Elder Blackford loves Brazil! He sent us another email today, telling us how he is finally adjusting to the heat and the some of the food. He says, “I have gotten used to the beans and rice, with the beans and rice. Let’s hope I never get tired of it.” Elder Blackford also tells us he loves how much sugar they put in everything down there, especially in their drinks. Why is it not surprising he was excited about getting more sugar?
His companion is an elder who just flew in from the Provo MTC last week named Elder Bresciano. It is totally one of those “small world” moments, because not only is this elder from Seattle, but he was one of the elders that was next to us in line back at the airport! Elder Blackford is excited and says they work really well together.
The language doesn’t seem to be stressing Elder Blackford very much, which is good to hear. “My Portuguese is going pretty well,” he says, “Out of my district I definitely can’t speak it the fastest, but I have the best comprehension…They make us teach a lot of lessons in Portuguese to fake investigators, and I can basically teach all the lessons on a surface level from memory.”
I think some of my favorite parts of his letters are the random little pieces of information or little stories that are classic Elder Blackford moments. In this letter, he was excited about tying his tie. “I have officially mastered the ‘Brazilian triangle.’ It is a special way to tie your tie, and I am basically a pro. My knots look siiick. I will send pictures of how they look when I am out of the MTC.”
Elder Blackford also wrote:
Christmas here was amazing. We had a day off on Christmas Eve and we just completely partied it up, slept in, wrote letters, played basketball, etc. It was great. We had lots of singing and stuff going on and games—it was just great. And they also gave us ICE CREAM! Then Sunday we had, on a scale of 1-13, like a 17 of a sacrament meeting. The talks were incredible, it was just great. I had bugged everyone in my district because I wanted us to do a Christmas song, so we had practiced that standard simple Away in a Manger with the accompaniment…We thought ‘well this won’t matter cause it’s just our little branch with like 35 missionaries.’ Well guess who came to our sacrament? President and Sister Clark, the MTC president and wife. So they heard us do our song, on Christmas, in the MTC. What makes it better? This was their last Sunday here—there is going to be a new presidency—so we sang for them on their last Sunday. WOAH! It was awesome.
They spent the rest of Christmas opening presents and talking about family traditions. Although we definitely missed having Elder Blackford around for Christmas, it was good to hear he enjoyed Christmas in the MTC.