July 28, 2013

Mi Familia,
August is here! C-RAZY! I feel like July just started. This week certainly has been interesting. We have had a lot of investigators and others we are working with, stop working with us and it seems as if Satan is having a pull at my heart strings. But what I did is pray to Heavenly Father to not be discouraged and to be able to keep going. And you know what? He helped me and in the times when I most needed it, He was right there giving me strength I needed. One day, Friday I think it was all just hitting me and I was telling my lovely companion ALL about it. We were talking and we remembered that our District meeting that morning had been about Christlike attributes and how i just needed to be diligent. The quote in preach my gospel came to mind, "I have often said one of the greatest secrets of missionary work is work! If a missionary works, he will get the spirit; if he gets the spirit, he will teach by the spirit, and if he teaches by the spirit, he will touch the hearts of the people and he will be happy. There will be no homesickness, no worrying about families, for all time and talents and interests are centered on the work of the ministry. Work, work, work- there is no satisfactory substitute, especially in missionary work." (President Ezra Taft Benson) So I said a prayer asking for help and we got out of the car and knocked on some doors. We had a lovely chat with a sweet old man, and I was able to share some of my testimony. We walked back to the car and I had an overwhelming feeling that Heavenly Father was aware of me and that he truly cared about how I felt. I fully believe Heavenly Father wants us to be happy and successful and that true joy can only come when we get out there and do the work. Of course its hard and stressful but just like Elder Holland said "Salvation is not a cheap experience." It isn't going to come by us just sitting back and being lazy. If we want to return to him we have to do something about it, and I am really trying to do so. It isn't easy to do so but Heavenly Father continues to help me and guide me and that is why I keep going. 
This week we met with one of our investigators that we have been teaching for about 3 months, but she has been investigating the Church for about seven years. So we knew that she had concerns about coming to Church, so our plan was to read 3N 18 and talk about the sacrament and why we go to Church. We started reading and she freaked out and started basically yelling at us and saying that ALL we seem to focus on is Christ's sacrifice, sin and death. And as she was yelling we started to get nervous being like oh no, there she goes another investigator gone. But then I said a fervent prayer, and I pleaded that we would be able to stay calm and that we would be able to resolve her concern. After I felt peace come back into my heart and mind. My companion and I were able to testify of Jesus Christ and that we focus on the fact that he lives. That because of Him we can all be forgiven and be Resurrected and live with Him again. She calmed down and she said okay and she told us that she finally understood. At that moment I was so grateful for the spirit that brought peace back to the situation so that we could resolve her concern. As Jesus taught the people he always had love for them and he always tried to help in all ways. And that is how I tried to teach like him this week. To really listen to them and plead for the spirit to guide my steps.
Something that is so important as a missionary is to be personally accountable (and i guess throughout life) to the Lord and my leaders. Sometimes when Satan is tempting me I have thought that no one will know if I'm disobedient or if I don't work as hard as I should because the closest missionaries are an hour away and President Howes is ages away. But what I have to remember is that Heavenly Father is never far away. He is always right there. And after this life we will be held accountable for ALL of our life here on this earth. Being accountable to my leaders has taught me a lot, but I have learned much more from being accountable to my Heavenly Father. He placed me here in Grafton to serve, expecting me to serve with my ALL and that is what I am striving to do now. Another quote from PMG says "Accountability does not come only at the end of your mission. It is a principle that influences how you begin, how you think and feel about the responsibility the Lord has given you, how you approach the work and how well you endure. The attitude you have toward the mission experience is a reflection of your love toward your Heavenly Father and his son and your respect for the Priesthood." We are accountable because it teaches us to be better servants of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.
Another experience I had this week that really was a great testimony builder. Of course I was struggling a little bit because Satan never leaves us alone, but at the same time neither does God. We were driving to Church and I had a lot on my mind, which is a very usual thing for me. I'm always thinking about something. But we got in the car and "I Know that My Redeemer Lives" started playing. I was being fearful and afraid about something but then the words "He lives to calm my troubled heart, He lives to silence all my fears...What joy this sentence gives, I know that my redeemer lives." It was one of those times that music was an answer to my prayers. I love the power that music has and how often it does answer my prayers. I do know that my Redeemer lives, that he loves me and that he will guide me and help me to live the way that I should be living. I'm so grateful to know that this Church is true and that Heavenly Father is real and that he loves each of us. I'm grateful to have a living prophet here on the earth today. I love this Gospel and I'm so grateful that I get to share it with my brothers and sisters.
Thank you all for being such incredible examples to me. I love you all!
Have a wonderful week
Sister Benjamin

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