So this week was yet another week here. We had a Multi-zone conference which is something that only happens every 3 months and that was spiritually uplifting and I got to mess around with the other missionaries so that was pretty fun. Apparently ``Christmas Time´´ in Brazil is code for ``Welcome to Your Fiery Doom Time´´ It´s seriously sooo hot. I don´t think that I´ve been 100% dry for a couple of weeks. But it´s cool. The drone of a cheap oscilating fan puts me to sleep and the fact that my skin is sufficiently hydrated by my own sweat at all times is just down right convenient.
And I don´t know if anyone has heard, but the army of brazil which rarely/never gets used was deployed to Rio de Janeiro to kill some drug traffickers and that is a big deal to everyone around here. I´m glad the favela where I am is super tranquil. In 5 months here my companion has never been robbed, and when you consider that he is dressed in a shirt and tie and walks with americans that is pretty sweet. But the police here aren´t so trusting of the members of ``the community´´ (code name for the favela because no one likes that word). There are sooo many cops here. Cops on motorcycles, cops in cars, cops in SUV´s, cops on foot, cops in sox... they have it all. The funny part about that to me is they roll around way too heavily armed. The other day an SUV rolled by with 4 policeman in it and they all had uzi´s and assault rifles. But no worries, they think we´re super cool. they are always like ``if all the kids were like you, I wouldn´t have a job´´ and then they laugh and try to speak english to me. ``wuts my nameey?´´ uhhh... gandolf. I like them. I seriously have a lot of respect for the police here because they do a good job.
The other day though we did see a robbery. It wasn´t anything too special. There is a road that runs close to the favela where lots of cars stop and some kids ran up and broke a car window and took their purse and took off. It was pretty legit, because they were legitly sprinting in flip flops. I was impressed. it all happened in like 10 seconds or less and they were gone. all about 12 years old too.
But really this week wasn´t anything toooooooooooo crazy. I´m finally getting the hang of the mountain of names and faces in the ward and of the people we teach and the rediculous number of roads and alley ways here. It´s nice because I finally feel like I can stop worrying about getting lost and start focusing more on the spirit and what we should be doing to help specific people. Seriously though, look at my area on google earth. There is a big road called Giovonni Gronchi that I´m pretty sure connects my area to the Morumbi Stadium here in Sâo Paulo. It´s pretty close to the mission office too so you can use that address to get close, then find the Avenue Giovonni Gronchi, and there is a huge area of houses that are not apartment buildings and will probably be mostly black from the sky because of the type of roofing they use. It´s across the street from an enormous building that is our chapel, and a bakery called Paderia La Roma. If you manage to find it, you´ll see that it´s a grid, that is networked with a rediculous number of alley ways and what not.
Or also maybe if you put in Paraisópolis which is the name of the favela into google images you can find something. But who knows. It would be cool if you could see it because, really, things like this don´t exist in the united states and it´s hard to explain. But so goes my life here as a missionary. Haha. I´m afraid I´m going to forget the stuff that is cool to everyone there because it´s not cool here. I try sometimes to remember what happened during the day to write in my journal and I find mysely thinking, ``today was a normal day nothing to write´´ which is the truth, but then I remember ``I saw an enormous black dude dressed up like a woman prancing around in the street, I saw a drunk dancing man (who dances pretty good) trying to fight someone else while dancing, I saw 5 kids riding the same crappy old motorcycle at the same time, I met the Mui Thai champion of the ghetto in which I live and he´s a member of the church, etc. etc. etc.´´ It´s just that, that is a normal day. But as I said, so goes life as a missionary.
But, I love you all. Have a good week and remember that I am dying of heat stroke while you freeze in the snow. Happy thanksgiving. Oh and to all that have sent letters in the past 2 months: whoops. haha I am going to try to write something down, I´m serious, but we´ll see because I have an activity (volleyball) and won´t have much time this week. Your letters are important and strengthening to me and I promise I will respond before christmas. so yeah...
oh and the cat costumes looked hilarious. Especially because the cats looked super pissed.