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, July 21, 2014

Training is great.

If I was to take a guess at how to describe this week in one word. I would say that it has been delectable! What a great week it has been. The only way this week could have been any better is if I had seen a kangaroo. Unfortunately I don't think that will be happening at any time on my mission. I can truly say that the weather here is desirable above all other weather. As I have spent the days in the beautiful sunshine my soul has been filled with exceedingly great joy; wherefore I began to be desirous that my family could partake in this warmth also. So it came to pass that I prayed unto The Lord and bade Him to bless my family with such great sunshine that would warm their souls as the sunshine warmeth my own soul. And it came to pass that The Lord did hear my plea  unto heaven and did comfort me in my youth. Basically what I'm trying to say is I hope your weather was as amazing as mine was this past week.

    Ian I am so excited to see your baptism pictures. You are growing up so fast! Your baptism is going to be one of the greatest days of your life. Remember the feelings that you have. That's what will be important to you as you get older! Something you could say from me at the baptism...
" Ian, I am so glad that you have made the choice to be baptized. Baptism is a wonderful ordinance of the gospel that helps us return to live with our Heavenly Father again. Your Heavenly Father loves you so much. He sent His Son, Jesus Christ, to come to earth and be an example for all of us. In the scriptures Jesus said, Verily, verily, I say unto thee, Except a man be born of water and of the Spirit, he cannot enter into the kingdom of God. Ian, I know that if we want to go back home to our Heavenly Father we have to follow the example of Jesus Christ. I love you and am so happy for you! In the name of Jesus Christ, amen. "

    This week we set a goal to contact over 50 people a day. We set aside a lot of time to go contacting and try to meet people.  We had a few really cool experiences this past week with all the people that we met. The first one that I want to talk about is with a woman named Elenore. We were walking around the park and we saw a lady sitting on a bench off in the shade. We decided that we needed to go out of our way to talk to her. So we left the beaten path and started to forge our own trail across the freshly cut grass of the completely tame park. Once we arrived at the bench we started to talk to the lady. We tried to get to know her a little bit. She was reading a mystery book which is a fairly interesting choice for a read. After talking and getting to know Elenore we told her that we were missionaries for our church and we were looking for opportunities to serve people in our community. She gave us one of those, I am in compleat shock stares, and then replied. Are you saying you want to come help me in my yard? We were very happy that she had understood and we told her that we would love to help in her yard. She said that was wonderful because ever since she had become disabled she hadn't been able to do what she would have liked to do in her yard. We got her address and said that we would stop by to help out! She was thrilled and we all went on with our wonderful days. It is amazing to he how The Lord will bless us as we go out of our way to help others and as we go the extra mile to try and make someone else's day better than your own. There is a 94 year old man in our ward. His name is Eli and when I first got here he was my favorite. He always has the best jokes and he has such an incredible memory and drive for a 94 year old man. This past week he has been starting to confuse his past memories with the present. It makes me sad to see his memory start to slip. I have grown to love him and the rest of the ward so much that I can't imagine any of them not being here. I asked Eli what his greatest advice for anyone on earth was. He gave me a simple but powerful answer that has been my motto for the past week and I think it is such a wonderful piece of advice. His answer to me was... "Smile, and mean it!" I love that. Be happy and truly feel happy inside. It is amazing how that simple idea can have such a change on how we act. I invite all of you to apply this rule for a week. 24/7. All the time. Then see if you even want to stop after the week is over. It changed the whole way I treated and acted around people.
   Training is great. The best part has to be the members always asking the new guy to say the prayer! Haha, just kidding. I think the best part is showing my son how I love the ward and how I have made myself become part of the ward and I have seen how that has changed the way he thought it was going to be. It's so much fun for me to talk with people and see how they are doing. Remembering what is going on in their lives. The worst part is all the questions. I thought eventually there would be no more questions but I have come to understand that there will always be questions. I put some photos of us in the email. I hope you enjoy them. Hope you all have a great week and you all stay strong! Love you all!

Elder Maxwell

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