Geeze, time is flying by soooo quickly! I am getting ancy to get out in the field. I have been in the CTM now for six full weeks i believe, and we have exactly three more to go! Wow 2/3 of the way done. That's wild. I feel like my Portugues isn't ready for the real world though... Yikes. Oh well, I will be blessed with the gift of tongues. How was your week?! What's been happening? Hopefully many good things. My week was quick, but long at the same time. It was also a kind of a rough week too, but it turned out really well closer to the end. I was remotivated many times in talks and devotionals. I have some good quotes that i will share at the end. :)
So I got Mom's letter and Dad's letter this week. It got here splitting fast! Five days on Dad's and seven on Mom's. I have seen letters taking a month to get here, so that is dang fast! Dad, yours beat Mom's and you sent it two days later. I thought that was ironic. But thank you so much for the letters. They are such a joy to get. And thanks to any other letters I've gotten. Alisha and Wade, I sent you guys a letter last week, so hopefully that arrives soon! My pads of paper are so handy and small. Maybe send a couple of those in a package or something because paper here is kinda expensive. Oh with packages, remember, they get checked and stuff and get stolen, but i heard putting Christ or crosses on them can prevent that. Also, anything of value is a danger. So just a heads up!
So normally as part of our teaching practice, we have TRC's once a week. I have mentioned these once before, but it's the ones where they tape you and then give you feedback. The Apostles can get on and watch them too, i heard. But anyway, I got to the be the investigator for two of those this week! It's kind of hard! But soo soo fun. One was to my roommates, so it was hard to take it serious, and the other was to some Brasileros. That was hard... You can't understand most of what they are saying, but because you pick up on a word or two, you can guess what is going on. It was interesting to say the least. :) But Portugues is coming slowly. I know i say that in probably every email. But I feel that this week was a good progression. A week ago, I started to try to be more obedient. I am obedient, don't get me wrong, but just obedient with exactness. This involved trying to get to bed earlier, not emailing friends here the CTM (I will reply back to any emails once in the field, promise), and other things that are small. I feel the Spirit more often actually, and I think progress is more rapid now. Plus, I focus more. I sit with Brasileros at lunch a lot, and I am able to communicate for the most part. My companion is definitely able to say almost anything to them, which is a bummer for me hahaha. He also found a Brasilian Sister that he's falling for, and I honestly think that there could be something there in a couple years! Anyway, I am hopeful though, because I am doing normal for missionaries here, and better than maybe.... half? It's good though, I am happy and not worrying too much. Stress doesn't help anything. :) My confidence was actually raised a little when a couple of Brasilians told me that I don't really have an American accent! I don't know if i believe them though, because what American doesn't have accent here?! I will take it for what it is though. When i learn Portugues, maybe people will think i'm a full-on Brasilian since I already got the look!
Oh we changed our clocks forward an hour this week. I think we're four hours ahead of you guys now. When do you guys change your clocks?
Hey Mom, I have one more temple name and then i will send those off to you, okay? It's so awesome doing family names here. Some of the people had their work done in cool temples! You will have to check them out when you get them. The cards are in Portugues too. :) Ah, I love going to the temple and sitting in the Celestial Room after the session. So just imagine... about... 5 am your time on Tuesdays, Is my favorite time of the week. Absolute favorite. :)
I absolutely love our roommates too! We say nightly prayers with them and we are all really close. Last night was especially cool. Everyone went to bed except me and one of the Brasilian roommates, Elder Avelar. We stayed up and talked about our families and stuff, and he showed me photos of his. I was able to actually have a conversation with him in Portugues (he knows no english, except a little we are teaching him). It was so great. I love all the experiences i have been having, or will have out here.
So some of the cool things that have helped me out this week was from Sunday and a Devotional that night. A girl gave a talk in Sacrament and said this quote: "You cannot rise higher than how you think of yourself." I think this is really great because you can really get down on yourself about the language and your teaching and what not. I will always remember this. Also, our mission president spoke to us that night and said: "There are no shortcuts in the mission field-- You either work hard or you don't." How great is that? So true. I choose to work hard. :)
Well I better get going. Oh I also got one of those cool scripture cases from the dude on the street! It's custom made. R85 for it (40ish bucks). Oh well. I will send a picture of it soon! I love you all, and I love this church and gospel so much. I am so grateful to be out here. Have a wonderful week, and know that I am always praying for all of you back home (#yolo).
Elder Steven Bennett