Wednesday, May 27, 2015

I love you all!


It sure would be nice if I had a lot to report on, but this week involved a lot of driving and working with other elders in different areas of our mission. I've explored a lot of our mission at this point and it is so fascinating to discover new parts of the mission you haven't served in. However, at the same time, this week we got to do a little more proselyting than normal, which was good.
Here's some things that happened throughout the week that are worth sharing:

Miracles are not going to come your way unless you have the eyes to see them. On Wednesday, I stayed in Rancho for an exchange, and I was really nervous because I don't know our area all that well, but our day turned out super good. I had such a large desire to find new people to teach because it's something our whole mission is struggling with and although we weren't able to have any lessons that day, we met a lot of great people and had a lot of really good conversations. Our area isn't flourishing with new investigators necessarily, but there are sure a lot of seeds being planted! Throughout the day, I was able to see a lot of mini miracles that may be irrelevant to others, but to me they put me at ease to see the Lord supports us and directs us in His work and in our everyday lives. And for dinner, we had some really awesome enchilada's, so that was exciting.

On Thursday, a missionary committed me to read a conference talk; The Music of the Gospel, which was shared in April. It was a very good talk and music is something I obviously love, so I was very drawn to what the talk was going to cover. It is so true that we can live the gospel, but if we're not feeling the Spirit, it is not something we are going to stick with for very long. The music of the gospel is what is going to change out behavior and help us become more skilled in the dance steps that we often mundanely experience. But with the Spirit, the gospel will never seem dull!

On Friday, we did our first shift of the Cyber Seniors at the Senior Center and old people are a hit or miss. The program is so new, so no one showed up, so we promoted the program with flyers and talked to the men and women in the center and there were some nice people and some ornery people as well. One lady we met said "Leave, I've had enough of ya!" it was pretty much just her personality, but after an hour of sharing the idea, we found a man who needed help understanding the internet, and I'm not sure if you've ever tried teaching seniors how to use it, but you have to start completely at the basics! This man didn't know what a computer mouse was, but throughout our 45 minutes, he really picked up on using a computer. It was a neat and very comical experience at the same time. Then later that evening, we had dinner at a family's house and had chicken alfredo, it was awesome!

On Saturday, I worked in the Chino zone and that was pretty good, there are A LOT of Asians there, my goodness. Then the next day was Sunday and we had church and dinner and did some office stuff for the departing missionaries this transfer. That basically summarizes our week. This one will be good and busy. Today we got invited to a memorial day barbeque, Wednesday we have a big meeting to follow up with the new missionaries that came in a month ago, Thursday we have an exchange with some zone leaders, and then Sunday is my birthday! 21... weird. We don't have anyone signed up for dinner that day and I am so tempted to ask the Tongan elders if we can join them for dinner that day ha! I just want some Tongan food. But yeah, things in my life are great.

Since Koriann requested, a day in my life goes like this: (first off every week is different) We get a normal Preparation day (except the first Monday of the transfer) and we have dinner, then we normally do office stuff the rest of that evening. Tuesday we attend a regular district meeting somewhere in the mission and meet with President Hobbs to discuss stuff in the mission. Then we get to do our own proselyting and we do splits with our ward Tuesday evenings. This Wednesday we have a meeting with the new missionaries that have only been out for a month and we discuss how things are, how they like their trainers, etc. On other weeks, we may be scheduling interviews with President Hobbs for other missionaries, putting together the information for departing missionaries, i don't know how to explain what I do, to be honest. Every day varies. But I enjoy being able to serve in any capability or position, that's what matters.

So yeah, I love you all! Have fun at Connor's graduation, wish him luck on his speech! And of course, have a great summer!

- Elder Bennion

Tuesday, May 19, 2015

Just Serve


I will make this quick and easy, since there really is not all that much to report on.

Since last Sunday, I am doing pretty good. It was good to hear from you all, it's just weird to see how much things change. This week I went on 2 exchanges with the Zone Leaders and I was in Apple Valley on Wednesday and had a good day there. Thursday we did office stuff and proselyting and Friday we set up a really awesome weekly service project at the Senior Center, which is going to be so good for the missionaries here. The church really wants missionaries and members out in the community more because when your LDS, our whole pool of friends is LDS, we need to fix that! I know I was pretty much the same way, but how can we expect the Lord's work to hasten if we're just doing what is comfortable? I hope you've heard of it, but the church put out a great website called Just Serve, it's a very good opportunity to do as it states. We are very excited.

On Saturday, I was in Rancho with Elder Aso and he's half Samoan and half Tongan and we had a great day! He lives in West Jordan and acts just like I was hoping for! I was pretty much reminiscing a lot of the day and telling him stories about Victorville, but we always see miracles if we have the eyes to see them. Our Sabbath day was good as well, I was praying really hard to find a new investigator because we haven't in 2 weeks! No luck in that aspect, but you never know where you make a difference. I've been inspired by the scripture in D&C somewhere it tells us not to be weary in well-doing, and ain't that the truth! That's what the mission is all about.

It's P-day again and I really want to get as much stuff done so we can nap sooner ha, I love you all, have a good week!

- Elder Bennion

Tuesday, May 12, 2015

Hello again!

Sister Finau from the San Fernando mission! she lives somewhere in Utah.

Elder Va'enuku from Vava'u, Tonga!

Coldstone!Hello again, family! It's lovely to speak with you once again after a wonderful Facetime call. Thank you for spending an hour with me and hearing how my life is and updating me on yours as well. The calls home never do their justice, they always go by so quickly! I have a difficult time pulling away for some reason, but it's always a good feeling to thrust back into the work of the Lord. We had a very good Sunday following the call where we handed out a Book of Mormon and set up a church tour with someone, which is a very exciting experience.

I feel as though there were some things I was unable to hear clearly and I didn't give a good answer, like Connor's concern about talking with others. So let me explain my thoughts on that. The Lord is brilliant and does all things in His timing, so it is our responsibility to live worthy of the Spirit because it will fill our mouths with words and truths of the gospel that will really touch these people's hearts. There are many people who are willing to accept cards and what not, but I do think it is important that we realize any time we get to interact with these people, we need to realize that the Lord is preparing people that we may not recognize. Just like sports, adjusting and getting good at missionary work takes practice. Not that I will give any room or credit to myself on my mission, it's just true in any situation that you reap what you sew. I'm not sure there's any way to practice socializing with strangers other than just doing it. That's why I feel very blessed to have worked with people all day long at the theater and Crystal Inn. The theater is a great and easy place to apply socializing with others, perhaps Connor could try that, and who knows where religion might comfortably come up. I think we'd all be surprised that it is much easier to bring up God than we may think (: Also, if he could send me the story of fasting, that would be great. I didn't understand that as well as I wanted. But fasting does work, I have a true testimony of that!

I was so happy to see our extended family as well, they are fantastic people. I am so happy that Mason got called to Oregon and I am so happy I got to wish him luck and a temporary goodbye until next year. Every missionary is fit for their mission and Mason is going to accomplish wonders there. He is a great young man and I am so thrilled for his decision and the Timothy's, it feels good to be a missionary and he will bring great honor to Shauna and Calvin, they have raised a beautiful and special family.

I am still a bit puzzled on school, I don't know when the Lord is going to answer my prayer on that one, but I think I am leaning toward going to UVU and going into sign language. We will see and I will fast and pray about it when the time draws nearer, thank you for being patient with me. 

Life here is treating my very well. I enjoy my calling and being able to represent the Lord. I really love the aspects of missionary work, it feels good to be confident on my mission. There's never a dull day and I can really say that as I understand the Lord more through the Book of Mormon, I am able to say there is no need to feel let down if things don't work out the way we wanted. We need to be so much more submissive and move on with the things the Lord has planned. His will is so much important than our own and I know we must chime in to his desire to bring to pass the immortality and eternal life of man. There are many people waiting for the gospel, they surround us every single day! There's so much left to do on the mission and I appreciate Ben and telling me that I need to be bold, I know it is a real blessing to those we teach as long as it is distributed with love. I need to apply that even more. 

Thank you all for your support and prayers and cheerfulness in my service, I promise that it makes a huge difference. I love you!!!

- Elder Bennion

Tuesday, May 5, 2015

New Position


I have had a very busy week as I got into this position a week before transfers so we spent A LOT of time finalizing the transfers and I will tell you what: President Hobbs does not have an easy job! Not that I thought he did in the first place, but it's definitely been made more apparent to me. My time to email will be brief because our P day involves a lot of driving missionaries places, so I am not going to be on the computer for long.

Let me start off by letting you know that my first week in Rancho has been really good! The valley is such a different world in our mission, it's an adjustment for sure. I am serving in the Highland ward and it is a very young ward! Lots of very young families, but they're awesome. We have ward mates that are sisters and one of them is Tongan! She's from Tooele, so now my Tongan can stay pretty amateur, but it won't fade! Elder Va'enuku from Tonga is also in our zone and he's awesome! This week I got to be with Elder Sudol and Elder Keller and I didn't love my trio in the MTC, but I had a really good week with these 2 elders. I'm replacing Elder Keller and he is from Idaho but goes to school at USU and he's super awesome. He goes home in 2 transfers and he loves the Cinefour, he says it's the cheapest place in Logan for movies, so maybe you'll get to meet up with him and treat him to some free stuff! He's been an awesome companion. Elder Sudol is from Sandy and I mentioned him not too long ago I believe. We've been on exchanges twice and they've both been good experiences, so we are looking forward to be companions!

Yesterday was the departing devotionals for the missionaries going home and I got to run into a lot of familiar faces, which one of them was obviously Martha! What an awesome lady. She really loves you guys as well and I am really hoping that you get to meet up with them when Kalani leaves for her mission. I was so happy to see my Alta Loma friends, whom I have failed to give my love to because I've been very boastful about the Tongans. I felt so bad that I may have made them feel less valuable than what they really are to me. I had no idea they were reading my blog and I didn't want to give off that idea to them. I do apologize, it's been on my mind since yesterday night, but I do love them immensely and always will. I got to see Gabby and she is doing great. She is attending the YSA ward and we share the building with them, so hopefully I will get to see her more around. There were 2 young men in the ward who also got their mission calls and I am so excited for them. If I did magically get transferred into their ward again, I would hope it would be during the duration to see Martha get baptized. I'm not sure when that will be taking place, but I do certainly hope that I get to be there for it (: You really meet the best people on the mission.

We have just found out that we will be skyping on Sunday at 5:00 p.m. Utah time, 4:00 p.m. California time. Please only plan on visiting with me for 45 minutes. Let's make this the best final call of my mission. I am looking forward to seeing your wonderful faces once again, I can't believe how quickly time has flown since Christmas! It will most likely be Facetime again, let's plan on that. Thank you very much for your excitement and support as I proceed upon my mortal journey. Love you!

- Elder Shawn Lyle Bennion