This was one more week that passed by really fast. I was once again hit by how fast time passes as I received that today, during P-day, I would have to go to the mission office and meet up with all the Americans with whom I arrived here in Rio. We will be going to the Federal Police Station to renew our visas. So, I am here in Flamengo, basically under the Christ Statue with all my great buddies. The difference in everyone is great. Everyone is speaking Portuguese as well. It is amazing how fast time flies. As we waited in the mission office, we were notified of our DEPARTURE DATE.... I was thinking "Seriously??!". How is it possible that they are telling me this already? Well, I will let you guys in on this little secret... the magic date is.... August 28, 2014. I will be boarding a plane, and flying on home. But don't worry, knowing this crazy information won't distract me... I still have plenty of time to work here. :)
This was an alright week for me. I will not lie that this part of my mission has truly been the hardest for me. This area has been a rough one, and the biggest change has been with the missionaries. I feel that the missionaries that arrived before me and with me are a good bunch. They are willing to work hard to give it all they got. However, lately there has been many missionaries arriving that don't have this same desire, and I am the District Leader of three of them. It has been a rough week, for they are very wild and the mission rules and obedience doesn't mean much for them. I try to work hard and show my example to them, but as for now, it doesn't have much of an effect. I know that I will succeed with time and patience and continued obedience. Everyday brings a new challenge to overcome. I like it though.. challenges are better than passing the time in peace and luxury... :) As for our work, we had troubles in teaching our most valuable investigators this week. We are trying to see what we can do differently. It's like they say, if your work is going right, change it! In the spirit of prayer and fasting, we will know what to do and how to do it. We ended this week learning a good lesson on faith and perseverance. Saturday night, we had a family night with a recently-baptized family. The daughter still isn't baptized, and her cousin is interested in the church. We were feeling very well about the thought of them being baptized this next week. We planned a good lesson, and followed the Spirit. The lesson ended in success... the daughter and cousin accepted to be baptized this next Sunday! We are praying that all will continue well and that we can work even harder to be worthy of these great blessings and miracles.
My time is very short today, for we will be grabbing a taxi here in a little and going to the Federal Police Station. I love and miss you all, and hope the best for you guys. I am praying for each and every one of you! Continue in what you know is right, and never be swayed from this path. In all that I have learned on my mission, the most important thing is the love that Heavenly Father has for us, in that He sent His Son to suffer and die for us. His Atonement is our salvation. Take advantage of this blessing daily. I hope you all have a wonderful week! Think of me under the Cristo Rendentor. :)
Com MUITO amor e saudades,
Elder Steven Bennett