On October 16th, Benjamin Maxwell, left his home and family for two years to serve a mission in San Jose, California.

As a missionary: He will teach of Jesus Christ and His gospel. He will have doors slammed in his face and be yelled at. He will meet people from all walks of life. He will stretch himself. He will learn about himself. He will learn of his Heavenly Father's love for him and for all His children. He will learn to follow the promptings of the Holy Ghost. He will serve the people of San Jose. And he will LOVE more than he though possible.

Monday, December 16, 2013

Had some really cool experiences ...

  Yes, I did get the Christmas package. I got it and I was like mwahahaha!!! I get Christmas early so I opened the box and everything was nicely wrapped... so I was like dang I guess I will have to wait until Christmas. I was going to open the cereal and pop-tarts so I could have some breakfast because I have no food yet, we are going shopping right after this. I think ill tough it out and wait until Christmas day.

  Irvington! It is a great ward! I love all of the wonderful families that live here. Most of the dinners I had before Sunday were with older couples and they were all talking about how it is a fairly young ward right now. I get to church and over 50% of the congregation is over 50 years old, but I guess for them old timers it is still a young ward. They have a meal coordinator in the ward so she makes sure that we are always getting fed. The calendar for the month of December has a different family every single day. That is crazy! We get fed very well here, my companion Elder Green-Bey is a vegetarian so we get fed a lot of pastas and salads but I guess that is forcing me to eat healthy. I am also really loving all the biking. It makes the days go by super fast. We are going to the ward mission leaders house for Christmas.
   Its very different in Fremont where there honestly isn't even a ghetto and Greenfield where everywhere is a ghetto. Polar opposites I guess you could say. There are a lot of Chinese and Indian people here so contacting people on the street has actually gotten more difficult. But all of our teaching is in English now because any foreign languages get handed off to other missionaries.
    Had some really cool experiences here in Irvington so far. On Tuesday night I went on splits with Brother Clark (the same brother Clark that Sister Bennion knows) and we were able to go and visit a less active member. We talked about fasting and the power of the fast with him and he then told us that he had been praying a lot recently and that we were an answer to his prayers. He then asked me to give him a blessing, I was able to give him a blessing of comfort. This was the first time that I had ever actually given someone a blessing. It is truly amazing the power of the priesthood. I barely knew this man and I was able to give him a blessing that was so specific to his needs and was exactly what he needed to hear at the time. It really helped me understand more fully how the priesthood works and how my patriarchal blessing is so specific to me and my needs. It was a very spiritual experience for my first night here in Irvington. 
   Had another experience on Sunday. We bike to church early for PEC at eight in the morning and while we are locking up our bikes we see this old Chinese lady walking around the church. We start a conversation with her and through her broken English she tells us that she is walking. We already knew that but we asked her if she had ever seen missionaries before because she was walking in the church parking lot. She then answered us in broken English that she live right across the street. Great not the answer to the question we asked but great. So we asked her if she knew about the church and in broken English she replied, "Follow me, Follow me to house!" I looked at my companion and he looked at me and then we started to follow her. We got to her house and she had her daughter and her son in law living there. They spoke better English and told us that her mother really wanted to learn English and had taken up a lot of interest in the bible. We then asked the daughter if she would want us to send some elders who spoke Chinese to come and teach the family and she said that that would be very good. So we traded information and then we left and went back to church half an hour late to PEC. I learned from this that the Lord will work with what he has to help people receive the gospel when they are ready. Even through a grandmas broken English.
   We also had a Christmas devotional fireside concert thing last night. It was a lot of different people from the stake that all prepared musical numbers and we invited a lot of nonmembers and less actives to come and enjoy Christmas music together. We had one of our investigators that was able to make it with his family and they really enjoyed it and had a really great time. They made me sing with the rest of the zone and we didn't even get to practice before hand. So I ended up singing silent night and the first noel with the rest of the missionaries in the zone. It was a really cool event and one of those things where everyone just feels good being there. It was one of those nights where you really love being a missionary. Super cool opportunity to meet a lot of less actives and nonmembers in the stake.
   That is most of the stuff that happened this week besides some bible bashing and some street contacting that ended up with a two hour lesson in this guys home and then he invited us over to a BBQ for Christmas. I am loving it here in Irvington/Fremont! It is a super nice area and a lot of great people. Ill tell more next week. 

Love you all, 
Elder Maxwell

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