April 21,2014

Wow. What an incredible week. I can't believe its already the beginning of another week.
I learned so much this week that I don't even know where to begin.
My core experience with God this week was certainly learning the lesson of self-control. As I mentioned this last week one major theme that I learned from General Conference was that of self-control. So this week I made it my goal to really focus on controlling myself more so that the spirit could be more powerfully with me. But I learned so much this week that I cannot do it alone. As I started to try to gain more control, of my thoughts, emotions, and the things I'm trying to work on, it seemed that it just became so much harder. I was having more trouble then I had had before and it was really worrying me. So at this point I was praying to Heavenly Father and asking Him what I should do. And I didn't really get an answer until I was sitting with you and Sister Lloyd. I felt that I needed a blessing. I needed the extra strength to help me to keep going. As you know I was promised in the blessing to have the spirit with me much more powerfully, that I would be able to feel it in the very fibre of my being. And let me tell you that certainly has come true.
Just even the next day the spirit was just filling my whole body and I felt incredible. Heavenly Father guided me and it felt amazing. But if nothing else I learned the lesson of patience in all of this. I learned that if I want to change, I have to want it. I have to want to develop these things, such as self-control, and I have to patiently wait for it. I had to be willing to put my faith and trust in the Lords hands and allow him to help me and change me when I was ready, and when He was ready as well.
On Saturday we had a PMG study with the Zone Leaders and we talked about Patience and one of the scriptures that ELDER M shared really stuck out to me.
It was the story in Alma 17:9-11. This is at the time when they are praying and asking to have even just a portion of the spirit so that they might be able to be an instrument in the Lord's hands.

9 And it came to pass that they journeyed many days in the wilderness, and they fasted much and prayed much that the Lord would grant unto them a portion of his Spirit to go with them, and abide with them, that they might be an instrument in the hands of God to bring, if it were possible, their brethren, the Lamanites, to the knowledge of the truth, to the knowledge of the baseness of the traditions of their fathers, which were not correct.

10 And it came to pass that the Lord did visit them with his Spirit, and said unto them: Be comforted. And they were comforted.

11 And the Lord said unto them also: Go forth among the Lamanites, thy brethren, and establish my word; yet ye shall be patient in long-suffering and afflictions, that ye may show forth good examples unto them in me, and I will make an instrument of thee in my hands unto the salvation of many souls.

And I love that as they prayed for it they received the spirit. The Lord blessed them to feel comforted. But at the same time He told them that they would need to be patient and long suffering, all the while being a good example, and then the Lord would bless them to become as they desired. As EM read this to us I felt the spirit witness to me that this is exactly what Heavenly Father is expecting of me. He is telling me that He will make me an even more effective instrument in His hands but that it will not be easy. That I will have to work at it, but that I do not have to feel weak, or feel that I have to do it alone. He has promised me and all of us the constant companionship of the Holy Ghost. We can be comforted and have the strength to combat the natural man and overcome the things that we face.

In my experience as teaching as Jesus Taught we had an amazing lesson on exchanges with a wonderful woman from Fiji. She is incredible. She had just met with the sisters one time before and this time they were planning to teach the restoration. So we met up with her and sat in a very busy square and opened with a prayer. Immediately the spirit rushed in. She is from a Hindu background and she doesn't really even understand who God is. As we testified to her of her relationship with her Heavenly Father and that the Church is once again on the earth today, she began to weep. We told her of her Savior Jesus Christ, and how anything that she is struggling with can be overcome in and through the Atonement. As we said this light began to come into her eyes. I felt the spirit burning in my chest and I felt once again witnessed to me that this Church is true and that Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ are real and that they do love us personally and perfectly.

Another great miracle this week was on another exchange with SISTER S. Wow. Talk about incredible spirit. We went to a lesson with a less active and her partner. And initially he wasn't going to sit in with us, but we invited him to and together we read from the Book of Mormon. We talked about the story in Mosiah 24:13-14 and how the Lord eases our burdens, that he doesn't always take them from us, but he does prepare away for us to overcome them and get through them. As we did they both opened up to us and told us of how they had been struggling lately because their real estate was kicking them out of their house. And they said this is exactly what they needed to hear. She said she had been praying the day before for what to do, telling the Lord that she would give up anything for them to be able to find a place to live. She said as soon as she hung up the phone the agent called back and told her that she would extend their time until next week for them to find a place to live. As she shared this experience with us the spirit was powerful, and it witnessed to all of us the truth of the things we had read. We invited both of them to attend Church with us on Sunday and they both said yes. Her partner had never been to Church before nor taken the lessons. But after the closing prayer I felt strongly to invite him to take the lessons with the missionaries and he said yes. And apparently they came to Church on Sunday and the both really enjoyed themselves. :) Ahh Miracles. Incredible. :)

Another experience we had this week, really testified to me that people will make themselves known to you. On another exchange with SISTER T, we were out street contacting and a security guard from one of the stores made eye contact with me quite a few times, but we were down the road talking to others. But as we were walking back up the road to go home for dinner, he walked up to us and started asking us all of these questions, asking us what Church we belonged to and many other things. We told him who we were and what we were doing. He then asked, I'll go tell my manager that I'm taking my break now and we can have a chat. And so we obviously are like "great! Let's do it!" So we went and sat down with him and he was asking us so many questions, but as I listened to all of them, I kept feeling like the real only thing he needed to understand at that point was the doctrine of the Apostasy and Restoration of the Gospel. So as we sat on a crowded busy street we testified to him of the Prophet Joseph Smith and shared the restoration with him. It was incredible to me that even though there were people everywhere we were still able to feel the spirit that strongly. He had to end his break after that but we set up another time to meet with him.
I love experiences like that. I love that when we show our faith, when we are out there doing the Lord's work he will blesses with people to teach. As we talked with everyone, many of them didn't want to listen, but He did and he made himself known to us.

I was also so grateful this week that we had the chance and opportunity to celebrate Easter. My goodness. That was powerful. I love that we have that special day to think of Him and celebrate His life, and that He lives again. :) It saddened me though to see all the people who seemed to walk around and not have any clue who the Savior was. We talked to so many people who didn't even know why we had Easter. They just thought it was another public holiday. But it certainly helped strengthen my testimony as we were able to share with them about Jesus Christ and why we really do celebrate Easter.
I am so grateful to have this knowledge, to be able to know for my self that Jesus is the Christ. It is incredible.
I love you all
Thank you for your prayers and continued support
Sister Alexis Benjamin

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