Monday, August 27, 2012

Time counts down now instead of up!

Zdravo moj prijatlski!

How is everyone doing this great week? Here in Utah the trees on the mountains are starting to change colors, and it's no longer sunrise or already day when we wake up anymore. It's become dark in the morning really quickly! Life is marching forward, ever forward here and is as fantastic as always.

This week we had two districts in our zone leave to go to Mesa, Arizona and Anchorage, Alaska, but we also had our first district come in with Elder Burdette and I as Zone leaders! So we got to do a few orientations with them to welcome them to the MTC more or less and help them transition into the mission life here. They’re a great group going to Millings, Montana, and Tallahassee, Florida. Also, two of the Elders in the new District, Elders Lovell and Buhler are our new roommates! They’re good guys. Elder Lovell in particular is great. He's highly visually impaired as so walks around with a cane and has to use a cool magnifying device to read. But he's so committed to serving and won't let his disability stop him from achieving his dream of serving a mission. As both his zone leader and roommate, Elder Burdette and I have had the blessings and opportunities to be able to serve him in helping him through his day occasionally. It's truly through serving others that we become more like Christ and become a better person.

A quick side note that applies, we watched a video of a devotional Elder David Bednar (a living apostle of the Church of Jesus Christ) gave here at the MTC last Christmas where he talked all about the character of Christ. One of the components needed to have faith is to know the "Character, Attributes, and Perfections of God" (Discourses on faith by Joseph Smith). As such, "There would have been no Atoning sacrifice without the Character of Christ" - Elder Neil A. Maxwell. What is the character of Christ? To turn outward in charity when we, as natural men, would selfishly turn inward. One of the examples Elder Bednar gave of this is during the Atonement, in the garden of Gethsemane, after being let down by his three most trusted disciples sleeping while he took on the guilt, shame, sins, and regrets, etc., and being betrayed by another of his disciples with a kiss, what does He do? He selflessly heals the superficial wounded ear (eternally speaking) of a guard. When we would shrink into ourselves in our self-centered mindset, he turns out. He turns out when we turn in. That was a little longer than a side note....

On the language front, it gets better and better every day. Elder Burdette and I are getting to the point of eliminating the awkward long pauses of not knowing the language well enough when we teach and speak the language. I've set the goal of being fluent by this Christmas. I think it's easily attainable. I know, KNOW that there is no way I could be fluent by the time I get to Slovenia in three weeks (three weeks, three weeks, three weeks!!!!) But with a few months being immersed in the language and being driven to reach the goal, I know I can be able to reach it. Who knows, maybe I can reset the goal to be fluent by Thanksgiving?

Last Tuesday, for the devotional, we had an apostle, Elder Neil A. Anderson come and give a talk. He was Amazing! The power he testified of the reality, divinity and doctrine of Christ was aweing. It’s a feeling I've only felt a few times before in my life. As he finished his talk, he ended with the point that to become converted to Jesus Christ is the most important part of the church. All things return to Jesus Christ if it is true. It is our job to testify of Him, to know His life, to know His teachings, to speak of Him. We are promised that not a single day of our lives will be wasted if we do this. Jesus Christ is the relief from anguish. Elder Anderson testified of it and I know it is true because I have felt and experienced it. Christ is the Savior. There is no more important sentence in the world.

Hope everyone is well home in Texas. I haven't heard from many of you recently, and would love to know what's new in your lives. I have been gone for coming up on two months now. Remember, if you write me I promise I will write you!

Well Wishes-
-Starešina Benson

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