Thank you so much everyone for the wonderful emails this week. It was very much needed. I just cannot explain, as Matt and I say everyweek, how much it means to us to hear from you all. The testimony that you all share and the spirit you bring to the upcoming week that Matt and I will be facing is priceless. I thank you all a million times over and will continue to do so. Dad thank you for the Rexburg update and how life is going back home, I have heard alot about that movie you mentioned "The Life of Pi" here on the mission, but have no idea what its about haha... Can you believe that, Elder Benjamin Doggett doesnt know what a movie is about haha :) just kidding, but thank you so much on the Rexburg update its always great to hear. Mom thank you for sharing Stake conference with me and the funny stroy of the member of the 70, also for sharing his wonderful message on missionary work... how important this work truely is, thank you mom and dad you both are truely inspired parents. I also had the opportunity to hear from more famliy and friends and though I cant write to everyone to explain how much your emails meant I want to share my gratitude and love for everyone of you as well, thank you so much. I shared with you all last week that we were foing to a members farm here in Rio Claro, well we went and I took some amazing photos haha It was so much fun and we even went on a little hike into the jungle where we found spiders the size of our heads and swung on vines like Tarzan... Im serious! haha it was so much fun and I will send you all pictures later today but real quick I would like to share with you all my experiences from this last week. Today as I was reflecting on this past week and the humble lessons the Lord has taught me I was thinking back on what my mom said about how imporant this great work is and how we need to be willing to give it our all. As my brother Matt shared in his email last week our attitude is everything in this missionary work and this last week my testimony was strengthend even more on this topic and I feel prompted to share some personal expereinces along with some learning experiences I have had with this subject as well how God will qualify us for any calling on His time. I pray that the spirit may be with me and bear witness to you all of these truths and strengthen your own testimony as well as I testify to you all attitude is key to revealing your true potential as a son or daughter of God.
This last week was really tough on me, as Matt shared, I too was feeling crushed beneath the missionary work. Its not easy and at times you feel very inadaquate to fullfill your calling and have ecspecially began to feel this as the weeks have gone on as a trainer. This last week I was allowing my attitude to really take a turn for the worst because of the some of the difficulties here in the work. (Its really interesting to me Matt how similar our experiences are haha) I came home from a night of work and just felt completely spent. I went to my bedroom without saying a word and just fell face first onto my bed and did a slight ARGHHHHHH into my pillow. All our investigators stopped progressing that night and became as we say here in the mission "mole" I was absolutly frustrated. The pillow didnt really eliminate this frustration haha so I got down on my knees and prayed. I poured my heart out to the Lord and explained how inadaquate I felt in this position. I felt like such a weak missionary unable to effectivly fullfill this calling. As I was praying I then remembered my Patriarchel blessing. In my blessing it has so many wonderful promises unto me from the Lord, ecspecially here on the mission but my faith was weak and my attitude was poor that doubts entered my mind that my blessing was even talking about the same Benjamin Doggett. I was so lost and so weak. The next two days were a real fight mentally and spiritually. I kept trying to focus on those promised blessings and trying to work hard but my attitude was destroyed and all that came to my mind was negative thoughts. ( I know 1 year and 2 months and still this happens haha) I came home and once more went to my bed.... this time I was to weak to realease my frustration to the pillow so... I just layed there feeling sorry for myself. As I layed there I looked at the date on my watch and noticed it was May 18th. I then felt the spirit direct me to open my Journal entry from one year ago and it brought tears to my eyes. My brother and I would do track runs always when we where in the CTM together and we had some very wonderful expereinces together. One day on a particular track run we discussed the events of the day and one event that happened in our class. A sister missionary and a Elder in our district had a disaggrement and the atmosphere changed dramatically. The Elder left with his companion and the sister was very angry. She was eating a banana and threw the banana into the trash can and it landed half way in, with one part hanging into the trash can and the other hanging out. The words she then said hit me so hard and wouldnt leave my mind, which where, "close enough." As Matt and I ran that night we applied these words into our mission. That we must have a positive attitude and grab the bannana peel and finish the job even if we feel inadquate, even if we are angry, even if the weight of the worlds is on our shoulders we must finish the job and humble ourselves before God... its all our choice if we will humble ourselves and grab the banana or say close enough and allow the angry to take over our attitude. Its our choice if we will be happy and have a postitive attitude.
Family and friends I wish I could explain all the detailed expereinces that I have had and the many lessons the Lord has taught me, but I know this mission is preparing me for life. I was touched as I read those words in my journal and fel the lord humble me. I got down on my knees and asked for forgivness as I was the one saying close enough. I was the one who was having the bad attitude. I was the one with the lack of faith that Gods promised blessings would occur. I was the one allowing my weaknesses and inadquacies to take over, but I so testify that God will qualify us. That we can do all that He asks, keep His commandments and face adversity with a smile on our face. Its our choice how we feel. So I challenge you all this day and this week to choose to be happy, choose to overcome your weakness as you shared mom (Ether And it came to pass that the Lamanites did beat them, and drove them back, and slew many of them. but as they changed and let go of angry and frustration and humble accepted the will of the Lord they eventually where freed from bondage and saw the glory of God as they took His name upon them. (Mosiah -16) And they did humble themselves even to the dust, subjecting themselves to the yoke of bondage, submitting themselves to be smitten, and to be driven to and fro, and burdened, according to the desires of their enemies. And they did humble themselves even in the depths of humility; and they did cry mightily to God; yea, even all the day long did they cry unto their God that he would deliver them out of their afflictions... nevertheless the Lord did hear their cries, and began to soften the hearts of the Lamanites that they began to ease their burdens; yet the Lord did not see fit to deliver them out of bondage. And it came to pass that they began to prosper by degrees in the land, and began to raise grain more abundantly, and flocks, and herds, that they did not suffer with hunger. We see that as their attitude changed and they humbled themselves before the Lord His blessings began to come by degree to an eventual freedom. Family and friends I know these things are true. I have learned so much and am so grateful for the patience of the Lord to me here on the mission. He is so good to me in every way. I know that if we all look to change our attitudes and humblely accept the will of the Lord, not saying close enough but grabbing the banana peel and finishing the job we will be blessed. I hope and pray this all makes sense as I tryed to place all my thoughts together for you all to understand but I know this is from the spirit and its my testimony that we may all become better and trust in our Lord... I know this is all true and am once more so grateful very everything the Lord as been teaching me. I am so humbled each day by this mission and know i am exaclty where I need to be :) May God bless you all this week and I hope you can feel my spirit and testimony this day is my pray... May God be with you till we meet again... and Matt thank you so much for one more track one this week. You mean eveything to me and have helped me so much. I love you.) Im doing great now as I know without a doubt that God will qualify me. That His promissed blessings will occur if I just have faith and continuing doing all I can to serve Him with all my heart. I know that a positive attitude is key to success in this life and that we must be firm and steadfest during our trials. I think back alot on the people of Limhi in the Book of Mormon that as their attitude was negative and they allowed pride and angry to enter their heart they where almost destroyed by the lamaninites as we read (Mosiah 21: 6-8 ) And it came to pass that the people began to murmur with the king because of their afflictions; and they began to be desirous to go against them to battle. And they did afflict the king sorely with their complaints; therefore he granted unto them that they should do according to their desires. And they gathered themselves together again, and put on their armor, and went forth against the Lamanites to drive them out of their land.
Ama Elder Benjamin B. Doggett