Hello hello! Boy has Brasil changed over the last week. So, the World Cup has finally begun, and I can tell you that never in my life have I seen an entire country be so patriotic to their sports team! I told you guys a little bit the last week that people have been preparing, the streets are being painted, and green, yellow, and blue are flooding the city. Since the cup began, the decorations have gone wild. The Brasilian people really do live, eat, and breathe soccer. The greatest soccer players to date are all over Brasil's many stadiums. Many people have taken off work just to watch the games, and especially when Brasil plays, the city stops running. President has ordered all missionaries to be in their homes during the Brasil soccer games, for the streets become quite crazy. This last Thurday was the first Brasil game, and all missionaries were at home at 2 PM. We were given some tasks to complete, including a nice home cleanover, and our weekly planning session at night. We live next to a bar, and the neighbors on the other side were having a party, so you can imagine at exactly 5PM, the game began and the craziness was released! We don't watch the games, but for my companion and I, it was impossible to not hear the games. Televisions with box speakers connected echoed the commentators voices to all the surroundings. When a goal was made for the Brasilians, fireworks and screams reached the skies as far as the eyes can see (and ears can hear!). Never have I seen an entire country united with the same focus for that 90 minute game. Meanwhile, we did our best to do our tasks in the house and not be startled as the fireworks began. As the game ended (Brasil won), the aftergame festivities took over until much past our bedtime. So, until the World Cup is over, we will be having a few more difficulties in our work schedule than normal. :)
Our greatest miracle that happened this week was the finding of the family of Celita and George. Celita was a street contact that accepted our visit. We visited her a few times, but never were able to enter the home and teach her. After about four attempts, we were able to enter and meet some of the family. It was at this moment that we found out that there are ELEVEN people living in this home! We were very excited to hear this. :) As we got to know them, many of the members had questions. Celita told us that recently she had had a dream, and in this dream, she was in a certain place, meeting people. She described these people as "different" and "happy". She then told us that we seemed "different". We returned this last week and were able to teach the whole family the Restoration. At the end, everyone accepted to go to church, and Celita told us that her dream was confirmed by our message and that she is wanting to meet the members and get to know the church. As we passed Saturday to confirm them going to church, we found out that this week they wouldn't be able to go, for Celita was called to do some work in her other church. However, they promised to come this next Sunday.
This last Sunday, I was the pianist in a special musical number. The choir sang #163- Ide por Todo Mundo. I believe that the number system is different in the English hymn book. It is a challenging song, but I managed to play it with some practice. My desire to play the piano has been growing strong lately. I am finding myself passing whatever freetime I have on P-day on the piano. A member gave me around 60 pages of church music that includes popular church songs, prelude music, and hymns. I am so excited to start practicing them all!
I have such a strong testimony of this work. As my time gets shorter, I feel that each day, my desire to work and share the Gospel grows. I know that this is the Church of Jesus Christ. I know that we are doing His work and representing Him. I hope that all is going great in these hot summer months at home. I will end giving a big shoutout to my buddy Elder Seth Hilton who ended his mission this week. What a stud he is. I know that he was a successful missionary. Have a wonderful week, and I love and miss you all. :)
Elder Steven Bennett