Learning the Ropes

Brazil Sao Paulo TempleLong week lots to say. Just got back from the Sao Paulo Temple, so beautiful. The interior has a lot of dark wood panelings and it was a great experience. I can now keep up with Elder Neerings on our morning runs around the track, I sometimes feel like he is letting me keep up with him, but I am proud of my accomplishment anyways. Been reading a lot in the Pearl of Great Price as I prepare for the temple each week. Getting so much more out of every session it is incredible the things you learn.
This week Elders Bastos and Santana left for the field so we got new roommates, one of them is Brazillian and the other is Portuguese so they argue about the language a lot. Listening to them speak is certainly a very different language. The portuguese elder will teach us words that are common to use in portugal that end up being exceptionally rude here in Brazil and vice versa. I guess that is why they keep us quarantined here in training.
Elder Neerings and I are also getting much better at the language. When we teach lessons now we are completely speaking normally, meaning we do not have our words written out in front of us. The Spirit is really strong in our lessons and it is incredible the progress we are making. Despite the occasional language mishap we are pretty good. Last lesson we taught our investigator was about the word of wisdom and he got really confused so a few minutes and we could not tell what his problem was, we eventually figured out that I have mixed up the words for alcohol and water… oops.
It can be really scary sometimes being a missionary. We are in a different place far away from home where we only have a basic grasp of the language. Although a scripture that has given me hope this past week is in 2 Timothy I believe the first chapter where it says that God has not given us the Spirit of Fear, but rather the Spirit of Love. I felt that a lot today as we were travelling back from the temple. I got my first look at real fuevella. The dwellings were blowing in the wind like they were made of cardboard and built just in a row on the side of the highway. They were covered in grafitti and the clothes that were hung out to dry were dirty because of the dust thrown up by the highway. These are the people I am going to be teaching, and I cannot wait to meet them.
Before I forget, on Christmas we are not going to be able to Skype from the CTM because of the internet connection. However I will be able to call for 30 minutes. My time slot is 1500 hours to 1530 my time. If you guys are three hours behindd Sao Paulo that means I will be calling noontime your time on Christmas. Hope all is well on your end, and I hope Tim enjoys the movie tonight, I am kind of in a sort of mourning right now…. but I will be over it. Thank Audrey for packing Boba Fett and Darth Bane along for the ride. They will certainly be featured in pictures.

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