Monday, March 4, 2013

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

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