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

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