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, July 27, 2015

How are we going to make it to the door?

What a week!

 Well it has been great having a new companion. He is amazing and very
 dedicated to the work. The Ward is very shocked that I got a companion
 who is going home four weeks from tomorrow! That is the fastest stay
 that any missionary has had in a ward! I think it is quite strange
 that our mission president would pull him out of his area and put him
 here for his last five weeks. That is hardly enough time to get to
 know the ward. We definitely have our work cut out for us. We are
 staying very busy and getting lots of work done.

 This week I had the amazing opportunity to go to the wedding of
 Stephen and Jeni. If your remember back in January when we had the
 baptism in the pool. Well Stephen and Jeni are now married. I got to
 travel across the mission to go and support them and be part of the
 fun. It was an incredible event. Beautiful weather and amazing people.
 It is cool going to a wedding and knowing both sides of the family. I
 feel like that doesn't happen too often for guests. It was so good
 seeing both of them again and seeing their families. It is so cool
 being around people that you really love and you can feel that they
 really love you back. I am so glad that I can call Jeni and Stephen
 life long friends. There will always be a special place for them and
 their families in my life.

 We also got to visit a wonderful family this week. I had never met
 them before so we were going in blind. It was a less active member
 couple. We show up to the house and my first thought was, how are we
 going to make it to the door? The front door was on the second floor
 and the right side of the porch was destroyed. It was hanging clumps
 of cement connected to twisted pieces of rebar. The wooden flooring
 was strewn about the front of the house as if it had just been hit by
 a tornado. I can imagine the look on our faces as we stood there
 staring at the path ahead of us. Off to the left there was a slim
 remaining piece of the former steps leading to the front door. We
 decided without saying a word to proceed forward to our goal, the
 front door. The wooden steps creaked with each step and I told my
 companion several times to keep his distance because I didn't want to

 Thank you so much for the birthday bash in a box! You all are so
 classy. It has been a great birthday so far!!! I love all the gifts
 and Austins idea for the bobble heads would have been hilarious but I
 don't know if I would have understood it without a note! Perfect on
 all the treats. You still understand what I like. Good work family!
 The dynamite birthday cake was fantastic. Great idea! And as for Ian's
 gift. Keep your eyes out for a really good video :D

 I love you all! What did the dinosaur say after he finished eating
 Tonga? I WANT SAMOA!!!! Face with tears of joyFace with tears of joyFace with tears of joy

 Have a great week!

 Love, Elder Maxwell

 Oh, PS: elder Schnell is...
 1- A missionary
 2- A reader/writer
 3- A brother to two brothers and a sister.
 4- A whovian (someone who is enthralled with Dr. Who)
 5- A Ravenclaw from the tribe of Ephraim

Tuesday, July 21, 2015

A new companion

Just got back from getting a new companion. He is great. He is from Washington. He only has five weeks of his mission left. What? Is this real? I thought I was getting my last companion on my mission today and then I get to the meeting and they give me one of the few elders that will be going home next transfer. It is a crazy contrast being with him and being with Hamilton. Elder Hamilton was so excited about home and his levels of trunks were skyscraper high! My new companion, if you didn't know him, could pull off being in his first year still. My new companions name is Elder  Schnell.

So that is it. Elder Hamilton is gone and Schnell is here. This will definitely make the last two transfers of my mission fly by. Before I know it I will have a new comp that will be cutting my tie at the end. That is so weird to think about that. I got to see Elder Forsgren again today. He is looking really good. He is serving down in Morgan Hill now.

We had some really good meetings with Max this week. He came to the outgoing fireside for Hamilton and he brought his friend Savannah with him. We had volunteered him to be one of the speakers at the fires side. He said yes so he got to speak as one of the converts among all
of the missionaries going home. He gave a great little talk and gave some good shoutouts to Elder Hamilton. We are going to start meeting with savannah and her family. I will let you know how that progresses.

Well for some reason my mind is blank once again. I don't know what else to say. I feel like there is something big that I am forgetting but  if I remember I'll throw it in next weeks letter. Hopefully
things slow down a little this week and I can get my head back. Sorry my letter is so short! I feel like this is the shortest one in a long time. I'll have to do better next week.

I love you all!!!

Elder Ben Maxwell

Monday, July 13, 2015

I wake up in the morning just as tired as when I went to sleep!

Well here it is! Monday again! Only one more of these until my companion is on a plane! His trunkyness  is rubbing off on me but I am holding as strong as I can. Pretty soon he will be home and I will have a companion that is not dying soon and that should keep me from being trunky again. Although the end is approaching so very quickly! I can really notice it now because I wake up in the morning just as tired as when I went to sleep! I am always exhausted! I sleep all the way through the night most nights and it still doesn't help! I must be working too hard. Maybe I'll take a week off or something... Just kidding! I'm pushing through to the end!

This week has been filled with miracles! We were doing everything we could to find new people to teach and one of our potentials has been Max's girlfriend. She has come to church with him and everything. We have talked with her before but have never taught her anything. Earlier this week we find out that the elders that border our area have been in contact with her entire family before. They have never been taught but we were worried that they lived in the bordering area. we found out on Thursday that the family lives in our Ward boundaries which is perfect because they already have a connection with our Ward!!! Yes! We still haven't taught them anything but we have a family home evening set up with them for tonight as long as Max's girlfriend asks her parents for permission.  opefully the family knows
we are coming before we show up! Grinning face with smiling eyes I am sure everything will go well. We are hoping that the family will all come to church and will be welcomed in by our Ward and will never want to leave. They have five kids all over the age of 8! So the whole family could get baptized  together! And then later on sealed for time and all eternity together! That would be so cool! I am really excited for  onight. I hope we don't mess it up. Pray for us!

The road trip sounds like it would be fun! Having the Benions over would be so amazing! I am so sad that I missed them. I would be down to room with Lehi. I hear rooming with friends can be tough though. Maybe it would be better to get rooms close to each other so we can use each others rooms as escapes from our own room! But we can worry about all that later.  I am excited for college but I have been putting it off so long that I'm dreading it! Hahaha.

Say what's up to Christian for me. As for the offer to sleep on their floor I think I'll pass but maybe the occasional drop by for a nice home cooked meal. That sounds like a pretty good plan. I'll let Austin and Maddi feed me on odd days and Christian and Abby can feed me on even days. Man I have the coolest older siblings ever! You guys don't know how much this means to me!

I love you all! Happy birthday week in the car! Woo hoo!

Elder Ben Maxwell

Monday, July 6, 2015

There is no time for procrastination!

And another week has gone! I feel like not enough has happened for a whole week to have gone by. Where do these weeks keep going? Just the other day I was sitting here thinking about where I was going after leaving Stanford. Now, four months later, I am sitting her thinking about where I will be in three months! Crazy how fast things can change. Goes to show how we always need to be ready. There is no time for procrastination! 
We continued to meet with Angelo this week. He is doing super well. We have taught him 4/5 lessons now. His baptism is about a month away and boy the time is trickling through our fingers. Not really much new to say about him and his progress. He is still a changing man and I still marvel as I watch him make mature decisions and lead a course in his life that will hugely influence the remaining years of his life. The gospel will forever be a blessing and a strength in his life. He can so clearly see the changes in his life and he loves them all! 

As for the Fourth of July, we had a really incredible day. One of the blessings of being a missionary is that you can go to any party or BBQ and people are so happy to give you all of their food. It never crosses anyone's mind that we may have just eaten, but that is fine by me. We had so much good BBQ through the day. We started our day off with a ward party at 8. It began with us running/walking a 5k. Now I have never ran a 5k before so I wasn't sure how fast or slow I should go for a pace. I started running with one group but they were too slow so I picked up my pace until I caught up with one of my favorite members and we ran the rest of the race together. It was really cool. He is usually a very social guy but he said he can't talk and run. He has to focus on breathing.  Hahaha, he is such a stud. The 5k was fun and there was a breakfast right after that. From there all through the rest of the day we went from BBQ to BBQ. Eating our fill of various meats and kebabs of all types. Quite the filling day. I slept very well that night. The evening of the fourth our mission president gave us permission to stay out and watch fireworks. So a nonmember we were with took us into downtown San Jose where they were putting on a big show! It was pretty incredible. The fireworks were right over our head and there was a skyscraper right behind us so the explosions would echo off of the building and amplify the power of each firework. They would shake you every time they exploded. I sent some videos to try and help you all see what we saw. Pretty crazy!

That's about all that happened this week. Angelo and the fourth! So I guess it is a short letter this week. I don't think I will be effected by our coming transfer on the 21st. I hope and pray that I stay here in Los Gatos and train a new missionary for my last two transfers. That would be the best! They are just hopes and dreams though. My companion is getting more and more trunks as the days go by. He is starting to have his first "lasts." Last fast Sunday on a mission. And other things like that. He spends a lot of time looking at his calendar so I told him if he looks at it long enough he will be going home. Hahaha, he didn't take too kindly to that. I am trying to keep him grounded but sometimes his head is definitely on the plane. I can imaging it gets very difficult in the last few weeks. He still works hard when it's time to work though. He is a great missionary. 

Lots of pictures to go with this week even though not a lot happened! That's always fun! Love you all! I miss you and can't wait to run around like a crazy person on the driveway with Jonathan. 

Love you lots, 
Elder Maxwell