Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Week 5

Olá meus amigos e minha família!
week 5 -- Companion: Elder Rindlisbacher
This was yet another great week here in the beautiful country of Brazil! They do have valentines day here, but it is on a different day, and im not quite sure when it is because we wont be doing anything special for it! congratualitions mother on all your running! thats so awesome that you are running so far now! i have also shown all the brazilians the pictures that i have of snow. Its so funny because they think it is so crazy and get all wide eyed when they look at it. I definitely miss skiing alot, especially when dad talks about how you guys got 3 FEET!! its also super crazy that 5 people died there not that long ago, it really shows that you need to stay inbounds (like that mormon messages video). I´m glad that Dylans farewell talk went well and its super exciting that he is going off to south Africa! when i mailed him a letter today, the lady was surprised and asked me if i was sure it was supposed to go to south africa :) its so exciting that all my buddies are leaving on missions and such. today i bought a cookie shake :) my taste buds were on overdrive because i have not had anything close to that in over a month now. its crazy to think that i am now 5/9 of the way through my CTM time!
P.S. i found out today that the way i have been sending letters is super slow, so if anyone has sent me a letter, i promise i have replied. if you havent gotten one and you are waiting it should come eventually!
Wednesday was just an average day. all the days are starting to blend together and not much is different that i can talk about. the thing that i wrote down in my journal was that it was exciting because Carnival was over so we could recieve mail again! those statistics that you sent to me about carnival were crazy! its a wild holiday here in brazil. We also got two new brazilian roommates who filled in for the ones who left of tuesday. They were really quiet at first, but one has started talking to us alot. its way cool because they only speak portuguese, but can understand a tiny bit of enlgish. this is SO helpful because we talk in portuguese alot more and the one who talks helps us out a bunch. This sunday he said he was going to help us alot during our break from meeetings!
On thursday we found out that we were getting a new teacher for our afternoon class. it was super sad for all of us because we all LOVED our teacher (Irmão Romeu). he was super fun and he loved our class as well. Another bummer is that because we got a new teacher, we had to start our lessons over with them as a pretend investigator. My companion and I had already taught Irmão Romeu a ton and challenged him to be baptized a week ago and were almost done preparing him, but now we are back to the beginning! this will be my districts 7th teacher...
Friday morning i signed up to get my haircut. it was getting pretty long and because it is so hot here i wanted it shorter. the barber was a brazilian member from the area who spoke no english, so that was pretty interesting! he was super funny because he used all this old fashioned stuff and was whistling the whole time. he reminded me of a barber from an old movie or something. also that night my district was running through random videos of people teaching to see different techniques and strategies. the practice rooms for teaching have cameras that record so you can watch them later. we found a couple groups who are on their 7th week here and everyone in my district felt as if our portuguese was alot better than theirs. Its kind of mean to compare ourselves to them and say that we are better because we are 2 weeks behind them, but it was really comforting to watch :)
Saturday was a pretty spiritual day for me. the first cool thing that happened was that Irmão Romeu came into our class during our personal study time and asked our class for a blessing. He was feeling really sick and because were his favorite he came to us. the coolest part was that he asked me to do the second half so i got to give the blessing! i love blessings so much because i can feel the spirit really strong and they are just super awesome experiences. in our evening study time we worked some more on our song that we are going to perform sometime. we got all the parts down so we can sing more than just the melody. its sounds super duper cool and its fun because its mixing songs and languages! look up hymn 321 in the english hymn book. we are using verses from that song and verses from if you could hie to kolob all to the if you could hie to kolob music. it works perfect and is all about misisonaries! The last cool thing was that we got to give another blessing right before bed! one of the elders in my district sprained his ankle during volleyball by landing on my foot trying to block my spike. it was swollen pretty bad and it was bothering him so he asked us to give him a blessing. he asked me to give the first part and his companion to do the second part and blessing. it was awesome do both parts of a belssing for the sick in one day!
Sunday was awesome like always! i love sundays because they are relaxing and we just get to take a break from all the studying. my district came up with a really funny idea while writing our church talks. each week we will have a theme, and each of us have to include something in our talk that someone else assigns them within that theme. this week was animals, so everyone assigned someone else an animal. i chose elder adams to do three toed sloth, and he was chosen to speak that day :) it was super funny. one other guy had to speak that day too. ill let you know how this next sunday goes. during all the breaks i wrote some letters and just talked with my buddies.
P-day was awesome like always as well! we got to go to the temple again and what was really cool was that i got to go through for someone with the last name lambert! it didnt have a date on it, but he lived in France. we polished our shoes and went out and cruised around town.
I am still going strong and love it so so much! i know i am doing the right thing and i want to thank everyone for helping and supporting me. you are all the best :) Eu sei que esta Igreja é verdade! (i know that this church is true)
I love you all so much and ill keep you in my prayers!
-Elder derek Romney Lambert

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Week 4

week 4 -- companion: Elder Rindlisbacher
Another week down here in the MTC! The temple was great yet again today! it is air conditioned and in english, so if there are brazilians there they use the translation headphones. My Book of Mormon reading is still going well. i read all of Mosiah in one day, it fried my brain i think. i havent been able to read barely anything since then though because we have been super super busy with other things. And carnival is going on here and its a really big deal! everything is closed so this pday may be kinda boring... i heard that in one city they broke a record by cramming 2.5 million people into a one block area and everyone did the samba dance! Again, thanks for everyone who sent me letters! i love getting mail :)
this week i began to get a little discouraged at times because we are starting to move on pretty fast and the teachers only really speak portuguese. one night was especially hard and i got really down so i whipped out an Enos prayer and just let out all my feelings. i was up until about 12. i felt better after that and talking to my one of my really good buddies here, elder adams.
we had TRC again this last week! this one was very interesting because we were teaching a drug addict who was looking for help in life and strength from his church. me and elder rindlisbacher taught a really good lesson and we were told that it was good. it was something way different from anything else that we have done so far. this same night i stayed up with all the brazilians and taught them some really fun games to play. They are all so so so fun and the funniest people i have ever met. i love them all so much.
Saturday was one of my coolest nights here i think. on saturday nights we have 4 hours of study time and everyone loses focus and we end up playing games for a bit, but this time we did something different. we got onto the church site and watched the Joseph smith restoration video. this time it was way different than any other time ive watched it. i felt the spirit so strong and i have really developed a stronger testimony and love for joseph smith. at the end i had a really cool experience. After the martyrdom of jospeh smith it shows a clip of his mom addressing some of the saints and she says something along the lines that she has no doubt that the true church was restored and will stay upon the earth for the rest of time. Ive really been looking for a solid answer that this church is without a doubt true, and that line pretty much punched me in the face. it really stood out to me and i felt the spirit so strong when she said that. when the movie ended, us 8 elders sat there with the lights off, all crying, and just pondering. IT WAS SOOO COOL! the spirit was there so strong, elder adams said he could cut it with a knife. i said a prayer about what i had just experienced and everything just felt so right and good. this church is definitely true! after about 5 minutes, we stood up and turned the lights on and we went back to studying. later that night, me and elder adams and rindlisbacher just talked about the spirit and church for about an hour while leaning out the window looking over the city of Sao Paulo. it was a very spiritual night.
Sunday was pretty normal (church and meetings and such) but today we got a 4 hour break! it was awesome :) usually we have been doing interviews and such during that break time.
last night we kinda started joking around during class and we wanted to get the spirit back before teaching, so i asked if we could sing an english hymn and if it could be ´if you could hie to kolob´. our teacher loves this song because its super pretty and it is not in the portuguese hymnbook. after singing it we decided we are going to get all the parts down and mix in a portuguese verse from another song about missionaries that fits in perfectly. it is going to be sooo cool! we will sing in sacrament meeting maybe next week. the other song has the same rhythm so it works perfect!
Last night was pretty tough because all of my brazilian friends left early this morning :( every single one that i was friends with left. i got so close to all of them and loved playing games and talking with them as much as i could to the best of both our abilities. they are all going to do so great and they were all so excited. i woke up at 4 this morning and got out of bed to say one last goodbye to all of them as they were heading out to go to the bus. Last night there was also a super awesome storm outside! it was in the distance so it wasnt raining where we were at, but we could see lightning everywhere! it was the coolest thing ever because it would light up all of sao paulo! it makes me excited to go to Teresina because it is the 2nd highest lightning prone city in the WORLD!
One draw back of last night was that one of the american elders saw a pair of his shorts that he had been missing on one of the brazilians bed who left this morning. quite a few elders have gotten stuff stolen so it turned into a really big deal and the president got involved and a whole bunch of other people. i dont really know the outcome of it because i had to stay in my room, but i know that they were interviewing them and having them unpack their bags from instpections until about 1 in the morning. i really hope that none of my friends did steal anything because i would be so heartbroken. ive come to love alll of them so much and it would kill me if one of them was sent home the morning he was supposed to leave. i always keep everything i have locked, so i have not had any problems yet.
Our room now has two empty spots, its really sad :( hopefully it fills in with some awesome brazilians!
I hope John and Dave are doing well! i will keep them in my prayers and i hope that they get better quick! keep me updated!
i love you all so much and thanks for all the support and prayers! i will keep you all in mine!
Muito Amor!
-Elder Derek Romney Lambert

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Week 3

week 3-companion-elder rindlisbacher
once a week to send emails is not enough!!
i got two mission ties letters the night of last pday, so right after i sent the email pretty much. that might happen today also! i also forgot to bring them, so i cant respond to any questions : ( i will for sure bring them next week! i also got a letter from grandma and grandpa, dylan parry, and andy! it was so fun hearing how everything is going : ) thanks so much guys! i got one from you also with the addresses of the missionaries and some other things, but i cant remember if that was before my last email or not...
this has been a pretty good and bad week. so at the devotional last week at the end of our pday, we had a devotional by the mtc president. halfway through a huge strom rolled in and we could hear the rain just pouring down and lightning right outside the building. it was so intense! the power went out about 5 minutes later, so the generator kicked in and got that on, but then all the fire alarms started going on, but we just started singing hymns until they got them turned off. it was super crazy but cool. i feel like that message was super important for us to hear and thats why there were so many problems.
on wednesday i got a companion of my own! his name is elder rindlisbacher and he came from the provo MTC. its nice to have one of my own because working in a group of three is kind of hard. we get along really well so all is just great!
on thursday, i started to do a challenge for myself to read the Book of mormon in 4 weeks or less. so i started all over! ive been reading around 20 pages a day and broke the 100 mark yesterday. i really want to do this because i want to read the book of mormon all the way through just for the sake of reading it. not for seminary or school or anything.
i got really sick around wednesday or thursday with a sore throat and just felt really weak. it lasted up until today pretty much. it made it really hard to focus in class and to stay positive, but im just glad that i am better now :)
we had TRC again (where you teach volunteers) and i feel that it went better this time! me and my new companion taught pretty well together and the person thought we did pretty well!
later that night, me and my companion made a catapult out of an exercise band and a chair. we launched bars of soap down the hall. all the brasileiros loved it and it was super fun :)
we made a goal as a district to have english fasts for this week. we did it on monday, we will do it tomorrow, and friday. the first day went pretty well! we definitely did not talk nearly as much, but it was all in portuguese! hopefully we will get better and better as the days go on.
me and my companion taught a really really good lesson last night. it was something i really needed because i was beginning to become a little discouraged with my teaching. we had previously invited our pretend investigator to church and she had been really the book of mormon. so yesterday after teaching her about the spirit and how it was the spirit that she was feeling while at church and while praying to know if the book of mormon was true, we asked her if she would like to have this all the time and work with us to prepare to be baptized. she was hesitant and asked a bunch of questions that me and my companion were able to answer together. at the end of the lesson i could feel the spirit so strong and she committed to work with us and be baptized. i think the teacher was feeling it too because it seemed as though she was tearing up a little bit. it was so nice to feel the spirit during that lesson because she was asking tough questions and its something that hasnt really happened to me yet while teaching.
last night i had a really fun time with the brazilians in my hall. i have grown sooo close with alot of them and love them so much. even though its really hard to communicate with them, between my broken portuguese and their broken english, we are able to talk pretty well. i was showing them all the pictures that i have and they loved seeing our family and the snow. i played soccer with them all in the hallway last night and it was super fun. they are amazingly good so it was really fun : ) they always come in and talk with me at night about the church and their families and my families. i just love them so much : )
my stomach is doing great so far! definitely a little gassy, but life is more fun that way. the food has been a problem for some of the guys here, luckily not me though. visas arent too big of a problem now i dont think because the big push is over. now its kind of an awkward time, so most of the missionaries will be coming from provo. my companion said that there is one more missionary in provo who is in our week, so we will see when he joins us. the pants fit as well as when i left! i havent washed them yet because i have been wearing all of them so they dont really get dirty. the nights have been sooo hot though recently! until two nights ago i would fall asleep and wake up in my own sweat every night, kinda gross huh? today for P-day i was able to go to the temple again which was fantastic! then i went out and bought another soccer jersey, some crayons for my scriptures, and mailed some letters.  i have also sent you a letter before and another today with one for you and dad, and one for nat. i hope you have gotten the first one!
everything is still going pretty well. the language is as tough as ever, but i am still progressing! i just want to get out in the field and teach for real even though im incapable of teaching  in fluent portuguese yet. how is everything going at home?! how are you and dad, amy jeremy and anne, mel and dave, and nat? i still cant explain how excited i am that she is going to brazil for her mission. she will absolutely love it here! if you ever see any of my friends, tell them hi for me! i love you so much and i am so thankful for everything that you guys have done for me! its so great to have a family that is so strong in the church. i am a blessed child : )
Eu Amo Voce! (i love you)
-Elder Derek Lambert

Tuesday, February 7, 2012

Week 2

Dear family and friends,
Week 2: São Paulo CTM -- Companions Elder James and Elder Sanders
Thats so awesome for Micheal and nat!!!! im soooo excited for them that they are going on missions. i have been waiting to hear where they would be sent to for ever!  thanks for sending me stufff! its so exciting getting mail here :) one question i have for you is who won the superbowl? and also when are the report dates for nat and michael?
this last week went faster here than the first, but some of the days still seemed pretty long. my first Pday last tuesday was great! it was so much fun just roaming the streets and exploring. its so pretty here, dad would love it! i bought a soccer jersey and sent you a letter, i dont know if you have gotten that yet. also i have been using your flash cards alot alot alot, so thanks so much mom for making them! all my friends are jealous and say that i have the best mom (which is obviously true). something sad that happened was that our district got split in two :( we got two new elders from provo (elder benalli and elder kamalu) and ours was too big so now there is 7 in each. i was in the half that had to split, so we had to change classrooms and get new teachers. also we had to move out of our room into another hall which stinks because we just had gotten moved in, but its all good now! now i have two brasileiros in my room so they are super fun to talk to and we help each other with english and portuguese. one only speaks portuguese though so its kinda tough to understand him. one of the new teachers we got is really funny, but the other was really really hard to teach. he didnt help us out at all with our portuguese while we were teaching, so it was difficult, but it will be good in the long run! i just have to keep everything in perspective :) he actually had to do something else so we dont have him and we now have a sister teaching our class and she knows the Gordon´s! she was companions with Stephanie a while ago. small world huh? she recognized me from a picture that Stephanie got when me and elise went to homecoming together and asked me if i know them. on thursday we did something called TRC. its what nat did with her friends where you go to the MTC to be pretend investigators. this time it was just teachers other than ours, but next time it will be locals! the language is coming along pretty well. its still hard to express myself the way i would like to, but im improving! hopefully living with the brasileiros will help some. on sunday elder kamalu was chosen as our district leader and i really like him. we all planned some really good goals for our group. also sunday was fast sunday, i thought i was going to die. we fasted for 24 hours! i have never done a fast for that long before. i ate as much as i could for my saturday lunch and weighed myself before and after and i gained .80 kilos :) i think my fast was made easier though because i was really fasting with a purpose this time and i think that mde it easier for me. for our sunday night devotional we had a giant CTM testimony meeting which was super cool because both brazileiros and americans were bearing their testimonies. It was cool hearing them in both languages and having the translators so everyone could understand. OH! i also wore my tie from dad because it was fast sunday! i hope he remembered to wear his! as of sunday i had also gone through all my ties once and i restarted on monday. today i am wearing the tie from amy and jeremy. my district has a really awesome personal study yesterday (we didnt keep it very personal). it turned into a group discussion about really cool topics that people were reading in the scriptures. we started talking about some super cool stuff and it just made me realize that their really has to be a God because we have such cool stuff in this world! i was able to go to the temple again today which was an amazing experience yet again. its so so pretty and i can feel the spirit so strong when im there. this time i went to town first before writing this email. i bought another shirt and some pens, mailed some letters, and bought some cookies! they were so so good and it was a plus that i didnt have to pay for them :) i also bought a grape milkshake somewhere that was fantastic as well. yesterday here in São Paulo it was 40 degrees Celsius which is equivalent to 114.8 degrees F. imagine how hot it would be in Teresina! its so crazy how hot it can get here. it will definitely take two years to almost become used to it. Im still trying super hard and staying optimistic! i think staying optimistic is one of the most important things here. its hard to not get down on yourself, but if you do, everything falls apart and you stop learning. its surprising, but i think i am actually getting used to waking up at 6:25! i dont know if its because it is so hot that i cant sleep very well, but i usually wake up before the alarm goes off! i wake up in a pool of sweat every morning. yummm right? :) and another random thought... yesterday during our service hour, me and my buddy elder adams were sweeping the basketball courts and volleyball courts and swept up 20 roaches! 5 of them were still alive and kept crawling out of the bucket. it was super super funny. i heard there is alot of bugs in teresina, but im getting used to them which is good. I cant wait to hear from you next week! tell nat and michael congrats for me!! i love you all sooooo much! <3
Muito Amor
-Elder Derek Romney Lambert