Argentina, Buenos Aires West Mission
May 2012 - May 2014

Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Week Two

Thank you everyone for all your emails! It's so nice to hear from someone because I haven't gotten a single letter in seven days. I don't know what's going on with that, but it's kinda hard not being able to hear from anyone for an entire week. Did you all get the letters I sent last week? Yesterday I had a sore throat and still have one today. I think it's just allergies, but it's really annoying. I hope I get better soon, because this place NEVER slows down. Not one bit. I've still been exercising even though i don't feel 100% well. And remember last email i talked about "Mariela?" Well last week she actually became one of our teachers. Her name is sister Culverwell. And she is AWESOME. She is so nice and spiritual and funny. All our teachers are more friends than instructors. But she is by far the best. She's been personally interviewing all the elders to get to know us and why we're on a mission and stuff like that. She's been through about 7 of us, and almost every single one has come back in tears because it was so spiritual. I love her. I love all my teachers and everyone in my district (even though my companion can be highly erratic and irritating at times lol). I can't remember if I told you about elder Crane or not (BYU trumpet major, music genious). But he got moved up to the intermediate class on monday. We all miss him. And i realized that it says in the handbook that musical instruments are not allowed in the residence halls of the MTC. I've been praying to know what I need to do to become the missionary heavenly father needs me to be. And he answer kept coming to me through our leaders' talks and my own feelings. And that answer is to obey with EXACTNESS. Even though it hurt to put my instruments away and it hurts that I don't get to play them, I know that I need to be completely obedient. And the food? Hmm the food.... Tastes fine. Looks fine. But all I have to say about it is two words: Ga-ssss. (; There is definately no shortage of that to go around. I've been trying to eat healthier than I normally would and I've been taking medicine for my allergies. I know there is SO much I'm not remembering to say because SO much happens in just one day. Time is starting to go by insanely fast. I need to make the very most of it because I'll be home faster than any of us can possibly imagine. Well, I REALLLLY hope the letters start coming again and I start hearing from everyone. I love you all!
Elder Bentz

Provo, Utah Temple

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

First Week

Well, I´ve made it through my first week at the mtc. The hardest part so far was definately the first day. I've never felt so overwhelmed in my entire life. There was just so many things to remember and so many books we got and so many new faces. Fortunately, it didn't take me long at all to adjust and become used to the environment here. Me as well as everyone else in my district became best friends within a matter of two days. I got soooo lucky with the guys, um elders, in my district. They're all a bunch of goofballs but also know when it's time to work hard and be serious. One of them, Elder Larson, is from Carlsbad! And Elder Crane was a music major at BYU in trumpet. He's a music genious. Me and him talk "music" all the time. He's also really good at drawing so he draws cartoon of us all the time. I wish I had time to describe all of them, but a half hour isn't that much time. My companion, Elder Sturgell, is AWESOME. He is so dedicated to following all the rules and to working hard. Me and him work extremely well together.  My spanish is coming along fantasically. Me and Elder Sturgell are considered to be the best in the class by all the others. I actually got the offer to move up to the intermediate spanish class. But after much prayer and consideraton, I decided that I'm going to stay here with my district. I feel that one of my purposes here is to help the others in the class who are not getting spanish as well as I am. Even on the first day, everyone was coming to me and asking me how to say this and how to conjugate that. It made me feel really good. El Don de Lenguas (the Gift of Tounges) is already making my learning extremely fast and efficient. Of course, I am also putting in the time and effort to studying and practicing the language. I can already say a prayer and bear my testimony pretty decently in spanish. Our first "investigator" is named "Mariela." We figured out fairly quickly that she isn't an actual investigator, but she does a good enough job at acting to make teaching her (entirely in spanish) very realistic. On the FIRST DAY we met her, she was blown away by how good I spoke spanish for only being here three days. I have been getting nothing but praise and compliments for my spanish. No one can believe I've only been here a week and can already speak this well. Now, I know I still have a VERY long way to go with my language, but I know I will be able to become fluent in a very short amount of time. The other day, I pulled out my penny whistle and played a few hymns. Before I realized it, just about everyone near by in the residence hall was either in my room or crowded around the door to hear me play. When I finished a song, they would start shouting out names of other hymns to figure out on the spot. It felt so good to perform for people again and to show my gift. I also joined choir last thursday (I know, shocker right?!) with three other elders from my district. Last sunday we got to sing for Ronald A. Rasband, who was out tueday night devotinal speaker. I have been doing my exercise routine every gym day plus jogging a mile. I even got two other elders to do it with me. So I have two workout/ jogging buddies. Me and Elder Crane just talk about music the whole time. I have also been writing in my journal every single day so far. I have so much to say by the end of the day and so little time to actually write that I barely even get to record a third of the memories I wish I could. I DID get elder Crane to draw a little cartoon in there for me though (; All in all, this place is amazing. El Espiritu Santo (The Holy Ghost) esta aqui todos los tiempos (is here all the time). My mind has never been so clear and focused in my entire life. Well my time is up, so this is all for today. And i wont be able to email pictures home from the MTC so i can either wait till Argentina or send home the SD card. Its up to you. I love you all.
Me and my companion, Elder Sturgell (District Leader)

Me and Elder Sturgell at the Provo, Utah Temple 

Elders in my District

Elder Crane (Music Genius) and I

Wednesday, May 16, 2012

5:30am: Last complete Family Photo for the next two years.

Goodbye from Phoenix Sky Harbor Airport

Making friends with Security - Already a Missionary!

On my way to the Missionary Training Center in Provo, Utah courtesy of the Halligan's

Gotta Love It!

Sister Halligan, Me, and Mason Halligan.  Thanks for the ride!