the gift of tongues and other things i ate

My MTC days are over so I´m a real missionary now. My first area is Camboriú and it turns out I was called to paradise. We live in the city of Balneário. It´s a huge city on the beach and outside the city are these huge green hills. I´ll take more pictures next week but it looks like they could have filmed Lost here. Every morning we get to run barefoot on the beach for physical activity. I´m truly living a dream. The weather is perfect but it´s winter here so I´m in for a rough summer. 

You know how Rio is famous for the Christ the Redeemer Statue? Well we have a big statue of Jesus on a hill too and ours is even better because Jesus shines a light on the city and changes colors. 

My trainadora is Sister Patrini. She is so kind a patient; She doesn't speak English so my Portuguese has improved so much this week it's crazy. 

In Brazil we eat lunch with the members instead of dinner. They are so nice and they make huge meals with so many different dishes and it´s all so good. I actually haven´t been served tongue yet but I still have 16 1/2 more months to go. Our first meal I did get to eat chicken hearts which was new for me. 

We will just proselyte in a 3 kilometer radius but our ward boundaries are huge so we can sometimes go really far into the country for lunch. Thursday was one of those days. It´s so pretty out there and it looks exactly like how you´d imagine rural Brazil to look like with lots of plants and streams and hills and stuff. One of the dishes we had was this mix of a ton of different vegetables and meats in a red sauce. It looked good and tasted good but something was definitely off. My companion asked me if I knew what I was eating. I pretty much don´t know anything here and I really didn´t know the answer to that question. I told her no and she said she´d tell me after I ate. Since you have to finish everything you eat here, so I basically swallowed the rest of it whole because the mystery was too big to be able to chew it. Turns out it was only cow intestines. 

Later that day we were out proselyting when a middle aged couple invited us to sit on their porch with them. They were both drinking out of this chalice with a huge metal straw and what looked like super compact grassy herb stuff on top. They would pour hot water from a thermos into it and take turns drinking from it. The husband handed me the hot chalice and offered me some. I didn't want to be rude but the guy was already smoking something and I'm telling you this was the sketchiest chalice I´ve ever seen. I looked at my companion and she said I could drink some so I just put the metal straw in my mouth and took a sip. Later I found out it's called chimarrão. It's apparently not against the word of wisdom but it is nasty. 

I got to bear my testimony this week in sacrament meeting. It was in Portuguese of course so it was very simple. In reality my testimony is really simple. I know that Christ lives. He is my Savior and Redeemer. I know the Atonement of Christ is real because I have seen it work miracles. I know Joseph Smith was a prophet and that the prophet today is Thomas S. Monson. I love the Bible and the Book of Mormon and I know they are the word of God. I know the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints is the true church. I love this gospel and it gives me joy I couldn't find anywhere else. 

i love you all!

Sister Gruwell
 Me and my CTM companion, Sister Borrelli
 Our view from our CTM dorm

 My district and our instructors
 Minha trainadora!

 Banana Pizza

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