Rory (Brazil Rio de Janeiro Mission)
–Paraphrased from Rory’s mission interview–
Some of the coolest things about Rio are the Cristo Redentor statue. All the missionaries got to go on the last day of their mission. There is a huge market as well. There are the beautiful beaches that you can’t go to as a missionary. It’s really hot and humid and can get up to 120 degrees easily in the summer. The sisters usually have better apartments, but we have everything we need. There is a big distinction between rich and poor. The rich people live in big condos and apartments. The poor people live in slum areas called the favelas. They live in these brick or wood shacks with ten people to a room. They are very happy people though with. There is quite a bit of crime and drug trafficking, especially in the favelas. The government is constantly at war with the drug traffickers. I never felt threatened though because everyone is religious and they recognize that we are missionaries and respect us. The common job is a stone worker. They make houses and other necessary buildings. The richer people will work in offices. There are trains, buses, a system called the BRT which has its own lane and gets you around pretty quick. You get crammed in pretty good.
The 2016 Olympics will be in Rio. Brazilians were nuts about soccer for the World Cup. I started out in the farthest west area of the mission. It’s very beautiful there. There is a big bridge in the center of Rio that is one of the longest bridges in the world. A decent apartment would be pretty expensive for the people living down there because minimum wage is very low.