HAPPY BIRTHDAY TO ELIZABETH AND SUSAN! Sure wish I could be there to give ya a big ol' hug :)
I hope everything's going well and you're all alive and doing dandy, haha.
Haha, not gunna lie, its kind of weird typing in English, haha.
Where do I start! well I left Sao Paulo at 3 in the morning, took a plane to Brasilian, and then to Maceio. Our group almost missed our flight twice! haha. We landed and were greeted with a warm welcome from the mission president, his wife, his assistants and secretaries. It was awesome. President Gonzaga and his wife are extremely nice and spunky, haha. We went to their house, had an awesome meal, an interview, and then were assigned our companions. My trainer is awesome, his name is Elder Honorato. He's from Parana, a state in Brazil. He's been out 6 months and speaks "nada" English, haha, oh and we're the only ones in our house. So I am forced to only speak Portuguese which I really enjoy, that's why it's so hard to type in Portuguese (English?), haha. It's funny my whole screen is underlined red cause it's in English. My companion is awesome. He always tells me he loves me and says I'll be a great missionary and I really, really hope that's true. Our area in called Canada.... oh yeah I forgot to tell you, I got transferred to CANADA, "Gooday mate," haha. No, Canada is an area just off the coast of Maceio so if you ever look at a photo of Maceio all the huts and shacks that are in the background... that's my area. It's one of the poorest in Maceio. So much poverty and insanitation, but the people are so happy and receptive to us, it's amazing to see how people can be so happy with so little.
This past Saturday I was able to baptize one of our investigators.... ALREADY! That was an amazing experience, my first week already having the opportunity to baptize a young man, I didn't understand everything he said to me, hahaha, but he's really cool. Another experience... a girl was baptized last week but couldn't come to church to get confirmed... and guess who has two thumbs and got to confirm her.... this elder, haha, yeah uh, that was probably the scariest things I've ever done, giving a blessing in a language that I hardly knew, to a girl a didn't know and to a ward that I would be with for the next 12 weeks yeah that..... was scary, but I did it, hopefully they understood what I said, nobody laughed, haha, that's a good sign, haha.
My companion is awesome and so is the ward. He's teaching me so much. We got a call from a boy in the ward that said his friend wants to be baptized, so we went there, taught him everything, all the lessons all the commitments and he's being baptized this Friday!!!!! Crazy huh, he talked to the missionaries before but he turned it down, but now he knows for sure that it's true, I'm not exactly sure how he knows for sure but he does, and he's willing to change his life. Awesome! Everyone is willing to hear our message it's awesome.
I don't know why but I feel very comfortable being in my area, I don't know why but... this may sound bad but... I love poor people, haha.
I love being a missionary, I love my mission, my companion, Brazil, the people of Maceio. I love my family SO much and I think of each and every one of you every day.
I really hope you all are doing well and are safe.
Your missionary, Elder Ralph