September 23, 2013 (week 2)

Oi Everyone!

So much has happened I don’t even know where to begin!  I’ll start with this week.  It has been a lot better than my first week.  My comprehension of Portuguese is much better and I’ve felt the spirit a lot more which has been really nice.  I don’t really feel like I’m getting any better at speaking it but I keep reminding myself that it will come with time and I can’t be to hard on myself.

Let me tell you a little about the CTM.  It really has been a blast.  All the instructors are incredibly nice and very patient with us americanos trying to learn.  It’s all one building which is a little different than Provo so it’s a lot of sitting in the same classroom all day long.  Luckily I like my companions.  During meals we are encouraged to sit with Brazilians or Hispanics so we can practice our lingua.  Because of this we have made some really great friends.  I’ll be really sad to see them go.  It always amazes me how universal the gospel is.  None of us are from the same place or even speaking the same language but we are all instant friends.  All the Brazilians are so patient with helping my Portuguese.  I have a hard time understanding anything they say.  Most of them are trying to learn English as well so we have fun learning words from each other.So we’ve been teaching some investigators this past few weeks and one of them has been really tough.  I think that if we were teaching him in real life we probably wouldn’t have taught him as long as we did.  We would teach him a principle or lesson and he would ask us why this was importnat in his life.  So we’d explain the blessings and promises and he’d be like so what?  It got to be really frustrating because we didn’t know how to get through to him.  This just happened over and over.  He would just say show me the evidence.  Then finally I realized last night when we watched a devo by Elder Holland that we weren’t direct enough with him.  The way that we could show him that it was. relavent to his life was by him practicing it in his life. This whole gospel is about action. How can we expect anything to work for us if we aren’t working for it. It was just one of those ah ha moments.  Our other investigator has been super receptive to everything we’ve been teaching him which has been really nice.

So we finally got our second instructor.  He is amazing.  He is filled with so much spirit and teaches amazingly. I’ve learned so much from both my instructors.  Irmao Ramalho, my second one I think I would actually be pretty good friends with if I wasn’t on a mission.  We were talking after class one night and had a lot in common.  It is cool to see the nonchurchy side of the Brazilians in here.  You get  more of a picture about how the culture is in Brazil.  Irmao Barros is getting married this Saturday.  I’ll be really sad to see him go.  He is so nice to me and really a great teacher.  I’m worried that our new instructor will be a lot more strict about the use of ingles in the classroom.  I guess that will mean i’ll learn faster right? haha

So here is a funny story for you.  So the conjugations of verbs in different tenses is really hard to remember all time on the spot.  We were teaching a inactive member in the TRC and I was trying to to say the word coming but I ended up calling him a swear word instead.  He was really good about keeping it cool and not interupting the spirit but after he came out and was like you called me a *** and I was soo embarrassed but it was also extremely funny.  In that lesson we also managed to offer him a massage and confirm that we were all native Brazilians.  It was quite the lesson.  We did in the end commit him to come to church though!!  I’ve come to learn to appreciate the little things and find joy in them so i don’t end up being to hard on myself.  I need to start keeping an email list so i can remember to tell you guys everything.Oh my mission president is amazing.  He is very tough on us but so loving at the same time.  His wife is even more so.  I love them both so much already.

I’m not allowed to send you guys pictures while i’m in the CTM so i’ll have to send them all after I get out into the field.

Love you both!

S. Lawrence

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