Ola Familia e Amigos! Tudo bem?
So, this week has been absolutely amazing. There really is no other way to explain such a week. But the funny thing is that once I tell you, you would think that it's been the worst week ever! I will explain more fully as I go, but let me start from the beginning. :) Ps. I basically count weeks by P-days, so this week really means from last Tuesday to this Tuesday. Annnyyywayyyss, so last Wednesday, I came down with a virus... Yuck. It was a gastro-intestinal virus.. I had to go see the doctor after waking up Wednesday morning with lots of pain and stuff in my abdomen area. He gave me some pills and what not, and it wasn't too serious. I forget the name of it. But my diet was altered a little, and for about two days, well I will let you figure it out on your own about the consequences of having a virus in your intestines... Also, I was playing basketball friday night, and I got smacked in the face by someone jumping for the ball. It gave me a swollen eye and there is a small cut and some bruising on the side of my eye, but nothing too bad. It's basically gone now. The last thing occurred last night. It's been getting really hot around here now, and I haven't been drinking enough water. I came down with a headache last night, but just drank some water and went to bed. About 3 am, I woke up and had this pretty bad one... I can't think of any headache worse than that one. I was super dizzy and threw up and all this stuff. Luckily, I was able to keep down some medicine and get back to sleep. By the morning, I was totally fine!
Not the funnest things to go through right? But this week was still so amazing. I believe that it's because I had a super massive spiritual boost this week. We started praying with our Brasilian roommates and it brought such a strong bond between us all. Most of the time they would say a prayer and we wouldn't understand a whole lot, but the Spirit was strong and testified that they were speaking with the power of the Spirit. These roommates of ours left today for the field. I never thought i'd be so sad. I almost shed some tears because of it. They helped me so much with Portugues. This last Sunday, I gave Elder Avelar (one of the roommates) a Book of Mormon in English with my testimony in it. This was the Book of Mormon I carried with me on the plane and it came to good use! I wrote my testimony in it, and then I started to teach him some English, as well as helped him translate my testimony. I could translate the entire thing to Portugues. The Gift of Tongues has truly been with me this week. After we were done, we switched. We began reading the Book of Mormon in Portugues. He would explain any words i didn't understand... the thing is, he would explain it in Portugues. I wasn't allowed to use a dictionary or the english Book of Mormon. It was rough! But it went really well, and I learned so much that day. I am continuing to read the Book of Mormon in Portugues and right now, I am usually having to look up about two words per verse. So, I basically understand most of it. I still can't believe it. We also had the chance to watch The Legacy last Sunday! Man was it good. They play movies every Sunday, but i've always been tired or something, and didn't want to go. I am going every time now. Also, we've had some really good devotionals this week. I learned some really great things. One was a comment by our choir coach, Sister Steadman. She said: "You guys are the best of the best. The best this world knows. Do you realize that?" I don't think i ever did realize that.
Now, onto some funny stuff that occurred in the wonderful adventures of Elder Bennett! So, we wrote "Dear John's" to English this week. Hopefully you know what that is. We are only allowed to speak Portugues now, but I haven't done so well with that. I definitely am speaking a lot more Portugues though! Oh, we were also investigators again this week for TRC's. We were taught by week 3 people, and it brought back the memories of being nervous and barely speaking. :) You can definitely see the progress you've made when you look back weeks from now. It's day by day that you don't see the progress. My progress was definitely put to the test Saturday night though... So, they have these workshops where you have an investigator and about 10 missionaries teach this one guy. I was asked to be the INVESTIGATOR. Wow, i was sweating bullets! This is being taught by Brasilians and even missionaries more experienced than me! I was super nervous, but it turned out really well. I was taught about the Word of Wisdom. I am so excited to get out in the field.
My stupid moment of the week was a pretty serious one actually. So there is this new craze going around with drawing the Brasil flag in D&C 4 (you know the mission section?). Well, I decided to do it! I pull out my English Quad and draw it in. It looks awesome! So, of course, I pull out my Portugues ones to do the same. I am just about done and my companion walks up and says: "Oh, you're switching it up this time and using purple?" I had just about finished drawing in the blue circle, when i realized I WAS DRAWING IT IN PURPLE. I was so annoyed. I was already annoyed because i had accidentally made the cirlce an oval, so now it just looks like a purple Easter egg!! I did my best to fix the problem, and it's blue now, but still an egg... I will be bitter about this for a while...
Well, that's about all the adventures I had this week. I am much more confident in Portugues now. I was so scared to talk to anyone on the streets last week, but this week I had this desire to talk to everyone! I was saying hi and Good afternoon to everyone, and some little 13 year olds came up and talked to us for a while. One knew a little english too. I took a picture with the little dudes. I am so stoked for Proslyting next Monday! That's right, i'm heading out of here soon! Two weeks or so? But we get to proslyte starting a week early. I am so happy to get out and talk to people and really share this true Restored Gospel.
Oh fun fact, did you know that ever since General Conference, the number of mission papers sent in has increased by 471%?! That's not a typo, 471%. Usually they have around 700 a week. It's up over 4000 now, I believe. The CTM here has 185 missionaries living here at the moment, and it usually stays around that. By January, it'll be 600 they said. 600! This place only holds 647 missionaries! This work is speeding up, and I am so happy to be apart of it. :)
I sent some letters today. One was to you guys, so be looking for that in a few weeks time. I love you all so much, and I am so happy! I cannot even explain to you how great a mission is. It's so utterly hopeless at times, but so amazing at times too. It's stressful, degrading, and tiring, but sooooo worth it. My testimony to you is that this is the true Gospel, and always will be. This work is spreading, and spreading fast. These are the last days, and I am going to do everything I can to preach this Gospel to the people of Brasil. :)
Love and miss you all,
Elder Steven Bennett