Elder Olivier will be leaving the CTM in Sao Paulo, Brazil tomorrow and flying to his mission in Manaus, Brazil. His flight to Manaus will be approximately 4 hours long. The Manaus mission home is in the state of Amazonas. Most of the state is a tropical jungle. Cities are clustered along navigable waterways and are accessible only by boat or plane. Every few months Elder Olivier will be transferred to another area and will many times have to take a small plane. Manaus is the capital and largest city in Amazonas. It is a modern city of 1.7 million people in the middle of the jungle on the Amazon River.
We are excited to hear about his next adventures. We've heard that his district has been doing a fantastic job with their Portuguese and they are ready to serve! Here is his latest email that we received last Friday.
This week has been super awesome, as usual. It´s our last week in the CTM!!! Our district leaves for the field !! I can´t wait!!! Our district has been doing a super good job of trying to speak portuguese as much as possible. I love my district so much! We always work super hard on trying to learn the language. It´s really hard sometimes to not just give up and speak english, but our district has been doing awesome.
Next week we leave for the field! Holy cow! Time has flown by! On wednesday this week a ton of new american missionaries (gringos) flew in and it reminded me of our first day here. Haha. It was so long ago. Also I think there are more americans than brazilians here right now, which is super weird.
Next week I´ll be able to send pictures!!!! Finally!!!!!
I can´t wait for Manaus!!! Everyone says it´s wayyyy different from São Paulo. Apparently they also have a way different accent than they do here, so that´s kind of scary. Also, one of the instructors told us her friend served in Manaus and some days it would get about 50 degrees celsius. That´s scary because when the AC says it´s 23 degrees in our classroom, it´s hot.
So the other elders in my district and I do this thing where we vocalize hymns when we walk down the stairs (because it sounds really cool) so that inspired us to sing for the sisters and the instructors in our district a few days ago. Then, one of our elders wanted to sing to Sister Hale, one of the senior couple missionaries here who is in charge of the CTM choir (aka all of the missionaries in the CTM). We sang for her, and long story short we´re singing on sunday for the devotional. We are singing Joseph Smith´s First Prayer to the tune of Come Thou Fount (it´s a long, random story how we chose that too). It´s a little different but it sounds so good.
I´ve been thinking a ton recently about going into the field next week and how hard it´s going to be (especially if I get a brazilian or a hispanic companion who doesn´t speak english). I´m also going to be in the middle of a city (or jungle, depending on what area I´ll be put in) that I´ve never been to, with a completely different culture. One of my favorite scriptures recently has been Jeremiah 1:4-9 in the bible:
The word of the Lord came unto me, saying, before I formed thee in the belly I knew thee, and before thou camest forth out of the womb I sanctified thee, and I ordained thee a prophet unto the nations. Then said I, Ah, Lord God! Behold, I cannot speak: for I am a child. But the Lord said unto me, say not, I am a child: for thou shalt go to all that I shall send thee, and whatsoever I command thee thou shalt speak. Be not afraid of their faces: for I am with thee to deliver thee, saith the Lord. Then the Lord put forth his hand, and touched my mouth. And the Lord said unto me, behold, I have put words in thy mouth.
We just had a devotional last week and one of the speakers was talking about how the calling of a missionary and the calling of an apostle are not very different. Both are representatives of Jesus Christ and are called to be a witness of Him to the nations. That is kind of intimidating sometimes, but I know that He is with us every step of the way, and that He is helping us and guiding us.
Anyway, I love all of you guys! Stay awesome!
Eu amo vocês!