Monday, August 29, 2016

A Wonderful Work

Mosiah 23:10 Nevertheless, after much tribulation, the Lord did hear my cries, and did answer my prayers, and has made me an instrument in his hands in bringing so many of you to a knowledge of his truth.
Tag picture at Celestino

Wow I love this scripture so much! Especially with the last transfer, and the difficulties that still remain in a lifeless area, the Lord has heard my cries and has blessed Tanques with a new sense of spirit. For a long time, the missionaries here haven't baptized and lots of the people in Tanques have been rejecting and even some of the members went cold, causing a little crisis for the missionaries and the tiny little branch. But once again, our loving Heavenly Father is softening the heart of the people in Tanques, Boscoso and Potrerillos to the Gospel of Jesus Christ. And it's a wonderful work that Elder Navarro and I are a part of here!

Making pizza with some members
This week has been fantastic! We have been working so hard this week and the weeks before and the Lord is blessing us for the fruits of our labor. This week we contacted 22 people which is such an accomplishment, especially for this difficult area. We are seeing a lot of prepared and open children of God to our message of hope in the ranchos where the missionaries haven't been able to preach for about 2 years. This week we also were able to find 13 new investigators who are willing and ready to learn and improve their lives through living the Gospel for themselves.
Fried Fish
I missed my seafood!

After teaching a man that Elder Cuevas and I found named Jaime, we put a baptismal date for him for 1 of October and we are super excited for him because he is always really happy and smiling and it's cool to see him change even with his busy schedule. We also put a baptismal date for a man named Adrian that arrived here suddenly from Mexico City to find work and members of the church accepted him into their home and we are now teaching him! Adrian is amazing! There is no doubt that God sent him here so that we could teach and help him change his life of drugs and alcohol. He will be baptized 24 of September!

This week we had divisions with the Elders of La Cruz and I was with Elder Ayala again. This was probably the 4th time we have done divisions together because he watched me learn and grow starting out in Teacapan and now he is about to leave. So it was a good experience to work alongside him again and find new people to teach.

Elders Navarro, Bennett, McClellan, and Amaya
So we had a lot of ice in the freezer that started to grow and so we took a knife and tried to clean out all of the ice and it turns of that we damaged one of the pipes and so we were without a fridge for about a week which was a little difficult because we didn't really eat breakfast or dinner and we just ate a whole lot for the meals the members gave us haha. But now we have a fridge that works again!

For P-day today we went to a playa called Celestino which is about 30 minutes from La Cruz and there we took lots of pictures Elder Ayala, McClellan, Navarro and I together with the sea and the cool scenery. We ate fried fish which we fried up over a fire with oil, I loved it! Today we are moving houses to a smaller house because the house we are in is not ours anymore haha.

All this week we had our investigators committed to go to church on Sunday and it turned out that none of them came...That was a little test of faith and patience because going to church our investigators are going to learn and expanding their faith in Christ. But something that I read was that Heavenly Father is always blessings us but it's our pride, fear, and sin that stops us from a fullness of blessings. I know that God loves us and that we will have success in Tanques and we will have baptisms! I know the church is true!

Elder Bennett

Monday, August 22, 2016

A Whole Lot of Rain

Mosiah 18:8 And it came to pass that he said unto them: Behold, here are the waters of Mormon (for thus were they called) and now, as ye are desirous to come into the fold of God, and to be called his people, and are willing to bear one another’s burdens, that they may be light; 9 Yea, and are willing to mourn with those that mourn; yea, and comfort those that stand in need of comfort, and to stand as witnesses of God at all times and in all things, and in all places that ye may be in, even until death, that ye may be redeemed of God, and be numbered with those of the first resurrection, that ye may have eternal life— 10 Now I say unto you, if this be the desire of your hearts, what have you against being baptized in the name of the Lord, as a witness before him that ye have entered into a covenant with him, that ye will serve him and keep his commandments, that he may pour out his Spirit more abundantly upon you?

In my personal studies this week I was reading in Mosiah about Abinadi and his teachings to King Noah, what a powerful example of faith and trust in the Lord. I also really like chapter 18 of Mosiah about Alma baptizing 204 souls in the Waters of Mormon. I was reminded of what I decided to be baptized and the covenant I made with my Heavenly Father. I am so grateful for the forgiveness that I receive what I sincerely repent and learn from my weaknesses!

Wow what a crazy, exciting and interesting week it has been! This week we went to Boscoso and Potrerillos! I love going to these new places because it's fun looking for new investigators and getting to know a new place other than Tanques where there is nothing to do. We have 3 investigators in Tanques right now, Fransisca, and 2 new ones: Cristina and Pedro. Cristina and Pedro are a married couple with 4 children and a rough past life. They immediately asked us if we know which is the true church of God on the earth and we smiled and testified of the Restoration of the Gospel.

Our investigator, Jaime, in Boscoso is always super happy and nice with us but he is sadly not completing his commitments that we leaving with him. We are finishing teaching the Restoration, he told us that he thinks that he feels that what we are saying is true and that it's correct. That's how we can know if we have received an answer from God, through what we feel and so we helped him recognize that. 
With our investigators

Next, we are coming along with the young married couple we are teaching in Potrerillos. They have a 3 year old and they want the best for her. We were able to teach that The Gospel blesses families and they can be an Eternal Family. This is one of my favorite lessons to teach because I can truly teach and testify of the blessings I have received from my Eternal Family. Hna Karely prayed for us and said she felt something that she never has felt before praying and that was a special moment to tell her that this peace and comfort is from God.

This week it rained a whole lot! But it was a blessing that the electricity didn't go out. The downside of the rain was the streets turned into muddy lagoons and we couldn't get through the mud well on our bikes, so we walked this week. The sunsets and the clouds were such a beautiful creation to see this week.

My companion and I received a lot of references this week, 12, which was the most we have achieved so far. We are continuing the search for new investigators and helping them come to the knowledge of the Savior and His true Gospel that he taught us. I love the way Elder Navarro and I are clicking in our lessons with the people we teach, it's been fun. I definitely don't really want to leave Tanques now that we are having more success.

We had an investigator come to church on Sunday! It truly was a miracle that we recognized this week. Adrian Fernandez who is progressing and showing a lot of interest to change his life for the better. I love seeing him change his life through reading the Book of Mormon and learning of the Gospel of Jesus Christ.

I love my companion! This week we have really gained a lot of trust in each other. We have been more open to share past experiences and stories about our family and life. He is such a good guy and has such an amazing testimony.


This week we went with the Elders from La Cruz to a "Pueblo Magico" called Cosala. We went to a Reserve up in some hills were a member of the church brought us and showed us amazing views of waterfalls, hills and even mines. We wanted to do the zipline so bad. They said that El Chapo rented the place that we went to a little before he was caught.
Pday to Cosala

I love the experience to be a representative of Jesus Christ and His true Gospel. I know that I am following the Lord in the path that He is guiding me, through His Spirit. I don't know where I would be without faith, hope and love for my Heavenly Father and His son Jesus Christ.

Elder Bennett

Monday, August 15, 2016

More Animated!

Mosiah 4:30 But this much I can tell you, that if ye do not watch yourselves, and your thoughts, and your words, and your deeds, and observe the commandments of God
, and continue in the faith of what ye have heard concerning the coming of our Lord, even unto the end of your lives, ye must perish. And now, O man, remember, and perish not.
Very hot in our suits for the multizona

Well, things this week have been getting better! We are finding new investigators and we are more animated because now we are frequently going to Boscoso and Potrerillos. Its amazing what we having been able to accomplish in only a few hours in these ranchitos. We have found some contacts and new investigators that have been waiting to hear the message of the Gospel after lots of time without the missionaries in these areas. We are excited for the work and the investigators that we have there. Our first day in Potrerillos we found a young married couple that have a young girl that are looking for a change in their life after the father has problems with drugs and alcohol. Its amazing how the Lord blessed us with new investigadores the first people that we met. We have been working in Tanques also but its been a little more difficult because the people here are a little more difficult. 

Pday fun
The training is going well! I taught Elder Navarro this week how to teach the Gospel of Jesus Christ which is faith, repentance, baptism, the gift of the holy ghost and enduring to the end. Elder Navarro and I get a long really well! I feel like he is my dad because he is a little bit more experienced in life haha but we learn a lot from each other. 

One of my best friends. The other is named AC.
The weather has been suuuper hot. Surprising right? They say that August and September are the worst months to be here because of the heat, the mosquitoes and the power outages due to the storms. 

On Thursday this week we went to Culiacan for a Multizona Conference. Presidente Gabaldon and his wife and the Assistants gave us a conference that we'll never forget. First they presented the numbers of the Mision Mexico Culiacan and wow was it sad to see how the numbers have dropped dramatically. Right now the mission is at a low point but Pte Gabaldon is animating us and encouraging us to look for new investigators and teach repentance and baptize converts that endure to the end. He told us all the things that the missionaries have done wrong in this mission and told us to repent! Haha. And its true there are  a lot of missionaries that have lost the spirit and have broken rules and commandments and that's why we aren't having success. But I'm so grateful for a mission president who loves us enough to correct us with love and teach us how to be successful missionaries. I love being in Tanques! Even though this area is very difficult, I have learned so much from my companions and from all the afflictions and tests that I have faced! 
Muddy from the rain

Elder Bennett

Monday, August 8, 2016

Starting To Look Up

Doctrine and Covenants 58:27 Verily I say, men should be anxiously engaged in a good cause, and do many things of their own free will, and bring to pass much righteousness;

Hey Everyone!

Here in Tanques I feel like I'm breathing new air or something, things are much better! A big weight has been lifted off my shoulders  but the weight of responsibilities of missionary work are still present. We have been going with almost all the members to tell them sorry and have a Family Home Evening with them to gain their trust again. We don't have a whole lot of investigators right now so we've been going with mostly the members and less actives as we continue the search for new investigators.
There is not much to take pictures of in Tanques besides sunsets

Elder Nevarro is a good kid! He is a little awkward coming into the mission field but a very respectful and funny man. He is 23, he went through a less active phase of his life and has seen lots of worldly things so that's why hes just now coming out but he is muy bueno! I was pretty surprised how well we taught together this first week! He knows a lot coming from the CCM already which is a blessing. Things are starting to look up here and I am excited for that. I'm glad that we are now going to work like we should. A lot of the members told us that many of the past missionaries in Tanques have lost their spirit here in Tanques because there's not many people and it's so hot and this work is hard. And so I'm trying so hard not to lose my spirit either but it's hard because it's true it's so hard here, so different than Culiacan or Teacapan where there are things to do and lots of members but here no. Just work. We are working with the members in going to the little ranchos of Boscoso and Potrerillos where we will find a lot more work. :)

Elder Nevarro

We are now in the hurricane season, and so the winds and the rains have been more frequent and stronger lately. Last night we had a storm pass through and we went without electricity again which was not very fun. Same with the strong heat and tons of mosquitoes! It's truly a test of faith being here in Tanques.

The hardest thing I did this week was on Saturday when we started to fast. Here the heat has been the worst it's every been in all my mission. Fasting was so incredibly difficult but I didn't want to eat or drink anything because I know the blessings of the Lord when we are obedient to his commandments. I fasted specifically for new investigators in our area so we can have more people to teach. So I will be excited to see how the Lord will bless us in the coming weeks in finding new people! I know He will help us when we put our faith in Him and we are obedient!

I want to close by sharing a quote that I read by Pte Uchtdorf said "Love is the measure of our faith, the inspiration for our obedience, and the true altitude of our discipleship" This quote really stuck out to me because I have learned to love people that I don't even know and open my mouth to this pueblo so they can receive the Gospel of Jesus Christ. I want to be like Him someday!

Elder Bennett

Wednesday, August 3, 2016

Still in Tanques

“Behold, hath the Lord commanded any that they should not partake of his goodness? Behold I say unto you, Nay; but all men are privileged the one like unto the other, and none are forbidden.”

2 Nephi 26:28

Hey everyone! I hope everyone is having a good day because everyday should be awesome! This week I wanted to share this scripture from 2 Nephi of the Book of Mormon because ALL of God's children are privileged with the opportunity to partake of the goodness of God, not one person is favored over another. That is something very awesome to me especially as a missionary because I see a lot of people that think they aren't worthy for God's blessings for their past sins or bad decisions but that's not true because Christ invites everyone to come unto Him and be like Him! I have learned to see people for the people that they can become rather than who they are.

My new companion Elder Nevarro- brand new from CCM

My new companion is Elder Nevarro from Puebla which is in Mexico. He is fresh from the CCM so I'll be training again! Elder Tineo is now training so now I have a grandson haha. Elder Nevarro is very intelligent and likes to learn. He isn't the most social but I'm going to put him to work because we have A LOT of things to fix here in Tanques. 

Tanques is one of a kind
We will be exactly obedient! Well Presidente changed the rule that we can only write for 30 minutes! Ugh that will be a struggle but I will try my best. So I have some things to do here and apologies to give to the members here which won't be easy. I'm excited to train again and it will a lot better this transfer. I feel like a weight has been lifted off my shoulders.

Goodbye to Elder Cuevas who went to Culiacan near the Presidente

The last week with Elder Cuevas was very tough, and he had even less drive to work which is saying that basically we didn't do anything this week. It's been difficult but now I can say that I have been with one of the most difficult missionaries in the whole mission.

The train in Tanques
The thing I learned from this last transfer was that I learned a lot about myself! I learned patience, love and how to be humble. I'm grateful that God gave me these trials to learn how to become more like Him. I know that God loves me and He recognizes our strengths and weaknesses. He knows us personally and what we need in our life at the exact moment! That is comforting to know!

I know the Church is true!

Elder Bennett