Monday, September 30, 2013

September 30th


Its so great to know that everything is going great in good ol' Provo! I can't believe you didn't go to Awful guys really need me. I got an email from Hannah last week and it sounds like she is doing so good! I'm so happy that she likes BYU :) And I'm so excited to hear that Mary's place is looking great! It was weird to hear that this is your last parent weekend with her.....ulg our family is getting way too old. 

This week was a really great one! We were finally able to meet with a girl who we had not seen for a couple weeks. Her name is Lynn. We taught her the plan of salvation and, the whole time we were teaching, her eyes were completely lit up. At the end of the lesson, we asked her if she would commit to being baptized in November and she immediately said yes. She also came to church this past week, along with two of our other investigators. So, so amazing. 

Another cool event this week! The girl that I found on the tram (I wrote that her name was Mel a few emails ago, but she actually goes by the nickname Mouse, I don't know where Mel came from haha) was baptized yesterday! The church is true and I am so glad I got to play even the smallest part in building it up. 

Today in my personal study, I found a great talk in the Ensign about integrity. It mentioned the story of Thomas More and how, despite being beaten down and stripped of all he had, he refused to compromise his standards. As Joseph Worthlin said, "Integrity means always doing what is right and good, regardless of the immediate consequences. It means being righteous from the very depth of our soul, not only in our actions but, more importantly, in our thoughts and in our hearts. Personal integrity implies such trustworthiness and incorruptibility that we are incapable of being false to a trust or covenant." Integrity is the foundation that all other Christlike attributes are built upon and, if it is not solid, we cannot be aligned with the Lord and cannot have full access to the blessings of the Spirit. So, challenge for the week! Live life with integrity! Set your standards and hold fast! Never settle for less than befits a child of God :)

I love you, Mama! Hope you have a great week! 

Love Sister Bennion

Hey Papa! 

So glad you had a good time and provo! And glad that the cougars are finally cleaning up their act! I want to be greeted by a good team by the time I come back :) 

I loved your comments on facing challenges with a different attitude! It is something that I have actually been working on this week and I have found a lot more happiness in teaching in Chinese. I've realized that now is the time that I can relate with my investigators most, because a lot of them are not able to speak English very well and are in a new country far from home. And, during our companion study role play today, I was able to teach alone in Chinese for about 10 minutes!! Progress! 

Love you!!!!!! 

-Sister Bennion

Monday, September 23, 2013

Chinese Celebration 

                                                          This is for you Papa Gru!

September 23rd

Mama! Thanks for the email!! I loved all of the lines from the talent show and I loved hearing about Rachel's miracle! It is so weird, I have been praying for Rachel all week without really knowing why. There is the answer :)

This last week was really great, it was Chinese Moon Festival. Some of the recent converts in our ward made us a feast (and I got to try mooncakes...not a huge fan haha). 

I got your package!!! I loved everything! The stickers actually gave me a good idea. I have been realizing that I need more motivation to use the new chinese words I am learning every day in conversation, so I told Sister Zhang that unless I use all 5 of my words in a conversation for the day, she gets one of my sticker. Sister Zhang is really into it and I am definitely more keen to learn and use new words haha. And don;t worry, I am sending off the squares asap! 

Love you! You are in my prayers! 

-Sister Sarah Bennion


So glad everything is going good on the home front! I wish I could have seen the talent show! Mom sent me some of the missionary door lines and I definitely was cracking up. The only thing that was missing was a visit to Gru's door :)

Language is getting better, one slow step at a time. My listening is improving pretty quickly, but I need to spend more time speaking. It is really easy to get caught in talking English, because I want to get my point across quickly and I have to talk to a lot of people on the streets in English anyway, but it is a habit that I definitely need to stop. This week, I am focusing on complete immersion and a sense of urgency in language learning. 

The talk is called "the fourth missionary". I am pretty sure it was written by one of the seventys...I will try to copy and send it to you if you can't find it. 

LOVE YOU! Sister Sarah Bennion

Hey President! 

Another great week in the city! We were able to set some appointments with people who are really interested, one of which we were able to set a baptismal date with! We were also able to meet with one of our investigators, Stella, and teach the ten commandments. During the lesson, she told us that she is going to have surgery on October 10th, so we are going to try to prepare her for baptism before that date comes. 

Sister Zhang and my companionship is going well; we set a goal to focus on finding this week to reach the standard of excellence.

Thanks for all you do! Hope everything is going well! 

-Sister Bennion

Monday, September 16, 2013

September 16th

Hey momma! How is everything going? I heard that you were in charge of the day of service! And that it went fantastically (as expected if you played a part in it). One thing I have always loved about you, everything you touch turns to gold, whether it is an activity, leadership role, christmas party, anything. Definitely something I am working  to develop more. It is in my genes somewhere haha. 

We had a mission conference last week that was SO FANTASTIC!! It answered every single one of the questions that I have been asking in my prayers for the last two weeks. One of my favorite quotes from the conference was by Elder Maxwell, which stated "The Lord doesn't ask about your ability or inability, He asks about your availability. And if you prove your dependability, he will give you capability." There are some times on my mission where people have asked why our church sends out teenagers to teach the Gospel. It is a question I have asked myself at times. The answer however, is exactly what you said in your last email. The Lord sends out the weak and the humble, because they know that, alone, they are not enough! They must rely on the Spirit to teach and the Spirit is the thing that really does the converting. 

Funny story: After the conference, I was talking to my companion from my last area and she said I have been in the prayers of the son of one of the recent converts. The son thought that, since I was not going to the ward anymore, I had fallen away from the church, and was praying that I would realize my mistake and come back haha. 

Love you! Tell Rachel I am so proud of her and to definitely check her watch instead of the girls around her! 

-Sister Sarah Bennion

Papa Gru! How's it going? 

I have absolutely loved getting your emails! They completely brighten my day! Its good to remember that I am not the only missionary to ever struggle with language. It all gets easier with time and faith :)

I also have really loved hearing about farm improvements! I am so excited to see all the progress when I get home!! Tree house, swim-able pond, berries...all we need now is a sasquach statue and no poison oak and its about as close to the celestial glory as we can get before the second coming!

I'm glad your mission prep class is going well! If you are looking for material to give them that is really helpful, I know a talk that has really helped me since being on a mission. It is called "The Forth Missionary." It is long, but so fantastic.  

Love you papa! 

-Sister Bennion

Monday, September 9, 2013

September 9th

This week was a little difficult. We were not able to meet with any of our baptism dates and none of them were able to come to church. BUT, it was a great week for recent converts! We had 8 of them come to church this last week and they are becoming much stronger. We also had 5 new investigators and one of them came to church on Sunday

One of the investigators we focused the most on is Stella. She is from Hong Kong and speaks Cantonese and Chinese. She has a tumor in her stomach and recently had to have a surgery to get it removed. She is still in a lot of pain and found out that she is going to need more surgeries, so we recommended that she get a priesthood blessing. She received one this last Thursday and you could tell that she was really strengthened by it. 

Sorry, don't have a ton of time to email! It is sisters pday today! We are having a culture today! So excited. Chinese is coming along and everything is going good :) I promise a better email next week with some pictures! Love you!

-Sister Bennion

Tuesday, September 3, 2013

Pictures from Sept 2nd

September 2nd

Hey mama! 

How is everything going? Is everyone enjoying their last week of summer? I can't believe that summer is already almost over! Time definitely flies! 

Everything is going well down under. Investigators are progressing for the most part (one of our baptismal dates got anti-ed by her landlord and told her friend that she wants to stop meeting with us :( we still have a lesson with her scheduled for this week though!) and I really love the members in our branch. I'm making some progress on language; my tones have been a real problem, so I am now listening to a preach my gospel cd in Chinese whenever we are in our flat and reading from the Book of Mormon a lot out loud reeeeeeaaallly slowly. Sister Z says I sound like a Chinese kid with reading disabilities, but at least I sound like a Chinese kid haha. 

I've really tried to improve on my prayers this last week. I realized that they had become a little repetitive and I wasn't putting enough time into them. I started studying about prayer in the scriptures and found a great definition of it in the Bible dictionary, part of which states: Prayer is the act by which the will of the Father and the will of the child are brought into correspondence with each other. The object of prayer is not to change the will of God but to secure for ourselves and for others blessings that God is already willing to grant but that are made conditional on our asking for them. The Lord wants us to ask. He needs for us to recognize what we are in need of and come to Him. Sister Z shared a quote with me recently that states, "I believe that, in this church, answers is a blessing we have. We don't need to fool around, we can go directly to God. If he is there, He will answer. If He doesn't answer, check the batteries, something is wrong with us." So, a commitment this week: Focus on pray this week. Make a conscious effort to come closer to God and understand His will. I know that as you do, the Lord will bless you with increased strength, love, and comfort. 

Just wanted to let you know everything is great. I love and miss you and hope that things are going well! 

Letter to the President:

Ups and downs this week. One of the downs, Betty got a job and was too busy to meet with us this week and get a baptismal interview. But, one of the ups was that she still came to church yesterday! And she said that she is still interested in being baptized. We find out what her work schedule looks like tomorrow and we are praying that she will have enough time. 

Another up: Yesterday after church, a girl came up to me and said, "Do you remember me?" She looked familiar, but I couldn't quite recall how I knew her so I responded that I didn't. She said, "We met on the tram a week ago. My name is Mel." Finally, I remembered. Sister Z and I were on our way to a lesson last week and I started talking with a girl next to me named Mel about the church. She had not seemed that interested and said that she was really busy taking test right now, but she still gave me her contact information. Since she was Australian-Chinese and spoke really good English, I referred her over to the English-speaking sisters and did not think much of it. However, Mel told me that she had prayed to the Lord for guidance the day before she met me and that I was an answer to her prayers. She told me the sister missionaries had called her yesterday and invited her to church so she came. 

Chinese is coming along, slowly and surely. Sister Z and I have been doing a lot of role-plays to help me improve on my speaking in lessons. I still do not understand a lot that is being said in lessons, but I usually understand the gist of conversations and am praying for the Spirit's guidance.