Wednesday, May 21, 2014

May 11 - Mother's Day phone call highlights

Today Austin was able to Skype with us and the house was on lock down until he called.  It was so fun to see his face and hear him laughing with his siblings.   We covered a lot of topics.  We asked him what his favorite part of his mission is, and what is the hardest.  He said that he loves talking to people and teaching them and answering their questions.  He said the hardest part is when he knows people feel what he is saying is true, but reject his message anyway.   It's sad when people use their free agency to reject God and not want Him in their lives.  Anyway, it sounds like he is loving practically every minute.  Here's some random stuff…

- He often makes himself fried egg sandwiches with cheese for dinner.  Breakfast is not eaten in Brazil, but the first meal of the day is lunch, and that's the big main meal.  This is the meal that they eat with church members.  Lunch is BBQ'd meat, rice, and beans.  Everyday.  He is getting tired of rice and beans.  I asked him if we have a big Brazilian meal when he gets home with rice and beans if he'd think it was funny?   He said no!

-I have a friend going to Porto Alegre next month (small world, right?) and she asked if I'd like her to take anything to Austin for his birthday.  I asked Austin what he would like or what he misses most from home.  His answers were sour patch kids, skittles, starburst, stick deodorant, and contact solution.

-He lives off the equivalent $12.50 US per week for food.
-Rent is $150.00/month split between 4 missionaries

-He is sick of meat, rice, and beans.  (I never thought I'd hear the day Austin got sick of eating meat.)  He is dying for an American cheeseburger!

-He is in the city of Porto Alegre now in an area called Rubem-Berta.  He said it's really small.   He can sit on the toilet and take a shower at the same time - haha.   He hasn't done this.  A little brother asked…

- Randy asked what the predominant religion is and he said currently where he is it's called Batki.  I probably don't have the right spelling.  He said that animal sacrifices (chickens) are a common practice for this particular religion.

-Nothing phases him anymore.  Austin was never phased by much anyway, I thought.  He said breastfeeding is super common and the women don't cover up like they do in the USA.  Used to embarrass him…

-Stray dogs everywhere.  Says they're dirty and have bugs on them.  Doesn't like the dogs but the dogs are happy stray dogs.  People feed them.

-Walks all day long.  Teaches 25 lessons a week.  Walks 8-14 miles per day.  His first set of shoes was worn out in 2 months.

-Worst thing he's eaten - cow stomache.  Said it was slimy and gushy.  Then it gave him diarrhea.

-you don't knock on the doors in Brazil but clap outside the homes outside the gates.

-currently he lives behind a gate where there are 3-4 homes inside the gate.  He lives on a second floor apartment in one of the homes.

-he is a 3 minute walk to the church building.  The building is bigger than the one we have in Ashburn.

-He gets up at 6:00 everyday.  A typical day consists of studying in the morning and then talking and teaching all afternoon.  He has Mondays off.

-He comes home December 8, 2015!

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