So as you can tell, this email is coming to you quite late. I don't have tons of time, so it won't be too long-- please forgive me for that. This has been one of the wildest weeks ever. Transfer time always means a change of everything you are used too. New companions, new areas, new responsibilities, etc. As this week began, Elder Cheshire and I knew it would be our last week together. We have been together for three transfers now, and that doesn't normally happen! We tried to work hard this week, and there were some good and hard times. I was really able to see how the Spirit works with us when we truly love our companion and the work. I will speak more about this in the next paragraph, but for now I have to explain the last 24 hours I have had. So today is the day we found out if we are staying in our area, leaving, new companions, etc. 10 am is the normal time we are able to go to an internet place and access the mission site and write our family. However, if you will be training a new missionary or be a Zone Leader, you receive a call from the Assistants on Sunday. So, Elder Cheshire and I were working, and I had been wondering what would happen with this transfer. We have some really great baptisms that will happen this next transfer, but the chances were that one of us would leave. I was praying and accepting that whatever happened would be the will of the Lord. Anyway, 6 PM last night.... the Assistants called asking Elder Cheshire about some of our numbers for the week and our relationship as a companionship. He then passed the phone to me. They wanted to talk to me. They then asked me the same questions. However, afterwards, they told me that I am the new DISTRICT LEADER in a new area, as well as TRAINING a new missionary! It will also be the first time I will be Senior Companion. I almost died when they told me! My heart was going crazy and the nerves were going wild. I didn't know what to think. I still don't. :) Anyway, after this news, we knew Elder Cheshire would be staying and I would leave to the Zone Rio de Janeiro (close to me). We passed by some of our closest investigators, the bishop, and some members. After sharing my gratitude for them and a quick message, we left for home. It was then that we called to confirm all these changes that were happening. It was then that they said "oh no, actually Elder Bennett is staying in Andaraí and Elder Cheshire is going to a new area (still our zone) to be a District Leader there." We were freaking out. We just told everyone I was leaving and that Elder Cheshire was staying! It was quite the situation. Today, me and another Elder, Elder A. Alves from Brasilia, went to a meeting for all the trainers. As we did this, Elder Cheshire and another elder went around to some places to fix the mistake and say goodbye. It is because of this meeting that I am writing so late. Anyway, tomorrow will be the day that I receive my new greenie and become the District Leader! AH! I am excited, but very nervous for the responsibility. The Lord works in mysterious ways. Moral of the story: When transfer comes around, don't pray and say you will be okay with any change. ;) Just kidding.
This week, I had a great experience that really shows the role of the Spirit in our work. Last Wednesday, Elder Cheshire and I woke up and it was just one of those days where you are just really cranky. Well, we both were having a day like that. As study started, everything was fine, but by the time companionship study started, we were snapping a little at each other. We realized what was going on and that the Spirit had left. We needed to plan lessons, but neither of us could think. After a little while, I said: "Alright Elder, it is time to bring the Spirit back." I went over to my bed and kneeled down. I waited for him to come over and kneel as well. After a little, he came over, and we prayed together. Afterwards, the room felt different, and we were able to come up with ideas! We were able to plan a lesson for a less active we have. The lesson was great, and he was so touched that he made us stay until a work buddy of his came over. We then shared a message with him. :) The Spirit is SO important in our work!!! No matter how talented you are as a missionary, you will not have success if you don't work by the Spirit.
Now that responsibilities have been increased, I need to rely on the Spirit much much more! I am excited to develop this skill more as I work to help my District meet our goals and bring more souls to the fold of God. :)
Once again, I am sorry this email is so short, but I just want you guys to know that I am doing so great and that I am happy happy happy. :) Its time to change Rio de Janeiro and get that temple built! I love and miss you all muito muito muito! Never forget it. Alisha, congrats on the Graduation, and I hope all is well with baby Kai. I hope all is well with everyone else as well. Remember the role the Spirit has in our lives, and that he can only reside where there is peace and love. Strive for this!
Have a wonderful week! This week will be wild for me. :) I will let you guys know about my greenie and everything next week!
Èlder Steven Bennett