Wednesday, September 30, 2015

Week 3 - Big bugs and Brazilian soda

While we are waiting for autumn to arrive, we got another email from Ben. Another week into the MTC experience and he is still doing well.

" It´s also rough that the weather is so hot, but it´ll probably cool down soon there, while I get to look forward to another ~6 months of summer. Wooo."

Did we ever mention that Ben really hates the heat? Lol.

"Too bad your letter didn´t get here, but it´s a little
funny because I have to check the mail box twice a day here, and we´ve
literally only had one letter. I joke that I keep checking just to
make sure we don´t get any mail. With the
district this week we got three new elders, Elder Ponder from Boulder
with the worst hair of all time, Elder Ellis from Kansas who looks
like a 40 year old man, and Elder Herbert from Jersey who is a black
dude that is totally ripped. They are all pretty cool, and they fit
right in. We also get to go proselyting this week on Friday
(Sexta-feira here), so we get to go give out Livros de Mormon in a
square somewhere in Sao Paolo. I´m looking forward to it, but it´ll be
a little freaky because my Portuguese is still kinda of weak. Still
going to be a cool experience. It´s super crazy living here in Brazil.
We see all kinds of giant bugs, from cochroaches to mosquitoes, to
this one bug that was flying around that was, I kid you not, the size
of a baseball. It was huge. The food here at the MTC is also pretty
awesome. It´s incredibly hit or miss though. Sometimes it´s the best
meal I´ve ever had, like this taco thing with mustard or this
schnitzel style chicken, and sometimes you bite into an apple and find
a giant brown ball of rot that sprays all over your shirt. Overall
though, it´s really really good, and I´m almost coming to like the
rice and beans with every meal. The drinks are great too. There are
all kinds of weird natural juices, from basically any fruit other than
a banana. The pineapple (abacaxi) is one of my favorites. As far as
weird soda goes, we have Sukita here, which is basically orange Fanta,
and we also have Guarana, which some of the guys have taken to calling
battery acid. It´s really good, but it gives me acid reflux like 70%
of the time I drink it. That can actually help me stay awake in class
though, so it´s a mixed blessing. I also watched the Guarana instantly
kill a bug, so IDK what´s up with that. We also had a fast Sunday this
week, which was super weird, because here in the MTC they fast for
dinner the night before, then only breakfast the next day, because
lunch is the big meal here. It´s also taking some time to get used to
the 24 hour clock and metric scales. Portuguese itself is coming along
really well. I´m nowhere near fluent, but I can hold a conversation
with a lot of the Brazileiros in Portuguese, at least if they don´t
have that bad of an accent. They say it´ll take about a month and a
half for you to become fluent once you´re out of the CTM, at least if
you´re pretty good at picking up languages. The gift of tongues is
really real though. Every so often, I´ll just understand everything
that someone says, and it feels crazy. As far as sleeping goes, it´s
cooled down a bit this week, no more mid 90´s with humidity too, so
I´ve been sleeping a lot better. A lot less waking up in a pool of
sweat at least. We´ve been doing a ton of pushups lately, and we´ve
also been solving a bunch of riddles that this one guy, Elder
Farnbach, gave us. Try this one, you have 12 balls and a balance
scale. One of the balls is heavy, but you can´t tell by touch. You
have three measures to get it 100% accurately. If that sounds too
easy, what about if it is either heavier or lighter, and you don´t
know which one. It can be done. This Monday we got to watch the
funeral of Elder Richard G Scott, which had some great talks, even if
the auditorium we stay in is like ~85 degrees farenheit. D Todd
Christofferson spoke about him, and he actually served under him as a
missionary while Richard G Scott was a mission president in Argentina.
It was really cool. We also got to watch Richard G Scott´s last ever
MTC devotional, in Provo last year. That one was pretty hard to stay
awake in, because it is Richard G Scott after all, but I gave it a
good fight. I´m really excited for Conference this week, and I know
it´ll be a super awesome experience. It´s pretty easy to feel the
Spirit here. We´ve been teaching anywhere from 1-4 lessons a day to
"investigators", and Elder McGladrie and I are really getting good at
teaching in Portuguese. We´ve got a great flow, and we´ve already got
our 2 that we teach every day on date for baptism. We also had a great
devotional on Sunday night by President Farnes, the president of the
Sao Paolo Norte mission. He was a great speaker, and his motto was
LiVE. It´s Little Victories Every day, with a little i because the
emphasis is on giving to others. It was a great talk, and I got a cool
bookmark to go with it. I´m nearly out of time, but if you could post
Galatians 5 22 with this on the blog that would be great."

Galatians 5:22 22 But the fruit of the Spirit is lovejoypeacelongsufferinggentleness, goodness, faith,

"I´m really feeling the fruits of the spirit here, and I´ve been able to love
those that I would have hated, and I´ve been able to resolve
conflicts, where before I would have snapped. Every day I strive to
become more and more like Christ, and it´s really paying off. I love
the people I am with, and I feel like I have a family here too. I can
hardly wait to get out and start teaching in the campo! Eu sei que a
Igreja e verdadeiro, e eu sei que Jesus Cristo e meu salvador."

I am glad that Ben gave a riddle to solve, how funny! It's so fun to see his progress.


  1. We are so excited for him! From what Ryan tells me Brazil is an amazing place with some amazingly humble people. It sounds like he's already had some pretty fun experiences:)

  2. This is Auntie Shari - It is so fun to read Ben's blog! I am a little nervous about the bugs and that soda, though . . . . maybe he should keep some in a spray bottle to zap the baseball-sized bugs! :-)