Dec. 27, 2011
So before I get into all the amazing Christmas stuff I’ve got a few stories so brace yourselves! Irmão Zambonie who is the absolute greatest and is an instructor in the CTM but he is the executive secretary for President Tanner in the São Paulo South mission so he was giving us the full low down on the mission details and president and just everything it was great but get this! there are 16 stakes, 99 wards, and 169 missionaries in the Sao Paulo South Mission and it is by far the smallest mission in Sao Paulo so that means we are gonna be having a good time that’s for sure! And there is a little island off of the coast that only has 4 missionaries on it at one time so that would be great to serve there! Next point: (I may have made a little email outline ha-ha). Elder Almedia, the crazy Brazilian that loves me left this week because the Brazilians are only in the CTM for three weeks and he gave me one of his ties so I gave him one of mine but I started feeling bad about taking his tie so I snuck into his room to give it back to him and saw that he only had like 5 ties so the people in brazil are just so selfless and so kind! Everyone that talks about the people being amazing is spot on because they are just great and they have the strongest spirit even if they only have been members for five years their testimony is amazing!
We got another Elder from the Provo MTC this week, Elder Bresciano, he is a solid kid but sadly because of all the Provo missionaries that are as far along as we are, when they come to the Brazil CTM they are gonna have to split up our district and I may be a little bit devastating because I really do love everyone in our district! They are just all great :) It’s funny because they are people that I wouldn’t have hung out before but you learn to love everyone down here.
Now onto Saturday, Christmas Eve!! It was amazing I tell you!! :) First off it was essentially just free time for the whole day and second we got to wear normal people clothes again which I missed quite a bit! It was unbelievable nice to just wear jeans again even if they were way hotter than slacks I didn’t feel like a robot for a day ha-ha but we had time to write letters in the morning, played games and watched the Muppet Christmas movie after lunch (which had major potential but sadly the whole thing was in Portuguese with no subtitles so I didn’t catch any other words than "sorry" or "Merry Christmas" ha-ha but we´ll get there) and then they passed out district present so I got to play Santa for a bit and pass out ties for everyone and hair flower things for the sisters :) after dinner we watched a Christmas Carol, the really old one, and that is probably the worst Christmas movie ever but it was just nice to not be studying all day.
Onto Christmas day! I’m not gonna lie going into Christmas I was anticipating me to be really homesick the whole day but the spirit was so strong throughout the day I didn’t want to think about anything other than Christ. I thought it was gonna be totally different to have Christmas in a different country and with people I don’t really know but I realized that Christmas should be the same everywhere because it is about Christ and He is the same everywhere. I was in charge of planning the sacrament meeting on Sunday which was kind of way stressful but rewarding to see the prayers in Portuguese; see my district passing the sacrament, and the musical numbers in action. I didn’t have to decide any of the talks because the Branch Pres decides the day of and I realized that that was purely through the spirit that he decided. The talks that we had were amazing spiritual and so relatable that I may have been fighting back tears the whole meeting. I have never been so grateful to anyone before and as bad as it sounds I have never thought about Christ that much even on the day we celebrate his birth. I’m so grateful for his perfect example to me. For God´s willingness to send his only begotten son, our brother to suffer and die for us to be given the opportunity and the blessing to return and live with him again. I’m so grateful I have for the blessing I have to wear the name of Christ over my heart every day. I know this church is true and I’m so grateful for all that have sacrifices so much for me to be able to experience the blessings that come with this gospel.
I love you all so much! I think about you every day and hope you had a great Christmas!! :)
PS I calculated it and I’m gonna need 6 journals because I apparently am writing a ton and I haven’t been able to find any good ones around here.
I love you all, Elder Gubler
Dec. 20, 2011
I may have had my first major break down yesterday and it really sunk in that I wasn’t gonna see anyone for two years but I really love this place and if I was gonna be somewhere for two years this is the place the be and the work to be doing! Elder Horn said that his Grandparents know Grandpa Gubler so I think that’s where the connection is but how did Elder Bodily’s Mom get your number because that is hilarious ha-ha what did you two talk about?? He really is such a good companion and a way funny kid! The perfect companion in my eyes and actually I’d say I just have the perfect district! It’s hard sometimes to lead by example and always be working because we get along a little too well and may get one plenty of tangents. Ha-ha but when we go through the temple we watch everything in English but when we go through the vail they ask us in Portuguese but we respond in English thank heavens!! And communication essentially comes down to lots and lots of hand motions and pointing ha-ha I’ve got pretty good at translating so far because the language is killing me.. It’s really discouraging at time but I know this is where I’m supposed to be and the Lord will take care of the rest! Getting up is kind of struggle! But as with anything practice makes perfect right ha-ha but yes please keep me posted on Olivers call! Because that is way exciting! :) I love you so much and pray about you and the fam every day multiple times! I hope you can feel it but time is essentially up! I don’t know if I’m supposed to respond to dads first email too or if you count for him too lol but I love you all so I’m trying to give everyone solid emails! :) I’ll find out what I can about the Christmas call! They haven’t said anything yet so I wouldn’t plan on it but you may have a nice Christmas surprise!
Love you more than anything Elder Gubler.
Dec 13, 2011
So this email this is kind of mega rushed because we only get half an hour and it’s nice and strict but just a nice little run down of the week! I love it here!!!! The flight was quite the adventure and there was a period where I could not feel either of my cheeks or my legs for two hours but who needs sleep anyways :) I hope everyone is doing well and there weren’t too many tears after I left! I kind of lost it when I started reading the letters and lost it on the plane but I can do this and I know this is what I’m supposed to be doing!! It is outrageously humid here! The first couple days were by far the worst when it came to the humidity or maybe I’m just adapting but I do kind of miss snow and I decided there is no way I will EVER use that "raincoat" I got ha-ha, but the food is just amazing!!!! I had some pineapples the other day and just about died they were so good and shockingly the beans and rice is really good but all this meat and fruit is kind of doing a number on me but we all saw that one coming! Ha-ha. The spirit here is amazing and especially on Sunday! And guess what happened on Sunday..... I’m freaking DISTRICT LEALDER so that should be interesting ha-ha but I absolutely love my district and Elder Bodily the person grandpa knew is my companion and the other one grandpa knew Elder Horn is my roommate so it’s kind of a tiny little world in the Brazil MTC! We are doing the choir with is interesting seeing as I don’t really know any Portuguese yet ha-ha but the language is beautiful and the people are a riot!!! no one can really talk to each other so there is a ton of just hand motions being thrown around ha-ha sorry the letter is kind of all over the place I’m almost out of time and this is kind of mega exciting :) we got to go to the Sao Paulo temple today and will get to go every P day and it was interesting but even when you are performing ordinances in another language the spirit that is in that building is like none other!! :) but oh bad news we aren’t allowed to email pictures or take pictures outside of the MTC or on any other day than P day so I can’t send pictures until I leave the MTC in 9 weeks oh and this is kind of weird but the MTC is called the CTM down here... I love you all so much and don’t know what I would do without you! Thank you so much for your support in my mission and with everything! I know this gospel is true and I’m so excited to finally be able to share the gospel with the people of Brazil! I’m so thankful for Jesus Christ and his willingness to atone for all of our sins! I pray for you all every night and don’t you every forget that! Once I get used to this email thing I will be able to email everyone because the internet is plenty fast but don’t worry well get there :) I’m off to go explore Sao Paulo baby because we get like a two block radius that we can walk around the MTC! Keep the emails coming!!
I love you so much.