Sunday, September 9, 2012

The Beginning

So, I've been here for almost a month now, and what an exciting month it has been. I feel like I am fitting in quite nicely, and that this is truly the place that God wants me to be!
Of course, I have already experienced a thousand changes in just a short period of time. I have moved to a new culture, started a new job, moved into a new place, and made a bunch of new friends. Learning a new language is something that tests you everyday, and little by little, you find that you understand something more than you did the day before. And of course, sometimes, it just makes you frustrated and your brain hurts. So many things that you take for granted are no longer available to you or are simply done differently. Its sort of like being a child again, needing someone else to take you each step of the way. Luckily for me, I have had lots of help since I have been here. I have a new roommate, Elizangela, and she is teaching me how to cook, clean, and go to the grocery store. There is another girl named Cleide (pronounced Clay-ge), one of the other English teachers here, who has proved to be a great help when I need to communicate. She is also quickly becoming one of my best friends.
The people here love to spend time together, and I am always getting invited out to go get ice cream or go the beach by the river. It is very hot, so most of the events like church or other get-to-gethers take place at night. All the classes I teach also are in the evening, so I spend the day time preparing and taking Portuguese classes.
Teaching is also a new experience for me, and I have a lot to learn about it. First of all, just because I know how to speak English doesn't mean I know how to teach it. Who came up with all those grammatical rules, anyways??!! But I'm having fun at my new vocation, and it also affords me the greater opportunity to build relationships and advance the Gospel message. The school that I teach at is run by the Mission, so we get to share the Gospel with the students. Even though many of the students are only there to learn English, Brazilians in general are very open to the Gospel. I share videos and Bible verses with my students on a regular basis, and give them an opportunity to ask questions if they are interested.
Like I said before, I feel really great about being in Brazil, that I am truly in God's will. Everyday, I am thankful that I serve a God who can make our dreams come true. But as with any change in life, there are difficulties to face. Right now, I'm just trying to learn as much as possible without letting myself get too overwhelmed. So, please pray for me that I will adjust well, and that I will continue to learn the language quickly. Thank you!!!

I have posted some pictures below so that you can see what I've been doing.
Also, if you want to see all the pictures I've taken so far, you can go to this link:

This is the school where I work. I also live right behind there, so the commute is short. :)

We live up on a hill, so this is the view of the city from our street.

This is Cleide with her daughter, Haley.
This is my silly roommate, Elizangela.

The youth group meets every Saturday night and often, they do skits to give the Gospel message. They are very powerful.

This is down at the 'caes', which is a place next to the river that has festivals and concerts almost every weekend. These women are dancing the traditional dance of the state of Para.