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, April 14, 2014

The seeds have been planted

It has been quite the week. Transfer calls have come and for the first time absolutely nothing has changed. Kind of disappointing and definitely not as exciting as moving around or getting a new companion every six weeks. I love this ward though and my companion is a complete opposite of me but we have found a way to work out our differences and work together. He is definitely not the person I would choose to be friends with on my own, but I love him and I am excited for another six weeks of service with him.
We were doing service at a non-profit thrift shop this week, where all the proceeds go to breast cancer.  We just help them move furniture out onto the floor and pretty much do any grunt work that they need done. I have been serving here ever since December when I first got to Fremont and this past week while we were there the guy that we were helping wanted us to put a perfectly fine leather couch out back because it was a sectional and the other section to it was missing. I told him that he shouldn't throw it away because we could use it. He then told me that if I could get a truck to the shop in the next hour I could have it and another section that could fit with it. I got on the phone and had a member there in 20 min. He was quite impressed and asked me how I did it so fast and I had an opportunity to explain how wards work and how we are always willing to serve and help each other out. He was impressed again and gave us two matching sectional leather couches that I must say look very good in our apartment. I wish all missionary work was like that. He definitely loves missionaries at this point. The seeds have been planted for him.
I got to do three baptism interviews this week because I am a district leader and anyone in my district who is having a baptism has me do the interview. The first interview went really well. He was a young man, about 17 years old and he was so ready. He got baptized on Saturday at 3. The other two interviews were a husband and wife. The wife had been progressing super fast and was ready to be baptized about 2 months ago, the husband was a bit slower but he had committed to Saturday. I interview him first. Baptism interviews are supposed to be 15 min long. They are supposed to be spiritual and make them excited for their baptism. This man took 1.5 hours to interview. Our rules are that you have to go all the way through the interview questions no matter what. I asked him question by question and each time he asks me what does that mean? or What is that? AAAHAHAHAH!!!! It was the hardest hour and a half of my life. I had to teach him the entire first three lessons all on my own. He answered no to over half of the questions and the whole time I had a feeling that I needed to pass him. I didn't know why at the moment but I passed him. His wife came in right after him and her interview was in and out. She was another perfect interview. Both of them passed and they were both going to be baptized on Saturday morning.
After the interview I got a call from the stake president who was in a lot of the lessons while they were getting taught. He wasn't too happy with me on the phone. He was telling me that a baptism interview should never be that long and all I could do was say I'm sorry I did what I thought I should. So now its about 3:00 in the afternoon, I have the stake president mad at me. The sisters that taught them are mad at me. The zone leaders are trying to call me and find out what in the world I did, and on top of it all I passed someone who didn't even want to get baptized! But after everything settled down a little bit (we are talking 5:00 the next day) I got another call from the stake president, he apologizes and says that he was impressed with how well I handled the situation. The zone leaders call back and explain that they wouldn't even know what to do in that situation and they were impressed with how I handled it. The whole time I'm confused because last thing I knew, everyone was mad at me. Then the sisters call me and explain that the husband had chose not to get baptized Saturday because he didn't feel ready but his wife was still going to get baptized and he just needed a little more time.
Then the sisters where explaining how they were glad that I didn't fail him because then he was able to think about it and make the decision on his own. The wife wasn't mad because her husband had made the choice and everything was working out. What it all comes down to is that nobody lost any trust in anybody and everyone was happy at the end of the day. I am so glad that I have been called by God to do what us missionaries do, because without God's help there is no way that everything could have worked out how it did. I know that God's hand is in the work that we are doing and I know that He is watching out for me and helping me more than I could imagine. What a blessing it was to be able to be at the baptisms this weekend and feel the wonderful love and spirit of our Lord. I know that he truly does love each and every one of us.
Take care and help the missionaries like you are doing!
Love, Elder Maxwell

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