Monday, October 21, 2013

October 21, 2013


This last week was so full of miracles, I don't even know where to begin. I'll start with the biggest one first...


We had a lesson with her early last week and near the end of the lesson, as we were about to mention her upcoming baptism date on Oct 25, she said "I'm getting baptized at the end of this week, right?" We readily confirmed that Oct 18 would be perfect and she was interviewed soon after! Her baptism was really amazing. She bore her testimony afterwards (she had it typed up because the night before her baptism, she couldn't sleep and wanted to be better prepared) about how she was so grateful she was for the Gospel and wanted to endure to the end. She even mentioned that she wanted to help her friends find the same happiness that she found. She is so amazing and incredibly prepared. I am so grateful that Sister Zhang and I got the opportunity to teach her and be strengthened by her example.  

Second miracle! Last week, we committed another one of our newer investigators, Vicky, to a baptism date. She said that she really liked the teachings of the Gospel so far, but was not sure if she should be baptized yet. We invited her to attend Lynn's baptism to learn more about what baptism is like and why it is important. She came and, when we met with her again yesterday, said that she really felt good at the baptism. She said she still wanted to learn more, but agreed to be baptized on Nov 9th

Third miracle! Sister Z and Sister R (her last companion 2 transfers ago) taught a girl named Tina Li for a long time. She was super friendly and wanted to be baptized, but never kept commitments and had to be dropped. Tina called Sister Z and I a few weeks ago and said she was interested in taking lessons again. We set a new date for her and she started reading scriptures and praying, but her biggest problem remained that she never went to church. In the 17 lessons she had been taught over the last few months, she had always had friends over or slept in or had to work and she had not been to a single church service. We told her that, in order to be baptized she needed to come to church and last Sunday, for the first time ever, SHE CAME! It was a huge step for her and I hope the Lord can help give her the willpower to keep attending. 

I feel so incredibly blessed to be in this area and working with such amazing people!! 

-Sister Bennion
                   Above is a picture of Lynn's baptism :) she is the one in the very middle and Vicky is on the side.

Monday, October 14, 2013

October 14th


I loved it. It was exactly what I needed. The week before conference, we asked all of our investigators and members who came to conference to prepare a specific question. I decided to follow my own counsel and prepare some as well. And each of them was answered throughout the course of conference. One that was particularly helpful to me was the talk about meekness by Elder Soares. Meekness is definitely a defining feature of the Savior and one that I need to work to develop more. I really loved the quote by Lorenzo Snow: 
 “It is our duty to try to be perfect, … to improve each day, and look upon our course last week and do things better this week; do things better today than we did them yesterday.”11 So the first step to becoming meek is to improve day by day. Each day we need to try to be better than the previous as we move forward through this process."
 Or, in the words of another certain wise and beloved man, "perfection's not a destination, its a joyful ride" :) if today was better than yesterday, if we are kinder, more charitable, more hardworking, and more Christlike than the day before, then we have succeeded. 

More news: One of our main investigators, Lynn, is so amazing! I feel so blessed to have met her. She is so humble and willing to learn. Last week, we asked if she would like to move her baptism date to Oct 25 and she agreed! I'm so excited for her to enter into her first covenant with the Lord and see how He works miracles in her life! 

-Sister Bennion

Thank you so much for the email, Papa! I also think it is so weird that people are so opposed to something that is so good. We have an investigator who has a Christian background. All of his friends have told him (and are still telling him) that our church is evil. He comes to lessons and even church meetings, but absolutely refuses to read the Book of Mormon, because his preacher told him it is the devil's book (the first character of the book of mormon's title in chinese ironically and irritatingly sounds exactly like the Chinese word for devil....which does not help matters). We are having a lesson with him today and will talk with him about general conference. Fingers crossed that it will go well! 

I really liked your comments on the marble statue. As long as there is progress, even when it is not easily discernible, I can feel good about my efforts as a missionary. And I have really come to the realization this week that I need to stop being so focused on all the progress I need to make and start focusing on the needs of other. I really need to forget myself and go to work and all of the little things will start to become less and less important :)

Love you! 

-Sister Bennion

One of my favorite candies in Australia

Monday, October 7, 2013

October 7th

How is everything going? Are you enjoying conference? I can't believe I have to wait another week to watch it! (In Australia, they show conference a week later because of the time difference). 

I'm doing good here in Melbourne. Last week was a little rough. Before I came, Sister Z had a superstar companion and has started comparing us lately. Remember my tendency to take offense quickly? Yeah, the Lord definitely wants me to get over that as soon as possible, because He has given me a lot of situations where it would be verrrrry easy to take offense. I definitely definitely have not handled them all like I want to, but I am slowly improving and learning to let things go. 

Another thing that I am really working to overcome is feelings of inadequacy. For the last few weeks, I have begun to feel increasingly inadequate. With all the troubles that have come with being a new missionary and learning a hard language, it is very easy to feel I am not good enough to accomplish tasks that are a regular part of missionary life. And what I am increasingly realizing is that I am not good enough alone. There is no way that I can do this work relying on my own strength, no matter how hard I work. Our zone leader gave us the challenge to read the whole Book of Mormon in 4 weeks and, as I was reading 1 Nephi, I was really struck by Nephi let the enabling power of the Atonement work in his life. In all the challenges he encountered, from physical to spiritual, he turned to the Lord for increased strength, understanding, and ability and was enabled to overcome all trials.
I know that the Lord can enable me to do what I cannot do alone. 

I love you so much, Mama Ogo! Have a great week!

PS Did you go to conference live????? So cool!!