The weeks are flying by faster and faster out here. I know i only have about three weeks out in the field, but i am gradually feeling more and more secure with everything. I am also a little more secure in my Português as well! This is one thing i am most happy about. Really though, your progress out here on a mission is very dependent on your attitude. When i have a bad day, or lots of people reject us, my attitude is pretty bad, and i notice that I suffer in all aspects! I can´t speak very well, you get all edgy with your companion, and you are filled with contention. Throughout this week, I have had some of these happen because we´ve had some high pressure situations. Me and Elder Fernández had a hard week. We are having some troubles finding more investigators, and many of the ones we have right now aren´t progressing. They don´t read the Book of Mormon like we invite them to! Ahhh! It is so frustrating. Every person is different, but when they aren´t progressing, it almost always is for the same reasons: Not reading the Book of Mormon, or not praying. I will talk more about this a little later.
So this week was pretty intense as well. I have been traveling like crazy! I found out every wednesday, we travel to Cabo Frio for a District meeting. It´s about an hour bus ride. As we boarded a bus for Cabo Frio, the weather was perfect: blue skies, mellow temperatures, the works. Well, we arrived had our meeting, and just as we board the bus for home, clouds rolled in the and we were able to watch a lightning storm that we were in the middle of. The bus was rocking back and forth from the wind and it was raining pretty hard. Lightning was striking all around and the thunder was deafening. Pretty intense stuff! As we got closer to Rio das Ostras, we had to pull over.... the streets were flooded!! People were out pushing their cars out of the water and everything. This rain continued for about two days. That umbrella and rain coat are sure getting used out here.
So Thanksgiving huh? I totally forgot about it! How was it? What´d ya do? Tell me tell me tell me! I hope you guys ate lots of good food, because i sure did! So, there isn´t a Thanksgiving down here, but we had lunch at a members home, and they cooked us BBQ. Here this is called churrasco, and it is amazing. I nearly died with happiness! Meat, rice and beans, and more meat! The Word of Wisdom takes on a slightly different meaning here... But funny story, 30 seconds into the meal, my companion jumps into his food and his plate wasn´t all the way on the table... SPLASH, his plate flips and all the precious food is now covering him! So funny. Just one of many funny stories i have already. :)
Oh so I wanted to tell you guys this before I forget. The world is so small! I was at Stake Conference this last sunday and there was a man asking all the missionaries if they knew an American missionary that lived near Salt Lake City. When we talked to him, i said yes! Me! He proceeded to ask me if i knew the Goughs! Apparent he and his family are good friends with their family. I don´t know his name, but it was super cool to talk to him about it. Also, I talked to a member a while ago. He served in Brasilia with an Elder Bennett. I don´t know his name, and how old he is. Dad, ask your brothers that served in Brasil if they served in Brasilia! That would be so cool if one of them served with him.
As I was saying earlier, we are trying to find new investigators. It is taking some time, and is difficult, but hopefully we start finding some. We have had some come though. One lady named Evenlin. We asked her about where another person in her neighborhood lived. She didn´t know, but she recognized us as missionaries and told us how she had met with missionaries before, and loved the Book of Mormon! Halleluyah! We sat down with her for a while and talked about it with her, and we are going to visit her again soon. We have also been teaching the husband of a lady in the ward. He was talking to a work friend, and he decided to have a visit. He is great. Ah, i could go on forever about the people we´ve encountered and taught, and just so much, but i dont have time to.
I better finish up, my time is running low, but i just want to bear my testimony that this work is amazing, and it is real. Peoples lives are changed through this Gospel. We are preparing the world for the Second Coming! All of us! Wards, members, missionaries, everyone. We need to do all we can to spread the Gospel to any who are willing to hear it. This is probably a little easier for me because i eat, sleep, and breathe the Gospel, but even at home you guys can too. Fulfill your callings in the church, and if you have an opportunity to share your testimony with someone, do it! Ah, I love this Church so much. I wish all the people of Brasil could just see that already!
Have a good week! Happy December! I love and miss you all so much. :)
Elder Steven Bennett