Thursday, January 7, 2010

First Letter!

Hey ya´ll

So as I´m sure you´re all probably aware by now, I made it to the Brazil MTC in one piece. Although I think I left my sanity on that awful 10 hour plane ride to Sao Paulo. It was not fun. I did get to stretch out in 2 seats because the flight wasn´t full but that didn´t help a lot. It´s great here. I love the MTC and the environment. The food is not so hot. I´ll be straight up honest, I do not like most of it. I eat a lot of the breads and desserts and the rice. Other than that I pick at whatever else they have. I have to remember it´s cafeteria food so I know it´ll get better when I get out into the field.

My companion is Elder Knapp. He´s from Washington. He was raised by coyotes and can kill a bear. Of course I´m exaggerating but not by much haha. He´s really cool and he´s a great companion. There are 8 Elders in our district. 3 of us are from New Jersey! One is in the East Brunswick Stake and the other, Elder Vallem, is technically a part of the Scranton PA Stake even though he lives in NJ. It´s weird. They´re all great Elders. Oh yeah and I wasn´t alone at the Philly airport. Elder Vallem was there. It was nice to have someone to talk to. There were about 19 of us total going to Brazil. All but 8 of us were coming from the Provo MTC. There are still more missionaries waiting for visas there.

I forgot a lot of things but that´s to be expected. Apparently there´s a whole bag of things that I couldn´t find so they didn´t make it into my suitcase. So I don´t have toothpaste but the other Elders have been kind enough to give me some. I also don´t have any of the sunscreen I packed except for the small tube for my backpack. But I don´t need it now. It gets to be at least 100 degrees in Teresina then you tack on the humidity so I´ll without a doubt need it then! I think I might die from too much sun. We´ll see.

I was assigned as the District Leader for our District the Wednesday we came in. But that didn´t last long. Elder Flynn is now District Leader. This change happened on Sunday. But apparently I was doing a really good job because I´m now an Assistant to the President. I don´t know how that happened. Technically I´m the Assistant to the Branch President because the MTC is more of like a stake. And it´s not like I have a whole lot of responsibility. There´s only one District of American missionaries in our... zone I guess? In total there are about 30 american missionaries here right now. 4 of them left today. Half of the Brazilian missionaries also left for their missions today so the MTC is getting barren again. In one more week even more Brazilians are leaving but I imagine that we´ll be getting more brazilians soon. I don´t know if we´ll be getting anymore Americans soon.

I´m having a great time! Sorry I left such a mess for you to clean up Mom. Also... they discourage sending packages to the MTC but if you really need to, try to send it before the 4th or 5th week I´m here because there´s a chance I´ll have left for the field by the time it gets here and they can´t forward it to me. I left a few things like toothpaste, sunscreen, whatever was in that walmart bag, my temple recommend holder case, my oil and vial, and maybe a few other things. Sorry!

Oh yeah Portuguese! The language is coming along pretty well if I say so myself. We haven´t had a real instructor yet because ours were on vacation so what they´ve taught us has been really disorganized. Once we get our instructors we´ll be awesome. The Italian is really helping. It´s also really nice to be able to talk to the Brazilians because they´re so happy to help. There´s this one elder who looks like a happy gorilla! But he´s so nice and I love talking to him. Apparently he knows jiujitsu extremely well so he could kill a man but he would never hurt a fly haha. I guess I really do have a knack for languages though because I´m very confidant that I´ll be ver well off when I get to the mission field.

Well I should go.

Elder Rackham

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