Tuesday, January 29, 2013

Matt #41 Elder Bednar

Well everyone once again thank you for the amazing letters... I honestly feel terrible because sometimes I dont have the time to write back individual letters but please recongnize and know that I love you all individually and I treasure each letter individually... I honestly have the most incredible friends, Family, and second Families/Parents in the world. Each week I recieve E-mails of encouragement and of Faith. I dont know if you all realize or ever will realize how much your testimonys and words of encouragment help each week. It's interesting because Ben and I recieve so much new strength and energy from your e-mails that we become prepared to handle the following week. I know that everything happens for a purpose in our lifes and that includes one small E-mail... I hope and pray that the e-mail I sent today will also be a blessing for all you back home as the E-mails I recieve this day from you blessed and countinue to bless me. 
 Everyone I had one of the rarest and most Spiritual experinces of my life that changed me this past week... It was an oppurtunity that not very many people have had or will every have in their lifes. I had the chance to speak with Elder Bednar and ask him any question that I desperetly needed an answer to. Last week I wrote something very interesting because I said that this week would be special because I would have the chance to talk with Elder Bednar but the chances were slim because out of 200 sum odd Missionarys its almost impossible to be picked on to ask a question but it happened and I had the chance to stand and look an Apostle of the Lord in the eyes and ask any question. I should start from the begging though. We woke up around 4 in the morning to be the first Missionarys at the São Judas capela para falar com o Elder Bednar. We showed up around 7 and there were already a lot of Missionarys there but we still got front row seats... Imagine sitting in a little chapel full of only 200 people and sitting on the front row right next to a member of the 12 Apostle and thats how it was for us! It was incredible, as he walked into the room it literally changed. The room became quiet almost like a still quiet and the room became brighter. It was so quiet but calm peacefull quiet as we began our time with Elder Bednar. We started at 8 in the morning and didnt finish until 12:30. It was so incredible because he does things a little diffrently. He didnt have material or a lesson plan. He only started with a question and then asked for our responses. He told us so many things that I cant write it all down but he said so much about doctrine and things that my brain almost exploded, but in the short time we had to learn one on one with an Apostle of the Lord was incredible. I guess the best way to describe it was that we didnt sit there and listen to a talk like we do during Sacrement meeting but we were in Sunday School putting in our own questions and answers while Elder Bednar directed the class.... pretty awesome huh? :) Towards the end of the lesson he said "Alright, so we dont have much time left together but I would like to pick on several Missionarys who would like an answer to anything... as long as your question isnt where is the sword of Laban or where in kolab, ok? Well lets begin." It was pretty intense. Out of 200 Missionarys only 6 got to ask a question. I was one of the luckt 6. I'm not sure what happened but these past 9 almost 10 months on the Mission I have always been thinking about of Spiritual Gifts and Talents... When we read our Blessings it always mentions Gifts and Talents but I never understood how to reconginize those Gifts and to apply them. So I was sitting there pondering this and I just raised my hand... I will never be able to describe this experince to everyone but It was unreal. He slowly turned towards me and we made eye contact and then he said "Elder do you have a question?" I sat there with my hand in the air for a few seconds until I realized that the Apostle was talking to me... I slowly stood up and my brain shut off... I just stood there for a moment shaking and then I looked at Elder Bednar and I will never forget what I saw... I saw a servent of the Lord looking down at me with so much love and a big smile. The Spirit was so overwhelming and I realized that Elder Bednar is a servent of our Heavenly Father and he was only there at that moment to help us as Missionarys grow stronger in our faith and testimoneys. I knew that he was willing to answer anything I needed an answer and because of this my fear went away and my mind became clear. I asked Elder Bednar. "Elder Bednar these past few months of my Mission I've really been thinking about our Gifts and Talents... How can we as Missionarys and as worthy Members of the church recongnize and magnify our Gifts and talents?" We just sat there in silence for a little while and then he said "Elder Doggett come with me your my new ASSISTANT!" haha no I'm kidding he didnt say that but he did look at me for a little while and I will tell you that its one crazy experince to be standing there and have an Apostle of the Lord just stare at you... but he then called on a member of the seventy who was with him to answer the question. He then sat down for several minutes while the member of the seventy answered. After his remarks Elder Bednar stood back up and asked the wife of the member of the seventy to respond as well. He sat back down for several minutes... After her remarks on the subject of gifts and talents Elder Bednar stood back up. He came to the pulpit and said "Elder great question... I have found the answer to your question but I know that many people here will not like what I have to say... They may even be offended... please dont be offended and remember that what I have to say comes from our Heavenly Father." I just stood there and nodded my head up and down... I couldnt really speak haha. :) but he said "Elder the answer to your question about our Gifts and Talents is that none of us have Gifts or Talents... Everything we have in our lifes is on loan from our Heavenly Father to allow us the chance to bless the lifes of others. We dont have Gifts or Talents. Only when we recieve the trust of the Lord by doing his will and following his commandments will he bless us in return with his Gifts. Gifts are only given to those who earn the trust of the Lord. They are the Lords Gifts not ours." It was so incredible and he said much more about this subject. When he finished he smiled at me and he said "Does that answer you question?" He did more then for me in the small moment I had with him then answer a question... he changed my life. :) 

  There where many things we learned that speciel day as Missionarys and I wasnt the only lucky Missionary to have the chance to ask a question that would change our lifes... There was one Missionary who stood and ask a question if he would have the chance to live in the Celestial Kingdom with his Mother if she was Baptised and received her endowments but fell away... Elder Bednar answered and it was something I will never forget and I know that the Misionary who had this question will never forget. Also If I remember right my great friend Elder Buck also had a similar experince with Elder Bednar, but I think the most important lesson I learned from this little experince was that I know without a doubt in my heart that Elder David A. Bednar of the quorom of the twelve Apostles is a representative of our Lord and Savior. I wish you could have felt the Spirit we felt and learned the things we learned. Everything he said just made sense and it was so incredible. I hope to be able to describe this experince better once I return home but I want everyone to know that I know this Gospel is true. The Spirit was something I will never forget that we all felt in that room. Going to General Confrence is something special, but sitting in a small chapel with only 200 people and having a Sunday School lesson from and Apostle is something I will never forget. :) Family and Friends I love you guys... I hope you know I'm really trying my best. I doing everything I can to earn the trust of the Lord by being Obedient so that I can be trusted with his gifts and help those here in Brasil. I hope you all know that I know these this are true. Everyday here on the Mission my testimoney is growing and its just incredible. Ben I hope you know that I love you with all my heart and that your a Speciel Missionary and servent of the Lord... I hope you realize that the Lord alreay has so much trust in you because of the Gifts and Talents you shared with me before the Mission and while we were at the CTM. You've blessed my life in more ways then you know and I hope you will always remember that. The same goes to my family and Friends as well... I'm still trying to figure out why I was so blessed because to be honest I dont deserve you all... but I know that the Lord will give me a chance to pay you all back. I love you all and I hope you all never forget that. This church is true it really is! 

P.S. Dad are you serious there going to make a Star Wars 7???? What is this!!! Wow things are changing fast... do you think they'll bring harison ford into it again? Haha well at least I'll be home for it, for now I just need to focus on the Mission and not on light saber battles! (Which will be awesome!!!) Love you all so much! Until next week God be with you. Love Elder Matthew Ryan Doggett.    

Ben #40 Growth

Oi, mais uma vez todo mundo! Its been great to read all your emails this day. Im so grateful for the Lord in my life for blessing me with the family and friend relationships I have. You all are such amazing examples to me and I just cant tell you how much I love everyone of you. From the things I have read today it sounds like Rexburg has been on freeze mode this last week... While Brasil the other mode. With all the rainfall here the temperature has sky rocked due to the humitity. I have never sweated this much in all my life, its really an interesting experience. I know im going to dye when I get home! haha But it sounds like everyone is doing great. Mom and Dad once more I so appreciate your amazing emails and words of inspiration. Mom it means so much to hear how much our missions are blessing your lives. I often pray at night that the lord will open the windows of Heaven unto my wonderful parents for all they have done for me over the years in teaching me correct princliples. Mom I want you to know that every missionary I live with call me "The mom of the house" haha cause I know how to clean. Its funny, whenever you said "I wont be there on your mission to clean your room, do your laundary, fold your clothes, do your dishes." ( You know those kinda things) I just would laugh... but now im so grateful and forever will be for the things you have taught me Mom... thank you that balance in life is so important. Dad you mentioned some things in the near future having to deal with school. I  too have thought alot about that during my mission. Walking the streets everyday to your next appointment you have alot of time to think and talk with your companion about these kind of things, which I do often haha. I thought about my fututre here in a year since the time will soon be approaching to start school, and I know without a doubt the Lord will take care of me for my missionary service... just like you read to me in 3 Nephi. Im doing everything I can to lay up treasures in Heaven. Rachel your keeping me up on the good details of Rexburg and I love that so much thank you and I love you so much sister. I havent got letters for almost 3 weeks cause of where im at but I know I will have some waiting from you haha... Sister Tighe thank you so much for your much needed words. Its so good to hear from you and your testimony on prayer. You have such a deep conversion to this wonderful principle of the Gospel as I am trying to learn how to better myself in this area. I pray for you and your family always and love you all so very much. Jordan meu amigo faz tempo que eu não ouvi nada de você! Mas tudo bom! Eu estou bem por que agora eu estou falando contigo! Cara eu sei pode ser bem dificil lá especialmente quando nosso outros amigos não falaram com as moças no Wal-mart, mas com tempo eu vou ficar com vocé e nós podemos falar com todos as moças no BYU-I e o Wal-Mart haha! fica Tranquilar sobre isso! I love you man and I want you to know I miss you so much as well. We will all be together soon. Kristin, with the crazyness of school you still find time to write that means so much to us thank you so much and I hope school treats you great... haha tell your roomates hi from the Doggies. haha (Thats so funny). Finally my brother Matt... WOW I love you and am so grateful for your emails each week. You are such an example to me and I love you so very much... What great emails this day. I feel so humbled by all of you.
Well after that long thanks lets talk about the events of my week. Its so hard to pick one thing out that I would like to share since as my brother once said, "so many wonderful things happen each week that its hard to explain to each of you the growth we are having." I truely feel that. So whatwhould I like to talk to you about this day? Growth. Its why we are here on this earth to grow and become all that God wants us to be. Yesterday I had a pretty major wake up call that I will never forget and I would like to share this experience with you all. Yesterday we were visiting out investigators that didnt come to church to see what happened. Unfortunatley none of them where home but we kept on going. We had an investigator by the name of Milton who is an awsome man and investigator. I met Milton in the streets awhile back. He had revceived all the lessons from the missionaries 10 years ago but soon lost contact with them. I felt prompted to work in the particular neighborhood and found Milton there. We began to teach him and he came to church 3 times and was progessing rapidly... but then sadly we lost complete contact with him, and he hasnt been home everytime we have gone to his house for the last 3 weeks. As we were walking yesterday visiting all the investigators a member called us and explained he had figured out where Milton was. Apparently Milton had become seriously ill and put into the Hospital 3 weeks ago, the memeber worked there at the Hospital and recognized him from his visits to church with us. The member told us they would take us to the Hospital. We arrived in the Hospital, and if there is something you want to know about me... I hate Hospitals (Especially here in Brasil, there really sketchy haha) We walked in and made our way to the receptionists desk. We recieved our visit passes and headed in. We walked in his room and found Milton sitting in the bed as the nurse fed him. He saw us and instantly become so excited and happy, but, I think it was to much for him cause he instantly threw up everywhere (barley missing me to be honset, I never dodged something so fast in all my life as I jumped to the other side of the room! haha) We helped the nurse clean it up and then sat and talked with Milton. It was hard for him to talk and every word and breath seemed to sting his weak body. I had never seen something like this in all my 19 years of life. Only in movies... As I sat there I took Miltons hand in mine, clinging to it, and looking him in the eyes, exclaimed, we were here for him no matter what. He looked at me and tears ran down both our faces. We then proceeded to give him a blessing as the spirit was so strong and brought forth the powers of heaven in that room... and afterwards do to the situtation the nurse thought it best we say our goodbyes. As I left Milton thanked us for visting him and told us how much it meant to him. 
We left the Hospital and made our way home. None of us said a word. The nurse had told us prior to us leaving that the situation was worse then Milton thought. Apparently his heart is filling with water and the Doctors are trying there best to help him but he is completley unaware. As I walked home I was just crying. In all my 19 years I never realized how good I had it, but how selfish I was. The pride in my heart was so big, and it was that same pride that destroyed a whole nation in the Book of Mormon. It's funny you know I always heard a mission changes you into a man and I would always think "Yeah, im going to come home a man!"... but I never understood the context of this "Change." Neil L. Anderson of the quorm of the tweleve once said, "Somehow, somewhere in your life you have to see your life bigger than you." In this moment I realized my life is so much bigger then me. God knows exactly who I can grow into and become. Before my mission everything was about me. I took care of only my needs, I could do whatever I wanted, whenever I wanted... but now the picture is bright and clear as a representative of Christ. The Lord is taking me and shaping me or as we read in Helaman sanctifying me. Helaman 3: 35 we read of the "Principles of sanctification" or in other words the Holy Ghost. The holy Ghost can ultimatly be called the sanctifier of the purifiry. How much the spirit can clean and purifiy you depends on your willingness to accept Him and His will. If we Pray, study, and keep the commandments and do all we can to serve Him we will witness this santification within our own lives, and begin to witness a growth beyond our own comprehesion as a light will begin to grow within our hearts "until that perfect day." (D&C 50: 24)
Family and Friends I have never been so humbled in all my life. Im begining to see the lords hands mold me into everything He knows I can become... Now I just have to accept Him. I know in all our lives we put on a mask sometimes and try to hide from the potentional we have within ourselves, or the growth the Lord has for us... but my invite for you all this day is come unto Him and do His will. At times it wont be easy. At times you are going to feel so weak. You all remember my muscle analagy that I shared with you all a few months back about our muscles? How do they become stronger? By being torn. Sometimes we are broken down so we can stand a little taller. I promise to you all in this moment in the name of our savior Jesus Christ that whatever difficulty or challenge you are passing through will be for your growth. The Lord knows best and He knows exactly what you need to grow. Many times I hardened my own heart and turned from the will of God but I promise... "He knows best... so leave Him the rest." and has Richard G. Scott once said "...with certainty, you will recieve every promised blessing for which you are worthy." Lets do our part, lets be worthy, and lets trust in the Lords will for in Him we can grow into all he knows we can.
This week was quite an experience and wake up call for me as I know this mission is all bigger then me. That I need to be serving my Lord at this moment in my life... I know my He lives. I love you family and friends so much and wish the best for you all as you try to sanctify yourselfs thiscoming week and become all your savior knows you can. Again I love you all and thank you for the enocuragement and support out here in Brasil. Im working hard to bring this meassage of truth unto these wonderful people and know that this work is the work of God... keep Milton in your prayers. I know God has a great plan for him. I love you all and hope to hear from you all next week and may God be with until we meet agian.
Love Élder Benjamin B. Doggett   
p.s. The photo is mainly for Matt to see. I found 1 real in paper form! They stopped making the 1 real bill 3 years ago and its almost impossible to find here in Brasil... but not for Elder Ben Doggett! haha  hope you all like! 

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Tuesday, January 15, 2013

Matt #40

Well the time has once again come to express my love to all you back home.... This week was incredible, it was such a learning experience and the Love I felt from all of you was undescribable (Eu tenho certeza que esta palavra é soletrado errada. Inglês está mais ou menos difícil agora, mas todo bem!) :) Anyway to start Rachel thank you so much for you wonderfull report of the Missionarys that are heading on their way to the greatest 2 years of there lifes. I love hearing whos going where... Its an exciting time for everyone! Also thank you for the report that I will grow haha, Ná verdade I have grown a little on the Mission so I hope when I get home I'll be taller then Jordan or Alex but we'll see what happens! Alyssa thank you for your wonderfull e-mail about sharing the Gospel... From reading your e-mails and hearing about your experinces with roomates and sharning the gospel it makes me feel like your serving a Mission também. Thanks for the Love alyssa your the best. Alex thank you for the e-mail. I'll try and get a letter written in response but its a little hard to find time among the craziness of the Mission but I hope you know that when you began talking about the old memories we shared I couldnt stop crying... I hope you know that you made me cry you bully haha. I love you Alex and I miss you more then you'll know. I just can't believe how fast things are going by. Remember always that everything has a purpose and EVERY trial and hardship is in our lifes to strenghen our faith and hope in Christ. I love you. Mom Dad I cant believe you've been married for 33 years! It feels like yesterday I was just running around spray painting the station wagon and putting sprinkles in the Neighbors houses and just haveing a party 24/7... Its incredible how fast time flies by. Yesterday was a special day in church for me as a father bore is testimony about his young son who just received the Priesthood.... As I sat there I couldnt help but think of my Father.... I love you mom and dad. Also thank you everyone else for your amazing e-mails. They mean the world to me and I wish I could spend all day writting everyone individually bearing my testimoney and sharing my love... but that day is just going to have to wait until Ben and I return home in a year and 2 months mais ou menos. 
      Well as I thought about what I would be sharing with everyone today I thought back on the events of this past week.... It was a little hard but I've gotten to the point where I refuse to say that a week was tough.... Because in reality everyday in our lifes are challenges huh? The part on weather a day is good or bad depends on how we looked at the situation and handle it. One interesting thing I have noticed with the Mission is I have seen Missionarys who are always complaining and upset about the current situation and they dont want to do anything to fix it... and then I see those who just except reality and enjoy every moment of it with a big smile! :) I'm not sure what Missionary I am because I'm not perfect and this past week I did a little to much complaining... but things are changing which makes me happy! There are two Scriptures I read this past week that opened my eyes that I would like everyone to read and Study. The First is in 1st Nephi 11:17 the second is in D&C 101:32-36. These two Scriptures have really helped me so much especially here on the Mission. As a matter of fact they've cahnged my life and out look on everything. The first Scripture we learn something that brings forth joy and more re-assurance then anything in the whole world! We learn from this Scripture That "God loveth his Children" I would like everyone to take a moment and ponder on that one simple phrase.... We know that God loveth his Children. Thats good enough for me to go headlong into any mess that the Lord requires of me because I know that he Loves me and no matter what he is going to help guide me along. Sometimes we forget the most basic doctine of the Gospel... that we are literally Sons and Daughters of a living Heavenly Father. This is such a profound statement because, I think of the Love my Father Murray Doggett has for me... I think of the Love my mother Valerie Dogget has for me... then I think of the love that my Heavenly Father has for each one of us.... Wow... When this thought passes through my mind I realize that anything is possible because we are never only. I hope everyone realizes that even when we are only... We never truly are. Our loving Heavenly Father is always here for us, but its our coice wheather or not we want to come unto him. The Next scripture is one that can help anyone get through pretty much anything... I found it while reading a book titled. "Five Scriptures that can get you through almost anything." Haha Its found in D&C 101:32-36. We learn here that One day the Lord will reveal all things. One thing that I have seen that destroys our personal converison which in turn destroys our testimonys is when people want answers and only straight fact answers without faith or belief.... Thats one thing thats special about the church of Jesus Christ because if you want answers we've got them. Sometimes people dont like the answers we give but there here right in the scriptures (Imagine me holding my scriptures up to the computer screen with a big smile because thats what Im doing haha) We have an answer for pretty much any questions you can think of. I love to see people ask questions they expect are impossible to answer and we respond with Scripture and detail in almost a second response, but this Scripture I've shared goes so much more deeper then this.... There have been times when I've asked "Heavenly Faher why am I going through this? Why is learning Portuguese my difficult challenge? Why do I have to pass through this hardship and trial? Why ME!?" Haha im pretty sure everyone of us has asked this question at one point or another within our lifes and the answer my family and friends is simple... Just read D&C101 32-36. We dont have the straight forward answers sometimes to lifes toughest questions like "Why me?" but we do know that everything will be revealed in the end on the Lords time. Everything that happens is really only for our good and growing! I do not have a doubt in my heart that we cant all grow from our difficulties.... but its our choice to allow the growth to grow. I hope this all make sense.... I know I always say that but we onestly dont have much time to write so its pretty hilarious because every week when I finish e-mails I have to get a drink and wipe the sweat from my face because I'm so stressed out to right a good e-mail in a short amount of time haha. Just remember that in the end all things will work out for the best. I think thats my main message for today. :)

       Thank you everyone for your love and support... I miss you all so very much. This week I had a few moments like my good buddy alex had where I began thinking of old memories and I began tearing up. Its weird to think that nothing is going to be the same once I return... So much has already changed within the Lifes of those I love that I feel that if I were to return home now I would just feel out of place.... haha its a interesting feeling but I know that once I return all those who I love will be there and we will have to make new memories and have better times. Ben first things first we've got to grow some beards second Family we are going to yellowstone camping the first summer I'm back because I wont lie but I was not made for big city life and I feel like my brain is going to explode soon hahaha :) so a good full beard and a nice camping trip would really help me out! I love you all and I hope you know how much I love you all. I hope that you can feel the Spirit of love in my e-mails... Sometimes I worry about this because I have to write so fast that Im afraid that it hinders the ability for the Spirit to really speak, but I know that we can all learn by the Scriptures. So I feel good leaving a Scripture or two with you all. Please ponder the words in the Scriptures and please remember how much I love you all. I cannot express how much I love and miss you all but I love this gospel so much.... Its true it really really really is! :) That I know with all my heart. Ben you the greatest brother in the world and I mean it when I say I dont desire you... I look up to you so much and I hope you realize that when I show your picture to members or investigators with a lot of pride I brag about how amazing my brother is. Thank you ben for your loving exampl. I also recieved your letter that came in a most needed moment... I love it how that works. :) Love you all never forget that.   

Ben #39 Look to the Future

Thank you once more... everyweek I begin my email by thanking everyone for their emails and strengthing power they give me but really if only you knew how much this means to us missionaries to hear from our loved ones back home even if we cant respond directly to each email we recieve know that they are being read and feasted upon... ecspecially by me haha. Mom Dad Happy Aniva... ok I dont remeber how to spell that word by Happy 33 years of being married haha! I love you both and thank you for your wonderful example. I hope to be half as amazing as you two are someday. Your emails are so uplifting Mom you talked about how the Church will read D&C, I actually just finished D&C about 3 weeks ago and let me tell you it has some amazing doctrine and revelations for everyone. I read it before in seminary but sadly, to be honest, I didnt truely seek the inspiration to understand its teachings... I was just doing it like another homework assignment and I regret that BUT now being here on the mission my testimony has been strengthed. It has so many wonderful teachings ecspecially about the early saints and all the struggles they encountered and how grateful I am for them in my life. What an awesome goal! Dad, thank you the Lord really has placed a great responsability on my shoulders and I wont fail him... thank you for your testimony. Also Alyssa it was wonderful to hear from you and all the missionary experiences you are having in your part of the world. Contiune to be a living example of this great Church and doors will surely be opened unto you. Also im glad to hear you think its great that Matt and I cry now haha!!!! That made me laugh, but really this Gospel is something else. I know its true. I cant help but feel it in great abundancy everytime I teach. I just love this Gospel and now it has such a sensitive place in my heart and that will never change. Last my dear brother Alex, I would like to personally write you but in this mass email thank you for your powerful email. Alex I cant lie I was crying pretty good in this lan house (Theres the crying again haha) but really Al I love you and thank you for that email. Words cannot describe its meaning to me, love you and your example to me... and I love everyone else who took their time this week to write me I love you all so very much.
Well now lets get onto the weeks events Im sure some of you would like some details haha. Just on the update of Brasil and Rio Claro... It hasnt stopped raining since I clicked send to my mass email last week. I left the lan house a week ago and a light rainfall began and... its still raining haha. The January season is the season of rain here in Brasil and its been coming down hard. I have really actually been enjoying it cause I have never witnessed something like this back home. I know I really will miss Brasilian rain when I come home. The clouds are huge and gray some even black! There thicker and bigger then anything I have seen... you remeber in the Lion king when Simbas father appears in the clouds... they kinda look like that and sometimes I even believe I will see Simbas father as well haha. Its really cool and im enjoying the change in wheather. The rain though has slowed the work. Its been difficult this week to teach people because the culture here is when the rain comes down... you go to sleep, even if the floods do come up haha. I remeber a particular night this last week when I was walking down the road drenched from head to toe. I could barley keep my eyes open cause the rain was coming down so hard. It was a tough day and I was thinking to myself "WOW Ben Doggett what on Earth are you doing! Are you CRAZY!? Why are you walking down this road in BRASIL, soaking wet, trying to teach people of Christ when no one this week even wants to hear you... you could be home speaking English with your family and friends, doing whatever you would like to. You could even maybe be dating a beautiful girl, or going to school to progress your future career but no your here. Why?" Well I will tell you why family and friends because Christ lives, because he suffered for me, a boy from Rexburg Idaho! HE knows me! HE loves me! and HE will never abandon me. I have a testimony that this work is the work of God. In that pouring rain a smile ran across my face as I shoved those thoughts aside faster then the had creeped into my natural mind as I turned to the spirit, and looked forward to the future and everything this mission has to offer me. When I returned home I read a talk My mom sent me, a talk given by Jeffery R. Holland entitled, "Remeber Lots Wife." For those of you who dont remember the story of Lot's family they were commanded to leave the city because of its wickedness... and eventually everyone packed up and began the journey to leave, but as they were leaving the city Lot's wife looked back, she looked back and desired those things back in the city... and you know what happened? Sadly, she was turned into a pillar of salt... Sometimes in this life we look back at some things we have done, mistakes we have made, oppurtunities we never took, or even sometimes we even look at things we could be doing in the present time much like I did that day in the rain.We have to live every moment though! As I layed in my bed that night pondering the things I had read I thought about this great missionary work and how I have the power and authority to act in the name of Christand how I only have this two years that I can bless the lives of other people as a representative of Christ! WOW that is something so much more meaningful then anything I could be doing right now in my life and i cant tell you how happy I am. I have a amazing twin and great friends who are experienceing this joy right now in their lives as well. My president has allowed me to view Bady's mission blog and wow is he such an amazing example of doing the Lords work.( Brady if you read this I love you man) My other dear friends who are serving I know are being the exact same example and blessing the lives of others. I cant name them off but you know who you are! haha Oh how great this wonderful work is! I promise though the future will be wonderful! Live every moment you can as President Dieter F. Uchtdorf said in the last General Conferece "without regrets." There really is no where else on this Earth I would rather be then Brasil.
I feel this last week my Faith as been strengthed and my purpose made even clearer. Yeah there are times when I miss you all so very much but really there is nothing better then being a missionary. I felt a little sad the other night as I realized im almost half way done. The power and love that comes from bearing His name and entering into peoples homes and bringing the spirit unto them is something I just cant describe. Fmaily and friends this Gospel is real, God lives and His son Jesus Cristo died for everyone of us... so we can all look towards the future. We can forget our past cause His atonement is real. So let us remeber, as Jeffery R. Holland taught, "Lot's wife" Lets put our whole faith in the Savior Jesus Christ since this is the first principle in the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. As Moroni taught in Ether 12:6 " You wont recieve a testimony until after the trial of you faith"- I know its not easy and we are going to have hard times but I promise in the name of Christ unto all who will read this that the blessings will come and though you may not be experienceing the happiness now it will come. There is always hope for what lies in the future as long as you have faith in Jesus Christ and study the sciptures, pray, keep the commandments, and do all you can to be what He needs you to be... You will find pure and everlasting joy without end. I love you all and my heart is full at this time. I cant describe the serenity and happiness I feel being here in Brasil... I saw last night my Brasilian sunset through the thick clouds of gray, (if you all remeber from my first Transfer) bringing to me a remembrance of hope and peace as the faint red like sky that comes from the suns light pierced the gray clouds... I testify God does live. He is right here with us everystep of the journey because he wants us to make it home back to His presence. Keep doing your best... and leave the rest unto Him...and remeber All you need is a particle of faith as Alma taught... just believe is my testimony to you all this week in whatever you may be facing... and know i love you all so very much I hope this email will help someone back home that they may begin to grow that faith within themself and look to the future trusting fully and completly in God. I hope to hear from you all soon and apoligize for the lack of detail of spirituality but my heart is so full at this moment and my happiness is undscriableable and I just desire to share my joy with you all through my mission experiences... God be with you until next time is my humble prayer. :) EU te AMO!
Ama Élder Benjamin B. Dogget

Tuesday, January 8, 2013

Matt #39 Going through motions

Everyone thank you so much for the e-mails. Like always they have strengthend me and giving me the answers I need to countinue on in this incredible journey. I'm not sure if you all knew this but Missionary work gets pretty tiring at times and you'll never understand home much energy I recieve just from hearing all your incouraging words. Thank you Kristin and Sister Tighe. I love you both very much and your e-mails touched my heart. Dad, mom, and rachel I'm so glad to hear you got a view of my house from Google maps. That little tree in front of my house is awesome because it smells pretty good and sometimes I will get a good smell from it in the mornings when I open my big window right above the tree. I sleep right below the window so everyone I have an incredible view that would take your breath away when I wake up everymorning. I wish you could see it.... Honestly I wish you all could experince and see the things I have seen and feel the things I've felt these past 9 months... This week was unreal, I've had experinces this week that have been almost more than I could bear Spiritually, Mentally, and Physically. It was a week that definetly went into the Journals haha, but it was also the most incredible week of my Mission experince.
I've been thinking a lot this past week about "Going through the motions" weather in our Missions or in our lifes in general. Sometimes its hard not to get sucked into the routine of life and just go through what we call "The Motions" but sometimes we cant help it. For example I remember when I first entered the Mission field and I went to teach my first lesson I was scarred and nervous and more then anything else excited to finally teach as a Missionary. I thought to myself "This is it, this is everything you've prepared yourself to do up to this point in your life" and when we began to teach I did everything in my power to help the man we taught. I did everything I could to listen to him and to the whisperings of the Spirit. I did everything that I needed to do to succed in my sacred calling as a servent of the Lord. As time has gone on (9 Months to be exact) its been hard to stay focused, to remeber those feelings I felt the first time I went to teach... Those feelings of my purpose as a Missionary. This past week I found myself becoming lost within the chambers of my mind and heart and I began to only go through the motions of the Mission.

I then had an experince that shouted and slapped "WAKE UP ELDER DOGGETT" right in my pride filled face! Haha It was this past wednesday and I was really tired.... As we began the day of work I just felt completly exhausted and I didnt feel like I had the energy to countinue, But we went to work. As the day draged on and the heat became more and more unbearable I was becoming a little discouraged, especially since ALL of our lessons fell through and my handkercheif was completally filled with my sweat that I could no longer wipe the sweat from my face... thoughts began to enter my head and I began to have a sore attitude and I began just going through the Motions of the day.... It was around 6 my time here so around 1 o'clock for everyone back in Rexburg that I had an experince that I will never forget. We went to our last marked apointment for the hour of 6 and it fell through. By this point I was almost finished, I looked at my companion who was exhausted and he looked at me and we realized we were both almost finished... We just both sat there not really knowing what to do next. My companion (Elder Larsen) then said "Elder Doggett do you remember Richard?" I responded "Ya I do... Hes that old refrence we tried contacting a few weeks back but never got a hold of right?" Elder Larsen "Ya thats him... I feel inpressed we should go pass by his house." The minute my companion said these words I felt diffrent... I felt the same Spirit my companion was feeling testify to me that this is where we needed to go. I cant really it explain it and I dont think I ever will be able to but I honestly just felt that this was right. As we showed up at his house we knew there was something going down because there was quite a bit of noise coming from the house. But we knocked and his neighbors let us in. This was a rare chance for us because we tried several weeks back to talk with Richard but we could never get a hold of him. I remember we tried once every day to get a hold of him but he was never home. As we entered things were not going good. He was in a heated argument with his wife and I looked at my Companion and we both gave each other incouraging nods and walked him. I can't really describe the time we spent with Richard after this but only it was a Spiritually experince for all of us. As we entered his wife couldnt hear our message because she stayed in there bedroom crying, but Richard said he wanted to hear what we had to say so we shared the first lesson. The lesson was diffrent and the Spirit was so stong. Those memories of when I taught my very first lesson flooded my mind and I had the desire and strength once again to keep going to keep listening, and to do all I possible could to help this man Richard. Well in the middle of the lesson he stoped... He looked at us and he began to cry. He told us that he and his wife just found out the he (Richard) has cancer, and the reason they were fighting was because he wanted to spend more time with his family but they didnt know how to accomplish this with his work and the keymo theoropy treatments starting this week... I sat there in shock. He then countinued by saying "If you two had shown up ten minutes later then when you did, I would have done something that would have ruined my life forever...." I still dont know what he was going to do but we finished one of the most Spiritual lesson I've ever taught and Elder Larsen and I left... Once we were on the street Elder Larsen turned to me and said "Elder Doggett this right here is exactly why we are on the Mission."

I will keep you imformed on Richard but it will be almost impossible for him to go to church now and it will be very hard to teach the lessons as he will be staying at the Hospital but I know with all my Heart the Lord sent us there for a very specific reason and we've already told our members about his situation so we'll firgure out what Hospital hes staying at and we will make sure to visit him during this time. It was an experince that woke me back up to the reality of the Mission. One thing that Elder Birch (Another Elder who I live with) said is sometimes its hard not to get sucked into the routine of life or the Mission. For example Elder Birch Ironed is white shirts but when he finished Ironing he realized the Ironer wasnt on and he was only going through the motions by moving the Iron up and down but he wasnt acomplishing anything... The same thing applies with us and our lifes. For me in my situation I think of the heat from the Iron to get the wrinkles out of the Shirts as the Spirit of the Lord. Sometimes we need to stop and take a second and reflect on our lifes and get ourselves out of the motions.

Like always I hope this all makes sense for all of you haha. Its been a pretty incredible week for me but remember always to stay close to the Lord and the Spirit. Be worthy to have the companionship of the Spirit with you at all times. I promise you that when you do this you will grow closer to our Heavenly Father. In Romans 10:3 It says something to the effect "Ignorance pulls us away from God." With knowledge (especially when accompanied by the Spirit) we come to know him. We see as he sees and the desire to serve and become like him grows and is nourished by our faith and works until the perfect day. For this reason we must read our Scriptures, Do all we can to follow the commandments, and most importantly do all we can to become more like our Father in Heaven by living as worthy members of the Church. Remember always that If we want to recieve all that God has, we must give him all that we have. :) I love you all so much and I've never been more happy in my life. Don't wory I'm back to speed with everything especially because of my wonderfull family and friends who e-mail me each week. I can't tell you all how much I love the Mission. I do miss the cold but thats ok because when I get home I'll have a much deeper apreciation for the wonderfull weather of winter haha. I love you all and I hope you know I think of you all everyday... I'm serious haha but I also know this church is true. Something I love that my father always says in his e-mails to ben and I is this. "This church is true, it really is." Its that simple phrase that has gotten m through some rough patches. I love you all and I hope you never forget that. I just dont know how many times I can say it more. I know this week will be a good one and I pray that you all will have a great week to! :) You all have a blessed day now ok? hahah (Old Jamba Juice pick up line) haha Love you all and God be with you until next week. 
Love Elder Matthew Ryan Doggett        

Ben #38 A Better Parent

Another week gone and a new year has begun. Thank you everyone for the amazing emails you sent this week. Mom, Dad, Rachel, I cant tell you how amazing it is to hear from you. Giving me the wonderful updates on Rexburg! I cant believe how cold it is there! Im pretty sure when I return home I will never be hot again haha! This week it was so hot here in Brasil that I kinda felt like that man from Indian Jones whos face melts right off!!!! haha but really thank you for your love and spirit it means so much to me. Kristine Tighe... I love you and thank you for your email and testimony. Your faith and trust in God is incrediable, I was deeply touched by your email this week and felt the spirit so strong remember as King Benjamin once taught "Blessed are they that kept the commandmants of God"- God is there and he will bless you. Thank you again for your wonderful email and know you and my 2nd family are always in my prayers... Kristin, my dear friend thank you for your email once more as well, its truely crazy how fast time is going and your starting school again! Keep on the srtaight and narrow and look for every oppurtunity to increase your knowledge and testimony of this great Gospel. Good luck as you start school... Last Matt, my twin. I love you Matt I do not have words to describe how touched I was by your email. It brought tears to my eyes. You have such a way to bring comfort to those in need and a spiritual ear to listen to the promptings from the Spirit. I am so lucky to have a twin like you. I love and miss you so very much. Stay strong and know Deus, ele está contigo neste momento. Sempre tem fé nas mãos do Senhor. Ele vai fazer muito milagres por meio você mesmo. Sempre lembra isso meu Irmão! Eu te amo!... oh, and before I forget, thanks Boomer for your wonderful email HAHA it made my day.
Well as for this week I dont really know where to start (Something that occurs often) It was transfer week and this new transfer is going to be amazing. My new companion is named Elder Alves and he is from Manaus! I dont know what it is but I seem to be able to understand a Manaus accent better then the accent here in the south. I just realized that this week as I was talking to all the missionaries from Manaus at the bus station haha I thought it was pretty funny... anyway my companion is from Manaus and really awesome. We set many goals together and are focusing on trusting in the Spirit more. He is so in tune and very patient... and he just smiles non stop. Im so grateful to God for giving me this tender mercy. As you have all read the last transfers have been rough, but I know without a doubt this transfer will be a wonderful and great learning experience for me... oh and something else that blew my mind when I met him is he is 27 years old! but looks almost like he is 18 years old. He had to prove to me by showing me his identification that he was 27 and he in fact is! haha but im so glad and grateful to be with him. We are working really hard and have already began to teach many new people who are ready to hear this glad message of the restored gospel. His testimony and spirit are wonderful.
So this past week I was reading in the Book of Mormon about the prophet Alma. I was near part in Alma 39 when his son Coriânton commits some pretty big sins. In chapter 41: 1 we read something that really got me thinking. In it we read that as Alma was talking to his son he said "Son, I precieve that your mind is troubled concerning the state of those after this life."- and then Alma begins to teach his son the great plan of salvation as to bring comfort to his son... I really began to think about this verse as Alma knew his son so well as to be able to tell when his son was troubled and then knew his son so well that he was able (Through the Holy Ghost) bring comfort to his son through love. Alma was not only an amazing example of a powerful missionary but at this time was a poweful example of how to be a loving parent. His son had done some pretty terrible things and Alma was disappointed in him, but still showed unamountable love for his dear son, and instead taught his son how to change his life. He gave own examples of his past when he had gone about destroying the church and how the Gospel had changed his life through the infinate Atonement. He then later, as his son is experiencing the power of the atonement, brings comfort to his son because he KNEW HIM so well. Alma was an amazing parent... I know that some time in the future I will be a father, with children that may not be perfect haha. I want to take the time to get to know each of my children personally and take time out of my life to share experiences from my life, mistakes I have made, strengths I have gained... but ecspecially I want to be in tune to the spirit as to be able to fill their lives with the infinate goodness of this gospel. To teach them where true happiness is found. This week I just couldnt shake that from my mind and actually right now I have no idea why im sharing this with you all haha but I just feel this message so strongly from the Spirit. We have to try everything we can to be in tune to the spirit. To live in such a way that we can be examples to our children, grandchildren, and teach them the wonderful truths of the Gospel. Sometimes it make take time and patience but I promise in the name of Jesus Christ that our children will feel our love and example... and for those who dont have a family yet, continue to live your life in such a way that you may be in tune to the whisperings of the spirit so when that day comes you will be ready.
I had another message prepared for you all today but for some reason this wouldnt leave my mind and as I typed my other message it just felt like maybe for another time. I hope and pray family and friends that we may be like the Prophet Alma and teach and love our children. That we may take the time to share our love for them and for them to enjoy our righteouss examples. I dont have children so thus I dont really know to much about parenting, but as I read these words this past week I couldnt stop thinking about it... and I found such a deep love for my future children. I hope with all my heart that I will make them my priority and take my time to show how much they mean to me. Over my years of living in Rexburg I have witnessed so many wonderful examples of being a wonderful parent from my friends parents... but ecspecially from my own parents. The day I read this verse in the Book of Mormon I recieved a letter from my mom in which she placed a picture of her and my dad. They looked so wondreful together and I just felt the spirit so strong, As I saw in their eyes an eternal love that cannot be found anywhere else but the Gospel. As my dad said this week in his email, The prophet Joseph Fielding Smith said “May I remind you of just how important the family unit is in the overall plan of our Father in Heaven.  In fact, the Church organization really exists to assist the family and its members in reaching exaltation . . . the family is the most important organization in time or eternity.” I testify this is true. Families are really the fundamental key to eternal happiness, not things of the world, not money, or material things... but families. I challenge everyone of you who may be reading this to take time this week to spend time with your family, parents, ecspecially with your kids. Get to know them their likes, dislikes, everything! Something I hold dear to me are the late nights I spent sitting in the living room talking with my mom and listening to her advice and testimony, or the Home teaching nights I went with my father and we afterwards would sit in the car talking... Share your testimony with your kids and families and I promise you, you will feel a new relationship begin to grow and a love that is unmeasurable. Something that has become so important to me here on the mission is my wonderful family and I hope someday to have my own and share my own testimony with them. I know this mission is definatly preparing me for that wonderful day and changing me to become the husband and father He knows I can become.
I love you all so much and am so grateful for the scriptures and all that they contain. I have such a deep love for the Book of mormon now here on the mission and I just cant stop studying it! haha I love every page as there is a new lesson to be learned from every chapter that we can apply in our lives. Read, study, love, and most importantly LIVE that wonderful Book. The missionarys in the house joke that the Book of Mormon has become somewhat of my "teddy bear" here on the misison since I feel asleep with it in my arms teh other night HAHA But i have such a respect and love for it in my life and ecspecially I have such a deep love for the Holy Ghost as he has helped me to better come to understand the scriptures and its teachings. Pray to God that the spirit may guide you as you conduct your own studys and I promise your mind will be open to so many wonderful truths. Family and friends I love you once more and know I am doing great! I love this Mission and this Gospel and have no doubts of its truthfullness. I have a lasting conviction that Jesus Christ lives and this is His Church again on the Earth. That God will bless us on His time. Everything we pass through, every trial or diffuculty is a chance for us to come unto him in humble prayer as we recognize our need for Him. So that we can prepare to live with Him again... Just know in the end everything will be alright... This is my testimony and love that I would like to share with you all this week in the hopes that some of you might be strengthed. I just feel this message so strongly in my heart and so content in sharing it with you all this day. May God be with you all this week as we all strive to better our family relations. I know this church is true!... It really is. :)
Love Elder Benjamin B. Doggett  

Matt #38

Wow what a week and what a Christmas... As I begin today I need to say how much I truly love my family and friends... I will never be able to describe the feeling I felt in my heart as I took the wonderfull time I had to share my testimony as best as I could through tear filled eyes. This was and forever will be a Christmas that will forever stay in my Heart. I need to apoligize to everyone though that I'm so very sorry that I was talking so much! Haha to be honest I didnt know what to really say the whole time... My mind was in a whole other world so I just kept talking even if it didnt make sense. None of it seemed real, it just felt like a dream! :) Also thank you all for the wonderful e-mails and for the wonderful Christmas. It was the best in the whole world and I will never forget it thats for sure. I love you all so much... It felt like our special hour together went by way to fast and it was very hard to say goodbye... Once I hung up I ended up just crying more haha. We did however recieve so many blessings in that short time together didnt we. Family thank you for everything that you did and countinue to do for me and also thank you also for that little Christmas surprise. I think Ben said it best when he said it was the greatest 3 angles hes ever seen. I totally agree with him! :) but I also believe my family was also part of the Angel group as well.... I really needed that time just to see everyone. Thank you and remember always that I love you all forever.
  Now I want to take a little moment to write about my experince with the Skpe with the whole family... I wont lie but the morning before the Skpe I was a little more than excited and there were times when the other Elders I lived with looked a little scarred because I was beaming with excitment and running around a little to excited haha. I kept telling them all morning the things I would ask my family and the jokes I would tell and the great time we would have together! I was writting questions down and getting myself prepared for the moment of truth. When the computer turned on and I saw the first images of my family... everything I had prepared to say and ask was gone and all I could do was cry. My emotions were so scattered that I didnt know where to begin. I didnt know what to say, I was so completey overwhelmed with joy. :) To be complety honest with everyone I cant remember a whole lot about the conversations we shared and when I saw my three special presents my mind kinda blew up so everything was gone from my head at this point and then to finish things off I had a few moments to speak with my twin and then it was over and the computer was turned off... I sat there in silence after the time I shared with the ones I love came to an end and I turned to my companion and cried. There was so much I didnt get a chance to say or share that I wish I could have said... I cant even remember if I even said anything personally to my father and mother. My brain was so scattered that once the computer was off I turned to my companion and asked "What just happened" Haha he gve me some good comfort and then began his time with his family. 
As I sat there after my time on skpe I began to reflect on my time with my family and to be honest I began to feel a lot like how Harry Potter must have felt in the first movie when he sees his parents in the mirror... I kept longing for more time to share my love. For more time to talk individually with my father, mother, sisters, brother... I was wanting more time to see the faces of those I love. Family and Friends I ask for your forgivnesse... I'm sorry I wasnt able to say more personally things to you all individually but remember always I love you. I remember this quote I heard from a movie that states the following "Are you upset for the time you didnt have, or gratful for the time you did have." Those moments to just see my family was something beyond special for me and its true when I say that this is the best Christmas I have ever had. My heart was so full of joy this past week just like my Brothers and I was truly blessed to have such amazing Parents, Family, and Friends all through my life. Mom dont worry... you have nothing to apoligize for! In my opinion you raised the perfect family and its only because my two Parents are perfect! :) I love you mom and dad so much. Jenni, Matt, Rachel, and Alyssa thank you so much for everything you've all done for me in my life. Your all the most incredible examples to me in everything that I do. I'm sorry we didnt get a chance to talk more one on one but dont worry, Mothers day is just around the corner right? :) Ben... I miss you. Those few moments we had together was something I will never forget. Ben your a Spiritually giant that I only dream of becoming. Actually I've decided I better start writting my e-mails first because after I read your e-mails I just dont feel like I couldnt even come close to being as powerfull as you are with your e-mails. :) I love you ben so much, your such an example to me.
I love you all so much and I'm sorry if I was a little annoying on the computer... I was so shocked and so full of joy I just didnt know what to do or say haha, but if there is one thing to always rememebr its this... I love you all with all my heart. I cant believe this year is coming to a close. I still remember like it was yesterday that we were all at Laurens house for new years eve and I remember thinking to myself. "In one year... I'll be sitting in brasil thinking of this moment." Well its here and I cant believe it! Family and Friends lets do excatly what Ben asks of us and make 2013 a special year... I know that I need to give it all to my Lord and Savior... we all need to give everything to him. My goal for 2013 is to give my heart to the Lord in service and dedicated service and obiedents. I love you all so much and I cant tell you how blessed I feel to be here in Brasil. I know I still have a lot to work on especially with me personally but I'm glad I still have 1 year and 3 months to become all I can become. its not easy but I know that all things are possible through the Lord. :) I love you all so much and I hope this e-mail will help in someway... sometimes I feel I talk way to much about me, me, me, I, I, I, in my e-mails but just remember I love you all. Never foget that. Happy new year Family and Friends. Make it the best year ever! :) Until next week God be with you.
P.s. Looks like I will be staying here in Campanário with my Companion Elder Larsen. I'm very excited and I hope we can performe miracles here. :) Love you always and forever           

Ben #37 New Year Expectations

Wow thank you everyone for the Christmas wishes and the wonderful emails. I hear from so many and I cant explain how mazing it was. If only you all could see me right now, Im smiling from ear to ear. You all have such powerful testimonies and in everyone of your emails i feel a little bit closer to you all. Today I was ecspecially touched by all your tender words. I heard from my parents and family and my dear friends. Its just been the best Christmas present to hear from you all and I cant thank you all enough. I had the chance to talk to my fmaiy on Christmas and wow do you all look great! Im sorry I talked so much but my heart was filled with so much love for everyone in my fmaily and I personally wanted to bear my testimony to each of you so you could maybe fill a part of that undescriable love. I also had the chance to talk to my brother Matthew and wow... I was balling so hard. I never thoughtin a million years that we would be speaking a different launguage together but... It happened. Matt I love you so much and thank you for your testimony that you shared with everyone. My brother Matt has a testimony of this Gospel that is gold. He has a conviction and a sure witness of its truthfullness and when I heard him speak I knew without a doubt he honors that name tag and knows who he is. Matt thank you for your example to me and I hope I can become half the missionary you are. I love you. Everyone else in my family you know my feelings as I spoke to you each individually. Oh, how i love you all and am so grateful to be your son, brother, and grandson. God bless you all. Also thank you for that special little Christmas present of having three beautiful angels present during skype also :) what a gift! It was truely a wonderful moment for me and a relization of the importance of this great work. I love you all once more. As I have had so many emotions going through me all week I want you to know... in other words I have been on Cloud nine! haha
Christmas went great and my family was beautiful. Through the sobs and tears I was able to feel such a deepening respect and love for eternal families and how important they are to me. This week after talking with my fmaily, I have been thinking about this new year and how the time has just flown by so fast, but mostly about the goals I would like to set for this coming year. I was thinking about last year and the goals I had set then. A particular memory passed through my mind as I was taken back to one of my usual morning shifts at Jamba Juice ( Love you guys) A T.V news station came into the store and asked if they could interview me. I stood outside in my purple work shirt with my sweet drive thru headset on looking pretty good for the camera when I heard the words that the interview had commenced. The lady conducting the simple interview asked a easy question but sent my mind racing. She asked "So, what are your goals and expectations for 2012?" EASY RIGHT! We hear this question every new year and we all make our resolutions... but in this moment to be honset I had no idea what 2012 held in store for me. I had recieved my mission call 2 months prior and the future was unsure for me. I sat there thinking what I wanted to gain from 2012 but nothing was coming to mind. I simplely said "Serve a mission for my Church and see what happens next." As I re entered the store and sat on my usual counter top near the oven where I sat when the store was empty. I looked out the window and saw the sun gleaming over the little snow that we had. Those words just couldnt leave my mind "What are your goals and expectations?"... I thought "Yeah what are they Ben?" The future at that moment was so unclear but as I looked out the window I felt so much peace wash over me as I knew that whatever 2012 held for me my simple goal of serving a mission couldnt have been a better choice. I felt the sure confirmation that this was exactly what the Lord wanted from me... but what were my expectations for the year? Was I really thinking about what I wanted to gain from the year and who I wanted to become? To be honset I had no idea what the mission would have in store for me... but I testify to you all that my goal and year of 2012 has exceeded everyone of my expectations. I feel so much happiness in that simple goal to serve my Lord and Savior and if I could speak to that reporter now wearing my new uniform with my white shirt, tie, and tag I would say. "2012 made me into something I never imagined. Taught me things I never could comprehend, and brought me to a knowledge I never knew existed. I gained something truely special this year and I know that 2013 will hold something even more extrodinary."
Family and Friends I want you all to please take the time this week and find just 5 maybe 10 minutes to yourself. Sit and ponder the past year and the year to come. Think about what YOU have and want to become because of your goals. Imagine yourself at the end of 2013 and think if you have exceeded your expectations, but ecspecially if you have exceeded the expectations of your Heavenly Father. He knows your potential and what you can become. Set goals that will not only stretch you physically, but spritually. I know we all have so many gifts and I pray as this new year starts that you will all set goals that will help you become all that the Lord needs you to become. That you will develop those gifts and learn to be more. He knows we can become something great, that we posse the ability to do whatever our hearts desire. So let us believe also! Trust in Him and dedicate yourself to Him this year and look for oppurtunities to do all you can to be the person He knows you are. I have to be honest, before my mission my self esteem wasnt that great, but I know in our savior we can overcome any weakness and develop spirtual attributes. Im so grateful for the year of 2012. I give thanks unto my God for giving me this chance to serve Him and truely become the Man, Father, Husband, and worthy Priesthood holder He knows I can become. I never imagined that day staring out the window at that beautiful morning snow as the sun peeked over that parking lot of Jamba Juice that the Lord would show unto me His expectations and give me the strength to fullfill them. Im still working on the goal I made last year to serve a mission for my church, I still have a year to try my best to do all I can to fullfill it... but I know once more my expectations will be beyond my understanding when this coming year ends. When I will once more see all the Lord as done and taught me. I hope with all my heart to become all He needs me to be... I invite you all to just imagine for a moment who you want to be at the end of the year, Every detail! Then make the goals necassary to fullfill them. I love you all and hope once more this email will help you in some way as you ponder these things. I love you all so much and once more am so grateful for this missionary work. Once more to my family I cant explain how much I love you all. Seeing you all as a missionary is something I have never felt. I was so taken back by the light everyone had and at times was so taken away in the spirit as Ammon once said. I am so grateful for you all and to be honset im counting day the days until mothers day haha! :) God bless you all and I hope and pray you will all feel my sure testimony and love for this great work. Its tough at times but I know its where I need to be! Live every moment to the fullness and never waste a day. "For there is something precious to be found in every day"- Dieter F. Uchtdorf I love you all once more I just cant say it enough and hope to hear from you all soon.
Love Elder Benjamin B. Doggett
p.s. We just heard about transfers and it looks like I will be staying here in Rio Claro with a new companion... oh! and Dad you asked on Christmas about my area of "Rio Claro" and what it means, and I told you "Clear River" you then asked if there was a river here and I told you "no"... well I was curious afterwards so I asked some members if there really was a clear river here and they told me in fact there was! The city is actually built over it but if you go to the outskirts of town you can see it. They told me its really big! I have never seen it yet though... so there is in fact a River, but about it being clear I dont know cause the members told me that the city dumps thir waste in it sooooo yeah haha not sure about that... but there is A RIVER! Love ya!  oh and I attached a picture of me and Matteus. He is a member that Im teaching English too. I love him he is so funny, that is also his bird on my shoulder haha!