July 8, 2014

This week was quite the week. I really feel like I just wrote and now I’m writing again. A few days late mind you because of the temple and then broken computers but all is well now. 
I’ve learned so much in this time and I’ve really felt the hand of the Lord guiding my life. I’m grateful for the constant guidance of the Holy Ghost and the answers to prayers that I have received.
My core experience with God this week was a training that we received in Zone Training Meeting. I feel like this was an exact answer to my prayers. I’d been praying and feeling the weight and responsibility that I had for my area, my companions and the stewardship the Lord blessed us with.
I prayed the night before we went to training that I would know what Heavenly Father would desire me to do, and how I could change to build a better environment in the area right now, to find the balance between the three of us and to work effectively.
What I learned is that I was stumbling because of my over anxiety. In Jacob 4:18 it says
 18 Behold, my beloved brethren, I will unfold this mystery unto you; if I do not, by any means, get shaken from my firmness in the Spirit, and stumble because of my over anxiety for you.
I’d been nervous overwhelmed and I was feeling pressure, and I needed something to change. And what I learned, was just to let go. To let it all go and leave it in the Lord’s hands.
1 Let go of perfectionism-stop trying to make everyone happy. It’s impossible-the Lord does not expect that of me. (Yay I’m a perfectionist. But I’m going to let it go!) 
2. Let go of feelings of over responsibility. No ones success or salvation depends on me.
3 let go of being over zealous( or to eager) Just work diligently
4. Let go of things which have proven impossible. Others agency not mine. Don’t give up to quickly but don’t go on forever.
5 Let go of fear-- fear of pain of the future, give it all to God. Trust in His plan and accept His will.
6 Let go of false beliefs. My worth is not dependent on my accomplishments.
7. Let go of misery. Misery is optional. Sorrow is real. Misery most often comes from stories we tell ourselves. I need to Lean on God and not myself.
8. Let go of self set priorities. Focus on one thing that is needful. Focus on what the Lord wants and being exactly where he wants me to be 100% of the time.
I too often try to control the situation and I want the process to go this certain way, but it’s the Lord's way. I feel that I’ve learned more how to get out of the way with our investigators, I’ve learned to let the Lord lead them and guide them the way He wants them to go and when they are ready they will come.
But I had to learn the same lesson with my companions and with myself. My progression as well as theirs also has to come in the Lord’s time and in His way. As I knelt in prayer I began to thank the Lord for the inspired training received and what it meant for me was to let go of it all. To put the control in the Lord’s hands and let him lead us and guide us by the hand. He has promised me this on countless occasions, I just feel personal responsibility as well. But what I always need to remember is that my level of personal responsibility does not fall into the category of things that are impossible. I can’t change other people I can only change myself. And that is all the Lord asks of me.
I know the Lord is there for me at all times, and in all things. And as long as I open my heart, and mind to him, he will be there.
In my experience as teaching as Jesus Taught I learned more of the potential that the Lord has for all his children, and the way He prepares them for their future responsibilities in building the kingdom of God.
We were given a referral this week from a wonderful member. She had a Samoan family that she wanted us to visit and get in contact with. Her thought was more for the parents, but the Lord had other plans. When we knocked on the door an 18 year old boy opened the door and immediately let us in. Hmm. Interesting, but alright we will go in.  We sat down with him and started talking, getting to know him a little bit better and asking him of his basic beliefs and things. He is a very strong family man, he feels his responsibility is to care for his family and he would do anything at all for his family. As we were talking the strongest impression from the spirit came to me to ask him if he had any desire to serve a mission. I thought it was a bit different because he was catholic and all other things, but I decided to listen to the spirit. I asked him afterwards and he said he would love to, but he was afraid of the rejection he would face. He listed a lot of other concerns and they were all very similar to how most of us feel before we begin our service. We testified to him then and there that if  he served he would have the power of God on his side. He looked really content with that and he looked more at peace. I knew that the Lord desired this boy, who was only 18 to serve a mission and to serve with power and great faith.
I felt so much love for him and I really wanted to help him to get to that point to show the world that He knew the Lord. 
Something else I learned this week form Zone Training Meeting really strengthened my faith in the Restoration of the Gospel of Jesus Christ. We focused a lot in the training about why we should teach the restoration and focus on teaching it to everyone.  We were committed to do so and so my companions and I decided to start only teaching the restoration with all we met. My goodness it has made a whole world of difference.
We practiced and role played over and over, teaching short and powerful statements with the three of us, and because we practiced the Lord blessed us with opportunities to teach.
In a period of about 2 hours, we found a lot of new investigators, 1 of which is a huge family who has a great desire to learn and progress in the Gospel. 
I found that as I shared the Restoration, and testified of it’s truth I learned so much. The spirit was stronger in our companionship and people were looking at us differently and responding in ways more powerful, then before.
I felt though that it was like a restoration of truth in my own life. I look at Joseph Smith and how the truth was restored to him in the sacred grove. He saw God the father and Jesus Christ. The truth was given back to him that he had once learned but didn’t have at the time. And that is what the Lord does for each of us, if we but ask.
In D&C 46:7 it reads.
7 But ye are commanded in all things to ask‍ of God, who giveth liberally; and that which the Spirit testifies unto you even so I would that ye should do in all holiness‍ of heart, walking uprightly before me, considering‍ the end of your salvation, doing all things with prayer and thanksgiving, that ye may not be seduced‍ by evil spirits, or doctrines of devils, or the commandments‍ of men; for some are of men, and others of devils.
Joseph Smith asked God and he gave him liberally all the truth he was seeking. And he took the Gospel and shared it to all the world, and it is still happening today. We are going forth as the Lord’s army restoring the truths that have been lost and given them the light and knowledge they need.
D&C 105:31
31 But first let my army become very great, and let it be sanctified‍ before me, that it may become fair as the sun, and clear as the moon, and that her banners may be terrible unto all nations;
I feel so blessed to be part of this work in this day and age. I know without doubt in mind that Heavenly Father is our Father. He lives, and Jesus Christ is His only Begotten son. I know that the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints is the Lord’s kingdom on the earth and I’m grateful to be a part of this Hastening.
Love you All
Sister Benjamin

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