Tuesday, January 31, 2017

Missionary Broadcast, Mountain Biking & Panda

Elder Lott taking in a quick nap on our way back to our area,,
Well hello Family and Friends!

This has been a very busy week over in East Mesa!

So to start it all out on Wednesday we had the Worldwide Mission Broadcast. In that Broadcast they addressed that we will be having some pretty significant daily schedule changes. So now in the morning we decide at what time we want to work out, study, and eat breakfast, we still have to wake up at 630 and be out the door to work at 10 but i like this new schedule it will be different for a while but i can see why they made the change.
Me & Elder Merritt
 This past week we went back to the farm. The farm is awesome and we go every week. I held a 2 week old baby goat named Panda! It was so cute and this thing loved me!

As far as teaching goes we have been really busy in the last few weeks trying to contact all of the people in the wards that we cover. We have been able to pick up a few people that are interested in learning more about the church and the things that we believe. I love to share the Gospel with people. We have an amazing message about our Savior and we can study it every single day. All of our current investigators are the nicest of people and they have true questions about who our savior is and what his role is in our lives. There is nothing like seeing someone come to know about Jesus Christ on a personal level, it is amazing.
Elder Merritton our exchanges this week
You know we knocked on that Door! haha
 So earlier this morning 3 of us Elders had the chance to go mountain biking with one of Elder Hollands members and i knew that we were in for a treat when he told us that he is an Iron-man athlete. So at 10 o'clock we loaded up and were off to the trail. We road for a few hours in the AZ desert and when it was all said and done we had ridden 13.5 miles and the temperatures was in the 70's and clear for all of the ride. All of it was amazing. Definitely a great experience.

Transfer calls will come on Sunday night, probably pretty late. Either Elder Lott or I will transfer. Normally after the first 12 weeks they separate from their trainer. I know it will be one of us, but we don't know who. I love my Mission President, President Wheeler. He is super chill and I trust and support him.
Me & Elder Merritt..I Don't know who's glasses these are??
 Well that is pretty much all i can remember about this week. I love the work and i love the simple Doctrines that the Gospel has. When we come to know more fully who our Savior is we will feel his love more abundantly in our life. I love you all and i hope you have a great week!

Elder Ben Kestner

Wednesday, January 25, 2017

It does RAIN in Arizona!

It definitely rains in AZ! 
Hello Family and Friends! 

This week has been pretty legendary for a few reasons. I had the chance to go on exchanges with the legendary Elder Harley, get caught in the rain for a few hours and teach a couple of people more about the Gospel. It was an exciting week and i learned a lot from multiple people.
Ben & the Goats!
One of the highlights of the week was going to a service project at a place called Aimees Farm Animals. While we were there we had the chance to feed goats, walk mini horses, and tromp around in the mud. It was awesome. The cool part is that all of the animals are used for like emotional support and therapy purposes so that was really cool. I was definitely nice to go and do something like that for a little while to get a change of scenery and serve someone else for a while. Overall really awesome. 

On Thursday i went on exchanges to Elder Harleys area. Elder Lott and our DL were supposed to go to our area but Elder Lott ended up by being stomach sick all day so they stayed in, but Elder Harley and i went and we had a great day. We spent most of the day tracting and contacting the potential in the area. It ended up by being a pretty productive day and i learned a thing or two from Elder Harley. 
Elder Harley & I in his area
So throughout this whole week it had been pretty rainy and a few days we got caught in it and we got soaked. It was pretty awesome, so yes it does rain in AZ and this time of year when it rains it is cold, so it was a bitter cold couple of days. While we were out in the rain we tracted into a lady who had been given a copy of the Book of Mormon from a friend and we talked to her a little bit about it and she has a few questions so we are hoping that we can meet with her later this week. We had talked to a few other people like that as well so that was fun. I cant remember who said it but the saying goes: all weather conditions are good conditions for proselyting and doing the Lords work. 
1000 miles in 5 months!
So overall this week has been awesome. One scripture that i really enjoyed this week was Jacob 4: 4 It says that the people of Nephi knew Christ and that they had a hope and a glory that he was going to be the Savior of the world hundreds of years before he was even born. I love that scripture. We can be witnesses of Christ and we can bear that he lived and that he still lives. I love that all of us can do exactly that. Bearing a witness of Christ is so amazing and it is something that we should cherish. 

I love you all and i really enjoy all of the emails that you send. I hope you have the best week!!

Elder Ben Kestner

Tuesday, January 17, 2017

The Doctrine of Christ, Teaching & Blessings

Well Hello All! 
So this has been a very busy week here in East Mesa. Our two wards that we cover have been really picking up with lots of potential so that has been really exciting. To start out the week we were able to find a lady that we had contacted a few weeks ago. Long story short she really wants for her and her son to come closer to Christ. So we actually taught her the Restoration message and invited her to be baptized this morning which was super awesome. It was a great experience and the spirit was definitely present in that home. We will be following up with her later this week and see how her experiences with the Book of Mormon have been. So that is one of the many great things that happened this week. 
​On Tuesday night i got a call that i was not expecting. As the phone rang and i saw that it was President Wheeler I had a mini heart attack. NORMALLY a call from him during proselyting hours is not a good thing, but he asked me to come to a Conference that would have some of the brothers form the Missionary Department of the church come and teach some of the Missionaries. So when i heard this i was really excited to be able to go. The conference was amazing we learned and relearned our purpose as missionaries. The simple things that we need to remember is Faith in Jesus Christ, Repentance, Baptism, Receiving the Gift of the Holy Ghost and Enduring to the End. Those simple things that we teach will change lives. Most of the concerns that people have will be resolved by those simple Doctrines. That Conference will stick with me for a while. After it was all over i truly felt edified by the spirit and i know the things that we can apply in missionary work. 

We had a great meeting with our investigators Kenyon and Niah this week as well. They both have been to church twice now and they seem to love coming. So when we met with them on Thursday we had talked to there mom about how she felt about them being baptized and she said that she was totally okay with it. We were so pumped and maybe she will have some interest in learning more as well! So we will probably set up a definite baptismal date this next week. Kenyon and Niah are awesome and they want to keep on learning so we are really excited about the! 
Well that's about all for the week today was great we went out and did some sweet thrift shopping and i picked myself up a couple of sweet ties. I have gained quite a collection of ties since being out here, i just love having them haha. On the more Spiritual side of things one chapter in the Book of Mormon that has come up a few times this week was Enos. I would encourage you all to read it this week it really sets the example of how we sometimes have to pray to our Heavenly Father. I know that true and sincere prayer will bring us closer to our Savior. Prayer is such a powerful tool that we can use. I love you all and i hope you have the best week! 

Elder Ben Kestner 

Tuesday, January 10, 2017

Lambos, Service & Stake Conference

Hey Fam! 

So this week has been a stellar week. 

During the week we went on exchanges and did a ton of service but all in all a successful week! So to start out the week we went over to the Terry's, who are some members in our ward, to help them move some rock in there back yard. So 4 Elders ended up by moving 7 tons of gravel and rock. It was definitely work but we love to help those in need! 
 So later that day we were biking around and we saw an older gentlemen who is a very devout catholic but a really nice guy. We have talked to him a few times in the past because he puts up this amazing Christmas lights display right in front of his house. Anyways when we saw him we stopped and started to help him take it all down. We were able to get it all taken down in just under 2 hours so that day was full of service. I love service because i love helping people out the joy that it brings is second to none.

So on Sunday night we were about to head in for the night and we saw a unicorn in our neighborhood. There was a bright orange Lamborghini lurking on the street. So of course we stopped to talk to the guy about it. He said he has had it for a few years and he was even nice enough to let us sit in it! It was definitely a cool experience and i learned that they don't make those things to sit big ol boys like myself haha 
On Friday we went by Kenyon one of our investigators and we talked to him about the Plan of Salvation and baptism. He has read over 500 pages of the Book of Mormon. Did i mention that he is 13 years old? It is awesome! We invited him to come to Stake Conference with us and he was excited to come. He texted later on Saturday night and asked if his 9 year old sister could come as well. So we were super glad to have both of them with us for Stake Conference and they really enjoyed hearing from Elder Cordon of the General Authority 70. They both said that they want to come to church with us next week as well! I know they are feeling the spirit and it is beginning to grow inside of them. 

In closing one thing that really stuck out to me this week is the blessing that it is to share the Gospel. I want to invite all of you to look for a chance to share the Gospel with someone. It can really change lives and i know that it can change yours as well. I love you all and i love hearing from you. I hope that you have a great week! 

Elder Ben Kestner

Thursday, January 5, 2017

First Christmas in the AGM!

Hello Family and Friends! 

First off i hope that you all had a wonderful Christmas! It is such a lovely time of year that we have to come closer to our Savior i hope that each of you had a wonderful experience! This has been one of the most memorable Christmas experiences there is just something about being a servant of the Lord and preaching his Gospel during this time of year.
 So some of the highlights this past week was when we were out tracting. Elder Lott and i were going door to door and sharing a message about Jesus Christ and one of the doors we knocked was anti mormon which is always fun for us so we had an interesting conversation with and ended that situation. So the next day we were doing the same thing and we knocked on a Christian preachers door so we were in for it again. So we just had another great conversation with him and left but when things like that happen to us it is just a testimony builder for me because i know what is true and i love the blessing that the gospel has in store for all of us if we chose to accept it in our lives!
Earlier this last week we met as a whole mission and had our Christmas activities as a whole mission the most memorable part of this whole meeting was when we all grabbed ballons that had lights attached to them and went outside to let them off into the night sky. Each balloon represented a baptism that we had throughout the year. As we let all of the balloons off we sang silent night as they all flew into the sky it was an amazing experience! 
Overall this Christmas is one that i will never forget the experience and memories will always stick with me. As we keep Christ in Christmas it will change our perspective and we will come to know our savior. I love you all and i love hearing from you I hope that you have a happy and safe new year! 
Elder Ben Kestner 
Arizona Gilbert Mission