Wednesday, September 18, 2013

First Week in the Brazil Missionary Training Center (or CTM)

Sister Hicken, Sister Cameron, and Sister Lawrence:  The Best District at the CTM

September 18, 2013

Ohla, minha familia!!!
Hey guys! wow I have so much to tell you and only half an hour more to email, so I'll try and remember everything and type it as fast as I can. Thank you for all the emails :) You have made me a very happy missionary today! hahaha
So, last time I wrote, oh man that was the first day. Gahh so much to tell. So Sister Lawrence, the missionary from Minnesota, arrived the next day. Her flight had been delayed. So she and I and Sister Cameron are in a trio, and we have gotten along SO well. I love those girls so much :) We work together well and also have fun, and it's just great. They're going to northeastern Brazil missions like we are. We're also our own district. No other American missionaries came from home last week, (and they were supposed to get 99. Darn visas). So all the instructors say we're the best district because it's just sisters haha. So a typical day for us is 6:30 wake up, then breakfast and personal study, then companionship/language study, then exercise, and then lunch, and then we have a three hour class with our instructor, Irmao Barros, who is super awesome. In that class, we learn teaching skills and Portuguese. Everything is in Portuguese. And you're supposed to speak it all the time. After class, we usually have dinner, then time to plan our lesson, and then we teach an "investigator" (one of the other instructors) at 8, and then more planning, and then bed. More or less. It varies from day to day.
Our first day here, they started right into the Portuguese lessons, but they're not really lessons, they just speak Portuguese and tell you to speak Portuguese, and you figure it out, and study your books (we got a thick stack of books, and that's how you learn most things). I've actually picked up the language super fast though, mostly thanks to knowing some Spanish. It's close enough that I can figure out what people are saying, but when I go to speak, the Spanish comes to mind first. But I'm getting better, and I love speaking the language, and hearing it, and learning it. It's crazy how much we've learned in the first week. And it's so fun, because then we can talk to other missionaries. We talk to the American ones a bunch, but we've also made friends with several Brazilian and Hispanic ones. It's funny trying to talk to the Hispanics, because Portuguese is not the native language for either of us, so we communicate in a mix of Portuguese, Spanish and English, (and lots of hand motions) and I translate the Spanish for my companions. Hahaha it's super fun.
Today was my first P-Day. P-day is Wednesday, so you can expect to hear from me then. I have 45 minutes on the computer to read/write emails, so I tried to read as fast as I could so I could answer back fast. We got to go to the São Paulo temple today, (next week they'll take a picture and send it to you. You aren't allowed to take pictures outside the CTM, and even then, only on P-day.) And we went out into the city within the set boundaries, and did a free trial of this thing called Mission Ties. It's like dearelder, and you'll get some information on it. Don't worry, it sounds sketchy with the free trial thing, but everyone tries it the first week to get a free cookie, and we don't have to do it. They'll send you info on how it works, and a message from me. A lot of missionaries use it.
Can you send me the lyrics to Come thou Fount? And also, can you send me my worth of souls farewell talk? On Sundays, they ask four missionaries to give talks with no notice beforehand, so you just have to have something ready all the time. First 3 weeks it can be in English, but after that only Portuguese.
So, I'll reply to questions as fast as I can now,, and also emails. \
Laura: Hope you get to babysit for your teacher! That's awesome! Can't believe you don't like the 3rd Fablehaven book, it's awesome! The food here tastes pretty different. They have a lot of meat, and then you can also have rice and beans with every meal, but it's really tasty :)
Emma: Sounded like a fun and yummy activity days! And coolio on learning the trumpet!! You'll have to play a song for me when I get home. I bet by Christmas, you'll be passing up Bethany (winky face, can't figure out how to do that on this keyboard). I LOVE my roommates. they are also my companions. The classes are classes on how to teach, and speak Portuguese
Nathan: Bummer about the guns, but hope you get to shoot them next week. Good luck with marching band! And also the zoology class. Hope it gets more interesting. We're supposed to speak it all the time, so we do as much as we can. the view from my room is of the city, and it's beautiful!
Rachel: Glad you're loving Nancy Drew! Those are fun books. I'm proud of you for reading them! I miss you too! My companions are Sister Cameron and Sister Lawrence and they are AWESOME!!
We're not allowed to send pictures in the MTC, but once I get into the field, I'll be able to. You're welcome to post this on the blog if you want, I'll leave that to you :)
Oh one more quick story: Our second day here, we had to start teaching an investigator in Portuguese. It was so nerve wracking, especially since we didn't know it was really an instructor (because they told us he was real!!) So we've been teaching him for a week now, and it gets better every time. Gahh love to write more, but I have to go. I love you all so much and miss you and pray for you! Thank you for the little photos, and for the emails. I will write again next week! Talk to you soon!
Love, Camille
P.S. PAPA!!!! YOU DID not write me!!! *squinty eyes* :)

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