Well everyone, today is my first official day in the field! We flew in at about 9:45 yesterday morning to Natal and went straight to training which took forever... My new companion and trainer is Elder Chagas from Sao Paulo. He is way cool but it´s tough because he speaks absolutely no English and I only speak a little Portuguese. He´s only 6 months into his mission so he is a super young trainer! I forgot my camera but pictures will be coming on Monday! I have so many of them! Anyways so after training we went to the mission home... I´m kind of at a loss for words for how awesome that was. We got there and told the security guys who we were and he let us into the lobby of the building. (I had no idea where we were because I slept the whole bus ride there) And we go up the 15th floor of this building and their apartment is the nicest apartment I´ve ever seen! Just imagine something really fancy and times that by 10... then we went out on the balcony and I realized we were right on the beach of Natal! It was such a gorgeous view! We ate so good there! My favorite thing here is called Açai. It´s like Brazilian Ice Cream and it’s so good! After that we went back to the mission office and across the street is the most ghetto apartment you can imagine where all the elders stay when they´re waiting to be transferred. So there were 20 elders in this tiny apartment and me and my two companions from the CTM are the only ones who aren´t fluent in the language yet so we´re just there like what is even going on right now?? This morning we hopped on a bus and rode it for 4 hours from Natal to my first area; Corrais Novos. The ride was crazy. Talk about culture shock! Sao Paulo was pretty Americanized. Here, no, not at all, it´s so different and now I´m completely immersed in Portuguese. There´s no more going to the bathroom in the CTM so all the Americans can speak English with each other without all of the instructors getting mad at us... (which we did all the time) The bathroom was like our safe place. But here. No more. One sister that was in my district in the CTM that flew out with us from Salt Lake is in my area. She´s the one I found on instagram and talked to her a little before the mission. So no more English for me :/ The weather here isn´t that bad actually. It´s definitely warm and really humid so I sweat a lot but when didn´t I sweat a lot? haha The sun goes down at like 5 here and the weather is perfect! The thing I like most about here is that it’s a city but it´s also rural too... It´s really deserty here. Just imagine Apple Valley with palm trees haha. I think I´m gonna love it though. Our apartment is pretty nice. Not by American standards but by Brazilian standards it´s super nice! And we have a good view from our apartment too! I keep getting lucky with all these good views around here! I can´t wait to send home pictures on Monday. So everything you guys hear about the church in Brasil exploding and expanding like crazy is true. The missionaries here average one to two baptisms a week per companionship! And they teach about 10 solid investigators at a time. Natal is the second highest in baptism numbers in Brasil. They try to get about 300 baptisms a month here. I know I´m new to the mission field and all but that seems like a lot! Anyways I´ve got to go. I´ll talk to you guys on Monday.
Love you all! Elder Devin Harris