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