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, December 1, 2014

Be doers of the word and the work. Not just listeners and learners.

Hola all my friends,
    We had quite the week. I learned the biggest downside to serving in a singles ward this week. On holidays all of the members go home to their families and enjoy Thanksgiving there. Which for us means that the 300 people we would normally work with throughout the week was down to only 4 people. We can just say that missionary work wise the week was pretty slow but that does not mean we didn't have any cool experiences.

    Throughout it all though, last night we taught one of the most incredible lessons of my mission. Well, the spirit taught the most incredible lesson of my mission last night. We were meeting with our investigator Stephen and we were going over the gospel of Jesus Christ and we invited him to be baptized and he said that he would love to be baptized! We are super excited for him and have set a date with him for January 10th! The joy that I felt as we were able to be a part of him taking the steps on the path back towards our Heavenly Father. It does not get better than this. I can promise you that. If you want to feel true joy help a friend come back to the fold. It is so incredible. I can promise you that! I am so grateful for this gospel!

   Thanksgiving was wonderful, we went to our bishops home along with the sisters and some other family friends that they had invited over. We started off the evening by playing a good old game of Telestrations. That reminded me of home and all the good times that we had inviting people over to our house.  I guess we are the only people that play that game by writing out sentences. They kept telling me to write just a word. Anyways, that's not really important. I had a really good study Thanksgiving morning. I studied in the Book of Mormon about God giving us detailed examples of what we need to do. My study was mostly in D&C 123 and about having faith to move mountains. We will never really need to move a mountain but we can learn from that example that it takes just a tiny bit of faith to make something incredible happen. So for us to do what God is asking us to do, how much faith do we need to have? Not a lot but imaging if we had more faith than a grain of mustard seed. We could do spectacular things that he asks of us. It's a pretty incredible thought. Then after I studied that I read the talk by Elder Uchtdorf titled, "Grateful in any Circumstance" it was the perfect talk to study on Thanksgiving because it tells us the blessings of being grateful in our circumstances rather than being grateful for things. I talked about that with a lot of people throughout the day. I was not the only one that had the idea to read that talk in the morning. :)

The church has come out with a new social media holiday video and it is really good. Everyone needs to go to Christmas.Mormon.org and watch the videos and then share it! #sharethegift we have been telling people about it on the street since Thanksgiving and it makes me sad seeing people reject a message about Jesus Christ. We would walk up to people and say, can I share a gift with you today? Everyone stops. They hear the word gift and it catches their attention, then as soon as they find out the gift is Jesus Christ they are no longer interested. How has the world become so corrupt that Christmas is now 100% about getting gifts and giving gifts. There is no more Christ in Christmas these days. It really makes me sad. I love this time of year because generally people are nicer in this month than in the 11 other months.

    Speaking of Christmas, I believe you had a picture sent to you the day after Thanksgiving of my companion and I standing in front of the coolest Christmas tree. It was called the picture tree and it was FULL of pictures. We went to that persons house to help the put up Christmas decorations at 10 in the morning and we finally left at 5 in the afternoon. She had so many Christmas decorations. It was insane! We had a lot of fun though. Nothing to get in the Christmas spirit like seeing a house transform into a winter wonderland. We had a great time and hopefully the picture was good!

I loved the Christmas package! We opened it up and were so happy to see the Christmas countdown. I think if someone was to walk into our apartment building they would think we are super into Christmas because we totally are. It's both of our last mission Christmas so we have been going all out! We got lights and a peppermint scented wall outlet thing. I must say our apartment is super seasonal right now. The countdown looks super good on the wall. We are loving our first thought a day. We are loving this Christmas season! It's the best!

    In sacrament meeting yesterday a girl got up and shared her testimony about Jesus Christ. She said something that has really stuck with me and has really caused me to ponder. She said that she has developed a relationship with Jesus Christ as she has accessed the atonement and prayed. She said, "If Jesus was to walk in here right now I don't think I would be surprised how he looks because I feel as though I know him. If he was to stand at this pulpit today I wouldn't be surprised with what he said because I already know what he would say." That really hit me. We spend so much time thinking that we need to hear something from God or we need a vision or we need to be visited by an angel but if any of those things were to happen what do we expect would be said? Are we waiting around for someone to tell us we are exempt from this or that? Are we waiting around to receive new revelation when we are struggling to do what we have already been asked to do? As you can see this has caused some interesting thoughts for me. I don't know if all of that made since but I hope that everyone can understand that we have already been given everything that we need to do what God wants us to do. We already know what a heavenly messenger would say to us. We just have to go out now and become agents. Doers of the word and the work. Not just listeners and learners. So that's my challenge to everyone this week. Go out and do something that God has asked you to do, whatever that may be for you. This is a great time of year for service. You are all incredible and wonderful examples to me. Thank you for all the wonderful support and love. Thank you for all the prayers! I love this work! I love you all and hope you have a great week.

Elder Maxwell

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