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