Tuesday, November 18, 2014

Tender Mercies

I don't have much time to write today because we are here in Trujillo (we had to wake up at 3am to travel.... ugh....) If we get back in time I'll write something a little bit more exciting!

This week we I did a lot of teaching in English! For some reason we found a lot of Methodists this week and the majority of them are English speaking, so I got to practice my english teaching skills and I got to watch the Restoration in English for once, it was weird. I felt like their voices didn't sound right.... haha I feel like a lot of the people we found this week were led to us, as well as us being led to them. One old lady said that she saw us pass and then prayed and prayed that we would come back because she felt that God had sent us to her. I remember seeing her dog and thinking it was dead so we went back to check on it and there she was on the porch :) We passed by another lady who was sitting in her front yard and we just said hi, and all of a sudden she was opening the gate and pulling out chairs and sending her granddaughter for her eyeglasses. We asked if she had spoken with missionaries before and she was like.... uh.... no... haha but later she said that she had been super lonely and praying for company and that God sent us to her and she was beaming with happiness :) I love small and tender mercies like that. We found a few inactive members who have been inactive for YEARS with their families all nonmembers which is awesome :) I also had a testimony builder of asking references from the members. We asked a member and she remembered a young man they had visited almost a year ago. When we got to the house and asked for him a lady shouted no one by that name lives here!! As we were leaving a man ran out and called us back to explain that the person we were looking for had moved. We found out that the man we were talking to was just there visiting random, but that his parents were members living in San Pedro but looking for an apartment here in Ceiba. We hurried and helped him find an apartment in OUR area so that he can live there and we can teach him with his parents :) haha I felt like we were walking around without doing as much teaching this week but that we had a lot of miracles in finding people. Then at the end of the week it turned out that we had more lessons than we've ever had before! kind of like a fish and bread experience ;) 

I've really got to go now but I love you all and I'll write moire next week! The bus is going to leave us!!! haha

Until Next Week,
Hermana Bennett

Opening an Area!

November 10, 2015

Okay... So I'm not really opening an area. But it sure feels like we are starting from square one! They officially changed the ward boundaries which took away half of our area (the more receptive half as well as the majority of our progressing investigators) and then we got a little bit of the area of the Elders. I think Heavenly Father is making sure I learn patience, charity, what it means to be a true disciple of Christ and to have more faith and trust in Him. I won't lie, it was a little rough this week. We decided that it was our responsibility to give each and every person in our area (because it's that small.... haha) the opportunity to either reject our message or accept it. In that way we can truly say that we are doing all we can and that we are doing our part. Along with that attitude also comes a realization that talking with more people means more rejection, but it also means finding those that might have fallen through the cracks otherwise. Rejection is hard, it hurts. Not because they are rejecting "us," but because they just don't understand what they could have if they just listen for five minutes! It's not like we haven't been rejected before, it's a common occurence. But, one day was particularly rough for us. I was losing my patience with the smirks and giggles, people running and hiding (one couple hurried and ran in their house and slammed the door, then opened their blinds to see if we were coming and when they saw us they hurried and shut them again after gasping loudly... haha). So we just took a few minutes to just sit and be and breath.... and then off again :) Heavenly Father has sent me little messages this week that have kept me going. Ether 12:23-29 (see below) was exactly what I needed and I felt like He was talking to me in that moment. Sometimes I think I forget just how much we can relate to the people in the Scriptures and the things they went through, too. And just like Moroni in verse 29, when I read those words, "I was comforted." Then there was a quote on the wall of another missionary's house that was from Elder Holland's talk "Missionary Work and the Atonement" that really hit me as well. I put a link to the talk and it's the last section if you wanted to read it. (see below) I've also seen a pattern in my mission. Whenever things get tough, He always sends me and opportunity to be the full-time NURSE for a moment :) I think He knows how much it helps me to get to put on my nursing hat every now and then. We got a call last night about a sister that was having some difficulties and were off to travel to San Pedro Sula today for doctor's visits and tests. I don't know why but it just makes me feel better! 
We are still working with an older gentleman named O who has been getting excited about the church. He took us to his friend's house, a younger man (well younger than him... haha) with His wife and two kids and we had an amazing lesson with them. His friend had a lot of questions about the Book of Mormon and the spirit was really strong. In the end he said, "wow, this really is the key. If this book is true, than the church is true; it's ALL true!" I love it when they come to their own conclusions like that without us having to say anything. It's a testimony that it is the Spirit that does the teaching, not us. He said he wanted to read it all and that he would pray that night to see if it was true. I'm excited to see where things can go and I hope we can teach his whole family! We may have had some hard moments this week, but we've also had lots of miracles and we've found lots of people that we might not have found otherwise. That makes it all worth it :) We have a lot of work cut out for us! 
I heard that it snowed in the mountains. MMMmmmmm.... enjoy it! I miss snow sooooo much. And everyone here says that it's been their dream since childhood to see snow falling in real life! I don't think we realize how blessed we are to have 4 marked seasons. Being away from it has made me more grateful for snow :) yippee! The sun is back. yaaaayyyy..... (sarcastic tone) Sure love you all! Have a great week!
Until Next Week,
Hermana Bennett

 23 And I said unto him: Lord, the Gentiles will mock at these things, because of our weakness in writing; for Lord thou hast made us mighty in word by faith, but thou hast not made us mighty in writing; for thou hast made all this people that they could speak much, because of the Holy Ghost which thou hast given them;
 24 And thou hast made us that we could write but little, because of the awkwardness of our hands. Behold, thou hast not made us mighty in writing like unto the brother of Jared, for thou madest him that the things which he wrote were mighty even as thou art, unto the overpowering of man to read them.
 25 Thou hast also made our words powerful and great, even that we cannot write them; wherefore, when we write we behold ourweakness, and stumble because of the placing of our words; and I fear lest the Gentiles shall mock at our words.
 26 And when I had said this, the Lord spake unto me, saying:Fools mock, but they shall mourn; and my grace is sufficient for the meek, that they shall take no advantage of your weakness;
 27 And if men come unto me I will show unto them theirweakness. I give unto men weakness that they may be humble; and my grace is sufficient for all men that humble themselves before me; for if they humble themselves before me, and have faith in me, then will I make weak things become strong unto them.

The Atonement and the Missionary - 

Almost everything I have said here has been an aid directed toward the missionary process, ultimately toward the investigator. May I close with an extended testimony about how focusing on the Atonement helps full-time and member missionaries and mission leaders.
Anyone who does any kind of missionary work will have occasion to ask, Why is this so hard? Why doesn’t it go better? Why can’t our success be more rapid? Why aren’t there more people joining the Church? It is the truth. We believe in angels. We trust in miracles. Why don’t people just flock to the font? Why isn’t the only risk in missionary work that of pneumonia from being soaking wet all day and all night in the baptismal font?
You will have occasion to ask those questions. I have thought about this a great deal. I offer this as my personal feeling. I am convinced that missionary work is not easy because salvation is not a cheap experience.Salvation never was easy. We are The Church of Jesus Christ, this is the truth, and He is our Great Eternal Head. How could we believe it would be easy for us when it was never, ever easy for Him? It seems to me that missionaries and mission leaders have to spend at least a few moments in Gethsemane. Missionaries and mission leaders have to take at least a step or two toward the summit of Calvary.
Now, please don’t misunderstand. I’m not talking about anything anywhere near what Christ experienced. That would be presumptuous and sacrilegious. But I believe that missionaries and investigators, to come to the truth, to come to salvation, to know something of this price that has been paid, will have to pay a token of that same price.
For that reason I don’t believe missionary work has ever been easy, nor that conversion is, nor that retention is, nor that continued faithfulness is. I believe it is supposed to require some effort, something from the depths of our soul.
If He could come forward in the night, kneel down, fall on His face, bleed from every pore, and cry, “Abba, Father (Papa), if this cup can pass, let it pass,” 16 then little wonder that salvation is not a whimsical or easy thing for us. If you wonder if there isn’t an easier way, you should remember you are not the first one to ask that. Someone a lot greater and a lot grander asked a long time ago if there wasn’t an easier way.
The Atonement will carry the missionaries perhaps even more importantly than it will carry the investigators. When you struggle, when you are rejected, when you are spit upon and cast out and made a hiss and a byword, you are standing with the best life this world has ever known, the only pure and perfect life ever lived. You have reason to stand tall and be grateful that the Living Son of the Living God knows all about your sorrows and afflictions. The only way to salvation is through Gethsemane and on to Calvary. The only way to eternity is through Him—the Way, the Truth, and the Life.
I testify that the living God is our Eternal Father and that Jesus Christ is His living and Only Begotten Son in the flesh. I testify that this Jesus, who was slain and hanged on a tree, 17 was the chief Apostle then and is the chief Apostle now, the Great High Priest, the chief cornerstone of His Church in this last and greatest of all dispensations. I testify that He lives, that the whole triumph of the gospel is that He lives, and because He does, so will we.
On that first Resurrection Sunday, Mary Magdalene first thought she saw a gardener. Well, she did—the Gardener who cultivated Eden and who endured Gethsemane. The Gardener who gave us the rose of Sharon, the lily of the valley, the cedars of Lebanon, the tree of life.
I declare Him to be the Savior of the world, the Bishop and Shepherd of our souls, the Bright and Morning Star. I know that our garments can be washed white only in the blood of that Lamb, slain from the foundation of the world. I know that we are lifted up unto life because He was lifted up unto death, that He bore our griefs and carried our sorrows, and with His stripes we are healed. I bear witness that He was wounded for our transgressions and bruised for our iniquities, that He was a man of sorrows acquainted with grief because upon Him were laid the transgressions of us all. 18
I bear witness that He came from God as a God to bind up the brokenhearted, to dry the tears from every eye, to proclaim liberty to the captive and open the prison doors to them that are bound. 19 I promise that because of your faithful response to the call to spread the gospel, He will bind up your broken hearts, dry your tears, and set you and your families free. That is my missionary promise to you and your missionary message to the world.

Monday, November 3, 2014

Sorpresa!!! (surprise)

Hey familia and friends! 

This has been a great transfers week. Guess who my companion is??? HERMANA RIOJA!!! Yes.... the same Hermana Rioja that was my companion in La Paz :) We were super surprised but I'm super excited about it. I know that transfers are inspired and that we are together again for a reason. President says we are finishing what we started, since we only 2/3 of a transfer together. Before transfers I was praying really hard for Heavenly Father to send me a companion that would help me to finish out my mission happy, excited, and working hard! This week we've been echaring fuego (on fire) and having a lot of success. It's been SUPER rainy and Hermana R had forgotten her umbrella in her last area so we were soaked to the bone all day long, but it's hard to not be happy and excited with Hermana R whether we are wet from head to toe or not.... haha But we are freezing our tails off.... It's like 75 degrees outside and we are shivering like crazy! I don't know what I am going to do when I have to walk outside in the SNOW.... uh oh... 

This week we have been focusing on gaining confidence with the members and finding new people to teach. They are going to be rearranging ward boundaries which cuts our area in half (which means half of our investigators....). So we really need to work to find new people in the other half of our area that will be staying. Plus there comes a certain point when some investigators just sadly stop progressing. That part is the hardest I think :( But we learned in a leader's counsel meeting that there are two errors that missionaries make. They aren't patient enough and stop trying too early, or they try to force progression when it just isn't their time yet. We have to remember that sometimes we are called to plant, and others to harvest. The key is recognizing when it is time to let them go for a while. 

The other day we went to visit an older member that hasn't been able to come to church due to health reasons. Her attitude really made an impact on me. When we asked her what had happened in regards to her health her immediate reply was, "fìjese, que Dios me ama" (you know what? God loves me....) She said that though she was struggling with her health it was a testimony of just how much God loves her, because it was these times that she felt most near him, and could feel his love the strongest. I hope that I can have that attitude during all my trials and struggles as well. There was also another night when we stopped by unannounced at another member's house and she was in the middle of making cupcakes so we jumped right in to helped her and just enjoyed a little bit of time getting to know her and drying off a bit after being caught in the rain for a while. Before we left we shared a message with her, and then when we finished she said, "you know, I was feeling really down a little while ago, and just look how much God loves me for sending you two to my house." I feel like it's moments like this that I really feel like I'm fulfilling my missionary duties :) It's so true. Missionary work just can't be done by just the missionaries. Members and full-time missionaries need to work together! Gaining a relationship with the members is just as important as all other aspects of the work. 

Quote of the day: "Selective Obedience brings Selective Blessings" - Jorg Kleginstat(or something like that)

I love you all! I'm getting super excited for this Holiday Season :) Really the only thing I want for Christmas is handwritten letters and pictures from home.... (hint hint) I hope that you have a fantastic week! Happy November!

Until Next Week,
Hermana Bennett

Another Transfer Week!

October 27, 2014
This transfer went by really fast... Maybe because it was only four weeks.... haha but still! It was a super busy transfer, but we're hanging in there. President..... ahem.... I mean a little birdie told us early that Hermana S has transfers. Nooooo!!! But it's okay. It was fun to be with another North American for these past two transfers because we could relate really well and had a lot in common. We got along super well, saw lots of miracles, and learned a lot from each other. Our spanish skills struggled a little bit.... haha so maybe this will be a good thing. This will be her last transfer, EVER, so we thought she might stay but the Lord's ways are always higher than ours, and He knows best :) I'm excited to see who my new companion will be!

I forgot to bring my agenda (whoops) so I hope that I can remember everything that happened.... This week we have been focusing a lot on finding new investigators. Our area has been a little neglected because of the crazy stuff that happened so I almost feel like we are starting from zero, but we've been able to open our mouths more and talk to more people. We have to get creative in our area because it's so unique from every other area that I have been in or visited! We have some promising futures and contacts so we'll see how these next weeks go.

We did a lot of traveling for divisions! I got to do divisions with my old companion Hermana Rioja in Olanchito, so that was fun. She works her tail off.... We had 9 lessons in one day! We also went to Trujillo again and I worked with Hermana T. Trujillo is super bonito as always and it was fun to work with Hermana T. We have a lot in common and were able to have a really good heart to heart about what we want to get out of our missions. I told her that my biggest fear is going home from my mission the same person that I was when I got here. I feel like Heavenly Father has taught me so much and that last thing I want to do is fall back into the same routines and the same weaknesses. I feel like I have been a little exhausted mentally and physically this past transfer but we were really able to help eachother get remotivated to work hard and really thrust in the sickle. That night there was a huge storm! There area is right on the ocean and the water was super choppy and it was really windy. Right after we got back to the house it started pouring like I've never seen it pour before! (And I've seen some pretty big storms here so that is saying a lot) There was water literally POURING off of their roof in buckets and the sky was super red. There was lots and lots of lighting that was super close and it lasted for hours. It was nuts. The rest of the week has continued to be stormy and we are freezing our tails off at 75 degrees..... haha everyone is all bundled up in their sweaters. You'd think it was winter or something! It's crazy how cold I feel but it's really not that cold. I think I'm going to die when I have to be in SNOW. 

Yesterday our recent convert D blessed the sacrament! And he did so well... :) I felt like a proud parent.... haha It is a huge blessing to get to see how the gospel blesses and changes lives and to see them progress. He is a different person and much happier. 

I hope that you are enjoying your week and that October has been a great month! I can't believe it's already NOVEMBER! NOooooo!!! I'm starting to slightly freak out... haha I love you all! Please keep me updated with your lives. I would love to hear how you are all doing :) Thank you for all your love and support!

Hasta La Proxima Semana,
Hermana Bennett

The week when nothing went according to plan....

October 20, 2014

Wow..... I love being a missionary!!!! I LOVE it! I LOVVVVVEEE IT!!!! haha it's weeks like these that just make me realize how much of a blessing it is to do real missionary work and to work hard. Have you ever heard the saying you don't realize what you have until it's gone? Yeah.... I testify of the truthfulness of that statement :) This week, my 3 callings came calling... (mission nurse, sister training leader, full time missionary) and it made for quite the chaotic experience. We weren't able to work much in our area until the last couple of days because of it and the absence of working was super hard!

Since last week was super out of the normal, we were looking forward to a week that was more on the tranquila side. We had consejo de lideres (leaders council)on tuesday which meant traveling and not working either, and in our prayer at the end of the day we thanked Heavenly Father that we were going to have a normal day with some really important lessons on wednesday and were excited....... uh... NOT. Wednesday turned out to be one of the craziest days of my entire mission!!! We got to know our taxista friend, Z, really well because we were practically with him all day! He was like our personal chauffer. It's good cause he's a recent convert. We had a sister missionary that we have been working with who has had really bad knee problems who was getting ready to go home on medical release so we were running a lot of errands for her and helping her with her companion because they couldn't leave the house and it was nuts. We had to run to the store to get them food, run to the pharmacy for medicine, run to the store again to get pillows for her legs, run to the pulperia (store) to get them ice, run to the internet cafe to make copies and off to the bus station to send off documents for immigration, etc etc etc. Finally we were getting ready to go to some important lessons around 6pm annnnnnnd the power went out in our part of the city. Nooooo!!!! When the power goes out it's really dangerous and we have to go back to our houses. Me and Hermana S just sat there dumbfounded for a second and almost burst into tears right in the middle of the internet cafe. Buuuut they are things that we can't control so we just took a deep breath and went back to the sister's apartment in another colony and spent some time with them. It was probably really good to be there for the sister when she needed us, and maybe it was Heavenly Father's way of telling us that it was okay.

Thursday we went to Roatan to do divisions and it was an incredible day. We had some really great lessons and I felt the spirit so strong. We didn't have time to do two separate divisions with the two different companionships, so we were in a trio for the day. One thing I love about the companionship I was with is how much they "preach by the way" and open their mouths with everyone. Waiting in line at the grocery store, walking out of appointments, walking down the streets. They literally talk with EVERYONE they can! I feel like because they are so faithful in that aspect, God puts the people in their path because he trusts that they will talk to them. I learned a lot from being with them for a day. At one point this young teenage girl walked past us and said, what church do you guys go to? We introduced ourselves and invited her to church and got her address to visit her and all of a sudden she said, "oh how much I would love to be apart of your church!!!" and she gave Hermana Z a HUGE hug and was super excited. It kind of caught us off guard, but it was awesome :) Someone once told me that God gives the best references, we just have to trust that he'll put them in our path. 

I had a sweet experience on the bus ride home from La Paz after the leadership council. A few rows up from me there was a young father holding his baby, and he kept lifting her up to play and every time he would she would look right at me and give me the biggest smile! It was so adorable. All of a sudden I felt an overwhelming love for her and for her family and I began to pray that this little girl and her family would have the gospel in their lives and have the blessings that come with it. Then, I had the distinct thought come to my mind, "well, then do something about it!" The bus was full and there wasn't really an opportunity for us to go talk to them, but there was an elder sitting right behind them so I handed him a folleto (brochure) with our name and number for him to give to the dad. It was perfect timing because right after he gave it to them and explained it to them they reached the place where they were to get off and they were gone. It was a reminder to me that sometimes we pray and pray for something and expect Heavenly Father to do it all for us. But we need to act! He needs us to help them. We need to pray as if it all depends on the Lord, and then act as if it all depends on us and He will open the doors for everything to work out :)

I sure love you all and am so grateful for your love and support. I hope you have a great week!

Until Next Week,
Hermana Bennett

Spiritual Impressions, Answered Prayers, and Baptisms!

October 13, 2014
Hola familia and friends.... 

Wow.... What a week! I look back to the last monday and it's crazy to see how much has happened. It was a little nuts that's for sure! I think that Heavenly Father is trying to teach me to be okay with last minute changes, and not having a panic attack when things don't go as planned... haha

At the beginning of the week we had plans to go to Roatan again for divisions. We would have been their from wednesday to friday. We had planned out our whole transfer just perfectly with divisions because we only have 4 weeks to do them this time. On tuesday we went to the doctor with one of our sisters who has been having knee pain and we were brainstorming with President Klein on what we could do to help her and had thought of several options, but the conclusión was to say lots of prayers and sleep on it. That night while we were planning for the next day we felt uneasy about going to Roatan. After praying about it we decided that it would be best if we didn't go even though we didn't know why. Oh how inspired that was!

Reason #1 why we shouldn't have gone to Roatan: The next morning we received a phone call saying that they were going to be pulling the other sister missionaries out of our area and putting in elders, within the next 2 days! Which meant chaos!! Okay is wasn't that bad... Just meant that the next couples of days were full of house-hunting for the elders, packing, cleaning, and moving. We also moved out of our apartment and into the apartment of the sisters which has a little bit more room so we had to pack up and deep clean. It was definitely out of the normal missionary routine.

Reason #2: On Wednesday morning the sisters from Roatan called us to ask if we had arrived yet and if everything was okay. Turns out there was a huge tropical storm and we would have been caught in it on the yacht over, or even worse possibly stuck on roatan for longer than expected!

Reason #3 (the best of them all): One of our investigators got baptized! Hooray!! D, who has been visiting with the missionaries for almost 8 months now, finally made the decisión to be baptized. It was so amazing. He'd been really scared because he was afraid of falling after getting baptized, but he has been attending church regularly (even in a white shirt and tie) and went to early morning seminary for the entire year! On wednesday night we had a super spiritual spur of the moment lesson about the atonement and how we don't need to be perfect to get baptized and how baptism is just the "first fruits of repentance" (Moroni 8:25). There was a peace in the lesson and then all of a sudden he said, "okay. call the elders. Tell them I'm getting baptized and I want my interview, NOW." And so it was! It was super late so we were afraid they weren't going to be able to come and they weren't answering their phone. Every now and then he would say, "no no mejor otro dia..." (no no better another day) and then he would shake his head and with determination say, "NO! I have to do this today!" haha so we said a prayer together that they would be able to come and that they would call us back and right before we said amen, the phone starting ringing and it was them :) Tender mercies :) So they came, had the interview, gave the green light, and on Saturday he was baptized :) He was so excited and happy. 
Afterwards he bore his testimony about just how much this góspel has changed his life. He was confirmed on Sunday and the whole ward gave their sustaining sign and he was all smiles all day. He is almost a completely different person and he has a light about him. I love seeing this góspel change lives :) That night he showed up during our meeting with our ward misión leader with two of his buddies wanting to share the góspel with them. Pilas! I can't imagine what would have happened if we had gone to roatan and missed the lesson we had on wednesday!

Super grateful for the Gift of the Spirit that we have to guide our everyday lives. It was a huge testimony to me of just how important it is to follow even the subtlest of spiritual impressions. It wasn't like the spirit was yelling at us and telling us not to go, it was actually very subtle. But how grateful we are that we listened!

Loved the Relief Society lesson we had this week about living in the world but not of the world by Joseph Fielding Smith. There was a part that REALLY stuck out to me. It was under the section, "the promised blessings to the faithful are far greater than the temporal pleasures of the world" It talks about how sometimes many members fo the church may wonder why we, who are striving to live the góspel (keep the word of wisdom, the law of chastity, pay our tithing, keep the sabbath day holy etc etc), always seem to have trials, whereas those who embrace the world's standards and disregard all morals, values and commandments, seem to prosper. I LOVED the answer... I'll copy and paste it because it's so much better with his words:

"The answer is simple thing. If sometimes, and once in while do, go to football game or baseball game or some other place of amusement, invariably will be surrounded by men and women who are puffing on cigarettes or cigars or 
dirty pipes. It gets very annoying, and get little disturbed. will turn to Sister Smith, and will say something to her, and 
she will say, “Well, now, you know what you have taught me. You are in their‍ world. This is their world.” And that sort of brings me back to my senses. Yes, we are in their world, but we do not have to be of it. So, as this is their world we are living in, they prosper, but, my good brethren and sisters, their world is coming to its end.…The day will come when we will not have this‍ world. It will be changed. We will get better worldWe will get one that is righteous, because when Christ comes, he will cleanse the earth."

I love that! My companion showed me a scripture this morning in D&C88:25-26 that says the same this. This temporal world is going to die, God is going to cleanse it, and the righteous will inherit a better, eternal world instead :) It's a good reminder to keep an eternal perspective!

I love you all! Somebody please see, "Meet the Mormons" for me. I'm dying to see it... I hope you all have a great week and are enjoying the changing colors of fall!

Until Next Week,
Hermana Bennnett

My Life "Flashed" Before My Eyes!

October 6, 2014
Hey Family! 

It's been a good week! It was awesome because we didn't have divisions so we actually had 32 lessons this week :) Hooray :) The mission goal is to have 35 lessons in a week and when we go on divisions the lessons we have don't count for us. In District and Zone meetings we are always asking if we are a bendicion (blessing) or a maldicion (curse) for the mission so when our turn comes up and we can only say 21... uh... but luckily we know that what we are doing is much more important than numbers and dats. It counts in heaven and it counts for all the people that we are helping. That's all that matters! That something we say a lot as a companionship, "it counts in heaven."

This week was pretty stormy and on Tuesday we got caught in some crazy rain and lightning walking home from the stake center (and I'd say the distance is probably like walking from our house to the Jordan River temple... no biggy!) I'm never going to complain about having to get in my car and drive 5 minutes to get anywhere ever again.... haha The lightning was super close! Every time it would go off it would flash and then boom and shake our whole body. It was nuts. Lesson Learned: Lightning and Electronics = a VERY BAD MIX!! There was a huge lake in the street in front of our house and we wanted to video the cars having to wade through it and mid-video I caught a lightning bolt striking right next to my companion.... Literally! I put the video on dropbox so you can see it. At first we didn't realize how close it was. Just saw a flash and felt the boom... but after we watched the video we were in shock. We are definitely protected!

Cambios (changes) were this week but we're stuck together yet again :)  I've never been more nervous about finding out about cambios... haha We're actually super happy. But we made the goal that we need to talk in Spanish while we are outside of the house so our spanish skills don't go downhill! This week we found some awesome people (and when I say that WE found them, I don't really mean that. We were LED to them...). We taught a women named A who is super incredible. She shared with us that she had a boyfriend that she was really in love with and she was very happy.... and then he was murdered (pretty common in this country unfortunately). After that experience she said she was really mad at God and spent a lot of time being really bitter about life... But after a while little by little she started opening up her heart to Him and He began to heal her. I felt the spirit so much while she was talking and I felt like she was the one teaching us :) We taught her lesson one and asked her why she felt it would be important to have prophets on the earth and she went off on this whole shpeel as to all the confusion there is now a days and that a prophet would be important so we could all know exactly what God wants us to know and to keep the doctrine pure, etc. After she finished we were like, "uh... exactly!" haha I'm excited to teach her more. We also were teaching a young man named G who loves the Bible and is suuuuper smart. While we were finishing up his father walked in. It turns out he is a member of the church who has been inactive for 15 years. But we were able to talk with him about the Book of Mormon and he was reminded of how he came to know for himself that it was true. He started telling us about a dream that he had had when he went to the church and it was filled with people dressed all in white. He was able to get through it before he burst into tears. He told us that he has no doubts that the church is true and that he needs to come back. It was so special! 

Wasn`t Conference Lo MEJOR????!!! (the best) I absolutely loved it as always. I feel like it centered a lot on the importance of personal revelation, modern day prophets, the sacrament, and taking personal responsibility of our own spirituality and salvation.I loved Elder Christofferson and President Uchtdorf's back to back talks on personal revelation. The analogy that Pres. Uchtdorf gave really made me think. He talked about all the technology that we have right at our fingertips, but if we were to go back in time to the middle ages and try to convince people of what was to come, they would all think that we were CRAZY. They would be absolutely convinced that we were wrong and may even ridicule or try to silence us. But they would be entirely mistaken... I loved that he said that we shouldn't throw out what we know to be true because we don't entirely understand it. He also talked about revelation being like light, an how the more we have it the more clear the mysteries of God become to us. But if we walk away from the light of the gospel, our own light will begin to fade and our understanding will begin to blur until we reach the point to where we don't even know how we could have believed in the first place. It made me realize that if I ever have questions and doubts about something that once was clear to me, it's time to do a self-evaluation and get back to the light!!!! There was soo much more that I learned, I'm excited to get the liahona and start studying them! Just a weird thought..... while we were listening to the last musical number by the choir, me and hermana s made plans to go together to the next general conference.... uh.... 

Love you all! If you didn't get to watch or listen to conference, in the words of Elder Scott "DO IT!!!" (with finger pointed and a stern look in his eye) We are so blessed to have modern day revelation!

Until Next Week,
Hermana Bennett

PS - the supermarkets are full of christmas trees and lights and decorations... It's only the beginning of October!!

Let The Holy Spirit Guide

September 29, 2014
Hello mis queridos amigos y mi bonita familia! 
(my dear friends and my lovely family)

This has been a great, crazy, busy week! It was the last full week of this transfer. Transfers are Wednesday so we are just waiting around for the phone call to see if we will have transfers or not. I sure hope not! Me and Hermana S work really well together, and this next transfer is only 4 weeks long so it would just be better to stay together!!!! But the Lord knows what's best and I'm grateful for that. There is a scripture I love in D&C 51:16-17 where the Lord has led the saints to a land for a time, but doesn't tell them how long they will be there. He says that they should, "act upon the land as for years..." I think this applies a lot to life. Sometimes we don't know how long we will be in the circumstances that we are in. It could be for a short time, or a very long time. We shouldn't waste the time we have been given now, waiting for the next chapter to come, but should live as if the circumstances we are in will be for many years and we will be happier! Like a mission - don't worry about how long you will be in an area or how long of time you have left, but just live as if you will be here for ages and let God do His work through you. Or studying in college, or being without a job, or being single, etc. 3 Nephi 13:30-33 "take no thought for the morrow.... sufficient is the day!"

We did lots of divisions this week. On Wednesday I did divisions with Hermana H and we had a miracle :) Everything in the morning fell through once again and so we were contacting. We weren't having much success and even getting rejected, but there was a point in which we were just walking. I didn't know where we were going and wasn't really paying attention when all of a sudden my body turned as if on it's own and we walked right up to someone's door.... haha I don't really know how it happened or how to describe it, but de repente we were there so we contacted it. A young mother came out and let us in to visit with her. We sang her a hymn and then before I said the prayer I asked her if there was anything she wanted me to pray for, and she burst into tears. The Spirit entered the room and it was soooo strong. She asked me to pray that God would give her wisdom to know what to do. After the prayer Hermana H had her read Proverbs 3:5 and she couldn't get through it without crying. She said it was exactly what she needed to hear and that she wanted us to come back and keep visiting her. She said that we were the answer to her prayers. The spirit was so strong in that lesson and I know that we were led to that house without even realizing it. It gave me a strong testimony of just how aware Heavenly Father is of His children in every moment, and that He loved her enough to send us there right in the moment that she needed us. He didn't even wait to whisper in my thoughts or say maybe you should go to that house, he just made the decision for me... haha 

I feel like we have been super guided these past few weeks and we are starting to see a lot of progress in our area. Even though it is really small and we walk circles 8 times a day it never ceases to surprise me that there is ALWAYS someone to teach. We may not teach as many lessons a day as in my other areas but it is teaching me to really rely on the Spirit. 

Wasn't the women's conference awesome?! I loved the temple theme. I miss the temple sooooo much. I feel like I took it for granted before. I loved president uchtorf's talk as well. I loved when he said that our divine origin doesn't guarentee us a divine inheritance. We have to work at it! A member from another ward showed up just in time and asked us if we wanted to see it in English. She had brought her computer and we set it up with speakers and were able to watch it in english! She was an answer to our prayers! She speaks English from serving her mission in provo and living in the states every now and then. Then she bought us dinner and remenisced about her mission. It was a huge reminder of just how much we are going to miss it here when we leave and we need to enjoy it while it lasts!

I love you all! I hope you have a great week. It's CONFERENCE WEEK!!! Huzzah! I'm more excited than Christmas... haha

Until Next Week,
Hermana Bennett

A Week of Firsts

September 22, 2014
Hello family and friends! 

This has been a really good week. Lots of firsts for me... First time teaching a lesson right on the ocean, first time teaching someone who didn't believe in God, first time getting bitten by a dog (yes that did happen. It came out of no where and just charged right at me and bit me in the upper thigh and got a little bit of my pinky... haha but luckily didn't draw blood, just a little bruised),first time I saw Tarzan swinging vines in real life, and first time getting stung by a bee (or make that a SWARM of bees...). It was quite eventful! haha 

The family that I wrote to you about last week is just doing soooo well :) C and her daughter N went to church on Sunday and she loved it! She said she will be coming back next week. Everytime we visit her she has read all her assignments and prayed. She is progressing super fast and is super excited about it :) We are trying to work with her "spouse" (not married yet), which is a process but all things are possible. His family is from Palestine (his grandpas house is one street over from the stable where they say Jesus was born!). One night when we came over he pulled out all his pictures and was telling us all about his family. We're going to back and teach him about family history to try and get him interested! 

Went to Roatán this week once again for divisions. It was Soooo hot! This time when we got there, there were two huge cruise ships in the bay and another around the bend. The place was SWARMING with tourists! I don't know why it is so weird for me to see North Americans here and to hear people talking in English... haha my companion is one and there are other American missionaries, but it's just not the same. We had a really good couple of days there and it was fun to see some people that I had taught with them before and how they have progressed. We had a lesson with a girl that we had contacted before and her cousins were there. One shared with us that he didn't know if God existed. Crazy to say that that was a first in all the time I have been here! The latin culture is very religious and everyone I have talked to thus far have believed in God and Christ. We had a really good lesson though and in the end he agreed to pray to God and ask Him if He was really there. 

On Sunday, me and my companion had a tender mercy which was also kind of funny. My companion had felt sick after lunch and threw up a couple of times but we still went out to work bless her heart. When we got to another appointment they had prepared a huge plate of rice and chicken for us to eat, and I just knew she was going to struggle! We were both praying that she would be able to eat it and keep it down. I had already finished and she still had 2/3 of her food left. Then our investigator showed us her husbands chile that is super super spicy. Hermana S had only touched the lid, but then after touched her face and immediately it started burning! So she and the investigator ran in the kitchen to hurry and wash it off and I took advantage of the situation to take as much food as I could from her plate without making it obvious and shoveling it in my mouth to hurry and get it down for when they got back.... haha she was able to get the rest down and the nausea was mercifully under control when she finished. Even though her face hurt, it was an answer to our prayers. God answers them, even in the strangest of ways! 

I guess I should explain the bees. Today we went on a hike to pico bonito! It was super awesome. It's a waterfall in the middle of the jungle. To get to the trail you have to cross this sketchy drawbridge thing, but it was an adventure. When we finally got there me and my companion took a picture by this tree thing which apparently had a large hive of bees in it. All of a sudden the bees came out of no where and started stinging me everywhere!
We all took off running (down these steep rocky path.... haha) shouting and waving our arms,  It was like the movies. Hermana S was whipping all the bees off me with her handkerchief, getting stung on the neck herself. A bunch of other elders got stung as well.. I've made it 23 years without getting stung by a bee, so I guess the experience had to be an epic one. Luckily I'm not allergic! 

I hope that you are all getting as excited about conference as I am! It's in 2 weeks!!! As well as the women's conference on saturday. I feel like it's Christmas :) Being here on the mission has made me realize more and more just how much of a blessing it is that we have modern day prophets who recieve revelation directly from God for us, and if we listen with faith, prayer and with real intent, the Spirit can testify to us what we personally need to learn, and can answer our deepest questions. Let's not take this incredible blessing for granted!

I love you all!
Until Next Week,
Hermana Bennett