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.

Wednesday, February 8, 2017

Time is Flying- 6 Months in the Mission

Hey everyone sorry for missing last week's blog I am going to combine these two weeks into one!! Well these past couple weeks have been pretty good ones! Well the week of the 23-30th of January was pretty busy. It was snowing pretty hard all day on Pday and so we just hung out at home and then we were supposed to have FHE with one of the mission counselors but it got cancelled due to the weather so we went to the Haupts house where we eat every Monday and had FHE with them and played games!

On Wednesday the 25th we got together as a zone and we watched the missionary broadcast, it was a cool broadcast and it told about the new schedule changes in the mission. Not much changed we have like companionship study 30 minutes later now and our lunch got reduced from an hour to 30 minutes which I was not excited about haha. And we don't have to plan at night anymore, we have 9-10:30 to just relax and unwind which is nice. We did service this week at the Salvation Army and did a lot of stuff in the food bank, unloading food and shelving it. 
On Saturday the 28th we had the special privilege to hear from an Apostle at a meeting that the missionaries were invited too. We got to hear a 70 speak, our mission President, another former mission president and then Elder D. Todd Christoffersen. He answered questions at the end from people and we as a mission aslo sang a few songs for the meeting.

On Sunday the 29th. Elder Policarpio and I, the sisters, and our senior couple were in charge of a fireside for the all the youth in the Stake. The theme this year is If any of you lack wisdom, let him ask of God. So we all shared the 4 minute restoration with them and then we opened it up for a question and answer session with the missionaries. We also had recent converts there, so it was cool to be able to answer questions and hear the convert's stories.

On Monday the 30th we played basketball all day pretty much and then went to Village Inn. It was nice because we have a bunch of those restaurants in Nebraska and it reminded me of home. 
 Friday the 3rd of February marked 6 months I have been on the mission, it is crazy how fast time is flying out here, people weren't lying when they said it goes by fast! On Saturday, the Petersons took us and Elder Conrad and  Elder Atienza out to eat and we went to Outback Steakhouse and she got us all a really cool missionary keepsake deal where can put stuff we got from the mission like letters or trinkets in there, it is cool! 
Outback Steakhouse
We also did some service and helped a guy who is remodeling his house and it reminded me a bit of working with my dad back home. The Superbowl was this Sunday and it was super hard not to watch we had a lot of members invite us and even though I heard it was probably the greatest Superbowl ever, I am glad we stayed obedient and it was tough when no one answered their doors that night!

On Monday we played basketball all morning, we got haircuts and then I went out to Antelope Island with some other Elders. We had a good time, it was really cool with all the snow, We even saw a few bison which was awesome! We found out that both me and Elder Policarpio are staying in Roy. I was pretty sad my two buddies Elder Ballard and Elder Mulberry were leaving my zone.
Antelope Island

On a spiritual note, I am grateful to be on a mission, one of the main reason I came on a mission is to see a change not only in other people but in myself. One thing that I have heard that has stuck with me since the first day is that your greatest convert on your mission should be yourself. As I reflect on these 6 months, I have seen changes in myself, I am happier, I am more fit, it is easier for me to talk to people and open up to them and I have seen my testimony grow. I always thought when you came on a mission that there would be no temptation and I was wrong, it is still tough as a missionary to be obedient always and temptation is always there but as we strive to be obedient and let the Spirit guide us I have seen how much of a blessing it has been in my life! And I know it can bless other people's lives too!

Anyways I hope you all have a week!

-Elder Bennett