Monday, January 12, 2015

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.

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