August 23, 2018


Mexico Missionary Training Center


Elder Clarke

I'm off!

This week there was no big typed letter from Ben. But there is still plenty to see. You’ll see why it took an extra day to get this letter out. The big news is that today he is flying to Argentina! So, no more need for those links to send letters and packages to the Mexico Missionary Training Center where he has been. If you want to communicate with him now, his email address is best. If you want to send him a written letter or a package, contact me for more info. There are ways. :)


Our mini email conversations with Ben on Thursday:

Ben: I got the letter. And the cereal. Thank you. Also, I leave tomorrow. I found out Tuesday. I’ll let y’all know which way the toilets swirl. I recorded my testimony in Spanish. Don't know the flight number, but it's 10:20 Mexico City to Buenos Aires. Also, apparently, these are palm trees. [see photo]

Us: [Have you never seen a palm tree before? I’m sorry that you won't get to see Elder Bednar in person. It's great that you have still learned a lot from him through the Spirit though.]

Ben: It’s fine. (I sort of gave the MTC president a letter to deliver to Bednar, so I won’t see him, but hopefully he’ll hear from me.)

MTC was crazy. The key was to enjoy working as a missionary, because if you dread lessons and only want to get to gym time or P day, you'll be miserable 88%-89% of the time. I was a little shocked when I learned out of the blue that I was leaving in three days. I'm not sure that I'll really be ready, but I've got my foundation. I've got a basis for the language, for the discussions, and for my testimony, and now I just have to throw it all in the oven so it can bake. No idea what it'll be like, but I guess I'll find out…tomorrow.

Us: [It really was great seeing how your testimony has been cooking in the CCM. You'll be fabulous, and we can't wait to hear about your new companion, your new area, and all the great people that you are about to meet. We sure do love ya kiddo! Have a safe and fun flight! ]

Ben: Thanks! *AAAHH!!*

Us: [Is that AAAHH Dental?—(a reference those in Santa Fe will probably understand)]

Ben: It’s my inner turmoil. Also, my P-day might be Monday, and I think there's also this thing where I call home when I get to Argentina or something, so maybe you guys'll be receiving a call from me! Sorry I didn't get much of a group email together, I promise I'll have some stories the next time we talk. Bye!

Elder Sheffer


Video with MTC highlights and Ben speaking in Spanish:
[NOTE: this is Kyle’s YouTube channel so if you haven’t had a chance to see the videos he has done recently where he sings 4 part harmony with himself, you should check those out while you are there. There is one for our 20th anniversary, one for Ben’s childhood leading up to leaving on his mission, and one of Courtney’s childhood. ]

Kyle’s translation of Ben’s Spanish from the video:

I want to share my testimony with you because my mother has asked that I give my testimony in Spanish. I want to say that the church is true. I, I don’t know how to say this, but I knew that before my mission. But my knowledge of this has more strength now. Because I have felt the Holy Ghost. It’s a little strange, because before my mission, the Holy Ghost was here when I was watching a movie or reading a book, or a lot when I was reading the scriptures. But it was only when I was feeling really happy or my feelings were very great. But now, here in Mexico and with the calling of a missionary, I can feel the Spirit and I can know that the Spirit is here at all times when I’m listening. It’s always with me. In a strange way, it’s a little different. I can feel and know why the Spirit is in my heart. It’s not just saying, “This is important.” But it tells me specific truths and I have learned a lot more. I have learned much more. One other way that I have been helped in my testimony here is with the Book of Mormon. Elder Bednar is going to visit the MTC. But he is going to visit next Friday, but we have heard a few of his words from other MTCs. In his talk, he says that when he is given a specific challenge, use a Book of Mormon, not a large book that contain all the books of scriptures, but just the Book of Mormon, the kind that we usually give to people along our way. Read this book and draw thoughts and mark the scriptures and do this with a desire and a question. And I have come to my Book of Mormon with a question, “How can I put my thoughts and my desires closer to the desires and thoughts of Jesus Christ?” And through this I have learned. And I have improved, and I have tried a little more to understand. I’m only in First Nephi now, but I’m going to continue with this throughout my mission. And I hope that I can read and continue with my questions with these books throughout my life. In a strange way, I have always known that the church was true, but in another way, I’m still learning. Sometimes I have doubts, but we always have weaknesses. And now, I have everything that I need to start sharing the gospel. I want to share all of this with a promise that with the scriptures, prayer, diligence, and keeping our covenants and the commandments of God, we can receive help and we can receive peace in our lives. We need faith, and we need to try with all of our hearts to change. But we can be, I don’t know how to say “converted.” We can become converted. And I say this in the name of Jesus Christ, Amen.


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