Amar y Servir

Amar y Servir

Monday, November 30, 2015

This Week at the Visitor's Center

So this week has been really fun!  Out of the many things that happened this week the two major events were the ward Thanksgiving party that we had Friday night and the following Saturday in the morning/afternoon where we went to the Mesa Temple Visitors Center.

Building up to this week we have been inviting a lot of our investigators and recent converts along with some of the less active members to come to both of the activities, especially to the visitors center.  We were getting really excited because we are starting to get a lot of progress with some of the investigators are having.  The only thing that is holding some of them back is either getting married or coming to church on Sunday.  So we've been sitting in a good position and the progress, even thought it is slow sometimes, is moving in the right direction.

To be at the ward party was quite a blast.  We had over 150 people show up (most being members, but there had been some members that had brought some friends that were non members)  The investigators that I had mentioned earlier (marriage and Church with a testimony of the Book of Mormon) both came!!  Not only that, Sergio, the one who we have on date for December, went around and said hi to all the people he knew!  Even though it was a bit, it was comforting to see that he would be welcomed in well once he is baptized. (Even the bishop gave him an amazing welcome.)  So with our focus people, and one or two not mentioned, coming, we were getting really excited for the Visitors Center.

The following day we had a fun set up to meet at the church building at 10:45 and leave to get there by 12pm.  However, we had some plan changes that really surprised me.  As we got there, only one of the investigators had shown up.  So we were a few families short of what we had planned for.  Not getting to worried we made a few calls and some weren't answering and others had a car problem.  So we offered help, left addresses to get to the Center, and gave a few prayers in our heart.  As we were getting ready to go, a less active that Elder Thurber and I had ran into not even 36hrs ago, said she was on her way! This was exciting because she hasn't gone to church in almost a calendar year.  So when she got there we left and began on our trek to the temple.  

When we arrived we began the presentation with the Cristus statue and began moving through the other latest features that had been just opened to the public not even 4 days ago.  The Spirit was super strong.  As we made our way into the back section we were going through some of the new interactive booths.  As we waited for a movie we were going to see on eternal families, all the sudden another less active and his investigator friend came in!  Turns out they had made the decision to go, but missed us on meeting at the church, so they went anyways!! Now we had double of what we started with for people we want to come to church.  We went through and had a great spiritual time and went to the chapel, that is found on the other side, for some sandwiches.  They were so good! (I even enjoyed the mayo and tomatoes! I must be an adult now or something)

Going to Sunday we had an even greater surprise.  The group that showed up late to the center, ended up being the group that came to a three hours of church!  For them it had been a great deal of time and also a first for the investigator.  After talking to him his once hopeless mindset had been replaced to seem one more of hope and peace.  no doubt that it had been the Spirit that he has felt the past two days.

When we were wrapping up our day at church I got talking with one of the other recent converts that said he was going, but we ended up not seeing him there with us.  Turns out, he had gone too!  Not only that, but just as we had gone to the back to eat at the church, is when they went through the center as well!!  So we started with only one investigator and a recent convert.  But ended with two less actives, two investigators, and 2 recent converts.  What can be noted as a small miracle in the gravity of the success yielded.  All thanks to the will of God.


πŸŒ… Elder Nathan Benson πŸŒ…

Mesa Temple Visit

Monday, November 23, 2015

Hola!

So this week I have found that a lot of the work we put into
missionary work doesn't get immediate results. Neither do we find that
much of the success that comes is a direct result from our efforts.
As I have thought about that, it has been humbling to see the
perspective it brings as greater understanding comes.

Going through my mission I have seen priorities change and desires
become more god-like.  Things such as having the desire to go and have
fun and be the coolest kid around slowly is converted to the desire to
love others for who they are and strive to be the best asset I can in
the Lord's hand.  Selfish has become selfless.  Lonliness and sadness
is converted to kindness and peace.  Pocrastination is fought and
judgments are lessened.  What used to be important for my pleasure,
has been slowly exchanged for the importance of the happiness of those
around me.

Hard work is developed, Patience is excercised, and faith in the
Lord's great plan grows.  The great work of God, carried out through
the guidance of the Spirit, becomes the source that provides the
strength necessary to carry on and do what he wants done.

I can honestly say that being outside the comfort zone has brought a
greater joy that I never knew had existed before.

Thanks for helping me out.


πŸŒ… Elder Nathan Benson πŸŒ…

Monday, November 16, 2015

Discursar, Viajar, Planear, Giving a Talk, Traveling, Planning

This week was quite the fun ride.  Elder Thuber and I have been growing well together and really figuring out a lot of things in many different phases of the work.  This Elder is different than me, but I have learned so much from him and have had many great experiences.  Elder Thurber is an Elder that is very intelligent and is what some may call a "history buff" I can basically bring up any point of church history or background information on a figurehead of the church, and he will know most of what there is to know.  He is a lover of classical music and will comment on the great composers that he had listened to before his mission occasionally, and I am finding that there are much more that just Mozart and Beethoven.  He has an amazing testimony of the gospel and together we have had powerful lessons and have enjoyed working hard in a ward that used to be covered by 6.  Hopefully that other companionship comes in next transfer, there is much work to be had.

This past week we have been traveling around looking for new investigators and less active members in the prospect to find more opportunities to bring souls once again unto Christ.  We have been having success in finding many members and there are many prospects for possible investigators.  The work continues on.  The two main families we are working on to get baptized are Karina y Manuel Aguero and Sergio Alvarez.  Sergio has a date for the 13 of December and he, along with about 3-5 other families ranging from investigators to part member families to recent converts, will be going to the Mesa Temple Visitors center this Saturday.  Pray that they will all be able to go.  The ones that will really benefit are the Aguero familiy, Sergio and Magda Lopez. 

Magda has a husband that was baptized about 6 months ago, and she is absolutely in love with most of the things about the church.  She watches general conference talks and last week was getting excited about the prospect of talking to some new neighbors they got and inviting them to church with her husband.  The only thing that has kept her from making the decision to be baptized is due to the fact that she feels like she is being pressured into it.  So we've been patient and with keeping the Spirit in the home, hopefully she decides soon to be baptized.

This past Sunday I gave a talk in Sacrament meeting. (which was kinda cool because now I have given a talk in every ward I've served in and a missionary hasn't "discursado" in a good while in this ward, so it was a fun experience.) I was speaking in on the topic of fasting and fast offerings. I had found out Wednesday and had to speak that following Sunday.  When I was preparing for the talk, it caught me off guard how shallow my knowledge of this commandment was.  However, after giving it about 2 hours a day I was able to find some really cool things about fasting that I never really had given much thought to before. As I continued to pray and receive revelation, all the way up to as I was walking up onto the stand, I found that I was only two-thirds of the way through what I was considering to share when my 15 minutes were up.  I found it a neat experience to see how preparation, meditation, and careful consideration, revelation is by no means lacking in respect to what God can give to us.

I want to leave a little invitation that might just revamp your studies.  This is just a fun idea to try occasionally.  Come up with one or two questions you have on a gospel principle, question someone has had, or something you just want to dive into.  After you have your topic, spend that whole week trying to find as many things as you can on that topic.  At the end of the week, maybe last two days, compile everything and place it all together as you would a talk.  Then you get to see how everything starts to slide into place and you get much more out of what you studied. (and now you have a ready to go talk and a great set of notes to refer to in the future.)

I love being a missionary.  There is no other place I would rather be. 

Elder Benson

So this is what they call riΓ±Γ³n from a pig (basically a kidney) that is what I suspected, but I didn't look it up for the fear of not finishing it after knowing what it is. But it was darn good! (Always tortillas)


Eleazar Carrillo, a member from my first area, had made a whole bunch of really good sweet empanadas with a filling that is similar to pumpkin pie, but so much more delicious.  As he made a bunch of these, he remembered that I loved them, so he called my last area and figured out where I was and he gave me and Elder Sperry about 20 each! We will be eating like kings!!



video

Monday, November 9, 2015

Health nut, meetings galore, and so much more!

So this week was the week of the meetings.  We had MLC Tuesday, MLC follow-up (to get the District Leaders up to date) Wednesday, weekly planning (practically an equivalent of a meeting in how much it takes out of you) Thursday, Zone Meeting Friday, Interviews/District meeting Saturday, and a Conference that covered the SouthWest area of the U.S. (Nevada, AZ, TX, NM, etc) on Sunday. So coming out of this week, it was a spiritual, mental, and almost physical blast.  It is amazing how many meetings can take place in the course of the week.

The biggest take aways from the meetings has been to simplify our lives.  Anything from decluttering our schedule from activities, things we own, applications on our phones, or anything about things that are good and better, but may not be the best.  

I found that as I have been taking a closer look at my desk, there were a lot of things that I was trying to do to improve.  However, these things were to the point that they were counter productive and working against each other.  Thus limiting my growth and connection with the Spirit.  So what I have been doing is throwing anything away that I don't need or just moving it away in my luggage to where I won't worry about it.  As I have simplified and have focused on just studying from the Book of Mormon and making it the source of my studies, I have found that I have been much more in tune with the Spirit.  A new goal that I have set is what I feel is going to bring about success in my personal life as well as other aspects.  What I want to do is learn how to prioritize and balance my life.  So that as I go into studies, go about doing missionary work, or planning for the day, I am going to be looking for simplicity and focus.  That way when I get involved in something, it will be very powerful and focused.  

For example, instead of trying to chop on different parts of the tree, only hitting once in one spot, I am going to focus on hitting that one spot over and over until success is achieved. As Elder Lynn G. Robbins said "simplification is the best means to achieving success" and "Simplicity is the ultimate sophistication" - Leonardo Divinci

We have been working with our ward to get them motivated to do missionary work (this is best ward I have been in with regards to doing missionary work and helping the missionaries) and we are seeing that as we have been working closer with the leaders, results are coming.  This past week we set a goal as a ward to get some families together and take them all to the visitors center in Mesa the 21st of November. We have one part member family who has committed through our personal efforts. We're going to be following up with our leaders to keep them on their toes. They'll have a Thanksgiving party to plan for (including 12 turkeys). But that will not be a problem :) .

Right now keep . . . in your prayers.  These are families that are looking for a day job so they can actually sleep at night, putting together a marriage, and two seeking sincerely for the true church. We have a goal in our ward for a lofty goal of 10 baptisms, which our bishop set as a ward in PEC, and we are going to work hard to accomplish this. To give a bit of backround, our zone as a whole baptizes around 4-6 people a month, we are looking for 10 in our ward for the month of December.  President Griffin has issued a challenge to our zone that if each unit can have 1 baptism/month for the next three months (27 baptisms) he would treat us to his famous steak dinner. (Hands down the best steak I have ever had in my life. He does own a few ranches in Montana after all)

Elder Benson

Left:  So this week has been good.  I have been enjoying my time as a missionary.  There has been no other greater blessing.

Right:  President whipped out a $100 bill and bought the Zone Subs during interviews. My reputation as a healthy person is becoming known. Thus "health nut."



Left:  Found this on the wall of a members home.

Right:  Whipping out our sweaters because we finally saw something like this! But it warmed up again :/ .

Tuesday, November 3, 2015

Priesthood Blessings in a Trailer Park

We recently had dinner with a part member family. The husband had just been baptized, but the rest are not members.  It was cool to meet them for the first time. As we had dinner and got to enjoy some time with them we shared a video about Jesus Christ ("Because of Him"). After showing the video we were able to find out that the son, who is just visiting for the weekend from Mexico, didn't have much of a belief in Christ or God. It was hard to hear that for me. We didn't go too deep for it looked like a subject that he didn't want to go into.  Instead, we continued to talk about the many blessings that come as we draw closer to Christ in thought, word, deed and action. As we came to a close of the lesson, the father asked for a priesthood blessing for a cold or something he had. We gave him the blessing and I was the mouthpiece. I could just say that every time I have had the opportunity to do so, I cannot help but feel the purpose that God has and His ultimate desire to help each and every one of us in any way he possibly can. 

As we finished the blessing, the little girl, who is about 9 years old, hopped right on the chair and asked for one too. We obviously couldn't say no to such a sweet desire. The blessing was just as sweet and loving with great council as well.

What really caught my attention was the grandma. She has participated a little and was starting to show desire. It was super cool because even though the father was the only one who was a member, the mom and daughter were the ones they taught the grandma how to pray correctly. (Super cool thing to see, even humbling) With the Spirit guiding her, she asked for a blessing as well of healing.  When we finished the blessing, it would be easy to say that she felt the Spirit, but I know for certain they I did.

Throughout this experience we were outside in a trailer-home park. The surrounding neighbors and traffic were a little noisy and impeded the Spirit. But as soon as the first blessing began, everything around us became still and silent to where the Spirit was around all of us. It was a sacred moment to behold and be apart of.