wow. I´ll send some home.

Our first morning here, my companion wrecked the toilet, so we got to go meet some members looking for a plunger. Good times, right? Its actually been cold here, getting to about 50 degrees. The townspeople  here are bundled up like its the end of the world.

The branch had 35 people Sunday, so I know about everyone already which is nice. The town really is old, so it has a really different feel. Right now we are teaching Luis, salt of the earth. He has 82 years, and loves the church. We´re preparing him to be baptized, along with his wife. He has a heart condition, will be having surgery, either this week or the next, and in his words, wants to die in this church. I've learned a lot from him.

There´s lots more, I want to write, and I´´ll be sure to talk lots Sunday :)

Love you all!!!!

Elder Schenewark
Brighten your day.

1 comment:

Bachland :) said...

Dad's Family Home Evening lesson are paying off! Plunge plunge hit the handle look out below!

Now we'll have to read and learn more of Quissamã, it sounds wonderful.