Thursday, January 31, 2013

The Kingdom of God or Nothing!

January 30, 2013
OH Mamma Mia
Well sounds like the snow is coming down hard. I really wish I could go shred the Ghee right now with all that fresh powder. You bet that’s where I would be, but right now there are more pressing matters in saving the souls of my cari fratelli e sorelle! This week in Busto was filled with trains and rains. The work here is going good and we have some solid investigators. But they are not your 4 week investigators, they are the part member families that take a while. But they have told us for sure that they want to be baptized so they will eventually be baptized! Just not when I’m here though. But I’m thinking it will be with Anziano Memmott. Lucky dog. I gave myself a hair cut and David Lotito the ward mission leader laughed because I apparently cut it uneven... I miss my mom’s haircuts when people didn’t laugh at me. But my stomach doesn’t miss the €10 that I saved by cutting my hair.  I went and bought a Pizza with it.

Since I just got an email from Anziano Smith Tell him I will write him a letter because I’m obedient and he knows that I won’t email him back! haha! I just wanted to let him know that it is true that Busto is one of the most miracle filled cities. I have had some miracles here that I can’t describe. I’ve literally seen the hands of angels pick me up off my bike and set me on the ground as a car speeds in front of me that I should have hit, but for some reason I was standing in the middle of the road not, on my bike. I somehow unexplainably wrecked on my bike without making any contact with the road or the car. Crazy stuff happens and I’ve got nothing to say but that the Lord protects his missionaries. He sees things that I don’t see, prepares people that I don’t know or think about. And they are all in the timing of his knowledge. Missions are not easy, in fact every day of my mission I have had to pray for strength because I can’t go out there without his help. I just can’t. I’m too weak to do it, but with his help I can do all things that are expedient unto him. Sometimes I just plain stink as a missionary and fail so bad at teaching or talking to people on the street, but he knows the desires of my heart and that I am weak and am a human and am not perfect at what is asked of me. All I do is my best and sometimes it’s not good enough, actually it’s never good enough, but thankfully I had an awesome trainer, Anziano Smith, and good companions to get me where I need to be with the help of the Lord. Well I wish everyone love wherever they are and I want them to know that the gospel is the only way to happiness. There is no other path that leads to the kingdom. The kingdom of God or nothing!!!

Anziano Warren, Benson, and Smith
Christmas Eve with the Best Family Ever the Lotito's

Anziano Merrill-Master Chef
"Taming the Birds-This is real!"


Wednesday, January 23, 2013

Alive and Well in Busto

January 23, 2013

We had a fairly good week. It’s been cold here but not too bad. We got some rain and stuff this week so it was rather annoying, but we taught 4 lessons on that day so we didn’t have to be out knocking doors all day. Work is much better this week and we are finding some new people. We have been getting on the ball more and scheduling appointment further in advance so that we know what we are doing and we have been able to teach more people this last week thanks to the extra planning and phone calls a week in advance instead of the day before. We have a lot of potential here and there are a lot of people lined up to be baptized right now we just really need them to accept a date and commit themselves. It’s not always easy and we are trying to help them, but it’s really in their hands. We invite and they have to accept the date. Transfers are coming soon and I’m not sure what will happen. I really really want to stay here for just one more transfer. Things are going good and I’ve waited a long time to see that and we are getting ready to set some baptismal dates so if I get transfered I will miss all that. But oh well what happens happens. I think I will stay, but it’s always a surprise. Hey Anziano Smith haha. I’m glad he’s all home and un missionaryized. I'll look forward to hearing from him. Also make sure to maybe give him a call and ask him about Siena and I’m sure he could tell you the loads of fun we had there.
Christmas Zone Conference

I am so thankful that there is eternal life.  I really don’t get too upset about too many things anymore. Haha I am such a missionary. I know that everything happens for a reason. But also that nothing in this life really matters except that we do what’s right. If you’re doing what’s right we will be ready to go at any time. I just think to myself well at the end of the day I care more about if I’m ready to be judged today and I don’t fear. It’s good to know these things. I know that all sounded impractical, but it’s nothing but true. Life’s trials are only there to help us grow!
President & Sister Wolfgram Bought us Ties for Christmas
 Well not much new today, but we are going on a tour of the San Siro! Lo Stadio di Milan and Inter! (The soccer stadium for AC Milan and Inter Milan)I'm so excited. Also getting a pizza so I’m not hungry.

They raised the price of stamps here and now it costs me $2 US dollars every time I want to mail something and that’s just a load of garbage. So BreAnn I’m wishing you a very happy 11th birthday and Mom too. I don’t know how old you are Mom. Maybe that’s a good thing? I’ll just say 35 I don’t even know. But I think I under guessed considering that I will be turning 20 years old in April.  Wow, you really are getting old haha. But I will get there one day as well.
Well sorry but no pictures this week except from Christmas Zone Conference.  The computer won’t let me and I don’t know how to work these things. I feel like I’m in the Middle Ages with no technology. I will try to get some pictures next week and take a lot today of the stadium. Love you all!
The Sisters got new scarves



Wednesday, January 16, 2013

A Hiss and a Byword

January 16, 2012
Anziano Benson and Memmot With Their Pet Birds
Well the subject of my email pretty much sums up the week. We seem to be just aggravating all the old timers in Busto and Anziano Memmott and I have had some really funny laughs about what they are saying to us. It’s so mean that it provides minutes of laughter haha. All the grandpas just love to give us a piece of their mind at pleasure, and if that’s not good enough they like to drop in a few comments with insults intertwined and compounded with some naughty words. They were born in the 40s. Congratulations, so was my grandpa, and he’s not mean like that! Nice old chaps they are haha. Phrase of the week was that we were a hiss and a byword in Busto this week haha.(1 Nepi 19:14) Anyway, more or less that’s the work right now. Not much else going on haha. Investigators have tanked this week. But this next week we will have some good shots to maybe set some baptismal dates. We have a part member family where the wife has been coming every week, but has not been baptized so we are going to go see her and see if she is ready!

It’s been cold here, but today the wind picked up and it was the strangest thing of my entire life because to tell you the honest truth, I have not felt a gust of wind since I left on my mission. The wind just never blows in Italy, never ever, and for a small moment I felt really cold, and right in Idaho. Haha I remembered how much I hate the wind. Especially on a bike. It has honestly been a really rough week. I am just so exhausted. I’ve ridden my bike 500 Km (over 310 miles) now since I got to Busto and I never get a break. Rushing here and there peddling as fast as I can so we don’t miss the next train to Busto and have to wait half an hour. And all the way from the house to the station is a hill to ride up so we ride ride ride-and then miss the train!!! I’m so tired I just sleep like a log. Literally!!! Anyways I’m dead this week and trying to find a way to keep at it full steam ahead. You know when you hear about the pioneers talking about angels helping them, I feel like that on my bike right now. Sometimes I have to look behind to see who is pushing me.
Well haven’t received many letters lately, most likely because the mail system has been at a standstill since the holidays. I’m turning into the missionaries on "the best 2 years" where they freak out every time the post comes. Pretty funny but it’s about the only thing we’ve got for fun around here haha. So everyone, feel free to send me a letter. I will be waiting to hear from you.  Family, I love you so much. We will keep working hard, and you have a good week.
Anziano Benson

Saturday, January 12, 2013

Hard at Work

January 12, 2012

Not sure why but this week felt like an eternity. We have been hard at work, but also short of success. We have lots of people who could potentially be baptized but they are all just being really stubborn and are waiting for who knows what... the second coming I guess. So we are doing good, but I’m just a little impatient to see people who have a testimony and decide not to get baptized. So we are on the hunt for more people again. I fail so bad sometimes as a missionary, but it’s meant to keep me humble. I guess I just never imagined missionary work the way I did. But what’s in your head and what you actually perform are 2 very different things. Ya my comp is really awesome I love him. He’s pretty goofy and we like to have fun. it’s good to have everyone back to the grind here because missionary work suffers a little with people on vacation.

The weather here has been actually very abnormal we hit 72 degrees and then it dropped back down to like the high 50,s. I hear we will get the snow again, or rain. Not too happy. I seriously cannot believe how many people are in the Italy Milan mission from my school. It’s just crazy to me. I really want to serve with one of these kids because the best missionaries are those who know how to work hard like us Idahoans haha. Ellie start taking Italian! Because it’s a statistically proven fact that Italian speakers from Idaho Falls get called to Italy hahaha. Not 100% but you know like 80%.

I finally got all 12 letters! haha thank you so much for all the random things I love, and I was soooo excited when I got some juice! It reminds me that I actually have a real family that exists. It’s hard to honestly remember what everything was like with all you guys and it almost seems like you guys are some figurative fake thing since I can’t see you or talk to you or be with you.  Well love to everyone and I’ll hear from you all next week. Oh also I have really enjoyed finding all the little notes you put in my pockets and things. I think I found them all! Well maybe, we will see haha. Love you all
Oh ya, Good to hear that Max made the move and I hope he enjoys his semester at BYUI and is staying away from the crazy girls who now are going on missions. I got cousin Kiaras wedding announcement and I was happy to see she found her man.  Take Care

 Love, Anziano Benson

Wednesday, January 2, 2013

The Work is Hastening

January 2, 2013
Hey! I am doing good this week. I got my new companion all moved in and we are hard at work. I’m super excited and glad I get to work with Anziano Memmott. We have a lot of fun and he’s obedient and ready to get some work done. It’s a fresh start and a new look at things, and the work is getting better as we go. I was happy to hear that Anziano Smith got home safe and sound. I do still miss our days in Siena. Let’s just say Busto is not known for its beauty. Its rather depressing around here as far as the beauty goes. But that’s alright I’m here to work, not on vacation. The work in Busto is increasing so that’s good enough for me.  
The work here is picking up. The mission is all about this hastening that is going on and with that hastening more people are being prepared to hear the message of the restored gospel. The first 18 year olds and 19 year old sisters are getting ready to come to Italy and we are all very excited to see an increase of our forces here in Italy. The work is going great and we are praying for the hearts of the people to be open to receive the message of the restored gospel. We had a great week with tons of investigators in church. We have been pushing to get more people in church and we had 6 nonmembers in church this week. We also are getting a baptism all lined up for February with a part member family that we found. Her name is E______ and her husband is a member but was inactive. We found them and got their number at the train station in Busto, called them up, and went and saw them, so now she is our most solid Investigator. They didn’t know there even was a church in Busto until we found them. She is very committed and there family is from Peru, so we gave them El Libro de Mormon haha. They are great and they have a very cute family: One 3 year old boy and one 10 year old boy who we are looking to baptize as well. Also we have another investigator A_____ who came to church for the first time after 3 weeks of trying to get him there. I think he liked it. He is one of the nicest guys I’ve ever met. So we are super excited and the work is hastening! M_________ that we baptized on the 21st is baptizing the 8 year old this week since he got the priesthood this Sunday. We are proud of him and he will be a strong member in the church. There are about 6 part member families in the ward where 1 member is a leader or active member in the church and the other family members don’t want anything to do with it. It makes me sad to see such dedicated members give everything they have for their service in the church but their own family is not sealed in the temple. Sad, but we are praying that these part member families are being prepared also. 

Sounds like you all had a nice holiday. I’m glad you got to go skiing with Ellie and sounds about like Maverick Mountain. No one there haha. Makes for some good snow I’m sure. Wish I could have been at the cabin with you guys and Congrats to little sister Ellis on getting into college.

 Love you all and Happy New Year!

Anziano Benson