Monday, July 25, 2016

A Challenging Week

Joshua 1:9 Have not I commanded thee? Be strong and of a good courage; be not afraid, neither be thou dismayed: for the Lord thy God is with thee whithersoever thou goest.

I like this scripture a lot! When the prophet Moses died, Joshua was called to be the new prophet. Joshua felt a bit inadequate for the job and asked God, how am I going to lead these people? And the Lord offered him these comforting words to help him with his new calling. We can find peace and comfort from these words just as Joshua did and know that we should have courage in our trials and know that our Heavenly Father will be with us no matter where we go in our lives.

This is week in 5 of 6 in this transfer in Tanques, Sinaloa! I am grateful for the opportunity to be here and teach repentance and baptize converts that endure to the end! Our new mission president has established a "Mission Culture" that will set the path for us missionaries to follow so we can see miracles in our time here. We were given permission to knock on doors to be able to find new investigators and that will help because in Tanques it is pretty difficult to find new people who want to listen to us.
Huge Iguana

Not much missionary work has been progressing here lately due to the conduct of my companion. I've had lots of time to think and meditate things in my mind this week because we spent the majority time in our little house. My companion is not motivated to go out and work and would rather spend time sleeping,taking 1 hour showers, listening to rap, watching movies or using his cell phone. It's been pretty frustrating for me since I want to be out of the house teaching and find new people but my companion impedes us. But Elder Cuevas has taught me how to play dominos so that's been a positive for this week.

Karla's Baptism

We had a great day on Thursday! We went to La Cruz to do a baptismal interview. One of the responsibilities that I have as District Leader is to interview those who have prepared themselves for baptism. I had the opportunity to interview a 10 year old girl, Karla, to see if she was ready to be baptized. It was a special experience to hear the testimony of a young girl who had come to know that this is Christ's true church, that the Book of Mormon is the word of God, and that Joseph Smith was a true prophet! We stayed in La Cruz and cleaned the baptismal font and watched Karla get baptized. I love seeing the reactions of the people who get baptized as they are lifted up out of the water. A new, clean start and bright smiling faces. It's truly beautiful. 
The Zone Leaders and the District Leaders
Later when we returned to Tanques the pueblo was pitch dark and we realized that there was no electricity! Elder Cuevas and I got worried haha. We had another miserable night without sleep and having little bugs buzzing in our ears all night.

This week I was reading in a church magazine liked a quote from Spencer W. Kimball that says "As we serve is easier to 'find' ourselves because there is so much of us to find!" I think in this transfer I have definitely had a chance to find myself through the little acts of service for my companion. Even though it's been difficult with him, serving him has been the way that I have been able to recognize who I am as a child of God and my divine potential.

Elder Bennett

Wednesday, July 20, 2016

Feast Upon His Love

Jacob 1:1-2 But behold, I, Jacob, would speak unto you that are pure in heart. Look unto God with firmness of mind, and pray unto him with exceeding faith, and he will console you in your afflictions, and he will plead your cause, and send down justice upon those who seek your destruction. O all ye that are pure in heart, lift up your heads and receive the pleasing word of God, and feast upon his love; for ye may, if your minds are firm, forever.

I decided to share this scripture with you all this week because this scripture caught my attention during my personal studies of the Libro de Mormon. I feel like this scripture was what I needed to hear this week because of the difficult circumstances I'm going through. He is helping me get through and a big source of strength I've utilized the last month is the power of prayer! I'm certainly learning to ' feast upon his love' and find comfort in His words.
Playing Pool on Pday

Hey! I would say this week was like a roller coaster, lots of ups and downs.

One of the challenges this week was the heat! That's pretty much a given by this time of the year in Sinaloa. Other is the fact that we don't have anyone progressing or close to being baptized. That's something that has bothered me a lot is the fact that no one has shown interest to listen or change. Lastly, this week I ate a TON of mango! I now have a favorite fruit even though it made me make a lot of trips to the bathroom.

Some positives for this week! The Assistant to the President came and worked with us for a day and we had "machin" (a lot) of success! We found a new investigator named Jaime that lives in a little rancho where we were able to visit him this week. 
Assistant to the President, Elder Moctezuma

Other plus is that it has rained here almost everyday this last week and I love it, even though now there is so much mud. 
Lots of Mud
Lastly, I have seen the hand of God in my life become a little more clearer. I've been focusing to be more humble and loving with everyone, and I find myself becoming less frustrated and more grateful for the things in my life, especially for my companion!

Last night my companion discovered that we can climb onto the roof of our house and so I decided to join him.
On the Roof
As I sat and watched the beautiful sunset, the palm trees waving in the wind and the train passing by I couldn't help but think how grateful for a loving Heavenly Father! Even though things don't always go as planned, it's the little moments that make this life so beautiful. 
Train going by
Tanques Sunset

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. He wants us to succeed and become stronger, more dedicated disciples to the Gospel that His beloved son Jesus Christ has brought to the earth. I feel more motivated and and converted to be better than I was yesterday so I can be better prepared for the 2nd Coming of Christ!

Capilla de Tanques

Elder Bennett A

Monday, July 11, 2016

In Thee is my Joy!

Alma 33:11 And thou didst hear me because of mine afflictions and my sincerity; and it is because of thy Son that thou hast been thus merciful unto me, therefore I will cry unto thee in all mine afflictions, for in thee is my joy; for thou hast turned thy judgments away from me, because of thy Son.

Hola everyone!

The truth is this week has been another week of trials and afflictions, but I know there is much more to come out of these experiences than I see in the moment. Heavenly Father has His perfect purposes and knows what we need in the precise moment. He doesn't take away our trials and burdens, but He can lighten them. I love the scripture in Matthew 11:28-29 that says "Come unto me, all ye that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you, and learn of me; for I am meek and lowly in heart: and ye shall find rest unto your souls." I have found a lot of comfort from these prophetic words.

Sunset in Tanques

Starting out the week was a little rough. It is the rainy season here and almost every night it starts to get cloudy and in the night it storms. Last Monday a big storm passed through and there was no electricity in all of Tanques. The people say that it is normal for this time of the year. I don't know how these people do it because for the whole night we had no air conditioning! It was the longest, sweatiest, and most miserable night of my life, haha.
Our house & bikes

The thing to do here in this small pueblo is play basketball! Everyone likes to play basketball and there's lots of little kids and even adults that play everyday. And some days my companion and I play with some members of the branch here and we were playing on the court outside the church in the night and it was the night after the big storm and there were millions of little bugs and insects flying in the air and being attracted by the big lights and we had to stop the game because there was just so many of them and was pretty bad. It reminded me of the plagues.
Little Gym in Tanques

Things have been difficult with my companion still but more than anything I am learning appreciation for the positive things that he does and for his strengths and helping him know that I love him despite his weakenesses. It's been a learning process but I know the Lord is blessing me with opportunities to better my patience and love for everyone.

Presidente Y Hermana Gabaldon came to Tanque
I learned this week also that discouragement is the worst enemy! Always have a smile on your face and be happy! We have the Gospel in our lives and that's something to be happy about.
Got soaked while riding bikes on the 4th of July

This week I also ate a mango the size of a baseball glove haha
Giant Mango

I love my family and the opportunity I have to be here in Mexico so I can helps others have the blessings of an Eternal Family like I have. It's truly amazing to have the title 'Elder'!

Monday, July 4, 2016

10 Months

2 Nephi 26:30 Behold, the Lord hath forbidden this thing; wherefore, the Lord God hath given a commandment that all men should have charity, which charity is love. And except they should have charity they were nothing. Wherefore, if they should have charity they would not suffer the laborer in Zion to perish.

Buenas Tardes a todos!

Well this week has been very interesting as I turned 20 years old, completed 10 months in the mission, and two trips to Culiacan in the same week!

My birthday was alright! 
On the 28th is when we went to Culiacan to say goodbye to Pte Velez. Hermana Velez brought me up to the front and everyone sang Happy Birthday to me in English which was pretty cool! Afterwards we went to eat nasty Chinese food before we traveled back to Tanques. I received a package from mom and one from my good friend Sam. It was a great and interesting day for sure that I won't forget :)

Birthday packages

This last week we went on Tuesday to a goodbye multizone conference for Pte and Hermana Velez. We then we went again to Culiacan to meet the new President and his family. I am going to miss President and Hermana Velez. They are like our mission parents and helpful and supporting and loving. I loved Pte Velez's uplifting instructions and his humble stories from his life and his mission. He is now serving in a new calling as an Area 70.

Saying Goodbye to Presidente Velez
Our new Presidente is pretty awesome! I can already tell he will be a great change here in this mission. He is very motivated and passionate and loves to work which is the same as I love to do. I know there's no other way to do this work than to actually do it! And that's one of the things that I've been learning patience from my companion because he doesn't really like to work and is not very obedient. 
Me & My Crazy Companion
Ugh its been tough with him and its been pretty difficult after being in Culiacan with an awesome companion in an awesome area and now its a big change from that. I know the Lord has all of this planned out and obviously there is something to learn from this and so I've just been trying to stay as obedient as possible without my companion getting mad and we'll just keep moving forward. It's been a challenge but I know and understand this great plan of happiness that God has for me and I'm progressing to be a better, more patient and loving person from this experience.

I know that Christ paid the price for our sins and He knows our pains and struggles in this life! I know that Christ was prepared since the foundation of the world to atone for our sins and the only way that we can receive forgiveness is when we repent and are baptized in His true church! I love the blessings of the Atonement and this Gospel in my life and in my family!

Gracias por todo!

Elder Bennett
Las Pday
In LaCruz