Monday, November 30, 2015

November 30th - A Transfer Approaches

Here's the latest and greatest from Ben Murray:

Dearest Family and Friends,

As usual, I will begin with the boring housekeeping stuff. First off, what a noob lol! The fact that you sent all the stuff to the old box is hilarious and also super frustrating. I go to Campinas tomorrow for the transfer, but I´m not sure how much time I will spend there, since, it´s a 6 hour ride there and a 6 hour ride back to Itajubá. I´ll ask some of the other missionaries where the post office is there, I hope it´s close to the bus station, so maybe I can go get all of my potencial letters. If I don´t get the chance though, I´m glad you sent box 2.0, since it would be really sad to not have anything for Christmas lol. I´m not sure which address is exact, you can probably stick with the one on the Facebook page, I just had mine written up by an older missionary at the zone meeting who was actually getting mail. Hopefully I´ll actually get the stuff this time. President Hill is awesome, I´m gonna love these two years with him in charge. As for Christmas, we´re gonna use skype, and I´m not sure where yet. I think I can do it at the Branch President´s house on his comp, so I´ll furnish you with some more details after I ask next week.

As for you guys, I´m glad you had a good week. Dave´s got a new job, and I´m sure he´s raking in the dosh. Why´d he decide on Old Navy? I never saw Dave as a shirt salesman, but I´m sure it will work out well. I´m also glad that Jacob´s still hanging in with wrestling. There are a lot of people who quit. Jacob´s made of tougher stuff though, and apparently tougher stuff than me, since I could never bring myself to wrestle. I´m not sure what to say about your Hunger Games marathon, but I´m glad it went well, and I like how Dad said " It was a good movie to end the trilogy (although they made 4 movies)" gave me a laugh. So did the image of Mom as a witch trying to dress like a muggle, and Gabe´s failed Star Wars marathon. There´s this machine in a store near us that sells really really ugly Harry Potter figurines for 2 reals, so I´ll probably buy a few some day. Also, the Subway, only American restaurant here in Itajubá, has a Star Wars promotion going on, and every time I walk past it it hurts a bit. It´ll still be there in two years though, so I´ll get to see it eventually. I´m also super pumped about the Dota 2 special on ESPN. Evil Geniuses won it all this year, and they´ve been one of my favorite teams for a while now. Go EG! USA USA.
As for me, this week was really long at first, then it zipped by. Two members of our 10 man zone are leaving for home this week, so we said some goodbyes on Tuesday, and my companion is being transfered tomorrow, so I´ll finish out my training period with another missionary. I have no idea who he is, but I´m sure he´ll be just fine. I´ll miss Elder Gomes/Miranda though, as I know exactly where I stand with him and how he works, and I´ll have to figure out everything new again tomorrow. I´m sure it´ll be a good experience. Still no baptisms here, but we´ve got some investigators that are basically ready, they just have to find the courage to let us set a date. We´ve been finding new people a lot this week, so we walked a ton. My companion says that every single Elder that comes through here loses a bunch of weight. As for me, I entered the CTM at 112 kilos, or about 240 lbs. I now weigh, as of 2 days ago, 102 kilos, or 224 lbs. Walking for 7 hours a day all week will do that to you. I have, however been experimenting with cooking a lot recently in addition to eating Dave levels of cereal (1st picture for 2 weeks worth), so get ready for the first installment of:
Ben´s Cookbook for the Cooking IneptBen´s Super Basic Breakfast Sandwiches and Chips
2 Potatoes
2 Eggs
Some Oval-Shaped Bread (I use Pão Frances here, but hoagie rolls should work)
Oil (I used Soybean)
2 liters of tang (optional)
1. Feel sad about not having Thanksgiving dinner with your family
2. Decide you´re going to try something fancy today3. Peel potatoes (don´t cut yourself)
4. Slice potatoes into pieces about 1/4 inch width (cut yourself this time)
5. Put oil in a frying pan on the stove, enough to cover the bottom, but not too much, add more if needed
6. Turn on stove
7. Put potatoes into the hot oil, frantically dodging the popping oil
8. Fry potatoes until golden brown on both sides (or burn some, undercook some, but make the average golden brown)
9. Yolo an egg into the same pan (still oiled (two ways to yolo the egg, either scramble it in a cup first, or just crack and chuck, I tried both, little variation)
10. Frantically fold the egg together while the pan nearly explodes
11. Fry egg until golden brown (for real this time)
12. Repeat with other egg
13. Put egg and salami on oval bread
14. Eat and enjoy, with a tasty drink (tang)
15. Forget about turkey, football, and pie for a while
16. Do dishes
I highly recommend this dish. It´s filling, tasty, and dirt cheap here. Makes 1 serving. Especially good when you´re tired of rice and beans.

I plan to add more recipes as I figure them out.

For my thought this week, I´d just like to share what President Alex (Branch President) shared with us for our 5th Sunday discussion this week. He began by putting a big line on the board. On one side he put pain (dor) and on the other side, he put pleasure (prazer). He said that most humans struggle to avoid the pain end, and get to the pleasure end, and you can put a lot of things that people to somewhere on this line. But we, as people who follow the Gospel, strive for something greater, called joy. He spoke for a bit about how joy is a far more lasting, durable sensation than pleasure, and how it comes from inside ourselves, not from the world. He then drew a pie chart on the board, and asked for some of the bare minimum things we need to be happy. The usual suspects were called, such as family, work to do, some form of education, good health, and money. President Alex then crossed off each of these things and gave examples of people he knew who were happy and had joy in their lives without these things. He then put a big p in the middle, and said that the real thing that will give us happiness here is principles. When we have principles, the basic building blocks of our gospel and our lives, we can be happy even in the toughest of times. I´ve really noticed that here in Itajubá. It´s been a tough road here, literally and metaphorically. I´ve had a lot of hard times, and a lot of really hard experiences. But right now, I´m still happy, and each day, I have happiness in my heart, because I´m living the Gospel. I´m here to bring happiness to people´s lives, and I´m sacrificing my time and talents to make the world a better place. And I´m following my principles. And as such, I´m happy. This week is sure to bring a lot of change, and although in the past I have hated change, this week, I plan to be happy throughout. And I will succeed!

Elder Benjamin Murray

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