We look forward to Elder Olivier's emails each week! Before we know it he will be headed to Manaus, leaving behind the CTM in Brazil, but taking with him the precious knowledge he has gained there. We are so glad that his VISA came before his mission. He has had such wonderful opportunities to learn Portuguese while living in Brazil amongst the people and becoming immersed in the culture. He is loving his current adventure and looking forward to Manaus!
He has also enjoyed all the the letters and emails he has received! They are like gold to him! Thanks so much to everyone!
Paulo! It was sweet. Elder Wong and I gave out 8 Livros de Mórmon in
about an hour and a half and we also got ton of contacts! We had to
ride this crazy bus for a while to get to this square place where a
ton of people were walking. It was super herky jerky. We stood up most
of the time so other people could sit down, and it was super crowded.
It was a great place to talk to a ton of people though. People are so
receptive to hearing about the church here. Almost everyone is
religious (most people are Catholic) or they seem to be interested in
religion. And not to mention how crazy it is that Elder Wong and I can
(sort of) have conversations with people in portuguese. We talked to
this one guy who was out talking pictures of the city. He said he
wasn´t super interested, but his mom would be, so we got him to take a
Book of Mormon to his mom. He then asked us where we were from and we
told him we are from the Estados Unidos, and we´ve been here for three
weeks. He then started speaking perfect English and said "So you guys
took some kind of portuguese class before you came here?" We told him
no, we just started learning three weeks ago. He was SUPER surprised
and he said our portuguese was ridiculous for three weeks. I thought
that was funny because ten minutes before this guy was saying
something really fast to us about coffee and laughing at our
This week two a bunch of people came from the Provo MTC. They moved
two of the elders out of our district who are going to Riberão Preto
to a new district with more people from their mission. It was kind of
sad because we´ve all become super good friends, but we still see them
at meals sometimes. Oh, and by the way, everyone that comes from Provo
talks about how much better the CTM is than Provo. They always
complain about the food at Provo. The food is SOOOOOOO good here, even
though half the time I don´t know what the heck it is.
Today we went to the Sâo Paulo temple again. Every we go to the
temple and then we get to walk around in the city. There is this place
around the corner that sells ties to the missionaries for R$10, which
is about $3 USD. And they´re still nice ties. One of the other
missionaries in my district, Elder Lantz (he´s going to Manaus too)
and I are going to snag tons of fresh ties today.
I´ve been thinking of the scripture Ether a lot for the past
week. It´s about how we are given weaknesses that we may be humble,
and how when we are humble we can turn weaknesses into strengths. I´ve
definitely seen that firsthand here. It´s super humbling to try to
speak portuguese to brasileiros and you know that you sound like an
idiot. But our whole district has come sooooooo far with the language
and with teaching skills, and I know that it´s not just because we are
working crazy hard every day. It´s because we are being guided and
helped so that we can do the Lord´s work. I took spanish in school for
5 years, and in three weeks I can speak better portuguese than I could
speak spanish. There is no way that is just from studying and sitting
in a classroom.
I only have three more weeks of the CTM, so after that I´ll start
having cooler stories. We´ve heard some crazy stuff about Manaus from
other missionaries and instructors. CRAZY stuff, about canoes and
machetes and spiders and tapeworms. The main thing people say when we
say we´re going to Manaus is, "Manus? Quente!" I can´t wait to get out
into the field! It´s going to be so awesome!
Eu amo vocês!!!!!