First off: This place rocks! Second: Holy freak it´s way freaking hot! I´m gonna melt...it´s been 5 days and I have a severe farmers tan!
It´s so great to hear about home! When you´re in the States, pretty much everywhere feels at least a little bit like home, but here doesn´t feel like that. Not yet at least, but it does feel like where I´m supposed to be!
We sang welcome to the jungle when we got off the plane haha it was pretty awesome! And I´m not exactly in the jungle since I´m in Manaus, but I´m alright with that because my area is directly across from the World Cup stadium!!!!!! It´s so freaking awesome!
We do have a mission song, and we sing it at every single meeting: district meeting, zone meeting, mission meetings, etc. It´s really cool! The name is Verges Matas or also called the Manaus Mission Song too. It might be on youtube maybe? President Klein is so cool! You can just feel how much he and Sister Klein love the missionaries! They are awesome!
Glad that Sierra is going to get everything taken care of! And Elder Gomez didn´t give me the blessing when I got hurt, Elder Pixton did. I remember because it was the first time he had given a blessing and I told him how to do it.
I haven´t played soccer yet...we´re not allowed to. All missions in Brazil have a no soccer rule because too many missionaries got hurt. I think that hurt me more than any soccer injury could have haha.
The people here are aweome! We´re in the city and also in the slums more or less. Part of our area is like a small city within the city, but the other part of the area is just shacks and huts. It´s really humbling, and the people are so great because they understand what´s really important in life. They´re also really immodest haha. I´m teaching English lessons now (which is hard to do when you don´t speak the language of the people you´re teaching) and it was so freaking hot yesterday that my ´´class´´ if you will, was half dressed. That´s pretty awkward any time, but especially as a missionary. My companion is a brasilian from São Paulo and he is great! He´s been out 9 months and speaks pretty little English. It´s quite comical I´m sure to see us try and communicate with each other. Grandma Chelle would get a kick out of it I think. Half the time, we´re using hand gestures and jumping up and down while trying to understand what the other is saying haha.
Portuguese is pretty hard. I can speak enough to get by, but when others speak, it´s really hard for me to understand them. I understand why Tyler Martin felt like he did when he first got here. I think the language made me go through just about every emotion you can feel this week. I was happy, sad, angry, excited, anxious, nervous, discouraged, and so much else it feels like! Plus, it´s exhausting. My brain is trying to take in an entirely new culture of sights, smells, tastes (the food rocks), people, dos and don´ts, so when we get home every night, I just crash and don´t wake up until that alarm goes off at 6:30.
That´s about all I got! I´m gonna finish my emails and then I´ll make sure to send you guys some pictures! Depending on how fast this internet is will decide how many pictures you get haha.
Love you all!
He sent another email a few minutes later:
One more quick note: Just felt a little pang of homesikness for the UTSLCM. I checked my inbox in my missionary account that we use to communicate with our President and President Hansen sent me an email. It was short, but he said, ´´Dear Elder Sanderson, We miss you already. Have a great rest of your mission and come see us when you return. Love, President Hansen´´ I´m gonna miss that mission =)
***another short add on*****
haha so I´m reading Sarah´s email and she said, ´´hope your area´s on fire´´ Only I read, ´´hope your ´butt´is on fire´´ haha that was awesome and I ca´t stop laughing now!
*******its so great to hear him doing so well and being so happy we were online at the same time so we got to chat back and forth a bit here are a couple of our exchanges*****
Me: what's your favorite part of Manaus?
D: Good question! I would have to say it´s how hard I have to bust my butt every single day. My brain can´t quit for a second or I completely lose the conversation! I also like how close we are to the World Cup stadium haha!
Me: are there giant bugs?
D: You have no idea haha. We sleep with bugs pretty much, but it doen´t even faze me. We have roaches the size of my ring finger and I could care less! There´s so many freaking mosquitos though, that´s probably the worst part. And the water is fine. I´ve been drinking it all week and haven´t gotten sick. Even in the shacks.
Me: is everything super crazy green?
D: Way green! We are mostly in the city, but there are still fruit trees and stuff that we eat from! I love the açerola, it´s a tiny fruit, but is so good! Açai is really good too!
Me: have you seen any monkeys or parrots?
D: Haha not yet, but lots of lizards running on the walls of the streets. It´s pretty cool!
Me: does it rain all day every day or come and go?
D: It´s only rained twice since I´ve been here, but when it rains it pours for like an hour and then stops. My first morning it rained for like 5 hours, but stopped before we had to go out
He had mentioned that he got to Manaus exactly 6 months after entering the MTC. I told him I had realized that and even posted it on Facebook :)
He replied with my most favorite thing I have read so far:
Lol it was pretty crazy! Time is flying! I don´t know where the time goes! I love my mission mom =) Best thing ever! That's what everybody says, but it´s the honest truth. Every day I get to tell people about how much Heavenly Father loves them and feel that love in my own life. Every single time I feel down or discouraged, I always feel the Holy Ghost telling me that it´s okay, that I can do hard things, and that Heavenly Father loves me. I love Elder Holland´s quote, ´´Hope on. Journey on´´ I can´t even tell you how many times that goes through my head, especially this last week!
****I am so proud to be his mom. We are so blessed by his service. I am so grateful for his example! Hope on, journey on.*********
Here is a picture from the missionary training center in São Paulo.