Argentina, Buenos Aires West Mission
May 2012 - May 2014

Monday, July 30, 2012

Adjusting to Birmingham

Hello family!
Wow so much happens in a week. It's insane! It's still hotter than Death Valley here, and the hills I have to ride up, and up, and up (it really seems like I hardly ever get to ride down) seem like they're getting taller and there's super glue on the pavement and I have sandpaper for tires. Seriously, this bike riding business (especially here with the heat and the hills) is the hardest physical thing I've EVER had to do. I don't know if I'm just weak or what, but it's a big challenge for me.   
Preguntas que no fueron contestados: On pday we do laundry, studying, shopping, emailing, and we go back to work at 6 pm. The members in my branch are awesome. It is extremely small, but the faith is very strong. They are all very nice and loving. About 10 of them aren't baptized for this or that reason, but they still pay tithing! It's strange...
So, I lost my camera. I have absolutely no idea where it went or what happened to it. It's stressing me out. I feel like it will turn up eventually, and I keep praying to find it. There's always so many things I want to take pics of, then I realize I don't have a camera. I reallllly hope it turns up.  
Me and Elder Thayne had a rough start this week. We were both feeling really down and discouraged. We both felt completely lost and useless, and we weren't getting help from anyone. We were trying to be the best missionaries we could, and we felt like we weren't getting anywhere. See, our situation is that we don't have anyone to tell us HOW to be a missionary. So, we have to rely on our own limited knowledge and resources, and mostly the spirit. Back to the story: we were feeling really discouraged. But, after many prayers and blessings that we gave each other, we started feeling a lot better, and we started having success. We have both received undeniable impressions, both from feelings and physical evidence, that Heavenly Father is very, very pleased with the work we are trying so very hard to do, and to do it right.
Another story: Yesterday (Sunday), Elder Thayne and I had our first baptism. No, I didn't stutter, and no I didn't typo. Her name's Jennifer, a little girl who lives in an english ward pretty far from my area. She and her family are spanish, so they wanted the ordinances done in spanish. Our zone leaders, who work in the ward this family lives in, picked us for the job. I was both amazed, humbled, and excited all at once. Elder Thayne did the baptism, and I did the confirmation. I gave my first blessing in SPANISH!!!! It was a powerful manifestation of the gift of tounges. It was an incredible experience.
Another story: Our very first day out, me and Elder Thayne met a man named Felipe. We found out he had talked to missionaries before and that he wanted a Book of Mormon. Unfortunately, we didn't have one because we were just thrown out there without knowing a single thing about what to do other that knock on doors and talk to people, never mind the fact that most of the people talk in spanish and neither of us know spanish very well. Okay, I'm done ranting now (: ANYWAYS, we went back a few days later and gave him a B.o.M. We went back multiple times after that to see him, but he was never home. Last night on our way home from a very long, yet very good day, we decided to stop by one more time. We didn't see his truck in the parking lot, so we assumed he wasn't home. So, we decided to write him a note inviting him to church. As Elder Thayne was writing, Felipe walks out the door. Neither of us knew the other was there. He proceeded to tell us that he's been thinking a lot lately about us missionaries and how he really wants to change his life and start coming to church. I was blown away. It was a miracle. This is just one of the many. many little experiences such as this that happened that day. Best day of my mission yet, by far.
Another interesting experience: We talked for about an hour and a half with a Muslim couple yesterday. They were very affixed in their beliefs, as were we. We talked about the different things we believe and we both asked each other questions so that we could better understand each other and overrule those common stereotypes people have of Muslims. They were really very nice and respectful. He even got water for us, gave us a plate of figs (which I'm not a fan of but I ate 5 because he kept telling me to "eat more!" hahah), and got us some juice. There are so many good, wonderful people in the world. It's so awesome to be able to see that there is still good in the world, despite the wickedness.
Well, I appreciate your continuing updates on what's happening at home, prayers, and faith in me. It helps. It helps a lot. More than you know (unless you've been on a mission). Adios for now! Les amo mucho.
para siempre dios este con vos
con amor,
elder jacob bentz

Elder Bentz and Elder Thayne

1 comment:

  1. Wow!! He is really getting the full missionary experience in a very short time. He has already had a baptism. That is really a testament of why he went to Ala. he will be really prepared by the time he gets to Argentina. Love you and thanks again for sharing his letters. It really means a lot to me.