Wednesday, August 19, 2015
AWESOME DAY! We went to the temple in Campinas again. It was beautiful. Again. I got to talk to a couple of Elders I didn’t know very well on the way there and back, Anderson and Hull. They’re both really awesome! Once we got back, we spent 5 minutes in the lunchroom and went up to email. I ACTUALLY finished writing this time, but didn’t get to respond to all of my emails because of the Email Nazi.
Our venture into the “city” around the CTM included stops at the Corrheios (for mail), a couple of food stores for junk food (more on that later), and the Brazilian “Deseret Book”. This guy makes leather scripture covers that are really awesome. There are scriptural depictions etched into each one of them. It took two weeks for mine to get done, and I just got it!! I’ll send a picture when I can. I bought a…significant…amount of junk food. They feed us plenty, but my sweet tooth got the best of me!
I was able to get some pictures sent. Hopefully, some will arrive every day this week. (We received 4 pictures this week and were so excited to SEE HIS FACE after two weeks of fasting.)
I almost forgot! Pao de Quejo, or cheese bread, is close to Jim and Nick’s cheese biscuits! I bought about a dozen for R$1.50 or $0.50 in USD. I can’t decide if that’s a good discovery!
Thursday, August 20, 2015
Upon getting into bed, I realized I had left my retainer on my sheets that I had sent down to get washed. I got super frustrated and double-checked EVERYWHERE for it. Hopefully, the staff will find it. If not, I hope the orthodontist has my impressions still. Until now, I’ve never missed a day!!!
The days are starting to go much faster. We’re just over two weeks left here. It’s nuts!
Friday, August 21, 2015
So, we got to leave the Fazenda do Missionarios (Missionary Farm)! We went to the Sao Paulo city center and handed out copies of the Book of Mormon to people. It was a really neat experience to see what REAL Sao Paulo is like, not our little secluded neck of the woods. A few observations:
- People (maybe 5 to 10) smoked pot in the middle of the day, in broad daylight, with people around. That was a different experience. I guess the policia don’t care so much if they’re smoking, but dealing is apparently a more persecuted crime.
- Busses are fearless. They get REALLY close to EVERYTHING!
- Cars drive with inches in between them.
- People EVERYWHERE. I heard someone say a few days ago that they’ve said 20 million people live in Sao Paulo for 30 years – that’s when they gave up and stopped counting.
- There are lots of street vendors – similar to New York. Junk everywhere.
- People, homeless, and sleeping on the side of the road.
- A bunch of freaky looking people…
We were around the Municipal Theater of Sao Paulo. The experience REALLY got me excited to get out of the MTC. Talking to people is much more fun than sitting in a chair for 10 hours. There was music and people everywhere. I spent a lot of my time people watching!
When we started, I was really nervous. I don’t know what of, maybe rejection. I couldn’t get myself to talk to anyone. After I was prodded into talking to the first person, it got SO much easier. I felt comfortable talking to random people I don’t know and telling them about a book in an unfamiliar language. It’s so amazing though. I can’t wait to do it daily!
Sunday, August 23, 2015
We had a devotional tonight where we listened to a talk given by Jeffrey R. Holland two years ago at the Provo MTC. He is such a powerful speaker. He spoke a lot about our purpose as missionaries, which is to “Preach His Gospel”. I’ve been called of God, through His modern prophet, Thomas S. Monson, to be exactly where I am at this moment. My purpose here is divinely inspired and of no coincidence. I responded to my call and decided to obey God’s command…and I came to preach His gospel.
Holland said something that really hit home. In the scriptures, the times when the earth had the fullness of the Gospel, it miserably failed and always fell away from the earth. Even when Jesus Christ himself was here leading His church, it didn’t last. All they experienced, sacrificed, and wrote was in preparation for now, when the fullness of Christ’s Gospel would be put back on the earth. It has to last this time. We get no more shots. Those prophets persevered, knowing wickedness would prevail in their time, so they could prepare us, and the world for this exact moment. God has prepared 80,000 plus of his finest preaching His Gospel. We travel to the ends of the earth in a hereto, unprecedented effort to share the Gospel with the world. We, as missionaries, must be at our best.
Portuguese, so my instructors tell me, is the third hardest language in the world to learn behind Arabic and Mandarin Chinese. In calling me here, God has told me that I AM capable of fulfilling the call He extended. Were I not, He would have sent me somewhere else. So, He needs me at my best.
This experience really strengthened my testimony. I know God has a plan for ALL of His children. Each part of that plan manifests itself when He knows it should. His influence is evident in every aspect of our lives and we should take the time to do whatever it is He asks us to do. We should take advantage of all the wonderful opportunities He gives us to make ourselves better and become more like the perfect example, Jesus Christ.
I’ve only been gone for a month, and already I’m starting to realize things I didn’t before. Who knows what the next two years will hold!
Monday, August 24, 2015
During dinner, one of our instructors, Irma Fuoco, came to sit with us at our table. At some point, she started to show each of us the faces and things we make during class. It was absolutely hilarious! She was totally spot on and by the end of her routine we were all in tears from laughing so hard.
At the beginning of the meal, a couple of us were looking for ketchup and didn’t know how to say it. So, we asked our instructor. It reminded me of a few of the other Portuguese words that are really funny to those of us who don’t speak the language natively.
Ketchup – from how I understand it is pronounced “Catsh-shoopie”.
Hot Dogs – “Hot-chi-Doggies”
Ping Pong – “Pingy – Pongy”
That’s all I remember off the top of my head. Portuguese is way different than anything I’ve attempted to learn before. German was much easier. It’s like the child of French and Spanish…almost. A lot of the words are Spanish, but pronounced differently. A lot of the sounds are very nasal, like French. It is getting a lot easier to speak for sure.
Tuesday, August 25, 2015
Not much interesting…more and more studying! We go to the temple in Sao Paulo this week!
MAIL UPDATE: Elder Tew will be leaving the MTC (or CTM in Portuguese) on September 8. Starting now, all snail mail should be sent to the mission home. He will send his street address when he gets to his new area (wherever that is). That also means that September 2 will be his last P-Day until September 14. We’re trying NOT to be sad about the upcoming 12-day hiatus.