Monday, February 29, 2016

Just about 6 Months in the Mission

“I saw a pillar of light exactly over my head, above the brightness of the sun, which descended gradually until it fell upon me…When the light rested upon me I saw two Personages, whose brightness and glory defy all description, standing above me in the air. One of them spake unto me, calling me by name and said, pointing to the other—This is My Beloved Son. Hear Him!” Joseph Smith's First Vision

Buenas Tardes!

This was an awesome week full of miracles! Some of the miracles that we witnessed this week were we had 5 less actives come to church and we gained a new amazing investigator who accepted baptism in our first lesson with him! His name is Aldrin and is the boyfriend of a member here in Los Pinos. He came to church this last Sunday and is truly searching for God in his life and ahh it is such a blessing to have found him because I know he will be baptized at the end of this month!

10 pm run to the store to get toilet paper!
We had almost 20 contacts in the street again which was really successful for us and I feel a lot more confident here in our area and where to go now and talking to strangers haha. Of course when people reject us, when appointments fall, or the heat gets to us that's the hard part haha. Those are the times that my knowledge and testimony is strengthened. The best thing that happened this week was the lesson with Aldrin and accepting to be baptized and I helped him pray for the first time. I've noticed lately that the Spirit has really helped me in our lessons and the words easily come to me when we are in the Spirit of God teaching His word.
Heira, Aldrin & I

We are progressing a little with Juan de Dios and Elva. We told Juan that we can bring him to a Job Center that the church has here in Culiacan to help him find a good job to help him attend church on Sunday and find a good university he can go to. Our area is probably a 2 or 3 miles across I would guess. Its pretty big I would say. Walking all day is kinda difficult but we split up our area in 4 parts and each day we are focusing on just one part of our area to make things easier. We have 8 missionaries in our zone and this week we had the chance to attend a baptism for the sister missionaries in our district.
We ordered sushi
Te queremos- we love you!
I can't believe i'm coming up on my 6 month mark here in the mission! In these last six months i've learned more Spanish than I could have ever imagined. I'm truly blessed for this experience I have to learn a new language and culture. I know my Heavenly Father has strengthened me in my difficulties with Spanish.
A Mexican dessert called Capriotada

I know without a doubt that The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints is the true church on the earth. We have had many opportunities to teach that Christ established his church here on the earth over 2000 years again and authority of the prophets and apostles was lost after they were rejected and murdered which lead to the formation of many churches today. I know that Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ appeared to a young boy Joseph Smith to restore the same church that Christ organized in the last days. I know this is true!!

Elder Bennett
I made BBQ ribs for the first time
Good stuff!

Monday, February 22, 2016

Bunnies, Stake Conference and Dead Bodies


“Whosoever shall put their trust in God shall be supported in their trials, and their troubles, and their afflictions, and shall be lifted up at the last day.”

Alma 36:3
New Zona
New District

Hey everyone it was another warm and exciting week here in Culiacán! We had a decent week, not a great week with our investigators because they were all busy and we weren't able to teach them :( We are praying and fasting that we can have miracles in our area that is progressing very slowly. Our efforts in contacting people in the street were improving but the people are so rude to us sometimes and have crazy ideas about us Mormons. It's hard getting rejected by the people but we haven't lost our spirit and drive to help everyone come unto Christ!
Lunch with Hna Luz, enchiladas
In our area this week we were walking back to our house and we noticed a lot of police cars and firetrucks down the street on which we live and so we decided to go check it out and we saw the fireman down in the sewers looking for 2 dead bodies. They eventually found the bodies not too far from our area so that's kinda scary. Everyday Elder Cruz and I try to have something exciting to write in our journals in our adventures here in Culiacán
Lots of people searching
Looking for dead bodies
We had Stake Conference this weekend and so we were able to hear uplifting messages from our inspired leaders. This is the last stake conference for Presidente and Hermana Velez so that was sad :( Hermana Velez gave a talk about the importance of paying a full tithe and that there isn't a reason why we shouldn't give to the Lord when He has given us so much and the blessing are there for us to receive. Presidente Velez is such a great speaker, he is like listening to Elder Holland haha. He counseled us to not try to be good people, but more importantly to be better than we were the day before. As we read our scriptures, pray, serve others, attend church, and obey the commandments we improve our faith and love for our Heavenly Father.
I made spaghetti
Today for P-day we went with the Elders in our district and Elder Villeda and his companion who we met in Escuinapa to play pool in Forum the big mall and eat at Taco Moreno again which is always a cultural blessing haha!
Pday:Taco Moreno
This week I studied a lot about faith, repentance and the need for each of us to have a correct and divine baptism like our Savior Jesus Christ set for us. I love how through Christ's Atonement everyone has the opportunity to be free from the burden of our sins and be perfected. What a blessing it is to help the people in my mission understand the Gospel that Christ taught when he came to the earth.
Elder Cruz made tacos

I want to testify that God our loving Heavenly Father knows us personally and wants us to learn and understand His plan for us here during our earth life so we can someday return to His presence and live with him and our families for eternity!
Cool wall mural
The Church is True!

Elder Bennett
A rather interesting car

Monday, February 15, 2016

Los Pinos for another 6 weeks

“And it came to pass that I, Nephi, said unto my father: I will go and do the things which the Lord hath commanded, for I know that the Lord giveth no commandments unto the children of men, save he shall prepare a way for them that they may accomplish the thing which he commandeth them.”

1 Nephi 3:7

What a crazy week it has been! I really have come to enjoy the Lord's work as I always look for opportunities to serve others, because that's what brings us joy! I feel like I have truly become a convert to the Church through these last 5 1/2 months I already have in the mission. It's crazy how fast the time is going!
District Meeting

This week I learned the importance of diligence. The heat is really starting up here as it's 100 degrees here almost everyday. And the people here say that it is still winter here with these temps. Elder Cruz and I have been suffering through the heat this week because it sucks a lot of energy from us and we tire easily. So I've learned the value of pressing forward despite being tired and hot. This isn't my time and the people we are teaching and i have grown to love here helps motivate me to be a diligent missionary.
Last District Meeting together
On Saturday our district leader called and told us about cambios and said that I'm going to La Paz in the Baja! My companion and I freaked out and then he told us that it's a joke and that Elder Cruz and I are here in Los Pinos for another transfer haha.
Getting a new DL and ZL
Our investigators are doing pretty well! Juan de Dios is awesome and he accepted a baptismal date for the 19th of March but his wife Elva is still unsure for the need to be baptized. This is the same exact situation we had with Fransisco and his wife Nieves. We are praying hard that she will come to know the need of a correct and divine baptism the same way that Christ way baptized. We were able to teach them about the Book of Mormon this week and how the Bible and Book of Mormon go hand-in-hand and support each other. "By the mouth of 2 or 3 witnesses, I will establish my word"
Jenga game with Ward Mission Leader
Elder Cruz and I have been going to the gym and lifting weights and running everyday and it's been great! We excited for another opportunity to work together, develop our relationship and help everyone come unto Christ!
Elder Cruz
There is a lot of talk of the "Papa" or the Pope who is here in Mexico. We heard that he is getting paid $36 million pesos for every minute he is here- which is an insane amount of money.

I can't think what my life would be like if I wasn't a member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. I know without a doubt this is the true church here on the earth. I know Christ suffered and died for us and provided the way to live with our Heavenly Father again someday. I know the Gospel blesses families and they can be eternal. I'm grateful for this knowledge.

Feliz San Valentin!

Elder Bennett

Monday, February 8, 2016

Patience, a PR & the Plan of Salvation

Ether 12:6 “And if men come unto me I will show unto them their weakness. I give unto men weakness that they may be humble; and my grace is sufficient for all men that humble themselves before me; for if they humble themselves before me, and have faith in me, then will I make weak things become strong unto them.”
In the park


This week was very interesting! We had a lot of things happen, lots of work and as a result some success as well! We had divisions with the Assistants of the Mission and also our Zone Leaders so Elder Cruz and I learned a lot from them and our numbers this week were the best that I've had in my mission so far!
Elder Cruz and I

We had two lessons with Juan de Dios and Elva which were really good!! Juan de Dios is progressing and learning a lot and we are so excited for him because we can feel that the Lord has prepared him to learn the teachings of Christ in his life right now. We taught him about the Apostasy and also about the Book of Mormon and gave him a copy. We asked if he would like to be baptized on the 12th of March and he said he wants to talk to his wife so he can be baptized with her and we were like Wow, that's awesome haha.
Familia Leon

We gained a new investigator named Fransisca. That's kinda funny because we just baptized Fransisco lol. She is 60 years old and has a lot of interest in the Plan of Salvation and where we came from before we were born, why we are here, and where we are going after we die.
We made hotcakes

We had a personal record of 20 contacts in the street this week which was pretty exciting for us. We witnessed someone also get ran over this week which was kinda scary. There's lot of crazy things that go on here in Mexico.

one of the houses of El Chapo
Elder Cruz and I had a learning experience this week. We were both pretty tired and we weren't having much success.We finished a lesson and I said we can visit you the next Saturday but Elder Cruz said on Tuesday is better. I got mad I don't know why but I was just really irritated and we went back to the casa. He sat me down and we read some scriptures and our white manual and in preach my gospel about patience and it was a really eye opening experience for me. I'm really grateful for my comp who is teaching me a lot and how to be a better person. I asked if we could say a prayer before we left to work again and I said it and I just started crying, I felt bad for how I had acted and I learned the importance of patience and love and repentance as well.
Being Silly!

Today, we went bowling as a zone again and it was so fun! I got last hahaha. But we had a good time and took a lot of pictures.
Our District
Even more bowling pictures!
Having fun!
Waiting for the bus
100% Culichi (whatever you do don't look up this term- it's not nice what I found)
Then we ate tacos at Taco Moreno again in the Centro.
Quesadilla and horchata

Transfers are next week and I don't know what will happen but I trust in the Lord in all things and have faith that all will be okay as long as I strive to be obedient and have a positive attitude and love for everyone!

Gracias por todo!!

Elder Bennett

Monday, February 1, 2016

Bowling, fried ice cream and a baptism

3 Nephi 18:24 Therefore, hold up your light that it may shine unto the world. Behold I am the light which ye shall hold up—that which ye have seen me do. Behold ye see that I have prayed unto the Father, and ye all have witnessed.

Hola everyone!

It was a wonderful week because we had the baptism of Fransisco! We were really excited and happy for him. He has had a rough life and doesn't have support to be baptized from his wife or kids. We had a special surprise from Presidente Velez and his wife who came to support Fransisco. Watching Fransisco come up out of the water made me smile really big. After the service we celebrated Fransisco's 77th birthday and ate cake! The next day he was confirmed with the Gift of the Holy Ghost and he started to cry and all the members were so nice and congratulated him in this step in towards salvation.
Cleaning the font for the baptism
Fransisco's Baptism
We are also excited because this week we had a lot of awesome lessons with members and investigators. We challenged a young couple Juan de Dios(19) and his wife Elva (17) to be baptized after we talked about the Restoration of the church and they said yes! Elva said that she has family in Omaha who are going to be baptized as well, so that's pretty cool! They are really great and hope we can continue to teach and baptize them like Fransisco.

One day during the week we were walking through the street to our next plan when I had the impression to visit another contact here in Culiacan we've been visiting often, Alberto. The Spirit lead us to Alberto because he told us that he's been in jail and got out recently. He said that he worked in marijuana field and they were given guns and when the military arrive they can protect themselves. He tells us that he is sad that all his friends died and drinks a lot. We bore testimony of the Atonement of Jesus Christ and we have the happiness that he's been looking for in his life. It was a very spiritual experience that day.

Sushi Sabado with Familia Davalos

We've been suffering more since the warm weather is starting up again and it's only January. The heat here is a lot different than Teacapan, the sun just burns and in near the sea there's more humidity.
Fried Ice Cream with the Ward Mission Leader

Today for P-day we went bowling with 2 other companionships at one of the Plazas near to our house. We also played pool and it was really fun! I got second place in bowling.
More Bowling

2nd place
Playing around

I've learned a lot of things with my companion Elder Cruz. He is so patient and kind to everyone and this cambio seemed liked it flew by with him. We've been hard at work, contacting many people, and doing the work of the Lord. I get a lot of peace reading the scriptures after a hard days work. It's hard because almost always things don't work out like we want them to but our faith never hinders and we keep moving forward with a postive attitude.

Gym Rats
Junta de zona
Silly picture
Hope everyone has a great week! Take care!

Elder Bennett

Tomateros stadium- I guess the owner just died- thus all the flowers