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 27, 2015

I have two new companions

    Just to clarify last week a little bit. Our transfer did come a week early. Our mission president has a mission president meeting that he had this past weekend so transfers had to get moved a week early, which means this next transfer is now seven weeks long to put us back on our six week average. It's confusing but really it is quite the thought out system.

    I have two new companions, Elder Harral and Elder Hamilton. I have served with both of them in past zones so I know both of them pretty well. We are a fun group and have already been able to get a lot of work done together! Elder Hamilton has a really easy time getting in with all the members, just like myself. We match up really well with our personalities. Both very outgoing and friendly. Elder Harral is our spiritual powerhouse that keeps us all in line - for the most part :) Elder Hamilton has been out for 21 months and will be on a plane back to Arizona in 12 weeks. Elder Harral will also be on a plane pretty quickly here he will follow six weeks after Elder Hamilton and will be heading back home to Highland Utah. Then I follow six weeks after him and will be on a plane back to Rochester New York! This is generally the time of a mission where missionaries experience what we call being "trunky". Essentially it means they are ready to pack the trunks and head home. If I am honest, there is quite a bit of trunky talk going on in our companionship but we are not letting it get in the way of us doing missionary work :)

     As for some things about my companions, Elder Harral did what he likes to call, "Combat Simulation" before his mission. He would go out in the woods and help swat teams and police forces train and practice as if they were in actual combat situations. Pretty cool job. He is super intelligent, he came out on his mission straight from High School but still has two years of college under his belt somehow. He is a little farther ahead then I am to put it lightly. Elder Hamilton sold drugs before his mission. That's how he made all his money. (Cashier at a pharmacy!) He is a ton of fun! He has been a member of the church for the past three years and is absolutely changing the course of his life by coming out here on a mission. This Friday he can officially say that he has been a missionary for the church longer than he has been just a normal member of the church. That's pretty cool. At the end of his mission the majority of his time as a member will have been spent on a mission. He LOVES airplanes and knows how to fly them! He lives in the same mission boundaries where Jessica Beatty will be serving her mission so they may end up crossing paths at some point but who knows, the church is very large in that part of the world.

    As far as the work goes, everything is going very well. Everything is set for the baptism on Friday. I am really excited for him. He is really excited for himself, it's really cool to see him so set on joining the church. He has so much conviction! He stood up during priesthood opening exercises yesterday and invited the entire priesthood body to his baptism. He is so incorporated into the ward. It's as if he is already a member. I can't wait to see him change people! He is going to bless so many lives. This is the first convert on my mission that I truly feel like is going to serve a mission and do the same thing I am doing and that is a pretty cool feeling! I will be sure to take a lot of pictures so everyone can get to see him and his family.
   I know it can be hard at times to push everyone around you to be more active in doing missionary work. For some strange reason everyone dreads it! Keep doing your best. From the sounds of it you are doing everything that I would want a ward missionary to be doing. One thing that is really helpful for missionaries is having things that we can invite members to invite people to. One thing that I would love is if a ward missionary was to inform me of who would be speaking in two weeks in sacrament meeting and I would make it a point to go and visit those members in advance and ask them to invite their friends and coworkers to hear them speak in church. I would role play it with them and would follow up with them the Thursday before they spoke. It is honestly one of the least threatening things you can invite someone to. "Hey, I am going to be speaking in my church in a week and if you are free I would love to have you come and support me!" Who would be offended by that? Absolutely nobody! Just an idea. Keep me informed on how it is all going. Maybe it is just because I am a missionary but I am very interested to hear how everything goes!
   I love you all and hope you all have a wonderful week! Hopefully it continues to warm up and stops being so cold! 
Love, Elder Maxwell

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