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

Tuesday, February 28, 2017

Blessed for our Efforts

Hey everyone sorry I have been really slacking on my blog lately so I apologize for that, I will do my best to be better about writing one each week! These past couple weeks have been super busy 2 weeks ago we went on exchanges with our Zone Leaders Elder Jones and Hutchison, it was a great time. It's always nice to work in a different area and with a new companion every once in a while. The ZLs cover  a lot of trailer parks areas and so it is always fun to go an tract there! You sure do find some interesting people. We did some service up in Ogden couple weeks ago at the Ogden a bike collective. It's a shop where people donate bikes and they repair them there and sell them for half the price. It was pretty fun because we got to repair a lot of bikes, we put on new tires, wheels, chains, etc. It was nice to switch it up and have something different for service. 

Zone Conference
Stake Conference was this week in the area I covered and it was really good. On Saturday we helped set up the stake center with tons of chairs and tables for a dinner before the Stake Conference, I guess it was something new they decided to try this year, but it was really good. Both the adult and Sunday session were great and had a lot of good insights and I learned a lot. It was pretty surprising to me because the stake center itself was nearly empty. We got there 10 minutes before it started and we had a nice soft seat, a lot of the wards just went to there home building to watch it.

setting up for Stake Conference
This last week we did service up at the Salvation army and this time all we pretty much did was hang up clothes from boxes in the back warehouse. I was pretty lucky because just by working back there I found a brand new pair of black church shoes my exact size with the stuffing still inside the shoe and the tags, and I found a heat pad for my back which I hurt earlier that week playing basketball. So I was pretty blessed to find both of those!
Shoes and heating pad I found at Salvation Army
The weather has been crazy this last week. One day it's 60 degrees and the next it's 20 and snowing. I am so done with the winter time and am ready for spring! Earlier this week we were walking and it was sunny and warm and all of sudden it started snowing super hard and so we bundled all up and got covered in snow and then 10 minutes later we are taking all our stuff off again because if got super warm, the weather needs to make up its mind haha.

These past couple pdays have been pretty busy. We have been playing a lot of basketball lately, getting ready for our mission March Madness tournament, and this last pday we went to Rush FunPlex with a lot of missionaries and had a good time bowling, laser tagging, and go Karting.

 Elder Black did the Megladon Burger challenge ($20 & 30 minutes to eat it to get on Wall of Fame) he did it
Elder Ballard bowling
Also our area is starting to pick up, we put a 11 year old boy on date for March, and a 10 year old girl on date for March as well, and are teaching 3 more people who could be on date soon, so the Lord has definitely been blessing us for our efforts.

We had Zone Conference this week and again we were asked to prepare a 3 minute talk to share for
zone Conference and the topic of this talk was pride, the talk was called beware of Pride by Ezra Taft Benson, I'll post my talk on here, it was a super good eye opening talk and can be found in the 1989 general conference session if you would like to read it. Anyways I hope you all have a good week!!

-Elder Bennett 
More Zone Conference

I am grateful for this opportunity I have to speak today, so the topic is Pride and I was actually pretty excited to read and learn more about this topic because this something we all struggle with, and as missionaries we are always striving to improve ourselves. When reading this talk Ezra Taft Benson shared many various examples of Pride that are found in the Book of Mormon as well as the Old and new testament, and something I've learned throughout my life is that if you hear something more than once it must be something that shouldn't be put to the side , and it is evident here that Pride has been something that we have struggled with for a long time.

President Benson mentions some different ways we struggle with Pride. He said Disobedience is essentially a prideful power struggle against someone in authority over us. It can be a parent, a priesthood leader, a teacher, or ultimately God. A proud person hates the fact that someone is above him. He thinks this lowers his position.

Another one is selfishness, he said Selfishness is one of the more common faces of pride. “How everything affects me” is the center of all that matters—self-conceit, self-pity, worldly self-fulfillment, self-gratification, and self-seeking.

Another face of pride is contention. Arguments, fights, unrighteous dominion are all examples of this, Contention in our families as well as in our companionships drives the Spirit of the Lord away. It also affects our missionary work. Contention ranges from a hostile spoken word to worldwide conflicts. The scriptures tell us that “only by pride cometh contention.”

But With every problem we face there is always an answer or an Antidote in which he calls it. The antidote for pride is humility—meekness, submissiveness. It is the broken heart and contrite spirit. Alma 23:7 is a great scripture that talks about some of the antidote, it says- And now I would that ye should be humble, and be submissive and gentle; easy to be entreated; full of patience and long-suffering; being temperate in all things; being diligent in keeping the commandments of God at all times; asking for whatsoever things ye stand in need, both spiritual and temporal; always returning thanks unto God for whatsoever things ye do receive.

Some other ingredients to the antidote or cure to pride is;

*We can choose to humble ourselves by conquering enmity toward our brothers and sisters, esteeming them as ourselves, and lifting them as high or higher than we are.
*receiving counsel and chastisement.
*forgiving those who have offended us.
*rendering selfless service.
*confessing and forsaking our sins and being born of God.
*loving God, submitting our will to His, and putting Him first in our lives.

And probably my favorite one is We can choose to humble ourselves by going on missions and preaching the word that can humble others. In closing I am grateful for the opportunity that we all have to be on a mission here and to not only help other people but see improvement in our lives, I am grateful for the teachings of the church leaders and the power of the book of Mormon, and I say these things in the name of Jesus Christ Amen.

Wednesday, February 15, 2017

Slowly Progressing

Hey everyone, I hope you all had a great week! This week was a pretty relaxed week not a whole lot went on! This had a few lessons with people that went good, we are doing a lot of less active work out here In this area which is good but we hope to find some new unbaptized! Transfers were this week and me and my companion aren't going anywhere but my good buddies Elder Mulberry and Elder Ballard got transferred to different areas and zones so I was pretty bummed about that!
North Dakota t-shirts- see note below

This week the weather has been so great! There was one day this week that it got up to 58 degrees, it felt so good!! All the snow has nearly melted and it's been hovering around the 40s lately which has been great and I really hope it stays that way! This week was kind of lucky we somehow managed to be taken out to Village Inn twice this week! I love Village Inn and am a huge breakfast fan no matter the hour, so that was great. On Thursday we had a really fun zone activity, we received training on how we needed to invite everyone we come in contact with to baptism whether they choose to accept or not is their choice. So we all split up and went to different areas and tracted for an hour, I went with Elder Jones and we had an awesome time talking to people and inviting them to baptism! 

This week we had lessons with one of our investigators Ricky. He is slowly progressing but he has great friends in the church so that always helps. We also had a guy who was super close to baptism but backed out at the last second, and we had been visiting him periodically and left with him a Book of Mormon and reading challenge and one day just randomly he stopped us when we were walking and asked for our number and said maybe we can finish what I never got done, so that was awesome. We also had two investigators at church this week which awesome. On Monday we lifted, played basketball for a few hours, napped for a long time, had dinner, found some names for the temple, and then had FHE up in Ogden. On Valentine's Day we get to go to the temple!

Hope you all have a good week!

-Elder Bennett

The ND state shirts are because of Sister Berney who is next to me, her dad is originally from Nebraska and she always makes fun of me because I'm from there because she hates Nebraska. I guess she goes there every year to her grandma's and it's a little podunk town so she hates it. She got us all t-shirts so we would "know" which state is better.