Dear family and friends,
I somehow don't have a space bar that works, so you'll have to make some paragraphs or something. Im still getting used to this brazilian keyboard, so that's why I might have some crazy misspellings, and you will just have to cope with me! So, the MTC is an awesome experience, I am loving the people who I am with. I am in a district with ten 18 year old anglos who don't know a lick of Portuguese. Well, at least that was my impression when I first got here. But this makes a full 9 days out in Brazil, so our Portuguese is progressively getting better. As far as the learning curve goes, I am doing just fine. I know some were wondering if I were to be learning at a slower pace than I had hoped, but this is definitely not the case. In fact, our Portuguese instructor does not even speak English, so the only way that we could even attempt to communicate with her was by studying really hard and trying not to have our brain explode. There have been a couple of times where we have snapped, trust me. The Duolingo has definitely helped, as I was (still am) the person who everyone looks to if anyone is trying to speak with us in Portuguese. There are some awesome people in my district. Their names are Elder Blocker, Elder Beecroft, Elder Lang, Myself, Elder Riddle, Elder Lewis, Elder Stanbury, Elder George, Elder Smith, and Elder Paulson. I am writing so ridiculously fast, because I only have 30 minutes to write yall, and I can't send photos from the MTC. so I will send pictures to yall when I get into the mission feild in Santa Maria, including the ones of me and my district at the Sao Paulo temple. Sorry, this letter has no form. I'm just trying to tell you everything I have to say. Anyways, the temple. Its gorgeous. We kind of had a neat experience today, because we left at 6:30 am to beat traffic (it didnt work) so that we could get there in time for the English session. BTW. The drivers here are crazy. Especially the motorcyclists. Its as if the division lines in the road didn't exist. Either way, all missions in Brazil are 100percent walking, so I'm down with that. So the temple, haha. We arrived at 830ish (yes Sao Paulo is huge, so it took us 2 hours to get there in the same city) and our sessions didnt start until 1030. so our leader told us to ask the front end if we could do any service for them while we were waiting. So me and my district were able to work in the laundromat in the temple. It was so cool. Then, they let us check out the temple, where we stopped at the baptismal font, where we were conveniently needed. This one lady came in with some names for baptism, but no one was there to do baptisms. So our district got to baptize, be baptized, confirm, be confirmed, do initiatories for, and go through a session for the names that she brought. She was just sobbing that Preisthood holders just happened to walk in right when she needed us. It was a very cool experience. Also, the English session kind of fell through, so we just did one in Portuguese. They gave us headphones, but I didnt really use them. I am getting so good at Portugese now, it's super cool. Uhm, my companion. On the first day, I really thought we were going to have problems. It seems like everything he said or did aggravated me (probably because of the great amount of stress that first day was. It was really sort of a drag.) Nevertheless, I kept my head high, and now we are truly getting along just fine! The days are starting to be a lot quicker, and a lot better. It was rough the first few days when we were stuck in a room for hours on end (big district, small room), taking instructions we didn't understand, and it was tough. But now, I wake up smiling, knowing that the day will be hard, but that I will learn so much. Looking back, it is indescribable how much I've learned just in these past few days. I took a picture of your letters to me, and I will read them and respond to them as quickly as I can. My time is limited, so I haven't read them yet. Let's see what else. The food, haha. yeaaahhh, so I like it a lot, but my stomach sure didn't those first few days... lol. We have rice and beans for dinner, and Paninis for breakfast. The Paninis have already gotten old, but thankfully I love those rice and beans. We have a gym that we get to use everyday for 40 minutes, and there's either basketball or volleyball, two sports which I love to play. There was one day where 5 guys in the district (including myself) were playing together (they're all as tall or taller than me, and very athletic), and some Brazilians came up and said "Hey, lets play some ball!" ...so we destroyed them. My inner sportsman died that day. Okay now a little bit about the people in the district. we're really close, because we really do spend, like all day in the sala de aula, which is a classroom that barely fits us all. Elder Lang really likes science, and is very hard working. Elder Blocker... He's just a goofball. Really, though. He's a great guy. Imagine a cross between Ethan Croft and Conner, but tall and lanky. Elder Beecroft is really quiet. He's awesome, and plays basketball super well. Elder George is awesome. He always laughs at my jokes, which is saying a lot. Elder Smith is very similar, which is perfect, because they're companions. Elder Riddle and Elder Lewis are both ripped, athletic type of guys that are really awesome. Elder Stanbury is from London, and likes attention. Elder Paulson is a saint. He plans, and studies, and does the right thing. He's somewhat of a leader figure in the district. My time is coming to a close, but I want you all to know that I love you a lot, and I have thought about you frequently, especialmente in the temple today. Love Yall, Elder Wassom. PS Im bummed that BYU lost. I don't really care, though.