Wednesday, September 1, 2010

Letter #3

Hey Howdy Hey!         
 Well, all the guys in my district are starting to hate me, I get way more regular letters than all of them. Thanks so much for all the letters, I really appreciate them. Sorry I don't always have time to respond the old fashioned way. I sent some last week and again today. Mail getting here is taking about 8-10 days, so anytime some mail from me should get to you guys. So how is everyone doing? What else new is going on at home? I guess it can't be a whole lot different, it's only been three weeks. It feels like way more than three weeks for me.              
This week we are starting to teach basic lessons is Portuguese. It's kind of scary but once I actually make myself try, it's really not too bad. I think I'm picking up on it pretty well. It's really cool to start having semi-real conversations with the Brazilians. The other day I went to go iron a white shirt and there was a Brazilian in there that didn't speak any english at all but we actually communicated pretty well. He was surprised to hear that I only had about two weeks of exposure to the language. The Brazilians that came to the CTM the same week as us left early this morning to go out to the field. It feels kind of weird that they are here for so much less time than we are. It's made us all even more anxious to get out too. We don磘 have the two Brazilian roommates anymore, but we might get a new set tomorrow. I hope so, it helps so much in the learning process to have them around to talk to. They all love to help us as much as possible, and most of them are trying to learn English from us too.         Well the Sao Paulo Temple has opened back up so we got to go there this morning. It was amazing. It has a bunch of dark, rich Brazilian Mahogany trim all throughout the building. It reminds me of the beautiful dark wood in the Sacramento Temple. My Branch President (also a temple worker here) told us the story of how the Church chanced across the rare Brazilian Mahogany. Apparently it is illegal now to harvest it, but a man had a huge warehouse full of it that was just sitting there so the church bought it. It's so beautiful. I've said this about every letter, but I love going to the temples.      
 On our fifth week here we get to out of the CTM into some of the close neighborhoods and give out copies of the Book of Mormon. Also in our last week here they take us into the very center of Sao Paulo to do street contacts. I can't wait to do this. Other Missionaries have been telling us there stories about it. A companionship told us about getting grilled by an Evangelical Minister for about 30 minutes followed by a bunch of  other rejections. Then they met a lady who immediately started crying as they talked to her. Her daughter was diagnosed with cancer the week before and this lady had been praying constantly to find answers to these troubles. She accepted the Book of Mormon and requested to have missionaries come teach her family. Just one person like that makes all of the other rejections completely worth it. Even though I am not prepared enough with the language for this I can't wait for my chance to go out and have similar experiences.               
 Well I want you to all know how excited and happy I am to be here. It just keeps getting better and better. I see everyday how I am so blessed to be here. Visas aren't going through still and only 2 new Americans get to come this week. I feel so priveledged that I got to come here right off the bat. The CTM is great, I'll send home one of my SD cards of pictures next week so you can see a little bit of what it's like. Unfortunately we can't take our cameras to the temple so I won't have any from there. Oh, and byt the way, have you seen my white temple tie at home? I hope it was left there, because if not I'll need to buy a new one. Can you guys send it to me sometime. No rush at all to get it here. I can borrow one at the temple so I'll just need it in the field eventually. Or if you want I can just buy one at eh temple Distribution Center. that actually might be easier because they are only like $3 there. Weel, I love you all so much, and can磘 wait to here from you all again. Thanks for all the support!            
I.U. Elder McLelland (or if i spell it how the Brazilians pronounce it ``Macky-Lay-Lawn-Gee")

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