Wednesday, October 7, 2015

Week 4 - Conference Time!

I almost named this one "Drunk Guys and Witch Hunts" but we are focusing on the positive! Here's the news from Brazil this week:

"As far as stuff I´ve been doing here, life is pretty good. This week was pretty cool, so I´ll break it down day by day. Quarta-feira, a week ago, we bought some random stuff in Brazil, then enjoyed pizza night. Not too exciting.

Quinta-feira not a whole ton happened. We mostly just refocused on our goals to speak more Portuguese. Kinda boring.

Sexta-feira was awesome. To prepare for the epic occurence later, we did a jejum de ingles, or an English fast, where we didn´t speak any English all day. That day was our first time going out into the world and proselyting! We were each given three Livro´s de Mormon, so six per companionship. We went out to this market on top of this massive bridge that people walked over. We gave out all of ours in like 35 minutes even though we had a whole hour. We mostly talked with older men who weren´t moving too quickly, as they were the majority of the population up there and the most likely to talk to us. Our first Book of Mormon we gave out to a super drunk guy who was leaning on a wall so we didn´t notice it at first, but then he moved and he nearly ate it on the side walk. He gave us both hugs as thanks for the gift, and I checked all my pockets to be sure he didn´t steal my crap. It was a really cool experience overall. The buses in this city are absolutely crazy too, they just yolo all over the place, right next to people, cars, anything, and all the roads are super bumpy, so it´s like surfing if you try to stand up at all. It felt really great to go out and do actual missionary work, even when some guy faked a phone call so we wouldn´t talk to him. We also got our first member referral, as some guy was just walking along with his friend, and he turned around and came up to us and said that he was a member and his friend wasn´t. We got to give him a LDM and share our testimonies in Portuguese. It was really cool.

Sabado was mostly General Conference. We watched both Saturday sessions that day, and I really enjoyed a lot of the talks. Holland´s talk about Moms was fantastic. You should really check it out. We also nearly got in a fight with the Hispanics on our floor because they have no idea how to follow the laundry schedule. They took all of our clothes out of the drier and combined them on the washer so that they could dry the clothes that they should have been done with 3 hours before. We posted a guard by the drier and then later, when I had lost three g-tops and we had found a bunch of random clothes in our pile, we went on a witch hunt for the guy who left his shirt in our pile. He never fessed up, which was good for him and for us because it´s not very Christ-like to beat up another Elder in the MTC. We made up with the hispanic guys in the end, and hugged it out but I still have no idea who stole my clothes cause they´re all like 5 5. 

Domingo was even more Conference. We watched Priesthood that morning, and both other sessions. Nelson´s and Bednar´s talks both nearly made me cry, and I think Bednar´s talk is maybe the most powerfully I have ever felt during a talk. Really really really good. I also enjoyed Schwitzer´s talk, you should check that one out again, cause he´s just one of the seventy, but it was a great talk. Overall, Conference here at the MTC was a really really cool experience. It´s rare that you can focus that hard on Conference, and I feel like I got a ton out of it, spiritually and knowledge wise. That night one of the toilet´s in our bathroom flooded and there was poop water all over the floor, you couldn´t get to the sinks, the showers, or the bathroom proper without stepping through it. Some guy mopped it up, but guess what, some random Braziliero flushed the same toilet again the next morning. It was rough, but good news was yet to come.

Segunda-feira we were told that we were getting a room change! There are so many Sisters now that they moved us up to the 5th floor to make more room for them next week. We had to pack all of our stuff and move in yesterday. Crazy stuff, but that means we didn´t have to be in the bathroom with the flood toilet anymore!!! Sweet deals! Other than that, we spoke a lot of Portuguese and taught a lot of lessons. 

Terca-feira was yesterday, and it was really pretty uneventful. We´ve been doing 150 pushups a night, so that was pretty good. In fact, if Dad wants to send me that 100 pushup challenge pamphlet it would be cool. We also spent about an hour while we swept the patio for service trying to figure out the opening to Love Comes Quickly by the Pet Shop Boys, and eventually Elder Westenhaver remembered it. 

Today we went to the Campinas Temple this morning, and it was absolutely jaw-dropping. It´s on this huge hill that overlooks the city of Campinas, and seeing my mission area was really cool. The inside was really beautiful too, with one stain glass wall that was like 45 feet high. It was super awesome. I´m getting tons of really good pictures that I´ll send as soon as I get to a computer where I can send them. I plan to see if I can find a hair trimmer for cheap somewhere around here, maybe I´ll learn to cut my own hair. I am now completely out of time."

Wow, love this email! Ben keeps it real, no doubt. I am glad he got to experience General Conference in the MTC. I think that's a unique experience. 

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