Ben is serving an LDS Mission in the Washington Kennewick Mission. This blog will keep his family and friends informed of his activities. You can write him at THE NEW MISSION ADDRESS - Elder Benjamin Anderson, Washington Kennewick Mission, 8202 West Quinault Ave. #D, Kennewick, WA 99336
Elder Anderson, although feeling very mortal from getting rained on all the time in Vancouver, WA, has been having some awesome spiritual experiences which make the mortal, earthly trials a bit more palatable. Well, a lot more palatable! Here is an example from his e-mail this week:
"Our testimony of prayer become even bigger and makes us even more excited to do mission work over here in the evergreen ward.. . On Thursday night we were planning for the next day and we started out by saying a prayer like we are supposed to. Elder Dixon decided to offer the prayer and he started out saying a normal prayer that didn't touch me at any part until on little part where both of us kinda were a little surprised about what he said. In his prayer he said something to the effect of, "please help us answer somebody's prayers tomorrow." Well we both didn't say anything about it but we did notice it in the prayer and decided to finish the day by writing in our journals and going to bed. In the morning nothing was different. But that last night we had planned on going up to the north part of our area to see a family we had never seen before. And it is in the middle of no where. Really far away and I didn't want to bike over there at all. The streets were really busy, we almost got hit a couple times by cars, there are no side walks, no bike paths and there is a swamp and river on the side of us so we either fall into that or we get hit by a car. I continued to just keep peddling at my own speed and trying to get there as fast as I could. I was pretty tired and sweaty by the time we got to the area. . . We then proceeded to go to the house that we had planned on seeing. The house wasn't far away but when we got there nobody answered the door. We where pretty bummed about that. But we continued onward and went to a less active's house and knew that she should be home for us to at least visit with her. We then arrived and found out that she as well wasn't home and that we were pretty much done with our time up there and wasted all of that effort and scary biking for nothing. We then started towards the street when I felt like we should stop and go back to a house in a circle that had a man that was dis-fellowshipped from the church a few years back. We decided to stop there and see if the man was home. We knocked on the door and nobody answered. So we rang the door bell and it seemed like nobody was home. But we sat there a little bit longer than normal just because, and all of the sudden the door opened and the man we were trying to see was standing there at the door and welcoming us in. His name is Joel and he is a sailor and he is a very tough man who you can tell you don't want to mess with. We then sat down and we started to talk to him about things we noticed and starting up a conversation when he all of a sudden he said. "I'm glad you men came over. I got up this morning and said a prayer for somebody to help me and give me a priesthood blessing". Not even thinking about what I was going to say my mouth opened and I said something that was completely his own business. I asked. "Why do you need a blessing, Joel"? He then stopped and choked up. He told us that this morning he got up and was drunk. He had been drinking since he was 13 and wants to stop. He is now 29 and has lost every contact he had from the church. He needs to stop and he prayed for the Lord to help him that very day and have somebody help him with the things he was messing up with. He told us that he wanted to come back to church. That he is getting a new job that allows him to go back to church in a few weeks and that he is planning on quitting drinking but he needed some help from someone and a blessing. And who was there on that very day at the very morning in that very area? Us, the missionaries the very people that want to help him and will do anything to help him. We told him that we were going to always be there for him and he asked me to give him a blessing. We did so and left and told him that the Lord has given him a clean slate. He has the chance to change his life right now and he has the opportunity to.
Prayer is one of the most powerful tools that the Lord has given us. . .we are to use it and the Lord will bless us through prayer. This young man will now be going back to church and will be a wonderful example for others. I know that Heavenly Father listens and answers prayers, and that he always will. I know that it works and that he loves us. I love you all as well and hope you pray for others and for yourself.
I hope all goes well this week. I will continue to pray for you and for the work."
Elder Anderson stayed in Vancouver on the last transfer and his new companion is a roomie from the MTC, that he really likes. Here is the latest, and keep in mind that Ben thinks he is still texting because he rarely capitalizes anything!
"So this last week has been one of the funnest and hardest weeks i have ever had since i have been out as a missionary. I would like to see how the rest of 2011 will be. Full of huge ups and some downs where i will be having a hard time. But i would like to focus on what was really good and fun due to the fact there is nothing we can do about the bad. First off elder dixon from the MTC is now my companion and i got an e-mail from president saying that he expects great things out of us in this area and that he wants us to be ready to train new missionaries soon. HAHA. Wow i couldn't believe that out of 240 missionaries president writes me personaly and says that he wants us to be ready to train when i have only been out 4 months. WOW. So that was a real shocker and i know that i can do it is the really scary thing. Elder dixon and i are all about work now and are doing alot of it. We are doing alot of street contacting and are pretty much sharing the gospel with everybody we meet. Which actually brought us one or the most crazy experience i have ever had in my life.
" Thursday (the first full day together) its 10 am and we have just left the house to go see a less active member when we are walking down the street and we come across a sister that is about 20 years old and is walking home in the 20 degree weather and is kind of in a rush. Normally with elder morgan, we would see that she is busy and keep on going on cause we also were in a rush to a less active's house. But elder dixon proceeded to stop and talk to this young lady. And as we did so we shared our testimonies about the church and how the gospel has been restored to the earth. She then said she would like a book of mormon and she would like us to return to her house on sunday around 3 o clock and tell her more. Let me tell you somthing,during the last 3 months when we have talked to people all of them have said no and don't want to talk to you. But this one time where i didn't want to talk and was in a rush we stopped and she wanted to hear a message from us. WOW we would have missed her and we wouldn't have helped her at all. But i would like to also share what happened after this experience. Sunday came around and we were on our way to this house. Elder dixon was sick and didn't really want to go cause he truly looked like crap. But we got there and when we knocked on the door another sister answered. I began to talk to her and share that we are mormon missionaries and that we were here to share a message to sarah that we had talked to on the street. She then ran outside and started to interogate us about what we were doing. We then asked if sarah was home and she replied she isn't she is at work. We then asked if it would be alright if we could share a message with her about the restored gospel and if she had some time. She then replied yes and said go ahead and teach me. As i started to say a few words she yelled out stop. I was kind of taken by sutprise and was expecting some anti thoughts from her mouth. But she didn't say anything of that sort. She said let me share you an experience. She said she was 18 and that her parents just kicked her out of her house. She was living with her friend and she had no wjere to go. Her family said they were christian and yet they just hung her out to dry. She then started to tear up when we replied that we are gods children and that he loves us. We shared a message with her and she was almost in tears of joy when she said i am very happy that you fellows stopped by and i too would like a book of mormon. I then realized how if i wouldn't have opened my mouth on that cold winter day to a rushing sister that looked somewhat annoyed that i wouldn't have found this women looking for the truth. We have a return appointment with her. But that isn't the reason why this is so important. Through opening our mouths we have found a sister that wanted the truth and that needed it. And i have gained a testimony of that even more now that this experience has happened.
" NEXT EXPERIENCE. On new years day we had been walking about 8 miles and we were really really tired. HAHA we had really had no success but we were having a great time talking and sharing the gospel with the people we have met on the street. We then started to tred on home when we came across a lady that looked asian and we then got excited to be able to talk to her and share a message about the gospel with her. We got close to her and waved and stopped to share a message. She then got really excited and began to talk in very very very broken english. We could only understand one or two words in a few sentences. Then she proceeded to take us to her house. We realized this would be a great opportunity to share a message with her and agreed to do so. We then got into the house and she was going crazy. She pulled out two pounds of cashews and put them on my lap and told me to eat them. She then got out grape juice and told me to open it and pour it into our glasses. She then stated that the wine was HIS body. And i was kinda freaked out by that . She then proceeded to try and turn on a lamp that wouldn't work. As she was doing so she cried out many times jesus jesus o help me jesus. She did so for about 2 minutes or so and the lamp eventually turned on but it was really funny her reaction. She then proceeded to give us fruitcake, chocolates, fruit candy, and dorito's. She was insane. She pulled out a knife and even started waving it around and then opened up the cake and candies. I truly thought i as going to die. When then realized that this lady was just a little crazy and that we needed to get out of there. We proceeded to slowly get up when she yelled STOP. YOU Sit down. and pushed me down. O wow. I was laughing so hard but really really scared at the same time. Elder dixon then shared a message and we got up and slowly started to go outside when she then proceeded to cry and tell us not to leave and to even start yelling at us. Elder dixon then just said we got to go and started walking out. She then said lets just say a prayer. When then said one and i didn't understand any of it. We said goodbye ran down the stairs and ran about 3 blocks to get away from this crazy lady. I wish i could truly explain what happened better. Maybe next time i will have to explain it in more detail. But i hope you know it was fun."