Sunday, June 1, 2014

Benvenuto A Casa Elder Benson

Can't Wait to See our Brother

Together At Last

Cousin Dallas

Love the Taylors

Good Friends Taylor and Gooch

Italy Milan Missionaries Christensen, Thompson, and Benson all Returned  Home Together.

Brought this Jug of Olive Oil Home in Luggage and It Didn't Break!!!

A missionary for a few more minutes.

Watching Sisters Play Soccer

Went with my Sister Ellis to Temple.
She leaves to the Poland Warsaw Mission on June 18th

Good Friend Joel Carter going to Nicaragua Managua Mission!

Tuesday, May 13, 2014

Goodbye to Italy

May 10, 2013

Well I can’t believe that I have made it to this point. I guess this is goodbye to Italy. This week has been quite the week. We cranked out 11 lessons in the office! That is quite the accomplishment for us here! The office has been a good learning experience and has taught me so many things. People always say have no regrets. Well to be honest I have a few regrets, but that does not mean that I didn’t do my best. I think that as missionary it is hard because I always wanted to be perfect and it was never that way. So I mean of course I have a few regrets of things I wish I had done better. Like working more with members and so forth. But I have no regrets about the decision I made to come on a mission. I know I blessed so many other people, but the person who I think received the most blessings is myself.

Here in the Milan Mission it is a tradition to give your testimony at the last zone meeting before you go home. I gave my testimony to the Milano Ovest zone and there were many familiar faces there. Allison Astel, Austin Jensen, Anziano Ramey my old comp from Lecco. I gave my testimony of a few things and I wanted to share some of the things I talked about.

When I first got to Siena I was thrown into a crazy world of Italians and I was very inexperienced.  It was tough, no one listened to what we had to say and if they did they were not willing to meet with us. I was blessed to have the best trainer in Italy, Anziano Smith. We taught a few people but none ever went anywhere as far as living the gospel principles. It was very hard to not be discouraged because the members were so few. Just 15 or so Active members. I love Siena so much though, and it taught me how to work hard!

Busto was no easy walk in the park either. The ward was bigger and I loved the members.  Even though Busto was one big trial,  I learned that God has a plan for the elect and that he prepares them. We found a few of them and baptized them. I learned that obedience and faith brings blessings.

In Lecco I felt like I got the opportunity to see some baptisms. Although I was not primarily involved in all of the finding and teaching process of some of the people I was there for the baptism and I felt like it was the Lord saying don’t worry you can be rewarded for your hard work. I had some great companions and Anziano Ramey really helped me to be positive and just be a boss! You have to have confidence and just work hard!

Muggiò I loved to death and I learned leadership skills. I learned that when you set the example everyone else can achieve what you achieve! I was always busy in Muggio and didn’t have time to relax. We worked worked worked. I don’t think I have ever seen so much rain in my life though! Not even in Seattle! At times in the rain on my bike it was hard, but somehow, I don’t know how, I didn’t give up. At times I wanted to give up, not because I didn’t like teaching but because the things I was asked to do where far outside my limits. My miracles were able to meet the demands of so many lessons.

The office was the curve ball section of my mission. I had finally figured out everything. Learned how to be fruitful and just really work a city and find a lot of success. And then I got thrown in the office where we don’t really have personal and comp study, or much time to plan. The spirituality took a hit and it was hard because I couldn't find the guidance of the spirit as easily. I had to learn many new things and relearn some things I thought I already knew.  I got the hang of things and found small ways to invite the spirit. I think that the small things made the bid difference here. The church has grown and I strengthened my testimony. Especially to see that as of tomorrow there will be a stake in Firenze. I never thought I would see the day. But it’s here!

I love my mission. I wouldn’t trade it for anything in the world. I love the people. And most of all I love the Lord.

So che La Chiesa Di Gesù Cristo Dei Santi Degli Ultimi Giorni è il regno del Signore stabilito sulla terra. Ho avuto tanti dubbi nella missione riguardo la verità di quello che insegnamo. Ho pensato anche che forse sono pazzo e che sto sprecando il mio tempo qui perché nessuno ci ascolta comunque. Ma alla fine ho capito che non sono qui per me stesso. Ma che sono qui per tutti gli altri. La missione è la cosa più altruista che ci sia! Ci vuole sacrificio e dedicazione. Alla fine la cosa che so che, è che Dio c'è e che questa è la sua chiesa. Nessuno può togliere nè aggingere a quello. Amo il popolo d'Italia! Vi volgio bene!

Anziano Benson

Love you! Vi Amo!

Sunday, May 4, 2014

Enjoying My Last Few Weeks!

May 3, 2014
We had a pretty good week nothing in particular happened. Just work work work. I am really enjoying the last few weeks in Italy though. Things are going decently well. We are having some more success as time goes on. I think we are finally situated well here and have figured out some things, so the work seems to be going better.  The office is not an easy place to do proselyting. We do so little of it. Here in a week we will not be doing any at all. Transfer week!!

Anziano Benson and Anziano Bendezu
Other than that, all is well! I will see you in 2 weeks. Next week we will Skype for Mother’s day. What time do you have church? I don’t know? Let me know and Saturday I should be able to write you up and get a time arranged. Thanks! Have a good week!

Love Elder Benson

Still Learning

April 26, 2014

Things are going well. I had a good week. I am still learning lots and I have decided to make these last 3 weeks the best in the mission. The office has been the hardest thing I’ve done in the mission, but it has taught me how be a better disciple of Jesus Christ. That is President Dibbs mission vision. That we all become more like Christ. And after a rough 2 transfers that is what really got me back into the game and got me going again. I wouldn’t say that I ever gave up, but I would say that the last 2 transfers really beat me. I kind of had to relearn a lot of things and I realized that I can’t do this alone. I thought I could, and then I got thrown in the office.  As I have said once and I will say it again, that this was the curve ball transfer. I was hitting home runs in Muggiò like crazy and life was good! And I learned that I needed to be more humble. I’m glad it happened though.
We are starting to see some cool things happen in our work. We are seeing some really big changes in this 23 year old we are teaching who wants to be baptized, and also an inactive family who has 2 sons who are young kids but are not baptized. We are excited and are learning how to better manage our time in the office and outside the office. But we do our best and things seem to work out in the end. My new replacement is Anziano Stewart. He seems to be picking up really fast all the tasks here in the office. He is a fast learner and will do well here in the office.

I talked to Anziano Heaton the other day when he called the office. He seems to be doing really well and I think he turned out to be a fine trainee and missionary. He is in Verona and I told him to keep working hard. It makes me proud to see my son doing so well.  In other news my other comp Anziano Moore from Muggio is getting married. I will be there for his wedding in a few weeks I think. Well, that’s all I’ve got for this week. Have a good week!

Elder Benson


Positive Changes

April 19, 2014
Hello Family,
Well we are very very busy in the office.  There never seems to be enough hours in the day to get everything done.  I hate to say it but we don’t have much time for missionary work.  I know it sounds lame, but we just get bogged down with the work that has to be done in the office. I know that the office work is just as important as teaching the gospel, but it has been a difficult transition for me.  I have learned a great deal and it has been a great blessing to be able to work so closely with President Dibb.  There are some exciting things happening in Italy right now and it’s great to see all of the positive changes going on. I have seen some real miracles over the past two years here in Italy and it has strengthened my testimony. The Lords work is going forth and it has been a privilege to serve him here in Italy as one of his missionaries.

Sorry so short but we are needed elsewhere. Love you so much and see you soon.

Love, Anziano Benson              

Monday, April 14, 2014

Go Sorelle!!!!!!

April 12, 2014
Stonehaven Missionaries
Anziani Benson, Jenson and Sorella Astel
This week I have very little time, but I am doing well. We are finally teaching a little bit more. We are working more with the less actives and are staying plenty busy in the office. There is always more work to do. I had just a little bit of time in the office the other day though so I made a graph of missionary effectiveness. Anziani vs. Sorelle. I wanted to see if the Sisters baptized more than the elders. So I did a statistical graph and a pie chart.  The truth is that the Sisters are 24% more effective in baptizing than the elders. Elders baptize more but there are tons more elders. So the numbers of elders ratio held against the sisters doesn't win the battle. The sisters take the win for effectiveness. I think that is the truth in life.  Women are just better than us slouchy men I guess. I mean what would we do without our moms? That would be a terrible life.  Thank goodness there are women on earth because we wouldn’t be able to hack it here alone.

Well I think the sad truth has finally sunk in. I’m coming home. I have honestly not been thinking about it much but it has just been creeping up on me. I have to accept the truth that I only have 4 1/2 weeks left here. It is Official I am a dying missionary. I am not too sad about it though. There is a time, a purpose, and a season under heaven. My time, purpose, and season have almost come to an end. I will try to leave the mission on a good note and go out strong though. I think the work is starting to turn around here now that we have a good idea of what we are doing. We are starting to find how to be more effective and save time and we know more people including the members. The work is speeding up around here, and as long as we do our best, I will have no regrets.

 I love you mom and dad so much. Thank you for all you do.

Love Elder Benson

Transfer Madness

April 5, 2014
Just when I thought transfer week was going to be a breeze... Monday was not too bad, Tuesday we picked up one Elder that arrived from Spain. Then Wednesday all the Americans arrived. Thursday is when the madness began. We did all day trips between the train station and the mission office to transport the trainers, new missionaries, and of course the old missionaries who were going home. After we wrapped up the departure dinner at Presidents house, we cleaned up a bit and I went to work at 9:00 PM. President was having a mission counsel meeting with all the zone leaders the next morning on Friday so I had to stay up will 1:30 AM in the office preparing everything for the meeting.

President's Chair
At  4:00 AM we woke up to drive the departing missionaries to the airport. It was sad because I have known all of these missionaries for so long. Maybe you know some of them? Anziano Davis, Anziano Johnson? I did about 5 scambi with Anziano Torgerson and Sorella Harward was in Muggio with me when I was there.  I think it really hit me there unloading the bags and the departure area that I’m next, and that’s ok with me. It doesn’t seem so weird, or overwhelming, or super exciting or sad. It just feels normal now. The group was too big so we had to do 2 trips. On the way back on the second trip I had Anziano Johnson and Sister Lyman who were both flying into Idaho Falls together. We dropped them off and headed home. As we were pulling up at the office we got a call from President saying “Elder Benson, go immediately back to the airport! Elder Johnson's flight just got canceled and will be staying another day in Italy.” So we went and brought them back to the office and then took them back out today again at 4:00 Am.   

"Get to Work Elders"
So we had some fun with Elder Johnson in the office and later in the evening. We went out and did some missionary work.  The last family we saw before returning back home for the night was an inactive member! He is Peruvian like Bendezu, and his wife is not a member. They have a little baby and so we are hoping that we will be able to teach them.  Maybe we needed Anziano Johnson one last day in Italy for this.

Well all is well and we are doing great. We are not doing anywhere near as much missionary work as I am used to, but as the phrase goes in the office, “your office work and your health and sanity are more important than proselyting. Unfortunately that’s the way it goes too, but it’s the best we can do. We do missionary work when we get around to it. We have a million other things to do for the President and we often stay long into the night doing them for him.

All is well.  I love serving and it’s been a great experience here in the office. I look forward to seeing my family very soon.