Jacob P. Gubler

Jacob P. Gubler

Sunday, April 22, 2012

April 16, 2012

Tuesday not much happened on Tuesday, we had our District meeting as usual and as I’m sure you’re starting to catch on…we saved some souls.  It also marked 9 weeks in the field so that is kind of crazy to think about that because that is how long I was in the CTM and it went by much faster in the field!  The CTM kind of dragged on a little bit but essentially when I think of time in the field it is flying by but sometimes the days seems to crawl by which gets rough at times but the weeks overall are faster and months are mega fast but really not that much happened on Tuesday.

Wednesday was the start of the interesting stuff for the week! We had our first atheist contact which was really weird and I still have no idea how you could just not believe in God. Open your eyes and look around.  We didn’t come from monkey and this world isn’t an accident but this guy thought that because life it hard that means there is no God but we tried.  I realized that he just had a sad depressing way of looking at things but anyways on a positive note we talked to our investigators parents again and because they had to approve his baptism for it to happen because he is only 14 but it worked! He said he really wanted to be baptized and flashing forward to Sunday when I was talking to him at church he was pumped so that was really cool :) I bought a churro from a street vendor for the first time and wow was the thing the most delicious I’ve had yet? YES! Oh Brazilian deserts, wow.  It was filled with chocolate and then had a line of chocolate on the outside with sprinkles and I love this place but there is my food tangent for the week.  Those seem to be happening quite a bit.  

Thursday was another day that not much went down.  We found a crappy dresser thing on the side of the road but it was actually in pretty good condition so we took it back to the house, cleaned it up and we are now using it.  Gotta love having a crappy house baby but its just to hold all of our books and pamphlets and stuff so don’t worry it’s not like a clothes dresser or anything like that.  I just can’t wait until we find a house and we get to move!  Our investigator decided he wants Elder Peterson to baptize him. 

 Friday I sent my little package that should arrive in 3 weeks or so, be patient but get pumped! Also we had the baptismal interviews for our two investigators and well good news they both passed so needless to say we were excited about that.  At this point one still hadn’t decided who he wanted to baptize him.  Also this was kind of scary.  When we were walking home there was a girl that was just laying in the road with her bike crashed next to her and there was a huge crowd all over the place just kind of staring and then 10 or so people doing stuff around her but I may have switched into first responder mode and I was looking for breathing but she was breathing and moving her fingers so I figured she was fine, someone looked like they were talking to 911 (I don’t know what it is called in brazil or if it is still 911), and she was conscious and active so I figured I couldn’t help.

Sunday, the big day of the double baptism was finally here!  During church all I could think about was the baptism because good news, one of our investigators finally decided that he wanted me to baptize him so I was pretty pumped about that! I got the prayer memorized and essentially just let my mind go crazy with everything that could potentially happen during my first actual baptism but I boy was not even close.  We had all the opening talks and hymns and then it was game time!  It was a great experience.  My baptism pants were unbelievably tight, I was in pain after wearing them just for pictures and the baptism.  The actual baptism did take a little more time that I thought but still there is proof I’m gaining weight and well I REALLY need to find a way to let out those pants so any ideas and that would be great mom.

That just wraps it all up for the week though! today we went to São Judas to practice for the special choir for the fireside with Elder Cook on Saturday and turns out I really like singing and I’ve caught on pretty fast if I do say so myself so im pretty pumped for that! But anyways I love you all! Again eu amo todos de vocês e até a proxíma semana!

Seu filho, irmão, e melhor amigo ELDER GUBLER

April 2, 2012

Let’s start things off with Tuesday. I bought some more pants a couple weeks ago but of course nothing is hemmed here so someone in the ward sewed them for me but there color turned out to be mega weird.  We had District meeting and I got the Easter package and a letter, woohoo you all are the greatest. I may have downed the candy hearts and the junior mints kind of really fast.  Onto Wednesday, first off this is really random but I’ve been studying the Bible a ton lately or at least trying to.  We really need the Book of Mormon to actually understand that thing!  But in 1 Chronicles 5:12, (look it up right now) at the end of the verse there just happens to be a smiley face, like a texting one [ie :)] and needless to say I loved it.  It made my day a little.  But Wednesday was supposed to be the day of my Portuguese test. Remember how I’m a church experiment? I feel important saying that but well it got cancelled and we would have had to go to Jabaquara to get to the secretaries office and that takes some time so we didn’t mark anything for the day after lunch.  So when that got cancelled, white day, which usually means not a lot goes on but we had quite a good day and some major luck!  We knocked a ton of doors, got a lot of news and a solid 4 lessons with random people and explored some places that I have never been to in our area.  Overall it really was a pretty good day.  It just proves that really if you are doing what the Lord wants you to, he blesses you and we got another example of that on Thursday.  The first week I got in the mission field, it was like my third day but we talked to a referral but Elder Pedersen said he wasn’t gonna go anywhere because he LOVED coffee which is nothing new in Brazil but we taught him the Word of Wisdom and Law of Chastity and then he kind of dropped off the map after that.  But the past couple of weeks, he has been coming to church and all this stuff so I have wanted to go to his house but we never did for some reason. But anyways to get to the point of this story, we finally connected with him and talked to him on Thursday and well good news, he wants to be baptized!  He has come to church a total of about 4 times now so he is good with the minimum of 2 times to get baptized so now all we have to do is re-teach him everything and he will be baptized on the 8th, this next coming Sunday.  We may have to move it so we can have everything work out but needless to say I’m not complaining at all because we taught him one lesson and the Lord did the rest. This work is absolutely amazing, seeing Gods work first hand, shaping peoples lives is such an amazing blessing. 

Onto Friday!  Today we finally didn’t have to wear sweaters. Believe it or not, Wednesday was actually really, really cold. I am really curious how cold it actually was.... am I really adapting to the Brazilian heat and just becoming a pansy with cold or did I actually have a right to be freezing? Who knows but Friday we just wore long sleeve shirts and no sweaters but it was the day of the big Portuguese test!  The test I took had 3 parts: grammar, a speaking section, and a CTM evaluation and well the grammar part rocked me to be completely honest.  It was all conjugations and subjunctives and that stuff and I’ve never been good at tests anyways so I over thought everything I came out with a solid 17/27... a solid D for my Portuguese.  But also while we were there we got mail and packages and that was the greatest ever.  But to wrap up the night we talked to a few investigators and then promised we would stop by a house of our investigators that had a pastor come to their house and "preach" to them but in reality he just screaming at everyone the whole time and at one point he was talking about a vision he had when he was visiting his sick mother, but everyone else seemed to eat it up because there were all screaming "obrigado Jesus" and "Gloria Deus" the whole time.  Very interesting but eye opening because after seeing that it just makes me even more grateful for our church and how we aren’t totally insane. 

Onto Saturday.  The first sessions of General Conference and I think my favorite two sessions! After Saturday we were just spiritually and physically fed because every kept on giving us candy and we both got packages so we brought little candy bags and just got enlightened! In between the sessions we went and made some contacts and got some ice cream with everyone and Brazilian ice cream turns out to be amazing delicious also. I was thinking about how brazil isn’t as fat as the US because there eat a heck of a lot worse foods here but then I realized it’s because everyone walks everywhere and its all up hill so after you pig out on some ice cream or coxinhas or salsishas you’ve got to climb some mountains to get home. That has to be it.   But anyways onto the good stuff, conference! I decided I’m gonna throw some of my favorite quotes from each session so brace yourselves.  First off in the first session, I don’t remember who said it... but my favorite line was "If the church really is the ONLY true church on the earth, then WHAT ELSE MATTERS" and isn’t that true.  Frankly that is the only thing we need to know and want to do all the things that God wants us to do. We should want to follow all the teachings of the Prophets and read the scriptures because they really contain the words or God and help us return to him again. The first session on Saturday also had a ton of stuff on families and it really made me realize how blessed I am to have you all as my family.  To have the people I have in my life is just amazing. God truly cares about each one of us so he gave us other amazing people in our lives to help us when times get tough but just remember I love you all and that will never change no matter what. Onto the second session.  First off, there was a speaker with a strong Scottish accent.  I may have been a little distracted by his accent and when he kept on saying "fret" and "chap" and stuff like that but it made me realize that we really have representatives of Christ all over the world.  Leaders that are chosen from God through the Prophet to help lead the world, what a blessing.  This church just absolutely amazing me and there is just no way it isn’t true. One random thing that I’m sure you all saw but David Archuleta or Elder Archuleta I guess but he was there in the MTC choir and the camera guy totally panned on his face! I kind of got a kick out of it because of course he was on the first row and of course the camera stopped on him but good for him for serving so that was kind of cool!  But onto my favorite line of the second session, I’m sure you can probably guess it but Elder Holland is so great.  I love him so much! He just always gives the most powerful talks ever and that was probably the most powerful ending of a talk I’ve ever heard.  “Don’t delay, it’s getting late, In the name of Jesus Cristo, AMEN".  BAM!  He is just amazing and if that doesn’t whip you into shape I don’t know what will. But onto Sunday now....

Sunday started out nice and early because we had Priesthood at 6 AM so we woke up at 4:40 to get ready and get to the Stake Center on time. I just realized I haven’t explained how things work yet but we all went to the Stake Center and they had two rooms for the Missionaries. One in English and one in Portuguese so you could choose which one you wanted to go in but needless to say all the Americans stayed in the English room.  I wasn’t gonna risk missing out on anything!  But we got a ride from our first counselor to the Stake Center and topped out at like 75 kmp.  That is a little sample of Brazilian driving but needless to say we were right on time.  Priesthood was a little tough to focus totally on but I wasn’t feeling too bad so I survived that one and the line that hit me the most was just Pres Monson saying "never underestimate the far reaching power of your testimony". Have I learned that first hand? I’m gonna go with yeah. The lessons that I have felt the Spirit most strongly is just when we are bearing simple testimony at the end or hearing others bear their simple testimonies. A simple heartfelt testimony is what makes the difference. It lets the spirit flow right in, lets them know the truth of things, and if they haven’t understood much of what you have been talking about, they will always understand you testimony of this amazing Church. After Priesthood we had some more big news, someone in our ward FINALLY got his mission call. He said it had been like 4 months since he put in his papers and I’m pretty sure I would be dying if I had to wait that long but he opened it there and he is going to Brasilia and leaves the 24 of May. Exciting stuff right there but I was thinking back to my mission call and that was quite the day!  It feels like FOREVER ago but he has quite the path ahead of him and I’m so exciting because I finally understand how amazing this work is. After Priesthood though we found a ride home and taught some lessons and even more good news! A contact we made a week or so ago, we finally connected with him and taught him for the first time and finally after no one accepting during the first lesson....SUCCESS!  He accepting to be baptized on the 15th if he comes to know that this church is true which I think he was starting to believe by the end of the lesson so we are pretty excited about that too!  But then back to the Stake Center after lunch at a members and Elder Uchtdorf took the gold in my opinion on the first session. The bumper sticker part that said "don’t judge me because I sin different than you", genius and very true.  On the mission you talk with some sketchy looking people and you would be extremely shocked who accepts and lets us return and who doesn’t. We are all children of God and we need to all think of each other that way. In between the first and second session it was Sunday so we didn’t leave, we just stayed and snacked on some candy and watched a little show on the Bible which was interesting and it had a line I liked too! It said something along the lines of the scriptures being the manufacturers guide to this life. We have the things that we need to do in this life to be able to reach the end goal and return to our Heavenly Father. The scriptures are our guide in this life. By the second session on Sunday I was starting to crash.  The 4:40 wakeup started to settle in and my focus was dwindling so I didn’t write down my favorite quote from the session but I did like the part on writing missionaries ;) And on that note I think I'm wrapping up this email! I kind of wrote a ton this week so enjoy and again remember how much I love you all!  thank you so much for all each and everyone of you do for me. Eu amo todos de vocês com, todo de meu coração!

Seu filho, Iramão, e melhor amigo, ELDER GUBLER

March 26, 2012

I think I already gave everyone the run down of one of our investigators.  We have been focusing a lot on her lately because really she has such an amazingly strong testimony that really came out of no where! It has been such a testimony builder to be able to see her grow in the church when it felt like we hadn’t done that much but then again we aren’t doing anything. It’s the Lord working through us.  But the one problem with her is that she really wants to be baptized but she is afraid that she may go back to her old life at some point because she has a kid and I don’t really know a lot about her past but we have been trying to focus on the present with her and how if and when she is baptized because we know she will be its just a matter of time that she will get the help she needs to stay on the path the Lord wants her too. But essentially she still hasn’t picked a date yet but we are banking on General Conference doing the trick because if there is one person you can always rely on to get things done it’s the prophet.  I’m pretty excited for general conference!  We get to watch it in English so that will be amazingly nice to be able to hear my own language spoken well from someone besides my comp.  We do have one investigator that really is pretty close to fluent though so that is cool to be able to talk to him about the church in English!  Everyone always says that they don’t want to go English speaking for a mission and don’t get me wrong I LOVE it here in Brazil and I know this is exactly where I am supposed to be but being able to teach in English would be EXTREMELY nice. 

Oh another kind of random thing that happened this week is I found out that I am part of a "church experiment", exciting right?   We got a call from the secretaries this past week which is exciting enough but they asked for me which was a little nerve wrecking.  They went on to say how I have been selected to be part of this church experiment that my district in the CTM is apparently one of the last to stay there for 9 weeks and how they are gonna start only keeping people there for 6 now or something so I have to go to the mission office building and take an Portuguese test to see if 9 or 6 weeks is more effective, no pressure.  We'll see how that goes and I guess ill be able to find out actually how good my Portuguese is which I’m a little nervous about it.

Another thing for the week is we had our first transfer this past week which means our first zone meeting with all of the new people was this week!  It feels like our zone got a ton bigger now but we did get a new area opened up and our district got moved around so that is pretty exciting in itself but we got an Elder from the Baixada which sounds really nice by the way! They have couches and stuff in their area but everyone says it is MEGA hot and kind of tough for the work because it’s by the beach so everyone there is on vacation and doesn’t actually live there but that’s beside the point!  We got a new Elder, Elder Brown who played for BYU football so I felt pretty cool talking to him! The people you meet on your mission you get oddly attached to so lets hope I can stay tight with him ;)

Another random story really quick because I'm almost out of time is I talked to Jehovah Witnesses missionaries this week.  We were at the bus stop and there were two old ladies that I was just talking to but they gave me magazine pamphlet things and all this stuff and I realized that they were missionaries so that was exciting and the magazine things they gave me were pretty interesting.  They were called ‘Is it possible to be honest today’ and ‘Does God cause natural disasters’ so I had a good time reading those.

But that’s gonna have to be it for the week! I love you all so much and keep the emails coming.  Hopefully next week I’ll have a little more time to email!

Com todo de meu coração, ELDER GUBLER