First Letter



I wanted to write some Portuguese but I do not know how to do the dashes and the swiggles yet on the keyboard and I only have 30 minutes to write.

The CTM has been wonderful and challenging all rolled into one. The schedule is super relaxed and we spend most of the time practicing what we have learned by ourselves. One day we only had a teacher for two hours out of the 16 because they had meetings. My district started with three other sisters, Sisters Maxwell, Taylor and Tooker and two elders Elders Garn and Jensen. We are the first group in at least two to three years to be of the majority girls and nobody will be beating us soon because three more sisters and one more elder joined us today.

My companion is Sister Maxwell, she is from Michigan and like me really wants to teach. We have taught two lessons complete in Portuguese, the last one being with no notes. I am not saying it was perfect or that we totally understood our investigators (teachers) because at one point in our last lesson Irmao Ramahlo laughed for like a whole minute so hard that he was not able to talk because of the shocked facial expressions we make when we have no idea what he is talking about. So far we have been working on grammar and are able to pray and testify in Portuguese.

Some fun things that have happened so far are….

The Brazilians here are super friendly and get really really excited when I tell them I am going to Manaus because I am the first North American girl in a year to be going and they love to tell me stories about the bugs there, like people eating mosquitoes, which of course isn’t true but I believed them when they told me…lol.

Our teachers are Irmaos Costa and Ramahlo. Costa actually took us to a Rodizios today for p-day and it was delicious and Mom, the cheese balls were awesome! Costa also for the first week told he could not speak English and only talked in Portuguese. It quite scary the first day when you walk into the room and your teacher pretends not to know English! Now that we have the new district joining us he will be going back to speaking only Portuguese.

Ramahlo is really great at teaching how to teach and right now he is our most difficult investigator. He is pretending to be a punk 18 year old who just wants to find a job but is willing to meet with the missionaries but not come to church.

Another awesome thing that happened was were trying to teach Costa how to play Marco Polo during the days he was only speaking Portuguese and we didn’t know he spoke English so we had to act it out in our classroom. He laughed at us so hard!

The Brazilians also invited us to play Uno and they have four additional rules when they play which I will have to teach you when I come home.

It has been pouring rain the past few days, including a black out! Luckily the CTM has the only generator in the area. It was fun to look out and see candles flickering in all the windows of the apartments surrounding us.

I hope everything is going well, I am going to take pictures of your letters and read them when I have time tonight!


Sister Elaine Janis

About elainejanis

My name is Elaine Janis. I am currently serving as a volunteer representative for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints in the Amazon Jungle of Manaus Brazil. When I complete my mission I will return to Brigham Young University-Idaho where I am a senior in the Interior Design Program. Quotes that inspire me everyday are: "love life and it will love you back" "design is like unto the creation of worlds"

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