November 16, 2012
I’m writing this letter on Friday so you’ll probably get it on Monday. The first thing I can think to say is my shoes are killing my feet! I went with Grandpa to Macy’s an hour before I went to the MTC to get some new Eccos. I got the size 41 and they felt good for the first couple of hours, but now I’ve come to realize that my forefoot is way too wide for them. I don’t know what to do about that. Other than that I guess everything else is fine, I guess.
The food is good. Usually I get whatever they have in the regular lunch line, and once I’m done with the stuff I like I go get a wrap from the wrap bar. Those are pretty good. I might start getting those for every meal because they are healthy and I don’t want to get fat and stuff my face like everyone else does.
The first day of class was overwhelming. Our teacher greeted me in Portuguese and expected me to understand and respond. Yeah, right! They block out every minute of the day for us and there’s really no time to write letters or journal entries. I never realized how much I liked being alone until I got my companion…more on that later though because he’s basically reading over my shoulder right now. Mom, you should tell me if I should or shouldn’t write on the back of the page.
These first couple of days has been overwhelming but I think they do that to humble us. Spanish from high school is helping me some with the language; a lot of it is the same. It’s hard to switch over to the Portuguese pronunciation. We are packed in a small classroom with twelve huge guys so it gets super hot and loud. It’s really hard to think when studying. We have to teach a 20 minute lesson to a mock investigator today. It’s ridiculous because we have to do it in Portuguese and we’ve only been here for 2 days, another humbling experience. I feel like they’re seriously trying to break us this first week so we work hard to overcome how pitiful we are. We read the scriptures in Portuguese at night with our roommates and that kind of helps us learn the language. It’s really hard.
For gym time the first day we just played basketball. I wanted to lift weights but my companion didn’t want to. He’s straight out of high school and is very Utahan. He’s got the accent, has blonde hair and he played football. I’m still getting used to the whole Elder thing. We aren’t allowed to say “guys” or anything like that. I feel like I sleep for 5 minutes each night because we wake up so early. It gets cold at night so I just wear my sweats and put my pea coat over my blankets too, then I’m alright.
My P-Day (Preparation Day) is on Fridays except for this week because we are new, I guess. You will receive emails on Fridays from 12:45 to 3:15 Utah time. Did I mention my feet are dying? Oh yeah, we aren’t allowed to go to the mall on P-Days. I have no idea how I’m going to get shoes if I don’t break them in within the next week. This is stupid. Dad, are your dress shoes tight when you buy them? And do you have to break them in?
We met our Branch President last night and he told us that it’s normal to feel overwhelmed for the first few days and that our main purpose for being here is not just to learn the language, but to effectively teach the gospel. The Portuguese Elders keep randomly yelling out, “Muito Beni”, which means very legit. They won’t stop!
I’m in the classroom right now so I can’t tell you my address because I left it in my room but when I do, I’ll get it to you. We need to make sure to post my address on Facebook so my friends can write me. I’m craving some Builder Bars, peanut butter preferably. I need some Old Spice body wash. I’m trying to get used to being so regulated with what I do and how I do it. It’s a little annoying right now but I guess I’ll get used to it. I can’t think of anything else to write about except, how is it in Georgia? Tell everyone to write me because I miss communicating with people and stuff.
Love,Elder Dallin Carroll