Tuesday, April 24, 2012

A visit from Elder Quentin L. Cook

      My companion, Elder Jensen, is from Pleasington California, and luckily this week another Elder came so I only have one companion again.  I am sicker than sick today so my email my not be too long. I think I got a bug in the food here last night, cuz I woke up with a massive fever in the middle of the night. 
     Elder Quentin L Cook, Apostle,   came and spoke to us yesterday. He gave a phenomenal talk about the importance of missionary work.  Basketball is still boring here, and the next best kids left for their missions today. The Sao Paulo Temple is beautiful, and I'm glad I get to listen to the session in English. I had the chills the whole time today during the session, so hopefully I get feeling better soon. I will definitely send longer emails once I'm out in the field. Sad news, I don't get to call home on mother's day.  
    I usually get your letters one week from when you send them. Ask a lot more questions in letters and less in emails. The language is coming along very well, I can almost always tell what's going on, I just haven't gotten the fluent speaking down quite yet.   
      Mail time for packages is generally 2 weeks. My letters will take 2 weeks to get to you guys. I miss everyone but I'm learning to love the MTC. We're going to tract our last 2 mondays in the MTC, so we haven't done any of that yet. My companions name is David Jensen, from Pleasington California. My other companion was from Idaho falls - his name is Ethan Kammerman. Sorry we don't have very long on the computers - I'll try to send more stuff via letters. My room here is hotter than hot. I wish they had better AC. I'm on the sixth floor which makes it hot! And we're not allowed to use the elevators. One of my suit cases got banged up during the flight, so it's kinda coming apart in the corner. I hope grandma is doing well, I'll have to write her in a little bit. Anything going on with VHS soccer? 
     It's a great experience constantly being around Brazilians all the time, and we're not allowed to speak English in the cafeteria which helps a lot. We have a certain distance away from the MTC we're allowed to go on P day, so you'll see pics when I send an SD card home. My whole district is sweet, our DL is 24 years old, graduated from college in psychology and he's from Minnesota. Everyone else is from California, Texas, Washington, and Oregon. I'll tell more specifics in letters. My testimony is growing sooooo strong in here. 
     Continue to pray twice a day and read the scriptures at least nightly and we'll be an extremely blessed family. I'm glad Sammie is alive too! She better be alive when I get home. Dad, read a talk by Van J Featherstone. it's all in portuguese, but i really liked it. You'll know which one it is when you see it. Just look through lds.org and google til you find it. I got that letter from Austin [Jelitto], I think it's a good idea to do that thing with all of the parents. Just attach whatever stories you want of mine into the thing. In the care package sent treats, and more Dayquil and Nyquil - that stuff is magic. My companion must have been super popular in high school, cuz he gets like 5 letters a day! That's what I need haha. Send some pictures in the mail....maybe 3 or 4 per letter so it can still bend. I'll probably send an SD card home next week. That's sweet that Tay's got a trainer now, hopefully he can get some sweet scholarship offers.  I love all of you!
    Elder Shepherd

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Sao Paulo MTC Life .

Hey family! I was blessed with ANOTHER companion this week! Now I'm in a trio!!!! The language is coming along sooooo easy for some reason! Sorry emails will be short, but I wrote back a letter to all of you last night! so ask a lot more questions in letters and just tell more stories in emails. Sounds like Austin [Phelps]and Taylor are having fun! I just met a missionary going to Tanner Kearney's mission {Angola, Africa]. haha. surprisingly there is no one from Utah here. I wanna especially thank Tay for being a great example to me. He read his scriptures more than I ever did! That's gonna help him here a ton. Hailey good luck in your dance competition!! You'll do great! Just don't think about boys and you'll get a 10 score! haha. Is Sammie [our beagle] still alive??  Is she fatter??
      My routine: I wake up at six-thirty, then eat, we have classes for language til noon, then we eat. then classes for gospel study til about 5 ish, then eat. then we have companionship language study and what not til 9, then bed.  I hope everything is going well at home! I get time from 9:30 every night til 10:30 to write in my journal and write letters. but I never get mail. The MTC isn't bad though, and time goes by sooooo fast! It seriously feels  liike one big day, with p-day and Sundays coming in between long days. The Sao Paulo temple is beautiful, we go there every morning on p-day and do a session.
     The food here is getting old really fast haha. we eat the same thing every breakfast lunch and dinner, pretty much. Any one else opened a mission call recently? I have some sweet pictures! There's a black market shop across the street where I got 3 soccer jerseys and a watch [for cheap]!! Keep sending me letters cuz I have a lot more time to do those! I've tried about every trick to get pics onto these computers but they're like on ultra lock-down. The language is almost down, I can say a fluent prayer and testimony. and my testimony is growing soooo strong here after being here for so little time. Try to say a a family prayer every night, and read a scripture or two,  just one verse will bless so many.  I love you all,  Carson

Thursday, April 12, 2012

Carsons First Email From Brazil

Well this is my first email, and there's so much to say! 
The plane to Brazil was soooooo long so I hated it... but I'm here safely! I hope you got my picture from the MTC people. How is everyone! Sorry there isn't a question mark on this weird keyboard. So the language is coming along really well, it's super similar to Spanish, My companion is Elder Jensen! He's from California, and he's super cool. The food here is really good, but breakfast is weird. We have paninis every day for breakfast, and lunch is the biggest meal in Brazil. We have rice and beans for all 3 meals, plus usually a meat of some kind. also.... LOTS OF WATERMELON!!  yeah the fruit is basically amazing. I can't really attach pictures because it takes forever... so sorry! I'll try and mail them to you, but it'll be hard because we can't send letters here unless we walk way up the street on p-day. and I only get 20 minutes to email. What's everyone up to?? Has Tay wrecked the car yet? I found the question mark. haha but yeah is the car all in one piece? 
My district is sweet. Sao Paulo is huge!!!! It took us like 45 minutes to get from the airport to the MTC... so that was bad. But there are sky scrapers everywhere. I'll work on finding out how to send you guys pictures cuz i have a lot. These computers are on super lock down, so we can only get on like 3 programs, and can't attach any files on this stupid email. Funniest thing about the MTC is that we're not allowed to play soccer during gym class. They said that they used to be able to, but that the Brazilians get way to intense and fight. So we can only play volleyball and basketball. My companion is also going to Santa Maria which is cool! I sent you a letter. You have to priority mail everything to me to get it here in a week... if not then it'll take about 3 to 4 weeks. All my roommates don't sleep cuz the Brazilians here i guess are used to getting 4 to 5 hours a sleep every night. also,  I hate to wake up at 6:30 every morning haha. I'm blessed to have such a fantastic family. I'll send again next week! I love you!
Elder Shepherd

Carsons MTC Companion Elder Jensen: