hello friends and family!
Area-São Luis Companion-Elder Rais
so to answer all your questions mother:
the president does know that we are without water and thats why we have permission to look for another house. but, the water is coming on and off now as i will tell in a bit, so we arent quite sure what to do now. the owner of the complex set up a giant bucket to catch rain water off the roof, so thats what we have been using for washing clothes, dishes, and showering :) we buy the big blue jugs for drinking water though. my shoes are working out great so far, but ive only been here for 3 weeks, so i will keep you posted. but they are comfortable! Elder rais does help me with portuguese, but i think i will ask for more help. he likes to talk alot during the lessons and i want to try to teach a bit more. i can try to send the notecards home for nat, i havent really figured out the mail service yet... i know we get to call on mothers day, but im not sure exactly how it works. we get to skype if we have access to it, but we arent sure if any place has webcams around here. we will have to figure it all out.
last monday: we got permission to play soccer! we walked all the way to the church and waited for the youth from our ward to show up and play with us but after 45 minutes we left. on our way back we saw them coming, so we turned around, but we could only play for 20 minutes because we had to get back to leave to teach for the rest of the day. two investigators (tássia and valbert) recieved answers about the book of mormon and both said that it was true! it was such a cool experience to see that they recieved answers because of their faith in prayer and asking.
tuesday: we made a very tasty lunch ourselves this day. we made sandwiches with lots and lots of delicious cooked onions. i think i could eat onions as a meal. also, OUR WATER CAME BACK! i had my first real shower in a very long time. it was like heaven.
wednesday: our water disappeared again in the morning :( also, this day was kind of rough for teaching lessons because we found out alot of problems with our investigators. Augusto wont stop drinking coffee for baptism, and edilberto is starting to have family problems because he wants them to listen to us, but they dont want to, and many others. BUT in a way it is kinda good because we know what we need to teach now, and its better to have these things now than right before baptism. we still havent been able to teach augusto again, but we will try today and commit him to stoppíng again.
thursday: we had water again! i found a green nature valley granola bar in my backpack, so i took it out with me to eat as a snack. i discovered that having one of those made me really miss skiing with dad. it was a funny moment, but it made me think of all the times we would ski together and we would both always have those in our pockets and eat them on the chair lift :)
friday: today i received letters!! i got letters from you guys, the wedding invitation for allison, and one from rachel! it was so good to hear from everybody and thanks so much for writing. i will try to respond when i have time. our water left again... we found a new investigator named carlos who seems way good. we were supposed to teach a boy named gladeson, but only his dad was there and we ended up teaching him. he was very receptive and we are going back tonight. I'm excited to see if he read and prayed about the book of mormon. he seemed very sincere when he told us he would. we also had to walk to the church from our area for a missionary conference with the bishop. it is suchhhhh a long walk. also it went wayyy long so we got home late :/
saturday: Tássia is progressing so well! her baptism date is this saturday and I'm almost positive it will happen. we have talked about it alot and she is excited. we taught her about the word of wisdom, and she told us she stopped selling alcohol because she doesnt want to have it in her house or to sell it. she never drinks, but she just wanted it gone. she is so cool. edilberto is an almost guaranteed baptism for this satuday too. after our lesson with him, he fed us some WAY good pizza and sandwiches. i love him so much :) also, i woman named domingas said she recieved an answer about our church and knows that it is true. the story she told was way cool.
sunday: we walked all the way to our area before church hoping that more investigators would come if we picked them up. Valbert and Rauson could come, but none more :( i am really excited about valbert because he said that he really enjoyed church and that he will go this next week too. i think he is pretty promising for baptism. next week i think we will have more. there were alot of complications with this week. i got pretty frustrated with the language this day because at a recent convert's house, their whole family would laugh whenever i spoke and said that they couldn't undertand me. they kept talking really fast on purpose and would laugh when i wouldn't understand them. it was funny and i was laughing and having a good time with them, but it was also pretty hard. i feel like i should be able to understand a bit more by now, but i feel like i still have the same comprehension level as when i left. i know i shouldn't be getting discouraged, and i dont want to, but its tough. i will keep trying though and always have a smile on my face :)
monday: TODAY WAS THE BEST EVER! ahhhh, today has been wonderful. we got permission to play soccer again, but this time in the morning. we started at 8 at the church and played for a while. there were alot of people there and another set of missionaries who i really like. it was so fun playing with all the brasileiros and i scored 2 goals too! its fun because its a small concrete soccer field and we play barefoot. it took a while to get used to, but i really like it. i have pictures, but for some reason they wont load... these computers are frustrating. after soccer we went to a little market place were they have a bunch of tents. it was fun looking around and i bought a really cool knife (i know you will be so happy with me mother) after that, we went to a lady´s house who we call grandma and had lunch and watched church movies. it was so fun and relaxing. we will go buy groceries after this and then go teach for the night. i love pday :)
i hope everything is going well with everybody! i will keep everyone in my prayers, and please pray for me too :) i love what im doing and im so excited for friends and family who have/or will do the same thing. its such a great work and privilege. may the lord be with yall :) i will try to upload pitures in another email
Elder Derek Lambert