Tuesday, December 25, 2012

Matt #37

I'm sorry everyone but this will be my first letter that is very short and fast. I dont have much time to write much because today is a crazy day for us missionarys! :) I just want to write to everyone explaining how gratfull I am for this Holiday season and for the chance I have to spent it with the wonderfull people of Brazil... Today is a special day, it really is. Kristin, Erika, Mom, Dad, Ben... thank you for the wonderfull e-mails. I wish I could write you all individually but there just isnt much time. There are people who have to hear the wonderfull message of the Restored Gospel and today isnt my P-day which means we are on the Lords time right now. Now dont worry all missionarys have speciel permission from President Tanner to write and get things worked out for tommorow but we switched our P-days around so that P-day would be on Christmas! :) Pretty awesome huh? I love you all so much and I'm glad to say that I'm beyond happy to speak with my family tommorow. I miss you all so much especially during these holiday seasons. Everyone I'm sorry I cant write a special message about the true Spirit of Christmas, but after I read my incredible brothers message I dont feel like anything I could write could sum it up any better then how he did... I love you ben and I really miss you like crazy. Remember always this christmas holiday is something else and its especially diffrent here in Brasil haha. But I love it so much. This week was a very changing week for me where I had many great experiences. Luckily we will be talking face to face tommorow through the internet so you'll all get the full version. :) I love this Gospel and once again please remember I love you and I'm sorry for the brief message. Mom, Dad I should be on tommorow around 10 or 11 your time but we'll see because I need to talk with my companion. Just be ready for lots of laughs and good memories! Haha :) Love you all and I cant wait to see you all soon. Also Erika, Kristin. Thank you for the e-mails and I'm glad to say that I've finally gotten letters written for you both and there in the mail haha sorry its taken so long. :) Love you all and FELIZ NATAL PRA TODOS VOCÊS!!!!! DE ELDER DOGGETT ÁQUI NO BRASIL!    


Feliz Natal!!!!! I cant believe the time has flown by this fast. My family sent many amazing and funny emails this week along with some wonderful emails from my dear friends Erika and Kristin wishing a Merry Christmas. (Rachel thank you for your much needed email) My father wrote me an email about the moments in our lives. Ecspecially the little ones... I was thinking alot about that as I remember last year exactly at this time. My family went to Mission impossible 4 and after enjoyed each others company in our family traditions (Movies being part of the Chirstmas eve celebration) I remember every movie I have seen with my family on Christmas eve. Last year was "Mission impossible," and the year before "Tron," and then "Avatar" and so on and so on. I was thinking alot about how dear those traditions are to me and as my Dad said those moments. Traditions are so important in our lives and I encourage everyone to try your best to make some great family traditions ecspecilly around this wonderful time of the year... Im really missing your scones mom haha. Anyway it sounds like everyone is doing awesome and filled with the Christmas spirit, which I love. Its been really different here in Brasil around this Holiday time. It just a different culture, but im taking in every moment. I only have this small time to live here in Brasil so might as well live every MOMENT, right? I did find a Chirstmas tie which has helped out a ton! haha but Once again thank you all for the wonderful emails and support here... and to my family I cant wait to see you all tomorrow. Matt im hoping somehow things will work out that we will be able to talk somehow but I dont know what will happen either way I want you to know how much I love you Matt and miss you dearly right now.
Being here on the mission you really get a different view on Christmas. This past week and transfer I have noticed my attitude about my current situation that you all are fully aware of and probably most likely sick of hearing about haha. Things have been tough. I have tried every possible way to try and be happy through this hard time but was finding no luck. I prayed and prayed, I studied my scriptures, I applied them and every lesson I had learned from my previous transfer and even some lessons I learned back home from some very patient parents... but in all it just seemed in vain. I was depressed and un-happy to say the least. It was the Christmas season! This time should be happy and joyful. I should be leaping up and down with a smile on my face and a heart full of love! Making snow angels and throwing snow balls (or anything in the snow for that matter haha) or spending time with my family and people that loved me! Why was I having all these feeling and emotions! Why was I having these experiences? Where was the Happiness? Where was my joy?... Well family and friends im here this Christmas eve to testify to everyone of you God knows best. He knows everyone of our circumstances and knows what will make us grow. As Neil L. Anderson said in last Octobers General Conference ( Im para phrasing here)  " The trials we face will make us stronger... but they can also destroy us if we allow them..." Family friends I began to notice that instead of "Becoming as a little child, submissive, meek, humble, and full of love, willing to accept all the Father sees fit to inflict upon us" (Mosiah 3:19) I was doing the complete opposite. I was hardening my heart, fighting with the Lord about my current situation and not submiting full heartdly to His will, and coming very close to the edge of destruction as Elder Neil. L Anderson so wonderfully described. I began to notice In my prayers I was asking for my situation to change rather then asking "What would you have me learn Father?" My mom sent me a talk from David a. Bendar that he gave to the students at BYU I some time ago entitled "In the Strength of the Lord" In which he illustares this point exactly. In it he talks about the true meaning of grace which means "The enabling power and strengthing power of the Atonement. He goes on to share a part from 1st Nephi 7:17. This part is familiar to all of us which is the part when Nephis brother tie him up and plan the destruction of their brother, but I ask you to pay close attention to what Nephi does in this situation. Nephi in this moment prayers unto the Lord but in His prayer we see something pretty spectacular that he asks, he says "O Lord, according to my faith which is in thee, wilt thou deliver me from the hands of my bretheren; yea, even give me strength that I may burst these bands with which I am bound." Nephi prayed not for his circumstance to change but to receive strength to change his own circumstance. Sometimes (like me) we just want the Lord to change our circumstance or situation in the blink of an eye, which He can do... but then what would we have learned? I realized I was praying for my circumstance to change but rather I should have been praying for the strength to change my attitude and love my companion and search for the lessons and attributes God wanted me to aquire. As I began to to do this I found an amazing difference in my attitude and I noticed the depression and sadness was slowly fading into the blackness as the light of Christ was begining to overpower those terrible feelings and thoughts. I have begun to find a love for my companion that I cant describe and a self cofidence in myself that I never could have found without my Lord. I began to relize that in any given situation or trial there is something of vaule to be a learned a treasure that can be yours... or as my Dad put it, "a jewel to be kept." The Saviors life is a perfect example of this and what a wonderful chance we have this night to remeber is birth and His teachings. I really began this past week to study the life of Christ and am close to finishing "Jesus the Christ" by James E. Talmage, but something that really stuck out to me was the birth of our beloved Lord and Savior. What a joyous moment that was as our Lord and king came into the world to save all mankind. As the angel told the sheprads in the field "Fear not: for, behold, I bring you good tidings of great joy, which shall be to all people. For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Savior, which is Christ the Lord.
Family Friends... This week I felt so close to my Savior Jesus Christ and I know I have experienced all of these things this transfer for a specific reason, in this specific time of the Holidays. I have developed a new outlook and understanding of my savior Jesus Christ and His life. I am here to testify to you all of the divinity and surity that Christ was born that glorious day. That He lived a perfect life to bring all of mankind back to the presense of our Eternal Father. He died and suffered for everyone of us so we could overcome death... but came forth that 3rd day as a resurrected being and ascended unto the Father in the flesh... His mission was accomplished. I still have so much to learn and experience in these moments here on the mission... but through that enabling and strengthing power of the Atonement I feel it will all be possible that these trials can never destroy me but make me stronger. A analogy I love is that of a seed. When a seed is planted in the ground it is buried completely! Under all that complete darkness the seed begins to tear, rip, and eventually is destroyed as in the process a flower begins to imerge from the ground onto the surface untill it finds its way closer to the sun and as it climbs higher begins to bloom into something spectacular! I know that i am a seed, buried into the ground by a loving master and Savior. That HE knows I can break and tear my way to the surface so eventually I can become EXACTLY what he needs me to be. I know I have a long ways to go but my Lord is my strength. I love this Chirstmas season and this chance we have to remember our King. I challenge all who read this email to at some time take a small portion of you holiday, just a few moments, find somewhere secluded from the worlds and festas and bow down in humble prayer and give thanks unto your Father for a Savior, for this great season of "Glad tidings" and for the chance you have to worship thy son... I promise to all of you in the name of Jesus Christ as His representative that you will be filled with the true light of Christmas and feel within your hearts a happiness that cannnot be described. A prayer is made up of heart throbs and rigtheouss yearnings which I know you will feel. :) 
Well the time has come once may to wish you an amazing week and a Merry Christmas. I hope with all my heart you may all be filled this Holiday season (not only with food) but the sure and lasting love of the spirit. :)
I love you all so very much and want you to know I am so happy to be a member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints, but ecspecially to be a missionary. Its crazy there are times im walking down the street and I think to myself "Wow Ben, You are actually here in Brasil, speaking a different launguage, bringing those "Glad tidings" to people that indeed a Savior was born and lives... This is my testimony to you all and once again share my sure and lasting conviction og this Gospel. I love you all and cannot wait to hear from you soon... Mom, Dad, Jenni & Matt S, Rachel, and Alyssa, maybe Matt... I will be seeing you all tomorrow :) Until then though may God bless you all and watch over you oh and Mom I think I will be getting on at 11:00- 1:00 but to be honest not sure maybe even noon your time. It just depends if everything works smoothly. I love you all again everyone and hope you all have A FELIZ NATAL!!!!!!!!!!!
Love Elder Benjamin B. Doggett   
p.s. hope this makes sense to you all haha its pretty all over the place but I just have so many wonderful experiences I want to share with you all! So many wonderful life lessons... Everyone should serve a mission its amazing how much the lord teaches you. Love you all!

Matt #36

Well I wont lie but im a little tired emotionally and physically... haha What a week for me, these past seven days have been a blur and I'm not sure I can really sum up any experience for anyone haha. But first off thank you all for the e-mails. I've read them all and enjoyed every single one of them! :) Its such a good break to sit back and just read about those I love back home and the changes that are happeneing in everyones lifes... First of Kristin thank you for the wonderfull e-mail about Christmas and also about your sister... thats just crazy about Natalie! Please tell her I said congrats from Basil. :) Jenni dont worry I got your e-mail about skype and its all good to go. Love you and dont worry I'll send the imformation somehow this week. Sister Tighe thank you for your update on Hibbard life... I cant tell you how great your e-mails are because they just sum up a normal day in Rexburg and those are the best days. Its good to hear my childhood friends are doing awesome as well thank you. Also rachel thank you for the Mission updates (Those are always way fun to read) Love you :)  Well I cant believe how much its changing back home! Its actually kinda cool to hear about all the things that are happening back home. I miss you all so much especially during the holidays, but Im so proud of the decisons every one if making back home to follow the savior.
        If theres one thing that seems to be changing the most back home its "Marriage" (Holy cow I almost forgot that word in english... werid, in portuguese its "Casamento") anyway out of all the e-mails I get, the most shocking usually do with casamento but they also bring the most happiness to me! While I've been on the Mission my oldest sister Jenni was married and now one of my best friends Lauren and many others... Its such a special time. Its a time when one phase of our life closes and another begins. How awesome is that huh? The reason I'm speaking about marriage is because today I really want to focus on this and also on our families. I know I should be focusing more on the Spirit of Christmas in this e-mail but If everyone took a minute and really thought about it families and Marriage really do have a BIG part in the Spirit of Christmas. This past week I had the chance to go to the São Paulo temple with the whole Mission. We went in the early morning and I was so excited because it has been almost 6 months since the last time I had the oppurtunity to enjoy the Spirit found in the wonderfull walls of the temple. When we arrived I found the young Missionarys from the CTM still there and I had the chance to see and talk with them... I wont lie but it was pretty interesting because they were all in the exact same shoes that I was in just 7 months back. They kept asking questions about the Language and I could also see how nervous they all were. Wow it was just like me.... Then my good Brasilion friend Elder Tavares started asking questions to them in Portuguese and I had the chance to translate for them (Just like other Elders did for me when I was in the CTM) time really is going by fast so fast. Also the Missionarys in the CTM told me Christion bell (The actor who plays Batman) Died in a plane crash but Im not sure what to believe here haha. Anyway I spent a lot of time giving them advice and trying to help out as much as I could. Because I remember how much I needed the advice and help from the older Missionarys and I could tell they really appreciated what I was saying (Some were even taking notes haha) Because of this I was running a little behind and was one of the last Missionarys getting ready to enter the session. They told us they didnt have much room left and only a few more people could enter. As I was entering the sessions someone said "Elder please let me go in to the Session ahead. I really need to go in!" I agreed and allowed this Elder to go in ahead of me and well it ended up being the last seat in the house and I wasnt able to get in. The doors closed and I was left alone not allowed to enter the Session. I was more than a little devested because I was so excited to do a Session the day after my one year anniversary of the temple (Like my incredible Brother mentioned last week) I went back to the dressing room and almost began to cry... Now up to this point I'm sure your all wondering "what does this have to do with family or marriage" but just hold on I'm getting to that part soon haha. So what ended up happening was I was sitting alone in the dressing room wondering what I would do for the next several hours when a temple worker asked if I had the desire to participate on a "family sealing session." At this moment the Spirit filled my heart and I knew this was where the Lord needed me to go. As I entered the sealing room my heart almost exploded with joy and I had the chance to help with this incredible ordinace in the temple... As I was sitting there listening to the names of families that have gone beyond the veil being sealed for all time and eternity together I could just feel their love for one another and their joy for that moment. I than thought of my incredible family and how happy I was to be sealed to them for time and eternity. My love for my family grew in these tender moments and I knew with all my heart that families really can be eternal families forever. :) I also thought of my friends and all those back home who are making the decisions for marriage and for this incredible time in their lifes to be sealed for all time and eternity in the Gospel. Afterwards I had the chance to sit in the celestial room by myself for a long time.... I just cried haha (I'm sorry everyone you always have to read about me crying, Im not getting soft on the Mission just closer to the Spirit) :) haha but I thought about one of the last times I was sitting in this Sacred Room I was with my Twin Brother... I then thought of his incredible description of what the Temple was like for him and when he saw the whole family and friends waiting for him on the other side. It was an incredible feeling and an incredible experince. Even though I didnt have the chance to experince the Blessings found in a Temple Session, the Lord still found an oppurtunity to school and bless me in the ways of Eternal Families and Marriage and the true importance behind all this. In my opinion I received a pretty big blessing that day. One funny thing that happened was right after this I was sitting in the Celestial room alone just thinking about life and a worker walked in and became extremly worried and frustrated. He came up to me looking very worried and said "Elder where is your Companion!?" It didnt even acure to me this whole time that I was A.L.O.N.E. haha it was pretty funny but lucky I was in the temple and in the Celstial Room so I didnt get in to much trouble, but it was still a good thing he mentioned something because the rules are set to keep us safe. :) So he ended up being my Companion until other Missionarys entered! Haha. Overall its was a great session in the Temple but the lesson of eternal Families didnt stop there.... once we returned home we went sraight to the work of preaching. This week has been big partying here in Brasil because they' ve had some big soccer games these past few days. As we were walking to an apointment my companion and I met a little boy and his young Brother. (Maybe around the ages of 6 and 4) They were sitting on the curb holding hands and they were extremly dirty... One began talking to us and I could tell he had some mental problems or learning disabilities but he was very friendly. As we were talking with him we asked if we could share a speciel message with his family. He then pointed to the Bar and said his parents were there if we wanted to talk with them.... I then saw both his parents partying and drinking without a care in the world... or a care for their two very young children sitting on the side of the curb... I walked away more then sad. I thought to myself how can this be Heavenly Father? How can something like this happen in this world? The sad thing is this happens everywhere around the world. We have the responsiblity to be the best Parents and examples to those around us. This is our very important role here on earth. Is to raise families in the Gospel. Everything I'm learning here on the Mission will only help me be a better Husband and Father for my future family. What a blessing the Gospel is in our lifes... Thank you Mom and Dad for your decision to be married in the house of the Lord and to raise a family under the correct Priciples of the Gospel (Namely Love) We have so many blessings in our lifes but we need to take the time to recongnize them. I love you all so much and I'm so gratfull to be here in Brasil. There are so many tender mercies and blessings that we recieve everyday. For example I had another Baptism yesterday with Nayane! :) Dont worry I'll give you the details next week on Skype but it was a pretty speciel Baptism. :) I love this Gospel and I'm sorry I cant sum up all the lessons I learned this past week. I've learned so much. Just remember that I love you all so much and I'm so happy for this Christmas session. I know with all my Heart this Gospel is true and I know that families are eternal. I hope this e-mail makes sense and I hope you all know that I'm still focused on Mission work haha. I'm not thinking about marriage (To much) haha but its a lesson that I really learned about this week. Love you all and I cant wait to see your faces next week!!! AHHHH :) I wonder if you can record the Skype session so we can save it for future use? Love you all and remember always that I'm here for everyone sempre! Love Elder Matthew Ryan Doggett          

Ben # 35 He Knows you

Tudo bom meu amigos! E FELIZ NATAL!!!! It was amazing to hear from so many family and friends this week ecspecially at this particular moment. Things are a little crazy at the moment and I would very much like to write an email to everyone that wrote me but we will just have to see how the day plans out. I cant tell you though how much it meant to me to hear from all of you. Dad I hope your feeling better and Mom im so happy to hear the Christmas program went well. Its crazy how fast the time goes right? Another year gone and actually could be THE LAST!!!!! haha the world ends on the 21st so alot of Brasilans have been freaking out here and selling their homes. IS the same stuff going on in the states? Its pretty interesting to see. Sister Tighe wow was it good to hear from you and also to know the gang is doing all right send my love to them! Kristin as always what a great testimony on Christmas and of course our families. Jordan haha love you man and I miss you like crazy bro, I have many stories that would make you laugh your head off but time is short (Dont worry though im keeping an amazing journal haha) Rachel, missionary updates are incrediable! I cant believe all the people headed out to fight the good battle of Truth and Right! Oh and Jenni... Skype is all up and were good to go thanks for getting that ready for me. Anyway as for this week... Its been a tough one (I realize I say that almost every week haha) as the Holiday is right around the corner. Ive missed cold snow, traditions, friends, family... the whole 9 yards this week. My thoughts constantly kept turning to all my wonderful memories back home, and all the joyous experiences. As you all have read this transfer has been hard, having a companion that doesnt like you and rarely likes to talk to you or carry a conversation with you and when he does its just to rip you apart... you at times feel a little lonely. Its something I never have felt my whole life because ive always been surrounded by family and friends who care for me so much. I was really down this past week and missed everyone dearly. I had much of the same thoughts as my brother thinking "I wonder if anyone even remembers me?" I felt so lonely... but then the words of Jeffrey R. Holland came to my mind when he talked about this great calling of being a missionary he said "... Sometimes we as missionarys need to experience a little of what the savior went through to truely understand His great love... We bear His name so its only logically we will pass through hard times. Why would it be easy for us when it was never easy for Him?" These words hit me so hard. I was feeling so alone and depressed. Longing for my family and friends to just smile and hug me and tell me it would be alright (Which you all do every week) but I realized I did have someone at that moment who loved me and cared so much about me my Savior Jesus Chirst. He knows how lonely I felt at this point and he knows how hard it can be cause he has been there and done that for me and for everyone of us in our trials. I know with every fiber in my being, without of doubt in my mind that Christ lives and loves us all. He is our king our savior and our friend in our time of need. I have been so sad this week thinking "its Christmas! why do I feel like this!?" but deep down in my heart I know this is where the Lord needs me at this precious time in my life. Learning these experiences and coming unto Him... I hope all of you know of my sure love and testimony of my Savior Jesus Christ during this Chirstmas season... It truely is a wonderful time.
This week I realized some important things. I realized I have always been complaining about how hard my companion has been and how tough it is to be with him cause he just has a different attitude about the work and may even treat me a little wrong, but I never even looked at myself and what the Lord wants me to learn from this experience! I was so focused on how terrible my situation was and feeling so sorry for myself that I was losing the tender lessons the Lord had prepared for me. Doesnt that sometimes happen to everyone of us? We become so focused on ourselfs and our difficulties that we dont take the time to step back and ponder why we are experienceing this particular thing in this very given moment? What great plan does the Lord have for us? In Isaiah 55 I think verse 6 or 7 we read that "Our thoughts are not the Lords thoughts either our ways His ways." therefore we need to accept His will and just try to do our best and apply His teachings into our lives. I testify whatever trial you may be passing through YOU yourself can overcome it. "God gives us no tempataion we cant handle." HE knows your strengths and weakness. HH knows what trials and what difficulties YOU need to become what HE knows you can become (Do you see all the "HE knows" in there) Family friends if there is one thing I have learned its that our God loves us so very much. HE knows what is best for us. I know sometimes we dont have a choice and others may use their agency to inflict pain and sadness into our lives but remember God knows us and He knows how to heal us. It doesnt matter what others think or say about you or the way they even treat you because someone loves you more than you can imagine and he gave you His son Jesus Christ so you could find true happiness and peace in this life. Stay srtong through the rough times and rember things will always work out in the long wrong that is my promise. Sadness wont last forever... Happiness will... I testify once more of Gods infinate love for everyone of you reading this email. He does! Yesterday I had a experince during church that I would like to share. I was sitting in sacrament meeting waiting to partake of the bread and water when I felt so much peace come into my heart. All weak I have been having this inward battle with emotions, feelings, thoughts, just about everything. Its something I cant describe to you all... but something I can describe is the fire that entered my heart as I took that bread and that water as I felt the power of the Atonement clean my mind and bring my mind back into retro spect as my purpose became clear and my purpose sure. It wasnt 1 minute after having this feeling that I heard over the poduim " We will now hear a talk from Elder Doggett" haha (Only on the mission) I got up not knowing what I was going to say but the spirit I felt was undeniable and I had the wonderful chance to bear my testimony about the divinity of our Savior Jesus Christ and His infinate Atonement... Its real I know it is. This church is real I know it is. Christ lives... He's real... I know He is... I know He is and that will never leave my heart no matter what anyone says to me. 
Well things are better as I look at the best in my companion and try to figure out what the Lord would have me learn. My Portugese has improved dramatically Ive noticed through this transfer. There are still times Im a little lost when people talk to me but then there are times Im walking down the street and I hear people talking and I know exactly what there talking about (Kinda depends on the day) but I dont even have to think about it. It really is a intersesting experience for me. I never imagined myself speaking another launguage hahah its crazy... Though Im so grateful for the Lord in helping me come this far. I still have so much more I need to learn but I can finally get around by myself and my thoughts and time arent really concerned with it. Now its all about the investigators and teaching the Gospel. As Ammon said "Im nothing without the Lord." I see the Lord seeing me as He sees fit. As for the week in weather Brasil was insanely hot! While your getting snow im getting heat strock! OK maybe not that bad but its hot! Actually haha it was so hot one day last week that all the Elders in the house shaved our heads. Needless to say latter that night when we all returned home everyones head was sunburned including the Brasilians haha! but these past two days we have recieved nothing but rain. It actually wont stop raining! (Oh and Dad to answer your question they have draining wells underneath the streets. haha) The rain comes down hard here like ive never seen, within about 5 seconds of standing in the rain your drenched from head to toe ( Jenni, Rachel, Alyssa Im sorry but ive got over the fact of being wet, I dont have to change clothes now haha I just go and do it! haha so when I get home you can throw all the water you want on me and it wont phase me a bit!) As for my investigators we are teaching these 3 sisters. They live together and the oldest is 28 next is 26 and the last is 19. their names are Paula, Renata, Rachela. Paula, the oldest, is ready for baptism and keeping all the commitments and we could possiblely baptize them all this week. The youngest, Rachela is having a hard time accepting all we teach but I feel deep within my heart that she knows its true and with time the Lord will provide her with the courage to take the great step of entering the waters of baptism. 
Family and friends... I love this Gospel and this mission with all my heart. Its no way easy thats for sure... but worth it? You bet it is! I have never felt so many hardships and trials, but so many blessings and miracles. Kind of a weird mix huh? I love you all and know that Christ is our Savior and the key to our true happinesss and salvation. As I talked about and boar testimony of our trials and difficulties I plead and ask everyone of you to take a step back and look at yourself and through humble prayer ask the simple words to God " What would you want me to learn in this situation." I know its not easy but with faith and time I promise you will recieve an answer. Im ashamed to say that during this transfer my faith was lacking and my heart was slowly becoming hard towards my Savior thinking "Why do I have to suffer like this?" Why am I even here." I was fighting Him like I did at the start of my mission. I instead was thinking only of myself instead of applying the lessons I have learned through all these mission experiences. I promise to you all that trials are bad. They cut into you and rip you apart, I know... but think about, have you ever come out of a trial weaker? I know the Lord is making you all His instruments and preparing you all for something great. Stay strong through constant scripture study and full obedeince and you will feel His influence and attributes become YOU. That is our whole plan and purpose here... I love you all so much and pray for everyone of you. Family I cant wait till next week when I get the chance to talk to you all through Skype. What a blessing... until then may God bless everyone of you in this Chirstmas Season and just remember God loves you this is my ever growing testimony... Love you all... God be with you till we meet again.
Elder Benjamin B. Doggett
p.s. Matt I love you so much. I just read your email as I was finishing this email and what a powerful testimony you have. You are a giant and I it was exactly what I needed to hear... You are an answer to my pray. I know now why God blessed me with such an amazing twin brother, cause I couldnt do this without his amazing strength and example... love you Matt. FELIZ NATAL

Matt #35

Well first off what a great week of e-mails from the family and friends... If you all could truly see my joy from recieveing so many increidible letters and e-mails you would all be so happy you made my day. Also I need to apoligize for my english... As the time goes on my e-mails will slowly begin to be worse and worse and eventually I'm afraid they wont make sense haha. Português really messes with your language ablitlies haha but I love it! Im also excited for Christmas and I hope your all ready to hear a lot of Portuguese because English might be a little hard for me haha just kidding... Man I love you all so much. Ben thank you for your e-mails... If you only knew how much I look up to you and everyone else thank you. I'm sorry I dont like to say names because I dont want to leave anyone out but you all know who you are and that I love you very much. Dad thank you for the imformation, especially about the I-pad mini haha and also dont worry we'll get a time worked out, Im not sure what the time diffrence is for são paulo e nos Estados Unidos mas nos vamos work something out with the time. Also please let the Doormens and everyone else know how happy I am for their decisons to serve Missions. Its pretty interesting because I remember when I recieved my call... I had a much diffrent Idea of what the Mission experience would be like but its been something more than I could've ever imagined. Its incredible! :) Thank you everyone for the e-mails and I love you all so much.
    Well lets get down to the nity gridy of the events of the week shall we... This week I learned another valuable lesson.... I'm not sure I can describe to everyone what the Mission experience is like, Sometimes I wish you could all be here with me walking the same roads, teaching the same people, feeling the same feelings I feel everyday here. I just cant describe what is happening to me... It's an unreal experience. Well I'm not sure where to go with this E-mail (Like usual) :) but I pray the Spirit will guide my words and somehow I can touch someones heart or answer someones prayer. These past few weeks I wont lie have been pretty interesting time for me. To be honest I became pridefull these past few weeks but I never noticed (That tends to happen with pride in our lifes huh?) I was becoming a little caught up with all the success and blessings the Lord was pouring upon us that my purpose was becoming a little distracted if that makes sense. I didnt notice any of this until last week I sent my e-mail off and then noticed My Brother had just sent his, as I opened his e-mail and read his inspiring words I realized that I was being a little "G H" (Gloria o Homem) Which is the Missionary term for being pridfull here in Brasil haha. His e-mail touched my heart and it really showed me how important it is to have humility and an open heart. I realize now that my e-mail time is something almost Sacred... I love to joke around and tell you all my funny stories haha thats just who I am! I love making people smile and laugh... But I also realize that I dont have much time to be set apart as a Missionary. After 2 years this time is gone, so I want to try my best to bear my testimony as much as possible and try my best to teach by the Spirit through my e-mail. This week I learned many many things about myself but something I want to focus on is just how important it is for us to recognize the Lord in ALL that we do here in our lifes. These past few weeks I've recieved many blessings... I've had Baptisms and I recieved an incredible companion and we've had a lot of sucess in our area... Life was good on the Mission! I was beyond happy and just kept working and working! Do you all remember Nayane? Her brother Alexandre was Baptised awhile back but I never wrote much about what exactly happened after Alexandres Baptism. For some reason she just lost the desire to be Baptised and we tried everything! Last week ago we had what we called a "Final" Lesson with her. This was the lesson that would determine if we would keep teaching her about the importance of Baptism or let her make the decison in the future. Now dont get me wrong when I use the word "Final" that doesnt mean we would be done teaching her, we would never give up on an investigator who still has intress in the Gospel but she just wasnt progressing when it came to her Baptism... We went in to the lesson prepared only with the Spirit and hoping for the best. I will never be able to describe what happened during this lesson but I understood everything she was saying in portuguese and I responded and talked about everyone of her doubts... it was an unreal experince and when we left I couldnt really remember much that I said only that I felt the Spirit, but the intersting thing about this was that at the end of our lesson... she still didnt agree to Baptism. I was confused and sad but we just kept on going hoping for the best and hoping that our final words about Baptism to her would make the diffrence. Well all week she kinda doged each apointment we marked with her because we told her we wanted a answer and well yesterday she came to church and told us that we better be prepared for next sunday because it would be the day of her Baptism... I was in shock and I didnt know what to say... Once again the Lord has poured out his blessings. :) Family and Friends Im not doing anything diffrently with the work here in my second area than what I wasnt doing in my first area... but the Lord sees fit to pour out the blessings upon these great people here in Campanário. Remember he has complete control always in our lifes.
    This week has been a pretty incredible week full of so many blessings and I wont lie but its tough as a missionary to try and sum everything up that we learn during the week in one e-mail... its almost an impossible feat! Haha we just are always learning. I hope everything made sense in this e-mail and I hope nobody thinks Im bragging or being G.H. I'm just doing my best and the Lord is blessing the people here in Brasil. This work is unreal and I love every second of it here. One thing I should tell you is of course I have my low days. This week I had an especially low day that was almost depressing, This strange thought entered my mind that everyone back home that I know and love will forget about me in two years and when I return I will be completely alone.... I know what a selfish thought that entered my mind but it was there and very real. I was scarred and probably more homesick then I have ever been on my Mission! I thought of all my friends and family and those I worked with and I became scarred that things would never be the same once I returened. Well thats actually the great blessing in this life is that nothing will every stay the same. Things are always changing and well things are changing fast. I mean come on Jenny has a I-pad mini and I dont have any clue what that is! Haha :) What a change! Im scarred and to be honest I'm not sure what things will be like when I return. One thing I do know is that I wont be alone. I read in Doctine and covenats when Joseph Smith was in Jail and he wrote in 121:9 something that brought me much comfort. :) Family and Friends I know this Gospel is true and I will never forget these experinces. I feel myself growing each week in the Gospel and I hope once I return those I love will be able to see my love for this Gospel because I know it is true with every fiber of my very soul. I have seen so many peoples lifes change because of the truthfullness of this great work and Gospel. Never give up and always do you best in this life. Thats all the Lord expects of us now and forever. Just do you best. :) I love you all and I hope this e-mail made sense and helped in some way. I hope you all know how much I love you and no matter what I am always here for everyone. Thank you all for your examples and I love and I cannot wait until the day we meet again. :) Love Elder Matthew Ryan Doggett      

Ben # 34 Rough Times

Another week past... Thank you family and friends for all your amazing emails and love. The events of this past week I really needed to read and feel of your spirits and support. I read them all and just cryed. This last week was a rough one for me thats for sure. I spent alot of time on my knees asking the Lord for His guidance... and today I recieved a great amount of help, I love and thank you all. I will soon talk about the events of this past week and the lessons the Lord has taught me but a thought just crossed my mind as I realized what today is. Today is December 10th. Exactly one year ago from this date I had the chance to go through the Temple and recieve the wonderful blessings that we sing as children in primary. This moment in my life was a grand step into realizing the big picture and plan that God has for us, His children. I remeber my parents, sisters, brother-in-law, Grandparents, Uncle, Aunt, friends (Jordan & Brady) and of course my wonderful brother shared this significate moment with me. I have since that moment been to the Temple many times and felt that joy, peace, and blessings that come from Temple attendance, but a memory from that day exactly a year ago will never leave my mind and I would like to share it with you all as it has brought me tremendous strength through the trials of this week... I remeber after everything was finished and I had experienced and recieved the wonderful blessings inside there the spirit was burning my heart and filling my body to a degree that i cannot explain. I was alone and began to walk and soon found myself walking into the Celstial room and there saw everyone... smiling at me... I saw my incrediable Mom and Dad, my beautiful sisters, my (at the moment soon to be brother-in law-) with his arm around my sister, my star grandparents, my amazing Aunt Bonnie and Uncle Shel, my hilarious friends who have seen me at every level, and then my twin... my twin brother the one who knows me better then I know myself, the one who has been through the thick of it all with me, the one who has experienced much of what I have. Family friends... Thats the big picture, Isnt that where ture happiness is found? Not in the things of the world. In that moment I felt a happiness that cannot be brought by anything else then from the pure and everlasting gospel. and oh was it worth it. I will never forget that special moment.
I bet your wondering right now why I shared this moment with you and how it applies to the things that happened this past week... well as John Bytheway once said "Rough start, great finish." This last week has a very tough one for me. My companion as many of you are aware from my last email doesnt really like me too much and now he REALLY doesnt like me. I told myself last Transfer and ecspecially after interviews with President that I had to be a protector of the truth and stand up for myself. I couldnt let others bring me down and have negative effects on me. I had to do everything possible to do what I know to be right because I just have control over myself. Well this last week I did just that. Through pray, and help from heaven I sat down and talked to my companion. I shared with him what I want out of the mission and told him I needed his help to be able to accomplish this great work. I desperatly relied on the spirit and could feel it bringing the proper words to say to my companion... He told me, after I had finished talking, that I dont know how it really works out here in the mission and he began to laugh at me. I felt alone and had no idea what to do. I followed the spirit right? How could I help him realize that this stuff is not ok, how was i going to protect the truth?  Well it soon went up the ladder of leadership of what was goin on and as the week went on I contiuned to pray and do everything I could to do what was right but... felt so completly lost. The leaders soon came and talked to my companion about everything that was going on and he became furious with me because I had talked to the District leader. After the leaders came things went to the next level and he began to rip me apart at every angle and I just felt utterly and hopelessly lost. I remeber many nights this week praying so hard and with as much faith as I could muster that this would soon all be ok. Well the insults contiuned and the depression was kicking in for me. I was always pretty likeable back home and never really insulted much on a big scale level like this and my self confidence was decreasing fast. doubts began to fill my head and my ability to contiune was being stretched. The other missionaries in the house I live in where worried that what was going on was becoming almost emotional abusive on a level ( I dont think it was that extreme haha) anyway it was becoming hard for me cause I was doing everything I was suppose to I was following all the rules and doing what the President of the mission asked me to do and most importantly trying to do what the Lord would have me do. I just couldnt figure out why this was all happening? I felt so alone... but then the Lord revealed unto me some wonderful advice.
When we work out and lift weights do you know what happens? Your muscles tear and rip... so they can grow back stronger. I was feeling torn apart and feeling so weak from all that was happening but then I remebered my Savior Jesus Christ. He was rejected by His friends and had many people yell those horrible words crucify him, I cant inamgine that. He kept going though and pushed on. If he would have given up then the whole Plan of Happiness would have failed and we would have been completly lost forever with no hope. The last words the Savior said when he was on the cross for us was "Its finished," but in the J.S.T version we read that it actually read "Its finished, thy will is done." He accepted the will of the Father and did HIs work. I felt so much peace from this and realized that I too could push on. Im being torn apart and I feel so helpless at times with my companion but I know what the Lord wants from me. He is giving me this experience so I can become stronger and become what he really needs me to be. As Dallin H. Oaks said " The strengths you develop by this means (trials) will be worth it to you in the eternities to come, feel no envy for those who seem to have it easier." Family and friends something I have a deep testimony of now is sometimes we pass through difficulties and it may seem hard at the moment and even a little impossible. We may even question why its happening... but I testify and promise the Lord is preparing you for something great. We just have to be patient and ask ourselfs "what is it the Lord is trying to teach me?" You are all such wonderful examples to me and I love you all so much. I know that if we keep going we will see our loved ones again.We may be wondering alone and feel lost but I promise you we will see their great smiles and the spirit will be undescriable and fill us to a degree of everlasting love. Just like I witnessed 1 year ago to the day... "These experiences are for your good" (D&C 122: 7) and will be forever. I dont know what this next week holds, I know it might be tough but im ready! I want to work out so my muscles and tear so I can be what the Lord needs me to be. Remember always if any of you are struggleing at this point in your life that the Lord is only making you that much stronger, and preparing you to be that much better. We are learning and growing in wasys that we dont even recognize and soon the trials will be blessings. I know it may be a rough start sometimes... but it will be a great finish I promise. :) I love you all so very much. Im excited to talk to my family soon and cant wait to see you all. I love you all so much and I hope God may be with you all and I hope to hear from you all soon. I know this church is true and I know the Lord is teaching me some vauleable lessons... I love my misison.
Love Elder Benjamin B. Doggett 

Monday, December 3, 2012

Matt #34

Everyone I will never be able to descibe what your e-mails do for me each week.... If you all truly knew what this experience was like you would all send millions of letters hahah :) Its the greatest experience in the world and I cannot tell you how full my joy is this day. I dont have much to report or a Spiritual message prepared today, only my heart and love for all you back home in this letter. So I hope if this E-mail dosent make since you'll pray afterwards and get something good from it but alright here it goes. :)
    This past week was another miracle and blessing for me... yesterday I had my second Baptism with Igor (13 years old as well) and also had the chance to participate in giving Alexandre the Priesthood.... what an incredible week. My heart is full and my joy is overwhelming and it looks like we should have many more Baptisms to come within the next few weeks but what happens happens, its all in the Lords hands! :) This week was also really interesting as I was thinking about my Brothers e-mail last week about the worldly thing not being very important anymore and its so true... this week I was at a members house and they pulled up my facebook account (Yeah TROUBLE!) My first instinct was to look at my friends list and all my pictures and our backstreet boy music video I made with all my dear friends! Everything was right there on the Facebook page, my life before the Mission.... my old life. I remember having this desire to look as they browsed through my things but I walked away, I remembered my purpose. Its strange on the Mission I've realized that facebook, television, cellphones, and entertainment are all good things if we use them correctly but here on the Mission we are NOT ALLOWED we are above the worldly things. (Which is a very good thing haha) They can be so distrutive if we miss use them! Its strange because in my mind I've trained myself here on the Mission that these things are bad haha whenever I see a television or facebook I tell myself "Elder this is wrong and bad, go away" My mind has thought like this for the past 8 months and well... I understand why missionarys who return are so diffrent! :) Imagine going two whole years with this thinking and it explains why Missionarys really come home changed. :) Theres many things that change a Missionary and this is just a small small small part but its the thing that stood out to me this week. 
     I'm not sure why im mentioning this or what purpose it has but I guess the true message to all this is remember whats really important. I remember something my Father always said to ben and I "Boys just make sure you have a balance in you life in all things." Do we have a Balance with our lifes? To much of one thing is always Bad! (Unless your spending all you time e-mailing and writting letters to Two Twin brothers serving in Brasil, then its ok! haha) :) Just make sure the Lord is our first priority over everything else. I'm not sure why I'm writting this but I hope it makes sense to someone reading it and answers a prayer. Well about the Baptism that I'm sure you all wondering what happened, a few weeks back we had a strange desire (The Spirit) to get a list of the menos ativos (Less Actives) and if an apoinment fell we would go and visit a less active member. Well an appointment fell and we went off to visit maria. Shes been a member for a very long time and I will attach a photo at the bottom of this but as we met her we began teaching her grandchildren and one thing lead to another and her grandson (Igor) was Baptised and we will begin teaching his mother this week. :) I cannot explain how much the Lord is pouring out his blessings upon us but I hope that I can countinue to work and do what the Lord wants. Thats all thats important to me right now... Right now in my life nothing else matters other then doing the Fathers will... Thats so important to always remember... I love this work and I love this gospel. Now dont get me wrong just because Im bursting with joy right now doesnt mean I dont have my "Hard days" The mission is so very tough family and friends, everyday I see a new weakness or new flaw in my character that I need to work on or change. Im not perfect and nobody is but our purpose is to give everything to the Lord and allow him to work on us. Something interesting I learned this past week was in Ether 12:27 (A scripture well know) Generally speaking everyone will focus on the end of this verse but everyone read the first line and really ponder on this... it isnt until we come to christ that we will be show our weaknesses. It makes sense, a pridefull man will never reconginize his flaws and mistakes. Always remember this and countinue to do your best. Still my Portuguese is stuggling but Im not giving up, I laugh at my mistakes and I've learned that people recive you better (Especially during a contact) If you just try you best and smile. :) I will never give up!!!! Im sorry everyone this e-mail doesnt make much sense its just all over the place hahah but I just hope you all know that I love you and I cant believe how fast its all going by now... I hope I can do my best and enjoy this awesome ride. :) I love you all and I miss you all dearly... Words cannot describe the saddness and lonliness we as Missionarys sometimes feel... especially during the holidays but as long as we keep our focus all things are possible. :) I love you all so very much and I hope you all have a great time enjoying the freezing weather back home because I think I'm going to have a heat stroke here in a few minutes because of the heat haha :) Love you all and mom... I'm sad to hear about your release from the Primary but I know that the Lord has a purpose in all things and that your realese is the Lord telling you "Alright Val you learned what you needed there and its time to put you in the next learning experince" :) Love you all so much and I hope to hear from all you soon... Especially during the holidays! haha :)  Love Elder Matthew Ryan Dogget

Ben # 33 Protector of the Truth

Ok I dont know where to start once more this wonderful week. Im truely humbled as I realize the many blessings and miracles the Lord has rained down upon me. I first would like to thank my amazing parents. Every email I say and express my love and appreciation for their wonderful example and on going spirit that speaks directly to my heart every week. I love you mom and Dad. Also to my next parents over the years Kristine Tighe and Bent Tighe. I recieved your email and trust me it was not boring! haha it was exactly what I needed to hear. I want you to know how much I love you and miss you all so much. You saw Matt and I at our best... and at our worst (thats for sure haha) eating chicken patties and drinking some good ol' caprisun! As kids we were all a handfull but you were so patient with us and for that im so grateful for you in my life. I have so much love and respect for you and want you to know that you will always have a special place in my heart. Its good to hear how everyone is doing and I would love to hear more from you and your great stories. I love you both... Olivia, Kristin once more thank you for your emails and I hope all is well in Rexburg as life moves forward for you all. Make the Lord center of your lives through daily scripture study and I promise you will be guided and things will all work out and life will come together in somewhat of a natural way as the spirit will guide you. Last Matt, (what a missionary this guy is!) Everyone if anyone has a full conviction and pure understanding of true love its my dear brother. I love you Matt and I cant explain what your testimony and example have done for me its been quite the strength as temptations and trials have come my way... There is a sure reason the Lord sent us both here to this wonderful País chama Brasil! eu te amo você e sinto muito saudade de você. Continua em fé com o espirito e confidencia no salvador Jesus Cristo. Todos os coisas vão ser certo para você durante sua missão! Obrigado viu, por o exemplo você é... Sua uma missionário bem forte, eu amo VOCÊ!  :)

Well as for this week. It was tough, it was tough because it has become much of the same situation as last transfer. Now though its a little more intense almost like a stage 2. My faith is being tried and I feel myself becoming weak. I try so hard to be what the Lord needs me to be and feel at times so alone in the work. My companion has been doing things that are not ok and has told me on several ocassions he has no intention on keeping any rules, working, and will do what he wants. I try to speak up but he quickly turns my advice down because im only Junior and because im American haha. (He isnt a fan of Americans) This whole week Ive been upset. I tryed so hard to keep a positive attitude and apply the lessons I learned last transfer. (The very things I testified to everyone of you)... but I found at every corner I was being torn down and apart by His words to me, his hatred for Americans, his desire to break every rule, everthing seemed against me... I knew I only had control of my actions and I never participated in any activity, but all the worldly things around me where begining to take its toll on me. I felt so alone... I felt like I was in a fog with a dim light. I couldnt see the path or which way was up or down, left or right. I desperatly wanted this all to go away and feel the peace that comes from the Savior, and the joy of being a true missionary and bringing His children back to Him... but honestly things seemed so far from me and that feeling of being alone began to consume my heart as I felt there was no escape.

Latter in the week the Lord showed His concern for me as he blessed me with the chance to talk with my Presidente... It was interview time with Presidente Perrotti and I dont know how it fell on this particular moment in my mission but the Lord must have known I would need his counsel and help. As I waited to enter his office I had all these emotions running through my head and I had no idea what I was going to say to him, how I was going to explain all my emotions in portuguese to him about the current situation I was in with my companion. I sat outside his office and noticed I was the only one standing in the hall. I silently got down and bowed my head and pleaded with the Lord for His spirit to be with me that Presidente could feel my desire and spirit to be a missionary and the missionary the Lord knows I can be. That I will feel the spirit and feel the peace that comes from this wonderful Gospel and that my calling will eventually be magnified. I have always been lucky throughout my life to be somewhat sensitive to the things of the spirit and sacred things ( a wonderful blessing from God) but at this moment I felt my chest become filled as it was burning. So much peace entered my heart that I even breathed a sigh of relief and continued to breath so slowly for fear of cooling that precious heat deep in my heart. I opened my eyes and saw the door to Presidente's office opening. I stood to my feet and entered with cofidence. I sat dow in the office and the spirit was so strong the moment I entered. As I looked at Presidente Perrotti I felt so much love and light from him... almost as if he was glowing. We began the interview pretty casual then soon it became an answer to my humble prayer. Without even mentioning anything yet of my difficulties with my companion and his fubecing presidente looked me in the eyes and said, "Elder Doggett, I know you have been put with some real tough companions and been put in very difficult situations where there seemed to be no choice in right and wrong. Their desires and ideas about the work are alot different than yours. Some of those desires are worldy and destructive to a missionary... I know how heavy it can be to bear this when you witness their terrible actions and rebelious state. You may even feel alone and abandoned as you are trying everything you can to serve me, and importantly your Lord... they may even treat you terribly for your desire to work, serve and keep the rules, but remeber, this is YOUR mission and you will one day stand in front of God and witness your works as you were on His errand... Have patience and contiune on in faith that the Lord will help you. If they dont want to keep the rules be an example and stand for the truth, stand up for you savior and stand up for you beliefs! If your not with Him your against Him." I sat there overcome by the spirit and tears slighly falling down my face as I was truely humbled. The scriptures in D & C 98 came to my mind that reads "... let not your hearts be troubled" (D&C 98: 18) "and again I say unto you, if you observe to do whatsoever I command of you, I the Lord will turn all wrath and indignation from you, and the Gates of hell shall not prevail against you" (D&C 98:22) "... bear it patiently, and your reward shall be hundredfold." (D&C 98:25)... Presidente at the end of the interview said something that struck me so hard as it was exaclty what I needed to hear he said, "Elder Doggett dont have fear; be a protector of the truth." Those words havent been able to leave my head all week and I feel that applies to us all. In any situation stand up for what you believe in and be A PROTECTOR OF THE TRUTH in all things. Stand up for what you believe and trust in the Lord.   

Last night as I laid in bed unable to sleep as I pondered all the crazy events that have happened this week and the lesson the Lord as been trying to teach me as his missionário and thinking about the message I wanted to share with you all this week. I just listened the rain fall and soon found myself knelt at the side of my bed with tears of gratitude falling down my face for His endless mercy and grace for me this humble servant. For the Presidente who blessed my life and was in tune with the spirit to say exaclty what the Lord needed His missionário  to know. I testify we cant have fear, we have to stand up even if that means were alone, even if the means we may not be the most popular. I felt last night as I said my prayer that I am exaclty where he needs me. I am with exaclty the right companion to grow and progress into the Man, Husband, Father, Priesthood holder He needs me to be someday. I know where my duty lies and in whom I must trust. I must stand for what is right and Protect the Truth with every fiber I posse. I apoligize that this may sound like I am complaining or maybe self righteouss... Trust me im not perfect and have had many regrets in my past, many things I wish I could change... but I know that Jesus Christ lives and through His endless Atonement we can be made clean. I love my companion and hope in some small way I can be an example and protect the Truth... and someday I can bow at the feet of my savior Jesus Christ knowing I did all I could and stood up for what is right. I challenge everyone of you this week to apply this into your lives and continue on in faith. God lives and loves everyone of us. We are His children how wonderful this glad message is... I know we may feel alone and lost at times as I mentioned but soon the fog will clear and the sun will shine brighter than before. I love you all and hope this experience may in some way speak to you heart through the power of the Holy Ghost is my humble pray for you all... May God be with you and bless you all till we meet again. Love you
Elder Benjamin B. Doggett
I love being a missionary and know it will be a great week.

Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Matt #33

Wow what a week of e-mails.... Everyone I honestly dont know where to begin other then I love you all and I cant believe what its changing in my life because of your examples. First I want to write and express my love to my family for there incredible e-mails, always you all say exactly what I need to hear. I love you all so much.... next I want to write and express my love to Aunt linda and for everything my extended family does for me. Also thank you Heather for your words of encouragement, I love you so much. Also Jenny Porter... Thank you for your wonderfull e-mail and I hope you know I'm crying right now haha. I'm glad to hear all is good and that Jamba isnt the same without Ben and I haha remember always how important the Gospel truly is within our lifes.... Especially within the Family. :) Well to answer some questions and to ask some questions, Dad in the picture I sent last week thats my companion Elder Foliene, Hes Brazilian but looks American huh? haha He hates it when people say hes American but its pretty hilarious when they do. Also Ben in your e-mail you mentioned something about the walking dead and somebody who was still alive, who was it?? Haha just kidding dont answer that... I would rather not know for another 2 years. :) Also dad you said Jenni got a I-pod mini... what in the world is that!? :) Haha so much is changing in ours lifes but all I do is smile when I think of the great changes that are spiritually changing in our lifes. Ben I love you brother and your e-mails are such an example of your Faith. Ben you are a Spiritually giant and remember always that the Lord is on our side always!
        Well I dont know where to begin... today was a very good day for me as I finished the Book Of Mormon again on the Mission... What an incredible book, I know with all my heart that O livro de mormon é um outro testemento de jesus cristo. That book is all Spiritual power and I know that when we truly read this sacred book and really seek for answers and guidance the Lord will provided. These past 7 (Almost 8) months have been such a growing experince for me. I had my first Baptism last week and I never said thank you family and friends for your Prayers for Alexandre... Because of all your faith back up, I recieved this blessing and I hope you all know how gratefull I am. Last week was a tough one for me if you all couldnt tell. I felt my e-mail lacked joy and gratiduted for my first Baptisms but to be honest I was having a hard time inside my heart feeling like I was having success. Once again I was comparing my self with others and that should never be how we do thing in our lifes. We all have our own gifts and abilities and I know that the Lord has a purpose for all of us. The reason my Sprits were down last week was I was over the top happy about my first Baptism that I was telling everyone because I was so full of joy! There was one Missionary who told me that he had his first 13 Baptisms the first 3 months of his Mission so it wasnt anything to big... Once again I was down in the slums of comparison with this Elder and Satan took this opurtunity to begin sneaking in self doubt within my heart... I never felt so down in all my life! Then I remembered something thats so basic and simple within the church but many forget its power and use.... its called prayer. I prayed with all my heart this week and the Lord has giving me blessing after blessing after blessing this week. To start we had transfers this past week. I received my new companion who is American named elder Larsen, Hes from Washington and guess what? He has a twin serving here in Brasil in the Recife Missião and he has 1 year and 8 months on the Mission. Im learning so much from him and its been an incredible week. I also recieved word from my first area here on the Mission Vila Aurea. You all remember how hard we were working there but we didnt have any sucess? I found out this past week that two investigators that my old companion and I found have been and Baptised and 1 more should be Baptised this coming week! I didnt have the chance to see them be Baptised but I was able to start their process of Eternal progression. What a blessing all in its self!! Then this week I recieved a very speciel e-mail that explained to me that my Brother and I are doing good back home as well, My heart is full right now and Im sorry but I dont care about that Missionary who had 13 Baptisms... I've had my own Miracles here on the Mission. :)
            Family and Friends I cant explain what a Mission is like... Its the most hardest thing that I think I will every have the chance to do in my life... but also the most rewarding. Just like my brother said things that used to be important just dont have that much value to me anymore. for example the Walking Dead haha. Now of course that doesnt mean that I will through all my dreams and wishes and desires out the door but for now in my life there is something more Im working towards... something that has much more meaning then anything we can every truly come to understand. I know this Gospel is real with all my Heart and I hope you all know how much I love you all. One thing I really want to focus on is our choices. This past week I was making the choice to be sad and to allow this other Elder and his success to bring me down, but heres the crazy part we all have the power to make the decision to smile or to frown, we have the power to feel the Spirits influence or not... all an all everything boils down to US and OUR decision. One thing I have certanty of is that we all have the decison to become more like our Lord and Savior, to become the best that we can become. It sounds simple but sometimes it gets a little tough especially within the world we live in, but heres something we can all try to apply to help us make this decison to do better. Imagine the Savior in everything you do, Imagine he's with you when you pray, or when your having a tough day. Imagine he's right next to you saying "Dont worry it'll all be ok in the end trust me" Imagine he's there with you with a big smile always encouraging you to keep going especially during the hard times, Imagine he's always there to pick you up and dust you off when the hard days get the better of you. Imagine his love for all his children and joy when we make correct choices. Nows heres the intersesting part that I want everyone who is reading this letter to realize and focus on. Everything I just wrote isnt something we need to Imagine because its something that is very real.... Thats the incredible Blessing for our Heavenly Father. That no matter what we've done we can always come back unto him through the Atonement of his inly begotten Son Jesus Christ. We are here on the earth to learn and progress in the Gospel. Nobody is perfect but thats the beauty of Gods plan for us. That when we do our best and really try to make correct choices the Lord will guide and bless us, and when we make wrong choices and we fall down he will always pick us back up and carry us to the finish line. Family and Friends I miss you all so much. Words cant and will never be able to express this to you. But I know this is where we (Ben and I) need to be. The Lord needs us and the people of Brazil need us. I wont lie Im alittle scared to come home because things back home really do feel like a dream, they just dont feel real... I think the hardest thing for me will be going to Broulims and everybody around me is speaking English... That will be the hardest thing for me haha. I love you all and I'm always here for each one of you. I'm sorry you all dont here for personal messages from me... its so annoying not having the time to write everyone individually but remember... remember that I truly love you all so much. I cannot wait for the day that we all will talk again and laugh about all the hilarious memories we shared and watch the Walking dead and make Jambas haha but until that day my life is in the Lords hands. :) Love you all and Im hope you all know how happy I am to know all of you and call you my friends and Family. Mom and Dad... I love you and I cant wait to see you in 3 weeks. :) Love Elder Matthew Ryan Doggett. A.K.A. Dog-Master-Flex (I'm not sure what that means but the Missionarys started calling me that haha)   

Ben #32 The Power of the Mission

It was so good to hear from everyone this week ecspecially my wonderful family. Much like many of you my thoughts were turned to you all this week during the Thanksgiving time. Thank you Mom, Dad, Alyssa, Rachel, Aunt Linda for your wonderful emails, the spirit was so strong. Family I love you all so much and give thanks to the Lord for allowing me the chance to be part of this Eternal family. My mind has many things running through it right now and I dont even know where to start. As my mission progresses forward the things of home become more distant and almost dream like. My life I had feels like it never even existed. My family, friends, memories are all there but feel so unreal. The mission is becoming who I am. The other day I was in a members home for a lunch appointment and they were watching, can you believe it "The Walking Dead" (Its becoming big here in Brasil now haha) I loved that show when I was back home, I never missed an episode!... I instantly felt the desire to watch it with these members, As those memories became a little realer for me. My eyes become glued to the tv as I was like "What! He is still alive!" and "Wait where are they at!?"... but something occured that surprised me... That desire instantly went away to contiune to watch it as I was shocked by the context of what was going on. I only saw 30 seconds, but in that time the spirit was gone and that was enough to make me realize the true importance of the mission to me and the power that comes from being a disciple of Christ and being set apart for His work. I loved that show!... but I loved the feeling of being a missionary alot more. I loved more the person that mission has made me become and loved alot more the chance to have all my time dedicated to the Lord and to recieve His true happiness and to be blessed with the true companionship of the Holy Ghost... nothing can compare with bearing the name of Christ, ecspecially "The Walking Dead" haha
I share this experience with you all because it made me realize the mission has changed my desires and my passions. The things I thought where important are now small and mundane things of the world (like this tv show) compared to the grand specture of the things found within the wonderful Gospel and mission. Elder W. Christopher Waddell said " You will gain key lifetime lessons and experiences that will be memorable throughout your life and help guide you... each mission is unique, with challenges and oppurtunities that stretch and test us according to our needs and personalities." He later says "... We have a Father in Heaven, who knows us- our strengths and weaknesses, our abilities and potential. He knows what mission President, companions and which members and investigators we need in order to become the Missionary, Husband, Father, and Priesthood holder we are capable of becoming." The lord truely does know where he wants each of His missionaries. I began to look back on my mission after this particular experience I shared as I realized how much I truely have changed, how much I really have learned in being in the service of my God. What knowledge, Attributes, lessons, and gifts he has so graciously given me. I have a testimony that the mission will in fact change lives for I am a witness of this. I know the mission will continue to shape and help me become what God wants me to become here on the mission and after. After I left that members house I felt a tremondous love for my Savior Jesus Christ and for allowing this humble boy from Rexburg Idaho represent Him and bring to pass His work among His children here in Brasil, my perspective on it all was changed dramatically. I never want that feeling to go away, that love I feel, that constant companionship of the Holy Ghost. My eyes are filled with tears of joy as I express to you all my testimony of Serving a mission. Jeffrey R. Holland said once "Im convinced a mission IS NOT EASY..." and he said it perfectly haha this is one of the hardest things I have ever done, but Ive never felt so close my Savior in all my life... In this past week I gave Thanks to my Lord for this mission and the blessing it is in my life... I just cant explain in words how happy I am. I want to challenge all you who are reading this who have served missions to think back on your missions. What many great lessons did the Lord teach you? and how can you apply those lessons into who you are now? "Missons are holy ground for us all." as Elder Waddell concluded. I have such a testimony of this mission and the things found within it. I still have so much time out here, but at the same time it feels like not enough to learn and apply all the Lord has in store for me. Family and Friends thank you for your righteous examples and love for this humble missionary here in Brasil. I feel your prayers so much out here thank-you.
Well I bet you all want to know about my new area. Im here in Rio Claro ( Dont worry dad I will send you the adress haha) Its a city far from Campinas Central or my last area of Anhanguera. Here it is alot of jungle but also farm land( sometimes it reminds me of Rexburg) we live in the city in a apartment of 6 missionaries including me and my companion, which is really interesting when we all need to get ready in the morning. The city is huge and my area seems even bigger. We have to walk about 6 miles each morning to get to our area so once where there we are there for the rest of the day haha (which is such a blessing cause that means work!) My companion is Elder Lopes, he is a Brazilian and really funny. He is coming to the end of his mission so lately everyone in the house has told me he has been lazy but im making sure that doesnt happen when he is with me. haha We have been working really hard and actually I had the chance to have another Baptism yesterday. It was a 16 year old by the name of Italo. His whole family was baptized but him. The missionaries have been working with him for a long time but he just didnt want it. His Father and Mother have been trying so hard to help him realize the blesings of the Gospel as well as they want to have the chance to have an eternal family someday. I had the chance this past week to sit down and bear my testimony of my family and the power that comes from follwing Christ through baptism. The spirit was so strong and he accepted... Everyone was blown away by this including my companion. He said " Yeah, I knew we just needed an American to talk to him haha," but I testify the Lord fullfills His work and his purposes on His time we just need to be patient. I love this area and the members here, actually there are some members here who lived in Riverton Utah for 15 years (Jenni, and Matt) They told me they plan on moving back as soon as there youngest can speak fluent Portugese and then he will learn English there haha crazy huh!? Well family and friends thats pretty much the update this week. As always there is so much I want to share with you, my testimony of this Gospel is growing each day im here and I love this mission with all my heart. I testify that the things of the world just dont matter. To me they are almost a dream... What does matter is this Gospel, what does matter is our Savior Jesus Christ who lives. I know this Gopel is true and this mission is "Holy ground" for me. I love you all and once more give thanks for the wonderful blessings you are to me. May God bless and watch over everyone of you this week as I hope and pray you may feel of His love and guidance... Family... Im really excited for skype and dont worry I will find a place that has it here in the city haha :) I hope to hear from all of you soon and "God be with you til we meet again."
Love Elder Benjamin B. Doggett
p.s. Dad that boy with me in the picture of José Oscar is his Son... I hope and pray he too gets baptized. Love you all! It was a great week and I know it will be a great transfer!    

Saturday, November 24, 2012

Matt #32

Everyone I need to apoligize more for not writting more to everyone... Im recieving so many letters and great encouragement but I never express back how gratfull I am to everyone.... Im pilled with guilt for not writting more to those who write me and who I love but this past transfers has been more then overwhelming for me, you all will never know how gratfull I am for your love and support and you all know who you are... I dont need to say names. :) But I hope you all will forgive me for not writting more... I've had a lot on my shoulders these past few weeks but this week will be full of change. I will be recieving a new companion tommorow but I still dont know who it is.... I wont lie this first transfer with a brazilian was tough... really tough. We had diffrent ideas about what work was and that made things extremly hard. I really tried my best to work on being positive about my situation especially in my e-mails but like my brother I also had many difficulties but dont worry, eventually everyone will have the chance to read my journal and know the details of this past transfer but holy cow what a growing week and transfer for me. I know everything happens for a reason and I needed this time to work on some personal characteristics during this time. (Staying positive and happy always)
      Well it was great to hear about all the new Missionarys... honestly its kinda shocking haha I just dont believe it! Please let everyone know I love them and I'm glad they made the decison to join Gods army. :) Also thats incredible news that Madison took state... I can only imagine the joy that everyone must have been feeling during this incredible time. To be honest I have some big news for everyone also that in a sense is kinda like my own personal state champion.... Yesterday after long 7 months of giving it all I had, I had the opurtunity to step into the waters of Baptism with my incredible friend Alexandre Leite Pereia and Baptism him into the church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints. :) I will never be able to describe this experience but as we were sitting in the water and as I held him in my arms the tears came and the Spirit touched my heart. After all was said and done, we sat in the water together and I gave him the biggest hug I could give and sad "I love you" The Spirit was overwhelming and I have to tell you that every hardship I've experienced this past transfer was washed away with the Baptism of my incredible Friend. The Mission is unreal, this is possible the hardest thing I have every done in my life, But its also the most rewarding. I cant thank everyone enough for all that you do for me... I love you all so much. Yesterday night as I was getting ready for bed my mind wondered to my life back home... my previous life that cant and never will be the same.... This overwhelming saddness hit me like a brick wall. I was confused and upset, I thought to myself "How could I have just had the most incredible day on my Mission and be so happy and now be super sad?" I was confused. I thought of my friends... all our hilarious memories and times we had together, I thought of work on the farm and jamba and the friendships I made there with those I worked with. I thought of my family... and how I might not have the oppurtunity to be part of some great memories we would make during the holidays.... I thought of everything and everyone!" As the time keeps going on the more and more I'm forgetting things back home and becoming more and more focused on those who need me here. My joy was full today and things are going better then they every have been in my life. I'm learning so much and I'm glad to say that I was happy for that brief moment of saddness last night to reflect on my life before the Mission with those I love. It shows that I'm human and I truly think and love all of you so very much! Its strange to think 7 months has passed and to see the change that has happened in my life and in the lifes of those who I love, The Gospel is so real and it will change our lifes if we apply its principles. One thing that Gordan B. Hinckly said was that everything that we are in our life is the sum totally of everything we've learned from those around us. I am who I am today because of my Family... Friends... Ward.... Leaders.... Every single person who has helped shape me into the Man I am today. I am who I am because of you all. I love you all today and forever and I miss you all so much. I cannot express how much I long to be with you all (Last night for example) But I cant tell you how important it is that I am here serving my Lord and Savior. Yesterday and this past transfer I had the chance to be a tool in the Lords hands in bringing one of his Sons to know of the truthfullness of the Gospel... I want everyone to think of something and this statement is not me being pridefull but I just want everyone to think about this. Because I made the decision to serve a Mission Alexandre is now a member of the church and his life is changed.... What if I decided to stay home and not serve? Where would he be right now? Because I made the chose to serve a life is changed (Including mine). I'm so happy to be here. I love this work and I'm giving it my all to help those in need. :) I love you all so much and I know this church is true. Im also sorry for not answering more questions or resonding to e-mails but its tough haha we only have so much time to send e-mails haha but you all know Im here for you always and I love you all so much.  Its weird to think that a year ago really soon is when I opened my Mission call... Werid haha the time really is passing by fast. :) I love you all and please let me know how the holidays go back home. One thing I should say is its hot here... really hot! haha Love you all with my whole heart. :)     

Ben The Choice is Ours #31

Another week gone by family and friends. Thank you everyone for the emails! Its crazy to hear Madison went undeafted and won the State Championsihps! Send my love and congrats to The Bucks they are amazing. Also I cant believe all the people receiving mission calls! That is honestly so crazy. Its all over the world. God is providing a unique oppurtunity for us all to be his servants and spread his Gospel, there is nothing better then to be set apart to preach the restored Gospel of Jesus Christ... I know it. Anyway its awesome so hear of life back home and all the wonderful things happening. Its weird cause I feel at times like life was just put on hold back home when I left, but life is still moving and we are all changing in so many ways. What a wonderful plan of Happiness this Gospel is. Once again I love you all so very much and thank you for the emails and love... Mom and Dad dont worry, I had a "Miss My Parents Day" last week as well, but I know in time we will all be together again... I mean can you believe it, 8 months we have been gone! 8 MONTHS! Its insane. haha Life really does pass us by.
Well Jordan you asked about my companion and transfers so here is the download. Im being transfered... yup after 6 months here in Anhanguera Im finally leaving the area and off to new places. I dont know where im going but it sounds like im going to be living somewhere North of the city Campinas about 4 hours away in a almost jungle part of the mission. Its funny cause in that part of the mission whenever it rains the power goes out and December and January are the rainy seasons so it should be interesting. I dont know who my new companion will be but im sure it will be Brasilian cause my Portugese still needs much improvement haha. I did give a talk yesterday in sacrament meeting and it went really well. The ward began to cry when I told them I would be leaving. ( It almost feels like Im leaving home again haha) but I know its the Lords will. I love this ward and all they have taught me and for their love and patience with a Gringo trying to learn Portugese.
This last week was great. My companion wanted to do another division so he called the District leader and Zone leaders and off we went. I was with Elder Raleigh again and wow did we witness miracle after miracle together. Alot of people just came up to us and began to talk to us about the Gospel. I promise when you live the rules and work with all your heart the Lord will provide his children for you. I was so humbled during the week to witness His hand in the work. I love being a missionary... Well all of you have read in my last emails about a man named José Oscar well guess what?... Yesterday I had the chance to baptize him. It was my first Baptism that I did and wow was it such a neat experience. It was amazing to see the change in this man. When we meet him 2 weeks ago in the street he had crazy hair and a straggly beard... but yeasterday when he arrived at the Baptism he was clean cut, with a small mustache. He was so excited and happy to be there. I have had the chance to teach him everything and be with him through all these changes he was made in his life. What a blessing. I was thinking maybe my companion would do the Baptism, but José asked me. I was a little taken back, but I was so touched and overcome with the spirit as I accepted... I remember walking in the water and it being freezing cold! José soon followed in and he too realized how freezing it was, but he came down into the water next to me and took hold of my arm. As I raised my arm and pronounced the words "... Tendo sido commissionado por Jesus Cristo, eu te Batizo em nome do pai, e do filho, e do espirito" I felt something so special inside that I cant explain in words, only my soul was filled with pure light and joy. When he came out of the water he gave me a big hug and I just couldnt stop smiling as i have never felt that much love and joy. This Transfer has been tough for me. I have left out alot of details of what has occured, but it has been a real learning experience for me. In Doctrine and Convenants 122 we read of the experiences of Joseph Smith in Liberty Jail, and in verse 7 we read the words of the Lord as he explains how all of these things we go through in this life will in the end "Be for thine experience"... As I reflected on everything that has happened I realized that this was what it was all about. Tough as it may have been we found José Oscar through the Lord, and this joy I felt was undescriableable... It was for my experience I so testify. 
As we entered the dressing room and where changing José turned to me and said "Elder Doggett that water was freezing but as soon as you said those words and immeresed me in the water I felt nothing but warmth enter my heart, almost as if everything had been raised off of me and I have a new life." He was smiling from ear to ear, I turned and gave José one more hug and exclaimed that he had been born again and this is a new begining for him. As I was changing I began to cry ( tears of joy haha). Because this was a new start for me as well. Through the thick of it all. The craziness and confusion of this transfer the Lord had trusted me and blessed me with this wonderful oppurtunity. I gave thanks to my Savior for this chance I have to bear his name and bring his children back to his Kingdom. There is nothing that brings more happiness. I sat and thought of everything back home. How selfish I had been, how little the things of the world truely are, and... how much this Gospel truely means to me. I know my Portugese isnt that good but I know the Lords work will move forward and He will prepare his children... even for a boy from Idaho.
I dont know what the next week will hold, or where I will be going... but I know this work is the Lords work. Without him I dont know where I would be. Its his will and I must only accept it and move forward with faith. Christmas is coming up in this next transfer and I hope where im going has a lan house where I can Skype but im almost positive it does so dont worry family... :) Family and Friends I love you all so much and testify there is nothing better then being a missionary for the Lord. Yesterday I felt so much peace and love as the Lord prepared a ready and willing man to be taught by this humble American boy. I have never felt this much happiness. Mom, Dad, Jenni and Matt S., Rachel, Alyssa, and my twin Matt... I love you all and this knowledge that we are an eternal family. Fogive me of my foolishness back home, but I think slowly the Lord his alignning my priorities in there proper place. Mom Dad thank you for what you said in all your emails and letter this Transfer. You will never know the strength they gave to me... Everyone choose to be Happy, choose to believe in yourself, and choose to come unto Christ... Its all our CHOICE is my sure testimony, and prayer, I leave with you this week. I love you all and may God be with you till we meet again, for He is my strength.
Love Elder Benjamin B. Doggett