Monday, April 29, 2013

La Primera Bautismos!!

Hola Familia,
This week was a pretty great week. First of all I did not get transfered and neither did Elder Hoskins which I was pretty happy about. We are still working hard to better the missionary work in Santa Monica. What was so great about it was I had my first two baptisms on Saturday. It was pretty crazy. It was tough work. Saturday morning we had a District Meeting so we couldn´t leave until around noon. After we went to find the keys to the church but the Bishop did not have them. He told us someone else had them and that member told us someone else had them. Finally we found them with one of the young men. By the time we got into the church there was not enough time for the font to fill up enough. We we prayed and then we carried buckets and buckets and buckets of water from the outside water spout. It was crazy but by a miracle the font was filled up by the time the baptism started. It was crazy. I baptised them both which was really cool. We baptized a couple named Deivi and Dalila Villafuerte. They are pretty cool. It took a while to finally get them baptized but I am super happy they finally did it!!! Then on Sunday we went to their house before sacrament meeting, our church starts at eight thirty in the morning, and they said they would be there at eight to be ready for their conformation. Well eight thirty rolled around and they still weren´t there so we went into a little bit of panic mode but then they came. Sacrament always starts late so it was totally fine but it ws pretty nerve wracking. But they did it. They are members of the true church on this earth. How Awesome! This week we also made German Pancakes for breakfast a couple of times which was awesome. They weren´t as good because we had to fry them but still it was pretty great.
About Mothers Day is I don´t know what is going to happen but we will find out and the day before I call you and tell you what is going to happen the next day so there won´t be a problem.
Anyways I am doing great here. The mission is pretty tough but it is pretty awesome. The work definately is tough and we are working hard to have more success here. This week we need to find more investigators and more that are prepared to listen and to learn about the true gospel.
Anyways thank you so much for you wonderful emails. I love you all so much and miss you guys a ton. That is what is most hard about the mission but it will all be worth it in the end. I love you all extremely!!!
Love, Elder Benjamin Berg Duzett

Ben's attempt at German Pancakes!! Yum Yum!!

Tuesday, April 23, 2013

Hola mi familia!
Wow that is a crazy week. That is horrible about Olivia. It sounds like she is living in a foreign country not me. This week has been a pretty great week. I was lucky to receive a stack of 13 letters this week. Wow, we had a change in Zone Leaders so they couldn´t go to the office for a little while but when they did I had a mountain of letters. This was great. Tell the activity day girls thank you for their great letters. It was awesome to get them.
Unfortunately we did not have a baptism this week because of coffee but it is all good because we are going to have them this week. I do have many opurtunites to see other missionaries because our zone is only our stake and we have at least to meetings with the zone every week. We have 20 missionaries in the zone. I am not sure how it will work on Mothers Day. We may only get to talk on the phone because it is a normal day to work. You guys definately should take Andy to Hectors. Eat some great churros for me. Presidente has not mentioned anything about the rule change so I don´t really know. Dad thank you so much for those scriptures I will definately be reading those. My worries have definately lessened here in the mission. I have read my patriarchal blessing and as the spritual experiences have increased my worries have subsided. We had a great spiritual experience just yesterday. The family I told you guys about last week, the Mom went to church yesterday. She did not like Church very much she said. So we were thinking how we could strengthen her testimony or make her feel the spirit. So we had one of the young men with us and we went to her house and watched the Joseph Smith movie with her. I paused it after Joseph was tarred and feathered and bore testimony. We then continued the movie. After the movie she seemed normal. We asked her how she like the movie and she said it was bonita, normal. Then all three of us bore testimony of Joseph Smith and this church and Eternal families and then it just broke. She started to cry being overcome with the spirit. It was awesome. The spirit was so strong there. The young man who was with us, we went to his house to eat dinner with his family. He told his mom about the experience. I am so glad we were able to have those experiences with him. He was so excited and more excited for a mission. This experiences are what make the mission awesome. We also have transfers tonight so I don´t know where my next email will be coming from but it will all work out.
Dad, thanks so much for the update on the mission presidents. They are going to divide the three mission here in Guayaquil. I could actually end up in any of the three. It just depends. It will all work out though. Both of the presidents look awesome. President Montalti is a pretty great mission president. He is pretty strict but that is good because it brings more people into the gospel. Anyways, thank you guys so much for you emails. I love them. I love you guys all so much and miss you greatly.
One scripture or chapter to study this week is Mosiah 2. It is an awesome chapter.
I love you all.
Love, Elder Benjamin Berg Duzett

The bio of the New Mission President for the new Guayquil West Mission was in the Church News this past Saturday. Ben could end up in this mission on July 1.
Jorge and J. Anette Dennis
Jorge Dennis, 55, and Jeannie Anette Herrin Dennis, four children, Parkway
Branch (Spanish), North Salt Lake Utah Parkway Stake: Ecuador Guayaquil West
Mission. Brother Dennis serves as a gospel doctrine teacher and a temple
ordinance worker, and is a former counselor in a stake mission presidency, high
councilor, stake missionary, bishop, counselor in a bishopric, ward Young Men
president, ward mission leader, high priests group assistant and ward Young Men
adviser. Owner/CEO, EnviroKleen, LLC. Born in Ciudad Obregon, Sonora, Mexico, to
Jesus and Elena Lauterio Dennis.
Sister Dennis serves as a counselor in a branch Young Women presidency and is a
former secretary to a stake Relief Society presidency; stake missionary; ward
Primary president, counselor in ward Primary, Relief Society and Young Women
presidencies; Relief Society teacher and compassionate service leader. Born in
Provo, Utah, to Curtis Lamar and Patricia Joanne Stewart Herrin.
Here are the Pictures from this week:


Monday, April 15, 2013

Just another day in Santa Monica...

Buenas tardes mi familia!!!
Today I will write more! I had more people to email back last week so sorry if it was short. Santa Monica is pretty cool. We have a good time here. It seems like it was just yesterday it was last monday. The mission is very hard and in the moment may seem like time is standing still but really the time flies by. It is crazy I have already been out in the field for a whole month. And have been out for almost one eighth of my mission. It is crazy. My life is pretty normal, as a missionary is concerned. A lot of missionaries in my Zone are sick including my companion but they just gave him a bunch of pills and a shot and we were right back out to work. This week one afternoon Elder Hoskins and I went on splits with some members in the ward. Elder Hoskins went to teach out appointments while I went to contact an area that we had never contacted before and where no members live. I found a pretty cool family there. La Familia Alban. The family is a Mother with her two kids, who are both 8 or older. She is living alone with her kids and her nephew who is 18 and, he speaks English because he lived in the U.S for three years. It is pretty amazing to be able to find someone who speaks English for so long after not hearing anyone speak it for some time. The family is pretty cool and sincerely interested. They ask a lot of questions, which is great.   Testimony meeting is different here. Everybody shares their testimony. I shared my testimony which was a little tough because I was a little nervous and I had to speak spanish.
We may have a Baptism this saturday. A couple has a date for this saturday. They are a cool family. The couple and their one daughter who is like two years old. They are cool. I am excited for them.
There is one food that I have found I really like here. They take verdes or big green plantanes and they basically make fries or chips out of them. They are delicious. We cooked them for lunch today.
Anyways thank you guys so much for you love and support. I could not do it with out you guys. I love you all soo much and I miss you all greatly. I hope that you all have a good week.
One scripture to take a look at this week is Ether 12. 17.
Love you all greatly!!!!!!
Love Elder Benjamin Berg Duzett
p.s The last picture is a shelf that Elder Hoskins y yo construimos con cardboard.
I bet that is the really good Coke!

I am glad he is keeping up on his remodeling skills!!

Monday, April 8, 2013

Time is Flying by... Well Sort of

Hola Familia,
Thank you all for the wonderful emails. It was so exciting to hear from Maren and Andy today. That is so awesome they are leaving on their missions. They will both be great!!!! Conference was hard to understand in spanish and we were trying to help investigators get to the conference so we did not get to watch too much of it but it was still great to see the parts I did. We will also be getting the Liahona and we can watch them online during pday so it is all good. I definately felt that connection to you guys to during the conference. It was awesome to see Salt Lake. I saw Jannesa's Dad in the choir. It was definately a piece of home. I am definately getting more used to the things here. The mission is definately full of crazy experiences. It is definatley fun, hard but definately worth it. Michigan and Louisville huh, well Go MICHIGAN!!! They are going to take it. It is amazing how time flies in the mission. It seems like the day I left was just yesterday I already have 2 months and a week in the mission. It is pretty crazy. What's more crazy is Spencer has what 8 or 9 months. He is almost halfway done. Crazy!! This week was a pretty good week. We are working really hard to try to get the work going better here. It will pick up. We made some sweet anouncements for conference they were sweet. Anyways, I love you all tons and tons. I miss you all so much. That is the hardest part of the mission.
Love, Elder Benjamin Berg Duzett

Part of an email Ben sent to Will:

Thank you so much for the email. I love to hear from you. The Santa Monica ward is pretty awesome. It is great to be here helping these people out and helping the ward grow. We usually get breakfast and lunch and dinner is rare. It is all good though because lunch is always gianormous. Don't worry about school it will be over before you know it. Sometimes we have to do things we don't want to do but it's best to just go with it and always be happy. That is excited about the tourney. Go MICHIGAN!!!!!

Part of an email Ben sent to Olivia:

Hey Olivia, I did get your letter and I absolutely loved those scriptures (3Nephi 12: 1-12). I just got that letter this week. It was awesome. I actually gave that section of scripitures to some investigators to read because I loved it so much. Way to go on winning the tournament. You can win one more time before I will be back to win. Just kidding I always pick with my heart and lose.
Here are the pictures he sent this week, some are the scripture cases he had made:


Monday, April 1, 2013

Santa Monica Ward - Semana Santa

Hola Familia!
It has been a pretty good week. Easter here is pretty crazy. Semana Santa means fill up your kidie pools, sit in them all day, and drink a ton of alcohol! It is kind of crazy. I have not found out a way to send you guys letters. We don´t have permission to go where there is a post office so I don´t know if I will be able to send you guys written letters. I may have a member take it to the post office for me. The pouch here is also just one way. People can send letters to Ecuador but they don´t send a pouch from here. It is kind of half of a pouch. So I looks like email is the option, Sorry!!!! Ecuador is pretty awesome. I am finally getting used to the climate and the food. Yesterday we had sheperds pie with tuna. It was actually way good. My stomach has grown since I´ve been here. Elder Hoskins is pretty great, we have a good time. Today we built a tower out of Dasani Water Bottles Because we have a ton of them. It is kind of funny. I also got my scripture cases I had made. They are super cool. I will definately be having those for the rest of my life. The spanish is coming along pretty great. I am understanding more and more every week. Dad, thanks for the update on the mission president. President Montalti is really cool. He is strict but it is good because that keeps the numbers up and obedient missionaries. We actually has a surprise visit from him this week at a District meeting. He is a really cool guy. He calls me gringito because I am a skinny white kid. But he is really cool. I think the reason he jokes with me and Elder Hoskins is he has trust in us. That is awesome you guys went to Bluff, I am a bit jealous. When I get back I would like to go to Yellowstone that Summer with Grandpa Bill and them. That just sounds really fun right now. I have a lot of great memories of there and all of our family vacations that I can feed on whenever I need a pick me up. The photo last week was taken in a home of a less active member. They had a giant el Libro de Mormon. It was pretty sweet. I will get to watch the 2 Sunday sessions of conference this Sunday. We hope to get a lot of investigators to attend those sessions. It will be Awesome. I still don´t have my primera baptism but I´m sure once they hear the prophet speak it will be Game Over! Anyways I miss all of you a lot but the mission is definiately worth it. It is a lot of fun. I love you all greatly, and have a wonderful week.
Love, Elder Benjamin Berg Duzett
Saturday's Church News included the Bio of Ben's new Mission President:

Maxsimo C Torres, 53, and Blanca Teresa Santamarina Torres, six children, El Llano Branch, Roswell New Mexico Stake: Ecuador Guayaquil South Mission. Brother Torres serves as a counselor in a mission presidency and is a former counselor in a stake presidency, high councilor, stake auditor, bishop, counselor in a branch presidency and missionary in the Colombia Bogota Mission. Chief medical officer, La Casa Family Health Center. Born in Salinas, Calif., to Domingo and Julia C Torres.

Sister Torres serves as a stake and ward YSA adviser, and is a former ward Young Women president, ward Primary president, counselor in a ward Relief Society presidency, seminary teacher and missionary in the California Los Angeles Mission. Born in Matanzas, Cuba, to Everardo and Matalide Labandera Santamarina.
 Some pictures from Ben for the week.  Looks like he is seeing some sun.