Wednesday, March 18, 2015

The best 2 years

March 16, 2015
Good day to ya'll

Tuesday I went and dropped off a few missionaries at the airport who'd finished their full time missions.  Amongst the group was Elder Shumway, a good buddy I made on the mission, and also Elder Oliart, my trainer.  It was fun that he could be my first companion, and I could be in a way, "His last companion" sending him home.  He helped me a lot and we learned a lot together.  He taught me to work HARD in the sun, and we did!  I owe a lot to him.

Elder Butts my companion is great.  He is humble and always looking for ways to improve.  He teaches with love, and I admire that.  

Wednesday and Friday mornings I went with the other 3 secretaries in the back of a flat bed truck to go pick up the materials from the houses that closed.  The closing and opening of areas requires a lot of preparation!  However it also provides us with the opportunity to tour the city in the back of a truck.  It resulted in some fun pictures and videos.

Veronica is doing great, she is learning a lot about the repentance process as she prepares to be baptized.  Please pray for her that she can make that baptismal covenant this weekend!

Carlos is a new investigator who came to church like 10 weeks ago, and then disappeared, he showed up again this Sunday and we have a visit with him today.  Hoping for lots of progress there too!


Love ya'll!

Élder Bender



                                        Saying Goodbye to Elder Oliart, my trainer, in the airport :(

                                                                     The lunch crew.
Driving around in the truck going to pick up materials! 
                                   Happy as can be!  Going to pick up material.  Sweat band included.
                                       A face full of wind, and a wind full of smiles.  With Elder Juarez 

                                           With the goodies!  Thank you Family and Grandma Huyett

                                    Dropping off Elder Shumway.  His last Bolivian Burger King supper.  

                                               Bowling with my companion Elder Butts one p-day.


Monday, March 9, 2015

Smile

This weekend Elder Balderrama came to our stake conference.  It was amazing.  I find a thrill and a special spiritual boost every time I learn and feel the need to repent.  To change.  I know the gospel of Christ is a gospel of change.  May we all change daily to become more like Him.

I had my eyes opened in the priesthood session of stake conference (which I might add had about 40 priesthood holding members in attendance, and 28 missionaries) as we opened the scriptures to D&C 84:33.  There is truly power in the priesthood and great blessings that await the family as the head of the family honors the priesthood of God.

Today in my personal study I learned a lot about Christ's love.  The Master and Creator of the world felt a true joy as he looked upon the praying saints in the Americas in 3 Nephi 19:25-30.  As the scripture says he ¨smiled at them¨ for their obedience. 

Why has God given us the capability to smile?  Christ shows us that it's a way to show contentment, and lift the faith of others.  I truly believe that as we smile and let our "light shine" we will lift the faith of others.  We will be representatives of Jesus Christ, and we will be guided by the spirit to know how to minister to those feeble in spirit.  It's our duty, if we don´t smile and serve, who will?

I love my Savior.  I want to make Him smile.

Love,

Élder Bender

Monday, March 2, 2015

Transfers went great!

So maybe I have already said this, but the transfer planning and organization is my baby.  It's 100% my responsibility that no one misses flights, that they know where they are going, with whom, when, and how they will get there.  With 250 missionaries and 6 zones outside the city, it's a big project.  Did I forget to mention that same week I pick up new missionaries, and send home old ones?  Plan for their first and final interviews with President?  Yeah, I don't sleep transfer week.   So I figured that with all of that you're bound to forget something, or someone is bound to get confused and lost, miss their flight, bus, etc.  Nope, this week went perfect.  It was indeed a miracle!

7 new missionaries came to the mission, and 26 went home.  Wow!  That's a lot.  I got a new companion in the process.  Elder Butts from Texas.  He's a great guy, he's only got 6 months in the mission, and is super humble.  I appreciate that.  

Veronica Choque told us the other day that she prayed, and received an answer, she wants to be baptized ASAP!  This weekend will be Stake Conference, so on the 14th she'll be making that sacred covenant.  God is a God of miracles.  We have found quite a few new people simply by working our tails off, and doing it with faith.  

Saturday I feel like I worked SO HARD, and nothing happened at all.  Sunday, we did the same thing and it was just miracle after miracle every half hour!  The Lord has His ways to teach us, humble us, and at the same time hasten His work.

Help Him in this grand work!

Love,
Elder Bender

                                               Flying to Tarija with Elder Garcia last week
                                                                        Elder Garcia

                                                              Elder Garcia


                                                                       Carnaval Pizza
                                                                    Zone Picture
                                                     Elder Garcia and I on the airplane to Tarija
                                                   The Castillo Family, Future Elder Castillo



                                                   The Ledezma Family, Future Elder Ledezma
                         Elder Garcia, Elder Gallager, and I together in Tarija.  Buddies from the MTC.
                                                              Elder Garcia
                                       Super Tacos from Gattopardo!  The best restaurant in Tarija!


                                                   The Plaza Principal in Tarija, super pretty.
                                                                       
                                Mini plane - Amazonas.  There was about 22 people on it, all seats full.
                                                         The American group of friends
                                                       Elder Morris!  I love that guy!
                                           Other group in the micro going to the airport at 4AM
                                Cinnabon Breakfast... Yum.  Elder Juarez was with me for that trip!
                                Relaxing in the massage chairs waiting for more missionaries in the airport.

 Brother Pedro!  Hes our best friend, and designated driver.  Kicking it in the massage chair by my side.
 My everyday handbag.  Made up of scriptures, extra cash, and passports.
Mini birthday party for Elder Shumway.  Love that guy!  Tres leches cake... Mmmm!  Pedro and Liada made the day once more!