April 25, 2011
I made it to Cuiabá! It is crazy. First, maybe I should start in Sáo Paulo. Cool MTC there, although I feel like I learned more in Provo. I think that it is because the MTC in Brasil is run by Brazilians who are all laid back. I am way glad that I was able to go there for a few days though. One of the days, I went out and walked downtown Sáo Paulo. Huge city! Wow! I handed out 7 Books of Mormon in under an hour and gave 9 people numbers to the missionaries in the area. It was pretty awesome. It is also pretty warm. Oh, yeah, I did talk with a guy from Campo Grande on the 14 hour plane ride to Sáo Paulo. Mighty miracle we sat together because the flight attendant moved us around. I had talked to him before, and having the opportunity to sit by him was an answer to prayer and nothing less. I talked about life and everything else. (all in Portugues) and the last hour about the gospel. He gave me his number and address and said that I could come and vacation on his 12,000 acre farm whenever I wanted and that he wanted me to teach him more. Also, he waited for 30 minutes while I went though the customs line so that I could give his a Book of Mormon. It was awesome. I gave his information to a missionary going to Campo Grande, so I am waiting to hear what happens. Then I jumped on a flight to Cuiabá. It was a few hours on the plane and when I stepped out of the airplane, we were all hit with a rush of heat. Wow, not even describable. Sáo Paulo was nothing man. It was awesome. Then we bussed over to President Oleveira’s house where we were fed. Then it was over to the church building and interviews and downloads of information. Then I got on an 8 hour bus ride going north to a little city called Sinop to meet my companion Elder Wanderley who is Brazilian. Problem, they forgot to arrange for the missionaries to pick me up, so while I was waiting at the bus stop for 3 hours, I taught a couple of people about the gospel. It was cool. Then the elders in the area found me and we went to the apartment and then it was right to work. We have 4 missionaries in Sinop and the next closest city or town or whatever is about an hour or so away. We do have 2 branches here and the members are awesome. Yesterday I gained their trust by taking a leap of faith and working the room after sacrament meeting. It was awesome. The gift of tongues is so real. Also, all of their kids love me, so naturally the parents love me as well. We received 5 referrals from the members, so I am really excited to get to work on that. The language is improving rapidly. At first, I could hardly pick up anything, but now, the language has begun to slow down in my head so that I can understand way more. By the end of each day I feel so much more confident because I have been speaking Portugues all day and so you start to get into the rhythm, and then you wake up the next morning from your English dream and you have to start over. lol. It is awesome though. Crazy things happen when you are a missionary, let me tell you. Anyway, life is good, and wow, I thought that it was hot in Cuiabá. Sinop bakes you. I am sweating non stop, and I think that I have lost at least 5 pounds. Also, the food here is good, so no problems there. The people are so cool... I cannot even explain. Just awesome. If you love them, they love you. It is way cool. Also, my companion is really cool, and he loves to work hard. I am blessed with a good trainer. This is his first time training, but it is doing a great job. He has been out for 13 months. He is cool. So yeah, there is my life. It is crazy to think that this is going to be the next two years, but I am sure that it is a little different when you have a firm grip on the language lol. I miss all of you. It was so nice hearing your voices. I am always seeing things that remind me of one of you. It is really fun. Well, I will try to find a way to get you pics. I do not have a time limit, but I do have to pay by the hour. That boy is so cute. How are the Leeds doing? That is so scary. I will pray for them. Tell them that I said hi. Josh, I am so excited for you; that is soo cool. Happy Birthday buddy! It is so crazy that you are old already! Any other questions that you had.... Yeah, my address should be in that booklet that you kept. It all goes to a mission house, and then they give it to me somehow. I have no idea how long mail takes, but you can email me now as well. I have time to read and to write. Well, how is you arm dad? Slowly getting better? I hope that it is improving. I do not know how to get pics to you. I think that I will have to get a reader for my sd card some time. Then I will probably be able to send them to you by email, and I will also be able to back them up because the computers here do not a have a port for sd cards. They are a little behind on the technology that we have. lol. Anyway, about the city. Not in the jungle Tony, but close. I can see the canopy of trees bordering every side more or less. There is a lake that we walk by that is fenced off because of alligators, and there is a park here as well that is full of animals. A member here (21 years old and loves me and my companion) found a dead anaconda in the park, and so Friday I was helping him clean the bones and teeth that he got. It was awesome. He also showed me pics. This think was huge, like 2 feet around in the middle (diameter) and about 20-30 feet long. I am talking huge. Dude, and the teeth on this thing are nasty. They are pointed inward so that if it bites you and you try to pull you arm out it will shred, so you have to push it further in and stab its head with a knife or something. Crazy, huh? Also, there are all kinds of birds. From parrots to big old things. Awesome. And a little bit crazy as well. No worries mom, I am fine and I am not going to do anything stupid because that is a rule and I am strictly obedient. Yeah, you should check this place out on line. It is a pretty good sized little city, but it is soo hot. It is like walking into a room that has an indoor pool, that water in the air feeling, but so hot. I already have a tan line were my collar is and were I wear my watch. I am going to come home black. So hot, and the people here say that you just never get use to it. The culture is so different. Everything is chill, people always bring you water when you come, and they insist on pouring it for you, and when you are done they always ask more, and then again, more. It is awesome. Also, we eat with a member for lunch everyday, it is a rule, because they need as much help as everyone else, and it is a rule that you eat at least 2 helpings of everything, and sometimes, they do not even eat, they just watch you eat. Different, but completely normal here. There is no trying to be polite. The polite thing is to take whatever is given to you. Different, but you learn. It is crazy. Maybe I just found a way to send you pics. You will have to tell me if it worked or not. I am going to try to send them in a compressed folder. It is a trick when the computer is out of date and everything is in a different language, but I will try. Um momento. Okay, something is loading, so maybe this is good. In the mean time, what else is there to talk about? There is so much. The other two missionaries here are Elder Nielsom (American) and Elder Melo (from Brasil) and they are awesome. We all live in the same house. Well time is about out, so I love you all, and keep sending me emails. I love hearing form you. Love you and enjoy the rest of your week.
Your brother and son, Elder Shane Lee
PS - It did not work, so I will try to figure it out next time. I love you all.
PS Dad - Hey, I have a couple minutes to I thought I would reply. Yeah, way hot, but it is cool. Easter is everyday in the field. That is way we do, invite people to come to the light, life, truth and source of all righteousness. It is incredible that the Lord has entrusted this assignment to me. I know that with his help I can do all things, but I need to exercise my faith, and like Heleman and Shiblon, be sober. Final words of a loving father. Well time is up, I love you all.