Monday, June 25, 2012

Week 22: 5 Months

Ola família e amigos,

Area: Sobral     Companion: Edler Albuquerque

this week I'm not sure what to type, but i will try to remember all the funny/exciting/sad things that happened. all the days were very similar and i didnt have time to write in my journal much. things are still great as always!!! my portuguese is getting better and better (i hope). i have to speak portuguese all day pretty much and its been working out fine! sometimes without thinking I'll randomly lean over to my companion and say something in english without realizing it. i am thinking more in portuguese also which is way good. i made 5 months in the mission!! it was super exciting and it has gone by soo fast. seriously,,, also, tell nat to tell hi to MacKenzie for me, and tell her to send me an email! I'm also sending something for you in the mail... i hope it arrives there quick, it might need some repairs, but i thought of dad when i saw it so i bought it :)

to answer your questions mother:
 i never got any malaria pills, but they give us medicine for worms! and its really really really REALLY gross.  training does make me a "dad!" so elder albuquerque is my child! and i am about to go play basketball with my "grandpa" (elder gardner). i havent had to speak in church yet (outside of testimonies) but i think i might this sunday. i cant remember... for pictures i just hook my camera up to the computer with the cable and attach the photos. it has worked out for me just great! have nat bring some extra chips too just in case she needs them. also some other random things. if you are preparing for a mission, read chapter 10 (the red one) in preach my gospel as many times as you can. everything there is SO important to know and you will use it every day. also, i unwound my book and laminated the covers because they start to tear, so maybe do that while its new. also, if you ever send a package again, a jump rope would be a great thing to have :) i think its in my college stuff.

monday- was just a nice day of relaxing and cleaning and getting everything organized finally. we had been working hard so it was a very needed day. we taught alot of lessons in the very short amount of time to teach, so that was good! i think i mentioned Caio, he lives in front of our house, wants to get baptized and we set a date for the following sunday, but his mom said that its too soon. he lives with his grandma, but when he told his mom that he wants to get baptized she wasnt too happy. i hope we can baptize him soon though because he has learned alot and he is definitely ready. he really wants it and his grandmother also. 

tuesday- we had our first district meeting here in sobral which was fun. our district is just us four missionaries living in our house, so it was small and we could just stay there! its fun explaining all the things to the new guys. 

wednesday- i dont really remember what happened this day, but this is when things started getting really hard. starting this day our appointments fell through all day everyday. we would walk forever from house to house trying to make contacts on the way but nobody is outside of their houses! its alot different here than São Luís. i started getting way sad because I'm the trainer so i felt like i was doing something wrong. every night i started doing something. i would write one miracle (milagre) that happened throughout the day. it made me more happy because i would think of that one good thing and it would make the day worth it. every day i have been able to think of something! i have also been making french toast or pancakes in the morning which just makes everything better :) 

thursday & friday- see the above, this day was the same thing :)

saturday- we had a slight accident in the mission with one of the missionaries. i cant tell who it was, but they were missing their family too much and during the night he went and called his family. the president called in the morning because he knew something happened (here you have to buy little things you put in the phone to call other areas, and the president recieves a message if the chip is removed and replaced with another) and he called for us. luckily nothing too bad happened, but it was scary for everything and we are still recovering a bit. 

sunday-we had church today which was great! church is always so great because its something different, we can learn, relax, and its CHURCH! elder albuquerque spoke and it was way good. we had 4 investigators go to church . at night we met some boys out riding their bikes that we will bring to soccer on friday. i hope we can teach their families!!! and i have been seriously massacred by bugs everynight and have red bumps all over my body. at night i remembered i had a bug net! i set it up and its probably the coolest/funniest thing i have ever seen in my life. it worked great until i woke up and there were bugs on the inside! i must have done somthing wrong... i killed them all and it was kind of gross because i would flick them and blood would spray everywhere. i could tell they were busy during the night. 

monday- growing up, i have never liked mondays, but now it is a glorious day. it was another very needed day of rest. we bought groceries and ate lunch at a little self serve restaurant. we are about to go play basketball with other missionaries too! i have some photos of some things, but i forgot the cable :( next week!

this week was beyond difficult, but it was still oh so great!! we will have interviews with president dias wednesday which i am super excited for. I'm sad too though because it will be the last time i will see him! our new president will arrive! even in the hardest days i can still find joy in the mission. I'm so excited for nat to join me soon!! we can send letters for only 56 centavos :)

i love you all and keep you all in my prayers!! and good work doing the ragnar mom!

-Elder Lambert

Monday, June 18, 2012

Week 21

happy fathers day dad! i dont think this holiday exists here because i had no idea until i read the email. it sounds like you did a lot of really fun things and its good you could see your parents! thats a luxury i dont have now. sounds like you worked hard in the yard and on the golf course, its good to have a balanced life :) thanks for the update on the basketball! i hope the thunder take the title, is ray allen playing well? now for my week....

monday-i woke up and had mini wheat crumbs for breakfast thanks to my wondrous sister Mel! then... we found out about transfers! i already talked about this. but i received a call that i will be transferred to sobral and train a brand new missionary! i heard that we will open our area, but i had no idea who i would be receiving. i was really scared but excited to train with only 11 weeks in the mission. president dias said to the zone leaders that this was the first transfer he's done this fast and feeling completely calm with the trainers he selected. that gave me a lot of comfort. we found out earlier this time, so i had time at the end of p-day to say goodbye to some of my buddies. it was really hard saying goodbye to valbert, and fernando, edilberto, kleyson, and lots of people. its weird to think that i will never see them or walk my area again... to celebrate, i bought a guaraná jesus because they only have it in maranhão. maybe it will be my last!

me and edilberto

me and valbert

tuesday-i finished packing all  my stuff which was very difficult. it is impossible to fit everything... i had to say goodbye to elder iverson which was actually really hard. he's been like my dad pretty much and he left for teresina. it was cool because first i got to travel to teresina to recieve some training by the president then meet our new companions. elder rais is training again so i got to go with him! it was cool sticking together. i couldn't really sleep on the 9 hour bus ride, but it was nice to relax and think :) we arrived at the staff house in teresina for the night, and elder rindlisbacher was there! he was my companion in the CTM, he will train and be a district leader! it was so cool to see him there and that we are both trainers. he also had to change his missionary name to his middle name because none of the brasileiros could say it :) 

wednesday- we headed to the church to recieve training and meet our new companions! the training was great by the president, then the new kids walked in. i recieved my companion and we reieved some more training and had lunch there. it made me think alot about my first day, time has gone by so stinkin fast. he is really motivated to work which is really good. i had to say goodbye to my ´dad´ elder rais and we went back to the staff house to wait until we needed to go to the bus station. we went with 2 other companionships going to sobral and we will live with one of them.

thursday- we arrived at 3 in the morning, then woke up at 6:30 to work! it was a tough day because i was in charge of everything, but we had a good day which made me feel good. its weird calling all the shots now and doing all the contacts and starting stuff. i have learned SO much. we contacted a ton of names that i found in the area book for people who have gone to church once, but only one has hope. i taught alot of lessons in the street with random people which was way fun! they would sit outside their house and i would talk for a bit and ask if we could teach a lesson. we would sit right on the curb and do prayers and everything! we need to meet lots of people and this is a good way. one of the ward missionaries helped us find some members where we had lunch. we dont have addresses for any of the members :/ dad would be proud of me, I'm an expert map user :) i always have this gigantic map in my hands and walk around with it.  

me with tássia´s baby

 sunset in some place during the bus ride to teresina

friday-  we contacted some more people i found in the area book and made alot of street contacts. its sooo hot too!!!! i miss the rain, BUT! i found one place where i could see a mountain! i havent seen a mountain in almost 5 months! it was so cool! it was kinda green and really small :) we contacted a member reference and it was really good! the woman responded well and asked lots of good questions that we answered. she said she would go to church and she seems pretty promising!! 

saturday- pretty much the same thing again! did all of our studies and worked throughout the day. the cool part was at night. we were walking down the street our house is on because i wanted to contact someone who lived there and a handicapped man called us over. he was so funny and super nice and we talked to him for a while. his gradmother and younger brother live there and we talked to them. they were fascinated about our work as missionaries and respect us alot. it was really cool and they were so happy that we stopped to sit and talk. i shared a message about going to church and invited them to come. the grandma has too many health problems, the man said this sunday wouldnt work, but the boy said that he wanted to. we told him we would stop by in the morning to bring him. we returned to our house to finish the day and our doorbell rang. i went to the door, and it was the 10 year old kid with another kid (13) and another (19) and he had invited them to church and they wanted to come! it was so cool. 

sunday- we stopped by the kids house to bring them to church and all three came with us! church was really good and an inactive family that we taught showed up too! our ward is so great. they all want to help us which i am really excited about. it makes things so much easier. later in the day we had a leadership meeting at the church with the bishop and other leaders. they are soo cool! the whole thing was about missionary work and they are organizing a ward fast to help us find the people in a certain neighborhood who are ready to accept our message. this neighborhood is super far away so the sister missionaries never went there, but we will go there and work really hard for an entire day every once in a while. there are no members there, so the bishop wants to get some members over there. i also discovered during the meeting that the leaders all looked like someone in a movie. the bishop looks mr. incredible's short boss at the beginning of the movie, the ward mission leader looks like uncle dursly in harry potter, one guy looks like will smith, another guy looked like the tiger scout in Sydney White. i really like our ward, they are super great. later at night we went to teach caio (the kid with tens years of age) and he LOVED church, we taught him about baptism and he accepted to be baptized this next sunday! it was so cool! this ward hasnt had a baptism in 4 months. I'm so excited to work here.

so every thing is great with me! i hope everything is great with you also! keep me updated on life! 

my district and the guys living in my house

me and elder albuquerqeu (looks like dakota jones)

me with some kids saying goodbye in são luís
my last guaraná with elder rais
com amor
-Elder Lambert  

Monday, June 11, 2012

Week 20

hello friends and family!

Area: São Luís Companion: Elder Rais

So i went the whole week without getting sick! also this week i have a lot of pictures from stuff that went on, so this email will come in multiple parts. tonight we will find out about transfers! so this may be my last night in são luís and maybe my last night with elder rais also. we have had great success in this area and are both excited and scared for what will come! we are having 15 new missionaries enter so there will be a lot of new trainers. some say that they think i will be a trainer which is really scary, but i think i would learn a ton. i am totally fine with anything whether its staying or going or whether its trainer or junior. I'll go where you want me to go dear Lord :)

Monday- so we found out about a bunch of stuff that made us really excited (?) to serve in our area. this day, a boy was shot and killed in our area, a bus worker was shot and killed, there was a stabbing on the street we work on, and our investigators brother was stabbed! i know that missionaries are protected though, so i'm not too worried.

the first picture is me at our house. try and find the huge iguana in the tree!

the second photo is of the pancake family night!

tuesday- i went on a division with another missionary in my house (elder morris) and it was way fun. we worked in his area which was cool to explore around. while looking for a new persons house, we discovered a neighborhood suspended over sewage! it was the coolest thing ever! houses and a wooden plank walk-way were suspended about 10 ft above the ground on posts that people stuck in there. it was super wobbly but really cool to walk around on. i really wanted to take a picture, but its not a place i wanted to bring my camera...

wednesday-me and elder rais worked all day in a different neighborhoods. we have enough investigators there to do full days now! we set 2 baptismal dates with men which is really good. we also went over the baptismal interview questions with our old man investigator (Ribamar) and it was maybe one of the must interesting things ever... we will have to work alot with him because he participated in both an abortion and a gay relationship when he was younger. i hope he is willing to go through the repentance process.

the first picture here is of my recommend to see the dedication of the manaus temple!

the second is a picture demostrating how we kill large masses of ants (cologne and matches)

thursday- we got some referalls from the bishop so we walked to his house to get them and to contact them with him! it was really fun teaching with him and we gained 4 new investigators! elder rais and i also bought something called Cevada (coffee substitute) for a family we are teaching. they want to get baptized (i wrote about them last week) and they are working on stopping drinking coffee. they are doing great and they said that they loved it! we bought them one more bag later in the week. also the dad has already stopped smoking and drinking. its so cool how this gospel really can change peoples lives. i also reacieved 2 packages from my family! whooo!!!! they were full of goodies and it was so fun getting them. also, on the way home, we passed two guys outside a bar and overheard one talking to the other and he told him to go get the handgun. we werent really sure why they needed it, but we walked very very fast the rest of the way home :)

friday- we brought a 20 minute proselyting version of the restoration and watched that for all our lessons today. it was so cool to watch it and it made our investigators understand the story of joseph smith better. we organized an American Pancake Family Night with maple syrup at one of the members homes and it was super fun! we had our recent converts go and they loved it. we had a lesson about the Book of Mormon and had a game, then i made pancakes with maple syrup. nobody here has ever had pancakes before or maple syrup (because they dont sell it here) so everyone thought they were the coolest thing ever. thanks mom for sending the syrup :) alot of kids would thank you!

these two pictures are of the baptism we had this sunday! the littlest one was baptized and the older ones were baptized 3 weeks ago.

saturday- we started another fast because of the temple dedication the following day. it was super super hot which made it a little difficult, but i love fasting :)

sunday- we got to see the dedication of the manaus temple! it was so cool and really cool that they have another temple here in brasil. its the 138th finished temple! it was so pretty and it was fun hearing it in português :) it was fun after the prayer doing the Hosannah shout and yelling ´´Hosannah, Hosannah, Hosannah, ao Deus e o Cordeiro!´´ Also, later at night we had the baptism of Rodrigo! it was perfect and finally worked out :) i got to baptize him and his mom wants to be baptized too! she has never made an effort to go to church so she hasnt been able to be baptized, but after seeing his baptism she told us that she will change her work schedule so that she can come on sundays! it was such a cool experience and she really opened up to us. we celebrated that night and ate garlic mashed potatoes (thanks mom!) and drank a bunch of soda. it was a great night!

monday- i recieved an email from someone named Cliff who will be serving in this mission too and he commented to me that he likes reading my blog. that made me feel great. haha shout out to you cliff! i'm super anxious to see what will happen with transfers! we are buying a pizza to celebrate our last night together. i'll let you know what happens next week :)

the work of the lord is continuing on and i am continuing to grow and mature every day! i love this work and am so happy to be here. also... when the zone leaders brought mail back to us, someone stole one of the boxes while they were on the bus. so hopefully i am not missing anything, but if i never reply to something because i didnt get it, sorry!

-Elder Lambert

the first picture is me on someones motorcycle

the second picture is me and elder rais celebrating :)

Monday, June 4, 2012

Week 19

hello friends and family!
So this was another week full of great things, and things not so great! to answer some questions... i took a bus to the hospital, i havent slept in my hammock much yet because all the hooks in this house are close together so it hangs really low, but i do sit in it whenever i have free time (which is not much). we still have the same people in our house (me, two americans, and 1 brasileiro), but transfers are coming up, so things might change! we havent gotten mail for a while, so i am hoping to get alot of stuff :) speaking of mail, i am horrible at responding  because honestly i have 0 time, but whenever i do have time, i try to do as much as i can! the milk is kinda wierd here, and cereal is too expensive, so i never buy it. the milk doesnt have to be refridgerated until you open it, but then it only lasts two days after you do. i drink lots and lots of milk so I'm guessing my bones are nice and happy.  the family who was set to be baptized the 17th didnt go to church yet, so we will have to bump their date back a while. One really cool thing is that a temple in manaus will be dedicated this next sunday and we get to watch it on TV! they wont have a normal church service because everyone will watch this. i am super super excited!
monday-i went the night without throwing up which was such a blessing. it was nice to relax during p-day. during our couple hours of work at the end of the day i started to feel really sick again...

tuesday- soooooo i threw up again :) BUT it was the last!!! i taught the aula (class) at district meeting and the assistants were there! they made a surprise visit to check our houses and came to our meeting. it was kinda scary having them there, but it was pretty good and fun. the real bummer was that we had lunch at the house of the member who makes the BEST food ever, but i couldnt eat because i felt really sick! someone at lunch mentioned John Wayne and it reminded me of the crazy grandma in While You Were Sleeping, saying "John Wayne was tall!!"  after lunch, sister dias said that i needed to stay home and rest. as much as i hate missing a day of work, it felt so good to rest and recover a bit. she also resitricted me to a diet of only tonic water (which is disgusting). so that was breakfast lunch and dinner for 3 days!

wednesday- so the snake in our area (karol) tried to kiss me this night. i ran. really fast. she came out of her house when she saw us coming and told us she wanted to tell us something and she pulled a move. then i fled. we also took a guys cigarette from him while he was smoking it and threw it away! that was kind of exciting. we taught a way cool family too! in the middle of our lesson the dad randomly asked us, why do you think you have to baptism of christ? we answered how we need to follow christ being baptized in water, by proper authority, and having a knowledge to decide to be baptized. we used lots of good examples in the Bibile, and after, he said, "i get it now! i want to be baptized. i want my whole family to be baptized!" it was so cool! we marked them for the 24th.

thursday- today we found a really cool inactive woman who wants to come back to the church. we met with her and she is way cool! she committed to going to church and we will try and help her with alot of things because she is really in need of help.

friday- today i learned a special lesson. being an american after the US lost to Brasil 4-1 in soccer is not  fun. everyone will tell you about it. also, some really funny kid told me that i look like captain america and he calls me that now whenever he sees me. i dont know quite how he got that idea... but heck, im totally fine with it!

saturday- at lunch we had this soup stuff that had cow inards in it! it was very interesting tasting! some one was telling us that our neighborhood we work in is really dangerous and i was joking around with them saying that if we get robbed, the only thing they will find is Christ and the true church. i thought i was pretty funny, the other guy didnt think the same :) then we found out that someone got stabbed really bad later this night. it happened at a corner that we pass fifteen times a day. maybe it is a little dangerous... ALSO, some crazy lady started pleading with me to take her to the US. its all she would talk about and i asked her if she knew english and she asked me to marry her (in english). i was pretty impressed, but pretty creeped out too. apparently it was the only thing she knew because she wouldnt say anything else.

sunday-we went to go bring all of our investigatores to church, but sadly nobody came with us this week. the inactive lady and her 8 year old daughter went though! it was so good to see them there and she looked soooo happy to be back. for lunch we went to somebody's house for a BBQ. the bishop gave us a ride home which was quite the adventure. first, we ran out of gas, then later when we got going again, he blew a piston or something. there was a super super loud popping noise and it smelled like fireworks. the bishop started laughing really hard because it scared us all so bad. i love that guy :)

saturday-we woke up early to go to a house of a recent convert who needed some service done. we helped him with cementing his walls! everything is brick here, so if you want to paint your walls, you have to cover them with a layer of cement first. it was really fun and an interesting learning experience!

i hope this next week will be great! maybe it will be my last week here because transfers are coming up! we shall see what happens!

come amor,
Elder Lambert


the first was of us working on the house, the second was of my perscription of tonic water and some powerade, and this one is of me throwing the cement on the wall (notice elder morris trying to get the cement out of his eyes.)

and! here is some more funny things i have learned here on my mission! i cant remember where i left off, so there might be a repeat
  • talking to your family through skype is the fastest 40 minutes ever!
  • short sleeve shirts actually start to look good after they are all youve seen for a while and you learn how to iron them in 30 seconds or less
  • when you say you are from the US, people ask you how many celebrities you know and if you are friends with Justin Beiber
  • breast feeding your baby out in public is totally normal
  • you may/may not be let into people homes depending on which soccer team you like
  • everyone wants you to take them to the US
  • its safer to walk in the dangerous streets than on the sidewalks.
  • killing bugs with your barehands is kinda fun (and seeing how many you can kill with one slap)
and an addition to sunday that i forgot! the baptism that fell through broke our streak. we had 5 weeks in a row of baptizing but the kid never showed up. but i am still oh so happy about my work and am counting all my blessing every day!