Thursday, May 29, 2014

May 26th


I got all of my letters! They got sent to my first flat and the sisters there were finally able to get them to me! Thank you so so much! 

This last week was fantastic! We had HUGE success with tracting. The last few weeks, tracting has been a little rough, because it is something that is so new to me. But, at our zone conference, I received a complete answer to my prayers in the form of a training by one of the APs that went over some tips to tracting. One tip was called the 10% rule, aka that the person you are talking with is always 10% more uncomfortable than you are (eq. you are 100% comfortable, they are 90%; you are 10% comfortable and they want you off their doorstep). I think  the rule works pretty well with talking about the Gospel at any time, on or off a mission. We went tracting the Sunday after the training and knocked on 3 doors and 2 out of the three invited us in for a lesson! 

We finally got our General Conference ensign! I was so excited that  reading them has taken up a lot of my personal study these last few days. Today, I read a talk called "A Choice Generation" from Randall L Ridd. I loved the quote: "Ultimately, the choice is yours. You have agency. It is the power to not only act on your desires but also to refine, purify, and elevate your desires. Agency is your power to become." He later talks about the importance of knowing who you really are and glimpsing your eternal destiny, a topic that was the main point of the mission conference we had a few weeks ago with Elder Hamula, the local area 70. It made me realize how important it is to understand my potential and the potential of those we teach and interact with. I am making it a goal to read my patriarchal blessing every day this week to try to get a better grasp on my own potential, as well as praying for more opportunities to exercise and develop charity (my Christlike Attribute Achilles Heel...) so I can see it in others so I can love them more fully. 

Thanks again for the letters and the love! 

-Sister Bennion

P.S Love you so much! I am doing very well! I love my companion! We have a very similar sense of humor and she loves working out. We went to a gym today for pday. She bench pressed 156 pounds. I am not telling you how much I did haha.
Sister Missionary Conference!
Some Highlights From the Conference:

  • When you forget yourself, God will send people to remember you for you.
  • Let your companion shine where she shines--even if you can shine there too. Let her shine.
  • Love is the greatest motivator.
  • Is this time to fill the tank or is it the time to lose ourselves and go to work? (taking time to take care of yourself)
  • At the end of your mission be able to count the memories and not the missed opportunities.
  • The difference between salvation and exaltation is a family.
  • Our purpose doesn't change much after the mission--eternal family needs to be our purpose.
  • When you have decisions to make, remember that you are affecting generations to come.
  • Use this opportunity as a missionary to prepare to be a mother who knows.

Monday, May 19, 2014

May 19th

After getting off skype with the family, I realized, even after writing down all the stories I wanted to tell you guys, I still did not get to all of the best stories from the last couple weeks!!
I did not want to wait until Christmas to tell you face to face, so here are some of them now. 
1.  When I was in Boxhill for a week, I was in a threesome with Sister G (from America) and Sister W (from Taiwan). They are amazing sister missionaries and being with them was really fun. The morning before I left, we deliberated on which song that we could start our last companion study as a trio with. Sister Wu said, " I know what song we should sing! Page 19!" The title of page 19 in the Chinese hymnbook? The Happy Day at Last has Come. I was thinking, wow I didn't know Sister W was so excited to have me leave, when Sister G asked what the tune of the song was. Sister W looked confused for a second and then, after looking at the song we had turned to, said red-faced, "Opps so sorry! I meant page 90 (God Be With You 'Till We Meet Again haha)"
2. Shortly after church had ended on my first Sunday in our new ward, one of the members pulled my companion and I over and gave us a plastic bag of groceries that she did not need anymore and though we might like. The groceries included two boxes of cake mix, a can of baked beans, and thick black stir-fry sause. We thanked the member, I took the bag, and we headed over the clerks office for a updated ward list. We grabbed the list and left the office and went down the hallway. But, as we were walking, the stir-fry sauces fell through the plastic bag and shattered all over the floor, creating a huge, black, sticky puddle. Right in front of the bishop's office. Win.
3. We got to our new area on Thursday and, as the week passed, we found some people who were willing to meet with us, but no one who would be available before next Monday. When Saturday came around, we realized that we might not be able to get any investigators to church. We planned Saturday afternoon to visit the Glen Waverly train station, a good distance away from our house, and prayed that we would be able to find someone there who was willing to come to church. We got off at the wrong bus the next day and got to the station later than expected. Because we had to attend the saturday session of stake conference that night, we only had about 30 minutes for finding. The first twenty minutes, nobody at the station was very receptive to talking with us, so we started heading back. As we walked away from the station, we saw a young Asian guy walking in front of us. We started talking with him and he said his name was Peter and he was waiting for his sister and brother in law to pick him up. He was from China and was in town visiting them for a few days. We started talking about religion and he said that it was something he was really interested in. He said he did not have a lot of time then, but he was willing to come to church the next day. That night, he texted us saying that his sister and brother in law would come as well! When they all came to church the next day, the bishop walked up to Peter's brother in law and said, "Jerry, hows it going?" It turns out that the brother in law and sister are both less active members of our ward! Small world! Peter had to go back to China two days after that and was not able to keep meeting with us, but he said that he would call us when he got back to Australia. And the brother in law and sister came to a ward activity the next week!
Missionary work is missionary fun :)
Love you all!

Sister S shared a spiritual thought with me last week in companion study that I really liked and thought you would enjoy as well :)
It is based on the story from St. John 2:1-10, where Jesus turns water into wine. She pointed out the role that the servants played in the story. Jesus ordered the men to fill pots with water, which they did dutifully, and then told them to serve the water in the pots to the ruler of the feast. I can imagine if I were these men, I would be a little hesitant to do so. Serving the ruler of the feast water when he wanted wine was something that could have lead to serious repercussions, one of which is a loss of job and livelihood. But, the faithful servants "bore it." They gave the ruler of the feast what they knew was water and, miraculously, it turned to wine. There is a very strong correlation between obedience and miracles in the scriptures and in our everyday lives. As we serve the Lord and follow the commandments He gives us, He can transform our meager offerings into something much greater.
Love you! And thanks again for your emails, I always love your insights :)

Sarah asked Ted on our Mother's day skype to sing her song just before we hung up.  We were ALL crying as he sang.  Sarah wrote the following to Ted:

The song you made for me has always meant a lot to me. I realized a little into my mission how much I missed hearing it. I remember the night after I skyped you at Christmas the thought came to my mind that I had just missed a precious oppurtunity to hear it and I didn't want to feel the same regret my second time skyping haha. Now, I'm set until I get home :)

-Sister Bennion

Friday, May 9, 2014

May 5th

I was transferred to Boxhill (aka little Beijing...about 75% of the people we see on the streets are Chinese) and I am loving it! I am in a threesome with Sister W (a new missionary fresh from the MTC) and Sister G (reunited! :) ). They are both fantastic missionaries and I have already learned a lot from them. We have seen many many miracles this last week. Here is one:
Last Wednesday, we were heading home at around 8:30pm and noticed that we had about 10 minutes until the train that took us near our home came. Sister G suggested that we go out on the street to talk to people for a few minutes as we waited. Within five minutes, we had already found two people who were willing to met up appointments for the next weekend. One of them was Lucy. Sister G stopped her as she was walking to the store and she had very enthusiastically set an appointment and gave Sister G huge hug and her number. We had a chapel tour with her the next week and she recorded the whole thing on her phone because she "did not want to forget anything we said." She loves the fact that our church does not have any crosses and that we put an emphasis on Jesus Christ's life instead of His death and is willing to be baptized later this month. She came to church the next day with her daughter and said she will bring another friend next week. Our experience with her has really given me a strong testimony of the importance of "using the minutes."
Scripture of the week: Alma 5:33.
33 Behold, he sendeth an invitation unto aall men, for the barms of mercy are extended towards them, and he saith: Repent, and I will receive you.
I love this verse so much!! I get in the habit sometimes of thinking of repentance as something depressing (eq. I did something wrong and need to repent). But repentance's true meaning is taking the Savior's arms of mercy and, through Him, changing and having a fullness of joy. I also love how the first part of the scripture is phrased because, as members of the church and disciples of Jesus Christ, we are the Lord's invitation unto all men. It is through us that everyone can feel the love of God.
Love you all! Have a great week!
-Sister Bennion