No Visa=another letter from the MTC

Well this week has been very interesting but really good all at the same time. This week we talked a lot about really seeing the investigators needs. But sometimes that can be really hard, but already I've been able to see their needs because of the Holy Ghost. We teach a lot of people even here in the MTC and when I'm teaching them I get to see what they really need and my love grows for them. It has been a really great experience.

We had infield orientation on Friday. It was from 8-5. It was really long. But it was really good at the same time. I learned a lot about how beneficial it really is to have members find people and give you referrals. Another thing that really has been fun to learn is the authority that I was given as I was set apart as a missionary. I never have felt that much responsibility before. I really love that. In PMG it says that we are "set apart from the world to a higher plane of thought." As missionaries we leave behind all the comforts from home so that we can learn to fully rely on God, Jesus Christ, and the HG. It has been a strugglefest already for me to learn, but now that I'm used to it I really know that they are there. I know that I am talking to God when I pray and I have seen the answers he gives me. I know that Jesus Christ lives and that he loves me and that he sacrificed everything for me. He bled at every pore and his heart literally broke from all the pain. Because of this I can be who I am today. We are so blessed to have the Atonement. It is an AMAZING gift and I don't even understand it all. I really am so blessed. I've also learned a lot about the Holy Ghost here. The spirit has never been stronger with me before. I feel it constantly here, which is how it should be out in the world as well. But there are just so many distractions and the spirit will leave as soon as it isn't welcome anymore.  But we really have to rely on the Spirit. How else are we going to know what God has to say to us. So if you ever receive a thought, feeling, prompting or whatever, if it won't hurt, ACT. We need to show God that we will follow when he guides us and if we don't act how can we show that? I know it's hard, but we can all do it! :) 

My Teacher Bro. Dickey in his lesson on Saturday night had us write down as many of the things we can think of how God has prepared us to be here on our missions. Some of the things I wrote down were, as my PB says I am one of the Vailant ones who God saved for these last days. I was blessed with a testimony that I need to share and help other people with. I was born into a wonderful family, just like Nephi with "goodly parents" who have always followed in the footsteps of the Savior. It was a really cool experience to write those things down, because as I wrote, more and more, tons of thoughts kept popping into my head from my life that really have prepared me for my mission. I know I am supposed to be here, and this is what God's will is for me. 

On Sunday we still thought we were leaving to go to Australia on Monday, so we went to a Departure Devotional. It was really good and it helped the spirit confirm that the mission field will be hard but it is what I need to be doing and that as long as I'm obedient and willing to do what God needs me to, he will be there every step of the way. So Sunday night and Monday morning we got all packed up. Three of the sisters in our district left early Monday morning for their temporary assignments. And all but the 2 elders going to Australia from our District left, so there were only 5 of us left in the district. So now I am in a threesome with Sister Tanner and her companion. We finished packing and went to the travel office to check on our Visas. The people in the travel office said they hadn't come in the morning so we needed to check back at 3 which was like an hour before we were supposed to leave for the airport. So we were sitting in class and the lady walks in our classroom and tells us that they didn't come. We kinda were shocked and just so taken aback. She told us that she hopes that they will be here by Friday and if they are we will leave by Monday. Hopefully, but the way she said it, could also mean that we might be in the MTC for another week... After she walked out, I immediately felt peaceful and the confirmation that this is what is supposed to happen. There are people we need to help here or more things we need to learn or a million other things but the MTC is the right place for us to be. A Scripture that Bro. Dickey shared with us really helped to comfort me and it was Proverbs 3:5-6 "Trust in the Lord with all thine heart and lean not unto thine own understanding. In all thy ways acknowledge him and he will direct thy paths." God does have a plan and this is the right plan for us. I'm so grateful to know that I have an all powerful being watching over me every step of the way and guiding me to where I need to be. And honestly I was quite petrified to leave the MTC and go to Australia. I know that will happen soon but I do think i needed to be here longer.

We also got to watch a Devotional that Elder Bednar gave last Christmas on the Character of Christ. It was really amazing. I Learned so much about turning outward like the savior did. My mission is not about me. It is about helping others come unto Christ. I can't be focused on myself, or my mission won't be successful. I need to focus on the needs of others and not myself. The Lord needs more of his children and I hope that I will be able to help with that.

I've also been pretty sick since Saturday. I picked up one of my usual colds that usually takes me out for about 2 days. I usually don't go to work and school. But here I definitely needed to be to everything. But my mind was feeling really clouded over and I couldn't feel the spirit as fully as I had before and I was just feeling really down. I was struggling a lot and I felt that I needed to ask for a blessing. My teacher Bro. Dickey gave the blessing and I felt so much better. God really did bless me and since then I have been able to focus and I've realized my power and that I have a purpose and I cannot back down.

2 Scriptures that really stuck out to me this week have been D&C 100:4-8. It talks all about how God has called us to the work, and how he will help us. You should look it up :) It's great
Also D&C 123:17 "therefore, dearly beloved brethren, let us cheerfully do all things that lie in our power; and then may we stand still, with the utmost assurance, to see the salvation of God, and for his arm to be revealed."

Well I love you all. I'm grateful to have wonderful family members who love me and love the Gospel. You are all amazing! I'm going to try to get on later and send some pictures home, but who knows. One thing I really am excited for is this Easter Sunday. We are having a special big Sacrament Meeting with all the missionaries. They are going to have at least 100 Elders passing the Sacrament. It is going to be really a good meeting I think. Well I hope you have a good week. Remember to study your scriptures and pray. Come unto Christ every single day. If you are then you are doing exactly what God asks :)
Love you
Sister Benjamin
See ya in 17 1/2 months.

P.S. I'm real excited to see Lauren.  It is a huge blessing that Sister Tanner and I will get to see her. :)


Another letter from the MTC

I really can't believe I am leaving for Australia so soon.  I feel like I just got here, but I am leaving.  Our District is getting split up as we fly which is sad.  The Perth missionaries are flying on a different airline than the Sydney missionaries.  Our flights do leave at about the same time which is good.  So my flight from SLC is leaving at 8pm Monday night so I will try to call you before that.  I'm assuming we will probably get through security and such around 6-6:30 so probably around then.  Just be home. :) 

Like I mentioned before, I am learning so much.  God really does love us so much and this MTC is just another one of God's gifts.  In the Devotional last night, Elder Whiting talked about an incubator and how the conditions are controlled just for growth.  I really feel that that is true for us here. We have really great conditions for us to learn how to best grow to become the best missionaries we can be. I have really learned how to study. I've learned better how to know what God wants us to know.  This Church really is TRUE.

They also assigned me  to be the music coordinator, which I really enjoy.  I get prompted by the spirit for which hymn to choose-and then our AMAZING teachers show how it relates to missionary work.  I never realized how many hymns relate to missionary work.  It certainly is a great testimony builder.  I really love all the teachers we have.  There are a couple of teachers who don't have districts so they are just "floating" and they come in and just blow my mind.  It is awesome.  I also learned in the devotional that we leave all the things that provide us comfort at home.  So that we can learn to rely on God, Jesus Christ and the Holy Ghost.  I really have grown so much and I'm sure I will continue to through out these 18 months.

The Book of Mormon is true.  It teaches of Christ and it is just an amazing book.  Joseph Smith is a prophet and he did restore this gospel here on the earth.

Also, thank everyone for their prayers in my behalf, and for all their words of support.  I LOVE YOU ALL.


P.S. Tell Dave Congrats on his mission call and tell ASH, JARE & GRANT to write me!


2nd Letter from the MTC

Hey Hey!
Well it certainly has been super crazy here at the MTC! Man I can't even believe that I have been here for a whole 7 days. It feels like so much longer then that. Every day is jam packed with everything and I have been really tired. This sleeping schedule has certainly been messing with my body. But it has been really fun. The people in my district are some of the most amazing people I have met. We are all really strong in the Gospel and really not afraid to share experiences we have had and things we have learned. It really helps to invite the spirit and I am really grateful for that! Everyone keeps telling us to how good our district is to. We really have been so blessed to be put together. We don't have hard companions, we all get along really well, and it does help and make me feel more at ease to have Sister Tanner in my district! it has been such a tender mercy. I feel that the people in my district are my family away from my real family. It has helped me through the hard moments when I couldn't talk to all of you. I really have been so blessed to have such a good companion too. Everyone keeps telling me that it is so nice to see you all get along so well. You hear some pretty crazy stories about companions not getting along and doing some really crazy things but I have been really blessed. I really think Heavenly Father knew how much I would have struggled in the MTC with a companion that I couldn't work with. My comp is really really sweet, super funny and just a great spiritual giant that I have learned so much from. We have really grown so close and we have been able to grow together in the gospel as well. It really is a miracle to me. Here we learn to expect miracles. One thing that I have really learned well is that talking to God is a miracle, one of the greatest gifts we can have. He knows everything and I feel so much comfort in knowing that I have an all powerful being watching my every move and helping me along the way. I encourage all of you, if you feel that when you pray you aren't really talking with Heavenly Father, to really try to understand that you are. Imagine him sitting in the room with you just talking. Heavenly Father will listen and answer your prayers. I know that because he has for  me so many times in the last week. I can't even count on all my fingers and toes how many times I have had an answer to a pray here. I feel so much closer to my Savior. I really truly do feel his love for me and the miraculous power of the Atonement. My Savior sacrificed everything for me so that I could be here now, following in his footsteps and trying to learn better how to teach God's Children. I really do feel like a disciple of Christ, emulating his life and his example. My testimony has been stretched in every way but has also been strengthened in every way. I have learned more than I can even tell you. I do know without a doubt though that this is where I am supposed to be. My mission has been in God's plan for me even before I was born. Heavenly Father knew that I needed to got on my mission so that I could grow in ways that I never would have being at home. I have learned so much, and I really do love being a missionary!

Well I don't have a ton of time but thanks for all the letters I have gotten so far. It is a little piece of heaven to get a letter. I never realized before how important getting a letter was. I heard missionaries talk about that all the time and now I really understand why. A mission is a hard thing but I know that it is the right thing. God will watch out for me and if I do everything in my power he will bless me.

I got my travel plans the day after we got here and I leave Monday night.  I'll be in Australia by next Wednesday! CRAZY! I can't even believe it. Well I love you all so much!
Sis Alexis Benjamin


First Letter from the MTC!

Well the good old first day. SO CRAZY! But absolutely wonderful.  After you guys dropped me off, I went in and got my name tag and schedule.  Then they dropped off my clothes and such and then we went to our classroom.  My teachers are so NICE and we get along really well because our sense of humors work well together.  I was in the room with them, just us, for like 20 minutes so it was good to get to know them.  I met my companion, who is going to Perth, and she is absolutely wonderful!  She is so down to earth.  She is beautiful and she is so kind! We really hit it off.  It definitely is a tender mercy that we get along so well.  There are 6 elders and 6 sisters in our district and we are going to Sydney, Perth and California Ventura mission.  And another great tender mercy is Sister Tanner (her cousin) is in my DISTRICT! It is such a great blessing to have her there.  Our district gets along really well and I am so grateful for that.  We met the MTC Pres. & wife after a meeting which was nice and they are really sweet.  Then we ate in the good ole cafeteria.  We then had our first teaching experience.  There were 3 investigators and there was a big group of newbie missionaries with us.  We taught a girl first.  It was so hard.  She kept pushing us down with everything we would say, and we were all over the place!  SUPER CRAZY!  Then we taught a guy and his wife. They were so much better.  What you would call the Golden Investigator.  We taught one last guy and he had recently lost his wife.  And he loves nature, so we taught him how he would be able to see her again.  I could definitely feel Heavenly Father's love for all of them and for me.  I loved how I would feel prompted by the spirit to share what needed to be said.  The spirit is an AMAZING gift and I am so grateful for it!  We then met our Zone Leaders and ended the day.  It was an amazing day! I love the MTC!  I love the people here and the wonderful spirit that is here!  I am so grateful for a great companion who I know that Heavenly Father has blessed me with.

This gospel is amazing!  I am so grateful to be a missionary.  I know the church is TRUE!

I love you all so much!  You are amazing!  I'm so glad I get to spend eternity with my amazing family.


P.S. My P-day is Wednesday here, and I leave the MTC Tues Mar. 26th that night or Wed. morning.  Not exactly sure.