[Sam did not send a regular letter today due to limited computer time because of Carnival. Carnival of Brazil is an annual Brazilian festival held between the Friday afternoon and Ash Wednesday at noon, which marks the beginning of Lent, the forty-day period before Easter. It's like a week-long Mardi Gras. Carnival in Salvador is supposedly the wildest and longest in all of Brazil. He responded briefly to several questions for this email. Also, no pictures. Sam says he hasn't carried his camera this week due to Carnival.]
1. How has this week been? did you have a regular schedule or was it changed because of Carnival?
The schedule was normal, just less people to teach and areas we weren't able to go into. I got yelled at by drunk people, and everyones been naked and drunk for like a week. Everything is so loud here and tonight the main area kinda near us hahaha.
2. Are you drinking water and carrying it with you?
Yes i drink lots of water, heat is killer but i've been drinking lots more, I'm not sunburned at all, sunscreen is pointless I sweat it off in 5 minutes no exaggeration
3. How is the food? What is the best thing you have eaten so far? What kinds of things do the members feed you?
The food here is awesome but some has weird textures and stuff haha. Fav thing is honestly the italian food, lasgna with chicken not beef and stroganof with chicken
4. How are your feet and legs with all the walking? Still feeling the burn?
My feet hurt sometimes but thats it! the hills here are nuts haha
5. Are mosquitoes a problem? Are you using your mosquito repellent I sent with you?
There are tons of bugs and spiders everywhere (even the shower and kitchen) but mosquitos are not a problem! I think I've only got one mosquito bite.
6. How is your Portuguese coming? Does Elder Cruz speak Spanish and Portuguese? Did he learn Portuguese on his mission? Is he a lifelong member or a convert?
Elder Cruz only speaks Portuguese and Spanish and he is a convert at 11 years old. My Portuguese is coming slowly. I need to study and focus more as well as show my faith by speaking with confidence and not being scared.
7. Who are the other elders in your apartment? Where are they from? Do you see your mission president often because you are so close to the mission home?
Yes the mission pres (President Bangerter) is in our ward and we see him more often than most! Elder Gifford is from Texas and Elder Silva from Sao Paulo. They all came in at the same time as the boys (Sam's friends from high school) went on missions (about 18 months ago).
8. Have you taught many lessons yet? If you will tell us the names of your investigators we will pray for them as well as for you and Elder Cruz.
We teach 4-5 a day even on a bad day and we are gonna start teaching more when carnival is done.
9. Are you able to understand some of the language when you teach? Have you been able to feel the Spirit even when you can’t understand the words?
I understand gospel words and converstation really well but normal talking not so much! I still feel the spirit yes! especially when I or Elder Cruz bears testimony or prayers or personal study.
I love you all, go read Alma 26 and think on the glory and power of God!!