April 16, 2014 First/Last Week in the CTM

Hey errybody!
So I've survived my first week in the CTM here in Sao Paulo!
I'm not sure how that happened considering my first day here was rough. I didn't sleep at all on the plane and had to go nonstop the next day. I wanted to just walk out of the room every time some faculty would talk about the importance of speaking Portugugese. Because that's pretty much all they told us the first day. Speak Portgugese. It's important. Speak it. Just do it. Dooooo it. And I'm just like DUHHH. That's why I'm here! But I still hear North American elders speaking English so I get the point. Clearly I'm still working to learn humility.
So yeah, that first 24 hours I just wanted to sleep and not speak to anyone. Other than that I LOVE the CTM! The people here are great! Me and my companions (Sister Young and Bosworth-Arzani) share a room with two Brasileiras. They're pretty awesome. We just point to stuff asking them to teach us the words in Portuguese. I'm sure they also joke at our accents, but it's all good. We also sit with different people every day at meals. It's pretty cool to hear where all everyone is from, and get to know them a little bit.
My Portuguese is coming along pretty well, I've got to say. And it's totally not me. The gift of tongues is real! I don't know how anyone could go from speaking next to nothing of a language to being able to converse and understand native speakers in a week. It's not possible on our own, but with the Lord on our side it's happening! Every day I'm able to understand more and more of the language! It's really awesome. Our district is made up of all North American ex-visa waiters, but we always speak Portuguese. I love it! And our teachers are just awesome. In the MTC the first time we only had two teachers and practiced teaching once a day, but here we have 3 teachers and we practice three times a day. Our teachers are all native Brazillians and they're super funny. I'm not biased or anything, but I'm convinced we've got the best teachers in the CTM. At first it felt weird to just stand around and talk to the Brazilians because I'm used to always trying to be productive and whatnot. But being able to speak the language is why I'm here and it's all good in the hood. A lot of the time we play speaking games. Like games where you have to tell stories or games where you have to describe different things. It's a lot of fun here. Even my evil bunny face came out. We call it my "coelho maligno rosto" here.
AND THE FOOD IS AWESOME. About 300 times better than the Provo MTC. I think it's half that there are only 200-something missionaries here, and the other half that we're in Brazil. There's all sorts of random food I've been trying and it's super yummy. I think the only thing I've tried that I don't like is some sort of dessert that's like half-melted jello. It was pretty gross. But other than that it's awesome. All the South Americans are just like ... meh... the food is ...ok... I guess. And we're like bahh?! What?! Yep. I feel bad for Brazilians that come to America. When I get in the field I've got to learn how to cook like them!
Also Brazilians are stylish. The sisters are all teeny weeny. But they're all stylish.
Que mais?
Oh!! Last Friday we went out to the busy streets of Sao Paulo to proselyte!!!!! OH. MY. LANTA. That was so awesome! We rode on the bus from the CTM to a different part of the city and I gave away two Livro de Mormons before I was even off the bus! The people here are so nice and super friendly! They'll talk to anyone they meet. A guy on the bus asked if I'm from Germany. Haha. Nope. Os Estados. But I want to get to the point where I can convince people I'm a native Brazilian. Gotta work on that accent! Also, at this point I don't think I remember any French. Which is kinda sad, but I'm over it.
If anyone complains about the driving in the US they need to stop because driving in Sao Paulo is terrifying. We went to the Sao Paulo temple today (the session was in Portuguese!!) and we all thought we were going to die. All the cars except buses are tiny, and people just weave in an out of traffic. They're always about 3 feet behind the car in front of them going super fast. It's like a roller coaster without a safety harness and a track.
I think my catch phrase for this week is? "Voce vai para Natal? Oh! Muito quente!" Translation: "You're going to Natal? Oh! It's super hot there!" No joke. Every single Brazilian we've talked to has said that. Except one. We're all pretty light-skinned and we've had tons of people tell us to use lots of sunscreen. Haha. So mom- you're not the only one saying that! I've got in coming from a different hemisphere too!
But I don't have much more time left. I leave the CTM next Tuesday for Natal. I'm pretty excited!! The field here is white already to harvest!
Remember who you are and what you stand for!

Sister Baker

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