Monday, January 13, 2014

Feliz Navidad!

December 23, 2013

Hola y Feliz Navidad a todos!
This week we had our Christmas Devotional with Presidente y Hermana Willard! I sent some photos from it=) about a fourth of the mission came together, (because the mission is so big we can't all meet together, so they have mini devotionals in different parts of the mission) However it was fantastic. President shared how the wise men travel for roughly two years souly to give their gifts and sing praises to the Christ Child. Here I am traveling and working HARD for two years singing praises to my Lord and Savior just like those Wise men! Also he shared a really cool video from Elder Christoferson's series called ¨Daily Bread¨. This clip talks about how we need to get our daily bread, or daily substanance of the scriptures every day in order to live and prosper. This was really cool. We finished with an AMAZING lunch! It was the best food I have ever eaten since I was home! Turkey, rice potatos, fruit, and for dessert we had Flan! It's like a weird part jello, part sweet milk that's soaked in this thick molases type sugar stuff that tastes like burnt marshmellow. Honestly though, just about everything tastes good to me now! I devour tomatos now like nobodys buisness! And yesterday I spent a good 15 minutes beating a coconut open to eat it! Haha yes I am eating and enjoying tomatos and coconuts! haha

Also this week I had another intercambio. This time with Elder Cordova one of the Zone leaders. I went to his area and literally learned soooo much in 24 hours. It really was a blessing.

Almost no one here is married. It's really hard because it just isn't part of their culture. However they need to be married if they are going to live together in order to be baptized. Right now we are teaching a bunch of really awesome couples and families that have this situation. So the theme of this week was marriage and law of Chastity. Literally like half of our lessons were on this. It's really hard to help people want to be married and actually get to that point for a few reasons in specific:
1) It costs money, not a ton, but money most people don't have.
2) It's just not part of their culture
3) They are deathly affraid of divorce
4) They want to take their time, and often times set ¨marriage dates¨ a year or more in advance!

So our battle is trying to help people see the importance of Marriage, and set a date in the next 2 or 3 months. HOWEVER, if I am blessed enough to spend 2 more transfers here we will have A LOT of marriages and baptisms! Because these people are PREPARED!

In our mission their is a big emphasis put on reactivation. Our mission goal is to have a lesson with a less active for every lesson we have with investigators. So this we are doing a lot, and it's pretty awesome to see them start to come back step by step, and also we are getting tons of referrals from them!

All in all, All is well in Samaría! I am a very happy missionary, and we are working hard! I feel extremely blessed, ETREMELY BLESSED! Thanks for all of your prayers, I can really feel them! =)
Élder Bender

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