Here are some comments from Lauren's first letter from the Missionary Training Center in Brazil... sorry, she hasn't sent any pictures yet.

Brasil is amazing! I am not hungry don't worry and the food is so good. Much better than Provo, I think because the food is more natural - not so many preservatives. Beans, rice, juice. The temperature is hot and humid! I love it all! Even the first night we slept with the window open just the screen and we hear the music down the street. I don't have a companion still! haha I am with the same elders from Provo and there were no sisters that arrived at the same time so every person is still the same. I live with a girl who it is her first week. Her name is sister Ogden and she is from New Hampshire. Super nice and very fun. Also the language is getting much better!! I understand so much more now that I am getting to speak with the natives all day. Today we went around the town for preparation day and got to just say hi to people it was nice., Also we went to the sao paulo temple! So beautiful! It was so nice and part of it was Portuguese soooo cool! Also it was sooooo nice to talk with everyone! So nice to hear your voices! I miss you all! I am working hard though and I am so happy that I have this opportunity to be a missionary. Brasilian people are so great and kind too. This place reminds me of what it was like in Colombia only the there is not as much music around well at least so far.

Also the flight was soooo long! 13 hours total! wow but well much better than trying to get here any other way and i sat next to a really nice girl that had served a mission in Argentina 8 years ago. there were about 25 missionaries with us. Well after we got off the plane we went through customs and seriously less than 2 minutes after i gave this brasilian man a card with the picture of the salt lake city temple on it and a phone number on back. Sweet right!? he was super nice and did software design for drawing things. Well i said chao! and he smiled leaned forward and gave me a little besito on the cheek and I forgot we couldn't do that cuz I gave him one too. whooops! I forgot! To me it is as natural as a handshake but i didn't mean too, but it was so funny that I did that not even being in the country 5 minutes - oh man. but i have been doing much better :) don't worry. anyways so I was trying to send pictures but it doesn't work in this computer with my memory stick. But we can't bring our cameras out of the ctm because i think they are worried they might get stolen, but I will try to send them ASAP I am taking lots. Being a missionary is so cool and I love it. the MTC here is soooo different than Provo. This one is sooo much more relaxed. In Provo i had to have a sister or 2 elder companions but here they let me go by my self and i can do whatever i want. its pretty sweet. and there are only about 150 missionaries here. Yesterday there were 21 sisters and as of today there are maybe 9 or 10 of us. We get treated so good as sister missionaries. everyone is extra kind to us and carries our suitcases and we can cut in line and basically just completely spoiled. it is awesome.

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