Tuesday, January 28, 2014

Hospital visit... whoops

Hello friends and family!
I don't have much time, but I figured I should give you all an update since Hermana Klein sent you a lovely picture of me... in a hospital gown... laying in a hospital bed... with an IV..... whooooops! Who would've thought that I would have ended up there?? I never did. I'm supposed to be the one HELPING the ones that are there.... haha.
Long story short, my companion has been really sick lately, with a lot of pain. We've been to several doctor's and had several tests and no one could seem to figure out exactly what was going on with her. On friday night, her pain was really bad. She was doubled over and couldn't walk straight. I also was still sick from whatever it was that we ate on Monday and was a little weak and had a bad headache. In the end, president told us that we needed to go to the hospital for Hermana Aparicio, because he was worried that we shouldn't wait until the morning if it was something serious. So the sister training leaders came with a member and drove us to the hospital. When we got there and they took Hermana Aparicio back to do a consult, I went with her to explain everything that was going on to the doctors. After a while he asked me if I was okay, because apparently I didn't look so good... haha I didn't want to get checked but he made me anyways and I ended up getting checked in myself. Turns out that the food poisoning or whatever I had made it so that I was super dehydrated, and they made me stay 2 nights until it all got under control. It wasn't serious, but I definitely felt much better after some hydration and some antibiotics!!
Hermana Aparicio ended up having to get her appendix taken out! She had none of the classic symptoms but after lots of different opinions they decided that it was best. So when they checked me out of one hospital I went to stay the night at another to be with her. Then the next day we came to stay at President's house for her to recover. Can I just say how completely spoiled I feel? On Sunday, I was able to eat dinner with president and his wife, play a game of qwirkle (which I ended up winning after a very tight game....!) and watching a disney movie with Hermana Aparicio before we went to bed. I don't feel like I'm in Honduras.... As wonderful and as great as it's been to spend this time with them and to be here in President's house, it's time to get back to work. Our area needs missionaries and it's time to get the work going again!! I hope it won't be too hard to get back into the swing of things. It might be like getting back into the game after sitting on the bench a little too long, with wobbly knees. But in the other sense it will be like having fresh legs :)
I love you lots, and I hope you all have a great week!
Hermana Bennett

Thursday, January 23, 2014

Can I call the Enfermera (Nurse), too??

Hola familia! 

Another transfer come and gone... how crazy. I will be staying her in La Paz with Hermana Aparicio! This will mean 6 months in my first area. Wow how the time has flown by... I´d have to say that I learned so much about myself in this week - things that will affect my decisions and my relationships for the rest of my life. They were tough lessons, but I´m all the better for having them! 

This week we have been focusing on getting Juan ready for his baptism that was on Saturday. We had everything all figured out when Saturday morning came around and Hermana Aparicio was really sick. We went to the hospital and ending up staying there for 7 hours! It turned out to be really good for us, to be stuck in a hospital room for so long. We talked and talked and talked and finally got to know each other. You´d think after a whole transfer we would know each other pretty well, but I feel like it was in this moment in the hospital room that we finally clicked. We were able to jump ship right before the baptism and got there just in time. Luckily the other missionaries and the ward mission leader had already filled the pila and everything was all set to go. The baptism went great! One of the recent converts in the ward, Irvin, had the opportunity to exercise his priesthood for the first time and was the one to baptize him. It was really neat! It was Juan´s birthday as well so we surprised him with a cake. We also bought him some notebooks with letters and pencils and erasers, because soon we will be starting a class to help the members learn how to read and write so they can study the Book of Mormom. He was pretty excited about it! 

This week I got to go to immigration so that I can finally get my residency here in Honduras! It means I´ve almost been out on my mission for 6 months. I feel like I just got here yesterday! It´s also been SUPER cold this week. Lots of rain, too. It´s weird to see all the hondureños all bundled up with their jackets and beanies. Apparently this cold weather is not normal or something...... haha I only brought ONE little cardigan that Abby and Scott gave me for my birthday because I read a blog before I left saying that I would never need one. Whoops!!! Let´s just say it´s gotten it´s fair share of uses in the past week.

Monday we ate fried fish with head, tail, and all at a members house. It was an interesting experience... haha but it was still pretty yummy! The next day however I woke up sick :( fooey.... I thought I was supposed to be the healthy one! I´m used to telling other people what to do to take care of themselves that when it came time to take care of myself I was at a loss. Everyone kept telling me to take peptobismol and drink water and all I had to say was, ¨peptobismol is a lie!!!!¨ haha It finally took Hermana Klein and President Klein shaking their fingers at us and telling us to go home and rest that made me finally give in and go home. Being sick on the mission is NO FUN. You just want to be out working!! Hopefully we can both get better so we can get back out working. 

I love you all lots and lots. I hope this week is going well. Oh... and if you all felt like sending me an email I sure wouldn´t mind! It´s been weeks and weeks now that I sign on to find that once again my friends and family have forgotten about me.... haha bromas (joking) bromas (joking)(but seriously).

Until Next Week! 
Hermana Bennett

Monday, January 13, 2014


Hello to my friends and family! This week seems like it was a month long. I sometimes think about things that happened tuesday and feel like it happened last week, or think of things that happened last week and think that they happened this week... The days and weeks are starting to blur into each other mucho! Weird to think however that this is the last week of the transfer. I don´t feel like I have felt the time much. I can´t say it went by fast, but it also can´t say it went by slow. It´s just simply been... haha
This week we made another visit to San Pedro Sula again, and this time Hermana Klein was so nice as to take us to a big store that had lots of American Products. I was in heaven!!!! I just wanted to buy the whole store!!! En fin (in the end), I bought string cheese (i think out of everything that i miss, i miss real cheese more than anything.... haha), golean crunch triple berry (mmmmmmmm......) cocoa powder to make no bake cookies, and the shampoo and conditioner that I used back home. She also bought us some american ice cream and we had a nice cupful. It really was so thoughtful of her and helped to relieve the stresses of the week.
This week was Hermana Aparicio´s birthday! It was fun because at our zone meeting all the missionaries surprised her with a cake and candles. Then the sister´s that live above us decorated the house with balloon animals (one of them worked at party city.... haha). Lots of people called to tell her happy birthday as well. I think it turned out to be really good for her :)
Hermana A's Birthday!!!

M's baptism
On Friday, we had the baptism of Maria! It went so well. I just love her. She is very wise and has a beautiful way of expressing herself in a very quiet, reverent and profound way. She talks pretty slow and you have to pay really close attention to listen to what she says but she is very excited about the gospel. She recognizes that she still has a lot to learn but she is excited to get going! The other day in a lesson she told us, I was was reading in the Book of Mormon where it talks about angels preaching the gospel and I thought to myself... The missionaries are my angels! This means I´d better be baptized :) haha The baptismal service was beautiful. When she came up out of the water she shouted praises to the Lord and you could just feel the happiness that she felt :) It was an honor to be apart of it. We had 3 investigators attend! One, J, also from Las Flores, will be getting baptized this upcoming saturday. Though he doesn´t know how to read, he has recieved a very real testimony of the Book of Mormon through his prayers, and is determined to learn how to read so he can continue learning and progressing.
On saturday, we put on an activity for our ward that turned out to be really great! One of the sisters in our ward is a returned missionary and had done the same activity while on her mission that was really successful. We put on a carnival and passed out 15 tickets to everyone in the beginning. They were told that the tickets were precious and that they needed to take care of them, but that they could choose to do with them whatever they pleased. We had a beauty station for the females with hair, nails and eyebrows (which turned out to be a hit... haha), a station with card games and nintendo, basketball, and a room with dancing. In these stations it cost them tickets to participate. Then we had one station, called the station of learning, where they could come and earn tickets by answering a spiritual question or giving a reference to the missionaries. We didn´t give them a specific time frame and so we stopped all activities suddenly and had them divide themselves into groups. 0-5, 6-10, 11-15, and 16+. Then the groups went according to the amount of tickets they had to 4 different rooms that we had predecorated (Outer darkness, telestial, terestrial, and celestial... hehe). In the rooms we talked about priorities and not letting the things of the world get in the way of our eternal goals, and we talked about sharing the gospel with others to help them reach the eternal goal as well. It turned out to be really great and fun at the same time! In the end, we all gathered together to watch a video about giving references to the missionaries, and the spirit was really strong. It was a really great activity!
Now for the miracle of the week. As we were decorating the capilla (chapel) for the activity we realized that we needed some balloons and crepe paper from a pulpería. My companion stayed with Hermana Turner to decorate some more and me and Hermana Ramirez hurried and ran to the pulpería in la paz to get some balloons. On the way there we decided to contact some houses. We stopped at one house and there were a bunch of people in the front. When we introduced ourselves and our purpose they said hello and continued talking as if we weren´t there. It was a little uncomfortable standing there, haha but finally a jovencita (young girl) said come in hermanas I´ll listen to you! The rest of the family dispersed and the neighbors took their leave, which happens a lot so I wasn´t surprised. We sang her a hymn and started in on the message when she told us about a dream that she had a the day before. She had dreamed that 2 young ladies would come to her house and preach the word of God to her, and that she would go to the church with them. She had told her sister of the dream and thought, ¨hmmm... how strange¨ and then lo and behold, here we were! We invited her to the activity and she accepted. We also invited her to be baptized and she was taken a little off guard but she said she´d start preparing! She came to the activity and even invited her sister along. The whole time she practically stayed in the spiritual section, learning and reading the For the Strength of Youth pamphlet and then explaining what she learned to the missionaries. She seemed very content the whole time and kept saying how much she liked it there. At the end of the activity she came to us to tell us that this was her dream. The activities, the people, the chairs, the floors, it was all in her dream. How crazy is that? She made us PROMISE to come pick her up for church the next morning because she wanted to come. This was a huge testimony to me that miracles really do exist! I never ever thought I would experience something like this, and it´s still crazy in my mind! I´m excited to see where things can go with her :)

I found a scripture in Acts 18:9-11 the made me smile. I changed a few words to apply it to me. 

  9 Then spake the Lord to Hermana Bennett in the morning by the scriptures, Be not afraid, but speak, and hold not thy peace:

 10 For I am with thee, and no man shall set on thee to hurt thee: for I have much people in this city of Honduras.
 11 And she continued there a year and six months, teaching the word of God among them.

I love you all so very much! I hope this finds you all in great health, and happy :) Until next week!

Hermana Bennett

Monday, January 6, 2014

Unforgetable week, Unforgetable lessons

Hello to my lovely friends and family! This week was unforgetable. I think when I look back on my mission, it will be a week in which stands out. I learned so much about myself as well. It was humbling, and I realized just how much our decisions affect our lives, and how important it is to follow the Spirit, no matter how hard or how simple or how strange the prompting seems to be.

So, I´ll start from the beginning. This week, as the nurse, I´ve been helping one of the sister missionaries who´s been sick. I went to SPS (San Pedro Sula) 3 times in one week! That´s a record!! I think the past 2 transfers I went to SPS twice in the whole transfer, so three times in a week was quite a difference. In the end, the sister was unable to stay on her mission and that meant that I was to accompany her to Tegucigalpa where her family would be picking her up. Elder Garmendia, the secretary in charge of travel and immigration got all my flights and iternary set up and we found that I would have to wait 12 hours between flights. My first thought was, wow.... what am I going to do all by myself in an airport for 12 hours?? Haha. I was preparing myself to read lots of scriptures, perhaps the ensign three times over, maybe get in a good nap or two. But the night before we were to leave President called me with the best news I think I´ve ever had in my entire life. My itinerary for the next day would be as follows - drive to the airport at 5am, flight leaves at 7am, get to Tegucigalpa at 8am and help the sister get everything squared away and set for her family, next go to the TEMPLE in Tegucigalpa, do a session at 10am, then they would provide a room for me to take a nap at 12pm and eat some lunch, then do another session at 2pm and be all ready to head back to the airport and fly out back to SPS by 6pm. I don´t know if I could fully describe my joy and happiness in this moment on the phone with my president. I was in tears and without words! I felt like this was the boost that I so needed to help me keep going. 

 So..... The next day went as follows. Alarm didn´t go off, shot out of bed at 4:50am, took the quickest shower of my life and scrambled to be ready when President came to pick us up at 5am. Got to the airport and they informed us that due to the weather in the states, a lot of connecting flights were delayed, meaning that our flight would be delayed until 8am. So... we waited a little bit longer for our flight, but no rush.
Got on the plane, took off with no problems. We were in the air for maybe 5 minutes when the captain came over the intercom to say that something was wrong with the plane and that for our safety we would be returning to San Pedro Sula after 30 minutes of doing circles in the air. It was a thirty tense minutes! A little comical and interesting to see who was calm and who wasn´t. Lots of praying going on and crosses over the chest. SO.... at 9am we landed safety back in the SPS airport. They told us that we would be delayed another 2 hours before we could leave again... Okay... tranquila... This just meant 1 session instead of 2 right? So 2 hours came and went, when they finally informed us that instead of being ready to board, our flight was cancelled. Oh... okay... So we hurried and went to retrieve her bags and then check back in for them to put us on another flight. So by the time we were in the air and on our way to Tegucigalpa all hopes of doing a session had left me. We got to Tegucigalpa at 2:15 and after getting everything squared away her family invited me to eat with them before they headed home. For some reason I felt like I should go and eat with them, but my desires to go to the temple won me over so I stuck to the original plan. I finally took a taxi to the temple and arrived there at 3:15ish, something didn´t feel quite right but I was finally there!!

Tegucigalpa Temple

How beautiful it was!! I soaked in all the peace that I felt as I got out of the taxi and walked the grounds to the front doors. I talked with my President and I had the strongest urge to just ask him if I could spend the night so I could do the 4pm session, but I felt like that would be selfish of me to do that and so I just kept my mouth shut. Since I had to be back for my flight at 5 it meant for a little bit of a rush in the temple. I enjoyed it as much as possible while watching the clock. The temple workers were so kind and helped me have the best experience I could in the little time that I had. After I had finished up at the temple, I got back to the airport and..... flight cancelled..... I would be staying the night after all. I don´t think I´ve ever felt so lonely as I did in the deserted airport all alone. Heavenly Father sent me two angels in the form of a bishop and his wife from CA that had missed the same flight. They kept me company while I waited for a temple worker´s husband to come pick me up and take me back to the temple, where I would be staying the night in the housing. The temple President Ocampo and his wife were so kind as to invite me to eat with them in their apartment to help me not feel so lonely. I don´t know if I can adequately describe how I felt, alone in the little hotel room of the temple housing, as I reflected back on my day and realized that if I had just followed the spirit, if I had done the several things that it had prompted me to do, I would have been able to do a session after all. I will NEVER take for granted going to the temple ever again, mainly because now I have experienced being so close to getting to do a session, and in the end not being able to not because of circumstances out of my control, but because I didn´t listen to the subtle promptings of the Spirit. In the end, it was my own decisions that kept me from getting the blessings. Gahhhh!!! Have you seen the Mormon message where the guy goes on the cruise and stays in his room the whole time to save money, and then realizes at the end that all the food and activities were included in the price he paid? Yeah... I felt like this man in that moment. I don´t ever want to have that feeling again... I am so determined now to listen and follow every little prompting that the spirit gives me, even if it doesn´t make sense. I kept thinking, why didn´t Heavenly Father just tell me that my flight was cancelled?? Why did he tell me to go to lunch with the sister´s family, why did he tell me to ask my president if I could stay the night? It´s because He was trying my faith, and I didn´t follow through.

As I related this experience to my mission president the next morning when he picked me up at the airport, he took it one step further. What would happen in the next life, when we realize that because of the decisions we made in our life we would not be able to enter the celestial kingdom? It reminded me of the 10 virgins, and I feel like for the first time in my life, I experienced in a very real way what it would feel like to be included in the foolish category. So, en fin, LESSON LEARNED!!!!!!
It is so important to follow the spirit, and to learn how it talks to us personally. We don´t want to be left outside of heaven´s gates because we didn´t have the faith enough to listen and be obedient.
There really aren´t adequate words to describe the experience that I had and the lesson I learned, though I hope you can get a little bit of an idea.

Please learn from my mistake, and learn to follow the Spirit! In a world that is going faster and faster down the drain, we have got to fight for what we know is true and bring as many people with us as we can. We don´t want to find ourselves in the end thinking should´ve, could´ve, would´ve. How many blessings have we missed out on because we chose not to listen?

Anyways, on a happier note we have a baptism this upcoming week :) Maria from Las Flores decided to get baptized! She´s been a little afraid to move forward, but after attended the baptism of little mirna she told the bishop, I´m going to get baptized! It never ceases to amaze me that although my nursing responsibilities all too often leave my area a little bit neglected, the work goes on. It´s a testimony to me that this is NOT my work, it´s the Lord´s. 

 I love you all and I hope that this first week of the year started off well for everyone! Until Next Week.

Hermana Bennett

Thursday, January 2, 2014

Last words of 2013... Happy New Year!!

Happy New Year family and friends!
Mud :)

I hope that you´ve already made all your goals and written them down and hung them on your fridge to look at them everyday (at least until February right?) 

So wonderful to talk to you all on Christmas :) It was definitely a boost that I needed. So glad I got to meet little Aaron and that he is feeling better! I felt like for a few moments I was close to home :) Thank you for all your love and support and prayers that you continue to give me. Christmas here in Honduras is mostly celebrated on the 24th. It´s a lot like New Years, at midnight they celebrate with fireworks and firecrackers and bomb´like things. Let´s just say it was like a war zone! Earlier in the day on the 24th we went Christmas Caroling to contact people and it turned out to be pretty positive and we found some good contacts to go back and visit later. We got permission to have a sleepover with the sisters that live above us and we all sat around the Christmas tree and listened to Christmas music and then opened a few gifts that we had gotten. It was simple, but it was sufficient! Christmas day was so strange. It was like a ghost town! Everything was closed and there weren´t any buses. Everyone was in their houses sleeping. It was soooooo quiet.... haha A tradition here in Honduras is tamales - we ate so many tamales! They are yummy, I´ve just never eaten so much food in one day... haha I think they have Santa Claus, and I think they exchange a few gifts, but at least from what I could see they don´t put so much of a focus on gift giving as spending time as a family and eating good food. 

My New Year´s resolution is to put all I can into this work. I think I´ve let myself fall into a rut for the holidays and am determined to get out of it and take advantage of this once in a lifetime opportunity to the fullest of it´s potential! The time in which I get to wear this nametag and represent my Savior is so short in the whole scheme of things. I´m determined to open my mouth more and preach to everyone that will listen to me. I´m determined to love a little more and see these people for the potential that they have to become. I´m determined not to let one more opportunity pass me up because of the ¨fear of man¨. All in all, I´m determined to be a little bit better, to look for the good in every situation, and see the tender mercies and miracles that are all too often overlooked.

The key to this work is patience and love! We will continue moving forward and teaching and inviting to the best that we can, and hope that people will use their agency to accept this Gospel and the blessings it can bring into their lives and the lives of their families. 

Sorry this letter is a little short. I forgot to bring my post-it and this week I have been slacking on writing in my journal so things just aren´t coming to my remembrance! That´s another new year´s resolution I have. Make sure to  write in my journal even when I´m tired.

I love you all so very much - may 2014 be filled with lots of happiness, success, joy and lessons learned. Until Next Year!!!

Hermana Angilyn Bennett