Thursday, June 30, 2016

Primerio Semana em o CTM

Elder Davis and his District at Sao Paulo Temple
Going through the gates of the CTM for the first time
Oi! (Oi is basically hi in Portuguese and Ola is more formal like hello.) This first week has been a rollercoaster! At first I was excited to get on a plane to Brasil and I am still super stoked to be here a week later but there have been some challenges too. I am also excited about when I will be able to get out of the CTM and into the field/my mission. For those who are not familiar, CTM is where we learn the language we will be using in our mission, so for me that is Portuguese.  I have learned alot even though it has only been a week. The first day we got her at the CTM we got here about 10-11am.  Sao Paulo is only an hour ahead of NC.  One of the first things we did was get our nametags which was sweet, I was
Arriving at the CTM
pretty excited just to have a nametag to wear.  haha  They have a small blue dot at the right which means I am learning Portuguese and it is my first week.  After that they showed us around and let us go to our rooms but as soon as that was over they threw us straight into our classes. In Portuguese! Which was honestly super confusing, fun and frustrating all at the same time. The teachers only speak Portuguese and if they do speak English they don't allow you to speak to them in English so it doesn't matter. hahaha Spanish and English are not allowed - only Portuguese is spoken. So that was kind of rough. When you are thrown into an environment where you can only speak Portuguese all the time you learn way, way quicker than if you can switch in and out of it and speaking English some of the time. So in a way it is better than the Provo MTC ;) Just kidding. I have learned so much already. You definitely know the gift of tongues is real and that missionaries are blessed by the Lord to be able to learn the language this quick.  If you stop to think about how much you are learning in such a short time it can blow your mind.

View of Sao Paulo from Elder Davis' room

The roommates
In our dorms we have 6 people per room, usually 4 Brasilenos and 2 Americanos. So again speaking with them was difficult at first but they are all super nice and I already love talking with them. My companion is Elder Dickson he is from Layton, Utah and just graduated high school. He is a pretty quick study. He knew a lot more of the language than I did when we first got here but I think I am at about the same level now. We make it a competition so that we can learn the language faster. We always sit with the Brasilenos during meals and whenever else we can so we have to speak Portuguese all the time. They are all super nice so they help you if you say something wrong and help you know the right way to say it.  Because of them we learn a lot more on a daily basis.
Elder Davis and his companion Elder Dickson on the way to the temple
The first and second days were the roughest because I did not know anything than the general Oi and Obrigado. We are in class basically all day so we are learning a lot each day.   I cannot wait until I can say I am fluent in Portuguese!  The third and fourth day were better and the fifth day was the best because I could put together a sentence with the words I knew at that point so I was able to actually talk to a lot of people and have a conversation instead of being confused. haha
We went to the temple this morning which was super awesome!  I am sending some pictures.  The temple is beautiful. I loved being there. The spirit was so strong.  Also being outside the CTM talking to people made me realize how fast they talk. So you try to catch a few words in the conversation and then guess what they are saying. But considering we have been here for a week we did pretty well.

First visit to Sao Paulo Temple

Dad was asking about the food here.  So the meals here are so good I can't even describe how good they are! lol! They have alot of meat which is the best thing ever! Lunch is usually their biggest meal. Like today they had 3 different types of meat for that meal.  So today I had chicken and pork with rice & beans that was oh so delicious.
Sunrise in Sao Paulo
We only have 30 minutes to email so I am trying to cram everything in. There is so much to tell you but not enough time. Our roommates are awesome. I try to talk to them a lot and they try to help us with whatever they can and give us encouragement whenever we  say something right.  They are always saying "Parabens" which means congratulations. We all get along really well.  The other night I was prompted to ask one of them how he was feeling and he said he actually had not felt well for a day or two and asked if we would give him a blessing. So that was super cool to do that in Portuguese.
Two quick spiritual thoughts for this week. "Existe á oposição em todos as coisas". There must be opposition in all things.  "Você primerio precisa saber a inflicidade á sabe felicidade". You must first know unhappiness to know happiness.  In order to appreciate the happy times and joy you must also know the other side - disappointment and struggles.
I am super excited to be here and I cannot wait for the future and what it has in store for me! I cannot wait until I am fluent as well! haha! Talk to you guys next week. Mom please look up about being able to send letters through that service that delivers them to the MTC. It gets here in a day. I love letters, they are the happiness in my week! Love you guys!
Elder Davis

Wednesday, June 22, 2016

I am here!

New Missionaries arriving in Sao Paulo

I am so excited to be here.  I miss and love you guys so much but I am so stoked to be here that I can barely hold it in.  It is so cool being able to be immersed with the language, the people, and all of the culture that resides here in Brasil.  The reason I am writing you a little late is because my flight was delayed.  Then we were late because the customs people here messed up my passport along with 4 other missionaries.  The lady that picked us up noticed it so we had to go to the police station to get it fixed. They say it happens all the time, Anyway I hope you are all doing well.  Thank you for all the letters and cards you sent with me. I loved them! I cannot wait to hear more from you guys.  I also cannot wait to start learning the language.  I have a feeling I am not going to want to leave this place when I have to go! My P-Day in the MTC (or the CTM in Portuguese) is on Wednesday so I will email you guys next Wednesday. Be ready to give me an update then! Maybe I will actually know some Portuguese by then!  Love you guys so much! Cannot wait to hear from you.  Dad I am counting on you to uphold the legacy of daily snowcones - you got to get through all 100 flavors before summer's end. Also one last quick not, I just got paired with my companion.  I am with Elder...I forgot his name already. I'll let you know next week haha. I promise I will take lots of pictures. Love you guys.

Group picture with CTM President Grahl and his wife

Pres. Grahl, Elder Davis & Sister Grahl