Tuesday, August 27, 2013

August 26th

President's letter:

This week went really well! Sister Z and I are getting along and I am seeing some progress in my Chinese. We definitely have seen a lot of miracles, one of which was being able to teach 11 member-present lessons (I love our ward!). Another miracle occurred during our lesson with one of our most progressing investigators, Betty. 

Betty is absolutely amazing; she had already been to church for three weeks, reads the Book of Mormon and prays every day, and had finished almost all the lessons necessary for baptism. She had a baptismal date set for late September. We met with her on Tuesdayto teach the law of tithing. I knew enough Chinese to teach a little bit about what tithing was and extend the commitment to pay tithing once Sister Z had expounded on the subject more throughly. After Betty accepted the commitment, Sister Z started talking to her about something else. I caught a few word about baptism and realized Sister Z was probably asking if Betty would be willing to move up her baptism date a little earlier. Betty seemed a little nervous, but I couldn't understand enough Chinese to know what her concern was. But, I really felt a prompting to say something, so I said in Chinese: "Baptism isn't a test. You don't need to know everything about the Gospel to be baptized and being baptized can help you feel the Spirit more and understand more." Betty seemed to relax a little and, after talking to Sister Zhang a little more, started nodding and agreed to whatever Sister Z had said. After Betty had left, I asked Sister Zhang what had happened and she said, "I thought you understood! Betty said she would be baptized next week! Your comment really helped her make the decision!" 

I am so grateful for the Spirit. This week, I was reading D&C 42:14, which states: "And the Spirit shall be given unto you by the prayer of faith; and if ye receive not the Spirit ye shall not teach." I know this to be true. I am not yet good enough (nor will I ever be good enough) at Chinese to teach anyone about something as complex as the Gospel alone. Thankfully, I will never have to. As long as I stay faithful and worthy, the Lord will qualify me for my calling and will provide me with necessary direction. 

Hope everything is going well! Have a fantastic week! 

-Sister Sarah Bennion

Thank you so much, Dad! I loved your insight on the brain and how it evolves! I sometimes forget that learning a new language is a slow process. It's funny; at the beginning of my mission, I really just thought that I would wake up one day and be able to understand chinese. False. It is not something that can be learned immediately, but through daily study, a lot of practice, and a lot of moving neutrons. 

This week was much better. I am still trying to find a better way to effectively use my hour of language study every day, but I am beginning to pick up more of what is said in conversations. My companion is really helping. I learned how to talk about Christ's life and ministry this week in understandable Chinese! Jiayou (that is something similar to hooray in chinese...they use it a lot here)!

Fun fact! Most of the missionaries called to speak Chinese are great piano players, because piano makes you use both sides of your brain. Dad, you were meant to speak Chinese  (I don't care what Yijia says about your tones being incorrect :) )

I am so grateful for all the support I feel from the family. You guys really are such an inspiration to me. I can definitely feel the effects of your fasting and prayers. Love you sosososo much! Tell mom, mimi, and rachel I go their letters today! LOVE!!!

-Sister Sarah "Sunshine" Bennion 

PS I read a really interesting talk this week called "A Heavenly Manifestation" by Heber Q. Hales. It is not doctrine, but it definitely gives an interesting prospective on what the Spirit world could be like. It reminds me of something I heard in the MTC: "We are missionaries now, missionaries when we go home, and if we are do really well in this life, we get to be missionaries in the Spirit world as well! So enjoy the work!" I love my calling!

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