Monday, November 21, 2011

I love my mission even though its super hard

Hey everyone! 
My week has been not the greatest.  I had zone conference on Tuesday and after we traveled there (a weird story in and of itself), I got super sick and had diarrhea like I never had before.  So I slept on a pew in the back of the chapel for most of zone conference with stomach pains and about every hour leaving the room for a trip to the bathroom.  Not fun.  Sister campos was very nice, but everyone spoke Portuguese, and describing my symptoms and them describing things I should do to get better was a real pain.  So, once we got back to Abaetetuba we rested for a few days and apparently I overdosed on Imosec (anti-diarrhia medication) and got yet another record for the worst constipation of my life.  
We didn't get back to work until Friday, but my stomach was still feeling pretty bad.  I just didn't want to stay in the apartment.  We have been doing a lot of walking and I have not been eating very much at all.  This last week I barely ate anything and now I don't have a big appetite which is probably good because I was getting fat.  But now I'm 65.5 kilos as of Tuesday morning you guys can do the conversing to pounds i think its 166.1 pounds, but I'm not quite sure [he might have meant 75.5 kilos then].  
Oh, and Dad, the picture from the balcony [I sent last week] is not in our apartment.  It's in our apartment building in the laundry area that we share with the other tenants. But, I still like to think of the underwear as Buddhist flags.  The flight of stairs to our apartment is the most elevation change you can get around here. 
Story about President Campos:  President Campos is a really cool, spiritual man.  I think that he is a great mission president, but as all people he has a fault and this is driving.  On Monday night we took a bus to a different city and then met President Campos and caught a ride with him to Belem for the zone conference.  (The chapels here are different, but very cool, by the way).  Every second the car moves, I pray.  He kind of treats the gas as a "wawa pedal:"  slams on the gas, slams on the brake.  Picture Ellis' driving when she started and then combine that with a lack of defensive driving, and some strange subconsious thought that God will protect you in any circumstance because you are serving a mission.  Scary.  The funny thing is here they have speed limits but no one follows them and the main thing that dictates how fast you go is the condition of the road --  how rough it is and speed bumps that are substantial in size.  A few times I swear we caught air because President didn't see them in time.  Well needless to say, I was happy to take the ferry and bus back to Abaetetuba.
Last story.  Yesterday we did divisions and I went to visit some investigators with a member named David.  We went to see Naiani, a teenage girl who has had all the lessons but didn't have a desire to be baptised even though she said she had a testimony of the BOM.  We stopped visiting about 3 weeks ago because she wasn't progressing, but yesterday she came to church, so I made a visit.  We walked in and started talking.  I had no idea what I wanted to teach.  Eventually I gave her some options and she chose the gospel of Jesus Christ:  faith, repentance, baptism, gift of the Holy Ghost, and endure to the end.  I thought it went well.  I struggled a bit to communicate my feelings and my testimony about these things but I got most of it across OK.  At the end it looked like she was fighting tears or something.  She never cried but she seemed different than before.  I gave her instructions to read 3 Nephi 12 and think about how what Jesus teaches here can be applied in her life, then immediately after, pray about baptism.  I told her to do this in a place where there were no distractions.  She was really willing, and then when it was time to close with a prayer I looked at her.  She knew exactly what I was thinking and she laughed a bit, and said the closing prayer with no argument (usually there is a small conversation because the investigator doesn't want to pray).  I have a lot of hope for her.
Afterward, when I was telling Elder Silva he cut me off in the middle of my recollection and started telling me how I should have done things different -- used the Bible more because she already had a testimony of the Book of Mormon.  I kind of flipped out in the member's home we were in because the Book of Mormon is the thing that I think converts people with the Spirit.  I'm out of time.  I'll talk more about this later, but I know that if someone has a testimony of the BOM and doesn't want to prepare for baptism, that testimony is not strong enough. 
Well, I'm doing good.  Sorry I don't have time to talk about more happy things, and sorry for ranting.  I really love my mission even though it's super hard.  I'm working hard, keep doing the same!
Love Ben

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