Tuesday, September 25, 2012


Ola toda a familia!
 I took a quick look at everyones emails, and if i finish this one quick enough, i will email back to the other ones! I loved all the emails i got thank you! I miss you guys so much, and I can't believe I am on a mission!! How is this possible?! It's so great though. :)
So this week has gone by SUPER fast! I am pretty used to the work load now, and concentrating is pretty easy. A normal day consists of: (we are three hours ahead of you) 6:30 wake up, 7 breakfast, 730 personal study, 830 to 1230 is mixed with instructors teaching us portugues or we are learning how to teach investigators and stuff like that. Until 1:15 is lunch, and then back to teaching investigators or the language until 445! Dinner unil 515 and then back to studying on our own for a few hours. Some days we have gym at 8, and somedays, we just study until about 9. They have a small snack, and you go to bed by 10:30. The days go by so quick now!
So this week, a promise that was made to us "greenies" came true. you will get sick pretty soon coming here because of the different germs here. True story.... I got sick starting last Friday or so! I was pretty stressed and stuff and my muscles started getting super sore and stuff. That night i couldn't sleep and I took my temperature 101.5! Ah! I was freaking out. And i kept having to pee all night... weird. But The next day it was down to 100 and i was feeling a tad bit better. Since then, I've had a sore throat, stuffy nose, and today i am close to losing my voice... bleh... oh well, i'll be blessed!
Oh, so this is for Mom before i forget! We get to go to the Sao Paulo Temple every P-day!!! Ah its so great. I'm mad i forgot to tell you last week in the email. But yes, send me some cards! By the time they get here, I may be able to do two or three at the most, so if you have any names to spare (endowment only), I can do those! Send those puppies on up! I love you so much Mom. :) I love all your emails. Your letter came to me yesterday, so about 10 days it looks like. For me, i send stuff from here priority and it takes about 2 to 4 weeks. Oh there's also an airforce base close by here Mom. There are always planes flying REALLY low and stuff. They are soooo loud! They always remind me of Grandpa!  (WWII  B-29 Superfortress Bomber Pilot.)
And this part goes to dad! They have this awesome drink here called guarana that I am addicted to. :) It is basically ginger ale, but super concentrated and about 30% natural caffeine. YUM! I'm so bad, but I love it! I drink about four cups a day. Soon I'll be as addicted to it as your Dr. Pepper! Love you dad!
Sundays are always great here. Some of our meetings take place in Portugues which is really cool. Everyone is required to join the choir here too. But i also joined one that is voluntary. I also play the Sacrament and Priesthood hymns! The next two weeks i'm the man on those! It's kinda scary with all the missionaries and mission presidents here!
So Dallin H. Oaks grandson is here in the CTM! How cools that?! He's a cool guy, but i don't know him at all. I also had a chance to say hi to the Urries two days ago. They are heading back home this week, so they may say something about me to you! If they say i'm being a "fubeca", say No! That means goof off. And i'm definitiely not. :)
Well that hits about everything for this week. This week has been easier just because last week was such a change of lifestyle and stuff. Portugues is coming along well. My vocabulary is expanding little by little. We got two brasilian roommates this week and they are so cool. They help us with portugues and we help them with english! They are all here for three weeks. We are up to four investigators that we teach weekly, completely in Porgtugues. it is getting easier but definitely a struggle. Elder Hawks is a beast and always knows what to say, so he always dominates on the speaking for the most part. I will get better with time. I also dream in Portugues! How weird is that. Not completely though. For those with facebook access, my companion is Derek Hawks from Moab, UT. he's such a cool guy.
Well I better get going with the rest of my P-day duties. Plus i gotta go explore the town more. :) I love you all so much. I miss you even more. I am grateful for the support and love i feel each day out here. The spirit is always here too, which helps when I am down. This is the true church. I know this with all my heart, and because of this, I am willing to be apart from those i love so much.
Have a wonderful week all!
Elder Steven Bennett

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Steven's Flight and First Day

Dear Family,                                                                                                                             9/12/2012

Hello!!!  I miss you all so much!  I made it to the MTC safe and sound this morning around 8 AM, and since then it's just been busy busy busy!  Sao Paulo is so dense!  Buildings don't have any space between them and everything is gated.  I guess robbing happens a lot.  It's pretty ghetto, but it's also quite beautiful.  We were able to go out and explore for a little as a group, and it was cool.

Wow, this whole trip so far is a dream really.  I feel like I should be going home or something.  It's pretty stressful right now trying to jump into this whole new language and culture, and I'm definitely feeling very overwhelmed.

The plane rides went well.  I found some Elders to talk to but none were on my flight.  However, as I was sitting in my seat, a Sister Harrison boarded and sat next to me!  I was happy to talk to someone who was feeling how I was.  During my layover, we met up with a bunch of other Elders.  There was like 8 of us, and one Sister.  4 were going to Rio!  Here in the MTC, my companion is Elder Hawks from Moab.  He's in my mission too.  Hardly any of my district knows Portuguese, but all have Spanish experience.

We were supposed to write on this paper so that you also have my address and some other information.  That's my exact MTC address (on the front).

Well, I'm running out of paper and time, but I miss you all, and love you all dearly.  It's really hard here, but its amazing too.  I'm optimistic for things to get better.  Tell everyone hi and that I'm fine.  The church is true!

Elder Steven Bennett

P.S.  I'll email or write again (more) on my P-day!  I'm here for nine weeks!

Tuesday, September 18, 2012


Oh my i miss you all so much!!!! I made it here safely and everything last Wednesday! My P-day is on Tuesdays so this is the day i will be emailing you guys. I saw the emails you sent me, and since I'm only allowed thirty minutes on here, i just skimmed through them. I hope you can forward this email to anyone who wants to read it, because my time is too short to do it.
Oh my word, Brazil is crazy!!!! I will start with the plane ride though. So after i left all you guys, I was pretty bummed out, kinda crying, and just feeling really alone, but optimistic for the adventure ahead. I was kinda stressed too with the whole flight stuff too. Well, i finally found a bunch of missionaries, but after talking to them, I found out i wouldn't be flying over with any of them! So i board my plane and sit down. All of a sudden a sister missionary walks on-- a Sister Harrision. She is assigned to sit next to me! I was so happy! So we talked the whole flight over. It was kinda weird because I felt awkward talking to Sister missionaries. But it turned out fine. Once over in Atlanta, we found a bite to eat, and some more missionaries met us there! There was four of us when there was about 5 hours left until our flight. Three were going to Rio!!! By the end of the layover, we had about 9 missionaries with us, going all over. it was a really fun group, and we took some pictures. The flight over to Brazil was LONG. I couldn't really sleep because of nervousness, stress, excitement, and everything. I was really happy when that plane landed too. I also sat next to Sister Harrison on that one. So 5:15 am your time, I landed in Sao Paulo.
We boarded a bus that took us to the CTM (Centro de treinamento missionario), and immediately got us going into all the work going on there. Orientations, unpacking, classes, lunch, etc. Wow that day was so stressful. We actually forgot to bring my CDC card for Yellow Fever. You're not really supposed to enter the country without it, but my other records showed me with it so it was alright. That night, I had already been thrown into a little Portugues and gospel study. With the jet lag and overall tiredness, I was destroyed and basically overwhelmed.
The city of Sao Paulo is sooooo ghetto, but it's almost a pretty ghetto. I love it. There is spray paint graffiti everywhere, and everyone locks their houses and cars up every night. We are safe inside gates with guards too. :) The CTM is massive too. But the city uses every inch of space they have. The buildings don't have spaces between them. They just start building with the adjacent walls! The city really is beautiful. My room is on the Fifth floor, so i overlook the whole city. The scenery is beautiful. i wish i could sent pictures home, but the CTM doesn't let me upload pictures on these computers, so i have to wait until im gone. sorry.... but yeah, and the food here is pretty good. TONS of protein! Lots of rice and beans, and weird textured desserts.... But I love the meat and stuff! My companion is Elder Hawks, and he is from Moab, and my other roommates are Elder Viglione and Tibbetts. They are all so cool.
I told everyone about my little hand and they love it! hahahah it's so funny. We are planning on scaring the sisters in my district with it because they don't know yet. There are 12 people in my district, and 2 are sister missionaries, many of which i flew over with.
Wow there's so much i want to write, but my time is so limited.
The workload we're under now is massive. 16 hours of non-stop work really. Portugues is such a good language. I love it. After one week, I have learned to pray, bear my testimony, and many common uses for it. I can communicate with Brasileros now sorta, but it's hard. All my prayers are in Portugues now. How crazy is that! I sometimes find myself using portugues words in my head. The work here is definitely sped up by the hand of the Lord. No denying that.
We were able to explore some of the city today earlier. I bought a couple things here. It's pretty cheap.... except deodorant!!! So expensive. And people steal your deodorant and sell it. Stupids... but other than that, every things good.
I'm doing well here, and getting used to it. I miss the home, and all you family, and my friends. I'm sorry the house is empty now... :( I will be home soon and can liven it up for you! I wish i could send pictures, but that may be a while from now... maybe two months.
Yeah, send those letters to me and anything else. I also wrote you guys a letter that should be arriving sometime soon. Another will be coming about something called missionties.com. Check it out and let me know what you think. It's about sending letters faster, but i don't know if its worth it since i just email you guys.
Well, I better get going before my time runs out. It's hard out here right now without you guys, and i'm really struggling with the language. But with the Lord's help, and many many prayers, and lots of study, it'll get easier. Oh, i have already taught an investigator in complete Portugues. What the heck right?! How's that even possible?!
I love you Mom, Dad, Alisha, Lauralee, Wade, and anyone else who reads this. I hope you find out how to post this on the blog, Mom. :)
I love you guys so so much. Be expecting my emails anytime on Tuesdays from 10 to 2 PM your time.
Eu amo meu familia e amigos muito!!
Elder Steven Bennett

Monday, September 10, 2012

Adeus meus amigos!

Wow, here I am 12 hours away from being set apart as a missionary for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints!  This is insane!!!  I am so pumped.  It has definitely been a great summer being home, but I am definitely ready to join my elder friends in the mission field. 

It has been a very stressful few weeks lately with getting all the mission stuff together, replacing carpet, visiting friends a few more times, etc.  We finished the carpet and the house by Friday, and I was able drive up to Logan one last time and go to one more AGGIE FOOTBALL game!  Man, what a game to be at.  I stormed the field as well.  Great great great last game to go to.  That will hold me for two years.  I was also able to visit some of my best friends and hang with them most of the night (literally!).  It almost felt like the old days of Freshman year up at USU.  Those were some great times, and I will never forget those who made it great.

Yesterday, I had my farewell, and I would say that it turned out a success!  My talk went well, and was timed beautifully to end right when sacrament ended.  We also had a good turnout at the luncheon after.  I was able to see some of my good friends one last time, and see some relatives that I haven't seen for a while.  I am grateful for everyone who came out and supported me.  You guys made yesterday very special.  I hope to see many of those people after my mission.

I am going to be set apart at 9 PM tonight.  Wow.   This will be the last post from me personally, but hopefully my mom will continue to put my letters up on here so anyone can read up on how I'm doing.

Well I love you all-- see ya in two!

Wednesday, September 5, 2012

First Post!

Hello there everybody!

Well, this is my first post on my mission blog! I am actually pretty pumped out this blog and the chance for people to read my week emails and cool experiences that will make my best two years in Brazil. I have ONE WEEK until I will be IN BRAZIL and learning the Gospel in the SAO PAULO MTC!!! And in Portuguese! I am very excited for this new adventure in life, and I am so pumped to make the best of mission for me as possible.

The stress levels in my house have definitely increased over the past week or so. We are in the process of replacing a new carpet, planning a farewell, and finalizing on all purchases for my mission stuff. Boy, I know I am stressed! I am also beginning to write my farewell talk, which, according to my Dad, at least 50 relatives will be attending... no pressure though, right?

The true reason that I wanted to write a post on here at this time was because I way impressed to share an experience that happened to me last night. Last night was my final night using my cell phone and Facebook, as most already know from my mass text. My bishop had asked me to quit using them one week before my mission to more fully prepare and focus for what is in the short future. So, about 12:30 AM last night, I switched off my phone. Leading up to it, I had some mixed feelings about doing this task. Some were good and some were bad. I was thinking, "What is the point of this? I'm can easily give up my phone the night before. Why do I have to now?" Most of my feelings were that of annoyance and maybe a little nervousness because of the fact that I would be cut off from so many friends. My bishop said it would be hard, but I never thought it would be. But, I obeyed his request. Once I turned it off, I had a peace come over me. A warm, gentle peace. I went to bed that night slightly dazed at why I was feeling this way, but I liked it! I fell asleep pretty quick and awoke the next morning and have gone the whole day without my phone. You wouldn't think that such a weird task would impact someone really. But, I can truly say that it made me a little stronger.

I am grateful for the task my bishop asked me to do. It was hard, but I know that it's nothing compared to the difficulties I will face on my mission. However, I do know that I will be able to complete my mission, with it's hardships and happiness. You don't come by your best two years just by having peace and blissful times. Your hard times help you see how great the happy times are, and as I grow closer to my Heavenly Father and the Spirit, I know the me and my future companions really will have the best two years of our lives. The church is true!

Well, I better get to writing that talk. Here we go!