Sunday, December 29, 2013

Merry Christmas!

Mon, Dec 23, 2013

Hola famila and friends!! Merry Christmas!!

Christmas tree and homemade ornaments from home
I really cannot believe that it is already Christmas. The fact that it is 90 degrees and blazing hot doesn't help much to add to the holiday feeling.... haha I keep forgetting it's Christmas and keep trying to make visits with people and I just get blank stares and then "uh.... no but you can come Thursday!" haha Here they celebrate Christmas on the 24th, and so today everyone is busy buzzing around with last minute preparations for tomorrow. A holiday tradition here is to make homemade tamales, which I am sure we will try as we will be working normally, contacting and teaching like every other day. I am super excited to call home and get to see your faces and hear your voices - I think that will be my favorite gift this Christmas. I feel like it's come at just the right time to give me the boost I need to keep my chin up and keep on keeping on! 
This week was much different than the last, yet still stressful in it's own way. I feel like I have a lot on my mind and sometimes I struggle keeping it straight. For example, I have lost our keys or locked them in the house 3 times in the past 2 weeks. THREE TIMES!!!!!!!! It's a little funny to think back on our adventures on trying to get inside our locked house. I'm actually quite impressed with our improvising skills. I think I will write a book when I get home - The Many Ways To Break In to Your Own Home: A guide for the scatterbrained.... 

It includes sticking your head through the bars of your windows to see better, 101 ways to utilize a curtain bar (including trying to reach the padlock around the corner, inching the keys closer when you leave them on your desk, etc), cheerleading missionaries over the back wall of your house to get in through the backdoor which you just so happened to leave unlocked, and special instructions on how approach the dueño (owner) of your apartments to come rescue you yet again. I think I will sale many copies... Oh the memories. And the battle scars. (I have a huge bruise on my right arm from trying to unlock the padlock with the curtain bar)...

But in all seriousness I really need to work on getting my head on straight! I think I just have lots and lots of things on my mind. Investigators, recent converts, mi hija and training her well, all the enfermos (sick), AND trying to find new people to teach. I know that I can do it with the Lord's help. I just need a little extra faith and little by little things are looking up :)

One of the challenges that I have found in this transfer is talking with people and finding new people to teach. As the trainee I got accustomed to already having investigators to teach and being super busy that trying to find new people wasn't something I thought about a lot. Now that I'm the trainer and the numbers of our investigators are starting to dwindle, I feel the pressure of talking to people and contacting all the more. One weakness that me and my companion have come to find that we share, is opening our mouths and talking with everyone. Talking with people I don't know has always been a weakness I've had and coming on the mission doesn't make these weaknesses magically go away. I remember that it was something that I struggled with in nursing as well, having to talk to people I don't know for 12 hours straight! Though it's a weakness that I have, and it is extremely frustrating, I continue to try and try and I'm getting better. I've prayed more in these past two weeks than ever before. Some days are better than others, but the good thing is that there is improvement. One morning when I was particularly frustrated with myself, I opened up my scriptures and read D&C 68:1-12. I've read them several times since and they bring me a lot of comfort. Also D&C 60:2-3 helps to motivate me (the hard way). As I have put forth more of an effort, I see more and more miracles every day. One day in particular one of our appointments fell through, so I said to my companion, "Alright Hermana... We're finding someone new to teach right now!" We entered the gates of a family that was painting their house and we started helping them, skirt and all. I've found that it's better to just do now and think later :) It turned out to be a really incredible experience. A family of 10 people lived in that house! Most are Catholics but admitted that they don't really practice. The family was warm and welcome and willing to listen. The grandpa kept asking us what he could do to increase his faith in Christ. One of the daughter's even came to church with us on Sunday! I feel the spirit so strong in their house and when we teach them. If we hadn't opened our mouths, we would have missed out on finding this family. It helps to motivate me to keep trying, even if it's hard. 

I almost forgot to mention the baptism of little Mirnita!!!! She got baptized Saturday with 2 others from the ward. President Klein baptized them. It was very beautiful and I was grateful to be a part of it! These niños are super special :)

 Baptism of little Mirnita!

I sure love you all :) The holidays are an incredible time of year to think about what matters most. As I have been away from home and seen the way life can be, I am more and more grateful for the life I have been given. For the family and friends that have blessed my life and continue to bless it every day. Have the Merriest of Christmases!!! Sending lots of loves (and "warm" wishes.... literally) from here in Honduras. Until next week!

Hermana Bennett

Monday, December 16, 2013

What a week....

Wow.... Where do I even begin with this week?

It was super crazy and super stressful and all of the above. Thursday morning, the very first day with my new companion (which happened to be the very first day of her mission here in Honduras), I received a phone call from a missionary who was having really bad stomach pains. From the sound of her voice she was not doing so well. I gave her my usual counsel, told her to rest, drink lots of fluids, and the works. A few hours later she called again. It was getting a lot worse and I could tell by the sound of her voice that she was NOT okay. We grabbed our bags as fast as we could, called our taxista friend, and headed to pick her up at her house to head to the emergency room. When we got to her house she was super weak, struggling to stand up straight and in a lot of pain. We went to the closest hospital to us - luckily it was a good one! This began a weekend full of lots of tests, doctors, nurses, pokes and prods as they tried to determine what was causing her pain. As the nurse, I stayed with her for the two days that she was there. First they thought it was kidney stones, then they thought it was appendicitis (although is wasn´t the typical symptoms of appendicitis), and then finally determined towards the end that it was just a really bad case of an intestinal infection. With me being in the hospital with Hermana M, my companion experienced lots of exchanges! First she went with Hermana C to San Juan, then with Hermana L to work in our area, and then back with Hermana C. Being cooped up in a hospital for 2 days with someone means getting to know them really well. I´m so grateful for the time that I was able to spend with Hermana M, I learned a lot from her example. It was a unique experience - sharing the gospel with nurses was a highlight :) There really aren´t words to describe the experience that I had with Hermana M. I´m really grateful to be the nurse of this mission. Though it´s hard to juggle the two, I wouldn´t have it any other way. I love the opportunity I have to use my skills to serve others, and I am learning soo much every opportunity that I get to do so. I´m learning just how much Heavenly Father is in control and how much he watches out for us. 

This week, more than any other week, I´ve learned just how imperfect I am. I´d have to say it´s been one of the most humbling weeks of my life. I learned that it´s okay not to be okay. That it´s okay to cry. It´s okay to get stressed and it´s okay to not have all the answers. I think it´s in my nature to try and hide how I´m feeling, but keeping things bottled up is not the answer! Because eventually it´s all going to come spilling over.... haha. I had a few personal breakdowns - one in an empty waiting room as hermana morales was getting a ct scan, another on the phone with my mission president, etc.... I learned that in the moments in which we feel the most alone, that´s when Heavenly Father is right there with us, waiting to give us a little reminder to trust Him - that everything is going to work out the way it needs to. I learned how much He blesses us through those around us. Someone to give you a hug, someone to run and get a copy of the keys that you somehow lost en route to the hospital, someone to sneak in the hospital late at night to bring you dinner because you didn´t get to eat much all day, someone who is willing to sift through garbage to try and find a miniature harddrive that you lost, someone to tell you not to worry, that you´re doing a good job. I´m grateful for my companion who is so patient! I can´t imagine how crazy this week must have been for her, considering it was her first moments of the mission. But I guess this means that from here on out we can take whatever comes our way.... haha 

Yesterday I got the opportunity to play the piano for the stake christmas chorus. They asked for my help last Sunday, and with the week I had I was unable to practice, but somehow it all worked out! I was able to play just fine for all the ward choirs and the missionaries. The primary sang as well. We had a member playing the flute with me as well with someone using the traingle as well as the twinkly bell sounding thingies (i can´t remember what they are called...). It´s amazing just how much music can fill the soul and make everything seem all better. It felt so good to play and the spirit of Christmas was strong. I´m grateful for the talents that Heavenly Father has blessed me with, especially being able to play the piano!
Things are a little rough with investigators in our area, so the next coming weeks we will be focusing our efforts on finding new people to teach. Time to get creative!
I love you all - I hope you are all enjoying the holiday season and that you have an opportunity to serve those around you. Sending lots of love from here in Honduras :)        
I can´t believe that next week is Christmas!! When did that happen?

Merry Christmas to all!!
Hermana Bennett

Thursday, December 12, 2013

Transfer #4 - Training

Wed December 11, 2013

Hola mi familia and friends!

Me and Hermana L

I cannot believe that this transfer is already over. Holy cow it flew by! I feel like it was just yesterday that me and Hermana L started working together. I learned so many things with her this transfer, one of them being the importance of obedience and diligence. Half way through the transfer we recommitted ourselves to be as obedient as possible to the study schedule and to all of the other mission norms and the difference between the first half and the second were like night and day! We saw more miracles and had more spiritual experiences. More than anything we had the spirit with us. It is so vital to have the spirit with us as missionaries. One thing I have learned about having more rules to follow is that it give us more opportunities to be obedient. More obedience = more spirit! And more spirit = more miracles. I´m glad I´ve been able to learn this lesson early on.

Wednesday morning I received a phone call saying that in less than an hour I needed to be in a meeting for future trainers. Come again? Yes.... Future trainers. I just barely finished my own in-field training and the Lord has decided to have me train one of his new missionaries! Wait, aren´t I new too? I´m deeply humbled for this opportunity. I know that I will learn a lot and that it will help me to step it up and really work hard to set a good example for my new companion. 

Hermana Aparicio and Hermana Bennett

Speaking of which, my new companion is Hermana A! She is 23 and from Peru. She was just baptized 2 years ago with all of her family minus her dad. How cool is that? I know that her testimony will be a HUGE blessing in the lives of investigators, as she was just in their place a short time ago. I know that I am going to learn a lot from her and I am really excited to see what this transfer has in store for the both of us. Training is a huge responsibility and though it gives me quite the nerves, I know that with the Lord´s help I can do it :) Hermana R is also training and she´s been out the same amount as me. I think we´ll be a good support for each other! This means that I will still be in my area for Christmas! I really love my area and the people that I have come to know. If I am going to be away from my family for Christmas, at least I can still feel like I am at "home¨ with other people that I have come to love.

This was the week of the TARANTULAS.... Eeeewwww. One night I was talking to Hermana Klein about some enfermos when all of a sudden I screamed because there was a tarantula under our study table! Then the very next day, I heard a comotion and scream coming from the back porch. Hermana L encountered a tarantula next to the pila when she went out to wash clothes.... it took a good 20 minutes before we got up the courage to kill it. Yikes! 

On friday we went out teaching with a member in our ward named S. Her dog "dolfy" is always accompanying us as well and is so full of energy! It was a little scary because that energy of his placed him right in front of a car and he got hit right in front of our eyes! Luckily after about five minutes, he was off pouncing around again with the same energy, though a little weary of cars. Hopefully the experience will teach him to be a little more careful! 

On saturday we had the baptism of our dear niño S! Everything went well and there were so many people that attended to support him. Lots of other niños were there and they gave the talks and said the prayers. It was very special. It makes me happy to see a child so full of excitement about the gospel. We will be continuing to visit him and I pray that he can keep this same excitement for the rest of his life, and bless the lives of many as a missionary himself! M, his cousin that is also 9, also wants to be baptized. In her prayer the other day she said, "please bless that I can be a missionary too someday" It was so cute :) This day was full of lots and lots of work and we got back to our house pretty whooped! Yet, we still had to study.... haha Just as we were about to finish, Hermana L was reading out loud from preach my gospel and all of a sudden her words started slurring together a little and she started replacing words with other words that weren´t correct and all of a sudden she dropped off completely. She had fallen asleep mid sentence!!!

Things are going well here in Honduras. I´m so grateful for the experiences I am having and the things that I am learning. I love you all and I hope you are all going well. Until Next Week!!

Hermana Bennett

Monday, December 2, 2013

Back to the heat....

Hello to my friends and family! I hope you are recovering from your Thanskgiving comas :) I expect that you all ate well. I enjoyed a little ice cream from the pulpería with my companion to celebrate!

I feel like I was just writing an email not too long ago... Maybe that´s cause it really wasn´t that long ago! This email will probably be shorter so all those that don´t read due to length can feel free to proceed :) haha 

The past week was cold and wet! It´s funny to say cold because it was only low 70´s upper 60´s, but the dramatic change left us shivering! I only brought one cardigan (thanks to abby and scott), which was well used. This meant that there was lots and lots of MUD. The majority of our area is dirt roads so that meant that we were trecking through mud the majority of the time. I´m surprised (and quite relieved) that I never fell. At one point we were trying to get down from what´s called the BORDO (board) in las flores and it was a slippery slide. A man riding by on a motorcycle saw our distress and came to our rescue. We had quite the laugh, and it made for a good contact! Today, the sun was out and shining. For about 5 minutes I was thinking oh how wonderful! But.... Now I´m just hot... haha

I can´t believe this is the last full week of this transfer... Holy cow this transfer flew by! This past week we´ve been finding so many new people to teach and we are making such good progress with those that we have been teaching that I really don´t want to leave! I feel like this next transfer we´ll really be seeing the fruit of our labors. Plus, I absolutely LOVE the members in this area as well and would love to spend Christmas here. But of course in the words of Doris Day, Qué será, será! Whatever will be will be. I´ll go where the Lord needs me. ... but it would be nice to stay here too :) 

Yesterday at church was so wonderful. All of the little kids that we are teaching got up and bore their testimonies! I see the light in their eyes and their excitement about the gospel is contangeous. It´s funny because they all call me Hermana Belett... haha it´s endearing. One will be getting baptized this Saturday! The other doesn´t have the same support system in her home and so we are still trying to work with her family to see what we can do. We´ve been praying really hard about her, and yesterday I read in Acts 10:47 when Peter says, How can we deny baptism to those who have received the Spirit as well as we have? I have a lot of peace in my heart about this little girl :) The light in her eyes is so bright. I know it will all work out! 

I love you all! Until next week! I´ll let you know whether I´m getting transferred or not.
Hermana Bennett

¡Feliz Día de Acción de Gracias! (Happy Thanksgiving Day)

Thursday - November 28th, 2013

Happy Thanksgiving from Honduras! I hope that you are all enjoying turkey, stuffing, mashed potatoes and gravy, steamed vegetables, yams with marshmellows, homemade dinner rolls, and pie... Lots of pie! Mmmmm.... I should stop before my mouth starts watering. They don't celebrate Thanksgiving here so you better enjoy it for me! haha. My Thanksgiving meal consisted of getting a burger with some of the missionaries in my zone. I also splurged and bought some Doritos as the store (they're more expensive since they are imported). I think me and Hermana L are also going to buy an ice cream for later to celebrate. I'll try not to think of how deliciously you are all eating right about now!! 

This was quite the week! We finished out our zone conferences on Wednesday. We invited our Investigator G to come and bear her testimony for all of the missionaries and she did :) and it was beautiful. She has had some struggles to come to the point where she is at, but she is looking forward to getting baptized and I pray that all works out for her to make this step in her life! Me and Hmna L were pretty exhausted after our week of travel and no p-day. After planning one night I said the prayer to finish it up. After I said Amen.... Silence..... She had fallen asleep during the prayer!!! Haha I just sat there and waited for her to wake up and realize what she had done. It only took 30 seconds or so but it was hilarious. We got a good laugh out of it. On Friday we had to prepare for the weekend of staying in our houses due to the elections. It was just a safety precaution since sometimes there are problems with riots or uprisings. So we stalked up on our food and water supply to get us through. However... I had a blonde moment. Just as we were headed out the door to start working I decided to fill up my water bottle with the brand new 5 gallon jug we had just bought. 
It was on the counter and I was in a hurry... I think you can guess what happened next. It was all in slow motion - the jug slipped off the counter, I frantically struggled to catch it but it was too heavy, and SLAM!!! The bottom busted open and 5 gallons of water gushed out in all directions, flooding our kitchen, front room, back hallway and my bedroom... uhh... whoops? Hermana L hurried and tried to help me and we finally got the top cap on and turned it upside down to stop the water works from flowing. It was one of those moments where all we could do was laugh... laugh... and laugh... luckily the floor was tile so we just mopped it all out the front door. It took a while but our floor was quite spotless afterwards! 

Our weekend couped up in the house wasn't all that bad. I think Hmna L and I were in need of a little bit of a descansa! (rest) We had some really good study sessions, watched some church movies, made some crafts, experimented with some postres (desserts) i made rice krispies!! yum!, cleaned our apartment spotless, washed clothes in the pila, and updated our area book! (which I was sooo happy about).

On Sunday we were given one hour to go to church and then come right back. Both J and G met us at our house to walk with us which made us very happy! When we got back to the apartment afterwards, to our dismay, we realized that we had grabbed the wrong keys that belonged to the other hermanas. The words or our AP that had become an inside joke of the mission kept running through my mind, "NO PUEDEN SALIR DE LA CASA, PARA NADA!!!" (Can not get out of the house, for nothingWell... what happens if we're locked out of our casa?? Luckily we were able to call the dueño (owner) and he came to rescue us after a while. It was pretty funny. 

On Tuesday it was back to work! But it was COOOOOLLLLLDD! I never thought I would feel cold her in Honduras. It was funny though because I looked at the thermometer on my clock and it said 70 degrees.... haha But everyone was in their jackets and sweaters and beanies and hardly anyone was out on the streets. I had borrowed my umbrella to the bishop's wife and so I was left to just stick it out in the rain. It wasn't too bad actually. I quite enjoyed it to be honest! I felt like it was a little taste of home :) 

We are currently teaching a group of niños that have stolen my heart away. I love them so much! We are currently helping S get ready for his baptism in a week and then his neighbor friend, M (who also is nine years old) is listening to the lessons as well. When we turn down the street to their houses they all go running inside to get their libros de mormon, hymnbooks and all the pamphlets we have given them and they are ready to learn! They always read their assigments and then can recall what we taught them the previous time. They make me so happy. Yesterday M told us that she told her mom she can't drink coffee anymore. When her mom asked her why she told her because God says that it's bad for our bodies! Right now we are also teaching her mom, in hopes that we can help her whole family to be blessed with what she is learning. M really wants to be baptized and so we are working on helping her get a good support system so that she can continue to stay active once she is a member. I love seeing the light in their eyes. I love the innocence of kids. 

I feel so blessed to be able to be apart of this work. I get to see more and more everyday just how much this work isn't ours it's the Lord's. As imperfect of a missionary that I am, it all seems to work out. I've come to see the importance of studying and trying my best to be obedient to have the spirit. As long as I am trying my best, the Lord can work with my imperfections to fulfil his work. I can't believe that it's already almost December. This transfer has FLOWN by! I don't want to leave this area yet!!! I'm praying that I can stay here for at least one more transfer... but I know that whatever happens is according to the will of the Lord... But one more transfer would be nice? (hint hint....)

I love you all! This Thanksgiving I am so thankful for all of the support and love and prayers back home that keeps me going each day. I am so thankful for my family and friends that have kept me on the right path. I am SOO thankful for this Gospel. I know with all my heart that it is true. There is no way that I can deny it. I have come to learn that in a world where everthing is uncertain, when all around us things are constantly changing, we can rely on the one thing that is constant and will never change, and that is the knowledge that God is our Heavenly Father and that His Son, Jesus Christ, is our Savior. They live, They love us, and Their purpose is to bring us back to them in the end. How blessed we are to be apart of this work! To get back to live with our families for forever, and to bring as many people with us as we can. 

Hermana Bennett

Tuesday, November 19, 2013

Viajando! (traveling)

Wow, where is the time going? This week has FLOWN by. This transfer is FLYING by. I feel like the time is getting away from me a little bit! I´m super sad because I left my post it note with all of the points that I wanted to cover at the apartment :( so I will try my best to remember everything that I wanted to tell you.
This past week has been interesting. Lots of nursing stuff still. On Wednesday we went to San Pedro Sula early early in the morning to help an elder with a visit to the hospital. After that we went to the office to help Hermana Klein make all of the personal first aid kits to hand out in the upcoming zone conferences. It was quite the project! But we had fun smashing all the boxes and organized the kits for the missionaries. Even though being the nurse calls for extra responsibilites, I really do love it. I love getting the chance to not only serve the people in Honduras, but to serve the missionaries in my mission as well. In a way, I feel like I am helping the work move along by helping the missionaries stay heathly. I´m so incredibly grateful to Hermana Klein and all of the support that she gives me! It helps to know that I am never alone.
On Saturday we had Mini-MTC camp for all the primary kids in the stake. It was quite the activity! We traveled to a fruit farm in Tela, which is about an hour away from here. It was beautiful! It got to the point where the buses couldn´t go any further and so we had to hike the rest of the way.  I felt like I was right in my element. Seriously, it was so rejuvinating to hike! Even though I was in church clothes :) It gave me a moment to just breathe and enjoy my surroundings. It was so fun to see all of the little kids in their church clothes. They all were given a name tag that was practically an exact replica of our own, except it said futura misionero instead of Elder or Hermana so&so. When we got there all of the missionaries spread out along a trail and groups of kids rotated to each of the companionships for a 5 minute lesson. In ours, we hid a bag of candy and then had them look for it. When the child found it, we talked about how great it was that he had candy and how sad it was that none of the other kids had any. In almost all of the groups, the child with the candy wanted to share it with the others! After giving each child candy, we compared it to sharing the gospel. We all have something so precious that brings us so much joy, but there are so many people that don´t have it. It´s important for us to share it with everyone so they can be happy too! It went really well, and the kids seemed to really enjoy it. After we all were finished it RAINED.... which meant hiking back in pure MUD. We were filthy! haha but it makes for a good memory to look back on. I have so much more respect for people who work in the primary. It´s a tough job, but so rewarding at the same time.
For the zone conferences that have been this week, I´ve been giving a presentation about health for them all. Which means lots of traveling! Me and Hermana L left Sunday evening to travel to La Ceiba, which ended up taking us 4-1/2 hours... It was amazing to me how many little miracles we saw along the way. Super little ones but to us they made all the difference. Heavenly Father seemed to put the right people in our path at just the right time in order for us to arrive to our destination without any problems. It´s amazing to me how calm I felt in a completely foreign country traveling to an area far away that I had never been to and trusting that the Lord would guide us there. And he did just that! It was fun because we got to spend the night with Hermana D and her companion! It was fun to catch up with her and remember our times in the CCM just a short time ago. I´ve loved getting to hear President Klein give his spiritual insights more than once, as I have gotten different things out of it everytime. He mentioned to us that the church is no longer calling the work ¨Missionary Work¨ but rather the ¨Work of Salvation¨. And it is so true! It´s not just about baptisms, it´s about saving souls and bringing people, our brothers and sisters, to Christ. (D&C 138:56) For this next little while our mission will be focusing on retention of new members, and I am so excited for it! President talked about how he wants us to focus on a "change of heart". Not only in our investigators but in us as well. Right now there is a war going on between the adversary and Christ - the prize to be won is each and every one of our hearts. Satan wants our hearts to be hard (1 Nephi 12:17), while Heavenly Father wants our hearts to be pure (D&C 64:22 Helaman 3:35). So it leaves us to ponder, who has my heart right now? We can be obedient and still have a hard heart, just like Laman and Lemuel or the Pharisees and Sadducees. Or we can be obedient with a pure heart, doing it to show our love and dedication to our Heavenly Father and Savior. In the end, it is a pure heart that will endure through all the trials, hardships, and struggles in this life. It made me want to recommit to doing this work out of love for God and love for others. It´s not just about numbers, it´s about names.
On the bus ride home from La Ceiba, I really felt like I needed to talk to the man sitting next to me, but struggled to find the way to start a conversation. So I said a prayer to Heavenly Father that if I was supposed to talk to the man sitting next to me, he would ask me a question. A little while after he turned to me and said, ¨So what church are you apart of?¨ Through the course of the next hour I was able to talk to him about the Restoration, give him a Book of Mormon and read a little with him, and invited him to receive the missionaries in his home. He agreed to read, pray, receive the missionaries and go to church on Sunday! I know that it was an answer to my prayer. It´s incredible to me how much our Heavenly Father loves us enough to answer even the most simplest of prayers.
I´m sure there were lots of other things I wanted to say, but at the moment I can´t think of them all.... Just want you to know how much I love you all! I really appreciate the support and the prayers. I couldn´t do this without it. This Thanksgiving I think I am more thankful for my family than I´ve ever  been before... haha love you all. Until next week!

Hermana Bennett

Thursday, November 14, 2013

The week of the Enfermos!! (sick)

Monday November, 11th 2013

This past week was crazy when it comes to nursing stuff! 
I´ve noticed a pattern however... Everyone decides to get sick when Hermana Klein leaves the country! haha They were in Guatemala for some training stuff, and so it was a little harder to get a hold of her. I think in a way it was good, because I´m starting to learn to be a little more confident with my judgments when people call me. But... to give you an idea of the things I dealt with this week: injured meniscus, scratched eye nerve (? ya weird), sciatic nerve inflammation, back injuries, parasites, dengue fever, flu bugs, infected ingrown toenail, dehydration, and the works. Plus scheduling MRI´s, doctors appointments, making sure everyone got paid and trying to organize all the results coming in was another thing! I´ll admit it was a little bit overwhelming at times, but the one thing I have learned is that I just need to do what I can, and it all seems to somehow work out :) I know that if I do my part, Heavenly Father will take care of the rest! 

This week one of the challenges for the mission was to contact green houses. It was only after they gave us this challenge that I realized how many green houses there are in our area!! But it was actually kind of fun. I hadn´t yet had the opportunity to just contact houses, so the experience was a little new. We took a jovencita (young woman) from the ward with us and we took turns initiating the contacts. We ended up finding a few people that seem promising and we have followup appointments this week! I´ll have to let you know how it goes :) As time goes on I´m gradually getting more and more comfortable with talking with people even if in the end they don´t want to listen. In the beginning I took it a little personally, but now I am realizing that it has nothing to do with me as a person, and if they really knew what we had to offer they wouldn´t turn us down. One experience was a little comical however. We had met a young man on the bus about a week ago, and went to contact him at his house. His whole family was seated in the back yard. We initiated contact and then the grandpa let us in. By the time we reached the back yard and sat down on some of the chairs, everyone had disappeared.... haha a yard full of people was empty in less than a minute. The young man had acknowledged  us and then walked in the house so we thought he was going to come back but he never did. So we ended up talking to the abuelo a little bit and then decided to leave. As we reached the front of the house.... SURPRISE!!! The whole family was now in the front yard... haha I think we got the hint.

This week we didn´t have time to take our clothes to a member´s house, so I experienced washing everything in the Pila for the first time. I´ll admit I actually really liked it... haha it takes a lot of time but it´s kind of fun! When I first got here, I heard a lot of people use the excuse that they had to wash their clothes instead of coming to church and it seemed a little strange to me. I think I finally understand why... haha another first that I experienced this week was an overpacked microbus. Okay okay so that´s not really new, but this time me and hermana L were the last to be stuffed into the bus and ended up practically laying over the people in the seats and the man operating the bus was hanging out with the door open. I wish I could have somehow taken a picture because it was hilarious and everyone was laughing. The problem here is that buses to one of our areas (San Jose) are so few and far between that you have to take advantage of it when it comes. It´s experiences like this that I will look back on and laugh :)

I´m teaching my first primary age child! His name is S. and he is adorable.  He is nine years old and the grandchild of one of the members in the ward. Everyone thought that he was already baptized because he came so much. He is soooo excited to get baptized. He reads all his assignments and can actually explain back to us what he learned. His enthusiasm is so contagious and it makes me smile! It´s a different experience trying to teach everything so basic, and it´s actually a little bit of a challenge. There´s a quote in preach my gospel that talks about how you have to know the material so well, that you can explain it so clearly that even a child can understand. You´d think it would be easier to explain it simply, but it´s the other way around!

All in all this was a good week!! I hope that all is well and that you are enjoying getting ready for the Holidays. People are already putting up lights and Christmas trees! I hope you all have a great week!!!

Hermana Bennett

Monday, November 4, 2013

Transfer #3!!

Hola familia and friends!

It´s crazy that another transfer has already come and gone. November? Whaaaaat? Maybe I´m so surprised because it is still blazing hot here, and I´ve always grown up with cold weather and so I still feel like it should be June or July. But despite all that things are going well! There are good days, bad days, so so days, but when I can sit back and think of the miracles that happen everyday, it helps me to stay positive!

Speaking of miracles, President Klein shared one with us at the transfer meeting. A whole group of missionaries from the Guatemala MTC missed the flight when an unexpected change of airplanes left them without seats and they had to return to the CCM. They said that they wouldn´t be able to fly out until later in the afternoon the day of transfers, which means they would completely miss the change of companions. Soooo.... the church purchased a private airplane to fly them here in time for transfers and dive head first into the work. A whole airplane for only 14 missionaries... What a testimony of the importance of this work! 

The first week with Hermana L has been good. We get along really well and work well together. We´re both very laid back, so sometimes that poses a problem with indecisiveness but oh well! I´ve gotten used to just doing what Hermana B said to do, so the first time Hermana L said, "okay hermana where are we going to teach tomorrow?" it totally threw me off and it took us a good hour to plan because I kept second guessing myself... haha but all she kept saying was "no se preocupa hermana, está bien!" (do not worry sister, okay!)  haha I´m really grateful that she is soooo patient and willing to let me take the reigns even though she´s the one that´s training me. I have a new testimony of why they have transfers in the mission. We stay in an area and do everything that we are called to do, and than others come in to pick up where you left off. It´s amazing to see how our investigators have reacted to Hermana L and I know she is here and that we are together for a reason! We were walking home after an incredible lesson, and Hermana L said she felt like this area was "white and ready for the harvest" and that we were getting the incredible opportunity to be apart of that harvest :) We´ve been teaching a young woman. Lately she has been having the desire to change and she has been so receptive to the lessons and I can already see a light growing in her eyes. Most of her family are already members, so that has been a great support. A few days after our first visit we had a family home evening at her house, and as we were leaving she said, "aren´t you going to give me more homework in the book of mormon?" I was so surprised that she had already read and that she had the desire to read more! I feel the spirit so strong with her and I can feel her desire to change her life so lots of prayers her way will be wonderful! 

Okay, before I finish this letter can I just say how much my testimony of family history has grown in this area? There is a member in our ward and we get to eat at her house every Sunday for lunch. She is a first generation member and has spent the last 20 years or so working with her family history. She has over 5000 names in her family tree that she has personally found.... yes 5000. On Sunday she pulled out folders and folders and folders of her family history files and was telling us all these stories of how she helped someone find their father after 25 years, etc etc. Lots and lots of miracles! On Sunday as she was telling us stories the spirit was SOO strong. It was cool to think that as we are working to bring the living unto Christ, she has dedicated so much of her time to bring those who have already past on to Christ. And it´s not even her calling! Heavenly Father loves all His children and wants them all to have the opportunity to accept this Gospel. She is incredible, and even has her own machine to look at the microfilms for indexing that they have in the family history centers in the church. Let´s just say I´ve been inspired. I know this church is true, because I have felt it and I have seen it! There is no doubt in my mind!

I hope that you all have a fantastic week! I love you all!!!
Hermana Bennett

Wed, Oct 30, 2013 It`s winter in Honduras!!! (okay not really....)

Hola familia and friends! 

Another week has come and gone. I have like NO time to write so this email might be a little more brief than usual. Today I said Adios to my mama Hermana B :( I learned so much from her as my first companion here in Honduras and am so grateful for this past transfer! But, I`m excited to see what this next transfer will bring! My new companion is Hermana L, also from Guatemala. The funny thing is that she was companions with Hermana D (one of my companions from the CCM!!) and now she is mine! She is very nice and loving, almost has a year here in the mission. 

Adios to Hermana B

Hola to Hermana L

Today and last night I participated in my first training sessions as the nurse! I got to give a presentation first in English and then in Spanish today. It was great! Pretty basic for my first times, but I`m sure it will get better :) Last Wednesday I had a meeting with Hermana Klein and the other mission´s nurse and we talked a lot about how important prevention is. So I wanted to focus on helping these missionaries know right off the bat how to AVOID sickness instead of having to treat it after the fact. I hope I can help them out! We also went to the Immigration office after the meeting for Hermana B to get her residency taken care of (if you saw the pictures on Hermana Klein`s blog).

This past week we had the amazing opportunity to participate in yet another baptism of one of our investigators! E was baptized on Saturday!!! And on the Thursday before we were able to attend the wedding of him and his new spouse V, who was already a member of the church. I love to see the change these people make in their lives and the bright spirit they have as they have been born again. They`re already looking forward to getting sealed in the temple a year from now!! 

I found something funny during one of my personal studies. I was reading in Luke 10 when Christ called his seventy and sent them to preach the Gospel. It says specifically in a verse (can`t remember which one) to "eat and drink all that they put before you".... bahahaha I couldn´t help but laugh out loud. So I guess I need to be obedient and eat the food that they give me without complaining that my body is getting fat.... haha Another thing I have been finding is just how important prayer is. Little examples: Where did the answer come that  brought about the First Vision? Answer to a prayer. Restoration of the Priesthood? Answer to a prayer. The vision of the tree of life? The answer came after Lehi prayed for deliverance from the darkness. Yes Heavenly Father already knows what we need, but we need to ask through prayer in order to receive it! We have to do our part too.

Here is an expert from the letter I sent to my President this week:
"I'm grateful to be a missionary. I know that I am here for a reason, and that I have gifts and talents that are specific to the work here in Honduras. The trick is finding out what those gifts are and cultivating them and using them every day! I think I've always been the type of person that tries to get from A to Z without going through the other 24 letters of the alphabet and then being impatient with myself when I don't succeed right away. But whenever I start feeling this way, Heavenly Father finds a way to remind me to take little steps at a time, all will be well, and that he is in control. For example, the other day we were leaving an area and the investigators we were working with either didn't want to listen or were difficult for one reason or another. I was feeling a little frustrated with myself that I couldn't find the words to say to perk their interest or turn their attitudes around. And then as we were headed for the bus, a young man came up to us and said, "you're the missionaries aren't you? My dad in Progresso has been baptized into your church. I have a Book of Mormon and everything. When are you going to come visit me?" I feel like it was Heavenly Father's way of telling me, "chin up, I'm here, just keep doing what you're doing". I'm grateful for experiences like this that help me to keep moving forward!"

I love you all! Keep the prayers coming :) Until next week!!!
Hermana Bennett

Monday, October 21, 2013

Hurray for Baptisms!

Monday October 21, 2013
Hola familia and friends!
This has been quite the week. We have been working working working.... Holy cow... we are finding so many people to teach and there are only 2 of us to teach them! Well... basically 1 because we have to be at the same place at the same time always :) This week we were planning and we wrote down all of the people´s names that we were teaching and there were almost 30... Wow we are blessed to be in this area! I feel like the people are so humble and willing to listen. I absolutely LOVE teaching people in their little huts for houses, surrounded by green shrubery and rivers and dirt roads. It´s a completely different world. As Hermana Klein has said, it´s like camping in Sunday Clothes :) It makes me so grateful for what I have and for where I´ve been blessed to grow up. It´s humbling to see the little kids running around with hardly any food and in the same clothes everyday that are filthy and covered in dirt and holes. No running water, and cooking over fires. And then just a 25 minute bus ride to the other end of our area where we live and the houses seem like paradise in comparison!

We had the amazing blessing to participate in the baptism of our investigator P! Our prayers were answered!! Everything leading up to the baptism was soooo hectic... We thought that we had planned everything out that we needed to, but the morning of everything came crashing down... haha we found out that the majority of our priesthood holders had left for a youth activity (Super Sábado), there was no one to fill the font, no baptismal clothing, and no one to help.... so... we took matters into our own hands!
It's blazing HOT!!!!
We hurried ourselves to the chapel in the blazing heat (I don´t think I´ve ever experienced heat like that!), and then, dripping in sweat, started searching the churchhouse high and low for baptismal clothing. No luck... nada... So we borrowed a white skirt from the sisters that live above us and then grabbed on of my white tops. Then, we started filling the font and found out that there was a slow leak in the plug and the water wasn´t staying... Sooo, I was on my hands and knees in the water (in my skirt) trying to fix the plug to no availe. Soo... we improvised with a plastic baggy and my hair tie to try an plug it up and it finally worked.
Improvising a slow leak in the baptismal font!

Ahhh! Then we hurried and caught a bus to pick up P for the baptism.  Before heading to the church, we stopped at a recent converts restaurant to grab a quick lunch and we were able to have a really good chat with her and talked about staying strong and remaining faithful until the end. That baptism isn´t the end, but the beginning. I felt so much peace and knew that everything was going to work out. It may have been a stressful morning, but when it came time for the service all went well :) P bore a sweet testimony and I know that she is going to be an incredible assest to Heavenly Father as a member of this church!
The theme of this week was inactivos. It seemed like every reference we contacted turned out to be a member of the church that had long since gone inactive. Literally, I almost stopped being surprised when we would find out that they had already been baptized years previously. It made me really sad... I was studying in 1 Nephi 8 about the tree of life and I couldn´t help but feel like Lehi. He partakes of the fruit and then wants everyone else to do the same. He sees his family in the distance as if they don´t know where to go or what to do. He shouts for them and beckons them forward "Here!!! Here is the fruit! This is what you want, this is what will bless you!" - some choose to listen, whereas others choose not to. Then he sees multitudes of peoples who arrive and partake of the fruit, but then eventually became ashamed and embarrassed from the people mocking them and making fun of them in the building that they fall away and are lost. It´s sad to hear of those that were "feeling" there way after the great and spacious building with no direction. Then at the end of the chapter Lehi begs his sons to remain faithful, to keep the commandments and be blessed, and then he "ceases to speak to them." With so many people to teach and so many things that we have to do, I feel like this is the attitude that me and Hermana B need to have. We need to preach, teach, exhort, and invite with all our efforts and do all we can to help people find the way, and then allow them to use their agency to decide whether they will follow or not. Though it breaks your heart when they don´t (like I imagine Lehi´s heart broke over his sons), there are those that will - and these are the people that need our best efforts!

I love it here, have I said that enough?

Until next week!! Which,bytheway, won´t be until wednesday becauses of cambios (changes? I can´t remember what they are called). Can you believe I´m already almost done with my first "cambio"???

Les Amo!!!!!  (I love you)
Hermana Bennett

Tuesday, October 15, 2013

And so it begins...!


Monday - October 14, 2013
Beautiful Honduras
Hola mi familia! Other week has come and gone. I don`t know how it happened, but it seemed like all in one day - all within the same 2 hours - everyone decided to get sick! There was one period where I received call after call right after each other. Literally, I would hang up and then it would start ringing again with someone new! I was a little overwhelmed at first, but the miracle was that most of them were North American and I could actually talk to them :)  There were a few that I would pass on to Hermana Baltazar, she would get all of the symptoms and information, hang up and explain everything to me, then I`d have to figure out the plan of action, try and translate it all in spanish, explain it to Hermana Baltazar the best I could, and then she would call and explain it to the missionary with the issue..... haha Ahhhh! But seriously I love it :) I know that I can do hard things with Christ`s help. And I`m not alone! My mission president`s wife has been SUPER helpful, as well as my mission president. They keep reassuring me that we are a team and that they are there to help.

This week more than any other, our plans kept falling through, including our baptism on Saturday. We would plan the day, then a bunch of nursing stuff would come up and we would have to completely change it. Then we would walk and walk and walk and no one would be home, and none of our lessons would work out how we wanted. There was one night in particular in which we had done absolutely EVERYTHING we could, but there literally was no other options. It was too dark to walk to other areas and no one was home in the area we were in. So... We bought a topogigio (popsicle in a bag) (oh my goodness... so delicious) and a chocobanana, sat ourselves on the curb outside our apartment, and just let ourselves be still, look at the stars, listen to the night sounds, take a deep breath. And I felt peace :) Then after a little while, other options came up and we were able to finish out the night giving a Book of Mormon to a neighbor and bearing testimony of it`s truthfulness. My mission president said something that really helped me in an interview with him yesterday. That this really isn`t our work - it`s His (Jesus Christ). There is no way we could possibly do all of the things we are expected to do, and yet somehow they get done. All He expects of us is to do all we can, and then get out of the way and let Him to the rest :) I`ve heard that over and over, but I`m seeing more and more everyday just how true that is. Our "stats" were the lowest they`ve ever been and we didn`t reach hardly any of our goals, yet somehow we had 13 investigators in sacrament meeting yesterday... What?! I was beyond grateful. It was nothing we had done, no way! We tried our best, doing all we could, and then the Lord stepped in and did the rest.

So on Saturday, I traveled with my companion and then another companionship to the hospital in San Pedro Sula so one of the sisters could get a CT scan. Before we went back we stopped by a food court in the city and there were so many American restaurants!!! We ended up eating at KFC and then getting a Wendy`s frosty for dessert.... haha mmmmmmm it was so delicious! A little taste of home :) One thing I think they need in the states are Pulperìas. What a brilliant idea - in the neighborhoods, there are several houses that have little mini stores in them. So if you are trying to make something for dinner and are missing an egg or a cup of milk, instead of scrambling to find one from a neighbor or having to get in your car and drive to a store, hey... just walk next door and huzzah! It really is so convenient. Maybe I`ll start my own when I get home... haha. There are a bunch of houses in different areas that sell what are called topogigios - all it is is some form of fruit blended up in a blender and then frozen in a little plastic baggy. You just bite off a corner and enjoy. My favorite is the coconut ones! It`s super easy, too. Milk, sugar, coconut, cinnamon, blend it all up, put it in a baggy and freeze it! Tried something new... Of course the member made me try it before telling me what it was... haha It`s called sopa de mondogo - wasn`t super gross, actually it wasn`t bad. Apparently it`s super common here. It`s a soup with cow stomach, cow foot, and cow tongue with veggies and potatoes... haha
Sopa de Mondogo
One thing I am learning from the members here in this ward is selfless service. Oh how happy it makes my heart. We had just finished a lesson with P, our investigator getting baptized on Saturday (fingers crossed). She is in the process of building a little hut in the back of her house and it was just her and a family friend doing it all by themselves. As we were walking to another visit, we ran into all the young men and leaders and bishopric who had just been helping a member lay cement for a house. So, we recruited all of them to help and at the drop of a hat they gathered their tools and headed to Paola`s! I will always remember the look on her face as we entered her yard with an army of helping hands. The feeling one gets through service is so awesome!

I don`t know why I didn`t find more opportunities to serve when I was at home. I`m determined to be better! I seriously love the people in this ward. They are incredible :) The youth especially are so strong and spiritual. It`s awesome!

One last miracle before I end. A few weeks ago we contacted a man on a bike at a banana stand who said he lived in Oro Verde. I felt like I needed to ask for his number so we could get a hold of him, but I hesitated and then he was gone :( I prayed and prayed and prayed that we would be able to find him. We tried to find him, but we didn`t even know his name and so it didn`t go anywhere. I still prayed that somehow we would find him. On a particularly unsuccessful night this week when all of our plans had fallen through, we had just started walking away from an investigators house (who wasn`t home... of course) and I see this man pass by us on a bike. It was him! We were able to flag him down (hna Baltazar shouted "HERMANO!" really loud to get his attention.... haha) and got his information so we can return another day. My prayer may not have been answered right away, but it was answered several weeks later :) It`s a testimony that our prayers are always answered... not necessarily when we want them or how we want them to be, but they are answered. In Alma 5 it talks about how Alma had to pray and fast "many days" before knowing the truth for himself. The key is to not stop praying and to not lose faith. Trusting in Heavenly Father includes trusting in his timing.

I love you all! I hope that this fall season is treating you all well. Someone PLEASE carve a pumpkin for me.... haha Until next week!
Hermana Bennett

Got my first haircut from a member!
Lots of walking!

Wednesday, October 9, 2013

Hello!!! and Octubre!!

Monday September 30, 2013 

Hello to people that I love! I don`t have time to write today. Me and my companion traveled to San Pedro Sula (by bus and taxi....) To meet with president and hna Klein about my nursing responsibilities. It took up most of our Pday so we will write another day! Just wanted to let you know so you didn`t worry. No time tomorrow because we`ll be working in Los Flores all afternoon but we`ll try Wednesday. Love you!

Wednesday October 2, 2013

Wow! I can`t believe it`s already October. I`ve officially been in Honduras for 2 weeks now, but it feels like MUCH longer. Sometimes I forget that it`s been that short of time. Sorry this email is coming a few days late. 

Hermana Bennett and Klein
On Monday I traveled to San Pedro Sula with my companion to meet with Hermana Klein to discuss some of my nursing roles. She left today to be in the states for a week - she has a brand new Niñeta! So the responsibilities will fall on me for the next week. It soon became apparent that she had left today, since I have already received several calls... haha 
I`m grateful for the time I got to spend with President and his wife. They are incredible people full of so much love! President calmed some of my worries by saying that even though I have this dual calling, he won`t be "land-locking" me in an area just so I can be close to the mission office. He`ll send me wherever the Lord needs. I`m grateful for that! Yes I`m the nurse, but since the office is outside of our mission, the majority of the responsibilities will be fulfilled over the phone. If I can do that close to the mission home now, I can do it 3 hours from the mission home as well. I`m excited to have these extra responsibilities, but to also get to focus on the work as well!

FHE with President and Hna Klein
Last P-day was another treat, because several companionship's of sisters got the chance to go to the mission HOME and have a dinner and FHE with President. The home is beautiful!! It was nice to get a healthy home-cooked dinner and a spiritual thought from President. We learned about Job, and how in one instance he was exclaming that he couldn`t find his God anywhere. He was searching and searching but could not find him, but said that although he didn`t know where God was, God knew where he was. I don`t know the exact wording in English, but basically even when we are in hard times and we feel lost, we are never lost to Heavenly Father. He knows exactly where we are and He will never leave us alone in our trials.

Home-cooked dinner at President and Hna Klein's

This week we have been focusing on working in Los Flores. I really do love the people and the environment there. One of the members that is always going with us to lessons is named S. One day we were walking to an appointment and here comes Santiago over the hill with his little herd of vacas (cows) and machete :) There really are no words to describe this area - I will try to sneak a picture but I don`t know when I will be able to. There are cows and goats and chickens all over the place. Pigs in people`s yards. The houses are mostly one or two room huts. It`s incredible. It also makes me feel a little guilty that I have SOOO much back at home and didn`t realize how blessed I was. You almost have to experience places like this to truly appreciate how blessed we are to live where we live. To have air conditioning in the summer and heat in the winter, to be able to turn on the water from the faucet and brush your teeth without worries of catching a parasite, to have a garbage man comes once a week to pick up your trash instead of putting it on in your own personal garbage dump in your backyard... Just to name a few.

I was able to watch the Relief Society General Conference in English :) Oh the joy of the sound of my own language and the ability to understand! I LOVED it... Such incredible talks about convenants. That`s really what life is all about - preparing to meet God, and we do that through making and KEEPING sacred covenants. That`s what are goal is. Everything we do here is revolved around helping people realize the importants of making covenants with God, not just accepting Jesus Christ as their Savior and having that be sufficient. I loved the analogy with the new Provo City Temple. People asked, "how could Heavenly Father let this beautiful building be destroyed?" But the truth is, that Heavenly Father had much better plans for that building. He cleansed and purified it from the inside out, to prepare it to become a sacred and Holy place where His Spirit could dwell. And so it is with us :) Sometimes we don`t understand the trials we go through, but when we have an eternal perspective, we can realize that Heavenly Father has much better things in store for us if we endure it well.

I hope that you are all doing well and enjoying the fall season! (I`m trying not to be a little envious... haha) I love you all!!
Until next week :)

Hermana Bennett