Monday, September 9, 2013

Dear Family,

Ok, this week was super legit, but also super hard as well. But...lets start with the legit stuff first!
I learned something super funny today. So we work in 3 small cities (Rio Bravo, Laredo, and El Cenizo) El Cenizo has the highest crime rate out of all the areas in the mission! Wooohoo! haha 

Also, the tie thing is ridiculous. I have already gotten maybe 20-25 extra ties here. Some of the elders have 600-800 ties. It's craZY boy! For example the AP's here have such good ties, the won't even get Donald Trump's ties anymore because they are too "cheap" for them. They wear brands like Prada, Lui Vuittan, Ted Baker's, City of London, and stuff like that. It's ridiculous. One of them has a Prada tie that is worth about 500-600 dollars. IT's nuts. 

So, those families we have been teaching have been progressing well, and they seemed to be super excited with their baptism date. 

Then, yesterday we were driving down the street when we saw a lady named B... (she was an old investigator that had to stop taking lessons because her dad didn't like it...which is funny because she is 60 years old and her dad is 82...she had some financial problems and couldn't. so she's trying to find a new place to live) anyway, we decided to just stop and talk to her to see how she was doing. She had read 75+ pages off the Book of Mormon without anyone telling her. She's somewhere in 2nd Nephi right now. She understands it really well too. She was so excited to see us that she invited us over to her daughter's house so we could continue to teach her. So we are going there tonight. She wants to be baptized and seems willing to do just about anything to do it. So, Ill have to let you know how that goes.

Ok, bad news. That S..... family that we found and started teaching that was doing so well didn't make it to church yesterday. Her dad had a stroke and so they left to Laredo and were there all day, but they invited us to come today. So, I'm excited about that.

Then, G..... all the sudden disappeared on Sunday also...we couldn't get a hold of him. So we're going to try to make it over there today also and see if we can figure out what happened. It was really disappointing....

Also, please don't freak out or be angry...but I was helping a member put together a swing set thing (on Thursday) and tweaked my back a little. It didnt seem too bad so I just went on. Everyday seemed to get a little worse until yesterday in church I literally couldn't sit through the whole thing so we had to go back. Well...when I got here Hermana Maluenda (President's wife) told me to call her if I had trouble with my back and she'd help me get a cortizone shot or what I needed. So, I called her...and she said she would call the area doctor and tell him my history and then he would call me back and tell me what to do...

So he calls me  back a couple hours later and tells me that it's super hard to get a cortizone shot here (that was well thought through) because the doctors want to do it there own way, and they want to give me a MRI and then decide what I need and then if I got the shot I would have to be super careful for the next couple weeks so that I didn't relapse again. Then he asked if I had a copy of a recent MRI (who would bring that with them on their mission?) and I said no...so he said he would try to figure something out and to call him back tomorrow (today).

Then at like 10:30 last night guess who called me?? Doctor Hayes.  He said that (and he was super nice) if a cortizone shot wasnt working after 2x's it probably wouldn't work that well or for that long, and it's just a band-aid to the problem. So, he asked me what the next plan would be after cortizones shots and I told him that it would be some kind of surgery (either the nerve-cutting or the fusion) and he said that maybe I just need to go home and get the surgery done and call it good. Then, he basically talked to me about what I wanted to do when I grew up and when I get back from my mission. He said I'd be a good orothopedic surgeon (I'll keep that in consideration).

 But...ah...mom....dad...I'm so sorry...I think I just wanted to come back out on the mission so bad that I didn't actually let myself recover that much and now I don't know what to do. I'm in a lot of pain but I'm loving it here soooooo much too. It looks like that they want to send me home, but we definitely do not know that for sure...it's so embarrassing I can't even tell you....I'm really having a hard time thinking about it right now. Luckily I have a legit companion and I've been able to work really hard still to keep my mind off of it....but geez. I feel like I'm really trying my hardest and it's just not going well..

Anyway, I'm super sorry about the bad news...Hopefully Ill have better news soon.
Still love you guys bunches, 

Elder Benson

Wednesday, September 4, 2013

Hello...
Ok, so I have a lot to catch you up on in a very little time. I do not live with the Zone Leaders, I just had my package sent there because it's too dangerous to send it to my apartment because things get stolen a lot.
(Our area covers everything south of Laredo all the way down to Zapata where our only Library is)

So, my companion name is Elder Bradley. He has been out for almost a year (on Friday) and he grew up on a small farm in Missouri. He's taught me a ton already. He's super patient, and legitimately cares about the people and following the Spirit in everything we do. I explained to him about my back problem and how I had to come home, and he does everything he can to make sure that I'm doing ok. He's a super awesome companion! We've already had some super crazy experiences just because of it. Basically all he says is, he doesn't care about numbers, where we go, or what we do as long as we are following the Spirit, and we've had so much success.
For example, we decided to go to El Cenizo (a little city in our area) to find somebody, because we felt like we needed to. Nobody answered, so we walk out of the yard wondering what happened when an 18-year old Mexican guy came up to us, shook our hand and told us he was looking for us. He invited us to his house the next day, and his mom was super excited. All her kids came to listen, and he accepted a baptism day on Oct 6. He says he's been looking for repentence and knew when he saw us.
Next, we were knocking on a door to answer a referral, she wasn't home but we had both felt super good about the referral. Then, we saw a mom smoking outside her apartment waiting for her kids to come home from school. Haha, not the person you'd think be ready for the Gospel. She invites us to sit with her when we start teaching her about how we can help families through the Gospel of Jesus Chirst (faith, repentence, baptism...etc). She was hesitant until we asked her to kneel with us and ask in prayer if it was true. I was literally begging Heavenly Father to answer her prayer. She finished and we waited....we asked how she felt and she said the most content she has ever felt. She didn't want us to leave, and accepted a baptismal date with her 16-year old daughter for the 6th as well. The only problem is the smoking. We are going to their house tonight though.
It has literally been so much fun though. The first week was super hard, but we were patient and are now receiving the blessings from enduring our trial well.  I hope it continues.
The members are super great, and we've been fed a couple times.
I laughed when you said our area is really dangerous. It might be, but I've never felt like it is. WE see TONS of border control though. like 20 cars a day. The border is the river. So we have the border, a prison, and lots of mexicans here.
Yes, we do shop at Wal-mart though. (thank goodness) So you would be able to send me stuff through there (cough cough:)). That'd be super cool if you could. And yes, I did get the package (thank you very much).I can't believe Rachel forgot it. ;)
Ok, this is the best part though. Our apartment is freaking legit. Like, the legitest of the legit. We have normal beds, a fridge, a lot of room, a shower and.....(this is the best part) A WASHER AND DRYER!?!?!?!
We have a freaking Washer mom. it's so sweet. Ha, it's nicer living quarters for shizzle. The apartment I was in in San Martin was a piece of poop compared to this.
Anyway, all is well. My P-Day is on Monday, but it was Labor Day (the day everyone doesn't labor...?) so we couldn't use the Library to email home. I did write one letter to Rachel though. So, that should get there soonish...
Oh, well...I think that's it for now. Love ya bunches!!

Elder Benson

Elder Bradley

Monday, June 10, 2013

Hello family!
Well, first Ill give you an update on the back...All of a sudden this week I started getting these shooting pains down my leg while I´ve been walking. It literally shuts off my leg for a couple seconds after a couple seconds of excrutiating pain. haha, it is really terrible. I asked about the cortizone shot, and no one (including the members and people here) trust the doctors for something like that. You have to realize that the ¨hospital¨here in Resistencia even is a couple of buildings that look like houses and you walk on dirt paths in between. The medical care here isnt that hot. Also I looked for medicine balls and no one seems to know what that is here...so thats a no go. But it seems like a good idea. To sum it up, the back isn´t doing too hot, but before anyone makes any decisions I want to know what exactly is going to happen first. I don´t want to get a call saying that I´m going stateside without knowing whats going on....but I'm sure that you are working on it and everything is going well.=)
So, not too much exciting has happened here. My cooking skills are improving. I´ve been cooking with members and Elder Amezcua and I can cook a lot of things now. Who would have guessed I would learn that on my mission? Also, we found a place that sells blacks beans in El Colorado during a district meeting and so we cooked a lot of beans...and you can guess what happened during the nights...haha.
Also, our chico Mauro that was supposed to get baptized, his mom sent him to live with his dad. So, he is not going to be baptized that soon. But, we have some new machachos, Antonio and his brother who are 11 and 13 years old. They came to church yesterday and loved it. They accepted a baptismal date for the 29th and their mom was so happy that they are happy that she had us come by for torta yesterday. So that seems to be looking good. We´ve also found a whole bunch of part-member families where the mom and dad are inactive members but they have 9 or 10 year old kids that haven´t been baptized. So we´ve been activating them and teaching their kids at the same time. When I arrived in San Martin average attendance was 12 and yesterday it was 34. So we are making some progress! =)
Also,  we came across an Indian reservation this week. We went in and found a member. He spoke broken spanish. About 1 out of 100 speak spanish. They speak an ancient Indian language called Toba. So, we didn´t get a lot done there....haha but we did manage to find that one member, Elu¨iogi. (pronounce ee-loo-ee-he...well kind of) and he came to church yesterday with his kid. So that was cool.
Ummm...not too much else has happened. President Heyman called me and talked to me though.  He wants me to think about coming home to get help. But, he thinks I´m going to get hurt. I don´t know.
Anyway, that´s it for now. I love you bunches!

Elder Benson


One of the homes outside of San Martin.  We like the Directv dish.










Monday, June 3, 2013

Hey All,
 
Dad, what in the world happened to you?? Size 34?? You lost a ton of weight since I have been gone!! You are gonna be in better shape than me when I get back from this oil-infested food! =) haha that is so good! I'm glad that you have continued to work hard and are now reaping the rewards of your success. That is part of the reason I like to work out so much, is because I can see the results and then set more goals. Its exciting huh??=) Great job!
Also, I did talk to the doctor from Salt Lake, I told him that I could do the work here still but it was painful. Don´t worry, I'm not going anywhere for awhile. I have work to do.=)
Umm, I'm still having a lot of fun with Elder Amezcua but also, we had a poopy week. Saturday was the baptism of Mauro, and everything was set. His mom approved, he was excited, we bought food, we gave out invitations, we filled the font and everyone was there for his baptism and he didn´t show up. We went to his house and he his family were no where to be seen and we still haven´t been able to find them. So..that kind of sucked. ha,
Ummm, also I have some pictures of the area that I am going to send, so youll have a better idea of what it looks like. Also it was Elder Amezcua´s birthday on the 30th so we ate tacos that he taught me how to make. I have learned how to cook a lot of Mexican food. I'm going to be a champ when I come home. I can make tortillas, tacquitos, guacamole, picante sauce, churros, breakfat burritos, and some other authentic Mexican all from scratch! =) what?? haha it´s pretty fun.
Also, I was reading in the scriptures this week with a purpose of how I can help the people here. I learned a couple things. One if we want to help others, (including our family) we first have to have a love for them and see them as what they could become. This can only come through diligent reading and praying. Next, after we see them as our Heavenly Father would, we must seek for a specific way to serve that person. Every person is different and thus need different help. To find know how to serve them comes through prayer as well. Lastly, we need to follow through and act. Through this, we can strengthen their relationship with the Lord as well as our relation with them. That is my consejo for the week=)
SOoo...yeah my back hurts a lot. Keep praying for me please. Other than that, I am learning a lot and I now have 20 weeks in the mish! what? Time flies huh? haha, anyway love you bunches. And keep it up with the weight losing! That is great! =)

City of San Martin

San Martin

Monday, May 27, 2013

Hello!
I am still in San Martin. But, Elder Solis left and a new Elder came in. Elder Amezcua. He is from Mexico and only speaks phrases of English that the missionaries have taught him and things he has learned from movies. For example, ´this sucks´and ´crap man´and i´ll be back´. haha it´s pretty funny. Elder Amezcua is a big dork, and it´s easy to have fun with him. I'm definitely a lot happier. Anyway, he finishes his mission in November. So he has been out for a good while. He is funny and we are having lots of fun. I´m going to try to send a picture of us but if you dont get it I´m sorry. The only problem I have with Elder Amezcua, is he is a dang good cook. He is always cooking Mexican food and it´s really good. Im going to be fat....=)
Other news, ever since Elder Amezcua got here, the work here has picked up. We have been teaching a lot better and everything. We have lots of dates for baptisms including 2 this week and 3 the next. Our main investigators are Allah Sandoval and Mauro Meza who will be baptized this weekend. (Both are youth 9 and 11 years old) and Daniela Sanchez, who will be baptized the next week. It´s been a lot better in San Martin now.
Also, yes. My back hurts a lot. I sent it to the doctor and he freaked out a little. The doctor is worried that if I fall or have an accident it will rupture. I just hope they can find a way to help me with it soon. the doctor said he thinks it´s really dangerous to have a back like mine and be out doing work all day. But, theres no chance of me coming home. The doctor that gave me the MRI told me to go lay down and not move for the next 3 months when she saw the results. Ha, but, we will see. No, mom, I'm not working out. Trust me, I want to so bad, but I can´t. It´s literally just that painful. I can hardly tie my shoes. My doctor sent it to Salt Lake City and I guess we are going to see what they say. You don´t have to worry. There´s not a chance that I will be leaving the mission. I won't make any big decisions until we have heard from everyone else too. The mission president has been in contact with me but for now that´s all that has happened. No physical therapy or help has come yet....
Ummm, for now I can´t think of that much else. Except, I was reading in 4Ne 1 15-16 and it reminded why I am here. It talks about when the Nephites were all living righteously and how there was never a happier people in the land. That´s the goal right? ha, so share the Gospel with your friends so we can all be happier! =)
That´s it for now I think...Oh! Send my package por favor. Make sure there is something spicy (cayenne powder) and good stuff in there. (tons of peanut butter and everything else I asked for) Thanks! =)

Elder Benson

Elder Amezcua

Monday, May 20, 2013

Hey mom!
 
I am kinda jealous that everyone is going to a United States mission. You have no idea how much I miss American food right about now. Peanut butter, ice cream, ah there are plenty of things. Especially cold milk. They don"t refrigerate their milk or eggs or cheese or anything that we would. I miss a lot of things there.
Yes, I did go get an MRI. And, first, let me say that it is very very very very different than getting in MRI in the United  States. First, you don´t need id. You don´t really need a reason or anything. If you have the money they will put you in the machine. Also, I dont have the results of the MRI yet. I am going to get them either tomorrow or Wednesday, so you are going to have to wait just a little bit longer. I´m going to guess that it was worse than before though because it hurts worse than before...ha
Also, I was talking to the zone leaders, and they said it only takes about a month for a package to come through during the argentina winter (or US summer) so you can definitely send a whole buttload of peanut butter...like now...if you want. And definitely tuna too...and maybe a bag of trail mix or nuts.
So, about our area. We have an 12 year old girl, Brisa, that is being baptized on Saturday. She is the oldest of 4 kids. Her parents aren´t married, and they haven´t been taking lessons. They heard she wanted to be baptized and decided to take the lessons. They now have decided to get married and be baptized. We dont have dates for them yet, but we are working with them.
Another investigator we have is Mauro. He is also 12, and a friend of Brisa that lives across the street...(or dirt..Im not sure I'd call it a street). He is going to be baptized the week after Brisa. His mom just signed the baptismal record and approves of him being baptized into the  Church. So we will be having some baptisms soon.
Ummm, it´s been cold down here (cold as in 40-50 degrees) but with the humidity you need a coat. It chills you to the bone. And since it is cold every makes this thing called torta frita. If you haven´t heard of it, which I doubt you have, this is how you make it: first, take a bowl of fat. Pig fat is most common, but cow fat will do. Next, mix it with leudante harrina (which is white flour that has fattening yeast thing in it), mix it with salt and water until it is a good consistency. Next, form them into a flat disc, which looks like a tortilla with a hole in the middle. Next, fry it in a gallon of oil. They make these by the dozen and give them to you. They put dulce de leche on it (we dont have it in the US but it´s a fattened chocolate syrup thing) and roll it up and eat it. For this reason, missionaries and the people gain a lot of weight. Believe it or not, torta frita tastes good. I havne´t eaten too much of it because you feel like poop after eating it.
Well, that´s it for now. The transfer ends tomorrow, there is a chance that I or Elder Solis could be leaving San Martin but I doubt either one of us will leave. I´m still in tons of pain and not doing too well. I am sorry to tell you that you will have to wait another week for the results. Thanks for your prayers though.

Elder Benson

ps. I saw Elder Morris in the MTC. That is crazy that he had to get back surgery.
This is the food Jake described in his last letter.  Yum!

Tuesday, May 14, 2013

Hey guys!
Ah, that's funny that you said all that about me being different. I don't even feel like the same person anymore. Ever since my back has gotten this bad and I haven't been able to work out or anything, I have just changed. I just started becoming a different person. I cant just laugh and have fun anymore. Its weird, I just don't feel the same at all.


Don't worry I will finish my mission here. It is so painful, but I know that if I return to the states that I would only be more depressed. So you can go ahead and send the package. Remember to get crunchy peanut butter and to not worry about sending too much peanut butter. Oh, by the way, make sure you put my full name on the package, because there is another Elder Benson in the mission.

So there were a couple things that I forgot to tell you on the phone last night. One, I had the opportunity to try cow intestines last week. I have pictures, but this dang computer isn't letting me send anything. I ate cow heart, kidney, and just straight up intestines. There was even some nasty cow liquids still left inside. I gagged a couple times. The heart and kidney is really good, but cow turd squirting in your mouth is nasty. It is about the consistency of a rubber hose.

I think the rest I have already told you.  You are awesome and the best parents ever. I just made the mistake of not taking care of my back before I left.

Well I think that is all for now.
Elder Benson

Monday, May 6, 2013

Hahaha, man those stories made me feel a lot better. For real. I thought I was alone on this. Yeah I did talk to the mission president and I have been talking to a doctor. My back has been extremely painful. It´s been burning and it hurts so bad it´s hard to go to the bathroom (number 2 if you know what i mean). But,  mom,  the last thing you need to worry about is me coming home. If I come home, it´d be in a wheelchair or in a casket. Don´t worry about that. It is bad here sometimes but it definitely would be worse if I came home. The guilt would eat me alive and I would feel terrible.
Yes, I think we have Skype all figured out. I will look at Dad´s email and see what I need to do. Also I have my America First info for him. BUt, I am 100000% pumped to talk to you guys, and of course grandma and grandpa can come!!!
So, this week was better. We got money on our cards again, and I have been  eating and sleeping again. No more starving nights... I attached a picture of how big my belt got. When I left, I was on the last or 2nd to last, and now my belt is too big. haha, It still is terrible but, it is bearable now. I also saw Travis Clemon´s name on the incoming group for September or August. That was cool.
About the members, they don´t feed us every day but nearly everyday. One lady, Hermana Trinidad is an old lady whose husband died and lives by herself. She has us over every Saturday for lunch. She always tries to keep us there as long as she can, and she is very sweet. Then there´s the President who is a return missionary. He has been helping me with my spanish and I am helping him with his english. He loves to learn new words and talk to me.
So, right now...we still don´t have any real investigators. Well...progressing investigators. They are really hard to teach, and most can´t read. So it´s extremely frustrating to try to get anyone to do anything. They also have a siesta everyday and no one is awake and no stores are open.
I am absolutely pumped for the package. There could be nothing better right now...but there´s some things that you need to know. Half of the worth of everything in the box has to be payed at customs, and everything that you send me has to be in its original package. I can explain it more during our skype.
Last, before I end this email. I was reading in Alma 58 I think. This is the time of the Strippling Warriors. It talks about how none of them had ever faught before in their lives. Their mothers taught them not to doubt though, and they didn´t. The result is near the end of the chapter. It says that never before had men fought with such great strength and of course not one of them perished. Don´t doubt, and He will pull through...how great huh?
WEll, it´s still rough, but it is getting better. My back honestly hurts so bad though. It´s not the walking, it´s the constant weight of the backpack that is killing me. But, I will get a chance to talk to you next week.

Love ya
Elder Benson

Monday, April 29, 2013

Ok, so I don´t know what to write about. All our investigators dropped us. We have no investigators right now. We eat lunch around 12 everyday, and we don´t eat again until 9:30. Imagine how hard that is for me especially...We don´t have money right now, and so most nights I just go to bed without eating again, or sometimes I´ll eat a raw tomato. (which also shows how hungry I am)

Yesterday after church I got up and threw up. I can hardly eat or drink and I am pretty sick. All last night I spent in the bathroom with the runs and upchucking.

Ah, well I can testify to you that this last week was actually 1 year disguised as a week. I don´t think time has ever gone by so ridiculously slow in my entire life.

To answer some of your questions, yes we wash our own clothes in a bucket. We also take showers with a bucket. Chickens are everywhere. They are in people´s homes, just everywhere. Also, yes it does rain a lot. It is extremely humid always and always about 95 degrees and this is invierno (meaning winter). Its definitely a little warm here. Even when there are no clouds, somehow it rains. It´s just that humid. If you look at the picture I sent you, that is the entrance to the town. That is how it looks here. There are dirt paths and random houses built in the trees. Also, the only reason we don´t get lost sometimes is because of the compass flashlight thing that rachel gave me. It is wonderful.
I have not the slightest clue why San Martin was white washed. They didn´t tell us. But, there aren´t very many people ready to listen here either so that may have something to do with it. But I will definitely finish my training here at the mininum. (9 more weeks)

Well, I´m not going to be writing anyone else back today. I´m just not feeling up to it. I almost didn´t write one home this week. I will try to get dad, rachel and jared. But that´s it for this week. Please keep me in your prayers. I just need to make it a little longer. Maybe something good will happen soon too

Love
Elder Benson

Oh, ps, thanks for the pictures. They made me feel a lot better. I´m glad Jared likes his hat too. It made me really happy to hear.



Monday, April 22, 2013

Hey Guys!

Well I honestly don´t have a ton to talk about this week...It´s been
rough for sure. I honestly have to say this has been this hardest time
ever for me to stay sane. I can´t talk to anybody and everything here
is so different. Ha, as I walk down the street, I hear people call me
(in a nicely translated version) ¨there goes the crap of America¨ haha.
Ha, it´s very very frustrating right now.

Ummm..so we have a couple of investigators right now, one Macarayna.
Who just dropped us yesterday and was supposed to be baptized on
Saturday. She is a 17 year old girl who definitely needed some Christ
in her life. So we are sad about that.

Next, is a 31 year old man who we asked for directions to someone
else´s house. He has a problem smoking, and we told him we could help.
His mom and him came to church yesterday and accepted baptismal dates
for the 11th of May. SO, that´s exciting!

Umm, also, I was studying in the scriptures this week for overcoming
challenges and how I can receive the help of God. I feel like everyone
always says that Christ will help you if you ask, and I betting I´m
not the first to ask why don´t I feel his help immediately when I am
trying so hard to follow every commandment and do according to His
will. I won´t bore you with the process, but basically I came to the
conclusion that you need to do your part first. After you´ve done
everything that you possibly can, he´ll be there to give you strength
that you didn´t have. It´s interesting, because your physical body can
only go so far. And, I´ve definitely hit the wall for that, but
somehow I keep putting one foot in front of the other and I keep
moving on. Sometimes I wake up and literally feel that I can´t do it,
but I knew that if I just did it, somehow I would have energy to do
what I needed to. Ha, it´s hard, and it has to be, but you´ll always
be able to do what the Lord commands. There is always a way, even if
you feel like stopping. So, that´s my little spiritual message for the
week.

When you said that Cody Ridd is leaving, I thought that was insane. It
doesn´t seem like it should be time for that yet. Tell him good luck
and I´m proud of what he´s doing. It´s not easy to give up everything.

Also, did Jared get his birthday present?? My 100 day mark is on the
25th so keep that in mind as you are eating cake and ice cream....that
I´m in the middle of no where sweating, and eating  raw food...ha

Oh, which reminds me. We have a little step-o-meter thing, that tells
us how many kilometers we walk. Guess how many we walked in the last
week??? nope, i bet you were wrong. 174 kilometers in one week. Yes,
that is ridiculous! My feet are blistered from every toe to my ankles.
Ha, it´s terrible. My back hurts and now my hips hurt like crazy too!
It´s wonderful...haha, anyway. That´s it for now!
Love ya
Elder Benson

Monday, April 15, 2013

Hey everyone!

Ok, so I am in San Martin, and it is very very very tiny. There is a lot good and bad here. So let me start with the good:

First, my companion is Elder Solis. He is from El Salvador and speaks absolutely no English whatsoever. This is helping my Spanish a lot, because I can´t speak anything else. But, it also made me realize how much I dont know as well. I still have a lot of improvement I need to make.

Ok, next, the food here is awesome. Everything is completely fresh and farmland out here. They kill the cows and chickens right in front of you. The vegetables are picked right out of the ground and it´s great. They also have amazing bread, which is ground out and cooked right in front of you. Also, the food is cheap. Today I bought a kilo of chicken breast for only about 3 US dollars. It´s pretty cool.

Also, another thing that was cool, is we were ¨white washed¨ in this area. So it is new for both of us. So we are learning things together. On Wednesday night we had lesson with girl named Graciela and committed her for baptism that Saturday. She asked for me to baptize her and I did. I´m trying to send a picture of her and her husband. We also have committed another girl to baptism for this Saturday, but it might get pushed off for the following week.

Umm, haha one thing that is kind of funny is the Branch President of the Branch, is a 21 year old kid who got back from his mission 2 months ago. President Sanduval. He is a really good guy and he knows a couple of English Phrases that he likes to use with me. He really likes to talk to me.

So about San Martin. There are about 3 paved roads for the main part of the town. This is where the main stores are. There´s a supermercado that is about the size of our kitchen that sells some things, but to buy food you don´t use that. People set up little things in the street that sell vegetables or fruit. The next sells eggs and milk and so on. It´s pretty cool. THen you bargain with them for a fair price. Also, there are very few autos here. The richer people (which are still extremely poor) buy old dirt bikes and ride those but most people walk around in bare feet or on a horse. It´s so cool! Basically how ever you are imagining it is how it is. There are tons and tons and tons of trees that people build their houses into with bricks or wood and there is just dirt floors. Honestly, if someone was walking around in a loin cloth and a spear in their hand it would be completely normal. Also, tons and tons of walking. Everyone houses (huts more like) are miles and miles apart. So, we don´t have time for dinner ever and I can feel myself dropping like a fly.

Ok, now for the bad. So, it happens to be that in San Martin the people absolutely hate people from the United States. Like, a lot. They won´t sell me anything, they won´t talk to me or anything. My companion has to take my money and buy things for me because they refuse. They are honestly as racist as you can possibly imagine. Graciela got harassed for letting me baptize her and was so embarrassed that she didn´t even come to church the next day. I was talking to the Branch President and they said that the people here think I am here to steal from them. He also said that if I wasn´t as big as I was (the people here are small) I would´ve been robbed and mugged by now.

We went to a lesson with a girl named Macarayna and she only agreed to let us talk to her if I would promise not to say anything. And in other lessons the people just laugh hysterically when I try to speak. They really don´t like me here...it´s really really discouraging. I feel like I´m messing it up more than I am helping. Well, for now, that is really all I have to say. Hopefully they´ll start to warm up to me a little more, but for now, it´s honestly a living nightmare of a mission area. Haha...anyway. I hope you all are doing well. I´ll talk to you soon!

Elder Benson

                                   The temple in Buenos Aires


                              Elder Benson,  Elder Barker and Elder Howell in Houston, TX


                                 Elder Solis, Graciela and her husband with Elder Benson

Wednesday, April 10, 2013

Elder Benson with his new companion Elder Solis and Pres. and Sis. Heyman



Dear Benson Family,

Sister Heyman and I are pleased to inform you that Elder Benson arrived in La Gran Misión Argentina Resistencia this evening.  We welcomed him to the mission, ate a small dinner and let them rest.  The next day we had a small briefing of the fun facts and necessary information about the mission.  After that he met his new companion, Elder Solis and they headed off for their area called San Martín in the province of Chaco.

A mission is a wonderful experience filled with challenge and success that strengthens the testimony of each missionary.  A great support that you as a family can give your son during his mission is uplifting letters.  In addition to using email, you can send packages and letters to our address:

(Missionary´s Name)
Misión Argentina Resistenica
Entre Ríos 435
Resistencia Chaco CP 3500
Argentina

 You may also send letters (and only letters taped shut; no envelopes) via the ¨pouch¨
                                              
                                                              (Missionary’s Name)
                                                               Misión Argentina Resistencia
                                                               POB 30150
                                                               Salt Lake City, UT 84130-0150

We encourage each of our missionaries to email their parents each week. Please let me know if a reminder to him is needed. You may contact me at:  rheyman@ldschurch.org

It will be our privilege to work closely with Elder Benson here in Argentina.  We are blessed to have him join us in this mission to proclaim the gospel of Jesus Christ.  Thank you for sharing your son with us. 

Sincerely,

President Raymond S. Heyman
Misión Argentina Resistencia

Monday, April 1, 2013


 I didn't get your package, (it comes straight to my apartment if it's the 6666 Chetwood, but if you sent it to the mission office in Sugarland then i won't see it till today) and there is bad news. We are moving today. We got called on Saturday and they told us that we are switching apartments and we don't even know where we are going. All we know is that we are leaving at 1 o'clock today. But, I'm sure we will be able to figure out how to get the package still so don't worry about that. We have no idea why or where, so I'll have to keep you posted on that. But, do NOT send anything else to 6666 Chetwood

 So, to be honest there isn't a ton to talk about this week. Easter was kind of lame, it was the exact same as every other day. Elsa is still pumped to be baptized and is set for the 13th still. Sonia, and her family aren't going to be able to make that date though...which is sad.

Oh that reminds me, we call every two weeks and ask about our Visas, and this week they wouldn't tell any of us. The other missionaries say that they do that when they come in because if they told us that we got them, they think some missionaries would become trunky and stay up late the night before. So I don't know, we could be leaving soon, but I really don't have too much of an idea right now.

Ha, oh yeah, on Thursday night I went on an exchange and I went into a new area for a day. We were planning to bike the whole day because we had a lot of area to cover. We woke up the next morning and my bike tire was flat, so we ended up having to walk from 12 to 4 to make our first appointment. Then walk back. We taught 1 lesson and walked 26 miles. Haha it was pretty good preparation for Argentina.

There also was a member that just moved into the ward, and she is from Formosa, Argentina. I told her that I was going to Resistencia in a couple weeks, and that Formosa was in my mission and she got so excited! She is having us over for lunch next Sunday for Conference. So, that should be really fun! I'm really excited to hear what she says about it! She doesn't speak any English, and her accent was hard to understand but it's good prep!

And about Helaman 5:12, I didn't even have to look it up because I've read it about 6,000 times in the last 2 and a half months. I couldn't agree more. I think that you should have the whole family memorize it. That is really great.

Also, I'm glad to hear that Jared, Jackson, and BJ will be ok with having a sleepover when I get back. I was worried that we maybe wouldn't be as close when I came back.

I was reading in Jesus the Christ the other day, (thank you Jim!) and I came across something that was really interesting to me. A lot of the times, when we receive a blessing, and it doesn't work miracles, it's not because of the person giving the blessing (it definitely can be) but it usually is the person's faith receiving the blessing. I think this applies to much more than that too. When you pray for something, or even in the this temporal world, we can only receive what our mind believes that it can. So, if you don't think that you have the energy to go to work, or go to school, you won't. If you don't think that you'll receive anything from prayer you won't. It's all concerning your own faith and belief. Anyway, that was really interesting to me. I feel as I get to know Christ better through studying his life and praying about him, my testimony in everything else got so much stronger.

I think that's it for now. Thanks for everything! I hope I get that package soon so I can send you some pictures!

Love ya bunches, try not to forget about me:)

Monday, March 25, 2013

Hey mom and family!

How are you guys??? That's great to hear about all that by the way I am pumped about Jared doing well in school. I hope you can find some good recipes and stuff because sometimes I just get stuck eating celery and eggs...haha speaking of which I only weigh 175 because we don't get to eat a lot down here. But, that'll change soon because we have a lot of members feeding us this week for Easter! Also, I haven't gotten your package yet so I will look for it.

Next, tell Grandma, Shanette, Kellene, and Michelle sorry I didn't email them or write them. Sometimes we get kicked out of the library because there are classes here and I don't get a lot of time to email.

Well, this week was a miracle week for sure. My companionship fasted to find some more people and prayed really hard. My area hasn't had a baptism for almost 3 years now so it hasn't been succesful. Anyway, we were in a complex called "Westward Square" (where a guy got shot in the head a couple weeks ago) trying to get a hold of one of our investigators. A lady, named Elsa, walked up to us and starting talking to us. It was obvious that she needed someone to just talk to. We didn't have anything better to do so we listened. She ended up telling us her dad died a couple days ago, and she was very upset. She told us to come by again when we had the chance. So, the next day we stopped by and talked to her about the blessings the church could bring her. She quickly accepted it and believed everything we said. I then invited her to be baptized and she is going to be baptized on the 13th of April and asked me to do it! So I am going to at least stay in Houston until then because I really care for this lady even though I hardly know her and I am so honored to baptize her.

Then, after that appointment, we left to one of our investigators named Sonia. She has been taking lessons for awhile and is progressing very well lately. Well, being "in the zone" I just decided to invite her to be baptized on the same date. We had just read 2 Nephi 31 where it talks about Jesus being baptized. She teared up and told us she knows she needs to and accepted the date too. I will also be baptizing her on the 13th. She has 6 kids, and 2 of them are over 8 and will be baptized soon too, but I probably won't be doing that. Anyway I am completley pumped about it. I can't even wait!

Then a couple days later we were at a less active member and her friend walked in and told us about how dumb she thinks the Catholic church is because they baptize babies. We told her what we believed and she accepted it very fast. She is pumped to know more about our church and we are going to teach her and extend a baptismal date tonight for the 13th or the 20th.

Then, we had a teenage member give us his friend as a referral who is taking lessons and loves to read the Book of Mormon. He soaks it all in like a sponge and on Wednesday we are going to invite him to be baptized too.

Which brings me to the spiritual message of this message. The miracle of prayer and fasting. We were reading in 3rd Nephi where the disciples of Christ are fasting and praying together. After they fasted and prayed Jesus showed himself to them and asked what they needed. We took that message to heart and gave it a try. I testify that this can happen to anyone because it happened to us. We could feel Christ asking us what we needed and as soon as we asked for it we were given it. Anything that you ask for in faith will be given to you. I am pumped, and everything is going great here now.

Well, I don't have too much else to talk about. I am going to try and email everyone back today. I am excited for the package;) haha love you guys! keep me posted!

Monday, March 18, 2013

Hey family!
It's probably a good thing that you didn't send me a package because there are a couple more things that I was hoping you could send...I was wondering if dad or grandpa would be willing to send their mission journal so I could read it. I think it could help me. Also, I was wondering if you could send a box of Ancient Grains fromCostco, I had a craving for it all the sudden. Next is our recipe for oatmeal chocolate chip cookies. And lastly, I keep forgetting to ask for this, but I need some bed sheets. The ones grandma gave me just have two thin blankets. I need the thing that goes over the mattress. Then anything HEALTHY you want to send would be great. If you can, I would love it if you could look up some tips or buy a health nurtition book to help me eat well here, just anything with tips, healthy snacks or whatever. Anything extra would be great.
Next, why in the world has Rachel not written me back? I haven't heard anything from Jared either! Tell them to get writing. We were in a store the other day and I heard the song "Payphone" by Maroon 5 come one and it made me miss you guys a lot....haha Also, I was wondering if you could check to see how much money is on my card. As for everyone writing me emails, that is great, but I have one hour to write you, my mission president and all my friends and family. So, I would rather you just gave it to the Apgoods, Halversons, Reynolds, and the Peterson's are of course fine. Just close people...cuz I won't have time to write everyone every week. Once I'm out in Argentina though, it'll definitely be ok to give it to everyone.
Sorry I wasn't more clear. There was a chance of me leaving today for Argentina, but I just got news that I will finish the transfer here unless told otherwise. So no worries. Also, thank you so much for the stories that you told me. I loved reading about Morty for sure. He still hasn't written me by the way. See if you can get his email for me.
Well, let me tell you about the week I had now...First, I have witnessed some crazy things in Houston. I totally just watched a gang fight just about to start and then about 10 minutes later there were cops and ambulances everywhere and a couple people were killed. My area is sketch haha
But, I grew more this week than I have in a long time. We had exchanges on Tuesday. (Where you do a companion swap for the full day). I got put with an Elder that didn't speak Spanish and I had 2 Spanish lessons to teach today and my Spanish is WAY below par still. I seriously prayed so hard that I would be able to teach the lesson I wanted to. I was supposed to teach a guy named Ernesto, (which is our "atheist"). He is our harest investigator because he wants to see things before he believes them. I went in their feeling a little nervous. I came in and his friend/roomate was getting pretty drunk. I started in the lesson and he stopped and started asking questions. For some reason, I understood everything he said. I answered back without thinking and realized it was exactly what he wanted to hear. My confidence grew and we went into a deep conversation while my temoporary companion stared at the drunk guy in the room. At the end of the lesson the Spirit was so strong and I beared my testimony that if he would just act on his desires that he would be able to recieve faith and be baptized. He finally agreed to come to church and he is heading in the right direction now. After words, he told my trainers that he couldn't believe that I learned to speak that fast. It was so awesome.
Next, after we left to go teach another lesson. We knocked on the door and they weren't there. The apartment next door opened his door because he thought we knocked on his door. He tried to close it again when he saw who we were but I quickly started talking to him. As I started a conversation and found out that his name is William, and he came straight from Honduras and spoke no English yet. He has been here a month and was looking for a Church to attend. He was a little hesitant but he agreed to let us come back on Sunday. So we came yesterday, and taught him the Restoration. He absolutely loved it. He asked tons of questions and said it made tons of sense. At the end of the lesson I decided to invite him to be baptized and he is set up for the 13th of April! What...??!! First baptism! Hopefully he'll keep progressing and that date will stay the same.
There's some other stories that I would love to tell you but I don't quite have time. We got 2 new families to teach too that are great. Then we went to an old investigators door after feeling inspired to do so, and we found a new guy living there who we taught too. He is awesome.
Well, if you couldn't guess I want to talk a little bit about obtaining faith. I think the first thing we need to relize is that faith is a gift. It isn't something that we should take lightly. We look back in the scriptures and see prophets that have it. One, that really sticks out to me is Abinadi. He knew that no matter what he would be protected. I don't think there were too many men in the history of this world that had more faith than Abinadi. So, how did he obtain so much faith? First, he knew the Will of the Lord. He knew it so well that he could say every word that came out of his mouth with 100% confidence. How do you get to know the Will of the Lord that well? That simply comes from knowing the Lord. So, develop your realtionship with the Lord. How can you do that? Well, in Jacob it says that they followed the words of the prophets so they would have their hearts turned to the Lord. Then after they were able to obtain a hope, or desire. Then in Alma 32 it says that if you just act on the tiny desire in you heart that you could start to grow your faith. But, it doesn't grow unless you act on it. When you act on it, it grows stronger and stronger.
Eventually you're faith in the Lord will be strong and your relationship as well. Once, you know the Lord well enough you can know His Will. Then you'll be able to say things like Abinadi did, and have 100% confidence in everything that you do. That's when power comes, and with power comes miracles. If you want miracles, it starts by developing your relationship with the Lord.
Well, thank you so much for everything you guys are doing for me. I love you bunches. Time is going by fast and before you know it I will be on my way home. It's already been over 2 months and it feels like I just left. Everyone says that it just starts going faster too. Love you bunches, tell me if I can do something for you!.
Elder Benson

Monday, March 11, 2013

Hey guys!
So I actually got the package on Saturday night, but I couldn't pick it up til this morning but I did get it. Thank you very much! I starve out here sometimes...Before I get started though a new announcement just came out from the missionary department. It says that we are now allowed to email all family and even friends, and we are allowed to email for a longer amount of time too! So...if any of the family or Jordan wants to email me they can now! If they want just handwritten letters that is just fine too. I love getting hand written things too. Also, that discus is the High School's...I meant to give it back before I left but I totally spaced it, and same with the lifting belt. So...sorry about that.
I just read your handwritten letters. First off, that is awesome that Jared is doing so well in shot put! I'm very excited to hear about that. I hope he sticks with it and gets really good. That was definitely farther than I threw! I'm expecting him to win Alpine Days too. That's so cool. Keep me updated on it, I am really excited to hear about that!
Ok, next. My spanish is going really well. I can effectively communicate with a Spanish person now. My understanding isn't that great, but it gets better fast because that's the only language the people speak here. I have already taken the lead in lessons and I can pretty well get through basic conversations, but my vocabulary isn't that extraordinary yet...haha. A lot of the members in our ward recognize that and like to mess with me. It's really fun.
The weather down here is great by the way. Last night, we walked outside after a devotional and I was freezing. I thought for sure it must have been 30 degrees, but we checked the thermometer and it was 58...I've already gotten spoiled with warm weather. I then starting thinking about it and realized that when I come home from Argentina it'll be hitting the 100's for their summer, and then I'll come home to our winter...that'll be fun.
As for my companions, they are still good. They are fun and are helping me a lot. One leaves in August and the other in November. They are both from Utah.
I'm glad to hear you got the pictures of me and my mission president. I like him he's really nice but he has 7 kids and seems very busy. He did go to Harvard for Graduate school.
Oh! As for the pictures, I don't have a SD Card Reader. I need one in order to send pictures. Printing them off at Wal-Mart might work though. I'll see if I can do that soon. Sorry I haven't been able to get anymore pictures to you guys, I will try to do better!
Umm...lets see my cold and flus are gone. The nice humid air seemed to do the trick, so that's nice. It's the first time in 8 weeks that I haven't been sick! Can you believe it has been 8 weeks since you dropped me off at the MTC? It doesn't seem that long, but then sometimes it does. Also, my back is doing better now that I'm up and moving a lot. Like dad said in his letter, it's nice to be up and doing real missionary work.
Also, I have no idea when I will leave. I have to call on every other Wednesday to check for my Visa. So I will call this Wednesday and they will check, but even if it is ready I won't leave for another week after. So you can definitely fit in another package and no I didn't get the chance to get locks on my luggage, so if you want to send those to me too that'd be great. I can't think of anything else that I need so I think that is it.
Ok, now for experiences I've had this week. Lets start with food; first, if you ever somehow end up in Houston, go to a place called Taco La Bala. It has the best food in the world. We got to go their for our last P-Day and it was legit. Second, I've also had the worst food I've ever had. We went to a members house to eat. One thing to keep in mind, is ever since I was set apart, I've been able to eat anything. I eat tomatoes plain, celery by the stick and even raddishes. All sorts of things I wouldn't eat before. But, this was horrible. Someone served us something called "Chichiron" (don't know if it's spelled right), but basically they kill a pig cut off the skin and put it in the oven for a couple mins and serve it to you. Luckily, I got the good kind that still had some pig hair attached onto the skin. It's pure fat too, so it's nice and healthy. I gained a strong testimony of prayer that night, as I prayed with all my heart, might, mind and strength that I would be able to eat it. I got it down, but right after we all left and gagged the rest of the night. It was not good. Yuck.
One of our family investigators, Luby and Juan, (who are actually from Nicaragua by the way, I got them mixed up) have been doing really well. Luby loves us and made us some covers they make in Nicaragua to send home to you guys. They are for microwaves, bread boxes and all these other things. We don't really use them in America, but you can have them as decorations/souveniers. She is very sweet. They've been helping me with my Spanish a lot too.
Also, as we went on splits on Friday. Elder Howell and I went tracting/OYMing. All of our lessons fell through and we were discouraged. We decided to pray and ask for someone to teach. As we finished a Cuban dude just walked past us and asked what we were doing. We were kind of surprised. He took us in his apartment, taught him about the Restoration and gave him a Book of Mormon. He talked to us about how he had always believed in God but never felt good about any church that he has gone to. He was extremely friendly and invited us back. We read a little of the Book of Mormon before we left and he was so excited. He can't wait to read and study it, and we are gonna see him again this week. It was incredidble. His name was Asercis. (Ah-seer-sees)
Our "Atheist" investigator, Ernesto, made strides and bounds. We decided to have a barbecue for all our investigators in the district and they got to come together and talk and eat Fajita. He was really impressed with the people in the church and was really excited. He came to the church the next day and kept asking to see the baptismal font. We opened the doors for him and then he asked to step down into it. He got down there and the Spirit was just amazingly strong. He went home feeling very happy and peaceful. I think he isn't Atheist anymore.
Well, I also wanted to leave you a quick spiritual message about tempations. I don't have a ton of time but I will make it the best I can. I was reading In 1 Nephi 12:17 (I think haha) it talked about tempatations blind our eyes and hardening our hearts which eventually bring us to perish and be lost. I started thinking about it, and initially it seems so obvious. Temptations our bad, right? But, I don't think we realize how often it really is around us. Even things that don't seem bad: video games, tv, computer, etc...blind our eyes. Then the next question is, how do we overcome them? The answer given in the scriptures are wactchfulness and constant prayer. Also, in D&C 23:1 (or somewhere around there) it says we can't have pride or we won't have power. In Galatians 6:1-2 It talks about accepting others. 1 Ne 15:23-25 it tells us how we need to follow the word of God and in Thessolonians 3:5-7 it tells us we need to do good works and by doing all these things we can hopefully change our perspective on things and overcome temptation. There's a talk a was reading that said that it is possible to overcome nearly all tempation. In the Book of Mormon the prophets are so powerful that Satan basically doesn't even try. How awesome would it be to get to that point? We just need to always be striving to do better than we did before so we can. Also, in Peter 1:6-9 it says we need to view temptation as an oppurtunity, because when we overcome it we shall be blessed. Changing your perspective can be the difference.
Well, I don't have time for too much more. Thanks so much for the package, I'm so glad. I hope everything else is good. Tell me if you guys need something. I pray for you individually every night, and I miss you guys a ton. Love you bunches.
Elder Benson

Monday, March 4, 2013

                      
                                                            Jake in Houston
Hey guys! It's great to hear from you! My P-Day just happened to be the same day as it was before!
Also, here is my new address:
Elder Benson
#180 6666 Chetwood
Houston, TX 77081
I'm super pumped about Denise. I wrote down her number and I will definitely give her a call as soon as possible! Hopefully we can talk to her a little bit before I leave here. Every two weeks they give me travel plans to Argentina, but I obviously can't leave until I get my Visa. But that means when I get it I won't have to wait for a full transfer to leave here too.
So far, I love it here. It is at least 60,000x better than the MTC. There still are ups and downs though. First though, I'm actually in a trio companionship with the Zone Leaders. They put me with them so I could be a "Zone Leader in Training" for when I go down to Argentina. They want me to be prepared to be a Zone Leader as soon as 6 months in my mission which is completely unheard of, but we will see what happens. My companions are Elder Barker and Elder Howell. They are LEGIT too. Elder Barker was raised in a tiny town in Utah, which I can't remember the name of right now....but he went to Box Elder High School. He was a farm boy with 70 acres of land. He is super nice and really smart too. Then Elder Howell is from North Ogden and I can't remember which school he went to right now...but I think it was just Ogden High School. He ran track and cross country in high school. We get along just fine haha. They were looking for better workouts to do in the morning and so now they do my workouts. They love it. We have tons of fun all the time too. As soon as I can I will get some pictures and send them to you.
Next, the area I got put into is crazy. There has been 2 baptisms in the last 3 years. We cover a bunch of very "sketchy" apartment complexes. One of them called "Las Americas" just had a guy shot and killed on Thursday. Another is called "Westward Square" and there was a person knived nearly to death. They are filled with drunk illegal Mexicans all the time. It's pretty sweet. Before you freak out though, it's actually not that dangerous somehow. We go proselyte after dark in those complexes and the Spanish people love us. On Friday we went on splits, and Elder Howell and I went after dark to a complex called "PeachTree" and there were a bunch of drunk illegals having a beer/barbecue party. We went over to talk to them and they kept giving us fajitas and barbecued chicken as we told them about our church. They stopped drinking, changed their music and invited us to next week's fiesta. It's crazy. I've definitely talked to more drunk people this week than the rest of my life combined. The people are very respectful to missionaries though. They seem to realized that we are different than the rest of them.
So our area covers places like that, but it also covers the Houston Astrodome to the East. There's a hospital there that is in our area too. When we are on that side we start seeing some really expensive cars. My first day here I saw a convertible Audi R8. I didn't even know they made those. We also go by a Ferrari, Porsche, and Maserati dealerships most days. So we have some very diverse people in my area.
Let me tell you about some of the investigators and members in our area too. We have this older couple we call "Papa Juan" and "Mama Luby". They are from Honduras and they are some of the nicest people ever. They have been investigating for awhile and Luby wants to be baptized but Juan isn't sure. They are not marrried but living together. So we are trying to get them married first. Luby is all in, but Juan isn't quite sure yet, but they love when we come by so we visit them a lot.
Next, is a lady named Carol. She is married with two kids. I have yet to see her husband, because he works a lot. She has a girl named Fredi who is slightly autistic so she goes crazy when we come over sometimes. Her other baby girl is only 5 months old. She is very interested, and I think we will probably get her baptized soon if everything goes well, which would be awesome becasue we haven't baptized in a long time.
Also, there is a man named Ernesto, who at first told us he was Atheist but he wanted to hear what we were gonna say just in case. He's had us over 3 times since then (we met him Wednesday night) and loves talking to us about the Gospel. He is making giant steps, but we still have a lot to teach him.
The most complicated and frustrating right now is a man Adrian. He told us that he believes that the Book of Mormon is the word of God but doesn't understand why he needs to be baptized and join the Church...? We try to explain things to him but he isn't a very educated man.
The thing that is giving us the most problems is the Pentiscostal (I have 0 idea how to spell it) Churches here. They are ridiculous too. I'm sure dad has heard of them. In church their pastor gets up and screams and they play tons of loud music and then they all scream and they believe that is what the "gift of tongues" is. Because only God can understand whatt they were screaming or something like that. It makes almost sense but the people down here love it.
Also, we have a member named Hermano Sanchez. He is a recent convert and he loves having missionaries over for dinner. It was our turn on Thursday and he makes the best dang Mexican food I have ever had. His salsa was so good, I don't think I can eat other salsa again. It was LEGIT>
Last thing, (I think) if you want to send jerky or protein bars you are more than welcome. We don't get a ton of money for food, and we don't get members to feed us harldy ever. So we don't really get a chance to eat very much most days. I'm usually starving haha so if you want to you totally can.
My goal this week as I was reading my scriptures is to develop charity in my heart. All the prophets that had charity were able to do some mircaculous things. Also, I read in the scriptures (I think it was Mormon 9:10-11, I don't have my scriptures with me at the second) that God is still a God of miracles. I know we say that a lot, but do we actually believe that he will provide miracles for us? We need to develop and exercise our faith. If you do everything in your power don't be afraid to ask and expect for miracles. Somtimes that's what we need.
Any way, that's all I have time for right now. Thank you so much for fasting for me, I appreciate it soo much!:) My back hurts, but it's definitely improving. And tell Jordan and Meagan that I am writing them back and tell them sorry I haven't had time to so far but their letters will come soon!! Ummm...can't think of anything else. But, I bet it's a lot warmer and nicer here than it is there;) haha! Tell me if you need anything. Hopefully I hear from someone throughout the week!
Elder Benson