How is everyone? Sad to hear that Ben got hurt. You probably shouldn´t be jumping into metal bars man. That is not smart. Are you gonna get a scar? Dude, if you end up looking like Scar that would be sweet! Be more careful though.
Oh so I´d like to apologize to Sister Henrie about the story of her son passing ill in one of my e-mails. The wording was very poorly thought through. After we were leaving the house he joked around about it being worse that it was. He just ate something bad and his stomach had a little pain. Everyone is safe and healthy here. We are definitely protected by the Lord.
Anyway this week was weird. I don´t have a whole lot of time to write because we´re busy tonight but the enemy is at work here in all of Fortaleza to hinder the work. Every since the temple ground was broken it seems like opposition to the work has increased. He doesn´t want this people enjoying the blessings of the temple and is doing EVERYTHING to stop us. I´ll explain it a little.
So here in Fortaleza Brazil everything you can think of can go on strike. The banks, the post offices, the schools etc. It´s ridiculous. So this week, right before new years, the cops went on strike. That´s something that no one´s every heard off before. So, what happened because off that? A bunch of really bad, bad people formed something called an arrastão which translated is more or less ´dragnet´. They just get a bunch of guys together with guns and rob the big super markets.
Down in the center of the city that have a bunch of stores like a huge outdoor mall. They had the military down there protecting that area.
It wasn´t so bad in our little area. We don´t have a whole lot for people to go after. The thing was, everyone was scared out of there minds. We would walk down the streets and they were empty. People heard bikes coming down the street and ran inside. We had to be inside before dark. It stinks because that night we would´ve met with a man who is trying to stop smoking and be baptized (and I think he stopped) and talk to a lawyer about a couple divorces. Now that has to wait until next week.
I also got to take a run at senior comp this week. We went in a division this week and I went with an elder fresh out of the MTC. He didn´t speak a lick of Portuguese. It was weird being n the other side of things. I had him teach a few parts of the lessons that he´s never taught before and he did great. Now, I have a lot more respect for Elder Henrie. I realize how hard it is to be senior and he does a fantastic job.
The next day we had a wedding in the center. The first of marriages worked perfectly! It´s cool to see people stop living in sin.
We had a bunch of people at church too. So, Satan may be working but so are we. And we have Christ on our side, against who Satan has absolutely no power and has to give way.
I know the church is Christ´s. The Book of Mormon is the word of God. We have prophets. The Priesthood is on the earth for man to use to bless the lives of others and further God´s work.
IT´s good to hear that everyone is keeping busy. Don´t waste time. Time is precious. Use it to improve and progress. One of Satan´s greatest tools to keep us from reaching our fullest potential in this life is procrastination and laziness. Don´t spend too much time watching TV. I wish I had spent more time before the mission reading my scriptures. Study them in your free time. You´ll be blessed with a solid understanding of doctrine.
Anyway, on the topic of the scriptures, I finished the Book of Mormon for the first time in Portuguese. That means I´m fluent in Portuguese. An apostle made that promise. It´s true. But, I also know that the record is real. That it was written by the power of the God and the Spirit of prophecy and translated by the seer Joseph Smith. We really can come to know God through the teaching of the Book of Mormon than any other book. I was studying the atonement in the New Testament and it is almost silent on the subject. It has some good information but the apostles who wrote the gospels were asleep while Christ suffered in the garden. The prophets in the Americas saw It in vision and explain it clearly and simply. I love the Book of Mormon. It is undeniable proof of the reality as Jesus Christ as our Savior, Joseph Smith as His revelator in these last days, and the Church being the Kingdom of Heaven here on the earth in preparation for the 2nd coming of the Messiah. Go and read it.
Oh so thank you for all the letters and packages I´ve been getting. Tell the Fishers and the Millets thanks for me. Also the Fishers asked about getting on an email list. Dad´s parents sent me cereal. That´s the best gift I´ve ever received! It´s already gone. Tell Grandma and Grandpa Squires, and Aunt Barbara and Grandma Johns thanks for the letters, too.
This week I took a two hour bus to go on a division out in the interior. IT was my first time away from the city and it was sweet. I got to take a motor taxi (which was AWESOME!!! I´m buying a motorcycle when I get home...) and taught a bunch. It was out in Elder Baker´s area. He´s from California too. He went to the infamous Del Oro (think football section semi-finals my senior year) and he´s an awesome elder.
Anyway, love you all! until next week.
Com muito amor,