Tuesday, August 22, 2017

A Great Love for Missionary Work

Hey Everyone, I hope you all had a good week! So a lot has happened in the last couple of weeks. 2 weeks ago I became a Trainer aka a "Father"in the mission. I was pretty nervous at first but also super excited. As trainers we have a training meeting all day along side the greenies starting around 9 am and we didn't get to find out who our companion was until around 5, so the wait was killing me haha! I ended up getting my "son", his name is Elder Tlustek, he is from Bedford, Indiana and he is an awesome missionary. 

Father & Son
Elder Tlustek and I get along super well! We like a lot of the same things and he has a great love for missionary work so it has been awesome. 
My pizza- Elder Tlustek had wings

On our first pday together we had the privilege of being able to go the temple together! It was such an awesome day! 
The weather was great. On Wednesday of last week we had our annual zone conference, it was a pretty big zone conference because of two things, first off, our entire mission got smartphones! Our mission is only the second mission in the world to have them and we as a Utah mission are lucky because we get to pilot a lot of the new stuff the church is trying out. The smartphones have data and make getting numbers a lot easier, we can have group text among our mission and overall is a huge upgrade from our old slide phones haha. 
Secondly we found out that Elder Jeffery R Holland is coming to our mission in February to do a conference! Crazy to think that I will be out 19 months by then! I'm also really excited because he is my favorite apostle!

District Pday Activity
On Saturday we had a baptism for a boy named Traxton (9) his family and him moved to our area about 4 weeks ago and we found them and started teaching him and got him baptized. I was super excited for Elder Tlustek that he got to have his first baptism and do the baptizing. Right now we have about 6 people on date for baptism who we are working with so the work is going great here.
Traxton's baptism

On pday we had a big get together at the church building with all the missionaries in our Zone to watch the Solar Eclipse. It was sort of disappointing because Nebraska was one of the best states to watch it from and they got to experience a total eclipse where it got dark and covered the sun, whereas as in Utah it was just a little bit dimmer than usual and was a partial eclipse. Overall it was still awesome and fun to be with a lot of missionaries!

One scripture that I really like and that has helped a lot of the people we are working with right now is Ether 12:27

And if men come unto me I will show unto them their weakness. I give unto men weakness that they may be humble; and my grace is sufficient for all men that humble themselves before me; for if they humble themselves before me, and have faith in me, then will I make weak things become strong unto them.

I really like that because if we humble ourselves and turn to God for help, he will always be there to show us what we need to work on and improve. I know at times we don't like to admit we have weaknesses but the last thing Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ want is for you to hold it in and struggle. It's a promise that if we have faith and turn to them for help that they will make weak things become strong!

Love you all

-Elder Bennett

Tuesday, July 11, 2017

Still Alive & Doing Fantastic

17 Wherefore, do the things which I have told you I have seen that your Lord and your Redeemer should do; for, for this cause have they been shown unto me, that ye might know the gate by which ye should enter. For the gate by which ye should enter is repentance and baptism by water; and then cometh a remission of your sins by fire and by the Holy Ghost.
18 And then are ye in this strait and narrow path which leads to eternal life; yea, ye have entered in by the gate; ye have done according to the commandments of the Father and the Son; and ye have received the Holy Ghost, which witnesses of the Father and the Son, unto the fulfilling of the promise which he hath made, that if ye entered in by the way ye should receive.
19 And now, my beloved brethren, after ye have gotten into this strait and narrow path, I would ask if all is done? Behold, I say unto you, Nay; for ye have not come thus far save it were by the word of Christ with unshaken faith in him, relying wholly upon the merits of him who is mighty to save.
20 Wherefore, ye must press forward with a steadfastness in Christ, having a perfect brightness of hope, and a love of God and of all men. Wherefore, if ye shall press forward, feasting upon the word of Christ, and endure to the end, behold, thus saith the Father: Ye shall have eternal life.
21 And now, behold, my beloved brethren, this is the way; and there is none other way nor name given under heaven whereby man can be saved in the kingdom of God. And now, behold, this is the doctrine of Christ, and the only and true doctrine of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost, which is one God, without end. Amen.

Hey Everyone. It has been awhile since I have written a blog! Don't worry I haven't died, haha! I am doing fantastic, I am just super lazy about writing my blog!

Well I don't know where to begin It has been so long since I last wrote, well first off I am doing Fantastic, right now I am serving in an area called "J1" My area covers downtown Ogden from 24th-30th st, Jefferson to Wall, so it is not a huge area but it is still pretty big. Me and my companion only cover one ward which is awesome. This ward has so much work to be done and with so many people who move in and out of Ogden there is always someone to teach. 
My area is what the mission calls "Legendary" my area is awesome because every single day we see so many walks of life, from homeless people to tourists to normal every citizens. There is always something new that happens in downtown Ogden. There hasn't been a single day since I have been here that I haven't not heard the sirens go off at least 2 or 3 times haha. There is always something going on downtown like a marathon or movie night or something. There is also these taco stands downtown in front of the Capital building that are super popular so many people go down there and buy these Authentic Tacos, I have had them a couple times they are pretty good!

We are super busy here in this area every single day. Something our mission has been doing lately is keeping track of OYMs, I2Bs, and New. So OYM stands for Open Your Mouth. How we track OYMs is you have to street contact someone you don't know and share a gospel principle or invitation and that counts as one, if there was a large group of people and I was talking to the whole group that would still count as just 1. I2B stands for Invitation to Baptism so that is how many times you invite someone to baptism,we are taught to invite as many people as we can and New means a New Investigator. In order to get a new Investigator you must invite someone to be baptized( they can accept or reject the invitation) and then set up a return appoint for us to come see them again. So we are busy OYMing people all day long finding those people who are ready to receive the gospel and come closer to Jesus Christ. Our area has the highest amount of OYM in the entire mission. The other day me and my companion broke the mission record for OYMs we had OYM:74 I2B:13 and new:5. It was a pretty great day and we had 5 lessons that night so we were non-stop talking to everyone we could.

These last couple of weeks we have found a lot of people and have been working with a lot of people for baptism. On Saturday, we baptized a lady named Hailey. Hailey is awesome she has been getting the lessons for about 3 months now but finally felt like she was ready to be baptized. She is great to teach and has a special desire to come closer to Christ everyday which is amazing! 

On Sunday we baptized a kid named Brent. Brent has a unique story, so Brent is 21, he has had rough start in life and he is currently homeless, we found Brent OYMing one day and he said he would like to be baptized. Typically we are pretty skeptical when we teach homeless people because it is hard to communicate everyday with them and typically they are never in the same place. Well Brent had a tablet and so we were able to have a lesson with him everyday and he never missed a lesson. We were originally supposed to baptize Brent on the 15th of July but his aunt bought him a bus ticket so he could move back to Colorado and live with her but he still really wanted to be baptized so we moved the baptism to Sunday and it was super awesome, there a different light in his eyes that I had never seen before after he came up out of the water, it was so cool! 
We also have another baptism next week for a lady named Veronica she is awesome as well!
I got permission to go to lunch with my cousins & aunt & uncle

Here are bunch of pictures from the last couple months:
Hiking on Pday
the falls

Monday, April 24, 2017

A Great Couple of Weeks

Hey Everyone! these past couple of weeks have been a great! I am not sure what all to talk about but I will just tell you about some of the highlights, so Easter was a couple weeks ago and it was a great day, we went to three sacraments and heard a lot of great talks! 
For dinner we had authentic German food and it was really good, we had some sort of beef wrapped in bacon, noodles, mashed potatoes and gravy, rolls, green beans, cabbage, and to top it off strawberry shortcake, it was a great meal!

It was pretty crazy to hear about the Tornado right next to my hometown and after seeing footage and pictures and how everyone got to see it form right in front of there eyes I was really bummed and wished I could have been there to see it! 
Elder Atkinson making french toast
We did a service project for the American Red Cross again and instead of installing this time we got tshirts and just went around and set up appointments! It was a pretty fun because there was a lot of missionaries and we love getting free stuff as missionaries haha!
Service Project

We had zone conference last week and it is always great to get together with the whole zone and learn from our awesome mission President and his wife Sister Jaggi. 

Zone Conference
Also this last Saturday My district put on a Missionary Training Center Youth Experience for 3 stakes, involving youth interested on going on missions ages 16-19. Well the turnout wasn't as great as we hoped but it was understandable considering we had to change the location of the building last minute like 3 times which lead to confusion and people going to the wrong place. But anyways each companionship from our district taught classes, there was how to prepare for a mission, mission life, how to teach the gospel to your friends and how to use the Book of Mormon. It was really fun to teach all the youth and at the end we had President Jaggi do a question and answer with them which was awesome!

Well I hope you all have a good week!

-Elder Bennett 

Wednesday, April 5, 2017

8 Months & A New Companion

With Elder Ballard
 Hey everyone, I apologize for being super lazy on writing my blog! But I hope everyone has had a good couple of weeks recently! I know I have! So these past couple of weeks have been pretty busy, a couple of weeks ago we did a service project in a mobile home Park. We were working with the salvation army and going door to door offering free smoke alarms, it was actually pretty fun because it was a different service project and going door to door is nothing new for us as missionaries. We found it funny when we would go up to a door or to a porch and they would say " not interested" and then we would say " well do you even know what we are doing" and then we would tell them and then they would become the nicest people in the world haha. Each companionship was assigned an area. Me and my companion Elder Scoresby installed 23 smoke alarms total and the next closest group installed 5. 
Dinner with the Johnsons
We went on a district blitz to a trailer park home and not a lot of people answered but we had a cool experience, I was with one of the APs, Elder Castillo, and we knocked on a door and like a 95 year old lady answered, she could barley hear what we said and we basically had to shout but we showed her the Mountains to Climb video and I don't know if she could even hear a word they said but she was crying as she was watching it and I knew it was the Spirit touching her heart!

Last Monday we found out about transfers , I found out that I was staying here in Roy and my companion Elder Policarpio was going to Mt. Fort, my new companion was Elder Atkinson, I literally knew nothing about him or who he was. On Tuesday we spent most of the day just having Policarpio pack and then going and visiting people that Policarpio wanted to say goodbye too. On Wednesday we went to the office and I met my new companion Elder Atkinson, he is a pretty awesome Elder. He is from Billings Montana, he has been out about 5 months, and he is tall haha!

With Elder Atkinson
Later this week we got quite a surprise so originally in the area I cover there is 7 wards in the stake, we cover 3, the sisters cover 2, and the senior couples cover 2. Well, anyway due to a visa waiter the sisters that cover 2 wards have to go to another area to be with the other sisters so now we inherited two new wards which is exciting because it's something different and more potential for baptisms which is great, so we have been pretty busy working on transitioning in the two new wards.
No explanation needed

General Conference was this weekend and it was awesome! The General Conference sessions were good, we took the Front Runner up with a big group to the Saturday morning session. 
In the Conference Center

I had 12 extra tickets because a family we were supposed to bring didn't come. When we got there it was time to get in line so I saw a couple holding up 2 fingers saying they needed two tickets, so I gave some to them. Next thing you know, a huge group of people came up to me and were asking for tickets, I handed out 12 tickets in less than 30 seconds haha. We got checked in and were walking to our seats when Elder Ballard's family texted him and said, " Hey we need tickets, do you guys have any?" and we both looked at each other haha. I felt really bad because we had 12 tickets , they didn't end up getting to go to the morning one. We didn't have tickets to the Saturday pm session or priesthood so we just listened to what we could of it outside as we toured the different buildings around there.
Temple Square
Joseph Smith Memorial Building
Then on Sunday our landlords made pancakes so we went upstairs and tried watching the morning session but they had little kids running around and it was hard to hear, but anyways we had Sunday pm session tickets so we had our landlord take us to the Front Runner station where the bus stop is (Front Runner closed on Sunday) and we waited for the bus at 12. Well, come to find out the Sisters, who were giving us tickets, told us the wrong address, we were at 1250 state Street, and the bus stop was at 200 state Street, and the bus leaves at 12:30 and it was 1215 when they called so we ran the whole way there a mile and half in the pouring rain only to miss the bus. So we had our senior couple come get us and take us down, luckily we got there in time. We went to the session and then got back on a bus home.

Adam's Canvyon
For pdays they have been pretty relaxed a lot of the past pdays have just been napping and board games,although we did hike to the waterfall at Adam's Canyon so that was fun! I hope all of you have a good week!
Getting Soaked on our Hike
Happy I had my rain coat

-Elder Bennett

Tuesday, March 14, 2017

Serving with a Smile

Hey everyone, I hope everyone has had a great couple of weeks! These past couple of weeks have been great! So quite a bit has gone on this past couple weeks and we have been super busy, which is a great problem to have being a missionary!

Pday shenanigans
So within these last two weeks I went on exchanges with our district leader in an area called J1. This is the area in downtown Ogden with a lot of the interesting people. I had a blast while being there for a day, we met so many unique people and it such a different area it kept me on my toes and it got me excited to hopefully serve in this area one day haha.

Cool house in J1

The weather has been fantastic out here lately. The cold has finally gone away and we have been in the 60's and up for the past week and a half and I couldn't be happier! It is so much better to get out and walk around in nice weather and we see way more people outside which is great!. We have done so much service this week just from walking around and asking people if they needed help! The weather is getting everyone out and it is nice to get to know the members, less actives, and non members. We have helped people pull weeds, build fences, clean out garages, help move things, and much more!

Playing BBall with kids

So we are still having pretty good success with people we are teaching.We are teaching a boy named Ricky (9 year old) he is on date for March 31st best case, April 8th worst case. We gave Ricky a children's Book of Mormon and with 2 hours we came back for a lesson and he had read 5 chapters and pretty much knew everything we talked about so that was awesome.  

Rianne the 10 year old girl who is on date for the 18th is not looking like that will happen, her parents are so busy it is so hard to meet with her. Plus there is no support from them for coming to church so we are working on that. Holden Pratt who is on date for the 25th is not looking super solid for that date just because same situation he has no support at home and getting to church is a hard for him so we are hoping and praying it works out. But other than that we are just working with a lot of less actives and searching everyday!

So these past couple pdays have been super busy and filled with mostly all basketball! This last pday we started our mission wide March Madness tournament. The tournament is a 4v4, zone vs zone tournament. The games are two ten minute halves. This last pday we played each zone to determine the tournament seeding. We went 3-1 and did really good, we lost to the other number 1 seed barely but I was proud of my team considering we were the only team that had zero subs all day. We got the number one seed on one side for the tournament next week which should be fun!

Pday bball

Mosiah 2:16-17

16 Behold, I say unto you that because I said unto you that I had spent my days in your service, I do not desire to boast, for I have only been in the service of God.
17 And behold, I tell you these things that ye may learn wisdom; that ye may learn that when ye are in the service of your fellow beings ye are only in the service of your God.
Subway after service at the temple grounds

Being a missionary gives you great opportunities to serve! I encourage all of you to look for opportunities this week to serve someone!

-Elder Bennett