September 16, 2019


Ala 1, Livramento, Brazil


Elder Matthew Odenwalder

Week 13: Utah Boys in Brazil

2019.9.16 Week 13
Brothers and Sisters,

This week was my first week in Ala Planalto. Planalto is way bigger than Ala 1, we haven't yet been to every part of our area, but we're getting to know the area better every day. This week, we met Lucas, Lucas was one of the investigators that the missionaries before us started teaching. Lucas is 12 years old and is scheduled to be baptized this Saturday. Lucas' family is less active, although most are members. Lucas really likes the gospel; he reads the scriptures by himself every day and really wants to do what is right. I'm really excited to see him get baptized this week.

My new companion is Elder Matthew Odenwalder, from Hooper, Utah. He has been on his mission for about 6 months and this is only his second area as well. He spent his first 6 month in Santa Maria, it's kind of difficult for us to get to know the area because we're both still learning Portuguese. It's nice to have an American companion, I learned a lot with Elder Siva, but it was really hard because when I was talking, if I didn't know a word, I just couldn't tell him the word I need help saying. Now with an American companion, I can kind of use him to translate a little and learn more words. I just need to be careful that I keep speaking Portuguese with him and don't accidentally slip back into English.

Elder Walker

Notes from phone call with Mom:
-His new companion, Elder Matthew Odenwalder, from Hooper, UT is about the same height and has red hair. Preston said “guess where he did all his missionary shopping? Mr. Mac in Ogden. They have the same suit (although his companion has out grown his suit already and had to get a new one), same coat, pretty much they are twinners!

-Still in Livramento, but on the outskirts of town. This new area is much larger. His first area was in the middle of the city and was very compact with only 1 ½ o bairro (neighborhoods.) Each set of elders covered only one ward. This area, and ward is on the outskirts of town and more rural. It is more spread out and covers 8 o bairro (neighborhoods.) It is really pretty and has some hills, there is more walking and they have not covered the whole area yet in contrast to the last area that could easily be covered each week. This area has more dirt/muddy roads and he earned his first blister walking this week, but he said he will just need to wear his other shoes more that are better for the conditions. This ward has the Stake President and the Stake Patriarch in it.

-The night before he moved to his new apartment/area. They were doing their laundry, the washer drained into the kitchen sink and the dish rag had slipped down to cover the drain. The kitchen flooded and he and one of the other Elders were up until midnight cleaning the kitchen floor, behind the stove and all. He said that he left the floor was as clean as it had ever been!
-Tuesday, they moved into their new apartment and it was gross! Piles and piles of dirty dishes, the bathroom was disgusting the apartment was just filthy and the stove was out of gas as well. Today was the first p-day so they went to Wal-Mart (yes, Wal-Mart, they call it “Big” there, but all the bags and stuff say Wal-Mart) and bought $120 BR (about $30 USD) worth of cleaning supplies. They spent 3 hours cleaning today and said it is much better, but still needs work. He said he was grateful that his companion also wanted it clean, or it would all have been his money and his effort and if the other companion did not care he may not have allowed him the time to clean. His companion worked on the bathroom while Preston worked on the kitchen and he said they still have work to do, but no longer gross. They said they did not fix any food there this week, too dirty (and they did not really have any groceries anyway.)
-This week they left before 4:00 a.m. to go to a conference in Santa Maria to hear Elder Aidukaitus speak (Area Seventy over Brazil).


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