Another week gone. Another lesson learned... Everyweek I write to you all and share my experiences and trials I face. As I once wrote the mision is an interesting experience. Its like im running in a track and field event, The Hurdles to be exact. Evertime I clear a hurdle there is a bigger and greater one I need to clear. I have begun to realize I cant question if I can clear it, I can only try. A particular memory floods into my mind as we are taken back to my 5th grade year. We did a track and field day where our parents would come and watch us all participate in different events. I remeber watching my Brother Matt as he prepared to run in the Hurdle race. As the race started it was clear each individual runner had different skills and abilities. Some could run faster, some jump higher, others possesed both!.. but one stuck out to me that my wonderful brother Matt had. He couldnt clear alot of them (sorry matt haha) I noticed him sruggling and stumbling over each hurdle. I though remember the quality that out beat anyother racer... His attitude. Some of the other kids were having some of the same struggles as him but were choseing instead to "Call it quits" and drop out. He on the other hand kept on going and in fact he was laughing and smiling, even though each hurdle he faced seemingly seemed nothing but impossible! I even remeber before he reached the finish line he looked back at the whole crowd of people and pumped his arms high into the air with his giant and enormous smile that you all know and love... Thank you Matt... I love you.
I share this story with you all because it brings me humblely to the realization of what we all are striving for. We all face different Hurdles and difficults of life. Others maybe able to clear a some what difficult hurdle of yours with ease while you may have to fight and stuggle and maybe even fall to clear it, and vice versa with them. Ive realized this alot on my mission. A hurdle for me has been the launguage. For others its easy to clear. A gift I have though from God and a Hurdle I can easily clear is I can hear his Holy Spirit, while other missionays have a hard time sometimes clearing this one, (please dont get the wrong impression here and think im boasting in this sense Im just recognizing one of the many strengths God has given me as a missionary) I challenge everyone of you to find your girfts from God. I write this because of some things that occured this week that I feel impressed to share with you all. I wont go into detail of some of the matter due to the respect of my dear companion but I feel this so powerfully in this moment.
My Father this week, and with some approval from my wonderful Mother :) shared a powerful and inspired email that I truely needed. As alot of you are aware my Companion has had some difficulties with the rules. This week though things got even more out of control in comparison to the rules. My hurdle seemed nearly impossible to face and i had no idea what was needed to be done. The rule was pretty big and serious. As I sat and prayed as to what I needed to do my thoughts were turned to the "Missionary Handbook" in it we read that as missionaries we have a primary responsiblilty to our first "Heavenly Father, Then to the President of the Mission and last your companion." I knew I needed to have courage, strength and more importantly love for my companion to solve this porblem. I sat down with him and had no idea where to begin. As I talked though the spirit guided my words and some how I was able to communicate in Portugese all that needed to be said. He agreed and we set goals to solve this problem. I thought all was said and done, but something inside told me it was only the start of the race the Hurdle was not yet cleared. As the week went on I found from inpiration from the spirit the problem had stilled occured once again and this time I knew is was serious. I sat down with him and this time he took it as a joke and was telling me it wasnt a big problem and I needed to stop worrying. That im a new missionary and i dont know how the mission works yet... but I knew with all my heart and once again from the spirit this was serious and I needed to protect him from all danger... but I had no idea how I was going to do that if he couldnt recongnize this situation was serious. I prayed so hard all day for guidance and love to know how I was going to help him through this problem. During the day he was very upset with me and completely ignored me. Anything I tryed to say was ignored. I was completly broken and felt so lost. What was going on? What was this hurdle I needed to clear!? Later that evening in the quitness of our house as I read Jacob 7 in which Jacob testifys to the anti-christ Sêsom that Chirst does live some things really stuck out to me. Jacob didnt have words of elequence like Sêsom, but he had a testimony... I had a testimony and yeah I cant really speak but I had to testify to my companion that these things were wrong and I wouldnt not be subject to it any longer.
He came into the room and I felt the spirit feeling me like i never have before. It directed my words and the conversation began. My companion kept making a joke out of the work and I was becoming sad and confused then the spirit told me to bear testimony. I stood up and through tears and conviction I boar testimony of the work to him, and that I wont stand here any longer hearing this taken as a joke! I continued on but I dont really remeber what i said because All I know was that it was the Spirit and the spirit was there I felt it inside my bosom burning like Ive never experienced. I felt the sure and powerful hand of God use me to protect and help my companion. He sat there and began to cry exclaiming to me how sorry he was and how he deep down he really did know all that had been happening was wrong. I was in so much shock by the power the Holy Ghost had on us both as I sat down next to him and gently put my arms on him and told him how much I loved him as his companion The spirit once again touched my heart and directed me to do his will... Family friends I testify the Holy Spirit will always guide you and help you overcome any Hurdle as long as you put your whole faith and trust in him.
We all have different gifts, talents, trials, difficultites... but through the Lord and Savior any Hurldle can be conquered. Just like my Brother Matt so wonderfully showed that day in 5th grade. Just like I so witnessed this week with my companion. I have to be honest, I wish I could tell you Ive cleared this Hurdle with him, but I know though im still in the race and have to stay positive and happy pumping my arms into the air no matter what the outcome. He still isnt very found of the fact of how serious I am about following the rules but there are commandments for us missions, as we read in Matthew 15 we live the higher law...but As my father told me in his email we cant change the situation only our attitude. We cant change what other people do or force them to do what we want them to do. We only have control over our actions. So I challenge everyone of you to try you best to face the Hurdles of life, dont compare yourself to others cause yeah, they will be able to maybe run faster, jump higher, but you have your gifts too that make you who you are I so testify. I love you all and know that through this difficult times we are made stronger. I have to be honset this week it was hard to be like my brother matt and smileing as I stumbled over the Hurdles... actually at times I just felt overwhelmed and wanted to cry and curl up into a ball, but I so testify to everyone of you reading this That I know with all my heart "These experiences shall be for thine good" Is my humble pray for you all whom I love so much. Stay strong and lean upon the lord for "He is my Rock" I love you all and thank you all for the wonderful emails of power and love this week. What an inspiration for me you all are. May God be with you till we meet again.
Love Elder Benjmain B. Doggett
p.s. Matt I love you and thank you for your amazing smile... Its keeping me going. :)