Monday, October 16, 2017


Well, it's over. C'est tout, my dear friends. What should I say? It was a relatively good last week. I had a lot of loose ends to wrap up for going home, and a lot of things kept getting in the way of proselyting (especially having a flat bike tire), so I didn't get to do as much work this week as I would have looked. Still, though, it was good.
I am grateful for this wonderful opportunity the Lord has given me. What a blessing. I loved this mission. I know that Jesus Christ leads this church. His sacrifice can change us to be the people we want to be. I know of the power of the priesthood, and of the reality of revelation. God is involved in our lives. He wants to lead us. He wants to guide us. He will if you let him. This Gospel is so beautiful. It is simple to use, and it works! These two years on a mission have taught me so much. For any of you out there who are considering serving a mission: do it. I love you all. I know the Book of Mormon is true. It has brought me so much closer to my Savior. It truly contains His words meant for us. I say all of that in the name of our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ, amen.

Ciao, my dear peoples. 'Til we meet.

Elder Benge

Monday, October 9, 2017

It's Been Confirmed

There have been a lot of rumors going around that our recently baptized investigator Stacie has received the gift of the Holy Ghost. Well, I'd like to let you know, it's been confirmed. In fact, the confirmation happened on Sunday. Yay! She had to wait a couple of weeks because of General Conference, but now it is done! We are so happy for her. Sunday was just great. We had the confirmation in Sacrament meeting, and then just all of the lessons and testimonies were very spiritual. One man got up and bore his testimony about how he got an answer to prayer when my companion and I stopped at his house for a glass of water during those hot summer days when the air was filled with smoke. It is amazing how God uses us as instruments in his hands. As we were speaking with the guy, we mentioned that we knew a member had lived in the house, and so we decided to go there for water. He said that he received a witness, clear as a bell from the Spirit that God loved him and knew him. It was great. I didn't even know we had blessed that man at that time, but he had really needed it at the time. We then finished of the day with a rousing missionary musical fireside... my last one. I was asked to play the piano 10 minutes before, but I got through it with a lot of prayer and it  ended up being the best I have ever done on the piano in a fireside. Which is good because they were recording it. Other than that wonderful Sunday, I must admit that the rest of the week was a little drab. It was fun and I enjoyed it, because the work always feels good, but there was not anything even remotely interesting that happened. We knocked many a door. Most people didn't answer. We didn't find anyone to teach. No worries, though: We always have this week to try again. The most interesting knocking story that happened was when some nice Catholic brother let us in and let us look at his board game for red necks. He was nice, but didn't want to hear our message at all, he was just lonely. 
So yeah. I know that was a pretty lame weekly email, especially because I just rambled on the whole time. Oh well. Have a great week, amigos.

Elder Benge

Monday, October 2, 2017

Variations On A Theme

What a great week.We had the wonderful opportunity to go as a mission to the Seattle Temple, and it was fantastic. I most certainly love the temple, and the peace and many blessings that are promised in abundance there. Then, to add impulse to instancy, we finished the week off with a effulgent "bang!" by listening to our beloved prophets and apostles. Here are a few themes noticed throughout conference:
-Don't let small things take priority over the Gospel in your life and block it off
-Listen to the prophets, for the speak the words God wants us to hear in these days.
-The Book of Mormon is awesome and important. Read it and you will be guided.
-The Restoration brought so much light into the world and can bring it into our lives. Use what we have been given! It is such a great gift
-Serve those around you!
- Go to the temple
Those are some things I noticed.
I definitely know that these things are important and true. I hope I can incorporate them into my life better.
Those who listen to the Lord's servants are blessed if they act on what they hear. Otherwise, if we rebel against the prophets, all we can do is "cut the thread that [binds us] to the Prophet and to God and sink [our]selves to hell." (Brigham Young).
(That part was awesome, by the way)
If we choose not to act, then we just miss out on blessings and progression that we otherwise could have experienced. God is a loving God. He loves us, and wants us to live with him again some day. I know that to be true. Have a wonderful week.

Elder Benge

Monday, September 25, 2017

Look At That Goob

Isn't he just awesome? I love this guy.

Elder Benge


Yesterday we had a baptism. It sort of just popped out of the woodwork. We were teaching Stacie and trying to decide how to help her progress. On Tuesday at the lesson, Elder Robb stood up and boldy used his magical abilities. "Bibbity-boppity- Bapti-ZAM!" And she was on date for Sunday. Well, yesterday we had the baptism, and it was wonderful. I was so grateful for Heavenly Father allowing us to have a first baptism for Robb and a baptism for me during my final transfer (Hopefully I can have at least one more). So, naturally, it was a great week. Elder Robb and I are doing magnanimously (no, that doesn't really make sense, but it sure does sound cool there).
I just want to say that I love this work! I love being a missionary. God loves us and has so much in store for us. Here is a wonderful quote I found this week:
President Ezra Taft Benson, thirteenth president of the Church, taught:
 "Men and women who turn their lives over to God will discover that He can make a lot more out of their lives than they can. He will deepen their joys, expand their vision, quicken their minds, strengthen their muscles, lift their spirits, multiply their blessings, increase their opportunities, comfort their souls, raise up friends, and pour out peace. Whoever will lose his life in the service of God will find eternal life" ("Jesus Christ—Gifts and Expectations," Ensign, Dec. 1988, 4).

Elder Benge

Monday, September 18, 2017

Shadows Over Washington

The land grows darker each day. Smoke and ashes fill the air, filling the lungs of those who inhabit this shadowland. Thick clouds have rolled in, vowing that they shall envelope the land for many more months on end. The days of sunshine, merrymaking, and dead lawns are over. An almost palpable gloom seems to clutch the hearts of many and linger in the recesses of every home. My heart is still filled with faith, but tormented by lurking shadows. I fear my time is drawing nigh. I ignore the omens and focus on my calling, but dread still lingers behind me: softly chuckling like a delirious madman. The cold begins to set in.
The winters are back. This is unfortunate for me, as it means my time is ticking very quickly. I still have time, and there is always still hope, but I still feel tinges of melancholy at times.
I do love it out here. The work is wonderful. I love the people. I am so grateful for everyone I have been able to meet. Stacy came to church this week! We are so excited for her. She has been reading the scriptures and has a baptismal date approaching. We brought her and one of her member tenants, Carl, to a barbecue put on by the Elder's quorum. It was a lot of fun. We played some competitive "cornhole", which, for you Utahns out there, is like a more structured form of "bean bag toss" with only one hole in the board. Elder Robb and I played on a team against two of the members and we lost. The final score was a whopping 21 to 5. I'd like to say that it was a close game, but if I did I would be downright lying. They absolutely slaughtered us, processed us, and sold us to a local grocery store as fresh, human jerkey. It was a lot of fun, though, and I enjoyed the opportunity. Elder Robb is a great companion. I enjoy being with him. I love you all. There is nothing more satisfying in life than doing God's will. I can say that with certainty. It is easy to get distracted by Satan's artifices, but don't be fooled: Only by following Heavenly Father and His plan can we attain true happiness. I hope you all have a phenomenal week.

Elder Benge

Wednesday, September 13, 2017


I'm sorry, I sped through that last letter so fast I forgot to mention our investigators. We are very excited about Nauss, one of the investigators who came to church a few weeks ago. When we taught him the first time, he just seemed sort of flaky. But just a few days ago we taught him again, and now he has read some of the Book of Mormon and he loves it. His whole demeanor changed. He was asking questions, he was commenting on the Plan of Salvation and very involved. This time he was willing to set a solid baptismal date. The spirit touched his heart. I am so excited for him. I love it when people really open their hearts to the message. The Spirit is so strong when that happens. We also found a potential investigator who didn't seem that solid, but when we came back and taught her the restoration on the return appointment, the Spirit was very strong and she became very interested. I told her she had been feeling the Spirit as we taught, and she agreed, and excitedly accepted a Book of Mormon from us and eagerly committed to come to church. Man, I love the work. I hope you all have a glorious week.

Elder Benge

Ashes, Ashes, We All Fall Down

Beginning on Monday last week and ending Friday or Saturday, we had the strangest weather here in Washington. For behold, ashes did rain forth from the sky, covering the vehicles and making the air absolutely horrid. When I first walked outside and saw all of the ashes, I legitimately thought that some volcano had exploded somewhere. Alas, it was just the forest fires from Canada. Still, it made for a great week with a fantastic atmosphere (Not the physical atmosphere, that was awful, but the "pervading tone or mood of a place"). I felt like Elder Robb and I were in some strange, post-apocalyptic world, converting people the the gospel while running from nuclear waste zombies.
Also, if you are wondering why I am writing on Wednesday, it's because on Monday we had Mission Tour, which is when a member of the Seventy (In this case, Elder  Benjamin De Hoyos and his wife) comes and teaches us. It was a great opportunity and the spirit was certainly there. I am grateful that we have prophets and apostles to lead and to guide us today. I am grateful for that revelation, and that we can really be guided as a church by God, and not by man. Anyway, I have not much else to write. The church is true indeed, my fellow brethren and sistren. May you all stay strong in the faith, and remember to be humble and keep your eye single to the glory of God.

Elder Benge

Tuesday, September 5, 2017

Don't Take Cookies From Strangers

This week we had a very interesting experience. We were knocking along a dead end back-woodsy road, and we met a Native American lady who was baking. She said she was spiritual and not interested in our message, so we walked away. A little bit later as we were coming back the way we had come, she came out of her driveway with two small bags, with two cookies in them each. She said she had thought to give us some cookies and she thanked us for what we were doing. We thanked her profusely for the gift, and accepted happily. She then asked us, just for clarification, "Which church are you from again?"
"The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints, or the Mormons if you've heard us called that before."
"Oh, good. Well, enjoy the cookies. They are organic." She replied. Then she left. As we departed, I opened my bag and took out the cook. Organic food items are always a risk, especially homemade ones, because sometimes they taste like straight fodder, while other times they taste normal. I picked up the cookie and took a bite. The moment it touched my tongue, I could taste a horrid skunky taste mingled with everything else. For some reason, it tasted like something familiar. I chewed it a little more, when I suddenly realized that the nasty flavor was familiar because it tasted exactly like weed smelled. 
I quickly spewed the poisoned food all over the side of the road. "Sweet guacamole!" I exclaimed (I'm paraphrasing now), "She gave us marijuana cookies! She tried to get us high!'
Anyway, we narrowly dodged that snare of the adversary. Fortunately, I can recognize the smell of weed after serving in Washington for so long.  Anyway, other than that, the week wasn't too interesting. We put two people on date for baptism that ward members found for us, so that was exciting.

Also, just a fun fact about Washington: It seems that very few living rooms have light fixtures built in to them. I guess they've decided that the darkness of Washington should be inside the houses as well as outside them. Most people end up putting a few lamps in the main room, but it doesn't usually do much to fill the dark space, and the room ends up looking gloomy.

Have a great week, tout le monde!
Elder Benge

Monday, August 28, 2017

Give Us This Week Our Weekly Week

Holy cardinals, Batman! This week was so stupendously... normal! WOWZA!
Okay, I don't really have much to write this week. Elder Robb and I worked really hard. We did our best to stay focused. We knocked, and we knocked. We visited potentials. We did our best to inspire the members as they graciously fed us dinners during the week. Nothing really interesting happened until Sunday. We had a less active show up who brought his non-member room mate. She is interested in learning. We also had another semi-less active member (who just barely got back from his summer job which doesn't allow him to come to church) come and bring his wife's cousin (also interested in learning) and his 9-year-old unbaptized daughter. He wants us to come teach them both and get them baptized. We are so excited! God definitely answered our prayers and blessed us for our hard work. I definitely do have a testimony that his is the Lord's work, not ours. It is not the work of man, it is the work of God, and he is in control. Whenever we try to take control and ignore his will it just causes problems. I also know that God hears prayers, and that he loves us. This doesn't mean he always gives us what we want, but it does mean that he will guide us to what is best (as long as we humbly seek), and that he will not upbraid us for asking (See James 1:5). I am very grateful for that. I love God, and I know that he loves each one of us.
I am sorry that this was boring weekly email, but hey? What can you do?
Have an astounding week, and may you never trip while walking to the bathroom in the middle of the night in such a way that you break your nose.
Elder Benge