Wednesday, September 24, 2014

Hoof Stew and Guarana

Well everyone, it was great to hear from you all!  I'm having such a good time here!  I love and miss all of you but knowing that I'm doing the Lord's work makes it worth it :)  So we just got back from the Sao Paulo temple.  We get to go every pday to either the Sao Paulo one or another one that's pretty close.  It was such a cool temple!  They even did it in English so that was nice!  The Portuguese is coming along slowly but surely.  I'd be lying if I said it wasn't the hardest thing I've ever done but as a wise man once told me "It's all good" - Brad Harris ;)  Haha love you dad ;)  I can hold a decent conversation with the Brazillian missionaries as long as they slow it down for me a ton!  It's frustrating but I have to remember that it's only the first week so I can't get too frustrated.  The food here is way good!  Lots of rice and beans though ;)  We have it for every meal for a side.  Yesterday for lunch was the first time I ate something a little weird.  They had a stew and it was really dark looking with chunks of meat and when I ladled it onto my rice there was a hoof.  Yes a hoof haha.  To be honest I didn't eat the hoof because I feel like that would be a little too crunchy but everything else in the stew wasn't bad ;)  The fruits here are spectacular!  especially the pineapple! It's so good!!  So I don't know if this going on facebook but if AJ Caldwell ends up reading this, they have all you can drink Guarana here for every meal!  It's so bomb!  Guarana is like some super good Brazillian soda that is spectacular!  So I don't know about the Provo MTC but everyone tells me that you have no free time at all.  Here is actually pretty chill.  You get a couple hours of free time every day but our district chooses to spend it studying the language anyways.  Our district is way cool!  We're all super close.  One of the sisters in our district was sick yesterday so she asked the Elders to give her a blessing and the Elders said they felt like I should do it.  It was so cool!  It was the first blessing I've ever given and I would say it went pretty good :)  Our room is on the top floor of the CTM, so the view is sweet!  It's technically on the 6th floor but they consider the first floor to be the ground floor and the second to be the first and so on so it's actually the 7th floor.  That's awesome except for the stairs!  Those got old real fast!  So I'm in a Companionship trio with Elder Albee and Elder Cragun.  Elder Albee is from Manti and he's pretty chill.  Elder Cragun is from Eden Utah.  Well they're kicking us off the computers now so I've got to go.  I love you all!  Keep me posted on what's going on at home!  I'm doing great here!  I'm having a blast! Love you all!
Elder Harris #4

Wednesday, September 17, 2014

Your missionary arrived!

Dear Parents,

Sister Swensen and I are very happy to let you know that your missionary has arrived safely at the Brazil Missionary Training Center. What a great joy and privilege it is to greet each missionary as they begin their missionary experiences with us. We will surely take good care of your missionary.

The missionaries now have companions and are settled into their rooms. They are assigned to a district with capable and caring instructors for language and lesson study. Their branch presidents and wives, will meet them this Sunday. These wonderful couples are richly blessed as they work with, motivate, and interview the missionaries assigned to their branch.

The MTC has a full-time live-in physician to care for their health needs. He is assisted by his able wife who is a nurse. We are also happy to report that the cafeteria food is plentiful, healthy and very good.

Your missionary is about to make an eternal difference in the lives of many others. President Lorenzo Snow said: “There is no mortal man that is as interested in the success of an elder when he is preaching the Gospel as is the Lord who sent him to preach to the people who are the Lord's children". We love these missionaries as if they were our own. We will watch over them carefully to ensure they are ready for a wonderful missionary experience after the rewarding time they will have in the MTC.

We thank you for preparing such a wonderful representative of the Lord.

President and Sister Swensen

Well, I made it!

Well , I made it!  Today has been so fun, Sao Paulo is so crazy!  The drivers here are insane!  They make California drivers look super nice and pleasant.  The flight from Atlanta to here was super long and really uncomfortable but oh well at least we're here.  The weather is actually super nice.  It's about 60 degrees and overcast.  Still super humid but I'll get over it.  Dad sorry I didn't call you back last night from Atlanta, hopefully you got my voice mail.  We ended up boarding the plane about 5 minutes after I hung up with you so I never had time to call you back.  So the best way I'd describe Sao Paulo is like a more tropical Los Angeles.  They have like little sections of just rainforest all over here so that was a surprise.  It's nice because it takes away from the whole nasty city aspect.  There are malls and we saw a Walmart here.  The view from our room is spectacular!  We're on the top floor of our building.  The cars are pretty similar but way small.  Lots of Fiats, Chevys, and Fords.  They weren't kidding about the music here!  Just about every car you look into here has a nice big sound system so I feel right at home ;)  Anyways that's about it for now.  They wont let us send pictures while I'm in the CTM (MTC) so you'll have to wait 6 more weeks for them but just know that all is good here and I'm doing well :)  They're saying tonight is all you can eat Brazillian pizza and they say it's so bomb!  I think I'm more excited about that than anything ;) 

                                                                                                         Love, Elder Harris #2

Tuesday, September 16, 2014

He's On His Way!

We dropped Devin off at the Salt Lake City Airport and waved good-bye!  Fortunately for us, Bryan Harris was flying out of Delta as well and sent a few pictures of Devin waiting to board his flight to Atlanta and then on to Sao Paulo!  Thanks, Bryan!
The Delta employee at entrance to security made him solemnly promise to email home every week!
A final wave before he heads through security!

Those flying with Devin to Brazil...thanks, Bryan, for the pictures!

A little blurry, but he looks happy!