Date: June 04, 2010
Area: Provo MTC
Companion: Elder Ludlow
P DAY [Preparation Day] IS ON FRIDAY, LAST WEEK WAS JUST WEIRD CUZ IT WAS THE FIRST WEEK.
YEAH TIME GOES BY VERY SLOWLY NOW. IT SEEMS LIKE EACH AFTERNOON IS A DIFFERENT DAY THAN THAT MORNING.
Answers to questions from home (Jon's answers are in ALL CAPS):
Have you been able to go to the temple yet?
YES I WENT THROUGH THE PROVO TEMPLE THIS MORNING. IT WAS A LONG SESSION... BUT IT WAS GREAT. WE WALK THERE EVERY SUNDAY JUST FOR FUN, AND ATTEND EVERY FRIDAY ON PDAY.
About how many Brazilian-bound missionaries are there at the MTC or do you know? I'M NOT SURE, BUT ALL 14 IN MY DISTRICT ARE GOING TO BRAZIL AND MAYBE ABOUT TEN MORE. MY COMPANION IS GOING TO MACEIÓ WHICH IS RIGHT BELOW RECIFE. TODAY ONE OF THE ELDERS GOING TO JOÃO PESSOA GOT CALLED TO THE TRAVEL OFFICE AND HE WILL LEAVE TOMORROW FOR SÃO PAULO. STILL NO WORD ON MOST OF OUR VISAS HOWEVER.
Have you met the sister who's going to Recife? YEAH I MET HER SHE'S COOL.
Will all of your district travel together, or will you guys just leave when your own visas get there? I GUESS WE JUST LEAVE WHEN OUR VISAS GET HERE, ONE BY ONE... SO HOPEFULLY I'M NOT LAST!
How was Sunday? SUNDAY WAS VERY GOOD. OUR BRANCH INCLUDES ABOUT 60 PEOPLE, ALL PORTUGUESE SPEAKING, ALTHOUGH MANY ARE GOING TO PORTUGAL, MOZAMBIQUE, CAPE VERDE, AND BOSTON. SUNDAY WAS THE DAY THAT FELT LEAST LIKE A SUNDAY OUT OF ALL THE DAYS I'VE BEEN HERE. WE HAD A LOT MORE FREE (SORTA, YOUR STILL SUPPOSED TO BE STUDYING) TIME. OUR BRANCH PRESIDENT IS BRAZILIAN AND HE'S COOL. WE GET A FEW SHORT TALKS IN PORTUGUESE EVERY WEEK. EVERY ELDER IN THE BRANCH HAS TO PREPARE ONE, THEN DURING SACRAMENT MEETING THE BRANCH PRESIDENT CALLS ON A FEW PEOPLE TO COME UP AND GIVE IT.
Can you tell us a bit more about Elder Ludlow or any of the other missionaries in your district? MY DISTRICT IS ALL WHITE AMERICAN GUYS. ELDER LUDLOW IS COOL AND VERY FUNNY, WE GET ALONG WELL. I'M SR COMPANION SO I USUALLY CALL THE SHOTS, WHICH IS WHAT HE PREFERS ANYWAYS. THERE'S AN ELDER IN THE DISTRICT WHO WENT TO BYU-HAWAII FOR THE LAST YEAR AND SEVERAL FROM BYU AND A FEW FROM BYU-IDAHO.
Any sisters in your district? NOPE THERE AREN'T SISTERS IN MY DISTRICT, THEY ARE IN THE OTHER DISTRICT. I'M GLAD THOUGH BECAUSE THEY SEEM TO DISTRACT THOSE ELDERS A LITTLE.
Any interesting stories that Irmão Harward or Irma Early [MTC teachers] have told you? YEAH LOTS OF INTERESTING STORIES. BROTHER HARWARD IS AWESOME, I CAN TELL HE WAS AN AMAZING MISSIONARY. HE TELLS US LOTS OF FUNNY STORIES. FOR EXAMPLE HE SAID THAT LOTS OF KIDS WOULD ALWAYS SAY, IN PORTU, "SPEAK ENGLISH, YOU GERMAN!" AND HE WOULD SAY "GO AWAY" AND THEY WOULD GET EXCITED AND YELL BECAUSE HE SPOKE ENGLISH.
SO MOST OF MY PORTUGUESE KNOWLEDGE IS ABOUT CHURCH STUFF (PRAYING, SHARING WHAT I BELIEVE) BESIDES STUFF TOM TAUGHT ME (PAYDAY HAHA). WE HAVE BARELY LEARNED ANY GRAMMAR, BUT CONJUGATIONS ARE VERY SIMILAR TO SPANISH. SO THAT IS HELPING. IT IS SOMETIMES KIND OF ANNOYING WHEN THEY WANT US TO MEMORIZE PHRASES RATHER THAN FIND OUT AND CREATE SENTENCES OF OUR OWN. BUT IT IS WORKING ANYWAYS...
TOM HOW WAS YOUR SHOOTING AND "LONGBOARDING" WITH MY BOARD? THATS COOL YOUR CAR HAS THE CHIP. YOU SHOULD DRIVE BY ABOUT 6:35 AM TO SEE ME PLAYING SOCCER! JUST KIDDING WE NEVER PLAY SOCCER WHEN WE HAVE GYM IN THE MORNING, AND WE USUALLY HAVE IT IN THE MORNING. THE GRASS IS TOO WET. WE HAVE A PULL-UP BAR IN THE RESIDENCE AND ELDER LUDLOW HAS PERFECT PUSHUP SO NEEDLESS TO SAY I'M GETTING RIPPED. NOT. BUT I DID 18 PULLUPS YESTERDAY : )
[Jon forgot to take his yellow fever vaccination card with him, so we had his grandparents who were visiting here take it back with them to Provo and drop it off at the MTC.] Regarding this, Jon wrote: YES I GOT THE YELLOW CARD FROM G AND G. TELL THEM THANK YOU, PLEASE! IT WAS ACTUALLY FUNNY BECAUSE THEY CALLED MY NAME ON THE MTC-WIDE LOUDSPEAKER AND WE ALL THOUGHT THAT MY VISA HAD COME, SO MY WHOLE DISTRICT WAS EXCITED AND WENT TO THE FRONT DESK WITH ME, BUT IT ENDED UP JUST BEING A DANG YELLOW FEVER CARD.
I THINK I MIGHT SEND SOME STUFF HOME, BECAUSE MY SUITCASE WILL BE TOO HEAVY IF NOT. WELLP IF I DON'T SEND THIS SOON, THE PROGRAM WILL EXIT AND I WILL NOT BE ABLE TO SEND IT TILL NEXT WEEK!
PS COULD YOU SEND ME "DEAR ELDER" LETTERS RATHER THAN EMAILING ME? I'LL STILL RESPOND TO YOUR QUESTIONS BUT AT LEAST READING YOUR EMAIL WON'T BE USING MY PRECIOUS 30 MINUTES ON EMAIL. THANKS!