Wow this week was innnnsaaannneee! Its hard to believe that last Sunday, I was a nice little missionary with my little missionary experience, and now I have completely changed every aspect of my mission, except my area! So after I received the news of being the District Leader and Trainer, I almost peed my pants, and couldn't sleep for like two days. Tuesday, an Elder I live with, Elder A. Alves (Brasilia) and I, hitched a ride to a place just outside of my area, called Freguesia. There we met up with some other missionaries that would be training, including my companion in the CTM! I was so happy to see him, and I gave him a huge hug. :) I also saw my Father (trainer), Elder Fernandez! He will be training again.Then we all boarded another bus to another area where we would have a training with Presidente. There we learned some really important basics about being a leader and training a new missionary. During this meeting I had the opportunity to sit next to the very missionary who trained me. :) Anyway, Presidente said that the calling of a trainer is one of the most important responsibilities that a missionary can have. We are helping build the foundation of these new missionaries in the field. They will learn from each and every action and decision we (as trainers) make. Our work and training will determine how well they will be trained, and what they will do once we are gone. Basically, we are building the foundation to everything they will do in their missions! I did not realize this up front. I am grateful for the opportunity to be one of these great trainers. We then boarded our separate buses and headed back to our areas. I received a call that the new missionaries would be arriving at the Chapel in my area, at 10:30 AM. Elder Alves and I spent Tuesday night preparing the chapel and getting everything looking all spiffy. Tuesday night was spent with not a whole lot of sleep. Wednesday came faster than any of us trainers would have liked and soon we were in the chapel with Presidente. All the trainers were sitting on one side, and all the new missionaries on the other side. Both them and us were feeling the exact same feelings of nervousness and insecurity of the future 12 weeks. It was such a weird experience, because six or so months ago, I was sitting on the other side of the chapel, in that very chapel of Andarai. Presidente spoke on the importance of the trainer and the trainee. He said that each trainee can only be trained by one trainer-- no one else can train him. You will see, with time, that your trainer will be perfect for each and every one of you. I found this statement very interesting. It was then that we received our new companions, and I received my Son, Elder Monte de Souza (Recife, BR)!!! Ah he is so great. Throughout these last few days, I have truly gained a testimony of President's words-- that we are put with a certain person for a reason. He is exactly how I was when I arrived in the field! He has the same doubts, stresses, questions, actions, etc.. exactly how I was! I am doing everything to help him learn fast and efficiently in all aspects of missionary work, and he is so easy to love. He truly is like my son, and I want the best for him. Everything good that my trainer did, I am doing for him. Everything that I didn't do right, I am making sure he doesn't do. I want the very best start of a mission that he can have. :)
So that has been my week. I have some other responsibilities as a District Leader as well. I have to take numbers of our days progress. I have to make some calls each night, and I have to conduct a district meeting each week. As you can see, I am quite busy now, but boy am I loving it now. I am growing a love for my area, my investigators, my companion, and my district that I never felt before! My desire to serve the Lord has doubled as I spend each and every day serving Him.
From some of your emails, it sounds like all is well at home. Alisha is about to have her baby here in a little! Mom, I think its absolutely hilarious that my package got sent to the United Arab Emirates too. If that package makes it back to me in one piece, I will keep it forever! I love you all so so very much, and time is starting to fly by. By the time I am done training, I will almost have a year on the mission. Woah. Weird. Anyway, stay happy, stay healthy, and continue to do what's right! Mosiah 2:41! Keep reading the Book of Mormon too. :)
Com todo meu amor,
Èlder Steven Bennett