Oh my i miss you all so much!!!! I made it here safely and everything last Wednesday! My P-day is on Tuesdays so this is the day i will be emailing you guys. I saw the emails you sent me, and since I'm only allowed thirty minutes on here, i just skimmed through them. I hope you can forward this email to anyone who wants to read it, because my time is too short to do it.
Oh my word, Brazil is crazy!!!! I will start with the plane ride though. So after i left all you guys, I was pretty bummed out, kinda crying, and just feeling really alone, but optimistic for the adventure ahead. I was kinda stressed too with the whole flight stuff too. Well, i finally found a bunch of missionaries, but after talking to them, I found out i wouldn't be flying over with any of them! So i board my plane and sit down. All of a sudden a sister missionary walks on-- a Sister Harrision. She is assigned to sit next to me! I was so happy! So we talked the whole flight over. It was kinda weird because I felt awkward talking to Sister missionaries. But it turned out fine. Once over in Atlanta, we found a bite to eat, and some more missionaries met us there! There was four of us when there was about 5 hours left until our flight. Three were going to Rio!!! By the end of the layover, we had about 9 missionaries with us, going all over. it was a really fun group, and we took some pictures. The flight over to Brazil was LONG. I couldn't really sleep because of nervousness, stress, excitement, and everything. I was really happy when that plane landed too. I also sat next to Sister Harrison on that one. So 5:15 am your time, I landed in Sao Paulo.
We boarded a bus that took us to the CTM (Centro de treinamento missionario), and immediately got us going into all the work going on there. Orientations, unpacking, classes, lunch, etc. Wow that day was so stressful. We actually forgot to bring my CDC card for Yellow Fever. You're not really supposed to enter the country without it, but my other records showed me with it so it was alright. That night, I had already been thrown into a little Portugues and gospel study. With the jet lag and overall tiredness, I was destroyed and basically overwhelmed.
The city of Sao Paulo is sooooo ghetto, but it's almost a pretty ghetto. I love it. There is spray paint graffiti everywhere, and everyone locks their houses and cars up every night. We are safe inside gates with guards too. :) The CTM is massive too. But the city uses every inch of space they have. The buildings don't have spaces between them. They just start building with the adjacent walls! The city really is beautiful. My room is on the Fifth floor, so i overlook the whole city. The scenery is beautiful. i wish i could sent pictures home, but the CTM doesn't let me upload pictures on these computers, so i have to wait until im gone. sorry.... but yeah, and the food here is pretty good. TONS of protein! Lots of rice and beans, and weird textured desserts.... But I love the meat and stuff! My companion is Elder Hawks, and he is from Moab, and my other roommates are Elder Viglione and Tibbetts. They are all so cool.
I told everyone about my little hand and they love it! hahahah it's so funny. We are planning on scaring the sisters in my district with it because they don't know yet. There are 12 people in my district, and 2 are sister missionaries, many of which i flew over with.
Wow there's so much i want to write, but my time is so limited.
The workload we're under now is massive. 16 hours of non-stop work really. Portugues is such a good language. I love it. After one week, I have learned to pray, bear my testimony, and many common uses for it. I can communicate with Brasileros now sorta, but it's hard. All my prayers are in Portugues now. How crazy is that! I sometimes find myself using portugues words in my head. The work here is definitely sped up by the hand of the Lord. No denying that.
We were able to explore some of the city today earlier. I bought a couple things here. It's pretty cheap.... except deodorant!!! So expensive. And people steal your deodorant and sell it. Stupids... but other than that, every things good.
I'm doing well here, and getting used to it. I miss the home, and all you family, and my friends. I'm sorry the house is empty now... :( I will be home soon and can liven it up for you! I wish i could send pictures, but that may be a while from now... maybe two months.
Yeah, send those letters to me and anything else. I also wrote you guys a letter that should be arriving sometime soon. Another will be coming about something called missionties.com. Check it out and let me know what you think. It's about sending letters faster, but i don't know if its worth it since i just email you guys.
Well, I better get going before my time runs out. It's hard out here right now without you guys, and i'm really struggling with the language. But with the Lord's help, and many many prayers, and lots of study, it'll get easier. Oh, i have already taught an investigator in complete Portugues. What the heck right?! How's that even possible?!
I love you Mom, Dad, Alisha, Lauralee, Wade, and anyone else who reads this. I hope you find out how to post this on the blog, Mom. :)
I love you guys so so much. Be expecting my emails anytime on Tuesdays from 10 to 2 PM your time.
Eu amo meu familia e amigos muito!!
Elder Steven Bennett