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.

Tuesday, October 21, 2014

Working twice as hard as I did before!

Hello family and friends!

 Just wanted to start by saying that I am super excited that Dana gets to come out here to San Jose and join me in the mission. It will no longer be Elder Maxwell's mission. It will become Elders Maxwell and Forsgren's mission! I have told a lot of people this week that my friend from my home ward will be coming into the mission in February! People keep asking me if I am going to train him or if I will be in the same zone as him. I have concluded that the most likely result would be that we are in the same zone but I will probably be getting transferred into a new zone at the same time that he enters the field so training is pretty much not an option. I am super stoked for him to be joining me!

  I must say that I feel completely different being on the second half of my mission than I did on my first. Just kidding, it feels completely the same. It is the same feeling when someone asks you the day after your birthday if you feel older, your only reply is that I feel just as much older as I did after any other day. Hopefully that makes sense. It is cool knowing that I have done half of my time and that now I get to do it all again. Working twice as hard as I did before! Thank you for the wonderful hump day package! I got it on my actual hump day so very good planning with the sending of the package. The new garments are also very much appreciated. I can go a whole two weeks without doing laundry now! Just kidding, I do laundry weekly. Don't worry mom.

 The reason I am emailing today and not yesterday is because we had a zone conference yesterday. Elder Pino of the 70 came and spoke to us. He is doing what is called a mission tour. I don't know if Austin or Christian had a mission tour ever but from the people I have talked to it seems pretty common. He came and spoke to us about working with the members as we do our missionary work. He said that any member who prays for the missionaries to find those who are ready to learn and accept the gospel might as well be praying for the missionaries to pay their tithing for them or live the word of wisdom for them. I thought this was very interesting. As members of the church we have a responsibility to find people for the missionaries to teach. Elder Pino said that members praying for the missionaries to find people is them asking God to give their responsibilities to the missionaries. I was quite taken back by this. I thought, I am sure that members don't pray for this with the intent that they won't have to do anything but then I thought. Well if we have the intent to act on what we are praying for then we should be praying for the Lord to help us find people for the missionaries to teach. It was a very good zone conference and I learned a lot about how to help members and to build their faith and reassure them when their missionary efforts are not yielding the results that they may be desiring. Because if anyone can relate to a lot of hard work and not a lot of results - it's a missionary. We work hard everyday and sometimes it feels like nothing happens. That's just how it is. A farmer that goes out in a field of dirt and plants seeds, all day has worked very hard, but when he gets home at the end of the day and looks out over that field it is still going to be a field of dirt. However in the Lord's time all of those seeds will become stocks of corn or a beautiful golden field of wheat blowing in the wind. It's all about our persistent efforts and putting our trust in the Lord. We can take this one step further and tie in how if we never follow up with the planted seeds or go back and water them. Then they will never grow. Being a fisher of men is all about how long we have our line in the water. Not how long we take to get ready to put our line in the water. Again, it was a wonderful zone conference.

 We also got to set a baptism date for our investigator. He is the football player for Stanford. He is going to get baptized on November 1st! We are super excited for him. His family is not 100% supportive of him getting baptized but he has a ton of faith and is going forward with it. He knows that being a member and having the gift of the Holy Ghost will not only bless his life immensely but it will bless his family as well. He loves his family so much and would do anything for them. He has such a pure heart and is such an amazing guy. I wish all of you could meet him. I am super happy for him and I have learned so much from him over the past few months.

    I wish you all a wonderful week! Hopefully it doesn't snow too much. Enjoy all of the beautiful fall colors for me! It's only slightly changing over here. But I will say I have turned into a California boy. It gets into the high 50's at night and I shiver and put on a jacket. I don't know how I am going to survive getting home to the New York cold! You better meet me at the airport with a giant winter coat. One of the big marshmallow ones :) that way I don't freeze to death.

   I love you all! Be safe! Have fun!

Love, Elder Maxwell

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