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.