4 1/2 months already!

Mi Familia,
What a week! I feel like it just started yesterday and now its over. One of the things I love about this mission is how focused we are on miracles. Miracles happen all day long, everyday and we just have to realize what is happening. Nothing super crazy happened this week, our numbers didn't seem to reflect much success, but what did measure our success was by how much I felt the spirit this week. The spirit drove me and I felt strength come to me. When you just get out there and do the work, the spirit will attend you. But that doesn't mean that its going to be all sunshine and daisies. You may encounter hard things, it may be raining but you still go out. You may have tracted a street with no success, but you still knock on more doors. You continue to be happy and do the work with a 24 hour smile on your face. You continue to keep going because that is what a consecrated missionary does. They work until they cannot work any more and then God takes over.

My core experience with God this week was striving to become a consecrated missionary and give my ALL to the Lord. Of course I still faltered, there were times when I was lazy and times when I was doing what I wanted instead of following Heavenly Fathers will. But I really am trying. And something I learned from Sister Tanner, a quote by Sister Holland in her Talk "Be Patient in Your Pursuit of Perfection." She said "1. Remember that any failure with the Gospel of Jesus Christ is only Temporary. 2. No Self Pity. None. 3. Eliminate all could haves, would haves, should haves, and if onlys." Just like other missionaries I am trying to become like the Savior and that is not easy, but through the Saviors grace we can do all things. I truly love how much stronger my relationship is with my Heavenly Father. When I don't feel like I have any energy left, or any desire to go out, I turn to him and he helps me to do this work. And a wonderful quote by Elder Callister in his talk "becoming a consecrated missionary." He says, "He will not let us be content with our weaknesses. Whatever the weakness may be that holds us back from becoming a consecrated missionary, the Lord has promised that if we have faith in him, and humble ourselves before him, that he will make weak things become strong unto us. I believe that. I do not believe there is one missionary whose weaknesses are greater then the potential strengths within him. Why? - because each of us is a son and daughter of God, with his divine nature and divine potential woven into the very fabric of our souls." I'm so grateful to know that I do have a divine nature, that I know that my  Heavenly Father is real and he loves me and all of his children.

This week we really tried to talk to more people, to share the Gospel with more. And sometimes I didn't want to or I would get scared, but thank goodness for my lovely companion. She tries to talk to everyone and she really does. When the Savior was here he taught everyone. There is a story in Mark, and it talks about Jesus leaving with the disciples to go and have some peace and quiet. But he turns around and sees a lot of people. It says that "he was moved with compassion" and he taught them.  I am really trying to do that. All of the people we meet are God’s children and they need the Gospel just as much as I do. Another quote from Elder Callister, "Sometimes in life we just have to square our shoulders and do it. There is no magic pill that makes us courageous, no passage of time that strengthens us, no memorized approach that emboldens us. We are left only with the compelling counsel of King Benjamin: "And now, if ye believe all these things, see that you do them."" As I put my faith and trust in Heavenly Father I know I will be able to do all that he asks of me.

Last but not least, I just want to say how grateful I am for my companion. I have learned so much from her. Heavenly Father knew that I needed her, at this time. I have really tried to see her as God sees her, she is his daughter and she is striving, just like me, to be a better missionary. She does what Elder Callister said to just do it and I am grateful that we were placed together. And I have really been trying to have a good relationship with her because I think it certainly does reflect my love for the Lord, by the way I treat my companion. We certainly have our differences, but we truly have come a long way. I love her and I'm glad she was placed in my path.

I'm so grateful for this Gospel and for the Testimony that I have of this Gospel. I'm grateful that I have a Heavenly Father who loves me and all of his children. I know that Jesus is the Christ and that through him all things are possible. I love you and I hope that you have an incredible week.
Love Sister Benjamin

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