Matthew was actually able to send a few brief personal emails to specific family members and friends, but this was his main email. Sounds like he is busy, but doing great!- JMC
This past week has been incredible! The flight here was exhausting, but I was able to get to know a few of the missionaries. I found out, after arriving at Sao Paulo, that there are actually 7 others going to Piracicaba with me! So our whole district is made up of missionaries going to Piracicaba! We all know each other very well now and get along great. I actually have two companions, and they're names are Elder David and Elder Bush. They are both really cool. Unfortunately, I can't send any pictures during my stay here, but the camera's turned out to be really poopy any way. The pictures are really grainy and the zoom is terrible. Other than that, I can still take somewhat of a picture. Ah, yes- Mr. Cheney's! Yes, there is a place right across from the CTM that does care packages, and I heard they have some really good cookies. For my P-Day today, we went to the Sao Paulo Temple, and it was really cool. We had to wake up extra early to go there today, though. We just got back about 20 minutes ago, and we have to finish our emails as fast as possible to be able to go out exploring. That also means I can't go up to my room and get my mailing address, but I think you have a book that says what the mailing addresses are. Its the one with the missionary lists of items to get.
Anyways, my schedule goes something along the lines of:
6:30-7:00 Wake up and get ready for the day
7:00-8:00 Personal study (scripture study; my district made a goal to read the whole Book of Mormon here before we leave)
8:30-9:55 Additional study
10:15-11:00 Physical Activity (we can't play soccer though)
11:00-11:30 Take a shower, prepare
12:15-13:30 Language Study
13:30-16:30 Time with Instructor (his name is Irmao Tavares)
17:15-18:00 TALL (like a language program on the computer; it barely even works half the time haha)
18:00-21:00 More time with Irmao Tavares
21:00-21:45 Daily planning and snack!
21:45-22:30 Prepare to sleep
So, yeah, thats pretty much our schedule. Sometimes, something will be changed or added, like on Tuesdays- we have a Devotional at night, and Wednesdays are our P-Days. The meals! Oh my, they are so good. With every meal, there's beans and rice, beans and rice. They also always have some sort of meat. And they have milinesas! (or however you spell it) But that is seriously the best meal I've had so far, and both my companions agree. For our language study, we have learned so much. Like, I know more Portuguese than I do Spanish now. Also, my companions and I always sit next to the natives during lunch and talk with them. Also, before we go to bed, the Brasileiros storm our room and its like they've never seen Americans haha. Needless to say, we've been very immersed in the language. On Tuesday, our second day here, we had to give a full lesson to an "investigator" all in Portuguese. The cool thing was, that we were able to do just that. We had learned so much Portuguese that we could actually carry on a long conversation with them. I learned so much in the past week, and have come to grow a strong testimony of the Gift of Tongues here on my mission.
Yes, Dad, that would be awesome to have you create a blog for my mission. Anything that works, right? :) I love you all and hope the best.
Your son and brother,