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