Thursday, May 5, 2011

I'VE ARRIVED! Letter from first day

Copy of handwritten letter written on the day he arrived in Brazil, April 20, 2011:

Dear Mom, Dad and Family,
Sorry for spelling, run-on sentences, I’m rushed and tired. 
The mission is a blast, not as scary or different at first as some might think.  Elder Hollandsworth is my MTC companion, he’s a very nice guy who is goofy in a fun way.  Didn’t sleep in the plane much on the way to Texas.  I met up with some other missionaries besides Hollandsworth and Elder Jensen.  In the airport gate from Texas to Brazil, we met two sister missionaries.  One doesn’t speak any Portuguese and one is fluent so she’s only going to Sao Paulo for 3 weeks, then straight to Santa Maria. We were sitting by a nice Brazilian couple at the gate and they started talking to us so I gave them a pass-along card and told them to visit the Church website for info on their nearest LDS church and missionaries.  It was very positive.  Later, as our flight was heavily delayed, we ended up talking to two people working at sort of an equivalent to 7-11 inside the airport.  We placed pass along cards with both and one especially seemed interested. 
Very soon, a man from Brazil waiting for the flight came up and asked us if we were missionaries and said two weeks earlier he had been taught the discussions by Elders in the states.  He said he likes the church very much.  So, we talked to him about it some more.  Then his friend walked up and was very positive and said that he was not a member of the church but that even as a boy he loved reading the church magazines.  So we gave him a Portuguese Ensign and he liked it.  On the plane, I sat near a different couple than the one I mentioned earlier.  I talked.  First it was about learning the language, then it was about the food and soccer, but soon we talked about how they were going home to their children.  I talked about how important the family is.  I told them how we teach and serve. I game them a “Call for a free Book of Mormon” card.  They asked “”Why do you have another book?”  I bore testimony to them, telling them they could know for themselves.  They said thanks, but I grabbed a Portuguese Book of Mormon.  I knew it could be replaced later so I wrote a heartfelt note inside and gave it to the missionaries to sign and then I gave it to the couple.  They took out their bible and began to compare things with each other.  I waited for questions.  An hour later, the wife invited me to sit in the empty seat by her and she said, “You have to talk to me about this.”  I spoke with her on the long flight from 11:00 to 2:30.  I think she’s coming to Church in her area.  I think her husband will follow and I am so happy and grateful to God.  The plane ride was ten hours.  I didn’t/couldn’t sleep at all.  I drove with the Elders from the airport to the MTC.  It’s surrounded by gates in many places but is such a beautiful building.  The courtyard is amazing.  They have a track in the middle of the building.  I played basketball on the awesome court and eventually I can shop around town nearby with a companion with me.  It’s hot and muggy.  The food’s good, pizza’s weird.  Kitchen is extravagant.  There are many foods and two full soda fountains.  I like the soda Guarana.  When you’re in a car, motorcycles will drive fifty over and honk as they drive in between lanes.  We have a view from our room of so much of the city, very beautiful, especially at night.  Haven’t slept for more than 24 hours.  Love you.  Can’t speak much yet but I’ve learned some from the MANY native elders.  -Devin

No comments:

Post a Comment