Monday, April 29, 2013

Hi. :)

Hello and welcome to one more amazing email from the wonderful life of Elder Bennett in Rio de Janeiro! We had lots of changes happen this week. Well, the results are in and I wasn't transferred, so this is my third transfer here in Andaraí. It is almost my third transfer with Elder Cheshire! The Lord definiately has something that we need to do together, and its looking like we'll be together until we do it! Three transfers is usually the longest to have the same companion. We live with our District Leader, Elder Levi, and he has received a new companion every transfer that I have been here. His first two were pretty... interesting, and he was really hoping and praying for a cool one to finish out his last two transfers. Well, Elder Alves, of Brasilia, Brazil, became his new companion, and boy is he cool! He is the coolest Brasilian I have ever met. Elder Levi is pretty happy about it too. He was trained by Elder Viglioni, a missionary from my district in the CTM. He is doing an amazing job on his mission, and is already a Zone Leader with only 7.5 months on the mission. He is such an example to me. We keep weekly contact and its fun living with someone who was trained by him. Our home is more clean and filled with the Spirit than ever before now as well. I am excited for this transfer. :) Last Tuesday, I had to go prep our chapel to receive the new missionaries that arrived from the CTM. Everytime I do that, it reminds me of the day I arrived here in the field. It was the very chapel that I attend each week in my area. We cleaned, sweeped, arranged tables, and anything else that they needed. We ended up running around doing errands all day for them. We were pleased with a surprise visit to our house by the President and his wife that night too! Luckily, we had cleaned the night before, so the house was reasonably pleaseable. Our house is very old and falling apart, so they came to check out what needed to be fixed, and what they needed to bring. Wednesday, workers came to start fixing the house, but after one day of work, they left a huge mess, and the quality was quite poor. President was called back to our house, and he was quite annoyed. He fired the workers, who turned out to be drunk, and called a company to come fix the house. They should be coming this week to start fixing up the place. Elder Cheshire came down with a random virus close to the end of the week. We are still trying to figure out why we are getting sick on such a consistent rate.
That is a big summary of the week, and I am sorry I don't have more time to write. However, all is well, and the work is progressing. We are working hard with our family, Alexandre and Luciana. We will visit them again tonight and start getting them prepped for the date of baptism, Mother's Day! Also the day I will speak with you guys through Skype! Woo! You better not forget about that. We will work out the detail as the day gets closer. Anyway, we also had some other really great investigators that were progressing. One of which was Mario Fernando. Satan has been working super hard with him since we starting teaching him. He has been passing through some really hard times. He is trying to cut contact with us it seems. We are working hard to fix things with him. We are also working really hard in a program our ward started. The ward members talk to friends, neighbors, collegues, etc. and we take them a DVD of the church. We then leave a message with them, and try to visit them again another day. We are starting to receive lots of references through this, and hopefully we will see some great progress through this program. It is so much better having investigators that have connections and friends in the ward. It is much easier to keep them integrated and to have someone there to help us teach. I will keep you guys updated on that. But, the ward is great here. The members are strong. Elder Cheshire and I are gaining their respect and trust, and hopefully we will continue to see progress and soon have lots being baptized! :)
I have an ever growing testimony of this Gospel and this work. This work is SO hard and SO discouraging at times, but I always find comfort to my problems through prayer and obedience to the commandments and mission rules. I gained a very strong testimony of the phrase "Wickedness was never happiness" this week. To apply it more to a missionary though, its more like "Obedience is always happiness". When I am following all the rules and commandments, and living how I should, I find a protection and a happiness that isn't found anywhere else. When I make a mistake or break a rule, you do not feel good. Truly you don't. It is the same in normal life as well. It is such a simple thing: Be obedient and you will be happy! People always are looking for happiness in life-- things that make them truly content. I can truly testify that you can find this through simply being obedient. :) I am working each day to be better with this.
I love you all lots, and pray for you guys each and every night. I am glad to hear that Lauralee played well on the violin. Congrats! Keep going with it Laura, you really don't know how good you are. I hope everything is well with Wade, Alisha, and Baby Kai. I still haven't seen any photos of how fat you are Lish... why is that? Hahaha. Alrighty, I gotta go, love you all and miss you all lots!
All my love and more,
Elder Bennett

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