Monday, April 14, 2014

31 weeks

Everything is great! This new area is freaking awesome! There are 40,000 people (literally) and only my companion and I. We are the 3rd or 4th companionship to ever be in this city. We have only 2 active families (about 8 people) and that's it. It's so small that we can't even be considered a branch, we are a group haha. Church is at our group leader's home and yesterday we had 2 missionaries, 8 members, and 12 investigators at church lol. It's pretty funny when you compare it to just about anywhere in the states. 

We are not in Porto Velho like I thought we would be living haha, we live in the city Pimenta Bueno (our area) and it is 10 hours away from PV. I've now taken that bus ride twice since my companion had that meeting in Manaus this week and will be here until Wednesday or Thrusday with the other elders. It was a very long day yesterday. We had church and stuff, but then at 2:30 we caught the bus for PV...10 hours later (12:15am) we arrived in PV. I met up with a Bishop who was going to take me to the Elders' house. As we were leaving the bus terminal in his car, a man came up and was like "Elder! Tudo bem? Blah blah blah" and I didn't understand anything that he was saying haha. I'd been away from my companion for maybe 2 minutes and that was when I needed him the most because this Bishop didn't say jack to help me out haha. I thought the dude was selling blessings from God, turns out he was asking me for a blessing from God by giving him some money for his bus ticket to his city. (the bishop explained that later) I ended up telling him that I don't have very much time in Brazil and that I didn't understand him, but that I was sorry and that we had a meeting to get to that was very far away. That wasn't the end of the adventure. We get to the Elders' apartment complex, and they are asleep and not paying attention to see when I would get there! So me and the Bishop are just standing outside this apartment complex and I seriously think he was considering leaving me. He just kept saying that he didn't know what to do and asking if I had a number for anyone. I didn't have jack, not even President Klein's number and kept asking him if he had a number for any missionary in this area. He finally called the Sisters and just gave me the phone. Bad idea haha. Some guy answers which completely throws me off and I just said, "H, I'm Elder Sanderson." He seemed to have some idea of who I was, and so we talked for a little bit as I tried to explain what I was trying to accomplish. In the end, an Elder poked his head out from a doorway and I just said again, "Eu sou Elder Sanderson!" and he came and let me in. And do you know who that missionary was? Elder Pixton! My companion from the MTC in Provo! Haha it was quite the night and I ended up not going to sleep until 1ish this morning. It was quite the adventure that once again reminded me that I don't speak portuguese just yet haha.

In other news, we baptized somebody in the river on Saturday! It was awesome! As to the animals, I say some of those really pretty blue and yellow parrots, but didn't get a very good picture, I'll still send pictures of all of it!

Love ya,

Elder Sanderson

****I asked him if there was someone who presided over the meeting of 8 people. I was not sure how it worked she you weren't formally organized and his response made me laugh out loud literally: 
He answers: 
We have a Group Leader who is kind of like a Branch President, but without the Branch to preside over. We usually do the teaching it sounds like, and I'm the one who leads the music. What this consists of is me teaching them how to sing these hymns...that means that every time we sing, I have to sing a solo for them of the first verse

***i can just picture my missionary boy singing up there in his best Portuguese all by himself.  Cracked me up considering the way he has been known to lead music in the past is by writing his name in cursive.  Ha ha ha.  Love the experiences he is having!!!****

The road from where he is to Porto Velho
Along the way
Gorgeous sky! 

He called this one the Lion King sunset
The site of baptism at the river

Where he lives- they do not have a refrigerator, stove, microwave or washer. Only a bathroom and a sink outside to wash their clothes. 

Elder Sanderson's mission adventure indeed!  :) 

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