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

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