Monday, October 27, 2014

I'm going bananas...literally

Elder L and me 

Daddy-o´s preguntas – So having been there a bit now, what is one thing you would encourage a YM to do to prepare for a mission? 

Im gonna be honest about something im ashamed of. I showed up for my mission thinking that would be enough. thinking i did my part putting in my papers and showing up. Boy, have i been paying for that mistake. i had never really studied the scriptures for myself, i had never really cracked open preach my gospel to read it which truely has EVERYTHING you need to know about being a good member of the church and an excelent leader and missionary. I had never read more than 5 pages in the Bible and now i quote the bible more than the Book of Mormon. (disclamer: i quote the bible more because I teach the first lesson 1,000 times and people already believe the bible, so it helps the transition. in other lessons you need to quote the book of mormon more) so i would tell them to start reading and start going out with the missionaries. PREPARE, cause people are going to ask you hard questions and you need to have something on the tip of your tounge like its second nature. just be familiar with the scriptures and preach my gospel. 

What is the biggest cultural difference that has taken some adjustment? umm probably the food... definitly the food. its good but no matter how good it is, your stomach isnt used to it. so thats kinda rough.  haha tough out the first 2 months and youll be good.

Do they have milk there?
yes its in cartons and unrefrigerated. so when i buy it i put it in the fridge and drink it with some type of nesquick they have over here. its pretty good but has a hint of coconut. haha

SO as for my caption
im literally going bananas... like ive never meant that in a more literal sense. this week we were teaching a less active family who im really close with and they asked if we wanted some bananas.. so i said yeah. i mean i like bananas as much as the next guy. and so the dude brought out a freaking branch of bananas. im talkin like 50 bananas of all different ripeness... hes like, here do you want more? hahaha i was like ``com certeza nao`` so i separated the ripe ones from the non ripe ones and the medium ones we ate... but you can only eat so many bananas. 
so we had banana shakes for breakfast and dinner, we had deep fried bananas, we had just plain bananas... bananas FOR DAYS. I also bought a chocolate bar (a little more than a bar) and covered some bananas in chocolate, which turned out pretty horrific. it was like gooey frozen chocolate nastiness, so theres that. our whole house smells like bananas and we still have like 30 more. 

it did rain a little this week and was a lot cooler, maybe i should have prayed for no rain? aha

the president election was yesterday and MAN was it close, like CRAZY close. the lady whos name escapes me won again. a women president.... can you imagine in america if we had a women president? haha.   So in brazil you have to vote. its not an option. if you dont vote you have to pay a fine of 3 reals (like dirt cheep) but you also cant have a goverment job if you dont vote. and there are a lot of government jobs out here so most everyone votes. you also cant sell or drink alochol till 17h. they also use army time down here - sorry

oh yeah so your christams package (although a little early) came in clutch.
Josh's 21st birthday package i could have done without.
But for the past week ive been rubbing myself down with a powder laundry detergent to try and keep the mosquitos off of me... its been working kinda haha so the bite stick definitly came in clutch. 

Elder Jacob Hamm

Monday, October 20, 2014

2nd transfer! (No campo)

first my dads questions:

Are there any lakes, rivers, or streams in your area? yes there are a few streams going through the town and i think 2 big rivers that surround the town.. haha but they are all so dirty its disgusting. they smell just RANK and in the heat you can smell the rivers and gutters from like 20 feet away. the water is a kinda dark sludge like thing that bubbles. yes bubbles. it has a turbidity of probably an inch.  
Is it humid there? no and that is a tender mercy because this week it was 45 degrees celcius. in farenheit thats about...on fire. (MOM: 113F). me and my comp were literally dying. but no almost no humidity.  we are sweating like dogs during our lessons... we have to carry around little towels because sweat starts drippin on our panphlets and gets them all wet.
What fast food restaurants are popular there? haha mcdonalds is like really expensive. like its kinda fancy.. it costs like 20 reals for a big mac meal. haha no dollar menu here. umm Habibs is really popular. look it up its kinda hard to explain. its like a hand held pizza thing that pretty good. i mean its fast food so its not gonna be excellent. they have subway (with alot better meat and cheese and topping selection) pizza hut, yeah thats all i know about so far.

So we did have transfers this week and i did have to say goodbye to my trainer. it was sort-of a blessing. haha I learned alot from Elder R but you really need two different trainers to get the hang of whats right, whats wrong, and what is habit of someone. 

My new compainion is Elder L. he is a amazing missionary. Just by hearing the lessons he gives and the way he talks to people i can tell he is a amazing missionary. pictures of him will have to wait till next week.

we must of knocked on like 500 doors just in 4 days. He works so hard and were trying to get a new group of people to teach. needless to say we have a few.. haha but yeah I actually really like knocking doors because you never know what youre gonna come across.. ahah well chat with people who hate mormons and dont want to hear our message, but love the missionaries. 

its weird no matter what religion you are or wether you like mormons or not, you like the missionaries. haha we dont do much but share messages about christ and be nice to people so we´ll talk to people who have told us they dont want to hear our message, but will still invite us over to eat or to talk. haha. its awesome. 

but yeah this past sunday when i left church, it was an idaho summer kinda day. it was sad. it was hot but not too hot, a slight breeze, people chatting and the faint smell of gas. we were walking home. it made me miss home. haha but thats life

oh Btw we only have water for the next 18 days. if it doesnt rain with in the next 18 days... no more water.. haha i have yet to pray for rain because i want to see what Tres Rios does when we run out of water. im not praying against everyone but then again im not praying with everyone either... so dont pray untill 20 days from now. haha thanks jk

I love you guys!! i need to remember to upload pictures first because they take literally like 10 minutes to upload love you guys!!!
Elder Jacob Hamm

Monday, October 13, 2014

1st transfer over

What do you use for shampoo? umm, the shampoo i took from the house. haha i still have american shampoo. 

Do they have delicious candy there they don’t have here? yes they do its called balla. (like ballin but with an uh at the end) and its like starbursts but more of a fruity flavor. they're shaped like a tootsie roll but are fruity flavors. it costs like 3 reals for a bag of 50-60. i'm already addicted.
Are the streets full of buses or cabs or bikes or what? literally anything that moves without you doing much, is on the road... bikes, motorcycles, cars, trucks, a lot of old VW bugs, horses, bikes, bikes with engine...

oh yeah another thing here, they use salt as a flavor.... so like ``how would you like your chicken?`` salty.
wow these are really good potatoes. what flavor? oh they're satly. yeah needless to say its easy to down 2 liters of water before i go to bed.

so yeah this week i had some interesting food... not sure if i said this last week but we ate the heart of chickens this week. yeah that had a really unique taste. they are like really condensed meat and they just cook them in a sauce pan. my comp said they're really good so i took like 5-6 and he had 10ish. i still cant look a chicken directly in the eye knowing i've ate their hearts.

yeah if you thought a heart of a chicken was bad... just wait.

so at the same house a week later she had some deep fried triangles... no idea what they are all i heard was the word chicken... so i pop one in my mouth. it was really crunchy and not alot of meat but it was pretty good. so i ate a few more and my comp ate one. im chewing on like my third and hes kinda laughing... and im like great. so i ask what type of meat this is? he says chicken. so i eat another. then with a puzzled look and a question i dont really want to know the answer to i ask, ``elder what part of the chicken is this?`` thats where he kinda lost it and was laughing for 5 minutes quietly so the owner of the house didn't hear who was next to the house in the store she owns. he then asks for my english to portuguese dictionary to make a phrase in english, (we do this a lot to help his english and then he just says the phrase in portuguese after so i get the best of both worlds) he then says in really really bad english, chicken buttox?..... he repeats it and i guess the look on my face gave away that i could now understand what i had just eaten like 10 of... and we start laughing all over again. then he asks, you like buttox?

so this part of the chicken is right above the butt of a chicken. it is like a flab of skin with i think a spine going down the middle... turns out people dont really eat the spine, but i did. it was like eating deep fried salty sunflower seeds with the shell on. i was picking pieces of chicken vertebrae out of my teeth for the next 40 minutes... but they were actually pretty good. haha

so yeah thats my week in a bundle. i had my first person who i know believes this church is true decide not to get baptized after the LZ came down and interviewed her and said we could baptize her sunday. thats depressing but we'll continue to pray for her and give her strength to decide that this is what she needs. its just annoying because she knows our church is true and that she needs to be baptized but shes just very timid

well i love you all!!! hope you had a good week! transfers are today but im staying here and my comp is leaving :( but all is well i'm ready to learn more.

love you guys!!!

Monday, October 6, 2014

Birds in the Chapel

so this tree me and my companion think is the tree of life. it is just in disguise so no one eats of the fruit and be damned to live in sin for all eternity. jk
How do you say Hi in portuguese? welllll thats actually a really hard question and really easy all at the same time... ahah, oi! is like hi. but people say 1,000 different things to greet eachother... its actually pretty sweet. like, tranquilo, beleza, todo bom, bom dia, boa tarde, boa noite, literally a thousand things.

Questions from my dad: who was your favorite speaker? well, i didnt understand much so i'll answer that question when i get my hands on an english copy of the ensign. 
Do you have microwaves in your apartment? yes, yes we do and my companion actually made toast in it the other night because our oven was really slow and we wanted toast. yeah bet you didnt know a microwave could do that.  Does your mission president have a car? yes he does

sooo this week was general confrence and me and my companion had kinda been running all over the place this week trying to get things done, savin souls and whatnot, so we didnt think on saturday that we would be able to make it to any sessions of general confrence. fortunately the lord had other plans. saturday morning i look at our schedule and realize it is the most inefficient thing i have ever seen. we were taking busses all across town only to return and take another bus and so i mentioned something to my comp and after 20 minutes of arguing and me giving in, HE came to the conclusion that our schedule was pretty inefficent, so we rearranged some things and made it to almost all of both sessions of confrence! BUT they were still in a different language so i didnt understand much...

also during conference 3 birds deicded to just fly into our chapel. literally no one batted an eye (get the pun there. bat is also a bird) but really no one cared that we had a bird flying around the chapel just chillin on one of the fans. it was pretty cool. 

yeah so you heard spanish and portuguese this general confrence, now tell me, which sounded cooler? ;) haha (s/o to my older brother)

after conference on saturday i really wanted some homemade pizza and priesthood session ice cream social. it was a depressing thought being this far away from home but i know that if i came home i would only be more sad. 

love you guys!!! miss you!
Elder Jacob Hamm

Sunday, October 5, 2014

sooo 1/12th done with the mission what?

In front of Sao Paulo, Brazil temple

Questions from my old man: What is your apartment like?  its on the 3rd floor of a appartment building. it has a big room where we study and such and then our bed room is behind it. we also have a seperate room for our clothes and our ironing board and such. we have a small bathroom at the end of our hall and a kitchen where we make our dinner feast! haha

Do you have windows? yes in almost every room we have a window and a celing fan. no ac. not very man bugs but there are alot of stray dogs and cats, and some of the dogs are so freaking cute its impossible to not touch them- ahah, and every animal here has fleas. you can see them scratching and biting all the time..

older photos:  Brazil MTC Mission President and his wife
but yeah so the news for this week is we got a call from the prez this week (which is always a worrysome thing now)and me and my comp are actually getting a kid who is putting in his mission papers but his parents want him to get some in field expierence before he leaves for his mission so he is going to be in a trio with us for who knows how long... yeah so now he's gonna be with us so there's that. 

its crazy to think that im already 1/12 done with my mission already... its kinda nice but kinda sad at the same time. its crazy how the days are just flying by and it really is a blessing and kinda a sad thing. 

Enroute SLC-->Brazil
not much happened this week, we were suppose to have 8 people come to church with us this week! but when we knocked on all their doors sunday morning all of them either didnt answer or couldnt come because of other things. so this week were gonna have to do some deep prayer and evaluation and see who really wants to recieve the gospel and who is just wasting our time and the lords time because they dont know how to say no. 

we did two service projects this week! my favorite actually, we cleanded our chapel becasue its always dirty and me and my comp were tired of it so we rounded up a few people and cleaned the whole thing! and we're probably gonna have to do the same thing next saturday so thats fun. we also helped some lady in the sisiters' area clean out her house and yard. shes owns a farm with pigs and chickens and other things so we got to chase the little pigs around the farm and try and catch them, that was a lot of fun. and also one of her 15 dogs just had a litter of puppies so i held a new born puppy who was nawing on my finger for a solid 5 minutes. haha that was fun but a lot of work.

 she had bags all over, and leaves and bottles and plastic it was a mess, so me and my comp made one big pile and she just lit it on fire at the end haha, i thought, well thats one way of doing it...

so yeah thats my week, i love you guys and i miss you so much, i sent mom some pictures! look at the date to figure out where they are from or what time haha me and my companion had a deep study of the bible and book of mormon the other day and this gospel truly is unique and truly is the most correct church on earth. ah its just so crazy im excited i have the opportunity to share this gospel with others and help them receive joy and happinesses in this life and the life to come though the gosepl of Jesus Christ. 

love you guys. not a day goes by i dont think of my family 

love you,

Elder Hamm