I finally have my first P-day and I am so excited to finally be able to tell you all about what life as been like here in Sao Paulo! I will try to write as much as I can and forgive all of the spelling mistakes because I am probably not going to have time to re read this. First off, the weather is beautiful here! It is a comfortable temperature and the sun shines. We had a couple of days where is was raining, but it wasn't really raining, but more than a drizzle... somewhere in between there. Anyway, beautiful! I miss the snow though already. It does not seem like November at all.
So it was crazy getting here. I will start at the beginning of my trravels I got the the airport on Tuesday October 29th, got through security and was waiting for my flight to Detroit. Everything seemed fine, we all got on the plane and were waiting to take off when the piolet said there was a mechanical problem and they didn't know when the team was going to be able to come and fix it, so they got us all of the plane and back to the gate. We waited for a while and finally were told that the fight would not leave earlier than 7 that night, so that would mean I would miss my flight. I asked to see what other flights were available and there were two options, one for me to go on stand by on a flight that would get be to Detroit on time and my second option was the airport would get me a taxi and drive me to the Buffalo airport for a flight that I could 100 percent have a seat on. I decided on the stand by flight and ended up not making the flight. At that point it was about 6 at night, so I called my family and slept my (real) last night at home. The next morning I left Rochester at about 11 for a flight to Altanta and then from Atlanta to Sao Paulo at about 730 that night. getting in to Sao Paulo at about 7 (Sao Paulo time) on October 31st. Those flights worked out great and I called the Church Travel office, so they knew I would be coming later and so there would be someone waiting for me at the airport.
I got to the CTM (MTC in Portuguese) and got started right away. Everyone speaks Portugese to you and when you just got off of a 9 hour flight and know no Portugese, it doesn't work so well, but anyway, I made it through, met my companion, Sister Pew (she is American) and my district. There are two other sisters and four other elders in my district. Our whole district is American and our whole Zone is American as well, so that is nice.
Everyday is pretty much the same here. I can usually be found doing three different things- studying, eating and sleeping. That is pretty much all we do everyday, but I have amazing teachers (all Brazilian) and they are all so patient. We starting teacher our first investigator our third (my second) day here all in Portugese. I was a little lost in the beginning, but the Lord really does bless His people. I have been coming along better with Portuguese. I can understand most of what people say (as long as they speak slowly), but speaking it is what is really hard for me. I can read it pretty well (I may not pronounce everything correctly...) but coming up with the works to say on my own right on the spot is really hard. I know that it will take time though. I have to keep reminding myself that I have only known Portuguese for a week and that it will come with time.
I love being here in the CTM. It is so cool to have Brazilian teachers, Brazilian roomates and eat meals with people who speak English, Portugese and Spanish. I love being in the culture here and everyday I am so thankful that Heavenly Father allowed me the opportunity to come to the MTC here in Brazil rather than the Provo MTC. I really am forced to learn the lanuguage here and I want so badly to be able to speak with people, so it is a good motivater.
The food here is so good! This may sound crazy, but I love the rice and beans! We have them at lunch and dinner and I can't wait to have them. Another thing I am already addicted to- the juice. They have the most amazing juice in the world!! My favorite right now are mango and passion fruit. It is going to be a very sad day when I cannot have the juice here anymore. Also - Tyler, if you are reading this, the juice machines are still in the CTM and holy cow you were right they are so good! I understand why you miss it so much! That is going to be me in 18 months!
Being gluten free here is not too bad. Mostly I just have to use my best judgement with what I eat, but you would never guess, the only other person with celiac in the CTM is in my district, so we stick together at meals. I was able to have the sacrament on Sunday. It tasted like a cookie, but it was the only gluten free bread item they could find, so I will deal with it.
Going along with the meals, you don't have to worry about my food going to waste here. If I decided that I shouldn't eat something or I don't like something, just mention it to the elders and they will eat it all and they eat it right off of my plate. Some things never change... haha.
I was also able to go the the Sao Paulo temple today and it was amazing! If you get a chance, you should google a picture of the temple- it is absolutely gorgeous!!
It is so hard to remember the last 10 days and think if I forgot anything. The days really feel like weeks and the weeks feel like days. I never really understood, but boy is it true!! Just a few final thoughts- we watched a video in one of my classes about being missionaries and it had some parts of Elder Jeffrey R. Holland in it and he was taking about how everything that I want my investigators to do, I need to do to. When I ask them to read the scriptures, He wants me to read the scriptures and when I ask my investigators to pray more, He wants me to pray more. That just really hit me. I know that I am not perfect, but I need to be bettering myself all the time as well.
I also had an interview with the branch president (everyone in my zion did, not just me) and he told me that I was called to Brazil for a reason and maybe that reason was that in the premortal life I had friends in heaven and some of them I know now, and live in the in states, but maybe some of my friends that I had there are Brazilian and in Maceio. That thought that I am going to meet some of my old friends makes me so happy and excited to get to Maceio.
Well, that it all I pretty much have time for. Thanks to everyone who wrote me emails, wrote me and is praying for me. You are all in my prayers as well.
I know this Church is true and that the Savior lives. I am coming to know him more and more and I am loving every minute. I am so excited for the opportunites that await me. I love the people of Brazil already and cannot wait to serve them.