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, April 20, 2015

I can't stop smiling all the time.

  What a week! I feel like I am on vacation! You said the word warmer so I assume that gives me permission to talk about the incredible weather we have had this week. It has been nothing short of miraculous! I can't even use words to describe to all of you how beautiful it has been. It is such a good feeling being able to walk outside in my missionary proselytizing clothes and feel the beautiful rays of sunshine hitting my skin. I will say that I am not very happy with the whole not being able to avoid getting tan lines thing but I guess that just comes with the job. I truly believe that energy and happiness are directly connected to sunshine. I can't stop smiling all the time. People are going to start thinking that I am crazy! 

   We started today off with a 5 mile hike up in the Santa Cruz mountains. We hiked a trail called Castle Rock. The best part was that Castle Rock is also a place where people go rock climbing! I may or may not have been able to stop myself from climbing - just a little bit. Nothing dangerous, just a little bit of bouldering. It was so nice to be outside and enjoying the incredible beauty of the forest! A miracle happened in association with this hike. I have been trying to plan really cool p-Day activities for the zone and for the past four weeks I haven't been able to get the entire zone to show up to anything. I guess this morning I found an activity that everyone wanted to be a part of! The entire zone woke up at 6 am so that they could come on the hike at 7! Miracle! Literally! The feat that I thought was impossible. My favorite part of the hike was when I stopped the entire zone in the middle of the forest we were completely alone and I asked everyone to be silent and look around them. They all paused for a moment and were able to take in the incredible beauty of the forest. The birds were singing and the light was trying its best to break through the canopy. I then played the song Joseph Smiths First Prayer and told everyone that this is what the sacred grove looks like and feels like. We all shared our testimonies about Joseph Smith and we all talked about the importance of him being called as a prophet and beginning the restoration of the Gospel. It was a very spiritual experience for all of us and it was really cool how we were able to recreate the same spirit that resides in the Sacred Grove. I actually felt as though we were in Palmyra. It was a really cool experience and all of the missionaries gave very good feedback on how they loved it!

  We also got to teach Max again this week. He is doing really well. We taught him about a couple of the commandments and he loved it all. It really doesn't matter what we teach him because he is so prepared no matter what he is asked to do he will do it because he knows that it is what God wants him to be doing. He knows this is the true church. One of my favorite quotes from Max is, "I really wanted to join the church before but now that I know it is true I want everyone to join!" Max is going to be an incredible missionary. I am so excited to see all of the people that he touches with his sincere spirit. He came to church yesterday in a brand new suit with a haircut. He was looking good and he was so happy to be able to finally make it to an actual sacrament meeting. Due to General Conference and then Stake Conference he has been unable to go to our ward. The excitement about his baptism is spreading like a wildfire. No matter where I go in the stake people have heard about his baptism and are very excited for it. His baptism is a week from this Friday and he is already prepared for it. He could be baptized today and he would be fine with it!

   Transfers are this week as well. We are having a lot of change in our zone this week. My companion is leaving so I will be getting a new companion on Tuesday (tomorrow morning). NO idea where he will be going or who I will be getting! The excitement, stress, and suspense of transfers! YAY! 

   That's about it for the week! Busy and full of fun! I love serving! I can't even explain how much I enjoy being out here. I thought there was no life after Stanford but I survived and I am loving Los Gatos/Saratoga. 

Stay safe and have another amazing week! You are all awesome! Have fun. Love one another! DO something crazy for me and give Emma a huge hug for me on Friday when she gets home! OH, that reminds me, I know quite a few Tongans that are going to BYU Provo now and I was thinking about sending them to protect my sister but I guess I can call them off. Those are some big guys. I wouldn't mess with anyone they were protecting. :)
I love you all! 
Elder Maxwell

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