Wow! What a week!!! This week has been pretty wild, and super fast! I don't even know where time is going. On Saturday, i will be half way through my CTM time!!! What in the world?! How does time fly by so fast?!
General conference was probably the best thing ever this week. The Spirit is so strong while listening! It's probably the first time I've stayed up for all five sessions! I even took notes. :) Maybe it's just the fact that I am a missionary now, so we feel the Spirit super strong with stuff. But wow, what about that news President Monson said at the very beginning?! What?! Craziness!!! Changing the age limit! I am basically part of the last group to go through before the new rules take effect. Did you hear about the new times in the MTC as well? They are cutting them down by a third. If i had left any later, I would've only been here for six weeks. That's intense! But Conference was absolutely wonderful. I hope you guys watched it. I had some good points i wanted to share, but i forgot my notes, so I will have to share those another time. But there was a ton on missionary work if you noticed. I really liked that. :)
So yeah, the week's been wild. I had a pretty crazy experience this last.... Wednesday i think? I was really down on myself because we had just had a pretty bad teaching experience. We didn't do very well. My Portugues was not good, and not improving, and I was missing home a lot. I was also tired too. But I remember that someone told me that you have a letter in the mailbox! I was so excited to find out you guys had sent me a letter. My heart was so full of contention, and then when i opened your letter and read it, I cried like a baby (of course in private!). It softened my heart so much and ever since then, my Portugues has improved so much, and my teaching ability. I am so grateful for that letter. I also wrote you guys back and enclosed some pictures. I found a cool shop that prints pictures off, so i sent you guys a couple. It'll take about 3 weeks for the letter to arrive.
But as i said, Portugues has really improved since then! We had a TRC, which is just some other teaching (my letter explains more), and I just remember my bad grammar, but I was still able to communicate with them, and the Spirit was literally so strong in the room! We took up all the time we were supposed (these are timed), and we were able to get the investigator to make some commitments. I was so pumped after leaving that lesson. We also had an English Fast yesterday... all day! No English from sun up to sun down. Man, it was awesome! I was starting to think in Portugues after a while. I tried reading in English for a little, and the words kept coming up in my head in Portugues. Coolest thing ever!!! And apparently, my companion said i was sleep talking again last night.... in Portugues.... really fast too... :)
Me and Elder Hawks get along really well. Probably a lot better than most companionships in our district. Some have a lot of tension between them, but we are always laughing and having fun. We compliment each other really well; in teaching too. This is for you mom-- we sometimes walk around between classes and lunch saying Clint Eastwood lines! He's such a cool guy, and we've really gotten close. He's going to Rio de Janeiro too, which is AWESOME! Oh man, i've had some brasilians come up and tell me to be careful. It's supposedly one of the most wicked cities in the world. By the time I'm through with them, they will be announcing the newest temple in Rio! That's what's up. :)
Today was also a sad day for me as well. We had some really amazing brasilian roommates leave today... I miss them so much. They were so energetic and loving. They would buy us candy and teach us Portugues. We always had some funny times. They will be great missionaries. I will never forget Elder Manzano and Fernandez. They have forever touched my heart. The other brasilians here are way fun too. For example, over the past week, we've had: mini-golf competitions in the massive hallways of our dorms, fashions shows, and our room had a party and like 15 brasilians were in there playing UNO and chess. Craziest people ever. Brasilians make the most energetic Americans look like their sleeping!
Well that about does it for this week. Progress is coming, and I am absolutely in love with the work. I forget who i heard it from, but this really touched me. A missionary came home and was being congratulated on the huge number of baptisms he had had. He was asked, "how'd you get so many referrals?" He said, "those were all from proselyting". Most of the time proselyting isn't too effective, so the man asked how he did so well with it. The missionary said, "with each person i meet, I picture them clean shaven, in nice clothes, nice hair, and wearing the white baptismal clothing. That, sir, is how I did so well." I am so excited to get out in the field and do the same. I want to bring this gospel to anyone and everyone. I miss you Mom, Dad, Alisha, and Lauralee. :) I love you all so so much.
Oh, how'd the marathon go, dad?!
Elder Steven Bennett