Friday, July 17, 2015

Week One

So I just got done going to the temple.  We drove out to Campinas which was like an hour and a half drive. We had to get up extra early but I took a small nap on the bus so it wasn't too bad. The Campinas temple was pretty cool, there were huge palm trees ( I think) outside of the temple. I took a few pictures, but I won't be able to send them until I am out of the MTC. Right now I have 45 minutes for emails, and then we get to go walk around Sao Paulo for a little while.  I'm super excited. This city is bigger than anything I've ever seen in my life. From my window we can't see anything but buildings for miles, it's ridiculous. We went to the Federal Police Station to get fingerprinted on Tuesday and accepted as citizens, so I'm now a Brazilian. But I got to see more of this huge city. I'm super excited to go walk around.

The first few days in the MTC were pretty rough and long. From Thursday on, in all our classes the instructors spoke strictly in Portuguese.  A lot of the stuff they were trying to tell us I wasn't understanding. After a few days though I started to understand more and more. Sunday there was more English though and that was pretty relaxing. On Monday we got our daily schedule which is: personal study in the morning, breakfast, lessons/additional study w/ instructor, lunch, lesson with instructor, additional study, language study, dinner, language study, TALL, physical activity, planning, snack and bed. We eat SO MUCH here and the food is good but I am never hungry.

We have to prepare lessons for fake investigators in Portuguese, and get them to progress towards baptism. The first lesson we taught I think was last Friday. I pretty much read straight from the stuff I wrote down in my notebook. I've started getting better at speaking though and can now give lessons off mostly bullet points and scriptures. Speaking can be kind of hard because I don't have words to expound into depth, but I can cover a lot of basic stuff.

The Brazilians and Native speakers here are awesome. They are always helping the Americans speak during lunch and in the hallways. We can get out basic conversations, have fun during meals, and things like that with them. I am finding however that I can understand a lot more Portuguese than I can really speak. But I have 5 more weeks to work on my speech so I'm not super worried. A lot of the missionaries who went to Provo said that you learn significantly faster here, because you become immersed in the language where as in Provo you don't. So that is a blessing.

Whenever I tell people here where my mission is they always say Quente (kee-nch). Which means hot, and they say that it is very pretty there.

It's good to hear about Sam and Seth leaving, that is awesome. One of the missionaries who came out with me had been serving in St. George for 8 months, and he said he had gotten to the point where he didn't want to leave, but he speaks really good Portuguese and is excited to be here as well.

Well I don't have much else to say, so I will talk to you again next week.

Love,
Elder Batten

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