Elder Engle in Brasil- Caxias!
Dear People of Earth,
This email is quite challenging to write. I can describe why it´s so hard by explaining Brasil. First of all, the keyboards are Portuguése keyboards. This means not only are they different, but ther´re quite old and beat up as well. Secondly, it´s hot here. Really hot. It´s actually pretty cool here when it´s in the 90s F area. After my first week, I´m already turning brown/red. Also, I don´t use English anymore... I don´t need it except to ask what a certain word is.
I´m currently in Caxias, Maranhão, Brasil. It´s a town of about 200,000 people and the church has been here maybe a little over two years. Our branch has about 30 people attending weekly, but this week was a big holiday week, so we only had about twenty, including some visitors from Codor. My companion is Elder Rodgers from South Carolina. To say he´s a stud is a gross understatement.
Brasil is drastically different... oh goodness. Where do I begin... everything´s different. It´s HOT... and it´s winter. The food is very rich and natural. The people are terribly poor (but we are too). Missionary work is drastically different here as well. In the U.S. we were laboring to work with members a ton, but we only have a tiny little branch here. We can enter any home that we like. We clap or knock outside the door and we´re always accepted inside. They usually like our message, but the trick is findly the elect of God. There´s so much to be done here. We work super hard here. We walk everywhere no matter what the conditions, try to teach as many people as possible, and eat much less than I ate before. That´s just the beginning...
In terms of Portuguése, I know the gift of tongues is real. I´m already very useful in our missionary work and communicate quite well, as long as I have the Spirit with me. Some people already think I´m fluent (usually missionaries rather than natives...). That´s still a great compliment. The Spirit truly magnifies all of our work. It´s incredibly different and exhaustingly difficult to say the least. Foreign missionaries work hard! I feel like we had it easy in New Mexico compared to the experiences here. Cars are rare here. Everyone uses motorcycles, but no one knows how to drive them.
The food is wonderful, although I never know what the food is called heh. The other day I ate a fish eye ball (the locals said that´s weird even for Brasilians though...). It´s true that we eat rice and beans at every meal and it´s VERY GOOD. I´m struggling to remember a lot of the words in English. I seriously haven´t spoken hardly any English since arriving in the Brasil MTC. Portuguese is awesome.
President Siedschlag is my hero. He´s really strong, full of energy, understands missionary work very well, and overall is wonderful.
Emailing in the future will be challenging. I´ll be able to weekly (most likely), but it´s going to be pretty brief. We only have 40 minutes to email here.
Overall, I feel like I understand 1 Corinthians 14 much better. The relationship between the Gift of Prophesy and the Gift of Tongues is very unique indeed. Overall, I say that we need both heh.
I tried to write about the most important stuff I thought people would be interested to know about. We actually live in a pretty decent place. For Brasil, it´s very good. My companion´s been here for quite awhile and helped to arrange for us to live here. Brasil is the chillest culture I´ve ever seen.
Lots of love and best of luck with everything yáll.