“In Melbourne, Australia,” For the Strength of Youth, June 2021, 12–13.
Hello! My name is Benjamin H. I am 18, and I am from Glen Iris, a suburb of Melbourne, Australia. Melbourne is the capital of Victoria and has been named “the world’s most livable city.” We have a lot of unpredictable weather in Melbourne and it’s possible you could experience all four seasons in just one day!
I live with my mum, my dad, and my four younger siblings. We moved to the Melbourne area for my dad’s work.
I actually go to a religious school, and we wear uniforms—purple blazers and black pants with a shirt and tie. Even though it’s a religious school, there’s not a lot of people who believe, and the people that are religious never really show it. I like all the missionary opportunities I get because I am the only member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints in my school.
My phone wallpaper is a picture of Jesus because a lot of times people will see you open your phone and they’ll see it and ask about it. It’s a great gateway to a conversation about the gospel! I also have a wristband that says, “I Am a Child of God.” I wear it so much that I have a tan line because of it, but I just decided to keep wearing it because people are always asking me about it. A lot of times they ask if they can be a child of God. I just tell them that they are!
Playing basketball has been really good and helped me gain some friends. There is a park next to our house and it makes me feel more motivated to get out and shoot, to get really good at basketball. For school we were playing, and I played really well against a team. Two days later I found out that they offered me a spot on an all-state team, which is a really big deal. We did some research and realized that they play on Sundays, and so it just never really crossed my mind to play there after that.
We don’t have a lot of youth in our ward. As far as the young men it’s me, two other priests, and about five deacons. Our leaders like to take us out each month to visit and see the youth that don’t come and invite them to youth activities. It’s just cool to see how much the leaders think about others.
Our ward has been really focused on goals because of the new Children and Youth program. We had a combined youth activity that involved all four areas! Each area had a different activity attached. I was in charge of focusing on the physical goal activity, so we played volleyball.
We’ve really been working to emphasize those four parts of our lives. It’s helped me also realize how important goal setting is. Without goals, it’s hard to see that you are improving in your life.
I think it’s important for people in the Church to understand how amazing it is to have the knowledge we do, such as the plan of salvation.