Evan's friend Brandon Wiscombe (on his way to Mexico) saw Evan on Thursday. His mom forwarded this to me from his email that day: Just saw Evan not 2 hours ago! He looked a little dazed, but happy!
Here's some of Evan's letter that came yesterday:
Oi Familia!Como vai?
The first week has been great! When you guys dropped me off, they gave me a name-tag, dropped off my bags in my room, and through me into a Portuguese class, and the rest has been a blur. The first few days were really long, and more than once I felt like my brain was gonna explode, but it was so good to finally be here so I guess dazed and happy was a great way to describe my emotions.
I have two companions, Elder Sprague and Elder Mckay. Elder Sprague is from Albuquerque and is a do it all adventurist who builds his own cars, loves adrenaline rushes, and is quite the wrestler. Elder Mckay went to Timpview, and kind of reminds me of Brandon Wiscombe, tall and calm. I almost feel like I'm a combination of the two of them. We all get along great, and as of right now there are only the three of us in our room but that will probably change tomorrow when we get 26 new Portuguese Speakers in our branch. Our district is made up of 13 Elders and 0 sisters so I'm kind of disappointed about that. Supposedly 39% of the MTC is sister missionaries, so I guess we are just unlucky.
We don't get outside a ton, but since it's p-day today, we laid in the grass reading scriptures and writing letters for a couple hours which felt amazing. We usually go outside and study for about an hour every day just to escape the classroom. The exercise field is still closed for whatever reason, but I spend gym time playing basketball which I would probably do even if the field was open. Gym time literally is heaven. Easily the best 50 minutes of the day.
We only have a teacher 3 hours a day, so most of the rest of the day is spent teaching ourselves the language and the gospel. We taught our first lesson on Friday, and spent a lot of awkward pauses desperately looking through the dictionary to find something to say, but each lesson has gotten better. When I realize I've only been here a week, I realize how much we've learned in such a short amount of time. I still can't speak very well, but I have started to understand my teacher a lot better, and if you give me enough time, I can say a lot of what I want to. I've started saying all my prayers in Portuguese, which has really helped me learn faster, so I think that's been good.
Everything is going great, I'm sleeping well and am loving the work. I really look forward to getting out in the field, and hope everything is going well back home.
Elder Evan McDaniel
P.S. Please send me letters on DearElder or snail mail. It's more fun to get mail throughout the week instead of reading emails on p-day. Oh, and I'll try to send some pics next week. Out of time today.