Monday, May 27, 2013

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 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 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