I did not really prepare for this message. I have learned my lesson. Next time I’ll be more organized.
The plane rides both went well. Our plane from Dallas to Sao Paulo was delayed two hours, so we all (25 of us) played Ninja Destruction. You get in a circle and you get one attack to try and chop the hands of the people around you, going in a clockwise order. But when you attack, you have to stay in that position, so it makes it a bit like the game Twister.
Sao Paulo is ridiculously large! I guess it´s like the second or third biggest city in the world, next to some city in India. Everywhere you look there are skyscrapers. For miles and miles! it makes Seattle look like an ant next to a human. No joke. And the smog is ridiculous. I´ll send pictures next week. I´m at a cafe with Neanderthal computers and we´re not allowed to bring our cameras outside of the MTC (Missionary Training Center). The 5 computers inside the MTC are taken and you´re only allowed 30 minutes here. So next week I’ll send pictures. Look forward to the photo of the favelas (shanty towns made of cardboard and tin piled high and together). They actually have those. It´s weird because the city is way wealthy but outside the city they have the poorest conditions you could imagine. Middle class here in Sao Paulo is our lower class up there, and upper class is basically non existent so far as I’ve seen.
When we got to the 7 story MTC building we were warmly greeted, and then fed lunch (rice and beans). My companion is Elder Burt, he´s way cool. He´s from Logan, Utah, and loves soccer. There are 3 companionships per room. We share with Elders: Webb, Parrot, Ingram and Fenstermacher. That night we had banana/chocolate/cheese pizza. It was interesting to say the least. Possibly acquirable.
We always have sandwiches for breakfast. Just bread, a piece of cheese and a piece of ham. No other options for condiments, and a banana and hot cocoa. The weirdest meal I´ve had so far was a potato gelatin casserole with red hotdogs spaced out in it, with a side of fried eggplant, a roll and downed with some cashew juice.
Classes are going good. We´re in class for 8 hours a day, separated by lunch, and with two different teachers. Irmas (Sisters) Elias and Aline. Irma Elias doesn´t speak much English, but Irma Aline is way cool and speaks pretty fluently.
The MTC is mentally exhausting. You’re up at 6:20 AM, bed by 10:30 PM with no breaks in between. Shower, eat, study, class, eat, class, study, plan, exercise, eat, study and sleep. Rinse and repeat.
Portuguese is coming along pretty good. We can all pray, and we´re learning how to testify, along with other standard conversation. We sit with the Brasileiros (Brazilians) at lunch and work on conversations. Those guys are way nuts and know the most random English.
Today is P-day (Preparation Day). We went to the Campinas Temple and did a session. When we got back, we explored the 5 block area that we´re allowed too visit. We got some candy, and I got some mango juice. Kinda weird.
Oh yeah, in the middle of Sao Paulo is this river, and it is way sick. It’s grey because it’s filled with sewage and litter. I guess down a ways it naturally rids itself of contaminates through rapids and other rivers. But up here, there is no life in it.
We played some volleyball, too. The Brasilerios are pretty good. They don´t allow soccer here because the Brasilerios get too competitive. Bummer for Elder Burt! I guess I will most likely not be on a bike, because of the crazy drivers in Brazil. But maybe it’s different in Londrina. Oh yeah, so we estimate our mission to about the same size as Montana. So it’s pretty dang big.
Walking through the market today, I finally realized that I’m in Brazil. We’ve been cooped up so much that I haven´t really been feeling it, but it’s there. And it will be more realistic when we go proselyting on day 51 in the Wallstreet of Sao Paulo.
Again, sorry for the randomness. They don´t really want us to email other people, so if you could let people know what my MTC address is, they can write to me if they want (that would be really great).
Oh yeah, I´m called Elder Chee Toos in Portuguese. I’ll be sending you a more in depth, organized message next week.