Tuesday, January 10, 2012

First E-mail from the Brazil MTC

Dear Family,
I am safely in Brazil! Agh....I cant believe they made us take that picture with the CTM President. That was right after we spent a day and a half on a plane. I was hoping they would give us some time to take a shower, brush our teeth, change our clothes before we got to work after arriving at the CTM. Nope....that is why I look so beautiful in that picture. That was me on no sleep (sleeping on the plane was impossible. I was jammed between two big men). Glad to know my beauty was displayed on my blog!
Wow....I feel so overwhelmed! There is so much I want to write with only about 20 minutes to do it. I am not in Kansas anymore! The first thing I noticed about Brazil was on the van ride from the airport to the CTM. The traffic is so scary here! Motorcyles literally drive in between the lanes.....between two big vehicles on the freeway. They all wear helmets....although I dont see how that would help if they were to get sandwiched. Yeah....and there are literally no pedestrian laws. I have become good at running across streets!
On P-days, we get to go out on the town. We just have to stay within some boundaries. Today was my first time out and about. It was interesting. I have noticed that although I know a lot of Portuguese gospel talk, my everyday Portuguese is kinda lacking. I managed to communicate what I needed to......but it definitely wasnt pretty.
Storytime: I was out with the Elders in my district walking around on the streets, and a motorcyclist saw us and pulled over to the sidewalk. He asked if we spoke Portuguese and we told him....um pouco. He literally asked if we could give him one of our church´s biblias. I am so excited for the work here in Brazil. Someone just came up to us and asked us for a Book of Mormon!!!! We of course gave him one and did our best to bear our testimony to him about the truthfulness of the book. It was pretty exciting.
Second Story: I am in this little supermarket looking for their chip aisle (They have zero good chips by the way. I think I might die). When a nice man started talking to me. He asked my name all friendly-like.....then the man stroked my cheek......ugh......and called me bonita.......and kept pointing at his cheek saying beijo, beijo, bejio. He wanted me to kiss his cheek! I quickly got out of there!!!! I told the Elders in my district about that and they said if they would have seen that.....they wouldve been at my side in a second. They are pretty protective of me.
Which reminds me, the district I joined here is full of Elders that I knew in the Provo MTC, so we are pretty much already family.
The Brazil CTM is good. It is a lot more lax than the Provo MTC. It is just part of the Brazilian culture, but all of the Brazilian instructors are always late. I was afraid that the people that were here at the Brazil MTC the whole time would be a lot more ahead of me, but they really aren't.
The food is pretty good most of the time. A lot of different meats. Oh my heck.....I LOVE guarana!!! It is a really popular soda here. We went to this food place on the corner today, and I got this really awesome smoothie. Just like a jamba.......but jamba aint got nothing on this stuff. However, Brazils ketchup needs some work.
I love the weather here. The humidity has actually been pretty nice and has been really good for my drying, cracked skin.
My companion here at the MTC is Sister Felber, one of my companions at the Provo MTC.
This morning we went to the Sao Paulo Temple. It is literally one of the most beautiful temples I have ever seen. They have beautiful stained glass, and the ordinance room was decked out in Brazilian wood woodwork. It was gorgeous!!
Some interesting facts about Brazil: from what I have seen, is rather than having toilet paper rolls, they have little sheets you pull out of a dispenser. Similar to paper towel dispensers. The water also tastes like a lake.....but I have swallowed my fair share of lake water in my time, so its no biggy.
Well, looks like my time is up.
I love you all. I have to say that being here has been hard at times. I get frustrated with the language and trying to fit into a whole new culture, but I wouldnt be anywhere else. These Brazilians are truly so Christlike! It is in these times of frustration that I have learned to turn to the Lord more fully. Love you!
Sister Barnes

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