Wednesday, September 21, 2016

On Top of the World

Hey Everyone!

This week was a pretty good week. On Wednesday, we had a zone training with the entire zone by President Jaggi and Sister Jaggi and the assistants to the president. It was a really spiritual training. President Jaggi taught us how to overcome Satan by studying the tactics that he uses. Sister Jaggi taught us how we can have better personal and companion study and the assistants taught us about the reason for serving a mission. The reason for serving a mission was a big one for me. One of the main reasons I came on a mission is to see not only the change and happiness in other people but to see that change take place in my life as well. They posed a question to us that really made me think, they said "Did you serve a mission because someone made you? Did you serve a mission to make your self look good and boost your ego?, Did you serve because if you didn't, you would be frowned upon?" They went on to say "The real reason we should serve a mission is because we love Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ". That really made me think and change my point of view. I wasn't serving just to see a change in me but I was serving because I loved Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ. I changed the way I thought about it in my head to: The reason I served a mission is because through my love for Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ and their love for me I can change and help others change for the better.
On Top of the World
We had exchanges this week and this time I stayed in my area and Elder Pierce was with me. We are both only three weeks into our mission so it was quite the learning experience to try and plan a day by ourselves and figure out what to do since we are both new, but it went good. While on exchanges Elder Pierce must have done something and popped Elder Ballard's tube inside the tire that he has had for 8 months so Elder and Sister Miller took us to the bike shop and we got that fixed and shout out to the Ogden Bike Shop for giving Elder Ballard a free new tube so we could ride again.

Mount Ogden
This week we had the opportunity to serve at the Greek Orthodox Church in Ogden. Our district served there that day and we were helping them get ready for their Greek Festival which they expect to have 15,000 people show up over the three days. When we got there we put raw pork on sticks for kabobs. We did that for about an hour and half. We then helped clean out over 20 trashcans, we then had a pretty good Greek meal for lunch. It was really filling and they are super nice people. Lastly, we helped cut green onions. They promised us that these were not the kind that made you cry but everyone except me and Elder Howard were crying haha. It always feels awesome to be able to serve other people.
Helicopter Pad
Elder Bennett and Elder Ballard

So on Sunday after church we were heading over to give the after baptism lessons to Aiden and as we were locking our bikes in the church we saw Aiden and he had a friend. His friend's name was Christina and she attended church for the first time with Aiden. It was awesome because she came right up to us and said "Church was awesome, I want to be baptized". It was awesome to be able to give her the first lesson and it was cool to see Aiden helping explain things to her that we had just taught him. So we have two baptisms on date for October and will hopefully get two more with Darrin and Kenny which would be awesome.

Well P-day was a pretty fun/tiring day. We got up at about 5:30am and we went hiking again with Jenyr and Colton as well as Elder Rape, Nelson,Dimond, and Pierce. This time we were hiking Mt. Ogden. It was quite the hike, in the morning it was a beautiful hike, it was cool, temperature wise, and the sun had not come up yet. The hike is a 12 mile hike round trip. Everything was all fine and dandy till the sun came out a little over half way up the mountain. It started heating up and that made things difficult, but it was still fun. We ended up taking a shortcut up the side of the mountain off the trail which was fun. We ended up getting to the peak around 11:30 am. It was really cool because they had a helicopter pad and some signs telling about the history of the trail and Mt Ogden. It was an amazing view and it felt nice to be on top of the world. 
We thought the hike back was going to be faster and easier. Well, with the sun out and being exposed to it, it was not fun. The way back down felt twice as long as the hike up because we were all so sore and hot. Elder Pierce and Elder Dimond fell about 45 minutes behind us. We eventually made it back down at around 3 pm. We then had a much needed meal at In and Out. I had a burger and fries and a really good chocolate milk shake. We all got sunburnt pretty bad. Elder Ballard and I went and got some chapstick and aloe vera, it felt great to put on haha.

Leaves changing colors
I just wanted to bear my testimony about the wonderful bodies we have been given. In Isaiah 40:31 it says: But they that wait upon the Lord shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings as eagles; they shall run, and not be weary; and they shall walk, and not faint. 

Wild Berries

I really like that verse because the Lord has given us bodies to be able to do things here on this earth. We should treat our bodies like temples of the L ord. We should maintain a healthy lifestyle and stay away from tea, tobacco, coffee, drugs and alcohol. When things got tough while we were hiking I kept thinking to myself how lucky I am to be able to do this. I am super blessed to have the ability to do things such as play sports, hike a mountain, and serve a mission. I think sometimes we take for granted the wonderful bodies we have been given. I want to invite all of you to treat your bodies as temples of our loving Savior and to give thanks for the things we have been given in life. I am super blessed to be on a mission and to have the ability to serve and sacrifice just two years of my life in return for what Jesus Christ did for us, I say these things in the name of Jesus Christ, Amen.

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