Hello...everything is going great. Once again, nothing to terribly different is happening. I only have one more email that I'll be sending from here before I'm in the state of Amazonas (most likely in Manaus for my first area). I won't find out exactly where I'll be going until the day I arrive. Time has been flying even faster the closer we get to leaving the CTM. The language and knowledge keep improving with each passing day, and supposedly in the last week, all knowledge doubles. I can't wait!
I finally got the package from home...I never thought it was going to get here. I have a pretty funny story I'll have to share later about it. P-days are crazy, though. We only have a few hours to run around the city to take care of whatever we need to get done.
Everything is starting to make more and more sense...when I hear people talk, it's automatic understanding, and when I hear people speak English, I reply in Portuguese then realize it's the wrong language. I was listening to a talk in Italian today and could understand everything... pretty crazy.
The Brazilians who were living in our room left this week for their missions in Belo Horizonte. I was talking to the other Manaus-bound elders, who arrived at the CTM last week, and one is from Huntington Beach. They both are essentially pre-med students, so I'm starting to wonder if this mission has a strict profile they are looking for. I continually hear crazy things about Manaus. Most recently, I heard it's often about 120 degrees there with the humidity. I can't even imagine how that will be.
Everyone in the district is getting along really well and we each have a positive attitude. When it's time to study and learn, everyone buckles down and does it, and when it's time for gym or mail, everything falls apart...everyone starts chanting, "Mail time," and if and when they get a letter, it automatically becomes the happiest day of their life. Right now, we're getting ready to head over to the sucaria (juice shop) to get a few drinks and write some letters and such.
For it being winter here, the weather is amazing. It's nice and hot with only one day of rain so far...and when it did rain, it was hurricane status. It sounds like the earthquake back home was pretty crazy. I'm glad to hear that nothing too terrible happened as a result.
In preparation for my departure, I have to get my combined weight for my duffel bag down to 40 pounds. I think it can happen. If not, I know what's most important and things like gel, shoes, and ties can stay behind...I'll figure it out.
FYI- American candy is so much better than the stuff they have here. I never really appreciated it until I got to Brazil...now I'm sure I'll eat at least a pound of it everyday once I get back!