Bom Tarde! (Good afternoon)
Man this week flew by, I’m so glad that its p-day and I get to email you! I got your letters from the 6th yesterday in the mail its always so nice to get mail, right now I have received more mail than anyone else in the district a whole 3 letters all from my loving family:) ahah but seri the mail flow down here is so slow. So thank you for the letters and the stickers and also I love how you guys decorate them haha
Let me see where do I start about the last week, Thursday we got Brazilian roommates. They like to stay up late... so it’s hard to get to bed. haha but they are super awesome and they teach us some Portuguese. we try to have a phrase of the day; sometimes it’s harder to translate then others. like one day it was "what’s that..." took 30min to figure it out... it was so confusing. hahah It really cool though to see how the church is really a worldwide thing. these other young men have set aside 2 years of their life and have decided to give it to the lord, just like me, and when I realize that we have that in common it really makes the language barrier we have seem so small.
This week we also got a chance to teach our first lesson in Portuguese... mmm let me step back for a sec. so our teachers we have two, brother Zamboni and sister Elias. Zamboni has us in the morning Elias in the afternoon. so they give us "investigators" to teach with backgrounds and everything, and we go knock on their door (a class room) and practice all our teaching and all the skills we need to develop. SO for these first 2 weeks they have been majority in English, but yesterday we had to do it all in Portuguese, needless to say it was a short lesson... hahah we said in shattered Portuguese "we have a Father in heaven who loves us" "Christ is central to his plan." and "though (that was a tough word to remember in Portuguese) Christ we can return to him." hahah they was it. we then asked her to come to church and to read 2ne chapter 2 about the plan of salvation. haha she accepted both challenges so I guess it could have gone worse. It was quite amazing to me though that we were able to say that much to her, the lord will truly bring the things to your mind that you have studied just like he promises in DC 11.
earlier in the week I got really excited for going to Teresina because someone said something about Teresina other than its hot, or "it's so hot your skin will turn this color (pointing to my black pants). Sister Elias said the people of Teresina are so nice they will let you in their homes, always. I was like YES!!! that made me sooo excited to get up there and teach those people who are just so ready to receive the gospel, I feel like it will be like when alma taught the poor in heart in chapter 32 about faith, (obvi I’m not alma so it won’t make it into the Book of Mormon" but I hope it can be just as spiritual for the people of Teresina as it was for those who were taught by Alma.
Sunday was such an awesome day... AGAIN! haha the sacrament meetings here are so awesome, I can’t even describe it. there were 3 speakers; you just get called out of the audience so everyone holds their breath. but anyway the talks were good 2 were on the Book of Mormon and one was on patience and humility. but as I was sitting there I just got this overwhelming surge of love for all the guys in my district. I had been praying for quite some time that the lord would bless me with charity and that I could feel the love he has for them. and he gave me that blessing, it was truly awesome. I have been working on further developing that charity and the lord has continued to bless me by giving me chances to see how awesome they all really are, and that they also want to serve the lord, but just like all of us we are not perfect and we get distracted, and fall off course a little bit. Another thing I realized over the week that kind of humbled me even more is these men have all been called of God, and they are just like me in every way.
Another awesome even was at the fireside Sunday night the speaker told us to go and write in our journal: "why are you a missionary?" and as soon as he asked if I began thinking and I came to the realization that when I first put in my papers it was simply for the reason that I wanted to do it, I wanted to serve the lord. It was my choice and it was just what I wanted to do, but then over the summer and with some more study I came to realize that I am a missionary because I want others to feel the joy of the atonement in their lives. this life is way too short to go though holding feeling of guilt and sadness for things that we have done in the past and the amazing thing it that those feelings can become joy. Alma 36 recounts alma and the pains he had "the pains of a dammed soul" then after a turned his thoughts to Christ and his mind caught hold of that his "joy was so exceedingly great, yea as did exceed my pain." truly the atonement of Christ is the single most important event in the world and I want others to see what it can do for them, their friends and their families. It will affect them not for the rest of their lives but for the rest of TIME.
I got to go to the temple again today. it’s such an awesome place I look forward to returning there next week. Just going to the temple makes me happy and then being there with these other Elders makes it 1000x better!!! I love you GUYS SO MUCH THANKS FOR ALL YOU DO!!!
ps. sister empey got here today; I was able to shake her hand so she is safe in Sao Paulo!!