I'm not sure if you felt the same way, but this week flew by! Maybe it was the fact that we had to be in on Halloween by 6:00 and that we got to sleep in an extra hour on Sunday, I'm not sure.
Slowly things are getting to be ship shape and bristle fashioned (as Elder Cook taught me what that means). I'm trying to keep track of the littlest things that make a difference to me. For instance, being in the same zone as a certain missionary, the 3 sticks of deodorant someone in the ward gave us, and the lunch that someone from the ward provided us, that kinda stuff. Because it's November, I felt inspired to show more gratitude this month. Sister Hobbs tells us it's the basis of all righteous desires, and I can attest to that and that when we feel a type of gratitude, we tend to do things more with our heart. I am hoping it makes a difference in my prayers, my Sabbath day worship, and the way I face our jam-packed days of missionary work.
I am so thankful that things are getting more organized with our area and that though we haven't found a new investigator, that I can at least look back knowing I tried my best. I've also learned that there is a huge difference in disappointment and discouragement. We should be disappointed when we don't reach our goals or when we do something wrong or if we come home and no one accepted a Book of Mormon, but when we face discouragement, that steers us from giving a fuller effort. I am so grateful for the wise words of Gordon B. Hinckley's father "Forget yourself and go to work", it always provides me with motivation to work no matter the circumstances.
On Wednesday we had our very first English class and we even had one person show up! I wish I could explain what the classes are like, it would definitely be best if demonstrated in person.
This whole week we really worked hard to find people to teach and we talked to so many people, I really don't think I've been more diligent with it on my mission. I know that we have to go through the bad to get to the good. I rely a lot on chapter 9 of Preach My Gospel to keep my faith high that there are people waiting for the gospel. In my recent study, I was frustrated and then was led to D&C 64:29-34, and I've never felt as though the Lord has communicated so clearly a scripture to me until I came across this one. It was a neat experience.
As we sang a hymn in our studies, Hymn #281 said something that struck me "Help me teach with inspiration...Help me lift a soul's ambition to a higher, nobler way". What's so interesting is how the gospel influences every part of us and inspires us to be our best self. It truly has done that for me. Someone once told me "Don't compare yourself to others; compare yourself to where you started", I'm not sure why I shared that, I just thought it was interesting.
You want to know something else I find interesting? I'm learning that people don't believe in the same things we do with the after life. Of course that's to be expected, but what I was unaware of was what others think happens to their relationships and more importantly, their families. I'm so grateful that I've come to find out God's plan for families and how the same joy we have right now being around our families will be identical afterward too. I understand better why we have bodies and why it's so important to have an identity. I am so grateful that as long as I am faithful, that I will be blessed with a blissful sight of seeing others that I loved so dearly. I am grateful that with the divine love God has for our families, we can enjoy our bonds continually with them when we pass on. God's plan surely is a plan of perfection and happiness and I'm so grateful for that.
We had a good Halloween, but most importantly, we just had a good week serving the Lord. I love being a missionary so much with all of my heart. It's hard to express that feeling, but I'll keep it at that. I'm in shock that it's November, but am going to continue laboring with all my heart, might, mind, and strength. Thanks for everything, I love you all , have a great week!
- Elder Bennion