Sunday, January 5, 2014

December 23rd



Foong Yee's whole family came to our ward Christmas party! Her mom really bonded with some of the women in our ward and said that she really wants to have us over for dinner sometime! She is just about one of the sweetest ladies and we hope that we can start teaching the whole family soon! We also had our ward Christmas party last week. Each zone made a short trailer using a Disney movie and connecting that movie with missionary work. Our movie was Beauty and the Beast and our trailer turned out really good. I think President Maxwell mentioned that he is sending a copy of the video home, so if you watch it, look out for me in my starring role as neglected Aussie #2. 

 Sister G got transferred last Wednesday! So now it is just me and Sister H (Sister H and I? Ahhh. English. My brain seems to think I don't need it anymore, even though I REALLY do, because my Chinese is still definitely not top notch haha). Sister Huang is really just about the nicest person in the world. And she is super cute. Sister Goldrup and I introduced her to Milo last week (its an Australian drink that is SO GOOD and tastes a little like hot chocolate) and has been drinking some nearly every day since then. Except instead of pouring some into a mug, she uses a bowl haha. So Chinese. Another funny quirk: she will addresses me as "Companion" sometimes haha. Love her so much. I feel so lucky to be able to teach and serve with her. She has a strong testimony of Jesus Christ and is willing to work hard. She twisted her ankle this last week as we were coming back from dropping off Sister G and it has swelled a lot since. It looks really painful, but she has not complained once. We started a system where she makes calls to potential investigators while I find people on the street. It has worked really well so far and has actually been a blessing, because my companions and I have not called potentials in a long time. 

Christmas is here! One of the questions we have asked some of our investigators lately is what the meaning of Christmas is. I have been thinking of the question myself as I have taught and studied the last few days. I know the basic answer; Christmas is about the Savior and about remembering his birth. But, one of the main reasons His birth is significant is because of the event that shortly proceeded His death, His infinite Atonement. As I have studied more about the Atonement, I have really loved the testimony Alma bears his testimony of  Christ to the righteous people in Gideon in Alma chapter 7, which states:

11 And he shall go forth, suffering pains and aafflictions andbtemptations of every kind; and this that the word might be fulfilled which saith he will ctake upon him the pains and the sicknesses of his people.

 12 And he will take upon him adeath, that he may bloose the bands of death which bind his people; and he will take upon him their infirmities, that his bowels may be filled with mercy, according to the flesh, that he may know according to the flesh how to csuccorhis people according to their infirmities.
 13 Now the Spirit aknoweth all things; nevertheless the Son of God suffereth according to the bflesh that he might ctake upon him the sins of his people, that he might blot out their transgressions according to the power of his deliverance; and now behold, this is the testimony which is in me.

One of my favorite lines is the beginning of verse 13, "the Spirit knoweth all things, nevertheless the Son of God suffereth according to the flesh." I have really realized on my mission that sometimes it is not enough to just "know" something. There is a lot of thing that I knew before coming on my mission that have been strengthened through personal experience and, many times, suffering. The Savior knew that it was not enough for him to know about our pain. He needed to feel it, to really understand what it is like to be alone, infirmed, broken, or lost. These verse really put the Savior's call to "mourn with those that mourn" in new context for me. This counsel given on the Sermon on the Mount is a call to be like the Savior, to not just "know" that people are having problems, but to feel and understand them, to have enough charity and love for others that you have a true desire to help them. That is what Christmas means in the end. It is a chance to remember to use the Atonement in your life, to feel His love, but to also apply it in the lives of those around you, to help everyone feel Christ's infinite love through you. I love being a missionary. I love these people in Australia. I love teaching others of the power of the Atonement and seeing it change their lives. 

I love you all so much! It was so weird calling home for 5 minutes last week. It made me realize that I have not said my first name in a really long time haha. I'm excited to skype you all this Wednesday!! 

-Sister Bennion

I promise I do have presents for you all!! They just will not make it there for sorry!! 

I taught my companion how to say "Build a bridge and get over it." I thought Rachel would like that :)

Wow!! Grumpy man making us poison oak soap???? Miracles happen. Go Emma!

I love talking to you all so much! I'm sorry my mind blanked halfway through and I could not tell you guys any funny stories!!! (I remembered them all later that night....) I resolved to write down points to tell you next mother's day so I do not make a similar mistake :)

Funny story:
I got a call from the Zone leaders this morning. They said they needed to ask a huge favor. I expected something big and so I told them whatever they needed me to do I was willing. Then, they said that they had received a box in their Christmas package that they thought was macaroons, but really was macaroon mix. And they wanted me to make them and give it to them. WOW. Soooo, today, I spent making macaroons haha.Why do people think I can cook. Its beyond me. 


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