I am here in Brazil! I am here at the CTM in Brasil and I can´t believe I have already been here for about nine days! My preparation day is every Friday and I have about 45 minutes to email friends and family! I apologize if this is a little sporadic but I don't have a ton of time to write.
Brasil is a very different place from America. Different air, language, people, time zone, the food is REALLY different, and I have a really different schedule here at the CTM. However, the people here are so nice and I am loving the food and culture more and more everyday.
On Wednesday June 29th, I got on a plane and we flew overnight to the CTM here in Sao Paulo with about 15 other missionaries! I had an aisle seat which made it extremely difficult to sleep. I got about an hour of sleep total for the entire night. We got to the airport, got our bags and then went straight to the CTM and started our day. We got a little bit of time to get settled in our rooms, eat some food, and then we had an introduction from the CTM President. Then they gave us about 15 pounds of study materials and scriptures and then our CTM teacher came and we went to our class. All day I thought ´`just 12 hours until I can go to sleep!`... ´just 7 hours 'til I can sleep.´´
My professor is AWESOME! He looks like a little David Archuleta and he is such a great teacher. He speaks muito rapido but he tries to slow down so that we can actually understand him. The first day we were there we just jumped right in and we didn't really understand much at all but he made sure to explain things slowly and he spoke in English a little bit.
Everyone here is so nice. especially the Brazilian missionaries. They are so welcoming but the first few days when they tried to talk to me or my district we would just give them blank stares because they were talking super fast and we couldn´t really understand Portuguese. At this point I can understand most of the things my teachers and roommates are saying. The hardest part is thinking of how to respond in the correct form, with the correct conjugations and order of words.
On our second day here we taught our first lesson (IN PORTUGUESE) to our ´pesquisadora´ who is one of our other teachers. It went alright and we were able to bring in notes and we mostly just read what we had written from our missionary phrases book. We have taught a lesson everyday and tomorrow we are switching investigators and we will have 2 lessons everyday!
Our roommates are both Brazilian and they don´t speak any English. The first few days it was really hard to communicate with them but it is definitely getting better! They said they would help us with Portuguese and we could help them with English. In Portuguese they don´t have the `th´sound so any word with a ´th´is really difficult for them to say like `throughout´ or ´faith´. They are super nice and it has been very entertaining to try to communicate with them.
Our normal days here at the CTM start at 6:30 and then we eat breakfast at 7, classes from 8-12 Lunch, 12:45-4: more classes. Dinner, Physical Activities. Usually one more language study class for about an hour, then daily planning, then we have about an hour to get ready for bed, write in our journal and then we got to sleep at 10:30! So sixteen hour days, 8 hours of sleep and most of the day is filled with classes.
Physical Activity time is a super great stress reliever and break from sitting in the classroom all day. We run 5 laps on a track and then we can play volleyball or basketball. We have been playing volleyball and it is super fun because the Brazilians get super into it! Also we are only allowed to speak in Portuguese during physical activities so we learn quite a bit.
Also, this past Sunday was the BEST!!! We woke up and had a sacrament meeting with out zone (which is about 25 American missionaries), We had testimony meeting, district meeting, free time (to take a nap if you wanted to), devotionals and choir practice! It was incredible!!!
I really love it here and everyday I love it more and more! I am trying my hardest to be my best and I am working really hard! I have 4 Elders and then it is me and my companion in my district!
I love you all!
-Love Sister Hancock