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