Sunday, April 10, 2011

Avalon Week 16

What a wonderful conference indeed! I learned so much from all of the speakers! My favorites were the ones that President Eyring gave! I'm beginning to really love him as a speaker. It was so much fun to go over my notes in studies this morning and to recount the feelings I got from listening to conference. I was able to take 15 pages of notes (they were on smaller pieces of paper, probably about 6.5"x8", but still!) I especially love the part where Elder Uchtdorf quoted St Francis Assissi in saying "Preach the gospel at all times, and if necessary, use words." That was my favorite quote by far this conference because it is so true! Our examples are one of the most influential things we can do to help people know who we are and what we believe.

We didn't have anyone come out to watch the conference but they did watch it at home, the C......'s did that we know of, other than that we don't know. Oh speaking of the C........'s... Jeremy C....... is going to get baptized!!! He's set with a date, which is April the 23rd. He's such a humble guy and was thinking about getting baptized, and now wants to. Elder Taylor had prepared a lesson about eternal families a few weeks back and we didn't get to teach it to them due to scheduling conflicts. But when we met with them on Friday we had a very very spiritual lesson in which we taught and bore testimony about the importance of families and their eternal nature. The Spirit was so strong, and filled the room as we invited Jeremy to get baptized. Sis. C........, was in tears and so was Jeremy, I was about to cry but some how held my composure as we promised that the atonement would cleanse him, and make him worthy that one day he might baptize his own children! (He had expressed concern that he wasn't "fit" to baptize his children after he was baptized.) It was one of the most spiritual lessons I've had on my mission and I know that he'll make it. We made sure to say a
prayer of thanks in the car after the lesson to our Heavenly Father for blessing us and sanctifying us so we could be a segway for the Spirit to be there, and for his softening of Jeremy's heart. It was an Incredible
experience!!! You could just see the hope and happiness that came into his countenance by the end of the lessons. And I might add that Sis. C...... is doing a fantastic job at keeping the family on track and doing what they are supposed to do. I can see the Spirit of the Lord working on them little by little, and soon they will all be active in the church!

So next Sunday I'll be at 299 eh? Wow that has gone by really fast! I can't believe that it's already been that long. Yes, it is true it is going by really fast for me, but I am loving nearly every minute of it. I love having the opportunities of sharing and teaching the gospel. If I weren't out here I wouldn't have had the opportunity of meeting the C........ Family and helping them become united in the church. This is so rewarding, both in the seen and unseen. At times I wish it wouldn't have to end. But it must. I love you and miss you mom! Have a great week and be safe!
Elder Benjamin Serrano

Avalon Week 15

Things are going wonderful and this week has been a pretty good week! I'm doing great! I'm feeling great! It's cold over here, but it is starting to warm up. Slowly but surely. When it does get warmer Elder Taylor and I will be playing some golf on p-days! There is a member in the neighboring ward that works in a high up position at a golf course near the church in my area and we get to play there for free! So that'll be fun when the time comes! :)
I am so excited for general conference!! It is my favorite time of year, where the prophets and apostles get up and speak to us! I never really appreciated General Conference until I came out on my mission, I probably said that the past 2 sessions I've been out but it's true! I get so much more out of it now that I've realized the importance of prophets. We are so lucky to be able to be led by inspired men of God. I sure hope that I can get all of our investigators to come out to see it!

And how about Garrett getting called to the same mission as Kimball!! That's way cool!

So the happenings for this week:
Yesterday, we had a really cool activity at the church! The ward hosted the annual Inter-faith Gathering. The Inter-faith Gathering as an activity that many many different people of different religions come and give a presentation on what the people of their religion do to strengthen family, or family traditions. The theme for the event was "Faith, Family, Future." So naturally our church did a presentation on Family history, family night, temple work, etc. It was really cool there were different religions like Baha'i, Muslim, Islam, Judaism, Zoroastrianism, Universal Unitarianism, Quakers, Mormon, and one more that I don't remember. Any way there were three, 20 minute blocks in which we could choose to go to any one of the presentations that were
held in any one of the rooms throughout the room. I went to Judaism, and Universal Unitarianism, and ours. Judaism was great, they talked about the Passover Meal and the Seder Meal. And Universal Unitarianism was….. very interesting. It's kind of a open to all and every religion, study whatever you want, and whatever you feel is what you like, kind of thing. It was really odd and didn't make sense to me even after they explained it to me. That was fun because we got to talk to a lot of people about the church afterward because there was a mix and mingle type thing with a bunch of different finger foods. We were able to teach a few people and hand out 2 copies of the Book of Mormon. It was a wonderful opportunity to interact with people of the different faiths, and teach them.

So about our investigators. Danielle ended up moving out of our area. She said she would come yesterday to church but ended up not coming. We don't have her address or phone number because they were both getting
changed, so we have no way to get back into touch with her, so we don't know what's going on. Our only hope is that she will come back to church next week, call us, or go to church out in her new area. We really don't have anyone really too solid that we're working with, outside of the part member families. Which brings me to the C........!!! The whole family came out to church yesterday! And it turns out that Jeremy told sister C....... that he is thinking about getting baptized! Which apparently has NEVER happened before! He told us yesterday at church that he was doing such. OH YEAH! We're seeing some great success with them lately and I know it's because of prayer! How wonderful that Jeremy's heart is being softened.

So this past week I was able to go on exchange with my buddy Elder Keeton Stewart and serve with him for a day in his area! It was such a blast serving with someone I knew from back home, when to Jr. High as well as High School with. He's such a great missionary and will do great out here! It was said a few times on the exchange, "Who'da thought that I would be sitting in a car, in Pennsylvania, on my mission with [Ben Serrano/Keeton Stewart]." Kinda fun!

Oh yeah this is the most important one! I don't know if you got an e-mail or anything, but the mission office address is changing!! You know, the one that you would send letters/boxes to me and they would then forward them to me? Yeah, the office is moving to a different location. The Address is:
New Address:
Pennsylvania Pittsburgh Mission
2600 Boyce Plaza Ste. 101
Upper St. Clair 15241

So that's what's going on here for this week! I love being out here on the mission there are so many great experience that I get to take part in! The scriptures are true, which testify of Christ who lives. And we get to listen to the words of his holy prophets this weekend! :)

I love you mom, I hope you have a great week this week!
Elder Benjamin Serrano