Monday, December 7, 2015

Mene Mene Tekel A Mockingbird (And a companion)

Howdy doo, fellas?
As the title suggests, my time is measured, and my actions weighed by the Lord. If you don't understand the title, look it up in the Bible Dictionary. I was reading in Daniel this week, hence the title. (The mockingbird part is obviously not in the BD. That part is just a stupid pun)
This week has been crazier than a coon stuck in a running washing machine. With Elder Geddes going home in two days, we have had so much to do. I will do my best to remember all that has happened, but currently I am having difficulty wrapping my mind around this week's occurrences. 
I guess I'll start by informing all of you that I got my transfer call this Saturday. And the big news is... *drum roll*... I am staying. As we all knew. But, my new companion will be Elder Rasmussen (Who was born in Russia and adopted at the age of nine). I don't really know much about him, except what I inserted into my parenthetical statement, and also that this will also be his last transfer. So, I'll be killing off another one. Still a greenie, but I am already a serial killer. Mwa ha ha.
So, we started out the week with another exchange. This time, I went to the Bremerton, Bremerton area with Elder Mccarthy. He is on bike, so I got a little more of a work out than usual. Honestly, I can't remember too much that happened, but I'll give you a list of what I remember.
1. I got Elder Mccarthy to chew up a pinecone*. (Evil laugh)
2. I spoke to a guy on the street, got invited in to his house, and ended up in a deep discussion with him about the Book of Mormon. He had had many missionaries stop by, but none of them had asked him to read the Book of Mormon. I ended up bearing testimony of the Book of Mormon a lot, and defending it from his intellectually unsound jabs at it's truthfulness. The best combat against the lies of Satan is the Spirit. That's why when we talk about the armor of God, the only weapon is the Sword of the Spirit. Truly, the Spirit acts as both offensive and defensive, and is VITAL in the role of conversion.
3. Some lady out on the street had a dog that had a muzzle on and several chains around it that she had to use to (quite physically) restrain it from pouncing upon every passerby. Seriously, the dog was pretty big, and it would attempt to leap on every pedestrian to walk by. She had to exert all her effort to stop it. I'm glad it had a muzzle on. Anyway, we walked up to her, and talked to her, and she told us she was "street training" the dog. Honestly, I don't know if I felt worse for the dog or for the woman. The both looked like they were having a heck of a time. Anyway, she asked us if we could help, and we ended up standing there for ten minutes while she slowly allowed the dog to get closer and closer to us. It was almost funny. Eventually, the dog reached us with no incidents, and I ended up petting him and all was well in Zion.

On Friday, Elder Geddes had the departing missionary temple trip, so we had to go up and sleep over at "The Mansion" (The housing for the AP's, the Office Elders, and one other companionship) It gets pretty crazy in The Mansion, but it was fun. The AP's are great people, and I have come to love them a lot. Anyway, after we slept over, I went on joined the other companionship at The Mansion while the AP's, Geddes, and one of the Office Elder's went to the temple. That exchange was a lot of fun. We had a way good knocking session, where we met a lot of wonderful, slightly eccentric people. We taught a lot of lessons, and it was way good. One thing I learned from that day was that it is extremely important to listen closely to people on the door and love them. Without Charity, we cannot succeed in missionary work. If we don't care at all for the people, the Spirit won't be able to help us with them because we simply don't care. 
My other comment from that is that people are so weird. Everyone is weird in their own way, but you really get to see it a lot as a missionary.
For example we street contacted a teenager at one point during the day. And here is what happened:
Me (or maybe Elder Mortenson or Elder Stapley. I don't remember, but it was one of us): Hello, man! How are you today?
The teenager walks up to us. He won't look us in the eye, but rather squints awkwardly at the ground.
Dude: Hello. (He shakes hands with us, still refusing to make eye-contact) I am a Republican with pro-Jewish views.

Yep.  None of us had any idea what to say after that. After a brief, awkward conversation in which he told us he was not interested, he walked away. What an interesting way of introducing yourself. He also never made eye contact with us at any point in the conversation.
Anyway, the Sisters in our ward had a baptism this Saturday! Her name is Paige. I gave a talk about Jesus Christ as the light of the world and the Restoration while she was getting dressed. The Spirit was powerful the whole time. If any of you wonder about why we make covenants, read 1 Nephi 17:40, and ponder on it. I love that scripture.
I'm running out of time, but I just want to say a few more things: I love the Stake President here, President Anderson. HE IS SO SMART! He gave us a two hour discourse about physics and chemistry with gospel applications. I want to be like him some day. He is so humble, so smart, and a powerful teacher. He taught a lot about light, because we started talking about how Elder David A. Bednar talks about light a lot. (what a great Christmas devotional, eh?)
 It's funny, because I had a lot of thoughts about light this week, too.
 Finally, I just want to quote 3 Nephi 18:24, "Therefore, hold up your light that it may shine unto the world. Behold I am the light which ye shall hold up--- that which ye have seen me do..."
I love this scripture. Christ is the light that we hold up to the world. We are charged to bring others unto Christ. He is the light in our lives, and the light and life of the whole world. We all have darkness within us, but through him, the everlasting light, that darkness can be dispersed. I promise that through Jesus Christ we can fill our souls with effulgent rays! I know that his Atonement has changed my life, and filled it with so much light. Don't turn your back on the light of the world! Bring others unto him! In the name of Jesus Christ, Amen.

Elder Benge

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