Monday, January 30, 2017

Gaining Confidence

Mosiah 13:33 For behold, did not Moses prophesy unto them concerning the coming of the Messiah, and that God should redeem his people? Yea, and even all the prophets who have prophesied ever since the world began—have they not spoken more or less concerning these things? 34 Have they not said that God himself should come down among the children of men, and take upon him the form of man, and go forth in mighty power upon the face of the earth? 35 Yea, and have they not said also that he should bring to pass the resurrection of the dead, and that he, himself, should be oppressed and afflicted?

One of the things that Pte Gabaldón taught us is that when we don't know what to say we should talk of the Savior. He is the life and light of the world. He gives the world a hope for a better life and eternal life! Our Lord Jesus Christ has been testified and prophesied by ancient and living prophets. I too testify that the Savior will come again. I know that we are in the last days before the second coming of Christ and now is the time to prepare ourselves spiritually for what is to come in the future. I know the Gospel has been revealed to us in these times for our happiness in this life and progression to the life to come.

Hey Everyone!

It has been a somewhat cooler week here in Mazatlan! At the start of the week, I had to take out the jacket and sweaters because the wind was pretty chilly here. It didn't take long for the hot Sinaloa sun to come back out and remind us that he's still there haha.

This week was a pretty normal week. I've gained a lot of confidence in myself. I remember back in Teacapan I could hardly speak Spanish and I didn't know a whole lot about the doctrine either but now, I have come a long ways in almost 17 months here in the mission. Wow, has it flown by these last few months. I've been so busy and focused that the time just doesn't seem real anymore.

Beautiful Malecon

Elder Sanchez and I
With our investigators with the most potential, it was a pretty slow week. Everyone is always so very busy and it's difficult for them to squeeze in a time in there busy schedules to hear a message from the missionaries. We made some strides this week with some new investigators. One is Isaac, a young man who has a alcohol problems. We were able to testify of the enabling power of the Atonement of Jesus Christ and teach him that there is hope to overcome his addictions. We have several investigators that we have been working with over these last 3 and a half months here in Mazatlan that we try to make it around to everyone in the week. 

Wednesday night FHE group
One of the highlights of the week was a service that we did for our investigator, José, who is a painter. He makes paintings of the Mazatlan sunset, waterfalls, planets, animals- he is amazing! On Saturdays is when he goes to El Centro where all the tourists go to in the night. We went and helped him set up his things and sell his paintings to the gringos who didn't speak Spanish. It was so awesome to see all the people in awe watching the simplicity of the way he paints something marvelous.

I am enjoying the mission! We are starting a new missionary schedule where we are going to be having our companionship study and language study in the street, a park or in whatever place rather than in our houses. And we plan in the mornings now so we don't have to plan in the night and I can catch up on my journal again! Haha.

Have a wonderful week everyone! God bless!

Elder Bennett

Monday, January 23, 2017

Up Down Week

Exodus 31:14 Ye shall keep the sabbath therefore; for it is holy unto you: every one that defileth it shall surely be put to death: for whosoever doeth any work therein, that soul shall be cut off from among his people. 15 Six days may work be done; but in the seventh is the sabbath of rest, holy to the Lord: whosoever doeth any work in the sabbath day, he shall surely be put to death. 16 Wherefore the children of Israel shall keep the sabbath, to observe the sabbath throughout their generations, for a perpetual covenant. 17 It is a sign between me and the children of Israel for ever: for in six days the Lord made heaven and earth, and on the seventh day he rested, and was refreshed

The Hermanas helped us move our stuff

This week I wanted to share a scripture in the Bible about the Sabbath Day. It is essential for our well being and spirituality during the week. This is the day dedicated to the Lord when we can learn of the scriptures and of the Gospel, grow spiritually, feel the Spirit, and participate the Sacrament. I thought it was interesting that those in the times of Moses were put to death if they did not keep the Sabbath, we should delight in this special day. I know it is important because our loving Heavenly Father wants us to rest and learn of His will.Hey Everyone!

Finally moved in!
This was a pretty up-down week, the mission is like a roller coaster, lots of emotions. The owner of the apartment called us and said that it was now available and so the next day we took the morning to move our things to the new house. The new house is very long, our old house was 2 floors. It has lots of space and it is close to the bank, the stores, the church building, and so that's why we wanted to move to this place, and considering that we now live in our area haha. The sister missionaries helped us move.
Our investigator paints with spraypaint
We had a few difficulties with our investigators this week. With each one of them we tried to put a baptismal date. Soraya tells us that we should not speak of baptismal dates, because she says that she will know when she should, and we do not have to set a specific date with her. José, our investigator who can not walk, was enthusiastic to be baptized and we invited him to ask the Lord to know what day he should be baptized, then his family spoke to him and he lost the desire to pray and listen to us because of the things his family told him. 
Hermana Guzman is so nice to us
Mauro, he only wants to know about the history of the church and not about faith and repentance and these things because he already knows about the other churches. On the plus side, we found several new investigators this week and so we are working well and being very patient!

Elder Sanchez is always tired
This week I could see the hand of the Savior in some contacts in the street we had. We were able to find and meet people that truly need the healing power of Jesus Christ in their lives and it was a blessing to see that the people who need the Gospel are placed in our paths so we can teach and testify of Christ. I know that He lives and loves each one of His children.
P-day basketball, we tried throwing basketballs at the coconuts to eat one

Eating Breakfast
Have a great week!

Taco de pescado y quesadilla de camaron
Elder Bennett

Mazatlan Zone

Monday, January 16, 2017

God's Love Never Ceases

Exodus 33:11 And the Lord spake unto Moses face to face, as a man speaketh unto his friend. And he turned again into the camp: but his servant Joshua, the son of Nun, a young man, departed not out of the tabernacle.

This week one of our investigators had a doubt about Joseph Smith. How is it that a young boy of 14 years old could talk to God and Jesus Christ? We invited her to pray specifically to know if Joseph Smith was a true prophet of God and she immediately thought of Moses and how he couldn't see God. We responded with this scripture saying that God the Father talked to Moses face to face. We talked of the necessity of prophets in these latter days. We bore our testimony of Joseph Smith and how we came to know that he was chosen and called of God to restore His true church upon the face of the earth one last time. I think it was an event so spectacular the First Vision when God the Father and His Son Jesus Christ appeared to Joseph to tell him and the world that Their love never ceases and still talks to prophets today to lead and guide us.
 Hey Everyone!

This was a pretty fun week! We had lots of opportunities to teach this week to our investigators. Soraya, José and Mauro are progressing very well and are our next prospects for baptism. We have been finding new investigators and working hard.
Hna Kareli and Jesús

Transfers are today, Elder Sanchez and I will be companions for the 3rd transfer here in Albatros. I am excited for this transfer because we will finally have some convert baptisms. Presidente Gabaldón joined the 2 zones in Mazatlan into 1 so now we are one big zone. I won't be the district leader this transfer and I think that will help me and my companion focus on our investigators more and be more productive.
Last District Picture

Elder Juarez "died" (he finished his 2 years)

Our investigator, Soraya, attended church this Sunday for the first time. She is so awesome! She has a special gift and we know she will be such a help in the Family History department. We are going to challenge her to baptism this week and put a baptismal date. José, we had already challenged and was super excited to be baptized and then his aunts talked to him and said it is dangerous for him to go to church with his condition that he cant walk and so he lost his spirit to go to church and be baptized. We made a promise to him in the name of Christ that if he goes to church and is baptized he will be healed from this sickness in his legs. We felt by the spirit we should say that.

Family Home Evening
Sorry it's a short email this week. I love you all! Thank you!
I made French Toast this week

Elder Bennett

Monday, January 9, 2017

Focus on the Things That Truly Matter

Holaaa mis queridos amigos y familiares!

Alma 34:15 And thus he shall bring salvation to all those who shall believe on his name; this being the intent of this last sacrifice, to bring about the bowels of mercy, which overpowereth justice, and bringeth about means unto men that they may have faith unto repentance. 16 And thus mercy can satisfy the demands of justice, and encircles them in the arms of safety, while he that exercises no faith unto repentance is exposed to the whole law of the demands of justice; therefore only unto him that has faith unto repentance is brought about the great and eternal plan of redemption.
Baptism of little Jesus

I want to share to share this special scripture this week because this is what God's plan is for us! Central to God's plan of Happiness is His Only Begotten Son, Jesus Christ. It is through Christ's atoning sacrifice that we have opportunity to exercise our agency and repent of all the bad things that we have done in our lives. It is through faith and repentance that we can receive the healing power of the Savior and become more like Him, and be prepared for the life to come after death. This is what my mission president challenged us to teach to everyone, because this is the only way that we can return to live with our Heavenly Father again one day with our families. I know this is true!

This week was pretty exciting! Elder Sanchez and I are working hard to reach a goal of talking to 40 people each day. This was an instruction of Presidente Gabaldón and it's so we can find and teach new investigators. We really have to talk to everyone! We have been talking to people in the street, on the bus, in the stores and everywhere. I really have learned to develop a love for God's children even though I never have met them before. Serving our fellow men is one of the greatest blessings we have here on the earth.

January 6, 2017 - Día de Reyes (Day of the Wise Men) everyone eats Rosca, a breaded desert with fruit flavors that contains a little doll inside, and whoever finds the little doll inside, they have to buy tamales in February. I found the little doll on 3 occasions haha
We had a Multizone Conference on Friday with all the missionaries in Mazatlan and Escuinapa and Teacapan. I really enjoyed listening and learning from my inspired leaders and Presidente. Sister Gabaldón always lovingly reminds us to clean our houses and eat well and exercise every morning so we don't get sick and we can stay healthy. There are lots of new rules and concepts that we are trying, and there will be a new schedule for the missionaries as well. It's such an exciting time to be in the mission. It is such a great blessing to serve the Lord. I love every moment! Presidente Gabaldón told us that each and everyone of us need to be here, because this is the most important work that coming to pass. 
Pday basketball activity with Zona Mazatlan Oeste
One thing in particular that I learned this week is to focus on the things that truly matter, and not be distracted by the little things that aren't as important.

On Saturday was the baptism of Jesus Avitia. A little boy in the ward who is very excited to be a new member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. His father is not active and Jesus wanted that I baptize him. It was such a great experience! Although the water of the baptismal font was green, it was a special day for Jesus and he made covenants with God. The next day, he asked that I would do the confirmation as well without telling me beforehand and I confirmed him in Sacrament meeting and I had never done that ordinance before so I was super nervous and shaking haha. The great moments of the mission :)

Baptism of Jesus

Elder Bennett

Basketball Court on the beach

Monday, January 2, 2017

Feliz Año Nuevo

Acts 3:19 Repent ye therefore, and be converted, that your sins may be blotted out, when the times of refreshing shall come from the presence of the Lord; 20 And he shall send Jesus Christ, which before was preached unto you: 21 Whom the heaven must receive until the times of restitution of all things, which God hath spoken by the mouth of all his holy prophets since the world began.

I studied this scripture this week in my personal studies. I studied more about the Restoration. I loved this scripture because the Apostle Peter testified of a restoration of all things after the period of apostasy. I know that the Gospel and Church of Jesus Christ has been restored in these latter-days through a modern day prophet, Joseph Smith. I know that an apostasy was necessary, so that Christ's church could be restored in its due time. I know that we have the blessings of the Book of Mormon, eternal families and a knowledge of God's plan of happiness for us. In this new year I invite all to study more about the Restoration of God's true church and the Book of Mormon, which has convincing evidence of the prophesied apostasy. I love this church, I know it's present here on the earth and each and everyone of us are subject to these great blessings available for us.

Hey Everyone!

First of all hope everyone had a wonder week! A wonderful time of year to welcome in the new year, 2017! Feliz Año Nuevo!

This week went pretty well for Elder Sanchez and I. We made lots of progress with some investigators that we have been visiting. We have three investigators in particular that are progressing well, Soraya, Jazmin, and Susano. I love seeing these sons and daughters of God make little changes in their lives through repentance and putting their lives more in tune with the will of the Father. I especially loved the experience this week in visiting a man that can't walk and seeing the joy and spirit that we were able to bring him through the great Gospel message.

For New Years and Christmas we had to return to our home earlier than usual to avoid potential dangers during late night festivities. It was a fun experience seeing all the fireworks that the little children like to set off and all the adults have their music Banda blaring loud. This is the time of the year when there are lots of parties and hitting of the piñatas. Some of the members invited us to eat some delicious posole to bring in the new year.

This week we had divisions with the Elders from Francisco Villa. I went to the area of Francisco Villa with Elder Agustin. What a amazing missionary he is, very kind and talks to everyone, a bit of a change from my current companion Elder Sanchez. We had various lessons and contacts, a successful day.

We are still looking to move haha......We are waiting very patiently for the apartment to become desocupied again.

This week we have a Multizone Conference with President Gabaldón. Lots of new rules in the mission that I'll tell in my next letter!

Take care everyone! Have a wonderful week!

Elder Bennett