Sunday, August 25, 2013

Finally Saw Anziano Salmon

August 21, 2013

Anziano Benson and Salmon
Well after much struggle much battle and strife with many of these just good people we are not sure what to do. They just don’t trust God enough in this moment and time to make a covenant. So we have 3 people in a middle boat of neither progressing or digressing, we lost 1, and confirmed a bap date! For September 2! This girl is 20 years old is an only child and lives with her mom dad and grandma. This is the same family that me and Anziano Davis went to and ate dinner with that one time. The rest of the family needs some time and we haven’t had a full blown shot to teach them all, but the daughter just absolutely loves this church. She read the entire book of Mormon in 4 weeks and has moved onto Doctrine and Covenants and has arrived at section 74 in just 1 day. She is so elect we are not sure what to do with her. We can’t give her enough to read! She just eats it up! Its insanity. Anyways since we couldn’t figure out what to do with her we figured we should just do nothing else than baptize her haha. So yes, the 2nd of September is the baptism. We still have to pass over some of the commandments but we don’t see any problems. She’s a good honest in heart young lady. I’ve just been blown away at the teaching process we have had with her.  Anyway I’m really excited because I am not sure if my time here in Lecco has come to an end but I will be leaving if I go with a baptism in hand. We have, as they say in Italian, lottato for these investigators and have lost a few, kept a few, and will be baptizing 1. It’s been a little bit frustrating because I’ve gotten so attached to some of these people, but they aren’t reading or coming to church so we will probably have to do some drop lessons in the next few weeks. Sometimes that’s what you have to do. But I love Missionary work, its great! I need to do a better job at staying in contact with the new converts in Busto. I haven’t heard from them since I left. I will have to send them a letter. Well Sorry that I’m short on time but I wanted to say that I saw Anziano Salmon! (friend of Drew's from his home ward in Idaho) I chatted with him and it was really really good to see him. It was awesome. It’s funny to see him all the way here in Italy. I got a picture but I will send it next week. Anyways Love you so much! Anziano Benson
Friends and both from the same home ward in Idaho

Such A Blessing to Serve Here

August 14, 2013
Family, all has been going so so here. I’m happy because we haven’t had to drop anyone yet, but anxious because all of our investigators are hanging on by a thread. There isn’t much I can do anymore it’s in the hands of God. I just worry a lot about it now. The family that we had dinner with when Anziano Davis was here wasn’t super interested, but from the beginning we knew that the daughter who is 20 years old was elect. Well, she has just caught the spirit of the book of Mormon and will finish it this week.  Anyways it has been a real pleasure to teach some of these people. They have challenged my testimony and put my own knowledge to the test. I can’t say that I have a perfect knowledge, but I can’t wait until I do when my life is all said and over here on earth. When we can all learn the mystery of "where gods began to be.

Wheww! Man I thought I was getting a letter about a dead dog. That would have been terrible! For the first time I would have actually missed the darn dog if he decided to kick the bucket. He probably just got some of the flu for dogs or something. Thank goodness he is all right.

Grandma, it’s been such a blessing to serve here. In this recent period we have had just some really tough investigators in the sense that we teach them, but they don’t believe us and won’t get baptized because they haven’t received an answer. Well it makes it rather hard because we have been teaching all these people for so so long and they are such good people but they don’t seem to come to a right conclusion on what they should do with the knowledge they are receiving. It’s been a little stressful, but it’s also been very fun because they keep asking questions I’ve never thought of, and they force us to go and search doctrine and truths that we have never come across. Sometimes I feel that the Lord is teaching me more than them. The truth that has just struck me the most is this. "As man is now, God once was. As God is now man can become." I know it’s true, the spirit has borne witness to it, and it’s the divine destiny of the righteous. I can’t wait till that day when I have the chance to fulfill that doctrinal truth. Love you so much grandma and thank you so much for everything you do for the family! Thanks a million for giving me $50, I saw these super cool Italian shoes the other day that are on half off and I was thinking what I could do to get them since I ran out of money haha. But now I think I might be able to get them! You’re the best! I congratulate Jordan and I’m just too thrilled that he has chosen to serve the Lord. The mission really has changed me more than the people I have taught and for that I’m so thankful for the chance to serve. Love you and have a good week! Dio vi benedica!

Grandpa, Wow I can’t believe how green it is there. The photos are amazing! Bummed knee huh? Well that’s no fun sorry to hear about that. Hope all will get worked out. Props for getting around Europe on a bummed knee eh? Things are going well here. The weather is starting to cool down a little bit, fall here is really really nice compared to what I am used to in Idaho so I will be enjoying every second of it. Time here is going fast and I’ve been having lots of fun, even though I’m always dead dog tired. It’s like the jet lag never went away haha. Well have a great week grandpa. Thanks for the photos!

Friday, August 9, 2013

The Universal Language

August 7, 2013

Anziano Benson and Davis with???
Well, I have to say that everything is going great, and I have nothing to complain about. The people we are teaching are just awesome, but at the same time it has required me to work very hard. The people that we are teaching have many doubts, concerns, questions, and comments.  I’ve never had to focus so much on our investigators because they just require our attention; calling them every day and making sure that everything is ok, but then when I call I just find that they are still confused about what we taught them. We really don’t speak the same language as these people.  Yes, we speak Italian to them, but the gospel is a completely different language than what they are used to. One thing I know for sure is that the language of the spirit is universal and if they can listen to that language, then they will know the truth.  It’s been difficult but I’m very happy with what we have. I try to be thankful because I know all this good work won’t last forever. As much as I would like it to, eventually we will be back to the streets looking for people to teach.  

Anzianos Guzzle and Benson
I’m doing well and I’m searching to learn something every day. There isn’t a day that goes by that you can’t learn something new. It’s interesting that as many times as I have studied preach my gospel chapter 3 that I can always learn something more. It’s great. The time to just study the scriptures is one of my favorite times of the day. I always find really cool verses that go perfect for the lessons.  

The baptismal dates have been put on hold for now because we still have some doctrinal issues to work out with everyone, but for now things are still going well. I don’t think I’ve ever prayed for our investigators as much as I have in these last 3 months. I’ve been praying because we really need the hand of God in the lives of these people and well, they haven’t seen it yet. So we are just all asking the question when? When will He answer their prayers? When will He speak to them through the spirit, and when will they decide that this is the one true church? Oh I’m 100% of the time concerned about all these people who make up 5 investigators who are all in the boat of uncertainty about the message we have presented. I’m not sure what to do anymore.  We have tried so hard with them, but it’s down to the point where they have to accept or reject the message. We are waiting for 5 answers this week from each of these people. We have taught them, expounded the doctrine to them, and taught them how to pray and find answers to their prayers so we are hoping that we will get 5 yeses and not 5 no’s after 3 months of teaching these people.  It’s going to be a tough week I can tell, but it’s also exciting so I’m really happy for everything. At the end of the day I know who is running this show, and thank goodness it’s not me. It’s the good one above. He’s so much better at managing all this than I am, so I’m glad we are on the same team here. Well those are my thoughts for the week. I love you all and you are all so great. I’m thankful for the gospel.
Love you mom and dad and sisters!

Sunday, August 4, 2013

Elect Families

August 1, 2013

Well this week we had some really awesome stuff happen! We set 3 bapt dates this week 2 on Sunday and 1 on Saturday. We found another elect family of 4 and taught them so we found 10 new investigators from 2 families in the last 2 weeks and well things are going pretty well! Not only that but I have been enjoying myself. I have just gotten to the point where I just enjoy myself no matter what we are doing. So it’s been really great! Not everything is easy and fun, but you just have to have a good attitude.

My new comp is Anziano Guzzle and he is from West Jordan UT. Man all these Utah kids haha there are so many. He’s just an easy going guy, much different from Anziano Davis, but that’s fine because we get along great. He’s a really kind person and just loves to be nice to everyone. He’s in his 5th transfer and seems to be doing good. He speaks the language really well, so I don’t have to stress too much about teaching language all day. But we are speaking inside and outside the apartment in Italian to practice and get better. We did move zones. We were in the Milano East and now we are in the Bergamo zone and Anziano Davis and Johnson are our awesome Zone Leaders. Anziano Garcia my favorite Argentine is in my district as well so I will get to do a scambio with him. Yes I am DL.

Well that’s about all I got for now. 
Love you,
Anziaon Benson

Still in Beautiful Lecco

July 24,2013
Lecco on P-Day
Well,  Anziano Davis is going to Bergamo to be zone leader and I will be staying in Lecco. I’m getting a new comp from Pisa but I’m not sure what his name is exactly. I think Anziano Guzzle but I will have to check again. We have a bap date that is still doing well for the 18th of August so we are getting excited. I’m sad to see Anziano Davis go. He was probably one of the best missionaries I’ve ever met and is very obedient. It’s been a real pleasure to work with him.
Time is flying by. Transfer 10 of 16 is on the way. Not quite sure what to think. But I’m really excited to stay in beautiful Lecco. The members are awesome and we are going to do some pretty awesome P days!
Anziano Davis and Benson on Lake Como (Lecco)
Well have a great week. Dad, you need to try wake surfing at Heleman camp this year. Kawabunga! Surfs up with President Schmutz! Haha. You will have a lot of fun. Wish I was there. 
Lecco streets on P-Day
The work is slow, but good. We are finding some good people to teach are getting some good lessons in. Right now we found a family of 4 and will be teaching them the plan of salvation tonight!  I’m really, really excited because this will be the first time I will teach a whole non member family. I taught other families, but they all had members of the church in the immediate family so they know all about the church already. This will be the first time that this family has ever heard of the gospel stuff so I hope it goes well. Well have a good week! Here from you soon.
Anziano Benson

No More BackPacks

July 17, 2013
Well not much going on here. It was a little bit of a slower week. But at the end of the day I’m always super happy. Obedience brings happiness and that’s what is the best. We have been working really hard, but not finding many people. We have 1 investigator who has a bap date though. Most of the time I am really careful to not get too excited about bap dates because they usually fall off after 3 weeks. But she has been going strong and has made it this far! So we are very happy for her.

Well the rumors are true backpacks are not allowed anymore, we are now can wear khaki pants, and we are getting ipads. But the Ipads will come after I get home. I hate to say it but since they are getting rid of all backpacks all missionaries have to buy side bags or brief case sort of looking things that can hang from the shoulder. I looked at a few and I’m looking at about €40-€50 for side bags. Of course in Italy everything is outrageously priced, but I will have to get one in about a month or 2.

 Also, all my shoes have a 4 inch gaping hole in the heel, there are lots of shoe repair shops here so I will see if they can put a new sole on the bottom. If not I will have to buy some new shoes.

Well that’s about it for this week and well I don’t have a lot to say. I’m so thankful for everything that my family does for me though and you guys are the best!
Anziano Benson

18 Lessons !!!!!!!

July 10, 2013

Well this week we had some good success and you would never believe it! 18 lessons!!! We smashed my all time record honestly don’t know how it happened but we worked hard and didn’t give up. We dropped some more people and lost some others to the Evangelist church below our own apartment haha, but in all we are still doing good. We started a family home evening in the church Thursday nights for anyone to come. It is designed for investigators and less actives, but we invite lots of members to fellowship the people who come and make them feel welcome! It seems to be a huge hit after the first attempt and we should have a good turnout again tomorrow. We also teach an English class here right before family night and the other missionaries just got a new investigator out of it. When I got here we had only 2 members coming to English class and now we have 10 non members+3 members coming so it has grown a bit! It’s been fun and I hope that we can utilize it a little more for effective finding.

Well the heat is kicking in, but I don’t think we have seen the worst, Agosto is usually the hottest ( I forgot how to spell Agust in English). But it’s not too bad. So anyway, I think more satisfying than doing missionary work as a missionary is doing missionary work as a member, because these people are the people who we love and care about. Sure I love and care about my investigators, but after 6 weeks I’m gone forever and it’s up to the members to care and watch over them and make sure that they progress in the gospel. We really all do have the missionary tag on. It was put on when we were baptized and became testimonies of Jesus Christ, and took upon ourselves to follow him. Miracles happen every day here! Even if they are just small ones or big ones it’s still a miracle, and the Lord is doing his work.

Love you all!

Elder Benson