Monday, June 23, 2014


I probably ought to send a mass email out to everyone. It's completely unintentional that I send things to other people that I forget to mention in other emails. On a mission my brain just feels so scattered and i'm just so frantic to fit intimate emails in for everyone. I don't normally get more than 10 emails a week. It fluctuates, especially today. I only got 4 emails haha! You're the only one in our family to email me this week! It kinda makes me sad. I love hearing from you guys so much. It is a sad truth that the further out you get, the less contact you have from people haha, it's alright though. I feel bad because mom said she knows more about me through Elder Merrell's blog than my emails, but I was under the impression my emails were informative, i'm not sure how descriptive his are. He has a very theatric mind with a goofy, but enjoyable personality, so it must be more comical than the things I have to say. Huh, I didn't really take into consideration how I compile mine.
Either way, there's nothing really much to report on unfortuantely. We had a very labor filled week, which is always a good thing. Service is fun. We dug up cactus' for a couple hours and I got pretty burnt. But the lady got us papa johns, so it was worth it (: I went on exchanges this week with our district leader so I went to another area, and it was so refreshing to be on a bike instead of trapped in a car all day. It was also nice because it allows a lot more social opportunities. You miss out on so much in a car. But in our area it's extremely helpful to have a car because our area is a big hill. We're living with Brother Wilson and we're convinced his wife haunts Elder Merrell, it's really funny actually. I'm not sure if I told you that story, but I get a laugh every time he tells it. We got a new investigator this week, so that always puts your spirits high. Me and Elder Merrell have been pretty good at getting a new investigator every week, I imagine President Hobbs is excited about that, because Upland used to be a super slow area, but it's definitely picking up.
So I heard Janeese got her mission call and that just makes me so happy for her! She sounds very excited about it and that's so neat she got called to Washington! I'm excited for her, it's really great to see her so happy about her decision. I remember the feeling of holding a package in my hands of where my life will be for the next 2 years. The initial feeling of complete and utter surprise my call was in the mail was just incredible. It kinda stinks I may not experience that again. But that's okay!
That's about it for now. I really wish I had more to say! ): But just know that things are well with me. The transfer ends in 3 weeks and Elder Merrell will probably be transferred. Time goes by so quickly out here, it's weird. Well I love you and am very grateful you took the time to email me. I love hearing from you guys and wish you the best of luck in your calling. Remember to look outward (:
Elder Bennion

Tuesday, June 17, 2014


Re: No news is good news :)

My Mom and Shawn had another email conversatiion yesterday. 
They talk about everything and anything. So I am not going to put all of their conversation up. 
Email to Ben and KoriAnn
Speaking of sickness, Elder Merrell threw up today because for P day us and some youth from the ward went to a trampoline park (the one Utah is much better by the way) and after all the flips we did, he wasn't feeling too well haha! He's feeling better now though. Elder Merrell is so funny! The more this transfer goes on, the more I realize he acts like Elder Kirkham! It's odd. They could be good friends. I saw Elder Kirkham today actually! Did you know in California they have 2 week missionaries? the priests sign up to live a mission lifestyle for 2 weeks with us. We didn't get one, but I think the idea is brilliant! I never would've done that when I was a priest, so props to these kids for preparing for a mission!
Glad to hear that you enjoyed the story of the guy raging about the devil. Oh my goodness, when it happened, my feet picked up so quickly and I bolted from the door. Elder Merrell is used to it, but c'mon I used to be scared of toilets, so it only makes sense that would freak me out. We had an interesting time tracting this week! We went tracting on a private road, but I didn't know that so this couple got angry with us because they were in their robes outside enjoying their weather. Then we went tracting in a gated neighborhood and everyone was really nice to us except this one guy who said if he saw us in the neighborhood again, he'd call the cops on us. Oops. I wonder how God feels about us tracting in areas that say no trespassing?
Oh my goodness, I forgot Dave and Jamie had a baby! Oh man, that's exciting for them. Hopefully I will see a picture. I hope you're recording Brighton when he plays tball. I'd love to see some videos when I get back. Except by then he'll be playing coach pitch. Man, that kid is just the cutest! It's kinda hard being away from him and this fun period in his life! But that's okay, I get to see others grow in a different aspect. 
Here's a funny story for you. So we're living with Brother Wilson and his wife passed away 2 years ago. The other day Elder Merrell found some unopened tights of hers that he put on to be funny and all the sudden the door closes. So Elder Merrell rips them off and we were a bit startled. Then I was praying and then our keys fly off the table. Then lastly, Elder Merrell and just fallen asleep and thump! His whole body nails the wall. I asked him if he just flinched in his sleep, but he claims he was minorly possessed hahaha, I can't tell this story without laughing. That night was freaky though.
Lastly; it kinda stinks when you find people interested in the gospel who aren't in your area. We met these kids who live 20 minutes away, but we were at the park and they asked us to play soccer with them. We lost 3-0, but we send them scriptures every day and we even went to a trampoline park with them for P day. It's kinda cool because even if they don't end up investigating right now, imagine what's gonna happen when they see missionaries in the future. They're gonna be like "these guys are cool! They played soccer and we went to a trampoline park with them!" The seeds have been planted and who knows what's gonna happen with them. It was a fun week! But at the same time very slow. We have found a new investigator every week for the past 8 weeks, but not this week, It's okay, there were highlights all throughout the week (:
Wow this is a long email! Hope it was entertaining. Thanks for sharing, I love to hear from you guys so much (: I love you and miss you guys!
Elder Bennion

Tuesday, June 10, 2014


Email to Mom
That's too bad that the Powell trip has it's cons for the Walkers. But a pro indeed for your trip. I bet you're stoked! Speaking of fun things, are you going to the One Republic concert on Saturday? I just remembered it's this weekend and I hope you have someone to go with! If not, the tickets were cheap, it doesn't matter to me what happens with em (:I must say thank you for the packages! I felt very spoiled and am excited about the frooties. And those blue sour patch kids, mmm (: You know me all too well!
I'm sorry to hear things are still tough about Grandpa. It's not very easy when the house is next door i'm sure. When the right words come, feel free to write me and allow a letter to console your feelings. Thank you for the newspaper by the way. I also saw that Sam Schumann got married! Crazy.
Thanks for the update on the family. I hear Connor is gonna be at APTC this week. You're gonna have a quiet house this week! And Blair and Shayley are playing softball together? That's neat! I'm sure her games aren't as fun as Brighton's. I really hope Brighton will be involved in some league when I get back. He's gonna be such a great athlete. I miss that little runt.
Well, the mission is great! I meet so many great people. We tracted into a lady named Nancy and she was so great. She isn't interested in the church, but she said she would love to have us over for dinner sometime. She's nice. We were invited to a barbeque on Saturday, that was cool. I can't think what else, but overall it was a good week. Bryan and Heather didn't come to church so we were kinda bummed, but there's always hope for next week. I'm excited for this week. Many more adventures will follow i'm sure!
I love you mom. I miss you so much. Thanks for taking such good care of me out here. It's tough being away some days, but the Lord and the people here make things easier to bear. I love you. Have a great week (:
Elder Shawn Lyle Bennion
Email to Ben and KoriAnn
Sounds like summer is in full swing. I remember always getting Lagoon season passes. All those years of rides made it slightly dull for me. Once a year is good for me (: Now Disneyland, that may be a whole different story! Oh man, when Brighton goes to Disneyland, he is going to freak! I remember showing him a video when I got my mission call and that's all he talked about haha! Goodness, he's just the cutest.
Hearing your story about Rebecca; I swear this kind of situation always happens with missionary work ha. You have a really good situation to work with and then BAM the adversary strikes which causes us to naturally postpone the task we had in mind. It's funny to me how bringing up the church is self-induced difficult. It all requires prayer for when you should make a spiritual move on their family. It'll happen, pray for the patience and for the well being of their family (which i'm sure you already are). I'm sure the sister missionaries are just as bummed as you are. I know I get really excited with the families in the ward when they have a missionary opportunity and it doesn't end up working out. But don't worry, the right time will come. God recognizes the situation and will allow something to work out (:
Also, no patriarchal blessing?! Man, that thing has been such a vital tool for me. If you're contemplating it, it'll definitely give you the advice you need. Getting mine was such a humbling and overwhelming experience. I remember we said a prayer before the blessing and the second my knees hit the ground I sobbed haha! They're the neatest things (:
Well, Alta Loma is cool. Courtney's baptism will probably be on June 21st. Bryan didn't come to Sacrament but hopefully his family is okay. He's being hard to get ahold of "/ But the work still moves on! President Hobbs says this area requires diligence so i'm workin on that.
Btw, loved the package. Thank you so so much, that was very sweet of you guys (: I'm not sure what i'm gonna get. Probably Panda Express haha, i'll let you know. 
Love you! keep doin work (: Miss you guys so so so much!
Elder Bennion

Monday, June 2, 2014

Our 20 Year Old :)

Email to the Family
Because my conversion came through reading and developing a testimony of the Book of Mormon, I've been praying to find someone to share this book with that would have a similar experience. Sure enough, my prayer was answered this Fast Sunday right after church. We received this text from one of our investigators named Bryan:

"Thanks guys! and don't worry we are still super interested, we are just waiting on Ollie (his son) to feel better. Please continue praying for us, I have quit drinking all alcohol, all hot drinks (coffee and tea) and have stopped smoking completely. Outside of attending church, I have been trying to live my life according to the principles. I just think you guys may be on to something. I am reading the book of Mormon and although I am developing questions, I feel as though there is logical explanations for everything. I am also finding most of what has been said about you guys from the non-believers is unfounded and often has no truth. I have been very impressed by the positive consequences from my life changes. For the first time in my life I feel as though God is trying to lead my down a path, or I'm just finally listening. Either way my faith is growing based on results and reaffirmations. So I guess I'm saying thank you for not giving up on me. I've also been telling others about what I'm learning and because of the changes they are seeing in me, it appears their heart is softening to the teachings. Thank you guys very much! You may have saved my life!"
Some things you need to know about Bryan. Bryan had no faith in God 2 months ago and he wasn't living 4/5 things within the word of wisdom. Not to mention we received this text on fast Sunday. God is so incredible as he speaks to people through the book of Mormon to show that He does care about his children. He does provide the best for you and he does that through continued revelation. Not only did Bryan have a good experience with the Book of Mormon, but because of the joy within his heart, he has been sharing what he has learned with others. That's how the Gospel should be! A life-saving richness and fulness to our lives and i'm so so happy to see that Bryan experienced this. Miracles happen. And this one was definitely the most special to witness on my mission (:

Email to Ben and KoriAnn
You are in fact talking to a now 20 year old and of course I don't feel any different, but boy is it weird how time moves so quickly! Today is the beginning of my 4th transfer, how is that even possible?! 
I'm sorry to hear about Sister Garcia, that's too bad that emotionally she isn't stable. I hope she doesn't feel like a failure not take it to heart. Everyone's mission is different and i'm very excited to see that the hard part for me is over ( I think). In some ways it kinda stinks when you get transfered. I was excited to leave Hesperia, but i'm gonna be sad when I leave Alta Loma. I've loved serving here so much! The ward takes good care of us. My birthday here was pretty good because of them. The Martinez's got me a gift card to Target! Love them. And sister Nowa made me chocolate chip cookies, and the Fitisemanu's are having us over for cake today! On my birthday we did a service project, went tracting, studied, and went to a wedding. Not your average birthday, but still good regardless! I'm excited to get birthday packages though, that's for sure haha! 
Well, now that you heard my story about Bryan, how exciting is that?! It was so cool. Also, Martha is an investigator of ours who bore her testimony on Sunday. It was such a good fast sunday. Then as we went tracting later that day, we stopped by a lady named Ida's. Her pastor (who is a girl!) told her not to talk to the Mormons. This happens waaay too often here! but we re-assured her that the church is a good thing and she said she'd read the book of Mormon. We're making progress here and that's what matters, right?
Well, just know that I love where i'm serving much more than my last area. I'm happy here and am excited to here for another 6 weeks. Things are good with me, and I hope things are great for you and your family. Enjoy those T-ball games, i'm sure Brighton will get MVP by the end of the season (;
Love you and miss you!
Elder Bennion