What a HECTIC week.

Alexis eating fruit? Only in Australia.
What an incredible week. Oh my goodnight. I feel like we've been up, down, and all around today. Wowza. :) Well exciting news! I had another baby. A Tongan baby to be exact. :) Ha!  We were working just like normal, and then President Howes called us on Tuesday night and asked us both to train new Tongan Sisters straight from the MTC. It certainly has been been an interesting experience. We are both staying in Toronto and training. But the best part is that we still get to be traveling sisters. So when we go to do exchanges, we will leave them in the area and they will work, while we go. Woot :)

My core experience with God was being able to pick up my new companion. She is absolutely incredible. She has given up so much to be here on her mission, and she has changed so much just in the short time she has been here. As I've listened to her bear her testimony, I can't help but feel the spirit. She has such strong faith in the Lord Jesus Christ and she has only been a member for about a year and a half. Through out the whole 5 days we've been together I've been pondering a lot about the blessings that I have received as I've served and before. Heavenly Father has been incredibly good to me.  I know that Heavenly Father sent her to me at this time. I've been learning so much from her.  I have had to show a lot of faith in Heavenly Father. Letting him know that I can't do this by myself, I need his help. And he has been helping me a lot. He has shown me the love He has for both of us. I truly feel that this is the best thing that could have happened to me at this time in my life. It is certainly an opportunity for me to be stretched beyond my limits and become even more like the person God wants me to become.

In my practice as teaching as Jesus Taught, we had incredible lessons with our new investigator. He is completely prepared by the Lord at this time. On Tuesday we met up with him for the first time. And the whole time, all he kept saying was how much he wanted to follow God's will for his life. We did some How To Begin Teaching with him, explaining that all we had to teach him would help him learn how to follow God's will for him. The first lesson the spirit was so strong. We felt prompted to turn to the Book of Mormon and we read out of Alma 7. There is a verse in the chapter that spoke of baptism, as we read it with him, we knew we needed to invite him to be baptized. We invited him to follow the example of Jesus Christ and he said yes. He wants to be baptized. We testified that he needs this right now, and that this will help him bring himself closer to Jesus Christ. We went later in the week, and he still had the same excitement and interest in the lesson. He had concerns about life after this and so we were able to help him resolve his concern. I am so grateful to Heavenly Father for prompting us to call him and meet up with him. I know it was divine intervention, and because we followed the spirit, we have been blessed, as has he.

Miracles have just been happening this week. And I think it is because these 2 new incredible sisters in our flat and area, are just so obedient and have such strong faith. On Thursday, we were dividing up the area, and one of our investigators called us. She has been investigating the Church for quite some time. She just acts like she is a member, but her family has been anti before so she wasn't able to be baptized. But she called us up and told us that she wants to get the ball rolling. She wants to be baptized and be ready to go to the temple by her birthday in June. We just started crying. We were so grateful. She had just made our day. :) I feel so blessed to be with such amazing sisters, and to have this opportunity to introduce them to missionary work.
Another miracle happened as we went to visit the woman who works at the petrol station. We have talked to her quite a few times, and we have invited her to come to church with us before, but she hadn't been able to make it. We visited her again on Saturday night and we talked to her for a while and we were able to talk with her about the Plan of Salvation. As were talking about God's love for her, her eyes just seemed to light up. We could both tell that she felt the spirit. This week I have really been able to see and recognize how prepared people are every where. We just have to be willing to talk to everyone. It isn't about numbers, or anything like that. It is about inviting all of God's children to come unto Christ.

I have learned so much this week. I just feel like a different person. I know the Lord's hand has guided me all this week, in helping me to see how I need to change and become more like him. In Sacrament meeting yesterday, so many of the members stood and bore their testimony. Many of them commented on the fact that we have 4 sisters in the ward, and how that hasn't happened before. They all were really excited. And I know they could see the potential that this ward and area has, because they kept saying well I guess there is a lot of work for you to do or they wouldn't call 2 sets of sisters to be in this ward. :)

In my studies this week I started reading the Book of Mormon again, looking to understand the Atonement better. Sister Nelson in the conference 2 weeks ago, spoke of making a plan to understand the Atonement and this is what I've decided to do. As I've been reading, I have felt such a sense of peace. I definitely feel like I am coming to understand the Atonement much more then before. One of my favorite examples that I have found this week, is Nephi. Laman and Lemuel are yet again, angry with Nephi. So angry that they bind him with cords. They don't want their 'little brother' to be in charge of them.
1 Nephi 7:16
16 And it came to pass that when I, Nephi, had spoken these words unto my brethren, they were angry with me. And it came to pass that they did lay their hands upon me, for behold, they were exceedingly wroth, and they did bind me with cords, for they sought to take away my life, that they might leave me in the wilderness to be devoured by wild beasts.

But as always Nephi shows his faith.
In Verse 17 and 18 He shows the Lord how he understands the Atonement.
17 But it came to pass that I prayed unto the Lord, saying: O Lord, according to my faith which is in thee, wilt thou deliver me from the hands of my brethren; yea, even give me strength that I may burst these bands with which I am bound.

18 And it came to pass that when I had said these words, behold, the bands were loosed from off my hands and feet, and I stood before my brethren, and I spake unto them again.

Because Nephi knew and understood the sacrifice of Jesus Christ, he knew the Lord would enable him to break the cords that bound him. As with Nephi, all of us have the opportunity and privilege to allow the enabling power of the Atonement to 'break the cords' in our lives. Because of our flesh, we are bound by our imperfection/weakness. But as we show our faith, the Lord allows us to become stronger, to learn things again. The atonement enables all of us, but if we don't call upon the Lord, as Nephi did, then the 'cords' of our lives can and will bind us down.

I am so grateful to know that we can break the bands, that bind us down. I'm grateful to know that because Jesus Christ "broke the bands of death" that all of us will be resurrected, that all of us will be able to become perfect. But as we show our faith and use the Atonement in our lives, then will we receive the gift of Eternal life, in the presence of God. I love my Savior Jesus Christ, without him I would be absolutely nothing. But through Christ, and because of Christ I can do all things. I know that the Atonement is real, that it is what enables all of us to do the things we could not do otherwise. I feel so privileged and blessed to be a member of this Church and to have this Gospel in my life. It is an absolute miracle that each day we are able to change and become more like the Savior.

Love you Heaps
Sister Benjamin

No comments: