Tuesday, March 23, 2010

I need to learn Portugese!

I played the piano for Priesthood this week and it went well. I´ve been practicing a hymn everyday with Elder Syndergaard, so that we can build up our reportoire. We´re both a bit rusty. Oh, and I got called to give a 5 minute talk. We prepare one everyone week and they pick random people (well, not random) to give them. Mine was on patience and I was pretty nervous. I think it went well, but I felt weird talking in front of all those people. Then, we got to give the lesson in district meeting, too (Syndy and I). It was a busy day! Time flies here! I can´t believe it has been 6 weeks. So, we went proselyting last Friday around our CTM area boundaries. Uh, I got a little bit mugged and we just gave the buy our money ($15). Just messing! There was no such danger and we had a good time! We had 4 Livros de Mormon that we had to give to people, and we gave out three in the first 45 minutes. One to a lady with a dog, one to some 13ish year old kids, one to a guy in front of a store (who we actually had a long conversation with. He kept talking about the Bible and we were quite lost), and one to a grandma in the park with her two grandkids. They all were really nice and committed to reading the introduction. They actually seemed interested too! I love Brazilians. We gave out some cards with the Church number for people to call, and just talked to everyone that we saw: high school kids in a park who were laughing at our bad Portuguese, lots of old people, many Catholic women, and some lady who didn´t believe in God. Oh, and there was some kid that looked about my age on the sidewalk corner that was either drunk or dead. He didn´t really move. It was an awesome experience though! We just talked with everyone and said hi to everyone, even if they didn´t look back, ha. I loved it. We really just have to open our mouths and talk with the world. Oh, and I really need to learn Portuguese. Elder Syndergaard and I were pretty lost with people when they spoke to us, so we just bore our testimonies of things and tried to answer their questions. It´s super hot outside, so we were dying afterwards. Water! Also, it´s much more of an organic thing. I always thought it would be more Here´s our church, take it or leave it. But these are real people with their own needs, and we have to cater to them. I really like it, and can´t wait to get out in the field. Oh, and I´m much more used to the food here now. I feel like a carnivore because they have 2 things of meat every meal, but I´m liking it now. It´s good stuff! The milk is kind of funky though, haha. Oh, and it took 11 days for my first letter to get there?! I don´t think they sent them til the 6th. Crazy. I got letters from Mason and Randy on the 22 that were sent on the 8th and 10th. So that should help us gauge the mail better. I hope that all is well in Israel and know that I love you all! I am doing fine! You are in my prayers. -Elder Carpenter

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

New Companion

Wowzers! That is a lot of good news! Congratulations to
Nathan and Mark. That´s too bad that a mission in Korea is hard,
but I honestly can´t think of a better person for the job
then Nathan. He´s got a 5 month wait too! Tell that boy
to read Preach My Gospel. That´s awesome that Mark got
his call too. California sounds really cool,plus
he´ll be doing ASL which is neat. Sounds like he´s got
some practicing to do haha. Preach My Gospel to him, as well.

One of my teachers, Irmão Nascimento went to Belem which is
super hot and has like indigenous people and he said that
they would fry ants and eat them. He said it tastes like
chicken, ha. He told us that they have big rats
there and really, just rats everywhere in Brazil.
Yay.... I hate rats. We all decided that we´re gonna make
a game of killing them.

My new comp is Elder Syndergaard from Minnesota,
'though he lived in Roosevelt,UT for a couple of years
before the mish. He´s super smart and quiet and knows a
lot about the gospel. He´s has a corny sense of humor
and is afraid of girls, so he has some funny stories.
He´s going to be a mechanical engineer, so that kind
of explains him, except he´s actually cool. And ripped.
He does lots of pull ups and things in the TINY weight
room here. It has like a baby bench press, some
weights, some bikes, and a broken mini-treadmill.
It is maybe the size of Seth´s room at home. Oh, and
we´re in a district of 12 here at the CTM. Everyone is on
the same week but we´re all either going to
Cuiaba, Campinas, Sao Paulo Sul, or Sao Paulo Interlogos.
It´s a really diverse, random group of people but we get
along pretty good. I much prefer this district to the 4
person one in Provo. All the elders from the other Provo
district that came earlier are in this one as well as
Elders Ockerman and Carpenter the Second (I´m the First
because I´m older). They are comps now. I have gotten
along really well with Elder Fa and we have had many a
time where we just look at each other during class after
someone says something weird, and bust up laughing.
Or just laugh at nothing at all.

The new Brazilians that moved in with all of our
districts rooms (Each room has 4 Americans and 2 Brazilians)
are really cool. They are all quite sarcastic
and really goofy. Naturally, we get along. Plus,
we are learning Portuguese better with them.

Oh, and my skin is getting darker! I love it.
I´m used to the humidity now, but I´m afraid that
I´ll still be in for a suprise in Cuiaba. The nights here
are quite hot but thankfully we have the fan. It´s
usually like 90 degrees F or 30 degrees C, not counting
the humidity (my alarm clock doesn´t have that).

Everything is good here. We have lots of Brazil
Stake President and other people talk to us during our
devotionals and things. They are not as fancy as the ones
in Provo, but they are usually pretty funny. I like
it here! It´s different but I´m adjusting to it quite well.
The Brazilians on the street are fun to talk to,
though they speak so fast... We get to go proselyting
on Friday and give out Livro de Mormons, so get excited!

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

Brazil MTC

Here is first email from Zach. He is excited to be in Brazil and trying to adjust to a little different way of life.

Hmmm, well this email might turn out strange because we have to use Portuguese keyboards and all of the keys and things are moved around which is annoying. Anyways, Happy Birthday to Andrew and Quinton! Tell them that I give them my love. I cant (no apostrophies that I can find) believe that they are respectively 5 and 1! Weird. And thank you for sending me letters! It is supposed to take 2-3 weeks to get letters, which is horrible, so if anybody in the family wants to write me letters then I can read them and respond to them, not in this 30 minute window. And it´ll give time to have new things to tell each other. I like getting letters a lot. It gives you something to enjoy outside of the 30 minutes on P Day. New paragraph:Well, let me just tell you that being in Brazil has been a major culture shock! The moment I got off the plane, I could feel the humidity. The security was a breeze and then we exchanged out money and got on a bus/van thing and went crazy all over Sao Paulo. The money here is cool because there are pictures of little animals on the back. The drivers are insane! Nobody follows the traffic laws and motorcycles are constantly zipping in and around you. It´s quite nerve-wracking but it feels like a roller coaster. The food here has been a mixed bag. There are always 2 types of meat at meals and they seem to really like this one type of roast beef that has pickles on it. It kind of smells like dog food and doesn´t taste horrible, but I´ve had better. About half the food has been really good and the other half has been strange. I´m adjusting to it though. It actually feels pretty good weather wise here. We have a giant fan in our room that we turn on and I actually use my blanket at night becuase it gets cold. We went to the temple this morning and it was neat. It was in English and a good experience, but there are lots of cool plants and things outside. I´m most excited to hear about Randy´s mission call. I wrote him last week so tell him to respond. I´m glad that everything is good at home and that Andrew is still being Andrew, haha. I´m adjusting to the new MTC but it´s been getting better every day. And time is flying by. We talked to a Brazilian from Cuiaba and he said that we´ll get to eat monkeys and neat things there. Yea! Eu amo voces! (I love yall!) -Elder Carpenter

Zach's addresses are:
Elder Zachary Carpenter
Brazil Cuiaba Mission
District (07A) Box (18)
Brasil CTM
Rua Padre Antônio D’Angelo, 121
Casa Verde, São Paulo, SP
Brazil 02516-040

Mission Home in a few weeks:
Elder Zachary Carpenter
Brazil Cuiaba Mission
Av. Hist. Rubens de Mendosa
1673 Bosque da Saude
78050-000 Cuiaba - MT

Wednesday, March 3, 2010

VISA Hooray!!

Zach called last night and told us he got his VISA! He will be leaving on Thursday to go to the Brazil MTC. He has a layover in Dallas so we will get to talk to him a bit then. He is very excited. He will be traveling with two of his roommates (his companion didn't get his Visa yet) and another Elder Carpenter so he will be in good company. He is leaving all of his warm clothes behind and preparing for the Brazil heat and humidity.