Monday, March 24, 2014

week 35 - Finding Fever!

So we had a pretty awesome week!! We went on a lot of exchanges which is always fun. We also worked hard and did a lot of knocking on doors, but it all paid off because we found 3 new investigators this week!!! One of the guys we found is named Robbie Burns, which if you look up Scottish history, Robert Burns is the most famous poet of all time here. He's Scotland's Shakespeare basically, and this guy we found is his great grandson!!! He is super nice and we've taught him twice so far. He's at least open to hearing what we have to say so that's pretty cool! Our investigator Michael is also doing really well. He couldn't come to church this Sunday because he was on a work trip, but is coming next Sunday! We're going to give him a tour of the church building on Tuesday so that'll be really cool. It's amazing to see how the Lord has blessed us for our efforts, cause we are working harder than I ever have on my mission. Yesterday was also the Edinburgh stake conference and it went really well! President Brown spoke for a while and emphasized that the members need to be inviting their friends to listen to us which was really good of him!! He said "all my missionaries would rather you have them over to teach one of your friends than to have dinner; they would all gladly go hungry if you had someone for them to teach!" He is completely right, I would rather they had someone for me to teach than feed me dinner; especially since I'm starting to put on some weight with all the dinner appointments we've been having!! I weigh about 176 right now, but that's with very little muscle on my body I'd say. I'm like 17 or 18 percent body fat!
It's getting harder and harder to tell you guys cool stuff in my emails home! I can hardly ever think of what to say, since weeks just blend together now! Haha
So mom I would say to not bother with the homemade jam. It was really good!!! But I bet it cost a lot of money to send it and I would just eat it all in like a week or two anyway. The CTR ring sounds really cool though!! I'll have to think about what I would want on it, but I'll let you know next week.
Thank you so much for the sports news!! I appreciate it greatly. It's always fun to hear about something other than soccer :)
I have some good pictures from Edinburgh which I'll send to you in a bit. There's one that's kinda cool, it's a world war 1 memorial but it's called "The Call" and say's under it America to Scotland. So it clearly was made for missionaries who received their call from America to Scotland! haha..... I thought I was pretty clever to think of it :)
Anyways I love you all and hope you have a good week!!
Elder Benesch


Edinburgh Castle

Best pals from Irvine

WWI memorial  but it's really about me getting my call to Scotland (heehee!)

Thursday, March 20, 2014

week 34 - Dalkeith is nice!

Hello everyone, sorry again for the short email last week. I'll try to answer everyone's questions this week!
First of all though, let me tell you about the new area! So it's a fairly small town outside of Edinburgh, but it is really nice!! We live in a really posh estate, and we have some really nice neighbors! (none of which want the gospel though:( hahah) Our flat is brand new, and my new address is:
150 Newbattle Abbey Crescent
Dalkeith, EH22 3LR

My companion's name is Elder Lattin, and he's from Orange County, California. He was in the same stake as Elder Goldie!! Haha. He's been out 6 months so 1 transfer behind me. We've been getting on really well and working hard together!
So being a District Leader and whitewashing an area has been pretty intense so far! I've been super busy, and sometimes a bit stressed, but I've enjoyed it so far as well. The ward has made us feel really welcome, we've had dinner appointments almost every night since we've gotten here! The zone leaders had me give a training in zone meeting this past week, so that was fun. As far as the work goes, we've actually seen some success! Right now we have 2 investigators, one who we found and another guy named Tom Kay who has been taught by missionaries for 40 years. The guy we found we tracted into the very first day we were here! His name is Michael, he's a real nice guy and is mostly interested in what we believe because he is a religious professor at a secondary school (high school) in Dalkeith. However he is much more interested than he thinks, cause he is reading and praying about the book of Mormon and is asking a ton of questions that apply to him. We're seeing him a few times this week and he'll be at church this coming Sunday hopefully. As far as working with the AP's, it's been pretty cool! Their names are Elder Tinsley and Elder Boehme and we have been working a lot more with them than I thought we would. Elder Boehme is from Mesa! He's only been out 9 months and he's the AP, so dad I think you'll understand how much of a beast he is at missionary work. He went to mountain view and played baseball there, funny I never knew him!! He went to ASU (not for baseball) for a year before he came out. Elder Tinsley goes home in a few months and is a really good missionary as well. It's a cool opportunity to serve around them cause I'll get to learn a lot!!
So now to try and answer everyone's questions
I don't actually know when my release date is.. I think it's July 22nd, but I'm not too sure. 
So there are just us and the AP's in the area we live. There are quite a few missionaries that stay in Edinburgh, which is only a 45 min bus ride for us, but I don't think we're allowed to go and see them on P-day. The missionaries in our district are either an hour drive away or a 2 hour drive away! They both have cars so that helps with exchanges though. We do not get a car so I'm still walking all over the place!!
The food is BOSS Ethan haha. I definitely enjoy all the mashed potatoes we get fed! haha, and who could leave out the amazing Haggis!! Which I'm not joking when I say it's pretty good!
Dad the vote for Scotland to be independent is a HUGE deal over here! Sorry I could've told you about it a while ago. The people are pretty divided about it but it looks like Scotland will most likely vote yes to being independent in August, especially because they are allowing 16 year olds to vote!!!
So I never found out if Seyi got baptised. Me and Elder Goldie have both lost contact with him. He isn't the best with technology and we've written him a few letters but he probably didn't get them since he moved to England. Plus one of the missionaries in Mullingar went home early and so they sent 2 new ones in, and I haven't been able to talk to them about whether or not Seyi is there.
Also for Ethan, yes I did ride a train to get to my new Area. We ride on trains everywhere. Glasgow Central Station totally reminds of Harry Potter, and it's so cool to go there! Haha by the way did you know that the harry potter movies and books are different here than they are in the states!?! For example the first book/movie is called "Harry Potter and the Philosophers' Stone." Crazy huh?
Hopefully I answered all you questions! I did my best with it!! I love you all so much and quite enjoy hearing all the fun news from back home! Keep it real!

Elder Benesch

week 33 - I'm alive!

Sorry I have no time to email this week, but I thought I'd still you know I'm alive! I'm in the new area and it's been crazy getting used to it! Me and elder Lattin have no clue where anything is but we're figuring it out fast. All we've done is hit the streets and talk to everyone, and so we only taught 1 lesson last week. We have 10 appointments scheduled so far this week so it should go well. Sorry I can't email more, I promise to send a long email next week!
Love ya all!
Elder Benesch

Monday, March 3, 2014

week 32 - Moving to Dalkeith

So I totally forgot to tell you guys last week that this week I could be moving, cause I really didn't think I would anyway, but turns out I was wrong and I am moving to a new area!! I'm really bummed cause serving in Irvine has been the best experience ever and I'm not ready to go at all. Oh well though I gotta go where the Lord needs me to go!

My new area is Dalkeith, which is just southeast of Edinburgh. My new assignment is to serve as a District Leader, and on top of that I'm whitewashing into the area! (whitewashing is where 2 missionaries leave the area and 2 new go in). So basically I'm gonna be in the dark completely, and have to learn how to be a district leader, and did I mention Dalkeith is the area the assistants are in!?! So I think they are in my district, and I have no idea how it all works, but it looks like I'm going to be training AP's in district meetings. Ouch. Needless to say I'm a bit nervous, but then again, I'm sure I'll do fine!!

Well as for the rest of the news for this week, we had a few good lessons with Aaron and Jacqui. Sadly they've been having some relationship problems, and I think they are trying to delay the wedding, but are scared to tell us that. We've decided to stop trying to push them to get married and baptized, but simply teach them the essential doctrine they can understand, and do all we can to make sure their conversion is real. We felt like this is the way forward because we don't want to have them be married and baptized simply because we want them to, we want them to be truly converted to the restored gospel!! So we're explaining to them tonight that it is their decision to make (as far as marriage goes) and we will support them and continue to help them whatever their choice is. It's sad to do that cause we do really want to baptize, but I want to baptize true converts, not someone who just does what we say.

We had another really sad experience this week. There is a less-active member named Andy Polland who is kinda crazy (heavy smoker, drinker, and is always causing trouble in the pubs) and always seems to get into trouble. (His ex-partner is Kirsty, who we've been teaching and is planning a baptism soon). Anyways Andy got attacked by some guys and was beaten up pretty badly on this past Wednesday night, and his face was pretty much destroyed. He had to get surgery (facial reconstruction) done, and had 4 plates and 5 screws put into his face. We went down to give him a blessing Thursday morning before his operation, and when I walked in I was really shocked by how bad he looked. I felt absolutely terrible, and I literally almost threw up because I just couldn't believe someone could do that to another person. He was unrecognizable, and it just tore me and Elder Grant to pieces. We could only stay for 10 minutes, before the nurses kicked us out. He wasn't supposed to have visitors, but since we're "ministers" and have ministerial cards we were allowed in. Luckily the surgery went well and he is recovering much quicker than the doctors thought he would. We saw him last night, and he looked 10 times better. Still though the whole experience just made me realize the nastiness of the world, and just how evil it really is. I've never felt so disgusted with others and for some reason the whole day I just really struggled with comprehending how the light of Christ which all are born with can be diminished so much so in some people that it is basically gone completely from them. I have since then thought a lot about it, and I have realized another reason why I am on a mission, and that is basically to combat the forces of Satan, and come to help others recognize the light which is deep down inside of them. The gospel is the only thing that can change the world for the better, and I am on the front lines fighting the battle for light and truth.

Well to a lighter subject :)
I am so excited about the Gilbert Temple!!! The cultural celebration sounds like the coolest thing ever! I'm so glad you guys all got to experience it! I'm pretty jealous I'm not gonna lie. I've missed out on a lot of opportunities to see Prophets and Apostles on my mission. Elder's Ballard, Nelson, and Holland of the 12 came and spoke to the 50 missionaries or so in the Preston MTC, literally a day and half after I left. Then Elder Ballard was in Dublin, while I was in Mullingar. And now the Prophet came to Gilbert while I'm in Scotland!! Haha, it's all good though, "I don't need to see him, to know He's a prophet!" -(cheesy line from the movie: Prophet of the Restoration)
Thats all the news for this week, love you all and hope everything continues to go well for you guys!!!

Elder Benesch
Dundonald Castle

We snuck inside! 

Me and Elder Grant

Irvine harbor