Wednesday, July 10, 2013

It was so lovely to FINALLY hear from him and really get a sense of how he is doing. Also I understand it takes some practice getting used to using Portuguese keyboard, so please pardon the punctuation errors.
Well I made it to the CTM. I had a long flight from Atlanta and arrived here at around 8"30am. I only met up with one other missionary, Elder Booren. He's a good guy and we had a fun time driving from the airport to the CTM. As soon as you get off the plane, no one speaks english anymore and it is kinda confusing. Someone should look up the distance between the airport in Sao Paulo and the CTM, because it only felt like it should've been 30 min, but it took two hours haha. The traffic was so bad, it was raining (it rains almost everyday, because it's winter here) and there are motorcycles flying everywhere. Definitely haven't seen anything like it in the states.
Hm.. So the CTM is a pretty interesting place. 90% of everyone here is a Brasiliero or a Hispanico. There are about 10ish English speakers and about 600 waiting to get their VISAS in the states. Everyone here is super friendly. Everyone wants to talk with you, oh thats another thing. Brazilians just want to hang out and party. Which is totally fine except for when you can't get to bed on time.
I study portugese for about 8 hours everyday. It is pretty intensive. I am slowly replacing some english words with portugese. Like, como vai, entende, nao sei, Deus, etc. I have 3 "pesquiadores" i'm teaching right now. Ellen, Mario, and Igor. Although they are only my instructors, my companion and I are required to teach them anywhere from 20 to 30 minutes all in Portugese. It's insane. One week ago, myself and my fellow Americans could harldy speak portuguese, now we can teach lessons for 30 minutes. I think that just adds to my testimony of the Spirit and how blessed we are to be in the CTM.
My companion...where do I start...haha
Well he is... not like me at all. We are very different and to save time, I will say that he is just teaching me a lot. Anyone on a mission can tell you that you get pretty tired of spending 24 hours a day with the same person staring at you in the face. He is teaching me a lot and I consider that a blessing.
Another interesting thing about the Brasilieros is that many of them are desperately trying to learn english. It makes me sad because I want to teach them English but we literally have no time. If they speak English their job prospects go WAY up. So I have definitely seen how even just speaking english blesses us in so many ways. I feel so blessed to be here and experiencing everything I'm experiencing. Love you all!
Elder Holloway

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