That was weird.... Sorry for the strangely placed line from me thrown into Sis Steele's letter. Technical difficulties after it was sent, I guess. ;)
Sent from my iPhone
On Oct 7, 2015, at 1:34 PM, Melanie Steele <firstname.lastname@example.org> wrote:
Ohhhhhh my gooodness this was the craziest and longest week of my
life! Each day feels like 3 days and each night feels like 3 hours
here at the good old CTM. Language bootcamp is the only way I can
describe it. From day one they had us memorizing the missionary
purpose in Portuguese and every single class was given in Portuguese.
Thankfully Irmão Oliviera speaks slow for us...ususally.
On day 2 (Thursday) we taught a lesson to an
"investigator" (we know its fake but it feels sooooo real) ALL IN
PORTUGUESE. That was rough. Sister Dewey and I were so nervous we
tripped over every single word. "Yago" (its actually Irmão Taveres,
he'll begin being our teacher tomorrow most likely) asked us "so,
Joseph Smith wrote the book of Mormon?" and it took us probably 10
minutes to answer just because we didn't know the word for translate.
We used a lot of charades. I'm impressed Irmão Taveres didn't laugh.
Too good of an actor, that one. Also we were super late to our lesson
because they told us to go to room 11 but he was actually in room 12,
and we had no idea how to explain that in Portuguese so we just kept
repeating "eleven" (onze) and pointing to the other room and "Yago"
doesn't speak English so he acted confused but "Irmão Taveres" clearly
does so at least he knew why.
Two elders in my district though made the best mistake they
could have possibly made. They meant to have Yago read Amos 3:7 "for
surely the lord god will do nothing, but he revealeth his secrets to
his servants the prophets" but instead because their portuguese was so
bad they handed him Psalms 3:7 "for thou hast smitten all mine enemies
upon the cheekbone; though hast broken the teeth of the ungodly" and
then immediately started talking about how God works through his
servants the prophets...probably not the message they were trying to
We probably had
way too much fun on Friday, but when you spend 16 hours in the same
room studying a language you don't speak, you'll go stir crazy if you
don't joke around a bit. My district gets along well. Elder Francis is
quite the fan of puns and keeps trying to make them work in
portuguese. Elder Ferris seems to be a fan of toilet humour which is
fine by me. The other two-Elder Shepard and Elder Bishop are funny as
well. District Leader Elder Hyland keeps us on track though.
We're district 39B, and the
others on the plane with us are 39A. An elder from 39A came into our
room and we asked how the Portuguese is going over there. He groaned
and said "no bueno" and we were all like "well thats spanish so
clearly not". That basically sums up all of us on day 2 though.
Our second lesson with Yago,
Irmão Taveres was really hard on us. Given that this was day 3, asking
"was Eve a sinner?" and then bringing up the infant baptism issue is
mean!! Those are hard questions to answer in ENGLISH. The only
scripture we could remember about infant baptism was when Mormon
totally loses his temper in a letter or talk or something to Moroni
and keeps saying how abomitable it is, so we didn't think that was the
one to have him read...we fumbled out a "we'll answer that next time"
and practically ran away. And we were the only ones he was asking the
hard questiosn for a while! Finally the other sisters in our
district-Sister Jones and Sister Madarani (she's the English one I
mentioned) were asked, of all things, "when I die will my grandma's
spirit go into my dead body?" and then asked about being reincarnated
into animals? Not exactly vocabulary we went over on day one...
After that I think Irmâo
Taveres felt bad for being so difficult on us so he was nice and
halfway through our very choppy language on baptism he got super
emotional-literally cried, man what a good actor-and said he wanted to
be baptised. So much of a mood lifter!
Taylor couldn't get this to send so she asked me to copy and send to all of you. Love my girl so much. Thank you so much to all of you who support her. I love you all for it.
Sister Madarani has been introducing us to English
slang (which we're not supposed to use because we need to sound
professional) so that had to end, but until then we got a kick out of
"cheeky nandos" and "minging" and started using them ourselves.
"Cheeky" is like spontaneous so we kept saying cheeky tender mercy of
is WEIRD. Sometimes its super good and sometimes you dont understand
what the lunch ladies are saying and they put mashed potatoes on your
hotdog. Or give you a crepe filled with hotdog meat. Ew.
So much fun here in the CTM, but
also a lot of not fun (stress) and lots of hard work and lots of
"you're making jesus sad" when you speak english....I'll get it down
soon! Portuguese is gorgeous though. Not when I speak it but when the
Brazillian missionaries speak it. One thing Ive loved seeing though is
how many countries people here are from! The common language is
portuguese-not because we all speak it but because we're all learning
it, at least half the ctm seems to be spanish speakers but we've also
met several people from Zimbabawe (they liteally spoke 7 langauges and
saying their name involved making some sort of buzzing noise that none
of us could figure out. They laughed at us a lot.) The spanish elders
in the classroom next to us speak a tiny bit of english but mostly all
they can say is "give me all your money, punk!" and "fierce" complete
with the hand signal thing.
Tchau, Sister Steele.