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      

Monday, November 19, 2012

Photos from Matt

Photos from Ben

This is a cool picture I took of the wonderful Brazilan sky in my area, and of my District this Transfer. Also we found a random couch in the strret and some Elders wanted it so we helped them take it to their apartment... It was pretty funny. Also their Christmas Trees are small here in Brazil but I wanted to send a picture of me and this wonderful chirstmas tree haha! MERRY CHRISTMAS!!!!!!! I love and miss everyone of you espeacially around the Holidays, but guess what... That means we are one step closer to being together again :) love you all

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

Matt #31

Everyone thank you so much for the e-mails this week... Everyweek I express how much I need them and its so true! They change everything and help so much. Sometimes we just need a good laugh and well Alyssa your story of the Racoon really brought a smile to my face. Mom and Dad and cannot express how much I miss you and our incredible family. As the hoildays are just around the corner I'm becoming a little homesick and its tough! I'm doing everything in my power to stay strong but even the older Missionarys say that its almost inevitable and all missionarys will get a little homesick around the Hoildays haha but im doing good dont worry. One thing I have to say is I cant believe how fast this is all going by here on the Mission... Last night I had an incredible and much needed talk with one of my best friends on the Mission. (Elder Birch) We talked for a good 45 Minutes about the Mission and the things that are changing within our hearts and lifes. We talked about how everything that is happening on the Mission is shaping us into something much bigger then either of us can realize or can imagine and we just hope once we return we will be better man then when we left... I cant really express to you all what this experience is like, its extremly difficult and this past week was a week of Faith and growth but I have news for everyone... the 18th of November I will have my first two Baptisms with Alexandre and Nayane and I know with all my heart it will happen. Their what we call "Golden Investigators" and this past week we learned that their fear of Baptism was being Baptised without their family.... This statement hit me square in the face. This decison is a big one... one of the biggest they will make in their lifes and their scarred, We are really working hard with them and I think things are going really good for them but I cannot describe how blessed we all are to have our families in the Gospel with us. 
            Because its thanksgiving I want to say how gratefull I am to have my family in the Gospel with me. To have a Father who is a worthy Priesthood holder and an example of Rightousness (Sorry everyone I cant spell correctly anymore thanks to the Português em minha cabeça haha so you'll all need to have patience with me haha) For my Mother for her incredible example of Love for all of her children and what every Women should be to be the perfect mother in the whole world, and of course my Sisters and Brothers. I love you all so much and I hope that you will always remember that! I look up to you all so much and I want everyone to know that I am here sharing the Gospel because of your love and examples in my life thank you. 
          This past week was a pretty interesting one for me as I really came to understand what it means to have Faith in the Lord. I would like to start today with a story. A year and a half ago I had the chance to go to New York and visit my sister Alyssa and also visit the Sacred Grove. While we were there I had an experince that Im not sure I've shared with anyone (Mainly because I was a little embarrased afterwards) but is something that has helped me so much here on the Mission. I remember as my family and I were visiting this Sacred place I had a determination to branch off from the group and prayer with true Faith. I had a determination and a hope to see God the Father and his Son Jesus Christ just like Joseph Smith and I felt at the time I had enough Faith to see them. As I silently moved away from the group I kneeled in prayer and asked with all the faith I could find to recieve this privelege and you know what happened.... I didnt see anything, but I felt an overwhelming peace come over me. I wont lie, afterwards I was a little disappointed. I was confused and thought to myself "I know I have enough Faith and I felt I prayed with everything I had but still nothing.... Whats wrong? Why didnt anything happen even though I prayed with all my Faith? Well I found the answer to this question here on the Mission... I've grown so much especially within the Gospel and I'm here to tell you that I did pray with all my Faith that day... but I've also realized thats not how our Heavenly Father works. I've had a trial of my Faith these past 7 months. With the Language Barrier, with the Baptisms and thats when it hit me that I did pray with ALL my faith that day, but I still have a long long long time before my Faith is ready for something that Special. I've noticed how little I had starting out on the Mission and I've seen how far I've come since then, but to be honost with everyone I'm not sure I'll be truly ready until my Judgement day when I meet Our Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ face to face to be jugded according to my works. I dont think many of us will every be ready until that day but we must do all that we can possible do to follow the example of our Savior and work towards finding this Faith. 
          Now I hope this all made sense and Im not speaking apostasy here haha (Thats what all the Missionarys say when Missionarys start talking deep doctrine and true doctrine begins to become opinion of the Missionary) haha but I do know that our Lord and Savior loves us very much, and I know that our Heavenly Father answers our prayers. I have so much love for this gospel and this work but I know that I truly have a long way to go before I'm the man I need to become. I find myself getting angry with my companion more then I should and I've started complaining alot to others about my situation with him. We are just two diffrent people and we have two diffrent out looks on what work is (Thank you mom and dad for teaching me about work also thank you Jamba and Pipe) but then I learned something that has changed everything for me... Instead of complaning and finding someone to blam. Look at yourself and ask "What can I do personally within myself to change this? How can I help without being mean about the whole situation?" I dont know if this all makes sense, my brain is racing a million miles an hour and there is so much I want to share in this e-mail and I have so little time. The only thing I can really say is I know this church is true. I know that with every fiber of my heart. I need to be honest with everyone I've realized I was kind of a negative person back home and I always complained to my friends and family about things in my life but I never took action or the time to think what I could do to personally change my attitude... because of this I missed golden oppurtunitys to grow. Family and Friends I challenge everyone to make a list of some of your weaknesses and things you would like to change you in your life and then set goals to apply the Gospel in changing that weakness into your strength. :) I'm sorry this e-mail is all jumbled, I'm trying to sum up all my growing experiences from the week into one e-mail and thats tough stuff haha. I hope that some of the things I've said will help in some way. I do want to give a Special shout out to Mr.Stevens (Jordan) because I know that he is growing up fast and he will be twenty!!!! :) Love you man and I think of you often. Happy Birthday Also Family and Friends I love you all so much. I'm sorry you all dont hear from me more... I'm really trying to write letters and make things more personal for each of you so I'll try better this following week. Also please let Steven Lavell know that I'm happy to hear he will be serving in Gods Kingdom. :) Its the best experience in the whole world, and let Porter Young know he is in my prayers as he begins this journy of the Mission.
         Thank you everyone for everything! I love you all so much... I cant express in E-mail how I feel its just not possible but I hope that you all realize that I love you all so much. Its hard because I feel like I write the same things every week but I truly want you all to know that I love you with all my heart... I know I need to be here in Brasil sharing the Gospel. I miss you all so much and there are times when I have crazy dreams about coming home and nobody is there, that everyone has forget about me and I know that those dreams are Satan trying hard to bring me down.... but I'm happy to say that his efforts are in vain because I know that I have family and Friends that truly care about me. There are definetly times when I miss everyone so much and I feel like I'm missing out on some pretty big events but then I realize just how importatnt this time in my life is... I dont have much time to change others lifes, I only have 1year and 5 months left which means I really need to step it into gear. Thank you everyone I feel your prayers every week and I know that when I return in just a few months that you will all be their with open arms to recieve me. Things wont be the same when I get home.... that I know. Things are really changing fast not only back home but in my life as well. There are things that I wanted before the Mission that now are just not important... I know that things will never be the same but the great thing is that it will actually be better then it was!!! I know that with all my Heart. :) I love you all and I hope this E-mail was a good one. I cannot tell you how much I miss you all but Im so happy to be here. One thing I want to write really fast is Ben I love you.... Things are changing fast in our lifes but I cant wait for the day we meet again and hug and cry! I'm excited because the plane ride home is going to be awesome because we'll talk for like 18 hours straight in Português. Eu te amo meu irmão e eu sai que nós precisamos trabalha muito aqui porque depois de dois anos acabou. Thanks everyone for you love and I hope to hear from you all soon. Especially during the holiday season. Please send lots of pictures especially of the snow. Its super hot here and I really miss the snow haha. :) Love you all and I cant wait to hear from you all again.           

Ben #30 Rain

Thank you family for the wonderful emails this week. Mom and Dad as always such power and truth came from every part of your emails. The same goes for my beautiful sisters. You each answered a question to my pray... I cant express how much love I have for my family. Everytime I think about the blessing I have to spend eternity with them I cant help but feel peace and pure joy. I miss you all dearly... Ecspecially my dear brother Elder Matthew Ryan Doggett, its been quite the experience not having him by my side, but I feel him closer then ever through his letters and emails, and feel his strength and testimony everyweek pick me up. Matt I love you and thank you for your emials and strength to me. I love you family and thank you for all your strength and support. I cant believe in about a month I get to see you all on Skype! Its crazy how the time flys by huh? oh, also thats crazy everyone is recieveing mission calls! I would really like to hear who and where everyone is going! That makes me so excited to hear! God has something truely special instore, I know it!
Well as for this week I dont know where to begin and I really mean that. This week went by so fast the days are a blur. The weather has been really hot but rainy. The rain has added to the humitity and everyone can really feel it... Anyway due to the crazy rain storms my companion didnt have a desire to work. I tryed to explain to him I cant to this work without him and I need him so very much. He just told me he refused to work in the rain. I was broken, I have such a deep desire to get out and teach Gods children cause I know there out there just waiting to hear this message... People like José Oscar, who by the way came to church all dressed up and ready to keep every commitment I had given him. Actually yesterday after church he asked "Elder Doggett, how do I pay tithing in the Church? I feel right now like I shold just pay tithing." I then taught him about tithing in the Church and showed him how its done, and right then and there he asked if he could pay it. I was in shock by how ready José Oscar is for this Gospel... and I know there is others out there who are just as ready as he is but we have to work to find them, and sitting in the house does no good at all. As I said i was broken. I didnt feel like a missionary but a lazy 19 year old siting in an apartment, looking out the window at the rain. I felt sick to my stomach. I didnt come out here to sit in a brasilian apartment... WHY WAS THIS HAPPENING!!!!! I then remebered the words from my Father when he said you only have control over your actions, your feelings, you choose how you feel and what you do. I have written alot about this one topic over the past few weeks and know its a lesson from God I needed to learn. I realize now I have complete control over what I do and feel... no one else can take that from me. Isnt it an interesting thing to think about? Have you ever wondered why it is that one moment we could be yelling at someone in our family or upset with something at work, but then the phone rings or door bells rings and instantly were happy? We have total and complete control of what we feel. At this moment as I stared out of the window hearing the rain fall I knew I had the choice to feel happy and content with myself and know I was doing what the Lord wanted me to do. So I made the choice to study and read my scriptures instead of feeling sorry for myself because the work wasnt progressing that day. I felt so much peace and comfort and felt the Lord answering my pray as I read my scriptures. I read in Mosiah 28 in which the Sons of Mosiah had a deep desire to share the Gospel so they asked their Father if they could leave on a mission to preach the Gospel. King Mosiah conversed with the Lord and felt prompted to allow them to go cause he knew God would protect them. The sons of Mosiah belived everyone had a right to be saved and come unto Christ including their brothers the Lamanites. ( I felt somewhat like them at this moment) Later in Alma 17: 10-11 we read that they were having a pretty hard time ( I think It was raining outside and their companion wasnt feeling it that day so they were stuck in the apartment... or something like that I dont really remember the story that well haha) :) kidding! but the Lord said unto them "...be patient in your sufferings and afflictions and I the Lord will make you instruments in mine hands." From this we read that the Sons of Mosiah were filled with courage from the Lords words and continued onward... but what happened in Alma 26:27? They were once again passin through much hardship actually so much hardship that the thought came to their mind "I might as well give up..." but once again the lord comforted them and said once more "Be patient in thine afflictions and suffferings and I the Lord will GIVE YOU SUCCESS."
As I sat there reading these words and studying the scriptures the power of the spirit came upon me... Right now I do feel weak from all that has occured this transfer. Its been a tough rollercoaster for me as you all have read, but I know with all my heart the Lord has been teaching me many vauleable lessons. Has been taking my weaknesses and crafting my strengths. I know that through patience and faith in time the Lord will lighten our burdens and give us the power to have success and joy in this life... Its just up tp us how we enconter these problems in life. Wheather or not we will be happy or sad... Remember its all our choice. No one has the power to make you feel a certain way, only you have that power! Something that my mission is teaching me. Im so humbled by the things the lord is teaching me out here in my mission and the growth I feel everyday. I know in Him is where my strength lies and I will not give up. I will contiune and in faith and patience through these experiences and choose to be happy and smile doing all I can to help the work progress. I love you all and thank you all for your testiominies and love for me. Its such a strength to me to read your letters and emails each week and here the wonderful news of home. I hope I can make you all proud, my future family to be proud... but ecspecially my Lord and savior Jesus Christ proud. I love you all with a deep and ever growing fire of love that cant be shacken. I hope to hear from you all soon and love you so very much. I hope and pray this email may touch and answer one of your prayers and help you in such a way that you have touched and helped me. I love you and may God be with you till we meet again.
Love Elder Benjamin B. Doggett
p.s. Matt what a powerful email this week. Keep going and remeber God fullfills all his promises. Love you brother more then you know. 

Wednesday, November 7, 2012

Photos from Matt

The first picture is with the Bishops son in my last ward He loved Spider man so he always would try and beat me up haha because I told him I was venom. We always had fun. The next picture is from my bedroom window and its just breath taking. The whole Mission experience is awesome and I hope you all get these photos. Love you all and hope to hear from you all soon. Oh also if you all can send pictures of the snow the brazilians freak out over snow haha. Please send them if you can. Also its about 100 degrees here and im pretty sure its only going to get hotter. I play basketball every morning with Elder Birch and its still dark out in the morning and hotter than hot still.... haha its diffrent then good old rexburg here but it awesome.

This photo with the building was the first door I did my first contact.

Photos from Ben

Me having fun in the bishops hammick and an abondaned warehouse that we found.

Me doing a service porject at the bishops house. We helped him build his roof. We first had to clean everything off (The shigles) and then after the dry, we throw them to the person on the roof to place them. It was quit the expereince and it was pretty fun. I did get a little sun burned but it was a awesome day... I also think those awesome blue shorts are pretty legit... If I dont say so myself.

Tuesday, November 6, 2012


Well what a week.... I cant express how much I love you all and how much I miss you all. This week wont be a very good e-mail which I'm really sorry for family and friends because I only have a few minutes to write this e-mail before p-day ends but things have been going pretty good! :) Thank you all for the E-mails and I hope you know how much I love them. I havent had anytime to read them but I will tonight after our day ends.
   Well Im sure you all wondering how the Baptisms went huh? Well I need to be honest when I say that they didnt happen.... Satan is very real and its crazy to see how hard he works right when everything is about to change in the lives of Gods Children. He doesnt want us to be happy, he only wants us to be sad just like he his... But I want to share something with everyone. Because Satan is real that also means that how incredible Heavenly Father and his Son Jesus Christ are real and they are ALWAYS here for all of us no matter what. I cant express the emotions I felt When our incredible investigators said that they didnt have the desire to be Baptised, I was just beyond devestated. I remember thinking "Heavenly Father how much longer can I go on, how much more can I endure!" It was hard... really hard. These two incredible investigators who have read the Book of Mormon, who are going to church every week, who love the Gospel, and know the church is true just wont make the step to Baptism. They havent explained why only that they dont feel ready. We all have agency if we didnt that would defeat the whole Plan of Salvation but I cant tell you how confused I was that they didnt have the desire to be Baptised.... But a miracle happened. I will never be able to express what happened next but in my Heart their was a burning sensation like never before I looked at my two investigators, my two best friends here in Brasil and I expressed with all my heart how much I loved them... I couldnt hold back the tears (Like always here on the Mission, I cry way to much here) I just cried and expressed my love to them... they cried to and I knew the Savior was with us at this moment and even though they still are confused about Baptisms we will never give up on them. Its funny actually, so many times on the Mission I have yelled and complained to my Lord and Savior in my Heart because I havent recieved any Baptisms but hes never given up on me, it was like my incredible father said. "Its not about the Baptisms, Baptisms are only one of the many blessings we receieve because of the Mission." How true that is! I really feel my own personal conversion growing each day here on the Mission. I love all my investigators including Alexandre and Nayane with all my Heart. I know they will be Baptised and maybe it wont be me that has that Sacred honor of Baptising them... but I know that all things especially here on the Mission are part of our Heavenly Fathers plan. That we must always keep are heads up and keep working hard" :) I will never forget the time my Brother and I had the chance to place a Book of Mormon together on that oni-bus several months ago... I dont know what happened with that young women, maybe shes Baptised now and has a whole new life. Im not sure what happen but I do know the Lord placed two twin brothers side by side to talk to this women in very broken Portuguese and to share his Gospel. Im also not sure what the future with my Missios and my life will be but I know that God places everything in our lifes for a purpose. He always gives us exactly what we need to succed and grow. Pretty awesome huh? We will always succed through our Savior. Family and friends im had one of the most devestating and difficult weeks of my life here on the Mission... but you know what? It wasnt hard and all. :) I love that qoute that goes some what like this "Its not the the thing your doing gets easier only that your capacity to do the thing increases." Thats how this week was for me. I'm changing (Thank goodness) I look but on my past life in Rexburg and it makes me sick to think of the things I used to say, the way I treated my Parents and friends... I was kind of a pride full young man hahah. I know that I will always be gratfull for my Mission and for the experiences I am having and will countinue to have. :) I love you all so much, sorry this e-mail isnt the greatest but remember always that I will never give up! I cant give up because our Lord and Savior never gave up when he took upon him the Sins of the World. Family Friends also thank you for your prayers for Alexandre and Nayane. I know that the Lord poured out his blessings upon us because of your faith and prayers. I love you all so much and I cant describe how much much strength you give to ben and I here on the Mission. The Mission is kinda hard but now that I'm seven months out im learning its only hard when you make it hard... because when we truly turn things of to the Lord, he makes things pretty easy! :) I love you all and I know this Gospel is true... If you want to know why Im here I will tell you... Im here to bring people to understand the exact same joy we as members of the true church of Jesus Christ feel every day of our lifes. How blessed we all are in our small town of Rexburg (Our small town of ZION) :) haha I love you all and thank you for all that you have given to me. I know this church is true and I love my Lord and Savior. Love Elder Matthew Ryan Doggett.    

Ben#29 starfish

Well after reading those emails from Jenni, Dad and Mom I dont know where to begin. I say that alot in my emails but its true. Im truely inspired each week by my amazing family and friends. The spirit is so strong right now. I really needed to hear and read every word that you all sent to me. You each said something I really needed to hear and I dont know what i what do without you all in my life. My family is such a strength to me. I love you all so much. This week was an intersesting one I went on a 4 day division with an Elder who has one more month then I do on the mission. His name is Elder Raleigh from Pensilvannia... I dont know how to spell that. haha Since we were in my area of Anhanguera I was put as Senior companion for the 4 days which was a little frightening but it was such an amazing experience for me. We taught and worked so hard. I worked extra hard to make up for the rest of the transfer! haha Elder Raleigh and I speak about the same amount of basic Portugese so the first day was interesting that we were together, but slowly it just seemed the launguage was coming and I was able to understand ever word spoken to me, same thing occured with Elder Raleigh. Anyway As the week went on he told me he had been having problems with his companion and it sounded like the samething I was experienceing with mine. We then determined to be extra obedient during our division so we could witness the blessings of the Lord.
One day towards the evening I had the impression to meet one of our investigators named Dilceia. My companion wanted to drop her because she lives so far away, but thats not a good reason to drop someone and deny them the chance to hear the message of eternal life for me. So since we were on the division I felt this would be the best oppurtunity to go and teach her. We were far from home on our journey there when we both had the impression to take a random road. I had walked to Dilceias house many times but for some reason our feet just took this other path and I just went with it. As we were walking a man began to follow us. I didnt think much of it but I noticed he began to pick up his pace. I turned to Elder Raleigh and he too noticed this man. As I began to think the possibibilty that something crazy was going to go down here in a few mintues, something else prompted me to slowen my pace and allow this man to catch up to us... I then thought "WHAT! are you insane Ben! Dont slow down, run! haha" but I listened and slowed my pace. The man then was then shoulder to shoulder to us and stoped us. He said in a quit voice "sorry I dont want to disturb you men, but I just felt like I needed to come and talk to you both. I have seen you many times in the street passing by over the years and always had a desire to talk to you and see what you do, but ive always lacked the will to do so... but here i am now and I dont know why haha so... What to you boys do?" he was giving a little laugh and seemed perplexed by the situation (Im sure I had the same look on my face haha) We began to talk to him and it turns out he is an inventer and is planning to go to the United States and sell his inventions, but he fells like he needs something else in his life right now. We told him who we were and what we are doing here in Brasil. The spirit was so strong as we talked to him. He then asked us to pass by tommorow and share with him our message... As we were walking away Elder Raleigh said to me with a smile on his face "Thats what happens when you live the rules, and do the work Elder Doggett... God prepares his children." We taught him the next day and he was ready to accept everything. He told us he knew and felt that what we were saying was true and that he knows Joseph Smith is a prophet. With tears in his eyes he thanked us for bringing this message to him saying "You boys have something truely special... a light" I know that God is preparing his children. We just have to be ready at all times and be worthy of that light.
We as missionarys need to be worthy at all times to lead people unto the Tree of life. We hold the fruit and are a beacon unto those who are in the darkness searching for that rod and the tree of life. We cant be in the great and spacious buliding hoping to then lead people to the tree... It cant be done. I know I only have control over myself and my actions, we cant control others. My companion this tranfer has been a little hard at times but I was allowing myself to be acted upon. I was basing my happiness and my ability to feel the spirit on his rule breaking. When in reality it was all my choice. I was choosing not to be happy, not to feel the spirit but instead feel anger and frustration towards him... As I worked with Elder Raliegh this week he helped me to notice that. We experienced some wonderful miracles and I felt so happy... then I realized, I didnt have to loss that hapiness when the division ended but I could continue to fell the spirit and to contiunue to be happy because I know I have contol over what I do. (My Father helped me realize this) Family friends dont allow yourselfs to be acted upon but rather take contol of your situation and feelings and choose to be happy whatever life throws at you. You have to act! President Dieter F. Uchtdorf said, "In your mind picture it, ponder it, and believe it, Whatever you think becomes who you are." I was believeing my companion was the problem to my success as a misisonary, but in reality I was truely humbled to realize it was me. This has been such a growing experience for me this transfer and I have learnerd so much I just cant tell you. The Lord is helping to over come all my weaknesses and allowing me the chance to change my heart. I know this work his is the work of the Lord and I love this chance to be a missionary to totally dedicate all my time in serving my lord and savior Jesus Christ. The learning and growing I feel is beyond description. I never thought in a million years the mission would teach me this much about myself. haha
Family friends I love you all so much and can feel such a strength from you. There is a story I heard about a month ago from another missionary that hit me so strong the story goes a little like this "One day a wise man was overlooking a beach where he saw a little boy walking along the shore grabbing starfish and throwing them back to the sea one by one. This wise man in his wisdom thought, "what is this this crazy boy doing? This shore is covered with millions of starfish he efforts are in vain." In preperation to meet with this boy and tell him of his foolish and useless efforts of throwing these starfish back to sea the wise man made his way down to the boy. There the boy was still throwing the little starfish back to the sea hardly noticing the wise man. The wise man then began to make his great speech. "Boy, what on earth are you doing? Dont you realize this shore is covered with millions of starfish? You are hardly doing anyone anygood and plainly you are just wasting your time. You arnt making a difference" The boy turned to the wise man, smiled, picked up another starfish and threw it out to sea... Turning to the wise man the boy said "I just made a difference in the life of THAT Starfish" and continued on throwing them in one by one." Family and Friends I tell you this story because you all have made a difference in my life. Everytime I was washed up on shore one of you is there to throw me back to sea, and give me the will to continue onward. I will be forever grateful for all of you in my life. I know I have so much more I need to learn. This last week was truely humbling for me as I realized I need to change my attitiude about the situation im in and instead of complaining and being upset with it all I need to accept Gods will and do his work. Being positive and happy along the way because its MY choice how I feel and I know God will send his blessings just like that wonderful man I met on the street... My mom sent a wonderful and powerful quote to me that reads "God doesnt always chance your situation because he is trying to change your heart." I testify this is true with all the love from my heart. and all the love for all of you. God will change your heart as you accept his will... I hope to hear from you all soon and may God be with you.
Love Elder Benjamin B. Doggett