Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

   So, thanks to the time change you all moved back an hour, and I moved forward an hour, meaning we are now 6 hours apart!!! Which means it is barely 8 in the morning there. I hope all is well back home.
   Ok so I freaked out a little when I heard I could send letters by pouch when I get in the field, but then they told me that it doesn't matter I still need Brazilian stamps (I don't know why) so don't worry too much about it.
   Yes I did get two of your dear elders. They come slow but they come. I still have three weeks left in the CTM (name for it down here in Brazil) I really am getting tired of it. I'm ready to get out into the field, but I still need this time for the language. The language is starting to come, but really slowly. Since coming here my understanding has gone way up, but my speaking even though it's improving is way behind.  
   The CTM is about to get a lot more people. Apparently the visa office in L.A. (which is the big one for almost everyone to use) is sending out like 100 visas. That’s good, but only about 40 are coming to the CTM because the rest were already in the field.
    Oh! Report time. So one thing I forgot to tell you last week was last Sunday (not two days ago) I gave a talk in sacrament meeting! It was on virtue and only 5 min. The scary thing was that Pres. and Sis Clark, mission presidents of the MTC, attended our sacrament meeting. But afterward Sister Clark told me I did really well, and I have a really sweet spirit about me when I give talks. I thought that was nice. This past Sunday (just two days ago) I played the piano for sacrament meeting. That was scary... especially because I didn't know any sacrament songs. So I learned one. I can't remember the hymn number in English since the hymn books are different but I learned a whole hymn in one week, finding 10 min here and there to practice in between classes. OH! And tonight I direct the Missionary choir for devotional. That is gonna be scary....
   Anyways things are going pretty good. Yeah it really is weird that Elder Sherrill isn't here yet but he will come eventually, especially now that visas are coming out fast again. I can't believe I only have 3 weeks left at the MTC but at the same time I can't believe it is taking so long. I want to get out in the field so bad....
   Well, I am out of time. Until next week I suppose... I am gonna go out today and try a Pastel from a bakery.
Lots and lots of Love,
Elder Baldwin

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Alright! Another P-Day down. Today I was able to go into the city before my email, so I can tell you all about it!! I wrote some letters to people but I haven't sent some to you yet. The reason being is it costs me 2.10 a letter to send, which in American money is about 1.40. The Brazil MTC doesn't give me any money so I will wait to send alot of letters for when I am out in the field and recieving money. Maybe I can use that money more. So today Elder Smith and I went to Barbecue! It was all you can eat and they cut it off the stake for you onto your plate. It was really cool and really good. For the meal and a Sprite it was R$22.00 or around 15 american dollars, which isn't too bad for an all you can eat pork and steak place. Right now my companions are two Americans named Elder Smith and Elder Gleason. We have Brazilian roommates but in general they don't pair up Americans and Brazilians because the Brazilians leave after only 3 weeks.
   I have only 4 more weeks in the MTC!! It's weird to think I'll be leaving for Rio in a month. The Elder that came from my home district last week was Elder Lamb, tall with really short buzz cut who I roomed with in Provo. Tomorrow we are getting four more elders, three of whom are from my old District. Elders Swinney, Heath, and Cornwell. Still no word from Elder Sherrill yet I think.
   Oh, try not to send any letters or packages to me here at the Brazil CTM. It takes the postal service a week to get to me and right now the post office is on strike, so they delay all mail by at least another week. I'm afriad you will send me mail and I will leave before it gets delivered. If you send it to my mission office in about two weeks, then I should be able to get it from them. Also, no matter what you do do not send packages to me here. It takes 4-6 weeks to get here, and the CTM can NOT send it to me in the field if I am not here to recieve it. Just send those straight to my mission home. Thank you so much I love you!
   I don't know exactly how to use the pouch system but when I do I'll let you know. Oh, did you get the stamps I sent home with that first post card letter thing? Because if not I need to hunt down the lady and ask her where she put them.... Well time is up. Which is really lame... I hope you get this and all is well. Love you all lots!!
   Elder Daniel Baldwin

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

pictures from the MTC

Tuesday, October 4

Tuesday's are Elder Baldwin's P-day, so that is most likely the day where new information and updates will be available. Here is his email from this week:

Dear mom and dad:
I am sorry I did not call you in the airport, I was not aware I was allowed to until it was too late. But I'm here safe and sound, and it sounds like you got the picture emailed by my MTC president. He seems really nice. oh! Another miracle happened while I was checking my bags. Both weighed exactly 50 pounds each!! I didn't have to pay for anything extra and was able to take all my stuff, books and everything included. The small backpack survived the trip somehow and I am still using it.

So the MTC down here allows us outside of the MTC within a few block of it on P-Day. Today (tuesday) is my P-Day so I will be able to go outside and see how my Portuguese is in the real world ;). I'm also going to buy a few things like a scripture bag for my Portuguese set of scriptures. There is a lady here who can embroider the name of my mission and my name on the front of the bag so that is pretty cool. I am really loving it here now. I'm starting to love my companions as well. Oh! Tomorrow we get a new Elder in our district from Provo. I'm hoping it is Elder Sherrill but I’m not sure if it will be since there are 200 some odd elders waiting for visas back there. Because of that, this MTC has about 100 if not less missionaries in it, and only about 30-40 from America. It’s weird but nice at the same time. We have Brazilian roommates since it is 6 to a room here. They don't speak any english at all and their portuguese is very difficult to understand, but I find every day it gets a little easier.

The food down here is much better in everyone's opinion than in Provo. Some food in Provo we miss, but the freshness and organic-ness and other things of the food here more than makes up for it in my opinion. Yes I loved Conference! And you will be happy to know that I was awake for every single session this time, all 5. It's weird though because we were watching it three hours ahead of Utah and 4 hours ahead of you guys. I was eating dinner when I'm sure you were all still in your pajamas!

I have been really good about taking my vitamins so far, but I hear the field is much worse than the MTC so I’m going to try and save them until I get to Rio. I only have 5 more weeks here before I ship out to the field. It’s weird. The saying here is the days pass by like weeks, but the weeks pass by like days. This is very true, because each day feels like an eternity but I blink and it is P-Day again and I get to write you all again :)

Oh did you see the new Joseph Smith movie, which is narrated by the mother of Joseph Smith? I don't know, I kind of like the other one about him better. They are virtually the same movie but they took out a couple scenes and stuff.
They told me my stamps would not work because they were american stamps. They work in america going out but not from other countries going in. but idk... I'm just gonna send letter out from the post office, and it will be awhile I think before I send home more pictures, like after I get to the field or so. But I’m glad you got them ok :). I love you very much!

Love your son, Elder Baldwin