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: dillon.benavides@myldsmail.net 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 DearElder.com 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