As you can see, I am sending an email much later than usual. If you guys didn't know, this is the week of Carnival. Carnival is usually four or five days of straight holidays! It could be compared to Christmas Day... five times in a row. :) This holiday closes down Rio de Janeiro. Really, the whole city shuts down! For this, we were having troubles finding an internet cafe that was open... and we never found one. I am in the home of a member here in Meier and she offered her laptop. For this, my time is short, and we have about 10 minutes until we have to start working. This has been a wild week, trying to work and stay far from the huge parties going on. The sisters in our zone have to be home before 6 PM every night until Wednesday. The work has been hit with much opposition, but it is okay... we already know which side will win this battle. :)
I will have to be very brief with my words, but this was a great week. Truly the Lord has been blessing us, even when we aren't worthy of such blessings. Our amazing family, Reinaldo and Aline, are stronger than ever! We marked a family home evening with them this last week, and they brought a couple to get to know the church. It is amazing that they have felt such a difference from the Gospel that they are wanting to share it with everyone they know! Never in my mission have I seen or heard of a family gain a testimony as fast and strong as they have. Just getting to know this wonderful family, my mission has been worth it. :) They were with us at church yesterday, and they are finally getting to know all the members. They are already telling everyone that they are almost members of the church! The happiness and love that I have for this family is great. Their wedding is still strong for the 15th of March, and the ward is already planning everything for us! Lets keep praying that the wedding documents will be ready on the 10th!
We are truly seeing a difference in our ward here in Meier. The ward is really getting excited to help in the work. We had the opportunity to bring some members with us to get to know our investigators, and they were so touched by the experience that they bore their testimonies of the visits. My companion got up to bear his last testimony of the mission and I felt a desire to get up just to thank all the members for all they are doing for our investigators, meals, and help from the leadership. The ward is stronger than ever! We are finally connecting the ward with the missionary work. This next Saturday, we have a cute little girl who will be baptized, and the next week, Reinaldo and Aline!
If you noticed, I cited a scripture that helped me through some experiences this week. I have truly learned to be more humble and trust in the Lord. Because of the time, I will just say that many times, the Lord gives us experiences, good and bad, to learn where we are weak, and what we need to improve.
Well, I must be going. I am sorry for the length of the email, but it is time to work. Today I watch the movie "Charly". If you haven't seen it,watch it! I cried like a baby. My testimony is stronger than ever, and it is strengthening everyday of the Gospel of Jesus Christ. How I am so grateful for this knowledge in my life. I am so very blessed for the life that I have. I hope all is well at home. Stay strong and firm, and never give in to opposition! The Lord is on our side. We will win this battle! I love you all so much. Have a wonderful week. :)
Com MUITO amor,
Elder Steven Bennett