Monday, July 31, 2017

The Great Train Robb-ery

This week has been amazing. My very new, greenie companion is Elder Colby John Robb. He is from Syracuse Utah, and he is very awesome. We are already getting along really well, and he is a great missionary. He has also taught me a few moves from Krav Maga (a type of martial arts). Now I am ready to beat someone up just in case someone decides to jump the poor missionaries.
We have met a lot of Samoans this week, and they are very nice. They love feeding the missionaries and giving them things. Sometimes they drive by and hand you money or boxes of food. It is way awesome. 
This letter feels disjointed, and I apologize for that. I am just spitting out random things from the week as I think of them.
We got an investigator named Anthony to church this week and introduced him to some members. We were very excited when he came, as he was a little bit late and we were getting scared, thinking he wasn't coming. 
We have found a few potentials this week, and we are really hoping they will go somewhere. This transfer looks like it is going to be great, and I am way excited to be with Elder Robb. He is a great guy. 
I definitely know that God watches over each of us. We are the sheep in his flock, and he knows us each by name. He calls to each of us, and it is up to us to respond to the good shepherd's voice. He calls us in his own name, to signify that we are his. We become his and take his name upon us as we make sacred covenants, such as baptism. I am very grateful for the restored truths of the Gospel. Many people out there do not understand the beautiful simplicity of the fullness of the Gospel. They have been confused by the philosophies of man.
We had the opportunity to teach the primary children this week. As we taught, I felt the Spirit testify to me of the truthfulness of the restoration. I realized how very blessed these children were to be raised with such precious pearls of truth. I urge us all (myself included) to not take for granted what we have been given! Have a wonderful week! Ta ta, cheerio!

Elder Benge

Monday, July 24, 2017

Chugga Chugga

This week we got transfer calls. I now only have two transfers left. Time goes too quickly. However, I did receive some exciting news about the transfer. I am going to TRAIN! (Chugga chugga whoo whoo!) Elder Bane is going to be leaving and heading off to Lincoln area. I am really excited, and I am sure this area is going to do great these next two transfers. Other than that, not much has happened this week. Elder Bane crashed his bike and broke his pedals. That was interesting. 
Other than that..............................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................
I know not what to say.
I am excited for next transfer.
Ether 12 is a great chapter. I thought a lot about it this week. It certainly is true that God can make is strong in spite of our weaknesses. 
We cannot worry about the choices others make, we just need to be sure that we are always doing the best we can to follow God and to live the Gospel of Jesus Christ, and as we do that, we will see that our influence has had a greatly positive effect on those we serve, even if we think we didn't help anyone. Have a great week everyone. I am grateful for the time I have out here, and I love it. Serving God always worth it, and he always gives us so much in return.

Elder Benge

Wednesday, July 19, 2017

"Fly Like An Eagle, Squirt Like A Jellyfish"

This is a very silly skit from a Christmas party in 2015. Elder Benge said I should post it.


Monday, July 17, 2017

Knock Knock

*Knock knock*
"Who's there?"
"It's the missionaries!"
"Not interested!"
"Okay, have a great day!"

*Knock Knock*
"Who's there?"
"It's the missionaries"
"The missionaries!"
"We're the Mormons."
"Oh. Not interested"
"Okay, I hope you have a wonderful day."

*Knock knock*
Door opens
"Hello, how are you doing--"
"Get the [heck] out of here!"
"Okay, bye."

*Knock knock*
There is a scuffle of movement behind the door. The peephole goes dark as someone looks through, unsuccessfully trying to observe us without being noticed. The peephole goes light again as the persons backs away, terrified of the Mormons who have come to brainwash them.
*knock knock knock*

*Knock knock*
"Come in!"
(You awkwardly exchange looks with your companion)
"It's the missionaries!"
"Never mind, go away!"

Well, now you know what I did all week. Yep. I knocked and knocked and knocked. We had a sit down lesson with Tom, who seemed semi-interested, but then he bailed on the next appointment and didn't come to church or answer or texts. Oh well, we'll figure something out. Marvin was too busy with work to even meet with us this week, which was a disappointment. Elder Bane's bike has some really messed up tires, and he tries to avoid riding it if possible. We end up walking a lot because of that. This area is probably the booniest area in all of what we call "Central Conference" (which contains Lakewood and Tacoma). We end up walking on desolate dusty roads and I don't even feel like I am serving in one of the "Central" areas, which are generally known for being fast-paced, high populated areas. It is still fun, though.
That is all I have got, friends. Sorry about that.
The scripture of the week is taken from the Book of Jacob, chapter 7, verse 23.
(This is after Sherem has led many people astray, but is confounded and renounces is false teachings just as he dies, and then everyone stops following the false paths).
23 And it came to pass that peace and the love of God was restored again among the people; and they searched the scriptures, and hearkened no more to the words of this wicked man.
Search the scriptures, my friends. They bring peace and love into your lives, and protect against the deceptions of the adversary. The scriptures are filled with truth and light, and will protect us from the philosophies of man and the temptations of the adversary, as long as we read the humbly and sincerely. Be a seeker of truth. I love the scriptures. I definitely know that the Book of Mormon is true. I hope you all have a wonderful week!
Elder Benge

Monday, July 10, 2017

The Story of Stinkton

This is a random story I just whipped out in a few minutes.

Once upon a time there was an prodigious clod of dirt. His name was Stinkton. Now, Stinkton was a very stinky clod of dirt, and his stench was known throughout all the land of the clods. Stinkton was very self-conscious of his scent, and could often be found in the corner of the community gardens singing a sad song that went something like this:
O that I were not
a clod that smelled of rot.
Then perhaps my heart could find a gal.
She would be my honey sweet,
and she could be my queenly treat.
And we could then call each other 'pal'.

Every day, Stinkton would weep in the garden and sing is sad song of longing. One day, a beautiful womanly dirt clod with fine curves was wondering through the garden, when she heard is longing cry. She found his voice so alluring, her mind completely blocked out the awful stench she smelt, and she was completely enraptured by his voice. Mindlessly, she followed his call like a sailor following a siren, to at last she entered the clearing where he stood. There she stood, transfixed, as Stinkton mournfully finished his song. Then he looked up, and saw her. "What do you want?" He said bluntly.
"I want you." She whispered back seductively.
For a moment, he was at a loss for words. Finally, he managed to stammer, "Well, then. Let us be wed immediately!"
And so they were. And they lived happily ever after for the rest of time and all eternity and had many baby dirt clods, even as the sands of the sea, (or the dirt of the forest).
Elder Benge

An Invitation To Come Home

This week passed by in an exceedingly quick manner. On Independence day we got to go to a little party with the District and the Zone Leaders. We had a meeting where we got to meet our new mission President, President Leishman. At the meeting he shared a video of a talk Elder Holland gave to the new mission presidents in the MTC which I would like to briefly relate to you. A young man left home vowing never to return again. He was in Idaho. He went and joined the Hell's Angels and got into an appalling life style. One day he woke up in an trashed apartment having no idea how he had gotten there. He took it as a too-late wake up call, and drove all the way across the country to California (by some sort of arbitrary decision). There he started getting involved with the local Hell's Angels again. One day as he sat on the porch of his beaten up trailer home, he saw two missionaries coming down the street. The very sight of them filled him with rage, bitterness, and resentment. He watched as they approached his house, and laughed as his two vicious pit bulls charged the fence frothing and gnashing their teeth. Part of him wished the fence was not there. The missionaries quickly backed away from the fence and kept walking. Then, they suddenly stopped, talked for a while, and came back toward them man who was laughing cruelly at them and his two savage canines. Again, the dogs charged the fence with their usual ferocity, but when they drew near the missionaries, both dogs suddenly stopped, quieted, bowed their heads and turned and walked back to the porch and sat down. The man was stunned, as were the missionaries. The missionaries then opened the gate and walked in, heading toward the man. They began a conversation, in which he told them how stupid they were for coming in. One of the missionaries asked, "So, are you from around here?"
He replied that he was from Idaho originally, and named the town he was from.
The missionary asked "Oh, do you know Mr. and Mrs. So-and-so?"
The man replied. 'Those are my parents".
The missionary paused, and reached out his hand and said. "Those are my parents, too. They have been praying for you at family prayer every night for the last 20 years. God has sent me here to invite you to come home."
Over time, the man, helped by his brother who he didn't even know existed, repented and came back home to his family and became active in the church and is now sealed in the temple to a wonderful woman. How amazing is that? Think about how many people had to be prompted by the Holy Ghost for all of that to happen! We are where we are for a reason!
We are out here to invite people to come home. I am so grateful for the Gospel of Jesus Christ, and for the kind of person I have become because of my Savior.
I don't have anything else to report on for this week, but I did want to be able to share that amazing story with you. I hope you all have a great week! Farewell.

Elder Benge

Monday, July 3, 2017

The Heir Assumes

Well, President Blatter is officially dead, dead, and gone. President Leashman is our new magistrate as of last Friday. I haven't had the opportunity to meet him yet, although we heard is voice on Sunday over a conference call. On Wednesday we will have a meet and greet with him and his wife, so that should be fun. Other than that, not much happened this week. I crashed my bike and knocked the rest of that day with a torn pant knee and bloody palms. I felt like a zombie.
"Grhaafdaghsz... We here to bahptize ur BRAINZZZ!"
Sometimes, I feel like there are a lot people treat us like we are zombies knocking on their door. "Watch out for those Mormons! They say they want to share a message with you that will bring happiness in your life and help you increase your faith in Jesus Christ, but I know that secretly they just want to CONSUME YOUR BRAINS!!!" It's okay that some people treat us like that, though, because there are still a lot of very kind people out here. I was reminded this week quite a few times of the many nice people that still exist as many people have offered us water or give us water when we ask. It gets quite humid in the heat out here, and when you are on bike, you get thirsty quick. I am very grateful for the nice people out here who are willing to give us water.
Anyway, I am grateful for my testimony. I am grateful I can be on a mission at this time. I love the Lord. I love the Book of Mormon, and how it has brought be closer to Christ. It really has. It testifies of Christ. It teaches that through Him, we can receive eternal life. I do know that Jesus Christ lives, and that he speaks to us today through modern day prophets. I encourage anyone who does not have that testimony to read the Book of Mormon and pray about it. An answer will come. God always answers the sincere prayers of humble seekers.
Have a wonderful week, and I love you all.

Elder Benge