Monday, June 26, 2017

Pedal To The Metal

Today was my first full week on bike! It was actually a lot of fun, pedaling the metal. As we knocked doors, it was fun peddling, though it tested my mettle. I must always remember never to pettle, so that I may earn a heavenly medal. Last but not least, when I see flowers, I do not meddle with the petals: Especially if it's nettle. Instead, I settle.
Honestly, I can't think of much that happened this week. We had a goodbye meeting with President and Sister Blatter. They are going to be leaving this Friday, and President Leashman will be coming in. That will be exciting.
This past few days were stiflingly hot. The humidity was so bad I felt like I was in King Kong's armpit. However, it was a nice change from the eternal rains of winter. 
I made some delicious meals this week. I poured Raisin Bran cereal into a hot dog bun, then I put ketchup, ranch, and mustard on it and ate it. It wasn't all that bad. I tried it with a cereal similar to fruit loops as well, which wasn't bad, although it was definitely better with Raisin Bran. Never to fear, missionaries always survive, even if they don't buy quite enough groceries on P-day! ('Twas my fault, I was lacking in foresight).
Honestly, I am out of things to say. Here is a wonderful scripture taken from the book of Mormon in the Book of Mormon, about the Book of Mormon:
16 And blessed be he that shall bring this thing to light; for it shall be brought out of darkness unto light, according to the word of God; yea, it shall be brought out of the earth, and it shall shine forth out of darkness, and come unto the knowledge of the people; and it shall be done by the power of God.
Morrmon 8:16

The Book of Mormon truly is such a blessing. The world was in darkness and in bondage under apostasy. But our loving Father in Heaven so fit to release us from this darkness. Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ appeared to a young, inquiring Joseph Smith and put in motion the restoration of all things.
Just think how much light has come into the world from the Restoration. Look at how beautifully and purely the Book of Mormon testifies of Christ. Look at the blessing we have of modern day propehts and apostles. What a gift. What a blessing. Look at the redeeming work for the dead that is done in temples for those who did not have an opportunity to even be on the earth when the Gospel was present. Look how this time blesses all of the human family! Look at how it blesses you personally and individually. I am so grateful for the Restoration of the Gospel of Jesus Christ. I know that it happened. I know that Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ really did appear to Joseph Smith on that soft and sacred day. I am grateful for the truth and light that has come into my life as I have sought to gain a personal testimony of these things. I hope you all have a wonderful week.
Elder Benge

Monday, June 19, 2017

Agents of P.E.T.A.

This week was quite entertaining. For the most part, we knocked doors. Sometimes, we would talk to people. We put somebody on date to be baptized. We pray that he will have the courage to take work off on Sundays so he can reach his baptismal date. However, the week suddenly took a sharp turn when God decided that we need not limit our work to the salvation of human souls only, but that we ought to try our hand at rescuing various animals in their temporal form. A few days ago, Elder Bane and I were trudging along the roadside, which runs parallel to a deep ditch meant for channeling rainwater. The rain was coming down with moderate intensity, but the ditch did not yet much water flowing through it (the rain having just started). We were startled when from the grassy depths of the ditch suddenly emerged two sodden kittens, bedraggled yet cute. I was stunned. "What ho! Behold yonder creatures, dirty and disheveled, sodden and soaked! What ought we to do, dear fellow?"
I called out to Elder Bane."What have we to do with them?" he retorted. "Pets we cannot have, and our hearts are here pledged to continue knocking on the deafened and darkened homes."
"Alright," said I, "but the nameless creatures must yet be named, for how could they enter into the kingdom of heaven if they cannot be identified by any such sort of title? This one shall be called Cayden."
"And this shall be Jasper" He replied.
Then, we knocked on. Pretty soon, it was time to head to our dinner appointment. As we passed by the ditch again, we saw Cayden and Jasper again, and I just didn't have the heart to let them die there. So, we picked them up and walked with them, not knowing what we were going to do. We got to the main road where the car was parked, and realized we could do nothing. We could not take them home. So we left them in some bushes by the road, hoping they'd be safe. As we walked away, Jasper came out, meowing in desperation. A car on the road noticed him, and slowed down. A girl got out, and started heading towards the kittens. She was determined not to let them day. Cayden and Jasper had been saved. 
Later that day, we found a large, beautiful butterfly lying on the ground, unable to fly because it was too wet. We picked it up, named him Jude, and then walked him to a house with an alcove where a friendly lady was fascinated with him and asked us to leave him under the protection of her outcropping porch roof. 
It was awesome. We saved a bunch of animals, and it made the day very entertaining and very unprecedented.
Other than that, I don't know what else to inform you all of. I found the complete works of William Shakespeare in our apartment. That was cool. Also, I forgot to tell you last week that right before I left we put that family with unmarried parents on date for marriage so that the girlfriend could be baptized. They did a remarkable job of having the courage to talk to her parents about it.
Also, here is one of my favorite scriptures (it is an Isaiah scripture, but it is also in the Book of Mormon):
18 O that thou hadst hearkened to my commandments—then had thy peace been as a river, and thy righteousness as the waves of the sea.
 1 Nephi 20:18 (Isaiah 48:18)
Remember the deep peace and power that come as we strive to obey the commandments of our Father in Heaven. Our willingness to demonstrate faith and humility (like the Savior did) in following the Father's will, will determine our spiritual success in this life. I hope you all have a great week.

Monday, June 12, 2017

Meatball Quesadilla

Good day, fellows. This week started out nice and ended with a plot twist worthy of an M. Night Shyamalan movie. We started out the week by going to a Zone Conference at Zion's Camp and doing a ropes course. It was a lot of fun, and Elder Quinton and I had the opportunity to be in charge of the "Trust Fall" activity. It was quite enjoyable, especially the infrequent occasions when someone would let out a  piercing, involuntary scream as they fell back (Normally the sisters where the ones screaming, but not always). On Saturday, we got transfer calls. I was convinced I was going to be staying, because Elder Quinton had already spent a very long time here. However, we were terribly startled when President informed us that I would be leaving after just 2 transfers, and Elder Quinton would be staying for his 5th transfer there. I am going to be leaving tomorrow for Lakewood. My new companion will be Elder Bane. For those of you who are interested, Lakewood is a very sketchy, ghetto place. Crime and drugs are rampant. In fact, the city of Lakewood commonly appears on the TV show "Cops". 
This is going to be a fun transfer. This is going to be the most city I have ever had in one of my areas. It will be interesting.
There is a good chance that this will also be my last area, but as we have just witnessed, the Lord often throws some plot twists into our lives just when we least expect it.

Well, that is about all I have for the week, so let me relate a dream I had last night:
I was eating food with my dad. My father finished what he was eating, but he wanted more. He put a tortilla on his plate, and then put about 12 meatballs on the tortilla, and put a tiny sprinkle of cheese on it. He then carefully placed another tortilla on top of his masterpiece, and handed me the plate. He asked me to go and put his quesadilla in the microwave for him. I walked over a few steps to the microwave and put the plate in, but I then realized that all of the meatballs but two had somehow disappeared during my short trip over to the microwave. I informed my father, and he got very stressed out about it. I was very stressed out, too. I searched frantically for the missing meatballs, but to no avail.They had mysteriously disappeared. Then I woke up.

The moral of the story is that sometimes, we get stressed out by little things in life (like meatballs disappearing from our quesadilla). When we start to get worked up about these little things, we just need to take a step back and realize: "Wow. I just saw 10 meatballs magically disappear from a quesadilla. That is amazing. It will probably never happen again in my entire life. Besides, the world isn't ending. It's just a meatball quesadilla. No big deal. This will make a great story one day for my grandchildren."
So there you go. That is the secret to avoiding the small stresses in life. 
We can even use this strategy to avoid larger stresses in life. Next time you are stressed out about some difficult thing that has arisen in your life, I challenge you to just say. "Heck, what am I freaking out about? In the eyes of the Lord, this is just a meatball quesadilla! He knows what is going on and he has a plan for me!"
Then, go and pray that you will be able to learn whatever you need to from the experience.

Also, if somebody wants to make a meatball quesadilla and then send a picture to me of them eating it, it would probably make my day.
I hope you all have a wonderful week!
Fare thee well.
Elder Benge

Monday, June 5, 2017

Clay Babies

Sorry I didn't write much of a letter last week. Fortunately for you, nothing much really happened last week anyway, so you didn't miss out on too much. 
It also just so happens that not much of anything interesting happened this week, either. This leaves us at a stalemate. If I don't have anything to write, what shall you read? What will my mother say? Will she beat me with her metaphorical stick of chastisement?
Therefore, I shall grasp at straws.
Last Monday, we went to Bella Bella Beach on Fox Island (an island in our area). Fun fact about Bella Bella Beach, a.k.a BBB=B^3= B(B*B)=B*(B+B[B-1]), is that on (B^2)*B you can find some  strange looking rocks called "Clay Babies." These naturally sculpted clay figures can only be found in nature in two places in the world. One of which is x where x=B(B+(B/4)[4y-4]) where 2yB+1=2B^2+1 (solve for x), and the other place in the world is some random beach in Japan. So that is cool. I actually found a clay baby, and it was very exciting. I will raise it as my own. Hopefully someday it will grow up just like me.
Anyway, our part member family is doing well. The mother of the family was able to talk to her mother about marriage and they are working out a marriage date right now! Soon, they will be on date for both marriage and baptism! That is so exciting. Other than that, not much has happened this week. We found a lady and her children who had been taught before and were planning on being baptized but had to move before they could be baptized. We will meet with them in a couple of days, so that should be exciting, too.
This week we will be having a zone conference with half of the mission at a place called Zion's camp (located in my current zone, and my old area, Belfair). It should be a lot of fun.
The rain has finally subsided here in western Washington, and most of the last few days have been beautiful and sunny. How wonderful it is to finally see the sun.
I love you all. I know that this work is the work of the Lord. I know that he watches out for us, and that he is in control of it all. The world may seem crazy, but remember that all things are truly in the Lord's hands. I know that for sure. Have a wonderful week, and here is a great scripture from the Book of Mosiah about Jesus Christ:
9 He is the light and the life of the world; yea, a light that is endless, that can never be darkened; yea, and also a life which is endless, that there can be no more death.
Mosiah 16:9
Elder Benge