Tuesday, January 3, 2012

Week 44: TGTHAO Thank Goodness The Holidays Are Over

Happy New Year everyone! 2012 is finally here and I'm so happy we can start to get back into a normal routine again. These past couple weeks of holidays have brought many blessings. Many people have followed Jesus Christ and were baptized. Talking on the phone was the best gift I received by far this year. With that said I'm ready to not have interferences in missionary work. I love this time of year but as a missionary it makes things more difficult. People leave and go out of town, family comes into town and thus they cannot meet with us which throws off our progress.

For New Years we went to the Zamacona's as a district (4 elders and 6 sisters) to watch the movie, “Up”, had some REALLY good food, and played ping-pong. I felt weird not being in a dress shirt and tie or being out teaching. I feel empty if I'm not teaching is the best way to describe it. I used to think return missionaries were CRAZY for feeling "weird" when they got home. I can only imagine how strange it will be for me when I have to take off the tag. I love this work and know more than ever, that it's true.

Being able to find new people has been difficult these past couple weeks. Many people don't have time or the desire to learn when their lives are as busy as they are. In the Utah St. George Mission we are taught to have an escalader approach to teaching where as we find when we teach, and teach when we find. It helps us so that we are continually having baptisms and can continue to teach effectively without feeling overloaded with baptisms one week and stressed the next because there is no one to teach.

This coming Sunday should be a fun one though. We have six people on date for baptism. There is a lot to do to prepare all these people at once but hopefully it will all hold up and everyone will be prepared for their baptism date. There are a lot of lessons and baptismal interviews between now and Sunday though so please keep us in your prayers.

One of the neatest baptisms I've ever seen was on Saturday for a man named Dean. Dean is 87 years old and made the decision to be baptized. I had the privilege to interview Dean and his story was so amazing. What a miracle it was to see such an elderly man not have his heart locked from hearing the truth. I thought to myself, if only more of us were as open as Dean, how much better would the world be? I'm happy to say Dean was baptized without complication and will make a fabulous member to the Morningside Stake.

42 Behold, he who has arepented of his bsins, the same is cforgiven, and I, the Lord, remember them no more.

43 By this ye may know if a man repenteth of his sins—behold, he will aconfess them and bforsake them.

What a promise we have from the Lord. He that repents and is baptized by someone holding the priesthood authority of God will not only receive forgiveness but Heavenly Father will no longer remember them.

It was a great holiday season here in St. George and hopefully it was a great one back home as well. One Christmas down, one more to go, and nine transfers left! Hard to believe my one year mark is around the corner. I just love this place and these people! I'm livin' the dream! Vaya con Dios.

God is love,

Elder Bennion

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