Connor's Rio Address

Here is the mission home address for letters and packages:
Elder Connor Keetch Ottosen
Brazil Rio de Janeiro Mission
Dois de Dezembro 78
Salas 703/704 Flamengo
Rio de Janeiro RJ 22220-040
Brazil
You can also e-mail him at connor.ottosen@myldsmail.net
He can get e-mails AND now he can e-mail family and friends back!!!!!
THANKS for the letters! He says they are like gold!

Monday, December 26, 2011

Rio at last!

By the mission home in Rio

Okay so I will try to remember all I can to email this week. Number one when we landed last Tuesday it was incredible. We flew right past the beach and the Cristo o Redentor statue. It was absolutely amazing. Then we met our president and drove to the mission house. They president and wife are super nice and I love them, but they are super strict about everything. I guess like a president should be. Anyways from what I saw up to that point Rio was amazingly beautiful, we were really close to the statue and it was incredible. Then we went and met our companions and I went to our area that night. Iraj√°. But we live in Ramos and have a 45 minute ride to our area every morning. My companion is Elder Carniero, a Brasileiro that speaks basically no English besides for a few words. He is really nice and helping though and with a Brazilian companion my language will improve quickly, though as of now it is still very difficult. He has been in the mission about 7 months. The others in our apartment and district are really cool, Elder Oliver and Elder Connell. I will let you know about others I meet later. Anyways when I heard all the rules and saw the apartment that’s when things got kinda hard.
Haha the apartment is really small, probably 2 of my rooms total. My closet is bigger than the bathroom. hahaha. Anyways I was really freaked out but things are all good now. We really need to make sure to use water filters, but luckily we have a filter on our sink to. The next day we had a baptism! Though I didn’t really have anything to do with it haha. It was an older lady that had been going to church for a year. I will talk more about investigators as I learn more. Most are just ones that my comp had before and we are working with. The biggest thing to get used to is the heat. Today it has rained all day and been mercifully cold. But the rest of the days I think in the 100s with lots of humidity. At night we are lucky if it’s in the high 80s, but you’re so tired it doesn’t matter. haha. They also don’t have dinner here, so we usually have breakfast, me usually oatmeal, then lunch with a member, usually rice beans, meat and a dessert or fruit. And then we can snack when we get home at 9. Also they don’t have milk like we know it in Brazil. Their milk you don’t have to refrigerate, but it tastes really bad. haha. I really like the ward. They are super nice and inviting, even if I don’t understand all the time. Basically things are going good, but I’m still kinda in culture shock. I was expecting more green in Rio. haha. All I see is concrete all day. But you can look up my area on google. It is in the city of Rio, and kinda a more run down area. Yes there are favelas that we can go in and some we can’t. Lots of the younger kids want to hear me speak English sometimes so that is kinda cool.
Anyways it was great hearing from you guys!
All we did yesterday was stay at the members then go home and study because of the murders. I guess they were 5 minutes from the church; people can get kinda crazy with alcohol, which is all people drink during holidays. Party and go to the beach. I don’t want you guys to worry about me though. Tell Paige congrats on the essay. That is absolutely awesome! Today for p-day we had a zone party and played white elephant. I got a bar of soap. hahaha. Let everyone know that I love them! Thanks for your support and help. Anyways I love you all so much and will for sure write more next week and try to send some pictures. Love, Elder Ottosen.
Flying over Rio
Pictures taken at the mission home in Rio

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Proselyting for the first time!


Dear Family,  

I am glad that you are doing great things for Christmas!! That really sounds awesome! Hope everyone is enjoying it and enjoying the Christmas season!! Oh so I got the 20 you sent! Thanks so much! And tell Grandpa and whoever else thank you so so much for the support and gifts! I will bring them something back in two years. haha. Oh and I actually did get a letter from Grandma Fitz last week! I sent her a reply today but tell here thanks! I can’t thank all of you guys enough! haha. Hopefully the packages you sent will get there fine, but if not then oh well. haha. Tell Colton, Emily and Jordan congrats!! That is awesome and they won’t regret it a bit!! I’m way happy for the new high school name! That’s awesome! Let me know about the mascot! haha man I hope not 110!! That sounds more like Fortaleza where Rourke is going. But hopefully you guys get snow for Christmas! Oh and with the battery charger my comp actually luckily had an extra so don’t worry about it. I sent back a memory card today, hope you get that soon. I probably won’t get to talk to you again before Christmas but hopefully! I will call you but I don’t know when. Thanks tons for everything though!!! So this past week things were pretty normal until yesterday. We went proselyting in the surrounding neighborhood!! We just did street contacting, but we were given 2 Books or Mormon for each person and 3.5 hours. My companion and I passed out all 4!! It was a really awesome experience! Haha also pretty hard because 90 percent of the people we talked to already had one. But still it gave me lots on confidence! Next Monday we go to downtown Sao Paulo! And then the next day off to Rio! Man I need to remember sunscreen though, it was extremely hot and I got kinda burnt. I am super excited for Rio but almost more nervous than when I left for the first time! Anyways I hope you are all doing wonderful! I love you all so much and remember to have a very merry Christmas!! Love Elder Connor Ottosen!

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Departure date for Rio


Oi Oi!!!!
That is crazy that Nick is finally gone! I hope he is having a good time in the MTC! I was able to mail a later to Jake today so hopefully he gets it before he leaves basic. So yeah I leave Tuesday the 20th. It is about a 45 minute plane ride, but besides that I honestly have no idea about skype, calling, or anything in Rio so I will have to let you know as soon as I know!! I am way excited to get there though!!  thanks for all the letters though!! They are awesome to read! But no I haven’t gotten anything with money yet, maybe soon! Tell everyone thank you so so so much for the gifts! I will try to mail them all something soon! Thanks for all the love and support!! So there isn’t a ton to talk about because every day is pretty much the same. haha. Today I did sealings in the Temple though and that was a way cool experience!! Also when I email you next I will have been proselyting once already. We go next Monday in the surrounding neighborhood! I am super nervous for that. So I guess that Sao Paulo won the soccer championship of Brazil or something? Because all Saturday Sunday and Monday we could hear fireworks going on every minute or so and loud music constantly from when i went to bed at 1030 to when i woke up at 5 30. haha crazy!! So I was talking to my teacher and prices for some things are crazy in Brazil!! Like a MacBook pro is around 5000 to 6000 reais. An iphone maybe 800 reais. And Nike shoes start around 200 and can get upwards of 600 reais! Haha some of the American products are extremely expensive! It is crazy!! But besides that I have mostly been studying and learning. I sent a very small Christmas of some candy and something for Kade today. Anyways I hope you all are having a Great Christmas Season! I encourage you to remember Christ in everything we do! Thanks again and you have my Love! Elder Ottosen

Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Thanksgiving


Ola!! Sorry I didn’t email yesterday. The email was down. I will ask about the relation and get back to you! So thanksgiving was awesome!! haha okay not that different but for lunch we got chicken, gravy, mashed potatoes, stuffing and corn with ice cream!! It was pretty awesome! Besides that it was the same until Friday night! They strung up Christmas lights everywhere in the courtyard and let us out of class early to come sing hymns, eat ice cream, and watch the lights turn on! It was way way legal! (cool) haha I took some pictures don’t worry and i will send them soon. Thank you so much for all of the packages and letters! They even have a fake Christmas tree in the cafeteria! haha. But bad news about the battery charger, it got here but it would take almost 50 dollars to pick up!!! It is because the Brazilian government doesn’t like electronics being shipped here so they charge lots of money. The good news is my roommate has an extra that works for me so i am just going to use that one! The one you sent should just get shipped back. Sounds like you guys all had an awesome thanksgiving! I am muito jealous of the food! Haha but Im glad it was good and hope you are enjoying the Christmas season! Thanks so much for the letters! I will be anxiously awaiting them! haha. So we can listen to music but if i want to i will have to buy it when I get to Rio because if you send it, it will be extremely expensive to pick up. Ill let you know more about music later. They have explored a little but can’t go to far. We go to temple until around 12, and then have till 5 to eat, explore, email, and whatever else. Thanks so much for all you guys love!! So next time you send a package do you think you could send some collar stays for my shirts? Its not important so don’t worry but i will probably end up losing mine, haha. Also my permanent retainer broke... So I’m just going to wear my normal ones. So something we learned a lot about this week was personal revelation! I never really noticed how important and useful it is! We can receive help with almost anything! You guys should study chapter four preach my gospel haha. Also I noticed how important it is to have an eternal perspective, to trade short- term gratification for long term success. I think this is extremely important in out lives. What might seem good at the time but be horrible for trying to achieve eternal life. Anyways I love hearing from you all and hope you stay healthy and have the spirit of Christmas and the spirit of Christ with you!! Tchau!

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Schedule at the CTM


Im glad you got the picture!! My comp is the tall one with dark hair on the end if I remember! I didn’t get a copy but I got to see it for bit. Thanks so much again for the gift. Haha I think we will do a pizza party on our last pday. So it actually wasn’t their Independence day, just the day they became a Republic, nothing too big that we were aware of, haha. So I haven’t gotten the charger yet but no big worries cause my companion has the same charger that I can borrow. I got you package and letter on Wednesday or Thursday! Thanks so much for those, haha I love both of those candies. The mail probably took extra long because of the holiday I am guessing. Usually it takes 6 to 8 days for me to get it. Oh and by the way I sent a letter to nick alvarez but I had to mail it to our house cause I didn’t know his address so if you could get it to him that would be great. I bet it is exciting that Thanksgiving is already here! Ill let you know if they do anything different here in the ctm. Hope you guys all have a fun and enjoyable holliday!! It is so crazy to think a month has already gone by. Also I will try and find something to mail Kade though It might take me a bit to figure out how to mail a package I will hurry! They actually are putting up Christmas Lights here in the CTM so I am super excited about that. It will be weird to have Christmas with no snow. Hey so I was talking with My roommate elder Gividen and his grandma is an Ottosen from Tabiona! Just wondering if you know the relation there. haha. So I guess Elder Bednar was in Rio over the weekend and visited the Missionaries! What an experience that would have been, haha oh well. Also the Biggest TV network in Brazil did some filming here last Friday for a news report or something? I wasn’t in it but it still was cool. So a normal day for me is wake up, get ready and eat breakfast, personal study. Then Gym and play volleyball or basketball, then more study time until lunch at 12 30. Then class until dinner at 4 45. Then class with a different teacher until 9 30 and then snack time and get ready for bed. haha so that is most my days!! But they are all good and I honestly love studying the scriptures!! It is my favorite! Thanks you all so much for the support, Gifts, and Love!! Send my love to friends and family!! Hope you have a wonderful Thanksgiving because I am sure I will!

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Brazil Independence Day


Hello from Brazil!!!
First off thank you soo so so much for the missionties package! I haven´t gotten anything yet but I will have to go talk to them later today if they are open. It is actually a holiday here, the day they became a country, so lots of stuff is closed. But it will be awesome to get the food! Thank you!! That is awesome you got to volunteer for the Temple! It is so peaceful every time where go there. I love it. Tell Kade I´m happy for him and to stay safe! Tell Paige that is awesome and I am very proud of her! And tell Cole good luck with battle of the bands and college! I’m sure he will do great. Thanks for selling the Xbox, unfortunately there is not a remote but most universal remotes should work with it. I hope Moab went well for Dad! I love it there! The hardest thing so far has been learning the language, it just isn’t coming as fast as I want it to. It will come in time though. Honestly waking up early, and companionships really haven’t been that hard. They were the first week but I am pretty used to it now. I have really learned to love the scriptures so much!! They have so much advice and awesome stories I never noticed before. I wish I would have studied them more before. Also you guys should read preach my gospel, it has lots of good info that is relevant for all!! That is super cool about the family history, for sure send me a copy when you are done! It is so crazy to think what they went through. I was reading our heritage today and it amazes me what people endured to be a part of this church!!
So there isn’t much new to report here as every day is pretty much the exact same. haha. Except it has been cooler and constant rain the past two days, still nice though. We have a very interesting teacher that is learning about behavior in school I think I told you about. He has some awesome pointers about being a good missionary, I forgot most but they include never doing something for others approval, be in the present not the past or future. Similar to dad’s Buddhist quote, haha how does it go again? I am continuing to love my district and companion. My comp has been quite the traveler and has preformed in the Paris ballet and many others. Hope you guys have a fun Thanksgiving! I’ll let you know if they do anything special for it or Christmas. Maybe Turkey?? haha i wish... But also let me know what else you guys want to know. haha I always have things I want to tell but then I forget when I email, I will have to write them down. I hope you all stay safe and healthy!! Tell the grandparents I love them and I’m doing great!! I love you all so much!! Love Elder Ottosen.

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Venturing Outside the MTC

Oi! or Ola! that is how to say hi! Tchau is how to say goodbye! it has been a great week! Languauge is still coming but it is slow.. Time will help though! I did get those to letters! On the same day to so thanks! Oh and you don´t need to worry about doing religious stickers, people say the mail service is not a problem! That is awesome about testimony meetings and the farewell and homecoming! Testimony meeting was awesome here! We only have about 40 people in our branch. I bore my testimony about hard work and how hard hans peter ottosen worked in his life. that is so weird to think that it snowed there!! It is really wonderful weather here! It will be getting hotter though. I go to the temple every p-day! It is really small but really awesome! going outside for pday is an adventure! We bought candies, ties, and a burger and smoothie! Both very delicious and safe according to people from the mtc. haha. thank you so much for all of the support! It is hard but an awesome experience. needless to say I can´t wait to get to Rio. Oh by the way I mailed a written letter, just because I dont always get to say all I want in 30 mins of email. I looked up the missionties thing. The cookies are very delicious! i have heard good things but packages have to be picked up on pdays. It is crazy how close you can become with people after you have spend 3 weeks 24/7 with them. I love my district and roommates! Lots from Utah and the East Coast. though our entire branch is from Washington or Oregon, dont know why. Oh my old district got split and my new district has Rourke in it!!!  Well hopefully you get the letter soon! Love you all so much and take care of yourself! thanks again so so so much for all of the support! Love, Elder Ottosen

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

First e-mail from Brazil


Ola!!!
Okay well so I am at Brazil!!!! I have to say I love it here. I was really worried because when we got in on Wednesday morning it was overcast and kind of depressing looking. We passed miles and miles of favelas on the bus ride. It is so much different to see it in person. It really made me think about how fortunate we are. Also the city is huge!!! I have never seen so much concrete in my life. We aren´t in downtown or anything but you can see it and I have never seen so many skyscrapers in my life, I have never seen a city that compares to this. But at the same time it is by far the dirtiest city I have ever seen. So much trash and graphitie on at least 25% oh the buildings we see. I don´t think there is a such thing as city planning as there will be a house, then a business, then a 30 story apartment high-rise. haha It is so different from the States, but at the same times very similar. All the grocery stores have fences around the parking lots and gates to get in or out.  The canals that run through the city are almost black and littered with trash. When we pulled up to the CTM I was really worried, there were 15 to 30 foot high walls with razors, barbwire, and electric fences all around. But it is a whole different world inside. It is really clean and nice with more personal space than Provo. It is pretty much a square building but with an open courtyard in the middle. I am on the 6th floor with the other 3 kids from my former district. They are all way nice and cool. My companion changed from Elder Kerr to Elder Stanger. He is from Boise Idaho, and has lived in South Korea and London before doing professional Ballet. Really nice kid. Us 4 are all going to Rio! The food here is really good and always fresh. There are less choices than Provo but it tastes better, usually meat, rice, beans, dessert, and some other sides. Breakfast is always the same though, bread, cheese and meat, and something kind of like oatmeal that is really good. They had sloppy Joes last night!! It was crazy! The only weird thing about the food is dessert, sometimes they are good but lost of times super weird. Last night it tasted like pudding with mouthwash on top. Anyways we have a weight room, volleyball and basketball courts to work out 4 times a week, probably my favorite part of the day. haha  It is way more relaxed here the mtc president even said so himself. We get to wear short sleeves except on Sunday. And after I am done writing this I get to go explore the surrounding neighborhood!! I am way excited to do that. It is actually 4 hours ahead here just so you know. So the people are so nice here!! I love it. The Brazilians we meet at the MTC are awesome and have so much energy! They stay up all night pretty much. We have native teachers that speak English pretty well. The language is coming slow I have to admit. It is really hard for me to understand them when they talk even if I know the words because they speak so fast!!! It will come in time though. There is so much energy and life in the city and with the Brazilian people! It makes me want to come stay a summer in Brazil! We will see if I still feel that way in 2 years. haha Thank you so much for all the advice and info. I love all you guys so much. Tell Kade to get better soon! I will try to write a written letter soon so that I can get more info. Love you! Elder Ottosen

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Provo bound!


Hello From Provo!
Wow! haha I admit I was expecting hard but the first few days exceeded my expectations! As I told you already they are doing the emersion program where the teachers only speak portuguese. It was difficult but I'm still here!! The emersion program will be really good to prepare me for Brazil on wednesday! Things got really better yesterday. We had sacrament, a temple walk, a departure devotional and talk with our branch president. We also had an awesome fireside. The speaker taught mostly through hymns and we sang almost 12 hymns during the meeting. The Spirit was really strong and then we watched the Joseph Smith movie. I am actually starting to like it here, though I am still glad I am going to Sao Paulo. The language is coming but it is not easy. The hardest part for me right now is pronouncing the words. It is so much different from Spanish. For example de sounds like ge. But it will come in time, luckily my companion, Elder Kerr, studied a little before he came and is really good at the language. He is really nice and a smart kid from Taylorsville. The rest of my district is also really awesome, I love them all. The day after I got my visa my companion and 2 other Elders from my district got theirs as well! They are not on the same flight as me but will be in the MTC with me. I have yet to figure out if I will have Elder Kerr as my companion in Brazil or not. Thank you everyone who sent me letters! They are my only connection to the outside world. We could be in WW3 and I don't think we would hear of it. And thank you mom for the package, it is awesome to get those things now instead of 2 months. haha. Do you think when you send my other stuff you could send my red tie that I left, along with 2 or 3 others. They weren't kidding when they said ties are the only variety you will have. Also a yellow one would be cool to have because of Brazils colors. I will try to send what I don't need today.
So I didn't realize how strict they were. haha In the MTC here we have to wear our suites at all times except at lunch or if our district leaders approves in the classroom. The entire day is planned for you and you don't have 10 mins extra. Also security is really tight. You need your i.d. card to get in your residential building and the MTC grounds and many other things. haha It's all good though, becasue with strict obedience we get blessings and the companionship of the spirit. I really like the leaders, teachers, and other missionaires I have met. Everyone is super nice. I have seen Elder Preston and Parker Wooten, Elder Jeremy Avery, Elder Craig and Josh Skousen, Elder Rourke Diamond, and a few others I know.
Mostly my schedule consists of class time, study time, eating time and... sometimes a devotional or meeting or something. haha. I get personal time at the end to write in my journal or pray or whatever I feel prompted to do. It will be wierd going from the huge MTC here to the small one at brazil. It is crazy how all of the days kind of mesh together in the MTC. On saturday I realized it was saturday halfway though the day and though of how crazy it was and there is no difference between days.
The food here is usually pretty good but nothing amazing. The best they have had so far has been Papa Johns Pizza one night. haha probably last time having that for 2 years.
So I will get to call home sometime before 2, and also at my stop in Atlanta around 6 I think. I will call dad as well. Then I get in brazil around 10 in the morning, probably around 1 Sao Paulo time. I have no idea when my next P day is but I will email you once I get the Chance. I love you all. Tell people to write me! The address that is in my packet is
Elder Connor Keetch Ottosen
Brazil Rio de Janeiro Mission
Brazil Missionary Training Center
Rua Padre Antonio D'Angelo, 121
Casa Verde
02516-040 Sao Paulo-Sp
Brazil
I am super excited to learn the language and even more excited to be out in the field teaching.  Also keep me updated on college games.. haha It is crazy to think it is Monday and I have no idea what happened. Don't worry I won't let myself get distracted.
Also Mom and Dad, Thank you so much for your letters and notes in my journal. They really helped especially the first day when I was kind of overloaded and discouraged. I know I will have tough days but will the help of the Lord I can become strong from them. I know where ever the Lord wants me I will go and do my best and he will help me though it. I love you all so much! Wish me luck! or Better yet pray the spirit will be with me!
Love, Elder Ottosen