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 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).'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'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

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