Wednesday, January 25, 2017

Once There Was A Snowman

Hey everyone I hope you all had a good week! Well this week was not a really exciting week! It was a pretty typical week and not much happened. On Tuesday, we had the opportunity to do service up at the Salvation Army up in Ogden. I can't believe how much stuff goes in and out of that place, which meant we were kept busy!

This week a was really service filled week, it has been snowing a lot here. A lot of this week consisted of helping people shovel their driveways. I would like to say I am getting pretty good at it now! A lot of people have mini plows on their four wheelers and Razors and they get done super quick, I wouldn't mind just driving around all day shoveling people's driveways if I had that! Me and Elder Policarpio also built a snowman and took a picture with it but unfortunately someone came and knocked the head off of it haha!
Once there was a snowman
We had a couple really good dinners this week, a family took us out to eat at Chuck O Ramas which is an all you can eat buffet and it reminded me a lot of Valentinos back home! We also had a family that made us breakfast food which I love and haven't had much of here on my mission so far. We had crepes,eggs,bacon, toast, and orange Julius it was super good!! 

Sundays are super long! As a missionary we go to 3 sacraments a day which can be rough but it's nice to learn new things and to be with the members we are working with. We go to other meetings in between Sacraments and are often gone from around 8 am to 4 pm which can make for a long day, but I love it because I am so spiritually refreshed and I am always happier on Sundays! On Monday was just a relax day and we got some IN and Out which was super good and played some pool!
In & Out Burger

On a spiritual note I just wanted to express my testimony on the importance of going to church! I am so grateful for the opportunities I have to go to church. I never really looked forward to church before my mission and just felt like it was another thing I had to do throughout my week, but it hasn't been till my mission that I have been grateful and understood why we go. I am so grateful that each week we get to have a mini baptism again. When we were baptized our sins were washed away but Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ knew we would sin again so they provided a way for us to be forgiven of those sins through the Sacrament. Each week as we partake of the bread and water we are reminded of the covenants we made at baptism and and are forgiven of those sins that we have repented for. It amazes me as we teach people. It is hard to imagine how Jesus Christ felt every pain and sickness and temptation and took upon everyone's sins. I feel like sometimes I have it hard, but imagine taking on everyone's feelings and actions, wow, I am so grateful for the knowledge and the willing sacrifice of our Savior Jesus Christ! When I am having a tough week, I always know that when I go to church I can be at peace and leave all that behind!! I hope everyone has a great week and hope you can gain happiness from and peace from going to church!!

-Elder Bennett

Monday, January 16, 2017

19 Years Old!

Hey everyone sorry I have been slacking on the blog post the past couple weeks! I hope everyone has been doing well back home! These past weeks have been pretty good! It has been bitter cold here the past couple weeks, you don't realize how much you miss car's when you are walking in weather less than 10 degrees! Something I hear so often out here when I get asked where I am from and just tell, them Nebraska they say "oh you are used to this weather." Well, I am used to the cold but I'm not used to walking in it 8 hours a day, haha!

There has been snow here for the past couple weeks, a couple of times its has came down out of nowhere and has been a pain to walk in, I ordered boots but it took a while for them to get here so needless to say each night I came home my feet were frozen and wet, which was not fun. 

Monday (the 9th) was a pretty good p-day we worked out, played some pool at our apartment, and then went to the mall and did some shopping. We had Zone Conference on Tuesday and it was a great learning experience, and we learned many new ways that we can find new people teach.
Zone Conference

This week we had the opportunity to do some service up st the Catholic Community Services in Ogden. This is a food pantry where people can come in and get food based on how many people are in there family. We helped them get food, talked to them, and then helped restock shelves. We did that on Thursday and Friday and it was a great experience to help serve people. 

Service Opportunities!
It's hard to believe but I turned 19 years old on Saturday. I want to thank all the people who wished me a happy birthday and made my day special. My companion worked with the sisters missionaries and surprised me, they came and decorated our apartment door and then got me some presents for my birthday. I got some gifts from my parents, many cards from family, and many messages from, friends. We went to Tony's Burgers for lunch which was great and then we played some basketball with a few nonmembers. Later that night the Peterson family got me a cupcake with a candle and a card and some gifts which was a great surprise!!! I am truly blessed with all the family and friends I have and thanks again for making it special! 

Birthday Decorations by the Sisters
Gifts from the Sisters!!
Birthday package from home
Birthday lunch at Tony's
Today we went and worked out, played some volleyball at a members home gym, and got our haircuts.

Roy Complex- where we work out and play basketball

On a spiritual thought I just wanted to share my short talk that I wrote for our Zone Conference. We were all supposed to write a talk based on scriptures our president gave us and write about what they mean/how it applies to me.

I chose to write my talk over 2 Nephi chapter 33 Verse 9. It says " I also have charity for the Gentiles. But behold, for none of these can I hope except they shall be reconciled unto Christ, and enter into the narrow gate, and walk in the strait path which leads to life, and continue in the path until the end of the day of probation."

I chose these this verse because this is what relates most to me at the moment while serving here in Roy. At the beginning of the verse it talks about having charity for the Gentiles. Charity is a Christlike attribute that I have studied a lot since I have been on my mission it is one thing that I try and do each day. But is is also one of the hardest things for me to do. Since being on my mission I knew it wasn't always going to be easy to help people come closer to Christ, and I was ready for that challenge but for me sometimes it has been hard to accept when people don't agree with what we are teaching them. But that is where the charity attribute comes into affect. As missionaries we want what's best for our brothers and sisters and when it's not what they want it's hard to not be a little upset, but inviting them, planting that seed, and loving them is the best thing we can do.

Throughout the verse it talks about entering into the narrow gate and walking on the straight path. It is so important that we do that and that we teach our investigators that because it is so easy to get off that path and with it being narrow, it's easy to get lost. Something that has been hard for me to understand is how someone who has experienced the gospel in their lives or served a mission can be lead away, but when I think about what's going on in the world today and the temptations we face I can see how hard Satan is working in our lives. That is why the last part of the verse is so important because it says we need to continue in the path until the end of the day.

It hasn't been until my mission that I finally have realized the importance of daily scripture reading, prayer, and opening our mouths. We as missionaries always invite and stress the importance of this to our investigators because it can bless their lives and help them stay in the straight and narrow.

I am grateful for the opportunities I have had so far on my mission, I'm grateful for the chance we get to each and everyday be in the scriptures and testify of Christ I say these things in the name of Jesus Christ amen.  

Wednesday, January 4, 2017

New Year- New Area

Hey everyone, hope everyone had a fantastic New Year! Well, this week was a pretty crazy week. On Monday night I found out I was being transferred to the Roy Midland area. My new companions name is Elder Policarpio, he is from Grand Prarie Texas and has been out 3 months. On Tuesday I packed up all my stuff, which took a while because I had been in the Clearfield apartment for 3 months! On Wednesday we did the transfers. 
With Elder Policarpio

My new house is a lot nicer than my old one, a lot more room, and not as old which an upside, on the downside the area is way bigger than Clearfield was so we walk 7-8 hours a day and needless to say it is not fun especially when it has been snowing and below 20 degrees for most of the week.

 New Apartment- Pool Table only allowed to be used on Mondays
Nice basement apartment!

On my first day in the area we put a girl on date which was awesome, she is super excited and we actually put her on date to be baptized on January 14th which is my birthday so that would be a great birthday gift and she showed up to church and stayed for all three hours! The work is tough here in Roy, there are a lot of members in the area but many of them are very less active or don't want anything to do with the church. From what I noticed a lot of people around here are so comfortable with their lives they don't see the need for the gospel which is sad, but that's why we are here so we can change that. 

On Saturday we had a New Year's Mission get together. It was casual dress and it was a lot of fun. It started with testimonies, then we played speedball and Dodge ball and we were going to watch the ball drop but due to some technical difficulties we couldn't.

New Year's Eve activity

Ogden Utah Mission- Connor is in the middle down from the N in New Year

On Sunday, we gave talks about the Christlike attribute of hope and I got a chance to meet some of the members in my new area. On Monday for P-day we lifted, went grocery shopping, played speedball for a couple hours, and then went bowling up at Fat Cats. Me and Elder Conrad's investigator, Darrin Festus, got baptized last night. It was quite the interesting baptism, he has severe ADHD and a form of autism, which made it difficult, he loved kicking his legs up and it took three times to get him under and then he was jumping around and hitting his hands on the glass of the font which was strange, but hey, he got baptized!

On a spiritual thought, I am going to talk about hope, The word hope is sometimes misunderstood. For instance we might hope the weather changes, or we might hope our favorite team wins, but with that hope there is that hint of uncertainty, we are not exactly positive the weather is going to change or that are favorite team will win, we just hope they do. But I didn't even know this myself until I read it from a gospel standpoint that hope is- " sure, unwavering, and active"! So something that I thought about for this new year is not hoping we change or better or self but having a sure unwavering confidence we will, and part of that change means we need to be active and doing what we can to change. And I personally have a hope that I will become more knowledgeable and have my faith grow this year in the gospel! When I wrote my talk, in studying,  I noticed that hope usually led back to one thing and that's the atonement! Mormon taught us that such hope comes only through the Atonement of Jesus Christ. He said “What is it that ye shall hope for? Behold I say unto you that ye shall have hope through the atonement of Christ and the power of his resurrection, to be raised unto life eternal, and this because of your faith in him according to the promise” (Moroni 7:41). What a great promise given that if we make the right choices, follow the commandments, pray, read, attend church, and endure to the end that we will return to live with our Heavenly Father again.

In closing I am so thankful for the Christlike attribute of hope. I am so grateful to know and have an understanding that we will one day return to live with our Heavenly Father again in the Celestial Kingdom. One of my favorite things I love so far about my mission is when we teach people who have never heard this message before. The look on there face when we tell them death is not the end and that they can see beloved family members they have lost says it all. I am so grateful for the knowledge of the plan of salvation. Something we do as as missionary is we always invite. So I would like to invite each and everyone of you to look for opportunities to develop this attribute of hope as well as share it with others. I can promise you that if you sincerely seek for opportunities to do that, the Lord will bless you, in the name of Jesus Christ,amen.