High Tide!

Some well used scriptures!
Hello my beautiful family and friends! 

This week has been a wonderful week. I feel like one of the fastest of my mission thus far. I can’t believe how fast the time is going.

My core experience with God for the week was certainly the beautiful fireside our ward put on last night. There are two older ladies who come to everyone fireside and they call themselves “fireside junkies.” I think I would say the same now. Our ward has put on 2 in the last couple of weeks and they both have been beautiful. But this one last night was by far my favourite. The spirit was SO STRONG. I didn’t want it to end. Many  of the people in the audience were in tears through out the whole night.

It was a missionary fireside so the ward mission leader and us as the missionaries organized it. I felt pretty stressed about the whole thing. In the beginning everything seemed great but then all the musical numbers kept cancelling! Ah! But it worked out beautifully the night of. The members worked with us so well and they were happy to help. We had a group of mid singles just happening to be practicing in the chapel that night that offered to sing. They are Maori and so is our bishop so he sang along with them and it was GREAT! 

One of my favourite parts though was when R got up and bore her testimony. She shared her conversion story with us, and it melted everyone’s heart. She spoke of some of the trials her family has been facing, but she said the thing that got her through was reading the Book of Mormon and praying. She said she knows that it’s true, and that this Church is true.  I couldn’t help but cry as she spoke. I felt the spirit so strong and I knew the Lord had prepared her for this change in her life.

Another part I loved was when the missionaries got up and we sang I Believe in Christ. I love singing and bearing my testimony at the same time. The spirit was so strong and so many people were in tears. I couldn’t look at them because then I would just start bursting with my own tears. It was a beautiful experience. I love being a missionary and having this sacred calling. Knowing that I wear the Lord’s name on my heart and that I can represent him, it’s just a beautiful experience.  

Another really amazing point was at the end when Bishop and the Stake President were giving their closing remarks. Bishop got up and was in tears. The ward here has changed so much in the last 8 months. The Ward council and members are working so well with us and things are really moving forward. You could see the joy in his eyes as he expressed the Love he had for us. When he sat down I couldn’t help but feel the greatest love and appreciation for having such a wonderful Bishop. He definitely reminds me of my Dad, and seeing the pressure put on his shoulders was hard to watch. But knowing that we are here to lift his burdens and help the work move along makes it all better. He really is a great man, one who I know is called of God right here and now to be leading this ward.

The Stake President spoke last and it was wonderful. One thing I love was that he said that our ward was at high tide. “When it’s high tide all the ships rise.” He spoke of our ward leading in Family History and Temple work and being unified, member to missionary. He is only 48 years old, and he said he has no idea why the Lord called him at this time. But we all know why. He is amazing. He is really aligned with the Brethren and helping the work move forward. He spoke of the Lord needing warriors, stripling warriors. We truly are the Lord’s army working together as one.

You could feel it in that room. The Lord’s work is hastening and we are all a part of it! Ahh!

 My experience as Teaching as Jesus Taught was with a wonderful investigator. We were walking down the street and a man was standing there and he called us over. We began chatting and he asked us who we were and what we were doing. We told him we were missionaries and he said “So what you want me to join your church?” We immediately just said yes. The confidence my companions had was absolutely beautiful. He just laughed and said okay walk with me. So we walked for a while getting to know him and he asked us again…”so you want me to get baptized.” We said yes again, and so he invited us over on Friday. We unfortunately had to miss the appointment but we were able to go back on Saturday.

He was drinking when we got there, which was sad to see. But we began talking and he was talking about all these things, things he didn’t like about Church and why he didn’t want to come. I felt to just bear testimony of the blessings of Church and why he needed to be there. As we did the spirit came in so strong. He felt it and he put his drink under the table. He just stared at me and I could just feel it in my bones. He then said okay. I’ll keep learning. You couldn’t deny that the spirit was there and we knew he felt it as well. Ahh. I love being able to feel the spirit! It’s probably my favourite part about being a missionary.

An experience that I have had over the course of my mission that has really transformed me spiritually is learning about repentance. Before I came out I always thought repentance was more for the big mistakes we make. I would often just say sorry to Heavenly Father and then move on. I had very big misconceptions about the process of repentance. But something that has really shaped me is learning what it means to really repent, to have a change of heart and see God, myself and the world differently.

I’ve learned that as I’ve been able to be so close to the spirit that what repentance is more for me now, is all the little things that poke at my spirit.

President Eyring once said “The good works that really matter require the help of heaven. And the help of heaven requires working past the point of fatigue so far that only the meek and lowly will keep going long enough.”

In Enos 1: 4-8 it says  4 And my soul hungered; and I kneeled‍ down before my Maker, and I cried‍ unto him in mighty prayer‍ and supplication for mine own soul; and all the day long did I cry unto him; yea, and when the night came I did still raise my voice high that it reached the heavens.

 5 And there came a voice‍ unto me, saying: Enos, thy sins are forgiven‍ thee, and thou shalt be blessed.

 6 And I, Enos, knew that God could‍ not lie; wherefore, my guilt was swept away.

 7 And I said: Lord, how is it done?

 8 And he said unto me: Because‍ of thy faith‍ in Christ, whom thou hast never before heard nor seen. And many years pass away before he shall manifest himself in the flesh; wherefore, go to, thy faith hath made thee whole.

Because of Enos faith he was able to pray all the day long and all night and because of his effort relying on the powers of Heaven He received a remission of sins.

On my mission it has been hard at times because it seems that the things I struggle with are on a flashing billboard that says here is all of Sister Benjamin’s mistakes.

One of my greatest desires is to be a disciple of Christ and if I just focus on the bad things I start to struggle and feel down, which is not how we should feel. But on my mission I have come to learn that repentance is a gift. It is an opportunity just as was Enos, to kneel down before our maker and cry unto him and pour out our souls as an offering to him. There we come to learn and commune with God, and begin to know on a deeper level who we really are and who we can become.

An example of this was a lesson we had this week with an investigator. We were teaching and the spirit was just not there, we started well but then we started to rely on our words, trying to control the lesson and the spirit just left. I felt so bad. I began to pray to so hard. I knew that the lesson would go no where without the spirit. And because of the prayer of faith the spirit came back and we were able to get back on track. But I knew we had been mistaken and I felt bad. Afterwards we talked about it and we discussed what we could do better to have the spirit with us and It feel so good. As I prayed that night I asked the Lord for his help to guide me to be better able to listen and respond to the spirit and do all that I can to keep it with me at all times.

I felt such a sweet peace afterwards and I felt the Lord’s love for me.

In Jeremiah 31:34 it says

34 And they shall teach no more every man his neighbour, and every man his brother, saying, Know the Lord: for they shall all know‍ me, from the least of them unto the greatest of them, saith the Lord: for I will forgive their iniquity, and I will remember their sin no more.

I testify that the Lord knows us and through repentance we can come to Know the Lord and that He will forgive us and remember our sin no more!

I love this Gospel and I’m so grateful to be a missionary for this sacred time.

Love you All

Sister Benjamin

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