I hope Katie and Grandpa and Daddy had great birthdays this week, tell them I love them and I say Happy Birthday!
This week has been good. First, I'll answer your questions, no, Rui does not do tours, he's old and retired, half of the island is named Rui and João;). We did get hot water, we tried everything and we couldn't get it, we talked to a bunch of neighbors, and the elders tried to come look at it, and then we asked our other nex tdoor neighbors, Debra and Maria, adorable little old ladies who said they would help us with anything we needed (we're considering asking them to help us with the washing machine because we are having a fun time with it) and they were able to fix it, even though the other neighbor was saying it was a man's job;). We have a ramo, meaning a branch, and they're fabulous. This week they fed us once. We ate with the Pinto family! We ate fried catfish, which I actually liked because anything fried is tasty, and so I ate seconds, and some really yummy desserts. Desserts here are fabulous. Remember the sister that I met at the MTC and then we saw at Temple Square right before I left? Well, it's her family! They're great, though the older brother is a flirt and it's obnoxious, he's always texting us, and he even was outside of our apartment the other day because he wanted to go running with us. Irmã Pinto and her other son Manuel are great though! Irmã Pinto served a mission in Portugal which is rare because most of the people here are first generation Mormons. The rest of the ward is great also, they help us a lot with teaching and sometimes they give us snacks. Sister Davis says she's never received so much food on the mission, I told her it's because I attract food, which is what Sister Hayes, my companion in the MTC said:). I didn´t have to lug the 100 lbs of luggage anywhere because flying to the island meant that I had to repack and leave one bag at the mission office, so all I have is one fifty pound bag and my carry on, which the zone leaders, who are awesome, carried for us to our apartment when we met with them. It's not really that pretty of an island, haha, I don't know what you're looking at online, but there are lots of little ghetto houses all squished together and a little bit of cobblestones, LOTS of cows (there is a field across the way from our apartment that I always look at when we study, it's really pretty and the farmer is a great guy, he's old and his name is João, we talked to him, and he said we could pass by this week!), the ocassional gorgeous flower, LOTS of hills (this makes running interesting), lots of rain and wind (which is actually awesome because I didn't want to go anywhere hot or anywhere cold, and this is perfect!), and lots of great people that Sister Davis says are more willing to listen than any other place she's been too. No, the elders do not kiss girls on the cheek and we do not kiss men, though funny story, the first time someone tried to kiss my cheek, Celia, one of our investigators, I had no idea what was going on and she just stood there awkwardly until I figured it out and the elders snickered at me. This week we went with the elders again and snotty Elder Semedo from Cape Verde (he's not really snotty, he's awesome) was like, So Sister Wach (Andar tends to be what I go by because it's easier, a lot of people make the connection) finally figured out how to greet people. Muito rude Elder. Haha. You know I´m not drinking milk, I hate the stuff:P. I haven't had any pineapples yet, or seen any grown, but I did see a tree growing bananas in the Pinto's garden. I haven't seen any fresh fruit yet, São Miguel isn't known for it's fruits, it's known for it's milk and butter because there are lots of cows here, take the number of people who live on the island and divide it in half, and that's how many cows there are. The food as far as I can tell, is good, I haven't eaten any Portuguese food other than when I ate with Bruno last Sunday and then the Pintos, mostly, I eat Brazilian food. Haha, tell Dad he should be jealous;). All of Sister Davis' past companions have been Brazilian, so she cooks Brazilian food, and I wash the dishes. We had some pasteries from a place called Pão de Reino the other day, and it was super delicious and super cheap, think that French pastry shop downtown that we go to when we go for conference, and it's like that, only way cheaper. We got 4 desserts for 2 euros. There is a fast food place that I want to eat at though, Ernesto, a member says that it's not really fast food and that they have some great meat, which I can tell when I walk past, because it smells ridiculously good:). I don't know what people do for a living, when Sister Davis asks them, I can't understand the reply, so I have no idea haha, but most people live close to where they work, so I'm going to assume menial jobs in little shops, and farmers because they don't have cars. Portugal is also in an economic crisis, and so a lot of the people don't have jobs. The language really isn't coming, at least not speaking wise. I can understand pretty much everything Sister Davis says, but the accent here on the islands are super hard to understand. I can't understand most of it, but the more we talk to certain people, the more I understand what they're saying. I know a lot of words, but I can't form really good sentences, and so I'm having a harder time speaking. It's a little frustrating because I want to say things and I feel bad because poor Sister Davis has to teach EVERYTHING. It'll come though, eventually, I hope;). No, we don't have a car, there isn't one on the island for missionaries, so we just walk lots and ride the bus a little. The weather is rainy and windy, but not hot or cold. Sister Davis and I run everyday first thing, though usually we're so tired and there is so much running uphill that we don't run too far, since we only have a half hour. I didn't really say much to President Fluckiger, and he just told me that's where I was heading. I haven't gotten to meet with him other than take a picture because there were too many people who came in on the same day for us to get to have individual meetings. But he comes every transfer, so we'll get to meet eventually. We also don't know our address, we need to figure it out. We get mail once a transfer on the islands, whomever comes to visit us brings it for us, so I haven't gotten any mail, and I'm not worried about it:) Next time I email I'll let you know our address. Supposedly though it only takes like a week to get mail to and from Portugal. Know anything about a cave one the island? The cave is somewhere near our house, tourists walk past all day to it, so we'll have to go see it someday soon.
So now for an overview of the week:). Right now we're teaching a few interesting people. We're teaching Eduarda, who is a less active, because there was a big scandal in the ramo with the ramo presidente. Some sort of affair or something like that. Eduarda is interesting, and she calls me Sister Andar, we went with Irmã Lordes from the ramo and we taught her, Irmã Lordes is a spiritual giant. She's only been a convert for a few years, but you wouldn´t know it, and she made us some awesome cookies. The ex-ramo presidente is actually coming back to church now, and bringing the woman he lives with, whom we're teaching, Lordes, and her cute little son, Manuel who is like three or four. They just need to get married. They live really far away though, in Relva. After, we taught Rui. It went really well, sometimes teaching Rui goes okay, and sometimes it doesn't. He's a nice guy, but his brother Pedro is a little hard to deal with. Pedro was in some sort of accident and it's messed up some part of his brain, so he's a bit like a child who drinks lots of alcohol. I hate teaching when he's there because he doesn't invite the spirit. Rui says he knows what we teach it true, but he won't come to church and he's a really heavy smoker. The second time we taught him, we taught the Palavra de Sabedoria, and Pedro was there, and Irmão Ernesto (the husband of Irmã Lordes) and it was just really interesting. There was a woman at the house, a friend of Pedro´s, and so we got to go inside. We were talking about the PdS and they were all lighting up their cigarettes! It was chato. Pedro kept talking and freaking out, he speaks fluent English and insists on talking through the whole lesson about his dog and his work and giving us soup and etc. He means well, but it doesn't invite the spirit and Rui is so busy being distracted by him. Plus Pedro always tries to touch us and he calls us every night at 12:22 am. It's really obnoxious and a little creepy. Oh, and the lady that we went into the house with, she bailed, turned out she recognized Ernesto, who is a barber, and she'd stolen from him, so she left, with us still in the house! If Irmão Ernesto hadn't been there, it would've been pretty interesting. Last night, we taught about the Plan of Salvation. I used my puzzle. It went well, at least better than other times because Pedro wasn't there.
Guess what I did this week. I flooded the kitchen and laundry room in the house! Something is wrong with the washing machine, which we didn't know, and I was washing my clothes, and they were done and I went to open the door to the washer, and a flood came out! We can't figure out how to get the water to empty out of the washer, so Sister Davis' clothes are currently molding in there;). It was fun to clean up, and we thought we had an appointment at the capela at noon, and so we had to run to the capela after we cleaned it up. Turned out the appointment was the next day. Oops. But we run all day around here. The man the appointment was for, his name is Antonio, and the elders were teaching him when we got here. We taught him, kind of. We couldn't get a word in. He just kept going on about ``Preparaçao!`` and how he needs to prepare before he can be baptized, but he won't let us teach the lessons, so I'm not sure how he's going to prepare. He comes to church every week though, and talks about preparation during every lesson. I have no idea how the elders taught him. He is a cute little old guy though.
We're also teaching Margarida. She's older and she smokes a lot. She works with computers. This week when we went to see her, she'd read more of the LdM than we'd assigned, and she had questions about the words, and so she looked them up on Wikipedia! Haha, we gave her the church website this time. She has the creepiest cat. He had cancer in his ears and so they were removed. It's super creepy. She's a great lady, though. She does have a smoking problem, so we gotta work on that. Then we're teaching Paul, who lived in Rhode Island for 31 years but got deported because he did something wrong. He speaks fluent English, so we teach in English, which is really hard. I could hardly pray! He's interested though and he said he wanted to go to church before we even asked him, and he has a desire to know if it's true. Plus he called us to see if we were still coming! No one ever calls us back, or answers our phone calls, so that was weird. He didn't come to church though, so we think something must have happened. Then we're teaching Frank, who we were also teaching last week. Then Suzana and Manuel. Manuel is a very old man who has about as many teeth as Gollum, and a dozen earrings in each ear. He's always really excited to shake my hand and winks at me a lot. We met Suzana through him because she's the girlfriend of a man that lives in the same house as Manuel. She was really interested and we're teaching her again this week.
Then we're hoping to teach a few others, one is Evanston. We met him yesterday. He's from São Paulo, and I can actually understand what he's saying because he doesn't have the strange São Miguel accent. He seems really awesome.
Not much else happened this week. We just walk lots and talk to lots of people. Though, Sister Davis says I do speak Portuguese in my sleep, which would explain why I'm still so tired every morning;). I'm gonna try and send a few pictures, but I don't know how it will work. I wanted to take more today because P-days are the only day we can take pictures, but the whole island is covered in a misty cloud and so we can't see anything. Of course.
Well, I hope all is well. I love you all tons! The gospel is true!