|Dorrigo National Park|
To My Wonderful Family,This week went by so fast. Crazy. But it was really good. I learned HEAPS! I've really grown to appreciate the Gospel on my mission. I want to study and learn as much as possible, but there just isn't enough hours in the day. I learned a lot about myself this week, and one of the big reasons I am on my mission. Satan certainly had his hand on me this week, but I really learned a lot about myself when I turn to Heavenly Father to help pull me back out. One of the best/worst things on my mission has been my emotions. They are just so high strung ALL the time. I think that is because of how emotionally shut off I used to be. But I've learned so much better about how to deal with it. Something that really helped was receiving a Priesthood blessing. I asked our Branch President to give me one. I love Priesthood blessings. It really helped to comfort me, and to truly let me know how fully aware my Father in Heaven is of me. I was blessed that I would have FULL CONFIDENCE in my Father in Heaven. Not half, or with a little bit of doubt, but with FULL CONFIDENCE. That is a huge blessing. Because it helps me know that whatever happens is for my good. I feel like a lot of times we want what we want, we want our trial to end NOW, or we want this thing to happen but what we don't know is what the consequence could be because of that. But our Heavenly Father does. He sees the whole picture of our lives, and he will send us and place us where we need to be. So there is ABSOLUTELY NO REASON why we can't have full confidence in Him. He loves us all so much and he never wants to hurt us or give us something to make us turn away from him. Something I learned from Elder Holland this week, he said: "Our challenges will help us grow. If we wish our trials away we will wish away our greatest strength and greatest growth. Our challenges will help us and bless us. Don't you quit, you keep walking, you keep going there is help to come. Some blessings come now, some come late and some don't come until heaven. But to those who embrace the Gospel of Jesus Christ, they come. Trust in God, and good things to come." I love that. I was listening to a talk on the Mormon channel for the youth about enduring our challenges cheerfully, and my favourite line from the talk was "Adversity provides the resistance necessary for Exaltation." That is so true. We are shaped through our adversity, we learn through the trials that come, and we become much better people because of it. And something Sister Cook said in the Young Women’s meeting in April, “Our trials can either be a roadblock or a springboard for growth.” I will make my trials a springboard for growth. It's my choice and I choose to make the right one. I know that as we do keep walking, Heavenly Father will bless us. I love that we refer to him as Heavenly Father, it just portrays so much more of his deep and abiding love for ALL of us.
I really tried to become more like the Savior in trying to develop Charity. I truly felt a great portion of love for God's children. I love that he lets me in enough to feel a portion of that love. It really makes you want to help the people more when you see how much God loves them. I just wish they could feel that more. I think if everyone knew Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ more, the world would be much different. But that is why Missionaries are called, why members visit and home teach, so that people can learn that. I really felt a lot of love for those we interact with here. Since this is the last week of transfer we told them we could potentially leave and they were so sad. In a small Branch like this, you truly get to develop such great relationships with people, but I have full confidence in Heavenly Father and that whatever happens is supposed to happen. When we have the pure love of Christ, it really influences your whole life. The Savior’s pure love made it possible for him to sacrifice for ALL of us. Heavenly Father’s pure love made it possible for him to watch that happen. I can't even imagine what they both went through. But they both had the Eternal Perspective we all need to see that it would be the only way.
|Pres. and Sis. Howes went with Lexie and her companion to the Dorrigo Rainforest|
I love seeing the Gospel change lives. I love that one scripture can change someones perspective on a huge problem they were having. One lady we have been teaching was really struggling to understand the Resurrection and all sorts of things, so we have just been encouraging her to read the BOM. Just read it, we kept asking her and she really hadn't. But these past two weeks she has been reading quite faithfully, and she now believes the Resurrection, she believes that the Book of Mormon is true. I love the convincing power of the Gospel. I love that we are encouraged to find out for ourselves, that we don't just have to accept the truth because someone said so. We can learn from God that it is true. I love that! I love the convincing power of the Book Of Mormon, and I love the knowledge that I gain from reading it everyday. The Gospel truly is a miracle and I hope I can become even better capable to find people to teach. It can be scary, but something that does help, is looking at it with an eternal perspective. Try looking at the person as a child of God, one who needs the Gospel. We all need the Gospel and when we know that it makes it a lot easier to overcome our fears to be able to talk to them. I'm so grateful to have the Gospel. I know that this Church is true. I know that the Book of Mormon is the word of God. I know that we have a living Prophet Thomas S. Monson who leads and guides this Church under the direction of Jesus Christ. I'm so grateful to know all these things. I'm grateful for the personal relationship I have with my Heavenly Father. It is what gets me through everything.
I love you Heaps. I pray for you often, and I hope that you have a wonderful week
Love Sister Benjamin