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!
-Elder Derek Romney Lambert