Thursday, October 27, 2016

The Real Reason We are Here on Earth

Halloween Package from his Mummy!
I am doing a really bad job of getting these up on time! Well, this week was a pretty good week. On Tuesday we had dinner at a members house and they helped us get a presentation cardboard cut-out for our companionship unity poster that we had to prepare and present at Zone Conference the next day. We actually spent some time on the board and made it look nice. Wednesday we had Zone Conference. Wednesday was a full spiritual day, we learned many things from the other missionaries in the zone as well as the APs, and President and Sister Jaggi. President Jaggi gave a really awesome lesson about Joseph Smith and I learned some things I didn't know before, which is always awesome. We also had a really good lunch while we were there, we had chili, baked potatoes, rolls, and brownies it was good, the mission always keeps us well fed.
With Elder Ballard
Zone Conference poster

Thursday morning, we had the opportunity to help our landlord fix his sons car, well, really it was all Elder Ballard. He was able to help weld a part on our landlord's car, I took welding in high school but I don't think I could have done as good as he did haha. We also had a awesome night at a members house. We ate with the Hale Family. They made French dip and it was really good, as well as refreshing because we have been having pizza, tacos, and spaghetti for the last week. We had a good time with them and the dad showed us some of his cars which was cool.

We had quite the interesting experience after the dinner. We were heading to the church to use the computer, when we got to the church the silent visual alarms were going off in the church building. We walked around the whole building to see if anyone had broken in or if there was a fire and there was nothing we could see. We tried calling the Bishop but he didn't answer. A member pulled up and asked us what was going on and we told him the situation and we told him we were going to call the police and he said sounds good. Well, I told elder Ballard I wanted to call the police because it has always been in my list of things I've wanted to do haha. So, we called the police and told them what happened and 2 firetrucks and 2 ambulances came and the building manager showed up as well and he shut the alarms off. I guess the reason they were going off was due to faulty alarm being triggered. The firefighters still swept the building to make sure everything was clear and good, it ended up being nothing but hey, it made for one interesting night! Sorry for the low quality pictures all I had was my tablet and the camera isn't very good!
Checked off his bucket list, lol!

Friday was a great day! We had Cole's baptism today. We got the church all set up for it a couple hours before and got the font filled. All the family was able to make it and the baptism went really smoothly!
Cole's Baptsim Day

After the baptism, Brother Hale stopped by and brought us a huge surprise. He gave us a huge laundry basket full of food, snacks, etc. And we found a note in there with some money. I can't believe how spoiled we get here in Utah and I love it, I am also very grateful for the love that is shown to us here.
Brother Hale
Totally Spoiled!
All our favorites!
So generous!
On Sunday we had a special Stake Multi Conference Broadcast for the northern part of Utah and some of Idaho. We went to it at the Stake Center close to our house and it was packed. There was a lot of good messages, and it was cool to have President and Sister Jaggi on that stand representing the Utah Ogden Mission at the Conference. We also were able to hear Elder Craig C. Christensen, the President of the Seventy speak, he is doing a mission tour of the Ogden Utah mission and we get to meet and talk to him on Friday. Monday was a another day we just stayed at the apartment. It was raining all day and we didn't have anything planned.

This week's spiritual message would be on priesthood blessings. On Monday, we got a phone call around noon asking us if we could come give a blessing down at some rundown apartments a little ways from our house. He said he hated to call us but he tried multiple people and he couldn't get anyone. I don't know about Elder Ballard but I personally was kinda mad and upset because, this was our day we had to just relax. Well, we got changed and we biked over in the pouring rain. We got there and we were able to give the blessing. I was truly grateful for the opportunity to give this man a blessing. His living conditions were slim to none, he was almost completely blind and he was sick. I was really humbled by the opportunity we had and was thankful for how blessed I have been in my life. I made it a point to give the guy who was sick our number and told him to text or call us if he ever needed anything and I let him know we were here for him. That event made my day 10x better. I really like the topic of charity and it is something I try to work on each day. I really like the verses and the meaning of Moroni 7:45-47

45 And charity suffereth long, and is kind, and envieth not, and is not puffed up, seeketh not her own, is not easily provoked, thinketh no evil, and rejoiceth not in iniquity but rejoiceth in the truth, beareth all things, believeth all things, hopeth all things, endureth all things.
46 Wherefore, my beloved brethren, if ye have not charity, ye are nothing, for charity never faileth. Wherefore, cleave unto charity, which is the greatest of all, for all things must fail
47 But charity is the pure love of Christ, and it endureth forever; and whoso is found possessed of it at the last day, it shall be well with him.

I just wanted to bear my testimony about the love of Christ, I was so thankful for the opportunity I had to humble myself and to see that the real reason we are here in this earth is to have charity for our brothers and sisters. I invite you all to look for and pray for an opportunity to show the pure love of Christ to someone you know or maybe someone you don't, I know if you do that you will feel 10x better and will want to make it a habit, in the name of Jesus Christ, Amen.
Halloween Package from home

Friday, October 21, 2016

On the Straight and Narrow Path

The weather is getting cooler
 Hey everyone sorry for the late blog post this week! So this week was a pretty good week here in Clearfield Utah. Not much happened this week until Wednesday. We had service at the Community Foodbank again this week haha, we have served there so many times!. This time we mopped the entire warehouse, it actually turned out to be pretty fun. This week we also had the awesome privilege of going out to eat twice with return missionaries. The first missionary has been home for about three weeks and he served in Riverside, California. He took us to a Hawaiian Barbecue restaurant. It was really good and it was cool hearing some of his experiences on the mission. It's not to often we eat Hawaiian. The second returned missionary we ate with has been home almost a year now. He served in Colorado and he took us to Texas Roadhouse! I really enjoyed it because we have Texas Roadhouse back in Nebraska! We definitely took home some of their rolls in a box.

On Friday,  we went to the primary program practice in the Chrisim Meadow Ward and we talked to all the primary kids a bit about the importance of doing missionary work and how cool it would be to invite their friends to see the program. Also on Friday we were able to get a church building opened up and play Volleyball with a lot of the adults and some investigators and less actives in the West Park Ward, it was a lot of fun! On Saturday our landlord, Brother Berry, took us out to eat at the Chinese Dragon, it was super good. On Sunday we had the privilege of being able to listen a church historian come and talk to us about Joseph Smith. I learned a lot of things that I have never heard of before and it was interesting to hear things about Joseph's life. After that he was able to answer a lot of people's questions and he talked to us about the importance of getting to know our church history better.
Monday was a pretty relaxed day. We decided to stay at the apartment for the day and just relax. This was the first p-day where we haven't had anything planned and it was nice to not have to worry about being somewhere and then being gone all day. We got a lot of things accomplished and it was a much needed day off.
A Malimu named Ruger
On a spiritual note, I was reading in first Nephi Chapter 11 and in this chapter Nephi is wanting to know about the things his father Lehi knows. Much of this chapter is about Nephi being talked to by an angel and having things revealed unto him. Two of the main things that stuck out to me were when he is shown the tree of life and the great and spacious building. At one point within the chapter the angel asks Nephi if he knows what the tree of life represents. Nephi is able to answer that question in verses 21-23. Nephi realizes that the tree of life represents the love of God. Later on Nephi is also shown the Great and Spacious building. From what he saw he learns that the building represents the pride of the world.
A Husker fan in Utah
We should all be striving to follow the iron rod to the tree of life and staying on the straight and narrow path back to our Heavenly Father. It is not easy to stay on the path with the worldly things we face today. One thing I've learned on my mission is to rely on the Lord and to put our faith in Him that He will help us stay on the straight and narrow. I know that if we do that, we will notice a difference in our lives and I can testify that I have noticed that while serving a mission.

Wednesday, October 12, 2016

Power of the Book of Mormon

Serious picture in his new floral tie
Sorry for the late weekly update but here it is! Well it was a pretty good week. On Wednesday we went up the Habitat for Humanity up in Ogden which partners with Weber State College. The place we worked was a big warehouse store deal and we built some shelves to put windows in. We also helped unload stuff for the store. There was a communication error so me and Elder Ballard were the only ones there haha, but it went good. We got some free Weber State T-shirts out so that was a bonus.
Free T-shirt
This week was transfer week. I didn't go anywhere and I am still with Elder Ballard which is good! The Weber East Zone seems completely different now, there are so many new faces and new missionaries. It was fun to get to know everyone and I was happy to see my MTC roommate, Elder Johnson, join the Weber East Zone! 

Another highlight this week, Aiden (the 9 year old we baptized) his families washer went out and they couldn't afford a new one. So one day I signed up on "Items Needed" list at the Sunset building while on exchanges and a few days later we get a call saying we have a washer for you! It was awesome because the folks who gave it to us were able to take it down to Aidens house and we unloaded it hooked it up for them! They were so grateful and you could tell they were super happy! Which always makes us happy. We were also able to help a family move into a new house, so we had a lot of service opportunities this week which is awesome!

We ate out lot this week! And what is so great about serving in the Ogden Utah mission is everywhere you eat is 1, good and 2 either discounted or free for missionaries! We ate at Sills (breakfast place), Paces-2 times (burger place), and Del Taco. Also one of my favorite places to go get a drink is Fiiz. It is a soda cafe deal where you can mix your favorite Drinks with all kinds of flavorings. I have gotten the Purple Nurple (MT. Dew and Grape) and the Xandew ( pineapple and berry with mt dew). It is a great place and they give the missionaries drinks for a dollar which is great. 
Fiiz drinks
We also attended a chili cook off in the West Park ward. They had really good food and it was to be able to play catch (baseball) and ultimate Frisbee.

For P-day we played speedball as a zone. It was a lot of fun as usual and President Jaggi came and played with us for a couple hours which is awesome! 

Recently the mission has started a 90 day Book of Mormon reading challenge. I am a little behind because I started late but what an awesome opportunity we have to read the Book of Mormon. Before my mission we read the Book of Mormon as a family, but I haven't really taken the time to read the whole thing by myself and my goal is to have it done and have it read many many times before I go home. Something that is helping me to focus on what I am reading is writing down the keys points and events that take place in each chapter. From what I have noticed so far it is easier for me to remember what went on when I write these things down, which is making it easier for me to continue reading which is great! 

I know the power of the Book of Mormon and what it can do in our everyday lives. I love how the Book of Mormon isn't there to replace the Bible at all, but it is a companion to the Bible. There teachings go hand in hand and I love reading from both and love how both books contain testaments of Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ that still pertain to this day and age. The mission office has pictures up on the wall and they have this meme that says "Mormons, the most secretive church that knocks on your door to tell you all about it".

The Book of Mormon is open for everyone to read! Moroni 10: 3-5 says:

3. Behold, I would exhort you that when ye shall read these things, if it be wisdom in God that ye should read them, that ye would remember how merciful the Lord hath been unto the children of men, from the creation of Adam even down until the time that ye shall receive these things, and ponder it in your hearts.
4. And when ye shall receive these things, I would exhort you that ye would ask God, the Eternal Father, in the name of Christ, if these things are not true; and if ye shall ask with a sincere heart, with real intent, having faith in Christ, he will manifest the truth of it unto you, by the power of the Holy Ghost.
5. And by the power of the Holy Ghost ye may know the truth of all things.

I would like to invite all of you to read it and to pray ask Heavenly Father is these things are true.!
Finished a burger at Scruds & got to sign the wall
Go Big Red!!

Tuesday, October 4, 2016

General Conference: An Awesome Privelege

Well, this week was a pretty great week! On Wednesday we had the opportunity to do some service again at the community food bank. It was fun to have the whole district there including Elder Rape and Nelson. It was fun to do one more thing as a group since Elder Rape and Dimond went home. We had a fun/challenging time moving 3500 pound pallets around the warehouse!

Fun times!

So earlier in the week we decided we needed to start eating better and thanks to some training from sister Jaggi, we decided to take on that challenge. So after we got money on our cards we hit up Walmart and bought a lot of groceries, and thanks to some generous members we were able to afford all of the healthy food. So far eating healthier has felt great, I've noticed I have had more energy than normal and I feel better overall.
Healthy food haul
The weekend of General Conference was truly the highlight and what made the week so great! On Saturday we went up to the Conference Center and went to the Saturday afternoon session of Conference. We took the Frontrunner to Salt Lake City and it reminded of the first day of the mission when I rode it from Provo to Ogden. Elder Ballard, Allman, Howard, and myself rode together and it was a fun time and it felt good to get out of the mission boundaries. One lady was going through the entire Frontrunner taking pictures of missionaries and sending them to our parents.
On the Frontrunner
I've been to Conference before, but man I do not remember there being that many people! It was crazy packed!. We decided to go get some food before the afternoon session on Saturday and as I was walking I hear " Elder Bennett, is that you". I turned around to see it was Elder James Giles from my home ward in Nebraska City! It was so cool to be able to run into him and it is such a small world. I was kicking myself because I didn't get a picture with the first time but once again right before conference started we ran into each other again and this time I got one!

Elder Bennett and Elder Giles
We had some good seats we sat in terrace level. There are three levels: plaza(floor), terrace, and balcony. We sat smack dab in the middle about four rows up from the front row so we had fairly good seats. All the talks were awesome and it is just an awesome experience to be there in person.

This p-day, we had a fun day of playing zone basketball all day. It was a fun time being able to have a lot of guys down and even President Jaggi made an appearance and played with us.

I just want to bear my testimony about General Conference and the influence it has in our lives. General Conference is an awesome privilege to be able to hear from called servants of our Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ. They are called to help share and provide revelation they receive with and for everyone to hear. This revelation pertains directly to our day and lives and it is awesome to be able to receive guidance. One of the best parts is being able to hear the Prophet Thomas S. Monson speak to us. His words and love for all of us make my day and the lives of everyone better. It is sad to see his health failing but what a blessing it is to have a prophet in our everyday lives. I encourage you to review the notes you took from General Conference and to reflect on the feelings and inspiration you received while listening to the talks. I know that if you do that, that the Lord will bless you for your efforts and willingness to want to improve and I say these things in the name of Jesus Christ, Amen

Elder Ballard & Elder Bennett

Saturday, October 1, 2016

Service: a Marvelous Work

Hey everyone so this week was a pretty interesting week. On Wednesday we got the opportunity to do service as a district at the community food bank. We helped clean up the trash around the food bank, cleaned out the food truck and swept up the warehouse. It was a good time being to help others in service as well as have fun with the other Elders. I guess I never realized till my mission that service can be fun if you make it fun! Also on Wednesday Krystal our investigator found Elder Ballard's handle bar grips haha. The kid that we suspected and asked lied straight to our faces had them haha, so it was good to have them back.

Well, Thursday was quite the day, me and Elder Ballard were having a normal day while we were out and about. While we were talking to some people in the apartments close to our house the sky started to turn super dark and a cold wind was blowing in. We hurried and got back to the church to get our bikes, on the way home it started blowing super hard and the wind was picking up dust and leaves all around. It was pretty crazy because the elementary school close to our house had just gotten out about 5 minutes before this storm rolled in so all the kids walking home were running around haha. I crossed the street while Elder Ballard was taking a picture of the mountains. I grabbed my camera and started recording because I told Elder Ballard, " I think there is going to be a tornado". 
It was pretty funny because so many cars were going by that Elder Ballard was stuck across the road for about 10 minutes. While I was recording one of our windows shattered from the wind pushing it open. 

Luckily we got inside as soon as the rain started coming down. 

We later found out that a tornado had gone through Washington Terrace area and we saw pictures of the storm and damage it had done in that area. Everyone was pretty freaked out and shocked here in Utah but me and Elder Ballard are pretty used to tornadoes, so it wasn't a big deal to us.

We had exchanges this week. It was the day after the storm, the high was 47 degrees and it was raining the entire day. We had a musical fireside practice up in Ogden at the Tabernacle next to the temple. It was a super cold day and luckily we were able to get a lot of rides and stay dry. We had one last speedball game with all the missionaries that were going home next week. It was fun to be able to play with them one last time and to be able to spend time with them.

Monday, the day of the 5K! So today we got to the park around 10 am for the mission wide 5K, it was pretty cool we all got our numbers and tags and we got in our zones. The way they did the race was one zone ran than another, we staggered the zones so we were not all running at once. It was pretty weird because some people were finishing before we even started. The first half of the 5K was pretty good for all of us mostly the entire zone was together and then the second half of the race was bad, we all started getting side stitches and it was pretty miserable but it was fun being able to run with each other. We all finished at a pretty decent time. We found out that some Elders cut and cheated which made us pretty mad because we wanted those free tshirts!. After the race we had lunch and we played football for a couple more hours. I was pretty bummed because I left my expensive pants and sweatshirt at the park on accident.
Connor is in sunglasses on the left side of the photo toward the middle.

I just wanted to share a thought about service. Like I said earlier in my blog that I have learned that service doesn't have to be boring or a burden but it can be fun. After the storm on Thursday I was so impressed at the service that went on after it. People from all around, friends, neighbors, kids all were helping and doing service to help get the trees, sticks, trash, etc. cleaned up. It is awesome to see people willing to go out of there way to help others in need. I can't tell you enough how awesome it is/ feels to see that look of relief and happiness on a person's face when you serve those around you. 

 I really like these two scriptures regarding service. The first one is in the Bible, it's 1 Timothy 6:2 - "And they that have believing masters, let them not despise them, because they are brethren; but rather do them service, because they are faithful and beloved, partakers of the benefit. These things teach and exhort." And the other scripture is found in Mosiah 2:17- "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." I really like those verses about service but especially Mosiah 2:17. That statement is so powerful and has so much meaning. That when we are willing to help other people out, we are not only serving them but we are serving God which is awesome. 

I just wanted to bear my testimony about the important of service and what a marvelous work it is. I would like to invite all of you to look for opportunities to serve others throughout the week, and I know if you do that you will notice a big difference throughout the week, I say these things in the name of Jesus Christ, Amen.