Brazil is a beautiful place.
The CTM here in Sao Paulo is a pretty amazing place. I am once again in a trio, with Elder Acosta (from Banks Oregon) and Elder Steed (from Longmont Colorado). In our room, we are with a Brazilian trio who are all great elders. I will be sure to get some pictures before they leave next tuesday.
It is amazing to bring together young men (and a few young women... but there are hardly any here compared to Provo) from different familial backgrounds, native languages, and countries, and produce Elders (and a handful of Sisters) ready to join the ranks of Gods army... I love being here, but there are a few things I miss about Provo. I dont recognize about half of the food, and when I ask what it is or how I can make it, the ladies who work in the kitchen describe fruits and spices that Ive never heard of before, but Im trying to learn so that in the field Ill know how to use the food around me to cook. (Sorry about punctuation... Brazilian keyboards are a little different and I have a difficult time finding where things like apostrophes are) I really like nearly all the food, but I just dont know what exactly it is. I recognized the pizza as being something relatively close to pizza, but certainly in its own very non-american way... as in no red sauce and about a half inch of cheese with various types of meat, fruits, or chocolate&bananas. I also miss the teachers in Provo... having BYU students who go through a pretty intensive application process to work at the MTC is a bit different that pulling whatever RMs are available in the Sao Paulo area to come teach some new missionaries. Needless to say, my ablility to study on my own without any support from a teacher is improving rapidly... in many ways, I would rather be doing this in the field than sitting in a class waiting for a teacher to show up not knowing what they want us to be doing.
But overall, I do like this place better. It is nice to be around Brazilians. Although some fit the negative stereotype of being fubecas, many are very devoted to the cause. I love talking with them about their country, about the food, about the people, and especially about Curitiba. Thus far, I havent heard a single negative comment about Curitiba, and I am growing more an more anxious to be in the field. Yesterday, and brother from the office walked in to have me sign some paperwork and asked where I was going. When I said Curitiba, all 6ft4in of him darted at me and scooped me off the floor in a bear hug and started talking sUUUuper fast about how much I am going to love the city, and the people, and the food, and the mission pres, and how it is the best mission in the world... About two minutes later he put me back on the ground and handed me my paperwork to sign... I love these people! I also like being in a bigger district. In provo I was in a class alone, and eventually in a class of 3. Here there are 11 of us and it is great to be working with more elders.
Today we got to go the Sao Paulo temple, and it is gorgeous. Inside they have amazing stained glass pictures of Christ appearing to the Nephites, and many other neat stories. The inside has beautiful wood work and such.
In the CTM, there is so much of this beautiful Brazilian mahogany that a member donated to use in the construction, and the whole place is beautiful.
Well I need to go, the time flies on these email computers. Now its off to the Rua to talk with people about the gospel and swing by the store.