Thank you once more family and friends for the wonderful emails. I just love reading them and hearing all the great stories from home and ecspecially your love and testimonies. Everyone of you that sends a letter I can feel such a spirit and power inside of your sure convictions... thank you a hundredfold for your love and support. Its amazing to see all the people who are cheering us on for this great work. As my brother Matt related last week it means so much to us to see how much love comes from our little part in Rexburg, I can only imagine the joy we will all feel once more as we are together someday... but that will be someday, and now is the time of the Lord. I have to be completely honest with everysingle one of you as I begin this email, the waves of feelings and spiritual promptings are overwhelming right now as I ponder what I would like to share with you this morning. I have learned some very vauleable lessons this week and had some eye opening experiences. My whole mission has like that for me in the great spectrum. My mission has been what you would call sacred ground for me, As im sure all you who have served a mission have the very same feelings. I have learned so many lessons and so many attibutes that I can personaly apply for the rest of my life. The list is something I cannot write down for you all, its only something experinced. This last week though, as i mentioned, was something completely different for me... This week was a key moment for me in my mission, more than anyother. We always read stories in the New Era, or Ensign of powerful experiences in the Church and sometimes we as members think "WOW thats a great story."- but is it just a story to you? Is it just another Ensign talk to fill the pages? Or do you really believe something like that can happen, is your faith in tune to believe? As I write my experiences of this last week I pray with all my heart that all you, my loved ones from home, may feel the spirit and conviction that this isnt just a neat stroy but a true witness of the divinity and miracle that we belong to the true church of Jesus Christ, a church of miracles and powers from Heaven. My heart is full and I hope you may feel my testimony and conviction this morning as I look to the spirit to bear witness unto you and that i may share with you all the things the He whould have me say. I love you all so very much.
Our savior lives. I cannot in words describe to you all what I have experienced this last week. As I sit here typing Im truely humbled. I dont know what I can share with you all this day only that Jeus Chirst lives. Being His missionary you have many hardships. This last week it seemed everything was crashing down around me. I have never experienced anything like this in my whole life. It seemed everything was against me. That the very forces of evil were throwing their whirlwinds and fire my way. I was so weak and helpless as the events carried on. One night as I sat on the balcony of our house looking at the stars in Heaven I just felt utterly useless as a servant of God. I had no idea what I was doing. My mind was in a fog and I just felt like a child again. I remember when I was in the 1st grade we took a field trip to the High School. It was a tour so we could see what a "Big" school looked like haha I remember wondering the halls of Madison High School in complete ahh by the giant lockers and the big students haha. I soon become serperated though from my classmates and was alone. I remember the fear and panic that entered my mind as I was wandering the halls not knowing where to go. I was completely alone... The feelings were much the same at this point as I sat on the balcony. I rembered though my sister jenni went to school there so I began to wander into classrooms trying desperatly to find her, anger began to show itself as the frustration of not finding something that was familiar to me became inevitable. I was unsuccesful and began to cry as I fell defeated in the skylight area. Then a student found me crying and took my hand and guided me through the school to help me find my classmates. It was interesting cause as he took my hand all feelings of panic and fear, and anger left. We soon found my classmates and was reunited with them. This memory entered my mind as I felt at this very moment exactly like I did all those years ago. I felt unsuccessful and defeated as I fell to the floor... but then I rememberd that guide who took my hand, who guided me through the very halls of Madison High school that day so many years ago... My Savior Jesus Christ. I feel to my knees and gave Him my heart at this moment as I felt the fear, panic and angry leave as His missionary. I began to fast and I will never forget the power and guidance the Lord gave unto me during that fast as He showed unto me very personal things as I looked to change my heart. I cannot write in words or details the things that have occured in my life at this moment to you all as they are to personal and sacred. I wish though that as you read these words you can know of my surity and love for this Gospel and my savior Jesus Christ. So many crazy things happened this week that was a trial of faith, but I humblely testify to you in my weakness that God is our Savior. If only I could stand in front of you and take you by the shoulders and exclaim this truth to you. Fmaily and Friends you have no idea what my mission has done for me, changes it has made. I never imagined this in all my life as I give praise unto my king. It been a tough ride and i know I still have much more to experience but I know that Jesus Christ is our guide. He know us and knows exaclty what your going through in any moment. You just have the choice of what you will do when He extends His hand towards you. Will you accept Him?... I say Choose Him. He has given you the wonderfull gift of agency so please dont waste it. Remember the definition of "Agency" will determine your happiness in this life and in the life to come. You are a child of God so you know what that means? You have the great strength and ability to choose righteousness and happiness, regardless of your circumstances. Choose Him.
I realize how weak I am and how much I need to work on. This week, as I have typed this day, is someting I cannot explain only lived. I saw many miracles and angels as I testify Heaven is closer then you think. Family remember when we talked on Skype I told you about those 3 sisters we were teaching. Yesterday at the end of my fast I had the chance to Baptize the oldest sister. I have been working with her for 2 months now and she finally was baptized. She has been scared of being baptized but yesterday she made the desscion. I entered the water and then she came in. I helped her down into the font as I noticed that panic and fear in her eyes... That same fear that boy sitting on that balcony the day before, that same panic that boy had so many years ago in the High School... but the guide was there with His hand out stretched, as she was making the step to following our savior Jesus Christ... I then put my hand to the square and said those powerful words of Baptism as the spirit overcame that room. I then prepared to imerse her in the water and say the unsurity in her eyes... but as she came up nothing but joy as her eyes glowed with the light of christ. I was overcome by the spirit and was so humbled by this experience. It was so amazing to see that change in her as my own heart was changed as well. I entered the bathroom to change and just began to cry as I ended my fast in prayer for the goodness and mercy my savior has for me and the chance I had to be a part of that great blessing that had just occured. Family and Friends...Im not perfect. I have so many weakness as I saw this last week... but I humblely testify as I said in my weakness that God is my strength. He is my sheperd and King. I know without a doubt the powers of Heaven are real and we are have angels here to bear us up... Oh how great is my God. My eyes are filled with tears of joy as I know without a doubt that this is the Church of Jesus Chirst of Latter Day Saints. Boys, serve missions and leave those things of the world. Men, remember your missions and remember the conversion you experienced as I know you saw the hand of God as you acted in His name! Dont forget those convictions and pray to God and give Him praise for that chance you had. If only you all could hear my voice and know my heart of my love for the Gospel and my savior... but I hope this day you all may be able to feel it in some small way. Im truely humbled by this great oppurtunity to be a missionay and will not waste this wonderful oppurtunity. I have a lasting conviction of this Gospel and nothing will take that away... In closing im sure some of you are wondering about Milton... He has been released from the Hospital and no longer has any problems, the water that was entering His heart stopped and his health dramatically improved... I testify the "powers of the priesthood are inseperable connected with the power the powers of Heaven." This is my testimony this day to you all that God is the same yesterday, today, and always... He is our Savior and I know He lives! I love you all and thank you so much once more for your emails each week. I havent recieved letters yet because of my area im in but soon I will, I know it! :) Also to my Brother matt whom I love so much. Matt you are a strength to me in somany ways and have helped me make it through some tough parts. You will never know how much my love for you has grown here on the mission. You mean so much to me and are a powerful missionary. Also to Elder Stewart-Chester, Elder Sommer, Elder Manwaring, Elder Buck, Elder Hastings, Elder Nygren, and all my wonderful friends serving our lord. I want you to know how much I love you. You are Gods servant and always remember he is with you in every aspect of your work... never loss sight of that and know I pray for you all everynight. We will be much like the sons of Mosiah I imagine when we all meet again... Love you my dear friends. My heart is full but I hope you could will a portion of my joy this day is my pray... may God be with you all till we meet again.
Élder Benjamin B. Doggett
p.s. Here is a photo of our Baptism yesterday