Hello from Cubatão! My new area is a city just north of Santos. It’s much more urban than Boa Esperança, which is pretty cool! It’s not a super big city, but there’s a main street with lots of stores and the streets are always full of people, which is very nice because it’s easier to do contacts. (It’s pronounced, by the way, something like “coob-a-towng”! Ask Eric or Scott how to pronounce ‘-ão’ haha.)
My new companion is Elder Gonzalez! He’s from Buenos Aires, Argentina, and this is his first area. His Portuguese is already very good! Unfortunately, so is his Spanish, and we hear a lot of both haha. Sometimes the new Hispanics have trouble because they forget they’re talking Spanish instead of Portuguese, because the languages are so similar! So I’m learning some Spanish. But fortunately, the Brasileiros can almost always understand even when he mixes the two languages. It’s pretty fun to hear him talk! He really does speak Portuguese well, though.
There are 6 elders in Cubatão. Elder Timmons is training Elder McFarland in their own house, and then Elder Lopes and Elder Marques, both from Brazil, are living with us. They’re also the LZs of the Cubatão zone.
I would say it’s been a while since I spoke English, since nobody in my apartment speaks it, but actually one of the cool things that we did this week was visit all the English schools in Cubatão! Most of them are on break for the cup, but we had the chance to visit three classes of English at the Wizard school and talk! I gave the lesson of the Restoration in English and prayed and talked about our work and we got some good references, so that was really cool! It was the idea of the second counselor in the ward here. I really like the bishopric here, they’re really young and very excited about missionary work. The ward here is much bigger–about 130 people–and they have a beautiful chapel about 3 years old! [Photos courtesy of Google Maps.]
Training is an adventure–when I started out it was very difficult because I never know if what I’m doing is the best way to do missionary work. Especially starting out in a new area where I don’t know any members or even where we are (the first few days we basically just got lost in Cubatão doing contacts and then found our way back to the main road over and over again haha), it was kind of hard, and I was pretty worried about it. But then I was reading in my personal study in 2 Nephi 4 where Nephi talks about trusting in the Lord and decided that we would just be obedient and work hard and trust in the Lord! Things have been much better since then.
More world cup action tomorrow, and yes, mom, I heard the word for ‘vertebra’ often haha. Talk about a national tragedy…. Then on Thursday we have a mission conference to celebrate the 1st anniversary of Brazil Santos mission!
Love you all, talk to you soon!