Monday, November 17, 2014

November 17th

This week flew  I really can't believe it is Monday.  Here is what happened this last week....
1.  We went to Deloraine (North Tasmania) last P-day for a BBQ (so Australian, right? :) and to film our segment of this years Christmas video.  (Each of the zones were given a part of the Nativity story to act our and they show them all together at the big mission Christmas party).  Our segment was the star signifying Christ's birth appearing in the American continent, we all dressed as Lamanites and Nephites.  The costumes were actually pretty good.  Except for one of the new elders from China who decided to wear a dress and wig....hahahaha. But, REALLY A GREAT P-DAY.

2. Went to a Zone Meeting the day after that was really good!  The Zone Leaders gave a great training on setting baptism dates on the 1st lesson  and Sister Chan and I trained on how to have successful role plays.  (In which we had to role play how to role ply....Inception)
3. We found out Sister Chan is leaving Tassie as well! :( Doubling out!  So we spent a lot of time prepping everything for the next missionaries who will come in.  (calling everyone, setting appointments for next week, cleaning the flat, area, book, etc) 
4. Said goodbye to everyone! So....incredibly.....sad! I have loved serving in the Hobart ward; they have really been so good to us.  It was hard to leave recent converts and our investigators as well.  Sigh.....
5. We got to go to the Melbourne temple with Jess (a member) and Harry, our recent convert who was baptized two weeks ago!  Because Harry had to book his flight tickets later than everyone else in the ward, he went up on a Friday flight instead of Saturday morning with the other members.  We asked one of the Chinese members of the Melb. Branch if Harry could stay with her and she said he could.  She also agreed to drive him to the temple.  But what we didn't know was that she was a temple worker and so she left to go to the temple at 6:30 am with Harry!  By the time we got there at noon, he had already done 2 sessions of baptisms for the dead!  But, he loved it, he even did another session after we left as well. In total, he was at the temple for about 10 hours! Harry is the best.

6.  I got to go to the Melbourne Chinese Branch for my last Sunday!  And Harry came as well (which was AWESOME because he could listen to church in his own language for the first time!.  It was so fun to see all of the members there!  I missed them. It was cool also to realize that my Chinese really has improved over the last year and a half.  My first time I went to that branch, I understood NOTHING, but yesterday I was completely comfortable and knew what was going on the whole time.  My Chinese is still far from perfect, but I can defiantly see how much God has helped me to learn a language I thought was impossible.

Thank you all for being so supportive this last year and a half!!  Thank you for the emails, the letters, the prayers, the fasts, and everything you've done for me.
See you soon.
Sister Sarah Bennion

Wednesday, November 12, 2014

November 10th

Hey Family! 

So today was a little crazy....actually really this whole week was a little crazy. 

What was crazy about it? 

I will make a list:

1) We were in Melbourne for a meeting and came back to Tassie Tuesday night. The meeting was really good; I really learned a lot there, but being out of our area for so long kills!

2) Car crash. Not for us. For some other elders in our district. We were heading back from district meeting in very wet weather. We were driving behind them so we got to watch as their car hit a wet spot, skidded off the road, and rolled twice as it tumbled down a hill. Scariest moment of my mission. Luckily (incredibly, inconceivably), the only thing injured was their egos and their car. [I included a picture of the crash and elders...notice the BYU cougar that was on a piece of litter next to the crash scene.]

3) We had a three days in a row that were completely packed with was insane. We just went from appointment to appointment to appointment. And we were able to set a lot of baptism dates with some really solid people. Exhausting? A little. Awesome? Definitely. 

4) Yesterday was my last time in Hobart ward, because I will be going back to the Melbourne Chinese Branch for my last Sunday. It was so gut-wrenching to realize that I won't be back in that ward! Ugg. I am going to miss the members so much!  (Special shoutout to Alice Bell, who has done SO MUCH FOR US and to whom I had to say goodbye to already because she is going to be in Launie for this next week!) 

5) The Hobart ward temple trip to Melbourne is this next Saturday and we got permission to go up with  Harry, our recent convert! He got the priesthood and a temple recommend this last Sunday. So excited for him! But that means we will be leaving Tassie on Friday! Not ready to leave!!!

Spiritual Thought:
A few weeks ago, at a meeting, Pres Maxwell shared with us a story he had heard from the Area president of the Pacific Area,Elder Pearson.  Many years ago, Elder Pearson was a very talented baseball player.  He played throughout high school and had a lot of success.  After graduating form high school, he was called on a mission to Finland.  His first few months, he struggled.  It was cold and dark most of the time and the language wad difficult.  To make things worse he was with a companion that wouldn't ever talk.  He missed home, baseball, and all of the other things he had left behind.  However one day, he was reading a scripture in 3 Nephi and received an answer on what he needed to do to be successful And happy as a missionary.  The revelation was simple: ;you need to change the way you view yourself.  At that moment, Elder Pearson realized that he still thought of himself as a baseball player who was called on a mission.  His mission was changed for the better when he accepted that he really was a MISSIONARY who used to be a baseball player.  he later shared the quote: "You are not you.  I am not me.  We are different from the way we sometimes view ourselves." Elder Pearson also shared some tips on changing self view.  They are:
1. Accept you have agency.  You are not a victim. The Lord knows your circumstances perfectly and He knows when you are simply choosing not to follow all His commandments.
2. Act outwardly the way you want to feel or be inwardly (example: SMILE!)
3. Accept grace.  Learn about and rely on the enabling power of the Atonement.
Hearing Elder Pearson's experience and advice really has made me think about how I view myself and how I should be viewing myself.  In a few weeks, am I just going to be another university student who use to be a missionary? I hope not.  I hope that I can always view myself an "A disciple of Jesus Christ, the Son of God" (3 Nephi 5:13), even when the badge is gone and regular life resumes!

LOVE YOU ALL. Thanks for all the support, prayers, letters, emails, etc! 

-Sister Bennion

            Scariest Moment of my mission watching the elder's car roll twice as it tumbled down a hill .
                                                    Elder's came out only with bruised egos!
                                        I love the King and Bell family! Best Sunday dinners ever. 
                   Alice made us a sign when she picked us up from the airport when we got back to Tas

Monday, November 3, 2014

November 3rd

Family! How you going? (said in Aussie accent)
We had a Zone Conference this last week and it was really amazing.  I feel like I learned a lot from the training given.  One that really hit me was the mission president's on righteous character.  In the training, he mentioned the line; "Character is not developed in times of trial; that is when it is used." Greater righteous character is something I hope I can improve on both in the remaining time I have on my mission and after.  
Also....miracle of the week....Harry got baptized last Friday!!!!!!! 
We explained to him that in order to go to the temple on Nov 15th, he would have to get baptized sooner than Nov 9th (because he would need to get the gift of the holy Ghost and have an interview with the Bishop), so he decided to get baptized on October 31st instead!  It was so amazing to see him get baptized.  he is one of the most converted people I have ever had the privilege of teaching.  I think it is because he just loves to read the book of Mormon.  In about every lesson we had, he would start by telling us something he had learned from the scriptures.  It has really made me re-evaluate how much interest I have in the word of God and how much I use what I  learn.

Another miracle (not as massive as Harry being baptized, but still pretty cool).  We were doing some finding in a place we normally don't go to because on of our investigators canceled on us and we came across the door of a Chinese lady.  We talked to her for a few minutes and she invited us in. She told us she believed in God and that she had wanted to join a church. but was always too busy with uni before.  But, now she is graduated and is having a break from work because she is pregnant with her first baby.She said she would love for us to come by again and would love to meet some of the women inour ward (because a lot of them are your mothers).  It is so cool how God always seem to place us exactly where we need to be!  I have seen it happen so often on my mission; one lesson will fall through and we find another person who is awesome in the time that we would have been teaching.  I have definitely learned to trust God's time instead of my own.
Love you all!  Have a fantastic week.
Love Sister Bennion
Tassie Zone!

Sister Bennion & Sister C at Harry's baptism.
                                 $200 Giant Costco teddy bears are popular among others besides Yijia!
Costco has a Ferris Wheel!
Chicken Legs!!!!!!!

Yuck fried chicken legs!!!