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!

Be an example of the believers!

A funny story about our meals... last Saturday i believe we did service all day and were treated to pizza afterwards. So we were basically forced to eat 5 pieces each. Then we had a dinner appointment where we were basically forced to eat 2 hamburgers and 2 hotdogs each (not to mention all the sides like potato salad and corn on the cob and junk like that), and THEN we had ANOTHER dinner appointment where we had ribs, baked potatos, salad, corn on the cob, AND dessert! Oh my goodness i have never eaten so much in my entire life. Elder Ith and I were so stuffed. I just wanted to sit there and cry! The sad part is that while i was trying to eat the ribs and praying at the same time that i could eat all this food i guess i started to sweat. So the members daughter said to her dad "Dad would you turn on the fan? Elder B over here is sweating!" Oh man, I havent been so emberassed in a while. haha. We didnt eat the next day. We fasted hahaha. But dang its pretty ridiculous. Im not going to get fat though i promise! As soon as elder Holt leaves this thursday Elder Ith and I have agreed to go running every morning and work out. So that should be good.
Im finally starting to accept my new life here in Burlington, Kentucky. I definitely am starting to fit in and really be the missionary that i need to be. Im working hard, playing hard, and praying hard! :) Were actually going to the driving range today with a return missionary cuz were cool and like to haev fun on our pdays! I bore my testimony in church yesterday. It was a quick testimony but i wanted the ward to know that i love them and they have a new missionary ready to serve! It was great. The spirit was strong.
Not a ton has happened this week. A few days were really slow and we actually ended up going back to the apartment and taking naps once. Thats bad, dont do it! I have repented so dont worry. I have never been so exhausted in my life though. But anyways, on the days when we arent out doing anything and are just sitting in the apartment i make sure that i am always doing something productive. I have learned how important it is to always study the scriptures! The scriptures always bring me comfort and peace and i learn something new from them everytime! 
The lesson i learned this week comes from Revelation 3:20. And if you have ever seen the picture of Christ knocking at the door, that is the picture that goes with this scripture. If you look at that picture you can notice that there is no doorknob. I thought "how is Christ supposed to get in if there is no doorknob?" What i learned is that The door is the door to our hearts. And Christ is always there waiting and knocking trying to be with us. We have to open the door on the other side so that Christ can enter into our hearts and always be with us! I know that through faith, and prayer and obedience to the commandments that we can open the door and let Christ into our lives. This thought can be applied in almost all situations of life! Wether you are feeling down or angry or lost, confused or upset just remember the picture of Christ knocking on your door and I know the spirit will help you open the door as you pray to your Father in Heaven. He loves us all so much! No man can comprehend the love our Father has for us. Im greatful for my father in heaven and for his immeasurable love that he sent his Only Begotten Son to pay for our sins. I am also greatful for You Dad! i love you so much and i cant wait to someday be with you again after my mission and discuss deep doctrine :) ive been getting into that stuff a lot lately. Its pretty intense. haha anyways, I love you all so much! Stay strong, remember who you are, and be an example of the believers!!!!!
Mucho Love,
Elder Benavides
PS heres some pictures.. Check out this door we tracted into!!!..... JK it was at a museum. And the other picture is me in the rainforest.. jk we went to a garden. it was cool. The other picture is us emailing! Its Me, then Elder Ith, then Elder Holt.

Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Burlington, Kentucky

Hello Everyone!! 
I will try to refrain from saying "hey y'all" cuz im afraid its going to stick and i will end up returning home one day saying y'all and things like that. Ive already said it a few times on accident. Anyways, How is everyone!? I miss you all so much! like crazzy! I have so much to say and so little time to say it. I received my first package from home this week. It was amazing! Thank you for sending that to me family. That seriously was the best day of my life! i rubbed it in my companion's faces (not on purpose) but yeah thanks. One thing i'ev learned about mail is to NOT pray for mail. I prayed for mail probably everyday last week and the one day i decided not to was the day i got my package from home :) I wish i could write what happened day by day but that is just too much. This week was pretty bomb. Its hot here. Well not really hot just nasty humid. Everyday when we return to our apartment i feel like we just dove into a swimming pool and im not even kidding! its nasty. Everyone that asks me where im from thinks its just as hot here as it is in AZ but i just laugh. Lets see, a lot of you have had questions about my companions. Heres the low down  for ya. My trainer is Elder Ith (prounounced: eeeth) He has been out for 6 months and is from Utah! Our third companion is the Sr. Comp. and goes home next week. Hes annoying but i love him. He has ADD so i feel like were serving a missiion with a child. Its pretty funny. I cant wait for him to leave though cuz he is what we call super "trunky!" what that means is that he cant stop thinking about home and thats all he talks about. and when someone is super trunky that just makes everyone else trunky. So i keep thinking about home sometimes and it gets annoying. his name is Elder Holt, he is also from Utah. This week we actually have a Fourth companion! its crazy!? who ever heard of a quadruple companionship?? His name is Elder Webster. He is only seventeen years old and is only with us for a week because he is serving what is called a "mini-mission" so yeah, things have been interesting with us as you can imagine sharing a one bedroom apt. with two beds and a couch.

One funny experience that happened just yesterday was Elder Holt got super mad at Elder Ith and they went outside to talk and ended up screaming at eachother for like 30 minutes. It was funny. So the mini missionary and I were just chillin in the apartment. I told Elder Webster we should lock the door and not let them in til they hugged but i could tell they werent going to hug so we didnt do that. haha. Then when they both came inside i was playing the Ukulele (Elder Holt has one!! :))) and i was singing "Love One Another." So i played that in hopes that they would forgive eachother but i finished the song and we sat in awkward silence. hahaha. good times :)

Kentucky is a interesting place. Its actually really pretty! The rainstorms are awesome! cuz theres actual thunder and lightning. We actually almost had a tornado the other day it was so bomb! I will send pics of the clouds. They were basically touching the ground! The people are nice and EVERYONE smokes! its nasty. I get such a huge headache walking into peoples homes because first off its hot and then they top it off with nasty smoke. Even being outside it smells! ive settled with the fact that Kentucky in general is just a smelly place. One thing that i have found interesting with the members here in Kentucky is that there are a TON of inactive members. The reason... They married a nonmember! its so sad! Ive learned the importance of the scripture in Deuteronomy that instructs us not to marry outside the covenant. Dont do it people! Earlier in the week we were chillin at our apt. and we got a phonecall from a less active member, Chris. He is 21. So we got a ride over to his apt. and we could tell he was having a hard time. He invited us into his apt. which had no A/C no furniture, basically he had nothing. So we sat on the floor and he just started asking us questions about this book his bishop gave him a while back. He said when he reads the book he feels so calm and nothing else matters. He is free from the world. But when he puts the book down everything comes back. Anyways, long story short i was able to share a scripture with him (Mosiah 3:19) and i bore my testimony to him. The spirit was so strong! It was the first time i have been able to relate my testimony to someone, because he too used to work in a warehouse haha. Towards the end of the 2 hours we spent with Chris we asked if he would say a prayer (which he hadnt done in a while) and he said no. Then i jumped in and asked him why he didnt want to pray. He didt really know but i assured him that his prayer was between him and his father in heaven and that he didnt need to worry about what we thought of his prayer. So he decided to pray and offered a super awesome prayer. The spirit was so sweet! Then we invited him back to church and he didnt come. haha. pretty lame but the spiritual experience was worth it! I love teaching by the spirit. Im definitely growing out here.

During exchanges last week I got to go chill with Elder Whiting for the day and we walked all day! Our goal was to talk to everyone we saw and to hand out book of mormons. I was the only one to place a Book of Mormon! I stopped at a bus stop and talked to this girl. She was probably my age. Anyways, I taught her about the book of mormon and she was really interested. So i ended up getting elder whiting a new investigator!! (It wasnt just me though, Elder whiting did his part haha)

Two days ago Elder Ith and I decided to bike all day. It was so awesome! I installed my spedometer on my bike so i can keep track of how many miles i bike on my mission. We biked 30 miles in one day. Heck yeah im so excited. It was so much fun. Its really amazing to witness how many people recognize us as someone important. We get lots of funny looks. The Lord really helps us find oportunities to plant seeds in peoples hearts just by the way we look! We actually ran into some Jehovas Witnesses that day. Oh boy i wanted to throw down at them! jk we didnt say anything really, they were asking us if we knew any deaf people they could preach to. We did, but we didnt tell them hahah. Alrighty, well i think thats all for now. I love being a missionary. I want to thank everyone for their love and emails and letters and stuff. They serioulsy mean so much! and they really keep me going! i really wish i could respond to all your guys questions and stuff but ive gotta keep working! if you ever feel down or sad just turn to the BOM. It has helped me and i know it will help you. Enjoy the pictures.

 Love you all!
Elder Benavides

                                                             ^ I love this one. So typical! :)

Sunday, July 29, 2012

EXTRA! EXTRA! Read all about it!

Dear Dad and Cassandra,
You have no idea how good it is and how happy i am to hear from you!!!! I feel like i havent heard from anyone for months! I have SO much to say to you guys! I wish i could email you each individually but i only have about 40 mins to email and i have to get an email in to my mish pres. in that time as well. This past week has been insane! i am so overwhelmed with everything and ive felt pretty lost and out of place. The feelings that ive been feeling lately are no good at all. I hate them. But i know that I can get through this. My spiritual and physical strength has seriously been tested big time this past week. I really need some lovin.. I will be in my area for a solid 3 months for sure so feel free to send stuff directly to my apartment. heres my address 1853 Tanglewood Apt. #4 Burlington, KY 41005.
About the area
There are no mountains so i dont have any sense of direction out here it stinks!

First week in the field

When we got to the apartment we dropped off my bags got on our bikes (our mission is a biking mission) and rode to a nearby neighborhood and started knocking doors. It was intense. I did a few door approaches and got rejected pretty hard core it was funny. Oh and it was raining all this time so yeah we were soaked. Later that night we had dinner with a member family. It was pretty cool. So basically everything that a missionary does, I did it on my first day out in the field., In the mornings we sometimes go play frisbee golf cuz there is a course right next door to us so when i come home i will be a pro at it. I have already helped a member family move. I have already given an investigator a blessing of comfort. So yeah i have been incredibly busy this past week. It is all SO overwhelming!

On being homesick
 I'ma lot more homesick than i ever thought i could get and i have been having some serious doubts lately. Its nothing you need to worry too much about cuz i can get over it and your words always help me. Every time i am down i read the letters you and Cassandra sent me off with. Let Cassandra know that i Love her and am so grateful for her.


I'm already starving out here. All of our dinners are provided by the members each night but so far i havent had breakfast or lunch once out here. I'm okay though. Ive been in some seriously nasty homes out here. Its pretty scary. The ward I'm assigned to is awesome! the members are all really strong and loving and really love helping us missionaries out.

Love, Elder Benavides 


Here's the new mailing address for Elder Benavides! 

1853 Tanglewood Apt. #4 
Burlington, KY 41005

Friday, July 20, 2012

Salutations my friends!!

Can i just let you all know that this is the most bomb experience of my whole entire life? Besides going to the lake.. I have shed a few tears for the lake. How is Arizona!? i miss Arizona! being away from Arizona has made me realize how much i really really love AZ. I brag about it all the time. In fact, i met a companionship of elders going to the Tempe, AZ mission and talked to them for a while. I told them they are probably going to die from the heat. And when i told them that the Mesa temple is gonna be closed for 2 years once the Gilbert temple opens they started freaking out. it was kinda funny but sad at the same time. I'm so happy that my mission has a temple in it. Because the stinking Provo temple has been teasing me just about everyday cuz i cant go in it!! Anyways, the MTC has been good to me. very good to me. Im so excited to leave! I leave this Wednesday at 3am! i only have 1 day left!!! Its pretty crazy to think that all my life i knew i was going to be at the MTC and now my time is up! this is intense! hmm lets see, we had our last lesson with one of our investigators last Thursday. I dont think i have told you all about him. His name is Jose and he is from Guatemala. Its pretty funny cuz when we first met him he got really excited when he saw my name and that i was brown cuz all the missionaries he has met with are white. So naturally, according to my white companion, Jose took a liking towards me and directed all his attention towards me. it was funny. Anyways, in our last lesson Elder Walker and I bore our testimonies to him and then asked him to give the closing prayer. As he prayed he started crying and just offered the sweetest most sincere prayer ive ever heard. You could really tell he had a relationship with our Father in heaven. It was so awesome. I really grew to love Jose. Im gonna miss him. I cant wait to get out into the field and do this all the time! So yeah that was the spiritual experience of the week. It rained a couple times this past week. I love it! It actually lasts all day instead of like for 2 minutes like it does in AZ. Sunday was pretty bomb. My companion and i got to give the lesson in priesthood so that was cool. And we got to go to the departure devotional where they got us all excited to leave. My zone leaders left for Czechoslovakia this morning. im happy that they're gone cuz they have been here for like 9  weeks. Anyways, Ill wrap this up cuz my companero is getting impatient. I know that the work that i am doing is truly for the Lord. He has blessed me in so many ways throughout my life and continues to bless me here in the MTC. I know that he loves us all sooo much! and we can pray to our Father in heaven whenever we want and He will hear our prayers and comfort us. I heard a pretty bomb quote the other day and i was about to share it but i forgot it. It's written in my planner which surprisingly i don't have with me right now haha dang it. Don't worry i will share it next Monday! Just remember to "Work Hard. Play Hard. and Pray Hard!" yeah you can quote me on that one. :) You are all loved!
Elder Benavides

Tuesday, July 10, 2012


Hello Everyone!
I have been tryinig my best to keep in touch with everyone so if you havent heard from me yet then listen up! and if you have heard from me already then.. cool. So, how is everyone doing!? I barely hear from anyone! Jeanie and Paige are whoopin all of yalls butts because they write me the most. And if you want to use the lame excuse that you dont have my contact info then here it is: or write me a letter.
Elder Benavides
MTC Mailbox #156
OH-COL 0718
2005 N 900 E
Provo, Utah 84604-1793
Anyways, the MTC is pretty bomb. Im having a wonderful time. Im super glad that im only here for 3 weeks because if i were here any longer i would probly gain a hundred pounds! the food is pretty good i wont complain. Everyone complains about the juice but i love it! Sunday and Wednesday are ice cream day! and Friday is pizza day the best day of the week it always came with salad and a side of cold green beans! Hooray for pizza day! (name that band and i will praise your name forever!!) The MTC is like a prison/school. You are completely set apart from all civilization and you are constantly going to classes and learning and reading and studying and praying. Its got its ups and downs. The only place i can go to get out and enjoy civilization is when i cross the street to the temple or the soccer fields. Soccer is where its AT!!! it gets pretty intense! and so does sand volleyball. Its pretty cool because there are a ton of foreign missionaries here. I play soccer with a missionary from New Zealand i think? there is a sister in my zone from Italy. And i played sand volleyball with the tongans and some austrailians yesterday! These games keep me sane. Anyways, theres not much else to say just stuff that goes down here in the Missionary Torture Center.. haha jk Its not that bad. Ive learned that once you love your companions you can have a blast and i Love my companions! theyre hilarious!! we have some pretty fun times especially in our residence hall. We launch socks at other missionaries with our slingshots made by tying our elastic workout bands to the bunk beds. and there have been some pretty intense water gun fights. some studying goes on as well :) So yeah things are pretty chill here. I had an amazing experience where my testimony of the Atonement was strengthened big time the other day. We watched a mormon message video the other day by Elder Holland called "None Were With Him" (i highly encourage you to check it out). Its about Christs Atonement. So anyways as we were watching it the spirit just decided to fill my heart to the point where i just started crying and couldnt stop! i felt so sorry for my Savior Jesus Christ because He suffered for MY sins on the cross and he suffered completely alone! Even Heavenly Father had to turn away and leave His only begotten son alone. I cant even begin to imagine how Christ felt. The spirit truly testified to me that the Atonement is real. That was the first time i have ever really understood the Atonement. It was amazing. I know my Savior died for my sins and that because He did that I am able to turn to Him through prayer at ANY time of the day or night and HE WILL BE THERE! I am never alone, no one is ever alone! dont forget that okay? Christs arms are always extended towards us and He wants us to come unto him! So the last thing i wanna say is that I finally got my flight plans to OHIO! I will leave on July 18th at 3am and arrive in Ohio around 2pm hopefullly. I was also made the travel leader over 10 other missionaries! So im in charge of getting 10 missionaries to Ohio whaaat!?? But the best part is that we have a layover in Denver and I get to CALL HOME! So family you better be home when i call you! I only have a week left here in the MTC so make good use of and write me if you want! i would love to hear from you guys. You are all in my prayers and i love you to pieces. Stay strong and always always remember that Christ is there for you.
Elder Benavides

Thursday, June 28, 2012


Dillon is serving a two year mission for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints in the Columbus, Ohio Mission. He Left June 27, 2012 and will return June 2014. This blog is for all readers who may know Dillon and wants updates of his current and/or past letters he writes back home to family. Enjoy!

His address while in the MTC for the next 3 weeks is:
Box #156-0718 
MTC 2005 N. 900 E. 
Provo, UT 84604