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!