June 30, 2014

My core experience with God this week was trying to figure out how I could better internalize my purpose. I feel like for my mission it has been a process that I have been going through to be inner directed. And sometimes it feels like I really am, but then other times there is the temptation to think otherwise. As I began this process of evaluation this week, I was directed to many different aspects of my efforts as a missionary. But something that kept coming forward was whether my desire was to be selfless, or selfish. I read a talk by William R. Bradford, Selflessness Versus Selfishness. This talk really struck me and helped me to see where my desires need to be at.
He said “Selfishness is the basic substance-the raw material, if you will, out of which is produced almost all other sins that Satan has introduced upon the earth. Under his skillful management this insidious element manifests itself in such a myriad of ways that almost no one escapes its influence. Its magnetic tentacles stretch out and draw to itself every indulgence that can block man on his quest for exaltation.”
I learned that one of the things that selfishness does is, it stops us from internalizing our purpose. Part of this life is learning to give of ourselves more and more and until we can no longer give any more. For me this week I felt that a big reason the Lord sent me on my mission was to overcome my attitude of self.
I had a marvelous moment when I realized the Lord desired me to serve, and so I went. And this battle of selfishness is something I’ve been going through for my mission.
William R. Bradford also said “The only way given in heaven and upon earth whereby man may be sanctified is in the service of others. Every requirement that God’s plan for our salvation places upon us is based in the giving of ourselves. Having the spirit of selflessness, men and women share themselves, their talents, and their means in benevolent service to mankind and to God. Their reward is the freeing of their soul, the growth of their love, nearness to Divinity, and worthiness for the companionship of the Spirit.”
The Lord sent me on my mission so that I could become sanctified by giving of myself and learning that this life is not about me, but about building up His kingdom. As I’ve come to realize this my mission has gotten easier, I’ve realized that as I really am here to invite others to come unto Christ, then I do begin to forget myself. I’ve realized that I really have come to forget myself, and go to work and then I’ve been able to truly be happy. And I feel that when we are truly happy then we’ve internalized the purpose of this life, as well as the purpose of missionary service.
When I served with Sister Lloyd, her greatest desire was to serve everyone else and it really helped me to change, and when I was serving with her I felt like it was the happiest I had ever been because we were focusing on everyone else.
The Lord blessed me to see it this week that my selfish desires have been able to be placed at the back, and my selfless desire is at the front of my mind. It’s easier for me to want to put others first instead of myself.
William R. Bradford said “If you would be truly happy, these acts must be acts of selflessness. Selflessness will turn sadness into a cheerful countenance. Selflessness produces kindness and dispels hypocrisy. Selflessness develops love, confidence and trust. It is the vehicle of generosity. It is the resource God uses to answer the prayers of His children. With selflessness we demonstrate our true relationship and intimacy with the Savior. It is the link that binds together the family of God.”
The answer I received from the Lord was that for me to really internalize my purpose and be happy was to be completely selfless and focus on the needs of others and then everything else will fall into place. I loved the part that said that selflessness is the resource God uses to answer our prayers and if that’s what He does, then you better bet I’m going to do all I can to become as He is. :)
Another powerful experience this week was being able to see a recent convert enter in the temple and do Baptisms for the Dead. She, this whole week, was saying how accepted and loved she felt. That she could go to the temple, because she never thought she would be able to, or at least so soon. She said after the experience she came home and she felt so strongly that she needed to do baptisms for her family who have passed on and get their work done. It is such a pleasing feeling when you see recent converts really get excited to do the work of the Lord. I love her so much! 
Sacrament meeting this week was wonderful. Before hand we invited many people to Church, and initially they all said yes. But as we got to Church basically everyone who had committed either texted us or called us telling us, I’ve got this going on and all this other stuff. We didn’t want to be discouraged, and we knew these people needed to progress. As I sat waiting at the piano for Sacrament to start, I began saying a silent prayer in my heart. I asked Heavenly Father why this had happened and what He wanted me to learn from this. As I looked up I saw one of the families we have been working with in the ward. They have had a pretty rough week and we’ve been praying for them constantly. As I looked at them I saw their cousin, a non member, with them. He has been one we have been trying to have lessons with for basically the whole time we’ve been here. And miracle, he showed up to Church! He had been invited by the boys in the ward and He decided to come. I felt so blessed by the Lord, that even though we had invited so many and they didn’t come, the Lord still blessed him to come. He loved it and he even stayed for the fireside in the evening. It really witnessed to me that God does answer prayers and he does always provide for our needs as we do everything we can.
I love you all! Thank you for being such a great support to me!
I know this Church is true.
Sister Benjamin

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