Argentina, Buenos Aires West Mission
May 2012 - May 2014

Wednesday, September 26, 2012


I will be leaving on Monday, October 8th. The Sunday before, I'll be able to call home for about 30 minutes from our mission cell phone. There will be more details later on.
Elder Thayne got a call from the assistants in the morning saying he needed to call president. He called, and was told his visa just came in. I started praying really hard that mine would come as well. An hour later, I got the same call. President thought It'd be funny to tell me that I'm staying here with Elder McBride while the other two visa waiters get to go down. Then he said, "Just kidding. You're going to South America!" Hahaha. Good one, President Holzapfel. =P
Well all I can say is that all four of us visa elders in Alabama are going down together, which probably means the rest of them from my MTC district in Texas are too. Thank you all so very much for all you prayers. I know that the combined effort helped this to happen. I owe y'all. Big time. Talk to you more later. I love you all!

Farewell, Alabama!

Monday, September 24, 2012

Service = Success

Hello family,
We had to do emails pretty early today because we are out of miles 'til next month. We got cut like 500 miles. So, we have to bike everywhere for now.
This week's been pretty good. We've been doing a LOT of service for people. That's one of my favorite things we do. Me and Elder Thayne were riding along on our bikes and we saw a guy smoothing out cement for a walkway he was building to connect two houses together. He was working alone and the sun was going down, so we decided to stop and ask if he wanted help. He said he'd take all the help he could get. So, we worked with him in our white shirts and ties and got all the cement smoothened. I got my pants sooo dirty =P He was extremely grateful for our help. He told us that he had been saying a silent prayer that someone would come by and help before the sun went down and the cement hardened. We happened along just in time. We also did a bunch of other things throughout the week for service.
The numbers that we report have been low. Not very many lessons taught, no baptismal dates, and no serious investigators. But that's okay. Me and Elder Thayne have adopted the philosophy of the influences we have on people that we can't see and can't put into a number. There isn't a section in the weekly numbers summary for hours of service performed, number of hearts softened, number of days brightened, or number of friends made. High numbers are not always an indicator of success. True success.
I'm very, very tired. Missionary work is TIRING! I come home just as exhausted at the end of the day whether we walked/biked 20 miles, or drove in the car all day. I think when I come home, I'm going to take 3 days off and just sleep. (;
So, one of my shirts got ruined. I got grease all over it from my bike. Oh well, I figure it was bound to happen eventually, right?
Well, everything else is pretty much the same old story over here. We're still trying to help strengthen the branch, we're still trying to find people to teach, and we're still waiting for our visas (as far as I am aware, anyways). Please continue to pray that the visa will come as quickly as possible. I think that's about all I got for this week. Talk to y'all soon!
Love always, Elder Jacob Bentz

Gas Mask at the local Swap Meet

SO Alabama!

Downtown Fort Payne, AL

Elder Bentz & Elder Thayne
Birmingham, Alabama Temple


Monday, September 17, 2012

A Rainy Day Monday

Dear Family,

Thank you so much for all the pictures! I really wish I could've been there for it. The whole singing I Know That My Redeemer Lives was inspired by me?! Haha wow. That makes me feel pretty good (: I'm glad to hear that the baptism went so well. I hope everything else is going well at home too.

It's raining today. It's actually been raining pretty much all day, and it's been raining hard. We'll have to watch out for floods if this keeps up. The reason I'm emailing so late today is because we were all out at a member's place today helping him build one of those shops that looks like a giant tin can that's been cut in half. We were doing that for most of the first part of the day, so we're having a kind of backwards prep day. Everything's been good here, though. Elder Thayne and I have been walking a lot. He doesn't have a bike helmet, so he can't really ride. That's fine with both of us. Neither of us like riding bikes =P. We figure it's good to get our feet in shape for Argentina too. We still don't have any serious investigators, but that's okay. I'm not worried too much about that. I'm just trying to enjoy my time here the best I can. We get to go to the temple on Friday! I'm really excited for that. I know it will help me a lot.

So I got the picture off Elder Thayne's camera. This was from my last day in Lorna before I got moved up here. We went to a restaurant called Full Moon Bar-B-Q. That's what I ate. I ate all of it too (:. I've never SEEN a potato that big! It was twice the size of my head!

Anyways, everything is going well. Although I am exhausted, I am happy. I am enjoying myself here. Thank you all for all the support you have given me lately. And yes, I got the cookies. They were very good. Thank you (:.

Well, I don't think there's anything else particularly exciting to talk about. I hope to hear from everyone again soon! I love you all! (:

Love always, Elder Jacob Bentz

P.S. Sydney needs to write me!! (:

Full Moon Bar-B-Q  -  Now that's a PoTaTo!

Tuesday, September 11, 2012


Wow. I can't believe it. She's already getting BAPTIZED?! Man everyone's going to be so OLD by the time I get home! =P I really wish I could be there to see it. You'll have to send me lots of pictures!
Well, everything's mostly the same old story here in Ft. Payne. I am doing much better than I was last week. Thank you everyone who has been praying for me and sending me your love and support. Elder Thayne, my AWESOME companion, has helped me a lot as well. I'm sorry if I caused anyone any unnecessary (I can never spell this stupid word) stress. Thank you Mom and Dad for your letters. They really helped me. Thank you for all the things you said in them. I love you both. I would also like to say thank you to the Wilding family. You have all become like my family away from home. You have all helped me in your own way, more than you know. I love you all! Anyways, like I said before, I'm doing a lot better this week. I'm really trying to put my own motto into practice; by taking it a day or an hour or a minute at a time. Even though Elder Thayne and I are still trying to figure a lot of things out on our own, it's okay. We've done it before, and we'll do it again. We know in whom we trust.
Time goes SO fast. And each transfer gets faster than the last one. This Wednesday, it will be half way through the transfer already!!! I can't even believe it. My first transfer out seems like it took so much longer than that. I told President Holzapfel a few weeks ago in my weekly letter that I was pretty disappointed that my visa didn't come through. He told me it was okay to feel that way. He also gave me some very good advice, advice that I've been trying my hardest to live by: Learn to just enjoy the moment, because the moment will be over before you can blink. Doing this has really helped me to enjoy my time here better. I know I'm still going to Argentina. I know my visa will come. And, quite honestly, I hope and pray that it comes quickly. But, I'm trying my best to enjoy my time here.
Here's something interesting that I found out awhile ago and forgot to mention: I was set apart as a missionary on the same day Joseph Smith and Oliver Cowdery received the priesthood, which is the 15th of May. I thought that was pretty cool. I wonder it there's any special significance there. . . Probably not, but I still think it's awesome (:
Well, it's finally starting to cool off, which makes being outside all day a whole lot more enjoyable. Elder Thayne and I are still trying to find people to teach who will take us seriously. We've also been doing a lot of service for the members and for the community, which I really enjoy. For example, we straighten books at the library a few times a week and we help straighten/sweep in the salvation army store. They also have a soup kitchen every other day, so we're going to see if we can help them out with anything as well. Tracting really isn't too effective here, so we've been trying to find as many service opportunities as we can.
Well, I think that's about all I've got for now. Once again, thank you so much to everyone for supporting me and praying for me. Please continue to do so. It's very much appreciated. I love you all!
Elder Jacob Bentz

Wednesday, September 5, 2012

New Companion...or old, rather

Dear family,
Sorry for the late email, but the library was closed yesterday for labor day. Wow looks like everyone had fun camping. You all look like Legolas/Katniss Everdeen (;  Did you buy a bow?! I love archery. It's so much fun. Thanks so much for the pictures! So, most recent news: We have two new elders in Fort Payne now with me and Elder Whipple: Elder Gebert and Elder Thayne. Yup! Elder Thayne. We're companions again. When our pictures showed up on the screen at the transfer meeting, President Holzapfel later told me, "Your face was worth the whole day!" I bet it was. I was pretty surprised, to say the least. Now that we're companions again, we'll be trying to find more Hispanics for the branch. We'll also continue to work with and strengthen the branch itself. I hope we'll be able to do more good this transfer. So we finally got some weather from Isaac last Sunday. We were in our apartment getting ready to go out tracting and our weather alarm kept going off. It kept saying FLOOD WARNING and SEVERE THUNDERSTORM WARNING and TORNADO WARNING. Most of the bad stuff wasn't even for our county, so we went out. While we were out, the clouds started to get dark. I mean REALLY dark. I've never seen such dark clouds in my entire life. Me and Elder Thayne decided it might be a good idea to go pick the other elders up from where they were tracting and head home early before it hit. We stopped to pick them up, and thy sprinted to the car. They said how the clouds over us were starting to rotate. Then, as we were driving home, it started raining HARD. We could barely even see the lines on the road. We made it to our apartment and had our ears glued to the weather radio for a good 45 minutes. No tornadoes, thank goodness. It was pretty exciting though. It rained all that night and all day yesterday and all last night. It stopped today, but it looks like it'll start again today. There isn't supposed to be sun until Monday. At least the rain has cooled everything down a lot. The bad thing is the country roads will be pretty muddy. Good preparation for Argentina, I guess.
Well, other than that, I don't think there's anything else particularly interesting to talk about. I hope to hear from everyone soon. I love you.
Elder Jacob Bentz

State Park in Fort Payne, Alabama

Playing a branch member's guitar. :)