Monday, May 16, 2016

Thou Shalt Have No Other [Snogs] Before Me

What an interesting week this has been! I have all manner of quirky and odd experiences to relate to you this week. Well, not that many, but at least I actually have some.
First of all, we were contacting people in the parking lot, when we saw an incredibly... hormonal couple in the parking lot enjoying each other's company. They were quite clearly about to kiss, and my companion turned away in respectful silence... as I walked up to them and asked them if they would like to hear our message. Yes, I knew what was going on, but I knew the first commandment: Thou shalt have no other snogs before me. I couldn't help but smile, though. It was really awkward, but they just laughed and politely declined before they want back to their lip-voodoo. 
What else happened this week? Well, we spent a lot of time in the small "town" of Tahuya, which of course derives its name from the onomatopoeia of a violently sneezing water buffalo. The population of Tahuya is probably about equal to 2% of the student body at Northridge High School, but the area is absolutely gorgeous, and it smells like Mr. Clean's armpit mixed with the fresh scent of pine mulch.
I also ought to share a story that happened a few weeks ago. I don't think I wrote about this yet, but if I did, I apologize for my redundancy: I went on an exchange with Elder Hatfield into the Wollochet (onomatopoeia for a giraffe simultaneously sneezing and burping into a megaphone) area. We had dinner at a member's home, and they had a guitar sitting in the corner, and we began a discussion about music and how awesome it was, and I mentioned that I could play the guitar. Well, faster than you could say "Quit stomping on my favorite atlas!", one of the members had whipped the guitar into my hands and requested that I play something. Well, in all honesty, my mind was totally blank. I couldn't remember any songs that I'd learned. However, the combined temptation of peer pressure, a musical instrument I could play, and my slightly pressing desire to show off made quite the tantalizing prospect. So, I ended up improvising a short song about Nephi and his family. It must admit, it turned out better than I expected, except for one moment in which I, in a desperate attempt to rhyme with a previous phrase, ended one of the verses by informing everyone that Laman and Lemuel wanted to "cut off Nephi's hands". So, yeah. It was a little haphazard, but I relished the opportunity to improvise.
Anyway, I don't have much else to say, except that our Ward Mission Leader started texting us this week thinking we were his wife, and everyone was really confused for quite a while. Fortunately, everything ended up okay.
Now, before I close this letter, I just wanted to say a little bit about preparation. Preparation is very important. In fact, oftentimes, our preparation for an experience determines how much we get out of it. This applies to temple worship, sacrament meeting, scripture study, serving a mission, and so on and so forth. There is a reason we start our meetings with song and prayer. 
However, a large portion of what we gain is up to us. Do we think about the sacrament and the Savior throughout the week? We ought to. If we don't, we aren't really honoring our covenants, are we? Please, my dear friends and family, prepare yourselves. Effective preparation is key to being truly diligent.Prepare your minds for the spirit, and prepare yourselves to be tutored by the Spirit. I can promise you that if you will prepare, you will see that it drastically increases your ability to both retain and recognize the whisperings of the Spirit.
Mosiah 4:27
D&C 38:30
D&C 78:7
D&C 88:119
Also, you can look up "Prepare" in the Index or Topical Guide.
Have a great week! I know that the Savior lives!
Elder Benge

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