I love love love love love love love being a missionary! Ah, every day that passes by, I love it more. Everyday is super hard and tiring, but I feel that I am slowly but surely being more accustomed to the missionary life, and it is becoming easier. The main reason for this is the language. I rarely feel that I see my progress, but this week was different. For this, I believe that goals are really powerful. I set some goals this week to improve and it really worked! In missionary work, goals are very important. It gives us something to push ourselves to. We work a little harder than before because we want to meet these goals. Every night, we make goals for the next day. We also call the Zone Leader and tell him how we did with our goals, and our goals for the next day. If we dont meet them, he puts the smack-down on us. :) So, we try to meet our goals! It really wasn´t until this week, though, that I set some personal goals and really stuck to them. I have been in the field for almost four weeks. I felt that I wasn´t contributing to the work enough. So, I made a goal to really try to participate more. This, of course, meant speaking more. So, I made a goal to improve my Português more rapidly by speaking more, taking opportunities to learn, asking questions more, and making more street contacts. Our goal is 20 a day, 140 for a week. I made a goal to personally do 10 of those a day. I stuck to this, and I found that I really could talk more, and understand people more! Of course, my companion still helps me with some of it, but there really was progress made there. We met some new members to the ward yesterday, a mother and her son (19 years old). They moved here and have been members for about a year. They have lived all over Brasil, Portugual, and Morgan, UT.... What the heck? Yeah Morgan, UT. He learned english there too. I was able to talk to them in Porgtuguês for about an hour and understand almost everything they said. It definitely was easier than a normal native, however.
So all in all this week has been good. It has also been HOT. Summer is just around the corner, and it wanted to make a grand entrance. Saturday hit 41 C.... that is about 106 F. That was a fun day to be outside. We had to help someone move into their house that day too. I have never been so sweaty in my life. I basically just got out of the shower, but had clothes on too... yucky... The days leading up to Saturday were gradually hotter as well, starting at about 90 on Monday or Tuesday. However, the heavens gave us mercy today with some cloudy weather. Its really humid though, so its still pretty hot. I really want snow right now! However, I do like that its December and I am about as tan as I ever am in the Summer. :)
Last Wednesday, we had a District Training Meeting in Macaé, which is about an hour or so away. In our district, we have 5 Brasilians, 2 Chileans, and 3 Americans. Its really quite the mix! I will include a picture with the email. I am the newbie of course, so everyone is fluent in Português already. The other two americans, one sister and one elder, have over a year completed in their mission. The Elder said it took him 7 months to really be fluent and understand all of what others said to him. It was a really good meeting though. We worked on street contacts. To be really successful in street contacts, you have to give people a message that is quick and powerful. They have to feel that what you have to share with them is very important. Life-changing important. We worked on different situations as well. For example, a person who says they don´t have time. Another, a person who already has a religion. Lastly, Christmas time! We have tried these new techniques in our street contacting, and have had success. Usually, out of 20 contacts a day, 5-8 accept a visit. Thursday, we had 18 out of 20 accept!
While our street contacting has been really well, we have had trouble finding new investigators. We didn´t teach a whole lot of lessons this week. Our plans feel through about 85% of the week. Its hard to get into the house of investigators, but once you do, and teach them the Restoration, it gets easier. We also have been working on stregnthening the ward a lot, and getting less-active members back to church. This has been really good. Our ward is so great. They all know each other, and are really cool people. We bring investigators to church, and they are always greet with hugs and kisses. This is very important for a new investigator. President Gordon B. Hinkley stated in a conference a while back that a new member of the church needs a friend in the church. Without that feeling of unity, they will not want to come back.
Well that about sums up my week. Just another week living the missionary paradise. :)
Realmente, eu sou muito grato pela oportunidade ser um missionário agora. Estou muito cansado e muito feliz. È verdade que eu sinto falta por Utah e minha família e amigos, mas meu desejo trabalhar aqui é mas forte. Eu estou muito abençoado em minha vida. Tenho uma família e amigos maravilhosos. Tenho um testemunho impermeável que este é o único e verdadeiro Evangelho de Jesus Cristo na Terra. Foi restaurado através Joseph Smith, um profeta verdadeiro de Deus. Temos uma prova disso, O Livro de Mórmon, e com ele, temos a plenitude do Evangelho na Terra, como os tempos antigos quando Jesus Cristo estabeleceu O Evangelho. A Igreja é verdadeiro, e através ela, podemos ter uma felicidade que não vai terminado quando morremos. Sei isto. Sei com todo meu coração. Nossa família é eterna. Eu sou muito grato ser nascido no Evangelho. Sou grato por país que me ensinam viver como nossa Salvador Jesus Cristo. Estou muito abençoado.
Eu amo vocês mutio. :) Espero que traduzirão isto e entenderão. Eu tenho saudade por vocês!
Have a wonderful week in the freezing cold!
Com todo o amor de meu coração,
Elder Steven Bennett