Monday, December 28, 2015

Semana 15 (Happy New Year)

Hey guys.

This week has been pretty mellow, cause well it was christmas and everyone and their mom travels to the 4 corners of the earth so visiting people was a little tough. We did try though!

So first off Christmas Eve was pretty cool. It was deemed p-day by our mission president so we got to relax all day and then were invited to dinner with a member. It was fun to just talk to the people that were there, and the member's house is on the outskirts of town so we could see the whole sky like in a planetarium. And planetariums are cool, and things in real life are always cooler, so obviously it was super cool. AND we had churrasco (brasilian barbeque) to eat so how great is that.

Christmas Day we had lunch (more churrasco) and got to skype with our families! Always a good time. Then we went and spent some time with some recent converts, Lucas and João. All in all a pretty chill day.

Yesterday we went to church, and i love going to church cause everytime we do another miracle happens out of nowhere. Yesterday we actually had 2. First of all, there were lots of people we didnt know visiting family, so we couldnt really judge who was a member and who wasn't. But as we were sitting there in sacrament meeting, the guy behind us out of nowhere asked for our number and wants us to teach him and his girlfriend! Miracle 1. After sacrament meeting, another guy approached us and wanted to go on divisions with us, which is all cool and everything so we did. But later as we were talking to him it turns out he's moving into our ward and has this HUGE desire to do missionary work conosco cause he's a convert. His name is Regivaldo and he was a huge help in fellowshipping (make friends with) our pesquisadores (ahhh can't remember that word in english, but it's the people we teach), so now we have him to help us with our work too. Christmas miracles haha.

I hope everyone had a great Christmas! Happy new year! Make some resolutions and keep em!

-Elder Seaman

The only house that decorates for Christmas

Chocattone kind of like an Italian chocolate cake that super rad down here
Our Charlie Brown Christmas tree

Playing risk with some investigators

Artsy photo of the lake

Monday, December 14, 2015

Semana 13

I am pleased to announce that i have survived my first transfer in the field (this one was 7 weeks, a little strange) and, as my companion decided to make clear to me yesterday, i have finished 1/8 of my mission. Ugh, that's crazy to think about.

We've been travelling a lot lately, and it seems like every time we've tried to work something comes up or an appointment falls through etc. I guess that's part of being in the farthest city from the mission home. We did have a good zone meeting last week in Araçatuba, and this week (today actually) we have some missionaries dying, and we'll have 3 missionaries training in our zone, which means i'll no longer have the glory of being the newest missionary. what a shame. not really haha.

I also got the opportunity to do some divisions in Araçatuba, which was cool to work in another area with other missionaries, see how they work and teach, etc. For the first time in my mission i had to knock doors (well, clap my hands outside people's gates). It was, well, knocking doors. We just met a lot of people who were SUPER busy and didn't have time to talk to us haha.

We had a branch christmas party this week, which was pretty fun. We got to know our branch members a little better, and i got to hear Christmas music in English, which is far and few between down here. I do like our area though, so i'm glad ill be staying here for (at least) another 6 weeks. It seems like every week in church, we have new investigators as well. This week, a 17 year old guy just wandered in. Didn't know any members or anything. It was crazy. We'll be adding him to our list of people to teach this week. Things like this make me frustrated though, because we have SUCH a good area, but are hardly ever here to work. Hopefully now that it's a new transfer we'll have time to focus more on our investigators instead of 6 hour bus rides and what city we need to be in every day of the week.

Stay sweet,

Elder Seaman

Most of the zone

Elder Martins- zone leader who just went home

Monday, December 7, 2015

Semana 12


Things have been just swell in Três Lagoas. Miracles every day. Seriously though, little things. Like when you're walking down the street and someone pull onto the sidewalk on their motorcycle and tells you he talked to the missionaries 5 years ago and wants to again. What do you even say to that. "yes" i think is what came out of my mouth.

Our investigators are all doing quite well, and it seems like we hardly have to do anything to find new ones. They pretty much fall into our laps. In D&C 4 when it says the field is white, i'm pretty sure três lagoas is that field. I would think that everythign that happens is a coincidence, but after 6 weeks of coincidences yuo can kind of tell it's not so much that, as it is something bigger at work.

What's even more amazing though is seeing the healing power of the gospel in families and individuals. People who are broken and hopeless suddenly turn around and have direction in their lives. I just wish we had time to teach all the people we have, because the city is SO big.

Sorry i didnt have much time today, but know that things are great and the church is true haha


Elder Seaman

Our house

A main road

The Church of Brazil

The town Christmas Tree

The Daily Flood

Tuesday, December 1, 2015

Semana 11

At least, i think it's semana 11. Time is kind of irrelevant here. Today i'm writing from Araçatuba because we had zone conference yesterday. So we bussed to araçatuba and spent the night, then to Rio preto, then back and tonight we'll go to Três lagoas, and then next week we have zone meeting in araçatuba, and then the next week we'll make the 10 hour trip to Ribeirão Preto for transfers. Awesome.

Zone conference was cool though. I got to meet lots of new missionaries and the mission president and his wife gave awesome talks. Oh that's another thing, we also just had interviews with the mission president in Andradina. Basically we haven't been home in a week, and i'm a little scared to return and find out i forgot a steak out on the counter or something and now there's a jaguar in my house. It'd be just my luck. But back to zone conference. We talked a lot about how we can help our investigators, and where we usualy fall short in getting them where they need to be. We also talked about repentance, and how it means change, and we often confuse it with suffering. The point was that suffering comes from a lack of repentace, because the suffering has already been suffered. By Christ, ya know? We also learned that faith grows through sacrifice (see luke 17:5-10 it's good). This is kind of tough cause let's be honest, who wants to sacrifice? It's god though, and we learn to love people through it, and i'e found i'm often happier after i've served someone or sacrificed for others. Especially my companion. Next time someone asks something of you or you see a need, try to fill it and see what happens.

Last week we also had divisions with our district leader and his companion. That means i got paired with Elder Sant, another American who only arrived 6 weeks before me. And we took on Três Lagoas. Just kidding, we just taught a lesson. But it was the Plan of salvation, which if you didn't know is the most complex and can bring up the most concerns. But we taught the whole thing in Portuguese and could understand everything our investigator, André, said or asked. It was amazing. Definitely chalk it up to the gift of tongues cause 5 minutes before when i asked some guy on the road the name of the street i couldn't understand anything he said haha. Ever since that lessn though, it's like something clicked with the language and i'ts improved a lot. An elder even told me at zone conference that he thought i was brasileiro when he heard me spoke cause i spoke sem sotaque (without an accent). Honestly it depends on the day but i'm feeling pretty good about it. Still praying for that gift of tongues every day though.

I guess last week was thanksgiving? I had a turkey sandwhich, so that counts. One thing i have been quite disappointed with is the lack of cherished american christmas traditions here. I shouldnt be surprised though, but i did have to explain the story of rudolph the red nosed reindeer the other day. And the names of all the other reindeer, cause that's simply not a thing here.

Otherwise, i'm surviving in the ever increasing heat here. I think the rain keeps it a little cooler, cause it goes 0-hurricane in 10 seconds here just about every day. Once we were walking and we passed a store with open doors and i thought i felt the air conditioning from inside, but then a half a block later i still felt 20 degrees cooler, and it turned out it was just from the approaching storm. The weather is awesome here.

Stay sweet,
Elder Seaman

Tuesday, November 24, 2015

Semana 10


Hello. This week has been one of my favorites so far. First and foremost, we had a baptism. Our investigator, Reginaldo, got to take the first step closer to Christ and honeslty i've never seen anyone happier. Like a kid in a candy store this guy. The elders from Androgina had a baptism too, so they came and used our building cause we're the closest chapel to them. I got to baptize Reginaldo and he thanked me profusely afterwards haha. His testimony is rock solid, and he's so humble and willing to learn. Love that guy.

We also had the opportunity to attend an english class a member of our branch teaches. It was so funny haha. When everyone found out i'm american they tensed up and didn't want to speak english in front of me. Eventually they got up the courage, and i would say in portuguese what they would practice in english. It was pretty fun, and we're going again tomorrow. The idea is to find investigators there, so we're working on befriending the class.

Twice this week we've been lectured by older religious guys we've met in the street. It can be pretty funny, but it also kind of wastes our time cause they don't really listen to what they say... or to what they're saying either haha. Yesterday an old catholic guy told us we were reincarnations of a holy person in another life, and kind of rambled on and made us an hour late for our lunch haha. He was also blasting some portuguese rendition of the beach boys in the background, which made it hard to hear what he was saying.

Elder Aguirra and I are getting along pretty great with our work. It's helpful that he speaks a decent amount of english, cause i can ask him about concepts or phrases in portuguese and he can explain or clear up anything i can't really wrap my mind around. It also allows me to make all my mistakes in portuguese with him, rather than in public, which is way less embarassing. For example, we were making cookies last p-day (brazilians LOVE cookies) and Elder Aguirra was pouring flour. There's 2 words, bastante and basta which more or less mean "enough." The difference is bastante can mean more when someone is pouring something and basta means no more. Well one thing lead to another and lets just say we made a lot of cookies.

Otherwise, we're out here working, walking for 4+ hours a day, getting tan (burnt), and saving souls. Days feel like weeks and weeks feel like days. Hope all is well up north.

Stay sweet,
Elder Seaman

Top row left to right is Elder(s) Sant, Digiogio, Aguirra. 
Below is Elder(s) Araujo, Beneton, and Seaman.

Monday, November 16, 2015

Semana 9

Família e amigos,

I hope you guys are all doing well. Things here in Três Lagoas are as strange and wonderful as ever. At the start of the week we had zone conference in Araçatuba, which meant getting to go by my new FAVORITE means of travel, the bus. And i say that half sarcastically half not, because it's really not that bad. We just do it all the time. But that was fun, and it was cool cause i could understand the whole 3 hours of brazilians talking. Afterwards, though, the zone leaders tried talking to me and i couldnt understand what they were saying. Sometimes the gift of tongues comes and goes. Your mind literally feels like it's been exercising after listening to another language for too long haha. But my ability to understand definitely depends on how tired i am, how hungry i am, and my mood. Probably also true for a lot of things.

In the way of miracles, we're never short of them here. We received a list of referalls from Salt Lake (apparently people actually ask to have the missionaries visit them...crazy) that we were going through. One was literally at the very edge of the city limits, that had apparently been tried before twice, but the house could never be found. Perchance, as we were walking down the highway looking for the house number (a little hopelessly) some guy pulled over and asked what we were looking for. What are the odds that his parents and uncle are members, so he recognized us as missionaries, AND that he happened to have an apt knowledge of the area and took us to our appointment. THEN when we met our investigator, he was stoked to see us, and had a grocery list of questions for us to answer. This guy was sitting on the edge of his seat the whole time we talked to him, trying to make sure he heard and understood every word we said, even through the motorcycles passing by, dogs barking, and the thunder... thundering (we dont really have a verb for this, but in português we do). It was awesome. It's always really cool to see the joy that comes to peoples lives when they hear our message and realize its what theyve been looking for. At the same time, it really sucks when they hear it, understand it, and reject it. But, such is life.

Otherwise, things are same old same old. By that i mean i wake up everyday to cats in the house, later slay some cockroaches (i hate those things by the way. I'm pretty sure they report directly to satan himself. the worst is when they can fly. who's idea was that?), later get asked if i'm american (occasionally people will just shout whatever they know in english to me), and sometimes get stuck in thunderstorms on the opposite side of the city from home. Oh, and it's getting so hot now. The other night i couldnt fall asleep it was so hot. It started raining and i just left my window open until i was sufficiently soaked and cooled off. It was great.

Stay sweet,

Elder Seaman

Monday, November 9, 2015

Semana 8

Tudo bem amigos,

Esta semana was filled with... well, excitement i guess you could say. I've renamed this city Três Lagoas e Um Rio, because every time it rains the roads become a river. And it's rained nearly every day. Our house flooded again last night, and we lost power. the whole city did actually. lose power that is. So in the middle of the night i woke up to all the alarms going off because the electric fences that top most of the gates/walls didn't have power. 'twas the worst thing i've ever heard at 3:00 am. And then i woke up to a stray cat in the house. Such is life.

The work is going great here. The member throw references at us like it's going out of style. Two days ago, we visited a man named Reginaldo. This guy is amazing. Seriously. He found a book of mormon at work, all wet and tattered, and started reading it. Then he met a coworker who was mormon. He said none of his other coworkers ever talked about their religion or beliefs or wanted to share anything, but this guy did (hint hint, TELL YOUR FRIENDS). So he came to church one day, loved it, and wanted to talk to us (the missionaries). We visited this guy in his humble little home with his wife, and he was happier than a kid in a candy store. He literally couldnt sit still because he was so excited about our message. He told us about how, for his whole life, he had been searching and searching and didn't find God or truth in any other church. He also told us he didnt believe that other churches baptize correctly. This went on for about 10 minutes, before we even started teaching him. Imagine how thrilled we were. I've never seen faith like this guy has. He came to church yesterday, and plans to be baptized in 2 weeks. Ah, i've never been happier than when i was in this guys house. People are so humble and willing to learn it blows my mind. When Christ talks about becoming as little children in the scriptures, this is it.

Other than missionary work, we do try to have some fun. We've had a couple run ins with wild animals this week. Apparently there are scorpions here that stink rather than use venom, which we didnt figure out until, well after the stink. I also had my first run in with Capybaurus Rex, a remnant left over from when giant rodents ruled the earth. I'll send pictures. One of my favorite things to do is give kids here war heads. they dont really have sour candy down here, so its the greatest and worst thing they've ever tried. I also try to over play the american who doesnt understand card. Sometimes, i'll nod and act like i understood what they said andthen reach into my pocket and hand them a couple centavos haha. They usually just look at the couple of coins and then back at me confusedly and try to reexplain, but i get a kick out of it.

Anyways. Hope you guys are doing well. Probably a little colder than i am, but probably dryer too. Help the missionaries, help your friends, help strangers, just be Christlike.

Love you bye!
Elder Seaman

Monday, November 2, 2015

Semana 7

I don't even know where to begin. This past week has been the strangest and most exciting of my life. Ever. Tuesday morning we flew out of São Paulo at 6:30 to Ribeirão Preto. We arrived and President Brum, our mission president, and his wife Sister Brum, were waiting for us. We all went to the mission home and got briefed for the mission field and got our companions. My companion's name is Elder Aguirra. He's from southern Brazil. He speaks a decent amount of English, and is a great missionary. The city we are in, Três Lagoas, is the farthest from the mission home. We spent the night at the Assistants to the presidents apartment, and left the next day with some sisters for the 10 hour bus ride to our area. We are actually in a different state than everyone else in our mission, and a different time zone. So for all those wondering, were on the same clock as the east coast in the US.

The weirdest and most confusing thing for me has been the language. Day 1 in the field, i understood nothing, but it has progressively gotten better and now i understand 80-90% of what i hear throughout the day. It's crazy. Wordsjust come out of my mouth, that i don't even know half the time. I'm by no means fluent, but I'm just saying the gift of tongues is a real thing brothers and sisters.

On another subject, the food here is the We get lunches every day from members, and it's always meat. usually steak. Oh my gosh it's so good. I don't know if I'll be able to be satisfied with food in the US when i get back.

Since I've arrived, there's been all kinds of adventures. I'm afraid that the rest of my mission will either be crazy because of how odd it's been, or super underwhelming cause it's been loco right off the bat. For example, day 2 it rained. Not super bad, but bad enough. We had been home for the night for about 30 minutes, when i heard what sounded like a waterfall in the kitchen. Water was pouring our from the light. for about 30 minutes we were trying to catch it and get it out of the house. Apparently that had never happened before. Just my luck haha. If i had more time I'd write more, but I'm sure better stories will come.

Little miracles happen here everyday. I don't know how, but my companion is definitely inspired by God. No matter how many times i try to contact people and share with them, it's always no, but we'll just be walking down the street and he'll go out of his way to talk to someone, and it'll turn out their wife is LDS or that they had been searching for a church or something and boom we set up an appointment and we have someone to teach. Hopefully one day I'll be missionarying at that level.

Remember, the church is true. I've seen it so much here, even in just 1 week.

Stay sweet,
Elder Seaman

Friday, October 23, 2015

Semana 6

Olá amigos e familia. 

Things are winding down here at the CTM. It's the last week before 
we leave to the field and we are SO ready to get out of here. Or so we think. 
Things in Brazil have been pretty great.We've been trying to fast from English 
all week, and for the most part its been pretty good. The language is coming 
along pretty quickly now. We were helping some new missionaries the other day, 
speaking Portuguese of course cause we're not allowing ourselves to speak
English, and it was nearly impossible to communicate no matter how
many gestures or how simply we said things haha. It reminded me of
day 1 back in Provo, which was really a month and a half ago, but
we've come a long way since then. It feels that way at least.

Our professors are awesome, but we can tell that our lessons are kind of
coming to a close cause instead of class lessons we now just have
assisted study time. One of our teachers, Irmã Arouja, even came in
when we got off topic and was about to scold us, but then shrugged and
said "whatever, it's the last week." hahaha. We also teach some of our
Portuguese lessons now, and Irmã Bakr will sit down and pretend to be
american. It's the funniest thing to hear her american accent, and her
impersonating broken Português. Granted, she's making fun of us, but
it's hilarious. It'll be sad to leave the CTM, and our district, but
it'll be good to be in the field and leave the building more than once
a week. And to have something different than ham and cheese panini
every day for breakfast. 

We definitely do learn so much here.Português and spiritually. 
The fact that we went from speaking 0 Português to knowing how to use 
10 different tenses and how to understand, in 6 weeks shows me at least that
 the gift of tongues is real. As long as we do our part, we can apply the atonement and
receive God's help. There's no other way i'd be able to sit down at a
table with 6 brazilians and have a conversation like id known them my
whole life, after learning for just 6 weeks. The accents, on the other
hand, will have to come in time. I asked Irmã Arouja which of us had
the best accent, and she just laughed. Oh well haha. I'm just excited
to get in the field. 

The brazilian real's worth has dropped since we
arrived. It was $1 to 3.3BR but now it's $1 to 4.5BR. So we try to
keep our money American as long as we can, but we definitely take
advantage of the fact that you can buy a bag of 300 pieces of candy
for the equivalent of 50 cents. Another weird thing about Brazil is
that everyone uses cursive here. So all that stuff we learned about in
3rd grade and then forgot is alive and well down here. Not only do we
not speak the language, but we can't read it either. It's awful.
Anyways, i'll try to send a more well thought out email that flows a
little better next week when i have more than 45 minutes to email
everyone, but until then, keep praying, read the scriptures, and stay

Tchau! -Elder Seaman

Friday, October 16, 2015

Week 5


It's already week 5. So close to getting out of the CTM. We've
been trying to get more into portuguese because once we leave there
will be no english anywhere, so Some of the elders in my district have
been trying to have "english fasts" and speak only portuguese. 

My companion and i are actually trying to do it for the last 2 weeks that
we're here, but it's difficult when not everyone is doing it and when
you're limited on some words. But we do what we can. Reading and
listening to portuguese is super easy, but speaking can be a lot
tougher. there's some serious growing pains involved with learning it
(forgetting your native language isn't easy, go figure) but everyday
some aspect of it sticks and everyday it gets a little easier. 

It wouldn't be possible to do without the gift of tongues or prayer
though. For sure. This week has been pretty standard. We pretty much
do the same thing everyday haha. One day, I don't remember which, we
had the Dia de Crianças, which means kids day. We got candy and hot
dogs and burgers (no hamburger buns though...). It reminded me of all
the times i complained as a kid about there being mothers and fathers
day, but no kid's day. I think Mom would always respond with "you have
your birthday and christmas," and then something about how parents
earned an extra holiday by being parents haha. If only I had been a
kid in Brazil. 

Spending time with the other elders at the CTM is
pretty funny. It's weird tome how they're (for the most part) my age, 
but seem so much younger. I forget that they've all just graduated high school, 
and that this istheir first time away from home for more than a week or two. 
There are just some things they do that make me laugh. Just the things that they
talk about, or are important to them, i don't know how to explain it
haha. I sometimes wish i could give them advice about things they're
worrying about, or experiencing, but i don't know how well it will be
taken, cause REALLY the only difference between me and them is that i
went to college. I just don't want to seem like i think i'm some
wisened bigger brother for them when i'm younger than some of them
haha. If that makes sense. 

Otherwise, Sao Paulo is great. They have buildings like we have trees in PA. 
It's weird to think that i live inthe 3rd biggest city in the world, in another country, 
when it feels like i'm still back in Provo learning portuguese. It probably doesnt
help that we don't get out of the CTM more than once a week haha. And
even when we play sports, it's at night. Oh well, I'll be in Ribeirão
Preto soon enough. 

Well, until next time. Tudo Bem!!! -Elder Seaman

Friday, October 9, 2015

Week 4

Olá familia e amigos! 

Lots has been going on here for us in the CTM
this week. Or at least it feels that way, even though we really just
do the same thing everyday. Portuguese is coming pretty fast now, and
one of my favorite things to do is talk to the natives. They´re
hilarious. We exchange words and slang and sometimes get in trouble
for staying up too late talking too loud. But the trick here is to
befriend the locals, cause they´ll help you a ton with learning the

They call me Elder Marinheiro, which is literally Elder
Sailor in portuguese haha. When they hear i´m from Pennsylvania, they
always ask about dracula and frankenstein like it´s Transylvania.
Every time. We went proselyting on wednesday, and it was way more fun
than i expected. People are suprisingly willing to listen to us
(sometimes) and are pretty open and friendly. One pair of missionaries
got called the sons of the devil though, so i guess Elder Meldrum and
I lucked out. We started talking to these 3 younger people on the
street, and about 5 words into the conversation i realized they were
high as kites. Elder Meldrum still gave them a book of mormon anyways.
I thought it was hilarious. One of them changed their name 3 times
while we talked to him. So either they´ve found religion in their
lives or that book has turned into rolling paper. We may never know.

General Conference was pretty bomb this weekend too. My favorite talk
was Kim B. Clark´s. Not just because he used to be the President at
BYU. Award winning line was "We don't need to be perfect, we need to
be good at getting better." If i could tell anyone what the gospel was
about in one line, that would be it. 

One of the best parts of the CTM is the food. Well, it's actually hit or miss, but usually it's really
good. They have this soupy stuff for breakfast (i still don't know
what it's called) but it's like they melted cereal into milk. Everyday
it's something different. Today it tasted like life cereal, yesterday
tasted like cinnamon toast crunch, etc. And there's an endless supply
of Guarana, which if you haven't had, will change your life forever.

Today we went to the Campinas temple, which was equally as cool as the
Sao Paulo temple. I´ll try to get some pictrues sent when i go to the
underground mail room in the cookie shop, but i havent tried it out
yet and we can't send pictures from the CTM. 
Keep the Faith!!
 -Elder Seaman

Friday, October 2, 2015

Week 3

Ola tudos!

This week i`m writing from the CTM in Sao Paulo, on a
portuguese keyboard, which is more difficult than you think so I
apologize in advance if it comes out foreign. It`s only been a couple
days since my last email, but loads has happened. First off, i
traveled for 24 hours straight. Well, almost. We left Provo at 6am one
day, and arrived in Sao Paulo at 6am the next. It is beautiful here.
Sao Paulo is the 3rd largest city in the world, and we`re right in the
middle of it. The CTM is much smaller than the MTC, and is more
structured in it`s schedule. It`s different, but i like it. Today was
P-day so we went to the Sao Paulo temple this morning and did a
session there - in english - which was awesome. It`s pretty cool to
see how different temples can be, while being really similar at the
same time. Later today we get to go out on the town and explore a bit,
which i`m stoked for.

The biggest difference between here and Provo is
the language. In utah, speaking portuguese was a convenience. Here it
is your means of survival. The teachers all pretend to not speak
english, the staff does`t speak english, and our 3 brazilian roommates
certainly don`t speak english haha. It`s amazing how much we can
understand after just 2 weeks of learning though. When we arrived we
were placed in a new district - all elders. And they split us up! Four
of us came, Elders Meldrum, Gonzalez, Jensen, and I, and they put
Elder Jensen in another district. We honestly haven`t seen him since,
besides passing him in the hall once. He has a brazilian companion so
i`m sure he`s fluent by now haha.

The CTM food here is amazing though. All of it`s fresh, and of course there´s unlimited Guarana. We also started teaching investigators here, and TRC, which is when you visit
with a member of the church and give a brief lesson. It was actually
really fun. The brazilian people are super funny and always surprise
me with their heart and comprehension of the gospel. They understand
so much and have so much insight to give into simple things we usually

Elder Meldrum (who is still my companion) is also great.
He´s got a lot of heart and desire to learn, and we do a pretty
banging job at speaking the language if i do say so myself. If there´s
a word i don´t know, he does, and vice versa. Of course, it doesn´t
come without a lot of studying, praying, and the Gift of Tongues (o
dom da linguas in portuguese). Other than the fact that it`s in
another country, the CTM is pretty similar to the MTC in what we do,
so i won´t go into excessive detail cause you´ve probably heard it all
already. Voces estao na minhas orações!!!

Tchau -Elder Seaman

Wednesday, September 30, 2015

Hello from the Brazil CTM (missionary training center)!

{Mom note: This arrived in my inbox today}

Mae e Pai, (Mother and Father)

We arrived in Sao Paulo at 6 this morning. All went well en route, and Brazil is beautiful. It was also the easiest customs I went through. We just went through the line that said no items to declare and there was no customs. P-days are fridays so I`ll talk to you again then. The MTC here is amazing and we can see the city and the beds are more comfortable and the food is better. And it´s humid so my nose isn´t bleeding ever 5 minutes anymore. We don´t have much time today but i wanted you to know that igot here safe! Talk to you on friday. Sorry i didn´t get a chance to call you dad before i left.

Love you!!!!

Elder Seaman

Monday, September 28, 2015

Week 2

Ola tudos!

This last week at the MTC has been exciting and strange all at the same time. They say the days feel like weeks and the weeks feel like days, and they aren't wrong. I got my visa and flight plans on thursday (i think it was thursday) so 3 elders from my district and I are flying out to the CTM in brazil tomorrow to finish our training. We leave at 11 and we won't arrive in Sao Paulo until 6am on wednesday. Super thrilled about that.

We finished teaching our investigator, Eduardo, this week. It was super difficult to teach, because we had no training really and had to figure it out on our own. We had 5 lessons total with him and it was always a struggle to figure out the language, figure out his needs, and have the spirit with us. The biggest thing we've learned and focused on this week is teaching people, not lessons. When we taught him, it was completely in portuguese, so hearing him (Irma Staples) speak english for the first time was super weird, but he's great at portuguese and I'm kind of bummed that i won't get to spend much time learning from him.

Our district has gotten pretty close this last week too. Sometimes we all decide that we just need a break from the work load of being a missionary, so as hippy dippy as it sounds, we just take 20 minutes and meditate. It's super refreshing though. We're always having fun and we get along well too. We've also gotten to know our zone pretty well too, so it's a shame that we're on our way out. There's an elder in another district from Argentina, Elder Zani, who plays soccer, so last night we invited him to play hackey sack with us. He didn't really understand the point of it though so after about 5 minutes he said "I no like," and left haha.

Something i really like about the MTC is the massive amount of people from everywhere, and how easy it is to talk to all of them. I've met people from all over the US, from New Zealand, Scotland, all over Asia, Brazil, russia, etc. It's super cool to talk to them and know that they're all here with the same goal. I've yet to meet someone who hasn't had something interesting about them.

Our sunday devotional was given by the Manager of Missionary something or other, Stephen B. Allen, who is also in charge of all the church ads and anything in visitors centers at temples around the world. He was pretty funny and showed us a lot of the old church ads from the "homefront campaign." It was really uplifting and inspiring and was just a good reminder of why we serve. After, we watched an old devo from Elder Holland about opening your mouth and following the spirit. He related to the first vision, how Joseph Smith's tongue was bound. Because he couldn't be killed, the next worst thing was for him to not speak, so the best thing for us to do is to speak and help people. We don't do any good being quiet about what we know and what makes us happy.

Portuguese has this phrase "Tudo Bem" (pronounced too-dough bang) that they use for everything. It's a question and a response so it gets thrown around all the time. I Americanized it though so now we just say toods bangs and our teachers think it's hilarious. or at least i do. But there's some fun portuguese for you.

I'm not sure when my P-days will be in the CTM so until then, Tudo Bem!

-Elder Seaman

Tuesday, September 22, 2015

Week 1

Oi tudo!

I'm just finishing my first week at the MTC (missionary training center) and so far it's definitely been an adventure. 3 people in my district got their visas about 2 days after we arrived, and they'll be shipping out to the MTC in Brazil on the 29th. If mine shows up somewhere in between now and then, i'll also be going then, but otherwise I'll be in Provo until the end of my 6 weeks of training.

About an hour after I got dropped off and ate lunch we went straight into Portuguese class, and have been doing that for about 10 hours a day since. Portuguese pretends to be like Italian, which I took 3 years of, so it seemed like it would be easy to pick up and go with, but there's definitely been a learning curve. The first couple of days were actually really frustrating because we've had to teach 3 lessons to an investigator since we've arrived in just portuguese, and I know that i'd know the word in italian but not in portuguese. It also didn't help that just about everyone I've met here has been going to Italy. honestly, i felt homesick for italian, which is a weird thing to think about because it's not even my first language. Monday i pretty much got around the learning curve though so things are going full speed now.

My companion, Elder Meldrum, is from Lancaster, PA so he lives about 30 minutes from where i was in PA. I thought that was kind of funny, especially since we're both going to Ribeirao Preto as well. My district has 3 sets of elders and 1 set of sisters, and we all get along pretty well considering we're from as diverse places as oregon, utah, PA, wyoming, New York, and Colorado. We're also kind of a last minute district because the only reason any of us are here is because we didn't have our visas on time. The rest of our zone (also portuguese speaking) is going to either Brazil, which means we speak the same portuguese, or they're going to Cape Verde, Mozambique, or Portugal which means the portuguese is a bit different but really screwy when you're trying to understand them.

Otherwise the MTC is pretty fun. I'm kind of amazed at the lack of supervision we have here. It's kind of a free for all except for our usual 3-4 hours of instruction and then our occasional 30 minute teaching session. It's pretty much up to us to make sure we're on track with where we need to be and what we need to be doing, which is super cool. That also means your experience here is what you make it. You can have fun or kind of waste away wishing you were at home or in Brazil or something. We typically have fun, and people get really creative with their resources in the residence halls (we're not allowed to call them dorms...). This week someone made the decision for the whole floor that it would be better to sacrifice a sink for 3 days for some glow in the dark grow in water animals. There was also a tie draft, a queso festo (which sounds way cooler in portuguese), i think a nerf war, i saw some military drills going on, and a bunch of other stuff you wouldn't think to do with things you got in the mail.

Sunday we had a devotional and Lloyd Newell (Music and the spoken word narrator) came and gave a talk. He's the guy who says the whole "This has been the 180th general conference..." thing at the beginning and end of general conference. He's the Morgan Freeman for Mormons. It was a pretty good talk and was the usual missionary motivator kind of thing, but after that we watched a talk that David A. Bednar gave at the MTC a while ago called "Character of Christ." Everyone we talked to said it was life changing and the one to see, so we did and it was super enlightening. Basically it talked about how we need to turn outward when we would usually turn inward, and how we won't become better by thinking about how we will better ourselves, but by losing ourselves in helping others. yea. If i had to sum up the hour long talk in a sentence that's probably how i'd do it.

My emails will probably get more interesting and better written as time goes on so bare with me. P-Days are tuesday and my mail address is the provo MTC mail box 300.


Elder Seaman

Monday, September 21, 2015

First letter home

Querido Familia,

I arrived at the MTC safe. Don't worry. James dropped me off after lunch I got dropped into Portuguese class with no English. Wasn't too bad though. My companion is from Lancaster, PA. He's also going to Ribeirao Preto. I thought it was kind of funny. By the way, for anyone trying to pronounce anything in Portuguese, you're saying it wrong. I guarantee it. It's the opposite of phonetic.

P-day is Tuesday. I find out if I leave next week tomorrow. The soonest I leave is Monday. Met my branch President today. He's an orthopedic surgeon, so we naturally had something to talk about. He told me he doesn't know why, but he's taken a liking to me. We'll see what that means.

I'll have more to say on Tuesday.


Elder Seaman

Sunday, September 20, 2015

Elder Seaman arrives at the MTC

Elder Seaman reported to the Missionary Training Center in Provo Utah on Wednesday, Sept 16th. We are still awaiting his first email!