What amazing and powerful emails this last week. As my brother said every week we are just taken away by the power and spirit we feel from all of you back home. Thank you all for your testimonies and pure Christ like love. Matt shared with all of you in his previous email last week the significance of your emails, though everyweek we mention it, truely, may God bless you all as you are bearing us up... you are our Angels. I love you all so much and have such a peace I feel in my heart right now. Thank you all so much. First I want you all to get the update of my mission here in Rio Claro... IM LOVING IT haha the members are so excited and really helping the missionary work progress. My companion Elder Cossio is amazing, He is a chilleno and full of the spirit. He is trying to learn Portugese and speaks only spanish so we have had some really funny experiences together. I told him if he doesnt know the word in Portugese say it in spanish, and so far its worked out and I can understand him pretty well ( Watch out Elder Stewart- Chester, Elder Doggett is learning some spanish haha) But the accent is really hard for me sometimes, they speak super fast haha and slur the pronuciation but we are loving everymoment together. He is an amazing Elder whom I love so much. Together this last week we had some pretty crazy events but some wonderful learning experiences, which in turn, made this last week a very special week to me for many reasons. I cant share all the expereinces but have one in particular... One thing I have learned as a representative of Christ is that sometimes the Lord works in ways that now in our lives we just dont understand. Sometimes answers to our prayers dont come as quickly as we would have liked or in the manner we wanted but I promise and so testify HE DOES ANSWER! I believe, I know it, and I give you my testimony as His servant that this is true. This last week I witnessed the power of the Holy spirit reavel some very personal and sacred truths to me. This day I would like to share my testimony with you all and a part of this lesson that was taught to me from a loving Father in Heaven.
To start, this last week I was reading in the Book of Mormon the talk of King Benjamin in Mosiah 1-5. In these chapters King Benjamin speaks with all the people the words which he taught his sons and was revealed to him by the spirit and that is the divinity of our Savior Jesus Christ. That through faith in Him we can be made whole and be saved, as we read "And moreover, I say unto you, that there shall be ano other name given nor any other way nor means whereby bsalvation can come unto the children of men, only in and through the name of Christ, the cLord Omnipotent." (Mosiah 3:17) He then goes on to teach us that we must accept Him and take upon us His name and endure to the end by keeping His commandments. He says, "If you keep the commandments of God which shall be delivered unto you by him, ye shall prosper in the land, and your enemies shall have no power over you." (Mosiah 2:31) These words pressed profoundly in my mind this last week as I looked at my own life and what the commandments mean to me. Sometimes we think they are burdens or they are keeping us from true happiness but I so testify they are for our benifit and eternal happiness. As I was thinking on these words from king Benjamin, Elder Cossio and I had some interesting experiences and ecspecially with a particular Commandment that I would like to share with you all this day. I hope the spirit may be with us and that you may be able to feel my testimony and sure witness of this truth.
We were teaching a boy by the name of Evandro who is 14. We have been teaching him and his family for some time now. They are all very special and very in tune to the spirit. They have all felt the power of the spirit, know the Book of Mormon is true, and know everything we are teaching is true. Evandro is actually preparing to be baptized. This last week we began to teach the commandments to him and his family, but one in particular, The law of chasity. We began it just like any other lesson and it went perfect. It was very clear and straightforward as the spirit directed us. At the end of the lesson we presented the invite to live this law and continue to prepare for Baptism... but to my surprise and to the suprise of my companion we heard the words, "no"... It was kinda like one of those moments where you are like "What?" "Did I hear that right?" I was in complete shock. He told us that there is no way he can live that law. We talked with him and found the source of the problem and invited him to pray and ask God if this law is right. That night as I said my prayers I prayed so hard for Evandro and for my own knowledge and testimony to be strengthend on this commandment. The next day when we went to his house to talk to him he told us he had prayed and recieved an answer... His answer was this "Elders, I prayed to God last night and the words appeared in my mind that this law is true, and that it means to honor and respect women and for who they are... is that my answer?" haha "YES!" I exclaimed... Evandros words answered my own personal pray as my testimony was strengthend and the Lord gave me more knowledge. I couldnt help but think back home to my wonderful mother, the women who gave me life. Who sacraficed so much so I could be here on this earth. To my wonderful and beautiful sisters who always taught the pure and divine nature of womanhood, and to my dear friends "The Girls" (You know who you are haha) who where examples of the believers with firm testimonies and who lived what they believed in all moments. Then to the many other women in my life who shaped me into who I am, My friends mothers, my ward family, and my neighbors... How special women are in our lives and how much they bless us... Men, We must do as this 14 year boy Evandro said and respect and love the women in our life in all aspects. We must not destroy the beauty of women and humilate them through pronography as the prophets so often teach us. We must treat them as Daughters of God and not destroy this sacred position! How special they are! I saw so much this last week that I cannot even begin to describe. The law of Chasity is so much more than we truely understand. Event after event that dealt with this very subject last week as some times my heart ached as I witnessed and heard some of these things that defiled this sacred nature of women, but I so testify that the commandments are for our benefit. When we live these principles and when we apply them in our lives we will as King Benjamin taught have an "Never Ending Happiness" (Mosiah 2:41) I bear my sure testimony and conviction of these truths as the Lord has taught me so much this last week.
I hope that in the future (Not to be trunky) but that I can find a women whom I can love and respect as Evandro taught me. That I can treat her like the queen she is and give her my whole heart. That I can be the Husband, Father and Priesthood holder she needs me to be. That I can be sensitve to her needs and desires and treat her like the special daughter of God she is. That when the trials and hardships come I can support her and help her in all situations as we can fight the oncoming winds of the adversity with all force. Going back to the words of King Benjamin "If you keep the commandments of God which shall be delivered unto you by him, ye shall prosper in the land, and your enemies shall have no power over you." (Mosiah 2:31) Family and Friends, you see that? Your enemies shall have no power over you and you can overcome any trial, obstacle, or difficulty because you have taken upon you the name of Chirst and can continue on firm in the Gospel. I love you all so much and hope that you all may understand my message this day. There is so much in my heart as I said my prayers last night and pondered all these events this past week. I cannot even describe to you all how special a mission is, or what a mission means to me... but I know without a doubt that a mission is A COMMANDMENT of God and that when we keep the commandments we shall prosper and have Eternal life. It is in fact preparing me for the future. This gift of my mission is pricless and I hope, as my Brother and my buddies serving missions have said, "That we can become the men and the missionaries God needs us to be." This is my hope and pray with a sure knowledge that anything is possible through God... Family and friends im so happy... I am experienceing a joy beyond anything I have ever felt. With tears of this joy I write this email to you all exclaiming my love for God and His eternal love for us His children. Mom I love you. Dad I love you. Jenni & Matt I love you, Rachel I love you, Alyssa & Eli I love you... Matt, my dear twin brother I love you. If only you could hear my voice say these very words... and next week you can haha :) This is my testimony and email for you all this week with all the love in my heart for you all and for this wonderful Gospel. Im praying for you all and may God be with you till we meet again.
Ama Élder Benjamin B. Doggett
p.s. Photo of me in the house of some members and my house in Rio Claro... Im back!