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, June 8, 2015

Full steam ahead!

This week has been good. We have gone through a lot of changes this week in our area. Last week we had a baptism and several other investigators that we were teaching that were making great progress and now we have lost all of those investigators due to some unfortunate circumstances. It is very dramatic how quickly things can change while doing missionary work. That's just how things go when people have their agency! Even with a tough turn of events we have been blessed this past week. We visited one of our investigators for the first time and taught him the Restoration. He has been going to a Doctrine and Covenants institute class for the past 6 months so we asked him if he wanted to learn more and he said sure. He was 100% on board. Full steam ahead! He even mentioned that he wanted to be baptized. We taught him the lesson as I said and he had amazing questions, he was taking in everything that we taught and you could tell that the spirit was testifying to him. At the end of the lesson after we had invited him to read the Book of Mormon, he said that he was really going to have to read it. He had read a couple chapters before but they were for his own purposes. He read in Ether about the confounding of the languages because he is really excited about learning languages. He understood that he wanted to read the Book of Mormon for a different reason now. He really wanted to know if it was true. We followed up with him a day later and he said that everything was going great. He was loving what he was reading and that it all made sense to him. We called him again later in the week to invite him to church again because he will usually come with us. He then broke to us the unfortunate news. He is a 30 year old man living at home and his parents said they want him to stop doing things with the church. He said that he could come and meet up anymore and he couldn't come to church anymore. I sat there, I didn't know what to say, I handed the phone to my companion and let him finish the call. I was thinking about it and I wanted to tell him that normally when people are 30 years old they start to make some of their own decisions, but I guess you give up that right when you choose to live at home your entire life. He is a great guy and I love and respect him a lot, but it makes me sad when I see someone who is clearly interested in the church to be so easily swayed to a different path. We will continue to make contact with him and hopefully his parents hearts will soften or he will move out. Either way I hope someday he will reconnect with the missionaries. That is why we keep meticulous records!
As far the up and coming transfer that is happening on Tuesday... I will be staying right here in Los Gatos. Elder Hamilton will also be staying here with me as my companion. Elder Harral however received the call this past Saturday that he would be leaving us and moving on to help another zone somewhere else in the mission. I also received a call but my call was in regards to my calling of responsibility. I was formally released as a zone leader on Sunday night. That's okay though. I had a good run and it is honestly a huge relief of responsibility from my shoulders. My only worry is that now our zone will be getting two new zone leaders and I am afraid the zone may not be too happy about that. I don't know, we will see what happens. As far as everything else goes I am very content and we are going to do work in Elder Hamilton's last six weeks! Also, Elder Forsgren will not be getting transferred so his time is not yet here to be my companion. But it does line us up perfectly for my last two transfers. We will see hat happens down the road. (PS. Elder Forsgren got called to be a district leader! So cool!)
This past week I also got to go on exchanges with my favorite Tongan/Australian Elder ever! Elder Masima is the man. We got to spend a whole day together and we did a ton of work while having lots of fun. I have been Elder Masima's zone leader for almost his entire mission so far. He cried when I got released because that means he has to have a new zone leader. :) He didn't really cry but it was a funny exchange of words between us. We did a lot of cool things together and we got some rally good sunset photos! We are best friends! Elder Masima is such a solid missionary. He has taught me so much about how to be Christlike. He is such a good example to everyone around him!
Last thing is that we got to go to a San Jose Giants game! It is the minor league team for the San Fransisco Giants. It was really cool. The head defensive coach of the team is a recent convert from Elder Harrals past area so he hooked us up with the best tickets and free food! We were some happy guys at that game! Ribs for days on my plate! We took one of our investigators who is about to go into the baseball draft so he could meet the recent convert. He is not actually our investigator, he is being taught by the sisters but we wanted to help out a little bit :) He is doing really well but is very busy with baseball!

That's the wrap up for the week. We had a lot of fun and I hope all of you did as well. Be sure to pull some pranks on each other this week and have lots of fun!
Elder Maxwell

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