July 28, 2014

Wow. What a wonderful week! Full of joy and miracles and just a little bit of sadness.
I’m sad to say that Sister A has left the coop, she’s flown away… We were sad to see her go. We loved her so much. But we know that she is on to bigger and better things now. 
But a wonderful blessing is that Sister L and I get to stay together for my last transfer!  I couldn’t think of a better companion to spend this time with. She is amazing and we are just going to work so hard and see miracles and I couldn’t be happier.
My core experience with God this week was definitely meeting and teaching a beautiful new investigator. Ahh. She’s wonderful. A couple of days ago, we had placed one of our investigators in our plans for the day, just as a back up because he said he didn’t want to see us for a couple of weeks until his work got settled down. But the spirit so strongly prompted us to go and see him. As we went up to his house and knocked, his daughter answered the door. WE asked for him but he was at work. She invited us in anyway. She is only 16 and has been in Australia for a year. She is wonderful. WE chatted with her for about 30 minutes talking about the church and coming to find out that she has a great desire to come to church with us.
We made an appointment to come back the next day. We taught her about the Book of Mormon and she just kept flipping it over and over in her hand and then she started to read. WE were teaching her about it and she said that it was the best gift she had ever been given!  Ah the spirit was so strong. I love her to pieces. At the end of the lesson we asked her to pray and she said she didn’t know how to pray. So we taught her as we were all kneeling on the ground and she said the most beautiful prayer. I love hearing people pray for the first time. She did wonderful and the spirit was strong. We left right after, trying really hard to leave on a spiritual high.
We asked one of the member families to take her and her sister to Church because they have daughters the same age. They picked them up, and it turns out that this family actually knows them. Ahh. Miracles. They loved Church. It just looked like they were part of the ward already. After they asked if they could come to mutual this week, of course we said yes. These girls are beautiful and they have such a beautiful desire to learn more about the Gospel. It was such a testimony to me of the youth of the rising generation and how prepared and ready they are for the Gospel of Jesus Christ.
In my experience as teaching as Jesus Taught, Wednesday night we had rescue night. Sister L went with the Relief Society President and Sister A and I went to visit another Less Active family. Our ward mission leader said he had been pondering both these families and he knew we needed to see them. When we walked up and the sister immediately said “Oh! I’m so grateful you’re here. We definitely need the help now.” We sat down and we watched a mormon message and talked about the blessings of prayer in a family, and especially with husband and wife. She said that was exactly what they needed to hear. They told us a lot of the things they had been struggling with lately and that somehow we just knew it was the right time (thanks to our ward mission leader). After the lesson we knelt together with all their kids and said a pray. The spirit was beautiful and I know they felt it. They looked so much happier as we left and they kept thanking us for stopping by.
After the lesson Sister A mentioned how amazing it is to be able to go into a house like that and with not knowing the family very well, for them to be able to share with us immediately the things they were struggling with. She remarked that they could see us as disciples of Christ. It really helped me to remember why we serve and how much of a blessing it is for us to be able to bear the Savior’s name on our heart.
Another beautiful lesson we had this week was with a Less Active sister and her friend who just happened to walk up right before the lesson started. She sat down with us, being a member of the salvation army, and listened intently to the message. We spoke of enduring to the end and the battle that we all face in life, and how that helps us to turn to the Lord and apply the Atonement in our lives. Both these sisters were full of the spirit and you could tell they needed. When we came back the next day, this sister told us that the whole time she had been worried about how her friend would respond because she had never introduced her to the Gospel or anything of the sort. She said her friend was so happy to have been there with us, that it was so refreshing to see 3 young women have such great faith and love for our Heavenly Father. She said it really helped her open her eyes to what she was missing.
I love that no matter where we are we must act as Disciples of Christ, and we never know what might happen. But as we do as the Lord would, then miracles happen and people see the difference in us and they want to change for the better.
An experience I had this week with my missionary purpose helping me was in a PMG study that sister L and I did. We were reading in Jacob 5: 64
“Wherefore, dig about them, and prune them, and dung them once more, for the last time, for the end draweth nigh. And if it be so that these last grafts shall grow, and bring forth the natural fruit, then shall ye prepare the way for them, that they may grow.”
This scripture really stuck out to me, about enduring to the end, and never giving up on myself, or anyone else. I had been feeling the weight of going home soon and that I still wanted to change and improve as much as I possibly could before finishing. And this scripture was exactly what I needed to hear. That if I desired to grow then the Lord would bless me and help me to grow as I should before I go, but not only me, but others around me.
And I know that this transfer we will live just as the Nephites did, when they left the Lamanites and desired and strived to be the best they could.
2 Nephi 5:27
And it came to pass that we lived after the manner of happiness.
I truly feel so blessed to be here serving in Hassall Grove. I love the people and I love the way the Lord is shaping me and helping me to become like him.
I found this scripture this week in my studies and I just had to share, as I feel it is a perfect theme for my mission and the person that I have become.
Job 5: 17-18
17 Behold, happy is the man whom God correcteth: therefore despise not thou the chastening of the Almighty:
  18 For he maketh sore, and bindeth up: he woundeth, and his hands make whole.
The Lord tries those he trusts and I’m grateful for the way he has shaped me.
Love you
Sister Benjamin

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