Saturday, February 25, 2017

Week 77 - "Crazy Week!" Feb 18 - Feb 24 (Primavera)

Sometimes we are unsure of what Jonah's responsibilities consist of.  He says that the role of Assistant to the President has changed with President and Sister Marble.  Jonah and his companion spend a lot of their time working with the other Zone Leaders throughout the mission.  He said "We are supposed to show the zone leaders and the rest of the mission how to proselyte, contact, teach, work with members, and baptize."  I think he is most grateful that he does not have to spend his day in the office.

So this week has been pretty wild! We've been keeping really busy here in our area with more interchanges and proselyting. You kind of lose track of time a little bit, and then you get to the end of the week, and it seems like only a day has gone by. I'm pretty astonished that it's Saturday again. I find myself here writing again, without having taken any pictures again, haha sorry. But I am so happy right now. Keeping busy makes you happy, as long as you can keep it under control, not build up stress, and stay positive. So anyway, I'll give a couple details of the week.

We had a great Sunday sacrament meeting, and there was an hermano from the stake that came and gave an excellent talk! He talked about what it really means to ''endure to the end'', and it really helped me that day. Sunday, by the way, is supposedly observed as the day of rest. But for missionaries and others with church callings, it is possibly the most tiring day of the week. There's a lot of meetings and we have a full day of proselyting and by the end of the day you get back just pooped. But the talk last Sunday really helped me to ''press forward with a steadfastness in Christ''.

On Wednesday and Thursday, we had some interchanges and so we spent the day with the missionaries in Casa Grande and Central, which were two of the areas that I had already served in, so that was cool to see how everything was doing in their areas. There's been a little bit of change in the interchanges, so now, instead of one missionary staying in the area and one missionary leaving in each area, we just have the two of them come to our area so it's 4 of us together. I'm not sure if that made any sense at all hahaha, but yeah, we always stay in our area, when in the past, we would go to their area as well. We found some incredible people during those interchanges and were able to find several new families and people that are going to progress. We are still working with the family that we took fotos with, and it looks like they will make it to church this week (they had an emergency last week). They are the best!

On Thursday night, we were helping a missionary in the hospital that was having some health issues (nothing too serious), and so we were there until pretty late, but something super hilarious happened there! We were all sitting down waiting for a room to become available, and we were just talking, when a nurse peeks her head out of a door and says a patients name. But she said it really quietly and nobody could understand her. So Elder Morote, one of the secretaries, gets up and says loudly ''I can't understand what you're saying!''. The lady looked at him super confused and didn't respond, and that was when Elder Morote realized that he had just talked in English and that the poor lady couldn't understand what he was saying either. We all died laughing while Elder Morote tried explaining himself. It was even funnier because Elder Morote was the only one out of the 4 of us that even looked Latino, but was the only one that spoke in English hahaha. We all got a good kick out of it.

Today we're going to be playing a lot of futbol so that'll be fun, and I might send extra pictures mas tardecita. I'm doing great here and I'm loving every minute with my companion, I'm super blessed to be with him. I hope that you all are doing great at home, and that you keep it up with your attitudes! Learning how to laugh instead of complain is very important. The next time that nothing turns out ''like it should have'', just laugh, and figure it out together. Complaining never got anyone anywhere. I love you all so much! Laugh it up! Chao!

Tuesday, February 21, 2017

Week 76 - "Hello World haha (it's an inside joke) "Feb 12 - Feb 18 (Primavera)

Finally getting caught up on the blog.  Jonah must have had a busy week.  Here is the latest email and some photos.  We have been a bit confused as to which day he will be writing but I think it will most likely be Saturdays from now on.  Send him an email if you have a chance -

Hey everybody!! So we have had such a great week!! I don't have a whole lot of time to write, but I just wanted to share a couple of things super quick.

So this week, we had 3 interchanges in a row with different missionaries! It was super wild! I'm new to the area here, so we got lost several times with the missionaries I was with, but we always seemed to be in the right place at the right time, and it was really great! We were able to find several new people to teach in these days. After those 3 different interchanges, I was really starting to miss Elder Nuñez, man he is so dang great!! I'm so blessed and privileged to be his companion, and am learning so many different things from him. Plus, he introduced me to an Argentine drink called ''mate'' (pronounced mawtey). Hahaha, it's really funny we always tease him about him being addicted to it almost like a drug haha.

Anyway, we found this family this week and they are so great! It's the Familia Gonzalez Castillo, I think I might've mentioned them, but we took pictures with them. They are really willing to make changes in their lives, and they are excited to hear about the Restored Gospel for the first time in their lives. We hope to see them at church tomorrow!

I will give more details, hopefully next week. I love you all so much!!! Have a great week!

Monday, February 20, 2017

Week 75 - "No mucho time" Feb 5 - Feb 11 (Primavera)

Apologies for being behind on the blog!  I was out of town and couldn't get to it.  Jonah is enjoying the first week as AP.  Sometimes it means he will have a lot of office work to do and help with other missionaries but in his mission he still has time to teach people and visit ward members so he is excited to not lose that part of missionary life. 

Hey everybody! How are you all doing?? It sounds like there is still a lot of snow haha, it's still warm here. So this week has been super great! It's been a little crazy but I've been learning to run on less sleep haha. But in this week we've been working really hard in our area and have also been able to do some other fun stuff.

So this past week has been a great one! I got into the swing of things with receiving the new missionaries and the consejo de lideres, but now we're really excited to have full proselyting time and are getting ready for the string of intercambios that we have coming up. In this past week, we were able to teach several people and find a ton of new potential investigators, but we were really struggling to convert those into actual new investigators. But just last night, we were able to teach a full family, and they are so great!! They are a family of 7; the father, his wife, their 4 children, and also the father's brother. They were all pretty timid when we first talked to them in the door, but they invited us in, and we were able to teach all of them and invite them to church. They want to we had an excellent testimony that came from a member accompanying us. We were all able to feel a sweet spirit, and we are hoping to see the family come to church this Sunday. 

In this last week, it was really great to be able to see the new missionaries come in and help them set their missions off straight. They all seem very focused and willing to be obedient, so we are excited to keep helping them and see how they can progress. The 3 Brazilians are awesome!

Elder Nuñez and I are doing really great and we're excited to baptize this transfer. We have some pretty good goals, and we will be working as hard as possible to get it all done. The hermana is really prepared, but she got confused in some doctrine and we need to go back and explain things that she had confused, but in the end, she said that she was not ready to be baptized this Saturday (today). It was a sad moment, but we were there to help her and gave her some encouragement, and got an appointment with her to keep her animated and clear things up in her confusion. I think we all learned that day a little more about the Lord's timeline and the willingness that we should have to follow it.

Tonight we are going to teach the sister again to replan her date for this next saturday or sunday. We are excited for her baptism! I hope you all have a wonderful week! I love you all so much!

The Bentley's and Elder Nunez

With Elder Nunez

Welcoming the new missionaries arriving at the Airport

Elder Peek and Elder Babbel 
Elder Morote

Elder Peek and his "expiration" date

Frozen Cow Lung at the grocery store

Next to the frozen baby pigs

Saturday, February 4, 2017

Week 74 - "Hey" Jan 30 - Feb 4 (Casa Grande - Primavera)

Big news from Peru.  Jonah was called by President Marble early Friday morning and was asked to pack up all of his things and come to Trujillo.  They were actually already going there for a Zone Conference, but now he had to bring everything with him.  Jonah has been called to serve as an Assistant to President and Sister Marble.  His companion is the other assistant, his name is Elder Nuñez - he is from Buenos Aires, Argentina.  The assistant's work with the President to help teach and train missionaries throughout the mission.  They travel to all of the areas in the mission but will be based in Trujillo in an area called Primavera.

Welp. Sorry everybody for being really lame with emails in these past few weeks, but I promise I'm going to better. Haha, sometimes there's just not a lot of time. I hope that the fotos got to everyone from Elder Israel, if not, let me know, and I can send the fotos from last week. 

This was a great week! So, we were able to teach a lot of people, and find a lot of new people here in Casa Grande. We've been working with this family and they are so dang great! The familia Vasquez Portilla. There are only 3 in the family: Roger (40) Raquel (40) and their son Roger (12). We found them the other week during an interchange with Ascope when I was with Elder Palmer (the tall gringo from Alaska), and they are really REALLY prepared. When we taught them for the first time, we were only able to talk to Roger the son with 12 years, and we gave him a Book of Mormon. When we came back the second time, he was with his parents, and he had already taught them how the Gospel was Restored and what the Book of Mormon was. His parents were interested in what it was, so we were able to give them their own copies to read and mark. The third time that we visited them, they had studied one night together as a family, writing down questions and summaries of what they had been able to read and learn in the Book of Mormon. It was so cool! Their family is being united through the book, just like mine has been in the past. 

I remember that reading the Book of Mormon was always a time to be together for a moment and do something spiritual. I didn't really understand why it was so important to read together before, but I can understand it now. I remember sometimes complaining about it haha, whoops, sorry Mom and Dad. But I do also remember that their was a time when I had to get up early to go to school and so I wasn't able to read with the family so Dad got up with me early before work to read a chapter before I headed off. I look back at that now and realize that it was one of the best things that we could've done. Maybe they were commonplace moments before the mission, but I now treasure them and share them with people almost every day. Thanks Dad, it was worth it! Haha So yeah anyway, that was really cool to see that with the familia Vasquez. The Book of Mormon works miracles!

So we had some quick transfers as well this past week on Friday, and I'm already out of Casa Grande. I love my time there, even though it was so short. I'm now here in Primavera with Elder Nuñez as one of the President's assistants. I'm super excited to work here and I will let you all know how our new area is! I love you all so much! Have a wonderful week!! Read the Book of Mormon as a family, even if its boring or the kids complain. You won't ever regret it! Chao!!!