I'm so happy I finally get to email you guys. It's been a really long wait. I hope you got my letter and the pictures the mtc sent you. The ride here went great and everything is going well (mom you can take a breath now). The food is better than I expected for cafeteria food and all the Brazilians are really patient in teaching you portuguese and in communicating with you. The city of Sao Paulo is amazing. I got some cool pictures just from my window that I will send when I have the opportunity. I only have 30 minutes for email each week, so it's really hard to get in everything I want to say. The mtc experience is just as I imagined it would be, really. We have class almost all day (a lot of sitting in the same desk and room). I love that I can just focus on one thing for a long time though (something I couldn't do in school). Everyone here is affable and eager to learn.
Excuse me if I skip subjects a lot, I'm rushed for time.
| have already had some great spiritual experiences that I'll share:
President Deign, the pres. for either the MTC or this mission (i'm not sure) is a concert pianist (as well as many other things) and played a beautiful medley of hymns for our mission's district on the second or third day. I was so thankful to hear music. I now realize how much I am thankkful I learned to play piano (thanks mom and dad, haha) and to make music a big part of my life. The work here can get stressful, and music is a relief amidst all the "chaos" of learning so much.
I'm in the MTC choir (so is everyone, they are required to be) and we sing on sundays and tuesdays for devotionals. Even though everyone is not especially talented at singing, the spirit is very strong because of our intent. I love hearing hymns sung by the choir. I'm also going to sing in a small group "the Iron Rod" for some meeting in the future. And I have the opportunity to play piano for church next week. Again, I'm so thankful for many musical opportunities.
A few days ago, our district (group of missionaries I have classes with) shared our favorite scriptures after a long day. This was the best spiritual experience I've had in a very long time. Every single scripture that was read applied to me and I felt such a strong sense of direction and assurity. I know what I'm doing is the right thing and I am thankful for the assurance I get from time to time from God to remember this.
We exercise almost every day, which I have already come to enjoy. I play basketball everytime we have gym and I love that. It's interesting the things you remember you love so much when you're so focused in a classroom most of the day.
I have all the supplies I need, mom. Thanks for preparing me with so much care. I have all the books and clothes I need. I get to shop every week on P-day (today) so if I run out I'll be fine.
This morning I was able to go to the Sao Paulo temple! It was such a fantastic experience. It's beautiful. We did baptisms for the dead.
The language is tough, yes, but I'll get it. There's a healthy pressure on Americans to learn the language because of all the spoken Portuguese around them. It's hard to understand them but I can communicate somewhat with them at this point. My spanish classes have paid off at least a little bit.
There are 6 to a room and I have 2 Brazilian roommates. One of them speaks pretty good english so I'm able to learn a lot from him.
Well, I'm out of time....send me an email back telling me what kinds of things you want to know or things that I may have forgotten to tell you.
I hope you all are doing great! Don't worry about me!