Monday, March 30, 2015

week 88 - Orkney!!!

Hey! So we had a really awesome week, and we finished it off with a trip to the Orkney Islands over the weekend where we attended the branch there on Sunday!! It was a really good experience, and we got some good work done over there. The branch is pretty small, like 5 active members, so I think it was really good for us to be there to help strengthen them and lift them up a bit. Our investigator L. in Thurso came to church again which was awesome! We also found a family of 5 that we've started teaching and another 2 people who are really cool!! We're definitely being blessed like crazy right now. It's funny cause it's all kinda started when I've focused more on the fact that as a missionary I'm meant to be a teacher, not just someone who tracts all day and doesn't find too many people. It's helped a lot cause now we just teach loads of lessons! (well not loads, but we've already had like four times as many lessons taught these past 2 weeks then this area had last transfer, so it seems like loads). We're also trying some bold approaches when it comes to finding people, and that's kinda working as well which is cool!

So to answer all the questions:
We do cover the islands, but we only go once a month, and it's more just to visit the branch and strengthen the members there. They have a small little office place where they meet on sundays. We don't do a whole lot of finding and teaching out there unless we have a referral. We are teaching a referral on Orkney right now though, and we just got permission to do skype lessons with them throughout the weeks when we aren't on Orkney, so that'll be cool!

I've already gotten to do a little farm work as service for one of the members!! It was pretty different but fun as well. Definitely a good experience!!

I have a feeling this will be my last area, typically president has missionaries who were zone leaders train there last 2 transfers, but I don't think there are a lot of new missionaries coming in so I probably won't, but we'll see.

We do live in a square, but I wouldn't really say it's beautiful, it's kinda just typical Scotland!! haha However I think I'm just used to the way things look over here. This area definitely is the most Scottish of all the areas I've been in, mainly because this is the Highlands!!! Lots of pretty stuff out here.

Well hopefully that's all the questions answered!!

I love you all and hope you guys have an awesome week!!!

Elder Benesch
Avery looks so different to me - longer hair combed to the side and is that SKINNY JEANS he's wearing??!!
I thought that boy only wore basketball shorts.

This is The Old Man of Hoy.  Hoy is one of the Orkney Islands.

I got this off of google maps to show you how the "typical" square Avery's flat overlooks.
I'm assuming his flat is above one of the stores.

This is the town parrish at the end of the square with a statue of the town's founder.

week 87 - 2 trips to Aberdeen

We had a really fun weekend!! So this past Friday we had zone conference which was awesome! I guess I never told you guys but I'm not a zone leader anymore!!! It's really nice:) haha so at zone conference I got to sit back and listen and soak everything in! President and sister Brown trained us together which they don't normally do and it was so fun to listen to them as they trained together. They did an amazing job! Then on Sunday we were able have 2 of our investigators at church, which I don't think investigators have been at church in Thurso for a long time so that was really exciting! L. really enjoyed and he has told us he wants to be baptized, so now it's just a matter of when really!! Hopefully he'll be ready to go by the end of April. Then on Monday (yesterday) we had our zone development day! It was a lot of fun, especially cause I didn't have to plan anything for it!!! We basically just played sports the whole time, and even though I've been getting up at 6 each morning to have an extra 30 minutes of workout time, I'm still really out of shape!! Hopefully by the time I get back home I'll be a little bit healthier and fit haha. All in all though it's been pretty fun! The longest part of all of this has been the driving though. It's a 5 hour drive to Aberdeen and we had to go down twice which just absolutely killed us so we're pretty exhausted now, hopefully we'll recover quick so we don't look like zombies when we're knocking on people's doors!! It sounds like everyone has been having lot's of fun lately though! I'm glad you guys are keeping busy and doing some cool stuff. I miss you all loads!! Love ya! Have a good week!!

Elder Benesch

week 86 - Beautiful Thurso!


So I made it to Thurso on Wednesday night, but I should tell you the story of how I got there!! So for the first part of my traveling on Wednesday we were driving from Dundee to Stonehaven, which is 3/4 of the way to Aberdeen where we were going to meet the Elders from Aberdeen and exchange people (so me) who were moving from Dundee to Aberdeen and Aberdeen to Dundee. We ended up leaving an hour early from Dundee though, and took a detour at this awesome castle!!!! It's Dunnotar castle, and it was beautiful!! We stayed there for a bit and then I proceeded to take a 45 minute drive to Aberdeen; then a 2 1/2 hour train to Inverness; then a 2 1/2 drive to Thurso and finally made it!! We are AGES away from other missionaries haha!! It's good though because I get to experience the highlands of Scotland. Not to mention we are literally out in the country!! Most of the members of the branch live on what they call crofts, which are basically tiny farms. They all have chickens, sheep, horses, cows and all that jazz. It's pretty fun and it'll be a totally different experience for me since I'm so used to serving in city type areas!! I'm excited though. Dad I have heard about the surfing!! We actually have an appointment with a guy who surfs loads up here. He told us if he isn't there it's probably because the surf is awesome that day hahaha. I'll try to find out more about where it is and stuff and we'll definitely have to check it out! The area is beautiful to drive around in, and so I'm really excited to do some sight seeing and stuff. We also have 1 investigator we are working with who is really solid! He is thinking a bit about baptism, and it seems like he's willing to do it and he feels good about the Book of Mormon so we'll see where that goes! All the Hawaii stuff sounds awesome!! To be honest, talking about Hawaii doesn't make me trunky at all so if you want to fill me in on stuff feel free. What makes me trunky is BASEBALL. hahaha, I kinda miss it... I'm pretty good at staying focused during the day though, what I do is just study all the time which helps a lot.

Well I love you all so much and I hope you have a great week!!!

Donnatar Castle

week 85 - Thurso Her I Come!

Hey everyone! So I got a moves call and I'm headed off to serve in Thurso!! It's literally in the middle of nowhere in Scotland. It's going to be so beautiful, I can't wait! It's pretty much as far north as you can possibly get on the main part of Scotland, and as far as I know our area covers the Orkney Islands as well!! I'm really excited about it! Sorry this is gonna be a short email cause we're pretty busy with the moves planning stuff. It's really boring..... but hey to answer your question about the kilt, I wasn't really planning on getting one!! I might buy one of the cheap fake ones that are like 30 pounds on my last day in Edinburgh. The real ones cost like 200 pounds for a decent one! So that's why I was thinking that I won't get one...

Well sorry it's a short email, but I love you all and hope you have a good week!!!

Elder Benesch

week 84 - More stuff

We had a good week! We went on 2 exchanges and I was out of the area both times. I got to go to Perth for the 3rd time in the past 2 months and meet all of the members again! That's such a cool place and now I feel like I know all of the members there just as well as I know the ones in Bingham! Our investigator T. has fallen off the face of the earth and so I don't really know what is happening there. Hopefully she's just really busy, but who knows. We got a new investigator named S. who is a really cool guy! He met with missionaries in the past, but lost touch with them. It's cool cause he requested a visit from missionaries and so something has sparked his desire to learn again and we're excited for that! We'll just have to wait and see how it goes. I've been studying a lot lately on the sacrament and the importance of it. It's been so cool to see all the different insights I've been having by studying the different times the Saviour instituted the sacrament, such as at the last supper or in the americas. I love studying the scriptures!!

So I'm pretty excited for Hawaii! It sounds like it'll be a lot of fun. Definitely plan some good stuff for us to do!

Well this sunday is moves call, I have feeling I might get moved but we'll wait and see. Next time I email I could be moving somewhere else!!

I love you all so much!! Have a good week!

Elder Benesch

week 83 - Crazy week with Z-day & stuff

Hey everyone!!

So this is going to be a short email cause we only have a short time to email today. We had our zone development day yesterday which was a blast!! We played wiffleball which was so much fun! Me, Elder Boehme, and Elder Bailey died cause we realized how much we miss baseball as we were playing. All of us AZ baseball kids will definitely have to hit up a few D-backs games when we get back. We're really starting to struggle with our area, nothing seems to be working out and it's starting to get to us a bit, but oh well we'll figure it out!!

so in answer to the important questions:
My release date is the 8th of July so I think you're good to buy tickets for Hawaii!

Congrats mom and finishing up your last presentation and paper!!! That's so exciting!!! I'm really happy for you! And it sounds like the BYD was awesome, wish I would've been there for it! I'm super excited for Dakota to do his mini mission! He's gonna absolutely love it, that's so cool! A lot of the youth out here get to do things like that and it really helps them prepare for their missions. I was pretty sad that I didn't even really know the missionaries before my mission, so that'll be a really good experience!! Enjoy it Dakota!! Peyton and Dakota you should tell me how youth conference went! Think of a cool spiritual principle you learned while you were there to tell me about! E-dog how was the campout?? Was it pretty sweet? Did you do anything crazy? And Malia how has school been going?? Well I love you all so much!! Have a good week!!

Elder Benesch

week 82 - Sunny Dundee

So I don't think I've told you much about the weather around Dundee, it's actually the sunniest place that I've been on my mission! Haha do you like how it took me nearly 2 months of being here to tell you that? It is still really cold though, but at least the sun is shining while it's cold! It helps so much when we go out finding. When the sun is out people just seem happier and more willing to talk! We had a lot of finding this week because a lot of our appointments with our investigators fell through. T., who is the one who is the most promising, couldn't meet at all this past week, and we just got a text that she is on holiday all this week so we won't see her for a while! She is still reading the book of mormon and staying in touch so I'm sure it'll work out alright! We did find a new guy to teach named M. who has met up with us once so far. He's only curious really about what we believe and tells us he has no intention really of joining our church or going any further after he learns about it, but he said he is willing to read and pray about the book of mormon which is the important part so that's cool! He's a solid Christian guy from Ireland who's studying over here in Dundee, and to be honest it's so nice to talk to young people like him who are Christians cause you hardly ever find any young person over here with a belief in God. When we meet up with him this week we'll see if his curiosity has turned into anything more, like a real desire to discover if the things we share about are true.

We're probably going to head to St. Andrews today for our P-day so I'll make sure to get some really good pictures! Bro. Elkins has also said that he might take us golfing in St. Andrews one of our pdays which would be so cool!!! We won't go on the old course, because that's really expensive but there is like 8 other courses in St. Andrews so we'll just go on one of them probably.

thank you so much by the way for talking with the coach at CGCC dad! Hopefully things can work out there when I get back in July.

Well I love you all so much and I hope you have a great week!!!

Elder Benesch

week 81 - College Stuff & ZIT

Hey! So first off, Mom I like how you're really proactive at finding a way for me to stay home and go to school in Arizona ;) here's the stuff I'm thinking about with school after talking with my mission president and with our old ward mission leader, who is going to be a professor at byu and so I kinda trust his advice with school stuff haha. I'll just stay at home and go to a junior college, but I want to play baseball as well!! Both my mission president and our old ward mission leader said it's not a bad idea to try and since I love it so much they said I should go for it, as long as I keep focused just as much on church service and education as I do with baseball then I should be fine. So just keep going with the stuff for Chandler Gilbert!! I don't really want to go to ASU, it just doesn't really appeal to me at all..... sorry mom. maybe if they gave me a scholarship for baseball I would consider it haha, but that won't be happening. I'll think about the UVU thing as well, if I can still transfer there, but it probably is a no go.

so here's the list of schools I want to go to, in order of where I would want to go first:
1. Chandler Gilbert CC playing baseball
2. Glendale CC playing baseball
3. any other junior college near home that I could play baseball at
4. Chandler Gilbert CC, not playing baseball (work and get ready for school at BYU, most likely for winter or spring semester of 2016)

Hope this all helps with what you're planning for me, thank you so much for helping me out!! You're the best parents ever!!!!

We had a really good Zone Interview Training meeting this week, it was pretty long though! It started at 10 and went until about 4, but we had a lot of good training given and I definitely felt really uplifted and inspired to go out and work harder! We also had MLC this week, which is always pretty fun! President Brown has implemented a new "vision" for our mission that all of us are jumping on board with which is really cool. The main goal is for every individual missionary to become more fully converted, to understand how to receive revelation and live by it, and to baptize 2 people per year. If every missionary in our mission baptized 2 people in the year 2015 we would double the amount of baptisms our mission had in 2014! So hopefully we can achieve that! Our investigator T. didn't make it out to church, she hurt her leg and so she couldn't walk very well and so she stayed home. She's been reading in Mosiah lately though! She love's the Book of Mormon, and it's the best ever when we teach her! We've found a few more people that we have appointments with this week which is pretty exciting as well, so hopefully this week we can get some new people to teach. Interviews with president are always very good and that was a really good experience to be able to sit down and have him give me some good advice about some things! All in all I feel pretty happy at the end of this week and i'm excited for this coming week!

I love you all so much! Bye!!

Elder Benesch

week 80 - My German Companion

Hey everyone!

So my new companion is here!! He is awesome!! I have loved serving with him already and I feel like I'm going to learn a lot from him while we are together. He is from Speyer in Germany. So since he is my second companion from Germany, I now have the perfect excuse to go visit Germany at some point after my mission is over!! Hahaha I would love to go watch the world cup with Elder Windhausen next time it comes around, but who knows. So we had a really good week! We had 2 of our investigators come to church yesterday, and T., the girl from China, said she would be baptized! It was awesome because the Sunday school lesson was on John chapter 3 and she loved it, then after church we showed her the baptismal font and explained baptism to her, and she agreed to it! It definitely made me really happy hahaha. M., S.'s mom, came as well, and it's the 2nd week in a row that she has been at church so that's pretty cool! Hopefully she will be able to make the changes necessary to be baptized in the next month or so. Other than that I can't really think of much else that happened! Every week it's getting harder and harder to send long emails cause I really can't remember anything that is going on! haha Well I love you all and hope you have a great week!

Elder Benesch