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, March 23, 2015

Some pretty incredible experiences!

    This has been a very busy week, a combination of changing areas and getting to know people in the two new wards that I cover.  (Los Gatos and Monta Vista) I can officially say that I am exhausted! Unfortunately I have no time to sleep except for the eight hours that we get every night. I love this new area. It is so cool! Los Gatos is a very nice and very affluent area. I have already been in some houses that absolutely blow my mind! The modern architecture is incredible. I stand there in the homes and I am pretty sure my jaw drops to the floor and the members think that I am missing all my marbles. 

    I have already had some pretty incredible experiences being here. My favorite and the one that I want to share happened last night. We took a young man from the ward out on splits with us. We went around to try and visit a couple of less active member families and only got in with one of them. We had a good visit and as we were leaving we realized it was only eight. We asked the young man if there was anyone that he wanted to go and visit. He said let me text my friend and see if he would be open to us coming over. He texted his friend and his friend replied with, "Yeah! Bring them over!" We go over to his friends house and when we pull up he is out in the garage working on his surf board. His friend is 100% a California boy. He has the surfer personality which is very laid back. "Yeah man" "For sure" "Hecka cool brah" We start to talk with him out in the garage and he welcomes us into his home. We go inside and he calls out to his mom and his sister. They both come and we are all sitting there in the living room and talking having a great time getting to know one another. We find out that the mom was a member of the church and hasn't been a practicing member since she was a teenager but has taken on all the morals and values of the church for raising her children. He and his sister  are both in high school and they we so interested in learning more about our church. He had been coming to seminary, stake dances, church, mutual. He was integrated and loved to surround himself with members of the church because they shared the same values that he did. We ended up teaching the entire family The Restoration. The mother made a comment half way through that made me so happy to hear. She said that she had raised her children in a way that they could choose any religion that they would like. It was completely their choice. She also mentioned how it was amazing to her that her son was so attracted and interested in the Mormon religion. She had never told them that she was a member of the church. She said us coming over was like a second chance for her and it was inspired for their family. Does it get any better than this? What an incredible experience! The member we were with will never look at missionary work the same. He experienced one of the most incredible things that any missionary gets to experience. It truly amazes me how strong the spirit was during that lesson. We set up a time to go back and visit them again on Thursday. We also told them that we would be inviting them to be baptized and they were very excited about that. When I see things like this, I know that the Lord is hastening His work and preparing people. He prepares others through us. We are the tools that he has to use and the more prepared we are the more amazing the work that we can do is.
    I have also had quite a few flashback "deja vu" moments being here. A couple examples... We went to the stake center, the building off of Allendale, and I can't remember any specific memory but I recognize this one thing. In the foyers of this building there are these circles in the ceiling and if you stand in the center of them your voice will echo. They are pretty cool and I remember those from when we lived here before. Another moment was when we went and had lunch at a park. as we pulled into the park I saw this big airplane that was built for kids to play on and for some reason the plane looked so familiar. I don't know if we ever actually went there but I took a picture of it just to get another perspective on the event. I am calling these my flashback moments. They are slightly spooky... :)
   My new companion is Elder Faux. He is from Iowa. He is not a farm boy he is a city boy. He came out at the same time as I did and he is on his 5th transfer here in Saratoga so I will be taking over the area next transfer so he has four transfers in his last area. I don't know what they are going to have me do for the last four transfers of my mission but we will see. My companion is a lot of fun. He is a hard worker and he is very good at teaching. We live in an apartment with two other elders. The Poly elders. They are really cool and a lot of fun. I have really grown to love the Polynesian people as I have been out here. It is going to be very strange when I go back to New York and there are no more Poly's anywhere.
   I also got to see Elder Forsgren again this week. He is such a stud! He is killing it in his area. He is going to do a good job when he takes over this coming transfer. I saw him on San Jose State campus doing a bible study out in the grass with a bunch of non-members. I didn't want to bother them so we didn't say anything but then I saw him again later at the San Jose Institute building. It is cool being able to connect with him every once in a while.
My New Address:
350 Budd Ave. apt P-3
Campbell CA, 95008

Have an amazing week! I love you all!

Elder Maxwell

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