Monday, September 29, 2014

Update for last week and this week :)

i'm here to tell you right now that you gotta make the temple a priority for your relationship! Ugh. I've only been away from the temple for 4 days and it has felt so long ha. The temple was such a great place. If it were open on P days, I would definitely try to go weekly. Utah missionaries got to go once a week! Lucky ducks.
The temple was so perfect. Make it a habit and a promise to the Lord to go at least once a month! Someone's salvation is on the line waiting for you to perform their ordinance! Don't procrastinate their potential exaltation (:
Speaking of weather, I am officially a baby about the weather. It was in the 60's this weekend and was whining for the need of a jacket haha! It was embarrassing. It felt good at some points considering it's been so blasted hot here, but overall, the weather is good as always! (: It's gonna be so weird not to have a white Christmas. Sometimes they say it can be 80+!
I am so excited for conference. Elder Ballard is actually my favorite apostle and I'm so glad he emphasized Preach my Gospel, it can help just like the scriptures! The apostles said PMG was together so perfectly and they're so thrilled to have it accessible to everyone. Keep learning from it, it's such a useful source of growth for each of us, even members! Can you believe it's conference time again?! I can't believe it! Also, we had the primary program yesterday! it was great. The kids each get like 3 parts though since it's so small. There's only 20 kids ha. They sang Families can be together forever as the closing song and I nearly started crying haha!
Koriann, I seriously think i'm allergic to cats or something. I was fine all day but we got to a members house and I pet the cat and then my eye was so itchy and so red. and my chin as well! By the time we left, Elder said it looked I was stoned haha! It was so weird...
But I have enjoyed my time with Elder Boltz. Cycling through companions is normal and you get more attached to some than others, but I think since he lives so close, we will remain friends as well. He has a rough home life which is too bad. Elder says my desire has progressively slid down the more I stay in Alta Loma. Sad, but true. I'm ready to take something new. I've been here for nearly 6 months and I have LOVED serving here so much. This area has been everything I could ask for in a mission and I love the people here so much, I just want something new. This weekend was kinda rough, but I do believe that I'm being transferred this upcoming Monday. I guess we'll see!
To close, seriously: get to the temple! (:
I love you! thanks again for emailing, I always look forward to yours!
- Elder Bennion

It sounds like your roadtrip was a great success! I had no idea a chunk of his mission hit Kentucky. The boundaries must've been much larger back then before the number of missionaries sky-rocketed. You'll have to tell me some other cool stories if you think of any! You went through many different states, my goodness. I'm glad the car is exactly what you wanted though, I know mom was stoked to watch the kids (: You'll have to send me a picture! I'm glad Ben finally got to go back. I'm sure it's a second home to him and that memories were flooding in from his mission. It'll always been engraved in his heart because he loved those people so much.
I've only been to Kung fu Wok twice because Panda Express is like 15 minutes away and out of our ward boundaries. Plus Elder doesn't like Chinese very much.

I loved the temple so much, oh my goodness. Redlands is an older town, and it's a pretty small temple, but it was so cool to see palm trees on temple grounds, I haven't seen that before! It was so great to be at the temple again. I haven't been in 8 months! That's so long! I really wish we got to go back more often, but I understand that the work we need to do for the living is right now more of a concern, which I agree with completely. I'll have to send some pictures next week, I got a lot of em! I gotta get the Nowa's a thank you card or something, because they took us out there this morning and we had a great time with them.
My mission is so great! Here's some neat stories as of recent:

We contacted a lady who is in her 20's and she said her best friend is LDS. We talked for about 20 minutes, and she showed us her backyard and there was a trampoline. I asked if I could jump on it and told us to come back next weekend when her husband was around so I could show him some tricks. Well we went back and there was 4 of their friends there and they looked so confused as to why missionaries were coming to hang out in the back yard with them. So I did some tricks and what not, and after that, we stayed at their house for an hour because they would just so naturally curious about the church and had so many questions for us. There's a couple named Travis and Tonya that took a particular interest and they gave us their address to stop by! It's always super cool how teaching opportunities come about when you least expect em.

Also, the spirit is such a neat and vital tool we must use in missionary work. Someone in the ward offered to take us to lunch and I just felt so weird about it. We declined, and decided we needed to be proselyting during the intended lunch hour. We stopped at a former investigator of ours, Jessica, and had a great lesson with her and she said she really wants to come to church and considered baptism once again. We're seeing her tomorrow, so hopefully we can get her on the right path again (: her life has sorted out a bit since we last went, so the spirit is definitely more accessible at her home. 

My mission is super cool. Alta Loma is great as always. I've been here for about 6 months, so somedays are harder than others because sometimes I just don't know what to do, but as we continue to be diligent, we meet new people (like Travis and Jessica) on the way and we just keep pressing on because we want to be obedient. Here's something cool: I miss movies so much and they just announced we get to watch Meet the Mormons at the mission office! i'm so stoked! 

Also, missionary work truly is being done through social media, I got to witness it this weekend. Tori Tate is 17 and she took a picture of us and put it on Instagram and a comment was made by a guy named Josh, who we taught once and gave a Book of Mormon too. The Upland 5th elders ran into him about 6 weeks ago and they said he said he's been reading it! we never got any contact information other than his grandmother's address in our area, so we haven't taught him in weeks. This kid is in Tori's class and because of that picture, we've been able to re-connect with one of our old investigators! pretty neat!
We're reaching the end of week 5 of this transfer, which means I have Elder Boltz for only one more week! What?! It feels like last week I just started training! I was so nervous, but the experience has been such a positive thing for me. I've got a lot ahead of me, and I'm excited to continue serving in this mission. I couldn't be anymore satisfied with how things are going. We are most grateful when we feel like we don't deserve more than what we have, and that is how I would sum up my time in Alta Loma. This place is so great! I love you so much, talk to you on Monday!!
Elder Bennion

Wednesday, September 17, 2014

Alpha Loma

first I must thank you for the package; it's almost like you knew I was going through withdrawals haha! I finished that bag in a week, oop.s But I was a very good share-r! 
I am so stoked that you found the car you were looking for! That's so exciting. The longest roadtrip i've been on is to Boise. Well, we went to Nauvoo, but I don't even remember it! That's a lot of miles, but you'll make it! I'm excited for you to see your friends and to hit Ohio! That's gonna be awesome! Ben's never visited his mission right?
I wish I had more funny stories like that one from last week. My mission really is eventful, but by the time I get to email, I can't think of anything! I think it's because i'm so focused on the temple. We're going next Thursday  (so I won't be emailing for a week and a half) and I am excited and nervous at the same time. Endowments are still kinda strange ha. Remember how Ben always corrected you to say "You received your endowment", well, now that he pointed it out, I want to say to everybody haha! everyone says "they took it out" silly Mormons.
Our week was good! There's a Chinese restaurant called Kung fu wok and each time I go in there, it always results in us teaching someone there. It's weird, but awesome. Just goes to show God puts you in the right places and that there is always people anxious to learn.
This is a boring email, I apologize. I do love you so much though. Today I turned 8 months! What?! I'm 1/3 of the way done! In our handbook, it says that there won't be another time where every single second can be devoted to the Lord, and I know how true it is. It freaks me out. It's gone by so fast because Alta Loma is so good to me (: Elder Boltz and I want to make a t shirt that has a wolf on it that says "Alpha Loma" haha! it'd be sweet. Well I suppose that's all for now. I love you and your family so much. Keep me updated on anything else that comes to mind, I always love to hear from you! (:
Elder Bennion

Monday, September 8, 2014

Privileged to be serving in Alta Loma

That's crazy to me that it was Peach Days this weekend! Yeah, it wasn't too hard to miss (: it sounds like there were a ton of other fun things you were apart of though! I should've asked for a bag of peaches and creme popcorn! mmm.
I cannot believe Brighton started pre-school! Ugh, that kid is my favorite. He's getting so big! Your family is so adorable. I was reflecting this week on how Elder Boltz reminds me of Ben sometimes and it made me think about the man he's become because of his mission. It makes me excited to know that it will help me future for the rest of my life. Especially since being on a mission has been nothing short of amazing. I think about how privileged I feel to be serving in Alta Loma. I seriously see so many miracles happen every week. I find so much joy in serving in this area, it makes me super jealous for anyone who gets to serve here. 
This past week was pretty good to us. I love Fast Sundays because good things always happen. We got a new investigator, we contacted three of our investigators to see them this upcoming week, we got to see Claudia (who is one of my favorites in this area), and we found a super cool couple that has a super bouncy trampoline and she said I could jump on it next weekend ha. 
Conference is approaching and I am so stoked! just a random thought.
Man, this email is kinda lame! haha. But I hope it still reflects how much I love my mission. Of course it doesn't do it's justice because it's really hard to put the feelings of the spirit, but I concur that this glorious gospel is incredible to be apart of and it's only a matter of time before all people will get the opportunity to hear it. We are the lucky ones in this final dispensation to have the knowledge that we do. It's so sad to see so many people confused by the man-made churches that practically force them to forfeit so many blessings. Our church is governed by Jesus Christ himself, and what a comfort is to me to have modern prophets to give counsel according to our circumstances. Life is mind blowing, isn't it? I love you very much and hope your testimony never ceases to grow.
Elder Bennion

Wednesday, September 3, 2014



To answer your question, Patrick was pretty much our very first investigator in Hesperia! It's funny because I thought he wasn't gonna last much longer, but it just goes to show people take time. I'm excited for him. I probably won't be able to attend the baptism, but that's alright, Alta Loma has work to be done!
I agree completely about Dad's statement. Mom's are so frantic, it's quite funny actually. I hear that one of the mom's posted a picture of Elder Boltz and I. That's the Alta Loma elders at their finest!
Alta Loma. Man, the work here is super cool. I have 4 significant things to share.
1) We've been teaching Martha Fitisemanu for 4.5 months now. She sang in the stake choir actually! But she's making insane progress! Missionaries have been working with her for quite some time actually, and last week when we were debating what to share, I could not stop being pulled back to Eternal Marriage. So when we presented the lesson, we'd gone on for about an hour. We had an appointment that night, but I just felt like we couldn't leave their house quite yet. We talked about temples, and basically, Martha Fitisemanu finally said that she will be ready for baptism by the Spring of 2015 (: I can't tell you how ecstatic I was about the whole thing!!!! She is so so great and I adore her so much and am happy that she recognizes this as something she needs to do considering she wants to get married in the temple.
2) We taught Gabby this week and we had a super solid lesson with her.
3) The Long's are a recent part member family we started teaching. His wife wants to be baptized because she's so drawn to the church through her husband. They're great people. And they have 2 dachshunds! One is so fat though haha! But we're pretty much starting from the beginning with them, because she has a very slim knowledge of Jesus Christ. What a great opportunity to basically start the roots of a relationship for her with Him! It's never too late that's for sure.
4) I've been learning Spanish for kicks and it actually got us a new investigator! Her name is Ida and she even invited us over for her Labor day party on Sunday! Who knew my Spanish could get us a new investigator ha! Part of me wants to be a spanish missionary, but we'll see.

So yeah, our week was awesome. It was Labor day weekend though, so Friday-Monday we didn't teach a single lesson! it was rough because not many people wanted to talk to us, nor were they around to talk, but that's alright, all that happened within 4 days ha, so I can't complain!
I loved your story about the dinosaurs, oh man. That sounds so much like Brighton. Man, that kid is too cute. Keep doing family home evening; it's even a commandment to do it! We're definitely gonna start that back up when I get back home.
Also, my Up Up was Martha's commitment to be baptized in the near future. That was absolutely surreal to me to see how much she has progressed within my time in Alta Loma. And my Down Down was that this weekend was a holiday weekend and it made it tough to be diligent. As the district leader, I keep in contact with 2 other companionships and pretty much offer to help in any way I can, stay updated with their investigators and give trainings every Tuesday. It's going well, I kinda like it! so yeah, things are great here. I love you and am always thrilled to hear from you. Have a great week!
Elder Bennion