My companion is Elder Martins, from Natal, Brazil. He speaks no english. We share an apartment with 2 other Elders; Elder Allen and Elder Oliveira. Elder Allen is from Springfield, Virginia (Woot! Woot!) and Elder Oliveira is from Sao Paulo.
Its flipping hot. It feels like a Virginia summer. I sleep with no blanket or anything with a fan blasting on me. As for the bugs, the only ones I´ve seen are Volkswagens. Seriously, like every other car is a Volkswagen bug. But theres not a lot of cars anyway. People drive motorcylces, ride bikes, ride horses, and horse n buggies, and walk.
The church building is beautiful and there are 4 chapels in the city. The streets are roamed by wild dogs, wild cats, and wild horses. I´m scared of the horses. I don´t understand a thing that is going on. The people down here, the Gauchos, speak SO FAST and they blurb all their words together. It is so tough to understand, but I´ll get there. Elder Allen told me that the language is even worse here in Uruguaiana, so it´s harder to understand. He speaks really well.
The food rocks. So, I flew from Atlanta to Sao Paulo, but our flight left a little later, so we missed our flight to Porto Alegre, and then our flight to Santa Maria. So we got another flight to Porto Alegre, and then a 5 hour bus ride to Santa Maria. Then we stayed in a Hotel in Santa Maria because we arrived pretty late. I got my own room with a king sized bed. It rocked. Then the next day we walked around Santa Maria, recieved our companions, did visa stuff, ate lunch with President Parrela, and stuff like that. Then we stayed in the hotel again. I also got the same room again (oh yeah). Then the next day, I left with Elder Martins to Uruguaiana. It was a 7 hour bus ride from Santa Maria to my city. Woohoo.
The work is extremely different down here. It´s hard to do anything because I don´t understand anyone. But it is my first week, so I didn´t expect to understand anyone anyways. I feel like I can say what I want, but I don´t know what people are saying to me. I do understand Elder Martins though, so he normally repeats what people say so I can get it. People here always talk about my blue eyes. They think they are so cool, haha. It´s funny.
So, people either pronounce `Hintze` perfectly, or they cannot say it at all. I was called Elder Hitler yesterday. Anyways, this is the hardest thing I have ever done, and sometimes I wish I were back in Georgia. But Brazil is super cool. I love you guys so much and I miss you all a lot! Choose the right and stuff!
Love Elder Hintze