What a wonderful week!:)

This week was quite the week. My goodness. I feel like we were in meetings everyday, which we were, but I loved every second of it. It was wonderful. I love being able to learn so much.
Earlier this week I studied the a talk by Elder David A. Bednar from April 2014 General Conference, which becomes my core experience for the week. He spoke a lot of the Atonement and bearing our burdens, keeping our load where it needs to be at. He shared one of my favourite stories about Alma and the people, facing persecution from the wicked priest Amulon. They are being forced not to pray, but they still choose to pray in their hearts and God listens and answers. But what I loved the most was what Elder Bednar said. He said “These good people were empowered through the Atonement to act as agents and impact their circumstances.” I feel that this week I learned a lot about acting and not being acted upon, to impact my circumstances given rather than waiting for something to happen.
This week we received a new and wonderful companion Sister A. She is beautiful and everyone says we are twins. She is from Aussie, first Aussie comp! Woot!  :) Sister L and I get along so well with her and we are so glad to have her with us. She has such a great knowledge of the scriptures and the teachings of the prophets and it’s like she has been serving for ages, and she just got transferred to be our companion here.
But being with a threesome we are faced with new and different challenges. We have to work out teaching and working with the members so that all three of us can be included. I have had experience with threesomes before but I want this one to be the best. I want to make sure that Sister A has an amazing experience and not just an average trainer, trainee relationship. I want her to be way better than I am before we are done being companions.
This has caused me to do a lot of reflection this week on what I can do to have this be a good relationship. I’ve trained before and done a lot of things, having a lot of experience, but I know this will require new and different ideas. And that is why the quote from Elder Bednar has been so prevalent in my mind this week. I keep feeling that the best thing I can do is impact my circumstances and be an agent for the Lord for this area, and also for my companions. This making sure that I am never to be the one holding us back, but propelling us forward. I need to be confident and always being worthy of the spirit. Having the spirit as my constant companion, and then relying on Him fully.
There have been a few instances that I have been tempted to pull from this, to step back and let them do it all because Satan doesn’t want this companionship to work. But I came across another scripture that really empowered me to continue forward.
Hebrews 10:35-39
 35 Cast not away therefore your confidence, which hath great recompence of reward.
 36 For ye have need of patience, that, after ye have done the will of God, ye might receive the promise.
 37 For yet a little while, and he that shall come will come, and will not tarry.
 38 Now the just shall live by faith: but if any man draw back, my soul shall have no pleasure in him.
 39 But we are not of them who draw back unto perdition; but of them that believe to the saving of the soul.
I know that as I continue with faith and confidence in the Lord, He will guide our companionship so that miracles can and will occur and that all our lives will be blessed. God is with us, I know it and I know that He will continue as we live worthy of it.
In my practice as teaching as the Savior taught, we had the pleasure of working with another sister this week, Sister K. She was with us until she received her trainee. Wednesday night after Sister A came, we split off planning to go visit and rescue some less-actives. As we were driving the spirit so strongly prompted me to go and see a member family. I wasn’t sure why, but I knew we needed to go. It was so strong I just couldn’t ignore it. We sat outside trying to figure out what we should share, and Elder Bednar’s talk once again came to mind. We went in to find one member, sick on the couch, having just had an unexpected surgery. A  lot of their family is sick right now and they were feeling very burdened down by the load they felt the Lord had asked them to carry. As we spoke of this talk and yoking ourselves with the Savior, this wonderful couple began expressing how much they needed the visit. They were so glad that we had stopped by. They weren’t sure what to do to keep going, but they felt that our visit was an answer to their prayers. I am so grateful that the Lord would prompt us to visit them and help them. I love this family and it was hard to see them struggle but I’m so glad that we were able to help them and fill their need.
I had another really powerful experience this week, sitting in sacrament meeting. I was thinking about our teaching pool and how we didn’t really have anyone next on the escalator progressing towards baptism. We have people who can and will be in August, but just not now and I wasn’t sure the path the Lord wanted us to take. I wanted so badly to be aligned with Bishop and with President Howes, and the Lord but I didn’t know what do to. As the sacrament was being passed on the boys came and brought me a note. I was sitting at the piano and it was from Bishop and he asked us to go and sit with a sister in the back. She wants us to help her son to be baptized, but we haven’t really been able to catch her and make things happen. But as I read this note I looked back and saw her and her son sitting there. As I saw them the Spirit said to me that this boy, her son, is ready for baptism and will be who we should be working with right now. I felt the spirit so strongly and I began to pray with such a grateful and humble heart. The Lord blessed them to come to Church and feel the peace and spirit there. It was such a powerful experience to me, witnessing that the Lord is aware of us and he will put those who are prepared in our path.
I have been pondering a lot this week, how I feel about the mission thus far. A lot of things have come to my mind. Things I have learned, ways I have changed, how others lives have changed and how I have been able to come closer to my Heavenly Father then ever before. But something that really stuck out to me was how often I have learned the lesson that this work is the Lord’s work and not my own work. I have come to change my thinking of it being “my mission” to the Lord’s mission that he is letting me serve. I have watched beloved missionaries go home this week, to watching Sister A be brand new and already be so amazing. I know that the Lord has specific plans and paths for all of us and he sends us to the field when he wants us to serve to build up His kingdom. He calls the shots and we are His agents to help all of His children to come unto Him.
The times when I have felt the greatest peace and joy is when I have been living this and giving all the glory to God. Sometimes He has had to remind me that it wasn’t me, but His power that was helping His children to come unto Him.
 Doctrine and Covenants 84:119
 119 For I, the Lord, have put forth my hand to exert the powers of heaven; ye cannot see it now, yet a little while and ye shall see it, and know that I am, and that I will come and reign with my people.
I feel so grateful and so privileged that the Lord has let me witness His power in this work. Before my mission I didn’t really understand that, I didn’t understand how the Lord worked, and I still don’t. But something I do know is that He wants all of His children back with Him and He will do whatever it takes to get them there. Whether that means calling a not so humble, sister from Utah with blonde hair and blue eyes to serve in Australia, to become humble and recognize the Lord’s power then so be it. He does what needs to happen for us in our lives, just when it is right. I have come to gain such a testimony of that, and I can’t deny it. I know that God lives, that this is His work and If I’ve learned nothing else then at least I know this. I know that I can do nothing without the loving guidance of my Heavenly Father. I feel so blessed, to be His daughter and to have gained this witness and testimony.
Love you all 
Sister Alexis Benjamin

June 16, 2014


And Happy Fathers Day Dad! You are the best! Love You All

God was so good to me this week. My goodness. :)

I feel truly blessed by all the amazing miracles and life changing events that happened not only in my life, but in the lives of those we are working with.

So as you know my sister Ashley and now brother-in-law Jimbo got married this last week. I wasn’t able to be there. All my family had promised me that the Lord would bless me for my sacrifice. And I had no idea that the blessings that came would come. It makes me think of a scripture in Doctrine and Covenants 117  12 And again, I say unto you, I remember my servant Oliver Granger; behold, verily I say unto him that his name shall be had in sacred remembrance from generation to generation, forever and ever, saith the Lord.

 13 Therefore, let him contend earnestly for the redemption of the First Presidency of my Church, saith the Lord; and when he falls he shall rise again, for his sacrifice‍ shall be more sacred unto me than his increase, saith the Lord.

 Seriously. The Lord was way too good to us. Right after we emailed last week we ran to our appointment with our wonderful and beloved friend and sister. When we went over there we started to discuss Joseph Smith. She said she had heard about some of the persecution he had faced and we decided we should discuss with her the problems he faced, but because he continued on great miracles occurred. We talked about how almost every time something good happens, Satan will try to stop it. He doesn’t want us to be happy and he doesn’t want us to succeed. We didn’t know exactly why we were discussing this but the spirit knew and he continued to prompt us to keep going. Then as we were talking I got the STRONGEST prompting to ask her what was holding her back from getting baptized. I had hesitation immediately come into my mind because we had asked this multiple times but, we decided to listen. We asked and we paused, she was looking at the floor and I thought for sure she was going to give us a negative response, but I just felt to have faith.

She looked back up at us and she had tears in her eyes, and she said “Sis, nothing is holding me back. I want to get baptized. I’m ready. I woke up this morning I just felt ready.” I started to just weep like a little baby. My goodness, embarrassing. But then I looked at my companion and she was doing the same. We were completely shocked but so happy all at the same time. After a couple of more tears were shed, we discussed it and she said she wanted to get baptized this weekend! Ahhh! YAY!

We didn’t know why the spirit had invited us to talk about the persecution that Joseph Smith had faced, but we realized later that week why. Literally every day as we made daily contact with her, something bad had happened. Her daughter, her brother, her friends, her neighbors, were all putting pressure on her to not go through with the baptism. She was completely alone besides us and her youngest son and the members. But she was strong. She faced the future with faith and she told us every day,   “I’m still going to get baptized. I don’t care what they say. It’s my choice.”

Ahh I love her to pieces. She had the most beautiful baptism on Sunday and it was absolutely amazing. A lot of the ward members were there and we filled the chapel.  The spirit was so strong and she was so happy. She said she felt so clean and light. It literally was miraculous.

This was certainly a growing process for her, but also for me. I had to really work on my faith. Every week as we would plan the spirit kept prompting us she will get baptized, just give her the time she needs. It was so hard to patiently wait for the Lord’s time. I think I prayed harder for her than anyone in my entire life. I gave my heart to her, and the Lord blessed her.

And as it says in Alma 31:38

38 And the Lord provided for them that they should hunger not, neither should they thirst; yea, and he also gave them strength, that they should suffer no manner of afflictions, save it were swallowed up in the joy of Christ. Now this was according to the prayer of Alma; and this because he prayed in faith.

The Lord does provide, as He always will when we put our faith and trust in His hands.

We had so many other miracles this week but I can’t begin to tell them all. But one amazing one that I thought to share, which is my practice this week of teaching as the Savior taught. On that same Tuesday we went to follow up with one of our potential investigators but he ended up being in bed sick, but his wife came out, along with their 3 daughters. It was about 7:45 at night and freezing. But they came out and ended up talking to us for about 45 minutes. We got to know them actually really well and we were able to teach some of the Plan of Salvation. They are an amazing family and they invited us to come back. When we went back on Saturday to follow up with them, hoping to be able to meet Adam, the husband, they all came out and chatted with us and we taught the Restoration and the spirit was powerful. We found our Golden Family. :)

Later in the week we also followed up with a potential in the area book that had been there for a couple of years but the Lord said, go visit this man. So we decided to go on Friday night and oh my goodness! He is amazing.  We were invited into his home and we started by discussing his relationship with the Savior and with Heavenly Father. He got tears in His eyes as He expressed to us how much they had helped him in his life. At one point in the lesson the spirit so strongly prompted us to ask him if he had ever been baptized. We heeded the prompting and we asked, he said no. And so we decided to invite him then and there on the first time we had even met him to be baptized. And he said YES! I Know the Lord guided us to him at this time in his life. There really are miracles, miracles everywhere.

We love to say in our zone that this zone for along time has been the sleeping giants. There is so much potential here and as a zone we say now that the giants are awake and we are ready to give it our all. I have felt the spirit so much, as my constant companion, guiding my every word, every thought and action. I’m so grateful for the incredible gift of the Spirit.

I love this work and I know it is the Lord who leads and guides us!

Love you

Sister Alexis Benjamin


June 9, 2014

Well this week was certainly interesting, full of learning and heaps of miracles. 

My core experience with God this week was learning how to be a visionary missionary. I feel that this is something that I have lacked for most of my mission. It has been hard for me to see a vision of what I personally can become and for others as well. I knew the steps that people needed to take for conversion, I knew what needed to happen, but I just couldn’t picture it in my own mind. But this week the Lord helped me as I really put forth the effort to be able to see a vision of what I can become.

We had district meeting this week and we spoke about extraordinary missionaries and some of the qualities that they have. We talked about how we can better emulate them and then we were asked to think of the extraordinary qualities that we would like to possess, or to create a vision for the rest of our mission. I really wanted to do this, I really wanted to see what the Lord wanted me to do for the rest of my mission. I was praying and I was trying to listen to the spirit and this scripture in Alma 7 really stuck out to me.

 22 And now my beloved brethren, I have said these things unto you that I might awaken you to a sense of your duty to God, that ye may walk blameless before him, that ye may walk after the holy order of God, after which ye have been received.

 23 And now I would that ye should be humble, and be submissive and gentle; easy to be entreated; full of patience and long-suffering; being temperate in all things; being diligent in keeping the commandments of God at all times; asking for whatsoever things ye stand in need, both spiritual and temporal; always returning thanks unto God for whatsoever things ye do receive.

 24 And see that ye have faith, hope, and charity, and then ye will always abound in good works.

 25 And may the Lord bless you, and keep your garments spotless, that ye may at last be brought to sit down with Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, and the holy prophets who have been ever since the world began, having your garments spotless even as their garments are spotless, in the kingdom of heaven to go no more out.

 As I read this I saw the line awaken you to a sense of your duty to God, that ye may walk blameless before him. What I saw from this and from the rest of the verses is that it is my duty to God to return to live with him again. It is my duty to strive to live the commandments faithfully at all times, to be submissive and gentle, easy to be entreated, full of patience and so many other things. Heavenly Father wants us to return to Him, in fact he asks us to return to Him, so in so doing making it a commandment. He puts all these things in our path to aid us. He knows the perils of this world, He knows how hard it is to be a missionary, to be a good strong faithful member of the Church, so He draws lines. He puts things in our path to make sure that we have all we need to return to Him.

Of course it is our choice, but this is where the line is drawn. It is our duty to return to Him because He gave us all of this, we chose from the beginning to do this and if we follow exactly the plan He has laid out for us then we will receive the promise in verse 25, “that ye may at last be brought to sit down with Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, and the holy prophets who have been ever since the world began, having your garments spotless even as their garments are spotless, in the kingdom of Heaven and go no more out.”

The Lord wants me to serve with all my heart, striving to become like Him, but not only that He wants me to do that for the rest of my life. To go on the path of discipleship and stay on the path, until I make it to the end.

I needed that reminder this week, I needed to remember how merciful the Lord is and how much He loves me and all of us. I needed to remember the reason that I am here, because only in and through His grace can I return. I’m not a perfect missionary. I wish I could say I was, but where is the fun in that! But I know that I’m here because I needed to change, to learn and to grow.

My experience as teaching as Jesus Taught was with some of our investigators. This family is amazing.  We taught them a couple of weeks ago about the Gospel of Jesus Christ and talked about Baptism and they both said they had never been baptized by water, but they felt they needed to be. So we invited them to be baptized and committed them to pray about the things we had discussed. Then we had a couple weeks break from them because our schedules kept conflicting, but we got to meet them this last Friday on my birthday. Their lesson was the best birthday present I could ask for. We followed up with their prayers about baptism and they said they had discussed it and they felt they needed to be married before they would get baptized. I love when investigators just already know what to do. We then taught the Restoration. It was so powerful. One of the most powerful lessons I have probably ever been a part of. We taught and they were responding really well. But my favourite part was when we spoke of the Book of Mormon and they were just in awe of it. She even said, “I’ve got butterflies. Imagine if there is record of these people, there probably could be even more that we don’t know about.” Ahh. He said the prayer at the end and he asked to know that it was all true the things that we had talked about.

And to make it even better they came to Church on Sunday and they loved it. They were so happy when they left. They were so excited to see us again and it was wonderful. I love when Heavenly Father leads us to those who are ready and prepared to receive the Gospel.

 This week Sister L and I did a lot of evaluation on our companionship. We wanted to teach powerfully together and carry the spirit. We wanted to make sure we were being obedient and doing our best so that we wouldn’t hinder heaven from pouring down blessings upon those that we are teaching.

But because I’m natural and still striving, I got a little impatient. We weren’t really getting down to the core of what we needed to change. And we weren’t being unified in our vision. I felt a little helpless, because I felt like I had done all I could. But then I had this thought, “Sister Benjamin, have you really done all you could?” I then remembered that we hadn’t turned to the Lord yet. We were just discussing things without Heavenly Fathers help and that doesn’t work out. So we said a prayer together and then because of the inspiration from the spirit, our District leader called and said he had felt very strongly to call us and work with us on our companionship. My goodness, Heavenly Father hears and answers prayers. We were able to really come up with some things that we could do better and I felt at peace.

I don’t share this experience to say that I don’t love my companion or that we aren’t working together, I share this to help you to see how we overcome the problems that we face. I do love Sister L, she is wonderful, and she is exactly what I have needed this transfer.

After this I was studying in the New Testament and these verses really jumped out to seem to describe exactly how I was feeling.

 3 For we ourselves also were sometimes foolish, disobedient, deceived, serving divers lusts and pleasures, living in malice and envy, hateful, and hating one another.

 4 But after that the kindness and love of God our Saviour toward man appeared,

 5 Not by works of righteousness which we have done, but according to his mercy he saved us, by the washing of regeneration, and renewing of the Holy Ghost;

 6 Which he shed on us abundantly through Jesus Christ our Saviour;

 7 That being justified by his grace, we should be made heirs according to the hope of eternal life.

This week I was just a little bit foolish, and natural, but because of the love and mercy of the Savior, we were still able to work out the things that we needed to. And I love that no matter the problems we face, His grace will be with us.

I know that this Church is true, I know that this is the Lord’s work and I’m grateful to be His servant.

Love you

Sister Benjamin


June 2, 2014

What a week! I learned so much. It was incredibly stretching, and great. These are the weeks I love the most. Not that I ask for challenging weeks, but they are always the times when I grow the most.
Earlier this week I was studying King Benjamin’s address in the Book of Mormon and Mosiah 4: 27 And see that all these things are done in wisdom and order; for it is not requisite that a man should run faster than he has strength. And again, it is expedient that he should be diligent, that thereby he might win the prize; therefore, all things must be done in order… really stuck out to me. I wasn’t exactly sure why, but it stayed on my mind for a lot of the week. It all came together on Friday when I got sick. I felt awful….first time in the field when I have been too sick to go out and work. And let me tell you it is not fun.
The Zone Leaders came over and gave me a blessing and in the blessing Mosiah 4:27 was quoted, specifically telling me to remember that I can’t run faster than I have strength, and that everything has its purpose and order. As I pondered that I realized that I was trying to understand and figure out a lot of things right then and there. I was trying to get answers to every question I had and I was promised that I would get answers to my prayers and so I kept thinking, well why aren’t they coming. Well silly old me, once again trying to do things my own way. Well let me tell you, that never works out. Ha J But this all comes together to be my core experience with the Lord. A little while later I got on my knees and I began praying. I told the Lord all concerns, all the questions I wanted answered, all the feelings of my heart. I prayed for a really long time.
And then I sat patiently and quietly, trying very hard to listen to the spirit and listen to my Heavnely Father. And the clearest voice said to me Peace Be Still. It seemed that every thought, question, concern, or anything else, was wiped from my mind. I felt at peace. And then my mind was immediately turned to the Story in the Bible of the Apostles on the Sea of Galilee. Mark 4: 37-40
 37 And there arose a great storm of wind, and the waves beat into the ship, so that it was now full.
 38 And he was in the hinder part of the ship, asleep on a pillow: and they awake him, and say unto him, Master, carest thou not that we perish?
 39 And he arose, and rebuked the wind, and said unto the sea, Peace, be still. And the wind ceased, and there was a great calm.
 40 And he said unto them, Why are ye so fearful? how is it that ye have no faith?
The Storm was there for me, but the Savior cared enough to calm the storm for me. But I learned another important lesson, not only that the Savior will calm the storm for me and all of us, but that I was lacking faith and trust. I was being fearful. I was afraid I wasn’t going to receive an answer. I wasn’t waiting upon the Lord, I was waiting upon myself. I felt myself being asked “How is it that ye have no faith?”
This was certainly my core experience with God, to be able to receive such a powerful answer, helping me to once again turn my heart to the Lord. Helping me to fully rely on Him and realize that it wasn’t up to me. Just as King Benjamin said “all things must be done in order.”
My experience teaching as Jesus taught was seeing the miracle of fasting. This Tuesday my companion and I both felt prompted to fast for one of our investigators. We fasted for her on Tuesday as we went to the temple. We fasted all day. But on that day nothing seemed to come from it. We ran into her at the library and she wasn’t to keen to talk to us. It hurt me, because I love her so much, but we decided to just keep praying for her and give her time.
So we ended up calling her on Wednesday evening, and she almost seemed herself again. She was laughing with us and she was talking to us like she used to. That gave us hope. We asked if we could come and see her and she immediately said yes. We wanted to really have a good lesson with her, we didn’t want her to run away again and we wanted her to know that we loved her, as well as the Savior. We petitioned the Lord, we both tried to listen to the spirit for what was to be a lesson for her. The answer came and we talked to her about her relationship with her son. WE talked about how the Gospel blesses families, and as we were sitting with her, she asks can I tell you something? We said of course of course!
She then begins to tell us how she found this book in the library that had some anti Mormon material in it. She said as soon as she saw it she closed the book because she felt so bad. This had happened last weekend and she didn’t want to tell us because she felt bad about it. But she said something inside her was telling her to tell us. She said this had been what had stopped her from coming to Church last week and from “feeling cold” as she said. We were able to talk to her about it and tell her it wasn’t true. We talked about how all good things come from God and that those things can happen when we are honestly trying to seek answers. And as we did that the spirit came. She said she felt so much better and then she even asked, Can I come back to Church this Sunday? My goodness! I LOVE IT! Of course you can come to Church! 
I learned powerfully the lesson of fasting. When we are willing to sacrifice and give of ourselves the Lord blesses us and those we serve. I’m so grateful that Heavenly Father helped us and allowed us to have that experience together. She did come to Church and she loved it once again. 
Now this week I learned another powerful lesson, and it definitely relates to having success as missionaries, to be able to work and help to bring forth fruit in our work. This lesson I learned is to work and to “act as though it were impossible to fail.” Before I started my mission I was afraid to go for much of anything, to try new things, because I was always afraid of the outcome. I was afraid of failure. In school I didn’t study like I should because I was afraid that I would still get a bad grade. It has definitely creeped into the mission field as well. Sometimes I am so afraid of someone not getting baptized, rejecting us, not coming to Church and so on, that I wouldn’t even talk to them or try like I know I should. Now what kind of attitude is that? Well it’s a really bad one! Ha 
How do you suppose we are to overcome this? Well I will tell you! With hope! But not just any kind of hope, we need the hope that comes from trusting the Savior Jesus Christ, believe that as long as you do everything you can, there really is no failure. The Gospel of Jesus Christ is not a Gospel of failure but a formula for change and success. For happiness and joy and reaching and achieving our greatest potential.
President Dieter F. Uchtdorf said “Hope is a gift of the spirit. It as a hope that through the Atonement of Jesus Christ and the power of His resurrection, we shall be raised unto life eternal and this because of our faith in the Savior. This kind of hope is both a principle of promise as well as a commandment and as with all commandments we have the responsibility to make it an active part of our lives and overcome the temptation to lose hope. Hope in our Heavenly Father’s merciful Plan of Happiness leads to peace, mercy, rejoicing and gladness. The hope of salvation is like a protective helmet; it is the foundation of our faith and anchor to our souls.”
When we have hope in the Savior and act as though it were impossible to fail, miracles will happen. I have seen this occurring on my mission when we did all we could miracles came and lives were changed. This is the hope the Gospel brings and it’s contagious. Others see it and they want it!
I am so privileged to have  been raised in the Gospel of Jesus Christ, The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints. The Lord has blessed me more then I can even express. Its wonderful and I am so grateful to be able to be sharing it with others.

Love You All
Sister Alexis Benjamin