January 21, 2014

This week. What to even say. It was incredible! It seemed to just go by so fast. I just loved it so much. Sister Lloyd and I had so many miracles this week and I can't even begin to express the gratitude that I feel that the Lord would bless us with so much.
My core experience this week with God was being able to attend the temple. I had prayed the night before that I would be at peace in the temple. That I would have good and praiseworthy thoughts so that I could just feel the joy of the Gospel and be able to feel at peace. I had asked if there was anything that I needed to repent of still or anything that I wasn't forgiven of. And as President Howes has taught us, the temple can be a revelatory experience from the moment you begin, not just at the end. So I sat down and began praying and this overwhelming strength from the spirit overpowered me. I felt so calm and peaceful. I felt the approval of my Heavenly Father and I felt forgiven. I felt that He was pleased with me and the things that I have done. Obviously there is a lot more to be done, it doesn't mean that I'm quitting now. But I just knew that the Lord was pleased with me. It was such a liberating feeling. I know that God is real, that the spirit is real and powerful and that when we are living worthily we are blessed to have the Holy Ghost as our constant companion. I felt impressed upon a lot of other things while sitting in the temple, but the most outstanding one to me is how much peace and joy comes from the Gospel of Jesus Christ. It doesn't matter what is going on in the world. What wars, and wickedness are going on around us, the Gospel of Jesus Christ will bring us peace. Heavenly Father will allow us to feel at peace amongst it all. It is wonderful. The worst part about going to the temple though is having to walk back outside, when you know you have to go back out and face the world. But is also wonderful because of all the strength you have gotten from the temple you are ready to fight it all, to live the commandments and sacrifice everything for the Lord. I LOVE THE TEMPLE. I love that we have that blessing. And just as President Howes says, we do need our weekly appointment with God and I know that is what will keep all of us on the right path as we go through this life.

We were also very blessed this week to have a member of the 70 with us. Elder Andrew O'Riordan. What a wonderful and inspired man. He came and did a special conference with our mission this week and it was amazing. The things he said are just exactly what I needed to hear. He talked a lot about the Holy Ghost and some of his roles. One of the things he talked about that really impacted me is, the Holy Ghost role as the cleansing agent of the Atonement. He said "Jesus Christ performed the Atonement, and the Holy Ghost applies it." He brings the atonement to us, and cleanses us. He talked a lot about our sanctification and the level that it should be at. And another thing that really struck me is that if we are being tempted still to do the wrong thing we are not sanctified enough. We should be seeking the spirit all day long everyday. We shouldn't be seeking the things of the world. It was very powerful.
Another thing he said that really struck me is how in tune we need to be with the spirit. He talked a lot about the times that it is hard and when it is we should be turning to the scriptures, and to the words of the Apostles. What wonderful power can we receive from those words. And one last thing he talked about was being on the Lord's errand and how that makes the Gospel exciting. When we are feeling the spirit the Gospel is exciting. And when we are feeling the spirit we are on the Lord's errand. He said that we should pray to be on the Lord's errand everyday. We should be seeking to help who He needs to be helped and then give them the things that the Lord would give them if he were here with them. I felt a strong desire to be completely on the Lord's errand. To get rid of any personal agenda that I have and just be focused on my purpose as a missionary, to invite all to come unto Christ.

I feel that the spiritual growth that has come to me on my mission has been incredible. I have seen so much of a change in myself since I first started my mission. The Lord has called me and stretched me to do things that I did not know were possible. But because of the power of his grace and mercy those things have been able to be accomplished. I feel so much closer to my Heavenly Father and Savior Jesus Christ. I love them and they are my best friends. I feel such a powerful connection with them. And I know that Heavenly Father is real and that He does love me and all of us. He is our Heavenly Father and this is his plan for us. And I feel that I have seen that even more because I have watched him literally guide us hand and foot to those who are in need of the Gospel. The scriptures have literally become my friends. There hasn't a day gone by on my entire mission when I have not turned to the scriptures in some way. They have helped me through my struggles and hard times and have increased my knowledge of the Gospel. They have brought me peace and joy and they have helped so many other people to increase their faith as well.

I know the Lord literally is guiding this work. We were able to witness miracles this week, one especially powerful in being able to find a new investigator. We had followed up with a Recent Convert and we felt that we needed to go finding on the street. We didn't have a lot of time and we knew we needed the Lords help. One house kept catching my eye, but my companion and I both felt that we needed to say a prayer and petition the Lord for his help. We prayed and then both of us had our eye on the same house. this man has been so prepared by the Lord and It was incredible to see. He shared things with us and we were able to testify of the truths of the Gospel that really helped him. It was a wonderful experience.

Wow. I know this is the Lord's work. I thank him everyday for the opportunity that I have to be serving here in this mission and being able to see the Lord's hand in all things. I'm so grateful for this Gospel. I love being a missionary and I love being here.
I love you all and hope you have a great week.
Sister Benjamin

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