Hey friends and family:
Feliz Feriados everyone! I hope everyone had an incredible fourth of July Holiday and that things are going well. I sure love you all! Let`s get going on this new week, here`s what happened.
I had a special interview with President on Friday, he called me into the offices and now I am going to go to the offices to work, to be the Pencionista de la mision. That means that I`m in charge of taking care of all the Pentions in the mission, the rent, the landlords, the money, all that stuff. It will be way fun! I`m excited to get started on it. This Wednesday I head into the offices during the siesta to make the change. It will be hard to leave here but I know the Lord wants me in another place. Here I have made quite a few friends and Mario Soria imparticular has been a big support here. He is an incredible member to the ward in Palimra. He makes lots of sacrifices to help us and to come with us to appointments and is good company. He is very intelligent and a very people person. He has helped me a lot and is a very good friend! I will miss him so much.
I`ve been learning a lot about joy this week, that it really is the purpose of this life to have joy and that Heavenly Father has given us everything we need to have joy. Heavenly Father has given us "all things which are expedient unto man" to have joy and that joy we find through His Son, Jesus Christ. Without him, all hope of joy would be destroyed. I know this to be true and know that perfection is our goal, but we can be satisfied wiht little achievements along the way and have joy because of the Son.
This week we made Bracelets and watched Germany absolutely destroy Argentina in a member`s house. Now Chile, Argentina, and Brazil are out of the world cup race. That`s too bad. We also had divisions this week. Sorry this e-mail is so short, I`m running short on time. But I love you and want all of you to know that! Have a good time! Take care!
Monday, July 5, 2010
Hey friends and family:
Posted by Ben at 5:29 PM
Sunday, July 4, 2010
This video is pretty close to our pench. Just to show you a little bit about how crazy everything is here during the world cup.
This week has been pretty good. A little hectic with transfers, but it was good to have them all over and settle down again. I have a new companion now, Elder Michael Petersen from Logan, Utah. He is a pretty incredible guy! I love him! We have had a lot of good experiences together already and he likes to have fun so it will be a good transfer!
We saw Argentina win this week. We went out in the streets after the game was over Sunday afternoon and saw tons of crazy people. I will try to attach a video a took to show you how it was. Argentines are crazy about their soccer team and it sounds like their doing pretty good. Watch out Brazil! We`re coming for you! Chile, I`m not so sure, we`ll come for you too. I actually think that Chile and Brazil are playing each other this week. We`ll see how that goes.
I learned on Sunday something really interesting about the Sabbath day. There`s a scripture in Matthew 12 that talks about how God doesn`t want sacrifice, he wants mercy. We talked about how on the Sabbath day it`s ok to buy food if you absolutely need to and didn`t have the time to do so during the week. The teacher shared a story about when he was bishop and there were a few kids in the primary who had arrived at church without eating breakfast. The bishop went to the store and bought food for all the kids in the primary Sunday morning and told them to give them the food. A leader from the church was there and asked the bishop, where were you? I went to go buy food. The leader said, don`t you know it`s Sunday? You can`t buy on Sunday! The bishop then said, don`t you know that there are starving kids in Primary who biked 12 Kilometers to get here on time and didn`t have breakfast? The leader was quiet after that.
I think this illustrates a wonderful principle. The Lord wants mercy, not sacrifice. The sabbath was made for man, not man for the sabbath. They have a phrase here in Argentina, “Sea santo, no santurron”. This basically means do not be holier than thou when it comes to obeying the commandments because this will make us more like the pharisees than anything else. Be merciful.
This week, I did divisons and went to Rivadalvia is what the city is called. It was really fun to see another area.
Things are going really well! I love you all!!
Posted by Ben at 3:47 PM
This week was really interesting. I can`t believe it`s already the end of another change. Time has flied by here. So Elder Scoville is leaving me after one transfer to go to San Rafael and the other two Elders in the pench are leaving me as well to go to different areas. So the pench changes a little bit this transfer, I`ll let you know how it goes.
Monday was really fun last week. We had an impromptu? Zone Meeting in the night that required all of us to giddiap and get on the bus really quick. We are having a tournament wiht numbers in the mission right now...very appropriate with the World Cup and everything going on right now...and they wanted to have a meeting and discuss everything. Today we played soccer as a Zone and found out the transfers. It was pretty fun!
Tuesday we found this inactive member named Kevin Camargo. He`s incredible and loves the church. He was trying to get his little friend who is 9 years old to listen to us. We`ll see if he comes around and comes to church. He even came to an activity we had this week on Wednesday night when we played soccer at the church with a bunch of people.
That was a mini-miracle Wednesday night. We had a plan of what we should do, but felt really strongly that we should go play soccer with the people at the church. So we changed our plans and invited quite a few people and had in incredbile turnout. I know the Lord wanted us to have that activity because normally that many people don`t come to activities like that. We even invited a kid we found in the street to come to the activity and he came with his friends. He`s our friend now and we`ll start working with him.
A funny story from this week. We were talking to people in the street and we talked to a woman with her little kid. She talked to us and we had a good conversation. But the funny thing was when I went to go shake the hand of her little kid he got this wide-eyed scared look in his eyes and said "¡No!" really loud. I thought it was really funny!
I`m trying to do well this week and have something really cool to share. We were having comapnionship study the other day and this thought came to my mind and we were practicing teaching. The gospel is the mirror of truth and the world in which we live is like a mirror in a clown house. I think I`ve heard this example somewhere before, but anyway. I love it because the gospel is the truth and shows us how things really are while the mirror of the world distorts things and tell us things are ok when really things are not ok and tells us things are not ok when really things are ok. The mirror of truth, the gospel, hurts to look in sometimes. Like when we look in a full-length mirror and see the truth, we see things how they really are. Maybe we have to lose weight or something, but the truth tells us things as they really are. The prophet and the scriptures tell us the truth, how things really are, and sometimes the truth really hurts, so we stop to look at it. My challenge today is to study the words of the scriptures and the prophets and face the truth. It is how things really are. And maybe it hurts, but it shows us where we can improve. None of us is going to be perfect, just as someone can`t look in a full-length mirror and be completely satisfied, but we can look and improve every day. That is the challenge.
I love you all! Keep up the good work! Until next week!
Posted by Ben at 3:35 PM
New companion: Elder Scoville from El Dorado Hills, California!
Shopping for World Cup jacket and looking like a tourist!
Hi Family and Friends!
So Wes, Brandon, and Danny are back? How is that going? The gang has returned home already. Lindon will never be the same again. Tell them I say hi and that I`m sorry I didn`t send them e-mails or letters during their missions very much. I think I only did it a time or two. Thank you for everything they did to help me prepare for my mission. I am realizing now how good of friends I had during high school! They were such a blessing to me...
Things are going well here in Mendoza, Argentina. The World Cup is in full swing and the streets are full of flags and Argentine merchandise. I myself bought an Argentina jersey pullover thing and an Argentine scarf. Yes I am prectically native now (I couldn`t look more like a tourist but oh well). Anyway, things are going really well this week!
We have two investigators that are progressing along very nicely. Bernabe and Adriana didn`t come to church this week, but they had a birthday party. It was Bernabe`s birthday this Saturday, so they had visitors come over and stay the night Saturday night, making it diffuicult for them to come to church on Sunday. We did have an investigator come with his family. Alberto Mendez and his wife Marcella with their young son, Enzo. They lack a lot to be able to get baptized because they need to get married, but egual, if they`re coming to church I`m happy because I know they will be happy as well.
This week we got to watch the World Cup in a member`s house. It was fun to watch the world cup and see Argentina win 1-0. A member made the comment how funny it was to see three Americans around the television watching a soccer game. Anyway, I thought it was pretty funny and we had a good time!
This week I got to meet a supreme court justice of Mendoza. Ok ,so we really only met him in passing. I got to hold the door open for him. I`ll tell you about that story later, time is running out.
Things are going well! I love you all! Thanks for all you do! All your support! All your letters! They`re awesome! Thanks to the Blackham family for all the love they show! Take care everyone! Enjoy the heat!
Posted by Ben at 3:06 PM
This week was a good week. We saw some miracles happen. We had two investigators in church the other day. This ward hasn`t seen investigators in the chapel for quite a long time so it was good to see the members flock to them and help them feel welcome. They are awesome. They are a husband and wife, a young couple that is excited and searching for the truth. They are very humble and always give us food when we come over to their house. I don`t know what it is about people and giving me food. They seem to give me food a lot. I think it`s a Bolivian tradition and custom to give food to people who come to visit you. I`m in agreeance with this, but yesterday they gave us a whole plate of food and kept giving us more. They are too nice. I love it.
No pictures this week, I`m sorry, I once again left my camera in the pench. THis morning was a little crazy finding out where to pay things and such and we didn`t get to go back to the pench before internet. Anyway, Zone Conference was this week and it was incredible! Elder Zivic taught us a lot of stuff and opened our minds to a lot of things. The thing that stood out the most to me was his powerful testimony he bore at the end of the conference. I know the he knew that what he was saying was true. It was true and still is true. It`s very powerful to hear the testimony of a Seventy. He interviewed me personally before the conference and it was a really interesting experience to be seated so near to a General Authority of the church. He is a man of God.
I did divisions this week in another area and it was beautiful. I looked up at the Andes Mountains on this clear day and they were huge. It was such a clear day and everything was so beautiful. There are a lot of fields in the area I went to do divisions and it was nice to see an different area. Not too many people, and beautiful landscape.
We found a lady that wants to get baptized in that area. Her daughter was an active member, assisting the church in BOlivia for a long time. We just need to get them to the church here to help her get baptized and to get her daughter back to church again.
We had a ward activity on Thursday night that went really well. We played ping pong with the youth and got to know them a little better. It was a fun activity.
The Book of Mormon is true and the prophets are real. They tell us about the things we need to do in our life to be happy. The priesthood is real and is the power of God on the earth. Of this I testify.
Posted by Ben at 3:00 PM