Monday, October 27, 2014

Brazil's Just a LITTLE Different than CA...

Greetings from São Paulo, Brazil!  It's been an interesting week, trying to get situated to everything.  Brazil's just a LITTLE different from Southern California.  Lots of walking, lots of rain this week.  Stuff like that.

I spend a lot of time in the office working with the referrals as of right now.  Now you may ask, "Elder Morgan, what's the most difficult part of working in an office in a different country?  The new language?  The culture shock?  The strange keyboards?"  Nope, none of those.  It's deciphering the dang handwriting of all these referrals!  People call in with their referrals and the secretaries write the information down, but sometimes it's like trying to read ancient Egyptian!  I think I've got the hang of it now, but every now and again I'll run into a symbol that could potentially be 18 different letters and 6 different numbers at the same time.

Oh, another weird thing about working with the referrals.  Now that the office has a secretary exclusively for referrals it's my job to write everything down when missionaries call about people to teach.  But if you've ever learned a foreign language then you'll know that talking on the phone is super difficult, haha.  It's pretty funny, people will call and we'll talk in Portuguese and I have to say, "Repeat, please" a million times.  People will ask, "Who is this?" And I'll say, "Elder Morgan, the referral secretary."  And they'll ask, "How long have you been in Brazil?"  And I'll proudly reply, "Three days!"

We had a few investigators attend sacrament meeting, which was nice.  One was named Josepi and he's really cool.  He's an older gentleman and is trying really hard to quit smoking.  He asked us to take his cigarettes from him so he won't be tempted, so we did.  I have to say, it felt weird walking through the streets of Brazil with a pack of cigarettes in my pocket, haha.

Things about Brazil:

- Sao Paulo pizza is DANG good.  Like, amazing.  It's a lot different than American pizza, but still really good.  They don't use red sauce, and you can get the crust filled with chocolate.  You'd think it'd be gross, but it's actually super good.

- You can't throw the toilet paper in the toilet.  It has to go in the trash basket.  Weird.

- In lots of places if you ask for water they'll ask you if you want it chilled or at room temperature.  Why anyone would ask for room temperature water is beyond me.

- The President of Brazil is running for re-election and her logo looks a lot like the Chick-Fil-A logo.  Every time I see it I get hungry.

That's about it for this week.  Até mais!

Your friend,
Elder Carter David Morgan

(Once again I can't figure out how to turn this picture--but as Carter says, "this isn't for the weak stomached or cat lovers--I found a completely squashed cat on the road!  Kid still has his sense of humor, that's for sure…)

Wednesday, October 22, 2014

Greetings From Brazil!

Greetings one and all from the Sao Paulo Brazil West mission!  That's right, after over a year of waiting, the day has finally arrived.  I'm actually in the mission of my original call.  It's been both exciting and and overwhelming.  I have to say, I miss the California sun.  It's currently overcast and a little rainy down here in Sao Paulo.  It feels like home, except everyone is a shade of brown and they all speak Portuguese.  So, in reality, it's not really like home at all, haha.

My brief stay at the Brazil CTM was really good.  The program they've designed especially for visa-waiters is really good.  We were treated really well and not like new missionaries, which was good.

I left the CTM in a taxi this morning and arrived at the Sao Paulo West mission office to find out that I've been recruited as one of the mission secretaries for the time being.  What the heck?  Apparently since I arrived in the middle of a transfer they had a little trouble figuring out where to put me and President Del Guerso said, "Why not keep him here in the office with the other secretaries?" So here I am.  It looks like I'll be handling all the referrals for the mission.  At first I was a little nervous, but I've been reassured that we won't be doing JUST desk work.  We have our own area and ward and all those good things.  So it looks like this next month will be interesting, haha.

So it's my first day in Brazil and I already have five baptisms!  Well, only if you're counting baptsisms for the dead, haha.  Just got back from  the Sao Paulo Temple.  It's interesting attending the ceremonies in a different language, but the same Spirit is there.  I had the privilege of baptizing another elder in behalf of five deceased ancestors.  How wonderful it is to know that there is salvation offered to those who didn't have the chance in this life!

Things about Brazil:
- People down here often don't use the word "we" and its conjugations.  They use the phrase "a gente" which means "the people" and then conjugate it in the voce form.  It throws your ear for a loop.
- Turns out that at this time of the year it's actually not that hot.  Who knew?
- People here are very touchy-feely.  I'm just glad I got here in the MIDDLE of my mission where I've opened up a little more to that stuff, rather than the beginning of my mission where I didn't like human contact.

That's about it for this week.  Keep the faith, folks!  Wish me look!
Your friend,
Elder Carter David Morgan

Tuesday, October 7, 2014

Farewell California--Hello Brazil!

Greetings and farewell from Southern California.  That's right, folks.  After a long wait, Elder Morgan will be boarding the plane tomorrow for Sao Paulo, Brazil to begin his service in his original call.  I'm super excited, although a little numb to it tat the moment.  I don't think it's quite hit me what I'm about to get into, haha.  I will say, though, today has been one of the most relaxing of my mission.  After coming down the hill from Hesperia I got to say goodbye to a lot of my good friends at transfer meeting and then I've gotten to chill at the office all day without a companion.  It feels nice to just rest for a bit.  On top of that, I got to go out to eat with the Abitos, some members I'm really close with from Chino!  It's been great!

Things couldn't have ended better in my last area.  We found three families to teach in one week and they're all doing super well.  We had an awesome lesson with a woman named Marcy and her daughter and they took really well to the message of the Restoration!  A lawyer from down the hill referred them to us and we were able with him and our bishop give her a priesthood blessing.  She's fallen on hard times recently.  I have high hopes for her.

Our investigator, Lesley, continues to do well.  She came to a session of General Conference and enjoyed it.  She gets a little antsy sitting through long meetings so we were really proud of her for doing a whole session.  She's progressing well and she told us she wants to be baptized soon!  I'm excited for that.

Met a man wandering through the desert yesterday.  As we went to talk to him he flagged us down and yelled "Mormons!" and we had a good discussion.  He was taught in Chino a while back and wanted to be taught again.

The Porider family is still doing well.  We brought our bishop to a lesson with them and the father took well to the message of the Restoration.  He seemed really interested.  My favorite thing about him is the fact that usually when we tell people that there's a prophet on the Earth they respond, "Oh, that's nice."  Not this guy.  He said, "Wait.  You're telling me that there's a guy like Moses on the Earth today who speaks to God?"  Yes sir, there is, and you can know for yourself.  It was great to see him take such an interest.

I'm sad to leave California but excited for Brazil.  What a wonderful year it's been serving in this beautiful state.  I look forward to many return trips with my family, kids, and grand kids one day.  And oh, what a day it will be.

Your friend,
Elder Carter David Morgan 

 Me and Elder Brown

This is who I work for

Me and the Abitos (a super awesome family that takes care of me)

 Roommate Bonding

My Awesome Desert Couch