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!! :)