Oi Family and Friends!
Another week has flown by. I’ve really fallen into a nice routine here at the CTM. My companions and I pretty much do the same thing every day. Eat, sleep and speak Portuguese. There is not much else to do here at the CTM. The other day we played a full court 5 x 5 pick up game with jumping!!!! Crazy right…It felt so good playing a real game of basketball. Some other highlights of the week include going to a churrascaria last p-day. My companions and I went with all the elders in the week below us. A churrascaria is one of those places where they bring all you can eat meat on a stick. It tasted so, so, so good and made me realize that the carne in Porto Alegre is going to be amazing, and that the food in the CTM is pretty bland/boring. The best part was that it was less than 10 bucks. We’ll probably be going back to that place. Haha!
Another highlight of the week was giving a talk in Sacrament Meeting. Every week we prepare a 4 minute talk in Portuguese. Five minutes before Sacrament Meeting starts, the district president tells us if we are going to talk. This week the pressure was on because the President of the CTM and his wife were sitting in on our Sacrament Meeting. As soon as I made eye contact with the district president, I knew it was my turn to speak. Luckily, I prepared a sweet talk on the gift of tongues. I was pretty nervous, but I ended up delivering a solid talk. Being able to confidently bear my testimony in Portuguese feels so great, and I definitely feel the spirit as I testified of the many things that I know to be true. Sundays are also great because we get about an hour and a half of free time where we can take a very much needed nap. After that nap, I feel so energized and ready to go for the rest of the week. I never would have thought that sitting in a desk all day would be so physically and mentally tiring. It gets pretty frustrating when I’m teaching or just having a conversation in Portuguese because I have such a limited vocabulary. Sometimes I get down on myself, but I realize that I have learned so much in just 4 weeks…I’ve probably learned more Portuguese in a month than the amount of Spanish I learned in five years.
All the Brazilians who came to the CTM the same week have officially left. Some of my best Brazilian friends are gone. My division companion Elder Antonio left to Santa Maria, all my Brazilian friends learning Spanish left this week, and many more. It’s funny, every Brazilian missionary who leaves expects a gift from the American elders. Last night, I was wearing a wild life tee, and I probably got asked 20 times by Brazilians if I would give it away to them as a present. I declined each time. Haha. I’ll miss all the elders who left this week and hopefully will get to see them again when I’m fluent in Portuguese so I can hold a real conversation with them.
I can’t wait for the field to have more spiritual moments. This week’s Sunday devotional was amazing because we sang I am a Child of God in English, Spanish and Portuguese. Also, the speaker was amazing and bore a powerful testimony of how we must listen to every whispering of the spirit. This week I tried focusing more on the Atonement of Jesus Christ. I love chapter 14 of Mosiah. It is a little bit depressing to read and know how Christ willingly and knowingly suffered every pain and affliction on this earth. But it is so comforting to know that when I feel alone or am going through a trial, I can know that Christ knows how I feel. Christ will always be on our side no matter what we’ve done or how we feel. I miss you all and thank you for all of your love and support.