Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Temple Trip

We just got this photo from the Mission President of the missionaries last trip to the temple before entering the field

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Week 8

Olá minha família e meus amigos!
Week 8! Mais uma semana!
Companion: Elder Rindlisbacher
So i didn't have time to send an email yesterday as you will hear about later in this email, so i am sending one today...
I cannot believe my time is almost up! its sooo crazy to think about! it went by so so fast. i cannot call from the airport. The thing i will miss about the MTC so much is probably unlimited soda :) its way good.
Tuesday: so last week pday was fantastic like normal! i picked up my custom leather scripture case and it is sooo cool! i love it so much. the front has a picture of jesus, the back of moroni, and the side has my name and mission on it. i will take a picture and send it to you once i get out into the field. i also accidentally drank out of a drinking fountain in a local store without thinking, but then realized the water may not have been purified. i was thinking that i had a chance to get sick, but then thought, ``there is no better place to get sick than a building that has two bathrooms on every floor,´´ so i continued to drink a lot more :) i would much rather get the sickness out of the way here than in the field. sadly, there was no effect. i guess the store was nice enough to have purified water.
Wednesday i decided to get my haircut again! this time I buzzed it just to see what it would look like. ive never had it cut this short, but it doesnt look to shabby! now i only have to use a dime size dot of shampoo :) shampoo here is about 15 reais... Also, something really funny happened this night. Elder adams was in his room and right before going to bed he picked up his pillow and screamed super loud. we all looked to see what had happened and there was a piece of poop on his bed! it was hilarious. it took about 30 minutes to realize it was actually a Cliff bar, but it looked very very real.
On thursday we went to the federal police station to do some things with our visas! that was kind of fun to have a surprise trip outside the CTM. We did all these cool fingerprint scans and prints and attempted to talk to the people there. There was some lady who trapped my buddy and was talking to him for 20 minutes. none of us knew what she was saying because she had no teeth so he just nodded his head the whole time and luckily she never asked him a question!
Friday i got my second bloody nose! isnt that amazing?! im so happy that i have only had two here, and neither of them have been bad at all. i guessing burning my nostrils was a very good idea because it is working great :) i also started reading the Book of Mormon in portuguese. its hard because they use really formal words that we dont learn and they write differently, but after a while i started to figure some things out.
We had TRC this saturday again and it went good! our afternoon teacher (irmão victor) told us some very interesting stories of where he grew up! he told us about this thing that everyone would do at parties called `body suspension´. its where you put hooks through your skin and attach them to chains and people lift you off the ground and you just hang there. I have no idea why people would ever do this, but apparently its a common party activity here in Brasil.
Our church talk subject for this sunday was desserts! once again i was not called so i didnt have to give mine, but i fit it into my talk really well if i were to be chosen. One elder in our district (elder Kamalu) wrote a really nice note because i was having kind of an off day for some reason and it cheered me up and i felt alot better after. We have s0me great guys in our district :)
MONDAY WAS THE BEST!!! we got to go proselyting! we had an hour and a half, which is short, but soo much fun! It was such a spiritual experience. i was so nervous and had been praying to be calm while i talked, but i was still so so so nervous until i talked to the first person. as soon as i started talking, it just snapped and i was perfectly calm and my portuguese was flowing perfectly! it was way cool! me and elder rindlisbacher gave out 7 books of mormon! we were on fire and talking to everyone about it. One of the coolest ones was when a guy in a truck called us over and asked if we were missionaries. we said yes and i talked to him about our faith and the book of mormon. He was locked in the whole time! it was soo cool because he was super interested and i swear he didnt blink the whole time i was talking to him. as we talked more the driver began to look a little interested too, so my companion asked him if he wanted a book of mormon to and he was soooo excited and thanked us multiple times. SO COOL! and everyone who we placed a book of mormon with promised us that they would read the introduction and ask god if our message and what they read was true. we promised them they would get a response and i felt so powerful while talking! it was so cool :) ALSO, we talked to some guy who looked like morgan freeman. he was super cool and we gave him a book of mormon. afterwards a sister came up to me and told me that she saw me talking with this guy and gave him a book of mormon and after a while she looped back through the park and said that he was reading! i felt sooo good to hear that! she said that he looked like he was intensely pondering what he was reading! that was just the icing on the cake.
So p-day yesterday was very interesting... so we left early in the morning for the temple, but our dirver took a different route which was wayyyy slow. so we got to the são paulo temple later than usual, AND it was closed! i guess the driver forgot or something, so then he drove us all the way to the campinas temple! im super super glad i still got to go to the temple because its my last time for two years, but its kind of a bummer because by the time we got back we only had 1 hour for p-day. i think the president took a huge group photo out front of the temple, so you should get a picture of that i think. the one hour of p-day was crazy because i was doing so many things! i bought some soap, a shake, cookies, a scripture marking pen, candy for my travels next week, and withdrew some money at an ATM. i took out 100 reais so can you check my debit card record and make sure something crazy didnt happen? it should be around 60 US dollars. Our distirct sang at devotional last night and it was sooo good! everyone said that they loved it and it was awesome. ill see if i can record us singing it again so all of you can hear it. also at devotional the speaker asked a question to the audience and i gave a response, so i got to have an interpreter again :) coolest thing ever.
Pretty much this was an awesome week and the days are starting to go by sooo fast now! I'm so excited/nervous to leave in less than a week! i love what i am doing, and it was soo great to get a taste of real missionary work on monday. i know this is where i am supposed to bed and i love this gospel.
i love you all so much!
Com Amor,
Elder Derek Romney Lambert

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Week 7

Week 7 -- Companion: Elder Rindlisbacher
Here are answers to all of your questions! we have not sung the hymn yet, but i talked to the music lady so are now performing it during the tuesday night devotional! it sounds sooo cool! this last weeks theme was common household objects for our chhurch talks and i was assigned a love seat. i fit it into my talk perfectly, but was not called :( i am nervous for next week because we will probably have a really crazy topic. I'm glad that i am on the 9 week program here. the people who have been arriving here for the 6 week prgram are doing really well and learning fast. i know the lord will get them nice and prepared in 6 weeks, but i like having the extra time anyways just for practice and comfort. my departure date is the 27th. i am not sure if i can call from the airport, i will try to find out and there are two americans going with me, but i do not know about brazilians. Also because i only have two weeks left here, sometime you should start sending letters to my mission home instead of here. they will be forwarded on if they come after i leave, but just to be safe i guess. maybe in a couple days. and also can you change my address on the blog, my facebook, and the church bulletin so people get the new one: thanks!
Last tuesday was a great day. we had a big pizza party in our district because it was someones birthday and their mom ordered some pizzas through mr cheney´s! they were soooo good because they were actually like american pizza.
on thursday we had a really intense volleyball game that kept going on because nobody was winning by 2, but then i got a really good spike and ended the game :) it felt way good and everyone is getting really good. gym time is definitely my favorite time of the day and i dont think only an hour is enough time. later that night was kind of a rough night. i got a little discouraged because i was having some difficulties understanding portuguese. its really wierd because i can speak better than most of my class, but i dont understand it as well as others. it doesnt really make sense to me because usually you can understand more than you can speak, but mine is the other way around. hopefully that will change soon! i also made goals to be more positive so i could learn better and have a better time.
friday was way fun. i was alot happier and we did some fun things in class. in our afternoon class we did a fun question game where we had to respond only in portuguese (they were long responses) and they were nothing gospel related. i can teach lessons really well, but i have no idea how to talk to people really outside of church stuff, so it was good practice. Later that night we also learned a fun portuguese childrens game that was really fun to play and stress relieving.
We had TRC again this week like always and it was one of our better lessons. we taught my teachers husband who doesnt speak any english, so that was way fun. they threw us a curveball because they give you the situation of the investigator so you can prepare for it before hand, but this time the people who we thought were there had moved, so we were just teaching on the fly. instead of preparing somebody for baptism, we taught about the restoration and book of mormon. He couldnt read but was really interested so we said that we would come back and read to him and his family because he was really interested. we also invited his family to church and he said no at first, but after asking some questions we figured out the only reason why he said no was because he didnt have clothes for church. We said that we could get some clothes for him and his family for church and he got really excited. during our feedback he said that he could feel the spirit and that we taught everything really well. Also that night during my personal study and ran into a verse that i liked and it was in 3rd nephi 18:20 and after high-lighting it i noticed something that was way cool. the scripture was really similar to james 1:5 like joseph smith read and prayed in the year 1820 to know which church was right and the reference to this one was 18:20! i thought it was cool :)
Church was great yet again. sunday is by far one of the best days of the week. i love it so much! sacrament meeting was really good and during priesthood i bore my testimony about the holy ghost. we had no interviews that day so we were able to go back to our room and sleep.
Monday was both a great and sad day. We taught good lessons and were having a good time and had a great time at night. It was sad because it was our brazilian roommates last night with us :( we took lots of pictures and joked around a bunch but it was sad knowing that they were leaving soon. i also finished the book of mormon that night! i just had a little bit left so i stayed up a bit late and finished it. it felt so good to finish it and i know that that book is true. it took me two weeks longer than my goal, but i was super busy for two weeks and didnt really read much so im not too upset. now i will start over but reading back and forth between the portuguese and english! fun fun...
Today has been awesome! we go to the temple every P-day, but today the São Paulo temple is closed becuase they are cleaning it, WE WENT TO THE CAMPINAS TEMPLE! it was soooo cool! it is so so pretty outside and is in alot prettier area of brazil. there were dense jungle areas on both sides of the road and it was such a pretty drive. on the way there we passed huge colonies of favelas (colorful houses that are all stacked on top of each other). It looked like something out of a movie and the trees were all so pretty. you should look up pictures of a favela. they are in the poorer areas.
i hope everyone is doing great at home, school, and work and i miss you all! i have been keeping you in my prayers and you are all so great! i really wish we are allowed to send photos so i could send some to you!
Com muito amor: sue irmão, filho, e amigo,
Elder Derek Lambert

Tuesday, March 6, 2012

Week 6

Olá Família and meus amigos!
week 6 -- companion: Elder Rindlisbacher
Of course this was another great and fantastic week here at the CTM. 
All the days are becoming the same here, so i have less and less written in my journal for everyday unless something really different happens. The cool thing that happened on wednesday was that i recieved a letter from my parents and at night i showed it to one of my brazilian roomies. together we read through the letter and then translated it into portuguese. it was way cool because my portuguese still isnt that great and neither is his english, but between us both we were able to make it so he understood everything. Just last night, i read one of his letters from his girlfriends (which was super funny) and we did the same thing. He helped me understand some of the randoms words i didnt understand, but i could put together most of the pieces myself and understand what it was about. IM LEARNING!! :)
Thursday was kind of a miserable day... not because i was having a hard time or because of the language, but because it was super SUPER hot. here in the very sunny country of Brazil, it decides not to rain for multiple days on end occasionally. This is when it gets really really hot and I (a fellow from washington who has never seen the sun) die from the heat. What was also very inconvenient was that our AC unit was broken in our class room :( everyone was super hot and sweaty and i almost died. it was close. That night, the brazilians found my photo album and were all pleading with me to let them marry natalie. Apparently brazilians LOVE freckles. they were all offering me ties and stuff if i promised that they could marry her. Luckily for her, i never broke.
Friday was not such a good morning for me. Previously, i had gotten maybe 1 bug bite, but when i woke up on friday i had about 15. they massacred me in my sleep. I think the bugs here think ``where can i bite him that will be the worst place ever´´. they bit my feet like crazy! wearing shoes around would always rub them so i had itchy feet for a while. im a lot better now though :) Also on Friday we decided to start a king of the court 2V2 volleyball tournament. Elder Adams was my partner and we did so awesome! we had really good spikes and we set the record for staying on kings court :) i will for sure play on an intramural team when i get back home!
On saturday we had TRC again. in this scenario it was someone who had been to church for a while and loved what we teach but didnt want to give up drinking. They werent addicted, so they didnt see it as a problem. My companion and I taught a really good lesson about how our bodies are given to us by God and that we need to be careful with what we put in them. I found some really good scriptures relating our bodies to temples and explained them to her. After our lesson she understood the importance our bodies are to God and that she needs to stop drinking. Since she already had been to church alot, reading in the book of mormon, and all sorts of things, we challenged her to baptism. it was a fun lesson :) it was also that time when fast sunday rolls around! so we had our last meal at 12 for lunch and i ate so so so much. it was great :)
Sunday is always the best or second best day of the week. Because it was fast sunday, we have a big mission conference in the morning instead of breakfast and a bunch of meetings. All the branch leaderships attend these and also church leaders from around the CTM attend it. its a pretty big deal. The MTC president (president Degn) was giving a talk and asked someone in the audience to answer a question. The question he asked was ``what does a broken heart mean?´´ referring to it in the biblical way. i got a microphone and answered it with a cool analogy relating it to a horse that is broken vs a horse that is wild. Someone with a broken heart is somebody who is submissive and listens and follows the commands of their master. After i sat down the president said my answer was really cool and he will remember that. Also, I GOT MY OWN TRANSLATOR! it was way cool. Because there are a bunch of brazilians there, a translator said it in portuguese :) Also i had an interview with my branch presidency and i spoke in portuguese and one of them commented on it saying that my pronounciation was super good. he said that he bets that after a year, i will speak without any accent and that people whould think im a native brazilian if it werent for my hair.
Yesterday was a good day as well. The thing that started it off so well was that we got cereal for breakfast! not the ham and cheese we get everyyy singleee dayyy. also during our service time, we played roach hockey. elder adams and i would get a bunch of live roaches in the dust pan and tip them out and they would all go running. we would then chase them and sweep them all back in before any could escape too far. i have gotten pretty creative here :) the best part of yesterday though was a lesson that my companion and i taught, our investigator is super close to baptism but her mom wont let her, so in a previous lesson we shared a bunch of scriptures with her about how the lord will give her strength and only gives people commandments they can accomplish. this last lesson she said she had some doubts about our church now because her friends had told her some wierd stuff about it. i was able to find scriptures to answer all her questions and it was such a cool experience! we built up all her confidence again and destroyed all her friends comments. when she talked to her mom, she said no still, but we reassured her and said that sometimes god tests our faith. i used a scripture in ether that describes how god blesses us after a trial of her faith and i told her i know she will recieve permission to be baptized if she keeps doing what she is supposed to and puts her faith in the lord. Afterwards our teacher told us she felt the spirit so strong and it was just a way cool experience :)
i need to go, but i love all of you so much and thank you all for supporting me while i am halfway around the world! you are all the best :) this church is oh so true and i love so much;
Com Muito Amor,
-Elder Derek Romney Lambert