Monday, January 26, 2015

Meet the Miracles

Bom dia,

It´s been such a great week.  I feel as though there have been angels working in my area.  

Conozan la famila Pardo:  The Pardo family showed up to church two sundays ago and said ¨Hi I am David. I served a full time mission, but have been less active for 12 years.  This is my wife Mari, she isn´t a member, but wants to be.¨

They are great!  We are teaching them almost every day, and Mari will be baptized this Saturday.  It´s crazy how the spirit works on people and prepares them to receive the truth, because as their faith has grown the light in their family has grown so much.

The Atonement is real, and I really like what Jorg Klebingat shared in this last general conference about using the atonement each and every day. ...by applying the Atonement of Jesus Christ, you can begin increasing your spiritual confidence today if you are willing to listen and act.

The atonement is all about action.  I am so grateful for my Savior Jesus Christ and his limitless love.

Love,
Élder Bender

Sunday, January 25, 2015

Let Us Join Him

January 19, 2015

Hello family and friends,

We had transfers this week!  What does that mean for Elder Bender?  Waking up at 4am to send people to the airport to go to Tarija, staying up until 3am to drop people off in the airport to go home, organizing who goes where with whom, Cinnabon, renting buses, paying off taxi´s,  planning the next 6 weeks with President Willard, the meetings he´ll have, when, where, with whom etc., oh, and baptizing.  How I love baptizing!

Yolanda made the decision to follow the example of Jesus Christ and be baptized.  She's the best!  Honestly I have never seen someone so fearless to throw themselves in the water!  It was a spiritually powerful yet short service.  Short n´sweet.  Tatiana also gave a great talk about her conversion process and relationship with the Holy Ghost at the service.  (Tatiana is Yolanda´s daughter.  She was taught and baptized 2 months ago.)

Saturday in the heat of day we also did a service for an elderly lady in our ward with our bishop.  The lady had a bunch of garbage, gravel, and sand on her roof.  It was causing leaks in the house.  Well needless to say, now she doesn't!

God often has other plans that we do, however I know that when He does His weekly planning He has our best interest and spiritual well being at the top of his list.

Christ lives, THERE ARE people who want to come to Him.  We had 10 non-members in church yesterday, He is hastening His work, Let us join Him.

Love,
Élder Bender


                                                              The baptism!  Yolanda
                                                     With my companion when I was all wet

                                                                  my comp cleaning the font


                                                         I fell playing soccer - battle wound


                                         Me running the show as Pedro ties down some suitcases.

                                              we cleaned the house, there was a lot of trash



                                                                     new years hats
                                                    the airport AKA my second home



Monday, January 12, 2015

2 for 1

January 12, 2015

Last week for some reason my general email didn't get sent.  This week ya`ll deserve a ¨two-fer¨.

However I am in THE WORST internet cafe in the entire world so who knows how good this`ll turn out.  Groan.

Well I`ll start off here:  Do you remember Tatiana?  The sister I baptized with Elder Trinidad in El Fuerte?  Well, she moved with her family to MY NEW WARD!  How cool is that?  She is doing great, she was baptized on the 22nd of November and has already read the entire triple combination.  Book of Mormon, D&C, and Pearl of Great Price.  Best of all, her mom Yolanda was really moved when she came to Tatiana's baptism in El Fuerte and began studying the Book of Mormon a lot more seriously, oh yeah, and she read it all!  She isn't baptized yet either.  However she will be the newest member of the restored church of Christ this Saturday at 8:00PM, bring your family and friends! 

Honestly, it was just a tender mercy of the Lord.  He is so conscious of the needs of His children and I know it is no random happen-stance that I have served in these two areas to help change this family.  Nor is it a coincidence that they have been able to help me trust more than ever in the Book of Mormon and come even closer to God.

Miracles exist. 

Anyone can come unto Christ and feel His love and forgiveness.  He offers it freely to everyone.

Love,
Elder Bender

Set Goals, Make Plans

December 29, 2014

Family and friends,
 
It was so fun to talk to many of you on Christmas day via Skype.  I always tell everyone I meet here that I have the best family, and it is true.
 
Anyone who is familiar with Preach My Gospel already understand the theory behind the title of this e-mail.  However, even after a year of setting goals and making plans DAILY, I still love it.  I testify that as we set goals for this new year, and below those goals write out plans, we will achieve them, for that is the Lord's established way of repentance. 
 
This week I have learned a lot about love and charity.  It's a Christlike attribute that I am striving to develop more and more.  It ain`t easy though!  Even with the people we love most is easy to portray the opposite.  Frustration, depression, time crunches, mis-communication, lack of sleep, or even hunger can allow us to make the most important people in our lives feel unloved.  Christ was the perfect example of love towards His Father, towards his disciples, and ALSO of allowing himself to be loved.  I love the story of when a woman anoints The Christ with an expensive perfume and one of the Master's disciples attempts to rebuke her for the costliness of the anointment.  Christ teaches the divine virtue of allowing others to serve us.  Not in a selfish way, but rather He allowed that woman to receive the blessing of her selfless act of love.  May we love one another, and in doing so allow others to love us back. 
 
Thank you for your love, and more than anything, thank you all for your love and service towards our Master.
Hasta el 2015,
Élder Bender

 My companion and I took this picture in the airport by the Christmas tree at like 3AM dropping off a few missionaries who were going home.  We made Christmas cards and gave them out to the members and investigators with this pic on it=)



 Pictures of Hermano Hugin´s surprise birthday (a non member who helps us with just about ANYTHING RANDOM in the offices.  If we don't know where a place is, he will take us there, if we want to know how much lunch costs at a certain restaurant, he has their menu memorized, hes basically an encyclopedia of Santa Cruz, and a big time friend of us office guys!) 

                                                                      Our stockings
                                            Pictures of Elder Garcia and I with our tie presents!

 Pictures from the Christmas conference, (The first one I am with Elder Gehring, the old Secretary to the President)  And the second one I am with the zone leaders and my companion (Yes, you probably recognize my zone leaders, Elder Bailey was companion when I was LZ in Tarija!  Also Elder Jones was ZL in the zone next to mine in Tarija and we always did activities together, they are the best.)


Everyone at the table getting ready for the christmas eve feast, and my companion blowing the junk out of that native cow horn.
 Elder Corrales got a tie that sings (its got a little button inside that you push and it plays christmas songs) and I got an action shot of him enjoying it.


                          Everyone showing off their secret santa snags.  (I got that ballin´fannypack)
                                             Burger King Christmas Feast for lunch.  Crown´d up.

Sunday, January 11, 2015

El es mi Dadiva

December 22, 2014

¡Cuanto les quiero!

Espero que tengan una feliz navidad, y que recuerden la importancia del Señor en sus vidas.

Esta semana ha sido fantástica.  Hemos encontrado una familia sumamente especial que ha sido preparado a recibir la Dádiva. 

Hemos estado pensando acerca de la importancia que tiene el asistir a la iglesia en el progreso de los investigadores, y todos nosotros.  En nuestra planificación semanal decidimos levantarnos un poco temprano este Domingo para ir a recoger investigadores a las 7:30 para estar en la capilla a las 9.  Sin embargo no solo los recogimos, mas bien fuimos y cantamos himnos navideños (o sea, we went christmas caroling to all our investigators to invite them to church).  ¿Y sabes que?  ¡Vinieron! Ellos sintieron el espíritu navideño y pudieron venir a la iglesia para recibir mas revelación. 

Sé sin ninguna duda que Cristo vive.  Sé que el nos ama, y que Él efectúa milagros grandiosos.  Gracias por todo so apoyo que ustedes me dan.  Que pasen una feliz navidad. 

Con mucho cariño,
Élder Bender

Google Translate:
The I love them!

Hope you have a happy Christmas, and remember the importance of the Lord in their lives.

This week has been fantastic. We found a very special family that has been prepared to receive the Gift.

We have been thinking about the importance of attending church on the progress of investigators, and all of us. In our weekly schedule we decided to get up a little early this Sunday to pick up researchers at 7:30 to be in the chapel at 9. However not only we collected, rather went and sang Christmas hymns (ie We went christmas caroling to all our Investigators to invite them to church). And you know what? Came! They felt the Christmas spirit and were able to come to church to receive more revelation.

I know without a doubt that Christ lives. I know that He loves us, and He performed mighty miracles. Thanks for everything so you give me support. To spend a happy Christmas.

With love,
Elder Bender