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, January 5, 2015

There is more than one reason this work is meant to be done two by two.

Hello, hello, hello!

   This week has been a mix of everything. I will start with the good.

  We have been extremely busy with planning the baptism for Stephen.  We think that we have everything set now but tomorrow evening we will be doing a trial run baptism and will be making sure everything will work. Hopefully it all goes smoothly tomorrow so Stephen can go into the baptism on Saturday with confidence and a peace of mind. It's a lot easier going in to something knowing that you can already do it. We will be holding the baptism in his parents pool so that will be really cool. He asked me to baptize him so I will be in a swimming pool twice on my mission! Once on Tuesday and again on Saturday. I am really excited for Stephen and for his commitment to being baptized and joining the church. There are so many things that could be holding him back or stopping him from making this decision but I have never once heard him doubt. He has voiced concerns but not in the sense that he doesn't want to be baptized because of them. He wants to voice them so we can get them out of the way and move forward with the baptism. His parents are very involved with him being baptized and are doing everything they can to help. I love seeing parents that are so supportive of him. They are not members but they can see the good that it will bring into Stephens life and they support it 100%. They are such a kind and loving family and it has been such a pleasure getting to know them and to be able to serve around them. It is families like this that make missionary work so enjoyable. I truly feel like I can bless their lives so much and all I have to do is continue to introduce them to the gospel. I love them all so much and am willing to do anything I can to help them all in any way. I have learned so much from Stephen. I have learned to be grateful in my circumstances because of him. I find myself recognizing blessings more often and I realize that I can always find something to be happy about. It brings me a lot of joy to thing that I just spent the entire year of 2014 serving God and coming closer to him. I look at myself now and think back to last New Years I can personally tell that I have grown in so many ways. It is incredible! I have become a whole new person and I plan on doing that all again this year.

   As for not such good news, my companion Elder Kerby had to go back into the hospital on Saturday night because he had an allergic reaction to a combination of his medications. He is doing much better now and I have to do a much better job of making sure he is not taking different medications at the same time. Space everything out so its not overwhelming for his body to try and handle. It's not a fun situation to be in but he is getting better again and hopefully he will continue to get better so I can have my companion back. That would be nice. We have been super busy and it has been pretty physically exhausting trying to do everything on my own. There is more than one reason this work is meant to be done two by two. Both for a spiritual and physical aspect of the work. I love Elder Kerby and he has been a great companion. I have learned a lot from him and he has been very good at patiently enduring this challenge. I commend him for that. I would have gone completely crazy by now. I am so grateful for exchanges and being able to go out with other missionaries. The worst of it is that we got a call from our mission president this morning and he said that if the doctors appointment on Friday goes south my companion will have to go home until he recovers and then he can come back out to finish his mission later. I really do not want that to happen. I love my companion and I would hate to see him leave. We will be praying a lot over the next few days that everything will go well, but in the end it is God's will that needs to happen. I can't imagine what is going through his head. I would hate to get that call. Nobody wants to stop serving early, especially with six months left to go. We fasted as a zone for him to have a quick recovery so hopefully that helps.

   Speaking of other missionaries we had an awesome New Year's Eve party and six other elders came over and joined us to celebrate the new year. I attached a picture to show us in party mode right after midnight! Enjoy, just know that we all clean up really nice when we go out and work :)

  I am excited for this year! Good thing are going to be happening! Christian will be getting married pretty quick here to get things rolling and Allegra will be having a birthday that same day if I'm not mistaken so don't forget about her. Birthdays are still super important! Then we will have some more birthdays throughout the year. Christian and his wife will be in Chicago for the summer for an internship. Emma has some mission papers going in! Super excited to hear about where that call will take you! Later on someone will be coming home from a mission way far away at the end of the year. Ian will turn 9 years old, can't forget that. Lots of good things happening. I think mom and dad are going on 26 years of marriage this year? Correct me if I'm wrong. Congrats on that by the way. Super awesome parent award goes to the two of you for 2014 and preemptively for 2015! :)

   I love you all and miss you all! Happy New Years once more! Hope you all have a very grateful week!

Love, Elder Maxwell

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