The Week of Miracles!

Well another week has come and gone and it has been a great week. I loved it, especially because it has been raining cats and dogs all week long. I love the rain. It makes everything smell so great and it completely put out all the fires. That is a relief for everyone. And it made things a whole lot colder just like it is at home this time of year. Still not nearly as cold but closer. It just feels weird for it to be hot and there are Christmas decorations everywhere. This week was completely amazing. I really learned so much. It all started from the Sisters conference last week. We talked a lot about obedience so my companion and I went through and found the ways we could be more obedient. So we have been trying to do that this week, and let me tell ya miracles have been happening all over the place. Heavenly Father truly does bless his children when they are obedient. Just like it says in D&C the blessings you receive are predicated on the obedience to the law. So I'm grateful that my companion and I could experience that blessing.

One miracle that we saw was trying President’s new survey approach. Holy cow that thing really works. When you go to the door you do more then just say "Hey we are the missionaries from the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints."  In fact we don't even introduce the Church right off the bat. We come in and introduce ourselves and then ask them if they would have a few minutes that we could ask them a few questions. All the questions are about the lessons. It is just a clever way to open them up. Because we know that people are more inclined to answer your questions, because you are including them. Not just telling them that you have this big bag of Gospel that you want to throw at their face. My companion and I tried this on Tuesday. It was pouring rain and we knocked on this door that my companion had felt prompted to go to. So we knock and this girl answers. She is about 17, and we introduced ourselves and asked her name as we are standing there in the rain. So she invites us in. (And this is why rain is always good weather, because when the weather is not ideal more people are willing to let you in :) ) She asked, which I thought was quite funny, "you aren't here to kill me right?" I said no of course, but then my first thought was, but if I was I wouldn't tell you would I? I really tried hard to keep a straight face after that one. But then we moved on and she let us in. We sat down and she called her roommate to come out. So we started asking them some questions. Like "Do you have a belief in God, or What do you think the purpose of life is?" Just things like that and the way they answered the questions just allowed me to jump right into teaching the Restoration. I introduced the Church at that point and asked them more about their beliefs. One of the girls said she had been searching out a lot of different churches to try and find the truth. I told her that she had come to the right place. She laughed and so did I, so it broke the ice. But we continued and we related the Joseph Smith Story to her and said it was kind of like her situation. The spirit was just pouring into us, and I'm sure the girls felt it to because they kept saying things like "wow, I had never thought of that before, and wow that makes a lot of sense." Only thoughts the spirit would bring. So we get to the end of the lesson and we give them a Book of Mormon and ask them to pray about the things we had taught them. And we got their number and we are going to call them back sometime this week. We walked out and the Sun was shining and it was great. We got in the car and I was dumb founded. I admit I was a little skeptical of this approach but it worked right off the bat. :) Holy cow. Being a missionary is great. I just love being able to do this because it fulfills our purpose as missionaries to teach. And who knows what the girls are thinking and if they will investigate, but I know that Heavenly Father wanted us to teach them at that moment.

And it didn't happen once but twice. One of the traveling sisters came up and went on a trade off with me.  We tried the approach and we knocked on the door and this man totally didn't want to talk to us. You could see it on his face. So we asked him if we could ask him some questions and his demeanor totally changed. He let us in invited us to sit down and then called his wife and said "some really nice LDS girls are here to ask us some questions." So we asked and were again able to teach the whole first lesson. Holy cow. It was amazing. I loved it so much. It completely lifted my spirits knowing that Heavenly Father really is preparing people to hear the message of the Gospel.

In my practice this week as teaching as Jesus taught I really decided, after the sisters conference to teach powerfully, and not just go to lessons to be someone’s friend. We had many opportunities this week where we could have just sat and had a nice chat, but I was really trying to teach because that is my purpose as a missionary. And when you work hard enough it really works. We were doing service with a new member and we were just chatting and I felt like asking her about the Plan of Salvation. She is a new member so we went through the whole thing again and helped her to understand it even more. It amazed me that even when we are doing service we can still teach and help build and fortify other’s testimonies. We were able to teach a lot of lessons this week, and there definitely was a greater spirit about us.

Something that has really impacted my mission is learning to open my mouth and declare the truths of the Gospel to everyone. OF course I'm not perfect at it yet, but it is something that I will continue to learn on my mission and for the rest of my life. I have learned so much. Our great purpose as it says in D&C is to declare repentance unto this generation and if we spend all of our days doing that,  then it will be counted worthy before the Lord. I know that as we open our mouths and share what we know to be true, the spirit of the Lord will be even more abundant in our lives, and we will see the great immeasurable love Heavenly Father has for all of his children.

Oh and just to let you all know, I'm being transferred from Emu Plains and going to Toronto. When the Assistant called me to tell me that I was like "Toronto, Canada. That is really far away." Ha but no Toronto in Newcastle. It’s about 1 1/2 hours from the mission home. And get this! I'm training again. Opening a new area for sisters and training just like I did in Emu Plains. Crazy but all good. :) To be honest, when President called me to train I was nervous, and I for some reason just felt weird about it. Not like in a bad way but I was just really nervous, and thinking that it just wouldn't be good. I had all these doubts come to my mind that I hadn't trained my companion well, and that this next Sister would just have a huge trial because I wasn't going to be a good trainer. So I got down on my knees and prayed to Heavenly Father and asked for some comfort and guidance, because I just didn't know what to do. And then I had the thought to get a Priesthood blessing. So I called some of the elders and they were able to give a blessing yesterday. And it literally was one of the most powerful blessings I have ever had. Heavenly Father was able to tell me literally everything I needed to hear. And I just felt so much comfort. Heavenly Father told me of his love for me and that I was ready to train again. That I need not be worried about the future because he was taking care of it. He told me that there are people prepared and waiting for me in Toronto, and that miracles are waiting to happen. He told me he was proud of me and that I need not fear. I was really just so grateful. I felt this great warmth and comfort come to my body and I was so grateful that I was able to train again. I know that with Heavenly Father’s help that I can do anything.
Love you Heaps
Sister Benjamin

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