Monday, November 4, 2013

Crazzzy Week!

Dear Family and Friends,
I LOVE MY MISSION! I just want to express that right now. I really dont know why I am so happy in the middle of a life that, for the majority of the time, is filled with disappointments and plans not going how you would like. However, there is this grand little feeling inside me that keeps me moving each and every day, with happiness and sunshine in the soul. :) As I expressed to you guys last week, I was passing some difficulties in my area, problems in my district, lack of success and investigators, etc. We really tried to improve these things this week. We began by looking at all our problems, and what we could do to resolve them. Some of these problems included a lack of application of the principles/teaching methods in Preach My Gospel, lack of work, and other things that are a consequence of our work. Other problems are outside of our reach. We began with the things that are in our reach: The most important being Street Contacts. Street Contacts are one aspect of our work that depends soley on us-- we do or we dont do. As missionaries, our goal is 30 street contacts per day, summing 210 per week. With obedience to this goal, we are opened to blessings in the aspects that are outside of our control. Many times I have seen the blessings that have come from street contacts, including many more people to visit and teach. We focused on that this week, and we were able to hit that goal. We are now finding more people to teach, and yesterday at church, we received a reference from a member-- something that hasnt happened for quite some time. I believe that these blessing are beginning to flow to us. We just need to keep strong and the Lord will provide. :)
Much of our time was focussed on finding new investigators, but we were able to teach some great families. We have begun working with a less-active family. We are working with them to prepare for the temple. It will be hard, for the father has troubles with the Word of Wisdom and Tithing, but we will succeed! We also found a young, recently-married couple through knocking doors. We are very excited to start teaching them as well.
Saturday, a Missão Rio de Janeiro did what we like to call ´the work of salvation´. Here in Brasil, 02 of November was Memorial Day-- the day when many people visit their loved-ones that have passed on.
 Encontrando Pessoas no Dia dos Finados
Finding People on Memorial Day
Nesse último sábado(dia 02 Novembro) a missão Brasil Rio de Janeiro esteve envolvido em uma grande causa nos cemitérios do Cajú,São Jõao Batista,Memorial e Parque da Paz, na qual todos os missionários tiveram a oportunidade de confortar o coração de todas as famílias por meio da mensagem do plano de salvação, foi um momento muito espiritual e muitos milagres.
This last Saturday (November 2nd) the Brasil Rio de Janeiro Mission was involved in a great cause in  Caju Cemetery, Saint John Baptist, Memorial, and Peace Park, in which all the missionaries had the opportunity to confort the hearts of all the families through a message of the Plan of Salvation. It was a very spiritual moment, filled with many miracles.

2.060 Lições ensinadas
5.213 Contatos
918 Referências
2,060 lessons taught
5,213 contacts
918 references taken
This event was marvelous! I loved it so much. We woke up at 3:45 AM and were on a bus by 5 AM, going to Caju Cemetery. We arrived there around 6:30 AM, and spent the next five and a half hours talking with everyone in the cemetery visiting their loved ones. At first, I was a bit nervous and didnt know how to approach these people. As you can see in the photo (a true photo of where I was), the graves are above the ground. The people clean the graves and pray that their spirits can be conforted. Many are accustomed to putting flowers and candles on the graves. We spent this time walking through these graves, praying with the people, and sharing a message of the Plan of Salvation. It was wonderful to see everyone holding a pamphlet of the Plan of Salvation and the church cards. Many people (majority are Catholic), took interest in the cards with an image of Jesus Christ, resurrected, in front of Mary. People even began leaving these cards on the graves as part of the decoration and worship. People also took interest in the card with Jesus Christ showing his hand and feet to the Nephites. Many people were sitting in the shade (it was very hot that day) reading the pamplets. It was during this activity that I began to think of how wonderful the mission is. Never in my life would I have imagined doing something like this activity, if it wasnt for my mission. I am so grateful for the mission. So, the activity was a success, and more than 100 sweaty, red and sunburnt missionaries took a bus to Andarai, my second area, to eat lunch. It was a wonderful day. The work of the Lord is progressing. Miracles are happening all around us. This is the true work of the Lord in preparation for the Second Coming.
I love and miss you all very much. The sun is beginnng to burn, so it is time to use the sunscreen. Take advantage of your chilly weather. :) I know that this church is true. Keep strong in what you know is right. There is no doubt in my mind that the true church was restored to the earth through a living prophet. I know, with certainty, that we have a divine plan that was given to us in the beginning. This work is being done on both sides of the veil. I am certain of these things. Have a wonderful week! 
Elder Steven Bennett
PS. Next week is a transfer. Lets see if I stay or go!

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