Monday, April 23, 2012

Lucky Week 13

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

com amor,
Elder Derek Lambert

Monday, April 16, 2012

Week 12: You Can Make the Pathway Bright

Hello my friends and family! 

Companion: Elder Rais    Area: São Luis

Once again, another great week in the mission. some updates on some events around here. we are still without water :) we had it for half of one day, but then it went away again. we are looking for a new house but it is very difficult here. we finally found one, but it is an extra 15 minutes from our area so our walk would be about 45+ to get there. also we wouldnt be able to move in for a month. we are still praying for a miracle. also, i have started cooking up a storm in our tiny little kitchen :) every morning i have been cooking eggs and hamburger meat and making different juices. i will start buying better stuff for dinner today so i can eat something other than ramen. 

Monday-for this P-day we got permission to head into the more cityish area and go to  a shopping mall! after a couple bus rides and some time we made it. it felt sooo weird to be inside a place like that after not seeing anything close to it for almost 3 months. we just looked around and we ate lunch at... SUBWAY!!! it was sooooo delicious and i miss the subway at BYU oh so much. it was a little taste of america once again. also i am learning to like alot more things on my sandwiches. after returning home, we got ready and headed out to teach for the rest of the night. we contacted someone who was a referral and the lesson was really cool! it was a woman named fatima and a man named fransisco. before leaving, she shared with us that before we came she was praying for someone to help her find the right path to go in life. 

tuesday-we had another distrct meeting which went well. later, while we were teaching, we stopped by the house of tássia. when we got there, she said we couldnt teach her because she could only talk for a couple minutes. she said that her and the guy she was living with got in a huge fight and are separating. she said he did some really bad things and said some bad things and she wants to separate. she told us that she wants to follow christ in her life and start her life over. it is kind of a bittersweet moment because its sad that they are separating, but i know she is gaining such a greater and more loving family through the church than with the guy she was living with. We also challenged a kid named daniel to baptism if he recieves and answer about the book of mormon and he said yes!

wednesday-we had 8 people accept baptismal dates today! it was sooo awesome! we taught about the restoration and the book of mornon. like daniel we promised that if they read and pray, they will recieve an answer that it is true. they all accepted this challenge and said they would be baptized on the condition that they recieve an answer. one of the kids who accepted is named Augusto. later we were walking through the streets and he was with all his friends and he was talking to them about our church and how he will get baptized if he recieves an answer. its so cool! we got down some addresses. We also bumped into Tássia in the street andshe told us she still wants to be baptized. it was nice :)

thursday-we got to have interviews with the president of our mission!!! predisent Dias is super cool and it was so much fun talking with him again. while he was interviewing me, he looked through my planner and said that he has already interviewed 70% of the mission and me and elder rais were the first ones to have our planners organized correctly. he also said that following the simple steps that seem silly sometimes allows miracles to happen. i have no doubt about this because i am experiencing miracles every day! we also did alot, alot, and alot of walking. first, we had to walk an hour to lunch, then an hour to our interviews, and then 2 hours to our area :) then we could start teaching. we got two more baptismal dates similar to the others. Also, we taught Edilberto about the importance of reading and praying about the book of mormon because he has been strugglig a little with this. he said he would and also we were able to advance his baptismal date so its sooner! one of the coolest things was that both edilberto and tássia both told us that they had already stopped drinking coffee because while they were at church they heard the bishop mention that in his talk. i can tell both these people really want baptism and are willing to make the sacrifices for it. Tássia also shared with us that she can feel something so strong whenever we teach her and when we went to church. we explained to her about the spirit and she said that she has never felt something like it in any other church  And, we bumped into a kid named Rielson who we taught the night before and he told us that he prayed about the book of mormon and knows that it is true :) AND edilberto cooked pizza for us when we taught him :) pretty much it was a great day!

Friday-we taught two more teenage boys and got two more baptismal dates marked! its great because all these teenage boys we have been teaching know each other. im hoping they will all grow together and help each other.

saturday-today we followed up on alot of our challenges to read and pray about the book of mormon. we had 4 people share their experience and they all know the book of mormon is true! things are really starting to get exciting now with our work :) also, we started our fast after lunch which is a little more difficult because we sweat alot and walk alot so its kinda nice to have food, but i was so excited to fast because i had so much to fast for.

sunday-we went to church today and while walking, i randomly stopped sweating and im guessing its because my body ran out of water - it was kinda wierd. we had 5 investigators come to church today. it was really good, but i'm hoping for more. At night, more people we met with said that they had recienved answers that the book of mormon is true as well. it makes me so happy :) also, while teaching someone at night the man offered us shrimp. my companion is allergic so he didnt take any, and i have never had any before so i was a little nervous, but i am here to try new things. it was weird seeing its eyes looking right at me and i ripped its head off... i ate two and thanked them very much and then the woman left and came back with a plate of 15! she told me they were better with lemon so she prepared more for me! they were pretty good, but not my favorite. Dad, you should be proud of me. we can eat chrimp together when i get home.

monday-i woke up early today to start cleaning so we could finish all our studying and start p-day on time. im super excited for today because we got permission to play soccer with the young men in the ward! it will be soo fun and i know i will get destroyed by all the brazileiros. 

now time to answer your questions! my companion does speak english. in fact, his english is better than my portuguese... we are sleeping in beds because its the cooler season right now and rains super hard all the time. i could buy a hammock and sleep inside though because all the walls have special hooks for hammocks in them. we get mail every month or so i think. i think for transfers when the president comes he brings it. and my arm wasnt too burned, it was half tanned :) its kinda just turned into a tan now. i wear the sunscrean on really hot days. and thanks for the package!! i got it at my interviews! the snacks are oh so good and the hangman thing is really fun :) i have already given out two of the bracelets to some kids and they love them. that was a good idea. i wore the tie to church and the little metal things dad gave me are way fun. where did he get those? i also received one mission ties letter, but i dont remember when it was sent. i got one from G+G Lambert. the pictures of the baby were soooo cute! im so glad that everything went well and that i have a nephew! its wierd to think that he will be anne´s age when i get home...

i love all of you soooo much and thank you for the support and prayers! até mais!
oh, and the picture loader was being stupid so i only got two loaded up....

com amor,
Elder Lambert

Monday, April 9, 2012

Week 11: Sao Luis

Hello friends and family!
Area-São Luis    Companion-Elder Rais

So i am trying to upload pictures, but these computers here are super super bad, so i dont think i can upload many (or any, we shall see) This was yet another great week in the mission field! just some random happenings... we have been without water since last saturday or sunday i believe. going over a week has been kind of difficult needing to shower and wash clothes and such. every morning we have walked about 15 minutes to a lady´s house who is in our ward and we fill up buckets and carry them back for the day. this water is used mainly for showering and flushing the toilets :) More about my area: my area takes about 30 min.of walking to get to and from our house and it is some really nice houses at the beginning where nobody is outside so we dont have anyone to talk to, then goes into the ghetto style stuff. at night we have to be really careful of which streets we go down. the area is humongous and we do lots and lots and LOTS of walking everyday, but hey, its good for you :) lunches here have been pretty darn good so far! there have just been a couple where i have gone away a bit hungry because they didnt have much. but on the other hand, some have been absolutely amazing! the portuguese is tough. its still really hard for me to understand much of what people are saying. i can talk pretty well, but because i cant understand i cant respond to questions very well. i have been speaking a little more in lessons, but not too much. this week i will start talking more. the package that i got at the beginning has been soooo nice :) its fun to munch on some american candy while i study, so thanks so much! now about my week:

monday-monday was pretty good. the thing that set it apart was that we almost got robbed! i guess you can say that makes it pretty interesting :) a drunk guy came out of his house and told us to stop because he had a quick question. when he got closer he asked if we had any money and we said no because we are missionaries. we started to walk away and he started to follow us and was yelling asking if we were scared. it was kind of weird, but we got away :)

tuesday-i had my first district meeting! haha it wasnt anything too exciting,  but it was interesting. we just had some thoughts and talked about investigators and had some more training etc...

wednesday-me and elder rais had a cool spiritual experience this night. we had been teaching an investigator who has been progressing way fast. his name is ediberto (the one who went to conference). he was supposed to be out of town for a week and we were kind of bummed because we wanted to talk to him about baptism. we got the feeling that we should stop by his house anyways on our way home, so we did! it turned out he didnt leave because he was sick, but our cell phone doesnt work so there was no way that he could contact us about it. it was a way good lesson and he asked for two more books of mormon so he can tall some of his friends about it :) way cool huh? 

thursday-we challenged ediberto to baptism and he said yes! it was cool because i did the challenge. he wants to learn alot more so the earliest date we could set with him was april 11. hopefully as he gets an answer about our church he will want to get baptized a little sooner. 

friday-This was an amazing day because previously alot of our lessons had been falling through and such, but this day we taught three lessons with a member with us, 3 other lessons, and got 10 new investigators! this will help us alot because nobody has done work in our area before, so we started with 0 people when we got here... also we taught a woman named Tássia and it was such a spiritual lesson and we challenged her to baptism and she said yes! i know she knows that what we taught her is true. however, she is unmarried and living with someone so we taught her about the importance of marriage. she really wants to be married but her guy doesnt. she said she will talk with him about and we will check up with her to see how it went tomorrow! i hope he said yes! it takes exactly 30 days to do all the licensing things, so i hope we can get to work so she can be baptized soon.

saturday-very cool things happened this day. a woman named Mayara got married today! she was someone who the elders had been teaching for a while and the day finally came where she could get married. she was sooo excited and so were they. her baptism is set for the next day. she was living with a guy who used to be a member and he is reactivating too. it was so cool to see how big of an influence missionary work can be.

sunday-we had to leave super early today for church because mayara had her baptism at 7. the church is about a 30 minute walk from our house. im so happy for her because she came such a long way :) church was good but i got way tired because it was hot and i didnt understand anything, BUT we had 4 of our investigators come!! im super excited about that!

monday-today we woke up and cleaned the house and did some studying. our water has been back on for a bit! i hope it stays on... later we will take a bus to the city and go to all the cool stores and such :) 

i am doing great and having a blast and i know this church is true! i know i got some emails with questions, i cant remember them, so i will look at them again and send another email with answers. i hope everyone else is doing well!!  i attached 4 pictures, i hope they send! they are of my companion, the airplane, mayara and andersons wedding, and my awfully red/sunburned arm :)

here are my answers to the questions...

being closer to the ocean makes it a bit cooler because there is a breeze here. in central teresina its just dead and super hot. only my companion is brazilian. the other two are americans, so there is still lots of english in the house. he is 18 because only the US restricts boys to be 19 to serve misisons. anywhere else they can be 18. he said here alot of boys cant serve because they get drafted into the military, but he was lucky! i will buy some better food this week too :) it was great to hear from everyone and its too bad that there are some things people are struggling with! i will keep everyone in my prayers! i love you all!

Com amor!
Elder Lambert!

Monday, April 2, 2012

Week 10: Sao Luis

Hello family and friends!

week: already cant remember, companion -- Elder Rindlisbacher/Rais

i am officially sending this from a computer in são luis! i did arrive here safely and i have soo much to say because i traveled on my last prep day! its wierd typing on these computers because it underlines everyword in red because i am spelling them wrong according to portuguese :) i will briefly sum up two weeks ago...

i dry cleaned my suit before leaving because it had gotten pretty gross between traveling and being worn in the heat for temple days. it was more expensive than i was hoping so that was kind of a bummer... we had orientation for all the leaving missionaries (americans and brazilians) and it was all in portuguese. it was also the entire day, so my brain started to feel like it was exploding. it also made me realize that when brazilians talk for real, they talk alot faster than when they talk in class. so, pretty much i learned that i dont quite know portuguese yet :) for the last TRC, we had local members and we taught a family! it was soo cool! we taught a dad and three little girls. it was way fun because it was a little more like the real deal. it was also our last day for gym which was kind of a bummer because i will miss playing volleyball! because it would be conference the following sunday, we found out that we needed to start fasting saturday afternoon during our lunch. i stalked up good, and it was another great fast :) at the sunday night devotional, we had the mission president of the são paulo north mission speak! he was such a great speaker and he was the first black missionary for the church!! crazy huh? afterwards, i was able to talk to him for a bit and asked if he knew tanner paxman because he is serving there. he said he had just had an interview with him and made him a trainer! he said he was doing super well and that everybody loves him. it was really nice to hear that he is doing well. for my last day at the CTM we got to go proselyting in downtown são paulo. it was sooo cool! it was way different than anything else i had seen so far, but it was much tougher too. everyone was in a hurry and didnt want to talk much, but we were able to give out three books of mormon in the hour we were there. we also got to experience the joy of public transportation:) we had to say goodbye to all of our teachers which was way sad. i will miss them lots. irmã pozete said that she would try and be the teacher for nat :) we packed that night and got to bed pretty late. the next morning, we were to be downstairs packed and ready by 4:30 am. it was pretty stressful because our alarm never went off, but luckily i woke up at 4:15. we hurried and made it in 15 minutes, but i realized i missed the tiny drawer under my desk... hopefully they will send me the stuff. there were 11 other missionaries that traveled to teresina that day, so that was fun. we met some missionaries on our layover in brazilia and i think danny gessel was there. i never remember seeing his name, but everyone said he left that day so i would have seen him with the others. too bad i wasnt looking out for him. there was also a nun on our flight who kept looking at me funny, im sure she just wanted to hear about our great church :) now i will start my experiences in teresina.

tuesday: we arrived and met the mission president and his wife and went to a chapel for lunch.the coolest part about lunch was that we got to have guaraná Jesus :) its sooo good and you can only get it around teresina. we went proselyting with some of the mission presidents secretaries which was super fun because we literally talked to every person we saw. it got me very excited for when i get my own area and companion. at night we went to the mission home to sleep. there i met elder smoot which was way cool as well. the room was super funny because we had 10 people sleeping there and the showers were just a shower head over the toilet pretty much which was a hole in the floor for the drain.

Elder Lambert with Elder Smoot (we've been reading his blog since Derek got his call to learn more about Teresina)
wednesday: i got my companion, elder rais! he is 18 and only has been in the mission for 6 weeks :) we will be learning together, but we get along really good and i think we can be a really powerful companionship. later that day we took a bus to a city called timon and did some proselyting there. we taught a family there that was really interested and it was so cool! being a missionary is one of the coolest things ever! i still am no where close to understanding everything, but i listen to what i can and throw in a testimony here and there. i want to start communicating with the people so bad so i can help them!

thursday: we woke up at 5 am to get ready and leave because at the last minute the night before the mission president needed us to stay at another location. we got back to the mission home at about 7:30 after taking the bus. we had a 5 hour training for how to plan. it was super long, but it was good stuff to hear. at 4 pm, we got on the bus and took our 8.5 hour ride here to são luis!

friday: we bought some food in the morning and did all our studying and such. later we had lunch at a members house. it was SOOO GOOD! we had to walk about an hour to get there though :) we went on splits with the other two missionaries we are living with and me and elder iverson had some cool lessons. one really cool experience was that we were trying to find an address and we felt prompted to ask this one guy. he didnt know so he called over a girl with a child and asked her. she didnt know either and elder iverson asked if they were married, they said no, but were living together and have two kids. he asked if we could teach them about the blessings of marriage and how the church of jesus christ blesses families. surprisingly they said yes and we walked over to their house! he taught the law of chastity lesson and we challenged them to get married. they were super interested and said that they would! the spirit was so strong and we knew it had to be there, otherwise people wouldnt make this change in their life. they said they would not be able to afford it because it costs R$150 for a marriage license. we found out he had a smoking addiction and spends about R$30 a week for smoking. we challenged him to stop and save the money to get married and they said they woulld! it was such a neat experience!

Saturday: we had conference which was way cool! we have a stake center about an hours walk from our house, so luckily we could go there. they had a small room where american missionaries could go to listen. i was with 5 other missionaries. later that evening our water randomly turned off, which apparently is normal. we have been showering from a storage of buckets filled with water the missionaries have for when this happens. its pretty fun :) 

Sunday:we had the same conference schedule which was yet again fantastic! also, we met someone there who is an investigator who just saw our church and people going in so he wanted to see what was going on. he listened to the second half of the sunday session and is very interested. we found out he is also in our area so we get to teach him! he is such a cool old guy and asked us to tell him about the Book of Mormon. he is such a golden investigator :)

Monday: so today is pday! we woke up and cleaned the house and bought groceries for the next week. stuff is pretty expensive, so i eat butter sandwiches for breakfast, and ramen for dinner :) later today we will go out and teach our new investigator! im super excited :) 

i love all of you and miss you tons! this church is so great and has blessed me so much in my life! remember not to send anything to ctm anymore because i am no longer there... i will keep you all  in my prayers! i hope everything goes ok with amy and the baby! i didnt figure out how to send pictures today because i had so much to type so i didnt get time, we have an hour now. next week i hope i can figure it out!  i need to go though. I LOVE YOU!

Com amor,
Elder Lambert