Wednesday, May 20, 2015


May 18, 2015
Wednesday, May 20th is our transfer date, and I am leaving the office after 6 of some of the best months of my life.

I worked a ton this week with visas and planning for transfers (reserving hotels, planning interviews, travel plans, flights etc.) I was going hard for all the plans as if they were "mine" to complete.  Then Thursday night President Willard called me and asked my to buy a flight for Elder Winterholler to come to Santa Cruz from Tarija to take my place and have my train him to be the next secretary to the president. 

Elder Winterholler is a GREAT missionary.  He is a hard worker, outgoing, kind, and a smart guy.  This is his first area in Santa Cruz, so it'll take some getting used to do all that he'll have to do!

Training him was pretty tough. However I learned how to make tutorial videos where it captures what's on the screen, and records my voice explaining what's going on.  I had made a few before hand so it made it easier!  

Norma -the lady in charge of visas for all of the missionaries in Bolivia- came on Friday from La Paz and helped me in training Elder Winterholler.  Needless to say it was an INTENSE day of training.  Friday night I went out to teach with him and we saw about 7,000 miracles!  It was insane!  We found a great family that completely accepted the Book of Mormon.  We taught a new investigator who ended up accepting a baptismal date, and we taught Guillermo again and he went on and on about how he CAN'T STOP reading the book of Mormon!  He said all his coworkers are making fun of him, but he said for some reason he cannot put the book down.  Obviously, nothing made me happier:)  We helped him understand that those feelings come from the Spirit.  He'll be making covenants soon too.

I truly am sad to leave this assignment and this ward, but I am excited to see where I'll go and to give it my all there!

Élder Bender

 Marcelo, I didn't achieve baptizing him, but he'll be baptized very soon:)  And he'll be a lifelong friend.
                                      Ward council picture, I'm sad to leave such a great group of saints!

                                                       Our powerful bishopric in Cañoto


May 11, 2015
Querida familia mía,

It was indeed a great week.  It was fun to say happy Mother’s Day to the best Mom on the planet!

After skyping with the family an overwhelming feeling of urgency came to my heart, and a scripture came to my mind:

 31 Yea, I would that ye would come forth and harden not your hearts any longer; for behold, now is the time and the day of your salvation; and therefore, if ye will repent and harden not your hearts, immediately shall the great plan of redemption be brought about unto you.
 32 For behold, this life is the time for men to prepare to meet God; yea, behold the day of this life is the day for men to perform their labors.

As a family each member has to prepare him/herself to meet God.  That is why we are here.  I am thankful to be part of an eternal family that strives to be better day after day.  I understand how important this knowledge is:  FAMILIES can be FOREVER.  I am anxious to do all I can to share this precious knowledge with each and every family I meet.  
For that is why I am here; where much has been given, much is required.   
I know Christ lives, and because He lives we will all live again. We will be "restored unto our deeds".  May we do all we can do labor celestial deeds.
Élder Bender
1) Alma 34:31-32
2) Alma 42:27