I found a big block of cheese in the store so I just had to send that to the family. Also we finally got RAIN! After 3 months it finally came... but my Guarda Chuva couldnt really handle the intense wheather haha!
These are some at the temple again. They were taken about 3 weeks ago. We went with some members in the ward cause they had some friends going to meet them there. We came along for the ride to teach about how sacred and special Temples are in our lives... While we waited we had some fun sliding down the rail haha
Monday, September 24, 2012
Well everyone thank you for the e-mails once again... They are amazing because they always humble me and bring me back to why Im really here on the Mission. Thank you... Well this week has been an adventure, The tips Ben and I made with are "Ten tips of survival" film really came in handy this week haha. This week was one of the hottest weeks ever here in São Paulo which was crazy! I will never be able to express to you what the heat was like but heres where the survival skills came in handy haha the city ran out of water for our section of town because everyone was using it to feel up their pools or water cantaners... That means no running water in our house this week which means no clean dishes no clean clothes no bathroom breaks and you guessed it... no SHOWERS!!! HAHA it has been a week like camping here. Me and the other 3 missionaries smell sooo bad but its all good. Its actually pretty fun because we just dont care. We are just doing the Lords work! :) Also sorry its taken so long for me to write this Morning, This morning my companion and I woke up and went and helped our investigator build his roof... It was crazy intense but we finished it and all is good, I'll have to share this experience with everyone when I return home. Haha Also mom I finally got your package but still no letters... Our mail service is on strike right now so letters take a little longer then usally but I will still recieve them thank goodness! haha the strike should end this week.... hopefully. Well that pretty much sums everything up. Mom thank you for re-sending my Mission Blessing from President Anderson, my last one got wet so I couldnt read it anymore. The reason it got wet is I take it with me everywhere to remind me of my purpose here and not to forget my Lord and Savior, also to remind me how amazing my Mom is. :)
Well Im not really sure what to write today because it only feels like yesterday that I wrote an e-mail but I'll try my best. First of its extremly crazy how similar my experinces are with Bens... everything he writes is exactly how I feel and what Im experinceing as well... Its crazy. I miss you like crazy Ben, thank you for your love and example. Your the best big brother in the world. :) I think today I want to focus on the people In the Scriptures abd people in general. In (Hel. 6: 34-36) We read about the Nephites growing in wickedness and the Lamanites begin to grow in the knowlege of their Savior as they open their hearts to the teachings of the Gospel. These Scriptures are simple yet powerfull.... We can learn so much from just these small verses! We can literally apply these verses in every choice in our life. In our life we will either incorparate the attributes of light (Christ) or darkness (Satan) there is no inbetween mark with our choices. We need to learn to humble ouselves and open our hearts to the Lord. To really become all that we can be we need to begin making changes in our lifes by making choices of light. Here on the Mission I've really been trying to learn how I can become a better Man/individual then I was when I left for the Mission... I want a change of heart that those whom I love with recongnize when I return but guess what family and friends? You wont change and I wont change unless we make the decision to change. How do we do that you may ask! Easy... Give your heart to the Lord. We cant change anything unless we have it, the same principle applys to the Lord and our hearts. How can we expect to change as individuals unless we give everything we have including our Hearts to the Lord. Thats why every Missionary that comes home is changed is because on the Mission we have to give everything we have to him.... and I mean everything haha Moses once said "Man is nothing" well I totally agree with him haha I am absoulutly nothing something I learned quick out here on the mission but I made the decision when I recevied my Mission call to give my time and energy to the Lord... but the choice that Missionarys need to personally make is are they willing to give their heart? Thats a tough item to give let me tell you haha I've really been trying to do this and its hard... There are times when I struggle and mess up, There are days when I become frustrated and upset with my progress (Especially with the Language) and I begin to grab my hardened heart and hold it back but family and friends.... dont resist the Lords helping hand in all things especially when it comes to giving him our hearts. I love this Work and I love the Gospel. Im so blessed for having the oppurtunity to serve in Brasil and Im also blessed to have a family and friends in rexburg who love ben and I so much. I miss you all so much, there are times when I feel like I cant go on that im alone in this battle of battles out here in the Mission but the great thing is we are never alone! :) I know that, I really do. There are so many experiences I have had here that have strengthed my testimony of this Gospel and well I know its true... I will never be able to deny that. I love you all so much and Im sorry this e-mail is fast and totally jumbled up... I feel so small compared to the Giant I call my Brother ben haha but I know that we are bothing growing in the Gospel and I hope that when I return home I can countinue to do my best and grow in the Gospel. :) I love you all with such a Love that I will never be able to describe thats for sure. Honestly I cant believe how fast this is going by, Im almost at six months in the Mission.... that means im almost 1/4th of the way done with this once in a life time experience... Nossa eu não acredtito isso... mas eu vou countinouar trabalhando até o fim. Eu te amo vocês mutio! Até proximo samana Deus ser com vocês para sempre. (I need to start practicing my Português writting/spelling haha sorry)
Wow, mom and Dad what amazing emails you wrote this week. I cant really explain it in words how much the Lord gives us small miracles. Sometimes so small that if we arent looking for them, we just might miss them. You both gave me a miracle that I can cling to this upcoming week. What a stength both of your testimonies are to me. I just cant express my love and gratitude for you both as my parents. I was truely born of goodly parents :) Im so excited for Clint to enter Gods Army as a soldier. To be with Matt and I on the front lines! How exciting! Clint you will be an awesome missionary, and you will acomplish the will of the Lord in his work. Once againthank you all for you emails, paryers, and out pouring of love. I feel so much gratitude for the support I have back home. Its something so extrodinary. Again... Thank you. Also thats great to hear Jake received his misison call. Tell him congrats from Elder Doggett! Dont be worry about the call, the Lord knows exactly what he is doing in sending him to Florida.
Well this week. This week passed in the blink of an eye. The mission really is flying by. I looked back this week at everything that has happened to me, all of my experiences. I began to read in my journal from the past 6 months and found some reoccuring things that I seemed to write about. Of course the launguage, things of home... oh and wanting to grow a beard someday haha! I realized my thoughts have been turning to things that just dont matter at the moment. I wasnt finding a true love for the mission, for the people, for the culture... You cant love something when you yourself are lacking the very thing necassary to acomplish it. As I have mentioned for the past few weeks I have been having an on going struggle with myself and God. I have been fighting him at every turn and becoming so frustrated with the work. I still was having problems with the launguage, teaching, and baptizing. I was hardening my heart and focusing solely on MY NEEDS... but once again the Lord blessed me with an answer to my prayer. I will tell you how that answer came.
This week we had the wonderful oppurtunity for a member of the Seventy to visit our mission. Elder Mazzagardi. I sat with my companion about the 7th row back and sat comfortably in my chair. I was frustrated at the particular moment before the meeting started as I listened to newer American missionaries speak better Portugeuse than I. I began to be my stuborn self and think "Carnally minded thoughts" As the thoughts were all about me! You know home and those things I had mentioned earlier. The meeting then began and the spirit piereced my Heart as Elder Mazzagardi entered the room. I felt terrible for my thoughts I had just that moment ago. I bowed my head and asked for the guidance of my Father during this meeting. I truely needed his help... As the meeting proceeded I was trying with every fiber in my being to best understand what Elder Mazzagardi was saying, but still having difficulties. I was trying so hard to find something, something that would help me change my attitude about this place. To find that love for the people, for the culture, and for the mission. As I sat there losing hope and faith that my pray would be answered I heard something that stuck out to me. Something that I understood completlely. it was almost as if he spoke it in English! He said "How many times in our life do we, instead of going to Gods level, bring him down to ours?- think about that. "Instead of going to Gods level, we bring him down to ours." What does that mean to you? As I sat there, these words just wouldnt leave my head. As the meeting ended and we prepared for our journey back to our Area these words just kept reapeating throughout my head on the bus, non-stop. How can I get to his level and leave behind mine?.. It wasnt until three days after the meeting that I came to the answer.
I was reading in 2 Néfi 9 and came across a scripture that stuck out to me in verse 39 it reads "... to be carnally- minded is death, and to be spiritually minded is life eternal." I hadnt been spiritually minded. My thoughts had solely been focused on the things I missed. My problems I was facing here in the mission. How useless I felt... To be honset I wasnt happy, but frustrated. As I shared this with my companion Elder Clay, he mentioned something to me, he said "Elder Doggett, look at verse 39 again and see what Spititually minded is life eternal spells out?" and you know what it spells out... S.M.I.L.E. I wasnt getting to Gods level because I was missing this important quality, I wasnt smiling, I wasnt being positive, but just wanting everything my way. Its amazing how the Lord truley sends those miracles little by little. I felt so dumb how I had missed that simple truth. When life gets hard and when the adversary is throwing his firey darts your way just smile... just laugh as Elder Jospeh B. Wirthlin put it in his talk "Come what may and Love it." I testify through this we can get to Gods level, we can become more like him because "wickedness never was happiness" and the things of the world cant truely be happiness, not really. They might give you joy and pleasure for a bit but in the long run true happiness... that comes from God. Thus you can become closer to him. Eventually has you come closer to him you will feel that love for those around you. For the people, For the culture, and for the mission.
I am so humbled and grateful for the mission in my life. The stepping stones Dad are many on this path as you put it. Mom the work is moving forward by the simple (your sons) and I know with all my Heart this Gospel is true. I am suppose to be here in Brasil for two years. Not in Rexburg, not with my family and friends... but here helping bring about this great work. To be carnally- minded is death, but remember spiritually minded is life eternal. I love you all once again and pray for the power of heavens to be with you all as you face the challenges of this mortal life. It isnt easy at times. I know, trust me haha... But I testify we have a loving Savior and Reedemer. He has been there, he has done that. Every thought you have had every mistake you have made and every hardship you have encountered he too as already faced it. He experienced it all for YOU. Never forget that. He loves you with such a pure love that is undescriable. I felt it this week. I felt his arms wrap around me. It brought tears to my eyes and a happiness that does bring a smile :)... I know he Lives. I do miss you all but I have to be here, I need to be here, I cant let my Savior down. He needs me at His level to be His instrument. I dont know what the next year and a half holds for us all in our lives. Alot can happen in a persons life... but I know there is no where else I want to be. I love you all so much and hope for the oppurtunity to hear from you all soon. God bless you.
Elder Benjmain B. Doggett
p.s. Mom, Dad, Jenni, Rachel I got your amazing letters in the mail along mom with the Livro De Mormon from the primary what an amazing testimony little Katheryn Pulishper has, send her my love and thanks along with the whole 6th ward Primary tell them to "Choose the Right" from Elder Doggett haha :)... I love you all so much! Thank you so much. Alyssa you had such a powerful email I dont know how to thank you also keep up the great work in Boston I hope to get your address soon. You are an amazing family. You all have no idea how much I love you.
Tuesday, September 18, 2012
Well everyone thank you so much for the e-mails and letters and EVERYTHING! :) Your all honestly the best in the whole world... First im sorry I wont be able to respond to questions or e-mails today becuse I just didnt have time to read the e-mails. but I did print them off and I will re-read them over and over all day today haha. I hope you all know how much I love you and I miss you all so much. Its crazy how fast the weeks are going by... it only feels like yesterday I was e-mailing to everybody haha crazy. Well where do I begin first off let me tell you about a miracle that happened yesterday... I taught for one hour the principles of the Gospel... I taught a class for 1 hour in portuguese by myself! haha crazy I never thought this day would come... now lets be honest im no where near to being fluent in Portuguese haha not even close, whenever people talk to me my mouth still hangs open because I cant understand a word their saying haha but I am at a point where I can somewhat express my feelings and understand enough to get by. Its a great feeling to see how far I've come but the climb with the language isnt over yet, the climb has just started actually, but mentally I feel like Im finally ready to begin sprinting up the hill and learn this language! :) now as for the week lets begin.
This week was super crazy but good, Emotionally I've been dealing with a lot inside but mom you would be so proud of me to see how Im handling everything haha Im kinda in shock with how well im dealing with my emotions because a year ago I would have blown up from all this stress (You and Dad remember those days I would come home after a hard day at work or school and just explode haha) but now im taking each day as it is and trying my best now. :) Its a great feeling but let me share my secret with everyone on how we can handle these difficult times especially within our lifes... Prayer. To start I would like to share a scripture. Moroni. 7:48 "Strive to pray sincerly, with real intent, and with all the energy of your heart." Why is prayer important for us? How can we pray with real intent? Theres many things Im learning on the Mission but the things that have really been pressing on my mind latley is sincere prayer. Why do we Pray? Well thats an easy question. We pray to open the door to our hearts. We pray so that we can allow the Holy Ghost to feel us with Gods Love for us. We Pray to allow the Spirit to testify of the truthfullness of the Gospel, but guess what it even goes deeper then that my friends! We need to recongnize that our Heavenly Father knows us better then we know ourselves and he knows our needs more then we know them. (See PMG. 94) (D.C 46:28,30) Prayer opens the door for miracles in our lifes, it allows us to go beyond our Potentiel.... Think about every serious decision you have every made in your life.... I dont know about you but I've prayed pretty hard whenever I was faced with a hard decision haha. For example we pray to know if the Book of Mormon is the word of God, We pray to know what path God whats us to take in our Lifes. We prayer if we should serve a Mission, We prayer for who we should Marry? We pray for all sorts of things! :) Every choice we make or every problem we face should be expressed in true and sincere prayer with open hearts and faith in our Heavenly Father that we will recieve and answer!
The Reason my mind has been focused on prayer especially this week is I noticed that none of our investigatores want to pray, especially when there in front of two young teenage boys haha. They always say that they cant.... thats its to hard. Well Im here to help them understand that its not to hard, Prayer is the only way we can be coverted to the Gospel, its mantitory to the conversion process! Its how our Heavenly Father can reavel truth to us. ITS POWER! :) I dont think there has every been a Baptism where someone hasnt recevied an answer through Prayer.... its just not possible haha. Prayer is so important and this week my companion and I have made special goals to really stress the importance of pray. Im so happy to be here on my Mission and im sorry if this e-mail doesnt make much sense or its all jumbled haha I dont have much time to write and my brain is a huge jumble with things I want to share haha but remember always prayer is essetial to everything. Here on the Mission I see all my weakness come out... I just cant believe how much I need to work on haha :) its crazy but its also great. No matter what the Lord is always here for us and he will strengthen is in our times of need. I'd like to share a Scripture that has really helped me during these past few weeks (Helamen 3:35) Family, Friends I've never felt so much joy in all my life then here on the mission, each day I feel my self growing closer to my Heavenly Father in faith as I try to yield my heart unto God and just do this work. Remember we must pray oft. and then you'll wax stronger and stonger in the faith of Christ. Pretty awesome huh? :) Our whole purpose here on earth, our test here is to learn and overcome weakness and faults and change. We have one investigator who knows everything is true but she told us that she cant change.... She just thinks its impossible. My heart aches for her and we are praying for her everyday that her heart will be opened and something will change.
Family and Friends I know this Gospel is so real... I know that deep sincere Prayer has more power then we will ever be able to comprehend. I Love you all so much and I know that this church is true. I want everyone to know that I am doing really good and I am very happy here in Brasil. :) Still there are rough days haha for example two nights ago I cried in my Pillow for over and hour when we went to bed haha. Im not sure why but I remember thinking about my wondefull mom, dad, family, and friends. About my incredible twin brother who I wish I could see and talk to about my porblems and emotions.... But then I remembered to pray... and I talk with my Heavenly Father and the incredible thing is he listens always and he brought comfort and joy to my heart again! :) I love you all and of course I miss you all like crazy but I know my purpose now I know this is where I need to be. :) I love you all so much and remember I am also here for all of you no matter what. Ben your the best and this week I really missed you a lot, But remember we are always in this together and the Lord is always on our side. I hope this E-mail made sense sorry I wrote it super fast haha sorry for the spelling mistakes dad haha :) Love you all and I cant wait to hear from you all soon. Oh also I still havent recieved my package yet mom with all the goodies.... Im pretty far away from everything but I should be getting it soon! :) LOVE YOU ALL. God be with you till we meet again.
Family friends... This week was truely humbling for me. First thank you once more for all the emails and testimonys. I heard from so many of my family and friends. I cant not thank you all enough for the emails this week. Everysingle one of you that wrote me had a different piece of the puzzle for me. I have really been wwrestling with God this week much like the prophet Enos, and found so much spiritual inspiration its just undescriable. Mom and Dad your emails I truely needed. Dad you shared a scripture from DC 1 I was thinking alot about that section of DC. I remembered a scripture from it that reads "I will call upon the weak things of the world" This week I truely felt that. I am a simple boy from a simple town called Rexburg Idaho called to do a Marvilous work... The Work of the Lord. Sometimes this work seems so inreachable for someone like me. I understand in everything I have done throughout my life I have always been somewhat of a late bloomer, but eventually I do get it. Its something I have really had to rely on and remember this week. Every thing seemed to be going against me this week. Every person I talked to had something negative to say to me or attack me in some regrad as my being here in Brazil. Alot of our investigators stopped progressing and we are at a stal mate with them. I became depressed sorta speak. I began to foget my purpose as a missionary and every thought I had was directed to my needs. Family Friends, at this moment i was truely humbled.
I remember being in my room looking at a photo of my family. My legs were sore from the days events once again feeling sorry for myself. I looked down and saw that boy with that family and couldnt understand where that boy was. The one with that smile... Where had he gone? Why wasnt he here right now? This work is the work of the Lord, shouldnt he be here? Tears soon fell. I was so overwhelmed. With everything. Here I am 6 months out and I feel so useless. Like I havent done anygood whatsoever for my Savior. As I sat there I felt a voice clearer then day whisper and comfort my heart. I then remembered a talk given to me by my brother Matt(Spiritual giant) in which it talks about what we envision in our selfs. Do we envision who we want to be in the future? Who we want to become? Sometimes in this life we are given hard things to overcome not because we are being punished but because the Lord is seeing if we will use our agency to choose to follow him. At these moments we can either go one or two ways. We can move forward and incorporate into our beings the qualities of Light... or move backwards and assimilate the qualities of darkness. Every bad thing that happens to you, every unfairness, every conflict, every sadness, tragedy, every disappointment and heartache, every temptation, and every opposition happens for one purpose only to give us the oppurtunity and privlege to respond by applying in our life the teachings of our Brother, Savior, Reedemer... Jesus Christ. I had forgotten that. I felt once again humbled as I fell to my knees.
I want to be a man of God, I want to give him all I have. Every desire, every hope, everything. Thats what I envision. I want to become a man that God can call on in any given moment. A man that he can trust. I know that the Lord will guide me and give me the strength to overcome any trial. Because I know this will allow me the chance to move forward towards God and this envision I have of the future can become a reality. Every trial and hardship i am facing every person rejecting me and saying negative things to me, every investigator that has that stal mate will give me the chance to turn to the Lord and come closer to him. To apply his teachings.
This week was tough for me. I think actually one of the hardest I have ever faced on the mission, but I came to a relization of what I want to be. Of who I hope to become. I never felt so much peace enter my heart before. I testify he lives and he does care so much about us all. That boy in the picture he hadnt left. He was still there. He just had trapped himself in a prision of his mind, but the Lord provided the key for his escape. I love this work. I love this Gospel. I love this chance to be a missionary and for the life lessons I am learning everyday. As I get through one week the Lord preprares another week for me to become more like him. Every man should serve a mission. They do not understand the signifigance of this great commandment in their lives. The way the Lord will change their hearts and humble them. We need the Lord in our lives more then I ever knew... but now I have grown such a deep love for my Savior and all that he has done for me. As Nephi taught "O Lord I have trusted thee and I will trust in thee forever. I will not put my trust in the arm of flesh." (2 Nephi 4: 34) I trust in my Lord, I know this is where I need to be...I will give him all that I am. Though I may be "Weak and Simple" he has called me and I cannot fail. My course is set, I know what I want to become. My challenge is for all of you to sit down and ponder in your hearts who you want to become. When everything is said and down when you take away your career, car, house, family, wife, school, everything you have and you are just left with you standing there, who will you be? What qualities and attributes will YOU posses? (Lawerence E. Corbridge)
I wish you all could see and witness all the things I see here in Brasil. That you could see the miracles and love the Lord has for his children. I am humbled to be a missionary for this wonderful Church, I know it is in fact the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints, that Jesus is at the head of it guiding Prophets in these days to be his spokesmen. We get the chance here in 3 weeks to hear from these special witnesses of the divinity of this Christ whom lives. I cant wait... I ecspecially have a frim belief and love for my Savior as well. I just cant explain it in words, but please feel my heart as you read this. I know he bleed and died for everyone of us so we could live with our Father again. I love you all and thank you all for you testimonies. You are all inspirations to me and have such strength in this Gospel. I cant wait to hear from you all soon and God bless you.
Elder Benjamin B. Doggett
p.s. Matt thank you for that talk you are so amazing I miss and love you so much.
Monday, September 17, 2012
These are some pictures for the week. This one is me with the care bears, playing some chess at a park oh and my favorite. We saw a drunk man asleep on the sidewalk. It looked like he hit the tree but we dont really know. I actually felt prompted to wake him up and make a contact with him... so I walked across the street and did just that haha. My campanion decided to take a picture of me making my way across the street haha.
Love you all Elder Benjmain B. Doggett
Love you all Elder Benjmain B. Doggett
Monday, September 10, 2012
Everyone thank you for all your e-mails abd for your support... Words will never be able to express how much I love you all and I honestly cant describe to you what is happening to me out here in the Mission Field only that im changing... I feel my relationship with my Heavenly Father growing each day as I struggle to survive the trials and blessings of each day. :) Every one thank you for your e-mails. Jordan, Tyson, Jason... You guys are spritual Giants to me. Tyson your e-mail really helped out a lot and your hill story made perfect sense! Thanks man! :) Jason thanks for your example and friendship and Im excited for you to begin the incredible journey of the Mission. Jordan I wish you were here with us out in Brasil but dont worry the Lord will help you with your head problems haha Love you man thanks for the E-mail. I hope you know your all the best. Also thank you Olivia for the e-mail I hope you know that I miss you all too so much... Your all my best friends in the world thats for sure! :) Also Heidi thank you for forwarding Parkers e-mails its good to hear about the experiences hes having out in the field right alongside us. And of course Mom Dad your the most amazing parents in the world, I miss and love you all so much!!!!!
Alright Im not sure where to begin but I'll try and go for it! :) If any of you couldnt tell from my last e-mail last week I was going through the hardest time in my Mission.... Im not sure how I survived and I know that I will never be able to describe the experiences and lessons I learned last week.... only that now Im a changed person because of it. The Mission is incredible because it shows us our weaknesses and it allows us the chance to apply the Priciples of the Gospel and the attributes of Christ to change and make weak things become our strengths, We have a choice to grow from the tough times and learn from those experinces and allow it to strengthen us spiritually or we can allow it to shaken our faith and tear us down.... either way it all boils down to choice in our lifes. We always have a choice! If we didnt have a choice to change our attitudes or to work harder then that would totally frustrate the whole Plan of Salvation!!! We "Can" and "Are" always changing. Thats how we can become more like our beloved Heavenly Father.
To share with you some of my difficulties last week that I was dealing with. I was having a hard time feeling like a succesfull missionary.... I hit the 5 month mark in the field and I was finished with my training but here I was without a Baptism in Brasil... Brasil the one place everyone says you get Baptisms like crazy and here I was 5 months out and still nothing haha thats pretty hard especially when it seems like thats all people use to compare a good Missionary to a bad one. Its all numbers to some out here which is a little sad but thats just the way it is to some. I was beyond discouragement all last week but then I recieved one letter from my mom... or and e-mail that changed my whole attitude about the Mission. Mom you saved me, I dont think you'll ever understand haha. That letter did more for me then anything could have at that moment in my life, Im not sure you'll know how much that letter means to me but I will treasure it for the rest of my life. When you told me about cody it reminded me of why Im really out here, It reminded me to forget myself and work hard, It allowed me to remember the Pure Love of Christ in my life and to just do my best out here.... Thank you Mom. :) In Preach my Gospel we read on Pg. 10 what makes a succsusfull Missionary and you know what... it never mentions Baptisms, only sharing the Gospel with as many people as you can. It mentions that you can find success when you feel peace and joy in your heart when you bear testimony of the Restored Gospel. Our Job as Missionarys is to share the Gospel with as many people as possible and im glad to say that we are doing just that. When we read in Alma 21. 5-17 we read about Aaron and how he went through so much during his mission and he didnt have much success at the begin... but he never gave up and he kept on going. He bore his Afflictions with Patince and well it eventually payed off. (Vs 17). There are days when it gets tough.... Actually theres weeks that get tough haha there are times when we feel like we just cant go on because the road just seems to impossible for us... Remember even Alma a Prophet of the Lord got discouraged. (Alma 8. 13-15) But we must always go one no matter what! Never give up! :)
The Language is still hard. Im 5 months out and im still stuggling but I will make the Language my strength, Im no longer worrying about it and im just doing my best. Thats all the Lords wants from us! The Mission is unreal and im having incredible, undescribable experiences here! Its crazy thats all the Lord wants from us is to do our best. I love you all so much and I miss you all like crazy. Im already counting down the days for Skype haha. I love you all so much and Ben... I miss you. You are my best friend and its crazy how much I missed you when the times get tough. You are and forever will be my best friend. Love you all so much and remember how much the Lord blesses us everyday. We just need to take the time to realize those blessings love you all and remember Im thinking of you all even if my letters or e-mails dont sound like it. Just remember that because of the Mission I have aquired a new deeper love for all my friends and family... thank you all. I love you all com toda meu coaração. :)
This week was quite an amazing experience for me. I witnessed Gods hand in his work and I dont even know where to start as usual. The Blessings that came flooding down upon me and the experinces I had are unlike anything I could have imagined. I wish I could tell everyone of you the lessons I learned but as always there just isnt time. I am keeping a excellent Journal full of all my experiences so dont worry, eventually you will be able to hear them all. First mom, dad your emails inspired me so much. I had to grab my study journal and record many of your words. I truely needed to hear those words from you both that were guided from the spirit. Thank you for Bradys email also mom I really love hearing how my buds are doing in their missions. Brady, you are an inspiration to me. I knew you would be an amazing misisonary. I would like his imformation so I can write him though, Tell his family hello as well and I love the Stewart-Chesters! :) Also Tyson, Jordan, Jason thank you for the updates I love you both so much and for your emails. I really needed them. Heidi! It was amazing to hear from Parker! I would also love his information as well. Olivia also thank you for your testimony you shared this week with me. Its such a strength to have so many people around me to bear testimony of this Gospel. You all mean so much to me and I love you dearly. Thank you.
Well as to the events of this week. My heart is full of love for this Gospel. I had quite the experience that opened my eyes to such an eternal perspective of Gods work. This work is not mine but truely his. This week at around 5 o clock Friday evening we made a stop at one of our investigators homes by the name of Laura. We have been teaching here for sometime now and she has been a star investigater, truely an elect from God. She has kept everyone of her commitments and has been reading and prayering daily of the Book of Mormon. She has attended church every sunday for the past 3 weeks and we even had a Baptism set for this weekend. Things were going great. Well as I was saying Friday we showed up to her house. Everyday this past week we tried visiting her but everytime we went she either wasnt home or no one answerd the gate. Today we were sure we were going to find her. We aproached the house and to our delight there she was with her whole family outside their gate. We started the initial approach but soon felt something was off... really off. There was a car further down the road that was going crazy, going every which way down the road gunning it and then insantly slamming on the brakes. Everyones attention was toward that car. As I looked down the dirt street I noticed that the car was in fact Lauras Father. The car soon turned around and her Father began to come back our way. My companion and I sat there in complete confusion at what was going on. So my companion began to talk with Laura about maybe seting up another time that would be better. Laura had so much fear in her eyes and was mumbling some things that either of us understood and no one else in her family was talking or responding to us. Then her father pulled up almost hitting my companion and I. We had to make a quick dodge to the left to miss the front bummper of the car. There was dust everywhere! We then heard him screaming at us. I couldnt understand a word he was saying... but from the look on my companions face I knew it was not good. He finished his rant and gunned off once more kicking dirt into the air. I sat there with my Heart completley torn. We turned back to Laura and said our goodbyes and left. I later found out Her father told us to leave immediatly and never come back, using some harsh words, but as we walked away I saw tears rolling down Lauras face.
As we were walking away I was devestated. She was an amazing investigator and ready for the Gospel. Heavenly Father why!? Why was this all happening!? I sat down on a bench further up the road just so depressed. I felt like such a useless missionary and began to just choke back my tears. The emotions were attacking me once more. I was just so helpless. I just felt like a usleless missionary. I just cant describe it. Then the words of Jeffery R. Holland came into my mind that my amazing brother had sent me a week prior. Elder Holland said "A great swimmer was once asked how do you do it, what is you big technique? The swimmers reply was I kick when I dont want to kick, I strock when I dont want to strock."- at this moment I knew I had to kick even though I knew not why. Even though every desire had left me, even though I doubted ever ounce of me being here... I kicked. Sometimes we need to keep going even when we dont know why and just put our trust in God and be like Nephi. I sat up, sucked up my emotions, said a humble prayer and felt the power of heaven comfort my heart. I just knew in that instant ever thing would be alright, that the Lords work will not be frustrated by man.
Sunday came and I sat in Elders quorm doing my best to follow. (they talk fast Portugese haha) The lesson was on Faith. As the lesson was going a young man walked in and sat quietly in the corner. I had never seen him but there was something special about him. As the lesson drew further on I couldnt stop staring at him. What was it about him that was so special? Then it came, The Elders quorm president said a comment concerning faith and what we have faith in. This young man raised his hand and said "I have faith that someday my entire family will be members of this great church." He then perceded to tell us all about his cousin... Laura. How she has been searching for the Gospel for some time because of him and his family without being able to find it here in Anhaguera. He told her through the phone to look for the misisonarys, LOOK for the missionarys! A few days after Elder Clay and I began to tach her. He looked over at us and said wih tears in his eyes that his faith is working. There wasnt a dry eye in that room, the spirit was so strong. He went on to tell us that on Friday her father was drunk and he threatened his family if they accepted us anymore, thats why they were so scared, but that now everything is calmed down and That his cousins want the Gospel more then ever. I sat there and felt the true blessings of God rain down upon us. I never felt anything like that. I have such a burning truth of this Gospel. I know it is true, I know Gods work will not be frustrated and that it will move on contunllay. Man cannot destroy it but only progress it. We will be teaching Laura tonight with her mother and cousin... I just cant wait. I love this gospel and this oppurtunity to be a missionary. Its truely something unique to wittness, and ecspecially to be Gods chossen in his work. Ive never been so happy... I still have so much to learn and so much I need to improve but I know through God all things are possible. Family Friends. Trust him, have faith in him, Kick when you dont want to kick, and he will pour his blessings upon you and make you what you need to be is my prayer and testimony. I love you all and once again thank you for all you do for me. For your examples and love. I hope to once again hear from you all soon. With complete love and gratitude for everyone of you and being filled with the Spirit, I hope you have an amazing week... Trust in you savior.
Love Elder Benjamin B. Doggett
Tuesday, September 4, 2012
Well... To be honest I dont know where once again to begin this Email. My Brother Matthew is a spiritual giant!!!! Its so amazing to me because Matt and I are in two completely different missions, but the experiences we both are having are like I have him right next to me... but before I get into the events of today I need to begin by saying how grateful I am for (as Matt said) My family, and friends. Mom, Dad I REALLY needed your emails this week. I felt a sure spirit that cant be described as I read them. Mom thank you for sharing that story of my beloved friend Cody. Share my love with his family and let Diane know I will be there in two years! She can count on it! Kristin, Erika You both said some very powerful things in your emails that I needed to hear as well along with some very inspirational quotes and scriptures.Also Austin I loved your email! You are amazing friends whom I miss dearly... You all have no idea how I wish I could just explain to you in person with all the ethusiam that exists in my being what they do for me. Thank you so much for all being my angels.
Ok, onto the events of this week. Well first off I had a really bad case of food poisoning ( I think it was from a Brazilian egg salad) but dont worry all is good now haha it was kind of a funny experience I wont lie. The food poision hit me during a lesson oh, the experiences of the mission you have to love them haha... but sorry that story will need to wait for another day. I would love to tell you and focus more on some spiritual things that occurred rather then my body problems haha. Now, I would love to sit here and tell you that now from the events of last week im a spiritual ROCK... but the truth is Im human, a weak boy who truely came to realize he is nothing without his God. He realized how weak he is... I am... and really how much I need the savior in my life. The Lord took me and sat me comfortable in a chair and with a smile, love and patience and taught me the importance of having a positive attitude in the trials of life. As Matt said this week for me also was a huge block. The puzzle pieces that I thought I had right, were far from being in the right place. I became so confused. Why!? I thought I finally had it figured out Heavenly Father, What do I need to do!?- I can honsetly tell you my weaknesses rose to the surface and I have never felt them so prominate. I remember walking home saturday evening from an appointment feeling so defeated. An investigater was asking some really important questions about our Prophet Thomas S. Monson. I sat there trying to answer, but most the time I didnt even know what was going on! She was having a hard time understanding me and me her. My companion then just took over and seemed really put out at my efforts. I feel terrible cause I feel his patience with me is wearing thin. I want to be a good influence on him but I feel so far from the task... From then on everytime I tryed to talk my companion would just hurry and cut in as to not confuse her anymore. I felt so frustrated, so alone, so weak! This stuff was so important and I cant even teach or speak. I cant even be a missionary, Why am I even trying I thought. The natural man really began to come into play. After all my spiritual experiences I have had on the mission. After ever moment the Lord blessed me with his power and spirit I still doubted my abilities to be a missionary and became angry. I was not quick to remember my Lord. It took me till the next morning during church when this all hit me. I sat there ashammed. Here I was, a messanger of my Lord and savior and have been blessed and taught beyond measure and being set apart and called by a Prophet of God thinking "there is no way I can be a missionary" I then realized how far I really have to go. We are nothing without our Lord and Savior. In that moment as I took the sacrament I felt his love encirlce me and the sure comfort that yes Ben, You can be a missionary. I was so humbled
Family Friends how quick are we to forget our Lord and Savior. How quick do we forget all he has blessed us with? I never realized this but in my times when everthing was going wrong I quickly would turn to the natural man. This brought so much saddness to my heart and I was truely humbled in that sacrament meeting. I soon after began to read in the scriptures in 1st Nephi. The Brothers of Nephi stood out to me. There is a reason they are in the scriptures. They were shown miracle after miracle and yet still when things got really tough and discouraging they didnt remember the Lord their God but instead become angry even to the point of hurting their own brother... I was Laman and Lemeul this week. I became so frustated and doubted every little thing... but here I am so humbled to be a missionary. Im so humbled to be surrounded by family and friends who love and support me. Im so humbled to have a loving savior who took my stuborn hand and gently placed the next puzzle piece there in. This week like every other week was quite the experience for me. I have so much to work on and so much I owe my savior. Anyone who is reading this I testify that God lives. Im a missionary, yes... but just like you far from perfect. I promise if you get on your knees and converse with your Father... and I mean CONVERSE with him, tell him about your day, tell him what you recognize and then sincerly ask for his help you will recieve it. Week after week I witness the atonement play a role in my life and I know we all can truely turn to our savior. I have a long ways to go as a missionary. I need his help. I know now this work is not my own but really the Lords work. Its one of the hardest things I have ever done emotionally, physically, and spiritually but EVERONE should serve a mission haha... I love the words from Howard W. Hunter "...We will not be tempted beyond our ability to withstand (Missionary work). Our Detours and disappointments are the STRAIGHT and NARROW path to Him." Im not the smartest guy, im what they call a late bloomer haha things may take a little longer for me. (Jamba juice knows that haha!) but eventually with time Ifigure it out and I know I am on the Lords errand. My favorite scripture (if you can even have one) is in Helaman 5 12, "Remember Rember that is upon the rock of our redeemer who is Christ, the Son of God, that ye must bulid your foundation..."- I hope I can continue to bulid upon the rock throughout my mission. Continue to develop my relationship with my Father in Heaven. Family Friends I love you. I apoligize,my emails have been all over the place these last few weeks, but I just cant describe what the mission teaches you. It is the best decision I have ever made. Thank you all for playing a role in preparing me for this moment. Whenever it gets overwhelming I can instantly feel all your love and prays. I hope to hear from you all soon and know I love you dearly... The Lord is with us I so Testify.
Love Elder Benjamin. B. Doggett
Monday, September 3, 2012
Well I dont know where to really begin other then this week has been a little tough on me.... Thank you everyone for the letters you really have no idea how much they mean to me, I've been stuggling a lot this week and Im serious when I say I will never be able to re-pay all my incredible friends for your words of incouragment and love. Well Mom and Dad its a little hard to write my e-mail right now because I just read Moms e-mail and I'm crying pretty hard hahah everyone in the Lan house is staring at me haha but thank you for sharing that story mom, You know its crazy because I've been thinking of Cody and his family a lot latley. Please let them know how much I love them and their always in my prayers.
Well my new companion is great, hes an American from Portland Oregon and hes a genious! and hes also the District Leader so we are over the top busy... and its been hard! This week has really pushed me physically, emotional and of course Spiritually. Missions are tough but the Lord never said this would be a easy path. This week we've worked harder then I ever thought possible and its been tough on me because im still pretty new to the Mission, but yesterday was especially hard on me. I had two experiences I would like to share that really tested my faith yesterday. The first experience was when Elder Biancardi and I taught these four men who where in their twenties... while we taught them I was trying to explain the first vision and they laughed the entire time and then they said my Portuguese was hilarious and they didnt understand a word I said... I become beyond discouraged I cannot describe it, so I slowly gave the rest of the lesson over to my new incredible companion and he finished it. Then right after we went to a family who we are trying to complete. The Mother and Daughter in the family are members but for some reason the Father wont join. We began teaching them and I had the impression to bear my testimony on the importance of familys and as I began I couldnt speak. My words were all choked up and I sat there staring at this family and tears filled my eyes and tears filled the Fathers eyes and I told him in the best Portuguese I could possible say that I know families are the central point in Gods Plan for us. I went home last night feeling emotions beyond anything words can describe. I went straight to me room and fell on my knees and prayed with as much faith as I had left in my heart. I prayed and cried and prayed and cried and then countinued to pray... I prayed for my incredible family that I miss more then anything... For my mom and dad... My incredible Friends... I prayed last night that I could become the Missionary the Lord needs me to be. That I could forget myself and just do my best in this work... Right after I finished my Prayer I never felt so much Joy and Happiness! All the crazy homesickness and discouragement just disappeared... Family and Friends I know that this is the most important work in the world, There is nothing else thats important right now in my life then sharing the Gospel, Im trying my best and the great thing is that thats all the Lord wants from us. He doesnt care if we can speak the Language good but only if we have a humble heart and are willing to work.:) There are still times when I feel alone and scared but then I pray... Wow prayer has more power then we really understand. I hope everyone knows how much I love you all and dont worry im doing awesome, The Mission is definetly a growing experiences as we learn to handle our emotions and just doing are best. Im sorry this is lacking in imformation and about my new companion and all are Great experinces! haha but its through the hard times and trials I feel my Faith growing the most. Remember always I love you all and that Im trying my best as a Servent of the Lord. I miss you all so much and im sorry you havent all received many letters especially my Family but always remember that im thinking of you all ALWAYS and I will never forget about any of you no matter what! :) I love you all.