Wednesday, November 27, 2013

Spiders, keystones and gratitude for Elder Darke

Apparently, I've been a slacker and didn't post Elder Darke's previous email!  AAgghh!  Sorry.  Of course I guess I can blame it on a hundred things, or I can just add it here first.  Hope that y'all enjoy it.
Elder Darke:
I am finally understanding some people!  YES!  Ok so realistically i still have no idea what they are saying, like ,99 Percent of the time.  However that 1 percent that i can now understand is a whole percent that i couldnt before! :D.  I can usually understand what we are talking about when we talk about the gospel or indrocshions :D  I am really happy though becuse even though i am improving maddeningly slowly I am still improving! :D.  Soon I will be able to understand everything people say!  I am so excited!  It is cool to look at just how much the Lord has been helping me.  I knew he would and now I have the proof that he has.  So the ammount of portugese I now know, that i have basically learned in 3 months or so.  (MTC, and brazil).  I took chinese class at school for three years, and I know more portugese then I ever know chinese :D.  To me, that is a miracle.
    So Missionary work here is amazing!  Let me tell you just a little bit about it :D.  We have some amazing people that we are teaching, and we find more all the time!  One family that we found very recently is amazing.  So there are like 5 people that we teach in this family.  There are 2 old men, they are 95 and 83.  They are so awesome!  They are old but i can feel just how much heavenly father loves them!  Then there are 3 other people in the family.  So we sat down with them and taught them the restoration (Heavenly father, is our loving father.  the gospel blesses families.  Prophets in every dispensation.  Jesus christ extablished his church.  Great appostasy.  Joseph smith. The book of mormon).  At the end we gave them 2 books of mormon to read.  As my companion taught about the truth, and i tried to help were i could (mostly just tried to understand what was happening).  I could feel the spirit.  This family had a desire to know of the truth.  That was confirmed when we went back a few days earlier.  Only the old men were home, however they told us that the family was reading the book of mormon.  
    That makes me so happy.  To some it may just seem like a book.  But it is soo much more.  The book of mormon is the keystone to our religion.  If we are talking about a painting, it is as important as the paint itself is.  As people read the book of mormon, they are reading a testiment of jesus christ.  One witness can be disputed.  However two witnesses cannot be denied.  This book (along with the bible) is proof that Jesus christ is the son of god.  That he lived a perfect life, and he died for us.  When people read the book of mormon, and they pray that it is true.  The holy spirit can help them understand that it is true.  and if the book of mormon is true, Then it was translated by a true prophet.  For a false prophet could not bring forth a true book.  If joseph smith is a true prophet, then the church he established is Jesus christ´s church on the earth again today, and modern revelation, preestood athority, and everything else that is taught by the church is true.  That is why it is not just a book, but is literally the keystone of our religion.
    I am really happy right now :D.  Becuse Heavenly father is constantly heping me, our investagators are doing well, and it is raining!  It rains here a lot.  However it doesnt snow unless you are in the souther part of the country.  A cool thing about the rain is the clouds!  They are so fluffy and frendly looking!  and a cool thing about that clouds is that they make really cool lightning!  It is kind of weird though becuse my companion has taken some pictures of lightning in different areas of the mission and they are different colors.  He has yellow lighting, but the lighting here is 
blue.  strange...  OH and he also has a picture of this spider that he saw.  It is huge!  Like scary huge!  Like it is a tranchula that is the size of a dinner plate!.  it is bigger then my hand!  so to kill it, they threw bricks at it :D.  poor spider.
    There are so many differnet kinds of fruit here :D.  Most of them are completly different from the ones in the states!  I still havnt had them all :D.  However i am working on it :D.
    The bus rides here are crazy.  So there is a bus and everyone it sitting down in the chairs.  In the walkway that has room for about 2 people from one side to the other right?  well not to brazilians.  I was on a bus the other day where there was 4 people in the hallway.  I wasnt sure how they could breathe it was so crouded :D.  But even so, i kindof like the bus :D.
-Elder Darke
P.s. Meu portugese nao bom, mais eu posso entengie perguntas sobre meu familia :D
P.s.s. meu companeto engengie portugese muito bom.
P.s.s.s. Eu gosto A├žai!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! wooo!!!!!!!!!!

Here's the latest and greatest from Elder Darke!  We are so grateful for his service to our Heavenly Father!  Elder Darke continues to succeed and influence others for good in Brazil and across our great country.  Even though Brazil doesn't celebrate our tradition of Thanksgiving, I know that Elder Darke's thoughts are of gratitude and thanksgiving this time of the year.  If anyone reading this could drop a simple letter in the mail for Elder Darke, imagine the feelings of love he will have in time for Christmas!
Feed My Sheep

Thanks to everyone's support and love.  We are truly blessed!
Love to all!
Melanie (Mom)

from Elder Darke:
 This week has been fun!  So I have been really bad this week, and we only got to study two days for the whole week.  We were doing really important stuff, however we need to keep studying.  So that is a goal of mine for this week, to have more studies!  So other then that a few amazing things hapened
-We found a new investagator, and the cool thing is that the zone leaders in my area found her weeks ago and taught her a little, but they got the wrong address, so she was lost for a little while.  However then me and my companion found her!  She actually came up to us and it was awesome!
-Transfers was also this week, and me and my companion didnt change, however we are like the only ones in my district.  Both of our zone leaders changed and, the rest of the companion ships got split up and we have new people now :D.
-This week has been full of trainings and awesomeness.  We had normal district training twice this week, then the mission presidnet came to our stake conference and he also talked to the missionaries and the members.  While he was taking I was writing down my thoughts, (and i couldnt really understand him) and he asked the missionaries to stand up and say the missionary purpose.  (this was just the youth, so not too many people were there).  The other missionaries stood up, and I didnt notice, so he said my name twice before I realized what was going on.  (Woops).  :D.  Well at least I know what not to do now :D.  The trainings where on member missionaries and it was cool :D.
-I can finally understand what is going on mostly!  I still get lost a lot, and There is still a bunch of stuff i dont know.  However when we are teaching lessons, or talking about the gospel i can usually understand the general idea of what is going on if they arnt talking super fast :D!
-So I have been reading it for the past little while, but I just want to tell you, the book ´´Jesus the Christ´´ is amazing.  Every question i had, every assumption, and misunderstanding about the new testiment is being resolved.  Now i didnt have many deep questions, about the new testiment, but the small things that just made me stop and think ´´hmm, that is interesting, i wonder why...´´ are all being resolved.  It is an amazing book.  If you want to read the new testiment, or just better understanding about christ and his earthly ministry then i would seriously recomment ´´Jesus the Christ´´.
-The book of mormon is amazing as well!  I didnt realize just how much i enjoyed reading it, untill i couldnt read it anymore.  I am trying to read it in portugese, so having my favorite book in front of me, and not understanding what it is saying has really helped me understand just how amazing the book of mormon really is.
-and finnaly i wish to tell you the importance of rightous judgement!  We are always told that we need to judge rightously.  But what does that mean?  As i have been considering these things recently i have decided on one key factor that can help us.  We need to remember that We dont understand excatally what is going on!  We dont know what people are feeling, what is going on in peoples lives, what they are thinking, or what happened to them.     All these things effect a persons actions.  I encourage you to take a step back and look at the bigger picture.  Am i seeing the entire puzzle here? or am i just looking at one small peice and trying to guess what the entire picture shows?  Even then some peaces of the puzzle, we wont ever be able to see, so we need to do everything we can, then we need to be as merciful as we can be.  That way, we may not feel like we are getting justice all of the time.  However when we look at our lives and realize just how much we are dependent on Christ´s mercy to save us, then showing mercy to someone else gets easier.  
-I really like Brazil, It is amazing!
-Elder Darke

Monday, November 11, 2013

Blessings, police, missions and "You Move"

Things seem to be getting a little better and a little smoother for Elder Darke.  He seems uplifted and a little more upbeat this week.  We also received a couple of new pictures of him.  Yeah! He's looking good.  Also, I figured out that his companion's name is Elder Tippetts from Idaho. Yep a couple of skinny white boys!
From Elder Darke:

This place is so amazing!
    A few quick things that have happened over the past week that were super amazing.
1.  My zone leaders had a babtism, and he got confirmed yesterday, so that was super awesome so see someone get babtised
2.  A member in my district left to go on a mission the other day.  He is super amazing.  I didnt get to talk to him much, however the little bit that i did leaves me confident that he will be fine when he leaves.
3.  One of my investagators is a police officer in the city.  He is awesome!  Usually when we talk to him we talk to him in this mini police station that they have in the area.  So we went inside a police station and talked to him.  It was super cool!  He is also super awesome.  So we are teaching him periodically.
4.  A super cool thing here is the past week there have been clouds in the sky every day.  And every day without fail, it rains.  How much, and for how long is varied but!  it is super cool!  On wednesday it rained so hard that there was so much water in the street that it was starting to come up onto the sidewalk!  I wanted to make little paper boats and make them float down the street/river.  The clouds are super cool here.  They are always puffy and friendly looking and it so so awesome.  In fact it is raining right now :D.
5.    There are a lot of different fruits here.  Yesterday I ate a fruit and I was informed that if i ate it wrong i would need to go to the hospital.  It was like a fuit with a seed inside.  Inside of the seed there was these spikes/thorns/evilness.  If I bit into the seed then the thorns would go into my tounge and i would have to go to the hospital.  So that was fun :D.
6.  i also learned today about unrightous judging.  I have been reading Jesus the Christ along with the book of mormon and preach my gospel.  it is amazing.  If you want to learn about the Life of jesus christ. i would recommend this book along with the new testiment.  It is really amazing to read.  In this book the cheif jews are constantly unrightously judging people.  This leads to extreme trouble for numerous amounts of people.  I also realized that in certain situations i have judged things unrightously.  So i must be better at this particular area of my life.  That way i will be able to follow the commandments of the lord when he tell us to judge rightously :D.      it is really amazing here and my portugese is still slowly improving.  I am so greatful for my heavenly fathers help with this.  I know he is helping me and there is no possible way i could be where i am right now without his help.  He is just poring out blessings apon us.  His missionaries.  Almost all of the blessings go  unoticed, but the ones i do notice are so innumerable that i cannot count them.  He is litterally poaring out blessings from an extra size bucket of blessings.  it is really amazing actually.
-Elder Darke
Apparently this picture is Elder Darke enacting the comedy sketch "You Move" from Julian Smith's online videos.  The kids think he is hilarious on You tube.  I guess Elder Darke found a place in Brasilia that is called "You Move".  Yep, Elder Darke's humor is fully intact!
 We Love you Galen!
Melanie (mom)

Thursday, November 7, 2013

Banana Bread Metric recipe?

It's time for an update from Elder Darke!  If anyone has any wonderful recipes in METRIC, he would love to try them out!  We're trying to convert some of our family recipes and Elder Darke has been experimenting with them.  Hopefully he'll figure it out soon.  I guess you just have to get the ingredients balanced just right.
Here's from Elder Darke:
This place is awesome!
    So quick update on what is going on.
1.  I still have no idea what people are saying
2.  I tried making the bananna bread and i have failed twice.  Lets see if this new recepie helps me not fail :D.
3.  The ward is super cool and friendly, even though i dont what they are saying i can feel their spirit and they are all trying to help me learn as fast as possible.
4.  We have some awesome investagators.  We were talking to one the other day and we showed her a book of mormon.  and asked her to pray to see if it was true.  Her response was different then we expected. she said ´`oh i already know it is true.  I had a dream about it last night.``.  I was like `hey companion, what did she say?``  It was super cool when he told me though :D
5.  I am learning so much here.  One of the major things that i am learning is the value of trusting in the lord.  He has said that he will help me learn portugese, through the scriptures, and through my leaders he has promised me.  However he has also said that i must be patient.  I am not sure how many times in life where i have gotten this frustrated.  However, as with any trial as we endure well and we are able to have faith he pours out blessings apon us.  So now all i can say is that I trust in him.  I know he will (and is) helping me learn portugese.  He has promised me he would, and he is a god of truth, so he cannot lie.
    So This is officially the best mission ever!  

I think that we as a family are going to try and add something to our emails in Portuguese using Google translate.  Hopefully his curiosity will help him learn the language, along with help from our Heavenly Father.

Thanks to all!
Melanie (Mom)