Wednesday, March 20, 2013

Psalms 62:7 READ IT!

Family :)
Hows life!? We received some interesting news this morning from the mission president. Effective today, missionaries are allowed to email anyone they want and the email time on pdays has been extended! So, lets take advantage of this together! :)
First off, I want you all to know I love you. And Second, I want you to know that I'm super happy to be serving my mission. I've mentioned to a few of you already, but I cannot imagine life without serving a mission. I dont think I would be able to live without this amazing experience.. and i've only been out almost 9 months! I've come to truly know that Heavenly Father is aware of me. He wants me to learn and be happy and if I do whats right, He willteach me! Somehow, I'm learning lessons out here that I know will bless me in the future. And, somehow, I know if I were anywhere else in the world, learning these lessons would be a lot different. Im grateful for the gospel. The principles of faith, repentance, baptism, receiving the Holy Ghost and enduring to the end mean so much to me! They are the tools that will help us overcome anything and live happy and abundant lives. I believe this and I know that it's true!
Ohio is pretty sweet. The work in New Albany has been wonderful lately. Im so grateful for everyones prayers. I truly feel your love and support. Elder Foster and I have been so blessed and have learned a valuable lesson. I may have mentioned this in my last email (maybe not), but we have gone several transfers with no one on date for baptism. So, we were challenged by our zone leaders to ask for literal help in all of our prayers throughout the day. We began being more specific and throughout the next couple of days were almost begging for help. We lost ourselves in the work and found a few solid investigators. One of which we had known for a while but because of her parents we werent allowed to teach her. Long story short, one of our investigators had a miraculous experience with the Spirit and announced to her parents that she was going to join the church (we didnt know any of this was going on in the meantime). So, she got kicked out of her house and our members took her in. She is on fire! She is going to be baptized on April 6th! It is going to be amazing! Its truly been a miracle along with another one of our investigators who will be baptized next month once she gets her cast off her foot. The Lord will help you if you simply ask and be specific. Lose yourself in this marvelous work of sharing the gospel and He will give you success! My favorite scripture has been put to the test and continues to work in my life and the life of my friends here in Ohio:
5 Trust in the Lord with all thine heart; and lean not unto thine own understanding.6 In all thy ways acknowledge him, and he shall direct thy paths.
[Proverbs 3:5-6.]

The gospel is true everyone! i know it for a FACT.

We had the opportunity to meet with Elder Bruce D. Porter of the Quorum of the Seventy last week. It was sweet. He opened up some time for questions towards the end of his talk and some missionaries you just want to cover their mouths with tape because of some of the dumb questions they ask an apostle, but i learned a lot from him. it was a sweet experience. Look him up on the church's website. He's a great man. Alright everyone I love you so much! Feel free to write/email me! I love hearing from you. Have a fabulous week and know that all things are possible if you have faith in the Lord and faith in what you are doing.

Choose The Right!

Elder Benavides

Monday, November 12, 2012

Be of Good Cheer!

Family and friends! 

Oh how i miss you all. I pray for each one of you every day! I hope you are all having wonderful lives and living to your full potential. I received the General Conference Ensign this past week from Aunt Jeanie (Thank you Jeanie!!!), and it was the happiest day of my life! i had been looking forward to our Zone Mtg last Wednesday because that's when we usually get our Ensigns, but they didn't have them! I was so sad.. and then to my surprise, I got one in the mail! I've been reading it every night and absolutely love it! My favorite talk definitely was from President Uchtdorf about enjoying the moment, reaching our potential and having No Regrets! I love the doctrines we learn from conference. I know they are true.

How is everyone!? What are your plans for the holidays? I don't have plans for the holidays.. just go out and walk around in the rain probably! woohoo! I'm sure something will come up. This past week was a marvelous week for our zone. It was pretty cruddy personally, but for the zone it was fantastic! We have been doing a lot of fasting lately. We have a goal of reaching 500 baptisms by the end of the year and we are at about 409. Were gonna do it! Anyways, the reason this past week was a miracle is because this transfer has been pretty rough for all the companionship's  But through our fasting and praying each area found at least 1 new investigator! Seriously, for the past 2 days we have been receiving and sending texts throughout the zone like crazy of how many new investigators we find. I know it is the Lord answering our prayers because like the prophet Ether taught, "ye receive no witness until after the trial of your faith!" I personally believe that the cruddy days we've been having were the trials of our faith. But i kept going when i didn't want to and i kept knocking when i didn't want to and believe it or not, we found new people to teach :) This work is amazing.

I want you all to know how much I love you. I love you more than you know! Thank you all for your support and love. Some of you have been wondering if i need anything. Well, i don't really need anything but the holidays are coming up and if you want to send some love that would be fantasmic! Ties are the ideal missionary gift :) along with family pictures.. I miss your faces!!! Aaaand a scripture case would be nice. I gave mine to my 14 year old convert when i first got out here so... yeah my scrips are getting pretty beat up.

FYI, packages need to arrive at the Mission office in Ohio by December 7 if you want them to get here on time for the holidays. Otherwise, the next date packages can be delivered will be in January. The address is:

The Great OCM
19 Clairedan Dr.
Powell, OH 43065

And regarding the past elections... Be of good cheer! The Lord has used the elections simply to move the work forward. People are beginning to ask about the church more so get out there and share what you know! And let's all remember the 12th Article of Faith!

"We believe in being subject to kings, presidents, rulers, and magistrates, in obeying, honoring, and sustaining the law."

Times are tough. And they're just going to get tougher. Be strong! Pull together as family and friends and live happy lives! In the words of President Uchtdorf, we are the masters of our own happiness!

I love you all!

Elder Dillon Benavides

Monday, November 5, 2012

According to the faith

Dearest Family and Friends!!!!! 

Why are you all so AWESOME!!!! The Spirit is SO strong right now as I've been reading through all of your emails! I would probably be overwhelmed by my tears if my companero weren't right beside me.. seriously i am the most blessed person in the world to have such fantastic people in my life! I want to apologize to you all if I haven't shared my love with you recently. I am carazzy busy and wish i could write to each one of you individually but honestly, there's just no time. I am going to write letters like crazy today until my hand falls off so hopefully you get some love from Elder B sometime this week. Anyways, I am here to serve my Savior Jesus Christ. He gave his life for me. he didn't have to, but he did because He loves me and he loves YOU! He wants to bless us all and i have been strengthened tremendously recently as i have finally finished reading the Book of Mormon for the first time in the mission field (took me long enough haha). As i was finishing off thsi marvelous book i was thinking about what i;ve learned from it this time. I want you all to know that faith is essential for our salvation and understanding of the gospel. We cannot progress in this life without faith. My favorite scripture from Moroni chapter 10 says

"And whatsoever thing is good is just and true; wherefore, nothing that is good denith the Christ, but acknowledgeth that he is. And ye may know that he is by the power of the Holy Ghost, wherefore I would exhort you that ye deny not the power of God; for he worketh by power, according to the faith of the children of men, the same today and tomorrow, and forever (Moroni 10:6-7)."

AMEN to that!!!! Goodness, I love it. Anyways, i just know that having the gospel in my life has made me who I am today. And i thank God, his servants the prophets, my parents, family and friends for helping me become who I am. As i closed the book this morning after my personal studies i asked myself, Why is it that I am so blessed? The answer is in my patriarchal blessing and also comes from Doctrine & Covenants 82:3 "For of whom much is given much is required..." Heavenly Father blessed me with all these blessings because he wants me to serve others!! I am so blessed to serve my mission and i am so thankful for all of you and your love, support and sharing your testimonies with me. Please remember that I LOVE YOU.. a lot.

Real quick i will try and update you all on the happenings of this past week in good old Kentucky. Hurricane Sandy was a lot closer than I thought it was. We had two days of non stop rain. It wasn't bad. Just cloudy and rain. It was more fun than anything. But super cold. The cold is supposed to eat me alive this winter. That's what i hear from my awesome ward family out here. They are so cool. I love em! Anyways, Elder Garner and i are at a stand-still. We cant find anyone to teach. It is still pretty discouraging because i want to teach people!!! These peoples hearts are hardened but i know as we press forward with that good old faith, Heavenly Father will bless me and my companero. Next Sunday we are having an "invite a friend" Sunday. We have been publicizing it to the community like Crazy! So hopefully we can fill our teaching pool on Sunday. Elder Garner and I are going to teach the Gospel Essentials class to the nonmembers that (hopefully) show up. I cant wait! So there you have it. Everything is fine here in KY. I am doing my best to stay warm and positive. Just send me love if you want :) I love each and every one of you!

Happy Voting! :)

Elder Dillon Benavides

Monday, October 29, 2012

Faith, Hope & Charity

Hey everyone! 

How are things!? Its so great to hear from you all. Thanks so much for your love and support. I seriously would die without your support and love. I was talking to a lady in our ward who just sent 2 of her sons off to the MTC and i instructed her to write them every day while they are in the MTC. That's what kept me sane when i was there. Anyways, it sounds like a lot is going on with you all. Life is Awesome!! Dontcha just love it!? I sure do :)

I've realized something just this past week. I realized it during a fireside we set up with our ward mission leader about missionary work. We had a member from the Northern Kentucky Ward speak in it. He is a pro at handing out pass-along cards to strangers. For the past 11 years he has passed out 14,000 cards each year. Thats 3 a day! and 43% of them have resulted in a baptism. Isn't that amazing!? Anyways, he is really awesome and he has a solid testimony about missionary work. The spirit was definitely chillin with us during that fireside. So, about what i realized.. I realized that this is the greatest time ever to be serving a mission! Think about it.. Mitt Romney has sparked the nations interest in the Church! What a great opportunity we ALL have to share the gospel to our friends and neighbors! I'm actually kind of jealous of all you guys, because you could do some pretty awesome missionary work that missionaries cant do. Another reason why this is the best time to serve a mission is because the Prophet himself revealed revelation from our father in heaven that we need MORE missionaries!! Did you know the bishops of the YSA wards at BYU are backed up by 3 months with interviews for people wanting to go on missions? crazy right!? I think its pretty obvious that the Lord wants all of us to get to work in proclaiming his gospel to everyone around us! So thats why this is the BEST time to serve a mission. I'm excited for Nick and Rebecca :)

I've been studying about faith, hope and charity lately. I love these principles! Faith is so important to me and i hope we can all find the importance of it in our lives. Its basically the key to allowing the Spirit to dwell with us. Have faith everyone! its great and will make you happy :)

I also found a pretty cool scripture this morning that Heavenly Father wanted me to read. It says, "And from thence let my servants Sidney Rigdon, Joseph Smith, Jun., Oliver Cowdery, and Dillon Benavides, take their journey for Cincinnati! And in this place let them lift up their voice and declare my word with loud voices, without wrath or doubting, lifting up holy hands upon them. For i am able to make you holy, and your sins are forgiven you." Pretty cool huh.. :)

Dad thanks for the package. Its supposed to snow on Wednesday so you couldnt have sent it at a more perfect time. :) And thanks a lot Southwick family for sending me that surprise package. It was great! :) The slideshow didnt work on our dvd player so lets hope it works on this computer... I love all of you like crazy. I miss you like crazy too. Im so happy to be a part of all of your lives. It truly is an honor and a privilege and a blessing. Go about doing good in all that you do! Let us do as Elder Neal A. Maxwell said and "reach to lift hands which hang hopelessly down!"

I love you all
Elder Dillon Benavides

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

The Spirit of God

    Holy Smokes.. You guys are the Best! :) I miss all of you! Thank you for your love and for all your prayers! Its so great to hear from you all. I hope you all had fun in San Diego! Im pretty darn jealous.. Its been raining more out here finally. Apparently there was a hurricane down in New Orleans this past weekend so we were lucky enough to get the leftovers from that this weekend. Its been raining off and on for the past 2 days now. People give us the weirdest looks when they see us out walking in the rain covered in mud. The rain storms are awesome but the sucky part is that it doesnt cool down. It gets hotter when it rains! it sucks! But the work goes on..
   A lot has gone on since last week. I got through my first transfer! I was able to travel up to Columbus on thursday for transfer meeting. Elder Whiting AND my trainer, Elder Ith, both got transferred to the OSU college campus! those lucky dogs.. im jealous. So since my trainer was stolen from me i received a new companion to take back down to Kentucky with me. His name is Elder Smith. He's from Riverside, Utah. He came out with Elder Whiting so he has been out for about a year. He's an interesting guy and follows me around everywhere i go.. its annoying. I still love him though! The interesting thing about this transfer is that usually you are supposed to stay with your trainer for 12 weeks, but they stole my trainer after six! what the?? so not cool.. so i was left to basically be senior companion cuz i have to do everything now. I plan our days, set all our goals, lead our lessons and study sessions. I feel like senior companion, but Elder Smith is actually senior comp. I like to think Heavenly Father is throwing these challenges at me so early in my mission because he has something great in store for me. At least thats what i hope.. haha. Ive been super stressed lately but I've found peace in prayer. I actually had an experience where we were driving down the road with a member during a storm and it was super quiet in the car. (some might define this as awkward silence, but i dont believe in awkward silence in the car. I just like to look out the window). Anyways, it was real quiet when suddenly i just felt the spirit so strong in my heart. I felt as if Heavenly Father was telling me everything will be alright and to not be stressed. I felt the love of my father in Heaven, i felt as if He was saying "Im here to help you." It was really neat.
   Dad, thanks for the package! It was really nice of you. I loved it! I've already given myself a haircut and the spanish dictionary gave me a good laugh. My companion likes to go through my food so im going to have to draw the line somewhere haha jk. But seriously i loved the package. Thanks again. I love you so much Dad and i miss you every day. Im learning a lot out here and when i get homesick i just try to remind myself that someday i will be home and i will be able to look back at my mission and wish i could be back out here. No Regrets!!

Elder Benavides

Work Hard. Play Hard. Pray Hard. :)
 1) My precious District: (from left) Me, Elders Neilsen, Luna, Whiting, Van Wagoner, and Ith
2) Me and Elder Whiting
3) View of some of Cincinnati from the bridge. (Bengals Stadium)
4) The Spirit of God like a fire is burning!!!!! :)


I just love our family like crazy. Thank you for your encouraging words and advice. I hope i can continue to grow out here. This past week we didnt do very well. Our numbers were pretty disappointing. Thats not going to bring me down though! Elder Smith and I plan on getting our numbers back up. Im nervous to see if President Nilsen has anything to say about our #'s. Speaking of President Nilsen, I got to see him last week at our Zone Mtg on wednesday! Him and his wife showed up unannounced. He is an amazing guy. He's super tall too.. he could crush me. I feel like David looking up at Goliath (a super good version of Goliath) when i look up at him. haha. I hope one day out here i can work side-by-side with him! I need to work craaaazy hard if i want to do that.. challenge accepted! :) I love being obedient. I have no problem following the mission rules because i can literally see and feel the blessings we receive by being obedient.
Its been raining a lot more lately. The leaves are slowly changing color. Its Fall time baby! Im so excited to witness real seasons out here. Im super nervous for winter. But as for now, i will enjoy the cool breezes! I hope you get better soon. You and the family are always in my prayers. I pray that you can always be safe, happy and healthy! Since its been raining lately i developed a slight cold but its no biggie. Just coughing and stuffy noses n stuff. We get fed like crazy out here! The ward takes good care of us. Elder Smith has been out here for a year and has served in Columbus and Dayton. Now that he is in Kentucky he has told me that Kentucky is probably the nicest place to serve in the Ohio Columbus Mission. Crazy huh!?
I started reading Alma today. I love reading the Book of Mormon. I found an answer to my prayers in it today actually. Ive been wondering how we can improve our work out here and extend more baptismal dates. Well, in the first couple of chapters it talks about Alma preparing to go teach the people in Gideon. He has great success there and then goes to preach in Ammonihah. He doesnt have success there but the Lord commands him to go back! I noticed a lot that as Alma prepares to teach he says he fasts for the people. I need to start fasting!! Its so cool to receive revelation from the scriptures. Theres no doubting that these words are the words of God through his servants the prophets! I love this church and this gospel!
We had a baptism on Saturday! Elder ith was given permission from President Nilsen to travel down from Columbus and baptize our investigator. It was a great baptism and the Spirit filled my heart. Everytime we have a baptism out here the missionaries are asked to teach the 1st lesson to everyone in attendance. I have done that twice now! I love it!!! Ive noticed that i havent had very many opportunites to share my testimony with others. But when i do get the chance it just flows out like lava!!! I love it! Your Son, Elder Benavides

Tuesday, August 14, 2012

Choose the Right

Hey Friends and Family!
   How is everyone!? well, if you must know, I am fanstastic! Elder Holt is finally gone! He left for home last Thursday, so there are finally just two of us! Its pretty awesome. Not too much has gone on this week, well, actually A LOT has happened this week just not anything like miraculous or crazy. Come on, im in Kentucky what do you expect? Just kidding. We have moved a TON of people this past week. We moved i think four families in 3 days! it was fun! Service feels so good! I wonder why?... jk i know why! Becasue "When you are in the service of your fellow beings, ye are only in the service of your God!" We moved a family from one apartment to another in our apartment complex. They are members of our ward and just last night they told us to stop by on our way home. So we did and they welcomed us with big smiles and were like "you missionaries are real lifesavers!" and they gave us Powerade and Lindor White chocolates.. (you know the chocolate thats made in heaven! yeah that kind...). We were kind of suprised as to how greatful they were. But then again Elder Ith and I were the only ones who helped them move (none of the elders quorum showed up). This family kept telling us how proud our mothers would be and that Heavenly Father was happy with us. It was cool to feel of the Spirit just from service.
   I have been teaching a lot more now that there are just 2 of us and I LOVE it! Last week we went over to an investigators house that we had been trying to teach for a while. Every time we had seen him before he was drunk. So this time we pull into his driveway and we see him in the garage with some friends. and of course, they were all drinking. So we decided to just say Hi and hopefully set up an appt. But this guy was like "Ive got time right now. If you want to teach me something, teach me now!" and he was kind of rude about it in a scary way so Elder Ith and I looked at eachother and just decided to go with it! haha. So we ended up teaching the 1st lesson about the Restoration of the Gospel and gave a Book of Mormon to this investigator and his 2 other drunk friends in the garage. It was pretty interesting. Try to imagine that! Two missionaries standing in a garage with 3 drunk guys, teaching them the 1st lesson! good times indeed.
   Another great experience of teaching happened just last night at our dinner appt. with some members. We had been instructed by the assistants to the President earlier in the week to teach the 1st lesson to the members whenever we go over for dinner. So after dinner we sat down and Elder Ith started the lesson. Then out of nowhere i just took over and finished teaching the lesson and the Spirit was SO Strong! It was a fantastic evening. That wasnt like a big story or anything so sorry bout that, it was just a wonderful lesson. Anyways, something i have learned this week is that lessons fall through all the time as a missionary! Its like people invite you over and then when you get there its as if they shut off all the lights close the curtains and just decide to not be home at the scheduled time of the appointment! Its so annoying and so disappointing.. especially since were on bikes. But i've learned that although these times can be way disappointing, as long as you work hard everything will be alright. The Lord knows the thoughts and intentions of our hearts and as long as you work hard and do what is right the Lord will bless you. So always remember to CTR and you should be good! haha Alright well thats about all i have time for today. I love all you guys! You are all constantly in my prayers! Stay Strong and remember who you are!
Elder Benavides
The First picture was taken at my first Zone Mtg. Thats my zone! pretty crazy guys haha. The Second picture is me and Elder Ith smilin'-it-up, (mom sent me the awesome stickers on the mirror), The Third picture is me being super excited like i always am when i receive packages and letters from home and cuz i got a package from Josh and Chelsea! and the Fourth picture is my expression of what was in the package... haha IM GONNA HAVE A LITTLE NEICE!?!?!?!?!?!? pretty fantastic news if ya ask me. Alright everyone.. have a great week!