Monday, September 12, 2016

Wow, so a lot has happened since last time I sent out an email! So, not sure if my mom already said something, but I got my visa and now I am in the Brazil CTM (MTC)! Funny story how i figured out. So my district and i went down to the travel office in the Provo MTC because my companion got his visa and nobody was going with him. We were wondering if he was going to travel by himself, and when we got down there they told me that my visa came and that i was going to be leaving with him! For the last week in the Provo MTC i was in a trio with an elder that came a week after me, Elder Evans. He´s from Mesa, AZ and is such a cool guy! He also got his visa, so it was us three that came to São Paulo together. 

We left on monday morning, and our zone was there at the bus to send us off. I´m going to miss those guys, so blessed to get such a good zone in Provo! On the way to the airport, we drove by Jordan High, and it was kind of a bittersweet moment to know that i wouldnt see my home town for another 2 years. Even though it was a bit sad I'm so excited to finally be here in Brazil!

On the way there, I went from SLC airport to Atlanta, then straight so São Paulo. From the time I left the MTC in provo to when i got the the CTM in Brazil, it was almost 20 hours straight of traveling! The flight from Atlanta to Brazil was about 10 hours through the night, and I´m the worst at sleeping on planes. I only slept for 3 or 4 hours, and when we got to the CTM they didn´t let us sleep... needless to say I´m still tired from the plane! Something that was super fun while traveling was I got to talk to my family in the airports. Because I had a bunch of layovers, I got to spend 4 and a half hours talking to them, it was awesome!

So here I am in brazil. A few things that I've noticed so far are: 1. the drivers are crazy. traffic laws don't really apply here. I have no idea how the buses don't crash every time they take a turn. The motorcyclists are so risky too! They are always going double the speed of normal cars, and what they do is just give a little honk as they come and the cars know to move over for them. 2. The food here is way better than the Provo MTC food. Not that the food in Provo was gross or anything, it just wasn't nearly as good as it is here! For every meal we mostly have rice and beans with some kind of meat. The meat is sooo good though. Every other meal they´ll throw in some pasta or something, and then they have pizza or other things sometimes too. 3. The favelas. Favelas are those buildings/houses that are stacked on top of each other. There are sooo many of them here in São Paulo. You could get on top of a tall building and look in any direction and just see buildings as far as you can see. It´s pretty weird to see coming from Utah, but at the same time I like it! It´s also super dirty here, which I bet you could guess.

So the CTM here actually has a lot of American missionaries. there are about 300 missionaries here and just a little under half are from the US. There are actually a lot of Brazilians learning Spanish here, and a lot of Hispanics learning Portuguese. We also have missionaries from other places, like South Africa and the UK. Cool to see people from all over! This Tuesday we had an awesome opprotunity to have Elder Anderson come and speak to us, so lucky! he spoke half in Portuguese and half in English. He talked a lot about relying on the spirit and being patient with yourself. So glad i got here in time to see him.

Well thats about it for now, I´m sure I´ll have more cool things to talk about next week as i get adjusted. Have an awesome week!!

-Elder Odom

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