Thursday, November 8, 2012

Un Sacco di Pazienza (A Ton of Patience)

November 7, 2012

Streets of Siena
So what’s a day in the life of an Italy Milan missionary during the election of the United States?? Picture this. My companion and I are teaching a lesson in the middle of the town square on a bench. Nice peaceful day, the sun is out. Many people walking by, ok... fine. So we are teaching a lesson, random Bangladesh man comes up to us (never seen him before) and asks us "Who’s going to win... At first I didn’t know what he was talking about, and then it hit me.  “Oh the elections.”  It happens at least a few times a day.  "Hey are you guys American?!!" "Yes" Who’s going to win?!" I respond "Bo" or Italian for who knows and then leave haha. I’m a missionary and we are not allowed to support, talk, or give opinions of any kind of government. So glad the election is over because now people will stop asking me questions I’m not allowed to answer!

Well update on the work. So far not much again. Man I think I’ve just been brought to my lowest. I can’t give anything more than I’ve already given. I’ve given exact obedience to the best of my ability, I stop anyone in sight who isn’t in a rush and will listen and we are asking for referrals. I’ve got nothing else to give. I’ve given my will and my might, and all I’ve got to say is that I’ve just been chastened, humbled and brought to the complete mercy, direction, will, and way of the Lord. Since I’ve accepted this and chosen to do; not what I want, but what the Lord wants, I honestly don’t have any idea what is happening, and maybe it doesn’t even look like it’s been better than my ideas and desires, but there is an eternal course here and I’m choosing to follow that one. Those who accept the call to serve don’t automatically accept the will of the Lord, it’s a choice you make when you get up every morning on time, that decision to go to the obscure dark alley where there is graffiti out the wa-zoo to find some homeless guy and give him a pass along card. It’s when you talk to the grumpy old guy who gets mad at you and then tells you that you are of the devil and we are liars and a few other things I can't repeat. Hmmm, do I honestly want to talk to that guy? heck no! But does the Lord want me to? you bet! So I do it anyway and I’m happy I do. That is submitting to the complete will of the Lord. I’ll be honest I don’t know what I’m doing, it doesn’t even look like I know what I’m doing or show any reward or success that what I’ve been doing is what a good missionary does, cioè, baptism. But who cares. I’m just following the one who knows everything and not asking questions, even though every second of my life in the mission field has been a struggle, a challenge, a doubt that what I’m doing or where I’m going is right where I need to be. The mission has brought me to my knees because I have nowhere else to turn, but in the end it all seems to work out. I would say Busto has been a big honkin storm and I’m just trying to somehow manage to make it through, but eveyone knows you need a GPS when you’re in the middle of the ocean trying to make it out of the storm, cioè by GPS I mean the hand of God. At least that’s what the brother of Jared did. He said hey I’m getting in this boat ready to go to the promise land. I bet he didn’t know that he was in for the ride of his life in that boat. Hey me either. I’m just doing what I’m told and I got in the boat because I wanted to get to the promise land and now that I’m here, I’m out in the streets slaying the enemy with the word of God and trying to not get kicked out of apartment complexes and find someone who wants eternal life. Man what an adventure. haha.

Anziano Benson and Anziano Merrill

Lake Como
Ok, well now in less dramatic story form the members in this ward are bravissimi! Our ward is jam packed with priesthood leadership. We have a former mission president, about 15 RMs a member of the stake presidency, and before they changed the ward boundaries there was a former member of the 70. So pretty much our ward dominates at being awesome. We just still are trying to get the work rolling. It’s getting better, but we are still in need of new investigators. There are a lot of part-member families that we can visit but they have a lot of things to work though and many of them don’t want to baptize. But we are praying for the opportunity to find some work to do other than banging of doors all day in the rain. I have learned as they say in Italian (Un saco di patzienza) or a ton of patience here in Busto, and I’m not really sure if I’ve done what I was called here to do but I’m trying to figure it out. I see people baptizing here and there and everywhere around me but I think so far I’ve been the one just finding and teaching and preparing all these people to be baptized rather than doing the baptizing. But we will see. We have a date of baptism for Nov. 21 and this guy is bravo. He said he is ready and nothing will stop him from getting baptized, but everyone has to take their stand against the wall of faith and actually put words into works of faith. Faith without works is dead no? Let’s just say we as missionaries are a little picky about who we let get in the font because there have been many people baptized and never seen again in church and if that’s what will happen we don’t baptize them. We look for those who are ready to give their all for the true church of Christ and endure to the end with real intent having faith in Christ.  
My new companion Anziano Merrill
Anyways that’s all for now. President Manwaring is just so amazing, you’re really lucky Dad that you have the opportunity to meet with him so often and learn from him. I wish I had his wisdom haha.
Ciao! Love Anziano Benson. 

P.S. we are trying to talk the Sicilian sisters in the ward to do a ward Thanksgiving, haha we will see what happens!
American Cemetary in Florence

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