"But they that wait upon the Lord shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings as eagles; they shall run, and not be weary; and they shall walk, and not faint."-Isaiah 40:31

Saturday, October 11, 2008

Week Two (7/2/08)-São Paulo CTM

Well, the computer just had something weird happen, so I'll start this over again. I'm typing this without the use of my middle finger on my left hand, so hopefully this works out okay. With regards to that, it's a torn extensor tendon, which is going to take about two months in a splint to fix. The trip to get it checked out was a cool experience, though. Basically, it was the first time I have had a personal bodyguard and a chance to explore the city of São Paulo. The appointment was at an x-ray lab in the heart of the city. Not only was the drive crazy, but nobody spoke English, so I had to talk in a Portuguese/Spanish blend.

I would like to thank everyone for the emails...ten this week. It really made my day seeing that even though I left the country, people still care. I will try to get as many questions answered as I can. What's my schedule like: 6:30 a.m.- wake up, 7 a.m.- personal study, 7:30 a.m.- companion study, 8 a.m.- breakfast, 8:30 a.m. - 1 p.m.- class time, 1 - 2 p.m.- lunch, 2 - 5:30 p.m.- class time, 5:30 - 6:20 p.m.- dinner, 6:20 p.m. and on is a compilation of either a devotional, gym, MDST (missionary directed study time), planning, and mini lessons. From 9:30 - 10:30 p.m., I have time to shower and write, but it's never really enough time. Every day is planned down to the last minute.

I bought some Brazilian candy today, which ended up being a little bit of a disappointment. It tasted like pure sugar mixed with corn syrup and more sugar with a little bit of food coloring that I'm pretty sure was sugar-based. I could honestly feel the muscles in my body melt away into pure fat with every bite.

I checked the books and it's official. You now know the only missionary currently in any training center on the globe who is going to Manaus, Brazil for their mission. I guess there were a few who left a few months ago, but there has been a drought ever since. I made a new friend from Manaus, though. He's about 5' 4" and dark as night. He likes to talk a lot to me since I'm going to be visiting his people. Every time I see him, he pretends to shoot me with an invisible bow and arrow. Everyone in my district laughs because everything we have heard or experienced here with regards to Manaus is crazy. I tell them not to laugh because that's probably how he put food on the table. We got some new Brazilian roommates, who were pretty fun to talk to, but unfortunately, we're getting moved and we can't take them with us. We're being moved to the nicest place in the CTM, the top floor (7th floor), with an awesome view of the city.

All is well here. I don't think I have lost or gained any weight, so that's a positive thing. Ah yes...as for the food, all the elders in my district look out for each other. Whoever is in the front of the line gives the rest of us a heads up about what's good and what's not. Let's see...we have beans, rice, and a roll with every meal. There is also some sort of meat, salad, and a dessert, which is usually pretty nasty, so we rarely eat it. Once again, today we went to the Campinas Temple and the trip was good. I sat next to an elder who runs for BYU that I actually met on a recruiting trip once.

My time is running out, but I'm glad to hear all is going well for everyone. Honestly, not much is going on here except for class. I guess one last funny thing that happened was a Brazilian teacher tried to get a missionary to stop talking, so he told him he was going to make him drink a liter of blitch. It was funny hearing that...just the way it was said. Everyone here is great and the language and learning is going well. Enjoy the pictures...the blond-haired elder is my companion.

Stay in touch,
Elder Mackay

(Good work on the Fizzy Colas...they're a rare delight. Thanks a ton.)

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