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Tuesday, May 20, 2014

week 43 - Moving back to Paisley Zone - as the zone leader

So sadly I am being moved again!!!  I can't believe it, I feel like I just barely got to Dalkeith!  Oh well what can you do.  So I'm moving to Paisley, Scotland and I'm gonna be the Zone Leader there.  To be honest I'm not really looking forward to it but that's just how it goes.  At least I get a car now!  haha my new companion is Elder Windhausen and I am really excited to serve with him!  He was my zone leader for 1 transfer while I was in Irvine and he is awesome!  We should have a fun time together.  He is from Germany, and is the most hilarious missionary I've ever met!  I think he only has like 2 or 3 transfers left on his mission, so I might be his last companion.  I'll also get to go on exchanges to Irvine and see some of the members and investigators there!  Elder Lattin is going to be training a new missionary so he's totally pumped for that.  He'll do a really good job at it, and hopefully they'll be able to get the area going better than it is now!  We were able to teach a lot more people this past week than the weeks before.  We also found quite a few people that seem really interested and I'm pretty sure they'll actually keep the return appointments we've set up with them!  I'll get to teach a few of them before I leave on Wednesday morning.  Ahhh, I just remembered that I have to pack everything again...  Haha I have started to accumulate a lot of stuff so hopefully I can fit it all.  I also really want to have a long area, so hopefully this one will be a long area for me!  Anyway's back to this past week, we also had some really good meetings with our ward mission leader and got some really good ideas going for the ward!  We're (well I guess its they're now) going to do 3 firesides in June, and and open house in july where they give tours of the building to everyone in the community.  Which I don't know if I ever told you guys, but all the buildings over here have to have pretty big gates surrounding it cause vandalism is a big issue.  It's sad cause our church buildings don't really seem the most welcoming because of it, and for the most part no one even knows that the building is an LDS church!  But the open house should help resolve that issue, and more people will start to get to know the church and what our beliefs are.  So now to answer E-dogs question:  No I haven't really tried any new foods lately, but I did have breakfast with one of the members yesterday morning, and we had pancakes with ice cream.  It actually wasn't too bad!  But my stomach didn't appreciate it, and it was rumbling the entire time we were at church.  I also have had a hamburger since I've been over here!  I've had quite a few actually.  If you make them yourself they are pretty good, but usually if you buy them at a restaurant they aren't as good as back home.
So just a quick note, hopefully you haven't sent the ring or the gloves to the Dalkeith address cause I won't be there anymore.  If you did it isn't too big of a deal cause Elder Lattin can just get them for me, but if you haven't sent them yet, you should just have them sent to the mission home.  I'll be there a lot more often than normal cause I'll have to go there at least once a month for meetings.  So if you have it sent there I can get it really easy.
Well that's all I got for this week, Love and miss you all!!!
Elder Benesch

week 42 - Loved talking to you guys

I'm not going to include his letter this week because he just answered some questions we had about what to get him for his birthday.  But here's the run down of what we talked about when we Skyped.

We were so excited to talk to Avery that the kids all planned something special for him:  Peyton sang with her ukulele, Malia played a song on the piano, Ethan whistled, and Dakota swayed with a lighter behind Peyton as she sang.  We also showed him a small part of Dakota's youtube video of when he got his wisdom teeth out (so great!  If you haven't seen it you need to look it up under beneschaz1 because there are many videos titled Dakota wisdom teeth).  The Campbell's even came in to watch it because they heard Avery laughing so much.

Avery looked so good!  He was wearing a new European style suit (never thought I'd see Avery in skinny pants!).  He said he liked the weather better in Dalkeith than Irvine (his 1st Scottish area in the Paisley zone) because it only drizzles daily in Dalkeith versus pouring daily in Irvine.

Apparently he loves mission stats so he informed us that most European missionaries have to have 20 investigators (meaning - at least one lesson given) before getting one baptism.  However the Scotland/Ireland typically has 10 investigators to every one baptism.  That being said they are still the one of the lowest baptizing mission.  So it's harder to find an investigator but when they do they are more likely to convert. (We'll call these stats "rounded" figures because Rex & I can't remember exactly)

Avery filled us in on all the details of the treasured day playing softball.  He also talked about his companion & how well they are getting along.  The rest of the hour was just spent shootin' the breeze.

week 41 - Mother's Day is coming

So this week was pretty good!  I had a really fun exchange with Elder Grant on Wednesday, and it was so awesome to be serving with him again!  We had the zone leaders blitz our area so we had 4 elders in our flat and it was a bit of a party haha.  It didn't get too out of hand though cause one of the zone leaders is a really obedient missionary so he did a good job of keeping Elder Lattin and Grant under control.  (they were wrestling and getting pretty into it!!)  We also got to go on exchanges with the AP's yesterday!!  It was way fun; I was with Elder Tinsley who goes home in about 2 weeks and is an incredible missionary.  He works ridiculously hard and is an incredible teacher.  It was great because we were able to teach really well together, and we taught a first lesson to this fijian family who we were referred to and it went awesome!  They are going to read the Book of Mormon and pray and then think about coming to church.  We also taught a less-active member, and for the lesson we just read through the Book of Mormon with him.  We read Alma 3 cause that was where he was at.  It was kinda funny cause if you read it that's where it talks about how the Amlicites marked their foreheads with red, and how the Lamanites were cursed with dark skin for being wicked, and this less-active guy had a lot of questions about it.  However we answered them really well, and it was actually one of the most powerful lessons that I've taught on my mission!  I shared D&C 50:14 with him and explained how in a way the Lord still marks us today, however now it's by the light you can see that shines from someone who is living the gospel, and that those who aren't living the gospel usually are missing that light in their lives.

So anyways with mothers day: We will be going over to a family called the Campbells at 6:30 Scotland time.  That's about all I know, sorry. 

Well I think that's it for me!!  Can't wait to skype on Sunday!! Love ya!  

Elder Benesch

Thursday, May 1, 2014

week 40 - Slow week but we played Softball!

So this week was incredibly weird, but it was amazing at the same time!!  So first of all it was the worst week I've had on my mission, and so that was pretty rough.  However I also had some really good experiences!!  So to start I'll explain why I'm emailing on Tuesday and not Monday since I forgot to tell you last week.  Yesterday we had something called Zone-Development Day!!!  This just got instituted into our mission and it's where every 2nd monday of a transfer, the whole zone comes together for the entire day and just play's games and fun stuff like that!!  I think our mission president is starting to realize how hard it is to be a missionary sometimes and he is implementing some new ways to give us a chance to blow off steam and just have a good experience.  So yesterday was an absolute blast!!  We played some funny games and did some crazy relay's (there's pictures I think so I'll have to send some when I get them from other missionaries.)  Then after that we had some lunch and headed down to a big field and played..... SOFTBALL!!!!!!!!!!!!  It was so much fun!  Me and Elder Boehme (the baseball player from mountain view who serves in Dalkeith too as an AP)  were pretty much in heaven.  I was going crazy when I found out we had softball stuff.  So after that we headed back to the church and played some more funny games, one was called psychiatrist, but other than that I don't really remember what they were or even how to play.  Then to finish off the day we did a murder mystery dinner!!  However I had to leave early with Elder South because I had to go do a baptismal interview for and investigator in Dumfries! (one of the area's in the district)  So I missed out on the murder mystery dinner, but I heard it was really good!  It was western themed and sounded kinda fun.  My zone leader just emailed a picture of everyone dressed up for it so I'll forward that in a second.  (I'm not in it)  So yeah yesterday was incredible!  And as I said a team in our district is having a baptism this coming Saturday so I went down to Dumfries to do the interview yesterday!!  That was such an incredible experience for me to sit down with someone and just talk for 35-45 minutes about how he wanted to take this next step in life.  He was an awesome kid who just wants to follow the example of Christ in his life and be the best person he can be.  Going off what you said dad about how keeping our covenants are an essential part of being successful as a missionary, doing a baptismal interview was a great reminder to me of the things I need to make sure I know and believe and am willing to do, specifically with keeping my baptismal covenant.  I also got to go on exchanges twice this past week which is awesome, and I'll have 3 more this week as well!  One of those is going to be with the AP's so that will be really cool.  They usually only go on exchanges with Zone-Leaders, but I was sneaky and said since they are in my district I should go on exchanges with them and make them more a part of our district!! haha I totally thought they would say no to it, but then this past sunday they said we could so I'm pretty excited now!  I'm going with Elder Tinsley who goes home in like 3 weeks and he's been AP for about 6 months, so I'm going to learn everything I possibly can from him!!! 
So that's about it for my week, it was awesome to hear all about the weeks you guys had!!  It sounds like you're all doing really well back home and I'm glad to hear everything is going good.  I'm definitely looking forward to hearing some good whistling from Ethan on Mothers day and also some good music from Peyton!!  Malia you might have to show me some of your sweet dance moves!!  As far as how everything is going to work, I'm not 100% sure yet.  I'll find out this week hopefully and let you know next monday.  If you could email me time preferences you have that would be great!!  The best time for me would be around 2 or 3 ( Scotland time) probably since that's right after church and the members could probably have us around to skype then.  It'll probably be like Christmas but I think we may have a bit more time.  I'm not totally sure how much but I'll find out all that info and let you know next monday!
I think that's everything, I love you all and miss you too! 
Elder Benesch

My Entire Zone - I'm not in it because I was doing a baptism interview.

Elder Wilberg, Elder Black, Elder Lewis, Me, Elder South, Elder Lattin

Our Sweet Mission Car!