Monday, June 1, 2015


May 25, 2015
Bermejo (Bear-meh-ho) Also know as: The new Navoo.  Few saints, a big river, lots and lots and lots of mosquitoes.
That's where I got transferred!  Bermejo is a boarder down with Argentina in the jungle. When I walk out my bedroom I am looking at Argentina, its just across the Bermejo river.
If you take a look at the Bolivian Map, you'll see that there is a tiny little boat at the bottom, the farthest tip south is Bermejo.
Bermejo is a district made up of 4 branches. I am in the Miraflores Branch.  Bermejo literally is the farthest thing away from Santa Cruz.
Wednesday I woke up at 4:50am to get on a micro that took everyone who was getting transferred to either Bermejo or Tarija to Viru Viru International airport.  We flew out to Tarija at 06:50am.  After the hour long flight, I got in a "trufi" a bigger taxi, or better said, a mini van converted taxi.  From Tarija to Bermejo its a 3 hour drive south.  It starts off with the high altitude mountainous semi barren Tarija terrain which I just love (visable in the pictures), and they you drop in elevation, and about an hour and a half into the ride your in a deep valley with a raging whitewater river to your right hand side, and on your left hand side a steep momentous green GREEN mountain.  I thought for one moment I saw George swinging through the trees, George of the Jungle that is.

Remember when the pioneers were crossing the planes and when they got to the river there were a few young gentlemen that carried everyone over? Brigham Young said something along the lines of this about them "That act alone will give them the celestial kingdom." Inspired President Willard said, "the same applies to the missionaries that go to Bermejo."
Why?  Because there are a TON of mosquitoes!  There are these tiny ones that you can hardly see, and definitely don't feel when they land on you, but when they have drank about a quart or two of blood they fly away and you all of a sudden have a blood spot on your arm, face, etc.  They itch too. haha
BUT, I literally have never seen members so willing to participate in the work of salvation.  Since Wednesday we found 22 new investigators, and most of them were member references!  That's my mission record, and I didn't even have the entire week working here!
Elder Gomez is my blessed companion!  He is from Ecuador.  He rocks. He is so humble, and I admire that so much, he is so easy to get along with.
There are 8 missionaries in Bermejo, one companionship for each branch.  All Elders, and I already love the other 7 Elders in my district!  I planned for us to go on a district activity to play wally today, I am stoked.  I feel like Alma, in the jungle with just a small band of brethren completely isolated from the rest from the rest of the mission, and world for that matter.  Lots of dirt, and because yesterday it rained super hard, lots of mud.  I feel like I am in Samaria again!  It's SO DANG FUN! It's hard, but I love it to pieces.

Please pray from the Flores family, that they can decide to get married soon!  They are ready to get baptized, they just need to get married.  Also pray from the Jurado family, that they can balance work and earn enough to have what is necessary to be able to focus on strengthening their testimonies.

The mission is the best, go on and serve one already!
Élder Bender  

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