Wednesday, June 13, 2012

Week 3 in Brazil

Here is Ben's 3rd Letter!  This is a picture of all the missionaries in the CTM.  Ben is second from the  far right on the second to top row -- smiling a big smile!
(If you click on it you'll be able to see it better.)
 Well howdy do!
How's it going my family? I love you all and it's been another great week here at the CTM.
I'm going to send you a panoramic picture that they took of all the missionaries a couple of nights ago. I'm in the second row from the very back on the very very end on your right as you look at the picture. If you can't tell it's me, no worries.
Well it's been a great week. On Saturday and Sunday we had the great opportunity to participate in the Manus Brazil temple dedication! Manaus is in the heart of the Amazon and it was a great ceremony. The cultural celebration on Saturday night was lots of fun and the dedication itself - complete with Elder Cook and President Uchtdorf - was very inspiring. I love temples. The Brazilians were so happy to get a temple there; we heard many stories of people selling all they had to make the long trip by boat, car and bus to Sao Paulo or Recife or other temples. Now they have one in their own city! It was very touching.
I'm working hard and learning the language. I like the structure of my days and it helps me to focus and discipline myself in serving the Lord. The language is coming and I think it is more and more beautiful everyday.
I don't think I've ever felt the Spirit so consistently or strongly as I have the past few weeks at the CTM. And the cool thing is, the only change that happened was that I read the scriptures a ton more than I used to. By simply reading more and pondering more and praying more, I've been able to have the most incredible spiritual lessons and really strengthen my testimony of my Savior Jesus Christ. It's just as simple as reading more diligently and faithfully and earnestly praying! I know that anyone can gain a stronger Spirit in their lives by continualy treasuring up the words of Christ.
If you guys do write letters, include fun pictures of what you guys are up to! I'd love to see fun pictures and your smiling faces!
Tell anyone in the ward or neighborhood that I say hi and I'm doing just dandy!
I love being a missionary. Of course, I haven't actually preached yet, but I love learning and I hope and pray everyday to be able to be an effective teacher and to bring people to Christ.
We've had two Brazilian roommates for the past 3 weeks but they left to their missions yesterday. Both were going to Brasilia and they were great friends.
Elder Reese is a great companion and I'm really liking our district. Things are good on my end!
I'm happy. I'm healthy. And I'm loving the work. The CTM is good, the food is pretty good and the people here are great. Please tell the grandparents and aunts and uncles I'm sorry I haven't written them yet but I'm thinking of them and I love them!
Like I said, if you write, send me funny or fun pictures of you guys so I can see them!
 Even though it is really hard to be away from you all, I'm so grateful and blessed to be on a mission. This is where I need and want to be. I love you all more than I can say and I am so grateful for your prayers, support and thoughts. :) I kind of like to think of this as our mission because you guys are such a big part of me and have made me into who I am. So thanks for being good and helping me do this great thing in my life!
Annie wanted me to write some Portuguese so here it goes. The keyboard doesn't do accents - it looks cooler with all the accents sorry.
Eu sei que a igreja de Jesus Cristo dos Santos dos Ultimos Dias e verdadeira. Eu sou muito grato por meu Salvador e Redentor Jesus Cristo. Ele e meu Ejemplo. Eu sou muito grato pelas escrituras e eu sei que elas sao a palavra de Deus. Eu sou muito grato pelo sacerdocio e templos na terra. Eu sei que Thomas S. Monson e o profeta de Deus hoje. Eu amo minha familia e meus amigos e eu so muito muito grato pelos ejemplos de eles. Eu sei que Deus vive e nos ama. Eu sei que oracao trabalha. En nome de Jesus Cristo, Amem.
I love you all and I'm sending some more letters today, hopefully with some pictures inside! Thank you and I love you!
And don't forget - You can't stop the beat!
Elder Jacob

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