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

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