This was probably the longest week of my life… but it was good!!
The president of the CTM here is President Swensen, and he is a very good, very spiritual man, but also very “caro palo” as Mom would say– he lays down the rules! Sister Packard is my companion here, and our district is a whole total of 2 people! Yep, we’re our own district, which was tough the first few days, but we’re definitely learning a lot more Portuguese with our teachers and simply a lot more about ourselves. Compared to the Provo MTC, this one is completely scheduled, which keeps you on your toes about time management and effective study. It’s good preparation though, and I feel myself improving nearly every day!
The Portuguese is going awesome, what can I say. It’s the celestial language, as we all like to say here, haha! Im loving it.
I was able to go to the Campinas Temple today!! Its about an hour and half away from the CTM, and you never know if youre going to Campinas or the São Paulo temple, they do both for missionaries here, so we went to Campinas today. It was beautiful, it sits on this hill top that overlooks the entire city which is huuuuuge. Another cool thing was that this sister from Capo Verde (yep, Africa) came this week, and her companion doesnt come until later today, so I was her companion for this trip. She hadnt received her endowments yet because the nearest temple for them there is literally Recife Brazil, a 6 hour plane ride. So, I got to be her escort for her going through the first time… what an experience! This was only like my 4th time doing the temple, but it was really special going and helping with what I could, with this sister. She is so happy and humble. Im really glad I got to meet her during this time at the CTM!
Sister Packard has been above and beyond as a companion. We pretty much see only each other with our lonely little district, all day every day, but we are definitely great friends by now.
A few cool things about this CTM…
We get to go proselyte this week on Friday! On your fourth week, you get to go with one of your instructors and your district, and they put you on a bus and you go anywhere in São Paulo (which is HUGE) and you pass out a bunch of Book of Mormons and just talk to people on the street. Im a little nervous, but everyone here says its so nice to get out and talk to real people and that its actually pretty fun, so Im excited too.
We also get to go out on the street in the neighborhood around here in the CTM on P days. Theyve got a bunch of little shops, so its also nice to get out and actually use the Portuguese we are learning with other people. Yesterday, we spent the whole morning at the police station getting our IDs and visas figured out so that wed legally be here. It was cool to get out and be among other people. You can just feel the difference when you wear this nametag.
Thats about it! I accidentally left my room key in our room the other day after gym time, and Sister Packard and I had to walk around in our shower sandals all around the CTM until we could find someone that understood us and had keys. It was pretty hilarious, what can I say.
Also the food? SO good. Also, too much. But its all homecooked Brazilian meals, and its delicious.
Im learning a lot here. Ive been getting a great testimony on prayer and gratitude. Just yesterday, I read 1 Nephi 1 entirely in Portuguese and understood all of it. The gift of tongues is real, and its so apparent how much more reliant you need to be on the Spirit in order to get it. As my teacher, Irmão Alonso likes to say, “Cristo pago o preço” (Christ paid the price). Its just up to us to pay our price, and “buscar” for the gift of tongues. We have to put in our effort and remain obedient so that we can become subject to the blessings in store for us.
Ahh, I love this gospel so much! I know its true, and every day I’m learning more and more about my Savior.
Until next time!!
(Sorry for the no pictures.. we cant send them while we’re in the CTM here. But I promise eventually youll see some!)