Hello again from the basement computer lab in Building 18M at the Provo Missionary Training Center! I have now been here for 4 weeks and I am really enjoying it. This week was quite eventful. On Thursday we had the opportunity to Skype with local Brazilians and to talk to them in Portuguese. My companion and I skyped with an 18 year-old Brazilian for about 45 minutes. He was skyping us from Sao Paulo, which is where he lived but he was born right near Fortaleza, Brazil so he was excited to hear that we would be going there. He is a member of the church and just graduated high school and is preparing to serve a mission. It was an awesome experience to talk with someone in Brazil in Portuguese, although it was a lot more difficult than I had thought it would be. I quickly found out that I can't translate everything in my head as he talked because he would talk so fast and then say a word I didn't know and I would get stuck on it and then forget to keep on listening to him. But as the skype call went on I was able to understand him better because if I heard a word I didn't know (and there were plenty), I would just skip it and translate in my head what I did know so I was able to put together words to assume what he was saying to us. That was a fun experience and we will do that again this week so I look forward to that.
Another fun thing that happened this week was on Friday I was in the gym and while I was playing volleyball I hear a very familiar voice yell "Cameron!" I look up to the second floor that looks down on the gym and it was none other than Elder Solomone Wolfgramm! I was super excited because I had been trying to find him since he arrived on Wednesday but it turns out he is in the West Campus so he won't be here too much (I'm on the Main Campus). He came over for his P-day to get some things at the Bookstore and then he said he was walking around trying to find me and it just so happened that I had gym at that time. If I had been in my classroom which is where I almost always am he would have never been able to find me. It was so fun to see him and spend about 30 minutes with him. He is doing really well. He is the District Leader of his district and seems to get along really well with his companion as well. We decided to meet up again this Friday and I'll hopefully get a picture. He leaves next Tuesday so it will be fun to see him before he goes to Phoenix.
Also, my companion, Elder Shelton, has been really sick the past few days. On Sunday he had a really bad fever and his temperature got up to 104 so he and I had to go to the Intermountain Instacare in Provo right near the Hospital. Like right across the street from Provo High School. It was really weird to leave the MTC and on the drive there (MTC Security Van) we passed by the empty Helaman Halls and I also caught a glimpse of Michael and Annie's Apartment so that was fun. I thought of asking the driver to honk as we went by but I decided not to haha. They gave Elder Shelton some medicine and told him to stay in bed until his temperature went down. It was a bummer that Elder Shelton was so sick but it was a fun little adventure we had traveling outside the MTC. It was weird to pass by places that are so familiar to me since I was here all last year, because the MTC is so isolated. I really like it here at the MTC though! Because Elder Shelton has been so sick and having to stay in bed I have spent a lot of time just studying in our room. But the other Elders in my district have come and replaced me to stay in the room with Elder Shelton a lot too so I have now been on splits with each Elder in my district which was kind of a cool experience.
Sunday Night we had the weekly Sunday Night Devotional and it was awesome! Jenny Oaks Baker, daughter of Elder Dallin H. Oaks, came and performed and talked to us. She is a very successful violinist and she played songs and then would talk to us in between them. My two favorite songs she played were "Amazing Grace" and "I Know that My Redeemer Lives". I have never heard the violin sound that good! It was amazing! It was also awesome because she had her four kids perform a song for us too. Three girls, ages 10, 8, and 7 played the piano, cello, and violin, and then her youngest, a 5 year old boy, played the classical guitar. They played "I am a Child of God" and it sounded so good! So I really enjoyed Sunday Night.
Sister Whitlock departed for Russia early this morning. She stopped by my classroom last night to say goodbye. She was very excited to go. I am also excited for her and it has been fun to have her here over these past 4 weeks. She had been here for 9 weeks total so she was excited to finally leave!
It's also my Birthday today so that has been fun. 20 years-old? That's crazy! My district sang happy birthday to me in many different ways (including Portuguese) this morning as we walked up to the Provo Temple grounds to do some personal studying outside the Temple. That was fun and I really enjoy spending so much time with all of them. They are an awesome group of people! Also, thank you so much for everyone who sent me packages and letters for my b-day. I saved them all for today and just opened them all before coming here and emailing. I loved everything and feel so lucky to have so much support from family and friends. So thank you!
Well, that's pretty much it for this week. My Portuguese continues to get better and even though it's really hard to stay focused and enthusiastic about it sometimes I try my best! I just have to remember to take it day by day and that it takes time and patience to learn a new language. I thought about writing some stuff in Portuguese this week but I can't figure out how to do accents on this computer and stuff and I also only have so much time on the computer. Thanks for your continued support and love!
Until next week.
Picture of My District and me in our Classroom (where we spend pretty much all our time)
Picture of me in my p-day attire right outside my residence hall (notice the crocs haha)
Thanks for all the birthday stuff Mom! We had a mini party in my room with the Elders in my district.