To be honest I dont know what really to say. After reading my brother Matt's amzing email and his testimony he just said it all! :) and after reading my parents amzing words of advice. Dad for those scriptures and experiences of the mission (I cant wait for old faithful!) Mom, for your love and sure conviction of the Gospel... What an amazing family I have. Aunt Melanie, Keep up the work and open your heart to what the missionaries tell you. The Book of Mormon is Key in knowing that the Gospel is true. It proves everything is true of what my fellow Elders are teaching you. In the introduction we are promised a testimony of all this as long as we do it with faith and "Real Intent" As the prophet Moroni teaches. Love ya keep it up! Jason man, once again I love you! haha Im sorry I havent recieved letters for some time cause there has been alot of changes in my mission so things have been a little crazy butmy Zone leaders told me I have alot waiting for me so thank you all and I love you all for you Letters, I cant wait to read them... As Matt mentioned they really lift you up.
This week was... you guessed it, another Roller Coaster! haha (the mission has alot of those haha) but this was different. I know what your thinking "Oh no, something about Porteguese again" haha and yes, its hard and still on obstacle but wasnt what was tough this past week. Alot of our Investigators feel through... I never experienced something so heart breaking then this before in my life. We hold the key to true happiness! I was so frustrated. Why couldnt people see this!? Was I doing something wrong!? Why was this happening!!!!?- I really began to fight with myself (remember when Enos wrestled with God, kinda the same thing). As Matt said in his email, my parents came into my mind (Matt its scary how similar our experiences are haha) I wanted so bad to hear their voices and talk with them. I remember sitting on the couch in our room tieing my shoes and looking up out the window. My eyes began to be filled with tears (Mission makes you cry but as Matt said its well needed haha). I had never felt so alone... Last week I had such a spiritual high! What was going on this week? Ive never felt so abandoned and so alone... Then it came... PRAY... How powerful prayer is. I remembered something that President Boyd K. Packer had said, he said "No message appears more times or in more ways in the Holy scriptures then ask and ye shall recieve."- I turned around and sincerly boar my heart to my Father in Heaven and asked what I needed to do. With everything that had happend I cant lie my attitude was suffering and I needed his guidance... I testify in those moments of our lives when we feel abandoned or alone that we are never TRUELY alone. Our lOrd is there for us, he knows what we are going through. When I finished my prayer I realized so many important things.
First have Faith and CONFIDENCE in yourself and in your Savior Jesus Christ. Through my life I have never really had the biggest confidence in myself. I see now how important that is. We need to have confidence in our abiltities and that we will succeed. Have faith that the Lord will Fullfill ALL his promises, not just a few but ALL. I began to realize if you think you cant or you can your right! Attitude determines alltitude. How many times are we getting ready to make the shot and we tell ourselves "Oh, there is no way its going in"...The ball hasnt even left our hands yet! We just have to take it! When we have difficulties or trials to overcome we need to believe in ourselves and importantly that the Lord can do all things (1st nephi 7: 12). This week, after every gate was shut in my face, after ever person on the street told me off. I allowed myself to become trapped and slowly began to just not take the shot, and doubt my abilties as a missionary. Family friends! DONT ALLOW THIS TO HAPPEN! Dont allow what others say affect you, or a gate closed on you. There not the ones shoting the ball but you are! Trust in your abilities! Have confidence you can over come anthing in this World through the power of God. I know you can cause I have experienced it first hand.
After I began to realize these truths of faith and confidence I began to wonder how I was going to increase these qualities in my life. I turned to the scriptures and realized a really important truth that I have been missing when it comes to the scriptures. Yeah we can read the scriptures and love the scriptures, mark them up, and even memorize scriptures!... But unless we apply what we read the in our life are we really edified? I realized that I was a clear example of this! I was reading and loving and even feeling the spirit but throughout the day I wasnt pondering what I read and wasnt apply the lessons from the prophets teachings in that wonderful Book... The teachings of Christ. To develop faith and confidence in our savior we need to apply his teachings and his love. The other day I read Nephi 18 and decided to apply the teachings of that chapter... In Nephi 18 Nephi and his family leave by boat to the promise land. While on the trek Laman and Lemuel begin to act in wickedness even to the point of tieing up their younger brother Nephi because of this wickedness they become tossed upon the sea... Eventually they become scared and fear for their destruction and release their brother. Nephis Hands and Ankles are swollen from being tied up and he could have easily been upst and been angry... but you know what he did? He prayed to God... This stuck out to me so much. I had been this past week becoming upset and angry, depressed, all these things cause what was going on with our investigators and the people of our Area but I realized I just needed to pray to my God... Family friends, I pray it makes somewhat sense haha and helpful in some way. my mind is just so full and the spirit so present but... Through pray, Faith, Confidence, and applying the scriptures we gain an overwhelming sense of power and peace. As I looked out that window one more time I felt peace and the Lords love for me as his missionary. I survived a tough week... actually my Trainer said that was the hardest one he has ever experienced on the mission, but I have learned so much and my confidence in my abilities and ecspecially in my savior Jesus Christ is extrodinary. In just this one week it has grown so much. I know that through him all things are possible, make him the center of your life and apply his words and ponder them throughout the day and you will "Make the Shot" I testify of all these things. I love you all so much and hope to hear from you all soon. It was such a blessing to read your emails. They lift me up so much. If only you knew. Love you all again!
Love Elder Benjamin B. Doggett