Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Connor's New Scripture Marking Method

Connor's New Scripture Marking Method

Elder A, Elder H and Elder Steed

Halloween Package - That's a lot of candy!

Halfway Point

I hit my halfway point in the CTM this past week. I do not know if dad ever did this, but when missionaries here hit their halfway point, they tie their ties half-as-short. So you'll see a bunch of elders walking around with extremely short ties and so you will know they are halfway through. About a couple of weeks ago, the mission president said to "do away with traditions" so now we cannot do the half tie thing anymore. I was actually really excited to do it, but now we cannot. Oh well!

So in the last letter I told you I got another companion. His name is Elder H. He is from Oregon and he came from the MTC in Provo. So now it is Elder A, Elder H and I in a trio. He is a super great guy so far. He knows a lot of the language already and has helped me out a lot.

With getting Elder H, Elder A and I had to switch rooms. We were really bummed because we had a perfect room right by everyone in our district and all the friends I made. They moved us to the other end of the hall. I had been praying a lot for help with the language lately. I was becoming really discouraged because I felt I have not been progressing at all. We ended up moving into a room with a Brasilian trio. They turned out to be way awesome and super helpful with the language. After being really hard on myself with this whole new companion and switching rooms situation, I slowly began to realize that it was a blessing to be getting Brasilian roommates. My prayers were being answered even if I did not like the way it came :). The only bad thing about my Brasilian roommates is that they do not like the fan on at night because it is too loud. So we have gone the past four nights without a fan. It is slowly starting to get hotter, so I think the fan situation is definitely going to change real soon.

I FINALLY was able to find and buy those colored sticky note tabs to mark my scriptures. I have been looking for the past two weeks for those tabs. It is super popular to do that here. So almost all of the stores are sold out. When we found them, we literally raided the store and bought every single one we could find . . . even though there were only about 7 packets left. Hahaha. I will take some pictures and send them in so you can see how pimp my scriptures look!

About two weeks ago I ordered this scripture case for my Portuguese triple (3 books that are together - Book of Mormon, Doctrine & Covenants and Pearl of Great Price). There is a local guy who hand makes these scripture cases just outside the CTM. It is a leather case and I think he uses a wood burner and burns images into the leather. I am getting the picture of John the Baptist baptizing Christ on the back and "Book of Mormon, D&C and Pearl of Great Price" on the front. I am also getting my mission and name on there too. I was not supposed to get it until November 7th, but some elders who had their P-day today told me they saw mine and it was ready. So I am going to pick it up tomorrow. I am super excited because I have seen a bunch of others and they have turned out really well. It was about $50 which is about $25 in the states. I wanted to get a bigger one to fit my Bible too, but the Bible is smaller than my triple, so I am going to try to make a ghetto cereal box one for the Portuguese Bible and my English quad.

I want to try to do a thing every week where I send you something really great that I have learned in my studying. It might be a story I find in preach my Gospel or even one scripture, but I think It would be cool if you would share it for Family Home Evening. A story I have for this week is from preach My Gospel on page 199 and it is the last paragraph that starts with "Brigham Young". The idea behind this is how bearing a testimony can be an amazing tool to conversion.

A sister missionary approached me yesterday and asked if I knew a Michelle Steed. I guess her mom and Aunt Michelle are really good friends and they told this sister missionary to look for me. She said she had the hardest time trying to find me because she was looking through all the blue dots (you get a blue sticker for the first week here to show that you are new). I then began to tell her that I had already been here five weeks. She kinda got embarrassed because she had been asking all the new elders that came in if they knew an Elder Steed. I thought it was pretty funny. Hahaha.

To answer your question about when I get mail . . . I can get mail all throughout the week except on Saturdays and Sundays. Mondays are usually a bigger mail day because of all the mail that stacks up from the weekend.

Last P-day I bought a super popular picture book. I guess investigators love seeing pictures about the church and it has almost every church picture imaginable. The word on the street is that this book is the bee's knees. It was really che. . . (there is a big scribble on the page here) WOW! the punk in front of me on the bus just reclined INTO MY LAP!!! Hahahaha. Oh my gosh . . . I cannot believe that just happened. Hahaha. I was doing so good with writing while on the bus and then BAM! He is leaning back into my lap as if he wants a head massage from me. Hahaha. We take charter buses to the temple each week, so we have got those nice seats that can recline back. Ahh . . . some people! Hahaha. To finish my sentence earlier . . . It was really cheap.

Gotta Go! Love you!
Elder Steed

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Another district pizza party

Week 4!

It feels like it's been forever since I first got here! Today we had TRC (teaching while being filmed) and Elder A and I had a really good lesson planned and everything! So we got there and since he's district leader, they asked him if he wanted to be an investigator instead of teaching because they didn't have enough teachers. So instead of teaching we got to sit back and have a companionship in our district teach us. It was sooo much better than teaching, but I was a little sad because I was actually wanting to teach this lesson.

 I was coming off a good note this past week with teaching. I think on Thursday I had a really good day with teaching. Elder A and I probably had an almost flawless lesson. We didn't really do anything a whole lot special beforehand, but for some reason it was a million times better. Elder A (like I've said before) has the tendency to go on and on and on without letting me say a word. But with this lesson, I actually talked a lot. I honestly think it had to do with the investigator. He was really clear with his words and responded back with more than "yes" or "no"  responses. I was able to talk a lot more because I actually knew what was going on hahaha. I feel I can hold my own with talking, like I can get my point across with words I know. but then I have no idea what people are saying back because they speak EXTREMELY fast and there's a lot of different types of Portuguese spoken. Like Brasilians from the south sound way different from the Brasilians from the north.

 It cracks me up when I think about TRC (where they film you while you teach) because it's almost identical to Monsters Inc. There are a bunch of doors on either side of this hallway and your companion and you sit right across from the door. A little bell rings and we all go up and knock on the door at the same time. And then you enter through the doors. The first time I did it, I paused a second and laughed to myself because I thought that's what we were doing.

 We get lab time everyday to get on the computers and use this program to help us with the language. But lately they've been having problems with it so a couple other elders and I have gone onto the LDS  genealogy site and have looked through our ancestors. If I counted right, I'm 73 generations away from Adam and Eve. We've been able to find our lines all the way back to the beginning. Now I don't know how much of that is actually correct, but it's pretty neat none-the-less.

 Answer Time . . .
*I'm on the 4th floor. I forgot how they have it in the states, but in Brasil they have floor "T" or "Terra" which means Earth. After that, the floors go normally, so the one above floor "T" would be first floor. If you're counting the main/ground level floor as the first floor, we're technically on the fifth floor.

 *My roommates were Elder A, Elder C, Elder W, and then the two other Brasilians (Elder S and Elder D). The Brasilians left this past Tuesday and no other new ones have moved in , so it's just the four of us.

Levantar, orar, proparar-se         Wake up, pray, prepare                  6:30-7:00 am
Estudo Pessoal                               Personal Study                                  7:00-8:00 am
Desjejum                                         Breakfast                                            8:00-8:30 am
Estudo do Idioma                           Language Study                                8:45-10:00 am
Gym                                                  Gym                                                    10:15-11:05 am
Lab                                                    Lab                                                      11:20-12:05 pm
Estudo c Pratica                              Study and Practice                           12:05-12:45 pm
Almoso                                             Lunch                                                  12:45-1:30 pm
Gramatica                                        Grammar                                           1:30-2:30 pm
Fundamento                                    Fundamentals                                   2:30-3:45 pm
Ensinar Instructor A                       Teacher A                                           3:45-5:00 pm
Jantar                                                Dinner                                                 5:00-5:45 pm
Fundamento                                    Fundamentals                                    6:00-7:30 pm
Gramatica                                         Grammar                                            7:30-8:15 pm
Ensinar Instructor B                        Teacher B                                            8:15-9:10 pm

 *Each Sunday we study and eat breakfast before 8:30ish. Church starts at 9:00 am. We only have sacrament meeting and Priesthood. They don't say who's speaking in sacrament until the announcements. They want you to have a talk ready to go. Six weekers have to do their talk in all Portuguese and everyone before then can do theirs in English if they want. After church, we all have district meetings where we plan goals for the coming week and after that my companion and I go to a leadership meeting with all the other District Leaders. That ends at about 1:30ish. After that we can do anything we want until 6:00 pm and that's when we have a fireside.

 *I wake up at 6:00 am every morning to get a shower without waiting because the schedule time to wakeup is 6:30 am.

 *Every class is with your district. You're assigned to a room at the very beginning and you have to keep that room until the end.

 *You can only go about a mile radius around the CTM on p-day. They give you a map.

 *There are security guards, but not in the towers or anything like that. the CTM is surrounded by about 12 feet walls with barb-wire on the top. I don't know about the rest of Brasil, but in Sao Paulo, it's a normal thing to have a tall wall around your house with barb-wire on the top of it. We passed by a favela (the ghetto . . . look up pictures) on the way to the temple. Instead of having bar-wire, they had shards of glass embedded on the top of the wall. These weren't just little pieces of glass. They were big pieces-some bigger than your hand. Crazy stuff.

Oh man . . . What a funny morning. So I roll outta bed, super tired. Walk into the showers, turn on the water, and it's only at about half power for some reason. Oh well. Start soapin' up just like any other day. About halfway done, water really starts dying down. Other guys start complainin' because their water turned off. I'm rushin'! Water is literally dripping out when I finally clear off the remaining suds. Justice. Hahaha. I don't really know why I wrote that story like that. It's probably cuz I'm really bored right now and SUPER tired! Anywho . . . The funniest part about this was that there was this hilarious African American elder (Elder S) running from shower to shower, butt naked, trying to get any last drops to wash off the soap. That was his last day at the CTM so it definitely wasn't a good morning for him. But because of his reaction to all the water running out, it made that whole experience worth it. I wish you were there to see it . . . haha maybe not the best way to put that, but you get what I mean :).

 I'm on the bus right now so my writing might get a little sloppy with all the crazy driving. So last night, this administrator guy came into our classroom and told us that we would be getting another missionary from the Provo MTC. He would be in a triple with Elder A and I. The only bummer is that Elder A and I would have to move rooms all the way down the hall from our district and everyone we know. It's gonna be weird trying to teach with three because my companion and I already know how each other teaches. We also have no idea how much Portuguese the new guy knows and where he's at with the language. I'm really hoping that he has some sense of direction.

 More answers . . . from the Missionties letter
*Yes, I have been getting the pictures and letters. I think it takes about 2 days for the letter to get to me.

 *Elder M is on the Fall-Spring track at BYU-I. We've been talking and if things work out and we both go up the same semester, we'll probably room together.

 *So about the Elder Baby Horse nickname . . . I guess there's a girl on the women's USA soccer team (Alex Morgan) that has the same nickname. I told this guy that I was going to marry her and he was going to marry Hope Solo. It was just coincidence that she had "horse" in her nickname and so it stuck. A lot of people call me that hahaha.

 *I'm not positive, but I'm pretty sure I was about 158ish pounds before I left. This past week I hit 170, but that was right before eating. I'm eating a lot and trying to gain weight. I'm trying to work out and eat really healthy.

 *Elder L and I both did the pizza party thing last week. Today I've got that second one along with someone else.

Love you so much! Talk to you later :).
Elder Steed

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

 View from bedroom
 Touring Sao Paulo
 Classroom - studying
 Pizza from Pizza Hut
 Elder Larsen & I
CTM Nation Flags

Learning the language!

Hello My Dearest Family . . . (*with Sarah's one squinted eye*)

Just another week, basking in the sunlight and living it up like a King! Psh . . . I wish. I'm pretty sure that the studying alone is making me more white. I hope you got my monster letter last week. I apologize in advance for how short this letter will be because I hardly get any free time. And not a whole lot of exciting has happened. I've noticed that since I've been here, I'm slowly forgetting how to spell the most simple words. This is the start of forgetting the English language. I'm sure you guys will get a bunch of laughs when we Skype and when I get home.

So on Thursday we went to the Brasilian Police Station to register with the police. When we got there, we saw a bunch of other elders that are serving in San Paulo who were renuing their registration. Most of them were about a year and a half in and it showed because they were so excited to actually have an English conversation with other Americans. I'm so glad we met them because they taught us a lot of slang that we should and shouldn't do. Like "da hora" (pronounced exactly how it looks in Spanish) which means "that's sick" in slang. The funny part about it is that it literally means "you give the time/hour" if you translate it. I'm sure Sarah and Alyssa will know what I'm talking about for this next one. It's a hand gesture. It's when you snap your fingers with both hands, one right after the other, and then opening up one hand (like a high five) and closing the other (like a closed fist) and then hitting them together. And then you repeat that over and over. I hope you understand what I'm trying to get at because that was really weird trying to describe that on paper. Anyways . . . it's really bad because it means you're trying to call-in a prostitute. Hahaha. There were a lot of things that they told us not to do, even though Americans do them all the time.

Things are starting to even out between my companion and I. We're definitely teaching and communicating better. My district has the tendency to go off, out of nowhere, and start singing songs. It's been super frustrating because our District Leader doesn't really do anything about it because he doesn't want to come off as a dictator-of-a-leader. I've talked to him and told him that you can still have everyone like you, but still be stern and keep everyone on track. He has the hardest time with this, but I've been working on helping him. There have been a couple times where the messing-around has gotten really bad so I've gone with Elder R or Elder W to another quiet room to study. We're definitely the three that has the hardest time with the language. Like it's not super bad . . . we're just learning things slower than everyone else. It's seriously ridiculous how much I've learned. If I was in school taking Spanish, I'd still be learning about colors, the alphabet, and the numbers. I honestly don't think I'm learning that slow, everyone else in my district is just learning crazy fast. It's absolutely stupid how much some of these guys have learned and how fluent they are in only three weeks.

Last thing. I learned a great way to mark and organize my scriptures. You take those skinny colorful post-it note tabs that are kinda see-through and you put those in your scriptures on the bottom where the footnotes are. You have them popping out of your scriptures just enough so you can see them. You get about five different colors and each color stands for a different subject. This is a super great way to bring up a scripture on the atonement, for example, right on the spot. I'll send a picture when I get them all tabbed out.

Couple of random things . . . I'm on a bus right now on my way to the temple and it's hard to write. It's crazy how dirty this city is. There's literally trash everywhere. And they have a big river that runs through the city, but it is so polluted. There are also a lot of motorcyclists and they're allowed to go in between lanes. I have no idea how people drive around here. it's so tight and full of traffic. I guess about two motorcyclist die every day (only in San Paulo). And I'm sure Dad will love this, but almost every car here is a tiny little Fiat, like the one in Costco. A luxury car here would be a "bigger" car like Sarah's beauty.

Oh, a random side note, this past week I wasn't given a pillow case along with all my other sheets and I didn't feel like trying to get one so I just put a t-shirt over my pillow and it actually works pretty well. Kinda  ghetto, but you gotta do whatever it takes to survive here in Brasil! I love you guys so much! Let me know if you want me to tell different stories or anything like that!

Elder Steed

Wednesday, October 10, 2012

Week 2 - Oi! Como vai?! (Hey! How are you?)

Oi! Como vai?! (Hey! How are you?)

The language here is so crazy. I almost wish I didn't take Spanish in high school because it's messing me up a lot. Most of the words are pretty similar, but they're pronounced totally different. For example, "ti/te" makes a "ch" sound, a "lh" makes a "yuy" sound, and a "de/di" makes a "j" sound. Those are just some of the funky rules to Portuguese.  I'm having a difficult time with it right now, but all the older guys have said that it takes time because they were in the same boat I'm in now. otherwise, it's a super fun language.

For Alyssa and Sarah . . . I started that blow gun game here and everyone's starting to play it hahaha. It's the one where if you shoot someone, they have to stop moving until someone touches their ear. If you still have no idea what I'm talking about, this is really awkward :). This one really cool elder, Elder Miller taught me a game that you guys would probably like! It's called Three Step Knocking. it's like ding-dong-ditch, but the person standing at the door is blind-folded. After the doorbell is rung, that blind-folded person takes off the blind-fold and only has three steps to hide. Even if they can't find a place to hide after three steps, they just have to sit there and get caught hahaha. The best way to do this is to blind-fold the person before you drive up to the house so they have no idea what the house looks like or where to hide. I hope you guys haven't already heard about this because it sounds super fun and funny. If you find time to do it please record it so I can watch when I get home! Halloween is coming! It'd be a perfect time to do it!

My teachers have been awesome here. Irmao (Brother) Zamignani is probably my favorite. He's this super white guy with super red hair. He's so goofy and that's why we love him. He speaks very sloppy English which makes everything a million times funnier. We started giving out nicknames last week and I ended up with Elder baby Horse. It's a long story, but yeah :). I'm becoming really close friends with Elder Miller, Elder Rodgers, Elder Winn and Elder Larsen. Elder Miller was at BYU-I when I was there, but somehow we never met even though we went to a bunch of the same activities.

They have the weirdest methods of teaching here. I can't remember if you told me this, but some kid was telling me that the learning here is like trying to drink from a fire hose. From day one, they started forcing Portuguese on us. About every night we have to teach this investigator (our teacher) with full-on Portuguese. The first time we did it, I maybe said one sentence and my companion talked for the rest of the time. My companion is definitely a talker, so whenever I know what I need to say in Portuguese and am prompted to do so, I literally have to butt in because he doesn't know when to stop.

Today (Oct. 4th) we started TRC, which is where they film you while teaching. I thought it went really well and I spoke Portuguese a lot more than I have with past investigators. It's so hard because I know what I want to say, but I can't because I don't know the words for it. Super Frustrating.

I can't believe what happened at the morning session of General Conference today about the age of missionaries. I really wanted to pull out a cell phone and talk to you about it, but then I realized I didn't have one! Very cool non-the-less.

So about the food here . . . I'm actually really impressed. There'll be an occasional dish that's really funky because it's processed and all that, but for the most part it's tasted pretty good. The fruit is amazing, but we can't tell how fresh it is so who knows if there's fresher fruit out there. Beans and rice for every lunch and dinner. It's not that bad though because you have something to rely on when the entire selection of food is really funky. The worse thing I had here was the pizza that first week. There was no sauce on it and the cheese was really fake. It wasn't stringy at all. it almost fell off the pizza in chunks. I haven't had the Brasilian Squirts yet, so thumbs up to that! And about every meal I have had that soda from that Brasilian restaurant. It's called Guarana.

P-day was awesome. We got to go outside the CTM and actually see Sao Paulo. There's this super small store called Sonia's and it's run by a member so missionaries go there all the time. I picked up a bright pink and peach tie for only 5 reais (hay-eye). Two reais is equal to 1 American dollar. Not too shabby.

Some super random things . . .I got a sty the second day I was here, but now it's gone, so that was fun. We study for about 13 hours a day and we're awake for 17 hours. My pillow is made of clumpy squishy stuff that is unknown to mankind. I eat a lot of food, but I'm only about 164. There are these little midget flies on the shower stall walls when you go to shower early in the morning. It's hotter than Satan's armpits here. Brasilian candy is the bomb dot com.

Right now I have two Brasilian elders and two other American elders. The American elders, Elder Whit and Elder Call, are supper funny and awesome to hang around. My room looks exactly like how it does in pictures on that elder's blog. Oh and by the way Elder Cummings is actually in my branch and so I talked to him and told him I've seen his blog. He probably thinks I'm really creepy. My view of the city is way cool! They have big buildings here, but it's so different from buildings in the states. They're all sorts of different colors and shapes.

So here's what happened about the email situation . . . I only get 30 minutes every Wednesday to email. Right as I got on the computer I started typing. With 5 minutes left, I took a picture of each email with my camera so I could read it later. I've probably already answered a lot of questions, but here's for the ones I've missed . . .

Sarah: It's actually a different type of pretty. Lots of cool looking buildings, but a lot of the town is crumbly and old looking. it almost has a "Rome streets" and a "San Francisco roads" feel  to it. There's some places that look like they have cobble-stone sidewalks and roads that elevate up and decline down like crazy. And I told you Gangam Style would get huge! :) Good luck at your cheer competition! Cheer and stunt your precious little heart out :). I don't think you need to keep a lot of new music. I'm sure I'll find a bunch when I get back. Thanks though. Love you soooo much!!

Alyssa: Ah man losing by that much is never fun. It's good you're looking past it though :). I am a little jealous that you got in the newspaper though! Lucky dog! and I told you Gangam Style would be the bee's knees :). Keep kicking butt in volleyball . . . even if you are the only one doing it hahaha. I miss yours and Sarah's awkward presence! Love you! :)

Parker: Atta boy! kicking butt and taking names! Keep it up! Do some tackling drills on Sarah and Alyssa for me:). It's soo awesome that you did fantastic on that test! Even though it was probably a really long time ago. Oh well :). Keep working hard, it'll pay off. And keep being a stud! I love you so much Parker!

So I've had a lot of time this weekend to write because of General Conference, which has been amazing, but I don't know if it'll be the same for other weeks.

Eu sei que o Livro de Mormon e verdadeiro. Eu sei que jesus Cristo e o nosso Redentor. Eu sei que os ensinamentos pelo profetas e verdadeiro. Podemos saber por meio do Espirito Santo que Thomas S. Monson e um profeta. Eu sei que a igreja foi restaurado por meio Joseph Smith. Amo meu familia. (I know that the Book of Mormon is true. I know that Jesus Christ, is our Redeemer. I know that the teachings by the prophets and true. We can know through the Holy Spirit that Thomas S. Monson is a prophet. I know that the Church was restored through Joseph Smith. I love my family.)

Mom and dad. I love you so much. It's  been hard this first week being without you, but I know I'm in the right place and I'll be protected. I can't even express my appreciation for all the noticeable and unnoticeable things you've done for me. I couldn't have asked for better parents. Thank you so much for all you've done :). I love you! Once I get out into the field, be prepared to hear about baptisms every week! :)

Ah . . . What the. . . I literally just found a blood test strip in my back pocket. Parker! You little turd!! :)

Week 2- 1st letter


So I literally just dropped off an eight page written letter at Chenney's with all the goods! Hopefully it'll help me not rush during this email time and enjoy reading about all the stories! I won't have much to say on this email because almost everything will be on that other letter.

Thanks for the pizza gifts! Another elder got one from his family, but it was only one. I think I'm going to spread them apart and use one for next week and the other for another week.

I talked a little about this in the letter, but I loved conference! I actually took notes the whole time haha. We had the two Saturday sessions on Saturday and then we did Priesthood and the two Sunday sessions on Sunday. Six hours of sitting on a hard chair watching conference is A LOT, but it was definitely worth it. By far my favorite was Elder Holland's talk. When he started to get really serious after asking Peter, "Do you love me?" ... that part right there got to me.

I went to the temple today and it was great as usual. The confusing parts are starting to make more sense. Almost all of the workers there speak VERY little english and so when you're talking to them, half the time you have no idea what they're saying haha.

I'll do my best to send you some pictures. I was told the best way to do that is to get them developed for super cheap and then send them through MissionTies. But today they didn't have any picture paper left so I'll try to do it next week. If it doesn't work, I'll try to find an internet cafe.

About two nights ago, one elder started throwing up really bad late at night and so we thought something was starting to go around, but it ended up just being him, so it was probably some food poisoning. Still a little scary.

My companion is from Oregon. I'll try to get an email from him some other time.

Other than what I've talked about and the stuff that's in the letter, nothing too exciting has happened. Oh... I love all the spiritual stuff, but I definitely get a lot of that here so I'd love to hear about more stories and how everyone is doing is that's okay! I'm still hangin in there and language is coming... maybe a little slower than I would like, but it's definitely coming! :)

Love you guys so much!!! Stay sweet ;)

Wednesday, October 3, 2012

1st Trip to the Sao Paulo Brazil Temple

District 39A

Elder Steed's District: Front row - Elder Larsen, Middle Row - Elder Steed, Elder Winn, Back Row - Elder Acosta, Elder Rodgers and Elder Allen.

1st Letter from the Brazil CTM

Hey! So I only get 30 minutes to email every week so I'll try to get in as much as I can! My P-days are on Wednesdays so that's when I'll be able to write you.

I've been having a blast so far! My companion is Elder Acosta, I have no idea where he's from though haha. Just this past Sunday, he was called to be the district leader and since I'm his companion I'm considered the assistant. I have to go to all the meetings that he has to go to which kinda stinks, but it'll be good for me. He's a wicked smart kid. He's practically been speaking fluent portugese the day he got here.

My district though is absolutely amazing! Probably one of the better ones here. We all gel super well together and the language is coming smoothly for most of them. We sing a hymn and say a prayer in portugese before every study session. We've got some crazy funny kids that like to goof around, but can still be under control at the right times.

The language is absolutely killing me right now. Everyone is excelling in it way faster than me and it's so frustrating. It's me and these two other elders that kindof stick together because we're a little behind. Yesterday, we did a 30 minute english fast which means we only speak portugese for those 30 minutes and no english at all. I was able to communicate really well which surprised me! But every time we have to teach the dummy investigators here, I choke and don't know what to say, so I start teaching in english (which is fine because we've only been here for a week). The teachers here are so awesome, but they speak very little english which can be frustrating at times because we have no idea what they're saying.

One sister told me that I wont be able to upload and send pictures in the CTM, which is kinda weird. So you guys will have to wait until I get out in the field!

The food here is great! Haven't gotten sick (yet haha). There's been beans and rice EVERY meal and I've been starting to get used to it. There's been a couple funky things, but over-all... not too shabby :)

I'll probably be writing you more so I can go into more depth about all the funny things that have been happening. I'll only be able to mail letters on P-day so be checking later in the week. I have hardly any time after the day is over to write anything, but I'll do my best!

We went to the temple this morning and it was amazing! Very beautiful! I started to tear up a little when I was sitting in the celestial room because I was thinking about you guys!

It's blown me away by how much I've learned when I've only been here a week! I can't wait to get this blue sticker off my nametag (which pretty much means "new guy") today.

The city here is crazy, but so cool at the same time! Almost every building is a different colorful color which makes it look really amazing! And there's grafitti EVERYWHERE! Most of it is really well done!

A cool little thing I've learned about the language that you can go around and share with your friends is the word "legau" (leh-gow) which means "cool". So we always go around doing the hand thing for hang-loose and saying that :)

I love you guys sooooo much and I've been thinking about you every day!!

Elder Steed