Wednesday, July 8, 2009

July 8, 2009

Olá Família! Portugal is still going awesome! I'm still loving it! It's really cool to be here in Europe. A lot of things are different. But I'm also surprised how many things are exactly the same. American culture has a lot of influence here. Pretty cool. I'm still struggling with the language, as usual. It's really, really hard to understand everyone. Especially the Africans, and the Brazilians. Especially the Brazilians. Brazilian Portuguese is way different than Portugal Portuguese. I heard they are even thinking about making it into 2 different languages. Our new Mission President arrived last week, and I had my first Zone Conference on Monday. As you know mom, his name is President Torgan, and he is from Brazil. He seems really awesome. Before he was called to be mission president here, he was about to be like, Vice Governer of some state in Brazil or something, pretty crazy. And he was also the leader of like 16,000 police or something like that. The reason I say he only seems awesome, is because he made a new rule that at all of the zone and district meetings, it will all be in Portuguese. And as I said, Brazilian Portuguese is way hard to understand for me. So, sadly, I didn't get much out of Zone Conference. But I am doing well with speaking, I think. I feel like I am improving. I just need to be able to understand other people, so that I can actually converse with them. I feel behing, but my companion tells me that I'm not. And he tells me I have a really good Portuguese accent. So I am doing well. Everything else is going great. I'm getting to know the area pretty well. The other day, Elder Markarian had to go give a baptismal interview, so I had to go on divisions with another missionary, who actually came here with us and is as new as I am. But he was already fluent in the language before he left for his mission. We had to go out and proselyte together! It was way scary! And it was my area, so I had to find our way around. But I did really well, and got on all of the right buses and stuff. Crazy. Thanks for the recipe mom! Tuna casserole is actually exactly what I had in mind! And they should have all the ingredients here. They have most of what we have in the states, I think. At least the same food. Not medicine. I am glad I bought all that stuff mom. They don't even have simple things here like ibuprofen, or tums. Crazy. Anyways, another really useful recipe would be Perfect Pancakes. Mmmm! I miss those! The only ingredient we wouldn't have for that, is Mapleine. They don't have maple syrup here! Or mapleine, so I can't even make it. But they have vanilla, so I can make vanilla syrup. Yeah, and any other recipes you can think of mom. Thanks! So my comp has a flea problem, which is crazy, because I haven't seen or felt any at all. Supposedly I was bit once, but didn't feel it, and it never itched. So his mom ended up sending him some flea bombs (they don't have anything for fleas here either.) So hopefully that will stop. That's crazy about Mike and Cam! I had no idea either of them were engaged! Crazy! And I'm way excited for Griffin and Gretchen! I could easily have another niece or nephew by the time I get back, eh? That's awesome you guys are going to Italy! Way soon! We will be using the same money at least. I don't know what else is similar. The socks are great mom. Thanks for sending them. I actually had way too many, so I gave a lot of my old ones away before I got here. I had to give quite a bit of stuff away so my bags wouldn't be too heavy. So far, the work is great here! Elder Markarian is awesome! We have 2 investigators marked for baptism, one on the way, and a few new investigators. Pretty cool. I don't do a whole lot in the lessons, other than testify. I can't exactly teach, and ask questions yet. But things are going good. I'm loving it. Sometimes it's stressful. Just the language usually. And we walk a lot. So I come home pretty exhausted at night. It's good though. I'm getting the best sleep of my life here! I don't have trouble falling asleep at all. Unlike at the MTC, or basically my whole life before the mission. It's awesome. It is a little loud around our house though. We live pretty close to the airport, so there are a lot of planes flying over all the time, and that's way loud. But I have gotten used to it. Also, there are TONS of dogs everywhere. Some stray, but mostly owned. So we here a lot of barking. It's crazy. Most of the dogs are mutts. Rarely do I see purebread. I haven't seen the same kind of dog twice. Crazy. I don't think I really need anything sent. I imagine it's pretty expensive anyway. Oh, by the way. You don't have my address yet. Ok, here's the deal. You can send stuff directly to our apartment, and supposedly the mail is reliable here. It's supposed to be really good. But it's best if you send it directly to the mission office. I will get it at the next transfer/zone conference. I will be in this area for at least another 4 weeks, unless I get transferred to a new area. So if you don't know, it will just be safe to send it to the mission office. If you are going to send a package, send it to the mission office, not the apartment address. Probably get stolen or something, I dunno. So here are my addresses.

This is our APARTMENT:

Rua Miraflores Lt. 496 R/C Dto
Bairro da Fraternidade
2695 São João de Talha

This is the OFFICE:

Rua Jorge Barradas 14C

I guess that's it. I'm doing great! Hope everyone is there too! Eu amo vocês! Fica fixe! (Stay cool)
Elder Walker

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