[Sailing South toward the Equator passing various islands & Venezuela] Hello!!
Whelp, we are halfway to our Amazon entrance: Macapa, Brazil! Needless to say we are all SO excited to get there! Tomorrow [will be our ‘weekend’] …Kara and I are going to be catching up on our journals, watching Miracle, exercising, doing laundry, etc. It’s just wonderful to have some time!
I just wanted to tell you more about how our shipboard days are run. Kara and I get up around 7:00 to clean up, and go to breakfast. (They serve amazing fruit!) Classes are divided into A and B days which means I have class at 8:00 and 14:20 on A days and 8:00 and 9:20 on B days. B day classes are tougher simply because they are both located in the front of the ship and we get bounced around with every big wave :} This means that even for the few of us who haven’t gotten seasick, we are still a little nauseated by the end of classes. 🙂 Then, invariably, Kara and I take a nap [we found out one of the symptoms of seasickness is sleepiness] go to lunch at the restaurant on deck 5 at the back of the ship. The views are absolutely amazing since the walls are pure glass. Then I study or do whatever to-dos or meetings we have for the day and then dinner at 1700, again on deck 5. In the evenings we have logistical meetings or “Sea” meetings (small groups that are like EFY groups: we hang out on board and compete against the other “seas”). We are the Adriatic Seas and our color is black. At our first meeting in the Union (the large assembly hall at the front of the ship) we all dressed in black with sunglasses and did a chant before the dean spoke haha. Our sea is known for being slightly annoying but full of spirit 😉
Our cabin steward, “Handsome” as we call him, is hilarious! We all laugh a ton when he visits and he says he likes to visit because we’re always smiling haha 🙂 Anyways, he even did our laundry for free yesterday before we hit Brazil! He’s our bud and has been very helpful with everything. Oh and good thing, we discovered that there is light system in our room that will light up when someone is knocking at the door or the alarm is going off.
Kara and I have had SO many opportunities everyday to share our beliefs. Since most of the students are from the east coast or international students, many of them know next to nothing about our beliefs. The closest thing they know is that BYU is where Mormons go 😉 It’s AWESOME because Kara and I get to talk about missions, doctrines, BYU, constantly. And then there is the fact that on every tour we went on in Dominica, there was local rum punch offered. We, of course, were the only two that did not drink it and that has definitely started many of our conversations lol. Then the fact that we don’t cuss, smoke, and are modest provokes questions as well. Honestly, though, everyone is REALLY cool about it and Jimmer is brought up constantly as well lol. I think Jimmer is the reason why so many kids know about BYU and they are shocked when we tell them there is 35,000+ students there and three other BYUs 🙂 We set a goal last Sunday to share the gospel at least once every day and my goodness, the opportunities are everywhere. Everyone asks us and so it’s been the easiest goal ever! Anyways, lots of fun and after BYU, honestly, I’m so grateful to be back in a place where we can share the gospel daily. It’s so common place that Kara and I were talking about how the little nerves that come when people say, “Wait…so you’re Mormon?” are gone now that it happens a million times a day 🙂 It probably helps that both Kara and I have 3 BYU shirts each that give away our school lol 😉
I have tons of videos to show you when I get home… so hopefully this system works out! I just wish I would have adopted another classroom. It’s tough to choose 10 from the hundreds we have already from Bahamas and Dominica! 😀 pics [I can send 5 to each classroom and hopefully they will forward those to you guys]. Anyways, love you all! Let me know any happy news in your lives, ok? Destiny