Monday, February 24, 2014

The work is picking up!

Email to Family
Mom! Hello you (:
CALL'S IS OPEN?! that has got to be the earliest Duane has opened, I thought for sure it was going to open on Friday. Tell Cindy, Carol, and Duane I say hello and thanks for the opportunity to be there last summer. And if Kayla is there, tell her I say hello as well (:
I cannot believe that Call's is open already. I really don't miss working there. Who do you work with anyway?
Yes, Brother Rask took me and Elder Kirkham to In N out, it's so good here! Remember when I would only get ketchup? Now I get a double cheeseburger with lettuce. And that night I ate one with everything on it! It was good, I just prefer it without tomatoes, onions, pickles, and their sauce, maybe i'm weird. But wow my food is expanding, it's awesome! It also makes me feel so chubby at dinner when members feed us. I just stuff myself haha! My new favorite restaurant is Panda Express, wow it so good! I hope you like it (: and my new favorite dinner is Chicken enchilada's and Lasagna. Mmm. food sounds lovely.
So, I must tell you. An investigator of ours showed up to Sacrament! His name is Patrick and loves the bible. He didn't deny the things Joseph Smith saw, he just wants to see a scripture in the bible that foretells Joseph being the person to restore it. I really feel like he's going to be the first person we baptize. I know baptism isn't everything, but he responds really well to the message and could definitely see it happening by the end of March (at the latest). We have 5 investigators and are teaching a part member family where half the kids are baptized and the parents are tricky. Shannon the mom said she understands the importance of baptism but doesn't see why she needs to give up coffee. Kinda tough situation, but I have confidence we can help her with that. Eddie the father is Catholic, I don't think he wants to be apart of the church and isn't opposed for his family to be apart of it, but oddly enough he loves missionaries.
If you couldn't already tell, the work here is picking up and I love that so much. Both the referrals we got were bogus, but we got another referral this morning, so hopefully that one will be legit. I love being out on a mission and wish we had the time talk about all the little things. I hope you are witnessing miracles back home and that you're helping the Lord hasten his work. GET THIS. My Stake President is Char and Josh Horne's uncle haha! I was mindblown. What a small world. I was so excited when I found that out. They're gonna have to visit Hesperia now while i'm here (;
But yeah, missions are great, super great actually. I love serving here and I love being apart of the Lord's work. What an exciting time to be apart of the church! There's a lot coming up I understand between the birthdays, Calls, and Ellen's mom passing away, that's so sad ): Console her, I will keep her in my prayers.
Well mom, I hope you have a lovely week. Love you more (:

Elder Shawn Lyle Bennion

Email to KoriAnn and Ben
I like both, letters are indeed a lost art, but then they pile up since Monday is the only day to write them. I will gladly respond through letters though, they're just gonna take a wee bit longer (: Brighton is starting preschool, what in the world! He's such a turkey, he needs to play nice. He must be getting excited it's his birthday or something. I'm sure whatever you plan for him will be great! it's too bad you don't get to partake in the California weather (; this week has been perfect. 70's all week. It rained once here for 10 minutes haha! It barely ever rains here. They get snow more than rain, weird huh? You do what you think is best for him. An extra $45 is pricey, but who knows, in the long run it may be very beneficial for him. I cannot believe that Bristol is standing! She's getting so big. I can't wait to see the kids in May (: That's going to be an exciting day.
Time is slim on email, I apologize. Feel free to write me. Just know that last week was a very good week for Elder Kirkham. One of our investigators showed up to Sacrament meeting and I was so stoked on that. We get an average of 2 investigators per week, which I don't think is bad at all! God is answering my prayers here so frequently. I just love being on a mission. The transfer is over in 2 weeks, but I think i'll stay in Hesperia, thank goodness. I truly love it here. Serving here is such a blessing. I know i'll love anywhere I serve, I just am particularly fond of Hesperia right now because I see the work is picking up due to our efforts. It's very rewarding.
Well you have a great week in the cold and I really hope that Brighton has a great 4th birthday (: Love you!!!

Elder Shawn Lyle Bennion


Email from a Member and a Picture!!

Hello Families,
My name is Randy Rask and I would first like to leave you all with my sincerest applogies for takeing so long to write to both of the folks that have given us your two fine son.  Both my wife, Kathy and I told both of these fine young missionaries we would send the attached photo of them to their homes and we sat on them for most of this month.
We have a tradition in the Rask home to try and feed your missionary's as often as we can.  The first place we take them is to our favorite fast food restaurant which for us is In-N-Out Burgers.  There is a story behind why, and we have told your sons, so when you talk to them you can ask and they will know the facts.

We are so very blessed to have both of these fine young men in our Ward.  Elder Bennion had only been in the field 5 days when we went to dinner that evening.  Elder Kirkham was also new to our area and he hasd been out about 5 months.  This was a new area for both of them and they are really some of the best we have had.  Thank you for being the kind of families that have given them this experience to help mold their lives.

We look forward to having them in our home because they bring a special spirit with them when they are here.

Both Kathy and I hope you enjoy the picture of these wonderful young men of great power and testimony, as we surly do.

May the Lord's blessings be with you all, as we love your sons!

Randy & Kathy Rask

Wednesday, February 19, 2014

Pizza and Homesick

Email to Mom and Dad
thank you so so much for the pizza! I was slightly alarmed that someone was at my door at 9:45, California is slightly sketchy haha. It was such a pleasant surprise. I was very overwhelmed, wow. I appreciate it, but anytime I hear your guys voices and get surprises like that I cry haha. But me and Elder Kirkham enjoyed the pizza indeed. You guys rule, thank you for showing me so much love. I wish I had more to say but nothing crazy has happened since the work is still picking up. I'm ambitious but easily discouraged, unfortunately. I just want to be an effective missionary, but i'm in a learning process and I know that the Lord blesses us according to HIS timing, so sure enough, things will pick up and I will be the missionary I want to be and was called to be. I love being a missionary and only want to serve the Lord endlessly. His Gospel is remarkable and I feel so privileged to be out here. I love you guys so very much and you should be expecting a letter from me on Friday/Saturday. Thank you so much for your prayers, our family is the best (:

Email to KoriAnn and BenKoriann,

I am slightly homesick, but it's only been a month, so I feel as though it's expected. I just read my patriarchal blessing and it says I am going to impact many, so it's just hard for me to patient enough to wait for that to really happen. I do get frustrated that the sisters have busy schedules, but eventually, we will get there too, I know it (: Our teaching pool increases every week, which is what really matters! You know what the worst thing is? Cancelled appointments! ugh, they're terrible haha! I just wish I could make a video, I have so much to say about the investigators, less actives, recent converts, etc that we are working with and not enough time!
I wrote in my letter about Elder Kirkham, you should receive it either Friday or Saturday (:
Google mapped Sequoia ay? Yep, no green anywhere haha! I surprisingly really like it though. I went on exchanges on Thursday and when I got back to Hesperia, I realized how much I missed it. You really do learn to love where you serve and I experienced that on Exchanges. They say you'll always have a soft spot for your first area, makes sense (:
I don't really have many stories right now other than the fact that mom and dad sent me a pizza, which I was so confused about it ha. I was so overwhelmed though to see that our family was thinking about me. They're the best (: You have some family birthday's comin up, that'll be exciting!
Well I suppose you'll hear from me this weekend and another email will come your way next week and i'll have a spiritual story i'm sure (:
I love you so so so so much and miss you guys (:

Elder Bennion

Wednesday, February 12, 2014

He's in Hesperia

Email to Ben and KoriAnn
Glad you like my letters, I don't remember saying anything funny, but you know mom, she gets a kick out of everything. I wish I had more time, wow this hour flew by. Glad to hear you understand your calling, it is devastating when people don't show up to church! Trust me, I feel you haha! Where are you going on a cruise?! that's exciting. You better save up for California in 2 years, you're coming whether you're pregnant or not! (;
I love you so much, send my love to your family and get will wishes to Ben, what a trooper. Tell Brighton I miss him like crazy! Tell him to keep spreading the word about me and California, what a crack up. Love you!

Love, Elder Bennion

Email to Pam
Pam! You received part of my letter I see! it's true, her name is Carol Griffin (here he is referring to a black woman that reminds him of Pam)  and she is just lovely. It's very good to hear from you! I'm glad we can talk on a more personal level and that i'm your first email, that rules! (: Walking, ugh haha! blisters hurt, that's for sure. But at the end of the day, it makes me feel like i'm doing as the Lord asks and that makes me feel very accomplished. There are times that I miss home (Like when I talk about movies ha!) but then there's that piece of me that wouldn't rather be anywhere else than here. I have my good days and my tough days, but Elder Holland once said "If it was hard for the Savior, why shouldn't it be for us?" So true, Life can be tricky, but you gotta roll with the punches and endure through your trials with our Savior, especially since He can pull you out of the wreckage and use those trials to build us even stronger than we were before. Those are what led me to California. I'm so thankful to be serving a mission, my MTC president pointed out that from here on out, it isn't about me anymore, and I have adopted that concept and tried using it here for the times I do not feel like walking miles to be rejected. The Lord has a plan for them, and it doesn't mean he loves them any less, so why should I? I need to keep more in mind that we are all Sons and Daughters of God, what a privilege. Hope all is well at the theater, thanks for helping out my family. You're the best! Love you.

Elder Bennion

Email to Mom
sigh I don't have much time to email you, so i'll have to write you a letter. Just know that I love you and miss you so so so so much and I can't even express it! I can't tell you how happy I am to hear about Shelby, the Lord's doing great things! I wish the best for you and the fam and the theater. I promise i'll write longer on Tuesday! (Monday is Presidents day and the library is closed that day, spread the word!) LOVE YOU!

Elder Bennion

Email to ShelbyThe joy that I receive when I read emails like this make being out here in California so worth it, you have no idea. Hearing news like this has brought the utmost biggest smile to my face, because I will tell you what. Being on a mission is not easy! I have 3 letters that i'm going to send tomorrow ha, they just pile up! and a small surprise i'm really excited for you to see, I hope you enjoy it as much as I did.
WOW! Marriot, new apartment close to Koriann, Ben, and the best babies in the world, a roommate that is like-minded and will only build you up, and you get the explorer! Wowza, you don't know how happy that makes me. I'm so so excited for you! The future does sound promising, this sounds like it could lead to something big! (: You'll love $11 an hour, ahhh!!!!! I can't get over this, i'm sure you're still freaking out as well. I'm always lookin' out for you, I knew my mission would bless our family, but I was not expecting news like this! Man, you're going to be loving life (: So you start in a week huh? you'll definitely have to tell me about your first day of training.
Well, let's see. the weather is a hit or miss, but today's pretty good. I don't really have anything new to say other than we were at an investigator's house today named Benito, he fed us breakfast and he loves us, it's awesome. He's such an interesting person. He's this Mexican tatted gang-banger looking guy who is built, is into fighting, LOVES his family and will do anything for them, loves to cook, and loves to dance, like hip hop and breakdance. He's a person that you wouldn't want on your bad side, I reeeeally hope he'll want to be baptized so I can show you a picture. At his house today, Dark Horse came on and at this point, i'll take in any music I can get ha! I felt kinda guilty listening to it, especially since he knows we can't listen to music, so I wasn't gonna ask him to turn it off. And then titanium came on and Stay the night and it was kinda Apostate of me, but it was so nice at the same time! agh.
I'm most of the time really obedient though, everyone has places where they can improve, right?
Thank you so much for emailing me and for delivering this great news, i'm overwhelmed with joy, to be honest. Please make sure to E-mail me every week, I love hearing from you guys so much, you have no idea. I miss you like crazy, but you should be expecting a couple letters in the mail this week.
I love you!


Wednesday, February 5, 2014

First Emails on P-day in the Mission Field

Email to KoriAnn and Ben
hello!!!! it's so nice to email. I write a letter almost every night because I have so much to say my goodness. I haven't sent one yet because we recently got moved into our apartment, so expect a really big letter soon. How are you!? one of the families here has a daughter one week older than Bristol and she's barely learning to walk, it makes me so excited for Bristol! what a cutie. Just so you know, i'm actually not in Rancho Cucamonga, i'm in a place called Hesperia, in the desert ha. My letter will explain much more (: it's not too bad here, it's 10+ degrees cooler here than in the valley, I know that you'd think i'd be warm 24/7 but that is FALSE. ha! proselyting in the cold is no bueno. but things here are still so great. I love my mission. I've only been out for a week, yet it still feels like time is flying by. We opened a new area I guess, so the work has been a bit slow, but things are going to pick up this week because we have a lot more referrals and appointments made already. Now that i've completely chosen to serve a mission, I definitely would encourage every single person to go on one, they're seriously so much fun. I love it here so stinkin' much. I hope everything is great back home, I love you!

Email to Mom and Dad
I apologize! I almost didn't get to e-mail today too, sheesh. How are you?! Can you believe i've almost been out 3 weeks?! I don't get it. Where does the time go? So, I have like 4 letters I need to send home ha, but i'll tell you the basics right now. I am serving in a city called Hesperia, it's about 20 minutes from Rancho and it's in the desert where the winter is colder and the summer is hotter than down in the valley. I feel so pathetic saying it's cold here, but it is! haha! at night it gets in the 40's. But my proselyting time here has been short, because we are the only companionship on bikes, which I thought I was gonna like, but no, it actually kinda blows ha. On Thursday, my companion Elder Kirkham got 2 flat tires so we had to walk our bikes back which really depleted a lot of our time because we don't get out till 11:00, then at noon we eat lunch, then from 1:00-5:00 we knock on doors (which quite a few don't answer), we had a meeting, Saturday there were a ton of baptisms, and members feed us dinner, and because we don't have a car, we aren't allowed to go knock on doors past dinner because a lot of people get hit by cars, and there's been a scare going around about break-ins, so unless we have an appointment, nights are really slow "/ Which is why we've really only had one family to teach, their name is the Kochara's and they are great. I wrote about them in my letter, so you'll hear about them. But this week is better, we have a couple appointments and are gonna stop by some inactive's later and hopefully set up some appointments. So, although things have been slow, the ward here is so good to us. And in all honesty, i'm loving just about every second here. I'll have a lot more to say next week, promise (: Have dad email me cause I don't remember anyone's email ): but yes, things are great here, I hope things are great for you, I love you so so so much and am so glad I got to hear from you on Tuesday, I love you!