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The Brazil Maceio mission is split between the states of Alagoas and Sergipe. The capital of this mission is Maceio. The people all throughout this mission are very receptive to the gospel and new ideas in general. Although not everyone has the desire to follow the LDS teachings, the people will always be hospitable.
As you walk from place to place you will always be accompanied by Brazilian music, sometimes Reggae, and other times “Brazilian Cultural Music” known as Forro (pronounced “Fo-Ho”). On Saturdays you are likely to see many of the locals gathered with their friends on the street, dancing and listening to music. It is no surprise that these people are easy to love.
Maceio is home to some of the most amazing member-missionaries in the world. Members are extremely united, and small children growing up in these wards live under the impression that the whole street is their house and everyone on their street is family. The members are so inviting and joyful; non-members come to church and gain a strong desire to be a part of it.
The church grows primarily through missionary efforts in this area. The church is growing very quickly, and a vast majority of the members are new converts. Setting a good example to these members is essential. In spite of all the hardships and trials you may face in this mission, your heart will always be touched by the willingness of these members to sacrifice for the gospel and serve Christ’s representatives. When missionaries leave this mission, they will have gained an understanding of the word “saudade.” This word has no direct translation in any other language, but essentially it is used to express the nearly indescribable longing that remains once you are far from those you love.
Every street corner has a bakery that will make fresh bread early in the morning that is extremely affordable. Lunch is the primary meal in this part of Brazil, so the members will feed the elders in the middle of the day. You are likely to receive home-cooked meals of mostly fish, chicken, or pork. As a side dish you will have beans, rice, noodles, and a fresh salad. The members take great care with their cooking, and it is rude to eat little, so enjoy! Dinnertime is usually a lighter meal, including such items as fried “Macaxeira” (a common root in Brazil) or “CuzCuz” (steamed cornmeal).
Every missionary in this mission travels on foot. However, buses and taxis are readily available in every city.
If you follow the rules and remain with your companion, you will be safe. People are generally respectful of members of other faiths.
Brazilians pride themselves on their hospitality, and love those who enjoy their way of life. It is important to greet everyone. When arriving at a new house, it is customary to clap outside the gate, and the people will let you in. When you are in someone’s house, you can make hints that it is time to leave, but NEVER TOUCH THE DOOR. The people should feel that you do not want to leave their presence, even though you must.
The people of Maceio speak tonally. Common words includ beleza (beautiful, cool, affirmation: “sounds good”), oxe (surprised), rapaz! (C’mon man!), and só na alegria (livin’ the good life).
Most necessary equipment will be provided by the church, such as a water purifier. However, it would be wise to purchase plenty of sunscreen and bug spray.
Shipping items to Brazil is simple, and all letters will arrive at their desired destination. If you wish to send a package, place religious pictures on the package and it will arrive safely with all items intact.
Av. Dom Antonio Brandão, 333 Sala
Ed. Work Center, Farol
57051-190 Maceió – AL
Facebook: Missao Brasil Maceio (All in Portuguese)
What items were hard to get or not available?
Sunscreen, peanut butter, white shirts, barbecue sauce, Ranch dressing, rootbeer…
What did you eat the most of?
Beans, rice, and chicken
What is the craziest thing you ate?
A toad…but it tasted like chicken
What was most surprising about the culture?
The way the people spoke, it has become beautiful to me
What advice would you give to someone going to this Mission?
Spend your time finding, teaching, and baptizing the people God has prepared for you. They exist, and they are waiting for you, even now! Show your love for God through your continual sacrifice for His children in this mission. And smile, laugh, and dance- this is a gospel of joy, show it!
What do you wish you had known before you served?
Those who are true disciples of Jesus Christ will hear His voice, and “leave their nets” to follow Him. For “whether by mine own voice or the voice of my servants, it is the same.” You are His servant, be His voice.