Wednesday, April 25, 2012


Okay, so maybe I was in Brazil the whole time... but now I´m in REAL BRAZIL!!!
I´m in a city called Araras. The name is a certain kind of parrot and it is a fairly big city. And our area is BIG.
We left the CTM yesterday morning, and took a van ride to the mission home in Campinas. There were 10 of us heading to Campinas. Elder Gaines and I were the only ones from our CTM district. It only took us a little over an hour to get there.
Then we had some orientation and interviews, headed over to the mission office for some more orientation, and then finally we got to meet our companions! My companion is Sister Pederson. She is from Pennsylvania and has been out for 7 months. She is SUPER nice, and obviously, speaks english. hahah YAY. We haven´t done much yet because today is P-day.... but last night some awesome members picked us up from the bus station and fed us before taking us to our apartment. I couldn´t understand much of the conversation at their home, but they are SO NICE and I´m practicing a lot! haha. We also did some contacting last night and the people we talked with understood me!!! HAPPY DAY!! It was way fun and I am excited to keep working! I like our area a LOT.
Oh, and our area is pretty far from Campinas as well.... our bus ride is supposed to be about an hour I think... but it took us about 2 because of traffic.... We don´t actually go into Campinas very often though. And Araras is SUPER pretty. Apparently there is a gorgeous lake and we will go by there today. 
(Note from Ashley: Amanda sent a whole bunch of pictures from her time at the MTC. She called it "picture and story time"... enjoy! Oh, and sorry about some of the pictures being sideways...I don't know how to fix it on a mac/I'm too tired)
A glimpse of São Paulo. Everyone has gates with wire at the top, or super scary sharp spikes. One of the walls behind our apartment here in Araras has peices of glass lining the top of the wall. INTENSE.

First week temple trip to the Campinas temple!! It is SO GORGEOUS. These were my "companions" before Sister Sessions or Sister Nelson arrived.... Elder Gaines in the middle and Elder Elliott on the right.

Awesome view of the city of Campinas behind the temple!! They had the prettiest daffodil-like flowers at the temple too. Love it.

The COOLEST graffiti in Casa Verde SP right by the CTM. Amanda Walker--- I thought of you!!!! =]
There is graffiti and cooler, graffiti-ish stuff like this all over the place in São Paulo. I love it!

my district at the São Paulo temple. Elders left to right = Elder Gaines, Elder Pitts, Elder Elliott, Elder Smith, Elder Geigle, Elder Myer, Elder Hamblin, Elder Martin. Then Sister Nelson, Me and Sister Sessions. They are THE BEST! It was super sad saying bye to all of them!!! All the elders besides Elder Gaines went to the São Paulo Interlagos mission... we were all jealous that they will get to see eachother....

The COOLEST little chocolate turtles Irmã Korth brought us for easter!!! So fun. She is the best!

Sister Sessions and my AMAZING roommates from the second week. Sister Almeida (from Portugal) and Sister Teixeira. They are the sweetest sisters I have ever met! We always got so excited when we passed in the halls at the CTM and they would always give us hugs or blow us kisses when we saw eachother throughout the day.

My fantastic workout buddy, Sister Sanchez. She is super cool. She´s serving in Florianopolis now. We´re gonna have some sweet parties at BYU when we all get back home though....

All of us at the awesome churrasco (brazilian barbeque place) that we went to on our last Pday at the CTM. Irmã Korth and Irmão Costa came with us too. It was SO GOOD. we may have stuffed ourselves silly and not eaten anything else for the rest of the day...... hmmm.

Elder Geigle and I with our chicken hearts. They are so small!! I didn´t really like them very much... they are super rubbery. Irmão Costa loves them though... hahah. He ate an entire plate full....

The drugstore where I spent a good half hour trying to explain cough drops in Portuguese... They finally told us that they didn´t have them.... cool.
All the stores are open-fronts like that though!! Crazy. And some of them (like this one) have parking spots INSIDE the store!! You just pull your car right in!! so weird!

Elders Pitts, Smith, Elliott and Gaines at our brownie party. Thanks fam!! They were soooo good!! And don´t worry. there were only six, but it worked out perfectly because we ate them the same day we had barbecue and we were all STUFFED. And so we just shared them between the 11 of us.

Our district with Irmã Korth!! We gained two new elders who had been waiting on their visas in the Provo MTC for our last week in the CTM. So our district was HUGE!! We could barely fit in our classroom!!!! So fun though.
oh and Irmã Korth is basically the best teacher in the world. So don´t even bother trying to compete with her... no one has a chance. She´s from the south, so that is why she doesn´t look brazilian if you were wondering.... haha. They have a lot of people of european descent in the south.

Sister Sessions and I. She is just so great. She serving down in the south in Porto Alegre, but will be going back to BYU after the mission. Yay for BYU reunions!!

Irmão Costa in his classic pose of frustration. Just imagine him saying "Que vergonha" (what a shame) and shaking his head at us. It definitely happened at least 5 times a day. He is the other coolest teacher in the world, so really, just give up on trying to beat them now... You cant get cooler than Irmão Costa.

The other coolest sister in the WORLD. Sister Lysenko!! She can make anybody smile. Or laugh uncontrollably. Either one.

Sister Lucero. THE SWEETEST sister from Argentina. I think she never stops smiling. The CTM just recently started a program for hispanicos to learn portuguese at the CTM. They get to have three weeks in a hispanic district and then they split and each get to work with a Brazilian companion for the remaining three weeks. SUPER COOL. I might be a little jealous....

Me and Sister Dickson!! She is AMAZING. One of the nicest people I´ve ever met. And he is good friends with the Steenblik family!! So let them know we met up and that Sister Dickson is FANTASTIC.

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