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.

Tuesday, June 2, 2015

I still think my mission is the best

These words can not begin to express my excitement for Emma's mission call! How cool is the! I have a sister that will be serving in Brazil! I will be including a hasty visa process for you. Even though a lot of visa waiters come to this mission! Which would be super cool if Emma got to serve in my mission briefly before she mastered it and moved on to Brazil! :) I will admit that I had no idea where Juiz de Fora is so I had to look it up and then I saw how close it is to Rio and I was blown away thinking you were going to be able to serve in Rio! but then when I looked it up with the mission boundaries shown it cuts you off just short but it looks like the area you will be covering is super cool! maybe up in the hills a little bit too! That means small town third world feeling in some places, I'm sure! You will definitely be getting the exotic foreign mission experience. I still think my mission is the best because everyone in our family knows how to speak my mission language! :) English perks. I am also extremely happy to know that we at least get those 7 short days to catch up on life and prepare you for your mission experience! I hope we really do get to speak on the same day. It really would be the coolest present we could ever give our mom! I am just going to throw the warning out there for everyone now. If the entire family is back together for the first time in five years then you all know that we are going to be taking some family pictures. It's just how these things work. So get your smiles and muscle poses ready! So this whole first part has been directed towards everyone but it is wrote as if I am speaking directly to Emma,except for the first few lines which are very unidirectional... I will try to keep it together more as I finish emailing.

So as I said last week. We are going to be getting iPads in our mission soon. We thought they would be coming within days after our initial training but our zone, because we come alphabetically last in the mission was assigned the eighth of June which is the Monday before transfers. So we get to spend several hours of our last p-day of the transfer in an iPad set up meeting... The joy that is in my voice, I wish you could all hear how excited I am... :p  Anyways, iPads are going to be sweet! I cant wait to be able to access all the hidden materials that the church has developed to help us be more technologically up to par with the rest of silicon valley! Woo Hoo! Speaking of technologically up to par, we had a gospel principles lesson this week about the signs of the second coming and the doctrine behind the signs is that we need to know them. We need to be watching for them so that when the time is at hand we are prepared. One of the signs is that the righteous will build a city called New Jerusalem in Missouri. Our ward mission leader asked us all a question as he was teaching about this sign. He said, "do you think the prophet and apostles had drawn up plans for this New Jerusalem?" I was a little surprised by his question because I had never thought about it before. Then he shared one of those small things that, one, blows your mind, and two, opens your mind to think a little more. He told us that 10 years ago he sat down with Elder Eyring and was shown some of the plans and counseled with them on a couple of different subjects regarding the matter. He said the technology that is intended to be used in these plans wasn't even available on the earth yet. That's a little bit of a tangent but it caught my attention! So cool!
On a more focused note, the highlight of the week was the baptism of Susan Ward! She was baptized by her husband and it was absolutely wonderful. She wanted the service to be small and kept on the down low. So there were probably only 10-15 people there. However the spirit was just as strong as any baptism that I have ever been to. My favorite moment from the whole baptism was as Brother Ward was baptizing her, he was looking directly into her eyes as he said the prayer and she was looking directly into his eyes. As I stood there and watched that I realized that they both understood and knew the significance of what was happening right there. It was as if they were no longer constrained to the understanding that we all are. They were in an eternal perspective. As they stood there in the water I can imaging they were both thinking about the future blessings that they would be able to take part in. They were thinking about being sealed together for eternities. Eternal families. Eternal life! I have known my entire mission that baptism is the gate that leads us to the path of returning to live with our Heavenly Father, but it wasn't until Saturday that it really hit me that each and every baptism is so significant. Each and every baptism is another child, another lost sheep returning to the fold! Another lamb accessing the infinite power of the atonement. I am still in awe of the incredible spirit and power that I felt at that service. I know that our Heavenly Father loves us all so much. He would do absolutely anything for us. I have seen miracles in the work as we have been doing our very best to be diligent and work hard. Only a few months left to be called to this great work full time. Then I will be handing that baton over to the equally capable hands of Sister Maxwell.
Incredible blessings and experiences are to be had as we devote our time to God. Heleman 3:35! Through the yielding of our hearts we see purification and sanctification. It is as we experience these things that we become a sharp sickle in our Lords hands. It is His work, we are just the tools that He will use. We have a great purpose and a great responsibility to help out this marvelous work in any way that we can. Never ever give up! Each and every effort is good. There is not effort that does no good. All we are asked to do is be ready and go to work. Everything else is in His hands.
“Don’t let the fear of striking out prevent you from playing the game.”
"Prayer is not just for times of trouble.”—President Thomas S. Monson
Love You ALL! Have a great week!
Elder Maxwell

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