Monday, April 21, 2014

April 21st

Hello everyone!! Happy Easter! 

 We got transfer news last Saturday and I am still in the City (for the 7th transfer. This will be my 9th month in the same area). Pretty crazy haha. But I am really grateful. I LOVE our branch. I have grown super close to a lot of members and I was not ready to say goodbye to them yet. We also have some really great investigators right now. One is a member referral that we were able to meet with last week. She went to a baptismal service with her member friend, Yomi, and after talking with her for a while, she started asking questions about the Gospel. She came to church on Sunday. LOVE MEMBER REFERRALS. 

I was thinking a lot about Elder Holland's general conference talk on the cost of discipleship this past week, especially in conjunction with this quote I found from the Prophet Joseph Smith.

“God never will institute an ordinance or give a commandment to His people that is not calculated in its nature to promote that happiness which He has designed, and which will not end in the greatest amount of good and glory to those who become the recipients of His law and ordinances."  

There has been many times in these last few months that I have been the receiving side of a "Not interested"  before I have even had time to give a "Hello" or been walking down the street with my companion and had someone cross to the other side of the street when they see our tags. Some people treat the message we share as an inconvenience,and view talking with us on the street as something that stands in the way of them and their dinner appointment or uni studies. It is easy to start to get in that mind set as well, to start to lose confidence as you are rejected again and again. But, the thing that always gets me back out finding for hours every day or making calls at 9:30 at night is that I know that what Joseph Smith said in the above quote is true. I have seen it fulfilled in the lives of the missionaries around me, the lives of the members of the members of our branch, and my own life. I know that as we follow the Lord's commandments and as we seek to do His will, we will find eternal happiness. And I know that the Lord's commandments in their fullest are found in the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.  I know that this message is something that leads to happiness and is definitely not something that inconveniences anyone. In Elder Hollland's words: " Defend your beliefs with courtesy and with compassion, but defend them. (...) It is a strait path, and it is a narrow path without a great deal of latitude at some points, but it can be thrillingly and successfully traveled, “with … steadfastness in Christ, … a perfect brightness of hope, and a love of God and of all men.”19 In courageously pursuing such a course, you will forge unshakable faith, you will find safety against ill winds that blow, even shafts in the whirlwind, and you will feel the rock-like strength of our Redeemer, upon whom if you build your unflagging discipleship, youcannot fall. Asking people to repent and come to Christ is not something that is, was, or ever will be popular. But it is something that is worth it and I am growing to love more and more every day. 

Love you all tons!

-Sister Bennion

The story of the prodical daughter:

One day, there was a girl who served a mission. She was young and a little naive, but she loved the Lord and wanted to serve. So, she went across the world according to the call of a prophet and began her service. She was careful and thrifty with her money, abstaining from buying anything but the necessities. Until, one fateful day she realized something that changed the very fabric of her miserly being. She needed a side bag. The mission rules had changed and now a side bag was mandatory. So she started her search for a large side bag, but none could be found. She began to lose hope as, store after store, she still could not find a suitable bag. By Christmas time, she was feeling down. Then, her mother gave her an email, saying that she had put a little extra money in the girls credit card. This filled the girl with yet more despair because she hated shopping. THen, one day, as she was walking by a store on P-day, she spotted it. A sidebag. And not just any sidebag, but the perfect sidebag, the one that she had been looking for. She entered the store and found that one of her investigators worked there. She asked the price of the bag and was told it was costly. But, she wanted the bag badly and was told it would be 60% percent off. "Buy it" her investigator said. Buy it, her companion said. Sinking under the stress, the girl bought it and left the store quickly with her pricey purchase. However, the bag soon became a weight on her conscious. Every time she looked at it, she felt the guilt, especially when Christmas presents came and her mother had in fact bought her a lot of stuff. She did not buy any further purchases for herself, but the guilt was still there. Finally, at general conference, there was a talk about living in your means and the girl decided to tell her beloved and wise, oh great mother....................................

That is the story of how I bought a 130 dollar bag on my mission. I'm sorry. I will finish the story in the next email. 

Love you.

I'm foolish.

-Sister Bennion
                                                                       The BAG

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