Tuesday, September 13, 2016

Landed in Brazil!

I was pulling into the parking garage at work this morning and my phone dinged. Being the conscientious driver that I am, I didn't look at it until I was tucked safely into my parking spot. It was an email from Nathanael! He was able to write to let us know he made it safely. I was so happy! As I read, I couldn't help but notice how excited he seems. It warmed my heart and I have been smiling all day (with far less weepy tears than yesterday). Knowing that he was feeling so positive about things put my worries at ease. He sounds great! He asks that if you want to hear from him, you email him so he can have your email address. Because it's a new account, he doesn't have anyones address.

I thought I'd share the email. Note the use of the word 'rad' - I taught him well. And Carl particularly liked the story of the flip off. Enjoy!

Hey Mom!!!!!

What's up?? My flight was great! I'm so glad you emailed me. They told us we could email our family and I was so excited!! It's been a crazy day or so. Luckily I'm doing ok so far. The second flight was CRAZY long but I managed to get some sleep and am doing good. I have been sick to my stomach because I've been so nervous for like 36 hours but I'm doing good anyway. I have so many crazy stories already to tell you! First of all, most people here speak no english but they are all super friendly. I had like 10 guys come up and introduce themselves and they even offered to carry my luggage. It was cool. My companion is Elder Work (the guy we met at the airport!) so that's pretty rad. 

There were easily 30 missionaries or more on the flight from SLC to Atlanta so it was cool. Another elder (on his way to Argentina) and I were sitting next to this Catholic guy and he asked us what we believe in. (I was like wow, this is such a cliche mission experience! Haha but anyway.) I was super nervous so I said, "why don't you ask this elder? He's already trained!" Lazy I know. He went on to explain the Joseph Smith story and the first vision. It was really neat. I wouldn't have known what to say, but he just dove right in and the guy was totally going along with it. It made me feel like I can be bold and people might actually listen to me! So that was a good experience.

Then on the flight to Sao Paulo (ugh!) I met this guy who literally travels all around the world doing electrical engineering stuff. He didn't want anything to do with the church (he said he was a devout Catholic) but he recognized me as an LDS missionary and was really nice. He helped me fill out the white immigration card we had to do and gave me tips about travelling internationally. He asked me all sorts of questions. It made me laugh when he asked me if I was old enough to drink coffee, haha.

It is so crazy here!! I feel so totally out of my element and a little scared. But I am doing really well and I'm determined. 

Being here is just like watching a movie about a city in Brazil. (Huh, turns out the movies are pretty good!) The driving is crazy. We drove for like an hour from the airport to the CTM (dang Portuguese) and I thought we might die. Our driver even flipped a guy off, haha. I'm really glad my mission isn't a driving mission.

Sorry if there are a lot of typos in this email. I'm running off of like 4 hours of airplane sleep and this keyboard is in Portuguese. It took me like 2 minutes just to find the apostrophe! And there are red lines under all the words because let's face it, I'm typing in English. I miss you guys so so much. I'm still taking in the fact that I'm going to be gone for two years. But I'm also getting more and more excited! So that's good. 

Just so you know, I won't have another P day until a week from Friday. So that will be about 9 days until I can email you again. :( I'm sure a million things will have changed by then, so brace yourself. I probably won't even be able to type in English anymore, hopefully.

Sorry this is such a huge info dump. I miss you guys tons but I know I'm doing a good thing and I'm happy about it. It definitely is as hard and scary as everyone says it is though. And it's only the first day haha!! But don't worry about me, remember to chill. I'm sure I'll adjust in no time. Hopefully, because everyone here is really nice and I have no clue what they're saying haha. I'm so glad my companion is American.

So far, no giant spiders yet. We'll see though. The windows in our room open and there's no screen, so it's only a matter of time. Also, there are rad palm trees here and I'm totally into it. But it's super hot and I smell bad... oh, well. Haha.

Love you and Dad tons. Be thinking about and praying for me. I know this is going to be great! Oh, and I'll send pictures next Friday for sure.

Love you guys,

Elder Sederholm