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Monday, October 31, 2011

Travel/History of Sao Paul Brazil from a travel site

First founded in 1554 by the Jesuits, San Paulo, Brazil is located on a plateau that sits 2,493 feet above see level and 45 minutes from the coast. Considered a mission center years ago for Indians and early settlers, San Paulo was for a long time, a small, sleepy town. However, sometime around 1850, the city began to expand, due primarily from high yielding coffee plantations. As the revenue from coffee export skyrocketed, the population grew to where it is today, a large financial and industrial center and more than 20 million people calling it home.
Because San Paulo manufacturers so much and is also a successful exporter, it is a very wealthy state with a Gross National Profit of $350 billion, more than one-third of Brazil’s $1.1 trillion Gross National Profit. All around San Paulo are very affluent areas that are truly beautiful. Interesting, many of these smaller towns were settled by Europeans and have the charm and sophistication of the European architecture and style. Two of the most important cities along the shoreline of Sao Paulo are Santos and Guaruja. In fact, Guaruja is kind of touristy while Santos features one of the world’s largest ports.
San Paulo, Brazil is a dynamic place again, known as South America’s financial center and second worldwide. What is so interesting about San Paulo is that instead of importing things such as planes, cars, computers, clothing, and so on, they manufacturer their own. The agribusiness there is also very strong where you will find some of the most impressive and modernized farms ever, growing everything from sugarcane, oranges, coffee, fruits, and vegetables.
Another fascinating aspect of San Paulo, Brazil is that more than one million of the population is the Japanese, making this the largest Japanese population outside of Japan. However, the population as a whole is comprised of more than 70 different nationalities from Europeans to Koreans to Hispanics to Jews and Africans, among others. Because of this, the food in San Paulo is absolutely wonderful and diverse. Therefore, if you enjoy dining out and experiencing authentic ethnic food, you will have your choices of thousands and thousands of fabulous restaurants.
Like Rio de Janeiro, San Paulo is a city that never sleeps. Therefore, if you have trouble sleeping, just walk to the 24-hour bookstore. If you want to see a movie at 3:00 in the morning, no problem and the same is true for shopping malls, restaurants, bars, and so on. In addition to the shops, you will also find exciting street fairs and exhibits located throughout the city. Other popular activities include a trip to one of the 15 zoos, botanical gardens, the Jockey Club, one of the world’s most famous Formula One race tracks, museums, excellent historical sites, every possible type of nightclub imaginable, and the list just goes on and on.
The architecture in San Paulo, Brazil is also quite fascinating in that you will find everything from traditional style building to ultra modern. If antiques are one of your favorite hobbies, then you want to visit the Ipiranga Imperial Museum, which has one of the largest art collections from the Brazilian imperial era to include paintings, furniture, gardens, and sculptures. The parks in San Paulo are also magnificent where you will often find lakes, planetariums, museums, sports complexes, restaurants, and gardens as apart of the design.
Keep in mind that most people say unless you have to travel to San Paul on business, stay away. The reason is that it is so gigantic, and the people are so business focused that it is not necessarily a place you would enjoy visiting. Most people feel a state of culture shock when they fly into San Paulo, completely swallowed up by size and activity level.
However, if you enjoy fast-pace life and are interested in seeing many of the great things San Paulo has to offer, then you would probably enjoy it. Just remember, it is a site to see and a city that requires a little getting used to. Therefore, plan accordingly and expect to be busy.

Week 13 from Elder Knudson

Óla Família!
this week was pretty great! but very very busy! i'm starting to think that this is a normal thing. but on saturday we had a baptism! it was so neat! i got to baptize him and he afterwards he said, "you only get baptized once huh?" "yup" "I'd get baptized everyday if i could!" he is only 10 years old, but has such a strong testimony of the gospel! his mom hasn~t come around yet but Luíz is always insisting that she come to church and everytime we go over to visit he tells us to ask her to say the prayer! he is going to be a great missionary! the work is going great! we find some awesome people to teach! but lately we have been having a hard time with a second lesson. we teach the first one and it will go really great, but then when we come back they don~t have time or anything or they are too busy to come to the door... we~ll see! keep pushin through! on thursday last week we had a mission conference with Elder Costa, he is the area president for brasil, it was so amazing!!! he has such a strong testimony of the book of mormon and for the church! we are doing our best to impliment all of the teachings, but it is a little difficult because their were a lot! but right now there is me and 4 other missionaries from my group from provo in brasil! keep praying for the others to get their visas too!
no macie i didn~t cry, but i felt the spirit very strong when i read your letter! thank you! keep it up ok? yes i cut my hair this week! i think i did a pretty good job too! hehe! yes we have a cell phone, but it is really hard to get service inside a lot of the houses because they are all cement, but it is nice to have though!
and HAPPY HALLOWEEN everyone, i don~t know what they do here for halloween or if they even do anything but we~ll see! i~m gonna be a missionary this year i think!
the work is going great! i love to teach and read the scriptures! i am studying in all portuguese now! it is pretty awesome and is helping a lot! read the book of mormon! it is so amazing! it truely is the word of God! 2 Nephi 32:3!!!!!!!!!!!!! during the baptism on saturday the 1st counselor said that if we read at least 1 verse of the book of mormon every day, we wont be afraid to say we are members of the Church of JESES CHRIST of Latter-day Saints! it truely is a powerful book!
i love you all! have a great week!
Elder Knudson

Elder Knudson Week 12

hello family!
essa semana foi ótimo! nós tivemos um batismo sábado! ok, this week was great! but it was so very busy! there really is no such thing as "rest" when you are a missionary! but satuday we had a baptism, and i got to baptize him! it ws so cool! i was pretty nervous to be doing it in portuguese but all went well! His name is Marcos, he is amazing! he has a very strong testimony of the gospel and i think he will end up being the bishop sometime! the language is comeing, slowly but surely. it is so hard and frustrating sometimes to want to be able to say something and not be able to... but i am working at it. right now we are having difficulties getting our investigators to come to church... it is hard because our area is very big and most people don~t have cars, so they either have to take the bus, or walk. so it can be a difficulty. we walk SO much here! by the time p-day comes around my knees NEED the break! but its all good, i~m getting more and more used to it as we go. and i am beginning to know where things are in our area. it is very hard because the streets have absolutely no organization to them and the house numbers are just random, so if you want number 4, sure go ahead, and if your neihbor wants 222, sure go ahead. it makes things difficult. in our area it is just us, we cover 1 ward. it is similar to our ward, how marysville ward is marysville, linda, edgewater, d 10... its similar to that.
i got both the package and the letter this week! the letter tuesday and the package friday! thank you so very much! my companion was pretty excited about the candy! hehe! but there weren~t any skittles.... what happened? heheh! but it was very cool to get all those letters from the primary! some of them i had a hard time figuring out what was said, but it was great!
so this week we had inerviews with the mission president and also a meeting for the new misisonaries. president pinho is awesome and has a huge vision for the misisonary work here! and in the meeting for the new misisonaries i saw 4 other missionaries from my district in provo! it was so great to be able to see them again! there is only 3 missionaries from my district there that are coming to this mission that still need their visas. hopefully they get them soon!
this area is great! supposedly everyone wants to come to this area! there is always people to teach and lots of people ready for batism! but it has its difficulties too, but i love it!
HAPPY BIRTHDAY ADAM! i forgot to write it last week i think... but oh well! so how do you like it? do you feel different?
so trevor got a job at primetime? that~s awesome? why didn~t he do that while i was there? i miss primetime! the breadsticks are so good!
thank you so much for the support and the prayers!
don~t forget to share the gospel with everyone! FALE COM TODO MUNDO!
Elder Knudson

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Week 11

óla minha família!
another week down! this week was very good, we are teaching so many people and most are progressing very well! we are teaching a man named Marcos and he will be baptized on the 22! he really loves the gospel and wants to learn as much as he can! and yesterday we taught a family, Cícero and Sara and their 2 kids, about the restoration of the gospel. they are so excited to learn and have so many questions! we set a baptismal date with them for the 26 of nov. the work is going great, their are so many people in this area that are very willing to listen. our area is so big though! we walk so much everyday! i think about 15 or 16km a day. its a lot.
no i haven~t gotten any package yet or letter from you, but the mail service here, correios, just finished a strive, so it may be a while before i get it. it should get here before christmas! hehe! hopefully there isn~t any perishables in it! i did get a letter from Adria on saturday though, so the mail is coming!
so it has been raining here for the last 6 days and will probably rain again today, and it has been cold... i thought this was Brasil? it isn~t supposed to be cold... but the rain makes it vry hard to contact people on the street because they don~t want to stop or there isn~t anyone on the street. i guess us missionaries are just crazy, out walking through the rain everyday! hehe! yup, its either crazy or our message is true, right? (probably both)
the food here is really good, we have lunch appointments here instead of dinner, which is a little weird, but its cool. we have some sort of meat and rice and beans for every meal and then some kind of salad or other side dish. they make so much food! but it is good! i have been eating tomatoes and brocolli, but other than that, nother to exotic or crazy yet. i did eat a chicken heart while i was in the ctm, and it was pretty good! i~ll keep you posted on the food!
everyone is vrey into soccer (futebol) here, its pretty funny sometimes!
we are teaching around 10 people i think right now... not sure exactly. but last week we taught almost 30 lessons, so we are aways busy! but it is great! today we are going to commit one of our investigators to baptism! she wants to be baptized but doesn~t really want to decide when, but she is ready and more time wouldn~t help. one of her sons was baptized 2 weeks before i got here and he recieved the priesthood last week and passed the sacrament this week! it was really cool! oh and i don~t think i told you yet, but me and my companion spoke in church this week! i was so nervous!!! but it went so well and the people said they could understand me! what a miracle! its funny some of our investigators ask how i know so much already (portuguese) and i~ve only been here for 2 weeks (2 months including training) and i tell them i don~t really have a choice because my companion doesn~t speak english, then my companion says, yup he can either choose to speak portuguese, or... speak portuguese. its pretty funny sometimes. the lord truely qualifies those he calls! i can really see that when i go in to teach and i am able to explain a topic realatively clearly! this week is going to be more intense to because my companion is going to hand over some more responsability to me and that means i will have to talk more during lessons and i~m a little nervous about it becuase he teaches so clear and i am a little nervous about that, but i guess i will have to step up to the challenge.
that is so neat about Nates call! i can~t belive it! tell him i said good luck and don~t get eaten by an aligator! he~ll do great!
so this week i decided to start studying in all portuguese. it has been going pretty well, i use my english stuff when i am having difficulties understanding or when i really want to be able to understand a topic. i wish all of my notes in my english stuff was in my portuguese also! but i guess i~ll have to find other cool stuff to! i am reading the book of mormon in english and portuguese, i am in 3 ne 15 in english and 1 ne 4 in portuguese, i just started in portuguese last week. but i think it is helping me learn faster. i want to so bad to be able to just talk and not have to think so hard to phrase sentances! but i am trying to be patient and i know it~ll come over time. hopefully be christmas i~ll have a lot of this stuff down! its my christmas wish! hehe! the only thing that will be annoying will be coming back and having to speak english again! hehe! i~ll have to learn all over again. oh well.
so how are things going at home? anything interesting going on?
cool scripture that i read this morning: 3 Nephi 14:7-8
the church is true! stay strong!
Elder Knudson

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Week 9 & 10

hey family!
i~m here! in the field! it feels like a dream! and again i am lost as to where to begin... i am in Jardim Campinas right now, and my companion is Elder Vasconcelos, he is amazing, he is such a help and a great support to me! he is also very patient with me as i learn and grow. oh and did i mention that he doen~t know any english? yup, talk about crazy huh? but the cool thing is that while i can~t understand really anyone, i can understand him and what he is saying most of the time. the Lord is truely helping me in this work, i feel his hand helping me daily! i can~t believe how much i can understand and comprehend, but sadly that is much more than i can speak. i have such a hard time relaying how i feel and how to portray my thoughts... this past week has been the hardest week of my life. every moring i have to work so hard to not be down on myself and work hard. it is so hard! it feels like the whole weight of the world is on my shoulders sometimes. i really miss you all! thank you so much for the prayers and support! i can~t wait till christmas when i get to call, i~ll probably still be here in this area so i should be pretty comfortable by then and hopefully by then i will be able to speak pretty well! tell Adria hi for me and that i miss her too!
so last tuesday we left the ctm at 7 in the morning and got to the mission home at 8:15ish, and we had a little meeting where we introduced ourselves and stuff like that, then we did interviews with President Pinho. He is really cool! he knows english and lived for i think 10 years in the US. then after we had luch with him and his wife, it was really good! then we went to the mission office where we had little orientation and got our new companions, i was pretty nervous when i found out that mine didn~t know english! then we went to our house! and that evening we taught a lesson! i didn~t say too much (of coarse) but it was neat! the style of living here is so different from back there! but i~m starting to get used to it, the only thing that i wish was different was the showers. they aren~t very warm if they are at all! but i guess i~ll just apreciate it that much more when i get home! i really do love it here! the people are amazing and most everyone is really nice and polite. oh, and the public transportation is pretty much an adventure every time! as soon as the doors close, the bus is moving! so hold on! hehe! i almost fell over a couple of times, but i am getting used to it now. and the people on motorcyles are pretty much fearless, pretty much if their bike will fit between the cars, they~ll go through, wether or not they are moving! its pretty crazy!
our days are filled every day! there is always something to do! and we walk everywhere!! dad remember walking up some of those hills when we were hunting? some of the roads are like that! i think i will be in pretty good shape when i come home! but my poor feet! they hurt... hehhe! we~ll see how that goes... but it is some much easier for me to be in a better mood when we are out working, the gospel truely brings a joy to our lives that nothing else can! i am so thankful for my testimony, it has truely helped me through this week!
conference was amazing last week, i got to watch it in english thankfully! i took so many notes! i pretty much wrote a book! it was such a help for me!
OH! on saturday we had a BAPTISM!!! it was so cool! Her name is Aline and is 11 years old, but is very excited about the gospel! share the gospel with everyone! don~t be afraid to let people know you are MORMON! this gospel can change their life! and you have the power to bring it to them!
ok, well my time is up. don~t worry i will take lots of pictures mom! hehe!
i love you so very much!
Elder Knudson

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

Leaving the MTC for the field

Today Elder Knudson left the MTC for the field.

He left the MTC early so he didn't get to email this week so they let him CALL!! I was at work around 10 am and received a call that I didn't recognize and wondered if it was a salesman. I just watched my phone for a while then I thought what if it's BRADEN! I answered it just in time!

He said "hi" and I knew it was him, he sounds the same. He said "It's Elder Knudson!" He said he left the MTC at 7 and got to the mission home around 8am. He said Sao Paulo is a HUGE city (the 5th largest in the world) and the traffic was bad!

He got to the mission home and had an interview with the president and got fed etc... but he didn't have his assignment of where he will be going yet or who his companion will be when he called so I guess we will wait till next week to hear all that news.

He was able to watch general conference in the MTC on Saturday & Sunday at 1pm and 5pm. They watched a recording of the priesthood session on Sunday morning. He loved it so much!!

"He couldn't talk long but he said to tell everyone he loves you and thank you for the letter and prayers! He is excited to get out and get to work!"

Mom shed a few tears upon hanging up! I can't believe how blessed I am! Thanks from us also for all your love and support for Braden & us! He did receive an email that of the other 9 elders that started in Provo with him only one has gotten his visa, the other 8 are headed to different mission's in the US to work and wait their visa. Please pray for the back log of visa's to be cleared up soon! Braden was concerned about this!

Until next week,