Amar y Servir

Amar y Servir

Monday, January 25, 2016

Faith in Christ, Fasting yields faith, Action is better than Reaction

Some of the things that I have come to understand on my mission is the power of obedience.  The necessity to be obedient is crucial because it yields greater faith.  With great faith one is more in tune with the Spirit.  When one is in tune with the Spirit and has great faith, they will be open to the power of the priesthood.  As this is done miracles can be wrought.  According to the will of God.

Out of all of this, my greatest key learning has been what faith truly is.  What one thing that was said in my mission setting apart is that I should study greater the topic faith.  One thing that has been brought greater to my attention is that "faith" is more specifically "faith in Jesus Christ". If we don't have faith in Jesus Christ, faith really isn't faith.  

It is like as pray to the Father, one must do it in the name of Christ.  Otherwise the prayer wouldn't be considered valid (well according to the scriptures in 3 Nephi 27 it says we should pray to the Father in the name of Christ.). So with that in mind,  nothing can be wrought by faith if it is not faith in Christ. 

This past month I read an email from Gram and Grandad Benson inviting all of us to share an experience or a testimony on fasting.  As I read this I had the sudden realization that it was time to gain a stronger testimony of fasting.  So throughout the week I thought over various different, and worthy, topics over which I wanted to pray about.  As I considered about three various options, I decided on one.  This upcoming Sunday was the day Rosario, our investigator who was baptized the previous Sunday, would be confirmed a member of the Church.  I wanted to be prepared in case she asked me be the voice.

As we called her that was confirmed that I was going to confirm her as a member of the church.  What I fasted for and prayed for, was that I would be able to say the words of the Lord.  The whole day was full of opportunities.  Throughout the day I had the focus of how I can grow closer to the Savior, I'll explain that, and how I can be ready to say what He would say.  When we went up and confirmed Rosario as a member of the Church, the Spirit was felt and she now has the gift of the Holy Ghost.  It is amazing to see her with the Spirit.  It is as if she has been transformed.  I have come to notice that those that have the Spirit, I can feel a spirit that I feel when I am among family members, friends, and members of the church.  I would say that those that have the Spirit with them, they draw closer to who they truly are and we recognize them more from their premortal person.

Through the rest of the day I got to see other prayers and mini miracles occur.  I can say that those who study diligently the scriptures and strive to grow closer to the Savior, truly gain that connection and see the miracle occurring around them.  I have felt that something has been missing on my mission.  I've been praying and pondering on the subject and it was given to me that I have to come to know the Savior more.  So what I have done, after receiving some instruction, is start to dive more into the scriptures, Bible and Book of Mormon, with a focus of truly finding the Savior.  As I have begun this journey, just the past few days I feel like my spirit has been having a spiritual banquet.  This past Sunday was such a spiritual experience for me that by the time we had gotten to the third hour in priesthood, I fell asleep because I was so worn out.

I have found that as we do things for a purpose, a worthy one, the Spirit is there in abundance to aid and guide us in our adventure.  I share this with appreciation for what I have experienced in the name of our Savior, Jesus Christ. Amen.

🌅 Elder Nathan Benson 🌅

Monday, January 18, 2016

Busy Week, I got Sick, Rosario was Baptized

This week I'll tell you about Rosario.  She was visited a few times by
Elders before, but they had never answered the door.  As time went on,
she was given as a referral by her mom, who had been baptized over 40
years ago, that was coming back to activity in the church.  The
missionaries that originally gave us the referral were the English
sisters.  They taught her for two lessons, but Rosario didn't
understand it as much as she would've liked to.  So they sent us over.

Meeting her was an uplifting experience. For the five or so weeks that
we were teaching her, it all went in a flash.  We visited with her
every Wednesday morning at 10 and Saturday at 1.  Calling all the
members we could and always having the one brother that we could rely
on for Wednesday and many others that were willing to come and help on
Saturday to provide that support.  We would always leave her a
pamphlet to read and other times a scripture.  When we came back,
without even asking, she would start talking about what she learned
from the chapter that we left her.   I could say that there were
moments where I realized that if there is anyone that has a desire to
grow closer to God, it is not that hard to set apart that time.  She
is a great example of someone of faith and sacrifice.

Last night she was baptized.  It was a special moment.  However, what
made it truly special wasn't necessarily because we saw her go under
the water.  What made this moment one of the most special I have ever
experienced.  What I had the privilege of witnessing that Sunday night
was one of pure love.  Before and after the moment of her entering the
water the ward was aware of her situation with her family. (Her
husband isn't really in favor of her going to church and it is evident
in Rosario's eyes.  Almost every visit she would ask that we would
pray for her husband so that his heart could be softened.  He doesn't
believe in Christ and it is difficult for the family. We are keeping
them in our prayers and one day he will be given a great opportunity
to open his heart to the gospel as well.)  They all offered such
affectionate love towards her with open arms of support.  The outgoing
message to her was that as she had entered into the waters of baptism,
she gained 230 more members of her family.  Tears were flowing down
her cheeks.  As were many that bore powerful and sincere testimony of
how the church is a family, and together, we will be supported in our

Throughout all of this I started getting sick around Wednesday, which
was transfers.  I have a new companion, Elder Salinas, and we spent
about 3 hours making a great baptismal program.  It took a lot of
phone calls and a few last minute cancelations and help from others,
but it turned out well.  I am pretty sure that contributed to the
stress because I came down with the cold.  So for most of Saturday and
Sunday I was sleeping.  I went to sacrament meeting just so we could
partake of the sacrament, approve the baptismal program we made, go to
PEC, and also see who went.  Then we had dinner with some members, who
gave me some alkasesr plus which helped a lot.  Following which we
were able to go to the Stake Center to prepare the baptismal font and
the adjacent room.  I would say all in all, it was a complete success.

I hope that Haley gets better soon, she will be in my prayers.  I
always value her and Brooke so much and I am so inspired by how much
they do.  Great job Haley on the painting!  It turned out really well!

Rosario, Aaron, Abril, me, Elder Salinas, and her son not in the
picture Mauricio.

🌅 Elder Nathan Benson 🌅

Tuesday, January 12, 2016

Modern day miracle after service

So lately I have been feeling better all around as a missionary and that I have been looking more outward and not being so self centered.  As I have done this I have found  more joy and success in the work of the Lord.  This night, however, was a little more special.

We were going to do some visits and we had some success in contacting people.  We even had a lesson and set a return appointment with a new investigator, Eric Ledezma.  As we were going around, I had the idea to go and get some Pete's Fish and Chips to get some Orchata to give to the Garden Lakes/Crystal Gardens sisters.  They have been having little work and I figured that it would cheer them up a bit.  As we were going to drop off the drinks, I noticed something in my pocket on my rain jacket.  It was funny because I had worn it many times before and hadn't put anything into it prior, nor had I noticed anything being in there.  As we were walking away from the apartment to the car, I decided to take a look to see what was in my pocket.

As I reached in I felt something rectangular and I thought it was maybe a set of keys or something.  However, when I pulled the object out of my pocket, I found something else.  I was so shocked I had no idea how it got there.  It was the iPod my parents gave me back when I was with Elder Vidal!  I had it with me occasionally outside of the apartment and one day it just disappeard.  I literally looked through everything I had.  I legitimately have no idea how I could have overlooked it or have missed it in nearly 10 months.  I have worn that raincoat multiple times as well.  The only explanation is that it was a modern miracle in that God answered prayers almost a year ago in response through my selfless service to others.  In that I am left without words as to how this came to be.  But I will be forever grateful for this blessing He has given me to answer my prayers and to show his love for me.  This is truly the biggest penny I have found on my mission. (I will explain the penny on the ground communication from God to me) 

🌅 Elder Nathan Benson 🌅

I'm Tired, I've Grown, and I am Happy

This week was one where I learned a lot of lessons about who I am, who I really am.  As I have been with Elder Thurber I have found that many moments in my life have shaped me and have refined me into a better man, a better person.

Throughout my mission I have come to know many great people that have had a great influence on my life.  Some for four and a half months, or just 6 weeks.  Each one was placed perfectly in order to help mold me and shape me.  Some were just building the rough outline and setting expectations and standards with me.  Others were fine detail givers.  And some took out big chunks at a time.  My companion, Elder Thurber, contributed to each of these methods of refinement.

Elder Thurber, who is now home with his family.  Has changed my life.  He has greatly influenced who I will become in my life.  He spent countless hours with me building me up, resolving concerns, taking erred thinking and brought it to light, he critiqued and did his best not to criticize,  he showed love and didn't leave me feel despised.  I learned a lot of great lessons on how to be a hard working and working smart individual.  He not only showed what I needed to work on, but how I could do it better.  

My responses to him weren't always the best, but he loved me all the rest.  I cannot comprehend the love that emanated from him, but this pure love of Christ filled me to the Brim.  Thank you Elder Thurber for all you did.  I will always consider you one of my kin.

Today we are seeing the way we do missionary work alter a little bit in how certain things will be carried out.  For us, we will be cutting back on meetings and implementing a new process on how full-time missionaries and member missionaries will be working together.  Transfer meetings no longer exist.  They will be just simple hand-offs, more along the lines what the White Handbook portrays. We will also be seeing many more trainings coming our way for Elder Oaks new mindset. (He is the Apostle over missionary work now) 

Elder Thurber with Rosario.  She is our investigator that will be baptized this following Sunday.  I will give a greater detailed story of Rosario next week.

Elder Benson (left to right) Elder Elliot and Hepler rocking the Trio life for the day.

The Group of Me , Hna Argyle, and Elder Sperry had been officially disbanded with Hna Argyle going home. :'(

🌅 Elder Nathan Benson 🌅

Monday, January 4, 2016

New Years, Church Movies, Blessings, Time Lapse

As we were approaching our second set of days of no proselyting, we had to think of some good things to do that were a good use of time.  As we were talking to the Hermanas that are serving in the same ward as us, they mentioned to us that some members lent them the DVD collection that has movies such as Ephraims Rescue and 17 Miracles.  They had finished most of them, so they let us watch them!  As we watched the stories unfold in front of us about the early mormon pioneers, I got to get a better picture and a new perspective on what these individuals went through.  Being out on a mission, my perspective of the gospel has changed a lot.  Things that I considered as things that were just important to do, or even chores, are clarified with greater eternal importance that I never knew before.

So as we watched these videos it gave me an even deeper perspective of the necessity to be worthy of the Lord at all times and to be willing and faithful to do His work at any cost or expense.  In Elders Quorum we were also treated with the story of John Tanner.  A man who had everything the world had to offer, but gave it all to the Lord and His church.  He lived the law of consecration to the upmost and, in other respects, help saved the Lord's kingdom on the earth at that time.

As we began watching Ephraims Rescue, there was a great lesson that I was privileged to learn that night. As Ephraim learned of one of his spiritual gifts of healing, he grew in understanding of his role in life.  Earlier that day, we were asked by the family we were eating dinner with, if we could give a blessing to one of the children.  The parents weren't members, but were open to receive any blessing for their little boy.  We looked to see that his skin had reacted greatly to some medicine that was for his skin.  According to one of the members that we visited yesterday, that his condition went also below the skin and was affecting other parts of his body.  When we went to give him a blessing, at first the little boy was scared and didn't want us to put our hands on his head.  However, our ward mission leader, who was a convert of 3 years made the difference.  At first, he didn't want to be a part of the blessing because he was dressed casually.  But the boy wasn't willing to cooperate.  So he went up instead and offered, and immediately the little boy calmed down and let him anoint the oil.  Following which I sealed it and he received a promise of being healed and a good recovery.  As we finished the blessing I looked up to see that almost everyone in the room was crying, for the Spirit was in abundance in that room.

Shortly after we left, the member told us that the boy began to feel better and his skin was improving.  During this experience, Elder Thurber and I had a great discussion about the necessity to always be worthy and prepared for moments such as this.  I came to recognize personally of the importance to also build my faith and my knowledge of God's will so that I may be a worthy and primed tool for any moment I may be needed.  The following days from New Years Eve to Sunday I was a part of 6 blessings on 3 different occasions. All of which strengthened my testimony of the power of the priesthood and the need to be obedient.

In my life I have a greater appreciation for the blessings I have.  From temporal to spiritual, there is nothing that does not testify to me that the Lord loves me and is taking care of me.  The one thing I can do in return is give all of my heart, my mind, my time, and my efforts to His work.  As I can give more of myself to Him, I can give the greatest gift I can, and He will bless me with the greatest He can to me, as long as I live faithfully.  

A fun side note during New Years Eve, we ran across some fun time-lapse feature that it can do. I'll see if I can send a few.

🌅 Elder Nathan Benson 🌅