Monday, August 23, 2010

August 23, 2010

I am in Portugal!! All my flights went fantastic and Elder Roundy and I placed a BoM in the Paris airport in all portuguese to a lady in all was super hard cause anytime she talked we had to make her repeat it like 3 times but she took the book and we saw her reading it 2 other times! My trainer is Elder Braithwaite he is from some tiny town in northern utah but he lived in Brazil with his family for like 3 years before his mission. He is super nice and super cool!!
I am in Loule which is in the very south of portugal. It is a little bit west of Faro. I am living with Elder Christiansen from my district in the MTC and with his trainer Elder Rich from California. We are sharing the city of Loule and we have the city of quartiera while they have albufeira which are both like a 30-40 minute bus ride each way.
Umm we are teaching a couple people but since we completely white washed this area we didn´t know anyone and we are still getting to know people. We have one lady Karlla who didn´t come to church but when we called her she asked us to get her ready for baptism. Then we had Adriana who is super ready for baptism but there is something that she is scared that we donºt know about yet so we will see! We have a couple others that we haven´t gotten in contact with yet so we will see how that plays out.
I am able to understand when any american speaks portuguese but it takes me a long time to understand what a portuguese person is saying. Yesterday was sunday and holy smokes it was absolutely crazy! This branch is absolutely amazing! They have the fire for missionary work SO MUCH! There were about 70 people at church. The branch president is amazing! Everytime he talks about his branch he says "our branch which will soon be a ward" he also stresses the importance of coming to church regularly and inviting your friends! He made each of us get up and talk for a little but about ourselfs and stuff which was scary!! I did great according to the old man i was sitting by. I just said i was Elder Bushnell and that i was from the utah in the US which is funny cause they call utah the fabrique which is "Factory". They sorta struggle with my name mostly because it is kinda long so i get called ELDER BUSH a lot and lots of people ask if i am related to president bush. They are all so nice!! The Branch President had my comp and i over for lunch on sunday and they are awesome!! They speak english really well so we would talk as much as possible in portuguese but when i looked super confused they would speak slower in portuguese then if i still didn´t understand they would tell me in english. Most people know english they just don´t speak it very much.
I am sure you are all dying to hear what i ate for my first meal with members or native portuguese people....unfortunately you will all be dissapointed. It was noodle stroganoff wth beef and hot dogs and olives. It was super yummy. They have the weirdest milk here...i will send you some. (be excited) umm also i ate some wierd pastry things which were yummy and a weird chocolate flavor...i ate a fig which is now possibly my favorite fruit...its like a dr suess fruit inside but they are super yummy!!
Our apartment is pretty awesome...its kinda small but i really like it! i will send pictures sometime of our view...its not great but we live behind a castle which is awesome we are going to visit it today i believe! Oh i almost forgot umm i think you should only write to the mission home cause i don´t really understand everything but basically it can get lost easier to the apartment. umm i will give you both and we can see what can decide.
Rua Ramalho Ortigao
Loule´(accent on the e)
8100-618 Loule' (accent on the e)
Mission Home:
Apartado 40045
1500 Lisbon
Now you can all write me lots! :)
My mission president is awesome! We flew in, got our bags, walked out past security and there he we came down a ramp thing he gave each one of us a big huge and then we put our bags in a moving truck and got our passports stamped. we got to sleep in the Mission Home which is way cool! I got to sleep in the General Authority bed because i picked the lucky number out of the hat! It is the only american matress in the house and when general authorities come they sleep in it. It was fantastic! We woke up had eggs and cereal...their cereal is weird also. then went to the office and met our companions and got our areas and took off. We had to ride the bus for like 4 hours...i slept most of it. Our apartment here is super close to the bus station and the church (the church does have a ping pong table :) ) we are close to lots of stores and close to the castle. it is awesome!
Okay to talk about portugual in is a lot bigger than i thought! Flying into lisbon is crazy!! The city is HUGE and there are random castles on the hills! I am scared to talk about how they drive cause mom will flip...basically the roads are super skinny and have tons of cars and everyone goes like double the speed limit. when we went to the presidents house (he lives north of loule a little ways) the road is small, very curvy, and has drops or buildings on the sides and the speed limits say like 50kmh or 80kmh and he would go like 100 or 130 it is absolutely insane/ kinda fun at the same time! Umm it isn´t really illegal to graffiti here so there are some crazy tags and stuff! the people are all very different...some are super nice, some take a couple minutes to become nice, not very many are flat our mean. It is hard to describe here because each section of the city is completely section is super tight roads and very old, another is all super high buildings with bigger streets, some are a mix, some are just shops...the middle is like all tourist area i have talked to a ton of people that just speak english.
I am suprised how dry everything looks...apparently it hasn´t rained in a super long time so everything is kinda yellow Pday is the first of the month so we get to go out of our area. we just have to call president and tell him where we are going and we are going to go to logos i think...they have an awesome beach thing that has a circle rock tunnel arch thing like the one we saw on our cruise in...whatever city that was i am having a brain fart. Today i think we are going to castles, going shopping, just kinda messing around. They have these stores which are chinese stores and they sell everything you can possibly imagine and i am super excited to go to one today cause i want a new pillow...the one i have now is gross...and my comps has mold in it. Don´t worry mom mine is just like a bunchy funny it looks just fine and there isnºt mold in it.
I don´t really know what else to tell you guys...umm my portuguese is rough and i get called a greenie/newbie a lot. I sweat constantly...its hot here! It is constantly about 84 in our apartment...very few people have air conditioners. we sleep with the window open...which is weird cause there are tons of lights and the city is never quiet so it is weird to go to sleep.
The water here is super full of minerals and stuff so we don´t drink it cause we don´t want kidney stones. we still use it for most things we just don´t drink it! all the members houses they offer us juice which is yummy!
umm that is about all i have to tell you for now!! I look forward to hearing from you soon!! I love you all and hope everything is going well!! Don´t worry about me i have an awesome trainer and live with another super old elder and one of my district buddies!! I am really liking it here!! I LOVE YOU ALL!!!
Elder Bushnell

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