Dear Family and Friends,
We had a great week this past week. We are now officially one of the
missions testing out iPad mini's. Every missionary has his own iPad. We
all thought it would be one for each companionship but we were wrong.
Haha so it's pretty cool. We're in the process of changing our whole
area book over which is a pretty big pain but it's All good. We also
had a half mission conference this past week which was pretty fun. I
got to see a bunch of people I haven't seen in forever. We just got
news that Elder Dallin H Oaks is coming to our stake conference so I'm
pretty excited for that as well!
We had a ward Christmas party Saturday night. It was a good
opportunity for me to get to know the ward since I'm still pretty new
here. I ended up carving and serving turkey with my companion for
over 300 people. I felt like I was back at my catering job. Haha I'm
still adjusting to this area but it's gong great! So far I love the
area, ward, and my companion.
We have an investigator named Ellio and the guy is on fire. We
committed him to be baptized in the beginning of January but it's
going to have to be pushed back to February due to certain things. He
came to church which was awesome and stayed for all 3 hours. He's 22
years old and he even told us when he gets baptized he wants to go on his
own mission. He's even telling all his family and friends about it and
getting them interested so this guy is just a stud.
As far as Christmas goes we can either FaceTime or Skype. Either one
works for me. I'm gonna say let's plan on doing it like mid morning
around 11ish or 10:30ish. I look forward to being able to talk to you
guys. I hope you all have a Merry Christmas. Wishing you guys all the
best. Love and miss you guys.
-Elder Ben Rosenbaum
Tuesday, December 17, 2013
Dear Family and Friends,My first week in Citrus Heights has been fantastic! My companion is Elder Miller and the guy is a stud. He's from Provo Utah and he even knows some of the same people as me back home including Chase Ward. So I thought that was pretty cool. I kind of feel like a real missionary now being on a bike. Its crazy different being in a small spread out city to going to the big city on a bike. I love it though there's so many people in the streets that we can street contact so I've been able to talk to so many more people and I love it. We're in the very corner of our area and the very corner of our zone so we've been racking up a lot of miles on our bikes but hey at least it will get me back in shape after being in a car for so long.
Tuesday, December 10, 2013
Dear Family and Friends,
Well we received transfer calls last night. I'm getting transferred!!! I'm getting transferred to Citrus Heights which is the furthest south as our mission goes. Citrus Heights is right below Sacramento so its going to be a huge change going from Paradise which is small, lot of trees, kind of out here in the middle of nowhere to a big city. I'm going to be in a bike area too which is going to be kind of different. I'm going to be senior companion. I've never met or heard of the person I'm going to be companions with but I understand he's been out for 3 months. Its should be a fun and exciting time. I'm definitely going to miss Paradise. I'm grown really close to this ward and they've been awesome to me. They announced in church that I would have a high chance of being transferred and everyone was treating me like I was dying or something. haha It was kind of fun. My ward mission leader will be taking me down to my new area tomorrow and w'ere going to meet up with my last companion and go out for lunch so that will be fun too! I hear the south of the mission is completely different than the north.
We had a great week. We have an investigator who is just on fire. Her name is Deanna and she's on date for January 4th. She's the most promising investigator I've had here in a long time. She came to church on Sunday which was awesome and stayed for all 3 hours. We had dinner with her this week and with the family that is fellowshipping her and had a lesson afterwards. The spirit was so strong. We met with her twice this week. She's 19 years old and just really open to the spirit. After the lesson we went home and there was a huge snow storm which is apparently super rare in Paradise. I live in this neighborhood which has huge hills to get to it and we ended up getting stuck. We called a less active guy named Jim and he came and pulled us out with some chains and his jeep. We didn't end up getting home until like 11 because of it. It was a pretty crazy experience. But we're safe and everything ended up working out.
We taught Elders quorum and young men at church so that was pretty fun. We've picked up a family that we started teaching about 2 weeks ago. We've been able to meet with them about once a week and she has like 8 kids. It was the greatest miracle. If everything works out with them our primary in our ward could really use them.
I love you all and I look forward to hearing from you at Christmas! Merry Christmas!
Thursday, December 5, 2013
Dear Family and Friends,
I'm glad to hear that you all had a wonderful Thanksgiving. We had a wonderful thanksgiving as well. We ate with a huge family in our ward and there was a lot of people so it was a lot of fun. We had a total of 3 or 4 Thanksgiving dinners including the day of Thanksgiving and the day after so the members here took really good care of us. Since the time I've been on my mission I'm close to gaining 15 pounds already. It doesn't help that I'm in a car area either.
We got permission from our Mission President for all the missionaries in Paradise to go to a Christmas Musical thats put on by members of the church and its held at the Performing arts center. With 2 showing that day over 1000 people came to see the show from the community and the whole program was focused on Christ. After we got to pass out article of faith cards to everyone. Overall we passed out over 600 article of faith cards and it was a great opportunity to get our name out and to have people see us and realize what we do. We even got a bunch of referrals and potential investigators while we were there. So it was a really successful day!
Our investigator Deanna is really coming along well and still progressing towards her baptism. We had dinner with her and the family thats fellowsipping her this week and a lesson with her. So its been going really well. We had a total of 3 investigators at church on Sunday which was awesome. We had a lesson with the Campbell family we're teaching on Sunday night and helped put their Christmas tree up. There should be pictures on facebook if you want to check them out.
We get transfer calls a week from yesterday so we'll find out if I will be getting transferred. Its pretty abnormal to stay in an area longer than 6 months so I'll probably be getting transferred. The weather here is still pretty nice. We're wearing short sleeve shirts still but a jacket at night. I'm not missing the cold back in Utah. Love you all hope you all have a fantastic week.
Tuesday, November 26, 2013
Dear Family and Friends,
This past week has probably been the most successful week of my mission so far! We saw so many miracles it was crazy. I'll tell you guys about 3 of them. I was on exchanges with the zone leaderson Tuesday. We just got done visiting this less active women named Myna and we were about to leave when we both felt like we needed to talk to the guy across the street. His named was Steven and he is about 30 years old and has really had it rough. He is a recovered drug addict. He was really depressed and we could tell so we asked if everything was okay. He explained that he had a couple family members past away recently and that he had really been struggling. He was curious why there were so many religions and he really wanted to know which way God wanted him to take in his life. We were able to teach and testify to him of Eternal families and of the restored gospel. The spirit was so strong and we challenged him to baptism and he accepted. He said he would prepare his wife and his 8 year old son to be baptized as well. They are preparing them to be baptized towards the end of December. It was an amazing miracle. Sadly he's just outside our area so we passed the family on to the missionaries in 3rd ward. They are currently being taught right now.
Another miracle we were able to experience this week was a new investigator we were able to pick up named Deanna. They is this young women in our ward named Brooke and she just got her call to Mexico so I challenged her to extend the invitation to her best friend to take the lessons from us so she could see the process of how everything works as a missionary. She did and we were able to meet with Deanna on Saturday night. We taught the restoration and the spirit was super strong. We extended the invitation to be baptized and she accepted. Brooke provided solid fellowship and everything worked out great. She's the golden investigator we always pray for as missionaries. She's going to be baptized on December 21st.
Remember Dennis I used to always talk about? Well we've been still teaching him and he's been wanting to meet more as of recent. We were able to have a really spiritual lesson with him as well. We decided the talk about the gift of the holy ghost. It was a great lesson and he wants to be baptized again so we were able to set his baptismal date for December 21st as well.
We had a fireside in Chico on Thursday and Elder Stanely G Ellis came and he talked on the Book of Mormon. We were able to get our recent convert Elaine to come and a couple of less actives so it was a really great experience. All the missionaries in our zone sang a musical number the Army of Helaman. It was a great experience. On Friday we had Zone Conference and we were able to once again hear from Elder Ellis of the Seventy and from our mission president. It was fun to see a bunch of the missionaries that I haven't seen in awhile.
All in all we had a great week this past week. For thanksgiving we have plans to go to the Bakers(a less active family), the Critsers, and the Petersons in our ward. They are all families so it should be a good time. We were told that Thanksgiving will be a full proselyting day and that the missionaries won't be having a turkey bowl so we were a little disappointed but it will still be fun! Hope you all have a great week eating turkey and know I'll be thinking of you all. Love you all.
Saturday, November 23, 2013
Dear Family and Friends,
We had a crazy week this week. We spent a lot of time Saturday at in the Hospital. The Campbells, one of the families were teaching, had two children one in the E.R. and the other one in the ICU. They have several different things happen from kidney stones, to bladder infections and it was a really scary situation for the whole family. We were able to show our support and be there almost immediately and perform a blessing for them. It was a really spiritual experience for all of us. I was amazed at the love and the support the ward was able to show them during the couple of days they were at the Hospital. While they were still in the hospital we surprised them and went and did a bunch of service at there house and racked leaves, cleaned her gutters, etc. We had a lesson with them on Monday before everything went chaotic and taught the restoration and it went really well. Hopefully Marie will be able to get baptized before I get transferred.
We were given a referral from a member of our ward to go visit a lady in the Hospital. He told her we would go by and give her a Book of Mormon, visit her, and see how see was doing. We went by and she was really receptive and we taught her the restoration while we were there and she invited us to come by and see her after she gets out of the hospital so we're going to go bytomorrow and teach her again. It was a great lesson and you could tell the spirit was just super strong. Its moments like that why I love being a missionary. She seems like of the more solid investigators we've picked up in awhile so we'll see what happens.
I went on exchanges this week and got to do some work with Elder Schaefer and we had an awesome day. He was born with this disease(I can't remember the name) and he was told he wouldn't ever be able to walk and we were meeting with our investigator Kim and we were talking about miracles and Elder Schaefer shared the story about his condition and how he would pray everyday growing up and ask Heavenly Father to be Normal and to be able to walk. He explained how it took 14 years until he was able to walk but that God answered his prayer and he told how much faith it took and patience. The spirit seriously punched me in the gut when he told this. It made Kim realize how real God is and how he can bless our lives we if make an effort to have daily prayer.
Elder Stanley G. Ellis is coming this week and he is going to be speaking at zone conference! whoo! It should be an awesome experience. He's even putting on a fireside for our stake Thursdaynight and a bunch of our investigators are really excited to hear him speak. The missionaries are performing a musical number at it so we'll see how it goes. We have exchanges with the Zone Leaders tomorrow so that should be fun!
All is well in California! I think and pray about you guys everyday! My testimony of this Gospel has grown more than I could have even imagined! God lives, He's real.
Wednesday, November 13, 2013
Dear family and friends,
We had a fantastic week this past week. Me and Elder Walton have been doing some good work. I'm thinking my time here in Paradise is short probably only 4 more weeks until I get transferred so I want to make the most of it and leave this area in great shape. We picked up a new investigator this week named Kim. A couple of days ago we were going around and visiting a bunch of potential investigators in our area book and we both decided randomly that we need to stop what we were doing and knock on this one door. A lady named Kim opened the door and was very friendly. We introduced the restoration and the Book of Mormon and she accepted to read it and was very excited and even invited us back. The was the craziest miracle and it came out of nowhere. Its amazing how the Lord prepares his people. It was a neat experience because me and Elder Walton were able to recognize the prompting of the spirit and were able to act on it.
Do you remember Jacob my first baptism back in the beginning of August? He spoke in Stake Conference! How cool is that? He spoke about his conversion story and the spirit was so powerful. It was a great experience. We had a couple of really spiritual lessons this past week. We met with Dennis and we talked about Gods amazing love and he was feeling really alone at the time. We shared a story with him and he started crying and the spirit was so strong. We were than able to testify of the truthfullness of the gospel with the spirit present. It was great! Its amazing to see the tiny miracles that we experience every day.
We did a lot of service this week. Stacking and splitting wood still happens pretty regular. And we helped a less active member move. I had a great Birthday on Monday. The Reeves had us and the Campbells, the family were teaching, over for dinner. We had a great night. There's a picture on facebook if you want to see. The whole zone ended up sing happy birthday to be at our p-day activity so it was a fun day.
Everything is going great! I love being able to reach out and help so many people every day. Tomorrow I'll have been out for 5 months! Its gone by so fast! I feel like I've really grown so much in that short time and I've loved every minute and I know it will only get better! Thanks so much for your support it helps me out a ton! love you all! I hope everything works out with Kathleen she's definitely been in my prayers! Have a great week!
Friday, November 8, 2013
Dear Family and Friends,
So we had a crazy week. My new companion got here Tuesday afternoon. His name is Elder Walton and he's from Canada. Me and Elder Harper both got companions from Canada so that was pretty cool. He's a really solid missionary, really obedient, and likes to work hard. We should be able to do some good work this transfer. My companion is the district leader. So we moved into a different member of our ward on Thursday. Brother Reeve was frequently gone a lot with work and that left us home alone a lot with Sister Reeve and that's against the rules so President decided to move us and the new member we're living with is Brother Sypherd. He's an older man about 80 and his wife is passed away so its a good opportunity for him to house the missionaries so he's not so lonely and he's super excited to have us in his house. He's an awesome guy one of the most Christ-like people I've met so far. We spent most of Thursday with Elder Bell building our beds and moving in. We're all settled in and its been really good for the couple of days we've been there.
Awesome news! Remember Anne I told you guys about in the past? Well we decided to reteach the Restoration to her so she could feel the spirit and we were able to recommit her to baptism again! Its scheduled for November 23rd. So that's super exciting. Tim's baptism is for now still a go for December 7th. We seem to have a good amount of investigators and we're keeping really busy. With transfers most of Tuesday and moving in on Thursday we were still able to teach over 20 lessons this week. So its been a crazy week. So far I haven't really had a problem taking over the area. I've been here for awhile so I know it pretty good.
Thanks for all the Birthday wishes! It means a lot! Dad, I meant to send you a birthday letter on Saturday but I missed the mail man so you should be receiving a birthday card sometime this week. So I hope you had a great day yesterday. I hope everything works out with Kathleen's surgery I'll be praying for her!
Love and miss you guys! Have a great week!
Oh and by the way the members house we moved into their basement flooded last night... we spent most the night helping him clean everything up. crazy stuff!
Thursday, October 31, 2013
Dear Family and Friends,
We had transfer calls Sunday night. My companion, Elder Harper, got transferred to Rocklin and is going to be a zone leader up there so he's pretty excited. I'm gonna miss working with him in Paradise. I couldn't have had a better trainer, we got along really well. My new companion's name is Elder Walton and he's from Canada. I've never met the guy before I've only heard things about him. He'll get here tomorrow and we'll begin working. It should be a good experience. I'm thinking I'll only be in Paradise for 6 more weeks though because its pretty abnormal to stay in a area longer than 6 months. A couple of my really good buddies from the MTC got transferred to my zone, so it should be a pretty fun transfer. And I'll be moving in tomorrow with a different member of our ward,.his name is brother Sypherd. He's one of the most Christ-like people I know and he's super excited to start housing the missionaries because he's a single, older man and gets lonely at times. He has a really nice house and we're going to have the whole upstairs at his house. Its a really nice arrangement and it should work out really well. I'm really grateful for the members we were staying at(the Reeves). They really taught me a lot and did a lot for us. So if you want to send me stuff I'm not sure what my new address is yet, so just send it to the mission office. Here it is in case you need it.
California Roseville Mission
8583 Watt Avenue
Antelope, CA 95843
We were able to pick up two new investigators this week. They just kind of came to us. It was a huge blessing. We went to go visit a new member of our ward that moved in and her next door neighbor saw us walking and waved us down and wanted to talk to us. We talked to her for about an hour and she wanted to learn more and for us to come back. We introduced the Book of Mormon to her and she committed to read it and we're going to come back this week and begin teaching her. The other investigator that we picked up this week her name is Tracey. We was sitting in the parking lot of our church waiting for someone and we went and talked to her and she was so excited that we ran into her. She expressed interest in coming to services the following Sunday. She said she has a lot of family that are Mormons and she thinks what we teach is true so it was a huge blessing to run into her and we're going to begin teaching her.
Here's a couple pictures I hope you enjoy. Paradise has this road named Honey Run that its famous for, so we thought we better go get a picture by it. The other picture is a picture of a family we're teaching. We carved pumpkins with them and it was a lot of fun. With permission of their mom, we're hoping that they can get baptized sometime in December. The ward has been really great to them. Its been awesome
Happy birthday this Saturday Dad! Hope you have a great day. Thanks for everything you have done and taught me throughout my life. And most importantly thank you for the great example I had in my life. I hope you all have a great week! I love you all. Stay strong and remain faithful.
-Elder Ben Rosenbaum
Thursday, October 24, 2013
Dear family and friends,
So we had a pretty crazy experience this past week. We went over to visit this guy named Tim who we thought was a less active. He lived in the very corner of our area and it was pretty far away so we almost decided not to go because we didn't want to waste the miles. Luckily my companion was in tune with the spirit and he said he thought we better go anyways. I've never met this guy before but he's a freak in stud. We went in teaching him like he was a less active but we soon found out that he wasn't actually a member and that he used to go to our church all the time about 4 years ago when he lived with a Mormon family in Utah. He said he loves the church and had a really great experience with it and expressed a desire to be baptized and to join the church. He accepted a date for December 7th to be baptized and we're going to begin teaching him. It was the craziest thing and quite the miracle. He's the coolest guy. He has tattoos up and down his body and has some crazy hair and he's a bigger guy. He loves football so we were able to talk about football and connect with him in that way. He said he is a great cook so this week we're going to come over again and he's going to feed us Ribs and we going to teach him the restoration. It was seriously one of the greatest blessings especially after we've been having a couple of investigators drop us and we were in need of some more people to teach.
We were able to do some more wood splitting this week. About once a week we go split wood with brother Keith and we go give the wood we split to investigators or less actives in the ward. The first door I ever knocked in Paradise we picked her up as an investigator but she hasn't really progressed much. We were able to give the wood to her and she was super appreciative of it.
So we've been teaching this boy named Shane ever since I've been in Paradise. We thought he was going to be a child of record baptism because he's 8 years old but because both of his biological parents aren't members he'll be considered a convert baptism. So after Shane comes to church a couple times he'll be able to be baptized because he's already been taught all the lessons. We found him through his step mom who is a less active lady in our ward. So in the next coming weeks we might possibly have a baptism. We'll see what happens. He was originally suppose to be baptized this week but we had to push it back.
We did a lot of recent convert work this week and less actives. Jacob my first baptism we went and saw him this week and we're still visiting Elaine and Rivers quite regularly because we're helping Rivers overcome his addictions so he can receive the priesthood.
We got a new car this week from the mission office. That was pretty cool. It's a 2012 Toyota Corolla so its a pretty nice car. We're gonna go play rugby and basketball today for p-day so it should be fun. Transfer calls are coming this Sunday and I'm 99 percent sure my companion is going to be transferred this time. So we'll see what happens. I'm still loving every minute out here. I'm really growing to love Paradise and the ward is awesome. They are so supportive of us and always trying to help us out. Love you guys. Have a great week.
Wednesday, October 16, 2013
Dear Family and Friends,
Well we had a good week this past week. It was very unfortunate to hear the news. I got a missed call from President Weston during our dinner appointment this week and I had the faintest idea that it might be about Grandma. So I called the President after dinner and he informed me of everything that had happened and talked to me. I appreciate you guys letting me know. I pray that all the family may be comforted and feel of the Saviors love and peace during this hard time. Its brings great comfort having the Gospel and knowing that Grandma will be reunited with Grandpa. That knowledge definitely made it a lot easier for me. I gave a talk in sacrament meeting yesterday and it was about charity. I shared with them that grandma was of the best examples in my life of charity and the pure love of Christ.
We picked up a new investigator last week. His name is Pat. He was clearly fully against the Church in every aspect but he said he wanted to learn more about it before he came to a full conclusion. He said the Book of Mormon was a lie so we challenge him to prove it wrong. We're going to be meeting with him again this week. We had a great discussion with him and it lasted almost 2 hours so hopefully his heart will be opened and be willing to learn.
The youth in our stake put on a musical and it was actually super good and really spiritual. Two of our investigators, Marie and Gerald, were in the play so it was a really good experience for them. We were able to invite and get a couple of less active people there and our recent convert Elaine. It was a great experience for them and hopefully it will bring a desire to them to come back to the Gospel.
With the limited amount of investigators we have right now we've been doing a lot of less active work and it's truly been a blessing to help these people feel the spirit again in their lives and hopefully have the desire to come back. We're still teaching our investigator named Kim and she's coming along and progressing really well.
We're going to play volleyball for p-day today and maybe go golfing so it should be fun. Hope you guys all have a great week. Love you all.
Thursday, October 10, 2013
Dear family and friends,
We had a great week. Conference was terrific! On Sunday we watched it at the members house where we live and we invited Elaine and her son(both recent converts) and watched both sessions and had a brunch in between. I feel like this year from conference I've learned so much then previous years. Probably because I was more open to learn and was more attentive but I loved all the talks. My two favorite talks were Richarrd G Scott about the atonement. It made me focus on my purpose as a missionary and relate it to the atonement. How that's my goal to have everyone I teach and talk to experience the atonement and to be changed through it. My other favorite one was President Uctdorf. I loved how he said to doubt your doubts before you doubt your faith. It really spoke to me. I definitely feel spiritually uplifted and motivated from the words we heard this past weekend.
We had dinner Sunday night with an investigator and her family and we carved pumpkins afterwards.(I'll send pictures next week.) It was with Marie and her family. We have great news. Her mom is finally going to let her be baptized. She was thinking on having it at the end of November or beginning of December. So i'm hoping I'm still here in Paradise for it. Its definitely been a huge blessing.
We've been kind of in a finding phase. The last couple of weeks we've had baptism dates drop and a couple of investigators drop. So were hoping with all the enthusiasm about missionary work during conference the members will start loading us up with referrals and we can pick up some new investigators and the work will start picking up again. It would be a lot more effective than going out and tracting or something. The biggest thing I've noticed is if your praying for miracles and your being obedient and working hard than good things happen. Thanks for everything. I love you all.
-Elder Ben Rosenbaum
Wednesday, October 2, 2013
Dear Family and Friends,
We had a great week this past week. I'll start off with talking about Elaine's baptism. It went super well. I was able to give the talk on baptism, my companion did a musical number and Brother Reeve, her fellow shipper, baptized her. It was a super spiritual experience. It's amazing to see how far she's come. We picked up as an investigator just under 2 months ago and now she's baptized. Its truly been a miracle. It was definitely the highlight of our week. In Sunday during fast and testimony meeting Elaine even got up and bore her testimony. It was probably one of the strongest testimony's I've ever heard.
I had the opportunity this past week to go on exchanges with the zone leaders so I got to go down to Chico and do some work. We went down to the college campus and everyone we ran into we challenged to baptism on the spot. It was an interesting experience. We even almost got some to commit but it was pretty fun.
I'm truly loving the ward I'm serving in. The ward members are really great to us. On Sunday during Sacrament meeting it was one of the most spiritual meeting I've ever been apart of. The theme of all the testimony's was conversion. Not only did Elaine give her testimony, but Marie one of our investigators gave one of most powerful testimony's I've ever heard too. I feel like this past week my testimony of this Gospel has really grown and been strengthened tremendously. I know without a shadow of a doubt that is the true Gospel of Jesus Christ. If anything while I've been on mission I feel like I've been able to further convert myself everyday along with the people I'm teaching and I just come to a more further understanding of the Gospel every day. Thanks for all your support and love. I hope all is well. I hope everything works out with grandma's health. I'm praying for you guys. Have a great week.
Elder Harper (Ben's Companion), Brother Reeve, Sister Elaine and Ben
Sister Elaine's Baptism day
Tuesday, September 24, 2013
Dear Family and Friends,
So all in all we had a great week. We had some ups and downs but for the most part it was a great week. On our way home from working Sunday night we ran over a skunk. Our car stinks pretty bad but it was a lot better this morning. We went and got pictures by the skunk just for fun. It was pretty crazy! We had a total of 5 investigators at church this past week which was terrific! Marie even came and we have a lesson with her tonight. Its been a huge blessing to be able to start teaching her again after all the problems they've been going through.
So our baptism has been moved to this Friday instead of Saturday. I can't remember the last time Elaine has missed a Sunday. Her fellow shipper who also happens to be her doctor will be performing the baptism for her. I'm really excited for Elaine, she's come really far since we began teaching her. She's been really excited for quite some time now. The ward has really taken her in and been really great to her. It should be a great baptism this Friday!
On Sunday we were privileged to go over to one of our investigators house's for dinner. We went over to Anne's house and Jerry was there too. Jerry told me he still has interest in being baptized but he wants to wait until October 18 to set a baptismal date because of everything going on. I was beginning to think he was losing interest so it was great to hear its something he still wants to do.
The Lord has truly been blessing us out here with people to teach and now that I've been out for awhile its been interesting to look back and see how far these people have grown and come since I've been here. I'm truly grateful for the opportunity to be out here serving the Lord in California. I know its exactly where I'm suppose to be right now.
Happy Birthday on Saturday Mom. I hope you have a wonderful day. Know that I'll be thinking about ya and that's everything is going great. I love ya.
Tuesday, September 17, 2013
Dear Family and Friends,
So we had a great week. We had transfer calls come last night. Everyone was expecting my companion to be transferred but he ended up staying in Paradise with me. My companion is still district leader but we had a lot of changes in our district and zone. Its weird to think that I'm already in my 3rd transfer of my mission and have been out for 3 months. Its gone by super fast, its crazy. I'm thinking I'm probably going to be staying in my first area for about six months.
We're still teaching Elaine and she's doing great. We are beginning to teach her the commandments and we taught her the word of wisdom a couple of days ago. Her son is a recent convert who still struggles with his addictions. We were able to give him a blessing to overcome his addictions. The spirit was so strong and he gave us his chewing tobacco to dispose of it. They both committed to live the word of wisdom. Elaine is really coming along and progressing well. I'm really excited for her and how well she's doing. Her baptism is scheduled for September 28th.
Yesterday at church we had someone call me and Elder Harper out of priesthood and there was someone outside in the parking lot who said she was interested in our church. We gave her the basic introduction about our church and we're going to begin teaching her this week. Its amazing how the Lord works and how he prepares people to receive this restored gospel.
We've been teaching this lady named Kim ever since I've been here in Paradise and she came to church for the first time on Sunday which was awesome. We had 3 investigators in sacrament meeting this past week which was great!
All in all everything is still going great. I love and miss you guys. I hope you all have a great week.
Ben with some Missionarys playing Golf on P- day
Wednesday, September 11, 2013
Dear Family and Friends,
I'm glad to hear everyone had a great time at Grandma's on Labor Day. I was definitely thinking about you guys and knew you would be having a good time. It was kind of weird missing it, I'm not gonna lie, I was a little jealous! We had a up and down week to say the least. We had 2 of our baptismal dates drop. Jerry was really appreciative of everything we've done for him and the great love and support the ward has shown him. But he's going to be moving soon, so the probability of his baptism happening before he moves is kind of unlikely, but we're praying for the best. Jerry is literally the coolest, most sincere, kind person I've taught so far on my mission.
Anne also dropped her baptism which was suppose to happen this weekend. But she said its not permanent. She just wants to make sure this is something she wants to do which is perfectly fine. We don't want to rush her or anything. Anne only has one foot and her other foot is starting to swell up really big and she's afraid of losing it and she was in a lot of pain. We had an opportunity to give her a blessing and I think she was really touched by the spirit.
Elaine though is doing great. She had the Seventh Day Adventists church call he, trying to reactivate her and try to get her to come back to church. She told them to remove her records from their church and that she was investigating with the Mormon religion. I'm really proud of her for her decision and she's continuing to come to church and we always have great lessons with her. Her baptism is scheduled for September 28th.
Dennis is also continuing to do great and hasn't had any set backs. We're starting to meet with him more and more often as we're getting closer to his baptism. He's just as solid as ever. We're really excited for him. We even picked up one of Dennis' friends as a new investigator this past week. He's not even a member and he's already doing missionary week.
We're going to go golfing today with some other missionaries and we get to go for free which is pretty sweet! Transfer calls will be coming this Sunday and I'll probably be getting a new companion so it will be exciting to see who I get.
Just in case anyone plans on sending me anything. Send it to the mission office because I don't know our new address and we will be moving out soon to a different members house in our ward.
California Roseville Mission
8583 watt avenue
Antelope CA 95843
Thanks for everything and for you love and support. I love you guys.
Tuesday, September 3, 2013
Dear Family and friends,
We had a another great week. We had zone conference this past week so we got to take an hour drive down to Yuba city. We heard some exciting news from our mission president. He told us that missionaries are going to be allowed to start using facebook for missionary purposes only so we can keep in better contact with our investigators and members of the ward where we're serving. There are 12 missions out of 435 missions who will be testing using facebook in their mission. Our mission is one out of the 12 missions who will be testing this. So within the next week or two we'll begin using facebook during less effective proselyting time which is pretty exciting. Our Mission President also told us that within the next 6 months we'll have Ipads in our mission for sure. So missionary work is going to start changing a little and its going to be a lot more effective and we're going to be able to reach and talk to a lot more people.
We had a solid week. Jerry, who's baptism is scheduled for this Saturday probably won't go through. We're going to have to push it back. His doctor told him he can't be immersed in water because of his situation. Our bishop even talked to a couple of doctors at his work and they all said that immersion by water would be a really bad idea. So our Mission President is currently working with the 1st Presidency of the Church because there has to be a way that Jerry can be baptized. He wants to be baptized but its really unfortunate that this is holding him back.
We currently have 4 people on date for baptism. We have one baptism scheduled a week for the whole month of September which is super exciting I just hope they all go through. Anne is the one we got on date this past week. Anne is an older later who's really been through a lot of trials in her life. She only has one leg which is kind of cool. She's a really sweet older lady. She's really had a change of heart. We've been teaching her ever since I got to Paradise and she wasn't too interested before but now its something she wants to do so we're really excited.
I had a really cool experience at church yesterday. I was sitting next to one of our investigators named Elaine. She has a baptism date for September 28th but she was still deciding if this was something she wanted to do. She was trying to decide between our church and the Seventh Day Adventist Church. So during sacrament she leaned over and whispered to me, "This is the Church I want to join. This is the one." When she told me that the Spirit was so strong. It was awesome.
Transfer calls are coming up in about 2 weeks on Sept 14th so my companion will most likely be transferred because he's been in this area for awhile. So we're most likely going to be moving into another members house in our ward. The house we're at now the lady is always home alone because her husband is always at work and when we come home for lunch and stuff we're not suppose to be alone with a female, so at the end of the transfer we'll more than likely be moving out. That's what our mission President told us.
The work though is going great. We had 3 investigators at church this past week. And Jacob, my first baptism was able to receive the Aaronic Priesthood this past Sunday which was an awesome experience. All in all everything is going great. Thanks for all your support and prayers. I love you guys.
Thursday, August 29, 2013
Dear family and friends,
Another week has come and gone and we're continuing to have a lot of success and seeing a lot of miracles in our area. We had a recent convert move into our ward so we went over to teach the new member lessons to him and we ended up teaching his mom named Elaine. We taught her the lesson of the Restoration and she had tons of questions. She was a former seventh day Adventist. The spirit was so strong in the first lesson I felt prompted to challenge her to baptism in the that first lesson. She accepted and her baptism is scheduled for September 28th. She came to church with her son and the whole ward was great to her and she had a great time in relief society. She's so excited to learn more and she's reading the Book of Mormon. Her son wants to get the Aaronic Priesthood so he can baptize his mom. It was truly a miracle.
We currently have 3 people on date for baptism. One of them being Jerry. He's talking to his throat specialists tomorrow and he's going to tell him whether or not he'll be able to be baptized because of the hole in his neck from agent orange. Jerry is really worried about it and how its going to work out. We've been working with our bishop who's a doctor and we're trying to work something out. We're praying for him and hoping everything works out. His baptism is scheduled for September 7th.
Dennis, our other investigator who is also on date for baptism is absolutely on fire. He came to church again for all three hours, He's almost done reading the Book of Mormon and he's just loving it. The work here in Paradise is really just starting to pick up and we are starting to have full days where were running from appointment to appointment. Its been awesome. We taught a total of 30 lessons this last week. We even picked up two new investigators this past week too. Every time I see our Mission President he tells us to pray for miracles and we've been doing that and we're definitely seeing our prayers answered. I'm loving working with Elder Harper. We still get along great and we have a fun time doing the work here in Paradise. We have a zone conference this Thursday which should be awesome. I'll be able to see my companion from the MTC which will be sweet!
Thanks for all your support and prayers for me, it truly does mean a lot and have fun watching BYU football this Saturday. I'm super jealous and be sure to update me on everything. Love you guys!
Wednesday, August 21, 2013
Dear Family and Friends,
Its been another solid week out here in the mission field and we're having a lot of success. We had a total of 4 of our investigators attend sacrament meeting this past Sunday which is the best I've had since I've been out on my mission. Dennis went to church for the first time and he stayed for all 3 hours and was super attentive the whole time and was asking lots of questions the entire time. We're meeting with him again tonight. We challenged him to baptism and he accepted it and we set His baptism for September 7th. Dennis said he had a great time at church and he looked forward to coming next week. We taught him the plan of salvation this past week and he said everything we taught him just made sense and clicked in his brain but now he has the vocabulary for everything. We're really excited for him. Every time we meet with him he just has tons of questions of things he's been studying.
Jerry is also doing very well. He's been sick so we were able to go over and give him a blessing and he was able to have a very positive experience and the spirit was really strong. He continues to go to church every week and is fitting in really good with the ward. His baptism is also scheduled for September 7th. So we're going to have a double baptism on that day which is super exciting.
Every day I see the Lords hand helping us in our work out here. It seems like everyday we experience some type of success in one way or another. This past week we met with one of our investigators named Kim. We've been teaching her ever since I got here in Paradise. She's been having lots of problems with the word of wisdom so we've been working with her and she's been attending this alcohol recovery program. She's finally starting to study the Book of Mormon which is great and she is committed to come to church for the first time, so we'll see what happens. She is finally starting to progress but very slowly.
I'm continuing to love it out here. I'm having a lot of positive experiences and I've learned a ton so far in the two months I've been out on my mission. My testimony of this gospel has grown tremendously. I feel like I understand the concept and the true meaning of what charity is. Sacrifice is charity and sacrifice brings the blessings of the Lord. I feel like I'm truly learning to love the people I teach and the people I run into. I love and miss you guys. Thanks for your love and your support.
Tuesday, August 13, 2013
Dear family and friends,
First off thanks so much for all the emails I always look forward to reading what you guys have to say and it keeps me going. So my ward mission leader is super into tennis and we went and hit a couple of days ago and it was a blast. It was probably the most competitive tennis I've played since state. It was good to be able to pick up a tennis racket again! So we had another great week. The days are starting to blend together and its seems to be going by so quick! As of today I'm already two months done with my mission so I'm 1/12 of the way done which is super weird to think about. I still feel likes I just barely got out.
So the investigator we have that is still on fire is Jerry. He has awesome fellowship from the ward and I love meeting with him. We were able to get a baptismal date for September 7th for him. He's so excited for his baptism and we can always count on him to be at church. Our bishop is a doctor and so we've been working out a way with him and our mission president so we can figure out the procedure to baptize him. He has a hole in his neck from agent orange from serving in Vietnam. We've been meeting with Jerry basically since the first week I arrived in Paradise.
Our next promising investigator is a man named Dennis. We've only had two lessons with him and he's already read like 1/3 of the Book of Mormon and asks tons of questions and he's just really interested. He's about a 30 year old man which is kind of cool because we teach a lot of old people here.
We picked up a investigator this past week named Tony. We were going over to teach his wife and she was asleep so we ending up talking with him for over an hour. He's a tattoo artist and he's been in and out of prison and jail. He used to be a drug addict and now he's been drug feel for over a year. He was telling his whole story and how he felt changed through the atonement and how he had to rely and put his full trust in the Lord. We introduced the Book of Mormon and the restoration and he wanted us to come back and get more into it and teach him and his wife.
Me and Elder Harper have been working really hard and we taught a total of 29 lessons this week. We've been doing a lot of less active work and working a lot with part member family's. Its crazy how many less active people we have here.
Marie's baptism which was scheduled for August 24th has been postponed, so we don't currently have a date and we haven't had a sit down lesson with her for awhile because of all the problems they've been having with Eddy being in the hospital. He's finally getting the help he needed and the total amount of seizures he had is 119 and it was all within 3 days. Its a miracle he's still alive. Your body can't normally take all that in. Its amazing what the power of the priesthood can do.
Thanks for all the support. I love and miss you guys.
Tuesday, August 6, 2013
Dear Family and Friends,
This past week has probably been the craziest week of my mission so far. I'll start off by telling you about my 1st baptism of my mission which we had on Saturday. Jacob had so much support there from his family and friends. We had to end up having the program in the chapel and then all cramming in the room for the actual baptism. It truly was an amazing day. There was about as many people at his baptism as we have at a regular sacrament meeting. I even saw this girl from my high school that I knew at the baptism which was kind of crazy. Jacob has been off and on with meeting with the missionaries for about 8 years and it's truly been a miracle. It was the perfect way to end my 1st transfer of the mission.
We were able to set another baptism date for August 23rd with a man named Jerry. But he talked to me at church and he wanted to push it back a couple more weeks because of some personal reasons. We're now meeting with Jerry on a consistent basis. The guy is a stud. We're really excited for him and for his progression. We're trying to figure out a way for him to be baptized because he has a hole in his neck and if we baptize him it will drown him.
We also are going to have to push back Marie's baptismal date. Her Dad is suffering from a very serious disease and is in very critical condition. Marie's Mom has asked us to be at the hospital and give him blessings on a frequent basis. He ended up getting sent down to Sacramento because they couldn't figure out what was going on. He suffered from 36 seizures in less than 24 hours. I was with him in the emergency room when one of the seizures started and we had to get a nurse. So we're not sure when we are going to be able to meet with Marie again, but we're just keeping them in our prayers and doing everything we can to help them.
I had another opportunity to take over the area because we went on exchanges. We've been doing a ton of service for our investigators and for members of the ward. I'm getting pretty darn good at splitting and stacking wood. We were able to pick up another solid investigator this week named Dennis. We have a lot of hope for this next transfer. With Marie and Jerry's baptism and plus we have a couple others if everything goes according to plan. We could end up with about 4 baptisms this next transfer if everything goes according to plan. The Lord has really blessed us with finding people to teach.
We got transfer calls last night and I'm still in Paradise with the same companion and everything. But we had a lot of changes in our zone, so it will be fun to get to know all the new missionaries in our area. We're going to go play soccer today so it should be fun. I hope all is going well at home. I love and pray for you guys. Thanks for everything!