Monday, October 28, 2013

My Brazil address!

Well, apparently Elder Darke is wanting some mail!  He practically begged me in several different letters to send him emails and letters!  Well, finally he did send us his new Brazil address, so we CAN do that!
Here it is from him:
    I love being able to start the week with reading about how my family is doing back at home!  Brazil is amazing!  However it makes me really happy to hear from people from home :D  So please email me!  I cant enjoy your emails if i dont get any :D  So please email me!  :D
    Ok so before i say anything, the food here is amazing!  There are so many different kinds of fruits and it is super cool!  I had a fruit salad thing yesterday and it was like (angelic choir), It was so good, and the only fruit that i recognized was a bannana, there like like 8 different fruits that i have never heard of!  It tasted soo good :D.  Besides the fruit people were correct, rice, beans, and chicken are really a common meal here :D.  So it is a little different here, Brazillians dont really eat breakfast.  that i can tell, but i am not sure about that.  After that they eat a huge lunch (it is the main meal of the day), and then they either just have a small snack for dinner, or they just dont eat dinner.  It is really interesting.  and for lunch, usually they have rice, beans, (some sort of meat, like chicken) and some sort of fruit.  It is awesome!  The food here is super good, and I enjoy it :D
    Next is the launguage.  It is not easy, let me tell you.  I still cant really understand anything, however i know that Heavenly father is with me and he will help me learn super fast!  I just need to be patient and work my hardest!  Everyone is helping me learn though.  All of the members constantly try to help me learn new phrases and words, (and the ones that speak english help me understand what they mean :D).  They are all super nice!  My companion knows english as well so he is helping me learn portugese, however from my point of view I am learning extremly slowly.  However i know that if I have faith and patience Heavenly father will help me more then i can comprehend.
    The people here are super nice and I love them all!  A lot of people have a smile on their faces, and a lot of the families that i have meet here are happy!  These are some really amazing, and humble people!
    So the other day me and my zone leader, elder Adams (we were on splits) were teaching this investagator, (or he was and i was trying to figure out what was going on :D).  So i couldnt understand what was being said, however after a few minutes something started changing.  As i was listening i could feel the holy spirit entering the room and calming my heart.  As i looked at our investagator i could see that she could feel the spirit as well.  The spirit is super strong, and I know that This work that i have been called to do is true.  This is the restored gospel again on the earth and i know that true eternal happiness can come as the principles and ordancances of this gospel are remembered and followed.  This is the only way to get back to heavenly father.  It is truly the straight and narrow path. I know it is true becuase the spirit has testified it to me, becuase i have taken the challenge of moroni and asked heavenly father if this was true.  I got an answer and becuse of that I know this work that i am doing is of vital importance to the salvation of many of heavenly fathers children.
    In Brazil everything is totally different.  The only thing that i have found that is the same is the feelings that i get from the spirit.  I am extremly gratefull for that
-Elder Darke
    P.s. i need to tell you something important, something i should have told you a long time ago...... IM BATMAN! (my companions favorite saying :D)
    P.s.s. my mission address is (or at least this is what i have been told)
Elder Darke
LOTE B1 Salas 304/307, Brasilia
71503-505 DF, CEP-DF
    P.s.s.s. It is getting really hot here really fast, and It is awesome!  I think i am close to drinking the amount of water that doctors say that I should every day :D 

So if you didn't catch that, with the failing English (hopefully his Portuguese is getting better), PLEASE send mail!  OH, and if you want to send him something for Christmas in our box get it to us by Thanksgiving!

Thanks again for your continued love and support for Elder Darke!
Melanie (Mom)

Monday, October 21, 2013

Gama Leste, Brasillia

We finally heard from Elder Darke all the way from Brazil!  He's adjusting well and will hopefully get us his new address soon.  Here's the word from him:

  I am indeed alive, however i am not quite sure if i have been abducted or not, no one here seems to speak english so maybe they are all aliens O.O.
    I just wanted to let you know that i am having a fantabulous time here!
    This is the first week being here and what i have noticed is quite intereging.  Everyone here seems to be really nice and freindly!  I am in a city called gama, in the east part of the town so i am in Gama Leste.  Most of my area is suberbs (i guess you can call it) and It has been amazing.  To see people who are living in cercumstances that we might not find very appealing, but not only are they living in them, they are happy and they are finding joy as they live.  The people seem really happy here :D.
    In my area we have a large church building, it is actually one of the largest in my mission (or so i have been told).  the church is fairly large in this city, and strong.  I really enjoy it, we are also walking around everywhere so it takes a little bit to travel :D  However my feet are slowly turning into feet of steel!  Everyone speaks portugese and almost no one speaks fluent english so i am completly lost but i am getting better as the days go by.  everyone is helping me learn here it is awesome!
    My companion is a super cool person, he is been on his mission for a year solid and he is awesome.  He is fluent in portugese, and (this part is kind of funny) he is not only training me, but he is also the district leader, seinor companion, and he (and I) are opening up a new area in gama.  It is pretty crazy however we have received some major blessings that have been helping us along really amazingly.
    It is deffenatly different here, however i have gotten used to it and now I love it.  Now i just need to know what people are saying :D
    This week, the thing that i have really learned is just how constantly the lord is with us.  He is always there trying to help us, guiding us, protecting us.  He never leaves unless we drive him away by doing bad things.  His guidence and help has been essential as i have been here.  I trust in his power and his plan.  I know he could help me learn the launguage in an instant, however i know that he has a plan for me and it is better then anything i can think of for so many reasons (so many that i can not name them all).  I Have faith that he will help me and guide me through anything as long as i cling to him and depend on him.  That is something that really impressed me this week.
Elder Darke
P.s.  I love letters and if you could send a lot of them that would be great!
-Will you get me everyone signatures and pictures from the family/and freinds?  I am missing quite a few freindly faces :D.  (like i dont have one of basil :D,) and thats all i can think of :D Thanks :D
P.s.s.s. Eu Amor Gama Leste
We are sending Elder Darke a Christmas package.  We would like to include a letter from all of his family and friends.  If you have something that you would like to include, get to us before Thanksgiving.  Think of it as free/cheap postage for you and a wonderful surprise for Elder Darke.
Thanks y'all!
Melanie (Mom)

Saturday, October 12, 2013

Watch out Brazil, HERE comes ELDER DARKE!!!

Just a quick post for Elder Darke.  We received an unexpected email tonight.  Elder Darke is on his way to BRAZIL!!!! Monday is the day!!  I guess the Halloween package will have to wait!  Here it is in Elder
Darke's words:
Guess What!!!!! i got my visa!!!! so guess what! I am going to be going to Brazil on Monday!  


I am so excited!!!!   This will be monday evening :D, :D
Elder Darke
I guess you could say that he a little excited!!!  WE are too!  Hopefully he remembers his Portuguese!  Pass the word around!  I will update with his new addresses A.S.A.P!!
Melanie (Mom)

Tuesday, October 8, 2013

Elder Darke's take from General Conference

We got an email from Elder Darke the other day that I thought I would forward part of it along.  I am impressed at how much he is growing and am loving hearing his testimony grow as well.
 Did you watch general Conference? I hope so because it was awesome!!!  My hand still hurts because during conference, i was doing some non stop writing.  I didn't want to forget anything that was said, and I also kept getting ideas for how these talks could help my investigators and how i could apply them to my life!  so it was amazing!
    I expecially liked Deiter F Ucdorf's saturday morning talk about the challenges of being a member, about why anyone would even join such a church.  It is so simple to me, the blessings that we can gain and the spirit that we feel is worth any sacrifice!  As we give our all to this church we then learn the reasons why this church is so amazing.  It is hard to talk about because it is hard to be belived without having faith in the lord, or having an experience that proves the amazingness of this church.  However as we come to learn this things (one way or another) we will be blessed with increased spirituality and strength.
    Now the question is, why would anyone want to leave?  The answer is both simple and complicated, however it all comes down to agency.  We all have the ability to choose what we want to do.  If we want to believe and gain blessings, or if we want to go off and become lost in the confusion of the world.  We should not condem those that stray from the truth of the church, but should instead continue to be friends, and continue to be a beacon of light to those lost in spiritual darkness.  Now it is my deepest desire that none of you wander away from the church, and the promised blessings that are associated with it.
    I would have great joy for everyone to stay strong in the church forever.  Unfortunately that will probably not happen.  There will be those who wonder, and who become lost.  Do not abandon them, or leave them as they are.  As we continue to be good friends and give them a way to get back to the truth, then one day they may take that chance and come back, and if they never do, then you will have developed a life long friend that will always be thankful for your kindness.
   Now you may be wondering why i am talking about this, the answer is also simple.  I am talking about this because I can see the impact that we can make in other people's lives.  So as you are out with your friends this day, make sure they understand that they can "come join with us" for "there is room for you here".
    Conference was an amazing experience of inspiration and love.  The love of the savior that is.  I could feel how much he loved me as he helped me receive personal revelation through the holy ghost.  I just want to say that I know this church is true.  I know it with all my heart.
    My area is doing amazing!  We are always on the hunt for new investigators but i am sure we will find some very soon :D.  The members are still amazing, and I love my area :D.  I miss you all, I am having a great time here though :D.  I hope you are all having amazing times there as well :D
-Elder Darke
 P.s. never get into a land war with asia, but what is less knows is never get into a contest with a siscilian when death is on the line!
P.s.s.  He is only mostly dead.
P.s.s.s. When you fight children, you must go for the face! always the face! :D

If you didn't catch that last part, watch "Princess Bride" the movie.  As always, thanks for the encouragement and support.
Melanie (Mom)