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, August 11, 2014


My Family and Friends...

    It has been such an incredible week. I had my first confrontation with a dog on my mission this week. We were walking around on Saturday and while we were walking through a neighborhood we passed a big car and right as I got past it there was a big black dog and it was about two feet away from me. I started to back away from it and it continued to approach me. It was about to come at me I could tell so I was about to run and my companion told me to turn and walk away. For some reason the dog didn't care about him. So me and my companion are walking down the street. I have a big 120lb dog a foot behind me barking up a storm and I can't stop watching it and making sure it doesn't come at me. Somehow I was able to walk for a good 30 seconds with this dog right behind me. At any moment that dog could have chomped down on my leg. I will be honest for those 30 seconds I was absolutely terrified. Every single part of my body was telling me to run and get away from the dog but after my companion said to walk I couldn't run. I physically felt like I was being constrained. I wanted to run over and over and over again but I had to slowly walk it out. I am so blessed to not have a giant dog bite out of me right now. It was definitely the closest I have ever been to getting eaten by a dog. Not something I want to do again. Thank you God for blessing me with safety. That's the most adrenalin that I have been pumping this week.

     On a more spiritual side of things we had another wonderful lesson with our investigator John. He is so prepared and ready to receive the gospel. We taught him the restoration last week and this week we followed up with the Book of Mormon. We had invited him last week to read Alma 32 about faith and when we came this week he had but he was a little confused about where the Book of Mormon was happening and in what time so we had to clear that up a little bit but we had such a great lesson with him and he completely understands the gospel and how it is blessing him in his life. We wanted to give him the opportunity to pray and ask to know if the Book of Mormon is true so we asked him to read 2 Nephi 31-33 and to pray after he read those chapters. He said he would and I believe he will. I pray for him all the time and I know that he can get his answer as he prays sincerely. He is such a great guy and I love him so much. He has two giant mastiffs and they are way too friendly. Me and my companion have what we call the John pants. We wear them once a week and after our lesson every week they are covered in dirt and hair and drool and can't be worn again until they have been put through a heavy duty wash cycle. I think that is a very small price to pay to help someone receive the restored gospel of Jesus Christ. We both look forward to our lesson each week and getting our John pants super dirty. It is amazing how things like that can bring me such joy now. I look forward each week to coming home with a filthy white shirt, pants, and tie on. I love it!

    Yesterday in sacrament meeting we had the most amazing spiritual sacrament meeting in the world. We had two really amazing speakers. The first one was Sister King who spoke about how service has blessed her throughout her time in the church she said that she found true joy in serving others. The best part was that you could see she really had found true joy as she was speaking. Her testimony filled me and I knew in that very second that what she was saying was true. I could see the same experiences coming to life in my own life. I love, love, love, love, love service!  After Sister King was her husband Brother King, President Richard King of Rotary International, he has been all around the world to do service for anyone and everyone. Such a great couple. Very inspiring and wonderful to listen to. He spoke and left a powerful influence on me. He spoke of the life of an eagle and how an eagle understands three aspects of the gospel very well. First the eagle understands vision. It can see very far into the distance and has a very clear sight of what is up ahead. We similarly need to be looking ahead in the direction that we are going. Setting eternal goals for us to be striving to achieve. Second the eagle understands change. When an eagle hits 40 years of age it goes through a rebirth. It cleans off all of the old, and gets a new beak, feathers, and talons. We also have to be born again. The savior said, "Except a man be born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God." We all have to be baptized to make it back to our Heavenly Father.  Third the eagle understands commitment. When an eagle starts it's flight it sets it's end destination. The eagle will continue to fly until it reaches it's destination. I love this part because he said that the eagle will even continue to fly through the worst of storms to get where it wants to go. This compares to us as often we are asked by The Lord to fight through hard times. He asks us to stand for what we believe. He asks us to do this because he knows it is what will give us strength. I absolutely loved this talk and I am sorry for the lengthy email but I felt like that is what I needed to share this week. I hope and pray that someone will gain strength from this. That it will give someone the guidance that they are searching for.

    I know that God is by my side. He is protecting me, He is teaching with me, and He is giving me the strength that I need to continue forward every single day. I know that this gospel is true. I have a testimony of the Book of Mormon. I have read it and it will only invite us to improve ourselves. If you don't know this for yourself, READ IT. I know that Jesus Christ suffered for me and that because of him I have the chance everyday to try and be like Him. If you don't know that for yourself, PRAY ABOUT IT. I know that the power of the priesthood is real. I have seen it work in peoples lives as the have been blessed and promised blessings. I know that the spirit inspires us and guides us in every decision that we make. If you don't know this for yourself, LOOK FOR IT. I promise all of you that as you grow closer to your Heavenly Father through your diligence, He will bless you and help you overcome the challenges that you face everyday. I promise you this as a representative of Jesus Christ and in His name. I love you all with all my heart. My prayers are with you! I love my mission!

Elder Maxwell

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