Tuesday, March 5, 2013

Ben #43 Testimony

Wow... thank you all so very much. I recieved once more very inspirational emails from all my family and friends. I would love to write you all individually but things are crazy in my new area ecspecially today! Thats why im emailing so late. I have been sent to "Botucatu" its on the outskirts of the mission in the middle of no where! haha literally! My companion and I, Elder Cirqueira, are opening this area. Its just a small branch in this area but they do have a pretty nice church building. Botucatu has a ton of hills and mountians and is almost country like once you make your way to the outskirts of the city. The city itself is pretty big and everything is really old like kinda from the 1800's old (I think Rachel would really like to see this place and take pictures) In the center of the city they have a giant Catholica Igreja thats was built in the 1800's. Its huge and Ive never seen anything like it in my whole life, I took pictures of it and I will send them home. Its really neat to see all the old historical sites here and the cobblestone streets, which I heard destroy your shoes haha. (Dont worry mom my clothes and things are doing great but I havent recieved the package yet, all in due time) Im really loving it here but with moutians and hills its really hot, it like traps all the heat into one place! haha but I know its going to be a good transfer. I cant lie though this week has been really tough. As I said we are opening the area and have no one to teach and no idea where anything is. This week we clapped alot of homes and made many contacts to try to progress the work. It was a tough week because as I said the city is very old and most the people are Catholic and dont want to hear our message... but I believe with all my heart there is a reason God wants me here in Botucatu and I know the work will move forward and that there is someone here thats needs to hear the Gospel. As I said things have been crazy. Opening an area is not easy that is for sure but I have faith in the Lord that He will provide a way for me to acomplish His work. ONce more thank you everyone for the emails as they meant so much to me in every sense of the word. I feel the spirit so strong everytime. Matt your email really touched me and to hear your strong testimony of this Gospel. You are doing everything the Lord requires of you and you are for sure honoring that sacred name you wear next to your heart and living the higher law as we read in Matthew 5. ITs amazing to see I have my brother and so many friends doing this very thing in their lives right now along with a awesome cousin. Hearing the success and joy they each are experienceing is so priceless to me, but ecspecially witnessing the conversion in all our lives. As Matt said today we are all very different people today then we where one year ago. (l have a nice little beer gut now haha KIDDING KIDDING) but in all seriousness its true, we are all different men now. I cant wait for the day when I can look ELder Doggett, Elder Stewart-Chester, ELder Sommer, ELder Manwaring, ELder Hastings, ELder Buck, Elder Nygren, and all my other friends from back home in the eye and cry and share my love with them and my sure conviction of this restored Gospel much like Alma the younger and his freinds, the Sons of Mosiah after their missions. I know it will be a glorious day.
Time is short and my heart is once more filled to a ever growing love for this sacred mission and love for this Gospel. This last week I had such a powerful lesson taught to me by a loving Father in Heaven. As I mentioned it was tough this last week, Gate after gate was slammed in my face and I was even yelled at by many people. I was a little in shock at first cause this has never happened here on my mission yet. Usually everyone is very receptive to our message and welcoming but here no one wanted to hear our message. We kept on treking through it though and kept on working. My companion was getting frustrated with the people and little success we were having and even I found that every step seemed to become heavier and heavier as we kept on going. I felt so useless and weak in this area. Why did the LOrd want me here in this area opening it? No one wants to hear our message here? I remember I then felt the sure inpression to  "look up," and I saw my "Brasilian Sunset" I have mentioned this many times to you all as this has given me countless hope and courage through those difficult times. MY first transfer after a difficult lesson I just feel on the street and began to cry but felt the hand of guide lift me as I saw my Brasilian sunset for the first time. IN this moment once more the lord filled my heart with so much love and peace that I knew this is where I need to be. D&C 1:19, 23 says, "The weak things of the world shall come forth and break down the mighty and strong ones... That the fullness of the Gospel may be proclaimed by the weak and the simple unto the ends of the world, and before kings and rulers." I may not have a great knowledge of the Gospel. My Portugese may be weak and simple but as Boyd K. Packer once asked us members of the Church, "Do you have an abiding testimony in your heart? DO you know that the Gospel of Jesus Chirst was restored through the prophet Jospeh Smith, and that we have a HEavenly Father, and that Jesus Chirts is our savior and reddemer?... If you beleive and know thses things to be true... then that is enough." In that moment I felt so much joy. I walked with joy in my heart the rest of the evening carrying the message of the restored Gospel because even though im weak  I have a sure convivtion in my heart that this is the Church of Jesus Chirst and that Joseph SMith was a prophet of God in these the latter days, that God lives and is our loving Father... and that Jesus Chirst is in fact the savior and reddemer of all mankind. I have no doubts... only a conviction. I know without a doubt... and that is enough. 
WHen I returned home that evening I was overcome with the spirit. I knelt down and poured my heart out unto God in humble suplication to His will. I remember on Chirtmas I shared my testimony with my family and the girls also heard this testimony as I felt the hands of our savior wrap warmly around me one evening. I in this moment felt the powers of heaven bring so much peace to my heart once more as I felt the sure hands of our loving savior wrap around me. Jeffery R. Holland once said, " I am convinced that missionary work is not easy because salvation is not a cheap experience. Salvation NEVER was easy. We are the CHurch of Jesus Christ, this is the truth, and HE is our great Eternal HEad. How could we believe it would be easy for us when it was never easy for Him?"  I know this missionary work isnt easy. There is so many days and weeks much like this one when you are doing everything in your power to progress the work and feel so helpless, so weak. You feel like your inadequcies are going to get the better of you... but I testify to you all that God lives and loves us all so very much. We are His children and He will provide a way for all of us to acomplish HIs work. I cannot express to you in these simple words or in any of my emails for that matter the change I feel within my life. I never truely understood my relationship with my Father in Heaven and His pure and eternal love for me. I never truely understood the impact of serving a fulltime mission and the conviction it woulçd bring in my heart of this Gospel and the joy that comes from living His commandments... but I feel it and know it. and though I may be weak in HIm ALL THINGS ARE POSSIBLE. FAmily and friends my message for you all this week is simple and short and I hope you may feel the impact of the whisperings of the Holy Spirit testify to you of these words from a humble boy from Rexburg Idaho. As NEil L. Anderson said " YOu may not know everything but you know enough." You know enough and you have a testimony of this Gospel. This week remember your conversion and your sure witness of this great church. If you may be stuggling remeber the words of Dieter F. Uctdorf when he said " We may not have a conversion like unto Saul, as he was walking the road of Damascus an angel appeared unto him and boar witness of the truths within the church." But I know you all can recieve a witness for your self that this is the true church of God and that Jesus CHirst lives and that Joseph SMith is in fact a prophet of God. I know these things to be true and bear this smiple testimony to you all this day. Im sorry this week isnt filled with a gand message or many stories from the field... just know how much I love this gospel and mission with all my heart and how happy I am to be here in BRasil. As matt said time is flying and I will not pass up any moment to give myself to God. I love you all and hope to hear from you all soon. May God be with you all and I promise next week I will have more time to write its just im really working hard to get the work moving here and there is so little time. LOve you all and God be with you till we meet again.
Love Elder Benjamin B. Doggett   
p.s. Fotos of the Igeja and the sunset I saw. :)

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