Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Busy, Busy, Busy...

So the top photo is the group of missionaries that I flew out of Dallas with, and on down to Sao Paulo last month. And the second photo is of the favelos, or poor area of town. Kind of scary over there. Sorry about last week. That was the nastiest storm and heaviest rain I have ever experienced. And that’s saying a LOT, having been born and raised in Seattle! I wasn’t able to send photos last week, but have two for you this week. They are harder to upload than I thought.

Things are going quite swell. I don’t really have any free time at all, and only about 30 minutes of email time a week. Monday, Wednesday, Thursday, Friday and Saturday are the same schedule. 8 hours of class every day separated by lunch. No breaks. Mostly Portuguese class, with some gospel principles mixed in, then translated to Portuguese. It’s nuts. However, we are really blessed here. I have been told that other people have tried to learn with the church’s exclusive program and they cannot keep up with the missionaries. Things come so fast and they stick with you. I can pray in Portuguese and I can teach the first of four lessons already, as well as handling regular conversation.

I’m starting week 4 of 9 this week and it feels like I’ve been here for 2 weeks.

On Thursday we’re supposed to get Brazilian roommates moving in with us. Two of us will move out to another room, and two Brazilians will move in. So that should be fun. They are called Brasileiros in Portuguese.

So last week Elder Fenstermacher went home. This was a big shock to our district (of 11). He left for personal reasons. He was replaced by two elders that have been stuck at the Provo, Utah, MTC for 2 weeks because of visa problems. They’re names are Elder Ellis and Elder Fujimoto. They seem pretty cool and are meshing with our group very well.

The food here is getting better, but it’s still weird sometimes. Breakfast is the worst meal of the day. Sandwiches every day, containing bread, bologna, and cheese. That’s it. One day a week we get pancakes, however, the syrup is extremely bitter, and its spicy, so pancake day actually sucks. Sometimes we get cereal, it’s stale, but it tastes okay.

On Tuesdays we have p-day, or our day off. Half the time we go to the Campinas Temple, and the other half we have a day of our own. Today is a day of our own. We still have to get up a 6:30, but you can go take a nap later. We get to walk within the 6 block boundary around the MTC, which consists of a lot of little businesses that were once garages. They are so random. There are two businesses devoted completely to toilet items such as seats and scrub brushes. Other things are like candy stores and stationary stores. Everything is ridiculously over priced. A notebook at the stationary store is 7 reis, or about 5 dollars. In the states it’s like 50 cents.

If you have a sidewalk in front of your business or house it’s your responsibility to take care of it. Most people decorate it with tile, or cobbles. So every section of the sidewalk is unique. Or some people don’t take care of it at all, so it’s all messy.

Sao Paulo is ridiculous. 20,000,000 people here. Muitas, muitas pessoas. Lots of people. Skyscrapers as far as the eye can see. I tried to send a photo of the city, but ran out of time. Hopefully next week!


  1. Hi, it's a very great blog.

    I could tell how much efforts you've taken on it.

    Keep doing!

  2. Hey Derek. I don't know if I ever told you this but my little sister, Carol (pronounced kah-dole) was born in a favela in Sao Paolo and lived there until she was taken into an orphanage when she was about 14 months old. I may pass your blog along to her.

    I hope you're doing well, we miss you buddy.