Hello Family (and friends)!
I would first like to say that I am having a wonderful time. It is far less structured then I was led to believe and the classes are in general good and helpful. I am slowly learning to read and write portuguese, but I speak and understand better than most mainly due to my Spanish background. About 1/2 the words are the same or close enough and the sentence structure is almost identical. It is like speaking drunken spanish because I fell like I have to slur my words to do it correctly :).
My companion is great! His name is Elder Duffy and he went to BYU with Elder McCord (who also happens to be in my district). He is the District Leader and I'm his assistant. I like to pretend that I wasn't called because the branch president expects me to leave for Brazil soon because I already filled out the online application and the position lasts for 4 weeks. But probably not. He is from Seatle and likes skiing, wakeboarding, and running. Earlier this year he had a major ski accident when he over rotated when doing a 1080 spin off a jump going about 50 mph. He was wearing a helmet when he crashed but was in a coma for about 12 hours, had to be heli-lifted out, and was considered by the doctor to be semi-retarded for about two months. He still finished out the year at BYU, but had to drop two classes because he was said to have the attention span of a second grader. He is at full functionality now except he says he reads a little slower. He seems fine to me. Our whole group jokes about him being retarded and about how is girlfriend is fat because he once called her tubby when he was still a little slow :).
Every day is Sunday at the MTC, but thats ok because I can sleep through church classes here just I like I did back home! Just kidding! We wake up at 6:30 am everyday (except Monday where we have to wake up at 6:10 for the temple) and are asleep by 10:30 pm. Breakfast is at 7:10, lunch is at 11:40, and dinner is at 4:40 with three hour language lessons, meetings with portuguese speaking "investigors," hour long personal study times, gym, and devotionals in between. Gym is obviously my favorite time because I get to lift weights, run, and play four-square. Old habits die hard and I still am having a little trouble with such regiment but I will adjust.
I miss you guys so much and hope you guys will either email or write me! If you use Dear Elder, the letters are printed and delivered within one day so that might work best. I only get 30 min a week to email between 12:00 and 4:30 so try and be on then.