Monday, March 28, 2016

Semana Santa

2 Nephi 9:10. “O How Great the Goodness of Our God”

President Gordon B. Hinckley (1910–2008) expressed gratitude for the Savior’s role in fulfilling the Atonement: “Thanks be to God for the wonder and the majesty of His eternal plan. Thank and glorify His Beloved Son, who, with indescribable suffering, gave His life on Calvary’s cross to pay the debt of mortal sin. He it was who, through His atoning sacrifice, broke the bonds of death and with godly power rose triumphant from the tomb. He is our Redeemer, the Redeemer of all mankind. He is the Savior of the world. He is the Son of God, the Author of our salvation”

Buenas tardes! Feliz Semana Santa y Pascua!

Elder Tineo- my new son from the Dominican Republic
Another week here in here in the beautiful Culiacán with this time to be a full time servant of my Heavenly Father. This upcoming week I'll complete 7 months in the mission! 

I have a lot of emotions right now because today I picked up my new companion today in the office. On Saturday my district leader called and told us of our transfers and told me that I am going to be training a brand new missionary! I could hardly believe it when I found out because normally missionaries with more experience train other missionaries but I know that Presidente Velez receives revelation for every one of the transfers and this experience of training with be just as much a learning experience for him as much as for me.

Family Reunion: seeing Elder Moncayo & his companion at the mission home
My new companion is Elder Tineo! He is from the Dominican Republic. He is 18 years old and love to play basketball. He went to the CCM in Mexico same as me and he is excited to work and teach!

Seeing Elder Castillo again

Hopefully this week will be a lot better than last week, Semana Santa, because everyone was gone on vacations to celebrate the Holiday and so that left us missionaries with not many lessons or work. Our investigators were resting this week and not available so that was a little disappointing but with my new companion we will continue to search and teach to those that are prepared to hear the Gospel.
Abandoned streets of Culiacan because of Semana Santa

It was sad to say bye to Elder Cruz :*( We had gotten pretty close. He is still here in Culiacan and he says he will come visit. Elder Cruz and I had the chance to give a talk in Sacrament Meeting about the Atonement of Christ. I know the Atonement is the only way that we can be made perfect and worthy of Eternal life to live with our Heavenly Father. I know that faith is key and this faith that we have directs us to repentance and be baptized and cleansed of our sins. We need the Atonement everyday and Christ loved us so much to suffer for the sins, pains, and sicknesses of everyone. We are so blessed for His sacrifice.
Last moments with Elder Cruz
Going to miss Elder Cruz very much!

Elder Bennett
Cornbread for the District Meeting

Hna Raquel helped me make the cornbread

Last District Meeting

They all brought something from their country to share

The last supper/District Meeting

Last District Meeting together

Tuesday, March 22, 2016

Always Working in Culiacan

Mosiah 4:9 Believe in God; believe that he is, and that he created all things, both in heaven and in earth; believe that he has all wisdom, and all power, both in heaven and in earth; believe that man doth not comprehend all the things which the Lord can comprehend.

Hey!! Happy First day of Spring everyone!

It's been another fun, interesting and crazy week. I've been wondering where the time has been going because every week seems to go faster and faster. This is good because when the time goes quickly we are working hard but sad because already 6 and 1/2 months of my mission is passed.
overlooking Culiacan

The language is still a struggle to be honest even with 6 1/2 months in Mexico but has been an adventure learning a new language and learning from my struggles. Trying to think of the words for this email is a little difficult since I've gotten used to speaking Spanish everyday! But Elder Cruz and I have helped each other a lot with him learning English and I with Spanish.

Awesome view in our area
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Lately, I've have noticed a real change in my life as I have forgotten myself and served the Lord. I've have felt the love and help of my Heavenly Father in my daily efforts to serve the people here in Culiacán and my companion. I know the Gospel can literally change peoples lives! I am a living witness that through faith in Christ and His Atonement we can be clean and freed from any guilt or sin we have committed in our life. I am truly grateful for this time of the year to think of the great plan of God and think of the many blessings of Him and His son Jesus Christ.
at Mirador en la Lomita

This week has been a little difficult as about 80% of Culiacán has left for vacations to Mazatlan and the beach. The students have a two week break for Semana Santa or Holy Week and so right now the work for the missionaries is a struggle. But as I have learned that keeping a positive attitude and love for everyone is important when the times get tough.

We set another baptismal date for our investigator Aldrin for the 30th of April! He is still excited and motivated to keep learning and preparing for his baptism as he continues to read the Book of Mormon and pray. He doesn't need any help with saying prayers and it has been a joy seeing him learn and grow in the principles of the Gospel.
Friends in Barrio  Los Pinos
Another friend in Barrio Los Pinos

Transfers are next week and it's sad because Elder Cruz and I are like brothers! It is most likely that he will leave so we are working hard this last week of the transfer and making the most of every moment!
Elder Cruz

Pday fun with Elder Cruz

I know true happiness comes through Christ! When we believe and have faith in God and His perfect plan for us, when can find peace and happiness individually and as families.

Christ lives!
Pday trip to DQ
Dairy Queen!!!

Elder Bennett

 Making Sushi pictures

Finished Product


Monday, March 14, 2016

Sweater Weather

Alma 37:36 Yea, and cry unto God for all thy support; yea, let all thy doings be unto the Lord, and whithersoever thou goest let it be in the Lord; yea, let all thy thoughts be directed unto the Lord; yea, let the affections of thy heart be placed upon the Lord forever.

37 Counsel with the Lord in all thy doings, and he will direct thee for good; yea, when thou liest down at night lie down unto the Lord, that he may watch over you in your sleep; and when thou risest in the morning let thy heart be full of thanks unto God; and if ye do these things, ye shall be lifted up at the last day.

Hey everyone! Another fun and exciting week here in Culiacan! I'm so blessed for all the amazing people I get to meet each day, the new foods, fun experiences, and also for the challenges and difficulties we face each day.

Our good friend Juan

This week I realized how important members of the church are in missionary work. We have been having a few problems here in the ward. We have been struggling to have members come with us to our visits to our investigators which is sad because every investigator needs the support of a friend in the church. So lately, Elder Cruz and I have been learning patience and love for those here in Los Pinos. We are helping the members learn that they too are an essential part of a great work that is happening.

Los Pinos!
This week was pretty strange because last Tuesday I wore a sweater for the first time in the mission! It was really cloudy and cooler than usual then when we were eating all of a sudden it started to downpour rain and hail as well. The people say that hail is very strange around here haha. It was a little bit chilly than what I've been accustomed to the last 6 months of my mission but I was still happy because it reminded of the cool spring weather in Nebraska.

Hace Frio

Our investigators are doing well! We are starting to teach Aldrin the Plan of Salvation! He is progressing really well. He has a strong testimony already of the Prophet Joseph Smith. We have others that we have been having good lessons with like Maria Elena, Felipe, Alberto, and Paulina.

A bed of nails
I also realized how fast the time is going because there is only two weeks left in the transfer until the next. I'm trying to enjoy my time here with Elder Cruz because there's a good chance he will go to a different area. Our ward mission leader counseled us this week to love what you do, and love it more. He is right because this is the time of the Lord and every moment is precious in His sight and helping His children come unto Him is one of the greatest blessings I've seen here in the mission.

I grateful for the opportunity I have to learn about the life of Jesus Christ everyday and grow closer to Him each day. I know we can see miracles through Him and His infinite Atonement. I'm so blessed.

Have a wonderful week! Until next week!

Elder Bennett

Selfie with a Dino!
District Pday Activity at the Science Center
A little fun at the Science Center
More fun
Centro de Ciencias
Found my name- too bad it is on whiskey

Monday, March 7, 2016

6 Meses

“The soul shall be restored to the body, and the body to the soul; yea, and every limb and joint shall be restored to its body; yea, even a hair of the head shall not be lost; but all things shall be restored to their proper and perfect frame.”

Alma 40:23

Hola buenas tardes a todos! This has been another great week working in the Lord's vineyard here in Culiacán! Little by little I'm getting used to the heat of Mexico. People say that by May the weather is really hot. The language has been going pretty well for me! I've learned quite a bit from my companion Elder Cruz and just talking and listening everyday! I've really felt the influence of the Holy Ghost in the lessons we've had because the words and questions come easily to my mind to help teach to the needs of our investigators.
Outside the casa
Our investigators are doing great! Aldrin now has came to church twice now and we are finishing up teaching The Restoration of the Gospel of Jesus Christ with him. He is so awesome! He's the perfect investigator. He does his commitments and is so interested in what we are teaching him. He is preparing for his baptism on 26 de Marzo.
The streets of Culiacan
We are also progressing well with a lady Maria Elena who we are teaching the Plan of Salvation to. When we read Alma 40:23 with her, her eyes lit up and was telling us how awesome that is. We also taught to a man we found named Felipe. We felt prompted to give him a Book of Mormon and he said he would read it and come to church! Moments like that make the mission so worth it. The majority of the times people don't accept to hear the message we share and it's sad because we know that it can literally change peoples lives and bring the blessings of our Heavenly Father in their lives when they show a little faith.
Catholic church by Centro
We received a new bishop here in Los Pinos and it's been a great change because Bishop Sergio is so willing to help us out in the missionary work in our area!
Statue in the parque
I know that we can overcome our challenges and temptations in this life when we put our faith in Christ. It is through Him that we can receive grace and mercy from our loving Heavenly Father. God and his son Jesus Christ want to help us with our daily struggles, but all we need to do is take a step of faith. A lot of people here in Culiacán lack this faith, because faith without works is dead.
6 Meses
I know the Gospel blesses families and they can be Eternal!

Elder Bennett
New haircut from some members