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