Monday, April 4, 2016

April 4th - The Unknown Bridge

Hello Family and Friends,

First things first, Happy Birthday to Gabe! Congrats on finally making 12 years old! Soon young Gabe will be a Deacon master and will be using the Priesthood to bless others for the first time in his life! Cherish these days Gabe, they are really awesome, and if you try, you will learn a lot. 

The rest of the week sounds pretty good for the rest of you. It´s weird to me that you guys are complaining about snow when I´m out here getting hit with a sun so hot it actually causes pain just to be out in it. We pulled some low 90s all week long, and the heat´s pretty brutal here. I´m good about putting on sunblock though, and you actually get used to the heat after enough time. I´m pretty thankful for fans here! Grandma and Grandpa are a great example for me and a real source of pride for the work that they have done and they missions they have served. Imagine the joy on the other side of the veil that they have caused!

As for me, this week we watched General Conference. It really is a fantastic chance to recieve some personal revelation and guidance. My personal favorite talk was that of President Russell M. Nelson in the Priesthood Session. I´ve really been trying to increase my personal spirituality, and he brought some really good points to build on. We watched all of the sessions this week, in Portuguese, in the chapel here in Valinhos. It was a cool experience to watch Conference together with a bunch of members of the ward, and we got some good missionary work done too. I still miss Mom´s cinnamon rolls and the thousands of jelly-beans I ate though. 

As for the unusual experience of the week, a drunk guy walked up to us on the road one night as we were leaving a member´s house, and asked for some help with his cell phone. "It´s all upside down!" he said, so my companion flipped the cellphone around. Then he asked if we could help him call Riba Mar. Elder Mancilla then opened the contacts to find exactly one name, Riba Mar. We called it, but the guy didn´t have any minutes on his phone, so he then said the Portuguese equivalent of "Aw crap," and then he walked away. 

As for your other questions, we split the house cleaning into big bathroom, small bathroom, kitchen, and study room. This week I got the small bathroom, and Elder J. Nascimento did the dishes. My new shoes are awesome. Completely waterproof, good ankle support, and they´re stylish! Also, we´re having a transfer tomorrow, and sadly, Elder Mancilla and Elder Donadon will be leaving their respective areas. Elder Mancilla was a great companion. We´ve gotten to be pretty good friends, and I´ll be sad to se them go, but I´m always ready for new experiences.

I owe you guys a lot of pictures, so I´ll send a bunch today. First, we have 7625, us in the Temple Cafeteria really early one morning. From the left to the right it´s me, Elder Donadon, Elder Mancilla, and Elder J. Nascimento. 

 Here is a really lame pic of the group in front of the temple.

 In this pic, we have Elder Donadon hugging a shrub.

Here we have some hard work taking place as we knock doors. (This is how they knock doors in Brazil, they stand outside and clap.)

In this picture, Ben's companion is looking dismayed at their collapsed bridge. Where this bridge was, where it led to, and why these guys are sad about it's collapse in a corn field is a mystery. Ben never explained.

The spiritual experience of the week had to be watching the guy from the Mormon Tabernacle Choir cry during the performance of Come Thou Fount of Every Blessing. At my side was Walter Baraquet, returning to church for the first time in months, and to my other side was Leonardo, a recent convert that changed everything about his life to reach the restored Gospel. Not a single eye was dry. I love that hymn. Another happened on the road right outside our chapel, where we stopped to talk to a man who said that he always wanted to learn about the church, but never had a chance to talk with the missionaries. We were really short on time that day, but stopping to talk with that man was what the Spirit said that we needed to do, so we did. I know that Jesus Christ lives, and that his Prophet still speaks with us today. I have to bring this message to the world, and in my calling I will succeed.

Elder Murray

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