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.

Wednesday, May 28, 2014

Make tomorrow better than today for the rest of your life.

We have transfers tomorrow and I am getting in-zone transferred again! I think I am destined to spend the rest of my mission here. At this rate I will serve in every ward in Fremont. Hopefully tomorrow I can send a quick email to let you all know where I will be serving. I didn't see it coming at all and I am sad that I have to leave the area so soon.
We just got three new super solid investigators and I can see them all being baptized in the next month and now I won't even be part of it! Two of them went on a Memorial Day elders quorum hike today. The ward is super excited about missionary work right now because of them, the whole ward absolutely loves us because we always have investigators at church. So much is happening right now and I am getting sent away! Aaaahhhhh! Why! But I know that God has a plan and I am needed somewhere else. I will be staying super close to Central Park though so hopefully I can be there to help whenever I am needed. It's always when things are going so good that things have to change, I don't know why that is! 
On another thought, I have some cool stories from this week. The first one is from yesterday. We invited one of our investigators to church but he was only able to make it to priesthood at the end of church but another guy walked into church right after sacrament meeting and we went to say hi and he said that he wanted to be at church with us so we invited him to gospel principles with us and he came right in and listened the whole time. After that, we were talking with him and trying to get to know him, because this is the first time we have ever met, and we were telling him that there was another meeting for another hour and we asked him if he would like to join us and he said yes so we took him to priesthood opening exercises and when we get in there the investigator that we invited showed up and saw the other guy that was with us and asked him what he was doing here. I found out, at that moment, that they were roommates and they didn't know that the other was going to visit the same church!  S,o now they are best friends and they both love to do anything with the church and they were asking awesome questions in priesthood and then they came to the Memorial Day breakfast that the ward put on and then they went with the ward on a hike today and we weren't even there!
It's so cool and they are so awesome! It is such a miracle that everything is falling into place so easily. I love it! The Lord's hand is definitely in this work. I can't imagine trying to get all of this to work out and happen so well all on my own. I am amazed! The investigators are both my best friends and they absolute are happy to do anything that we invite them to do! The church is true! I know it. 
Over the last transfer, I have let the atonement take me on a journey. I have changed and have become the missionary that I feel Heavenly Father would want me to be. I have felt the powerful effects of the gospel in my life and I know that I am a better person because of it! I now have such a great desire to share this same redeeming power with everyone. I know the blessings that come from it. It makes me so happy to see the change that the atonement can give to people. I love this work, I love these people so much and I love my Savior. He has given me the many chances that I need in order to become what He wants me to become. I invite all of you to do the same. Get on your knees and pour out your soul to Heavenly Father. Tell Him your wants, tell Him your needs. Then ask Him what you can do to become what He wants you to become. I can promise you, that if you do this with a desire and a willingness to change, that He will give you an answer. I love all of you and my invitation is one of change. Be perfected in Christ and walk the straight and narrow path. Do better each and every day. Make tomorrow better than today for the rest of your life. 

I love you all and I keep you in my prayers.
Elder Maxwell  

Monday, May 19, 2014

It was a really cool experience and a very hot one as well.

It has been such an amazing week. I can tell you this one thing, I wish I could skype home every week. That would be nice.
We had some cool experiences today and we also had a few very hot days. I believe it was Tuesday that it was about 110 outside and me and my companion were biking around to go and see someone right around 1 (the hottest time of day). On our way to see this person we are about to cross an intersection and this lady pulls right in front of us and cuts us off. She rolls down her window and asks us if we have the good word of God. My companion was the one closest to the window so he replies to her that we have the Book of Mormon. She say that will do and starts to ask us what we believe. My companion starts to reply and I cut in and say that we would love to talk but we should probably get out of the middle of the intersection. So she drives her car down the street a little and pulls over. We walk over and continue our conversation. Now keep in mind this is a large Southern Baptist lady who loves to yell out amen and hallelujah! She was definitely very religious. At one point in her conversation she was trying to convince us that she did not believe in God. We didn't fall for that trick. After about ten minutes of her and my companion going back and forth I was about to ask her why she stopped to talk to us because it felt like she was trying to convert us when she asked my companion to pull out his Bible. Then she had him read an entire chapter out of the Bible with her. Remember that this whole time we are standing out in the 110 degree sun. The entire exchange lasted an hour and then she thanked us for our time. Not really interested in learning anything but it was a great lesson out of the window of her car. We were completely dehydrated at this point so we biked to the closest member and he gave us mango ice cream and cold Italian club soda. It was a really cool experience and a very hot one as well.
Another great experience this week was last night. We had an "I believe" fireside where we had recent converts and returning less active members get up and share their testimony. We invited all the non-members that we could and it was a really cool fireside. After it was over we met an Indian guy with some really long name and he said that he lived close to the church and he saw a lot of people in the building so he came to see what was happening. He loved what he saw and he wants to hang out with us and teach us how to play cricket, he's super cool and he told us to call him Dan. So now Dan is another new investigator and he is young and very interested in learning more. He is so solid! What an amazing week.

I love you! Keep on being amaxing! (That means an amazing Maxwell combined)

Love, Elder Maxwell

Monday, May 12, 2014

Don't make it harder than it has to be!

It was so awesome being able to see all of you yesterday! I was honestly counting down the hours all day! You all look amazing, a little bit white, but amazing! I can't wait till I get home and get to be with all of you again. I miss you all so much! Just keep doing all the fun crazy things that our family always does! Christian will be home soon and will hang out with all of you for the summer and that will be crazy awesome! Someone should learn sign language over the next 18 months so we can have a secret way to communicate when I get home. I'm positive it's a lot easier to learn than Bulgarian or Swedish. You all rock and I wish I could call you every week because that would be super cool. 
My past week has been pretty awesome, we had "dropped" an investigator about three weeks ago and on Friday night I was with a member of the ward and I felt like we should swing by and see him so we did and we had a really cool visit. We didn't teach him anything or really get into any deep discussions but we talked about baseball and the Oakland A's. We talked about summer time and BBQ and then he took us into his backyard and showed us his BBQ set up and let me tell you, this set up is perfect. Mom, I am 500% positive that you would love this set up next to the pool. It was so nice. I made him promise to BBQ for me at some point and he said that he would love to. Then we set up some service that we had talked about before and now we have plans to tear out and rebuild 100ft of fence in his backyard. (That's a project that would never happen in NY!) super excited about that. We are going to get the elders quorum over there and he is suddenly going to have tons of LDS friends and then he will have to come to church to hang out with all of his friends and it will be awesome! I'll let you all know how all that turns out.
I got to meet another less active single lady that lives in our ward and she was so nice. We were talking to her and asking her about how she came in contact with the church and she ended up telling us her conversion story and it was really a great experience being able to sit down and talk with her. She told us about what she had learned about how the church helps her in her life and I learned a lot from her. She told us about how her life was a struggle and only bad things seemed to ever happen to her and her family. Then after learning about the church she realized that there was good hiding behind the bad the whole time. She told us that at that moment she made a choice. She said that she decided to put everything in the Lords hands and all that you can do after you have done that is pray for strength and patience. It reminded me about how The Lord is always there to help us but he doesn't take us down the pain free easy path he takes us right through everything bad, right through those mists of darkness. At times we will hit clear patches and it will be easier but it's never ever going to a walk in the park. Do not pass go, do not collect $200! You have to work for it! But The Lord is always at our side with arms ready to catch us when we are tired and ready to collapse and give up. 
We have the power to overcome anything and everything that Satan will put in our path! Hold tight to the iron rod! Never let go, not even for a second, don't even loosen your grip, it's never worth it! The scriptures have so many powerful promises of blessings that can change our lives forever and all we have to do is reach out and accept them. Heavenly Father loves you, He knows you and he will do everything in his power to help you on this difficult journey of life. Don't make it harder than it has to be! 
I love each and every one of you. I am willing to do anything I can to help anyone and I want to help because I know the difference it can make. Be strong and carry on!!! Have a fantastic week and I will hear from you all again in 7 days!

Love, Elder Maxwell

Monday, May 5, 2014

The Lord will help my hair to look good anyways, right?

Cinco de Mayo is not nearly as fun without all of you. People just don't understand what it means to go at a piƱata with everything you got. I tried to get the zone to do something fun today but I don't think anyone is as excited about this holiday as I am! Although Christian sounds like he gets to celebrate a pretty legit holiday. I wish you a good time. What day does he get home? Then I'll have to stop telling people I have a brother on a mission. Just two brothers that have served. 

On to my week: 
We got our car taken this week so we are back on bikes. I am loving it, the only downside is that my styled hair always gets smashed by my helmet... But The Lord will help my hair to look good anyways, right? I was a little bit out of breath biking around the first day but now I am back to being a biking machine! 
We had a really cool experience this week with one of our investigators. We were over at his house teaching him about faith and how it helps us to know and understand everything that God has given to us. Part way through the lesson he told us about an experience that he had during the week. He told us that he was having a really hard day and he needed some fresh air so he went into his backyard to take a break from all the hustle and bustle of the world and when he got outside he looked up to the sky with a thought in his head saying, "God, why me?" Then he told us about the answer that he received. Right at that moment he said that he saw a star twinkle in the sky. He told us that he knew it was God winking at him letting him know that everything was going to be alright and that He would take care of him and help him through his challenges. I personally thought this was a little bit crazy to think that God was winking to you but the missionary side of me said to let it be because answers can come in many different ways. I learned that an answer is an answer no matter how it comes and that everyone needs to receive an answer in the way that will speak to them. It all made sense after I thought about it for a bit. I was happy for him but sad because he still didn't come to church. But all will be accomplished in the Lords time. 
We did pick up a new investigator this week. If you all remember the 1.5 hour baptism interview I had to do... We are now the ones teaching him and trying to help him get ready for baptism!  It has been another week full of blessings and amazing visits with wonderful people. 
Everyone keep on doing the amazing work that you do. I love you all and can't wait to hear all about your awesome adventures. Keep it touch! I will see most of you on Sunday!

Lots of love, 
Elder Maxwell