Wednesday, July 1, 2009

Greg's First Letter From Portugal

Olá Família! I'm finally here in Portugal! It's crazy to finally be here! I've been here a week, and I'm sort of getting the hang of things. My new companion's name is Elder Markarian. He is from Reno, Nevada. He is 21 and has been out here for about 1 year and a half. He is really cool and really good at the language. We live just the two of us in an apartment in an area called São João da Talha. Our proselyting area is Sacavém, which is just north of Lisboa. It's a pretty cool place. And there are tons of Africans! I had no idea! I knew there would be some, because our teachers told us and stuff. They all come from the countries that used to be Portuguese colonies, such as Mozambique, Angola, Guinea, Cape Verde and I think there are others but I can't remember what they are called. All of our investigators that we have taught since I have been here have been African. And more than half of our ward is African, including our Branch President. It's really cool! They are awesome people! Elder Markarian says he loves the Africans, because they are really humble people and always nice, unlike the Portuguese who are supposedly really arrogant. I wouldn't really know, I can hardly understand anyone! The language is hard! The hardest part is understanding. I can speak ok, but everyone talks so fast! Elder Markarian says I am doing well though. He usually has me at least bear my testimony, and I have taught small portions of a couple of lessons. I have also spoken to people at their doors, but I can't say much, so Elder 'M' has to take over. But I'm loving it! Even though I can't understand most of what they are saying, I love the people! I love our investigators, and our members! We are teaching a man named Oscar, and his 'girlfriend' Albertina. They are awesome! They live together, and have a few kids, who actually live in Africa right now. I'm not sure why. Oscar is from São Tomé, which is an island off of the coast of Africa. Elder 'M' and his companion last transfer found him doing street contacts. He is so cool, and he loves the gospel. He is marked to be baptized in August, and he and Albertina are getting married next month. It's really awesome to teach them. We are also teaching a woman named Maria, and her daughters Jú, and Conçeição. They are from Angola. They seem to like the gospel as well, but her two daughters are moving to England soon to live with their dad. Neither of them speak English, so we don't really know what will happen with them. There are others we have been teaching too, some of them inactive members. It's really cool, but I really need to get the language down. It's pretty crazy living here. But not as different as I thought it would be. Supposedly, Portugal is considered a 3rd World Country, because of some of the areas. Our area where we live, and where we proselyte seems really nice. Right now we are and an Internet Shoppe at a mall in Lisboa called Columbo. Supposedly, it's the biggest mall in Western Europe. After this, I think we are going to go bowling, which is cool. They have a lot of the same food here, it seems like. I haven't eaten anything gross yet. But we have only eaten at members houses like, twice. The first time we had chicken and rice. Really good. And the next time we ate this kind of soup-like stuff called Cachupa. It was really good. It had a lot of beans, and meat, and stuff. Tasted pretty good. It's actually food from Cape Verde, because the member's house we ate at are from there. Really good, but it's a tradition that when they make cachupa, that they eat the entire pan, and they made a ton! I ate so much! And then they told us that because it was our first time eating it, we were going to have diarrhea that night. And sure enough, when we got home, Elder 'M' had to go! And then the next morning, I woke up and had to go! Crazy! We have had some crazy days. Especially this morning. I was taking a shower, and suddenly the lights went out and the water went cold. The power went out. And as far as we know, it's still out. It was when we left the house. Then, Elder 'M' was about to take the trash out, and found maggots all over the place! Ahh! Don't worry, our house is really clean. We don't live in a dirty, nasty place or anything. Our house is actually really, really nice. It was our own fault, because we hadn't taken the trash out for awhile. It was crazy though! Then we missed a bus. Crazy morning. Oh yeah, we do a TON of public transportation. That's how we get around. We take the bus everywhere. And we do quite a bit of walking. The weather is really nice here. It really is a lot like So-Cal. Pretty humid, not too hot, not too cold. Really nice. Oh yeah, there are fleas here. Elder 'M' gets bit almost every night. I have only been bit once. It wasn't bad. I guess they don't like my blood or something. I'm not too worried about it. Elder 'M's mom is sending him flea-bombs. I don't really know if it's bad or not. You can't really see them. Oh, mom, guess what cereal they have here... Nesquik cereal! Your favorite! We bought some today! I dunno if it's the same. We haven't tried it yet. I have been eating really well though. Elder 'M' is a really good cook. This next week is supposedly my turn to cook, I don't know what I am goind to cook. Maybe you could send me some simple recipes or something mom. Well, I am really loving it here. I love being here. I love teaching people. I know the language will get better, I just need to keep studying and trying hard. How is everything going there? How was tour mom? Hope it went well. How are the wedding plans coming? How is business going dad? Did you get the gazebo up yet? Did you paint the fireplace mantel? Anyways, hope to hear back from y'all next week. I'm gonna go bowl! (Bowling, in Portugal? What is this?) I still don't know if I am going to be able to send pictures over the internet, or if I can get them developed anywhere. I'm going to try to next week. Paz e amor! Até logo!
Elder Walker

1 comment:

  1. ahh!! thats so exciting that he is finally there!! :D