Sunday, February 12, 2012

State College Week 17

This last week of my mission was a great one! I saw so many blessings this week. I felt like I did work hard, because it went by relatively quickly! I had a great time preaching the gospel for the last time as an ordained minister of the Lord. Like always, it's a really hard thing to leave people, and a place you love so much. I've felt like I've had to leave my family 6 times on my mission. It was especially hard leaving church and knowing that it's doubtful I'll ever see a lot of these people again. Especially the H......s.... But I feel good. People have been asking me how I've been feeling and I've been feeling kinda weird. It's strange to think that these 2 years are up. I'm a little nervous to get back to civilian life, but at the same time I feel good. I feel at peace. I feel good towards my mission and I feel like it was a very worthwhile experience. I thank God so much for the many things I've learned, the precious things that I will never forget and the closeness I've gotten to the Spirit.

Elder Mason will be staying in State College and he will be getting an awesome new companion, that is a work horse! He'll have a great time serving with him. Our investigators are doing great! Rashid is doing fine, he came to church. They'll continue to meet with him and strengthen his testimony. We were able to have lunch with Fei this week! It was good to see him again. He's doing fine, and is still open to meeting with the missionaries. Heather is doing wonderful!! She's got such a great light in her eyes! OH!!!! Do you remember David K.....s from Pittsburgh? He's totally engaged!!! He's been dating a member of the church and got engaged last Thursday, to be married in August. I am so excited for him!!!

The Church is so true! I have loved every second of being a missionary. Well, let me say, I have learned from every second of being a missionary. And I am grateful for it. There  have been good, and bad times. Happy and sad. But I know that God was in all those moments, right there with me. I finished the Book of Mormon this week. It is true!!! There is nothing like it on the face of the earth, and it has brought me closer to God. Joseph Smith was a prophet, no matter what they say. Jesus is the Christ, the only way to salvation, and to the Father. I love Him, and am forever grateful for His sacrifice on my behalf. I love you so much!! I would write more but, "Having many things to write unto you, I would not write with paper and ink: but I trust to come unto you, and speak face to face, that our joy may be full." (2 John 1:12) (I got that idea from Mike) Love you!!!!!

Elder Benjamin Serrano

Sunday, February 5, 2012

State College Week 16

Yes indeed, 9 days. Wow, this is soooo weird! I know that at the end of the week, i need to start packing up my stuff that I've somehow accumulated over the past 2 years. That will be difficult, maybe, trying to see what I need and don't need. I think I've gotten over the fact of leaving stuff behind. Everytime I leave an area I need to leave things behind. Tangible and not tangible. The Tangible things I've learned to get over, and that I really don't need 54 ties. Haha! So as I was thinking about packing I figure that there are things that I am going to leave in the apartment/mission home, and may need to make sure I have them at home. The list of things I'm leaving is this:  pillow, blanket, bedsheets, towel, and... I think that's it. It's just excess weight. I'll be sending home a box next Monday of things that won't fit in my bags.

Anyway, enough about that. Heather is doing awesome! I love her and her husband so much! Today actually, Brenden is going to give us a tour of a Nuclear Reactor that he works at. Yeah, pretty awesome! I'll be sure to not get radiation poisoning and die. That would be unfortunate. We'll have detectors on us don't worry. This week for other investigators coming to church was kind of a let down. We had 5 people committed to come to church and only one came. The one is great and is completely solid! Her name is Henrietta N..... She has a sister that is member of the church and went to church with her in St. Louis, loved it, and now wants to meet with us and learn more about the church, and eventually get her family involved in it. She's great! We're meeting with her on Wednesday. Rashid is doing well. We met with him yesterday. He's still not sure about getting baptized, but does love the church and meeting with us. He told us that he would definitely talk and discuss it with his family when he gets home to Sierra Leone. But we're still going to meet with him until he leaves.  I really have a lot of love and respect for that man. It amazes me that amount of love that seems to develop as I teach people the gospel and associate with them. It makes it that much harder to leave.

 Please pray for me to work hard this past week. Elder Mason and I set some goals to work the hardest we've ever done for the final week on my mission so that you'll have to wheel me off of the plane on a stretcher. ;)

Elder Serrano