Tuesday, September 29, 2009

...Past the one month mark, and another soaker

Elders Titus, Fujimoto, Burt, Yuma and Ghormley

Looking down at the front landscaping of the MTC from the 6th floor

It’s crazy to think I’ve been here for more than a month. It’s really flying by, but it’s because we’re busy all of the time. This week we had “TRC” where we practice teaching the first lesson in Portuguese to a couple of random LDS locals. We get recorded and get to watch it later and review our mistakes. It was interesting. Elder Burt and I did an awesome job. We work really well together. His Portuguese is way better than mine, but I’m still pretty decent.

Last week, Elder Burt got into a discussion with some Brazilian elders about soccer. They were really going at it (he used to play soccer before coming down here, and was as good at it as I am at racing my bike). I got lost after the 2nd sentence, and it was kind of awkward, standing there not knowing what they were saying. He took a lot of Spanish, and it has really helped him to learn Portuguese.

The language is coming along. I can teach the first lesson (restoration of the gospel), and the shorter version of lesson two (the plan of salvation). I’d say I’m about the 3rd best in the class.

Elder Santos (one of our Brazilian roommates) is finally coming out of his shell. We played some Uno last night, and he really enjoys it. Elder Rodrigues still doesn’t talk. He is super shy. He won’t play Uno with us. Hopefully he will open up, but he’s only got two more weeks to do it! (The Brazilians don’t stay at the MTC as long as we do.)

There isn’t too much that’s exciting, honestly. We’re in class all day and when we’re not, we’re doing other indoor, sheltered, boring things. The food is pretty much the same. We always have a meat dish, like chicken or steak. Lots of rice and beans, a roll, fruit, like watermelon, guava, papaya, stuff like that.

Yesterday, we were sitting in class and noticed it had turned nearly pitch black outside. It had been sunny 30 minutes before. We informed Irma Aline, our teacher, and she said, “It’s because it’s going to rain very a lot.” (Seriously, that's how she said it!) Immediately after this, I saw a drop hit the leaf of a palm tree. Elder Burt and I realized that our windows were open. We raced up to the 6th floor (there are no elevators, just LOTS of stairs) but by the time we got there Elder Jensen’s bed sheets were soaked and the floor was wet. Within 45 seconds the weather went from dry to monsoon. The rain was like nothing I’d seen before. Horizontal, I’m not kidding, and each drop was massive. The wind was super fast and the lightening to thunder ratio was less than a second apart. The storm drains were like fire hoses and we would have had mass flooding, but it all ended in 10 minutes. That night, the skies were clear.

I’m really happy to be here in Brazil. It fits my personality. I was originally disappointed that I wasn’t called to go to Europe, but I realize now that the Brazilian “chill” attitude fits me to a “T” and I don’t think I would have had as much fun in Europe as I will have here.

This Friday we will have our first proselyting attempt. Our goal is to hand out 4 Books of Mormon in two hours. Did I mention that people don’t speak English here? It should be very interesting. Stay tuned!

Until next week – Tchau!
--Elder Titus

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