Lauren's visa came!

Lauren called Adriana from the MTC today to let us know her visa came through. She is flying out of Salt Lake Thursday morning headed to São Paulo. She's so excited! We all are too.

She had the blessing to experience the MTC in Provo for 5 weeks and now she'll probably have 4 weeks in the MTC in São Paulo before flying off to her mission in João Pessoa. São Paulo is actually 1,700 miles SOUTH of her mission. (the same distance from the south tip of Texas to the Canadian border!) That's 5,025 miles from Round Rock.

There just over 200 missionaries in the MTC in São Paulo now compared to the 2000+ in the Provo MTC. As of Feb. 14, there were 132 Brazilians and 75 North Americans training there. The Brazilians stay for a few weeks and the Americans for 13 weeks. Lauren will probably be there 4 weeks since she completed 5 in the Provo MTC.

It's very different in the MTC in São Paulo. The metro area has a population of 22 million! That's a little less than all of Texas. She will spend almost all her time inside the MTC though. The drinks in the center's cafeteria have different names: the national Brazilian soft drink Guarana (both regular and no-sugar), agua com gas (water that's carbonated) and such juices as passion fruit and mango. They do have pizza though - on Wednesday nights.

No snow - as a matter of fact it has a lush center courtyard full of trees and tropical vegetation all year long. It has basketball and volleyball courts and a gym with a small track.

They also go to the São Paulo Temple - a little more than 10 miles from the center - almost every week.

I have changed Lauren's address on the blog for you to see. If you sent a letter to her by mail in the last few days, it may get forwarded to her - not sure. If you send her a tonight or before noon tomorrow (Wednesday) then she will get it before she leaves for Brasil.

Keep her in your prayers - now the adventure really begins!

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