I love being on a mission. It's hard, I'm so exhausted, emotionally and physically that I hurt, and I'm so happy. I don't even know why I'm so happy. Can you be this tired and this fulfilled at the same time? Apparently the answer is yes.
I started reading the Book of Mormon again last week and for the first time in my life I wasn't reading it because I was supposed to or because I need help, but because I wanted to. Something really crazy happened; I experienced what the prophets, and especially President Hinckley, described as a love-affair with the scriptures. I haven't been able to put them down. I read during my study time, I read after nightly planning, I read while waiting for lunch, I read any chance I get. I've read more than 400 pages in 7 days. I'm reading in English and Portuguese (depending on whichever one I happen to have at the moment) and I love it. I have never appreciated how rich the stories are, or how simple the doctrine is. I've read from the Book of Mormon more times than I can count, but this time through it has taken on a simplicity and beauty that it never has before. Perhaps I was finally spiritually ready to receive more from it, or perhaps I am just humble enough to read it, but either way, I have fallen hopelessly into the power and love of the words of God.
It's winter here. The people don't like the cold, which seems silly to me because I still sweat through my shirt every day and they are wearing thick winter jackets. Because it's winter there are less people on the streets and we are relying more on the members to send us to people to teach. We started teaching these four 20 to 30 year-old men all together. They seem to have a true desire to learn and I hope that they continue to feel the need for the Gospel in their lives.
Our ward had a really neat activity on Saturday. It was a Dia de Feijoada, or a Day of Feijoada. Feijoada is a food from here. It is beans, beef, sausage, and a bunch of spices and sauce. It is honestly one of my favorite foods here and I got to eat my absolute fill on Saturday. It was an integration activity and we had a few investigators there. It was a lot of fun. I understand almost everything now, so I have to work on my speaking. I love this ward. They are so much fun and so strong in the gospel.
The quote of the week this week is from Elder Richard G. Scott. As always I am continuing to work on building charity, faith, obedience, and better prayers. In relation to prayers and revelation he says, "Communication with our Father in Heaven is not a trivial matter. It is a sacred privilege. It is based upon eternal, unchanging principles. We receive help from our Father in Heaven in response to our faith, obedience, and the proper use of agency."
As always, love and prayers,
Elder Tyler Andrew Bushman