Saturday, August 6, 2011

Harrisburg Weeks 7, 8 & 9

The work over here in Harrisburg is chugging along. Verna is doing good, we were unable to meet with her this week because of some work issues coming up, but we look forward to meeting with her this week! She's absolutely amazed on how simple the Book of Mormon is to her, compared to how confusing the Bible seemingly is to her. It's the true spirit of the Book of Mormon, and the wisdom of Nephi that makes it so understandable! The Stevensons are going to be out of town for the next couple weeks at a Vacation Bible School.  Elizabeth is flying through the Book of Mormon; she's in Alma! I hope that she'll feel the Spirit as she reads. She will if she has an open heart! We're hoping to get a couple new investigators this week that we have appointments with. Finding lately has been pretty successful lately. We're finding a lot of nice people and some that are open to the message of the Restoration.
We had a great experience yesterday to go and give some blessings to a family. There is this lady that is visiting from Virginia, and she's staying with her elderly parents and helping to take care of her father that is terminally ill due to a couple strokes within the past couple months. The lady is a member and her parents are not. She requested that we come and give her a blessing of comfort and counsel. When we arrived we saw her father in bed asleep hooked up to a couple machines. There was a truly humble and meek spirit in that room. After we chatted for a little bit we gave the good sister a blessing and offered one to her mother. We blessed her. She then requested that we give her sleeping father a blessing as well. It was a truly humbling experience to minister in a home where one will soon be expected to slip to the other side of the veil. The Spirit was so immensely present there as blessings were pronounced and an experience I won't soon forget. Seeing the comfort, peace, and thankfulness in the tears of the good sister were priceless. I am so grateful to be a missionary at this time and to have the opportunity to serve others, and be there as the Lord would.

I couldn't believe it when Steve got his call to Wisconsin!! I thought he was kidding when he was reading it, but I guess not(Ben got to be on the phone when his brother Stephen opened his call). You know what's funny? I guessed Wisconsin mostly because I thought it would be funny if he went there because it's kind of a random place, but hey I guess it's the Lords will. I like to think that I had some sort of influence in where he was going when it was decided in the Pre-mortalitly. I imagine my conversation with God went something like this, "You know what would be funny? If Steve served his mission for You in Wisconsin!", "You know, it wouldn't be funny Benjamin, it would be perfect." And thus, Steve got his mission call to Wisconsin, the land flowing with milk and cheese, and Packer Country (the team that beat my Steelers in the SuperBowl!).
My week here was pretty good. Not too much happened, but there were a few exciting things. One: It was SUPER hot this week! The highs were usually 95-100 during the day and it "cooled" down to about 85 at night. Now you may think, that's not bad, but there are a couple factors like, the humidity, a white shirt and tie, and slacks. It was pretty bad but we drank lots of water so we could survive. While we were tracting a couple days ago it was one of those 98 degree days and I think it was about 3 or 4 o'clock. Some people opened the door but really didn't want to talk because it was so hot, so they would say "We already belong to a church, we're not interested. Try and keep cool!" then close their doors on us (see James 2:14-17). Then we came to this one door where there was this really nice man that invited us in out of the heat, and allowed us to tell him a little about the restoration. He wasn't interested, but he saw that my water bottle was empty and asked if he could fill it back up for me. He was one of the only practicing Christians we came across that day.
Verna is doing okay I guess, we haven't been able to get into contact with her for the past week, so I don't really know what's going on. I think the Stevensons are still out at their bible school so I don't know about them either. Right now we're looking for new investigators and some that will be a little more committable.

Well I best be closing the e-mail. Happy Christmas in July!!!! Love you!!

I am doing very well on this summer day! P-day is always a good day. Nichelle will be a great missionary, I'm very excited for her! And I had no Idea that Audrey had even put in her papers! That's way exciting that she'll be in the neighboring PA mission. You'll have to tell her congrats for me next time you see her.

So this week a couple exciting things happened! One: The round of interviews with President Topham happened this week. My interview with him was pretty cool in which he basically told me what the rest of my mission was going to look like. I won't be finishing my mission as a Zone Leader, but I'll be released and then I'll train another new missionary. Since trainers are now required to spend 2 transfers with their trainees I'll be spending my last 2 training. President Topham said as well that he doesn't want to "white-wash" or "double" me into an area (like what happened in the South Side) so I'll be transferred to a different area after this one and spend my last 3 transfers there. So in simple terms, I will spend one more transfer here, when Elder Killpack leaves, with another companion, then I'll go to my next, and last, area where I'll have 1 transfer with another companion, then I'll train for 2 transfers (my last 2) with a greenie. And that's it.

We also found an awesome Peruvian family!! We tracted into them late last Monday night. The Parents want us to teach their 13 year old kid about God and Jesus Christ so that he will have something to believe in. They are Christians but haven't really taught their kids anything. They are such a wonderful family, and are very open kind, and receptive! I think we're going to see good things happen with the Torres Family. They've heard of the church when they lived in Peru, but never learned about it. When we taught them the Restoration and about Joseph Smith's first vision, the Spirit was so strong there! Even when we first walked into their home and during the entire conversation and lesson. God sure is blessing us here! It's wonderful!

Things are going great here in Harrisburg, Tomorrow I'm leaving to go on a week long (from Tuesday to Friday) exchange with the one of the Assistants to the President in Pittsburgh, so I'll be out of my area for a long time, and I'll miss a lesson with the Torres family! Oh well, Elder Lee will have a great opportunity to teach them, that'll be cool since he speaks Spanish.

Well, The church is true and always will be! Have a great week!


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