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