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