Monday, July 30, 2012

Semana 73 (Week 73) It’s Not About What or Me I Do!

    Que Tranza familia!  This had to have been one of the best endings to a transfer I've had.  First off though, I did get the package mama. The only bummer is that someone didn't read that the box said "fragile" all over it and the mirror was shattered into little pieces.  Everything else was okay.  I finally got my license extension as well.  It took forever to get here though. Oh, and I got The Mormon Doctrine.  It's in really good condition.  Thank you mama! And mom #2 (Peggy), if you are reading this, I got your card and I will write soon!
     The other news is.....we got transfer calls and....Elder Eggen and I will be staying in Sunset Spanish for another transfer. I have to admit I'm a bit surprised.  We have gone through cycles in the area where we see some progress and then our future looks pretty bleak.  We have been working a lot with the members but I don't know if it has clicked that we cannot be successful without them.  Missionary work takes a whole ward, not just the two missionaries.
     Overall I am happy to still be in Sunset.  All I want for the rest of my mission is to serve in Spanish areas.  Everything else is irrelevant. I'm still in my favorite city in the mission, which is a bonus. How could I complain?

        Not a lot happened Monday and Tuesday.  Tuesday we walked to places we haven't been to yet in our area.  They were mostly nicer, upper class neighborhoods and we didn't find anyone who is Hispanic.  We easily walked 5 - 6 miles in total.  We also saw the English Elders and they took us over to Bishop Nielson's house.  It was fun to talk with the Bishop that helped me put in my mission papers and reminisce about the student ward at BYUH.

    Thursday evening we went to a baptism of a girl named Katy that the English elders have been teaching.  We had found her tracting in an apartment complex and referred her to them.  There was such a reverent spirit in that baptism. It made me miss having a baptism of my own.
  Saturday we had a meeting with all the Spanish missionaries in the St. George area.  Spanish work is so different compared to English work so I like when the DTM's are focused on what will work so I can be a better missionary.  President Leonard got up and was talking about how Spanish work is slower and more difficult than English work.  He said it is slightly easier in St. George then other parts of the mission and I smiled and nodded in agreement.  He stopped and looked over at me and said, "It looks like Elder Bennion agrees.  He hasn't stopped smiling since he came down from up north."  Now I don't think that is entirely true but I thought it is funny that 's how President sees it.  I think I've gotten the reputation of being the most smiley missionary...that just makes me laugh though. :-)

    Ya know how they say we save the best things for last?  This is a perfect example! On Friday night we taught this 78-year-old woman we have been teaching for 3 weeks.  She has been here from Mexico for a month or so, visiting her daughter and grand children.  We taught her for several weeks and she had been coming to church before we began teaching her.  She just has such a good spirit about her. She always read the things we asked her to read, and she knew the things we taught her are true.  We invited her to be baptized but because she goes to Mexico on the 31st of July and her closest chapel is an hour and half away, she had a lot of reservations. After our lesson on Friday I felt at peace knowing I taught her to the best of my ability and that the rest was up to my Father in Heaven. On Saturday we got a call from her daughter, Sister Ramos, and she said her mom wanted to get baptized!  Long story short - she had her baptism yesterday at seven and was able to come unto the fold of the Good Shepherd. I regret not wanting to be the one to baptize people early on in my mission.  It is one of the indescribable feelings that confirms to me this is the true Church of Jesus Christ with His authority.
    This week and seeing Ramona baptized has confirmed to me how little of an effect I have on people getting baptized and receiving the Holy Ghost.  We are but instruments in the Lords hand and I'm so thankful I've been able to serve Him.  To my strength I am nothing but I am everything the Lord needs me to be.  You can't be living the dream more than being a missionary.  It doesn't get any better than this!!!!!  Vaya con Dios.  Dios es Amor.

                                                                                                                                                                 Elder Bennion

Dear Elder Bennion's mom,

    We took your son to Zion National Park today, so they didn't have time to get to write an email.  He wrote it on paper and I told them I would send it in an email.  I hope you don't mind.  I will send a picture of him later from our trip to Zion today.  I have to tell you what an amazing, humble, obedient son you have for a missionary. I'm sure you know that.  We've enjoyed getting to know him this past 6 weeks and having him for dinner on Thursday nights.  Thanks for your sacrifices you make daily so that we can have him here helping out our Sunset 9th branch.

Sincerely, Sister A

Semana 73 Maybe....( I think it's 72)

Semana 73... Maybe … I think it’s actually 72 He sent it last Monday July 23, 2012

Riding Off Into The Sunset

Well I know it has been a long time since I've written a letter so I'm going to try to sum up the past few weeks or so. Overall it has been good lately. The work has slowed a little bit over the past few weeks. We are teaching a lot of lessons but a lot of people just don't want to learn about the gospel. The "hot spots" or the areas that have a lot of Spanish people have all been knocked as well so we have to get more creative in our finding efforts. We probably knock on 20-30 doors every day and that adds up. There are only x amount of Hispanics here and so over 5 weeks that pool becomes depleted. We aren't discouraged at all though. We know that it just means we are one door closer to finding the elect that want and need to hear the gospel. Last night was a prime example of us opening our mouths and talking with everyone. It was about 8:45 pm and we were going to see if David was home because we haven't seen him in several days. There was a man walking to his car and he had on a soccer jersey from a local team around here.(Before my mission I would have had no clue what was the difference between soccer teams and their jerseys). We just started talking with him about soccer and then he asked us who we are missionaries for. It turned out to be a great teaching opportunity. That's how missionary work has to be done.

Well The computer is about to log off so I can't say anymore. Hopefully this will be enough until next week when I can explain more. I can't believe this transfer is almost over. We will be getting transfer calls next Sunday. Asi es la vida de un misionero. Nunca sabemos cunando es nuestro tiempo para salir. Bueno Les quiero familia! Vayan con Dios!

Dios es amor,

Elder Bennion

Thursday, July 5, 2012

Semana 69: No Unhallowed Hand Can Stop This Work

Semana 69: No Unhallowed Hand Can Stop This Work

Que pasa familia?! Well I have a feeling this is going to be a common thing, having to write short but sweet letters while I'm here in Sunset. We don't have a car and we are subject to the schedule of the other Elders.

Well where do I start? I was MAJORLY ill Saturday and Sunday. lol I can laugh now because I feel fine but I was SICKER than I think I've ever been on my mission. I woke up on Saturday morning feeling a little off and as the day went on I felt sicker. We went and helped a family paint the inside of their house and as the day went on I just felt horrible. I won't make a list of symptoms but a really bad case of the flu can sum it up. We came home from painting and I just crashed. We had someone that was supposed to take us out Saturday night and I canceled that. I sat in bed and thought about it for awhile, I finally decided we couldn't miss an appointment we had at eight so I said a prayer and we went out. David wasn't home but I figured since we were already out Heavenly Father had someone we needed to visit. That night wasn't too productive and I felt baaaaad but it felt good to do work. Sunday was just as bad if not worse. I managed to get ready for chruch but after church we came home and I laid down again. I had Elder Eggen, Elder Hall and hermano Castro give me a blessing after sacrament as well. Long story short I woke up today and I feel just fine! It is a miracle! Priesthood blessings really do work and the church is true. PERIOD.

We have been doing a lot of "huffin'" it lately. We've knocked on a lot of doors to find a lot of people not too interested. We are working with a senior couple (named The Halls) and they gave us a long list of names and addresses of people we could visit. The only problem with the list is that they are basically all people that are not too interested or already told them no. I'm thinking we are going to have to come up with our own strategy to find the elect. Surprisingly the sun hasn't gotten to me. It has been 105-110 degrees most days but I just love it. There is nothing better than a long hard days work and then walking back to our apartment on Sunset Blvd. People honk, wave and howl at us as we walk by. It makes me sing the song "Celebrity" by Brad Paisly. Haha Elder Eggen is also a country fan so that is a plus!

Training is going really well. Elder Eggen is a stud. A lot of the doors we knock have peep holes and so at times people won't answer but Elder Eggen still smiles so that if they look through the peep hole they will see him happy! It makes me laugh inside my head at times because that's exactly what I do! He reminds me a lot of myself when I was new. The only exception is that his Spanish is much better than when I started.

Well it is that time! I have to run. I love you family and I'm so thankful for your support. I cannot believe how fast time has flown by! Thanks for telling me I only have 6 fast Sunday's left mom! :/ This really is the hardest thing I have truly loved to do but there is nothing more worth my while. Remember to always but Him first and replace fear with faith. All the things I've sacrificed could never compare to the happiness and knowledge I've gained here in the best mission in the world. I'm livin' the dream! Vaya con Dios!

Dios es amor,

Elder Bennion

Sunday, July 1, 2012

Semana 68: Back Where I Belong!

Semana 68: Back Where I Belong!

Well it is Monday again and it has been a CRAZY day/week! I have maybe ten minutes, if that, to try to sum up a week of pure bliss and blisters. ;)
Monday night we went by and visited some of the members and investigators that I've taught in Price. It was harder than I thought to say good bye to Price. I learned so much from that area and I became really close to various families out there. I know that I fulfilled my purpose out there. Several people cried which was not what I expected. I just feel like I'm Elder Bennion. 

Tuesday evening I finally got down to St. George. It was a breezy 103 degrees but I was feeling fine. I just felt like I was coming home when we were driving down into St. George. This town holds so many memories for me. We drove down to the St. George East stake center in front of the temple to unload our bags. I ended up going out with some elders in the St. George North stake. We ended up running into the Accordino's! I thought you would like that picture. It was really neat getting to finally see them and we were able to get some referrals which was good.

Wednesday morning I finally got my new companion. His name is Elder Eggen and he is from Crecent City California. It's about thirty minutes from Oregon. He is a really good elder. He learned Spanish in the MTC but he speaks really well! Much better than I spoke when I came out.

Well I have to run. I said I didn't have much time. I will try to fill you in more next week. I'm just so excited to be out here and in St. George again. We don't have a car and we cover four stakes. I think we cover Santa Clara, Green Valley, and the Sunset area. We will hopefully get bikes soon because walking just isn't effective. It has been hot, I think a couple days ago we were outside for 7 hours straight and it was 109. It's a sacrifice but I wouldn't have it any other way. I'm livin' the dream. I love you family! Vaya con Dios!

Dios es amor,

Elder Bennion

The Accordino Family! They have known Cameron since birth. Now he is in their area.

Eastern Eye Clinic Price Utah!  The day he got to shadow the ophthalmologist in surgery.
Just found this pic. Not sure where or when it was taken.

I wish I knew more about these pics...But it makes me smile to see him smiling!

In Price right before transfers

Love this kid!!!

He is happiest when he is with families teaching.