Monday, November 18, 2013

November 18th


How is it going?

Still doing good here in Australia. Last week was so busy it is nice to have some time to relax today.

Funny story of the week: For the last few weeks, we have been meeting with Alex, one of our investigators from Malaysia, before our family home evening activity. He is a big guy and is pretty blunt and intense, but really loves family home evening, because he says he always feels happy and welcome there.  Last week, Alex said that he wanted to bring a friend when he met with us next. We assured him that his friend was completely welcome. So, at the beginning of our next lesson, he introduced us to his friend, Wei Qi. He told us (RIGHT in front of his friend) that he really thought his friend should hear your message, so he tricked him into coming by telling him they were going to an English Class activity. Luckily, Wei Qi was pretty okay with being tricked into coming and really liked the lesson and activity. He met with us later that week and accepted a baptismal date for late December. 

This morning in personal study, I read 1 Nephi 21:14-15, which states:

 14 But, behold, Zion hath said: The Lord hath forsaken me, and my Lord hath forgotten me—but he will show that he hath not.

 15 For can a awoman forget her sucking child, that she should not have bcompassion on the son of her womb? Yea, they may cforget, yet will I not forget thee, O house of Israel.
 16 Behold, I have graven thee upon the apalms of my hands; thy walls are continually before me.
 I remember, when reading these verses last year in my Book of Mormon class at college, my teacher noting that the most love-driven relationship that we have on this earth, the bond between a mother and her newborn child, pales in comparison to love the Lord has for us. Our Savior loves us completely and utterly. He is always thinking of us. He remembers our sufferings, He knows our pain, and He has experienced our trials. The walls that are before Him, the walls of pride and jealousy and everything that keep us from returning to God's presence, are walls that He has already overcome for us. He knows how to succor us according to our infirmities. He knows how to bring us home. 

I love the Lord and I am so proud to be doing His work! 

Love you all! 
-Sister Bennion

It is so beautiful in Melbourne!
Here is the Letter Sarah sent to her brother


How's it going bud? I heard you were sick recently! I hope you are feeling better now and preparing for thanksgiving! :) 

I'm doing great in Australia. Being on a mission is just about the coolest experience I have ever had. You get to meet a lot of new people and get to see a lot of miracles. There is an elder in my zone that kind of looks like an older version of you and makes me think about how soon you will also be a missionary! It is so crazy to think about! 

Recently, we have been teaching someone who is 19 years old. He is preparing to be baptized this week. One of the reasons he is getting baptized is that his friend in the church was a really good example. A big reason people join the church is because they feel like they have friends there and are happy. Make sure to be a good example to your friends, both the ones that are members of the church and the ones that are not. 

Dad sent me a bunch of pictures of you and the treehouse this week. I'm so jealous!! 

Love you! Have a great week! 

-Sister Bennion

November 11th


Such a great week!! The Lord has really given my companion and I so much, I can't even begin to describe all of the blessings. I will for now just focus on two experiences. Last Saturday, we were teaching one of our investigators, Bill, about the Restoration (we had already taught him a few times before and given him a Book of Mormon and set a baptismal date). We bore testimony of the importance of the Book of Mormon and asked him if he was willing to pray if to know if the Book of Mormon was true. He looked at us with a confused look on his face and said, "Why? I already know!" He then began to bear his testimony about how, no matter where he read in the Book of Mormon, it always had a lot meaning to him and he knew that it was the word of God. 

Yep. So golden. 

We have been teaching another investigator for about 3 months, whose name is Jeff (may have mentioned him in past emails). He has a baptismal date set for November 22, but said that he could not meet with us this week because he had tests all this week. We asked him if we could meet him at the Judge Building near his uni for 15 minutes to teach him an important lesson and he agreed. Last Friday, we sat down with him and explained tithing in 10 minutes (not an easy task to do). He was a little hesitant at first, but after we bore testimony of it, he agreed to go home and pray about it. After church last Sunday, we followed up and he said he was willing to follow the law of tithing. Woohoo!

I started reading a section of Doctrine and Covenants every day in my Personal Study and man, is it power-packed with great stuff! I was reading section 3 recently. The section is the Lord speaking to Joseph Smith concerning the Book of Lehi which, through Martin Harris, was lost. As I was reading this, verse 5 really stood out to me. It states: Behold, you have been aentrusted with these things, but how strict were your commandments; and remember also the promises which were made to you, if you did not transgress them. Later, in verse 8, the Lord further expounds on the aforementioned promises:  Yet you should have been faithful; and he would have extended his arm and asupported you against all the fiery bdarts of thecadversary; and he would have been with you in every time ofdtrouble. As I was reading this, I found that the phrase "these things" near the beginning of verse 5 can be easily changed to "this time as a missionary." As missionaries, we have been given, entrusted with, a very short period of time to serve the Lord. The guidelines concerning how the work is to be done has been very clearly stated and the promised blessings likewise expressed IF we do not transgress them. Obedience is such an essential element of missionary work and the Lord's church in general. He promises us unfailing support against all temptations, sicknesses, pain, and any other kind of trouble that we may encounter if we are faithful to his commandments. 

I love you all so much! Have a fantastic week! 

-Sister Sarah Bennion

Sunday, November 3, 2013

November 4th



Time flies. It blows my mind. It feels like I just got out here and I'm already almost done with a third of my mission. Just goes to show how important it is to make the best out of every day out here.

I love hearing about all of your missionaries experiences! You are seriously the dream member missionary. Your willingness to share the Gospel makes me more willing to ask the ward member in  my branch to get more involved. I also wanted to let you know how much I appreciated getting Rachel's story about deciding to continue with Biology. In our weekly planning session last week, I was going to give another set of missionaries one of our investigators. He had been progressing and had just come to church for the first time, but his English is not great and I did not think that my companion and I could teach him effectively. The morning after I read your email, I was saying my morning prayers and the investigator came into my mind. I asked the Lord if I should give him to other missionaries and immediately the words from Rachel's story "You can do hard things" came into my mind. So, we decided to continue to teach him. We met with him last week and it went really well. Thank you so much!!

Something I thought I should tell you! I just found out that my release date is 30 of December 2014. 19 month mission! :) I can be your new year's gift! 


Sister Sarah Bennion

PS Hahaha so glad you finally finished the Christmas book :)
Temple day for the sister missionaries at the Melbourne Temple!
In Chinatown!

A letter that Sarah shared that went to her Mission President:
Everything is going great in Melbourne City Mandarin branch! My companion and I are getting along really well and we are seeing a lot of success in our area. We cleared out a lot of investigators in our weekly planning session, so we spent a lot of this week finding. We were able to find a lot of great people and really feel that we will be able to see miracles this next week. 

We have two progressing investigator who is doing really well. One of these investigators, Jeff, has been looking into the church since August. He knows everything is true, but wanted to wait for his mother, who is a Christian, to come to see him be baptized. My companion and I were both a little nervous, because he had not told his mother he was coming to our church yet and the opinion some Christian churches have about "Mormons"are pretty negative. Two weeks ago, Jeff told us that he finally told his mom he was going to join our church. She asked for the name of the church and he said that it was the church of Jesus Christ of Latter day Saints. She responded that, as long as Jesus Christ was in the title, she approves! He is planning to be baptized next Friday

This morning, I was reading in personal study from the Teachings of George Albert Smith and a passage from the book caught my eye. It is a quote from George Albert Smith that states: 

I congratulate you that there has come into your lives this privilege and this blessing. And now I adjure you as your brother, plead with you as one of the humblest among you, do not hide your candle under a bushel. Do not conceal the knowledge God has bestowed upon you from your fellows.
Do not annoy them, but do not be unwise enough as to hide from them the gospel of Jesus Christ. That is the only power of God unto salvation in the celestial kingdom.19( ...) I have seen those who were discouraged, those who were in darkness, those who questioned the purpose of their being, and when they have had taught to them the glorious truths of the gospel of Jesus Christ, they have changed, they have learned to be happy, to be contented, to be satisfied, to be enthusiastic in believing and teaching the gospel that was proclaimed by Jesus Christ when he dwelt upon this earth and traveled in Galilee."
Jesus Christ is really the reason behind everything we do as missionaries and as members of the Church. I am so grateful to have a knowledge of him and bring that light to His children! 
Have a great week! 
-Sister Sarah Bennion