Monday, May 14, 2012

Semana 63: Don't let Satan Win

Semana 63: Don't Let Satan Win

HAPPY MOTHER'S DAY! I just love you mama! It was so good to talk to you yesterday. I was contemplating not writing a letter but I figured we have the time so I might as well write you. Happy Mother's Day to all you other mothers as well. First off, PEGGY, HAPPY MOTHER'S DAY! Happy Mother's Day to my wonderful grandmas, Sally Rene, Sister Hatch, Denise, Lorie, and all you mothers of the Orchards ward. You all are such great examples to me. I love in Alma, how the stripling warriors accredited their strength and ability to their mothers. "Now they never had fought, yet they did not fear death; and they did think more upon the aliberty of their bfathers than they did upon their lives; yea, they had been taught by their cmothers, that if they did not doubt, God would deliver them. And they rehearsed unto me the words of their amothers, saying: We bdo not doubt our mothers knew it." (Alma56:47&48) Mom, you are the perfect example of what a Latter-day Saint woman should be like and stand for. You are my rock and I love you to the moon and back. How crazy to think we only have one phone call left till I'm home!

We didn't really talk much about this week on the phone but it got better after Tuesday. I went to President Perez and had a really good talk with him. It is comforting to be in a branch that is just so great, especially Presidente Perez. When we have problems in life it is important to keep reminding ourselves to not les Satan win. Problems will always arise in this life but we cannot let him win.

On Monday we spent most of the night with the Ramirez family. I try not to have favorites but this family is just the greatest! The mom is a member and so are some of the kids but the husband and some of the other kids are not members. We have been teaching David for two months or so now and some of the others are starting to open up to us. :) It has been the neatest thing to see the little changes in the whole family. it would be a dream come true to one day see this family sealed in the Temple. I can't say enough about them.

On Wednesday and Friday we helped Presidente Perez make these big cement planter boxes. it was a lot of work and a lot of concrete but it was a lot of fun as well. He took us out to lunch on Friday after finishing the planter box and I tried tacos de lengua (lengua means tongue in Spanish). They were surprisingly good. It was way better than menudo (cow stomach soup) that I had in St. George. haha It is amazing how I can eat basically everything I'm given. I now will eat tomatoes and peas. I still don't like them but I now have the gift of stomachs. ;) haha

I don't have a ton of time so I just want to bullet some other highlights of the week:

  •  We had dinner with a chicana family. The parents are from Mexico but lived in So. Cal. for many years. Brother Loieza has the funniest English accent when he wants to. He started talking like a cholo and it sounded exactly like Uncle Kenny when he said, "I'm from East L.A. homes". lol Kodi would have died laughing if he heard it. I think I will try to record his impersonation next time we go over and send it home.
  • The Youth activities are going well in the branch. Because we are teaching so many teenagers the branch has started activities. It is going well and it is just one more way for kids to learn about the church.
  • We had dinner with a family called the Hunts on Saturday. Their son Stan is visiting and he is from Brush Prairie! He has a son in Argentina and one who will be leaving for his mission in August. I thought it was neat to meet someone in our stake. I also met a girl from BYUH on Sunday. Everywhere I've served I seem to know someone.
  • Sunday evening was also really good after we got done with phone calls. We wrote a bunch of Mother's Day cards to mothers in the branch and some to investigators. We couldn't really teach so it was the perfect opportunity to spread some love and put some smiles on the faces of some great women here in Price.
I know I already mentioned this but I watched a video on this week about the biographer of President Monson. Hopefully you have already had the chance to see it. It is on the homepage of I love that the church makes so many videos to help us feel the spirit. In the video President Monson said, "The sweetest experience that I know of in this life is to feel a prompting and act upon it... I always want the Lord to know if He needs an errand run, Tom Monson will run that errand for Him". It is not President Monson's will, but that of the Lord which he does. It is so easy to get caught up in the "me, me, me" attitude. Everything we do is for ourselves. It is when we pay it forward we are paid internally by the Master. I admire the Prophets and apostles for their examples of humility and selflessness. Their qualities of humility and confidence are attributes I hope to someday possess. I know this church is true. It is such a blessing to have a testimony of that. I know in a world where so many are searching for the truth, we have it. Vaya con Dios.

Dios es amor,

Elder Bennion 

Wednesday, May 9, 2012

Semana 62: Cameron VS. Elder Bennion

Semana 62: Cameron VS. Elder Bennion

Hola familia,

Well I'm so proud of Bug for getting into the aviation program at CWU! It is all about setting goals to reach our dreams. Now he is one step closer to being a pilot! This week was a pretty averageish week if there is such thing in missionary work. We had some highs and lows. Some trials and some blessings but I'm better for it all.

As for the most recent news, we received transfer calls last night at 10:25 pm and... Elder Ayala and I will be staying together for round two here in Price. I can't say I'm excited or upset for the call. I've gotten to a point in my mission where I am happy to serve wherever the Lord wants me. I've been in areas where I've been super successful and busy and there have been other areas that it has been difficult to find people who are interested and want learn. Elder Ayala is a really good companion so what else could I ask for?! We will be working a lot on his English this transfer. I feel like it is my time to pay it forward for all the help I've received in learning Spanish.

Last P-day was a lot of fun. We went hiking with the Castle Dale Elders again. Some of my best P-days have been out here with Elder Davis and Elder Weyant. The week goes so much better and P-days are not as depressing when we do something like hiking. I've never liked P-days because I'm not teaching and I'm reminded of the "normal" life. Ever since the hike, Elder Ayala has been having a hard time breathing. If you will send me an inhaler spacer in my next package I would appreciate it. I think it will help him. I could probably use some flonase as well. I haven't had allergies out here but I assume it is because I'm using the flonase. Elder Ayala is just the greatest, humble companion. I enjoy taking care of people and it has been rewarding helping him this past transfer with lots of stuff. I love being a teacher!

I was feeling trunky and just missing home, seriously, for the first time on my mission. Some things came up and I've never missed home like this on my mission. A lot of times people discourage you on your mission but you keep going. I'm not the perfect missionary. I have made SEVERAL dumb mistakes and failed countless times on my mission. The hardest thing on my mission has been finding the balance between being Cameron and being serious Elder Bennion. It is hard, especially, when you do feel like your mission President doesn't care if you are serving a mission. Sometimes feelings like that leave me sad, frustrated, and admittedly angry. As the Lord says, it is not our place to judge. Vengeance is His and He will repay whom he chooses to repay. We are taught, “Be not overcome of evil, but aovercome evil with good." (Romans 12:21) It is hard to not think about school, sports, and family matters on the mission. Sometimes I just want to be done but... that is just Cameron talking. There is a scripture that I love to change the name of Alma and put in my own name. It reads, "Nevertheless... [Elder Bennion]... alabored much in the spirit, bwrestling with God in cmighty prayer, that he would pour out his Spirit upon the people who were in the city; that he would also grant that he might baptize them unto repentance. It is amazing to me how my mission has awoken me to a sense of my duty to God. It is safe to say I've learned more on my mission from the dumb, juvenile mistakes I have made than from my success. If my mission ended today I could truthfully say it is well. The Lord has blessed me and taught me immeasurably in these 15 months.

I have grown to love this branch and the people of Price. The Lord only knows what fruits my labors will yield in the future. Baptism is the gate by which we enter into a covenant with our Father in Heaven. From a statistical stand point maybe I have not been the successful mission a particular mission president wants to see but, I find joy in the work I'm doing. I have no doubt many of the people I've taught will one day join the church. As Paul said, "Brethren, my heart’s desire and prayer to God for Israel is, that they might be asaved. For I bear them record that they have a azeal of God, but not according to knowledge. For they being ignorant of God’s arighteousness, and bgoing about to establish their own righteousness, have not csubmitted themselves unto the righteousness of God." So many people have pieces of the truth but have yet to find the everlasting gospel of Jesus Christ. The word is "YET to find", one day they will. CAMERON VS. ELDER BENNION. It is a hard balance but nothing in life worthwhile is easy. Vaya con Dios