July 15, 2016

Midweek Surprise:

We received this hand written note in our mailbox.  
If you use DearElder, include Bennett's unit #156 
and his departure date July 26th

Hello! I forgot to write this in my first email so hopefully this gets to you before my second one. http://www.dearelder.com is a great way for you to email a written letter to your missionary.  There is no charge and your missionary will receive a printed copy, delivered to his/her mailbox at the MTC the day you write.  Everything is going great.  I miss & love you guys so much.  I want to hear from everyone.  I can't begin to explain how much of the Saviors love I have felt these past three days.  At the same time I can't begin to explain how much I miss all of you. 

Bennett's companions:  Elder Semadeni & Elder Jones

District Elders:  Mortensen, Dayley, Semadeni, Jones, Ogden, Birth, Stoddard

District highlighting the Provo Temple

One Week Down:

Bennett would love everyone to email him 
any photos you have of him with you! 

Wow. I can't believe it's already been one week. It has felt like a month and just a day all at the same time. I truly do love my district. They have been the best. All the Elders have been getting along so well. We do everything together. It's pretty much like we are all companions. 

This week has been very interesting. I can't describe all the feelings and emotions I have felt. I'm not going to lie, I have cried about everyday this week. The spirit has just been so strong. There are so many great teachers and leaders here with great testimonies. My companions names are Elder Jones and Elder Semadeni. The other Elders are Elder Mortenson, Dayley, Stoddard, and Birth. They are all great guys. I see all the other districts and see how they act and I'm really really glad I got put in the district I'm in. It has been really easy to talk to them, especially Elder Stoddard. 

The fist day was crazy! Things didn't calm down until Sunday. But now that I've gotten into the swing of things, the days go by in a minute. I seriously can't wait to get out to the mission field. 

The second day at the MTC felt like a million years. I had never done so much studying in one day. I'm pretty sure we took eight hours learning about how to teach and personal/companion study. I didn't realize how great PMG (preach my gospel) was until that day. I wish I had read the entire book with a pen and marker before entering the mission. We get right into the role playing the second day and I had to learn what and how to teach as we role play which is really hard. PMG has taught me so much. Later that night Elder Semadeni and I had to switch rooms. We had to be with Elder Jones in his room with these two weirdos. I have some crazy stories about them. 

The third day was so boring. But near the end of the day we shared our testimonies and everyone in the classroom started to cry. 

Saturday Is when I really came to love my district. Elder Dayley has two girlfriends and they are best friends at BYU Idaho. It was so funny because he is this tall, skinny, white, lurpy kid from Idaho. The bathrooms and showers here are interesting. Instead of intalling urinals they just ripped off the doors and the toilets seats. The showers are incredably small and the curtains are two inches too short so they do no good. We had exercise time that day and I felt like I was the biggest sinner because I wasn't wearing my garments. I don't know why but everyone wears garments in the blazing sun while running around. I am the only person who doesn't. Even my shorts are shorter than all the Elder's and Sister's. Some kids even wear hoodies to workout in. It's also interesting to see how the Elders run a round at night going door to door trying to trade ties. It really is a currency here. Every night there are about three Elders who do this and they trade ties for everything. 

Sunday was fantastic. Our teacher challenged us to take upon us the missionary purpose as we partook of the sacrament. It really helped me to more fully understand how the Christ's atonement has played such an incredible role in my life. We also had the chance to walk around the temple and take pictures. Later we watched The Characters Of Christ by Elder Bednar. That is one of my favorite talks now. the story he shared made me realize how I need to be more Christ like in everything I do. At night the water pressure ran out and all the Elders on the floor started screaming. The Elders from the other district that are in my room haven't been taking showers at all and this was the only time they tried. They are disgusting. Every morning we wake up at 6:20 or 6 and they just lay in bed and don't move until 7. 

Elder Liland and Elder Freestone, the people I room with, had me smell their garments. It was nasty. Elder Freestone then told me that he thinks they smell like a new horse. What does that even smell like? And they go on soda pop runs every night before they go to sleep. They also ate all of Elder Jones candy without asking. That day we also got our first real investigators. One of them is Reed Perkins and he is a legit investigator. He is way hard to teach because he wants to know about blacks and the priesthood, garments, polygamy, the Joseph Smith story and our stance on gays. It's really hard teaching him but I can see progress and he tries to have a open heart. We also teach Masha who is this small little woman. One of our lessons went south and we kinda started to Bible bash. It was really hard because she thinks the way she was baptized is the proper way. All we could do was tell her what we believed and asked her to pray about it. 

On Tuesday my district participated in the choir. I really didn't want to go but I was glad I did because it really brought the spirit to the devotional. I've actually started to enjoy singing hymns. I bought a little copy at the store so I can always participate.

Wednesday was great. My teacher told my class that in all the three years of teaching in the MTC she has never seen a class so unifide in the missionary purpose. She also had me share my testimony on the Atonement. The new missionaries arrived and it was so fun seeing how I was. I got to see Elder Hadley and Elder Sontag. 

All around it has been fun and very spiritual. I know my relationship with Heavenly Father has increased through my studying and praying. I love all of you and miss you more than you can understand. I wish to hear from all of you. It means a lot to get emails.

I love you all

-Elder Ogden

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