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 15, 2015


     Having technology has enhanced our ability to do missionary work by 1%! It is super funny having these iPads now. I honestly am pretty bad at using my iPad. The iPad rollout is happening in three parts. We are on phase one right now where they just give us the iPads in their limited form. They don't have all the apps on them yet so the only thing that they can really do is LDS tools and the Gospel Library.  I can also email from my iPad now, which is pretty cool if you ask me! So how it works is now receiving an email is like getting a letter during the week. You can read it right when you get it. However responses are supposed to be kept to Monday still. That's what makes hand written letters the best, they have no bounds. As for receiving emails. I still want to get the weekly update on Sunday or Monday but as far as distracting me during the week I say do your best! I am a focused machine, can't get me distracted. I would honestly love to get little shoutouts from everyone during the week. 
  "A good character is something you must make for yourself. It cannot be inherited from parents. It cannot be created by having extraordinary advantages. It isn't a gift of birth, wealth, talent or station. It is the result of your own endeavor. It is the reward that comes from living good principles and manifesting a virtuous and honorable life." -Elder L. Tom Perry
     I have been inspired by this quote from Elder Perry. This is what serving a mission is all about. I have been changed by service out here. I am so glad that I get to be in this area with these people that I am with. I love them all so much! I would do anything to help them. It is truly amazing how we change as individuals as we forget about ourselves. 
   We had to do some online training with our iPads this week. Most missionaries went to the church to get wifi so they could do the training but my companion and I decided we didn't want to sit in the church for an hour alone so we made the decision to go to Starbucks. We were out front in the sun doing our training and people kept staring at us as they walked in and out. It was so funny. As a missionary you get used to people staring at you all the time so that was completely normal. The funny part was how we were destroying all of the stereotypes that people had created in their minds about Mormons. We didn't get anything to drink because we didn't want people to think that we were drinking coffee because that would be sending them the wrong message but we did sit there on our iPads and people kept saying they thought we didn't use technology in our church. (Amish) We probably talked with close to 30 people as we sat there. All were positive interactions as well. We even taught one guy and handed him over to the elders in the area he lives. It was a really good finding activity. Turns out that when people go to Starbucks they instantly get in the mode of socializing with other people in Starbucks, or they are at least open to talking. It is a place where all walls are broken down and people were very open with their questions. Starbucks+Missionaries=HappyTime!!!
     It has been a really great week overall. My companion and I get along really well and it is almost erie at how empty the apartment feels with only four living there instead of the previous five. It is interesting how just one body can make such a big difference. Random thought, yesterday was my 20 month mark! It has gone by so quick! I can't believe how close October is. From certain perspectives it still seems far away but right now it is knocking at my door! Wow, I am excited for this summer. It is going to be a blast! I am already getting pretty tan. We have been having some pretty incredible sunny days! We have been going to BBQ's pretty consistently and I have eaten a lot of meat over the past two weeks. And a lot of dessert as well. One of the blessings of being a missionary, you always get a big dinner and a dessert to tie it all off. Every. Single. Night. I am going to miss that about being a missionary. I want to go have dinner with everyone in the ward when I get home. Maybe I should make myself a dinner calendar... Just kidding, once I'm home we just have to invite people over every once in a while. Do the missionaries get fed well in the ward back home? I remember always grabbing the calendar and putting our name down for them. Max invited us over for a BBQ tomorrow at his place and he invited a lot of his non member friends to come as well as he family that is supportive of the church. It should be a really good finding activity! Max is such a stud. I want to go surfing with him when I come back. Then I am going to move here and become a surfing beach bum. It is going to be gnarly! I'll live in the hills of Santa Cruz and Jonathan can drop out of school and come with me. Jokes! Haha, it would be too much fun.
Well now I am just rambling so I will end it here! Have a great week. Work out. Play hard. Study harder! 
I'll send some sunshine to replace all that rain you are getting. We need the rain over here but the sun is so nice you can keep it for now :)

Love you all! 

Elder Maxwell

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