Thursday, August 30, 2012

1 More MTC Week Down

Dear Family,
Thanks for the emails and letters. I always like to hear from home. This week was a less than average week at the CTM because I was sick for most of it. Fortunately days here at the CTM are never very strenuous so I recovered quickly and am feeling a lot better about it. last week I wrote a little bit about the roommate we have from the Amazons. This week we've all gotten to know him a little bit better. He seems to be enjoying the CTM and he is always friendly. He's a little strange though. We noticed that he always goes to sleep way after the rest of us do and is somehow always ready for the day before we even wake up. We found out that the reason for that is because he wakes up at 4 in the morning every single day! It's really strange. We asked him several times why he wakes up at 4 every morning and the only thing he would say is "porque muito bom" which means "because very good". I think the reason he is so hard to understand is that his portuguese is a little bit different from the portuguese that they've been teaching us and I think a lot of times he just says stuff that doesn't make any sense haha. He did that every night until two nights ago when he asked me for a coke (I receieved a 6 pack of coca cola from a white elephant gift exchange that my district did) and I told him I would give him a coke only if he agreed to start waking up at 6:30. He agreed and for the past two nights he has woken up at 6:30 haha. I don't know if the CTM has stuff to give Elders like him who don't come with very much but I think they do. I think there are probably a lot of Elders here at the CTM that are in the same situation as my roommate is but you would never know unless you lived with them or they told you. I don't really have much to report this week. There is only so much that can be said about a schedule that consists entirely of sleeping, eating, and studying portuguese. I was very happy to get the mission ties letter from Lauren and the pictures from the wedding. Ariel I'm glad everything went great and that you had a fun time on the cruize. Mom thanks so much for the pizza! I can't wait to get over there and pick it up. I'm really glad that you did that because every Wednesday here at the CTM is pizza night but the pizza is terrible haha. Its just wrong that they call that stuff pizza. Anyways I'm glad I'll finally have some real pizza to eat. I'm out of time and have to go. Thanks again for you emails and letters!
Elder Caleb Anderson

Wednesday, August 22, 2012

The Amazonian

Dear Family,
This past week has been a pretty long week. We got two more Brazilians as roommates and these guys are a lot different than the last ones. One of them is from a small town somewhere in the amazon (its really hard to communicate with him because his Portuguese is a little different). It has been interesting to room with him because I've started to realize a lot of the little things that we take for granted in the U.S.. When he first got here he didn't know how to use a clothes hanger to hang up his coat. From what I can see he wears the same clothes every day. His jacket is way to big for him and I suspect that one of the missionaries who baptized him gave it to him. For the first two nights he slept in the white shirt and slacks. Also him and the other Brazilian don't seem to sleep very much at all. They always go to sleep after the rest of us and are usually completely ready for the day before us Americans even wake up! It's been an interesting experience and I hope I can get to know him a little better. He's a really friendly guy and seems excited to be a missionary but as I said it's really hard to communicate with him. In other news, my companion accidently broke the TV in our classroom this week with a piece of candy. He had to interview with President Dane but once President Dane found out it was an accident he wasn't too mad at all. I had to speak in church this Sunday, the topic was "Laws and Ordinances" and I was actually really happy to be asked to speak because after out 5th week all of our talks are supposed to be in Portuguese. The talk went decently well. Last night for devotional we got to watch President Monson's birthday celebration on DVD. I was kind of dissapointed because they edited it. Aparently some of the songs that the Mormon Tabernacle choir sang for the celebration were from Phantom of the Opera and other broadway musicals and they didn't think it would be appropriate for missionaries to listen to haha. This morning we went to the Campinas Temple again so that was a good experience. So Lauren are you going to visit any other schools or do you think BYU is where you'll go? How about you Ben did you like BYU? Mom we accidently got mixed up with Jehovah's Witnesses because our investigator was talking really fast in Portuguese and we accidently said yes whenever he asked us if we were JW's haha. Yesterday Elder Jensen was trying to tell our investigator that if he would keep the Word of Wisdom he would be closer to God but he accidently mixed up the word "perto (close)" with "preto (black)" haha so he accidently told him that he would be more black with God haha. Luckily we caught that mistake. My weight is holding up fine. I lost a couple pounds when I first got here but I think I've gained them back plus a couple extra. I wasn't a big fan of beans when I got here but now after eating them every day for over a month they're pretty good. I like the black beans more than the brown ones but they usually serve us the brown ones here at the CTM.
I've got to go!
Elder Caleb Anderson

Thursday, August 16, 2012

Week 4

Hello All,
Tudo bem?
I hope everything is going well. It sounds like the wedding went smoothly! Also I'm glad the U.S. did well in the Olympics! This week has been a pretty normal week at the CTM! Another week of studying portuguese and eating beans and rice. This week we got two new elders in our district from the Provo MTC. They left the same day as us but they had to wait on their visas for a while in Provo. I expected their portuguese to be worse than ours but its actually better! From what they said classes are a lot more structered in Provo. Here everthing is mostly self-taught. The two guys from provo are named Elder Wade and Elder Chauncey, they also moved into the room that Elder Jensen and I are in. We also got a new afternoon instructor. This is our fourth afternoon instructor! The last one took a phone call in the middle of class, then he told us he had an emergency to take care of, he walked out and we never saw him again! Our new instructor is Irmao Ramos and I think we will learn a lot more from him anyway. We also had another TRC this Friday and Elder Jensen and I received very positive feedback again. On Monday I had to say goodbye to some of the Brazilians that I had become friends with because they were left for the field. They were all very excited. When they left they were given an english workbook so they can try and learn english during their missions. The CTM is made up of 1.Americans serving in Brazil learning Portuguese (9 weeks) 2. Brazilians serving in Brazil (3 weeks) 3. Brazilians serving in other South American countries learning spanish (6 weeks) 4. Other South Americans serving in Brazil learning portuguese (6 weeks). On Sunday we had an area 70 come and give us a devotional about the importance of our missions.
Here are some funny languages failures that I've experienced so far. When we were teaching our investigator about the restoration it was a very spiritual experience and we lead into the first vision. We said "when Joseph went and prayed to ask God which church he should join this is what God said" then we tried to get him to read Joseph Smith History 1:15-16 but Elder Jensen accidently gave him Joseph Smith Mathew instead and since the scriptures were in Portuguese we didn't notice until after. This is what he read " 15 Neither let him who is in the field return back to take his clothes;16 And wo unto them that are with child, and unto them that give suck in those days" hahahahahaha. He was extremely confused and we laughed so hard after the lesson. Another was when we were teaching our new investigator named Alfredo and we accidently told him that we were Jehovah's Witnesses hahahaha. We didn't get very good feedback on that lesson.
Once again thanks for the emails and I hope all is well!
Eu amo voces!
-Elder Caleb Anderson

Tuesday, August 14, 2012

Week 3

Dear Family,
Thanks for the emails, I will read them later today. This week has been great, the time is starting to go by much faster. My portuguese is coming along well. Our classes are pretty much in 100 percent portuguese and when we teach investigators it is all portuguese. We study portuguese/ teach all day long. I feel like my companion and I are good teachers but sometimes it's hard to get our ideas across. Every night Elder Jensen and I read The Book of Mormon with our brazilain roommates. It's cool because we read in porguguese and they read in english. One of them lived in Utah for a year and a half so he speaks fluent english but the other two don't speak any english at all. Our portuguese is already much better than their english is so we try to teach them as much as we can. Also on Monday my whole district tried to speak portuguese from when we woke up in the morning until we ate dinner. It was really hard and I don't think it was too effective because instead of using more portuguese we just didn't speak at all haha. We had another TRC this week (where you get filmed teaching an investigator in portuguese) and this time we got very positive feedback. It was nice to finally get some encouragement. We are still working with our two progressing investigators. Last P-day our instructor Irmao Viana went with our district to the churrascaria. The food was awesome and it only cost 8 dollars. The rest of the week was pretty normal. Our district leader is Elder Coombs and he's a farm boy from Colorado. We've been keeping a quote book of the stuff he says because he says some hilarious stuff. He thinks he's a really tough guy, one of my favorite Coomb's quotes is "All you people grew up watching baby while I grew up watching John Wayne kill people!!". also this past week we got to take a trip to the federal police station so they could check out our visas and take our fingerprints. It was a lot like the DPS except I couldn't understand a word anyone was saying to me.
Ben- I hope lifeguarding is going well and that you don't get audited. But you should make sure and study up on your skills just in case. Playing basketball up here is actually getting kind of boring because there aren't very many good players so its not very competitive. Not to mention if the brazilians play all they do is foul haha.
Lauren- I hope everything is well and that you get plenty of work babysitting.
Ariel- Good luck this weekend and I hope going through the temple was a good experience. Also congratulations on graduating!
Mom and Dad- Thanks for the letters and the olympics update during the week.
I hope that you guys aren't too stressed out by the wedding and that you travel safely. I hope everything goes smoothly this weekend! Make sure and send pictures!

Wednesday, August 1, 2012

MTC Life

Hello Family and Friends,
Once again I haven't had time to read any of the emails from the past week but I took pictures of them and will read them later today. Thanks so much for sending me emails, it is great to hear from home. I hope everything is going well for all of you. This past week went A LOT faster than the first week. We are starting to get into a more normal routine. Last Wednesday was P-day and it was awesome. After emailing Elder Jensen and I went outside and walked around the neighborhood exploring. It was really fun to be outside the MTC and get to practice some of the portuguese we had learned (although most people still stare at us like we're idiots whenever we try to talk haha). There is a tie shop across the street that sells ties ranging from $2.50 to $7.50 so I purchased an orange tie with blue stripes for 4 dollars. I think we'll go there again today. I am gave one of my ties away this week so I think I'll replace it. There was a kid who arrived at the MTC this past week from Mozambique who didn't have anything except the clothes he was wearing so me and a lot of other elders donated some stuff to him. Also last P-day we found a churrascaria place (like fogo de chao or estancia) except its only 8 dollars! Needless to say we're going there right after we finish emailing. The rest of the week was spent studying portuguese and teaching fake investigators. We study the scriptures some but mostly we just study portuguese. On Friday we had a thing called TRC where we teach a fake investigator in portuguese and it is filmed and then we get feedback on our teaching and get to watch the film. Elder Jensen and I though we did pretty well but the instructor who gave us very negative feedback, in fact he didn't say one thing positive about our teaching. It was a little frustrating but I don't care too much. We did the best we could with the 50 words we know. Also Elder Jensen and I got switched rooms, so now instead of being with 3 other Americans who are going to Sao Paulo East we are with 3 Brazilians who are serving across the country. I think rooming with them is going to help my portuguese a lot. Last night was another highlight of the week. We got to watch a video given by Elder Holland to the Provo MTC. It was a great talk. My favorite quote from the talk was "in order for your mission to be a success you need to convert at least 1 person, and that person had better be you".
Now to address some questions. I didn't recognize the MTC president as the pickleville piano player but it definitely makes since. He's a great guy and last week we had a devotional about pioneers and at the end he played a piano medlee of all the different Joseph Smith songs. It was really good and I think he improvised it on the spot because he didn't have any music. Every Tuesday and Sunday all the Elders have to sing in the choir. Elder Jensen is doing well, he's from Colorado and enjoys snowboarding and hiking mountains. The food here is nothing like the cannon center food. It's all authentic brazilian food (which means beans and rice at every meal). I get to play basketball about 4 times a week when we have gym. The weather right now is perfect. My normal day schedule is wake up at 6:30 and study until 9:30 with breaks for gym and 3 meals. I am almost out of time. Ariel you're welcome for the tent and good luck with wedding planning. Have a great temple experience. Lauren I'm glad that girls camp went well, Ben thanks for the email. Mom- enjoy getting your letters during the week through Cheney's. Dad- good luck with the Daddy Daughter dance!
I've got to go. Thanks again for the emails and keep them coming!
-Elder Caleb Anderson