March 31, 2014

Mi Familia,
This week I have been studying a lot from Jesus the Christ, reading the parables taught and I have learned so much. One quote that really stood out to me, that has become my core experience with God this week, is one by James E. Talmage. He said “Unqualifiedly offensive as is Sin, the sinner is yet precious in the Father’s eyes, because of the possibility of his repentance and return to righteousness. The loss of a soul is a very real and a very great loss to God. He is pained and grieved thereby, for it is his will that not one should perish.” (pg. 461)This really stuck out to me because a goal I set for myself at the beginning of my mission was from 3 Nephi 11:11 “to suffer the will of the Father in all things from the beginning.” And my whole mission I have tried my best to ‘suffer the will.’ But from reading this and from many other eye opening experiences, I realized that really I shouldn’t have that attitude. I mean of course living up to, and doing the Father’s will is not an easy thing. But that we should not be suffering it, we should accept it with a cheerful heart, full of gratitude. Christ already suffered it for us. I realized this in our District Meeting as we were trained on grace. Grace is the endless love enabling us to overcome and be as God is. And as we were talking I felt to share this quote, and as I did I felt the strongest feeling that my Heavenly Father’s literal will is to have me and all of His other children return to live with Him in His glory. He wants to give us everything He has. And by us not accepting His will here on earth, or fighting against it, we are literally denying our entrance to the Celestial Kingdom.

I realized again, quite powerfully, the mercy and love He has for me and all of us. And it makes me want to accept His will, being full of gratitude, no matter what He asks. My Heavenly Father knows everything about me and He knows exactly what I need, and so His will is what I need to follow. Another parable I read was about the 10 lepers. In Jesus the Christ it talks about how the 9 were strictly obedient to the Lord, but only the 1 had the after thought to come back and thank the Savior for healing him. It is another lesson in the fact that no matter what is asked of us, we decide how we act and what we choose. When we come back to the Lord and thank him for the growth He has given us, how much better we will be. Our attitude definitely does affect us and we need to make sure that we don’t let our attitude get in the way.

In practice as teaching as the Savior Taught I learned again the power of faith. Saturday afternoon to Sunday we saw so many miracles. As it was the end of the month we really wanted to achieve our goals we had set and we needed some new investigators and lots of people at Sacrament meeting. We reviewed what we had done during the week and made some plans to achieve the goal. Afterwards we prayed together and put our faith and trust in the Lord’s hands. As we went out we were able to find 4 new investigators in just under an hour. We couldn’t believe it. We were so amazed that Heavenly Father would bless us with these precious souls. 

We also decided to go and re-invite everyone that we had already invited to Sacrament and, invite everyone else as well. And as we came to Church the next day, a miracle happened. We had 7 investigators at Church. My goodness! Can you believe it? 7?! I think it’s a record for our area.  It was so pleasing. And to make it even better the ones who came absolutely loved it. It was wonderful.  I am truly so grateful for the Lord trusting us enough for us to be witnesses to these miracles.

Another thing to be grateful for are the ways in which the Lord allows us to grow. Not going to lie here, this week was really hard for me. I felt like I was running on empty all week long, but some how I made it through each day. And the reason being, is that Heavenly Father helped me through it all. One night before I went to bed I was praying and I guess I didn’t realize anything was wrong until I began to speak to Him. I was accounting for my day and all the things came to mind and I just started to cry. But thank goodness for a loving, and patient Heavenly Father. He listened to me and as I gave him all of my struggles I felt him comforting me. After I finished I couldn’t stop crying and I guess I needed to keep letting it out, so my much needed, best friend/ companion(ish) listened to me. She was patient and she allowed me to let it all out, even though I was an absolute mess. The relationship the Lord has allowed us to have has literally changed my life. I have never before had someone be so patient with me, and challenged me to grow so much, at the same time showing me so much love. I know Heavenly Father sent her here for me. He knew I needed her at this turning point in my life. Because she listened to me that night I was able to overcome things that I have been struggling with for weeks. 

I have come to realize since serving my mission that one of the greatest ways the Lord answers our prayers is through someone else. It is one of my favorite things to pray for each morning, to ask please help me to be an answer to someone’s prayer. And then you find that the Lord does just that. It makes you feel so good knowing that the Lord is aware of not only my needs, but the needs of all of us.

Later on in the week I was also able to receive a priesthood blessing, which gave me exactly what I needed. I was blessed with things I didn’t even know I was struggling with, but it brought the sense of peace that I needed. I’m grateful for the wonderful gift that the Priesthood is to all of us.
Heavenly Father has promised us all the same exaltation. And He has given us everything we need to return to Him. I know that as we earnestly seek to follow His will, and to become as He is, we will be blessed even more abundantly then we are now.

Another fun thing that's happened this week....mice...lots of mice. IN our FLAT! YUCK! And as you all know I really really really really hate mice. They turn me into this foolish little girl. Sister Lloyd and I bought traps this week and at one point she was setting a trap and one ran across her hand. She screamed and jumped and I flipped out too. Then we left and we caught one, thinking we had gotten rid of it. Well I'm here to tell you, no. I was walking out of the bedroom and another little gross creature decides to run

across my foot. So obviously I start screaming and kick it into the kitchen. Sister Lloyd comes running out and I just start laughing hysterically at how ridiculous that must have sounded. I'm so not loving this at all. I wish they would just leave. But I guess it's all fun and joy from the mission right? ha :)
Love you all
Sister Benjamin

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