Monday, February 17, 2014

The "Gringo" Samaritan

February 10, 2014
Here in Samaría the people take pride in calling themselves ¨Samarítanas¨ or Samaritans.  I figured I could call myself the ¨Gringo¨ Samaritan because I'm the one blonde hair, blue eyed guy running around here!

Last Monday for PDAY we played an epic game of fútbol it was WAY FUN!  We played Gringos vs. Latinos, and we WON!  Honestly I have no idea how, they are way better than us, but we had so much team spirit and were going nuts screaming after each goal that I give all the credit to how energetic we were.  It rocked! (=

The weather here has been a lot different than it was when I first got here.  It hasn't been deathly hot, and we have been getting tons of rain.  With the rain comes many miles of hiking in rubber rain boots, and more mosquitoes than I thought was possible! I have learned a good repellent application technique now and I can keep them away pretty well now too.(=

We had some complications with the marriage papers with the Riojas Family, so their baptism got postponed.  However Saturday we baptized four of the Torrez kids, a family we have worked this transfer to reactivate, and it worked!  And we also taught the kids and grand-kids and now the whole family is active, happy members!(=  They are making plans to go to the temple as a family.(=
Also we baptized Javier Lopez Paco, he is a super stud (he's the older boy in the photo). He is 12 years old and a champion with an epic testimony of the Book of Mormon and cannot wait to be a missionary! (=  It blows my mind how even these young kids get so excited about reading the Book of Mormon and get such strong testimonies of the Restored Gospel.

After the Baptism we had a stake level activity with all the missionaries in the stake (two whole zones) invited their investigators and recent converts to come.  President Willard came and gave an EPIC talk and the spirit was just so strong!  He had all of the missionaries stand up and recite ¨My Purpose¨ and it was just epic to stand their in front of all of our investigators and say that our purpose is to help them develop faith, be baptized, and be active in the gospel and endure to the end!  It was super cool.  Then with all the missionaries we all sang ¨The Army of Helaman¨ and it was eipc!(=  We finished it all up with a really good enchilada dinner and it was a fantastic Saturday! (=

I love you all! 
Élder Bender

Baptism of Torrez kids and Javier!

                                                 Elder Bender and Elder Oliart and Pensionista

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