"this week has been a culture shock!"

Thanks Dad! 

I have been wanting new pictures! They are awesome! I am going to try and put them on my SD card and make prints for my photo album. I use my photo album when I talk about families to investigators. I think one of the greatest blessings of the Gospel is how the Gospel blesses families. I noticed that especially this conference there was alot of talk about families, I know the family is definitely ordained of God and is the best way to learn life lessons, attributes, and the Gospel. 

Well this week has been a culture shock! My area is different from São Paulo and way different than America! I learned some key lessons this week. In Brasil you don't flush your toilet paper, you throw it in the trash! No one told me this for a few days, we are lucky to not have had a clog! Also you would be proud of me Dad, the shower drain doesn't drain that fast so they key is to turn it on, soak yourself, then apply soap, then turn it on again and rinse. I am learning to conserve water! Sometimes there are these VW vans (pickles) that drive around with like 10 subwoofers on the roof of the vans and blast music. And some other places that just play music so loud. I have seen horses and donkeys pulling carts and almost all the roads in my area are either cobblestone or dirt! Dad, search for Nova Republica, that's my area. Not sure of any specific address but if that doesn't work I will try to find a more specific one this week.

The members here are very cool. There is a young man about 15 that went tracting with us this week and helped us pick up members for church. He is very cool. We have lunch with members every day except P-Day. They are very nice, there is one couple that reminds me of Andrea and Abe, or Jake and Mel. Mainly because the guy likes to tease me and his wife just laughs and helps me out. Just makes me feel at home! Church this week was awesome. This whole week has been such a culture shock and a big change but when we went to church, I felt at home! I felt the same Spirit I feel wherever I go to church. It is so cool that the church is the same everywhere and that whereever we go, the same principles are being taught and the same spirit is present. It is a testimony builder to me. I offered to play the piano because I guess they have NO one to play! The bishop seemed pretty excited and so next week I will play. I don't play all the hymns perfectly but I think I'll be able to get by! Ideally I could pick the hymns, but we'll see what happens. Oh and we also two converts confirmed this Sunday so that was cool!

The language is coming along, I don't speak to well but I am begginning to understand better. They use alot fo slang and shortcuts so I have to learn those but alot of what they say I learned in the CTM. It would be super helpful if when everyone spoke there were subtitles in my mind because I have a hard time just knowing what word that say, not necessarily what it means! Tell the young men in the world that along with studying and living the gospel to prepare for a mission, get really good at charades!

Well I don't have too much time because I want to get those pictures onto my SD card but thanks for the e-mail! Letters and e-mails on the mission are like presents on Christmas! I hope everything is well back home. I miss you all very much. I love you all very much too! Give the sobrinhos a hug and kiss for me. 

Much Love from Brasil,
Your favorite Son,

Elder Isaac Thedore Smith

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