Elder Alex Evans has been called to the Brazil Rio de Janeiro Mission. He reports on July 10th, 2013, and will serve for a period of two years.

Tuesday, July 30, 2013

Hey familia!

MTC Week 3
July 30, 2013
How is everyone!? I'm doing just dandy. This week was pretty dang uneventful. Everything has begun to become routine and normal. Although one thing that happened this week was one of the elders in my district ended up going home on Wednesday. It was sad, he is a great kid, he just wasn't ready yet. But he is going to get things figured out back home and come back as soon as he can. So that threw off the whole vibe of our district, most of the last week was just a little strange without him. But also on Wednesday we welcomed in two new districts to our zone and I got to lead the orientation stuff for Marcus' district. It was fun and a cool experience and I get to do it again tomorrow and every Wednesday.
My Portuguese is still improving and I'm still getting better at teaching. I am really starting to love the language, though. There's so much nasalization and it sounds really awesome. Just so that when I start to email some more Portuguese stuff, here is a quick and easy guide to pronunciation.
So to start just pronounce everything like you would in Spanish, but with all these exceptions:
1. All "g"s and "j"s make their hard sounds.
2. All "di"s sound like "gee" as in "gee whiz Portuguese is neat-o".
3. All "ti"s sound like "chee"
4. You pronounce "de"s and "te"s normal except when they are alone or the last letters of a word, then they are "gee" and "chee".
5. Whenever you see a "ç" it is an "s"
6. Whenever a word ends in an "m" you nasalize the vowel before it and you don't close your lips, so like the word falam (they speak) sounds almost like fall- oww.
7. Nasalize whenever you see a çao or a çoes. the first sounds like s-oww and the second sounds almost like your trying to say the word "coins" but with an s instead of a c.
That's pretty much all there is to it. A fun word that I like is diligentimente (diligently) but it is pronounced jill-e-jenchi-men-chi.
Also, fun story. We have our service assignment on Wednesday mornings and I have to wear jeans to that. So we clean a residence hall for an hour and a half and then we get like an hour of personal exercise time. So we were just leaving the hall and heading back to our rooms to change to exercise, and we were starting to run. So I took off running and I had to kind of skip to the side to dodge somebody on the sidewalk, and I felt and heard this loud ripping noise. I looked down and the whole crotch on my jeans had blown out... hahaha it was hilarious, and super embarrassing.
Not much else happened. I know that once I leave the computer I'll think of a thousand more things to say and ask for, but for now I have a couple requests.
Another pair of jeans, my soccer pants, other things that you feel inspired to send me. I honestly blank every tuesday on all the things that I need to ask for from you guys. Just pray to know what I need and send it as quick as you can. I want a package!
The Church is True. Keep the faith. Fique forte.
Your boy, brother, friend,
Elder Evans
PS Tell my friends to send me an email this week, like Mark and Michael especially, but just post it on my facebook for me, and keep sending me dearelders, they are nice to get every night.

Tuesday, July 23, 2013

MTC Week Two
July 23, 2013


 Week Dois "Bears, Beets, Bed Bugs" what......​

Oi Familia! Tudo bem? Tudo bem.
This last week has been long and jam-packed full of adventure and thrills. I'll explain the subject title later on the email, just to scare mom and add some suspense ;). So starting on last Tuesday I forgot to mention that I have been doing the choir, and plan to do it the whole time I'm here. It's a lot of fun and it's a really nice break to normal missionary life. On Wednesday and Thursday we taught our last two lessons to our first fake investigator, Aquilino, which is a sweet name, and they went well! Then the guy who played Aquilino walked in on Friday during our second class period of the day and he is our second teacher for the rest of our stay here, and something else crazy. I recognized him! He is the older brother of one of the kids in my ward at BYU! He is a super cool guy and he is hilarious. He's also a really good teacher. Him and our other teacher both agree that there are 2 types of missionaries for our church: those who serve in Brazil, and those who wish they could serve in Brazil. :) I am totally beginning to agree with them. Brazil is so awesome and so is Portuguese! I cannot wait to be in Rio de Janeiro!
So then on Thursday and Friday and Saturday I was feeling pretty sick. I'm not sure exactly what I had, but it made me nauseous and congested and exhausted. So on Friday I was so out of it, and at about 4:45 on Friday night I fell asleep, and I didn't wake up until 9:30 Saturday morning. It was glorious! I was so much better after that. But I was itchy. Particularly on my knee. So I itched it a little. And noticed that it was all bumpy. So as my anxiety grew, I also realized that I was itchy all over. I jumped out of bed and ran to the shower and sure enough I had small patches of bumpy bug bites all over my body. (Not completely "all over" but there were bites on about every part of me). I realized that it must have been bed bugs and I was super angry. I was sick and I had bed bugs. Stupid. I went to the front desk on Saturday night and got the form from them that tells me what to do, and they were supposed to make calls and other things, but they didn't do anything but give me new bedding. So for the next two nights I slept in the room next door with my other district members on an empty mattress that they had. On Sunday morning I went and tried to figure it out with the front desk people again, and this time it was two men. Here is our conversation.
Me "Hey can you help me with this form and everything? I had bed bugs and came by here late last night but they just handed me this list of things to do and get, but didn't tell me how to do or get these things." (most of the form is just check lists telling me that I need to wash all of my clothes and dry clean my suit, and spray every single one of my possessions with Permethrin and do all these other things along those lines)
the stupid secretary man "Well did you do everything on this list?"
"Not yet, I'm here to figure out how I'm supposed to get all this done"
"Well I would just do the things on this list."
"Ok I will, but how?"
"Well did you wash or dry clean all of your clothes?"
"No I haven't yet, can I even do that today?"
"Not on Sundays no, the laundry room is closed from Saturday night through Sunday, but yeah I would do everything on this list."
"How am I supposed to do that, or have had that done if the laundry room has been closed since last night?"
"I don't know."
Then I walked away. But don't worry! I solved the crisis on my own and I am bed bug free.
To answer a few questions- my responsibilities as a Zone Leader. The biggest one is welcoming and orientating new missionaries in our zone every wednesday. And guess who is going to be in one of our two new districts?? Marcus Phipps! So I'll get to orient him and be his ZL for the next 4 weeks! Also there's a kid from the Olathe Stake in that same district. I know a lot of people here at the MTC, basically half of my ward at BYU is here and a bunch of other people as well.
Our other responsibilities are to choose people for prayers and other things in Sacrament Meetings and Priesthood meetings on Sundays, and participate in all of the branch councils, and hold weekly interviews with the district leaders about the welfare of all the missionaries. It's pretty chill.
Days go by fast here! It seems like yesterday I was the overwhelmed newbie getting orientated here, and now I'm the overwhelmed newbie orientating others, but it's all good :) I will be sure to include some pictures, I don't have much more time so this will be all for this week. Love you all and take care!
Oh ps. tell me about the Lexus you got landon! and the sd card thing was because the computers here don't recognized when you plug in a camera with a cord like that, also some last minute requests. If you find my retainers ever, please send. Also my adidas soccer pants would be nice. And look up chemicals or sprays for bed bugs and send me some stuff. I don't want them to come back, or get them in Rio.



Tuesday, July 16, 2013

  Oi familia e amigos! So today is my P day as you can guess by now. So much has happened these last 7 days that I don't really know where to begin! Thanks to the Peos and Madi for the HUGE box of food and snacks and letters and unicorn drawings! It is slowly getting eaten, and I think that I am going to save that Mt. Dew until the last night that I am here at the CTM. Also thank you to everybody who has deareldered me. It's really awesome to get those and hear how everyone is doing! Haha it has only been a week, but it honestly feels like I have been here at the MTC for a month. Oh and everyone! I am in the actually MTC, NOT the Provo West MTC. So when you dearelder make sure that is what you choose. Also, my estimated departure date is AUG19, NOT AUG20 so make sure that you do that when you dearelder me too.
     My companion's name is Elder Mountain, he is a nice guy and is pretty similar to me in a lot of ways. He is from just outside of Atlanta, Georgia. We get along well and I think we are effective in our teaching together. So a typical day and week here at the MTC goes like this: Wake up at 6, breakfast at 6:30, be in our classroom by 7, and then we learn Portugues and Gospel principles basically until 10, we then have estudo pessoal (personal study) for an hour, then lunch at 11, and then it depends but usually everyday we get another hour of additional study time, an hour of Language time, and an hour of TALL (language study on the computer), dinner is always at 4, we have Gym time for an hour sometime during the day 3 times a week, and then at 6 we start teaching our fake investigator Aquilino. Then lights out at 10:30. It is insane how much we do and how much we are capable of learning in a day. All of this is in Portuguese too. Including the teaching of our investigator. We started teaching him on Friday solamente em Portugues. I'm doing really well in the language. Thank the Lord for all that Spanish and Italian. It's fun to learn because to me it's kind of like redneck Spanish. One of the sisters in my district, Sis. Matheson (the girl that worked at the creamery with me) said the second day about pronouncing it, "If you're doing it with your nose, you're doing it right." It sounds really cool to hear our teacher and other people speak it quickly and I'm getting there fast. I love my district. We bonded really quickly and all 12 of us, 8 elders and 4 sisters, are going to Rio de Janeiro! It's cool to think that I could be companheiros with some of these elders in my district sometime when we get to Rio. Which may be sooner than we had all originally thought. Since we have been here there have been 2 missionaries that have received their visas during their second week I believe and have left today for the Sao Paolo CTM. I still think that I will be getting a reassignment, but from listening to all the Elders that got theirs last week, I am really excited to get mine!
     Funny story! So on Thursday we were supposed to meet with our Branch Presidency at 6 and have interviews and such, and they were going to assign an elder to be the District Leader that night. We had known that they were going to call a DL since that morning and right after I heard that, I just thought to myself, "I'm the District Leader." Sure enough, after the interviews happened, they pulled me out of our classroom and called me. So I was excited, and mostly the only responsibility is getting the mail for the district twice a day, Lunch and Dinner. Just some info, we get handwritten letters at lunch and dearelders at dinner, but we dont get to open them until 9:30. BUT then on Friday during the evening, the Branch Pres. pulled E. Mountain and I out of the classroom and released me as the DL and called us to be the new Zone Leaders! Crazy. We are the leaders of a Zone of all Portuguese speaking missionaries. There are about 80 that we are in charge of. We had a bunch of training meetings on Sunday, but they didn't ever tell us what our responsibilities really were... Haha. It becomes official on this upcoming Sunday when the current ZL's get released and leave the MTC the next day or two. It'll be a challenge, but Í'm excited because it means that every week we will be in charge of introducing and orientating the new missionaries in our zone! It is perfect and exactly what I wanted to do.
     I love being a missionary so far. The days are long and exhausting, but it is definitely worth it. I feel closer to Christ and my Father in Heaven every moment. I am going to try to attach some photos in a few minutes on another computer because the one that I am on isn't letting me. I don't know if I addressed all of your questions, so next time I will be a little bit more prepared hopefully. Oh and Mom and Dad, I sent you a handwritten letter and it got in the mail yesterday, so expect that to come by the end of this week. Tell me when you get it so I have an idea of how long it takes to get there.
Eu sei que esta igreja é verdadeira. Sei que meu Pai Celestial ama-me, e que Ele chama profetas a nos guiar e ensinar. José Smith foi um profeta e Deus e Jesus Cristo aparacem-lhe. O evnagelho de Jesus Cristo é a mais importante coisa em minha vida, e sou muito grato para o oportunidade a ensinar e pregar ele as pessoas de Rio de Janeiro e o mundo. \
There's probably a bunch of spelling mistakes in there, but I believe it.
I love all of you and take care of yourselves while I'm gone. I'll be home before you even know it.
Oh, can you send me madi and ethan's emails? so that i can email them too. Thanks