Monday, February 27, 2012

Semana 52: The Lord Didn't Send Me Here Just to Baptize

Semana 52: The Lord Didn't Send Me Here Just to Baptize

Buenos Dias! Well week two of my adventure in Price is over. It has been a decent week overall. We have had our ups and downs but I think I'm adjusting to the fact I'm going to be in small town America for awhile. The run and gun style of teaching I was used to in St. George does not happen out here but I am happy and excited to be working in whatever part of the Lord's vineyard that he wants me.

The week started out to a rough start. We planned everything out so we would spend one night working in Huntington and Castledale. Then we would just spend the night with the Castledale elders to save time and miles on the car. We ended up getting out to Castledale at 7:00 pm and we couldn't find a single Hispanic. I was slightly stressed because here we were in a town we didn't know with no one to visit and two hours of time on our hands. I would be happy if I just sat in a room all day and had a line of people ready to listen to the gospel. ( I think that's every missionaries dream) I'm the happiest when I'm teaching. Plain and simple. I love teaching! :)

Thursday we had interviews with President Leonard. He and Sister Leonard showed up to our district training meeting. It was nice to see them. Down in St. George it was almost a weekly occurrence to see President Leonard. Interviews with President are always fun. He did make me a little nostalgic though. President went on about the success Elder Hayden and I had. He told me how the Hispanics are going to miss me down there haha and how Elder Hayden and I will be remembered as the legends of St. George. It was bitter sweet to hear that. The recognition is nice, especially to know President thinks that work we did was "legendary". At the same time it makes me miss St. George and MY people.

Saturday was probably the best day I've had in this area thus far. Saturday we started off filling the baptismal font for Brandon's baptism. While the font was filling we ran over to McDonald's to grab lunch before the baptism. While we waited for the food we started talking to a couple guys. One was named Seth Bott and he goes to BYU. We got to talking and he said that I looked familiar. Come to find out he is in BYU's mens choir and he remembered me from when I was there for a week hanging out with Zach! I guess he is the organ player and so I assume he is in that class with Harrison Collier. I thought it was crazy that he remembered me from a year ago and here I met him down in Price. It is always fun to see people that have common acquaintances.

The baptism went great and on into the evening we had lessons. At about 8 we had no one else to visit so we decided to contact a referral we had received. We were driving and couldn't find the address and there was a shady looking character walking into his trailer. We took the chance and pulled over and asked him if he knew where this address was. He looked strung out and looked unstable. The way he was moving his hands in his hoodie I thought he might have a gun. He put his backpack down and said wait a sec, at that point I thought he was going to rob us but then he began to explain how he had just sold his gps and didn't know the streets that well. We thanked him for his help and as he was leaving he said, "I know your job is tough but thanks for doing what you are doing. I used to want to be a missionary when I was younger (he can only be 28 or so) but I just got out of prison and I'm headed back to die in there." I had no idea what to say and froze. He went into his house and we proceeded to try to find the address. We probably only got a block away when I just felt this need to turn around and go see what he needed. We realized we didn't have a Book of Mormon in English so we ran to the house, got a copy, and I wrote a short message and a scripture reference which is in Alma 7:11-13. We went back and talked to this man for a bit and he told us that he had two convictions for possession of meth. One time he was caught with half a pound of meth! The miracle was the fact that he had two pistols but that afternoon he pawned them off to cover his rent. It was a testament to me that the Lord kept us out of harms way. He told us the night before he was praying for guidance and the following night we showed up. It is experiences like this that I wouldn't trade the world for.

Saturday was another turning point for me in my mission. In one day I was blessed with two very spiritual experiences. First off we had a baptism. Baptism is one of the most fundamental ways we can fulfill our purpose as missionaries. That is what our purpose is. My second experience was one that doesn't happen for me as often as we baptize yet it is equally important and amazing. The experience with Shawn opened my eyes as to how little I understand the ways of my Father in Heaven. "For my athoughts are not byour thoughts, neither are your cways my dways, saith the Lord. For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my aways bhigher than your ways, and my cthoughts than your thoughts." (Isa. 55:8-9) The Lord has plans for each of us that are not always apparent. I may not have been sent to this area to baptize like Alma but I was sent here because I am a disciple of Jesus Christ. I am here at this time for reasons I may never fully understand. What I do know is that my thoughts are not His thoughts and thus I will go and do. "I say unto you, that I know of myself that whatsoever I shall say unto you, concerning that which is to come, is true; and I say unto you, that I know that Jesus Christ shall come, yea, the Son, the Only Begotten of the Father, full of grace, and mercy, and truth. And behold, it is he that cometh to take away the sins of the world, yea, the sins of every man who steadfastly believeth on his name.  And now I say unto you that this is the aorder after which I am called, yea, to preach unto my beloved brethren, yea, and every one that dwelleth in the land; yea, to preach unto all, both old and young, both bond and free; yea, I say unto you the aged, and also the middle aged, and the rising generation; yea, to cry unto them that they must repent and be bborn again." (Alma 5:48-49) Vaya con Dios.

Dios es amor,

Elder Bennion

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