Wednesday, December 21, 2016

Christmas = More Christ

Hello All!

It seems like you all have been enjoying the Frigid temperatures and snowy whiteouts this week. It got down to a cold 38 degrees one morning to reach a high of 78 degrees by the end of the day so we all have our struggles haha!
This has been a great week for Elder Lott and I. We started out the week pretty slow with some sickness which was no fun but by Wednesday we were out giving it our all! On Thursday we had the chance to attend the funeral of a 96 year old woman who lived in one of the wards that we cover. She was a wonderful lady. These last few weeks or so she was able to attend a Relief Society Dinner and Sacrament meeting. I think that she was truly preparing herself to return to live in the presence of our Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ. She was a great example of service in the church and her efforts will not be forgotten. I know that she is in a better place now. It was a bitter sweet moment but in know that our Father in Heaven has a plan for all of us.
On Friday we were out during our "daily entertainment hour" or better known as tracting and we met some really awesome people. The first person that opened the door to us was an older lady who claimed to be a Jehovah Witness. So we talked about our beliefs and introduced the Book of Mormon to her. She said that she would read it and we set up a return appointment for next Tuesday! So that was a pretty cool miracle that happened it goes to show that tracting works! Going along with miracles on Saturday we met a kid named Kenyon that we had given a Book of Mormon to like 5 weeks ago. As it turns out he has been reading it this whole time! He is on page 158 and he said that every time he reads it he "feels thing thing in his chest" and he really likes reading it. We were so excited to hear that he can feel the power that the Book of Mormon holds. We will be meeting with him and his family later this week.

Well that's all for the week! I love doing this great work. The Gospel changes people! I hope you all have a very Merry Christmas! And I will look forward to hearing from you next week! 

Elder Ben Kestner 

Tuesday, December 13, 2016

Exchanges & Miracles

My crochet project
 Hello Family and Friends! 

It has been an exciting week and we have been so busy i have trouble remembering it all! So to start off on Tuesday we were tracting and we talked to a lady who had some interest in the Book of Mormon. She was super nice and invited us to come by another time so we can discuss more about it! So that was a great way to start off the week. 

On Wednesday we went on Zone Leader exchanges so Elder Wilcox and i went into his area and we had a blast! I learned a lot from him. One thing that stuck out to me was to keep on working even when you want to start slowing down. When we push through the bad times it will help us and we will see blessings from it. For a good portion of the day we spend time talking to some people in the apartment complex that he covers and it was great. All of the kids around there know who the missionaries are and they love to say hi so that was pretty cool. While we were talking to some of them Elder Wilcox whipped out his portable DVD player and showed them the #LightTheWorld video. They were all like "Hey That looks like Jesus helping people!" It was pretty awesome we started to talk more about what Christmas meant but they didnt have a very long attention span so we ended it there haha but it was still a great experience! 
Elder Wilcox
So while i was with Elder Wilcox, Elder Lott was with Elder Merritt in our area and they had a really awesome experience. So they went and visited the family that took us to the Christmas lights and they had a great spiritual lesson and they invited Robert, the non-member in the family, to be baptized. He said that he wants to because he knows that this is the true church. He believes that everything is true and he said that he can feel the spirit. We now have to find a baptismal date that would work for him, but that is a miracle! 

After all of that happened on Wednesday i went on exchanges with our District Leader to our area and we had a really productive day. Since the weather is in the 70s everyone is out and about and it gave us a great chance to talk to them all. We found some people that we will follow up with later this week. One thing that Elder Tomlinson told me was that we need to remember and state our purpose as missionaries when talking to people. We are here to help others come unto Christ so that they know that he is our personal savior. I love that about being a missionary. We are not selling anything to anybody we are here to invite them to come to Christ and to follow him. He brings so much into our lives without us knowing and i love that about this Gospel! 
I now have 750 miles on my bike and it is running better than ever. There is a guy in our ward that is a serious mountain biker. Like he has the whole set up and he helped us tune up our bikes and fix the minor problems they had. Now its like new again. One thing i am doing is wrapping the whole bike in old inner tubes so it looks like trash but it will protect the frame.

That pretty much sums up my week! I love you all and i look forward to hearing from you all next week! 

Elder Ben Kestner 
Arizona Gilbert Mission 
1001 N Burk St 
Gilbert, AZ 

Tuesday, December 6, 2016

Low Rider

Hey All! 
So i hear it is pretty cold back home. This week in AZ we got down to a bone chilling 48 degrees so i feel the struggle haha! Anyways it has been a great week! 
Mesa Temple

So we had a lot of really fun opportunities this week. The highlight of my week was going with a part member family to the Mesa Temple Christmas Lights. We swung by their house earlier this week and they said that they wanted to take us! They have four members in there family and the only six seater car they have was a classic 66 Chevy Impala.(keep in mind this family is Hispanic haha) So we all piled into to that and we were off to see the lights! Overall it was great! The spirit that can be felt on temple grounds is amazing. I was so glad that we had this chance to go with this great family and have that experience. So after we went to the lights they wanted to take us to a Mexican bakery where they have like hostess type deserts but they are huge! They called this part of Mesa little mexico haha and it was true i didn't understand much of anything that was said haha but it was all amazing! 
Me & Elder Lott

The Low Rider
Another great part of our week was when we followed up with someone that we tracted into the other week. Her name is Judy and when we originally met her we gave her a Book of Mormon and asked her to read and pray about it. So we followed up with her and she had read some of it! She didn't have much time to talk right then so we will go back and see if we can answer some of her questions. It seems like she is pretty genuine about learning more. I know that the gospel can and will answer the questions that we all have! I love you all and look forward to hearing back from you next week! 

Elder Ben Kestner 
Arizona Gilbert Mission

Thursday, December 1, 2016

Thanksgiving & Baptism

Hey Ya'll! 

So this has been a really great week with a lot of great experiences! So to start off Tessie was baptized! It was an amazing Baptism, she was surrounded by all of the ward family. So after her baptism we had a little celebration at there house and Tessie had made a whole bunch of Filipino food from scratch. Lets just say that her food is becoming my favorite! So after all of that ended they wouldn't let us leave without taking half of it home and i was definitely okay with that! 

Baptism Day! Elder Lott, Tessie, & I
The after Baptism Party

So after we had a great baptism on Wednesday we had an amazing thanksgiving day! We had several members in the wards that wanted to have us over for dinner and it was really amazing. The wards are so loving and i am so glad that i am in such a supportive area of the missionaries and missionary work. So all in all we had like 4 Thanksgiving dinner and we were so stuffed that it took most of next day to feel hungry again. Totally worth it though! It seems different to have Christmas with out snow though. You will HAVE to see the Gilbert Temple it is amazing at Christmas! That 25 days of service will be awesome. We are supporting that as missionaries as well so that should be really cool!

We did have one big trial to over come this week though. On Saturday we were doing service at a members house and Elder Lott rolled his ankle pretty bad. Right after he rolled it, it started swelling up almost immediately so we were pretty concerned for him. He was able to walk on it so we had just been keeping a close eye on it the rest of the day. Well we woke up on Sunday morning and it was a nice purple color so that was great. We are going to have it looked at right after we are done emailing so we hope that all turns out well. Sometimes the Lord puts trials in our way for us to overcome. As we do what the lord wants us to do we will grow closer to him. I love this work no matter how hard it is sometimes. As we are exactly obedient the Lord will help us no matter what situation we are in. I Love you all and hope you have a great week! 

Elder Ben Kestner 
Arizona Gilbert Mission

Tuesday, November 22, 2016

Miracles, Transfers & Lott

Hello Family and Friends!!! 

So this week has been full of so many miracles! This has been a whirlwind of a week.
So to start off last Sunday we had ward council and we were talking about some people in the ward that we could go and visit to see if they had any interest in the church. So we went to a family who's grandma has been coming for several weeks now and has been living with. She is originally from the Philippines, and her name is Tessi. We asked her if she wanted to take the lessons and she said yes! 

So some back story on this Elder DeRosia finished his mission and left on Monday. So I was in a trio for a few days until i got my new companion. So i went with one of the zone leaders on Monday night to begin teaching Tessi. We taught the message of the Restoration and invited her to be baptized and she said yes! But to throw a little bit of a curve ball, Tessi is going back to the Philippines on the 26th of November and her main language is Tagalog! So if she wanted to be baptized before she left we would have to teach all of the lessons in five days. So we came by on Tuesday to follow up, and tessi said that she prayed about being baptized and she said that she wants to be baptized before going back to the Philippines! So we were busy this week with teaching and preparing her for baptism. So she is on date for Nov 23rd! It was such a miracle how everything came together so fast. She said that it just feels like the right thing to do and that it will help her stay strong when she goes back home. Tessi has such a sweet spirit about her, she is so kind and truly understands this gospel it was so great to see how the gospel can work in side of people. It will put a light into peoples lives! I am so excited to see her be baptized on Wednesday! 
So when Elder DeRosia left i was made the "designated driver" because we live 10 miles away from our area.. On Tuesday i received a call from the Mission President and he said that he wants me to train one of the brand new elders coming into the mission. I was so nervous and excited all in one! So i am leading out the area and training. It has been a stressful few days but the Lord has something in store for me i know. It has been a week of miracles though. So on Wednesday morning we went to the transfer meeting and that is when i got Elder Lott! Elder Lott is going to be a great missionary i am so excited that i get to spend this transfer with him! He is from Idaho Falls, Idaho so that is pretty close to home. We are the two spuds in Arizona! Anyways we are both excited for how the work is going in our area. We know that the Lords hand is our lives all the time! It seemed to be such a long week back on Monday but now looking back it has flown by pretty quick! I love the work and i love this area. It is the best! 

I know that the Lord has great things in store for us this transfer i know that doing the Lords work both blesses others and blesses ourselves as well. This work that we do in the gospel is so incredible. I have been so lucky to see how it has changed others lives. I know that it has changed my life. I love you all! 

Elder Ben Kestner 
Arizona Gilbert Mission

Monday, November 14, 2016

Light Sabers & Planes

Hello everybody! 

So this has been quite the week! It has flown by so fast but it has been a week for a lot of growth! I have been trying to learn as much as i can from Elder DeRosia because today is his last day in the field. So right after we are done emailing i will be dropping him off. 

One miracle we had this week was that we picked up an new investigator! Her name is Tessi and she is the mother of a recent convert! She has been coming to church for a few weeks now and she said that she wants to take the missionary lessons! We are so excited for her and the things that are going to happen! 

We had to go through all of the goodbye rituals because my comp is leaving. One thing that a family always does to departing missionaries is their companion has to kill them star wars style! So that was a great experience. I am glad that i had the opportunity to serve with Elder DeRosia, i learned so much and i know that the learning will continue on! I love you all and hope that your week is great! 

I look forward to hearing back from you all! ​

Elder Ben Kestner 
May the Force be with you

Killing off his Trainer

Wednesday, November 9, 2016

It was a Shocking Week!

Buried in the Gospel
Hello Everyone! 

So for this week we have our P-Day changed to today because Elder Cornish of the 70 came to the mission on our Regular P-Day, but i will talk about that later! 

So this last week has been full of many great things and lots of great experiences! We had many opportunities to serve some members in the wards that we cover and to teach people while tracting. 

Our weather here has been pretty good for the most part. The days have been in 80's and it is starting to cool off but i don't think it will get much colder than that. Everyone says that this is what the winters are like. We also had a really hot fall season, i guess it has stayed hotter longer later in the year than it has in the past. I keep on expecting it to get cold and snow here but i know that won't happen haha.

Earlier last week we went over to the Hollands and helped them change some of there smoke detectors. Brother Holland broke his ankle a while ago so he wasn't too keen to changing the alarms. We were more than happy to help them out. So while we were changing them i was on a step ladder working on them and the darn wires in the ceiling shocked me! It wasn't a bad shock or anything but it kept me on my toes for the rest of them! We like service, It gives us a chance to get out of our white shirts and get dirty. I have been able to help some people out by doing service and i love it, because i actually do like getting dirty and helping others out. 

So transfers are on like the 16th i think. I doubt that i will leave. I think they transferred me here so i can learn the area and then lead out the area because my comp is done with his mission. So i think i will be here for thanksgiving. Transfers are always a toss up though. It just depends on where President wants me. I have started doing a bunch of sit ups and push ups every morning. It is so hard to stay fit because the members feed us well!
Stormy day
So last week we had exchanges and Elder Holland and I went out to my area and we had a really great time dong the work. Elder Holland and i came into the mission at the same time. He is a stud missionary and we had such a great time! So one thing that i really love to do is to tract for at least one hour a day. Some days people answer the door and talk for a minute and some days we get nothing. So when Elder Holland and i began tracting hour it started to pour down rain. So here we are on foot, tracting, in the eye of this rainstorm. All i can say is that it was awesome! See video...We were soaked in 10 seconds of being in it but we kept on tracting! We were actually able to talk to some people and i think that we found some potential investigators so it was totally worth it! We had fun and i learned a lot from that whole experience! 

On Monday and Tuesday Elder Cornish of the 70 came to the mission! It was an amazing Conference and i learned so much from it. It seemed like the main theme was that if you set your expectations high you can accomplish it. No body is saying that we cant accomplish the goals that we set so if we work as hard as we can we will accomplish the things that we put out heart and mind to. One other point that he drove was that member missionary work is so key to helping bring our friends and neighbors in to the gospel. Simply put when people have a friend who is a member and that member introduces a friend into the gospel that will make there conversion powerful. There are so many blessings that come from sharing the gospel. It does not matter if you are a member or a full time missionary, sharing the gospel and showing love for those around you will bless your lives. I know that it has been blessing mine! I love you all and hope you have a great week!!

Elder Ben Kestner
500 miles on the bike in 3 months!

Monday, October 31, 2016

Trunk or Treat!

So this past week has been very unique compared to the rest of them! It had its ups and downs but for the most part a really awesome week! So last Monday we had the chance to have dinner with a Part member family and they fed us authentic Mexican food! So that was really awesome. We were able to share a dinner message with them and it went really well. You can definitely feel the spirit in their home. It was a great experience and i look forward to seeing where this family will go!

On Tuesday we had a really funny experience while we were out knocking doors. So we approached this door and we heard a lady telling her kids to pick up the living, and then right as Elder DeRosia was about to knock she opened the door while his hand was in mid swing and it scared the daylights out of her! We had a good laugh about it for a minute and then she told us that she wasn't interested but it made for a really good story! 

Arizona Sunset
Continuing on to Friday we had Interviews with President Wheeler. I was really glad that i had the opportunity to be able to sit down and get to know President better. He is definitely an inspired man. I have already learn a lot from him.

So later that day Elder DeRosia and i were riding our bikes around one the neighborhoods and we saw a lady unloading dressers and boards from the back of a truck all by herself so we stopped to help. (it turns out she was a member) So we took the dresser inside the house and met this lady's daughter. We introduced ourselves and she proceeded to tell us that she had just quit the satanic temple that morning and she was looking at the LDS church because that is what most of her family and friends go to. I was kind of shocked at this but we shared a quick message with her and then she asked if we had any "literature" for her. So we gave her a Book of Mormon. That was a miracle in and of it self! So we went outside to help unload the rest of the things and we found that the lady in the back of the truck had her knee give out while she was standing in the bed and that she had fallen and was laying on the ground. We were really surprised to walk out and see that. So we first made sure that she was alright and then helped her sit up. She had done something to her knee and she hit her head pretty hard as well. Even after all that she said that she was okay and we eventually were able to help her get into a chair so that her daughters could help her. She told us that we were a God send and she thanked us for helping. 
So that was quite the experience! All of that happened in about 20 minutes. After we had left i had no idea what to think of all of it. I don't know why we were riding our bikes down that particular street at that time, but i do know that God can influence us whenever and wherever he needs us. Sometimes we feel his influence without even knowing. That was a big testimony building experience for me. I know that the Savior lives and he loves us. He will guide us to those in need. The Gospel can and will touch our lives if we listen to the promptings of the spirit. I love this work! I hope that all of you have a week filled with miracles. I love you all! 
Trunk or Treat

Trunk or Treat
Halloween tonight 2 of the zones are getting together to watch a church movie in a church. They don't want us out on the street tonight haha. So that's what my night will consist of haha!

One more thing..I wanted to tell you that I wont be emailing until next Wednesday because we are having Elder Cornish of the 70 come to the mission on Monday! So that will be the next time you will hear from me.

Love you!

Elder Ben Kestner
At one of our Wards Trunk or Treats

Tuesday, October 25, 2016

Mountain Biking & Primary Programs

Hello Family and Friends!

So this has been a pretty eventful week! 

Since today is our P-day we had a member give us the chance to go and mountain bike some of the local trails. I had pretty high expectations, coming from the Pocatello trails back home, but it was such a blast! We rode about 6 1/2 miles and all of it was so much fun! me and the member were flying down the trail. He was trying to lose me but I wasn't having any of that! It was a great time there are so many members in the other elders ward that want to take us biking I am so pumped that I bought the right bike! It was a great way to start out a week and it was so great to get out and have some fun with the elders in our zone. I look forward to the next time we get to go!

So we also had the great experience of watching the primary programs in both of the wards that we cover. The kids did such a great job and you can see how Christlike they are just through there actions and they way they deal with each other. They are the "army of helaman" I know that they are being taught wonderful things. You cant help but see great attributes in all of them!

It is so nice seeing pictures of the snow peaked mountains because it is still in the high 90s here! I think my blood thinned out because it doesn't feel as hot as it did a few months ago. haha

Sorry for such a short email today i am running out of time, but the work is going great and i love serving in this area. Missionary work is real and it lives! I love all of you and hope that you all are doing great!

Elder Ben Kestner
Elder Merritt for the day

Tuesday, October 18, 2016

Special Olympics & Obedience

Elder DeRosia and I after playing indoor soccer for our P-Day activity
Hello Everyone! 
So this week has flown by so fast! We had a lot of really great moments and some cool experiences. One of the highlights of the week was helping out with the Special Olympics. We were in charge of the aquatics section. So we just had to make sure that all of the athletes knew where they were supposed to be. It was a unique experience and i am so glad that we had the chance to help out with it. 

I am still getting used to this new area. We live 8 miles away from our area so we drive to our church building and then bike around from there. I really like being on a bike it gives us a chance to talk to everyone that we meet on the street. 
Special Olympics Service
So we recently just had a baptism in our area and right now we are currently in finding mode so we can start doing more teaching between the 2 wards. There is a lot of potential here and i know that as we search for those in this area we will find people to teach. The members are awesome and are really supportive of missionary work. They play a vital role in someones conversion! 

Along with having awesome members i was so glad to have the chance to speak in sacrament meeting. The topic that i chose to speak on was how the LDS church is unique from other church's. So primarily i talked about the Book of Mormon. It is the only book that i am aware of that asked to to ask God himself if it is true. People can tell you all day that it is true but it comes down to you wanting to know for yourself. If any of you want to know for yourself you can ask and receive an answer that will stick with you. I love how central the Book of Mormon is to us. 

I am so happy being out here. All i want is to be an obedient missionary. I am turning the things that i want to do away. I only have these 2 years to be a full time consecrated servant of the Lord. I know that there is so much power with being obedient to all of the rules. I have found myself changing to be a better person. Even when it comes down to my appearance. Out of all the places in the world I know that the Arizona Gilbert Mission is the best mission out there for me. I love serving here.

I love being here and i am so anxious to see what the future of this area holds. I love receiving all of your weekly emails! You are the best! I love you all! 

Elder Ben Kestner

Elder Willyerd and I....I don't know how to explain this!

Tuesday, October 11, 2016

Desert Ridge

Me on Goldmine Trail
Hey All!

So this week was transfer week! I am now serving in the Desert Ridge Zone! My new companions name is Elder DeRosia and this is his last transfer before he goes home. So this is going to be an awesome transfer! We met on Wednesday and we have just been getting to know the members and the church leadership in the 2 wards we cover. One really awesome experience that i walked into was Mathews Baptism. Elder DeRosia and his last companion met Mathew and he was just baptized on Saturday so that is a great tone to set for these next few weeks.
The Sunrise
So the beginning part of the week, when i was still in GIlbert zone, we had the opportunity to go hike the gold mine trail as a zone. We woke up at 4 A.M. and head out towards the trail. So we were able to see the sunrise over the "mountain range". Overall is was a great way to end my first transfer in the mission. The memories were amazing and i learned so much about what kind of missionary i want to be. It really set the tone for the rest of my mission. 
Gilbert Zone Hiking
Wednesday came and so did transfers and i am now with Elder DeRosia! Elder Derosia is from Springville Utah and he has been serving in this area since January. I have a lot to learn about this area but i am so ready for the challenge. The members here are awesome and i can tell that they are a great support system to missionary work. I am still learning this new area. We have a car now because our area is like 8 miles away from where we live. So we pimp around in a 2015 Ford Fusion. We normally just park at the church building and then bike from there. It is new to me but have a car feels like luxury after putting on 360 miles last transfer haha. I am so glad to be serving in this area. I know the Lord sends us to the places that we need to be. I cant wait to see all of the things that he has in store for me. The Gospel holds the same truth no matter where it is! All and all this week has been one of many great weeks. I love all of you!
Elder Ben Kestner
Elder DeRosia & I

Tuesday, October 4, 2016

Bible Bashes & B Dubs

Biking through the rain last Sunday
 Hello Everyone!

So this has been a very eventful week, I don't even know where to start! I guess I'll start by saying that we got transfer calls! Last night we got the call and Elder Peterson, McKown and myself are going to be leaving the area. We don't know where we will be going to but all we know is that we are leaving the Gilbert Zone. I have grown to love this zone over the past few weeks. I have seen so many miracles happen. We have 3 progressing investigators and I love the members here. I don't know where I will be serving yet but I will find out on Wednesday. My time here was amazing but I know that I am being sent to somewhere else that I am needed. Along with that being said the first 6 weeks have been completed and I feel so great! It has been such an amazing experience and I cant wait to see what the next 22 months will hold. It seems like the time is flying! 
Our District in Gilbert
So this last Sunday we did a stake wide fast for missionary opportunities. I know that fasting and prayer will help us! We had such a great week and we met some amazing people right after the fast ended. So on Monday we were finally able to meet with Jim! He was so awesome to meet with. He has been reading a little bit out of the Book of Mormon which was awesome. We taught him the message of the restoration and it was so powerful. He said that recently he has been avoiding situations where trouble might be. I am really excited to hear where he goes as an investigator. Such a cool experience!
Beautiful Arizona Sunset
So on Wednesday we were heading over to follow up with a guy who we met on the street. He invited us over so we could talk about religion. When we knocked on his door he gave us a nice welcome in and then he grabbed his bible, tablets, notes and the whole works. As soon as him and his wife got all there stuff and sat down I knew what they wanted to do haha. I knew what we were getting into. It was actually a really nice lesson, they agreed with us on everything up until we started talking about Joseph Smith and how we have a true church on the earth today, but unfortunately that's when lesson went downhill. It was interesting to see someone else's point of view as well. So that was my first time meeting some people that were anti Mormons and I am sure that there will be many more to come haha.
A professional chef in our ward made this for us! 
Because it is Elder Reynolds last week in the field, we went out to Buffalo Wild Wings on Thursday! It was nice to have a good lunch and to talk with all the Elders in our zone. Elders Reynolds is a great missionary and I have learned a lot from him. He showed me how to work hard and how to have a good time doing it. That is something that I will remember for the rest of my mission. So to finish the week off we had the opportunity to watch General Conference. That was a great experience! I learned so much about Christ's love and how much he does for each and every one of us. We are so blessed to have a living prophet on the earth today who can lead and guide us through our trials. 

I hope that you are having a great time with the seasons changing!

Well that has been my week. I love you all and I look forward to hearing from you next week.
Elder Ben Kestner

Tuesday, September 27, 2016

Head Banging and Sweet Collisions

Hey All!

So it has been awesome week! I have learned so much!

It still gets in the 90's here BUT the nights cool off so that is definitely nice. They say that during the winter I will need a light jacket because it can get down to 40 degrees during the nights. Like that's a big deal! haha 

So the Elders in my zone decided that we were going to start waking up at 520 in the morning and go do basketball workouts. The first few days of waking up that early were rough but it is totally worth it and we have a really good time. So every P day we get a few zones together and play some kind of sports. Today we played flag football which was awesome. Some pretty sweet collisions happened but we all escaped with no injuries haha. This past week has flown by so fast that it is hard to remember it all!

Yesterday in both of the wards that we cover, they did their primary program. The primary programs are always so fun. There was one kid who screamed his line into the mic and when he realized how loud it was he finished his line while whispering. It was so funny! Another kid with a Mohawk and green bow-tie was "head banging" to the song Praise to the Man. It was hands down the best thing I have ever seen! Hahaha. Kids are so awesome they only see the good in people and things. Also at church Elder Ralph and I had the opportunity to teach the Teachers Quorum how to teach the message of the Restoration. I really like how they are teaching 14 and 15 year old's how to be missionaries. It is so awesome to see missionary work happening with the members. They are such a huge support to the work in their area!

So on Saturday I went out on splits with Elder Reynolds who is one of the Spanish speaking elders and it was an awesome day! We went out into my zone and we talked to everybody that we saw on the street and it was such a cool experience. We want to reach out to everyone we come in contact with so we can teach them about how great the Gospel is in our lives! Elder Reynolds goes home in 8 days so I was really glad that I could learn from him. One thing that I learned is that it is really effective if you are a personable person. So that is definitely something I am going to work on!

Overall a really awesome week. I am so glad with all the missionary opportunities that we have received. We see miracles every single day and that alone is so special. I love being out here doing the Lords work. The Gospel will brighten our lives if we want it to. I love you all and I look forward to hearing from you next week!

Elder Ben Kestner

Pic #1 This is some people from my zone with the Gilbert Temple in the background.
Pic #2 Last week we did some service for a guy and he needed us to tear out his bathroom wall. (So I was a little late on getting the pic)

Tuesday, September 20, 2016

There is no growth in the comfort zone and there is no comfort in the growth zone!

Just because I am kind of weird!
Hey Family and Friends!
This has been an awesome week! My weeks as a missionary fly by so much faster than they did back home! 
There was so many cool things that happened this week! On Friday we had the chance to go to the Gilbert Temple with our zone! We get to go once a transfer! How cool is that?! So after that we went to Kneaders, a bakery and cafĂ© in Gilbert, and we tried to beat the record for what zone could eat the most pieces of French toast. So the record was set with 14 missionaries eating a total of 68 pieces. We only had 10 missionaries and we ate 59 pieces. I ate 7 pieces and I was so stuffed. 6 slices is a loaf of French bread!! We were so sad when that's all we could do haha but it was totally worth it! 
Another cool thing that happened was we helped a guy tear down a bathroom wall in his house. The demolition is always the best part so I enjoyed that until I was leaning over knocking a stud out with a sledgehammer and a piece of the AC ducting came down and hit me in the back of the head. It left a nice bump on the back of my head so that was pretty cool! I like doing service. It gives us a chance to help others and by doing that we can help others feel the love that the savior has for them.
We did a service project with the BSA. It was like a huge merit badge POW WOW
SO on Thursday all of our trainers had MLC that they had to be at so that left Elder McKee, Campbell, and myself to go out on splits for the better part of the day. All of us arrived in the field on the same day so it was a little interesting having all of us be new and going out by ourselves. Overall it was actually really cool. I know that I learned a lot about myself and I definitely learned some things I can improve on. There is no growth in the comfort zone and there is no comfort in the growth zone
One other really cool experience we had this week was hearing about a guy named Jim that we gave a book of Mormon to a few weeks ago. We haven't had the chance to meet with him, but we did meet with his girlfriend who says she is catholic. Anyways, I guess Jim has been reading from the Book of Mormon and he said that she can see a positive impact that it has on him. I was so excited to hear this! I can hardly wait to meet with him and talk about this journey that he is on! Miracles do happen!
This is a new development in our area. I thought it looked pretty cool.
This week I was hoping to hit 250 total miles since the time that I got here on my bike but I only got to 243 bummer deal! I think that I am acclimatizing to the heat because it isn't bothering me as much as it did when I first got here. 95 degrees feels really nice now haha. I really enjoy biking around here it gives us a chance to talk to everybody we meet on the street. It doesn't matter if they are playing basketball or waiting to pick their kids up from the bus. Spreading the gospel is such an amazing privilege to those that want to listen! 
Don, one of our investigators, seems like he is starting to make progress for baptism. He told us that he wants his decision to be between him and the Lord and nobody else's. He is an awesome guy and I know that when he knows that it is the right thing for him, he will make that commitment to follow Jesus Christ and his example. It is a special thing that he is doing and I am always excited to meet with him.
 I love you all and hope you have an amazing week!

Elder Ben Kestner
FHE with the Kerby's. 

It is my companion, Elder Ralph's birthday today! The WML, the Hatch's gave us some goodies!