I know that Ben has had good luck at winning things over the radio as well as guessing the right things that is happening in my mission, because it is true that President Hobbs has called me to be a trainer this upcoming transfer!
Before I get into that, I just want to mention how much I loved being an assistant. Even though there were mornings that I felt sleep deprived, I really enjoyed serving here for 6 months. It was such a great experience to see how hard of a worker President Hobbs is. It's amazing to see what the Lord helps His servants accomplish even when they are mortals and are dealing with the same homesick emotions and fatigue, yet they give even more from a source that I'm not even sure they knew existed. He is truly an inspired President and I am really going to miss being able to see them and be closely associated. I learned a lot from him and consider him to be of the finest of mission presidents. He's shown me the importance of family, the need of conversion to our Savior (which comes through the Book of Mormon), and how much our Heavenly Father loves us. And I can tell by the way he treats his wife that he is gentle and loving toward all of our Father's children. I really admire him, as I know a lot of us do.
Explaining my week would be so much easier if I could upload pictures, but it's not working for some reason. So I will give it a shot without them. This week we've had Elder Findlay with us and he's an awesome missionary, he'll be serving as President's assistant probably until he goes home. For what President Hobbs wants to accomplish in our mission, Elder Findlay is so fit for this. Elder Hancock and I have had a good week with him (especially since they've been companions before).
We had dinner with a family on Wednesday who encouraged us to sing in sacrament on Sunday and when I found out earlier this week that I was going to be transferred, we thought it'd be a good idea, so all week we were preparing a hymn to sing in Tongan, so we chose one of my favorites "Lord, I Would Follow Thee" ('Eiki te U Muimui Atu) and it worked out very well considering Elder Hancock sang the tenor part, I sang the melody, and Elder Findlay sang the bass, and honestly, it turned out pretty good! The ward was so thrilled. I'm not sure what it is, but when palangi's embrace their culture, they get so excited, so singing in Tongan was just so amusing to them. It was so great to sing in their ward. Most importantly, to serve in it. I discovered that every Tongan ward is different, but man, I loved serving in this one so much! The members down here have very busy schedules, so any teaching appointment was special and being able to teach the Meleisea's was probably the best thing to happen while we were in that ward. Jonathan said the prayer for the first time yesterday when they had us over for dinner and that is one of my favorite things when investigators pray for the first time around us if they're shy to do it. Within the 3 months of knowing them, it was so great to be at their home each Sunday. The gospel will continue to do wonderful things for John and I hope to hear about a baptism of his in the future. The members there are so great, I love them so much! I'm grateful that they continued to open their home to us even after the mission. They've played a big part of my mission, but I am aware that the remainder of my mission will be now be spent around a different ward.
Starting tomorrow, I will be serving in the Diamond Bar ward which is the closest you can get to Los Angeles from the Rancho Cucamonga mission and it is apparently very populated by Asians. It's in the Chino stake which is the only stake in our mission that covers LA county. I will be training a missionary named Elder Hsu who has been out for 6 weeks and will be training another new missionary that is arriving tonight. It is going to be something very new and will take a lot of pondering on how to make it work ha. I'm very excited though. I've wanted to serve in Chino since I got here and when I found out about Diamond Bar, it just felt right. Our neighbors in Rancho are pretty cool and when I told them I was being transferred, our neighbor mentioned his Brother in law that lives one street over from where I'll be living and told me to go visit him. I took that as a sign the Lord needs me there. I am so excited for this new part of my mission. I am eager to serve in the ward and so excited that I get to have full proselyting days, it is going to be so great to use that time in proclaiming the gospel more frequently. I've been anticipating it all week and know it's going to be great.
I am sure going to miss Elder Hancock though! He's been such a great companion. I thought I was going to be in Rancho for another 6 weeks honestly. It doesn't exactly feel all that real though that he won't be my companion for long. He's such a good missionary though. He's very diligent and does the right things for the right reason and is so goal-oriented. I really hope that being with him for that long will help me to apply that everywhere I go. He's very kind and is the best at serving companions, he always looks for a way to do it and it's so awesome. I've been very blessed by his example and friendship. Him being from Arizona made me feel such a desire to visit the Walker's because that state sounds awesome! Plus it's been a while since we've since them, I haven't seen them since Grandma's funeral I think. Either way, I'm really gonna miss him. His actions definitely speak louder than his words and I am appreciative of all the ways he served me and lent a hand to let me know he cares.
I think that's about all, and there was a lot of it too! Lots of new changes, I am going to try my hardest to embrace each one of them. President Hobbs made many remarks today that caught my attention about how it's the Lord's work. He shares that a lot, but I think it's because we can forget that pretty easily in missionary work. I do know that there is a lot of improvement in myself that needs to happen within these next 3 months and so I think I'm going to mark in The Book of Mormon every time there is a reference to Christ. I know that many others have done that and said it is an effective way to truly see how much the Book of Mormon is about the Savior. I know that's who it all encompasses because that's who our ending revolves around. I'm grateful that I have His promise of eternal life with our Father again through making and keeping sacred covenants. It's been cemented in my gospel knowledge that the Lord will always keep His promises to us and I have complete faith that that will never change. I'm grateful to be heirs of the Eternal King and am grateful to call Him my Father. I'm also ecstatic to have a Savior who once died for me because He knew what I was going to struggle with. I know I have His support and with Him being the center of our lives, we shall granted into His rest where we won't even need to try not to be tempted and we too will have the disposition to never do evil again. I know just like the famous primary song, if the Savior stood physically and spiritually beside us, we would follow His example and live more righteously.
I love you all and hope you have a great week and that you put on a jacket, I bet it's getting cold up there in Utah!
- Elder Shawn Lyle Bennion
|Elder Hancock and I!|
|The purple tie trio!|