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