Saturday, December 21, 2013

Bugs and Baptisms!

December 16, 2013
Another fantastic week in Samaría! We worked HARD, it was great!

So I had the start of an ingrown toenail, and I told my pensionista about it, and she was kind enough to preform some living room surgery on me! haha. She did a really good job! I haven´t had any problems, and it's been like 5 days! I have been washing it good with alcohol, so no one get worried haha! I am taking care of it, and literally it isn´t a problem. I was so glad she could do a mini surgery for me so I didn´t have to go to the clinic, because that would have wasted an entire day of proseliting!

Another fun fact, this week I ate cow stomach that had been soaked in milk for days!! haha it as like taffy, super chewy, and pretty gross, honestly! An experience for sure! Also something that is really common here is fermented potatos. They are black inside and out. Not sure why they like them so much.

Our district meeting this week was awesome, we took an old shirt and wrote our names on it and the things we were ´fighting for´. It is our district Title of Liberty!
Also something really fun we did, was we went with some of the neighborhood kids after doing service and caught some of the giant bugs they have here. Then we took some strings and we tied them around the heads of these beetles, and they held onto the other end while the beetles tried to fly away! So they were like these big pet beetles on strings and we walked around with them for a little while haha! I hope you can see the photos!

This Sunday we had 13 investigators at church (these numbers only count those age 8 and above, there were like 20 plus including all the babies!) - such a blessing! Sadly there were a few key investigators that needed to attend this Sunday to fulfill their baptismal commitment for the end of this month that didn´t attend )=. But, now we are just going to try extra hard to get them there next Sunday!

Mom, I am LOVING the Christmas CD that you sent me! I listen to it every morning while I am exercising! Man alive, I have gotten pretty darn good at jumping rope! =) I do it every morning, haha.

This Sunday I gave a 12 minute talk on the work of Salvation. It was amazing to think that only 2 months ago I couldn´t form a simple sentence in spanish. But with the power of the gift of tounges, I can just about say whatever I want to say! And I can get up and give a 12 minute talk with only 5 min. of preparation time!

This week we had a beautiful baptismal service for the Ticona Family! Roxana, Joana, Diana, and Christian all we baptized=) It was so great to hear Hermana Roxana´s Testimony after the Baptism, and to hear her say that she knows without a doubt that the church is true. The spirit was really strong there! That family is really special to me, they have such faith! They had experienced some REALLY hard challenges the week before their baptism, and they proved their faith as they pressed forward and still went on to be baptized! =) I was able to act as voice in Confirming Joana, and it was great to feel the spirit work through me so I could give the blessing that was intended for her.

A miracle that I want to expound on today in my letter is one that testifies of the power of the priesthood. Two weeks ago we met a woman named Viviana and started teaching her. She has a 6 year old daughter that has had terrible health problems for the past 4 years. She almost always has intense fevers to the point where she can't move, eat, or do anything - simple lifeless. We gave here a priesthood blessing of health about 2 weeks ago, and to this day she has been happy and able to run and play with her friends. This really strengthen my testimony of the power of the priesthood in bring sheep into the fold. This miracle really has kick-started Hermana Viviana´s interest in the gospel, and I hope and pray it will be the start of bringing the whole family back into the fold!
God lives, we have His power to heal and bless others on the earth today, and I am so blessed to be able to share this beautiful gospel message with everyone in Santa Cruz!
I Love You all!
Élder Bender
                                                                      Title of Liberty
                                                                      Ticona Family

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