Monday, August 26, 2013

Heavenly Father: World's Greatest Plumber

August 26, 2013

For the blog:

Well this week has been pretty eventful! we got to go to the center of lima, which is not in our mission but we got permission. it's the place that comes up if you google lima peru ha. the buildings are awesome! i saw some guards with legitimate swords guarding the presidents house! we didn't really do much but look around, but i remember thinking, "wow, i am in PERU right now!"

we also got a visit from elder cook of the 12 apostles. he came and talked to the peru lima east and south missions. he's pretty cool! and he told us to remember how our mission calls are assigned to us by one of the apostles, and that every time they assign a call, they are strongly prompted to assign us to our specific missions. sometimes, it's because we need to teach a specific person in a very specific time and place because no one else can reach them like we can; sometimes, we are assigned somewhere to be led by a certain mission president, and sometimes we are assigned to a mission because we learn something in that mission specifically that will help us immensely sometime in our futures. For some reason, i have always felt (and felt it especially in that moment) that i am here for something in my future after the mission. of course, every experience here is all part of god's plan for me, but i really am interested to see what he has in store for me, and how my mission in lima, peru is going to help. pretty exciting stuff, huh??

I've also learned that being a missionary can be pretty miraculous. And how did i learn this, you might ask? well, it all happened in the bathroom...

this morning, i woke up to the sound of my companion saying, "hna bennett, i need your help!" i jumped out of bed, half asleep still, and she started talking about how she went down to use the bathroom and found the shower on full blast. i looked out at the patio (we have to go outside through a patio to use the bathroom) and saw about 2 inches of standing water EVERYWHERE. I then had a flashback to last night when i was getting ready for bed and started washing my face, only to have the water turn off right in the middle. Where i'm living, every night the water is shut off and then turned back on in the morning. in desperation, i tried turning on the shower to wash the soap off my face, but (duh) it was shut off too. i turned it back to the off position, but the knob on out shower is broken and feels like it's turned as much as it can but it's actually not turned off all the way, so obviously, i didn't turn it all the way off. and then it turned back on in the night and filled the whole bathroom and patio with water! ahhh. i also accidentally broke the toilet the other day... so i'm already on strike one with our landlady. anyways, we were freaking out trying to find a drain for the water, and we found one! only, the landlady had stuffed a chunk of wood in it to keep rats out ha. we started yanking on it and yanking on it, but it WOULD NOT budge. we didn't want to wake anyone up because we didn't want anyone to get mad at us, especially betty the landlady ha ha so we just kept yanking on that stupid piece of wood. It's funny talking about it now, but in the moment, we were like on the verge of tears ha ha ha. So in our despair, my companion says, "let's pray!" she said a quick prayer, asking to know what we should do. as soon as she finished, I reached down and prepared for the biggest powerfulest tug of my life, and literally just PICKED up the wood chunk ha ha HA! it just popped right out! i remember looking at it my hand, and then looking at my comp, and then we both just burst out laughing! ha ha ha. then we said a quick prayer of thanks, and grabbed some brooms and started pushing that darn water to the drain just as fast as we could. we got it all cleaned up, walked back into out room, and my alarm went off. the other sisters walked out just as we walked in, and we said "buenos dias" like nothing happened. The coolest part about all of this is that during my comp's prayer, i just completely knew that everything was going to be fine. i literally thought, "we're about to see something pretty cool happen." and then we did! prayer is really a powerful conversation with god. he understands our troubles, and even if they aren't really of eternal importance, he helps us out when we ask. also, he has a pretty funny sense of humor ha ha.

anyways, i hope that i've been able to illustrate this funny little story enough to do it justice. my brain is kinda halfway in spanish and half in english right now so, lo siento if this is not grammatically correct ha.

We have a couple baptisms coming up! one is for hermano jaime. he is literally GOLDEN. ok, not literally, but seriously, he's the easiest investigator any missionary has ever had. everything we teach him, he just says, yeah, i already have a testimony of that. he's ready to go. i can't wait to send you a picture of him in his jumpsuit!

well, let me know how home is going! i love you and miss you, all of you!
hna bennett


well, i still don't have my visa. obviously i came with an experiment group,
where we only have tourist visas, and the church wants to see how long it
takes to get visas ha ha.

thanks for sending me the cs lewis quote [about God making us into a palace when we expected a cottage]! another one by him that i think
about often goes something like this: a lot of times, when annoying or bad
things happen in our lives, we think of them as interruptions of our 'real
lives.' but in reality, the bad parts are just as much a part of our real
lives as anything else. the bad parts are how we learn and grow. they are
essential to our existence here on the earth.

ok that was REALLY paraphrased. and i think i must have had the plan of
salvation lesson on my mind ha ha. also, d & c 3:3 kind of goes along with
this quote too.

Friday, August 23, 2013

First Messages from the Peru Lima East Mission!

August 5

I have made it to the mission! (i'm just going to apologize right now for typos. this spanish keyboard is rough...) i can't believe i haven't talked to any of you in a week and a half, time kinda just flies by here. man, it's going by fast!

So my trainer is hna johnson. She is from logan, utah and went to USU! crazy. also, she finished her own training the day she became my trainer, so we're kinda learning together. we get the weirdest looks here when we walk together down the streets. everyone always talks about our hair and eyes, and we're just like, ummm, gracias? ha ha we also teach english classes on wednesdays, so that's fun. people love it. i think... i can't really understand what's going on unless we're teaching a lesson. It's actually kind of a miracle. we taught our first lesson without any latina companion to a man named tino. He is AWESOME. everyone here is. anyways, we were teaching the plan of salvation. he had so many questions! ha but, somehow (the spirit) we were able to answer them all. He even said to us: i've been to a lot of churches, but none of them take the time to explain the scriptures to me like you guys do. WOWWWWW. i almost started crying the spirit was so strong in that moment. God knows what his children need to hear when they need to hear it, and i have the privilege of being the means of sharing that in the moment it needs to happen. I've always heard about stuff like this happening on missions, but now i'm experiencing it, and let me tell you, there's nothing like it anywhere else in the world.

well, here are some things i have learned:

1. in south america, food=love. we are always eating, they just love feeding us! and the food is amazing. we have a woman who cooks all our meals for us. breakfast is usually pasta and bread and this amazing sweet milk. then for lunch we have soup, rice, potatoes, chicken, bread, juice, salad, and fruit (like three courses, EVERY time). by the time dinner rolls around, i'm basically forcing it down ha ha it's usually more potaties rice and chicken. it's all delicious. you might not recognize me when i get back. just look for the morbidly obese woman in a skirt.

2. you can live without a lot of the things you would think are necessities. like toilet paper and warm water and indoor heating. it's not so fun, but also, not as brutal as you might think.

3. you can love people the first time you meet them. there is an investigator we have, her name is cathy and she's 9. she's probably the smartest 9 year old in the world. i got to teach her about the Book of Mormon. I now know what God means when he says to come unto him like a child. She kept asking questions about Nephites and Lamanites and Joseph Smith, and how she could learn more. She wants to be baptized! Wow, she's the best.

4. Most of all, i've learned what it's like to be happy. like, TRULY happy. when you can see someone light up when you start talking to them about things that have changed your own life for the better, and you realize that they know how important your message is: that god LOVES them, and wants them to come back to him. whew... i can barely see the keyboard right now through my tears of joy ha ha. its actually kinda embarrassing, i hope no one looks at me...

sorry about the lack of communication! ahh i thought they were sending a pic of us with our mission pres to let you know where we are. i'm a real time missionary now!

anyways, i hope all is well at home. I'm going to snap a pic of all your emails and read them tonight! thank for your love, i think of you all often, and always try to make you proud.

love from peru!
Hna Bennett

First House in Lima Peru
There's graffiti everywhere...

i like to think the one on our house says
D&C 10 ['y' means 'and' in Spanish] ha
but it's probably someone's names.

people are very romantic here. ha

Hermanas Bennett, Parra, and Johnson - in a fake Macchu Pichu

My first baptism i got to see here! 

My first zone!


August 12

Missions are so weird! One minute I'm floating on air, and the next i feel like just curling up in my bed and crying a little. But, i wouldn't come home if i had the chance (sorry, no offense to anyone, but i gotta do what i gotta do). We have 2 investigators that are really keeping me going here. One's name is Alex. he suffers from depression. we found him from a reference from the MTC. he has always liked to learn from the Bible, even as a little boy. We taught him about the restauration, and he was just like, 'Claro!' ('of course!') and he will be baptized after we teach him about the Book of Mormon. I wish you could meet him.

The other is Abel. He was baptized Catholic as a baby, but hasn't really been to any church since. He told us that he doesn't really know Jesus, but he is just so eager to learn everything we teach! I wish i could describe him better, but i have run out of computer time ha ha this is a TERRIBLE email.

well, real quick: there are 4 sisters living in the same house: the other two are latinas. they BLAST "come thou fount" like nonstop every morning during study time ha. we live in the house of betty, who is Catholic and extremely opinionated. i love her though.

all is well here. difficult at times, but so so worth it. love you all.

i will try to write a better one next week! and with more pictures, yeah?

Godspeed all!
Hna Bennett


Still a few minutes left

we get to go to the temple once every 3 months ha.

i think i¡ve learned that i never want to live outside of utah ha ha the city is definitely not for me. i love the people, but i'm still warming up to the PLACE.

also, i finally have learned what a cockroach looks like in real life! yeah...

you don't need to put any more money on my visa for now, we're not supposed to use money from home, they give us 87 soles to live off every month.

things are different here! i'm still adjusting, and trying to speak spanish. sometimes i have to look back on how much spanish i knew when i got here compared to now, and then i'm grateful.

it's a hard work to do, but i'm grateful for my call here! love you! talk to you next week (let me know if you can read the letters i sent you a pic of ha ha that sounds so weird)


[Shae has come up with a new trick for getting letters sent via email quickly - she writes them on paper and takes a picture of them beforehand then just uploads the picture. Here they are (addressed to mom and dad, but stuff here you will probably all want to read)


I don't want to alarm you, but these are the motos that we use to get around. i usually just close my eyes whenever i'm in a vehicle ha ha


August 19

Hola! Well, Perù is warming up i think :( it's turning into springtime, and i'm already dying ha. Here's some info on how things work in my mission:

hopefully everything's clear on how to send letters. when you send me one, use the mission home address (on the right hand side of the blog). Dearelder letters are also sent to this address. I get all my mail once a week at our district meetings, which are usually thurs or tues. sometimes they come quickly, sometimes it take weeks ha, there's not really any way to tell why as far as i know. Packages usually get here, it just takes a loooong time.
 so far i've only seen 3 of the straight up terrifying, hairless, mohawks wild dogs. But there are seriously dogs EVERYWHERE. There's this one huge dog that follows us every time we leave our pensionista's house, and every time we get to out street, this dog starts fights with other dogs! it's the worst. yesterday, i almost got caught in the middle of one.... i don't mean to scare you! i really am fine, but the dogs are a fear of mine here ha.

right now, My companion, Hna Johnson, and I live in a house with a woman named Beti. Her husband died recently, so she wanted someone to live with her. And now, there's four missionaries living there! The two other sisters are Hna Parra and Hna Pecho. They are actually the sister leaders for the mission, so they help us out a lot. sometimes Hna Johnson and I have problems understanding people, and sometimes people only talk to us because we're white, and there are areas where we have to avoid just because we're to north americans... BUT we have had some successes that I know wouldn't have come if we weren't together. God has taken care of us every step of the way. True, it takes some time to weed out the people who are only interested because we're two Gringas, but we're figuring this mission thing out!

Right now, we have an investigator named Jaime. He was practicing Hare Krishna when we first starting talking to him. In the first lesson. he agreed to be baptized! His baptismal date is september 7. He actually has a daughter who lives in the US and is a member. He came to church yesterday, and we had an appointment with him aftwerwards. We went to find him at the park we usually teach him in, but he wasn't there. So we called him, and he said he was waiting at the chapel. When we got there, we found him singing with a group of men in the ward ha ha! his first day at church and he already was part of the choir. This guy is GOLDEN! and even though we don't have the language down, he still understands us. There are definitely people here who are prepared before we even get to them, and it's so cool when we find them.

There have been a lot of stories like this, i wish i could tell you all of them... but i have them all in my journal, and i can't wait to tell everyone about them when i get back. Which is in 16 short months?? Que pasó?! I honestly can't believe it's already been two months since I left for Perú. My time is so short here. I think the key to make every day count is to realize that, as missionaries, we are sharing THE most important message that can be shared: that God lives and loves us, and wants to talk to us! He uses latter day prophets to do this, and he also answers our prayers! The coolest thing is to experience someone offering their first prayer. Sometimes they're nervous, but every time, i feel like it's the most beautiful prayer i've every heard.


[This week's ingenous emailedpictureletter (EPL - the official acronym for when this method of communication become commonplace and she patents it):]


Here is another pic of our house (mostly for Mom... not all graffiti is scary!)
my street, and one of the many parks here

Sister Bennett - Lost and Found

Well, we lost Sister Bennett for about a week and a half. We got a nebulous Preparation Day email from her (Thursday July 18) that said she was scheduled to leave the Peru MTC on July 23  and then something about possibly not getting her Visa and maybe going to Texas until it came - with no more detail than that. On the 23rd, I sat glued by the phone all day, hoping that she might get to call since when her sister Britton left the Provo MTC a few weeks earlier, she got to call us. But, no call came, no email, no voicemail, nothing, from her or her mission. Guessing she must still be in the Peru MTC, we waited until her MTC Pday expecting the typical Email from there. Again, nothing. Starting to get very confused, I sent an email to the MTC asking if she was still there. I got a prompt reply that she had in fact left for her mission office on the 23rd, and they were certain of her arrival there since they had dropped her off, the mission office being just down the street from MTC.  So, at least we knew she was not in Texas or in the MTC and was actually somewhere in Lima Peru being a missionary, as protected as she could possibly be. That is all we knew until the following Monday (4 excruciating days of suspense later) when an email popped up from her telling us she was there, working as a real missionary. So, that accounts for the gap in the blog and now we resume tracking her using her short weekly emails  as posted on this blog. Real mail remains a bit of a mystery so we have never received anything from her from Peru - in fact, we still have not received a letter from her President that he apparently sent when she arrived on July 23 (a month ago today). As far as us getting stuff to her, we have sent stuff to the church missionary pouch system that seems to work - with about a 4 or 5 week delay. We have also used which works as well (same as using the pouch, they just do it for you - although, I think you can send a longer letter with DearElder since their character limit seems a lot longer than the single page the pouch 'rules' say you can use - and it is a lot easier since you don't have to go to the post office or write by hand). We have not tried a package. There is actually a family from Peru in our ward that is going down there soon and is going to take her a couple of things which should REALLY boost her morale. I think it will be an incredible experience for her to see somebody from home that is actually from Peru. I suspect that she will get some good referrals as well as she makes contact with them.

There are apparently a lot of people actually reading this blog. I missed a couple of weeks and started getting messages wondering why I was loafing. I will do better in the future now knowing that it is actually being used. THANK YOU SO MUCH to those of you who are obviously watching and praying with interest to the adventures of my daughters! Note that if you look at the bottom of each post, there is a link that says 'No Comments'. If you click on it, you can leave a comment (or reprimand for a slacking blog admin staff - OK, it's just me) and then the link text will update to show how many comments - but remains the only way this blog is set up to allow comments. I will work on an improvement.

So, I will now pick up where her last email from the MTC left off, hopefully without any future interruptions (although, you will note in her letter that she still only has a tourist Visa and we are wondering how she is staying there and how precarious that is!)...