Monday, November 9, 2015

November 9th - The Gift of Tongues

Hello all! We got another letter from Ben this week.

"As for me, life is good. I´m really getting into the swing of things here. I had an exchange with the Zone Leader, Elder Cochran earlier this week, and I went to his area. It was a super awesome experience. We taught a recovering crack addict and a bunch of other investigators and less active members, and I got to talk a lot about the transition from English to Português. They have four missionaries in their town, but their branch is actually smaller than ours. Elder Gomes thinks that they´ll put four missionaries here pretty soon. That night we ate pizza. It was a really cool experience overall, and I learned a lot. At the end, I brought back new name tags for my companion, who is now Elder Miranda, because we have to put the very last name on the tag, and he has like 6 names.

This week we did a lot of searching for new families. We went on some splits with a few of the local young men, and although I was worried about my ability, it went really well and we´ve added a few new families to our teaching pool. We also finally succeeded in locking down Kariny, the Portuguese professora, for enough time to teach her the first lesson. We´ve got a baptism date marked for her, and she´s been going to church for almost a month now. Irma Tereza, the mother of that family we taught the first couple days here, is still fantastic. She asked us if there was any way she could pay tithing, well before we taught her about tithing. It´s crazy. The work is progressing quick here in Itajubá, and now that my feet are basically healed up, life´s going good. 

I also have a bunch of pictures for you guys. I´ll explain the ones that need explanation. 25 is me and Elder McGladrie at the Sao Paolo Templo. 50 is us at the Campinas Temple. 59 is our district. From left to right, top row first, Elder Herbert, Elder Ellis, Elder Flores, Elder McGladrie, Elder Ponder, Elder Westenhaver, Me, then bottom row left to right, Sister Christiansen, Sister Almgren, Sister Trejo, and Sister Brown. 104 is my birthday party.

Ben's 19th birthday. Love the dudes in the background!

Ben and Elder McGladrie at the temple

Overall, I´ve been loving the mission so far. It´s truly a fantastic experience. I´ve been reading a lot in the Book of Mormon, and thinking about how fast I´m learning Portuguese. So I went to Moroni 10: 8 And again, I exhort you, my brethren, that ye deny not the gifts of God, for they are many; and they come from the same God. And there are different ways that these gifts are administered; but it is the same God who worketh all in all; and they are given by the manifestations of the Spirit of God unto men, to profit them.  15 And again, to another, all kinds of tongues;16 And again, to another, the interpretation of languages and of divers kinds of tongues. 17 And all these gifts come by the Spirit of Christ; and they come unto every man severally, according as he will.

 I know that I would not be here today doing the things that I am doing, speaking the language as well as I am speaking it, without the gift of the Spirit of God. I´m so grateful for this. As for my definition of success, it´s not number of baptisms, or leadership positions held, but being able to go home and say that every day on my mission, I worked a little bit harder, did a little bit more, and learned a little bit more that the last. If I give it all I have and make it two years, I will return a changed man, a better man, and I will have shared the Gospel with everyone I met. And that to me, is success. And with God´s help, I will succeed.

Elder Murray"

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