Tuesday, April 22, 2014


Email to The Family
Well good news! I am now serving in the Upland Alta Loma ward!!!!!! I was super ready to be transferred and was super relieved to hear about my new assignment. I was in the desert earlier, but now I am down the hill as they say. It was time, that's all I have to say haha! My new companion's name is Elder Merrell and is from Vernal, but I like him so far! We are living with a member named Brother Wilson and he has a pool in a backyard, so that's a tease. But yeah, it's very nice here compared to Hesperia. The ward doesn't really like the Elders right now because the last Elder here was really picky and drenched everything in Ketchup, and the ward consists of a lot of old people apparently, so they were offended and yeah. I hope I make a good impression here!
Email to Ben and KoriAnn
Well, as I stated earlier, I am in a new area and already we have 11 investigators, which is more than I ever had in 3 months, but that's because we opened the area, so I guess that could be why. I'm excited to be in Upland though. Elder Eppich (my favorite missionary in the mission) was my zone leader in Hesperia and is my zone leader again in Upland! I'm super pumped about that (:
I didn't really want to stay in Hesperia, so i'm really glad to be here. I just didn't feel much purpose in Hesperia other than Tony our neighbor who LOVES prayer now. Gary was the guy who's mom was a pastor, but he only seemed interested in the church when he was vulnerable, it was weird. But yeah, I had a pretty good Easter! Did you guys? 
I'm so excited for Mother's day just to catch up on things, an hour on the computer simply is never enough time! Give it 3 weeks though (:
Really I just want you to know how much happier I feel I will be in Upland. Elder Merrell has been out for like 15 months so he'll be an excellent follow up trainer. I have confidence that God knows what He's doing and I feel bad I didn't trust his judgment enough in Hesperia. 
But yeah, things are good. New, but good. I love you guys and hope that you're only doing things that are pleasing to our Father in Heaven. Tell Ben congratulations. I'm sure that was a big accomplishment for him (:
I love you! Have an awesome week, and I will let you know my impressions of Upland next week (: Ugh. Seriously Koriann, I love you guys so much. But this is where the Lord needs me! (:
Elder Bennion

Tuesday, April 15, 2014

Rough Week

Email to Family
In my missionary handbook, I'm not supposed to invite you to fast for my investigators. I can't stop you of course, but Patrick is being.. well, basically we're dropping him. He attends a church that is anti-Mormon and can't accept that Satan is Jesus' brother. Things are looking grim with his baptism. I don't expect to be meeting with him after this week. This week was actually kinda bogus. I know I sent you that list of people we're working with, but we dropped 3 of these people, one of which is headed down the Jehovah Witness route, sigh. My area is honestly a hit or miss. My mission is awesome, but is very frustrating as well. Typically, me and Elder Kirkham find a new investigator every week, but the people we're working with aren't very solid. It doesn't feel like much is getting done here. Our neighbor Gary who I thought was gonna breakthrough only seems interested in the church when he's vulnerable. I'm not very fond of having zero baptisms in 3 months, that's for sure. We found a golden investigator through Mormon.org like she's super legit. We taught her 3 lessons in four days, and she said the church feels right. She would easily get baptized, except guess what? She's moving in 2 weeks -_-
It's hard understanding why God would want His work done at a pace that feels so slow. My contribution to the Maple ward feels so slim. Hesperia's hard. 
So that's my feelings in a nutshell. But we had an off week, so this one has to be good, right?
This week is the end of the transfer though, so we'll see what happens! I think i'll stay one more transfer, so lets hope that this transfer is different (:
I love you very much and want so badly for things to be going awesome by the time mother's day rolls around. Have a good week (: I love you.
Elder Shawn Lyle Bennion

Email to Ben and KoriAnn 
Trust me, as a missionary, I feel you. Satan works on me aaaalllll the time and this past week especially. He's stupid. We had so many appointments cancel and Patrick's being unreasonable, Catey is flaky, and well, we aren't working with very legit people. It's very hard that I can't control people's agency haha. It's hard putting forth an effort to make someone's life better and consistently happier and they don't accept the invitation. 
It's hard feeling satisfactory in your work when your expectations aren't being met. It makes it a difficulty to feel the spirit and my patience still runs slim. I try very hard to find joy within my mission and for some odd reason, I let these negatives triumph. The scriptures and my prayers satisfy me temporarily because it doesn't take long before I find myself irritated with how things are. I'm a missionary who expects results too quickly I guess. I just keep having this wrestle with God, but it makes me understand why there are unanswered prayers. Those prayers are some of the more important ones that you'll be grateful for eventually. I sure would hate to see every single one of prayers answered and see them turn into a catastrophe because that isn't the way they are supposed to be. Oi. Missions are tough.
I really hope this week kicks butt because I could really use it. Have an awesome Easter! Love you!

Elder Shawn Lyle Bennion

Monday, April 7, 2014

Not Much Time!

Email to KoriAnn & Ben from last week 
Pretty much ever since I've been here, every Sunday school lesson and sacrament talk has been on hastening the Lord's work haha. It's hard to motivate people because we are naturally apprehensive to talk to people about religion, but I've grown to like it because I know how much happiness the church has brought me. I didn't know this till I got out here, but member missionary work is how we are going to really hasten the work because people have grown so anti social and they don't make time or room for God. California is soooo apostate it's crazy haha. It makes me sad to see the decisions people make and how unhappy they are. Gary (one of our investigators) has tried committing suicide multiple times, yikes. We're giving him a book of Mormon this week and seeing if that makes a difference.
I'm so happy to hear your calling has made you feel more obligated to share the gospel, it's beautiful and joyous and in every aspect. I love being apart of the church and helping other people. Keep finding opportunities to spread the gospel and pray for opportunities!!!! I love you!
Elder Bennion

Email to KoriAnn & Ben from today 
I'm gonna write you a letter cause we're headed out, thank you for emailing! I promise i'll be better next week because Elder prestwich and hutchinson are driving us next week and email for a really long time like me. I love you!!!!! so so so much (:
Elder Shawn Lyle Bennion