Monday, July 7, 2008

In Brazil "Things Couldn't Be Better"

E aí, meu família otimo!
I wish I could write in Português. I could really tell a difference yesterday and recently when speaking Português. I am honored to know that people were fasting for me. We had a really successful week! We have two baptisms for sure this week and maybe three! "I'm so excited, and I just can't hide it I'm about to lose control and I think I like it!" It would be really funny if I lost control, because it probably would be in English and I am in Brasil. No one would understand me but that would be ok, ha. I hope you can feel my excitement! The start of this week was a little bumpy, my allergies are crazy here(but they have been better ever since I have been taking claritin every day). We went on splits after our district meeting and my companion never warned me. So I ended up working in the city after district meeting and really loving it. But, then I went without shower, sleeping in a quatamalins bed, and then wearing the same cloths the next day. Luckily, I was prompted by the spirit to bring 6 reals with me so I could buy lunch. I really enjoyed the day working with an American in the city, it was quite a different experience. He ate breakfast, lunch and dinner. Which is different than my companion. Normally, I am paying a little extra of my money to buy enough groceries and end up sharing a lot. Which after conversing with him, I found out he usually buys all the groceries. We also started the day excercised in the morning, which was awesome, and another thing I usually do sozinho (opa, alone). But anyways, the next day we had interviews with presidente in the city central and we swapt back comps and I must have smelt horrible! I feel a lot better knowing I am not the only one that eats like a rich American though. I have a smoothie and hoffinpoffle for breakfast most mornings and have given up on cereal because it is too expensive. Getting to the point now. After working in the city with Elder Mellor, I was totally pumped to work and really kicked it in gear. I was the one setting the pace when we were walking, I told him we couldn't spend too much time at the houses of members and I even cut some of our investigators who weren't making progress! I really feel like my hard work paid off, we have 6 new investigators that seem really ready for the gospel, and I have become a totally different missionary.
Yesterday, was my first fast and testimony meeting in the field. I love fasting! It is such a special opportunity for us to feel the spirit much stronger in our lives and dedicate our attention to a certain thing. I think that the spirit when fasting is about as close as we can come to the spirit in the temple. Yesterday, I was planning on going up and bearing my testimony and it was really strange, I wasn't nervous at all. We were sitting in with our investigators who are going to be baptized this Saturday, Mari and Gabriel, and Mari made a motion for my companion to go up and bear his testimony. Then he looked at me and forwarded the motion. So, I looked at her and shrugged, ok. So I stood up with the Book of Mormon in my hand and anything I had prepared to say about the tree of life and us needing to hold fast to the iron rod left my train of thought and I bore a totally different testimony. Its funny how the spirit works. It is just like Elder Bednar said, "After we exercise our faith, the strength will come, but, the power won't come for us, it will come for those we can help." As much as I wanted to call my ward to repentance and tell them they need to come to church every Sunday and invite their less active members friends, different words came. It was really cool though, because shouting doesn't work, the spirit is a still small voice. But, I know that through my quiet testimony and through the power of the holy spirit their hearts were touched. Now, it is up to them to be true to their convictions and become more active and invite their friends. That is what I was fasting for, more activity in my ward. We had about 40 people there. The most since I have been here, including two less active members we have been working on. We were really blessed yesterday.

The dialect is really coming, I am not sure if anyone in Portugal could understand me but I think I will make a fine Gaúcho. I hope I can make a difference in my ward, I am really trying.
We had a experience in sacrament that reminded me how immature I am. No one plays the piano in our sacrament and no one knew the hymn. So, it was a solo and the guy was off key the whole time. It was horrible and to make it worse I couldn't stop laughing, I FELT SOOOO BADDDD! But, hey, whatever. About my package if you already sent it no problem, but if not, send it to this address:
(My name)
R. Alberto Pasqualini, 121 Salas 401
Centro-Santa Maria-RS
CEP 97015-010
Thanks a million!

Até proxima semana!(Until next week)
Amor do Brasil
Elder Mark Robert Zimbelman

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