Jacob P. Gubler

Jacob P. Gubler

Sunday, March 25, 2012

March 19, 2012

Querida Familía,
I feel millions better than last week but frankly I don’t know that I could feel much worse... last P day was one that I really I do not have to repeat haha.... and bad news ever since then I don’t really trust food anymore so needless to say I’m not gaining weight anymore.  I’m sure you’re all devastated but on the plus side we just slept ALL day. As soon as we got home after emailing which was the only we left the house, it was straight to bed but things definitely got better after that! Tuesday was still a little sketchy but we held it together and had too much going on to be sick so we pressed forward! We had District Meeting for the last time for the transfer and I decided I’m gonna miss a ton of people during the mish because really I haven’t come across anyone I sincerely didn’t like so you get attached to people but we found out who is staying and who is going last night and by the sounds of it they are changing up areas and districts and stuff but that’s good because the boundaries are awful here. We have people that like a block away from another church in Eldorado but they are "in our area" so they have to walk to all the way up to Inamar which is all up hill to come to church. Kind of a pain and needless to say we haven’t gotten him to come to church yet ha but good news I’m staying here in amazing Inamar and Elder Pedersen is staying my trainer! We were kind of nervous about that and I really am mega glad he is staying because I still don’t know our area yet and I don’t know our Ward well enough to know who is who for lunches but we may have had a little celebration this morning and made the most delicious smoothie I’ve ever made! We finally got a blender that is a disgusting mess and I’ve been going shake crazy because the fruit down here is too amazing to not eat it right up! But listen to this, I’m pretty proud of it so I may brag a little bit but it was mango, strawberry, banana which sounds kind of gross I know but it was phenomenal I tell you! Looks like I’ll be opening up my own little Jamba Juice in two years :) and we bought french fries and finally gas so I can actually cook things! Needless to say, on the mish you take every opportunity you can to celebrate. But some more big news for Tuesday was that Jecika one of our Investigators, who is the niece of our first counselor, said that she now KNOWS the church is true and realistically we didn’t do that much so it really was amazing to see the Lords hands working on her because she explained to us why and how she came to know that it was true and it started with the wedding last Saturday when she loved that and we gave her daughter, she is 20 and has a 3 year old daughter Edwarda who is freaking adorable, but we gave her a blessing because she was sick and right immediately after she was a ton better. Then on Sunday she came to church and it just so happened that in Relief Society or Soc Soc here, they talked about the priesthood so she better understood the blessing we gave her daughter and then Monday she realized that the Book of Mormon is true and it really does have the words of God. That’s what I call a weekend right there and the most amazing thing was, was we were just teaching her to teach her because she has been taught her entire life by missionaries and has been around members her entire life because most of her aunts and uncles are members but for some reason now, this time, everything clicked. It all made sense and we had just been doing our job. Nothing extra, teaching about the Church and the Book of Mormon and helping where we can with blessings and the Lord did the rest. Really this isn’t my mission, it's the Lord's. I realize that more and more every day. But now onto the rest of the week.

Not much out of the ordinary happened on Wednesday, taught some lessons and saved some souls the usual but it was Elder Pedersen's 6 month mark so he tried to burn a tie and it was an epic fail but pretty entertaining.  Onto Thursday, we had Nova Força on Thursday so we went to São Judas and saw all of the other missionaries that arrived in the field when I did so that was way cool to be able to see and talk to my district again! :) They were the greatest and I kind of totally spaced who went where so that was cool to be able to talk about our own little areas because by the sounds of it the São Paulo, ABC, and Baixada areas are all completely different so that will be cool to be able to sample some other places but I love Inamar so for now I want to stay here :) I also I realized I actually am learning Portuguese! I was one of the few from our group that got an American trainer so that was a little worrying that my Portuguese would be way far behind but by the looks of it I’m keeping up and I am learning stuff! It’s funny how you never feel like you’re learning but in reality I’m holding my own! Yesterday we were talking with Jecika and her family about transfers because everyone was kind of panicking that Elder Pedersen was gonna leave but they said that at this point for him, one transfer in the field, my Portuguese is a little farther along than his and I don’t want to toot my own horn and don’t any ideas that I’ll be fluent by 4 and half months but there is still hope for me!! 

Friday we had a baptismal interview to do in Taboão and it’s kind of far away so we kind of spent like the whole day but the interview apparently took forever but it was an interesting day.  Me and Elder Newsom went to go do contacts because we set a District goal of actually getting 140 for the week which is the missions goal but realistically that is almost Impossible to get but while me and Newsom were out on the street, we saw a kid peeing, just flat out doing his thing. And once again I realized that I am learning things because there is no wrong way to do a street contact but ours is just a tad bit more direct and that’s another point of the splits with other missionaries to teach and learn more things but essentially the entrevista took all day so not much went down. Onto Saturday where again not that much out of the ordinary went down. Just your average day but Elder Pedersen did get asked to give a talk for Sunday so be grateful for our heads up in the US because he was a little stressed about that and thank heavens my Portuguese still sucks too much so the Bishop wouldn’t dare ask me to give a talk, but he did a good job! Especially for it being in Portuguese, not having any time to prepare, and for lack of a better way to put it Brazilians aren’t reverent at all haha people were just kind of talking the whole time so he had to talk over everyone but it went pretty solid. We only had three people show up to church, so that is kind of really annoying because we can’t count people as "progressing" until they come to church and it is soooooo hard to actually get people to come. We spent like half of our phone credits calling everyone that morning and still nothing... but we’ll get there. Anyways the bulk of Sunday consisted of making contacts. Up until this point we only had 68 contacts for the week and we really wanted that 140 so we worked or butts off! Right after Church before lunch we went on splits to do contacts and got a solid 30 and a couple lessons but really after lunch we spent so much time talking to people. All but one of our appointments fell and I think that was the only time I have ever been ok that an appointment fell because we had so much to do! But believe it or not, after 76 contacts for the day, we got the 140 and I am nice and proud of it baby!!! :)  I don’t think that I will ever get that many contacts in a day ever again either. I at least hope not but there is my run down for the week so I hope you enjoyed it! I’m getting mega fast a typing as you can probably tell :) but I love you all and keep the emails coming :) 

Com todo meu coração, ELDER GUBLER 

March 12, 2012

So this week was nice and interesting, I don’t even know where to start.... let’s go with Wednesday, the 3 month mark in the mish! Is that weird that I’ve already been out for 3 months?? Because that feels kind of really weird if you ask me... that means I’m already 1/8th of the way done, not that I’m counting down though because I really love it here! This past month in the field has been one of the hardest months ever but it has also been the most rewarding month ever. The things I’ve learned, I really will never forget and I’ve only been out for a month so I can’t imagine what it will be like when I’ve only got a month left. But let’s not get too far ahead of ourselves, onto Wednesday. Wednesday was one of those days when we had so much stuff marked to do but you don’t get any of it done... there was a leadership training thing that Elder Pedersen went to so I went on a split with Elder J Santos and Clingman the other comps of DLs and well our day was quite interesting. First off we took the wrong bus and ended up in some jungle town but really I love getting lost in Brazil because then I get a little more of a sample of what this place is like and I decided it’s just straight up insane!!  But after we got un lost and finally got to their apartment, the place was huge! It was Eldorado and Vila Paulina that lived together and wow the more apartments I got to, the more I realize how much ours sucks.  But Elder J Santos had a few appointments marked for the morning but someone in their ward ran away so instead we spent all morning looking for someone who ran away and then had to walk all the way to our area for lunch and by the time we finished eating it was already time to go back to terminal and wait for Elder Pedersen and them to show up...but apparently their bus took forever showing up so we got to wait 2 hours and terminal for them to show up.  When they finally showed up we had a lesson marked for that night and dinner with a member but when we got to the apartment, Elder Pedersen realized he didn’t have the phone and they are R$ 50 if you lose it and we are absolutely broke so needless to say the hunt and prayers began!  We used our tenants phone and just called the things like 10 times but no response so we figured the only thing we could really do was wait for the bus to finish its route and hope that no one had stolen in by that time.... so we waited and after stopping 3 buses we decided on waiting for one more to check and when it showed up we searched the thing but no sign of it and then right when we were about to get off and search for R$50 to pay for a new one, some guy was like hey its right here and there it was pinned between the seat and the wall of the bus! QUE SORTE! :) Essentially the purpose of this story is that prayers are answered, even about the little stuff and that was essentially it for Wednesday.  On to a few more highlights for the week but this email may be a little short because Elder Pedersen and I are both sick right now... I forgot how bad it sucks to throw up seeing as it happened like 4 times last night and after that I’m not sure how I feel about the food here anymore hahah, just kidding I still love it :) but a few more highlights!

So Saturday our 1st counselor got married and oh that was quite the adventure but we spent all night on Friday helping him set everything up and he wanted us to come on Saturday so we got permission from the Pres and crashed the wedding! They had a mock ceremony if you will in the chapel because most of their family isn’t members and that was why were there!  We ate some delicious food and cake and more importantly made some contacts and got some news :) 

On to yesterday! So as you know Natani got baptized last week and was going to get confirmed this week by her boyfriend again but he could make it to church for some reason so Elder Pedersen confirmed her and oh it was cool! :) The language is still coming and frankly I’m glad I didn’t have to do it ha but wow I just love this work! We brought some investigators to church so that went was pretty good because we can never get anyone to come to church with us and if they don’t come to church, they can’t be considered progressing so needless to say on paper we don’t have that many 'progressing' investigators and on a sad note we had a ton of people fall this week.  Quezia and Caroline who both came to church with us, after said they didn’t like it at all and they like their church more.  Jennifer one of eternal investigators got kicked because she stopped progressing and Ana Lucia the Mom I was telling you about last week, that came to the noite familiar (FHE)... yeah she told us not to come back anymore.  But with her we are 90% sure it’s just her husband because she really likes us and has always been pretty interested so well give her some time and space and then see if we can get her to come back but needless to say we will be knocking/ clapping plenty of doors this week to find some new people but realistically I think that’s it for this week! Sorry it was a little small, but I’m not feeling too hot so back to bed....

I love you all and think of you every day! Try not to have too much fun without me ;) 

Com todo de minha amor, Elder Gubler

Sunday, March 11, 2012

March 5, 2012

Hello one and all welcome to another week in Inamar.....

My first baptism in Brazil was AMAZING. That right there is why I’m here and it makes all the days that I’m dripping with sweat and my calves are burning worth it. But more details on that later, on to my week!

Not much went down this week because we had meetings and went to the temple and all I can really think about was yesterday (the baptism) so looks like I’ll just start the rambling and see where it takes us.  First off a little language rambling, it’s still a work in progress... it’s hard having an English comp because we both want to speak English all the time so it’s always kind of a struggle to always be talking Portuguese but really for me I think it is probably better. This week I’ve been trying to work on using subjunctive conjugations and it’s hard to learn how to speak correct Portuguese because none of the Brazilians do but speaking of the spelling I found out I’ve been spelling ala de ingles wrong this whole time... is aula not ala... got to love it oh and during English class we were talking about days of the week and stuff like that and how do you say the morning of yesterday? Is it really yesterday morning because that is what we decided it was but that sounds really wrong. Language limbo. Also this week kind of flew by as a whole but day by day things either fly by because we have way too much to do in one day or they crawl by... you have to think that the work for one day can transfer over but apparently its doesn’t but on to yesterday!!

Sunday was a day of firsts, my first testimony meeting in the field and the first baptism.  I’m sure you have all caught on that church meetings are kind of extremely different here but whoa testimony meeting was way cool! I really like that everyone bore their testimony because our ward is a little small but I felt like really everyone wanted to share which was shocking to me! There really was no break from person to person and I don’t think there was never not a line to bear testimonies either but now onto the highlight of the week, the baptism.  First off the baptism was supposed to be at 3:00 so of course we plan on leaving an hour early because it takes 20 minutes or so by bus to get to the stake center because our ward "building" of course doesn’t have a font but so we are all gonna meet there and we are waiting for the bus which really NEVER showed up. It took like 45 minutes to show and at that point we had already called one of the 3 people in the ward with a car to come pick us up but we finally arrived and the font was just taking its time filling up because the people that were supposed to start it early didn’t do it early enough so we are all carrying buckets and buckets or water from the kitchen to the font and dumping.  It was quite a sight but finally the font gets filled we had some special musical numbers by some ward members who we actually had an extremely good turnout in people coming especially considering that last time Elder Pedersen said he got a baptism it was just the kid, his mom, the Bishop and them so man am I glad people showed up! We had a solid 25 or so people and after the opening stuff it was time for the baptism! I was kind of freaking pumped :) so Rafiel and Natane go into the water which turned out to be nice and cold and it may have taken four times before he got here all the way under but after what felt like a lot of stuff not going how I had pictured but the testimonies after and the spirit that was there was amazing. It’s amazing to me how you really can go from any state to just complete joy within seconds when the spirit is there. Natane's whole family is Catholic so that’s why only her Mom came because I’m sure the rest of the family didn’t really support it but her Mom was crying and it looks like the spirit has opened her mom up just enough to let us and I think there is a chance that we may be able to get her as well. With all the things that could have gone a little better it really felt perfect because all that mattered was that Natane became a member of the only true Church of Jesus Christ on the earth and that she became perfectly clean.  Isn’t that absolutely mind blowing if you think about it.  We really can become as Christ was, perfect even if it is only for a little while we have the opportunity to partake of the sacrament and renew the sacred covenants we made and become clean again. Also on Sundays we are usually supposed to go home early because we have renew the area book but we felt like we should talk to a few more people which ended up taking the whole night but it was well worth it. The spirit really shows you exactly what you need to do even if the things you were planning on doing were good too.  We ending up having a family night at a members house and after much convincing got an investigator and her 2 kids to come with us and wow was the spirit there too. We watched kind of a really weird little video on the organization of the Church which I was a little nervous about but after once again the testimonies that were born saved the day. The simple yet powerful testimonies about Christ and His Atonement brought the spirit there so strong. we may have to go to her church before she will come to ours so I will tell you how that is next week.  Wish us luck because the Assemblea de Deus doesn’t like us but we now have an in with her. So essentially Sunday just rocked :) definitely a great day :)
But really that is pretty much it for the week! We went to 25 de Março today (yes they have streets named after days of the month and no one knows why...haha) but it’s essentially just Brazilian Chinatown but on steroids!!! It was insane and I kind of ate it up :)  I wasn’t joking when I said start saving up so we can come back here :) but that’s it for now I think.... até mais!

Eu amo todos de voces com todo meu coração.


February 28, 2012

Sorry the email is late! I’m alive and I’m fine so no worrying mom! Yesterday is usually our P-day but since we went to the temple today we worked all day yesterday and tried to have P-day today but literally just barely got back from the temple so it was kind of an all-day adventure! Dad it really is comforting to hear that other people do struggle too. I know Brazil is one of the more successful missions in the world but learning a language, and putting everything into investigators plus walking up massive hills all day really gets tough sometime and the thought of other people not teaching lessons for weeks makes me feel a little stuck up, because that would be pretty tough.  Apparently God knew that I’m not man enough to handle that so he sent me to Brazil where the people are prepared for me but it really is all work it when you get a good day or even one good appointment! But thank heavens we had a few great appointments and good news, we have our first baptism next Sunday at 3! :) wooooooohooooo baby!!  That's what makes it all worth it right there, really actually bringing people unto Christ and His true church. But if you remember last week I think I talked about Natani, the girl who we wanted to get baptized this week but she drank coffee so we have to wait another week but we finished teaching her all the lessons and everything is good to go! :) Her boyfriend, a Priest in the ward will baptize and confirm her which will be really cool and will for sure help her stay active in the Church so even if we were a little tad bit bummed about that it will make it more special for them. Cute right? 

But oh also I had quite the experience this week! We were looking through all the Ensigns and Liahonas we have in our apartment for pictures to put on out planners...it sounds really dumb everyone does it and it looks really cool! I put a pic of the SLC temple and El Salvador and I think it looks pretty great but I was just sifting through a 2000 conference address and flipped past someone I recognized so I flipped back and who was it? Patricia P Pinegar with her talk "Paz, Esperança, e Orientação"!! needless to say I was pretty pumped about that so I may have ripped it out and ill work on translating it :) 

Also this week our Ala de Inglês (which we have Thursdays and Saturdays) had some solid turn out! On Thursday we have a solid 8 people show up which is the most I’ve had since we’ve been here and on Saturdays I solo taught! Definitely a good week for that even if we did only have 3 people on Saturday, they are the most experience people in our class so we practiced real life situations and stuff like that and one of the kids is a member but the other two girls aren’t so I taught the first lesson in English too which was really cool to be able to do with Brazilians and really actually have them understand and oh it was just nice to be able to teach in English!  Being able to actually say exactly what I wanted to say was amazing but I’m so used to teaching the first lesson in Portuguese that a few times I would slip some Portuguese words in there :) 

A few more random things for the week! We saw an BMW M5 just chilling on the streets of Inamar! Sadly I didn’t have my camera with me and we probably won’t ever see it again.  Gotta love those drug dealers that have got WAY too nice cars to be living in the favellas of Brazil!  Also got my first haircut in the field and its awful of course but we all saw that once coming because I’m not the biggest fan of haircuts.  Also I think it is finally happening.... I’m putting on weight!! :) I really have never eaten/ate this much food in my life! I am hungry all the time and even thought Elder Pedersen says that I look exactly the same and I do but apparently all those beans and rice are going straight to my hips because the pants are getting really, really tight.  I get a nice waistband line on my belly so I think it finally could happen and now that it may actually be possible for me to gain weight I’m getting a little nervous because them none of my pants will fit.  But back to some spiritual stuff, I had my first solo invite to a baptism this week with Bruno and we got a new investigator who adores us seems really interested.  Her name is Sherli and is the niece of Monique.  I don’t know if I’ve told you about her but we ended up spending three hours at her house one day because her daughter is a riot and she had a TON of questions so the lesson itself took some time and patience for that matter.  But then after that she wouldn’t let us leave without making lunch so we are keeping our fingers crossed for her! Her daughter Stephanie has epilepsy and had an attach this week so we went to go visit her in the hospital and it was the biggest pain ever because they would only let one of us go up at a time for some reason but we can’t leave each other so she was running all over the place talking to bosses and bosses until she got us up.  She is kind of stubborn if you can’t tell but her excuse and explanation as to why we needed to stay together was that I didn’t know Portuguese so I couldn’t be left alone which is essentially true but I got a kick out of it!  Brazilians just think Americans are insane. This week we did a baptism interview for Vila Noguira one for the areas in our district because Elder Pedersen is DL but Elder Barbosa took me around while Elder Pedersen was doing the interview and was essentially showing off the fact that he knew an American.  It was kind of mega awkward because I would just stand there and he would say have you ever seen an American before?  Well I’ve got one here and then he presents me like I’m an animal.  Oh you gotta love Brazil but I really do love it here!  Start saving up now so we can either come back for the World Cup or the Olympics but I’ll let you guys makes the final decision. But that is essentially it for the week! Going to the temple today was so nice because man I got dependent on that place in the CTM so it was kind of a shock to my system to just stop going every week even if it only was for three weeks.  I think that is about it.  Mom you are gonna love this, I’m not 100% sure yet but Elder Pedersen says that we can and he did skype on Christmas!  He said he didn’t think we could on Mother’s Day but I’ll look into that get back to you :) 

In closing we got to go because it’s getting late but I love you all, I pray for you all individually and think of you all every day!  I hope all is well and remember my love and the love of the Savior. You are all the greatest and are such good examples. 

Eu amo todos de vocês! 
Com tudo de meu coração, 

February 20, 2012

OPA!!! It sounds like it was a great week for missionary calls back home! Tell everyone congrats for me and I wish everyone the best of luck! I can appreciate what it feels like to be going a mission a lot more now and you really don’t know what you are getting yourself into until you are in the field! The CTM was a blast but this is kind of completely different than the field.  We had a zone conference this last Tuesday so I got to talk to some of the other elders that left the CTM the same day as me and me and another Elder decided that if singing hymns was a baptismal requirement, then no one in brazil would be getting baptized but that’s how church is.  It’s kind of completely different than church back home because the door is open so you can hear all the funk that is being played on the streets and the babies all just run all over the place but it is cool being able to have church all in Portuguese plus we had an investigator, the girlfriend of a priest in our ward there the past two Sundays so that was fun to be able to have people that are sincerely looking for the gospel still be able to feel the Spirit even though church is a little different here.  In fact the girl, Natani we hope will be baptized next Sunday so that is pretty exciting if you ask me!!!! :) she has been taught be other missionaries before but wants to be taught everything again before she gets baptized so if we can teach her everything in the next week then it’s a go for the 26th but if not because she has work and school literally ALL the time so it makes it hard to talk with her, then we will for sure have it on the 4 de Março so needless to say I’m pretty excited about that! :) 

During the last zone conference we got mail and I got two letters from the family, two from Tara and a package from here so it sounds like that alma 60:6 did a number on you guys ;)   But we should get mail again next week so I’ll keep you posted! but if you do want to send me something you can always send me some peanut butter because I would kill for some of that stuff, and zip lock bags would be nice too :) 

But now onto my week, it was an interesting week, full of ups and downs that’s for sure!  But I’ll have to get accustomed to that quick because that’s how it’s gonna be for the next two years!  Let’s just hope the ups outweigh all the downs and when we get all our investigators progressing and some baptisms I’m sure I will feel like I can do anything.  Here are a few highlights of the week: Tuesday we had the area conference which was really cool to be able to go to and hear and Area Authority and President and Sister Tanner speak to us! I really have only talked to them once and I already just love them! Our saying here is "São Paulo Sul, o melhor missão do Mundo" (São Paulo South, the best mission in the world) and oh that is spot but its President and Sister Tanner that make this mission so amazing!  The conference took up most of Tuesday because it was a two hour bus ride to get to it in São Judas so we left at 6:30 nice and early and didn’t get back until almost 5!  A whole lot of bus riding that day and the buses here are out of control! they always seems to wake me up and its fun because you never know if you’re gonna make it to the top of a hill or not ha-ha ;) go Brazil baby!  On to Wednesday, it was kind of extremely rough I’m not gonna lie.  We had so much planned all day but literally everything fell through. We had zone meeting in the morning and then lunch when we got back but we had a solid 5 lessons set up with investigators, an interview for a baptism with Vila Paulina because Elder Pedersen is DL and then splits with some ward members that night but ALL of the lessons with the investigators fell through and it just so happened that we did not plan our walking too well because they were all literally on different sides of our area which is all hills mind you and then the interview for baptism with didn’t go through and I went on splits with the other missionary of that area and he is kind of new to Diadema so he doesn’t know his way around but here is how we spent our time.  He had an appointment lined up with an investigator and of course it was on the top of a giant hill which I didn’t like because my knees were killing me at this point, but we start our climb up this mountain face of a hill, get about 85% of the way up there and he realizes that we are on the wrong mountain of a hill but I could appreciate that because I don’t know our area at all either so we walk down, go a street over and climb up that massive hill, we get to the top cross over through a little alley way and guess what we end up almost exactly where we were on the other hill when we started walking down…great right?  If my calves aren’t huge by the end of these two years I may be a little annoyed but don’t worry my knees are fine now!  They may have kind of have a breakdown after Wednesday so I broke out the ibuprofen walked like a cripple but I’m all good now so NO WORRYING ;)  Also our appointment with the investigator that night when we were on splits with people in the ward and it was a crucial appointment because he (Bruno) is way busy too wit school and work (it’s really hard to mark times with people here because it’s a favela so everyone is working) but I was gonna challenge him to baptism and of course he wasn’t there so overall Wednesday was kind of really rough.  Good thing I had candy to cheer me up when I got home :) and good thing this is the Lords work not mine so just about anything is possible! Thursday was pretty rough too... another day of a lot of appointments falling through but on the plus side we had a little time to practice the piano and you were right Mom I really wish I would have kept on playing.  I forgot how bad I am, I can’t even play sweet hour of prayer smoothly with two hands but hopefully we’ll get there because piano is definitely necessary for hymns here and after E Pedersen leaves I could be in for a world of pain if I can’t pick up the piano fast.  So whip Michael into shape and make him learn a few hymns for his mission.  Friday we had a division which is just where you spend a day in another area with a different Elder and some replaces you in your area and oh was it great! I went to Taboão which is north of Diadema but it was a pretty good day and I definitely needed one at this point! I had my first Brazilian bacon cheese hamburger (fun fact they can cheese burgers x burgers here because 'x' makes a sch sound) and oh was it phenomenal.  These things could hold up in the states and was as good as 5 guys so that was a great way to start off the day and another big reason they do divisions besides learning from other people how to teach which helped a ton!  They had a baptism that went through so that was exciting just to witness that even for other people! :)  Saturday was just your average day in the field we had some new people show up for the ala de inglês (English class) so that was exciting and I found out I have apparently been spelling 40 wrong for my entire life.  Gotta love getting taught stuff about your own language when you are "teaching" English.  Sunday was pretty good too but I already talked about that!  We fasted as a zone for people that we want to get baptized so Sunday lunch we got to eat again and I don’t think I’ve ever eaten that much in my life! All the houses we went to after church gave us food and the last house we stopped at Laura and Marcillas house and got fed coxinha, two juices, and two types of pudding and she gets a little upset if you don’t eat everything so I felt like I was gonna explode on that walk home.  If I don’t gain some weight during the next two years I will be extremely shocked!  But that is essentially it for the week! I realized this morning that I still haven’t really borne my testimony in Portuguese to you all yet so brace yourself because here it is! :) 

Eu gostaria prestar meu testamunho por todos de voces, que eu sei qute esta igraja e verdadiero. Que realmente esta igraje foi restarou por meio do Jose Smith. Que por meio dele now temos a plenitude do evangelho de Jesus Cristo na terra novamente. Que por meio Jose Smith nos temos o poder para agir no nome de Jesus Cristo, que come este poder nos podemos realizar milagres. Por causa deste sacerdocia, Eu sei que nos temos o mesmo igreja que foi organizou de Jesus Cristo. Eu sei que Jesus Cristo vivo, e realmente ele e nosso salvador. Atraves do sacrificio eterno dele nos podemos viver na presença de Deus, Jesus Cristo, e Espírito Santo. Nos podemos voltar e viver em glória para sempre. Eu sou muito grato por este opportunidade, esta bençãp que nos temos por ficar juntos para sempre. Eu sou muito grato por todos de vocês e este opportunidade eu tenho para pregar este evangelho marvilihoso com as pessoas de Brasil. Este opportunidade para aprender, crescer, e ajudar outros pessoas. Eu amo todos de vocês, este evangelho, e meu Salvador, Jesus Cristo. Eu digo estas coisas em nome de Jesus Cristo, Amen. 

Let’s hope good translate can understand my sketchy Portuguese but it’s coming! :)  I love you all and think of you always!  It’s great hearing about home and try not to forget about me!

Seu Filho, Seu Irmão, Seu Melhor Amigo,
Com todos de minha amor.

February 13, 2012

Well the first week in the field is officially done and whoa was it quite different than what I expected! I’ve been so full of the spirit and a little down at times and I don’t think I’ve ever walked up so many hills (they really do seem to go up both ways) during the week but it already has been so cool! I also don’t think I’ve ever sweat this much! The weather is out of control down here because it started out just mega hot during the first part of the week which was quite the welcome from Brazil and then it has rained every day since the first couple of days.  I think we went 5/7 on rain and you would think that the rain would cool things down and help with the heat but oh was I wrong! It does cool things down but it essentially triples the humidity so you still sweat just as much.  There is no escape but it really has already been such a blast!  It’s gonna be some major hard work, a lot harder than just sitting in classrooms and studying all day like the CTM which I thought was pretty tough a couple weeks ago but now I’ve got to struggle to understand Portuguese all the time and tend to each person’s individual needs!  It’s been pretty tough so far.  My comp is an American guy which I was really pumped for at first and don’t get me wrong I still really like the kid but I kind of wish I had a Brazilian comp just so I was forced to learn and understand Portuguese that much faster, because I’ve already kind of become a little dependent at him when it comes to understanding.  If I’m ever not sure what’s going on I just look at him seeing as that is sadly happening quite a bit more than I would have hoped.  People say that I have good Portuguese if we have taught them because I can talk about Gospel stuff pretty well but person to person conversations I struggle with which isn’t too great because that’s where you make the individual bonds so I just kind of smile a lot and laugh when it seems appropriate.  I know that the language will come but oh how I would give anything to be able to understand what people are saying without giving myself a headache trying to decipher it word by word.  But back to some details of Inamar, there are stray dogs EVERYWHERE!  Before we left the CTM someone said that there are 3 million stray dogs in São Paulo and I’d say half of them are here! Carly would be going nuts because you can’t walk more than 15 steps without another "sleeping" somewhere (I want to think they are sleeping).  I can almost understand the homeless dogs and cats though but guess what else they have that are strays…horses.  Just doing their thing eating grass like the own the place and for some reason it looks hilarious to me!  Seeing Brazilians playing soccer in the street, music blasting and then just a random horse chilling there is funny.  The music here is insane!  It’s called funk and it actually sounded pretty cool the first time I heard it but apparently its mega bad and every song sounds exactly the same so that has already gotten on my nerves but they have a ton of English music too.  If it’s not funk it’s usually Eminem playing in cars, hum what else.  They have what I thought were ice cream trucks that play music but found out fast that they were gas trucks because everything is propane down here.

Now I’ll give you a little more details about my comp, Elder Pederson seeing as I had talked to him for like a total of 2 hours last time I wrote my email.  He has only been out for 3 months and is already DL and my trainer so of course he has really good Portuguese.  

Onto yesterday, the first Sunday in the field!  It was really cool to be able to have stuff that I kind of understood because gospel related stuff I can usually get the gist of it pretty well and I got to go up and bear my testimony in front of the ward. I better get used to that because I have a feeling that will be happening plenty of times because the ward is pretty small and the ward building has graffiti on it, that kind of bummed me out but I guess I’ve got to get used to that too!  Plus someone that wants to get baptized on the 7 of March came to church so I finally met her and she’s the girlfriend of a priest in the ward! Pretty exciting stuff actually having real people to teach! :) We met some really cool people because Elder Pederson said we essentially started over when I got here because their old investigators weren’t really progressing which I got to see firsthand with some crazy girls we taught my first day but I really love the Brazilian people!  They are so friendly and always offer you something when you come in their house even though most have almost nothing.  It’s really eye opening but it’s difficult because everyone works so much that we don’t really get any help from the ward and it’s hard to even make appointments with people because everyone is so busy with work and school but Elder Pederson says I’m his good luck charm and street contacting is about the only thing I do comfortably which I have a feeling will really come in handy because most people hate it especially my comp but even when my Portuguese sucks the smile or just playing with their kids is obviously helping.

Now onto today, the first P day in the field!  It was great :) I may have slept in a tad bit...but being able to wear normal people clothes for a little bit and to buy some actual food for the apartment was mega nice! I got these candies that the most amazing things ever!  They don’t have Reese’s Pieces down here but they have essentially every other American candy of something better but they have these peanut like things called paçaos that taste like that stuff we used to make that’s like peanut butter and brown sugar...:) needless to say I love me some Brazilian candy and the food really is amazing too! I thought the CTM was good but this showed that pretty fast! They have things called coxinhas (deep fried chicken balls) and salsichas (deep fried hot dogs) that are way cheap and since we don’t really have time to have dinner since we are teaching so much I have a feeling ill be eating plenty of those and as of right now I’m ok with that!  We also have lunch with a family in the ward every day and although we have yet to have it actually at someones house it’s really nice to get a homemade meal for lunch every day!
But here are some streets that are by our house so you can tell where we are Rua Imbauva, Rua Manacas, Rua Poeta, and Elder Pederson says he thinks we live on Rua Rafiel but ill figure out what it is called and get back to you next week :)

It’s funny how half an hour in the CTM felt like not even close to enough time to email but an hour in the field still feels like not even close to enough time email.  I’ll get better though and next week I’ll try actually talking about our investigators more :)

I love you all so much and tell Oliver CONGRATS!! that is so exciting but tell him he is in for a ride in the CTM and to make sure he does something fun every day or he will lose his mind but it’s another world once you get out in the field and he really will love it because I know I do!  This place is amazing and I love knowing that this is the place that I am supposed to be, that there are people here in Inamar that have been prepared especially for me. I love this Church and all the blessings that it has given me, I’m so glad I get this opportunity to share all the joys, the pains and experiences I have had with the people of Brazil! Finally :) I so grateful for Joseph Smith and his amazing sacrifice of restoring our Church and all that he went through to do that! I was reading JSH the other day and he really enduring trials and tribulations from day after he had the first vision so there is no way that he would have put up with all of that and that he would have left his wife and kids alone if he did not know for assuredly that this was the true Church of Jesus Christ.  I’m so grateful for Christ and his infinite and eternal sacrifice for us, for the blessing that I have to be able to tell and explain that through the love of Christ we can live together with our family forever, with God, with Christ and in Glory. I love you all so much and know that you are protected, that I am protected and that this is the true Church on the earth today.
It’s so hard reading my emails because every single word has the red line under it because everything "spelled" wrong in Portuguese but I think that’s all for now.  I’ll work on the Portuguese and throw that in there soon don’t worry ;)

Sua Filho, Sua Irmão e Sua Elder,