Tuesday, July 31, 2012

(Written 7 July 2012, we received this on the 30th of July)

Dear Family,

Well, I already sent you a very confusing e-mail but I wanted to tell you a little more about what happened my 1st week in Caixias (pronounced Caisheas). My area is Bella Vista. On Terca, (Tuesday) I got to Porto Alegre and almost immediately we had to catch the bus for our area. It is about a 3 hour bus ride. Then two days later we had to return to Porto Alegre for a leadership/training conference. And since we are the only sisters in our area I got to go too. It was really nice though because I was able to see the sisters that I came with from the CTM (including my companion Sister Matiaco). It wasn't a very productive day but after we got back to Caixas we had to race to Maicon's (Michaels) house with our district leaders for a baptismal interview. All went well and I got to go to my first baptism!

One thing about the mission that is really hard for me living out of a suitcase. Remember what I said before leaving about being done with moving/bouncing from place to place. Its the same here, nothing has a place and I know in 5 weeks everything will change again. I guess I'll just appreciate stability more when I finally get it.

As far as the food, lots of rice/beans/meat. Its really good but I have learned to mix food. You don't just eat the rice, then the meat. Just mix everything on your plate. I find that ironic. (Carissa never let her food mix or even touch!) But so far I don't mind.

(Written 24 July 2012, the second part of the letter we received on the 30th))
Sorry I didn't get to send this last week, but I'll finish it now. Before I forget this is the address of the mission:                           Sister Bradley
Caixa Postal 13008
CEP 91010-971 Porto Alegre-RS

So I thought I would write you a little more since I actually have some extra time!  Another thing about being a missionary that's different than I expected is we don't start working until 1 or 2.  We leave our house around 11:30 or 12:00 to to to lunch, we usually have to walk or take the bus for about 30-40 minutes to get to the area we proselyte in.  Oh and something about Brasil there are so many dogs!  In Sao Paulo there are a lot on the streets here luckily most are inside the gates around the houses.  (And some are so ugly!)  haha but there have been a few I wish I could pet.  But its against mission rules and for good reason.  But everywhere we go there are dogs barking at us.

You asked a little about our apartment.  Its about 3/4 flights of stairs up.  It has 2 rooms, One we keep our clothes and such the other we sleep.  The apartment has blankets that are fairly warm so at first I didn't use the sleeping bag but I started using it and its so warm and wonderful. Its usually so cold in the morning that we do our exercises in bed.  Then we have a small living room with two desk/tables for personal study and then a small table where we have companionship study.  Some mornings our apt is so cold we take the blankets off our bed and study wrapped up in those. haha Usually tho our apt is colder than outside which is interesting.  I did laundry for the first time here today.  We'll see how long it takes for everything to dry.  Someone told me it could take a few days sometimes, yikes.  I am going to be grateful for a lot of little conveniences when I get back.  I already am.  

There is a scripture in  Doctrine and Covenants 84:88 that I love.

(88 And whoso receiveth you, there I will be also, for I will go before your face. I will be on your right hand and on your left, and my Spirit shall be in your hearts, and mine angels round about you, to bear you up.)                     http://www.lds.org/scriptures/dc-testament/dc/84.77-91?lang=eng

  It is God's promise to his missionaries to send angels to help them.  It really is a cool thought to realize how important missionary work is to Heavenly Father.  It is "his work and his glory" and I get to help, and receive the help of angels. 

Well, I miss you all and think of you often.  There are so many things I miss.  And so many things that are hard for me here.  But I have felt God's strength helping me.  And hopefully someday soon I'll be able to understand Portugese better and be able to say better the things he would have me say.
Love Y'all, 
Sister Bradley

(Written and received via e-mail 31 July 2012)

THATS SO EXCITING FOR JANELLE AND HER MISSION CALL!!! She told me she wanted to go, and at a temple thats going to be incredible! (A friend of Carissa's just got her call to serve in St. George, Utah).

i~m so excited For Lauren to go to the temple. She~s going to love it, wish i could be there for everything!

And i have a story about the Olympics too! Its not very exciting but I had totally forgotten about them, and yesterday we were out clapping at doors :P and a lady came out and through the window i could see her television and she was watching the olympics! It was so had for me to focus on our lesson because I remembered how much fun we all had watching it. Especially the Summer Olympics and how into all the events we would get. But oh well yáll will have to keep me posted on those things.

Well this week has been super crazy. I have been pushed and pushed and usually I´m successful! On sunday we went on splits for the 1st time!! I was Sr!(I think she means she was the senior companion or leader) gahhhh i barely speak portuguese let alone know my way around our area very well. I was supposed to only teach new members but the 1st house we went to the member wasn~t there only her parents that we~ve been teaching. So we taught them, scary. But all went well. And then this morning we met up with our ZLs (zone leaders) because they are doing a training in Porto Alegre tomorrow and they want a video of a short lesson and baptism committement. We had 3 minutes to teach our Investigators (members) and invite them to be baptized...in portugues. It was really hard, and now the entire mission will know that i don~t know portugues haha.

So I should probably tell you a little about the culture here. The south has its own culture. Gauchu (know idea if i spelled that right). They have a drink that i~m not going to even attempt to spell. but its very interesting, i don~t love it but its not bad. Its in a giant mug, has the powder/mixture (it looks like green alfalfa and a lot of people think it tastes like grass) and they just pour water in it and you drink it, then put more water in it and pass it to someone else. Always people are drinking it. So I better get used to it because its custom here, and if you don~t, well people don~t like it very much. Just the same as you always have to have seconds here...I eat so much! But the food is really good! always rice and frejole (beans/meat) but i really like it!

Socks, probably just normal socks that i can wear with my boots/clarks. We walk so much already 3 pairs of socks have holes in the toes. I keep sewing them together and they tear in another part.

Sunscreen regular. I´m about 1/2 way through my 1st for my face( maybe half way) i didn~t really use it in the ctm because we were always inside.

I~m not sure which address your talking about. Send it to the one for the mission home/office. we don~t have an address for cards. Send it to the one i sent to you in mission ties (i think) because what happens is they get it. And we have transfers, leadership mtgs in porto alegre they bring everything to the area for us. So we only get mail about 3 times a transfer, at least here in Caixias.

thanks for the excercises! its just really hard on your joints here. So I want to prevent anything from happenening. I did have a question about insurance when I get back. Because I~m positive I~m going to need glasses. Don~t worry nothings wrong with my eyes now. Just that lighting here is usually not very good, so thought i~d ask your opnion about that 2.

Oh and sister lira has a question. she was reading the 1st chapter of Ezekial. And its complicated and we don~t understand it. Is there anything in the semimary manuel about it??

Well tell Matthew to keep up the good work with swimming! And tell Taylor Happy Birthday for me. Love you all and pray for you all!

Love ya

Sister Carissa Bradley

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