I’m here in the Sao Paulo CTM, as it is known, and doing well. The language learning is a bit tough, but is progressing nicely and I’ve learned quite a bit. The flight over was long, but I met up with the other missionaries in Atlanta. I got the seat next to another seat with a window, so my first sight of the Book of Mormon lands was quite a sight. I’ll send pictures when I can. Most of this part of the city looks likes a ghetto. Graffiti and bars on windows are everywhere. The CTM is actually the nicest building in these parts. All of this is a moot point when you consider the Brasilian people.
They are a warm, friendly, and patient people. Many of us struggle with learning the language, including me, and these people will take their time and repeat the words and phrases until you get them. With the limited amount I have learned, it’s hard to carry a conversation for too long, mostly because the words we are learning first are gospel-related. However, my companion (Elder Long) and I are able to have several minute long talks with some of the other elders. Some of the roommates we have (each room can hold up to 6) are native speakers, so that helps quite a bit.
We finally got to the temple this morning. It isn’t large, but the spirit was very peaceful there. It is a beautiful place, and if you haven’t gotten them already, the CTM are taking some pictures of the districts while at the temple and on our first day. Look for 18-A!
The CTM is in the very heart of the city, and our view from the 4th (technically 5th) is absolutely amazing. The concrete jungle stretches on beyond what the eye can see. (BTW Cora, you thought Gotham was big. 😉 )
The gospel studying here progress further and faster than the language does, and at the end of each class I get more and more excited to get out there and teach the people. Then we head to the language classes and I’m glad we still have another 8 weeks here. My district come from the US, from Dayton, Ohio to Chattanooga, Tennessee, and even Sandy, Utah! These elders, while still under the age of 20 and can get ridiculous, all have great hearts and they all know the sacredness of their callings. I’m honored to be serving alongside them.
Yeah, Elder Hadley’s mom talked about you searching for me. -___- I’m fine and am loving it here. Time is just so slow here, not because I want to go home, but because it is taking so long for us to get out there and start progressing the work. My companion and I were trading gospel facts and theories this morning, and he talked about his theory that our future children were watching out over us. Never thought about that before.