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Tuesday, August 18, 2015

CAMPO (bonus: pictures finally!!)

Querida família:

Well everyone, I'm alive. And in the mission field. It was super weird this morning realizing that I was actually leaving the CTM.... it just passed so fast.

President Silcox is letting us email our families today, but my P-day will be on Monday for the rest of my mission. We also have 90 minutes for email, instead of 45 in the CTM, and I can finally start sending pictures!

I gave a talk in Sacrament meeting on Sunday! In the CTM, every missionary prepares a talk every week(in portugês, of course) and you don't know who is speaking until you get there and the Branch President announces it from the pulpit. It was super fun actually, and I feel comfortable giving talks in Portuguese now. I had a few more firsts these last few days: First time leaving an MTC, first time riding a Brazilian bus for too long, first time getting a Brazilian companion, first time running a pen out of ink. The list goes on and on, but the last I'm most proud of. I actually wrote so much with a pen without losing it to empty it. I don't think any of you appreciate how cool that is for me...

Anyways, to explain the previous. We left the CTM at about 7:20 and got to the mission office at 7:50, where we had an orientation thingy and interviewed with President Silcox. He is soooo cool! I'm so excited that he gets to be kinda like my dad for the next 2 years! After all the meetings and stuff, I met my companion, Elder Rodrigues. He's from Fortaleza, and even though he speaks only Portuguese, we're already friends. Fun fact about him: he played professional soccer before he came on his mission. Yeah. Professional. When he gets home, he's going to play for São Paulo, which is a really big team. I hope he teaches me some of his ways in the next 12 weeks. More than soccer, I'm excited to learn how to be an awesome missionary from him, because he is just ótimo, I can tell already.

So we left the Mission office and walked for a while to a bus stop, then waited for a while for the bus, then rode the bus for a really long while. I asked how much time he thought we had left once I started feeling a little carsick from the bumpy stop-go-stop-go-turn motion, and he said 10 minutes. About 40 minutes later, we finally stepped off, then walked a while to our apartment (which is on the 5th floor). It took like a solid 4 hours to get to our area, which isn't super far from the mission office. Our area is called Cohab Juscelino, and Elder Rodrigues says that it's super successful. I'm excited to be here!

On Saturday, we had our last class with Irmã Correa and it was so sad :( We surprised her by singing "Deus vos Guarde" (God be with you til we meet again), and she cried so hard. We then had a super powerful testimony meeting, and It was awesome to realize even more that I was there in the Brazil CTM to be with those people, because I learned so much about Christ from each of their examples. The love that we all developed as a District was amazing, and I know it was because we all were there for the same purpose: to bring the people of Brazil to Christ. This is the right place for me, I know it.

I love you all!

Elder Merrill
The view from our room
My candy stash
The view from our room

District pics

The view from the Campinas Temple
Cool view
Epic pic photobombed by Elder Batten
Epic pic successful

Pic with roommates
São Paulo Temple
Selfie, featuring the São Paulo Temple

District pic w/ Irmã Correa
District "limp peace" (it was one of our inside jokes)

With my awesome district. If you're wondering why all of my photos are at the temple, it's because we could only take pictures on P-day at the CTM, and most of P-day was spent traveling to the temple

We made a poster for Irmão Severo, who hurt his ankle and couldn't teach us the last week:( anyways, the paint we used for handprints didn't come off, and this was the result of minutes of vigorous scrubbing
Yay for classic missionary photos
Elder Hughes and Sister Kinsman are here in São Paulo Leste as well
Our tiny little jogging track, it's so cute
Cool garden that's in the center of the CTM. I love this place.
Poster for instructor
Diagram from our classroom on our English/Portuguese ratio that we needed to be speaking (and the consequences of each option) with Jesus lovingly reminding us "Fale a Sua Lingua" (Speak your language)

Picture with district and Sister Correa

Presidente and Sister Swenson (btw I bought that tie here, it's awesome)
LEGIT handmade leather scripture case from a guy here... It's super cool.
Look! Kevin Clive, from our Stake!
A pic of our apartment (sorry, my camera died)

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