Wednesday, October 24, 2007

"it may not be on a mountain top..."

or then again it may be. yep, petropolis is a mountain city. it is literally built in the mountains so we spend all day walking up and down, and these mountains are high! like the city is built along the valley and we work on both sides. as a rule, we work in the mornings on the side that doesn’t have shade, and in the evenings on the other side, so we are always in the sun. BUT, it is a whole lot cooler here. it rains here a lot and the weather is great. also, there is floesta and mata everywhere. it is tão linda! next week i will send a picture of the city around here. the word of the week has been "tranquilo", (i’m guessing that you guys can figure out what it means) , for two reasons: this place it CAKE compared to taquara. it’s like comparing downtown chicago with smithfield utah. the cars obey the laws, the people are generally nice, no gun shots- ever, mostly entirely safe, and 8 baptisms in the last 3 months! elder everton is pretty cool. he is ALMOST as tall as me, and is from paraiba. everton is actually his first name, as his real last name is santos. (brazilians tend to switch their last names, if they are really common, during their missons) he is almost finished with his mission, he goes home in jan.; SO, he is pretty trunky. also, like i said, he doesn’t speak much english either, and has a hard time understanding english too. it is funny because every morning for comp study we sing a hymn in english, and he sings worse than dad! he is completely tone deaf, and ignorant of this fact. also, he has a hard time pronouncing the words in english, so he comes off as sounding retarded. it is really funny. some days it is all i can do to not fall apart laughing. but he is pretty cool. the only trick is that he isn’t much for following the rules EXACTLY, so i am working with him on that. right now we don’t have any investigators ready for baptism, but we have got a whole grip of "new- hopefuls"!

so, thanks for the letters. i have zone conference tomorrow, so i will hopefully get some more. i only got two at transfers - one from legrand and one from alyce – thanks! thanks also to tyson and kaitlyn for the email! it was great to hear from you all! there is this cool family here, and one of their daughters reminds me of ashley. the parents of the family aren’t married, but they want to be, they just don’t have the money to get the papers necessary. there are entirely active though, and so all of their children are members. they are awesome! i will send you the pictures the kids drew of me. anyway, i don’t have enough time today to send pictures, which is good, because i haven’t finished cleaning the apt yet. my comp doesn’t help much in that respect. so i spend a half hour every day cleaning and throwing away the garbage of all the missionaries that have left in this area. that is the problem when american missionaries go home- they leave everything!

mom- yep i was pretty close to cidade de dues [where the big police raids were last week– 12 people killed] back in taquara. one time on a bus back from the mission office, through cidade de deus, our bus got stopped by the police. police surrounded the bus, all of them had m-16 in hand, and then two of them searched the bus. i was like, great, here i am, an american, and i only have some of the papers i need with me, this could be bad, IF they were looking for americans. but, it was fine, for about ten minutes they searched the bus and then let us go. everyone on the bus was pretty scared.

they are building a new chapel in our ward, because right now we use a house. it will be done in january, so i hope i can stay here until then. alyce, the costume looked awesome, but one of the pics was blurry. mom and dad, good luck with thriller dance. tyson, i will send you a letter today.

anyway, gotta skoot.
love elder helland

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