Monday, September 29, 2014

Excited for general conference!

There is a poster next to me right now that says, "Missing Downton Abbey?" YES! Yes, yes, yes, I am missing Downton Abbey! You have no idea how much I miss Downton Abbey! Ha. Some things never change, even after sixteen months.

Anyway, we had a good week here.

Things that I learned:

Hermana Belnap taught me something really profound on exchanges. We were teaching someone the Plan of Salvation and she said, "The purpose of this life is to prepare, and just like any kind of preparation, it has to come in steps. Just think of getting ready in the morning. Even though you do the same thing every day, you can't get ready all at once. You have to do things one step at a time. It's the same with this life. We can't prepare all at once. God has given us certain steps to follow to prepare to meet Him." Wow! I always teach people about preparing to meet God, but I had never thought of using the analogy of preparing for something else. In steps. Maybe it's a duh moment for everyone else, but I loved it.

We had another great exchange with the Newport News 1st sisters, who live in my first apartment on the mission. It was so fun to go back there and remember what it felt like to be a new little baby missionary and have no idea what I was doing.

Other than that, things are basically the same. Going well.


Monday, September 22, 2014

Esta semana

Twas a good week.

We went on three exchanges, all of which were wonderful. I learn so much from the sisters that I serve.

We also had zone conference in Virginia Beach this week. The theme was Doctrine and Covenants 6:36: "Look unto me in every though; doubt not, fear not." For the first half of the day we received trainings on how to care for our physical, mental, and emotional health. It was really great. They taught us about simple meditation techniques and about the importance of a balanced diet and exercise. Because missionary life is STRESSFUL!

After lunch President and Sister Baker gave trainings on replacing fear with faith and talking with everyone. It was so powerful.

We are teaching some great people right now, all from very different religious backgrounds...

One was raised Muslim, but is now agnostic.

A non-denominational Christian.

A Presbyterian.

A Christian girl raised by atheistic parents. Her teenage "rebellion" was going to church.

And a few others.

So much good life experience! I am learning a lot.

Have a great week!


Hermana Bennett

Monday, September 15, 2014

This week.

I have tons to say and very little time, so I'm going to use my Mavis Beacon skills and type this super fast. Sorry if there are lots of typos.

This week was really good, with some amazing miracles, and also a bit sad, with some disappointments.

I'll start with the good.

This week I FINALLY started to feel like I have a purpose here in the YSA. It takes me a good eight weeks to get used to a new area, which is how long I have been here. I'm finally starting to feel at home, though.

On Wednesday we had one of the best lessons EVER. We have a super great investigator, Laura, and this week our branch president had us, her, and another one of our members over for dinner. She seemed to feel really at home there, and it went well. After the dinner we read a chapter out of the Book of Mormon with her, and then talked about fasting. She has done it before! Wow! We committed her to pick a baptismal date, and then fast and pray on Sunday at stake conference to know for sure if this is right for her. She accepted! The member that we brought to fellowship her did great, and offered to drive Laura to church. It was all so wonderful. Like picture perfect missionary work. So rewarding.

A sister missionary from the Poquoson ward got home this week and called us within hours of getting off the plane to see when she could come out with us. She is so cute. She served her mission in Argentina, so the whole speaking English thing is tough for her. At someone's door she was like, "We're here comparting a testimonio about... Never mind. You just talk." Haha. Spanglish. I want to be like that. Out with the missionaries every day!

We met with a great guy that we found at the activities festival at William and Mary a few weeks back. He is super cool and seems genuinely interested.

Later that night we had dinner with two RMs in our branch. They invited a nonmember to be the third female, and it turns out that she is golden! We taught her the restoration, she liked it, and accepted the invitation to meet with us again. MEMBER MISSIONARY WORK. So much better than missionary missionary work.

We went on exchanges with the Poquoson sisters, and I got to ride bikes for the first time in my mission! IT WAS SO FUN. I loved it. Plus it wasn't that hot - in fact we got drenched in the rain - so it was nice. I wish that I could be on bikes more. Sitting in the car all the time is the worst.

Stake conference happened. Crazy because for stake conference a year ago, I was in this very same place, going to the chapel on Denbigh. Newport News feels like my home stake by now! The stake president here, President Hamilton, is the best. I think that I was sent to Virginia in part just to meet him. In the Saturday evening session he talked about the appropriate use of technology, and encouraged us to join in Elder Bednar's invitation to flood the Earth with uplifting messages.

Another theme that the Spirit brought to my attention during stake conference was the glorious hope of the Gospel. It struck me again and again how much hope I have gained through the course of my mission. Seeing families that work, Priesthood holders that love and serve their families, and people that have turned their lives around has helped me to trust in the Lord's promises like never before. I feel that the future is bright, that I CAN have a happy, successful family, that pure, Christlike love, really does exist. I didn't feel those things as much 15 months ago.

I could say more, but my time is up.


Hermana Bennett

Monday, September 8, 2014

Great week!

I have very little time left, so I'll just send a quick update.

Things are going so well here! For basically the first time in thirteen months, I have progressing investigators. I feel like I am finally, finally, FINALLY seeing the results of my hard work. God has been very kind to us.

A bunch of returned missionaries have moved back to Williamsburg for school, and they are so helpful with the work. They are all on fire with missionary work and finding people for us to teach!

I got to see Raechel, my investigator from New Kent, again. She is doing really well and is super ready for baptism. I am so proud of her.

On Saturday we walked around William and Mary campus talking to people and handing out pass-along cards. We call that street contacting. I have not done it very much on my mission because it just hasn't worked very well logistically in the areas that I've been in, but on campus it works great! So fun.

Virginians love trucks and Jesus.

Have a great week!

Hermana Bennett

Tuesday, September 2, 2014

Great week.

This week was wonderful. Let me share a few miracle stories with you!

We met with a girl named Laura, an investigator that left for the summer and is now back. She believes in Joseph Smith and the Book of Mormon and is basically just deciding whether or not she wants to be baptized. This is a huge tender mercy because we have been struggling to find solid investigators. God is good!

We created a display board for the activities fair at William and Mary...

Doesn't it look great? One of our member's moms helped us out with it. Another miracle because we could not have done this on our own!

Heavenly Father helped Sister Bassett and I successfully give a SEVENTY MINUTE TRAINING at zone meeting on Friday. One of the zone leaders in the Newport News North zone went home early to start school, so his companion was left solo to run zone meeting. Insert sister training leaders, at your service! We were a bit nervous, but the Spirit stepped in and it went really well.

We couldn't find our phone one morning as we were preparing to leave. Finally we kneeled down to pray to ask for help to find it. We closed our eyes, Sister Bassett said, "Dear Heavenly Father," and then stopped praying. I waited for a moment and then opened my eyes, only to see her holding up the phone! It had been hiding under a piece of paper, right by where we kneeled down to pray. Not only is God good, but He also has a sense of humor.

We taught the Plan of Salvation to a friend of one of our members. After teaching the pre-earth life and veil, she stopped, smiled, and said, "Wow. That... makes sense somehow. Wow." Sister Bassett and I just looked at each other like, ARE YOU SEEING WHAT I'M SEEING?! You could literally see the Spirit telling her right there that it was true. So amazing.

While knocking doors this gruff older lady opened the door, we introduced ourselves, and she said, "I'm a Baptist." We said, "Well, we talk to people of every religion... blah blah blah." Pretty soon she let us right in! Soon we got to talking about the Book of Mormon. She told us that she didn't like the Mormon faith because it was selfish. I said, "Well, that's interesting. You may have been taught some things that aren't true, because this religion is all about Jesus Christ and service." After that she let us teach the whole restoration! When we tried to commit her to read the Book of Mormon she was super hesitant, so we each read one of our favorite scriptures, the Spirit touched her heart, and she said yes. Then yesterday we called her and she actually did read!



Hermana Bennett