Tuesday, February 28, 2017

Pigs and Service

More bike problems..not fun!
 Hello Family and Friends! 

This has been a really unique week with a lot of really cool experiences. So to start off i have to say that i really enjoy tracting. Going door to door and trying to share the gospel is so unique and it makes for so many great memories. This weeks tracting funny moment was hilarious. So there we was out tracting some dirt roads getting to see who is who. While doing so we approached this house and out of the corner of the yard this big pot belly pig starts chasing after us and to top that off it was barking like a dog. Yes this pig could bark like a dog. So as we composed ourselves the pig turned out to be really friendly and it really enjoyed being scratched on the back. Hands down it was one of the best things that i have ever witnessed. 

Anyways a little later in the week we were out contacting a new move in to the ward and as we got there we saw that this Sister needed some help putting slats into her fence. So we took the chance to stop and help her get the project done. We love to do service. It does not matter what we are currently doing we are there to help. We ended up by helping this sister finish this project in just under an hour. We were grateful to be there at that time to help. 
This week in my studies i came across a passage of scripture that i pondered on for a little bit. It is in Mosiah 23:5 It says "And they pitched their tents and began to till the ground, and began to build buildings; yea,they were industrious , and did labor exceedingly" I really like the use of the word industrious it is defined as the value of work. And the definition of work is an activity of effort. So that led me to think about that in the Gospel sense. Are we working in Gospel to do the things we are supposed to? or are we being industrious? which would make this work a very great value. As i thought about this i know that as we focus on the Lord and be industrious in the Gospel that we will make this work of the greatest importance. And i know that this Gospel deserves to be that important. 

That pretty much sums up all of my week. I love you all and hope that all is going well! 

Elder Ben Kestner

Tuesday, February 21, 2017

Our Purpose

A pretty creative net?
Hello Family and Friends! 
So this week has been very busy and lots of good things have happened. We almost had a meeting every single day this week so that was pretty cool. One of the highlights this week was leading out my first district meeting. It was very cool and i noticed in my studies that i had refocused on our purpose as missionaries. When we truly focus on our purpose and live that purpose in everything we do we will see miracles. So that district meeting was so awesome i know that if anything else i learned a whole lot more about our purpose. 

So just a little bit of a back story... When i first got into this new area 2 weeks ago there was not a whole lot of teaching going on so we have really been trying our best to pick up whatever we can as far as teaching goes. With a lot of praying and a lot of faith we went out and worked and talked to as many people as we could. During this last week we had this goal to tract all this one road. The name of the street is "happy road" so we figured we were not going to be bummed out tracting through all of it haha. It took us a few days but after it was all said and done we met one really nice lady named Rochelle. When we knocked on Rochelle's door she was very nice and friendly to us. She said that she has some questions about our church and that if she ever joined another church it would be our church. So we starting teaching her a little bit and left her with a Book of Mormon. One really inspiring thing that she said was that she wanted to know more about our church because she works with a Doctor who is LDS and just by him being a nice and open member about his faith she wanted to learn more. Sometimes we do not fully know the influence that we have on someone else just by living what we believe.
Just in case you forgot what I looked like..
 On Thursday we had the awesome opportunity to hear from President and Sister Wheeler at Zone Conference. They solely taught about how we should apply and live the simple Doctrine of Christ. The Gospel is so simple and it holds so much power. Jesus Christ made a perfect example of how we can live that Doctrine and by doing the simple things not only as missionaries but also as members we can truly feel his love and guidance through our daily lives. That is mostly what i got out of that conference but it is what i need to hear. President Wheeler is an inspired man and he has a great understanding of what we need to know and teach as missionaries. 

That is pretty much all of my week. I love this work and i love all of the people that i serve along side with, both members and missionaries. The Gospel is so simple and so true. Let it help you through your trials. I love you all and i hope that all is well!

Elder Ben Kestner
I saw this sign in our area and I thought Dad would like it..

Tuesday, February 14, 2017

Dirt Roads

Hello Family and Friends!

Transfer calls came this week and after spending almost 4 months in the Desert Ridge zone it came time for me to leave and come down south to the Bella Vista zone. I loved serving in Desert Ridge's wards. They were awesome and it felt like home. I know that I am serving in my new area for a reason and that the Lord has a lot in store. So a big thanks and shout out to all of those amazing people that I served along side with. You taught me so much and I will be applying those things for the rest of my mission.

The Bella Vista zone is going to be amazing. It has been one of the hardest weeks ever! I have only been here a few days and I can tell that I am going to learn to love it here. One big change is being more southern in the mission is that it is basically all dirt roads out here so that will be pretty fun. My new companions name is Elder Callihan and he has been out for 20 months now. It is going to be a fun transfer and I think that we will learn to work well together. This area is so unique in the way that it is laid out I cant wait to explore all of it. One neighborhood near us has million dollar homes and they have their own private airport. Then we cover people that live in less then desirable circumstances. I know and I can feel that miracles are going to happen in the next 6 weeks. It has been a stressful week, but I was called as a District Leader. I know the Lord wants me to learn something from all this and I know I am fine, but it has been kind of a rough few days.
One night when we were out proselyting we decided that we were going to start tracting down this one street so we went and started knocking doors and we ran into 2 kids on the street. They were really chill teenagers so we shared the Book of Mormon with them and set a time that we can meet up again. The spirit is always there when we testify of truth and I know that these two boys felt it.

Well that is the majority of my week. I love serving the Lord and I know that he is there for us. He loves us enough to give us trials and challenges and I am so thankful for all of those trials that we have. I love you all and God Bless. 

Elder Ben Kestner

Tuesday, February 7, 2017

Transfers & Roadside Blessings

To get this email rolling we received transfer calls on Sunday night. So Elder Lott is going to be staying and I will be leaving the promised land of the Desert Valley and Stratford Estates wards. I have served here for 3 transfers and loved every minute of it. So it will be a bitter sweet goodbye but i am so excited to see where i will be going next.
P-Day activities
 Anyways this past week has been amazing! We have been really busy contacting people and finding investigators.

One really awesome experience that we have had this week was when we were meeting with our Investigator Letecia. When we went to meet with her she had invited her Mom and Son to talk to us as well so we were super pumped to be apart of that. Her son shared an amazing experience that he had with feeling the Holy Ghost and the comfort that it brings. We shared with them that Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ know us personally and that the Holy Ghost is that comforter. So it was really cool.

Speaking of investigators and the Holy Ghost we had a really cool thing that happened on Thursday. While we were biking around we saw a kid riding his scooter down the road and we just waved at him as he rode by and right after we passed him i heard a very familiar quite voice tell me "go and talk to him" so when you get promptings like that you do not ignore those. So we locked up the brakes and turned around and caught up to him. That is how we met Corey. So when we stopped him he said that he is looking to get on a better path and that he prays every night for help to do what is right. So we starting talking about the things that God does for us and we told him that God does hear his prayers and he knows the things that he struggles with. So we set up a time and met with him again on Friday and taught him the whole message of the Restoration. It was awesome. I am really excited to hear about how he does these next few weeks.
Back at the Farm
 While Elder Lott and i were out biking just a little while after dark we passed a guy on the road who was riding in the opposite direction. He yelled at us and said Missionaries so just like always we locked up the brakes and headed back towards him. At this time as we were getting closer I smelt the very strong scent of alcohol. So when we met him he just asked us if we hold the "Melchizedek" and said he needed a blessing. So he asked us which one of us had it and we told him that we both do so he knelt down on the sidewalk right next to the road and i gave the blessing to him. This guy was so drunk that he was not making a whole lot of sense but he told us that he was a member and that he hadn't been to church in a while. Right as we were leaving he just yelled and said "Mormon Strong! Mormon Power!" We just said "Amen Brother" and rode off so that was great experience for us all. ( Side Note:

Well that pretty much sums up my week i learned a lot and i learned to put the trust in the Lord. He is always there and he knows our personal needs and concerns. I love you all and i cant wait to hear from you next week. Keep your heads up and press on!

Elder Ben Kestner
P-Day lunch with the E. Mesa Elders