Elder Joshua Flake

Elder Joshua Flake

Friday, March 25, 2016

11.9.15 - Jardim Atlantico, Brazil

So I am back from the dead...just kidding...but yeah this has been the most eventful few weeks of my life. I apologize for not writing back for so long..But I wanted to announce...


I am so glad and grateful to be able to write again hahaha! Many events prevented me from getting an adequate chance to be able to. Also, I am sorry if I misspell anything because everything I type shows up in red because it isn't in Portuguese haha.

So as far as events leading up until now...

I left Arizona a couple weeks ago. It was actually really sad because the people I was teaching were amazing and progressing along in their puruit to Christ. But yes, I stayed the night at the house of my mission president and his wife, and then they took me to the airport...where I would eventually take a 26 hour trip to Recife Brazil. 

The flight was great considering I was asleep but my hiney was very sore to say the least. They flew me to Sao Paulo first and then I took a tiny plane to Recife where me, and a bunch of other missionaries met our mission president. President Bigelow....who is a fantastic person. His apartment was also gorgeous. But I got my new companion and my first area to cover.Elder Chemberg is 100% Brazillian and 100% Portuguese as well.....which is very very  interesting hahaha! He is great though!

Our apartment is also awesome...aside from the bugs and the fact that no toilet down here accepts toilet paper...but seriously it's great. There are four doors to get to the outside...which is probably a fire hazard considering you need keys to unlock each one from both sides...but hey, at least nobody is stealing my stuff that is worth a lot down here. 

Speaking of which...the food is very inexpensive...4 Rais to 1 Dollar. In our area, Jardim Atlantico, we get fed two meals every day by members of the Church as well as those that we are teaching! The biggest meal of the day here is AlmoƧo which is lunch. Jantar is also eaten very late at night. It is great though. The food is delicious. The suco (juice) is completely natural...there are like hundreds of fruits that I have never heard of that are just so tasty. They are thick and kind of creamy.....so although I had to give up peanut butter...the juice is not too bad of a trade! You can get like a kilogram of fruit here for like 2 rais which is 50 cents in American money. It is great! They feed us lots of deserts that are strange but way good. 

Anyways...as far as the missionary work goes, we have had two baptisms since I got here. We have been teaching a good amount of people. It is funny because the first couple of days, I literally couldn't understand the people or elder Chelemberg. The accent here in Recife is like the redneck south of Tennessee. They sound like they are singing...and it is really hard to keep track of the words they are using.....not mention that if I could hear the words they were saying...I still wouldn't know, because they have a lot of slang and many words I don't know.  Elder Chelmberg is great though. I can understand most of what he says to me, and I for sure ask so many questions. I am never afraid to talk. I am actually speaking in Church next week. But what is really nice is when he asks me to share my testimony about specific things. With my terribly language skills, I share what Heavenly Father wants me to share. It is funny because I mess up a lot and then blush...but down here a blush is more like an explosion of more sweat that is pouring down my face...

Which brings me to talk about the climate. Muito Muito quente people. Very hot! But it is great. I already have a watch tan like you wouldn't believe. My collar is black and brown with dirt...It looks like bacon. There is a lot of places where the sewage is in the streets in little motes. Every night, I sleep with just a sheet and a fan blowing on me. There are a lot of murisocas which are not mosquitoes.....I don't know the translation actually...but for real...they are like super bugs. I spray repellent all over myself yet I still wake up completely covered in bites. I find 15-20 new ones a day....hahaha and to add to that...the creams that I have don't work. I still stay itchy....but don't worry....I think I am already used to it haha! But bugs are a huge issue. We left a pizza out for like 30 minutes and it was covered with a trillion ants!!! There are also many many stray animals...even horses hahaha. dogs, cats, coyote looking things, horses, very large lizards...But yeah its great! There are favellas which I think mean ghettoes. These places have like brick and cement and dirt holding their house together. But the fantastic thing is, this place is so happy!

Another thing...they love Americans. They like blonde hair and blue eyes...and sometimes it gets a little crazy. People shout "You are very cute" In portuguese....it is wierd. Like I have a lot more stories about this.

But yes...I am alive, and am actually doing fantastic. I am growing and learning incredibly fast because of the Hand of the Lord. Even in my bad Portuguese, I am still having great opportunities to proclaim this gospel. This is probably the hardest thing I have ever done...and not because of the climate....but I know that I am protected by God and He is helping me learn the language. It is really hard when everyone speaks around you and you can';t understand. I couldn't describe it! 

 I love yall!! God promises us many blessings as we do His Work!!

Elder Flake

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