Friday, October 24, 2014

Oi Familia,                                                                    Oct 24, 2014 

To answer your questions, yes I got the quad I love it, cool I'm excited to get my Christmas presents. It makes me happy to hear you guys are reading the book of Mormon again it's an amazing book. Laundry is great not that good cuz we can't use bleach so yeah interesting but good.
So this week was a little different, long story short I got a new companion. His name is Elder Burt from Oregon. He is really cool I like him a lot and he was a visa waiter for 3 weeks in Provo. Before I got him I was paired with the zone leaders as a trio for a couple of days which was weird because I guess that technically made me district/zone leader. Not really but that's what we kind of joked about it.
This week we went proselyting which was really awesome, way better than P day but it was really intimidating too. We each got two book of Mormons to give out and they took us on the bus into the middle of the city it was definitely a new experience. It was the only kind of big city experience I've had with people walking everywhere. I felt really small and out of place. The night before, I told myself I am just going to talk to everyone but that isn't quite how it happened. I got rejected the first time but after that we found this guy who at first wasn't interested because he thought we wanted to sell him something but then we told him no we have a present for you and it is free and he got interested and asked us why he needs the book of Mormon if he has the bible already. So we ended up talking with him and bearing our testimony with him for like 30 min which was amazing. We got his name number and address too so I got my first investigator. We also got a couple others too ha ha a lot of the people here are really nice there is always a couple who aren't very social but most are patient with us. I am excited to get out in the field. Love you guys!

Elder Riddle

Saturday, October 18, 2014

Campinas Temple and Learning Portuguese

Oi Famillia!                                                                                                               Oct 16 2014

Well the days are long and the weeks are short, this week went by way faster than last week did. I have been learning and progressing so much. Our surprise lessons are getting more and more frequent. Yesterday I had 3 lessons and it is cool because they record you while you teach. The room is like a little studio. Which is good and bad because I like hearing how I sound. The bad part is it isn't very good ha ha . I have reached the point where I have stopped using notes during my lessons. For one because I can't even keep up with all of the surprise lessons and it takes too much time to write all of them and also because I feel like they hold me back, because I know that I know the words and phrases but I just don't trust myself in speaking. So I have found that not having notes forces me to think during the lessons and remember the phrases, and it also makes it more natural too because I can speak freely as the spirit guides instead of having a set script. I am benefiting from that a lot more when I trust in the spirit. And the time that I normally use to write my notes I just study the language instead.

This week I had a really hard day on Wednesday. I don't even know why but I was just stressed out and depressed, and it all started with a unique haircut experience from this guy. He didn't really care all that much and it looked like a good haircut but then I went into the bathroom after and saw that there were patches of long hair like everywhere like it was sooooo bad. So My buddy from London Elder Stanbury cut it for me with some fingernail scissors, much better now.

I can give a 30 minute discussion now in Portuguese without notes ( very badly, very) it's rough but I have accepted the fact that I am going to suck for a while so I am not that stressed about it. I just keep trying, plus our "investigators" are usually one of our teachers so they are cool with us. I am really working on being patient. My companion and a lot of others in my district are really lazy. They think this is a vacation or something and me and these other kids have to constantly remind them why they are here. There are times when I actually get really mad with the things they do. Whenever they complain about stuff we get on them and then they argue. But anyways it is kind of good for me because my companion can't speak or understand much so I am forced to give the entire lesson every time. It is bad for him but good for me because it helps me learn.

It is getting hotter here! The first week we were here it was actually really cold and I even needed to break out my sweaters. But now it's like 30 degrees hotter and I'm always sweating except for in the "sala de aula" where we close the blinds and stuff blankets in the cracks of the door and see how low we can get it. Our record is 15 degrees, it goes down to 10 but technically we aren't allowed to have it lower than 18. I love it but the Brazilians always complain it is cold. They don't know how to use AC down here. Like for instance when I was coming home from the temple today we were on this really nice charter bus and I knowww it had AC but yet we were all dying. Sao Paulo is in a big drought right now their water reservoirs are only 5 percent capacity, so we are really conservative with water.

Elder Aidukaitis..."Gru" spoke to use the other day he is really funny and his Portuguese accent is much better than his attempt at an American one.

I just got back from the temple today and this week we went out to the Campinas temple and it was really pretty. I like the outside of it better than the Sao Paulo but the inside of the Sao Paulo was cool just because it is older. The Campinas temple had an amazing celestial room I really liked it and the spirit was so strong and it really strengthens my testimony to know that no matter where you go or what language it is the church is the same. It is really cool to have sessions in Portuguese and it is really a beautiful language. I feel blessed to have these cool opportunities (pics coming soon). Well I am about to go out and today's p day should be a little longer than last week so I am excited. Love you guys and praying for you!

Elder Hiddle

[r's are pronounced like h's in Portuguese]

Campinas Temple

Saturday, October 11, 2014

Life in the CTM


There is no way Cole is driving...                                                                                      Oct 10, 2014
Anyways Oi Familia!!. Oh man where to start I have been in the CTM for 9 days now and already it feels like I have been here for like a month. Going 10 days without a p day is hard, BTW I only have 45 min to write so much to say no time. I love Brazil! it is definitely very different but it is all really pretty (at least from a far) because up until today I haven't been outside the CTM. It almost doesn't feel like I'm in Brazil sometimes during the day. After classes I go up to my room (6th floor) and look out my window and it is the best view ever so awesome!. We have the best room with a view and all the other elders come into our room to look out the window. It's awesome huge 20 plus floor buildings as far as you can see just a sea of buildings, definitely new for me.
It is hard being the minority, I am definitely not used to it. Everyone here speaks Portuguese except like 20 % of us Americans. The Brazilians always come into our room and try to speak with us and then they start laughing and pointing fingers and calling us gringos!! ha ha it  hurts but they are cool.  The first day we went to our class room and sat down expecting to be taught in English but our teacher just went OFF!! She went on a rant just speaking Portuguese and we were all like what just happened. However I was able to pick up stuff and talk back to her which was cool (thanks to Aston). I even gave the first prayer and she was impressed.
Even if people speak English they never will to us. The second day we had our first lesson in Portuguese and man was that rough. My companion and I almost cried, it is so frustrating knowing what you want to say but not being able to say it.  I have come so far, the other day we had a surprise lesson so we didn't have time to plan for it so we had to go off of what we already know.  I never prayed harder for anything in my life then for the gift of tongues and that lesson actually turned out to be the best one I have given yet. It was really cool. I pretty much gave the whole lesson though because my companion knows nothing which is really hard because he doesn't even try and he is always negative and yeah it sucks, I even try to help him but he is lazy and I can't study for him, it sucks.
I am starting to understand people a lot better and I can read pretty well however I cannot speak to save my life!. Btw I am the senior companion and district leader, which is cool except for the fact I have to check the mailbox every day after each meal, it is kind of like a daily ritual for the district to huddle around the mailbox and its usually always empty lol.
The meals are pretty good, however my bowels have not adjusted AT ALL (sooooo much beans) I love them so much but later in the day I hate myself so much yet I have no self control and I never know. I hope my body adjusts. Their breakfast is always the same, some type of porridge, I've learned to put bananas in everything because it tastes way better! Lunch is the biggest meal and always different like 2 different kinds of meat with rice and beans (today we had hamburgers and fries, I almost cried). Dinner is smaller but usually just as good, and later in the night we get lanche (snack).
Our district has started going Crazy!! One day we were in the sala de aula [classroom] for 8 hours straight it is so hard we were literally losing our minds. We find the dumbest things to entertain ourselves with, like passing notes through the window to the sisters in the other class or singing Disney songs at the top of our lungs and I figured out I can't sing in Portuguese either. The other day we stuck googly eyes all around the classroom hidden and our teacher started finding them and couldn't stop laughing for like 20 minutes. I wish I had time to say everything we do. It is a lot of fun, but very hard work!!!
I have never been so excited for conference in my entire life! This whole week I was just waiting to finally get to listen to someone speak to me in English. I think that was the best general conference I have ever heard. So many good talks! and there were a lot of talks about missionary work. It was awesome to take a break and have a chance to feel the spirit because it has been hard when you are just constantly stressed out about the language. I saw Zac singing and that made me really happy!! So much to say but I'm almost out of time. I went to the temple today for the first time and the Brazil temple is by far my most favorite temple now, the inside is beautiful and we got there 2 hours early so we were doing service I got to fold the laundry down stairs then after we were able to perform ordinances like baptisms and confirmations! My first confirmation was in Portuguese and in the temple in Brazil! It was a sweet experience and I have never felt the spirit so strong. I'm about to go out of the CTM onto the streets for the first time! wish me luck! Love you guys !  BYE ! 
-Elder Riddle
The view out my window from the 6th floor

Friday, October 3, 2014

CTM Arrival in Sao Paulo

Mom and Dad                                                                                                                Oct 1, 2014

Well I unpacked and found all of your excessive notes. Niceee... btw I unpacked and then packed up the big suit case with everything I don't need right now, (its full) and stowed it away. Thanks though and yeah I wish I had leftovers. We met up with a ton of missionaries in Detroit and flew in to Brazil together, they are awesome. And the flight was really sweet (and tempting) I really wanted to watch movies but I didn't. Plus we got 2 meals, they were alright. The flight was like all Brazilians too so I didn't know what they were saying, however I was able to pick up a little bit and talk small talk with the guy next to me (he smelled really bad btw like really bad!) Brazil is so much different than America and I've only been here for 2 hours. Lots to tell only a little time but yeah my companion is cool and one of the guys in my room is from London. Everyone keeps saying its hot here, I think it's beautiful the windows are open and it's breezy. It is pretty moist but I was expecting that. I hope you guys are having fun in the desert!  p.s. their keyboards here are screwed up. Love you guys. Oh and I've only been mugged once since being here so I guess everything is fine! bye talk to you next week.
Elder Riddle 
P.S I was kidding on the mugged part.



Wednesday, October 1, 2014

The Airport

Saying Goodbye to Elder Riddle was hard but we are so proud of him and his decision to serve a mission. Here he comes Brazil!