Monday, February 24, 2014

Elder Sanok is headed to Miami!!

Eai!!! Tudo bem?! I'm doing great! I have some exciting news...I got my travel plans and it looks like I'll be going to Miami, FL on March 3rd! I'm super pumped! This week was really good! Sunday was amazing because Elder Holland came and spoke to us.  I had the opportunity to sing in the MTC choir and we did an awesome rendition of Praise to the Man! What else happened? Well I learned a lot this week, as always. Haha but my Portuguese has gotten so much better. I can hold long casual conversations easily now. I mean, they may be kind of slow and broken, but hey - I can speak Portuguese! haha. We did a lot of teaching this week. We practiced street contacts which is my favorite because you can make it like a game. Basically in a street contact, you have like 2-3 minutes to get to know the person, share a quick thought, and invite them to do something. But we make it fun. Before each contact, we come up with a keyword, like "cat" and then you have to somehow incorporate the word into your street contact. We had some pretty crazy words, lol. We also got new investigators this week - ourselves! Haha, we got to take on the role of one of our friends and have the other companionship teach us. I'm a stubborn investigator, haha. I actually really enjoy teaching though! It's fun and I can't wait to be doing it for real! We are doing a special musical number now - Come Thou Fount of Every Blessing, because the branch president knows that we're all pretty musical and wants us to do something before we leave. So Elder Gonzalez is playing piano, I'm on cello, and Elder Lamb is singing - it sounds awesome because we spiced it up a bit and made it into our own song! Oh, btw, I think I forgot to mention at the beginning of this email... I am going to Miami....and then two hours later, I'll be on a flight to Porto Alegre!!! I GOT MY VISA!!! 

Sunday, February 16, 2014

I Love Food!!!

Oi! Another week down! Time is actually going by pretty fast. I've been enjoying my time here at the MTC but I'm kinda ready to just get to Brazil now. I don't have the language down perfectly yet (haha, no surprise) but I know that I'd pick it up so much faster if I could just get there. Hopefully I can get my visa and go there in 2 weeks when I'm done here! I can't wait for Brazil! We've been interacting with Brazilians in person and on Skype this week to practice the language and they're all so fun and nice. I understand the majority of what they're saying and can communicate well enough to get my point across. I'm so grateful for my ability to memorize things. I average about 40 new vocab terms a day. The only problem is putting them in sentences fast enough. When we teach lessons, I spend the majority of the time talking and 45 minutes only feels like 10! Portuguese is awesome! Both my teachers only speak Portuguese to us now, no English. This week was pretty good though! We didn't do anything too exciting but I enjoyed it. Sunday was fun - NOT - haha I had to give a 10 minute talk at church in Portuguese - but I survived. :) The devotionals were good because I sang in the choir! I've been getting really good with volleyball! It's so fun. I guess the missionaries aren't allowed to play soccer in Brazil because of injuries but volleyball is huge down there so that's exciting! I was happy to get everyone's letters this week! It's nice to have something to read every night and just to hear how everything is going. On Valentine's day I was really happy because my friend Paige sent me a box of those really good cupcakes from the Cocoa Bean Cafe - they're SO good! :D They taste like heaven in cupcake form. And to add to the deliciousness of the cupcakes, Elder Lamb's mom sent him some bottles of vanilla coke and he gave me one! You can say that I was very happy last night. It was also Papa John's night. :) Food is my one true love!! We also got new elders this week and they're all really good at volleyball or basketball so that's cool! We scared them by only speaking Portuguese to them the first day. They looked so lost and scared - which is probably how I was lol. Hope all is well. Tchau!

Sunday, February 9, 2014

Week Three

OI! I'm officially on week 3! Time actually flies really fast here! The days are super long but the weeks go by so fast. I'm enjoying it. This week has been really good. We've been practicing our Portuguese a lot. I really like teaching. I don't even take notes in with me any more. My Portuguese may be very broken but the fact that I can teach with my companion for about an hour in a whole other language and understand everything they say after only 2 weeks is amazing! It's been snowing a lot this week too - ugh. My favorite part about Sunday is either our walk outside or Sunday Night Devotional. Dinner on Sunday was super good though; I had shrimp. :) Monday was just a normal day of classes. Tuesday was too and for Night Devotional our district got to be ushers so that was pretty fun. I looked all official with my usher badge on. Wednesday new missionaries arrived! Where my classroom is located, we have a perfect view of where the missionaries get dropped off so we were looking out the window and watching. We decided to take our district unity up a notch by not only just matching color ties, but by tying them a certain way. lol you'll get a kick out of the picture. We wore them like that all day until dinner when some guy told us it was a funny idea but we needed to retie them. Friday was interesting because we had another English Fast again - those are kind of hard but really fun! My Portuguese is improving quite a lot! We sit in language classes like all day every day so you can see how it's so easy to pick up on it so fast. My brain hurts though, I've learned more in just two weeks than I ever have in my whole life, hahaha. Last night we also did TRC (Training Resource Center - I think) which is where they have volunteers who come in that speak the language and we have to teach them. It was crazy because they speak so fast! But its even crazier because I was able to understand the majority of what they were saying and they could understand me! I'm so happy that I get to do a foreign language - yeah it's way hard but it's so cool! Last night I had one of the most spiritual moments of my life. Irmao Pinho was trying to get us to realize how important it is to serve. We broke down the scripture in Moroni 10:3 and there's a part where it says something like "I would exhort you to remember how merciful the Lord hath been..." and so we spent time thinking of all the blessings in our life. Not going to lie, there wasn't a dry eye in the room. It was just an amazing experience - a real eye opener. You know, I've been blessed beyond belief in life. I've been given such a wonderful life. I have the opportunity to exercise the Atonement in my life because of the sacrifice that Christ made for us all. There's no way that I could every repay any of it but all that is asked is to serve others and live a Christ-like life. My teachers keep getting me excited for Brazil! The people down there seem so nice and so loving! The food sounds so good! Apparently where I'm going has the best churrasca in all of Brazil! Hope all is well! Eu tenho muito amor por voces!

Sunday, February 2, 2014

P-Day #2

As we were making our way to the beach Saturday for Danny to try out his new surfboard, we were excited to get our weekly email from Daniel. He used his email time in intervals, so it was fun to chat with him a little back and forth, and I was even emailing him at the time that Danny came in from surfing with a new "star" on his forehead from his run-in with his surfboard.

This week he said he was especially happy to get letters and his favorite - Krispy Kreme donuts. Ryan, his nephew, helped deliver the donuts to the MTC. Here are a couple fun pictures of him holding them:

Here are some of the thoughts that Daniel had to share this week:

This week has been pretty long but good! That first weekend was rough and now the time here at the MTC is fine. That first weekend is just a lot to take in but now I'm a pro at the MTC. Gym time is my favorite time of the day. We play volleyball and we get pretty competitive (even though we're not supposed to) hahaha. I'm not going to lie, I'm having a hard time typing correct English right now because I keep wanting to spell words like I would in Portuguese. We do like 8 hours a day! My teachers are awesome, Irmao Khang and Irmao Pinho. Irmao Pinho is a fun guy, we like to give him a hard time. He's a native Brazilian and has only been speaking English for two years so we teach him English slang and he teaches us Portuguese slang. He also gets us really excited to go to Brazil by telling us things like the missionaries NEVER go hungry anywhere in Brazil because Brazilians believe that everyone deserves food because it is one of the basic necessities of life (so even if they don't want to listen to our message, they'll still feed us.) Apparently December is the month that Brazil is always full because that is the month of the mango and mangoes just pop out like crazy. He said trees line the roads and you can just walk up and grab a mango. :) He said the food there is SO much better than here and everyone in Brazil is friendly even if they don't want to hear our message. Oh, he also said that we don't have to ever worry about danger as long as you're not out at like 2 in the morning. I'm super excited to go, hopefully I can get my visa soon! We teach lessons everyday and we'll be teaching two tonight! It's hard but I'm definitely getting better. I don't take notes with me anymore (just a dictionary for words I don't know) and I can form sentences pretty well! Next week we'll be skyping people in Brazil. Hope all is well with everyone! Write me letters!  Tchau, tchau! -Elder Sanok

Elder Daniel Joseph Sanok, III
2007 N 900 E Unit 96
Provo, UT 84602

While he is at the MTC you can also send letters via -- they print them, stuff them, seal them and deliver them that day if you get it in by 12 MST (Choose Provo MTC, use Unit 96 for the unit# and March 04 for estimated MTC departure date). He'd love to hear from ya'll!!!