Thursday, September 30, 2010

Week 2 - 28 September 2010

Hey! It’s a lot easier for me to send one general email for you and Dad - just because we have no time here to email basically.  Tell Dad sorry for making his email so short but that this one is for both of you :)

So at the beginning of the week, this one Brazilian elder wrote my name in my scriptures. He has the best handwriting ever and he’s been training for like 2 years or something.  I’ll send you guys a picture once I get out in the field and have time to.  It’s pretty amazing. So as I said, my companion is Elder Cook, but this week we got a new elder, Elder Lewis from Spring City, Utah.  So now we have a trio companionship going on.  Every Wednesday we have pizza night here, and it’s pretty weird pizza.  The weirdest (and actually the best pizza here) is the banana chocolate pizza.  It’s soooo good.  So my teachers are Irmao Zamboni and Irmao Waskow.  They are both Brazilian but Irmao Waskow has a polish name. Haha  Irmao Waskow is so funny. He doesn’t speak English very well so we help him out a lot.  He told us that when he was growing up he owned a horse that he named “stupid” and a dog that he named “poopy.”  Oh, and he rides a motorcycle here in Sao Paulo, and the other day he told us he hit a car and broke off his mirror.  But he was so chill about it, and he said a lot of motorcyclists get mad and kick car mirrors off. Haha  He’s hilarious. 

So one thing that really made my week here was when Irmao Zamboni took me out of class to talk to me.  He’s been in the missionary business for about 5 years, and he told me that I was one of the best missionaries he’s met.  I was just in awe, but he said that I was hard working and he could just tell.  Then when we were walking back to the room, he told me that if he had a son, he would want him to be like me.  It was an honor to hear all of this from him and really just made me want to work even harder. 

So I had a funny experience last Friday.  We were sweeping outside on the sidewalk for service when this random Brazilian lady came up to me and started talking to me in Portuguese.  She was talking so fast - I had no idea what she was saying.  Then after like a whole minute, she asked me a question and I just looked at her.  Then she got mad and started walking away.  I felt bad and I wanted to say sorry to her.  But instead of saying the word sorry in Portuguese (desculpe), I yelled thank you (obrigado). Hahaha! My comps were laughing so hard.  It was really funny, but it made me really want to learn the language faster so I can actually talk to people. 

So some of my Brazilian friends here keep telling me I look like the singer in a band called Mcfly.  I have no idea who that is but that’s my new nickname.  I love these Brazilians - they are hilarious.  I got your letters today from you, Dad, and Janna.  Thanks so much.  I love getting mail.  Oh another thing is that these Brazilians taught us a new way to tie a tie.  It’s called the cobra.  It looks way cool, and I’ll send pics of it sometime. And I’ll have to show Dad when I get home.  Sorry if these emails are unorganized and such, but the keyboards here are really weird, and they won’t let us use the enter button on the email.  So it ends up just being a huge paragraph.  

Well the language is going great, and I’m starting to pick it up.  We are starting to teach and do almost everything in Portuguese so we’ll see how this next week goes.  I’m doing great out here so don’t worry about me.  The gospel is great and the CTM is really preparing me to teach what I know to others who need it.  I love you guys and thanks for all of the support.  You’re the best.

Elder Andrus

Week 1 - 21 September 2010

Hey Family!

First off we barely have any time to email here at the MTC.  They give you 30 minutes from the time you sign on and that’s it!  Glad you got the picture.  I’m really looking forward to getting letters and pictures.  There aren’t very many missionaries here in the CTM because there are over 100 still in Provo.  I’m really grateful that I got my visa as fast as I did! 

So here in Sao Paulo we have guards guarding the CTM 24/7. Yeah it’s crazy haha. Everyone here is really nice and friendly and willing to help us greenies. My teachers are great. They both are really cool and teach us lots.  The language is really tough, but I think I’m catching on pretty well for the first week. I already can’t wait to get out in the mission field though. The Brazilians here are CRAZY. Everyone has such outgoing personalities and are really fun to talk to.  I have a really soft spoken personality compared to everyone else here so I really need to work on being more out going like all these Brazilians. We always try to talk to the natives to help us with the language.  So I went to the doctors here for my throat, and they gave me some Halls to take.  It’s funny because I guess here in Brasil they eat Halls like candy, not just for medical needs haha.

The food here is...interesting.  Not bad but nothing compared to American food.  I hear this is the best food we’ll get here in Brasil though so I guess I won’t complain!  I already sent a couple letters so you’ll probably be getting those within a week or two, I’m guessing.  My companion is Elder Cook, and he’s from California. We also have a girl in our companionship, which is funny.  There isn’t another girl in our district so she has to tag along with us.  Her name is Sister LaBaron, and she’s from Spokane.  My companion and I are doing okay together.  We are rooming with 4 other elders, Elder Evans from Portland, Elder Christian from Sacramento and 2 Brazilians.  Rio should tell Sterling that I think I met one of his good friends here.  I don’t know his name but he told me Sterling trained him when they were on their missions.  He was super excited to know I knew him haha so they must have been really good buds.  A couple Elders told us that a good way to send and receive letters here is through  I guess there is a cookie shop called Mr. Cheney´s here who can scan and email my letters to you and print off typed letters to me.  I’m not quite sure but if you would like to look into that you can.

The drivers here in Brasil are insane. There are people standing on the islands in the freeway selling things and the motorcycles just weave in and out of lanes.  Today we went to the Sao Paulo Temple for the first time, and it was really pretty!  It was really small but definitely gorgeous.  Tell Dad congrats! And I hope he finds a job he really enjoys.  My time is running short so I need to wrap this all up.  Letters are really slow, but we can write more than email.  I love all you guys and cantt wait to hear more from you all and what’s going on back home.     

Elder Andrus

Off to Brazil - 14 September 2010

Tuesday morning, September 14th, Elder Andrus embarked on his full-time mission for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints to serve the people of Belém, Pará, Brazil. His journey began with an emotional farewell at the Sea-Tac Airport.

After 20 exhausting hours of travel, we are happy to report Elder Andrus' safe arrival to the Brazil MTC in Sao Paulo, Brazil.