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

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