Loving every minute of it!!!

Hey everyone,

I am in Santa Maria. I am loving every minute of it. My companion and I and with a few people from our zone, and the ward  climbed a mountain.  Yes I climbed a mountain.  There is a mountain in our area and they have radio antennas we climbed to the tip top and took some pictures, I would send you the pictures but my camera started acting up these last couple of days, and I sent it to be repaired, it should be done by next week.  All things hoping.  But it is a very beuaful climb.  We took some pictures from way up high and you could see the entire city from that vantage point.  It is very pretty.  I will send you the pictures once I copy them from my companion.  We are planning on going back up next week, as well with some of the other zone leaders.

I am very happy here.  I think I will stay in the city a long time.  It has a lot to offer. My companion and I are helping a family of 4 get married.  They want to be baptized, but the only real hold back is marriage.  This place is difficult to find people who are legally married.  Most of the people do not have the money simply to get married and so they just say hey be mine until you get tired of me, and they get together for a while, have a crap ton of children and something eventually will happen and they will split up.  It is the sad, but actual truth.  This family is great though. They are showing real progress.  They will be baptized around thanksgivings day.

I do not know if you guys know, but Brazil just elected a woman president.  Dilma.  She is Brazil's woman presdinte, and as I am gathering it is pretty mixed feelings about the whole thing, but we will see what will happen to her in the next couple of weeks.

I am great, and healthy, and I will talk to you guys later.


Elder Caleb S. Carriere

Salty Son

Hello Family and Friends,

This was my first week in Santa Maria, the headquarters of my beloved mission.  It is a very pretty city.  It is surrounded by mountains which are covered with green trees, and it is my first area which is almost completely flat.  Which is a nice change of pace, although my worry is that I will become chubby once more because I have become lazy in my work outs. I figure that walking up hill everyday, all day would keep me skinny and it has, but now I am in a valley, and a flat one at that. I will just have to break out the jump rope.

Right now I am loving my new area.  It is called Salgado Filho which translates to Salty Son or Salted Son.  I really do not know why it is called that, but once I figure out why they call it that I will let you know. Right now my companion is Elder Rafael.  He is from Santos which is a city on the beach of São Paulo.  For those who have lost count that makes 4 our of my 7 companions up until now are from São Paulo.  The Chruch is very strong there.  He is a good guy and always willing to work so that is a plus.  He is really funny as well. I think that he and I will get along really well this transfer.

My area is "friggin' great."  It is, as my companion puts it, "a model for Rio Grande do Sul."  In all fairness it really is.  The people here are really warm and recepting, and also they are doing really well in the ward.  They have a frequency of 150 to 175 member who go to church on Sunday.  They said that that had dropped however from last year which was 200 plus.  I cannot believe that because their chapel is tiny.  I do not know if you all remember our chapel in Ohio but it is smaller than that.  It is however the strongest ward in the mission.  I feel great here. I feel as if I am a part of the family.

I am also liking our apartement, which is actually a duplex.  It is just my companion and I in this huge place. It is really nice.  My last apartement in Cruz Alta was tiny and we could never keep it clean because there were four of us living there.  I feel much better now.

I really do not have much more to add to that.  Thank you so much for all that you guys did for me.  I hope that you all are doing well.


Elder Caleb S. Carriere