Tuesday, April 22, 2014

week 39 - Easter Season

Well everyone, Happy Easter!!! Also... Happy Birthday DAD!!!! 44 and still going strong! Haha hopefully you don't feel too old. So I loved hearing about the Easter party and all the crazy challenges Garrett made you do!! I thought it was all pretty funny, especially the whole Peyton sticking her finger in Grandpa-D's nose!!! That was a classic Garrett idea!! We had a really good Easter dinner with this family the Campbell's. They had us and the AP's over and after dinner we played some Easter games. The first one was just throwing a hard-boiled egg down a hill and whoever could get it the farthest without it breaking won. The second game we played was Egg roulette!! So this is where you have a bunch of eggs, some hard-boiled and some not, in a pile. You then pick an egg and then someone smashes it on your forehead!! If you get a hard boiled egg nothing really happens, but if you get a raw egg, then you get covered in it!!!! It was hilarious, and we have lots of good videos/pictures of it all so hopefully I can find a way to send it home to you guys. But I have decided that I'm bringing egg-roulette home with me and starting a new family tradition! So get ready for it in 2 years!! Haha. As far as the missionary work side of things this week was really slow. We didn't see much success but we did teach a few lessons. We taught Graham again and it went well. We really laid down the law with him and explained that if he want's to be baptized (and he REALLY does) then he has to be taught all the lessons and start coming to church. Hopefully we got that across to him in a way that helps him start progressing and keeping appointments!! At the end of the lesson though he said a prayer which was really good and you could tell how he really wanted to follow God. I always enjoy having our investigators pray, 1. cause the spirit is usually really strong when you let them and they really have a desire to learn, and 2. cause it really show's you where they are at as far as their progression. In all honesty, you can tell a lot about a person in the way that they pray. In the teachings of Joseph Fielding Smith manual, there is a lot of stories from the children of the prophet Joseph Fielding Smith where they explain that whenever they heard him pray, they really felt like he was talking with his father in heaven, which that's really what prayer is! It's a conversation with our heavenly father!! So there's my quick 2 cents on praying :)

Mom- I did get Flat Stanley!! I haven't taken any pictures with him yet, but you got the address correct!! Also thank you very much for the baseball updates! I appreciate them:)

Dad- That's really good that you have the priest's going on splits again!! I would try to get the missionaries as involved as you can with the youth (depends on whether or not it's productive for the missionaries there to do it) but a missionary night at mutual is a really good idea. We've been trying to do stuff like that here to prepare the youth here for missions; cause I have noticed that some missionaries when they come out really have no clue what they are meant to teach and don't understand the doctrine all that well. I would say understanding why their needed to be a restoration of the true church of Jesus Christ is so important to understand as a missionary. Along with that I think they need to understand the importance of the Book of Mormon in the restoration. The Book of Mormon contains a fulness of the gospel, and also witnesses more fully to us that Jesus is the Christ, but for missionaries the key thing to understand is the fact that it is evidence that Joseph Smith was called to be the prophet to restore the true church of Jesus Christ on the earth today. I would say every priest getting ready for a mission really needs to know that, and then also gain a testimony of the truthfulness of the Book of Mormon, so that way they do know for themselves that everything taught in the Book of Mormon and by modern day prophets is true. In all honesty, I would go through PMG Chapter 3, and just help everyone understand those basic principles taught in the first 3 lessons taught by missionaries. If you can understand the principles in PMG about the restoration, plan of salvation, and gospel of jesus christ, then you're definitely prepared for a mission.

And that's some really bad news about the D-backs, but oh well. If there going to suck, I'd rather it be the season I miss while on my mission!! Also being a senior companion and district leader wasn't too bad of a transition. Elder Lattin is a really good missionary and we work well together so I don't really have to worry about leading out in lessons and stuff a whole lot. Being a district leader was kinda scary at first, but now it's pretty easy. I'm learning a lot and it's helping me more than any of the teams in the district I think!!

Well I think that's it for me! I love you all and am so glad to hear from you!

Elder Benesch

week 38 - Another transfer in Dalkeith

So once again I forgot to tell you that our move's calls were last night!! It's okay though cause I was pretty sure nothing would happen since me and Elder Lattin just got here, and I was right! So we are both staying for another transfer here in Dalkeith and I'm super pumped for it! It's only a 5 week transfer so it'll go by quick, but we'll be able to get some work done while we're here! Also my last companion Elder Grant is going to come to my zone again and be the zone leader!!! I'm so pumped because it means he'll probably go on exchanges with me when they come to my district meeting!! In other news we didn't have too much success with our investigators this week. We found 2 new people to teach this week though, and they both seem pretty interested actually!! We taught a woman named Lorna who is way into her Christian church that she is a part of, but when we told her about the Book of Mormon and Joseph Smith, she just kind of took it all to be true! She asked if she would have to stop going to her church if she went to ours and we just simply explained it's her choice, but if she received an answer from God about the BoM and Joseph Smith and knew our church was the true church, wouldn't she want to belong to that church? She said she would and it's seemed like if she gets an answer she would be totally willing to be baptized!! We also taught Graham once this week. He's the one who got off alcohol by using and reading the book of Mormon. He never keeps any of the appointments we set with him, and he didn't come to church yesterday, but we still run into him on the street just about every day and he still wants to be baptized!! Hopefully we can pin him down and get him to start keeping more appointments and coming to church.
So to answer some questions: Dad I do remember Brother Gallacher! He taught the mission prep class and he was a really nice guy! That's pretty cool that he is on the stake presidency now, I'm sure he'll do well. That's also pretty funny about Dakota and that girl. Haha mom are you going to make him do some crazy invitation thing for prom?? Oh and also it doesn't rain that much here!! I guess you would think it rains a lot since you're used to AZ but believe me, this is 100 times better than it was in Irvine!! We would get dumped on in Irvine every single day. Whereas here it's just drizzling almost all the time, but it's really not that bad! The coat I bought is working well too. Mom I would also LOVE some stories about church history in Scotland!!! I love learning about church history so that would be awesome if you could send some. E-dog, you should definitely keep working on the whistling. Maybe one day you could become a professional whistler.... you know, make a living out of it or something.
MOM: I don't know if you were going to do the CTR ring thing or not, but I would like "Till the work is done" as the inscription. It's like one of our mission motto's, so I think that would be cool.
Well I'm glad everything is going well back home! Love you all and keep on being awesome!!
Elder Benesch
"Bring out yer dead!"  Scottish National Museum

week 37 - Conference Week

Hello everyone!!
This week was incredible! I love listening to conference while on my mission! I learned so much over the past few days, and I've also thought of a lot of things that I can start working on improving over the next few months! It was a little crazy to be watching conference again on my mission, especially since you only watch it 4 times while you're out. So now I only have 2 more conferences left to watch on my mission. Some of the talks that stood out to me the most were Elder Bednar's in the Sunday morning session, Elder Ballards, simply cause it was on missionary work and I just trained my district about following-up on commitments, and also Jean A. Stevens (I think that's her name?) the counsellor in the primary presidency. Elder Bednar really explained the power of the atonement well, especially how it is there to strengthen us through our difficult times, not necessarily make it all easy. We need the challenges, because the challenges are there to make us rely on Christ, and when we rely on Christ he can then shape us into the individuals we are meant to become. Relying on Christ allows us to reach our eternal potential. Sister Stevens talk was so simple, and it just made me realize how incredible it is that even with the simplicity of the gospel, it can apply directly to every single one of us and can provide answers to the questions of the soul we all individually ask. It made me think of how we are to become as little children, and how to do so we need to sometimes simplify what we do or think and focus on what is really important. There were so many other good talks and if I keep writing about them I could be emailing all day!
As far as the week went, we found 4 new investigators which was pretty cool. However we didn't see any of our investigators we were already working with so that was a bummer. They were all either busy or could possibly be avoiding us. I'm going with the more positive outlook and saying they just all forgot about their appointments and their phones were dead all of last week!! haha. Oh well what can you do. I'm glad to hear everything is going well, and I was quite impressed to hear that Malia has a journal already! I've been really bad at my journal writing recently (like once a week this past month) but Malia has inspired me to get better at it this week!
Well I love you all and hope to have some better news next week with our investigators!
Elder Benesch

Wednesday, April 2, 2014

week 36 - Funny Drunk People

What's up!!
This week was a little rough, we didn't see as much success as I would like, but that's okay!! We did our best and that's all the Lord asks of us. We did have some funny/cool/awesome experiences though! The first one is the miracle of the week. We were on the bus heading back into town after someone didn't keep their appointment and a man got on and started to talk with us. He explained that he was a recovering alcoholic and had been off the drink for 3 months. He then told us he was using as his main source of inspiration to help him get off! He had been watching video's and reading the Book of Mormon to help him feel he could really rely on God to stop drinking! Since he's been off he's been going to a ton of AA meetings to help others stop drinking, and he's been using Book of Mormon references to help him out with it!! It was totally incredible and now we have an appointment with him tomorrow, so hopefully he'll keep it and we'll be able to share more with him!!!
The second story is more of a funny one, but I guess kinda scary as well. We were teaching Robbie Burns (I told you about him last week) and he was totally drunk. He was stumbling all over the room in a T-shirt and boxers, and fell like 3 times. Robbie is about 46 by the way, and is in really bad health. He told us that he had a heart attack a few days before we met him, but I'm not sure if that's true. Anyways, at one point we were trying to help him get up (he is sitting on the floor right now), and he told Elder Lattin to go turn the hallway light off. While Elder Lattin goes to do that, Robbie passes out and collapses, and I'm pretty sure he was out cold for a good 10-15 seconds. He has a life-alert type thing on his wrist that goes off and starts beeping (which he had told us was a heart-rate moniter so I thought he was having a heart attack!), and so I freaked out a bit. Robbie started to wake up a bit and starting talking for a few seconds, and seemed to be doing a bit better. Then the emergency life-alert people (no clue what the name is) called and Elder Lattin explained the situation. They sent an ambulance just in case, but by the time it got there Robbie was doing a lot better. Apparently the paramedics had dealt with Robbie quite a few times before in similar situations, and they totally recognized him and started telling him he needed to quit drinking or he was going to kill himself! After the paramedics got there we ended up just leaving so we could get back to our flat before 9. It was a bit funny but a bit scary cause if we weren't there he could've possibly died! I think he would've been okay, but who knows!!
So there's a few good stories for the week!! Last P-day we went to the Scottish National Museum in Edinburgh, and it was pretty exciting!! They had some cool exhibits and it was pretty fun to check out. The best was you could go out onto the roof of the museum and look out over all of Edinburgh! It was so pretty, and it had a really good view of Edinburgh castle! Other than that we haven't gone and checked any other cool sites out yet. It's tough to go places when you don't have a car.... plus we're not allowed to use cars for travel on P-Days anyway. Today we're staying in Dalkeith and have a few cool things we're gonna try to check out. We might also try to find a way to play some golf, because I HAVE to play golf in Scotland once on my mission. Golf was invented here I'm pretty sure!
So I've been talking to Tyler Clark and Matt Painter a lot, and they've got iPads in their missions! Each of them get their own, and they use it for everything! They teach from it, use them as their planners, they read scriptures on them, go on Facebook with them, email with them, I mean it's ridiculous that they can do all of that!! My companion said he heard that every mission will have them by the end of the year, but I don't know if I believe it cause rumours spread in missions like crazy. Anyways, I'm pretty jealous of the fact that they use their iPads for everything. When Tyler emails me every now and then, at the end of the email he puts "Enviado desde iPad de Dios" and it kills me.
Happy Birthday Peyton!!! I can't believe you're already 14! You'll almost be driving when I get back!!! That'll be scary... Haha just kidding. I'm glad your birthday was so much fun!
Well I can't think of anything else for the week so I love you all and miss you! Missionary work is so cool and it's helping me grow so much!
Elder Benesch