I just can't wait to be king! :)

Dear Family,
Well I guess you could say this has definitely been the best week of my entire mission! Why do you say? Well Probably because Elder Russell M. Nelson of the Quorum of the 12 apostles came to visit our mission! :) Holy cow. I just still am in awe! :)
The conference with him was absolutely incredible. I would just like to share a few of the things that really stood out to me and have helped me to be a better and more effective missionary.

-First off was the incredible spirit we all felt as he walked in with President and Sister Hamula, and Elder and Sister Oriordan of the 70. He just had the biggest smile on his face and the spirit was so strong. You could just tell immediately that he absolutely loved what he was doing, that He loved the Lord and that he was just so  grateful to be able to be here with all of us. :)
-After he walked up we all got to shake his hand. That was incredible. To be able to shake the hand of one of the Lord's ordained servants. It was just incredibly powerful. I felt so much power in that tiny couple of seconds that I got to shake his hand.
-Another experience that was really powerful was the fact that I got to sing by myself. Holy cow. I was so nervous. After he sat from shaking all of our hands, I went up there unannounced, and sang. Needless to say, my heart was pounding like 1000 drums were sitting in my chest, and my hands I swear I had some disease. I couldn't stop shaking them. As I looked over all the missionaries (there was about 400 :) I just said a silent prayer that the spirit would be there, that it would be a testimony building, revelatory experience for all present. I started to sing and the first little bit was just a little bit shaky, but then I started to look at the missionaries faces, I could see people tearing up and I could just feel this immense spirit. I felt very strongly in that moment that my voice was not mine. That I wasn't the one singing anymore, that I was the one just being the instrument in the Lord's hands. It was literally the most powerful experience I've ever had singing before. After I finished Elder Nelson and Sister Nelson, thanked me for my beautiful voice and once again I felt the power of their spirit and the incredible calling they have. :)
-Now onto their talks. The whole meeting was just so incredible I don't even know where to begin with all of it. All the talks were completely inspired and they said so many things that I needed to hear. President Hamula spoke about the grace of God, and it being an absolute miracle that we can do all we do in a day, and that is because of the Grace of God. He spoke of remaining faithful, remembering our covenants, humbly serving and looking heavenward for the power of Grace. It really moved me. Grace has been something I have been studying my whole mission and trying to understand it and his talk allowed me to understand even further what I need to do to be a better missionary and disciple of Jesus Christ.
-Sister Nelson spoke of using our time wisely. She shared a quote from President Eyring that really struck me. "Someday when you know who you really are, you will be sorry you didn't use your time better." I really thought about this quote and what it meant to me and I thought do we really know who we are? Are we really aware of the divine potential we have? She spoke of sanctifying ourselves even more so that we can have an even greater measure of the spirit. She asked us if we could think back over the last 24 hours and think of even just one hour that we can say we were true disciples of Jesus Christ? That really struck me, and it is a great bar for where we should be judging if we did use our time wisely.
-And of Course Elder Nelson's talk. That was amazing. I love having them visit in these settings because they can be themselves. As he spoke you could tell what he said was completely guided by the spirit. He would say things, and then move to something else real quickly because the spirit guided him to do so. It was amazing to watch. I know as he was speaking, the spirit whispered to me that he is a true disciple of Christ, one called by God to lead us and help us along our path. What seemed to me to be a strong theme of his talk was this "The Lord uses the unlikely to do the impossible." He gave many examples such as Joseph Smith, Gideon and the Midionites, and many others. But just as we are called as missionaries. It seems unlikely because we are all so weak in our spirits, and we are learning as we go, but God uses the weak and simple. I loved that. He spoke of many other things, but just by watching him you could feel the love that he had for the Gospel, and for all of us. He just exudes love. He is an example of true charity. I will never forget this amazing experience. I felt the spirit so powerfully witness in my mind and heart, that this Gospel is true and that we are called by God to serve in His way and His timing, for the benefit of His children.
-When he left the spirit was so strong. He walked out and waved to all of us and the spirit was just burning in my chest, many of us were reduced to tears. What an incredible life changing experience. 

The rest of the week was pretty crazy though. Ha :) My companion got sick this week so we went spent some time in the flat. As she was resting I decided to read from the Book of Mormon. It was definitely my core experience with God this week. As I studied for about 5 hours, the spirit did not stop the whole time in teaching me so many things. I seemed to  look at each verse and something that never had stood out to me before stood out to me. I learned so much about the temple and so much more about the true Nature of God. I was able to finish the Book of Mormon again. I felt such strong faith and incredible love for the wonderful Book of Scripture. I know without a shadow of a doubt that the Book of Mormon is the word of God.

Another incredible lesson I learned this week was about our potential as sons and Daughters of God. As Sister Nelson said in her talk, "We are all children of god, but it's about time we become Men and Women of God." We must realize our potential and the incredible divine heritage we have.
In Sacrament meeting one of the members spoke of remembering who we are. She related it to the story of the Lion King. Simba was born royal, deemed to be the next king. He had so much potential. But then he made a mistake, he squandered his potential by messing up and his father being killed. Which then caused him to leave and live on his own. Through out his lone time, a wicked king, scar, was ruling the land. Simba needed to be reminded of the work that he had been called to do. One evening his father spoke to him and told simba to remember who he is. As he listened he realized personally what he needed to do. He returned, cleaned up the mess he had made, fought the evil king and returned to rule in goodness all the rest of his days. Now you may think this is a cheesy example but this is something that happens to all of us. And maybe not on such a grand scale. But we like Simba were all created spiritually into a royal family, a Heavenly Family. All of us with the potential to become like God. But of Course we are all here and because of the fall our and our human nature we make mistakes. And sometimes we lose sight of our potential and role to play in building up the kingdom of God. But just as simba had someone to remind him so do we. And that is our Savior Jesus Christ. He, because of his sacrifice, allows all of us to overcome and make right all things in our lives. He loves us so much that he laid down his life for us, so that we could become as He is. Just like simba when our so called "wake up call" comes, we need to be ready, and willing to follow the Savior and be on his winning team.

My "wake up call" came this week as I realized that everyone else has the same potential as I do. We are all God's children, and because we know the truth it is our duty to share it with others. God expects our very best, and our very best comes as we go out of our own way and serve his children. He blesses us immensely when we serve those around us.I know that the Lord is leading and guiding this work today. That we all have the potential to become as He is. As it says in Abraham 3:22-23
 22 Now the Lord had shown unto me, Abraham, the intelligences that were organized before the world was; and among all these there were many of the noble and great ones;
 23 And God saw these souls that they were good, and he stood in the midst of them, and he said: These I will make my rulers; for he stood among those that were spirits, and he saw that they were good; and he said unto me: Abraham, thou art one of them; thou wast chosen before thou wast born.

We all have this potential. We were chosen before we were born to be on the earth at this time. I'm so grateful to know that we have a loving Heavenly Father who is aware of us and loves us. I'm grateful for the Gospel in my life and for the opportunity that I have to serve at this time.
Love you all
Sister Benjamin


Love y'all heaps! :)

Well, what an absolutely crazy week. :) ha :) We stayed in our area for most of the week, and it felt strange. Ha :) But in a good way. We loved it. We were able to visit heaps of our investigators and make a lot of progress with them, which we were so excited about. There were lots of ups and downs and learning experiences but it was of course exactly what needed to happen.
My core experience with God this week was finally being able to receive the answer to my studies. The Lord blessed me because it was the right time for me to come to this conclusion. For about a month or so I've been studying a lot about weakness. It started because Sister Howes and I were chatting about Ether 12:27. I had mentioned that it basically was a theme for my mission, trying to overcome all my weaknesses and shortcomings. But what she said really stood out to me. She mentioned that in the verse, it doesn't say weaknesses, but weakness. So of course knowing me I had to research that and pray about it and find out what that meant for me. I have been studying it for about a month, I haven't had much time to focus on it, but it all came together on Wednesday when we were preparing for a lesson for a group of our YSA girls. In my studies that morning I had read all about God's love and my companion had read all about the sanctification through the Holy Ghost. We talked about it a lot and were able to come to a good conclusion for what we should share with them. We first talked about Ether 3:2.
2 O Lord, thou hast said that we must be encompassed about by the floods. Now behold, O Lord, and do not be angry with thy servant because of his weakness before thee; for we know that thou art holy and dwellest in the heavens, and that we are unworthy before thee; because of the fall our natures have become evil continually; nevertheless, O Lord, thou hast given us a commandment that we must call upon thee, that from thee we may receive according to our desires.
We talked a lot about the verse and pulled it apart. Focusing on the fact that we are unworthy before the Lord and that because of the fall our natures are carnal. But the last line is what we focused on most. Is as the Lord asks us to call upon him so that we may receive according to our desires. So we talked about letting the Atonement change us. To allow the Lord to change our natures and make us as He is. We then shared the example of Nephi doing this and allowing the Atonement to encompass him and change him.
2 Nephi 4:19-35
19 And when I desire to rejoice, my heart groaneth because of my sins; nevertheless, I know in whom I have trusted.
20 My God hath been my support; he hath led me through mine afflictions in the wilderness; and he hath preserved me upon the waters of the great deep.
23 Behold, he hath heard my cry by day, and he hath given me knowledge by visions in the night-time.
24 And by day have I waxed bold in mighty prayer before him; yea, my voice have I sent up on high; and angels came down and ministered unto me.
25 And upon the wings of his Spirit hath my body been carried away upon exceedingly high mountains. And mine eyes have beheld great things, yea, even too great for man; therefore I was bidden that I should not write them.
26 O then, if I have seen so great things, if the Lord in his condescension unto the children of men hath visited men in so much mercy, why should my heart weep and my soul linger in the valley of sorrow, and my flesh waste away, and my strength slacken, because of mine afflictions?
27 And why should I yield to sin, because of my flesh? Yea, why should I give way to temptations, that the evil one have place in my heart to destroy my peace and afflict my soul? Why am I angry because of mine enemy?
28 Awake, my soul! No longer droop in sin. Rejoice, O my heart, and give place no more for the enemy of my soul.
30 Rejoice, O my heart, and cry unto the Lord, and say: O Lord, I will praise thee forever; yea, my soul will rejoice in thee, my God, and the rock of my salvation.
31 O Lord, wilt thou redeem my soul? Wilt thou deliver me out of the hands of mine enemies? Wilt thou make me that I may shake at the appearance of sin?
32 May the gates of hell be shut continually before me, because that my heart is broken and my spirit is contrite! O Lord, wilt thou not shut the gates of thy righteousness before me, that I may walk in the path of the low valley, that I may be strict in the plain road!
35 Yea, I know that God will give liberally to him that asketh. Yea, my God will give me, if I ask not amiss; therefore I will lift up my voice unto thee; yea, I will cry unto thee, my God, the rock of my righteousness. Behold, my voice shall forever ascend up unto thee, my rock and mine everlasting God. Amen.

As we read these verses one of the girls asked what my interpretation was of verse 21, unto the consuming of my flesh. I thought about it for a moment, and thank goodness for the spirit, I was able to tell her, and what I said wasn't from me, but it was the answer to my question. I said that as we choose to let the Atonement change us, just as Nephi did, God's love will consume our flesh. So that's it. The flesh is the weakness. And if you go even further the flesh is the Natural Man, our one and only weakness.
Mosiah 3:19 says that the Natural Man is an enemy to God, and has been and will be forever and ever, unless he yields to the enticings of the Holy Spirit. Or unless he lets the Atonement change him to over come the Natural man, once and for all. The Natural man encompasses so much, everything that is not pointing us to God, even in the slightest is the Natural Man. But the promise is extended in Ether 12:27, our weakness will be made strong as we humble ourselves before the Lord. We must choose to be humble, choose to be submissive to the will of the Lord and it will bless us infinitely more then anything else that possibly could happen.
Another great example of this is Moses.
Moses 1:7-11
7 And now, behold, this one thing I show unto thee, Moses, my son, for thou art in the world, and now I show it unto thee.

8 And it came to pass that Moses looked, and beheld the world upon which he was created; and Moses beheld the world and the ends thereof, and all the children of men which are, and which were created; of the same he greatly marveled and wondered.

9 And the presence of God withdrew from Moses, that his glory was not upon Moses; and Moses was left unto himself. And as he was left unto himself, he fell unto the earth.

10 And it came to pass that it was for the space of many hours before Moses did again receive his natural strength like unto man; and he said unto himself: Now, for this cause I know that man is nothing, which thing I never had supposed.

11 But now mine own eyes have beheld God; but not my natural, but my spiritual eyes, for my natural eyes could not have beheld; for I should have withered and died in his presence; but his glory was upon me; and I beheld his face, for I was transfigured before him.

As Moses learned we are absolutely nothing without God. We are just natural and can't be changed. But as he says in vs 11, he saw God with his spiritual eyes and he was transfigured. It goes on to say later in the chapter that Satan tries to tempt him and demands that Moses look upon him and worship him. But Moses realizes because he is so close to the Spirit that he doesn't have to succumb to his enticings anymore. God is more powerful and Satan won't get him anywhere. As did Moses, we must all learn this lesson, that the things of the world will never get us anywhere, but the things of God will allow us to receive Eternal life so that we may be on the right hand of God.

In my experience teaching as Jesus Taught we had a powerful lesson with one of our investigators. We have been working with him for a while and we know that he is ready to be baptized soon but we wanted to make sure that He knew he was ready. So my companion had us all close our eyes and picture ourselves there on the day of his baptism. As we all pictured it we could see him all dressed in white, baptized and clean with a huge smile on his face. But the best part was that he could see it too.  He knew then that he was ready to be baptized. The spirit was very strong in the lesson and I just knew that God was preparing him for baptism.  Of course we told him that he wasn't going to be perfect after his Baptism, just clean. So many people believe they have to be absolutely perfect before they are baptized, but what they don't realize is that Baptism is just the first step to perfection.

This week we had an STL conference and the Assistants did a training and they spoke about Enoch. What they said really stood out to me. We read in Moses about the wonderful example of strength and faith that Enoch was. One verse that really stood out to me was at the end of Moses Chapter 7.
Moses 7:69
69 And Enoch and all his people walked with God, and he dwelt in the midst of Zion; and it came to pass that Zion was not, for God received it up into his own bosom; and from thence went forth the saying, Zion is Fled.

I loved this verse. As we continued to talk about it I could see it in my mind. All those people with Enoch walking with God. As I continued to think about this I yearned to be there, to be in the presence of the Prophet and in the presence of God, walking with Him. But then I had the realization that we already do have that, a living prophet on the earth today and we can and do walk with God each day. Of course it is not the same situation but we have the opportunity to be doing the work of God and walking with him each and every day. He doesn't leave us alone. He wants us all to return to him and just as Enoch was an instrument in His hand's so can we all be. Just as it says in D&C 84:88

88 And whoso receiveth you, there I will be also, for I will go before your face. I will be on your right hand and on your left, and my Spirit shall be in your hearts, and mine angels round about you, to bear you up.

The Lord will always be with us, and he will send angels round about us to bear us up.

I feel that we can all relate to Enoch. In the beginning Enoch is called by God to be a prophet and leader. Immediately he begins to tell the Lord of his weakness, his slowness of speech and how surely there is someone better capable then him. Then the Lord tells him that he is qualified, that as he shows his faith, the words will come to his mind and heart of what he shall say. (Moses 6:31-34,37)
As see Enoch trusts in the promise that God gives him and because of that people cannot even stand in his presence because of the power of faith that he has. (Moses 6:47) Mountains are moved and cities are translated. Yes of course I am no where near at the stature of Enoch. I'm not a prophet of God. But all of us receive calls from God that do stretch us and pull us out of our comfort zones. But I know that as we follow the example of Enoch and trust in God, He will make us mighty. I know without the Lord's help in everything, I would never be able to be a missionary. I have way to many faults. But I know it is by his strength that I am made whole. Because of the Atonement I can do all things that are required of me. If we let the Atonement work in us, being submissive to the will of the Lord, He will change our natures. We will be like Him. Anything and everything is important to the Lord.

I know that this is the plan God lined up for us. He wants us to be like Him, and He wants us back with Him. I know that as we strive to serve the Lord faithfully and with all the energy of heart, we will be given all the strength we need.

Love you heaps
Sister Benjamin


Just Another Day in Paradise

Mi Familia,

Well, guess what? We are staying in Toronto for another 6 weeks. And as Sister Training Leaders. I am so excited. WOOOT!
This week, words do not even begin to express what I learned this week and how I changed. The Lord's plan is the best for us and as we heed his counsel, then the blessings come. We had 3 sets of exchanges this week and it was crazy but wonderful. To say that I'm grateful for the Gospel of Jesus Christ just would not seem to do it justice. This week I learned powerful lessons which have molded my character/nature even further. When we were on trade offs, the sister I was working with had set up a member present lesson that we both were a little apprehensive about. This woman who was coming had just received some pretty devastating news and she was very down. We called her to see if she still was coming, she said yes and so we went. The investigator we were visiting has had an addiction to smoking for the last 30 years and she is struggling to overcome it. This member who came with us has also had an addiction to smoking for the last 30 years. But her case is different. Just 1 month before, she had quit smoking. She shared her beautiful story with the investigator, and the spirit just filled the room. I could feel it pulsing through me. As we listened to her bear her powerful testimony of the Atonement of Jesus Christ, the investigators perspective began to change. She wanted to try again to quit and it was all because this wonderful member would come and share her powerful testimony. But as in all things, more concerns usually come out before the true concern comes. As she told us, her concern, I felt the spirit sharing with me that this was the real concern. I began to pray for the words to say. And what came to mind is that the Lord does not expect immediate perfection, just immediate progress. And we should expect the same of ourselves. We committed her to try small and simple ways now to cut back and she agreed. As we left, the member thanked us so much for asking her to come with us. That she felt so much better and stronger then she had before. I am so grateful that the Lord allowed her to come with us, that He was aware of her needs and ours as well. 

After we finished the exchange we were discussing how it went and my companion and I both were brought to tears, literal sobs. This experience was definitely my core experience with God this week. My companion was expressing to me how moved she was by the amazing sacrifices the sisters made to be here on their missions. It is awe inspiring to look and listen to these sisters and hear their powerful stories of conversion and finding the Gospel of Jesus Christ in their lives. As we continued to discuss this I felt this overwhelming sense of ingratitude for the blessings the Lord had given me all my life. I have been blessed with so much and I just took everything for granted. To hear what these sisters had given up to become what they are now, I just couldn't help but think, What have I done with these blessings?, How have I shown the Lord how grateful I am? As I looked back I began to realize how many amazing blessings the Lord has given me. Such as my INCREDIBLE family (they are the best, but I guess I'm a little biased), having the Gospel from my infancy, living in this time with the restored Church on the earth today and so many other things. I began to feel so small and insignificant and I just couldn't believe that I could be so blessed. As all these thoughts were running through my head, I had a strong prompting to say a prayer with my companion and only a prayer of complete and utter gratitude to the Lord for my bounteous blessings. As I began to pray I thanked Heavenly Father for everything I could possibly think of. It was amazing to me that as I said each thing I felt the spirit more and more, clearly defined in my heart. I gained a witness then and there that Heavenly Father was real and a tangible being, who I could actually feel and speak with. I felt such a strong connection with my Heavenly Father at that point that we literally began to weep. The spirit filled the room and filled my heart with the love of God. I thought my heart would burst. I am so grateful and moved beyond words for the power of prayer and for the relationship we have with our Heavenly Father. As I was reminded by a fellow missionary cousin, gratitude really is the key to true happiness. And just as Amulek testifies, shall we do the same.
 Alma 34:38
 38 That ye contend no more against the Holy Ghost, but that ye receive it, and take upon you the name of Christ; that ye humble yourselves even to the dust, and worship God, in whatsoever place ye may be in, in spirit and in truth; and that ye live in thanksgiving daily, for the many mercies and blessings which he doth bestow upon you.

In my practice as Jesus Taught, I learned the art of NEVER giving up on someone you teach. We felt to go and visit an investigator, so we did. We were talking to him and he told us of the concerns he had and how he wasn't sure if he wanted to continue our visits. But through the spirit We were able to help him have the desire to continue. As we were talking I felt strongly that if he would continue to meet with us that his initial concerns would become as nothing. So we invited him to pray and we set another appointment for Saturday. We went over and he told us that he had prayed and he had received and I quote "an overwhelming feeling to keep an open mind to what you will say." Wow. I couldn't help but smile. We both testified that this answer had come from God and after we were able to have a powerful lesson about the nature of God. I am so grateful that we didn't give up. Yes, Satan tried to get in the way and he still might try, but we know God wants us to teach him. I am so grateful for the spirit as our third companion in this work. He is the best companion and guide we could ever ask for.

Another wonderful experience we had this week was meeting with an inactive family in the ward.   We've been visiting them quite a bit lately and their hearts seem to be quite open. We shared a lesson with them on Saturday night, and can you say transformational? The next morning they  were early to Church all dressed up with smiles on their faces. They stayed the whole time and loved it. They stayed the whole time. Miracles. :)

In my studies this week I learned so much about the Atonement. For the past few weeks I've been studying the Atonement and I've learned so much. There is no greater gift that we could ever receive then the Atonement. This is what allows us to be "one" with God, to repent and be forgiven, to overcome the Natural man and become a disciple of Christ. But that does not come without imperfection and weakness. We must have something to overcome. There must be opposition in all things, or as Paul states "a thorn in the flesh." (2 Cor 12:7) With these thorns comes the opportunity for us to humble ourselves and realize that we can't do anything without the Lord. As a missionary the spirit is with you so much, that it seems that every imperfection of your character is put under a magnifying glass that shows you how weak you are by yourself. But as I've learned many times God makes up for our weakness and imperfection. With the amazing gift of the Atonement we can do all things.
2 Corinthians 12:9-10
 9 And he said unto me, My grace is sufficient for thee: for my strength is made perfect in weakness. Most gladly therefore will I rather glory in my infirmities, that the power of Christ may rest upon me.
 10 Therefore I take pleasure in infirmities, in reproaches, in necessities, in persecutions, in distresses for Christ’s sake: for when I am weak, then am I strong.

The measure of God's love is amazing and I can't even begin to comprehend it. This song seems to illustrate it quite well.
I stand all amazed at the love Jesus offers me
Confused at the Grace that so fully he profers me.
I tremble to know that for me he was crucified,
That for me a sinner, he suffered, he bled and died.
Oh it is wonderful that he should care for me, Enough to die for me
Oh it is wonderful, wonderful to me.
I know this Church is true and I am so glad to be serving here in Australia.
Love you all
Sister Benjamin


Miracles are all around us now

Wow. What an incredible week. My companion  and I worked so hard this week and it felt so good. So many amazing miracles have happened. One thing we have been doing is inviting more people to Church. Literally everyone we talk to. We use the pamphlets and I love doing it. My grandma told me as she was serving her mission is that you should give a pass along card/pamphlet to everyone, even the grocery clerk. So we decided to take her up on that and we invited the lady at the petrol station. We usually see her there and we've talked to her a few times. So we invited her to Church, and she wanted to come. She called us about 10 minutes before church and told us she had forgotten her plans for the day, but that she had committed to come the next week.

My core experience with God this week was learning even more fully that everyone is a child of God. We met up with one of our investigators this week. We had an appointment and we had one of our members with us. As we got there, he was sitting outside with his friends, and he told us that he felt like the Church was a little full on and that he wasn't ready to commit. We tried everything we could but he just wasn't keen. We felt so sad because we love our investigator. He is such a good guy. So we left and continued working. Then the next day we were blessed by God and he answered our prayers. We saw our investigator at the shops and we talked to him and he apologized for the day before. He said his friend had gotten to his head, but that he would meet up with us in a few days. Ah. Miracles. God truly does love his children and will watch out for them. He has always got our back.

I learned this principle even more as we went on an exchange this week with the sisters in Hornsby. It was wonderful. There was just people everywhere. We met people from all kinds of places. Italy, India, Lebanon, Romania, China, Taiwan, Thailand, Bali, Samoa, New Zealand, America and so many others. And you know what? They are all children of God and He loves them all just the same. I loved talking to all of them and hearing their stories and being able to relate it to the Gospel. One woman in particular, is from India. As we were walking we felt very strongly to go and talk to her. She was sitting with a little baby. She told us she was here studying and she was very interested in religion. Oh perfect! We were then able to teach one of the most powerful restoration lessons I have probably taught my whole mission. We were able to tell her how our church differs from the rest and testify that it is true. She accepted the Book of Mormon and she wanted to read it. She definitely seemed really sincere. It was such an amazing day. We walked back to the train and I was so happy. It felt so good to be able to share the joy of the Gospel of Jesus Christ with one of his children.

In my practice of teaching as Jesus Taught, I learned once again the power of listening. I'd thought I'd learned this but I guess I haven't yet because it struck me again, how powerful a lesson can be when we listen. But as I listened this week, I was better able to hear the spirit as well. I could see the changes people were experiencing and then testify. God truly knows his children.

We taught the Gospel principles lesson about the Sacrament and I learned so much. The things these newly baptized or returning members taught me was incredible. I've come to appreciate the blessing of the sacrament so much more. It is the most amazing gift from the Atonement that we can be FULLY CLEAN each week. Jesus Christ gave his life to us without a single thought of himself. As we remember him each week we don't need to wonder the choice to make because it’s already made. To follow Jesus Christ and to come unto him. Just as he beckons us in Matthew 11: 28-30
 28 Come unto me, all ye that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest.
 29 Take my yoke upon you, and learn of me; for I am meek and lowly in heart: and ye shall find rest unto your souls.
 30 For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light.
Take the sacrament each week and allow yourself to come unto Christ and enter into His rest.

In my studies this week I cam across a scripture in Romans 7:24-25
 24 O wretched man that I am! who shall deliver me from the body of this death?
 25 I thank God through Jesus Christ our Lord. So then with the mind I myself serve the law of God; but with the flesh the law of sin.
Paul has been teaching of the law and sharing that he is not perfect, as are we all. Because of our human bodies we cannot attain perfection in this life. It is impossible, we will make mistakes. But because of the sacrifice of Jesus Christ we will attain perfection in the next life. This life is a time for us to prepare to meet God, to overcome the Natural man and be as he is.
As Benjamin Franklin said "Would you like to live your life with ease? Then do what you ought and not what you please." This is in essence, the Natural Man or the carnal mind. Living after the pleasures of the world before allowing our spiritual side to make choices or decisions
Paul Teaches us again in 2 Timothy 2:22
 22 Flee also youthful lusts: but follow righteousness, faith, charity, peace, with them that call on the Lord out of a pure heart
We must make the conscious effort and choice to allow the Holy Ghost to purify us, sanctify us, and cleanse us to become as God desires of us to be. I'm so grateful that in the process of my mission the Lord has allowed me to change for the better. To continue to learn and grow. To strengthen me and fortify me until I become unshakable as Jacob.
5 And he had hope to shake me from the faith, notwithstanding the many revelations and the many things which I had seen concerning these things; for I truly had seen angels, and they had ministered unto me. And also, I had heard the voice of the Lord speaking unto me in very word, from time to time; wherefore, I could not be shaken. (Jacob 7:5)

I know that God lives. He loves us and He wants against all else to have us home with him. It is all he does, he puts every effort into our return. I know we are sons and daughters of God, with a divine nature and heritage. We have eternal Glory waiting for us and as we do everything we can to get ourselves there, by helping others, we will achieve it. And as President Uchtdorf said:
"No matter how bleak the chapter of our lives may look today, because of the life and sacrifice of Jesus Christ, we may hope and be assured that the ending of the book of our lives will exceed our grandest expectations."
I know we can have full faith and hope in our Savior Jesus Christ. He gave us everything all because he loves us. Isn't it wonderful? Our Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ are pulling for us. They want this for us and they want us to want to come back as well. This life is for us to choose right from wrong, to relearn so that we want to return back to our Heavenly Father. He lets us do our part because that is what will bless us the most.
As Elder Terence M. Vinson said,
"Rather then solve the problem Himself, the Lord wants us to develop the faith that will help us rely upon Him in solving our problems and trust him. Then we can feel His love more constantly, more powerfully, more clearly, and more personally. We become united with Him, and we can become like Him."

Something I have been struggling with lately though is being completely submissive. And I guess not only lately but my whole life. I think it is something that most struggle with. Accepting and showing the Lord that no matter what happens, we will be willing to accept and go with it. As I was studying this week I felt prompted to open then Doctrine and Covenants and section 43 is what caught my eye. I was drawn to a verse that I had previously highlighted and that was vs 15. I continued to read until the end of the section and it definitely changed my view.
 15 Again I say, hearken ye elders of my church, whom I have appointed: Ye are not sent forth to be taught, but to teach the children of men the things which I have put into your hands by the power of my Spirit;
 16 And ye are to be taught from on high. Sanctify yourselves and ye shall be endowed with power, that ye may give even as I have spoken.
 17 Hearken ye, for, behold, the great day of the Lord is nigh at hand.
 18 For the day cometh that the Lord shall utter his voice out of heaven; the heavens shall shake and the earth shall tremble, and the trump of God shall sound both long and loud, and shall say to the sleeping nations: Ye saints arise and live; ye sinners stay and sleep until I shall call again.
 19 Wherefore gird up your loins lest ye be found among the wicked.
 20 Lift up your voices and spare not. Call upon the nations to repent, both old and young, both bond and free, saying: Prepare yourselves for the great day of the Lord;
 21 For if I, who am a man, do lift up my voice and call upon you to repent, and ye hate me, what will ye say when the day cometh when the thunders shall utter their voices from the ends of the earth, speaking to the ears of all that live, saying—Repent, and prepare for the great day of the Lord?
 22 Yea, and again, when the lightnings shall streak forth from the east unto the west, and shall utter forth their voices unto all that live, and make the ears of all tingle that hear, saying these words—Repent ye, for the great day of the Lord is come?
 23 And again, the Lord shall utter his voice out of heaven, saying: Hearken, O ye nations of the earth, and hear the words of that God who made you.
 24 O, ye nations of the earth, how often would I have gathered you together as a hen gathereth her chickens under her wings, but ye would not!
 25 How oft have I called upon you by the mouth of my servants, and by the ministering of angels, and by mine own voice, and by the voice of thunderings, and by the voice of lightnings, and by the voice of tempests, and by the voice of earthquakes, and great hailstorms, and by the voice of famines and pestilences of every kind, and by the great sound of a trump, and by the voice of judgment, and by the voice of mercy all the day long, and by the voice of glory and honor and the riches of eternal life, and would have saved you with an everlasting salvation, but ye would not!
 26 Behold, the day has come, when the cup of the wrath of mine indignation is full.
 27 Behold, verily I say unto you, that these are the words of the Lord your God.
 28 Wherefore, labor ye, labor ye in my vineyard for the last time—for the last time call upon the inhabitants of the earth.
 29 For in mine own due time will I come upon the earth in judgment, and my people shall be redeemed and shall reign with me on earth.
 30 For the great Millennium, of which I have spoken by the mouth of my servants, shall come.
 31 For Satan shall be bound, and when he is loosed again he shall only reign for a little season, and then cometh the end of the earth.
 32 And he that liveth in righteousness shall be changed in the twinkling of an eye, and the earth shall pass away so as by fire.
 33 And the wicked shall go away into unquenchable fire, and their end no man knoweth on earth, nor ever shall know, until they come before me in judgment.
 34 Hearken ye to these words. Behold, I am Jesus Christ, the Savior of the world. Treasure these things up in your hearts, and let the solemnities of eternity rest upon your minds.
 35 Be sober. Keep all my commandments. Even so. Amen.
Wow. I felt that section was written just for me. In particular vs 15 and 16.
I am called of God to serve, to be placed where he wants me placed and to be what he wants me to be. And as Elder Holland said. "Mans extremities, are God's opportunities."
It’s up to me to be as obedient as I can and do what he asks, but it is not up to me how the Lord's kingdom shall be built and how I should be an instrument in his hands.
As we do submit ourselves, then the real growth happens, then the miracle of a changed being emerges.
As it says in vs 34, Jesus is the Christ, these are his words, as a gift to us. Our submissiveness is our gift to him.

I love you all to pieces. Thank you so much for impacting my life the way you do.
Love you
Sister Benjamin