First week in Caico

Monday, August 11, 2014

This week I´ve found out a lot more what missionary life is like. There´s a lot that happens every day and I´ll try to include all I can. And always feel free to ask me any questions that you have about my area or about my day-to-day life because I might forget to include some things that you would have wanted to hear. 
First of all, we do a LOT of walking. Our area is pretty big, and walking is the only option of transportation that we have. All the roads are cobblestone. The city is pretty flat, but there are some hills too. The climate here is interesting. It´s very hot, and pretty humid too, but I hear that it almost never rains. It´s not very green here, so it´s kind of like a humid desert. I think this is probably the coolest month of the year, but it´s still super hot during the day.
There is 1 Stake in Caico with 3 or 4 wards. There are 2 chapels. The stake center is just down the street from our house and it´s really nice. The other chapel has dirt floors, and I think there´s a ward that meets inside someone´s house too. There is one district that covers the whole city of Caico- 4 Sister companionships and 2 Elder companionships. 2 of the Sisters are American, 5 are brazilian, and 1 is Peruvian. Two of the elders are Brazilian, and 2 are American including me.
We started teaching an English class this week in the church building. The sisters made flyers and t-shirts and we went around to a couple schools this week to invite people. It was fun seeing the schools here! The kids were excited to hear that there were 4 americans in their town that would be teaching english classes for free.
The members here are very friendly and love the missionaries. We usually have a meal in a member´s home every day. I like the food, but it´s definitely different than what I´m used to. They use a lot of meat, cheese, and oil, and the desserts are very rich.
We´ve been to the house of the Relief Society president a few times. I like their family a lot. They have 3 kids, but a very small house. Whenever we go it´s with the two other sisters in our ward and we can barely all fit in their house. Their house is just 4 small rooms (each around 10 ft long and wide) lined up in a row, and there are clothes lines hanging through all the rooms. That´s how most of the houses are here.
I´ll be honest, this first week has been pretty hard. We´re starting from scratch finding investigators. We have to walk a long way to get anywhere (besides the chapel), and we´ve spent a lot of time street contacting. Like I was saying, it´s very hot during the day here, but it also gets dark early. So our choices are either work outside when it´s hot or when it´s dark. When we were walking around on Saturday and Sunday night, there was hardly anyone on the streets. Elder Fernandes says that this zone is one of the toughest ones in the mission. He was in Caico for 7 months earlier on in his mission, so he knows all of the members here. This week has also been a little discouraging as far as the language goes. President Soares said that the first three months would be pretty hard, but that the language would get easier after that. The people here talk very fast and not very clearly. When we´re in a group conversation with adults, I don´t feel like I can contribute anything. I can´t understand what they´re saying to the other missionaries, and when they stop and ask me a question, I have to have it reapeated to understand it. I love talking to little kids though! I can understand them a little better and I´m not afraid to talk to them.
We found frogs in our shower this week, haha. But our house is nice. It´s big like I was saying in the last email. It could use a little bit of cleaning though.
I´m out of time now, but I´ll send some letters soon!

Have a great week!
Love, Elder Church

Here´s a picture of our house here in Caico.
our kitchen
These are the teachers of the english class. 4 Americans and 1 Brazilian sister in the middle who speaks a little bit of english
There were about 55 people that came to the first english class! Only a few were members.
A picture I took on the busride to Caico last week.

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