Thursday, October 27, 2011

Some Pictures

Enjoying the history of Harrisburg
Elders Serrano and Killpack.  Waffles..yum!

What a beautiful view near Harrisburg

In State College with his new companion, Elder Mason

State College Week 2

I am having a wonderful day! Our week was great, a lot of cool things happened! I'll have to tell you about them today. Rashid is doing pretty good, he didn't make it to church today because he went on a school trip to Philadelphia, and made it back last night. So we have yet to set up an appointment with him. Our apartment is great, and we are all settled in. Yes, I think you should totally go to Mike's homecoming!!! I can't believe that Mike (Card) is getting home already. Those two years seemed to fly by, it blows my mind! Tell him that he needs to e-mail me too, and you can give him my e-mail address. That would be great! I bet he was such an awesome missionary.

Yes, it is kinda nice being a DL again! I have so much responsibility relieved of me, it's great! But now I have other responsibilities now with training and working with 2 wards. It's good though. I have a lot more time to work in my area, instead of having to go on exchanges every week. I had a fun time being a ZL though. So Elder Taylor and Elder Lee are going home at the end of this transfer! That's so crazy! Two more of my companions are just about done. Before then it was only Elder Page, Elder Zaleski, and Elder Willmore, now two more! And that'll be it until I get home, all the rest of my companions are younger than me.

So I told Dad about this awesome new investigator we found this week, so I'll share what I told him, then add a few more things I forgot to add: "we found an incredible new investigator named Fei Y....! He's from China and had no knowledge or belief in God. We found him on Wednesday, he came to church on Sunday and then on Sunday night to see a baptism and confirmation of some children getting baptized! He kept making comments throughout his church experience that he loved the church, and how much he thinks that God will help him in his life, and how friendly people are, and how this church is much different that the other churches he's been to. We're super excited for him and plan on setting him with a date this week to be baptized next month." He also told us that when he gets back to China in a year he wants to share what he's learning with everyone! We've had one lesson with him and he's already missionary minded. Fei Y.... is the man, and I know that the Lord prepared him. Also through out the church experience, we kept asking him how he was feeling, and he responded positively each time, and so we were able to relate that back to how the Spirit works and teaches us, through our feelings, truth. Oh man! State College Rocks! We have another investigator named Denise M....n. She's has a baptismal date for the 6th of November. She's really excited to have the gift of the Holy Ghost. We inherited her from the sister missionaries when we came into the area. She's so great! She's african american, that was born and raised in Queens, New York, but lived all over the world, and she has a Jamaican accent!

Also this week (this email is long!) Elder W. Craig Zwick from the First Quorum of the Seventy came and did a mission tour Like Elder Gavarret last year. I didn't get interviewed by him, but I was the piano player for the whole meeting. I had to do prelude two times, and play soft background hymns while he shook the hands of all the missionaries. I probably played through 50 hymns that day, it was great! He and his wife thanked me much for my talent on the piano, and I was thinking about that and a response I could have given. Not to thank me, but to thank the Lord, and my mom. The two people who helped me develop my talent. So thanks mom for making do piano lessons until I loved it! He also told me that the music/hymns played in meetings is one of the most important things that happen, to bring the Spirit into the meeting. So that made me feel pretty special how grateful he was. He taught us as missionaries some really important things, and it was a really spiritually edifying meeting.

I love the church! Thanks for all you do for me, and the prayers you send my way. I can feel them.

Have a great week!


NOTICE: This email message is for the sole use of the intended recipient(s) and may contain confidential and privileged information. Any unauthorized review, use, disclosure or distribution is prohibited. If you are not the intended recipient, please contact the sender by reply email and destroy all copies of the original message.

Saturday, October 15, 2011

State College Week 1

It is absolutely wonderful here! Yes, the trees are starting to change colors and it looks great! It's been kinda cold lately so some of them are just turning brown and dying, but we are getting a lot of fall changes and colors! I'll try and send some pictures to you next week when I do my e-mails. I sent a box last Monday and I don't know if it made it to you or not. It just has a lot of extra things that I really didn't need, like picture books and t shirts. Anyway, my new companion's name is Elder Mason from Rexburg Idaho. He's a really awesome brand new missionary, that is really prepared. We're going to have a great time here in State College. So Transfers was on Tuesday of last week, and we didn't get to our area until Friday. The reason being that our apartment wasn't ready for us to move in yet. So we stayed over in Pittsburgh and helped out the Office Elders with a few things for those few days previous to Friday. So when we finally got to State College Friday evening it turns out that we didn't have a key to the apartment, and the apartment office was closed by the time we got there. So we had to talk to some random person, ask for a number and have someone come out and let us in. By about 9:30 we got all the stuff into the apartment and set up. Because we were going into a brand new apartment, we got brand new things! New Mattresses and box springs, new desks (plastic tables), new shower curtains, cooking pans/ utensils, and dressers from Ikea! The only thing I forgot was hangers. So all my stuff is sitting on the floor right now. I'll have to get those today.

The Wards here are awesome! They are very big, and supportive! They have had sisters in the ward for about 4 years now, so they are very excited for the change, mostly because the priesthood can be more involved in the work now. And we get fed nearly every single night because the wards here rock!

We were also able to find a new investigator for us! His name is R....d I....l T...y, and he is from Sierra Leon, Africa. He's here on some student thing for Penn State. He has some family that are members of the church back in Africa, and one on a mission, so he's somewhat familiar with the church. We found him on Saturday (our first full day in State College), and he came to church yesterday! He's really cool and we are excited to teach him in the future.

I love it here and I look forward to serving here for the next few months, or even the final months of my mission.

Elder Benjamin Luis Serrano

Sunday, October 9, 2011

Harrisburg Week 18

So today I will be sending a mass e-mail to you all because of the lack of time I have today. Don't worry I didn't e-mail anyone else and take forever, I just have a lot I need to do today. So here's the lo-down on what is happening in my mission life. Yesterday I got a call from President Topham and he said, "this is the call that you've been dreading to get huh?" At that point, I was thought, uh-oh. I thought that I was just going to get released as zone leader and then go to another area but there's a whole lot more to it. He told me that:
-I will be a district leader.
-I will be training another new missionary.
-I will be opening a new area in State College, PA (where Penn State
University is).
-Therefore doubling-in or in other words white-washing.
-And The new area I will be in will cover 2 wards, yes, 2 wards.

This all means as well that I need to leave for Pittsburgh today at around 4 pm. Yeah, that's why I have a lot to get done today. I was packing until about midnight last night, the set my alarm for 5:30am so I could continue and get it all done. Now it's done. So I was expecting to have some burdens lifted by being released as a ZL, but in reality a whole bunch more responsibility just got packed on to me haha. It will be a great new experience for me, because I've never opened a new area before, or covered 2 wards. So we'll see what
happens. I know that the Lord will bless me and help my companion and I out. Also because of this, I don't know if I'll be in State College for the rest of my mission or not. I hope so, but we'll see. I just realized that in the course of my mission I have been in a leadership position for 15 months of my mission. It's crazy to think about. But I've loved it so much! I have learned  a lot, needless to say. And I thank the Lord for it.

Conference this past time was amazing! I though President Monson was rather goofy this time around as well! Haha, God bless our Prophet dear! He truly is the Prophet of God for our day and time! I absolutely love the talk that a member of the Seventy gave about how the Church is fulfilling many old testament prophesies (A stone cut without hands, that rolled until it filled the earth, etc.), I also loved Elder Scott's talk about the Standard Works. I love hearing about the scriptures! They're the most important and sacred thing I own. Something though, that really stuck out to me this week, and during conference is the power of prayer. It's amazing and I KNOW that the Lord hears and answers our prayers. I love Him for it. And owe my life to Him.

I'll e-mail again on Wednesday I think, and let you know of my new apartment address and a few more things. I LOVE YOU FAMILY!!!!!!!!!!!!! (He did not get a chance to e-mail Wednesday-S)


Saturday, October 1, 2011

Harrisburg Week 17

Hey Mom!
My week out here was a pretty good week! We actually do have a couple people with a baptismal date and these people area absolutely solid and ready! One is Kaylee Y......r, who you know about, she's still set for the 29 of October. Her dad gets home from Germany this weekend so we'll see what happens with that, if he approves or not. Sis. Y......r assures that there will be no problems, which I believe! So I'm super excited for that family, because I love them so much! The other one with a date is a young man named Colby H........n. He lives in a branch north of Harrisburg that we cover. He's a way solid kid! His uncle is a member and he really looks up to that uncle. He was introduced to the church through him and was taught a few times in Virginia. He's super solid and already has his sights set on getting to the Celestial Kingdom! He said, "I'm going to do everything I can to get there!" Did I mention that he's only 16? He's already got those awesome mind sets and goals and it was the first time I've met him, second time being taught. He is super awesome! And yes, the Holy Ghost is testifying to them the truth. Whether they know it or not, they're receiving it. Now it's our job to help them recognize and understand those promptings.

So yes, this probably will be my last week here in Harrisburg. Change is good, but I love this place and the people in it so much! It'll be hard to leave. It's also crazy to think that my next area will be my last. It's surreal, it's weird, but I am committed to not let that get to me and I will work hard to the last day of my mission! I've made a pact with a couple missionaries here that that won't happen, and we're going to be Legends! There are a couple missionaries that have gone home a couple years ago that missionaries still talk about. We want to be one of those!

Isn't it great? You're going shopping for another missionary! I still have most of the stuff we went shopping for, with the exception of one pair of shoes. The South Side killed them. Oh and that piece of luggage. I've acquired another suit, and probably an additional 40 ties. Yeah, I'm not exaggerating. They're our only source of personality in uniform, can you blame me?! :)


NOTICE: This email message is for the sole use of the intended recipient(s) and may contain confidential and privileged information. Any unauthorized review, use, disclosure or distribution is prohibited. If you are not the intended recipient, please contact the sender by reply email and destroy all copies of the original message.