Monday, July 24, 2017

Trust in the Lord






Lucas 5:2 And saw two ships standing by the lake: but the fishermen were gone out of them, and were washing their nets. 3 And he entered into one of the ships, which was Simon’s, and prayed him that he would thrust out a little from the land. And he sat down, and taught the people out of the ship. 4 Now when he had left speaking, he said unto Simon, Launch out into the deep, and let down your nets for a draught. 5 And Simon answering said unto him, Master, we have toiled all the night, and have taken nothing: nevertheless at thy word I will let down the net. 6 And when they had this done, they inclosed a great multitude of fishes: and their net brake. 7 And they beckoned unto their partners, which were in the other ship, that they should come and help them. And they came, and filled both the ships, so that they began to sink. 8 When Simon Peter saw it, he fell down at Jesus’ knees, saying, Depart from me; for I am a sinful man, O Lord.


This week in seminary we studied Chapters 4,5, and 6 of Lucas in the New Testament and I really enjoyed this story. I think we can learn from Peter's experience that we should trust in the Lord. That means that we need to have faith in Jesus Christ and trust that He knows what's best for us better than we do. And when we are faithful and obedient, we receive God's promised blessings! In Peter's case, he received a ship full of fish. We can deserve His blessings in our lives when we put our full and complete trust in the Savior.



Hola a todos!!


This was a pretty good week again! We made progress with our investigators that we have been teaching. We had 6 investigators attend church and two of them came for the first time which was exciting! Something that I really enjoy about missionary work are the friendships that I have made in my time here and the ability to love and serve others. It's fun hearing the stories and experiences of the people and their background.


We are happy because this week we are going to have a baptism! Her name is Sandra! She has been investigating the church for 3 years now and she has made the firm decision that now is the time that she will be baptized. Her family is catholic and she has her boyfriend in jail right now. She wants to be obedient and keep the commandments. We promised her that the Lord would help her boyfriend and other family through her obedience by being baptized. She is excited and we will have the service in Pescadero in the church again in the portable font that they sent us.


This week some of our investigators gave us food to eat, one day we ate chicken skins which was pretty interesting haha. My companion knows how to cook pretty well and he made enchiladas verdes this week.


The Circus has been in town all week and lots of people are now on vacation because the students just left on their summer break last week.
Circus is in town

This week we have a busy week as we have divisions with the Zone Leaders, interviews with Presdiente Gabaldón, and the Zone Conference with Presidente.


Espero que todos tengan una buena semana!


Elder Bennett

Monday, July 17, 2017

1 Month Left to Go!

1 Nephi 10:17 And it came to pass after I, Nephi, having heard all the words of my father, concerning the things which he saw in a vision, and also the things which he spake by the power of the Holy Ghost, which power he received by faith on the Son of God—and the Son of God was the Messiah who should come—I, Nephi, was desirous also that I might see, and hear, and know of these things, by the power of the Holy Ghost, which is the gift of God unto all those who diligently seek him, as well in times of old as in the time that he should manifest himself unto the children of men. 18 For he is the same yesterday, today, and forever; and the way is prepared for all men from the foundation of the world, if it so be that they repent and come unto him. 19 For he that diligently seeketh shall find; and the mysteries of God shall be unfolded unto them, by the power of the Holy Ghost, as well in these times as in times of old, and as well in times of old as in times to come; wherefore, the course of the Lord is one eternal round.


This week as a mission, we studied about the importance of of personal studies and companionship studies and how it affects the way we teach our investigators. I was grateful to find this scripture that helped me find comfort to know that through a diligent study I will be able to receive personal revelation for my life. I learned that it is important to start each study session with a question. Just as the Prophet Joseph Smith wanted to know which of all the churches was the correct one, he received instruction through the scriptures that lead him to pray and ask God specifically. His studies lead to the Restoration of the Gospel and the Church of Jesus Christ. I am grateful for the study habits I have developed to help me with my college studies here soon.


Hey everyone!!


It was another warm week here in Pescadero! We are working with several new investigators that Elder Martinez and I have found and teach them and serving them. Something that I have learned is to teach God's children with real love and concern instead of only teaching a lesson. These are real people with real needs and worry. I know the Gospel of Jesus Christ and resolve whatever conflict, addiction, problem that we might face in our lives.


We are teaching a lady, Sandra, that has a lot of time being taught. She recently accepted a baptismal date for the end of this month, 29 of July, and we are very excited for her because she has been wanting to be baptized for a long time and now she will be able to.


Today in our District Meeting we were doing a practice lesson and the Sisters got scared because they thought someone was in the church and it was being robbed. Last Friday the church building was robbed and they were afraid that they broke in again. But we checked and nobody was there and we said a prayer so that we would be protected and safe.


This week one of investigators Andres painted our bikes and they look way better!!



It has been a little discouraging lately because on Sunday we only had 12 people attend church and 2 investigators attend and we are trying so hard but we see few results of our work. I know that I am here for a reason and I am sure that I am here to learn patience because sometimes I'm not patient but I know that I am learning a lot and am becoming like my Savior everyday.


1 month left to go!


Adios!


Elder Bennett

Monday, July 10, 2017

Heating Up

Helaman 3:35 Nevertheless they did fast and pray oft, and did wax stronger and stronger in their humility, and firmer and firmer in the faith of Christ, unto the filling their souls with joy and consolation, yea, even to the purifying and the sanctification of their hearts, which sanctification cometh because of their yielding their hearts unto God.


This week, in our companionship studies, Elder Martinez and I were reading in the Missionary Manual and I liked this scripture because it not only applies to me as a missionary but also as a disciple of Jesus Christ and as a son of God. In our Heavenly Father's perfect plan of happiness He allows us to make decisions, and these decisions determine our destiny. As we choose to be obedient and exercise our faith, we have more faith, trust, and love toward the Savior. As we follow the Savior's perfect example and His teachings, we find peace and joy. We find protection from Satan's tricks and lies and temptations. I know that when I come to face a decision, we will find comfort and guidance as a result of our faith in Him.


Hooooola a todos!


What a great first week with my new companion! He is from Cuernavaca, Morelos and he is 18 years old. He is very bright and knows a lot about the Gospel and life. His family have been members for all their lives. His father passed away and is the first in his family to go on the mission. A lot of people tell him that he looks like Harry Potter haha.

Elder Martinez and I
We have been working a lot this week! We found 11 new investigators to teach this week and we have been following up with those who are already in teaching. We put a baptismal date with the man that sold us the washing machine for August 5th. He is a great guy. He told us that when we arrive he would close his barber shop to stay focused on the lesson we would give. We will see what will happen because he is leaving for a trip today.


It's been really super hot lately! On Sunday, we talked about preparing for our temporal needs for the storm/hurricane season that is approaching. They said there is a storm on the way and that's why the temperatures have reached up to 100 degrees with humidity. We don't have an air conditioning and it has been a struggle in the nights with the heat. We only have electric fans and the flies are getting to be a pain haha!


We are making progress with Jesus and now with his family. We had a talk with his parents and they opened up to us and we expressed what we would like to achieve with them and they are receptive. They even gave us pizza and money to buy food in the week and that was a great blessing for us. Jorge and Pati are going to go to La Paz this week to finish up the paperwork for their marriage so little by little we are going!


I have learned what it really means to be humble. It really is an important Christ like attribute and I feel the Savior's love more present in my life and it brings me patience in my afflictions and gratitude for the blessings he gives me!


Elder Bennett

Monday, July 3, 2017

21 Years Old

John 3:5 Jesus answered, Verily, verily, I say unto thee, Except a man be born of water and of the Spirit, he cannot enter into the kingdom of God.


This is a very simple but powerful scripture from the New Testament! This is a direct statement to Nicodemus and also to all of us. In the mission we are focusing on bringing our investigators to sacrament meeting and keep the Sabbath day which prepares them to make sacred covenants being baptized by someone who has God's Priesthood authority. We are fulfilling our missionary purpose as we help God's children receive the necessary ordinances of salvation as we prepare them to be baptized and confirmed as members of Christ's restored church. I know that God loves us and wants us to be with Him, and these blessings come as we follow Christ's perfect example being baptized and keeping those sacred promises that we make with him (Mosiah 18:8-10). The conversion to Christ that I see in others brings joy to my heart! I love this work!


Hellllo!


Well, I am now in my last transfer of my mission! I have 6 weeks left till I head home to Nebraska. I will finish my missionary service here in the Baja California Sur in Pescadero with my new companion Elder Martinez from Cuernavaca, Morelos! He has 6 months in the mission. 
new companion Elder Martinez de Cuernavaca
I will be the District Leader for my last transfer as well, I will now have 10 1/2 months as District Leader, I have grown to love helping, serving and loving the missionaries in this mission! Elder Yzquierdo went to San José del Cabo as District Leader and I will miss him a lot! I will see him in our Zone Conferences in a month.
Adios Elder Yzquierdo



This last week I turned 21! 
It was a pretty normal day in the mission field. The Sister Missionaries in my district called me and sang me Happy Birthday and also a birthday song they sing here in Mexico called Las Mañanitas.
Birthday package
I did eat cake on the 28th, my birthday, because the ex-Branch President invited me to chocolate cake and chocolate milk haha, a great combo! 

Chocolate cake & chocolate milk

On Sunday, Hermana Sol made Hector, our recent convert and I a cake, for his baptism and my birthday! Elder Yzquierdo had the pleasure to shove our faces in the cake after church haha. It was a great experience. It was difficult to remove the blue from my face! 




We are seeing a few challenges with the investigators but we are doing all we can to help them progress! Jesus, our investigator who didn't get baptized on the date we put with him, said that he wanted to see Elder Yzquierdo at his baptism and so we have faith that he will soon be baptized! Jorge and Pati are close to having all their papers finished for their marriage so they can be married! We will have baptisms soon!

I am happy to be here! I know this is the Lord's work and it is so important that God's children come to know these things that we know to be true! I have seen that as I do what the Lord asks of me, I have been blessed. He wants what's best for me! He will help me if I exercise my faith and do His will.
McDonald's

Elder Bennett

Monday, June 26, 2017

Serving with all my Heart, Might, Mind & Strength



2 Nephi 2:22 And now, behold, if Adam had not transgressed he would not have fallen, but he would have remained in the garden of Eden. And all things which were created must have remained in the same state in which they were after they were created; and they must have remained forever, and had no end. 23 And they would have had no children; wherefore they would have remained in a state of innocence, having no joy, for they knew no misery; doing no good, for they knew no sin. 24 But behold, all things have been done in the wisdom of him who knoweth all things. 25 Adam fell that men might be; and men are, that they might have joy.
District Meeting
Last Sistrict Meeting of the transfer


I shared this scripture with my district this week in my last district meeting of the transfer to help the missionaries understand that it's important that we have joy in our service. I know that it would be difficult to share light and joy with others if I am not being an example of the believers and not living up to the Lord's standards. He gives us a promise that if we are obedient to His commandments and mission rules then He will guide us in our paths and we will obtain a testimony that Jesus is the Christ. I know that as we are obedient, we receive joy! Joy lasts forever but happiness is only temporary. The Gospel brings us the direction, peace, comfort, and joy that we need to overcome daily trials and keep moving forward becoming more like Christ.


Hello!


I am happy about the experiences I am having here in Pescadero! Transfers are the next week and we aren't sure what is going to happen. This next transfer will be my last before I'll be heading home in August. I am going to keep persevering and serving with all my heart, might, mind and strength! Ahhh I'll be turning 21 this week as well!!! Crazy!


We had a few challenges with our investigator Jesús this week. The Elders from San Lucas came down to do the baptismal interview and Jesús didn't pass his interview because of his lack of interest and according to him, he feels 50% yes and 50% no about his decision to be baptized. His family did not want to listen but now they are opening more and we are going to teach the whole family of Jesus. We feel a little frustrated because in the interview he said he has doubts that God exists and that because God made us sinners through Adam and Eve. We have asked inspired questions and he understands the doctrine well but still feel that it has not obtained a testimony from the Book of Mormon and Joseph Smith.



After the interview of Jesús, we had to go to Cabo San Lucas unexpectedly due to one of zone leaders who recently became sick and hasn't been able to work all week. We went and helped Elder Tapia while one of us stayed with Elder Escalante in the house to take care of him.


We have been working hard! Elder Yzquierdo and I have become great friends, we are always laughing together!


This last week there has been talk of tropical storms and hurricanes coming on the way and so we will see what happens here later on this week!
Platanos

I know Christ lives and loves me! I love my family and I know families can be eternal. I know the Book of Mormon contains the fullness of the Gospel and it changes the lives of those who read and apply it's contents.


Elder Bennett

Backyard Chickens

Tuesday, June 20, 2017

The Sabbath- A Delight!

Doctrine & Covenants 59:9 And that thou mayest more fully keep thyself unspotted from the world, thou shalt go to the house of prayer and offer up thy sacraments upon my holy day; 10 For verily this is a day appointed unto you to rest from your labors, and to pay thy devotions unto the Most High;

A member gave us a jar of peanut butter
Today in my District Meeting, I gave a training about how to help our investigators keep the Sabbath Day Holy and attend church. I learn so many awesome things and strengthen my own testimony as I prepare these trainings! As we attend church and partake of the sacred ordinance of the Sacrament, we are humbly showing that we love God and are willing to be obedient to take upon us the name of Christ. We will be worthy to have the guidance of the Holy Ghost which will guide us and protect us from the temptations of this world. Sunday should be a different day than all the rest because it's the Lord's day, that we should direct our thoughts and actions toward Him. I know that as we do it we will "keep ourselves unspotted from the world" and will be blessed the rest of the week in all things! Is the Sabbath Day a delight for you?

Hey everyone!
 Another crazy week! We had our zone conference in Cabo San Lucas this last Friday and it was great! It is always special to be able to receive instruction from our inspired leaders. I can detect the love and concern Presidente Gabaldón has for all the missionaries in this mission. Something that I really enjoyed of this conference was when Pte Gabaldón talked about the Light of Christ and the Gift of the Holy Ghost. He explained that before our investigators are baptized, each one of them can feel the influence of the Holy Ghost through the Light of Christ, which helps each one of us discern between the good and the bad. But until someone is baptized in The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints and confirmed is when they can receive the constant light and guidance and comfort of the Holy Ghost. I loved how he said that we can have the company of a God with us at all times if we are worthy, how wonderful is that! At the end of the conference, Presidente and Elder Daines (the assistant) went to La Paz for the next conference and they brought us to Pescadero.

Zone leaders & Elder Daines
This week was a little tough with our investigators. We were on our way back to house on Wednesday night on our bikes and some people hiding in the dark threw rocks at us but luckily none of them hit us which was good. Jesus our investigator that we are going to baptize this week has a few doubts and doesn't feel prepared for this Saturday and so we are trying to help him as much as we can so he can receive the covenants of baptism and follow the example of Christ. Maximino and Concepcion are very unstable and only want to take advantage of the help the Church gives but aren't willing to follow God and have faith so we have to leave them for a while.


A pet ostrich
We had a cool experience this week! We had 8 investigator attend church which is the most that we have been able to help attend church! We were especially happy when we saw a young couple, Julio and Gabi attend church with their 2 year old daughter. Gabi is going to have a baby in these next few days. In church in the class of the Relief Society, they talked about service and being self-sufficient. They quickly were fellowshipped by Pte Henry and his wife. Later that day Gabi called Hna Yolanda that they were in need to go to the hospital in La Paz and Presidente Henry and his wife gave them a ride to La Paz and have that good experience to attend church and they were blessed for their service.

On the way to Todos Santos
I love this church! I know it's true! It has brought so much joy and happiness to my life and to my family!


Elder Bennett

Cooking: fried fish and french fries

We made chicharrones for lunch one day

Monday, June 12, 2017

Opposition in All Things



3 Nephi 26:9 And when they shall have received this, which is expedient that they should have first, to try their faith, and if it shall so be that they shall believe these things then shall the greater things be made manifest unto them. 10 And if it so be that they will not believe these things, then shall the greater things be withheld from them, unto their condemnation. 11 Behold, I was about to write them, all which were engraven upon the plates of Nephi, but the Lord forbade it, saying: I will try the faith of my people.


This scriptures called my attention this week in my personal studies of the Book of Mormon. In this part of the Book of Mormon, the Savior personally ministered in the Americas and was teaching his Gospel and establishing His church. I love this promise to us that if we believe the things that he taught us when he came (3 Nephi 11-27), we can receive the greater things. This scripture reminded me of the promised blessings as we live the Word of Wisdom, a commandment given to the Prophet Joseph Smith, that we can receive ''hidden treasures'' and great knowledge. These commandments are meant to try our faith, if we are obedient, we are blessed. I know that God blesses those who deserve His blessings- those who receive His word and then act on it!


Hey!


This was a tough week. Our investigators Maximino and Concepcion are going through deep trials right now. Concepcion felt sorry for herself this week because she has been really struggling to learn what we have been teaching. This family has gone through a lot and now Maximino and Concepcion got in a fight and now are separated and their baptismal date is no longer going to go through. We have seen great progress with them and have seen and felt the influence of the Spirit with them but now we are seeing the work of the devil separating families and detaining their spiritual progress. Max is going to move away and we don't even know where Concepcion is at to keep visiting her but we are still praying fervently for them.


Teodora as well was progressing and we put a baptismal date for 24 of June and her family wasn't in agreement with this decision because she has already been baptized as a child and is not ready to take such steps right now but I know that we have been able to help prepare her so that further down the road somebody else can baptize her. A lot of the investigator that we have been teaching told us not to come back for personal reasons and so now we just have to keep looking for those who want to learn of Christ and follow Him.


There are a few positive points that occurred this week! Presidente Henry is now back from California and is going to keep helping us with the branch's progress. We now have found solutions to our problems about not eating and Presidente Gabaldón has helped us a lot as well. Our investigator Jesus is doing really well and preparing for his baptism on June 24! He attended seminary this week and we were super happy about that! For the first time in my mission this week I gave a lesson to an American lady here in Pescadero. I didn't think I would be able to do it very well but the Spirit was able to help me with the correct words that the lady needed to hear.
Full Moon

"Es preciso que haya opocision en todas las cosas.." 2 Nefi 2:11


Elder Bennett


Tuesday, June 6, 2017

Great Strides

Splits with the Zone Leaders in Cabo

Exodus 15:26 And said, If thou wilt diligently hearken to the voice of the Lord thy God, and wilt do that which is right in his sight, and wilt give ear to his commandments, and keep all his statutes, I will put none of these diseases upon thee, which I have brought upon the Egyptians: for I am the Lord that healeth thee.


My companion Elder Yzquierdo shared with me in our companionship studies this scripture and it really intrigued me. I realized that the Lord promised us here a very specific blessings if we choose to keep the commandments. If we keep the commandments, the Lord will bless us with health and protect us from the sicknesses and diseases of the world. Christ is our 'Healer' and can give us relief if we come to be sick or afflicted. I know that God keeps His promises and will bless us with strength and health if we give heed to His word.


Hooola buenas tardes!


This week was a bit tough, we fought through a few trials but at the end of the day we are happy and healthy!


We have been bringing 7 investigators to church every week these last few weeks! We have been happy because these 7 people have been making great strides in their progression in the Gospel. We had a great Fast and Testimony Meeting on Sunday. The Stake President came down this week to preside and helped us out a lot in the challenges we have been facing alone, since our Branch President is still in California. There is now a first counselor in the Branch Presidency in the Pescadero Branch so there is progress! A few families from Utah that were here for vacation were present in the meetings and they brought a special spirit that our investigators could enjoy. I was happy to translate a few of their testimonies in Spanish.


We now have a baptismal date for Maximino and Concepcion! They accepted to be baptized on June 17 and another older lady that we have been teaching named Teodora accepted a baptismal date for June 24. Concepcion and Teodora don't know how to read but what I really admire of them is their desire to follow Christ and be obedient to His commandments. We are very happy with the results that we are seeing in this branch. The Lord has blessed us in many ways, even though it has been difficult, we are being diligent in the work! Last night, we received a call from President Gabaldón to tell us how proud he was of our work and help us out with the struggles of the meals and the water in the church for the baptismal font.
Mangoes growing in our backyard.

It is starting to heat up a lot! I'm starting to feel a lot more the sun burning my skin and the people always tell us that it is still cool right now that it will start to get a lot more hot soon!


I know Christ lives, I know He loves us and took our place to suffer the sins of the world. I know that He continues working miracles in our lives if we choose to follow Him in faith. I know God's true church has been restored through the Prophet Joseph Smith. I know the Book of Mormon contains the fullness of the Gospel and can help us come closer to Christ following it's precepts more than any other book. This is my living and growing testimony that I share in the name of Jesus Christ. Amen.


Elder Bennett

Monday, May 29, 2017

The Joy of Seeing One of My Brothers Baptized

John 3:16 For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life. 17 For God sent not his Son into the world to condemn the world; but that the world through him might be saved.

Baptismal Interview

This scripture gives me inspiration and hope. I know that my Heavenly Father loves me to send His Son. I cannot imagine how a father feels seeing his son suffer. I know that this sacrifice was necessary for the happiness and salvation of man. I know that without the Atonement of Christ we would be lost. Christ lives and wants to bless and heal us, all we need to do is turn and go to Him and let him work miracles in our lives and lift our burdens.


This has been a crazy week! 

First off, we had a baptism!! Hector our investigator was baptized. He is living with his aunt and uncle and they gave him an opportunity to live a better quality life than he did with his parents. Hector had left his past mistakes behind and was willing to follow Christ and repent and showed his obedience by being baptized. I cannot express the joy of seeing one of my brothers in the baptismal font and making this covenant with our Heavenly Father. The baptismal font arrived from La Paz and when it arrived we had to put it together and weld it. 
Welding the Font

Then we had to fill it with water the fastest that we could. 
Hector
The service didn't start until 8 in the night but everyone luckily was patient with us. Elder Yzquierdo had his first baptism of his mission and he was happy. He had to do three attempts to baptize him because the water was still pretty low after filling it for a long time. Hector was animated and his family as well. He father now is going to start listening to us.
Elder Yzquierdo & Hector
With Hector's Aunt & Uncle


I want to tell about an experience we had this week. We are teaching Maximino and his wife Concepcion and they are a very humble family that have desires to do good things. We have been teaching them and we arrived to the point that we felt they were ready for the baptismal challenge. And at first Maximino was hesitant and said that they weren't prepared. Later on we went and visited them and talked again of baptism. There came a point in the lesson that the Spirit was so strong. Max began to cry after feeling the peaceful feeling of the Spirit. Their behavior with us has changed and they are now attending church and also went to the baptism of Hector. I know that the Spirit is what makes us change and become better. The Spirit helps us follow Christ and become more like Him. This experience has helped us to be better as well as missionaries and be more obedient.
Planting Palm Trees


Elder Bennett