Tuesday, August 26, 2014

August 25th

Transfer new came in this last week!
And..(drumroll please…..)

I’m staying!!!

But sister Seeley is leaving. VERY bittersweet. I know that she will love being in the city (she will be going to the City Chinese Branch) but she will definitely be missed. We had a lot of success down here in Tassie and tons of fun. I have never had as good of workouts on my mission until being companions with her haha. But it is very comforting to know that we will be able to hang out again, even if we don’t get to see each other my last 2 transfers of my mission (she lives 20 mins away from SLC..pretty easy drive J ).

Other than that, we have had a fantastic week! We were able to meet up with some former investigators again! And we have seen huge progress with some of our investigators. This last Sunday, one of them (Christina J) started asking members of the ward to give talks at her baptism in a month haha. Oh, funny Christina story for the week! We were asked to join the stake choir after church 2 Sundays ago and we dragged Christina into it with us. At first, she seemed really hesitant, but as we practiced she got more into it. The night after choir practice, she texted us asking for the names of the hymns. When we went into a ward activity with her later that week, she showed us the copy of the hymns she had printed out and spent the whole night going up to members and reading the songs to them to “practice her pronunciation.” Haha.

Spiritual thought: we had stake conference last Sunday. It was such a great session! One of the stories that stuck in my head the most was one told by Pres. Maxwell (he was one of the guest speakers) about a woman who had been investigating the church. After she had learned about the Plan of Salvation, she turned to the missionaries who were teaching her and asked “What does God expect of me?” Isn’t that a great question? I think too often my prayers consist of me telling God what I want, in other words, what I expect of Him. But as I thought about this woman’s question more, I was reminded of the Bible dictionary definition for prayer. It states, “Prayer is the act by which the will of the Father and the will of the child are brought into correspondence with each other. The object of prayer is not to change the will of God, but to secure for ourselves and others blessings God is already willing to grant but that are made conditional on our asking for them.” Prayer’s purpose is to find out what God expects of us and change our own desires and actions so that our will is in correspondence with His. I am going to try to say more meaningful prayers as one of my goals for the week as well as keeping in mind the question “What does God expect of me?”

Love you ! Have a fantastic week!
Inline image 1
(Us at Christina’s house)

Love, Sister Bennion

August 19th


Sorry the email is very, VERY late this week! Transfers are next week and about 10 of the sisters in our mission are leaving. Another 10 will leave the transfer after. To say goodbye to all of these amazing sisters, we had a gigantic Sisters' P-Day activity. The P-Day was fun (we got to take a plane all the way to Melbourne for the day! Then took another plane back that night), we tied dyed shirts, had way too much delicious food, and played games, but I am glad to be back in Tassie! Being surrounded by sisters can sometimes be a little depressing. Example: There was a unity game that we played where all the sisters would write down on a sheet of paper a question that begins with "What if", put the paper in a box, and have someone else answer that question. Then, we went around the circle, having one person read their question and then have the person beside them read their answer. It was a relatively fun activity, but about 10 of the "What if" questions were something along the lines of "What if I get fat on my mission and never get married?" An insightful peek into the psyche of a sister missionary haha. 

We got an referral from one of our investigators this last week! His name is Sam and he is such a nice guy! We were able to go to his home with one of the members of our ward and teach him. One of his roommates, Lee, was nearby when we came in and asked if he could sit in on the lesson as well. He had no religious background, but seemed to enjoy the message we shared. Lee was especially fascinated by the concept of the Holy Ghost. Every time we would start to talk about something else, he would stop us and say, "Thats good, but I'm still interested in the Spirit thing. Can we talk about that again?" haha :)

We had a training in district meeting on comp unity today that I loved. A scripture was mentioned from Amos 3 that states: "Can two walk together except they be agreed?" Over the course of my mission, I have really realised how true this scripture is! There really is no way to work together with a companion and have the spirit unless you are agreed. And what does it mean to be agreed? It means to compromise and yielding to your companion when necessary. The training reminded me of another great quote I've heard on in a previous training on comp inventory: "It is more important to be one then be right." 

Love you all! Have a great week!

-Sister Bennion

Sunday, August 10, 2014

August 11th

Hey Family!
A busy week! (Which is the best kind of week as a missionary) We were able to meet with a couple investigators that had been swamped with studies for a while and we were finally able to start a free English class! Only two people showed up, but still...its a start :) One of our investigators who came felt bad that attendance was low and ran into the hallway outside the library we were meeting. We called her to see where she had gone and she told us that she was "recruiting". She went up to all of the people who looked like they were international students and tell them to come study English. She told us "Everyone is ignoring me! What was that word that you taught me yesterday?" We thought about it for a second before answering "Apostacy?" She responded, "Yes! They are all apostates!" hahahaha. Oh man. I love these people so much.
I really have loved the area I am in and the companion I am with and, as transfers get closer and closer, I started to get a little apprehensive because there is a big possibility that I will get transferred. Then, I read a talk in the last ensign called, "Act upon this land as if it were years." It is based on a scripture in D&C that states:
“And I consecrate unto them this land for a little season, until I, the Lord, shall provide for them otherwise, and command them to go hence;
“And the hour and the day is not given unto them, wherefore let them act upon this land as for years,‍ and this shall turn unto them for their good.”
The writer of the article later states: When we “act upon this land as for years,” we begin to recognize opportunities we may not have seen before. We may also see that some ofthese opportunities may never come our way again. Then we think, “As long as I’m here, I’m going to get involved, do the best I can, and choose to be happy. I’ll continue to hopefor the future, but in the meantime, let me do some good here.” It’s the difference between treading water and actually swimming.
Love it! Make the best of every area!

                                                               View from Sarah's flat
Letter to Rachel & Mary:

So. Crazy story. Before we came to the area two months ago, the elders who use to live in our flat were playing soccer with a sunkist bottle and put a hole the size of a baseball through the window. We called the mission office to get it fixed, but, 2 months later, there was still no progress. And it was the middle of Tasmanian winter. So it was pretty chilly. But, moving on, one morning, we were coming back from our morning run and realized we had locked ourselves out of our flat. We quickly realized that we were in bit of trouble. We did not have our phone, had no idea what the zone leader or district leaders phone number was, the mission office was closed that day, and the nearest members house was about 1-2 miles away. And, even if we did somehow contact the zone leaders, there was no way of knowing if they would have a spare key. We tried to open all of the windows, but they were not budging.
Final solution? Remember how the window was a little broken.....
....Now it is very broken. We kicked it in to make a Sister S-sized hole.

Moral of the story: A hole in the window can sometimes be a blessing.

August 4th

It rained 5 out of 6 days straight this last week! It made finding a little difficult, because Chinese people in Hobart Tasmania evidently hibernate when its at all rainy/cold, but we still had a fairly good week. We were able to meet a lot of great people and see a lot of progress with the ones that we are meeting with.
We have an investigator named Christina who is so awesome! She was the one that texted us a few weeks ago asking for english help and "to know the purpose of life." We have been teaching her ever since and she is one of the funniest people I have ever met. 
Some of the best Christina lines:
- "When you're promoted, do you become nuns?"
- We took her to dinner with us yesterday and went to get our shoes on to leave and left her in the living room because she was still talking with one of the members of the family and we didn't want to interrupt. She raced in after us and said, "You left your costumer!"
 - (After we talked about Jesus being the Only Begotten Son of God, which in Chinese, translates as only child of God) "Aha! One Child Policy!"
I read a great quote on prayer this last week, it is from a guy named Dale Evans. It states: "I think the best way to arrive at the right decision is to first pray about it, placing it in God's hands. Then, sleep on it. The next morning, when you get up, I believe that the 1st solution that comes to your mind will be the right one - that is, if you have complete confidence in God's guidance.  ' But let him ask in faith, nothing wavering. For he that wavereth is like a wave of the sea driven with the wind and tossed.' "
I love you all so much! Have a great week!
-Sister Sarah Bennion