This week has been so amazing here at the CTM!!!! Most of my email is going to focus on last wednesday, but aside from that, here are some interesting points:
-I finally figured out my new name. I have a group of Brazilian friends that I like to hang out with a lot, and they all pronounce my name "Elder Yooge". Apparently in Brazil, there's some TV show with a character named Youd (pronounced like yooge"), and he's Japanese. So that's cool.
-Speaking of which, the Brazilians here are so much fun! my portuguese is getting so much better talking to them! At first, we couldn't really connect with our roommates, but we finally found the first connection: Music. What started out as me humming ended up with all of us singing Alicia Keys' "Girl On Fire". It was a tender moment of bonding, and we've spent most of our free time with them ever since. Our posse is really me, Elder Burton, and Brazilian Elders Ruppel, G Cilva, E Sousa, Almeida, Oliveira, and a couple others whose names I always forget, but that's alright, because we know each other, and it's cool.
-Food here is still amazing. I've found that I need to stop overeating at meals here, because it's super easy to do so. Maybe I won't be losing weight after all in Brazil.
-Also, last Tuesday, we were playing volleyball, and I rolled my ankle. It's not sprained, but I really have a problem with getting competitive at things that I have no skill in. Kids, don't get too competitive. Volleyball is a silly game. But I'm good now.
So my main focus of this week was Wednesday, because...we got to go proselyting!! Our teacher took our class to Central Sao Paulo, and we were given two copies of the Book of Mormon that we had to give away in an hour! It was so cool. The city is phenomenal. And huge. Very, very, very, very big city. A lot of the buildings aren't that big in width or length (maybe 7x7 number of rooms), but then they go 30 or 40 stories high! And everyone in our district was able to give away all of our LDMs (Livro De Mormon, it's Portuguese. Come on.) Elder Burton and I started walking down the street, and at first, we had about 4 or 5 rejections. But then Elder Burton started talking to an older man about the book, and while he was listening, another guy in his mid-30s started looking at us, so I started talking to him. And both people took the books! My guys' main concern was whether it was free or not. After I finally learned what he was talking about, things went a lot smoother. As it turns out, you can actually have quite a bit of conversation with three weeks worth of Portuguese. The second book I gave away was on the bus ride home. Buses are beautiful places to proselyte, because the people know that they can't get away. (The buses are holy crowded, often fitting about 15 people more than what it can hold). The lady I gave it to didn't seem quite as interested as the first guy, but took it anyways. It was the coolest experience. Also, cars and traffic in Sao Paulo are CRAZY. It's interesting, there are actually a lot of traffic jams, and when that happens, there are people waiting on corners that sell what looked like peanuts and cotton candy to the drivers. They just walk out on the street when cars are stopped and start knocking on windows. But oh my goodness, Sao Paulo is such a cool city!!! When I'm in the field and not fighting for computer time like I'm a savage, I'll send y'all a picture of my view from my dorm window. It's like a movie, but cooler, because it smells like the city. It's like a movie with a scratch and sniff paper. Truly a 4d experience. Or it's real, but I like thinking about scratch and sniff pictures.
Also, about the subject of my email: while we were walking in Sao Paulo, there was a guy having a heart attack in the middle of the street. It was quite weird. A bunch of people were surrounding him. Luckily as we saw him, the ambulance got there, so that's good. I was probably in too much of a this-city-is-super-awesome shock to realize that the situation was more serious than my awestruck face likely showed. So that wasn't my proudest moment.
It's crazy, in less than three weeks I'll be in the field, and in 8 days, I will have been a missionary for a month!! I feel super great right now, like I'm metaphorically skipping on a cloud made of cotton candy, but in a more masculine way. Sorry, I feel the need to put a joke or two in here. My district, while I love them, is not too prone on humor, so aside from Portuguese/slapstick jokes, I've had to hold myself back. So I'll let myself go in emails. I swear, I don't talk like this as a missionary.
Well, I'm gonna start responding to individual emails! If I have more time at the end (I doubt it), I'll send a followup email. I'd love any and all letters from you!! Check if dearelder.com does the Brazil MTC. If you need the information, I'm Elder Youd, District 33-A, Ward 1, Room 419, Going to Brazil Sao Paulo North. It gets lonely here. We barely ever receive mail, so this is our time to feel love back home. Write to me! Tchau!