Wednesday, October 14, 2015

Week 5 - The Gift of Tongues

Another letter from Ben and one of the last we'll receive while he's in the MTC:

"Querida Familia,
Good to hear from you again! I also got a card from Grandma Gentry, but I haven´t had time to open it up yet. It´s been super busy lately. Glad that Jacob is still winning and Gabe has a shot to get to the playoffs. I believe in Gibby! I like the Halloween costume idea too, although we´ll see if I can actually do it. They don´t celebrate Halloween a whole lot here. They have a bunch of other random holidays though, like Dia das Crianças (Children´s Day) on October 12. They dressed up our whole cafeteria with balloons and stuff, and all the lunch ladies wore colored afros(??). We also had really good food that day. It´s too bad to hear that your eye is acting up. I´ve also got a weird eye problem, where my eyelid twitches really hard at random times. It´s super annoying to me, but nobody else notices it unless they are looking super closely at me, so it´s not really that bad of a problem. Just weird. I´m also glad that you rennovated my room. Change is good sometimes, and I´m sure all the brothers are enjoying the space. Also, what are you doing with my computer? I worry about it.

This week was kinda bland compared to some of the others, but it still had it´s sweet moments. Some guy named Elder Farnbach on our floor bought a travel Chess set from one of the stores around here, so I´ve been putting my >1 hour of free time a week to good use. This same guy also had a huge chunk of the granite counter top in our floor´s bathroom fall on his foot completely out of the blue one night while I was brushing my teeth in the bathroom. It was super random and strange. They´ve fixed it up now though. We got one last new Elder last week added to our district, named Elder Flores. He´s a 23 year old Mexican guy who´s also going to Campinas. He´s really cool. Some come and some go every week, and this week we said goodbye to our two Brasileiro roomates, Elder Rocha and Elder Correa. They were kinda weird, oddly inconsiderate, and they liked to stay up super late, so I´m not super sad to see them go, but that means less people to practice my Portuguese on, so that´s a bummer. We had a party with cake to celebrate our 1 month here in Brazil earlier this week. Other than that, it´s really just been the grind. My Portuguese is getting better and better, and I´m ready to head out to the field next week. It´s hard to keep from plateauing here, so I´m hype to get out and speak with actual Brazilians all of the time. I leave next Tuesday, and I have no idea when my P Day will be in the field, so IDK when you´ll get my next message. 

I´ll end with some more spiritual stuff again. First, we had a great story a week ago that I forgot to share. This speaker at our devotional, Irmão Braga, who works at the CTM now, was telling us how they called him the freezer missionary. One of the companionships in his zone when he was a zone leader was struggling to find people to teach, when they recieved a new freezer that week, during his exchange with them. He had a spiritual prompting to keep the box, so he did. He then got a crazy idea. They´d show up at people´s homes with the freezer box, and tell them they had a gift for them, if they´d listen to their message. Then, when they agreed, they´d open the freezer box and give them a Book of Mormon! The next week, that companionship baptized 10 people. 

The other story is from my own life. I have been here for 5 weeks now, and that´s not a lot of time, but I have learned so much Portuguese it´s insane. At last night´s devotional, normally we use headphones with an english translator, and I was sitting there listening to the translator, and I have a thought. The Spirit told me to take off my headphones, and try and understand in Portuguese. I had no idea if I could, but I followed it. I understood more with the headphones off than with them on. I could understand his whole message, in a language I have spoken for 5 weeks, and it was the best discurso I have heard here so far. The Gift of Tongues is real. I know it is. I´m so grateful for the opportunity to be here and to serve a mission. Eu sei que esta Igreja é verdadiera. Eu sei que Jesus Cristo vive. I know this coming week will be one of the hardest of my life once I hit the field, but with the Lord, I can do anything. I will succeed!

Elder Murray"

I am so glad he is being blessed with the language! That can be a huge difficulty for lots of elders or so I hear. I am looking forward to hearing from him once he's in Campinas!

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