Monday, April 27, 2015

Wow!  Craziest week of my entire life. I am finally in Santa Maria, Brazil!!! 
My favorite quote of the week...from my companion..."Like Obama says....we can do it!" I thought it was funny because she doesn't even know who Obama is haha. My companion is Sister Auroujo de Souza from northern Brazil (by the Amazonas). She doesn't speak much Ingles, so we speak Portuguese. She is perfect. I could not possibly ask for a better companion. She is my dream companion; I am so lucky to have her. She works so hard, has the biggest heart, and we are so much alike in how we want to serve. I love her with all of my heart. She is amazing. She has been a member for 3 years, has a twin sister that passed away when she was 16, and loves the temple just as much as I do :) haha
Things about my first week of Brazil:
- I have no clue what people are saying, I feel stupid (baby like) constantly. But it is getting better, people just speak way fast
- President Parrella and his wife are so amazing. They are all about obedience and health.
- People try to translate to me in ingles but I don't understand them hahaha
-We walk or taxi everywhere (mom- San Fran on steroids)
-Everything is so expensive and they don't have much of what America has. I wanted to cry when they told me they don't have peanut butter haha
-People are so loving! I love this culture already. Everyone hugs and kisses each other. It is awesome! so wonderful the connection people have by hugging complete strangers. Women walk with arms linked sometimes
-I am in the Santa Maria area. My mission president is around the corner

-No one obeys speed limits or stays in the traffic lines. Ever. On my first day, President Parrella drove like a mad man
-Everyone smells super good, I don't know why. It's almost like they all wear cologne
-Everyone sings off tune and really loud!
-Our ward is AMAZING. Bishop came to lessons with us with his wife and drove investigators to church. So amazing.
-The dogs are missing eyes and are super freaky to look at
-My companion and I are completely new in this area, and it is super hard because the elders left us nothing to work with.
-The language is beautiful
This week has been one of the hardest ever. I have had such a hard time not understanding and people trying to talk to me but I can't say anything. SO HARD. I love these people already, they are so kind and totally the people I was meant to serve.  As I have been here I have seen that this is truly where my Heavenly Father wanted me to serve my mission. Everything about this place is perfect. I feel so immensely blessed to be here and to be able to serve the Gaucho people. The spirit speaks all languages and at this time I need to have more faith than ever. Some days I feel like I will never learn Portuguese, but through Christ, all things are possible. I can't believe I am actually here. I feel like I'm in a dream. But I know that My Savior lives and guides his church and missionaries. I can't do anything without Him; I am only his instrument. I KNOW that this church is true. It is amazing seeing the blessings that come to those who live it. I love Brazil so much and can't wait to someday understand the language and people. I love you all!!!! Besos e Brasos!!
Sister Alena Porter

Goodbye to Detroit!! 
This Sweet Sister made me
 a lunch to bring on the plane.

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