Love You All!

What a wonderful week. I learned so much and it has been great.
My core experience with God this week was seeing a beautiful girl get baptized. Their family has been very less active for a long time. We had started visiting them because we saw they had a daughter who wasn’t baptized. It seemed that in their family the Dad was the leader of the home, but he wasn’t the priesthood holder of the home. So we would teach their daughter and she would be so excited to get baptized but then her Dad wouldn’t let it go through. A couple of weeks back Bishop had told us that the child of record baptism was on the 19 and that we should try to get her along for that. We prayed so hard before that she would be able to and that her Dad would be ready to baptize her and get things moving.
We taught them and then the spirit so strongly told us to invite their family. As we did so we looked at her and she was so excited, but then we looked at the Dad. He had a really concerned look on his face and we didn’t want to push him so we waited in silence. After about 5 minutes he looked at us and said that he would prepare both himself, and his daughter to be ready by the 19th. It was a marvelous moment.  The spirit was so strong I felt so blessed to have been able to witness that miracle.
On Saturday as she had her baptism she looked beautiful and as she was baptized the spirit was powerful and I could feel such a strong love for her and her Dad from Heavenly Father. The spirit burned in my heart and I knew that God was pleased with their choice to be worthy and for her to get baptized. 
My experience as Teaching as the Savior taught has really impacted me this week. Lately I have been praying to be in exactly the place the Lord wants me to be, and asking to be worthy to be there. We have had many experiences where we have been in exactly the right place at the right time. It has strengthened my testimony that Heavenly Father does hear and answer prayers and that He knows His children.
On Saturday night we felt strongly to go visit one of the Less-Active sisters in the ward to invite her to come to Church. But as we were walking up to her door we saw a young mother and her toddler son standing outside their house. It was really dark, and quite cold, but they were just sitting on the steps. WE said hello as we passed by but then we kept talking to her. We found out she had been locked out of her house. Hmm..imagine that! We continued talking to her and she had never heard of the Church before. She believed in God but she didn’t know where to go for Church. WE told her about our services and she was so interested. She asked us if she could come and if she could bring her son with her. Of course! We encourage families to come. She was so excited. I knew the Lord placed us in exactly the right place at the right time.
Another experience was with my first convert baptism? Well she had been on my mind quite a bit lately. She hadn’t been to the temple since she got baptized and I wanted to help that process move along. As I was praying the other night she and the temple just kept coming to mind. I wasn’t sure why or what I could do to help her but I prayed that I would be able to help her in some way. On Sunday before Church we were walking up and she came walking out. (Just as a side note, recently she moved into a ward that goes to the same chapel we do) She had a tear stained red face, and I immediately was concerned. WE ran up to her and we chatted for a little while and she told us the good and bad news. She had been having some family problems and she was really struggling, but the good news what that she had just gotten her temple recommend!  YAY! She said she went to the grounds yesterday and that she felt the spirit strongly there, and that she couldn’t wait to go in.
I felt sorry for her and all the trials she was going through. She kept asking why she couldn’t get a break, why she had to keep going through all these things. But because of the guidance of the spirit we were able to testify of the blessings that will come to her as she faithfully keeps her covenants. We were able to promise her blessings through her faith, and it was a really powerful experience. She said she couldn’t wait to go to the temple and I can’t wait for her to go either.
I know the Lord guided us to be there at exactly the right time to help her to be at peace and ease her in her suffering. It was a blessing for me because of the great relationship we have, she was able to open up to me and allowed me to help her. I’m so grateful for the spirit in guiding our every footstep. It is a wonderful blessing.
Now as for my greatest fear in missionary work, I think at the beginning of my mission I was more afraid of losing myself in coming on a mission. I felt like the biggest part of my identity was the things of the world and I was scared about letting that go. But the Lord knew and saw otherwise and has really helped me to see that I can only find who I really am in the Gospel. I think my biggest fear now would be, not being able to live up to my potential, and the plan that God has for me.
 At times I feel very inadequate, okay most of the time. I feel that the work the Lord asks of me is beyond my faith and ability to do. But of course these feelings never come from God. He never places fear in our hearts. Something that I have learned that helps me to overcome this is being vulnerable. I think  a big reason that I get scared is thinking I will get hurt, or that it will be more than I can handle and that I will fail. I sometimes fail to start things because I want to succeed and I want God to be pleased with me. Being vulnerable has helped me, because I have learned through experience that the only way I can ever accomplish what the Lord asks is by going forward, with the eye of faith and trusting that the Lord will help me and that I will do as His plan is.
As I am vulnerable I feel the spirit on a much deeper level, that I can’t if I’m not willing to move forward, or try to do what the Lord asks. But it also makes the sad, hard, and bad, moments even harder to handle because I am so open. But I have learned that it helps me so much more. I learn so much more from the trials and things that I face.
It makes me think of a scripture in Mosiah  4:11-12
11 And again I say unto you as I have said before, that as ye have come to the knowledge of the glory of God, or if ye have known of his goodness and have tasted‍ of his love, and have received a remission‍ of your sins, which causeth such exceedingly great joy in your souls, even so I would that ye should remember, and always retain in remembrance, the greatness of God, and your own nothingness, and his goodness‍ and long-suffering towards you, unworthy creatures, and humble yourselves even in the depths of humility, calling‍ on the name of the Lord daily, and standing steadfastly‍ in the faith of that which is to come, which was spoken by the mouth of the angel.
  12 And behold, I say unto you that if ye do this ye shall always rejoice, and be filled with the love‍ of God, and always retain‍ a remission of your sins; and ye shall grow in the knowledge‍ of the glory of him that created you, or in the knowledge of that which is just and true.
I know that for me compared to God I am nothing, and I have no strength to even accomplish the things here. But to God I am everything, and as I acknowledge His greatness and my nothingness, my humility before him, I am changed. I become like him and I can be filled with His love.
I overcome this fear of falling short, by realizing that the only way I can stop falling short is by having the Lord’s help, having full faith and trust in him, and becoming a Disciple of Christ.
I have evaluated my fears this week and I have tried to come to understand what the Lord has wanted me to learn and this is what I have learned. That I need to be vulnerable and humble before him, and He will direct me and help me to keep the faith.
I’m grateful for the loving guidance of my Heavenly Father and I am grateful for the blessing this mission has been to me in my life.
Love you!
Sister Benjamin

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