Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Last days in the CTM

Holy moly. So by the time you get this letter, I'll already be in the field for one day. I haven't gotten the details yet, but I'll be leaving the MTC sometime on Tuesday morning. We had a health seminar on Thursday night about how to literally survive. Hahaha. It definitely scared me a little, hearing about all the weird bugs you can get. And I guess about 2 months ago, they discontinued these water bottle/water filters because they haven't been working and missionaries have been getting sick. So for the next couple months, I'm going to have to rely on store bought, boiled, and bleached water. I had no idea you could bleach water and still drink it. We also got an elastic workout band and a small book on some of the most ridiculous ways you can use the band. There is some of the weirdest stuff in there! Sadly enough, I'll probably end up using it to work out. A cool little statistic they gave in that seminar . . . If every missionary talked to ten people each day, which would be about 1 person every hour, about half a million people would hear the gospel each day in the world.

On Thursday we decided to play volleyball with the other district that we came out of Atlanta with. We haven't had the same gym time the entire time we've been here, so we thought it'd be fun to play against them. We knew it would kind of be competitive because we jokingly talked some trash before hand, but nothing too bad. We started playing and it started to get really bad. Long story short, I left that game extremely frustrated and it kind of ruined the spirit for me for the rest of the day. We wanted to play again on Saturday and do the same thing, but do it a lot more low key to make sure we don't have the same problem as last time. We started to play and it was going really well up until the end. A questionable call was made and everyone started to raise their voice and get extremely angry. Right as that happened, Elder Farr (another elder in my district) and I left immediately because we didn't want to be involved in that again. We decided to go lift instead, which was a super good choice. This was my little proud moment of the week for walking away from something like that instead of arguing and getting angry.
On Friday, we had seminars all day long and they were ALL in Portuguese. I guess it was no different from out normal classes because they're all in Portuguese too. I think the thing that made it really difficult was that we had to sit American, Brasilian, American, Brasilian, etc . . . They forced us to share with the Brasilian next to us about what was being discussed. So I literally think I went from lunch until bed time (not including dinner) speaking Portuguese only. In our normal classes, our teachers generally know enough English to help us out when we don't know something in Portuguese. It was definitely an eye opener on how the field is going to be like. There are some Brasilians here that love to help you with the language and are super patient, but then there are others who absolutely hate Americans. There are only a small handful, that I know of, who hate Americans. The rest either mostly love to help you or they don't have the patients to teach you something about the language right on the spot.
Today at church I was called on to give a talk. Right after the sacrament was over the conductor of the meeting stood up to say who was giving the talks that Sunday. I had no idea beforehand because they tell you you're speaking at the last minute. They called on me, Elder A, Elder H and Elder L. I was the first one to speak, which was awesome because I really didn't have time to be worried about speaking. I spoke on humility and it went really well. We're only asked to speak for 5 minutes, but in all Portuguese, so it wasn't that bad. I also was the conductor for music today as well. I totally killed it :).
I shed a small tear because today (Sunday) would be the last day that I would take a nap in the next two years. I've been told all about how Sundays will be the busiest day.
So we went proselyting today (Monday, Nov. 26). Not as successful as last week, but it was still awesome! We took public transportation to a place that literally looked like New York. There were blocks and blocks of huge skyscrapers. It wasn't as packed as New York, but SUPER cool non-the-less. We left late so when we got there, we only had 10 minutes to proselyte which really sucked, but we gave away two copies of the Book of Mormon in that amount of time. Do you remember that CRAZY car ride when we were in St. Thomas going to Sapphire Beach and we thought we were going to die? The huge buses here drive that exact way. But you're standing up on the bus, holding onto the railing for dear life. I felt like I was on a Disneyland ride. Super interesting :).
One of my teachers here served in Teresina, so she showed us pictures because it was our last day. It's actually extremely pretty in a different way. She told us that us "white people" are guaranteed to burn no matter what and poop ourselves (diarrhea) at least once. Hahahaha! I think I'm always going to have some extra panties on me for the first couple of months. Hahahaha!
I'm going to try my hardest and best to write back as much as I can, but I have no idea how it'll go the first couple of weeks. Here in the CTM I've actually been writing a lot when I'm not supposed to. I hardly get any free time here, so I don't know how it'll be out in the field. I love you so much and I'll try my hardest to write as much as I can.
I got your package thing last Wednesday! Thank you so much! I also got your letter today (Nov 26). I haven't had time to read it yet because of departure meetings and packing! So I leave the CTM at 4:20 am on Tuesday, Nov. 27 and I arrive in Teresina sometime around noon. It's been crazy today! I love you so much! I'm having another elder give this to Cheney's so hopefully you'll get it :).
Elder Steed