Here's a picture of Ben and his second (third, once removed?) cousin,
Sister Katy Seely. He's looking happy!
Here's Ben's weekly letter, enjoy!
You guys are the greatest. That's the first thing. The second thing is that I got your letter from Mission ties and it was absolutely wonderful. Thank you for always brightening my days. :)
It's been a great great week! I'm really happy. I've been trying to work hard everyday and not waste a single minute. I only have so much time as a missionary of the Lord!
Fun Brazilian Fact! They really love soccer. No duh, but the thing is that everynight we're treated to several fireworks and gun shot noises whenever a goal is scored. I'm completely safe but just a little fun fact :)
Elder Reese is doing well and he's a great example of hard work always. I'm super lucky to have him and we've been able to become better friends. :)
Man, the scriptures are amazing! If you ever need a little boost of the Spirit in your day, take ten minutes and get some reading done! Seriously, they are incredible and I know they are true.
Glad to hear about my Mission President and the Debit Card! I can't wait to hear how your meeting goes. Don't embarass me too much (you won't haha) and thanks for all Dali and Manoel are doing. I hope they are doing oitimo!
Next time you see Bro. Warner, would you ask him if he knows an Elder Jacox or the Jacox family? He said something to me before I left about them and there is an Elder Jacox in the MTC with me.
The temple was absolutely incredible today. I did initiatory for the first time and it was all in Portuguese. Afterward, they let us go into the Celestial Room so I was by myself in the Sao Paulo Celestial Room for twenty minutes. Aboslutely incredible. Also, in the hallway of the temple, they have an exquisite Minerva Teichert - the one with all the angels descending with gifts to the young Nephite children. It's so beautiful and I think of Mom whenever I see it. I love the temple and I'm so grateful to be able to go to it so often here!
Spiritual thought for the week! I've been thinking a lot about pioneers lately - mainly because you are going on trek tomorrow! I'm so excited for you! I hope that you'll take time to listen to the Spirit and feel the legacy of those brave men and women when you're up there. I know that you can learn and feel a lot of important things - ifyou just take the time and listen! :) I got a new roommate - he's from Brasilia and he's only been a member for two years. Can you imagine? Going on a mission after only knowing about the church for two years? I'm so impressed with him. He's been having a hard first week - like everyone does, and we've been able to talk a lot about the importance of a mission and dealing with missing home. I wish I spoke better Portugeuse, but I've been able to get my thoughts across to him. Anyway, in my eyes, he's a pioneer because he's the first in his family to go on a mission and it's just incredible to think about the effect that his efforts will have on his children, the families of those he teaches and the generations to come. Think about the amazing legacy we all share as you guys go to trek. The pioneers were our ancestors. They gave their all to the gospel, so we can be happy. I can't express how grateful I am to have a family that is so close and so centered on the Gospel. You guys are keeping the legacy alive for the generations to follow. So don't forget the amazing legacy that the pioneers left us! They sacrificed much and we must sacrifice much but it is worth it when you consider the amazing effect that your good choices will have on generations to come. That's why the gospel is so amazing - we give a little of ourselve and the Lord uses it to bless not only us, but our families, friends, and many more that we have no idea how we can help! So don't become weary of good deeds! Be righteous because it will mean the world to your family past, present and future! (That's what I've learned this week!)
I love you guys! :)
Your letters always make me so happy! Thank you! Especially thank you for the funny movie quotes! They keep things light and happy! I got the pictures - I can't believe that the tree next to the Francis's fell down! Such a miracle it didn't fall on any house! Crazy!
To all my family close and extended - I love you and I'm so grateful for your examples! Thank you for your prayers and support!
I'm happy. I'm healthy. I'm so grateful to be here. I know that this is the Lord's Church and that Jesus Christ lives. I'm so grateful and humbled to be his servant because he is the Savior of the World.
I love you and I pray for you many many times a day. Be good. Be happy. Love the Lord! I love you!
(P.S. An exotic three toed warbler! That's one more for exotic bird bingo! I am loving this!)