Good morning to all my lovely friends and Family in Utah! How is the nice chilly weather coming in? I am missing that kind of weather... It seems like yesterday that I was passing the last summer here on the mission. It was sooo hot. This week, Summer officially started and today welcomed us with a really hot day. Today is also a Holiday, the Commercial Day, or otherwise known as the day when anyone who owns a store... stays home! It was almost hard to find an internet café that was open. There has been lots of holidays lately. Brasil sure has tons! For us, that is a good thing, for more people are at home. However, if the day is extra hot and sunny, everyone goes to the beach. The life of a Carioca. :)
This was quite the week. Unfortunately, it was a week that dragged on very long. As I said in my last letter, we were in Flamengo for the day (last Monday) renewing our visas. We were supposed to bring our old visa confirmation with us. As we got there in Flamengo, the secretary asked us, "Alright, who has the visa confirmation?" Everyone took out their visa confirmation. We have two actually, and as I pulled mine out, it was evident that everyone brought the second one and I brought the first! I began to be nervous. What if they don't accept it?! Well, turns out, I brought the right one, and the other one wasn't needed. Even more, they already had copies of the visa confirmations, so it wasn't needed really. Monday was a day filled with bus rides and little food. I didn't have enough Money with me to buy a good lunch, so I was hungry the entire day. We were on the bus so long that I learned how to do the rubix-cube. Elder Saihg, my Zone Leader can solve the cube in about 30 seconds... He is crazy. After all of the craziness of the day, we finally headed back home. Our bus was driving very, very fast. We were thinking that something could easily happen if the other drivers weren't paying attention. Unfortunately, that happened. One driver decided to try to jump ahead of the bus, thinking that he was going slower than he really was. Sadly, the car was T-boned and threw the car like a toy. We were in the front of the bus, so we saw everything. The force almost threw us from our chairs. Luckily, the driver wasn't harmed at all, and he left unscathed. The day was a crazy one for sure, and as we finished the trip back home, my body became very achy. The next morning, I woke up with a fever, achy body, and stomach aches. Turns out, I ate something bad and for the next few days, I was weak and achy, but was able to work.
I don't like to stay at home, so working, even if a little sick, is much better. :) We had some good experience this week. My testimony of the power of blessings has grown immensly. That last Tuesday, when I was the most achy, was a hard day. However, we had a Family Night that night, and i was determined to go. It was great because I had the chance to give a blessing to someone who was more sick than I. Finishing the blessing, I as well felt stronger and with more health. At the end of the Family night, Mazé, the member had made soup, and boy was it good. :) The perfect meal for an achy stomach.
Jumping a little bit later this last week, we went to visit a recent convert, and as we passed, we felt that we should visit some members that live close. As we visited, the mother became very happy, saying that our visit was an answer to her prayers. Her Family is passing some hard times, and the parents are planning on separating. We were able to help her out and give her a blessing of comfort. To add on to this, at the end of our visit, her visiting teachers arrived! She began to cry at the love that was shown to her in that day. Truly the Spirit guided us, and her visiting teacher to her house that day.
Well, my time is ending quickly, but I would like to bear my testimony to you all. I know that this church is true. I know that I say this a lot, but I can't stop saying it! Each and every day, I have experiences that confirm to me the truthfulness of the Gospel. There really is no doubt in my mind that Jesus Christ is our Savior and Redeemer. He lives! He loves each and every one of us. I know that it is through His perfect love for us, that we can return to live with our Father in Heaven with our families. I know that miracles happen. I know that the Priesthood is the Lords power, and that it is real. I know that we can help others through the Priesthood if we are worthy. Always be worthy to use the Priesthood to bless others and to receive its divine power.
I love you all lots! I miss you all even more! Take advantage of that wonder chilly weather while you have it. :) Have a wonderful week. CTR!
Elder Steven Bennett