All I can say right now is wow. I'm about halfway through the CTM today, more or less. Time has been flying by! 1/24 is almost over, how crazy is that?? I've really liked it though. They feed us really well, I have to be careful to not gain a ton of food babies. The rest of my district has some odd eating preferences. They have frijoada (bean and pork stew, for anyone wondering) and nobody likes it, except for me. I love it, even with the pieces of bone floating around. They had flan too, or pudim de leite, as the Brasileiros call it. I finished it off for 3 or 4 other Elders in my district. It wasn't even burnt, I thought they were crazy.
I bunk with four other Elders, two in my district, and two in another. And my companion, of course. His name is Elder Meeks, and he's from the suburbs of Chicago, IL. He's pretty cool, but we don't have a lot in common. He's met a handful of people that he knew before, and I haven't met anyone I know yet. The closest is Elder Blair in my district, who went on a date with one of Alicia's friends. He knows a lot of people who know Kelsey and Terra and them, but no close friends in common. Oh well.
We have gym almost every day, and yet another Elder in my district has this workout that is crazy. It's a deck of cards numbered 1-10, 4 sets of those plus eight more 10's. He picks five exercises such as lunges, pull ups, push ups, etc, and we turn a random card over to do that many reps. Next exercise, flip the card, do that many reps, and so on until gym is over or the deck runs out. Or you puke and quit, but luckily that hasn't happened to me. The Elder's name is Elder Eliason, great guy. He's in the Army, as a combat diver.
It's pretty insane what these guys do. Most are already highly trained soldiers, like Rangers (A-Team Mom!) or Green Berets. They don't stop for pretty much anything. The stories are intense. They're kind of like Navy Seals, but with combat experience and less regard (or even no regard) to physical needs. I say no thanks for me, but map props to those who do it.
So, we're teaching this guy, Alexandre, and we've almost got him baptized. We're sooo close! He's really an instructor posing as a pesquisador (investigator) and he's really funny. I love him to death. He knows when to be serious and work, and that makes him all the better.
Mom and Dad, I heard from a couple people that if you look up my mission on DearElder.com and if it's a pouch mission, postage is free or something like that. Would you be willing to look into that? I think it's something worth checking out. Thanks for all the favors you guys do for me, I really appreciate it!
Today is P-Day, one of the few days that isn't the same routine as the others. We go to the temple and do endowments for the deceased and then we eat lunch when we get back and do the things we need to for the week. Laundry, send e-mails, letters, buy cookies, and whatever else. We usually have from around 1:30 or 2 until 5:00 to get everything done. Mom, that dryer trick for white shirts is so useful, thank you for showing me. It saves so much time.
Other than Sundays, every day is pretty much the same. Breakfast, study for 3 hours, lunch, classes and teaching for 3 hours, dinner, classes and teaching for 3 hours, plan, snack, and bedtime.
We walked around the boundary today to explore a little and try to find this park we heard about. It has chess boards and lots of open space. We found it, and this part of the letter is being written at the park :) We have only been out to eat once, when Irmão Costa took us to the Churrascaria. The CTM asks us to not eat at the local places. I hope to eat at a few more places before I go. Supposedly, São Paulo makes some of the best pizza anywhere, even people from Italy love it, but the places only open at night D: Maybe I'll come back with Dr Pugh and get a chance to try it.
Well, I think that's about it, my life isn't terribly exciting right now. At five we go back in and learn some more, teach Irmão Costa/Alexandre. On the way in, I'll stop at Cheney's across the street, eat a cookie, and mail this letter off. Oh, the Mission Ties place is in the cookie store, Mr. Cheney's Cookies. It's "The Place" to hang out for missionaries. Some Elders' parents buy them stuff from Cheney's. It's kind of funny sometimes all the other Elders oggling a big place of pancakes or a cinnamon roll. I don't have anything more to write, I've exhausted all my experiences. I hope you guys are doing well, everything sounds like it's going just great. I'll leave you with a definition.
Missionary: someone who leaves their family for two years so that others can be with theirs for eternity.
I love and miss you all, and pray for you often.
Love, Elder Wille
P.S. The streets and stores are very much like the ones in Mexico. Graffiti, bright paint, cracked sidewalks, etc. Plus crazy drivers. One last thing. Could you ask Alisha to check her e-mail? Thanks!