Monday, December 16, 2013

December 16th


Ahhhh! Sister G is getting transferred this week! President Maxwell said that a new Chinese sister is coming earlier than expected, so she will move out and Sister H and I will stay in the City. Sister G seems a little nervous, but she is a really great missionary and I know that she will do great as a trainer. I'm really excited to be staying with Sister H as well. She is one of the sweetest people I have ever met and she is already a great teacher in lessons. She is really good at likening the Gospel to peoples' live and I know I have so much that I can learn from her. 

 One highlights of this week was Foong Yee (a 16 year old girl from Malaysia who we have been meeting with) brought her whole family to family home evening and her father and little brother both attending church with her this last Sunday! Her little brother is 11 and can only speak a hybrid of Malaysian, English, Cantonese, and basically no one understands what he is saying except his family. But he is so incredible cute, it doesn't even matter. 

We are having a Book of Mormon reading lesson with one of our investigators. We planned to read 1 Nephi 1 with him, so this morning I took some time to read through the chapter again and look at the some of the footnotes. It was so cool! It really helped me better put Lehi and his family in a biblical context. One of the observations I made was while looking at 1 Nephi 1:5. The scripture reads: 

 Wherefore it came to pass that my father, Lehi, as he went forth prayed unto the Lord, yea, even with all his aheart, in behalf of his people.

So I looked up the footnote, which lead me to Jeremiah 29:13. It states: 

13  And ye shall seek me, and find me, when ye shall search for me with all your heart.

Jeremiah was a prominent prophet in Jerusalem around 600BC. He has a lengthy book in the Bible and, according to 1 Nephi 5:10-13, he was also one of the writers of the brass plates that Nephi and his brother acquired from Laban. Lehi definitely knew of him and might have even met him personally and heard his prophecies firsthand. I love the thought that his decision to go and pray "with all his heart" to the Lord might very well have been him following the counsel of the prophet of his dispensation. Modern prophets are and always have been so important to each Gospel dispensation. They can provide much needed counsel in a context that we can relate to and find revelation through! 

Love footnotes. Love the Book of Mormon. Love how the Bible and the Book of Mormon work together so perfectly. 

I know that everyone is probably pretty stressed out right now (midterms/finals, ornament exchanges, Christmas presents to buy, etc), but remember to take a breathe and remember what is important! In the words of Rachel/Emma, "Familia, Ohona (Bin Ladin)!" :) You are in my thoughts and prayers! 

Sister Sarah Bennion

Monday, December 9, 2013

December 9th

AHHHH. Sister G and I have a new companion! Her name is Sister H! She is from Taiwan! We found out Wednesday that she got her visa early and was coming over the next day! We barely had time to clean our flat and move the beds (we have bunk beds and they are pretty low to the ground and so Sister H's bed is now a total cave that she has to climb over my bed to get into...super funny!). It has been a complete blessing to have her! She is really easy to get along with and has been helping us with Chinese a lot! Love her! 

Here is a prolonged miracle I wanted to update you all on! 
We have Family Home Evening in our branch, which consists of a spiritual message and a game prepared by some of the members. One of the missionary rules about attending FHE is that missionaries can only come if an investigator also attends. So, the first Monday after Sister G came into the area, I called referral we had received, whose name was Alex, and asked him if he would like to come to FHE. He accepted and we scheduled him in. That night at FHE, a guy entered and introduced himself as Alex. He was a big guy from Malaysia with tatoos, piercing, and smelled really strongly of cigarette smoke. He came into the activity room and sat down for the hour without talking to anyone around him or saying anything, or smiling. The game for the night was Mafia and, until the very end, he did not participate at all. After the activity Sister G and I asked him if he could meet after to talk with us. He agreed and came into one of the chapel room with us and one of the ward members. He said that he was really confused, because he thought it was a service activity, not a game night, and told us he was Buddhist and definitely not interested in joining a Christian church. It was a very confusing lesson, because none of his concerns fit the description on the referral we had received and we could not understand some of what he said because he spoke Chinese with a Malaysian accent. By the end of the lesson, we explained briefly about God and prayer, gave him a Restoration pamphlet, and asked him if he would be willing to meet next week to attend FHE and talk more about our message. To our surprise, he accepted. As we headed home, we got a text from "Alex" saying that he was sorry he missed FHE and promising to come next week. I guess what happened was that referral Alex was not actually the Alex that met with us. We later found out that the Alex that came was a random guy on the street that Sister Z had invited to FHE the week before she left and forgot to tell us. 

We have since met with Malaysian Alex the next Monday. He had read the Restoration pamphlet all the way through and said that he felt really happy at FHE and wanted to learn more. He has come to FHE every week since then. He came to church for the first time yesterday and accepted an invitation to be baptized in around a month. He still has a long way to go (We taught him the Word of Wisdom yesterday and he drink alcohol, smokes, and loves coffee), but he now believes in Jesus Christ and is ready to make a change in his life! So insane! 

I love you all so much! Thank you for the emails and prayers! I can definitely feel your love and it has really helped me not feel at all homesick this holiday season! I know this is where I am suppose to be and am happy to be serving the Lord at such a special time of year! 

-Sister Sarah Bennion

Sunday, December 1, 2013

December 2nd

Happy late Thanksgiving! sister G and I actually forgot it was Thanksgiving until halfway through the day! It was such a crazy week, we just totally lost track of time! We got to go to the temple (hooray!) and had a mini missionary come with us for the past weekend to lessons! Her name was Sister R. She is 18 and really wants to go on a mission. She spoke absolutely NO chinese, so teaching was a little interesting haha, but she loved GQing and said that it was one of the best experiences she ever had. She told us she is going to start her papers this week and hopefully be gone by next march! 

On another note, Sister G and I have really rediscovered the beauty of chocolate advent calenders. In November, we found some "One Direction" ones at the supermarket last month and were going to save them for December. However, shortly after we wondered upon some Cadbury chocolate ones on super sale. So, we made our "One Direction" calenders into November calenders and are just busting open the Cadbury. We are thinking of getting 12 more of them at the store and just having a calender every month this year. Boom. 

I was reading a couple days ago in Jesus the Christ about some parables that Jesus used in His teachings. Two of the parables that especially caught my attention were the parable of the hidden treasure and the parable of the pearl of great price. The parable of the hidden treasure is about a man who wonders across a hidden treasure. He takes the treasure and happily sells all that he has to buy the land the treasure was on. The second was about a merchant who has been searching for pearls and collected many over the years. He finally finds a pearl of great price, better than all the ones he has found before, and happily sells all his other pearls for the great pearl. Christ compares the treasure in the first parable and the pearl of great price in the second to the Gospel. The men in the parables represent those who find the Gospel. The mens' methods of finding their treasure is very different. One man wonders across the treasure. He was not searching for anything, but accepted it gladly when it came. The other man, the merchant, had been searching diligently and when he found what he was looking for, he was willing to give up everything he had spent years acquiring for what he found. I really feel like I have seen both of these type of people on my mission. Some just wander upon the Gospel and recognize it as something they need. Others have been searching before they find and accept the truth. However, the defining characteristic of these people is, like the two men in the parable, they are willing to give up everything to have the Gospel and, because of that, the Gospel of Jesus Christ can benefit their life. 

Love you all! I hope thanksgiving was amazing and that this holiday season will one filled with miracles! 

-Sister Bennion


HAAAAAAAPPPY BIIIRRRTHDAYYY! I hope that you are having an absolutely fantastic day! I can't believe you are already 13! So dang old! And I can't believe catching fire is already out! Next year: you, me, a huge bag of popcorn, and catching fire. It's a date. I'm super excited. 

How was thanksgiving?? Did you guys go to the farm or stay in Medford? How many pieces of cheesecake did you eat? Are you reading a book as a family? Give me all the important details. 

It is so cool that you are learning about Japan now too! I was not able to receive your story sadly, because cannot get Google docs :( 

I was just reading in 2 Nephi 2 and I ran into a verse that I really loved! It states:

 28 And now, my sons, I would that ye should look to the greataMediator, and hearken unto his great commandments; and be faithful unto his words, and choose eternal life, according to the will of his Holy Spirit;

 I especially like the line "be faithful on his words and CHOOSE eternal life." Our eternal happiness really depends on the choices we make every day. Some small choices, such as whether or not we read scriptures, whether or not we pray, or whether or not we choose to forgive and love those around us, all builds up to how we will answer the ultimate question that we will eventually have to report to God: whether or not we love our Savior enough to listen to his words and follow his commandments. So choose today and every day to become a little better, a little kinder, and a little closer to obtaining eternal life! 

Love you so much Emma! I really hope this year is one of miracles for you! I think about and pray for you often! 

-Sister Sarah Bennion


I'm sorry I could not answer this email last week. It made me miss you too much. BUT, I just wanted to let you know I absolutely love you! and I already bought you a Christmas present for next year haha. Hope that everything is going great and expect a letter soon!! 
Ahhh and I sensed that Po was one fry short of a happy meal. Its good to know that someone has taken the place of good old DC. Except, since DC stands for Dumb Cat, would Po be DD? Or Double D? Who knows. 
-Sister Bennion

P.S Dis is Peggy. I like your hair. Me and Mandy in cohorts. No, Peggy, you rapscallion! 

First pair of shoes bite the dust!
Temple Day!

Why have an Advent calendar for ONLY December?

Splits with a Mini Missionary!