Thursday, May 29, 2014

Transfer number 7

Wednesday May 28,2014
Hola to my family and friends! 

Saying goodbye to another transfer and on to the next. I have been here in the mission for more transfers than I have left... That´s kind of a weird thought. Me and Hermana Olivas are staying together again so not much change!! This week was a great one. 

My birthday was on Tuesday and my district suprised me with a lunch at a members house! They said that we had district meeting on Tuesday and we were there waiting for all the other sisters to arrive (they´re always late.... haha) so it wasn´t abnormal for us to be waiting. Then Hermano G showed up and said that there was an emergency in his house and that he needed us to come help. He sent us in a mototaxi and took the elders in his truck to get another "hermano" for help. That´s when I got a little suspicious! When we got to the house there was a super loud birthday song playing in Spanish and they were all hiding behind the door to surprise me! They had made a special "american" lunch of meat, mashed potatoes and veggies :) It made me feel like I was with family :)

Here they like to pull pranks of the birthday person, and I was no different.  They gave me a box that had a tarantula in it, shoved my face in the cake after blowing out the candles, and cracked two eggs and poured flour over my head....haha it wouldn't be a Hondurean birthday without it!

I was super grateful for my district and the Bautista family for remembering my birthday. Apparently they´d been planning it for weeks! It´s a hard day to be away from family, but I felt right at home with them.

This week we had multizone conferences which meant that me and my companion got to travel a lot to the other parts of the mission to do a presentation on health. That´s one thing I like about my calling is that I get to meet all the missionaries in the mission!

This time the presentation was great because I had my companion do a part of it. She has been helping me a lot with the nursing responsibilities and it has really helped the unity in our companionship. Instead of having her sit off to the side she jumps right in to help and even takes some calls for me! I really do love being the nurse. It´s an extra responsibility, but I feel good getting to help the other missionaries serve the Lord the best that they can.

Wednesday was our own Zone Conference and then on Friday we traveled to La Ceiba (2 1/2 hours in a bus). I feel like I´m becoming pro at this whole public transport thing! Maybe I´ll just use the bus system when I get home.... haha It was funny, at the bus terminal on the way back there were a bunch of gringos there that had been backpacking in the mountains by the ocean. I started talking to one of them and found out that she was from Conneticut. It was SO HARD talking to her in English... Everyother word I said was in Spanish and I kept having to correct myself.... haha I prefer to speak in Spanish now, even with the other American missionaries. It´s just hard to switch back and forth. 

Traveling meant not being able to work full time in the area, but we were still able to find some great people to teach! One day we were walking to contact a reference when we saw a man on his front porch. We started talking to him and he immediately let us in and was super friendly. We found out that he had just moved here a week ago to live with his daughter, but that a year ago he had visited a couple of time with missionaries and liked what they had to say, though had never been able to go to church because of his work. We gave him a book of mormon and invited him to church on Sunday. On Saturday we were walking down another street and here he comes on a bike saying, "hermanas, I´m headed to church right now!!" He thought that it was a day early... haha but it is always a struggle to get people to come to church and to see him so excited to go filled us with so much joy! The next visit we as we were walking towards his house we saw him sitting on his porch with his reading glasses reading the book of mormon :) We´ve been praying to find someone that has been prepared and that would be excited and interested in our message! It´s a testimony that the Lord really prepares his children, we just so happen to be the missionaries here when he was ready to accept it. He has a baptismal date for 28th of June so lots of prayers his way would be great!! 

Mom had some questions about how people react to our message here. In Mezapa a lot of people are super religous, the main religion being Evangelical (with lots of different sects). As I was watching the Restoration the other day with all the pastors and all the different churches meeting outside and all the religious talk and excitement it reminded me so much of how it is here in Mezapa! Everyone saying "here is the truth" "no, here is the truth!!" I don´t think I could count how many different churches their are here, practically one on every corner! On Monday nights there are a lot of "cultos" or church meetings that they hold outside their houses in their yards. Everyone is willing to listen and talk about Christ, but to accept a doctrine that isn´t there own is difficult, especially when they have already been baptized in their churches. They say that there is only one baptism (like ephesians 4) and that it is playing with God to be baptized in another church. To answer this doubt a lot of times we show them Acts 18, where Paul found a group of people that had been baptized but never recieved the Holy Ghost, then were baptized again and he placed his hands on their heads to give them the spirit. A lot of times as well they feel that they need to ask permission from their Pastors to come to church, even when they feel the spirit or feel like it is true. It also helps to explain the Apostasy and the Authority, which is a completely new concept for the majority of people. Many feel that the authority never left the earth, and that the authority is given by God to those who have faith and have accepted him as their Savior. This helps, but really in the end, what they need to do is read the Book of Mormon and pray to ask God and recieve and answer and confirmation by the spirit for themselves. We could answer their questions and doubts all day long but if they never ask, they will never be able to come to know for themselves. I have a huge testimony in the power of the Spirit and the Book of Mormon!! Without it, our message seems like just another really great message about Christ.

Sorry for the Novel.... haha I hope that you all have a really great week! I´ll talk to you all again on Monday!

Hermana Bennett

Transfer Week

Monday May 26, 2014

Won´t find out until tonight if I have transfers or not. I would love to be here another transfer and to be with Hermana Olivas again. We really get along well. 

My birthday was nice :) My district suprised me with a lunch at a members house. They had asked me a couple of weeks ago what my favorite meal at home was and I had said meat, mashed potatoes and veggies without even thinking and that´s what they made. Here they pull pranks on the birthday person and it was full of boxes with tarantulas, shoving my face in the cake (okay just a little) and then cracking eggs and pouring flour on my head. It sure was a joy. 

My companion had a super strong pain in her legs so we couldn´t go out and work until the nighttime. God gave me a little nap for my birthday... haha got the Birthday package on Wednesday so it was right on time and it was perfect!!!! thanks a bunch. We´ve been doing the pilates workout and I really like it, it´s fun. And it promises to shrink my fat zones in 3 weeks.... I´ll take it :)

I´ll write more about my week and everything on Wednesday!

Love, Hermana Bennett

Tuesday, May 20, 2014

Happy Birthday to.... Me!!

My dearest family and friends. 

Why hello there.... I sure hope that you are all doing well. Tomorrow (May 20th) is perhaps one of the best days of the year. And why is that? Because I was born, that`s why!!! haha But seriously it really makes me sit back and think. How incredible of an opportunity we have to have been born on this earth, to recieve a body and get to grow and have experiences that continue to stretch us and shape us into the people that God needs us to be. It`s not always easy, in fact most of the time it`s pretty hard. But what an incredible blessing we have to have the fullness of the gospel. To know that this life has a purpose, that we aren`t just here to pass time but that we each have a specific plan that a loving Heavenly Father has prepared for us. We aren`t always going to be perfect, but that`s why He sent Jesus Christ, to make up for where we fall short. I`ve been learning more and more just exactly what Jesus Christ did for us and the more I learn, the more in awe I am. I don`t think we will ever fully understand just exactly the magnitud of what He did for us, but the fact is that He did! And because of that one day, if we do our best, we can live with Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ and our families for FOREVER! I´m sure you`ve all seen this, but since I`m here disconnected from everything I just barely saw it last week... haha but seriously this video is incredible. I want every single one of my investigators to watch it and feel the spirit and the peace and the hope it brings!

This week was pretty good. We`re hanging in there! The work has been a little slow and a little rough this transfer, but I know that as long as I do my best, I can help the Lord fulfill His purposes here. We`ve had a lot of citas fall through and a lot of people haven`t been recieving us. One day we walked around for a good 2 hours before we had our first lesson (wait aren`t I supposed to be in central america??). People hiding from us, or saying they were busy, or not wanting to listen. But these days always lead to finding new people to teach which I love. We contacted a family that was outside washing dishes that are SUPER evangelical, but they let us in and listened to our message. I felt the Spirit strong with them and they were receptive. We prayed with them and left them with a folleto (brochureof the restoration. The next time we came we just taught the dad, but he told us that he was so grateful that we had come to teach him and that he knew that our message was true. He said that his wife had been sick, but after we prayed with them and left, she no longer had the pain and the sickness that she had been struggling with was gone. He told us that he wanted us to always come visit them and share our message with them because he knows it`s true. We invited him to be baptized and he said that he had already been baptized in the church that they were attending, but that just means that he doesn`t understand quite yet about the priesthood, so we won`t give up just yet :) I felt the spirit super strong, that Heavenly Father has something prepared for this family. 

This week we had a nice break from the blazing heat with rain. We went to the beach again today for p-day but with president Klein. After a while it started raining super hard! But I loved it and soaked it all up. Because the first half of the week was SO HOT: and the power was out so we didn`t have our fans and let`s just say I didn`t sleep. But mom, thank you for your prayers that I could handle the heat, because they were answered with rain and a cool breeze!! I even wore a sweater for the past 2 days.... haha that`s unheard of.... (it was 80 degrees and I was cold!) 

I sure love you all, and I hope that this week is great for you all. Thank you for you prayers and your support.

Next week is transfer week... again??! Crazy how fast time is flying by. I´ll let you all know if I`ll be staying or going, but I think I`ll be staying here... but we shall see. Adios!! Que les vaya bien!!

Hermana Bennett

Tuesday, May 13, 2014

Happy Mother´s Day!


I don´t have much time to write today. The power has been out here in Mezapa and it just barely came back! Can I just say that a power outage in this weather is NO BUENO! Last night the power went out right as I was falling asleep which meant no fan, and I couldn´t really fall asleep until it came back on a few hours later. It´s a heat that I don´t think I could possibly begin to explain with words, but hey. That´s just part of the whole experience! We´ve been learning to adjust to living without power. The other night when the power went out me and hermana olivas were outside sitting on our porch just listening to the wind and the peaceful silence when we both got the mischevious idea to scare the other sisters. We snuck over to their apartment and just stood in their window. They were sitting in their room writing in their journals with flashlights and hermana orgill was playing with the curtain. When she lifted it up Hermana Saylin saw both of us and just said, "woah what the heck??"  then H Orgill dropped the curtain in fright and we hurried and hid so when they lifted up the curtain again there was nobody there and they started screaming! Then we went back and opened their window and put their umbrella inside their room so that they couldn´t close it without running into the umbrella. We thought for sure they would suspect that it was us but we overheard them saying that if it was us we would have laughed by now. So we continued with our broma (joke) for a good 40 minutes until we decided it was time to reveal ourselves. They were so shocked when they found out it was us and we had a good laugh about it. Sometimes it´s good to have moments that break up the normal routine of missionary life... haha 

It was so good to be able to talk to you all last night! It was a struggle... haha we had a member drive us about a half hour to our ward mission leaders house and then we had to download skype and then the speakers weren´t working and then the internet kept going in and out, but en fin it was nice to have at least a good 15 mintues of uninterrupted internet to be able to see your faces and visit for a while! It´s a blessing that the power didn´t go out until after we had gotten back to our houses! It was good to see Aaron and how big and chubby he is getting! I can´t wait to meet him when I get back :) Crazy to see how tall Matt is, too. It felt like just yesterday I was talking to you all on Christmas, it´s amazing how fast time has flown by! The family that I was with kept laughing because of how goofy you all are.... I sure love you guys :) 

This week was good. We continue to find new people to teach, and it´s amazing just how much the Lord really is in charge of his work. In the end we don´t really do much in the grand scheme of things, just do what we can and He takes care of the rest. It´s been a great transfer with Hermana Olivas. We are very similar! Quiet, yet not shy. Very pensive. Our minds are always running and running. But it´s been good to have her to lean on, and she has helped me to learn to really enjoy my time here and not stress so much over what we can´t control. For example, she is so aware of everything around her. She is always pointing out beautiful flowers, or a strange animals, or things that I usually don´t notice because I´m not looking. When something doesn´t quite go the way we plan, she´s always good about moving forward and staying positive. We have a lot of good laughs. She is always scaring the animals by clapping or stomping her feet and she laughs at their reactions. The other day we were walking past a heard of horses and all of a sudden that started charging straight at us! We were backed up to a fence and had no where to go and so we just grabbed  on to each other and screamed and closed our eyes... haha in the end they ended up NOT trampling us though I have no idea how we escaped. I just opened my eyes and they were already past us. I told her she better watch out because all the animals have a grudge against her for scaring them! 

Today we went to the beach in Tela and it was oh so beautiful! We decided that we just needed a day to escape Mezapa and just sit in the sand and listen to the waves. It turned out to be a success and it felt so good to have the ocean breeze in our faces and just be calm. The bus ride back we found lychees!! 

I was so excited since we haven´t had them since November. We shared them with the man that was sitting next to us and had a good conversation and ended up giving him a book of mormon and inviting him to church. Then as we were leaving I shook his hand and he pulled me in and tried to kiss my cheek and I threw up my hands and said, "!no puedo!" (I cannot) haha it took me off guard so I hope my reaction didn´t make him too embarrassed... haha but we all had a good laugh afterwards. (This email is full of "good laugh" moments....)

Anyways I sure do love you all and just want you to know how grateful I am for the opportunity that I have to be here on a mission. It is changing me and shaping me in ways that I never expected, and though sometimes it´s hard I wouldn´t change it for a thing! I know that I am here for a reason, and I know that I am learning lessons that are preparing me for the rest of my life. I´m learning just what it means to follow a prompting of the Spirit, what it feels like to have your mouth filled with words that aren´t your own, and am learning the essence of the word "patience!" I hope you all have a great week!

Hermana Bennett

Tuesday, May 6, 2014

Made it to the hump.... When did that happen??

Hola friends and family! 

I can´t believe that this week I will be completing the first half of my mission here in Honduras. There is no way to be able to describe how blessed I feel at this moment to be serving a mission, and for this opportunity that Heavenly Father has given me to share His Gospel and to learn and grow. It has in no way been a cake walk.... I feel as if I have been stretched and stripped and cut down in many ways, but I know that it is Heavenly Father´s way of making me become the person that He needs me to be - not the person that I want to be or that I think I should be. These nine months have been humbling for sure, but I know with all my heart that I am here for a reason and that Heavenly Father is teaching me lessons that are preparing me for the rest of my life and for greater things to come. I´m so grateful for my inspired mission president and his dear wife that are such a huge support to us missionaries, and their willingness to take time for "the one." I´m learning that Heavenly Father doesn´t need us to be perfect, nor does he want us to try so hard to be perfect! Because in the end, it´s an unreachable goal here in this imperfect world. What he wants us to do is give our all, to give what we can, and to let Christ step in and turn our B- into an A+. "Come unto Christ and be perfected IN Him..." He has called us in all our weaknesses and imperfections to merely be instruments in His hands as He fulfils His purposes and His work. As I look back on what I´ve learned this first half of my mission, there is no way I could possibly fit it into one short email, but to sum it up I´ve come to know without a shadow of a doubt that this is the Church of Jesus Christ and that there is no other. I´ve learned just how blessed we are to have the knowledge that we have and to be able to make and keep covenant with God. I´ve learned the blessing of the Spirit in our lives and that nothing is more precious than to have His influence every day. I´ve learned that Jesus is our Savior and can work miracles in our lives if we let Him and show a little bit of faith. I´ve learned that God fulfills his promises.... every time. I´ve learned that I´m not perfect, that I make mistakes, but that Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ love me anyways :)

This week we are beginning to ease into the rainy season of Honduras (right when I decided to break my umbrella... of course!) Me and Hermana Olivas were headed to an appointment in the morning and we had forgotten to bring her umbrella. All of a sudden she stopped and said, "hermana, oiga." (hear) It was the strangest thing. It sounded like a waterfall and when we looked in the distance, we could see that it was raining SUPER hard just a few blocks away and was coming quickly in our direction. It was like a wall of rain coming straight for us! It reminded me of the movies when people just stand and watch when the danger is coming for them and don´t start running until it´s too late.... haha soon enough we were caught in the downpour and had to run until we got to our investigators house and we were soaked from head to foot!! We had a good laugh about it :) It turned out to be a really good lesson despite being drenched :) Her name is Y and she shared with us that she had read Moroni 10:3-5 and that she prayed after and felt something very beautiful in her corazon (heart). It really does work!! Then towards the end of the lesson a random man showed up and started going off on all his problems and asking for advice, and before we could say anything our investigator bore her testimony about prayer and everything that she had just learned from her experience and she invited him to pray because she knows now that God answers prayers. It was a neat experience :)

Just want you all to know how much I love you. Thank you for all of your support and prayers, they are needed and felt. Shout out to my wonderful, beautiful, and incredible Mother :) I hope you have an amazing Mother´s Day, and though I can´t be there physically, my face/voice will be there via technology... haha I am so grateful to say that I am your daughter, and could never thank you enough for all you have taught me and for the support and love you have given me through the years. Even though we aren´t perfect, you have been the perfect mom for me and I wouldn´t be who I am without you. Shout out to all the other mother figures I have had in my life (Grandma Cook and Grandma Angus and all my loving aunts!). I have learned and grown from your many examples :) Thank you!!!

Until Next Week
Hermana Bennett

Monday, May 5, 2014

Ups and Downs

April 28, 2014
Hello Friends and Family! 

This week was... a good week. haha Okay so it was a hard week, but that´s okay it happens sometimes! Me and Hermana Olivas have been working really well together, but sometimes the agency of others makes things tough! Sometimes you just want to shake people and tell them all the things they could have, but unfortunately it doesn´t work that way. We lost a lot of investigators this week because they didn´t want to listen anymore and then a lot of others have been having some extra challenges that makes it hard for them to progress. It´s a testimony to me just how much Satan doesn´t want anyone to find happiness and their eternal salvation! It seemed like everything that could go wrong, went wrong (Including breaking my umbrella and losing my watch... haha). For example, we´ve been helping a young couple that have been going through some marriage difficulties. The husband is in the army and so he is gone for the majority of the time and we have been visiting his wife. The other day she was feeling super discouraged and ready to throw in the towel with her marriage but we were able to encourage her and give her a little bit of hope. We visited with the two of them and taught them about families and used the Proclamation. In the end they were both willing to try and things were going really great and the spirit was strong and then.... the husband said that he really appreciates all we´ve done to help them but that we should know that they already attend another religion and won´t commit to anything with us. Another investigator that has been progressing so well had a family problem due to the bad choices of others that left them all with lots of hatred, hurt and discouragement in their hearts. Her excitement about her baptism was replaced with worry and distraction. Towards the end of the week we were getting used to leaving the lessons with a new challenge ahead that we´ll need to deal with and help them to overcome. It´s hard to watch them struggle when you really grow to LOVE these people! But that doesn´t mean that we will give up just yet :) This is the Lord´s work not ours and he can still work miracles and soften people´s hearts and change their lives!

This week was also a testimony to me just how much discouragement can be an enemy of the spirit, and how important it is to hang in there and be happy even when it´s hard. Because without the Spirit, this work is next to impossible! By the end of the week, I was feeling like my spiritual gas tank was running on fumes but thanks to a loving Heavenly Father, each week we get to fill up again when we take the sacrament! Seriously, after church on Sunday I felt so much better and rejuvinated and ready to take on all the hard things to come. I felt the spirit a lot more and the lessons we taught on Sunday went better. We could look back on the miracles that happened this week despite of it all. When we can replace our negative glasses with positive ones, it´s amazing to see just how much the Lord has lead us in this work. We ending up finding some really great people and families. Gladis, the member we found last week that has been going to another church, came to church on sunday! That to me was a miracle. With the investigators that weren´t progressing we were able to ask them for references and have found several positive contacts from them. To me it means that no work is wasted and that there is a purpose for everthing! I was reading in Jesus the Christ and it was talking about how we have to plant the seed and then leave the harvest to the Lord. We can plant, water, weed, but it is the soil, the sun, the rain that does the nurturing. Things that our out of our control. Do our part and let the Lord do the rest. And to be patient enough to let the harvest grow!

Can´t believe it´s going to be May this week. What happened to April??  Sure do love you all and hope your week is a great one! Thank you for all the love and support. 

Until Next Week!
Hermana Bennett