Monday, May 20, 2013

Ben #56 Attitude determines it all

Thank you so much everyone for the wonderful emails this week. It was very much needed. I just cannot explain, as Matt and I say everyweek, how much it means to us to hear from you all. The testimony that you all share and the spirit you bring to the upcoming week that Matt and I will be facing is priceless. I thank you all a million times over and will continue to do so. Dad thank you for the Rexburg update and how life is going back home, I have heard alot about that movie you mentioned "The Life of Pi" here on the mission, but have no idea what its about haha... Can you believe that, Elder Benjamin Doggett doesnt know what a movie is about haha :) just kidding, but thank you so much on the Rexburg update its always great to hear. Mom thank you for sharing Stake conference with me and the funny stroy of the member of the 70, also for sharing his wonderful message on missionary work... how important this work truely is, thank you mom and dad you both are truely inspired parents. I also had the opportunity to hear from more famliy and friends and though I cant write to everyone to explain how much your emails meant I want to share my gratitude and love for everyone of you as well, thank you so much. I shared with you all last week that we were foing to a members farm here in Rio Claro, well we went and I took some amazing photos haha It was so much fun and we even went on a little hike into the jungle where we found spiders the size of our heads and swung on vines like Tarzan... Im serious! haha it was so much fun and I will send you all pictures later today but real quick I would like to share with you all my experiences from this last week. Today as I was reflecting on this past week and the humble lessons the Lord has taught me I was thinking back on what my mom said about how imporant this great work is and how we need to be willing to give it our all. As my brother Matt shared in his email last week our attitude is everything in this missionary work and this last week my testimony was strengthend even more on this topic and I feel prompted to share some personal expereinces along with some learning experiences I have had with this subject as well how God will qualify us for any calling on His time. I pray that the spirit may be with me and bear witness to you all of these truths and strengthen your own testimony as well as I testify to you all attitude is key to revealing your true potential as a son or daughter of God. 
This last week was really tough on me, as Matt shared, I too was feeling crushed beneath the missionary work. Its not easy and at times you feel very inadaquate to fullfill your calling and have ecspecially began to feel this as the weeks have gone on as a trainer. This last week I was allowing my attitude to really take a turn for the worst because of the some of the difficulties here in the work. (Its really interesting to me Matt how similar our experiences are haha) I came home from a night of work and just felt completely spent. I went to my bedroom without saying a word and just fell face first onto my bed and did a slight ARGHHHHHH into my pillow. All our investigators stopped progressing that night and became as we say here in the mission "mole" I was absolutly frustrated. The pillow didnt really eliminate this frustration  haha so I got down on my knees and prayed. I poured my heart out to the Lord and explained how inadaquate I felt in this position. I felt like such a weak missionary unable to effectivly fullfill this calling. As I was praying I then remembered my Patriarchel blessing. In my blessing it has so many wonderful promises unto me from the Lord, ecspecially here on the mission but my faith was weak and my attitude was poor that doubts entered my mind that my blessing was even talking about the same Benjamin Doggett. I was so lost and so weak. The next two days were a real fight mentally and spiritually. I kept trying to focus on those promised blessings and trying to work hard but my attitude was destroyed and all that came to my mind was negative thoughts. ( I know 1 year and 2 months and still this happens haha) I came home and once more went to my bed.... this time I was to weak to realease my frustration to the pillow so... I just layed there feeling sorry for myself. As I layed there I looked at the date on my watch and noticed it was May 18th.  I then felt the spirit direct me to open my Journal entry from one year ago and it brought tears to my eyes. My brother and I would do track runs always when we where in the CTM together and we had some very wonderful expereinces together. One day on a particular track run we discussed the events of the day and one event that happened in our class. A sister missionary and a Elder in our district had a disaggrement and the atmosphere changed dramatically. The Elder left with his companion and the sister was very angry. She was eating a banana and threw the banana into the trash can and it landed half way in, with one part hanging into the trash can and the other hanging out. The words she then said hit me so hard and wouldnt leave my mind, which where, "close enough." As Matt and I ran that night we applied these words into our mission. That we must have a positive attitude and grab the bannana peel and finish the job even if we feel inadquate, even if we are angry, even if the weight of the worlds is on our shoulders we must finish the job and humble ourselves before God... its all our choice if we will humble ourselves and grab the banana or say close enough and allow the angry to take over our attitude. Its our choice if we will be happy and have a postitive attitude.
Family and friends I wish I could explain all the detailed expereinces that I have had and the many lessons the Lord has taught me, but I know this mission is preparing me for life. I was touched as I read those words in my journal and fel the lord humble me. I got down on my knees and asked for forgivness as I was the one saying close enough. I was the one who was having the bad attitude. I was the one with the lack of faith that Gods promised blessings would occur. I was the one allowing my weaknesses and inadquacies to take over, but I so testify that God will qualify us. That we can do all that He asks, keep His commandments and face adversity with a smile on our face. Its our choice how we feel. So I challenge you all this day and this week to choose to be happy, choose to overcome your weakness as you shared mom (Ether 12:27) Im doing great now as I know without a doubt that God will qualify me. That His promissed blessings will occur if I just have faith and continuing doing all I can to serve Him with all my heart. I know that a positive attitude is key to success in this life and that we must be firm and steadfest during our trials. I think back alot on the people of Limhi in the Book of Mormon that as their attitude was negative and they allowed pride and angry to enter their heart they where almost destroyed by the lamaninites as we read (Mosiah 21: 6-8 )  And it came to pass that the people began to murmur with the king because of their afflictions; and they began to be desirous to go against them to battle. And they did afflict the king sorely with their complaints; therefore he granted unto them that they should do according to their desires.   And they gathered themselves together again, and put on their armor, and went forth against the Lamanites to drive them out of their land.  And it came to pass that the Lamanites did beat them, and drove them back, and slew many of them. but as they changed and let go of angry and frustration and humble accepted the will of the Lord they eventually where freed from bondage and saw the glory of God as they took His name upon them. (Mosiah 21:13-16)  And they did humble themselves even to the dust, subjecting themselves to the yoke of bondage, submitting themselves to be smitten, and to be driven to and fro, and burdened, according to the desires of their enemies. And they did humble themselves even in the depths of humility; and they did cry mightily to God; yea, even all the day long did they cry unto their God that he would deliver them out of their afflictions... nevertheless the Lord did hear their cries, and began to soften the hearts of the Lamanites that they began to ease their burdens; yet the Lord did not see fit to deliver them out of bondage. And it came to pass that they began to prosper by degrees in the land, and began to raise grain more abundantly, and flocks, and herds, that they did not suffer with hunger. We see that as their attitude changed and they humbled themselves before the Lord His blessings began to come by degree to an eventual freedom. Family and friends I know these things are true. I have learned so much and am so grateful for the patience of the Lord to me here on the mission. He is so good to me in every way. I know that if we all look to change our attitudes and humblely accept the will of the Lord, not saying close enough but grabbing the banana peel and finishing the job we will be blessed. I hope and pray this all makes sense as I tryed to place all my thoughts together for you all to understand but I know this is from the spirit and its my testimony that we may all become better and trust in our Lord... I know this is all true and am once more so grateful very everything the Lord as been teaching me. I am so humbled each day by this mission and know i am exaclty where I need to be :) May God bless you all this week and I hope you can feel my spirit and testimony this day is my pray... May God be with you till we meet again... and Matt thank you so much for one more track one this week. You mean eveything to me and have helped me so much. I love you.
Ama Elder Benjamin B. Doggett     

Matt #56 Lets change our attitude

I think we have something very important to learn this week... As my incredible Brother shared an inspired message about changing our Hearts I too would like to share a message along the same lines, But this message is about changing our attitudes. First things first before we dive right into the message I need to express my gratitude for the special time ben and I recieved last night to talk with our amazing families. I was trying to think of words that I could use to describe the Spirit and lessons we learned yesterday together but to be honest I cant think of anything I can say to sum up last night other then every word that was mentioned was inspired and everything that was said were words straight from Heaven. I wish I could have a copy of what was said but I think all have to wait until after this life. It was a conversation that was definetly recorded in Heaven! Thank you all for the blessings we all recieved last night. Also thank you to all my amazing friends and family members for the inspired e-mails. This week was an especially spiritual week and I'm so happy for the chance I had to read all your inspired e-mails and hear the wonderful testimonies of those I love back home. Just as my Brother ben did once he returned home I too had to give thanks to my Heavenly Father for a special night. One thing I do need to say dad is yes Missionarys still use the phrase "Trunky" but I'm still going strong haha no trunkiness yet on the Mission. :) 

Today I want to share a small message on changing our attitudes, My mom sent me a story that was mentioned at the BYU-I devotional this past week from Elder William Walker. He said the following story "On one occasion, President Monson said, "We can choose to have a positive attitude,  We can't direct the wind, but we can adjust the sails.  In other words, we can choose to be happy and positive, regardless of what comes our way, "Elder Walker said. 
Remembering a time he was sitting outside the First Presidency's boardroom waiting for a meeting he was invited to attend, Elder Walker recalled hearing a whistle coming from an unknown source around the corner.
I thought to myself, "Someone doesn't understand proper protocol.  You don't go walking around whistling outside the office of the president of the church, "he said.
A moment later, he saw the whistler walk around the corner; it was President Monson.
"He was happy, and he was positive," he said.  He greeted me warmly.... Even with the weight of the whole church on his shoulders, he is an example of happiness and he always has a positive attitude." Sometimes on the Mission or in our lifes time gets hard... We will ALWAYS have hard times... and if you dont have difficulties,problems, or trials your probably Chuck Norris or some kinda terminator robot. Our lifes are full of hard times but its when we give ourselves to the Lord like my Brother Ben said and look at the cup half full not half empty that we will truly find peace and happiness within our hearts. This past week I had many experinces that support this but one I like to share with you is when I was planning this past week. As Missionarys we have to plan each of our days along with goals we would like to accomplish. Once a week we do weekly planning which means we make plans for the whole week along with goals. As it came time to do the planning the weight of the week crashed on me and I felt overwhelmed... There was so much we needed to accomplish that I just didnt feel it was possible. To be honest I started having a really bad attitude and I noticed that when I started making my goals, my goals were so dwarfed and had no challenge in them, I said within my heart "Theres no way we can accomplish all this why make these goals..." Then I stopped myself and said "Elder Doggett you can do all things as long as you trust in the Lord and do your best" I'm glad to say that I changed my attitude fast and I didnt get caught in Satans snare. I set goals that I knew I could acheive but stretched us and guess what... Each of our goals were acheived with a happy attitude. Attitude determines everything in our lifes. This experince is one that is small but I'm begging to learn that its by small and simple things that great things are brought to past. Its by the small lessons that we change not by something grand. As long as we keep going and give all we have to the Lord we will find peace within out lifes and we will be happy always. One more thing I want to say is please never compare yourselfs with others success. Your personal success is what matters to the Lord not someone elses. Remember that when we are happy and have a positive attitude we will be better Missionarys and better members of the Church. I know these things are true and I love you all so much. I'm sorry I didnt have something super awesome to share today but it was want touched my heart today which means someone needs to hear this. :) I love you all so much and remember that Ben and I love you all so much and we are always here for each and everyone one of you. Please take care and stay strong. Also thank you everyone for the blessing you all are in my life. I love you all so much and I cant wait for the day we all meet again soon. Love Elder Matthew Ryan Doggett.

Ben #55 Change of Heart

Well what a wonderful Mothers Day we shared yesterday and what wonderful emails this morning. To all my Mom's and the women in my life that have changed and shaped me into the man am I just want to say I love you. I had the oppurtunity to share this with my mom, sisters, and friends yesterday but, once more, I truely from the deeps of my heart  want you all to know how special and dear you are to me. As we sat and talked and as I read the emails today I just couldnt help but feel a peace and joy within my heart that is overwhelming to me. Family you looked so beautiful to me and everyone of you just glowed so brightly. As I ended my session with my family, everyone of you told me you loved me, one by one. Normally I try to be strong and not cry but at this moment I couldnt hold back the tears. I know with all my heart this Gospel is real, and the great plan of salvation really does exist. As everyone of you with your big bright smiles shared this with me I was literally overcome by the spirit and felt such a love envelope me. You all are so very special to me and I hope you felt that same love from my heart to everyone of you... Last night as I returned home to my house I just couldnt help but fall on my knees in prayer and thanks for the goodness and Glory of my Father in Heaven, for blessing me the chance with so many wonderful family members and friends. It was such a special moment for me... I know familys are eternal and this Gospel really is the gateway to an eternal happiness. My God is so good to me. I cant help but feel this power and truth within my heart of all the pure blessings God has given me... How blessed I am. Once more I want to thank everyone for their emails and the power and strength you all have given unto me this day and to my amazing brother Matt. Matt what a missionary you are. What an example you are. What a strength you are... and what a brother you are to me. I was blown away and at a lose of words by how different you were. You shone with a brillance so bright. I know you are an amazing missionary and fazendo muitos milagres em seu parte de Brasil... Eu sinto muito saudade de voce mas sei agora com tudo força em meu coração nos estamos na lugar certo né?... I am so happy. :)
Well from the events of yesterday I feel like everything has been pretty much said and everyone in the family is caught up to date haha so I apoligize for the shortness of this weeks email. Time here in the lan house is a little short today also because a member is also going to take all us missionaries in the car up to his farm in the forset. It is a tropical place with a giant cliff and water fall over looking his farm (No pipes unfortunatly on this farm haha) but Im really excited to go up there today for p-day. Also I wanted to share something so special that I found out today. You all remember the story I shared yesterday of my crazy transfer, with me being sick, and how my investigator came and took me to the Hospital and everything? Well today she sent me an email and told me she was baptized yesterday... I was so happy and just couldnt stop crying. Botucatu was hard and sometimes I was thinking to myself if any seeds were being planted by my missionary work there... but I know without a doubt the lord prepares his children and uses us as His tools, but on His time. Im so happy she was baptized. She shared with me how she asked the zone leaders for me to come and do the Baptism but unfortunalty it would be imposible for me to make the trip. So Elder Riquerme, my son on the mission was able to do it... im so happy I cannot even describe it. This work truely is the work of God. Im so happy and content with where Im at on my mission. This last week I had an interview with President Perrotti and it was probably my last interview with him since most likely I will be going to the new mission in Piracicaba, but this day I would like to share with you a little of what he told me. President shared with me many powerful truths and answered my prayer. As I shared with you all yesterday a scripture touched my heart so profoundly these past few weeks and was weighing heavily on my mind. Its found in Alma 5:14 and reads, "And now behold, I ask of you, my brethren of the church, have ye aspiritually been bborn of God? Have ye received his image in your countenances? Have ye experienced this mighty cchange in your hearts?" As I was waiting for the interviews I couldnt stop thinking about what Alma said. As a missionary, do I have this change within my self? Have I been Spiritually born of God? Do I have His countenance? Is my heart changed? I said a pray before entering interviews with President Perrotti that the Lord would bless me with the ability to share my thoughts in a way that President would understand. As we entered and begun the interview my mind was pressing firmly on this scripture and President could see it in my face. The spirit was so strong as I shared with him my desires and thoughts that I wanted these very things that Alma was asking us, Family and friends I shared with you yesterday briefly this experience with President but feel once more to share with you all. President shared something that I would like to focus on today and that is "Elder Doggett its your choice to have a change of heart, its your choice to have all these things that Alma taught." That was so simple but yet so powerful as those words penetrated my heart. "Its your choice." Family and friends my testimony to you all this day is in our life everything we do is our own choice, its one of the many gifts God has given us. Agency was from the begining and the only way that we can become like our savior Jesus Christ, but we must use it in the right way. As Matt shared with me and also my beautiful Mother we must choose to be happy, we must choose to follow Chirst... and we must choose to have... a change of heart. Its all in our power! Do we truely realize the potential we have in our lives? To choose the right and to become like our Savior Jesus Chirst. Please in this simple email and in these simple words ponder this in your own hearts. You can change, you can become everything your Heavenly father desires of you... but you must make the step forward. You must be the one to give Him your heart because He wont take your agency away in that manner. It is possible to become all He wants you to be I so tesify as President Perrotti testified to me.
I apoligize this email is quick but I pray with all my heart you all could feel my spirit and the truthfullness in these words. I know its possible to give our wholeselves to the Lord. As He promissed in Matthew 16: 25 " For whosoever will save his life shall lose it: and whosoever will alose his life for my sake shall bfind it." Give yourselves to the Lord... give Him your heart... Family and friends I have learned a vaulable lesson this past week and feel so much joy within my own heart. Im not perfect and have so many weakness that I need to improve but I know with every fiber in my being that the Lord will will guide me, that He will make up the rest, and give me the chance to have "this mighty cchangein (my) heart." This is my testimony to you all this day with all the love here in Brasil for everyone of you. I love my mission and I love the chance to be a representative of Jesus Chirst... Once more It was so special I had the chance to see and talk to you all and I hope that maybe you could feel my spirit and testimony of this Gospel. I know with all my heart its true and that my savior Jesus Chirst lives... I have no doubts. I love you all so much and pray that God may be with you this week as you all strive to keep the commandments and endure to the end by reading the scriptures and praying daily... and I so testify you will feel the difference and light of Chirst envelope you... within the chambers of your own heart. :) I love you and God bless you all.
Ama Élder Benjamin B. Doggett      
p.s. Photos of the service project I told you about where I got to use a Machete! haha

Tuesday, May 7, 2013

Matt #55 Truly letting yourself go

"Generally speaking, the most miserable people I know are those who are obsessed with themselves; the happiest people I know are those who lose themselves in the service of others...By and large, I have come to see that if we complain about life, it is because we are thinking only of ourselves.” This was one of the many quotes I read today from the many E-mails that were sent to me... I just need to say your all the best and my heart is full at this exact moment. You ALL have blessed my life and ALL of your e-mails have blessed me in so many ways. I love you all so much. This opening quote was an answer to my prayers and it has a lot to do with my feelings this past week and epecially with the events. This past week I couldnt have been more blessed in all my Mission. We had an amazing Baptism this past week... My Companion and I are working hard and finding lots of news. Life was good on the Mission... But within the inner chambers of my heart I was having one of the most craziest battles with personal pride. My E-mail once again will focus a little on pride but more importantly on whats truly important when we are within the heat of the battle within our hearts and lifes.

I cant really sum up the events of the past week as it would take a weeks worth of Journal writting to do that (Good thing I wrote it all down last week in my Journal haha) :) But the events that occured began building and building and BUILDING until it felt like my whole body was going to explode! As we returned home last night from a good days work I felt lost and in an almost depression state. The events of the past week had to deal with me and my personal problems. For those of you who knew me before the Mission or ask my amazing twin Brother Ben what my main weakness was or "is" they would all probably say sharing. Haha I will never forget once my brother Ben asked if he could wear one of my favorite blue sweater/jacket (It kinda looks like a lumber jack workers shirt) and I said that if he ever wore that shirt I would kill him... Haha well one day as I returned home from working at Jamba Ben called me and said they were all down at Olivias house hanging out. I changed fast and made my way to Olivias house... Well as I walked into the door there sat Ben with a big smile on is face and (You guessed it) wearing my SHIRT! :) Now usally I can hold my cool in a situation like this because there were girls there to impress haha but I cracked and my angry came out full force on my dear loving brother... I exploded on my best friend in the world over something that was so small and un-important in the grand scale of things. Luckily for me the Mission has changed many things in my life... Something I will never be able to repay my loving Heavenly Father for. One of those things is Ben your more then welcome to wear that Blue Lumber Jacket Shirt whenever you want and two we need to let the things of the world go. Those small things that we sometimes hold on to we NEED to let them go. Let me give you another exemple. This past week was an interesting one for me as each week is. Its so interseting to see the growth in just a weeks time. I think the problem I had this past week was I was becoming so focused on the approval of the members in my new area and of my new companion... I wanted everyone to think "Wow Elder Doggett is a great Missionary." That I lost focus on the most important approval... The approval from a loving Heavenly Father. That tends to happen alot in our lifes huh? Lets take a look at High School life for example. How many young people are hurt each day at school or how many dreams are crushed because people believe that Approval from the world is more important than the approval from God. Well its interesting to think that this High School attitude also happens in almost any situation in the world including on the Mission. As I came home last night I was frustrated and felt alone... Its was an experince I will never forget. I remember in my heart pleading with my Heavenly Father "Heavenly Father why am I not happy! Why cant I be the Perfect Misisonary that everyone loves! What am I missing?" I remember thinking that I shouldnt have these kinda feelings especially with one year and one month on the Mission, that I should be happy 24/7 especially with the blessings we are recieving. I then felt impressed to read a letter my brother wrote me our last night in the CTM together... Ben I hope you know that everything that you wrote in that letter was excatly what I needed to hear and only our loving Savior knew that almost a year latter it would bless me in more ways then either of us could understand. I realized that the problem had nothing to do with those around me but had everything to do with me personally. I'm not perfect and I have so much more to learn but I'm really trying to become everything my Heavenly Father needs me to be. One of my favorite sayings here on the Mission is that "Recongnizing our weaknesses can be our greatest strengths." We need to work hard and let ourselves go. I love what Elder Jospeh B. Wirthlin said about this matter "Put your Trust in the Lord, do you best then leave the rest to him." Do your best and dont worry about what others say or think. Remember the Lords approval is so much more rewarding. :) 
This coming week I'm really going to try harder to forget myself by helping others... I would also like to invite everyone who reads this e-mail to think of someone you can help today. We all need to think a lot less about our needs and focus on those around us. I know that this church is true and I know that when our Savior was helping those in need he didnt once think of himself... He never thought of his needs, and we all know that there was only one perfect man that walked upon this earth and we also know that he set the perfect example. If Jesus never once thought of himself and was the perfect example, than why do we always think of ourselves? lets all do something to change that and I hope to hear from all of you next week on how you all applied this into your own lifes! :) I love you all so much and I hope you can feel this love through the computer. Words cannot describe how much my love has grown for each and everyone of you during this time here on the Mission. I know these things are true and I hope this e-mail was a good one. To be honest I wasnt sure what to write but I hope you all know that I love this Mission and I couldnt be more happier in all my life. Love you all so much and until next week may our loving Heavenly Father bless each one of you. Love you all! 

P.S. I couldnt be more excited for this coming Domingo (Sunday)! Its going to be great to see all of your smiling faces! Love you with a full heart. Elder Matthew Ryan Doggett 

Ben #54 Mandamentos

What amazing and powerful emails this last week. As my brother said every week we are just taken away by the power and spirit we feel from all of you back home. Thank you all for your testimonies and pure Christ like love. Matt shared with all of you in his previous email last week the significance of your emails, though everyweek we mention it, truely, may God bless you all as you are bearing us up... you are our Angels. I love you all so much and have such a peace I feel in my heart right now. Thank you all so much. First I want you all to get the update of my mission here in Rio Claro... IM LOVING IT haha the members are so excited and really helping the missionary work progress. My companion Elder Cossio is amazing, He is a chilleno and full of the spirit. He is trying to learn Portugese and speaks only spanish so we have had some really funny experiences together. I told him if he doesnt know the word in Portugese say it in spanish, and so far its worked out and I can understand him pretty well ( Watch out Elder Stewart- Chester, Elder Doggett is learning some spanish haha) But the accent is really hard for me sometimes, they speak super fast haha and slur the pronuciation but we are loving everymoment together. He is an amazing Elder whom I love so much. Together this last week we had some pretty crazy events but some wonderful learning experiences, which in turn, made this last week a very special week to me for many reasons. I cant share all the expereinces but have one in particular... One thing I have learned as a representative of Christ is that sometimes the Lord works in ways that now in our lives we just dont understand. Sometimes answers to our prayers dont come as quickly as we would have liked or in the manner we wanted but I promise and so testify HE DOES ANSWER! I believe, I know it, and I give you my testimony as His servant that this is true. This last week I witnessed the power of the Holy spirit reavel some very personal and sacred truths to me. This day I would like to share my testimony with you all and a part of this lesson that was taught to me from a loving Father in Heaven.
To start, this last week I was reading in the Book of Mormon the talk of King Benjamin in Mosiah 1-5. In these chapters King Benjamin speaks with all the people the words which he taught his sons and was revealed to him by the spirit and that is the divinity of our Savior Jesus Christ. That through faith in Him we can be made whole and be saved, as we read "And moreover, I say unto you, that there shall be ano other name given nor any other way nor means whereby bsalvation can come unto the children of men, only in and through the name of Christ, the cLord Omnipotent." (Mosiah 3:17)  He then goes on to teach us that we must accept Him and take upon us His name and endure to the end by keeping His commandments. He says, "If you keep the commandments of God which shall be delivered unto you by him, ye shall prosper in the land, and your enemies shall have no power over you." (Mosiah 2:31) These words pressed profoundly in my mind this last week as I looked at my own life and what the commandments mean to me. Sometimes we think they are burdens or they are keeping us from true happiness but I so testify they are for our benifit and eternal happiness. As I was thinking on these words from king Benjamin, Elder Cossio and I had some interesting experiences and ecspecially with a particular Commandment that I would like to share with you all this day. I hope the spirit may be with us and that you may be able to feel my testimony and sure witness of this truth. 
We were teaching a boy by the name of Evandro who is 14. We have been teaching him and his family for some time now. They are all very special and very in tune to the spirit. They have all felt the power of the spirit, know the Book of Mormon is true, and know everything we are teaching is true. Evandro is actually preparing to be baptized. This last week we began to teach the commandments to him and his family, but one in particular, The law of chasity. We began it just like any other lesson and it went perfect. It was very clear and straightforward as the spirit directed us. At the end of the lesson we presented the invite to live this law and continue to prepare for Baptism... but to my surprise and to the suprise of my companion we heard the words, "no"... It was kinda like one of those moments where you are like "What?" "Did I hear that right?" I was in complete shock. He told us that there is no way he can live that law. We talked with him and found the source of the problem and invited him to pray and ask God if this law is right. That night as I said my prayers I prayed so hard for Evandro and for my own knowledge and testimony to be strengthend on this commandment. The next day when we went to his house to talk to him he told us he had prayed and recieved an answer... His answer was this "Elders, I prayed to God last night and the words appeared in my mind that this law is true, and that it means to honor and respect women and for who they are... is that my answer?" haha "YES!" I exclaimed... Evandros words answered my own personal pray as my testimony was strengthend and the Lord gave me more knowledge. I couldnt help but think back home to my wonderful mother, the women who gave me life. Who sacraficed so much so I could be here on this earth. To my wonderful and beautiful sisters who always taught the pure and divine nature of womanhood, and to my dear friends "The Girls" (You know who you are haha) who where examples of the believers with firm testimonies and who lived what they believed in all moments. Then to the many other women in my life who shaped me into who I am, My friends mothers, my ward family, and my neighbors... How special women are in our lives and how much they bless us... Men, We must do as this 14 year boy Evandro said and respect and love the women in our life in all aspects. We must not destroy the beauty of women and humilate them through pronography as the prophets so often teach us. We must treat them as Daughters of God and not destroy this sacred position! How special they are! I saw so much this last week that I cannot even begin to describe. The law of Chasity is so much more than we truely understand. Event after event that dealt with this very subject last week as some times my heart ached as I witnessed and heard some of these things that defiled this sacred nature of women, but I so testify that the commandments are for our benefit. When we live these principles and when we apply them in our lives we will as King Benjamin taught have an "Never Ending Happiness"  (Mosiah 2:41) I bear my sure testimony and conviction of these truths as the Lord has taught me so much this last week. 
I hope that in the future (Not to be trunky) but that I can find a women whom I can love and respect as Evandro taught me. That I can treat her like the queen she is and give her my whole heart. That I can be the Husband, Father and Priesthood holder she needs me to be. That I can be sensitve to her needs and desires and treat her like the special daughter of God she is. That when the trials and hardships come I can support her and help her in all situations as we can fight the oncoming winds of the adversity with all force. Going back to the words of King Benjamin "If you keep the commandments of God which shall be delivered unto you by him, ye shall prosper in the land, and your enemies shall have no power over you." (Mosiah 2:31)  Family and Friends, you see that? Your enemies shall have no power over you and you can overcome any trial, obstacle, or difficulty because you have taken upon you the name of Chirst and can continue on firm in the Gospel. I love you all so much and hope that you all may understand my message this day. There is so much in my heart as I said my prayers last night and pondered all these events this past week. I cannot even describe to you all how special a mission is, or what a mission means to me... but I know without a doubt that a mission is A COMMANDMENT of God and that when we keep the commandments we shall prosper and have Eternal life. It is in fact preparing me for the future. This gift of my mission is pricless and I hope, as my Brother and my buddies serving missions have said, "That we can become the men and the missionaries God needs us to be." This is my hope and pray with a sure knowledge that anything is possible through God... Family and friends im so happy... I am experienceing a joy beyond anything I have ever felt. With tears of this joy I write this email to you all exclaiming my love for God and His eternal love for us His children. Mom I love you. Dad I love you. Jenni & Matt I love you, Rachel I love you, Alyssa & Eli I love you... Matt, my dear twin brother I love you. If only you could hear my voice say these very words... and next week you can haha :) This is my testimony and email for you all this week with all the love in my heart for you all and for this wonderful Gospel. Im praying for you all and may God be with you till we meet again.
Ama Élder Benjamin B. Doggett
p.s. Photo of me in the house of some members and my house in Rio Claro... Im back!

Matt #54 Whosoever shall loose his life

Well I'm not sure what to say other then thank you all family and friends for the wonderful E-mails you have all sent. I feel bad by saying each week how happy I am to recieve your e-mails because I dont want you all to think that I'm being ungeniune each week as I thank you all. I truly am so gratefull for the time each of you sacrifice to send your testimonys and love. And each week is so special for us to read your letters. Each letter I read is a letter sent from my personal angels back home. If you only knew the love I feel each e-mail I read and the power it gives to Ben and I. Thank you so much. I love you all so very much.

Well I'm sure everyone is wondering what happened to me this past transfer... Well I finally left my dear area Campanário after 7 months... It was one of the hardest moments I've experinced on the Mission for awhile and saying goodbye to those I love was hard... Many people there changed my life and helped me in so many ways. I will especially miss my recent converts and the small but growing branch there... I love them all so much and they truly have a special place in my heart. As the day of transfer came nobody knew what would happen and to be honest I was a little nervous. After 7 months in one area you become a little used to your surroundings but the Lord knew it was time for a change. The day of transfers came and my new area is... Jardim Apurá in Alvaranga! The great news is that it looks like I will be staying in the São paulo Mission with President and Sister Tanner and my area is all farmland. (It reminds me of home in some places) I was very happy and excited. My new campanion is names Elder Borges and he is Brazilian. He only has 5 months on the Mission so he is still a little new to the Mission but hes amazing and very funny. He seemed really nervous at first and when I asked what was up or why he was so nervous he explained. "Your my first American Companion I've had on the Mission... do you think you could teach me English?" Haha Hes a great Missionary and I know there is a lot to be learned here in my new area and yes we have began learning english together... hes awesome! 

This past week in my new area was a normal week and a little stressfull. Its sometimes hard to build those new relationships with the members but I can already feel their love so I'm not to nervous. Yesterday was sunday which means it was my first day to really get to know the members. They are amazing and I had a very spiritual experince. I'm not sure if any of you remember but my final year in seminary I had the chance to help teach the Special needs seminary class. I remember that when I recieved the call my Father told me that everything happens for a reason and that the Lord had a reason for placing me in that class, he was only preparing me for the future. I wasnt sure why the Lord had me help with that wonderfull seminary class at the time but the experince was something so special and dear to my heart, this past week I had the chance to become best friends with a young man in my new ward named Morino. When he was a small child he was hit but a truck leaving him with some disabilitys but I've never met someone more in tune with the Spirit and with such a Big Heart. Yesterday he blessed the Sacrement with such a big smile on his face and I couldnt help but reflect back on to those pure Spirits in that seminary class my Senior year. It was such a small moment and the thought only lasted for a minute or two... But that was enough time for the Spirit to touch my heart and bring small tears of joy to my eyes. It was a moment I cant really explain but it was a small tender blessing that I would have missed if I hadnt been paying attention to the still small whisperings of the Holy Ghost. How many moments in our lifes do we get so caught up in the world that we miss the small and tender blessings. Mom your e-mail really touched my heart as it touched Bens as well... We do have so much wickedness in the world but as we learn to let ourselves go we will find ourselves in the Lord. For example by forgetting ourselves and reaching out to a young girl who needed a hug is a perfect example of a small act of forgetting onesleve but the biggest return in blessings, your the best Mom. Let the things of the world go and focus on the Lords work. Focus on the big plan of Happiness and live up to your potential... This week I became a little frustrated because I was trying so hard to feel the Spirit and teach by the Spirit but its was just hard this week to focus. I then came to realize that the reason I wasnt feeling the Spirit was because I was trying so hard to focus and find the Big blessings that in turn I was pushing him away by ignoring the small ones. Its when we have a smile on our face and allow the small blessings to bring us joy that we can truly feel peace in our Savior and his Love. I encourage everyone to look for small blessings in your day to day lifes and try not to focus on looking only for the big blessings, I promise that you will find so many little blessings that they will all add up to be a Million big ones! :)

I love you all with my Heart and Ben I miss you so much... Your all such examples to me and I hope that this e-mail answers someones prayers for all of your e-mails answered mine. I pray that as we ponder on the Scriptures this week and try to recongnize those small blessings that the Lord will feel you all with the Spirit of Love and that we may grow in testimony. I love you all with all my Heart... please never forget that Ben and I are always here for you all always. This is the true Church of Jesus Christ restored on the earth today and I do not have a doubt in my Heart. :) I love you all and pray for you all everyday. Take care and may God be with you till we meet again. 

Ben #53 Keep the Commandments

Another week gone by. I cannot believe this time is flying by so fast. Everyone told me "the mission will past by your eyes," but I didnt believe it would pass by this fast. Im loving every moment and just as Matt and Mom shared with me today its the little blessings in our everyday lives that matter. If we truely opened our eyes and looked with spiritual eyes rather than our natural eyes we would in fact see the hand of God working in our lives. I was touched by the story you shared mom of the little girl, it brought tears to my eyes. I truely believe and testify that if we change our attitude and look for the everyday blessings in our lives we will begin to see with spiritual eyes and, as Alma put it, "A change will begin within our hearts." (Alma 5) I know it and so testify of its power. Dad It was awesome to hear that you talked with Elder Clay. I miss and love him so much and together He and I had some very powerful experiences. Let him know I love him and am so grateful for all he did for me. I also want my friends who sent emails today to know how much I love you all and how much your emails meant to me. Everyweek Matt and I share with you all the significance of your emails and the power they bring. Thank you from the depths of my heart and know how grateful I am unto my God for blessing me with such an amazing family and friendships. I love you all so much. Well Im guessing you all are wondering about transfers, right? haha This will be a transfer that I will never forget, it was quite the crazy experience for me.
 Last p-day after emailing I went around in my area of Botucatu saying my goodbyes as I returned home that night I became very sick where I was vomitting and many other things about every 10 minutes. At about 2 in the morning the Zone leaders called President Perrotti. President told them to take me to o ponto de socorro ( Thier version of Community Care). Our investigator that calls me her son Irmã Deda haha came to our house and took me to the Ponto de Socorro (She said the reason I was sick was because I was so sad I was leaving her haha :) she is an amazing women whom I love) I spent the rest of the night there in the Ponto. I wont go into details but it wasnt alot of fun. (I have never been a fan of hospitals and this place was skecthy haha) At around 6 in the morning I returned home, showered and prepared to go to transfers. I asked the Elders to give me a blessing and I testify of the powers of Priesthood blessings, I know the priesthood of God is in fact connected to the powers of Heaven. I was able to receive strength and make the journey to transfers without anymore problems. I found out as I arrived at the bus station that I will be training again this transfer. It is a new missionary from Chille named Elder Cossio who is really spiritual and excited about the work. Also a big suprise to me is that I will be returning to... RIO CLARO! haha Im so excited and cannot believe the tender mercies and blessings the Lord is giving me. He blessed me so much this last week I cannot even describe to you all. I know my savior Jesus Chirst lives and will in fact lift us in our time of needs. It will be a transfer I will never forget.
Things are going amazing here in Rio Claro and Im so excited to be here. I love the members here so much and I was so thrilled to see them again. There was alot of crying as I saw the members again and the investigators that I had the chance to Baptize. It was truely a blessing unto me. As I was going through the week I thought alot about all these experiences I have recently had. As I mentioned to you all 2 months ago President Perrotti told me that in Botucatu I would learn some vaulable lessons and gain some precious attributes that I would use throughout my life. My time in Botucatu was difficult but I felt as I put my trust in my Savior and His infinate Atonement that my relationship with my Heavenly Father grew in so many ways. I have a sure testimony of this Gospel and its divinity. At times we are all faced with challenges and difficulties. We read in the scriptures that we are here to be tryed and proven in all things (Abraham 3:25) but in these times what will we do? Will we become discouraged and angry and leave the Pavillion? Or will we allow the Will of the Lord to happen and to continue on with faith that everything will be for our experience as the Prophet Joseph Smith was taught in Liberty Jail? I was taught this vauleable lesson in Botucatu as the Lord provided many oppurtunities to exercie my agency and choose what path I was going to walk. Family friends I to testify in the name of our savior that if we just continue to pray, read the scriptures and keep the commandments we will be able to overcome any obstacle or difficulty that comes our way. In my reading of the Book of Mormon I was taken back by a verse I read in (Jarom 1:9) that reads "... the word of the Lord was verified, saying that: inasmuch as ye will keep my commandments ye shall prosper in the land."  If we do all this things and contiune to endure to the end in all things never lossing our faith in our savior Jesus Chirst we shall be forever blessed in all things "And moreover, I would desire that ye should consider on the blessed and ahappy state of those that keep the commandments of God. For behold, they are bblessed in all things, both temporal and spiritual; and if they hold out cfaithful to the end they are received into dheaven, that thereby they may dwell with God in a state of never-ending happiness. O remember, remember that these things are true; for the Lord God hath spoken it." (Mosiah 2:41) This is my testimony to you all this day. Hold out until the end. Stay firm and keep the commandments of God... and please trust in Him with all your heart. I cannot write or describe to you all my emotions and feelings in this very moment or the powerful lessons I have expereinced in these last few months...  but this one thing I can truely testifiy of is it is indeed an never- ending happiness. The Lord is verified or in other words bound when we keep the commandments "for God cannot lie..." (Enos 1:6)
Family and Friends I know these things are true. Every week I feel myself becoming a little closer to my Heavenly Father in HIs work as I put my whole heart and trust in Him. I love being a missionary and the blessing it is to feel the Holy Spirit in so much power and force to the penetrating of my very heart. I know without a doubt this Gospel is true and can in fact purify us in every aspect of our lives. Any trial, difficulty, or weakness can be overcome through our Savior and Redeemer Jesus Christ, if we will do our part and endure to the end by keeping His commandments and be "Example of the Believers." (1st Timothy 4:12)  always. I love you all so much and apoligize for the lack of spirituality in this email but Im so happy and feel such a joy in this great work. As Ammon once said to his brothers, "Now if this is aboasting, even so will I boast; for this is my life and my light, my joy and my salvation, and my redemption from everlasting wo. Yea, blessed is the name of my God, who has been mindful of this people, who are abbranch of the tree of Israel, and has been clost from its body in a strange land; yea, I say, blessed be the name of my God, who has been mindful of us,dwanderers in a strange land." (Alma 26: 36) This also is my testimony to you all and my love. I am so blessed by my Lord and His goodness unto me and I give him praise for this wonderful mission. I hope you can all feel the spirit and the joy that comes from being a missionary. Im so excited for this transfer and know it will be an amazing experience. I pray that this week you may all see the tender mercies and love God has for you as you continue to keep HIs commandments and endure to the end, remembering all His promises unto you if ye will but do what He asks I so pray.. I love you all and may God be with you until we meet again.
Ama Élder Benjamin B. Doggett