Monday, September 30, 2013

George gets baptized!

September 30, 2013

well, this week was a good one (i think... i can't really remember anything too bad... except for the song we tried to sing at George's baptism ha ha everyone assumes white people can sing, but i think we're changing that stereotype here in the peru lima east mission)

we had a giant baptism on saturday! four young men became members of the church. Three of them belonged to the other sisters, but one was ours. George! I think i mentioned him last time as the one who didn't show up for his baptism. Turns out, he had a family emergency. But now he's a member of the church! It's crazy how much can change in a week. He was not very happy with us when he showed up and saw all the people who were going to watch his baptism... he almost didn't want to go through with it. but, luckily, he did. and he instantly changed afterwards. he was all smiles as he realized how many friends he had now! everyone in the ward just kind of surrounded and took him in as one of their own ha ha. it was so cool to be a part of. the next day, he was confirmed during sacrament. again, he was really nervous to go up in front of everyone. When i talked to him after, and asked how he felt, he said, "It was really... strange." I laughed and asked why. he said. "I was so nervous to go up there, but then, by the end, all i could feel was peace. I feel great!" Within a couple days, his whole countenance changed. Now, he has the gift of the holy ghost to help him in whatever place, at whatever time he needs it. it's such a privilege to be a part of this process.

what else has happened? hmmm. well, the brother of one of our investigators tried to teach me how to dance a salsa the other day. i'm not sure why, but obviously, it was pretty funny to them... then they asked me how we dance in the US. all i could think of was the fist pump... that was pretty funny for ALL of us. sorry, United States, i let ya down :(

until next time (con mucho amor)
hna bennett

Baptism of George!

there were three other young men getting baptized as well.
George is that cool guy in the back with a yellow towel. he looked way happier after the baptism...

here is the birthday present i got. it's a nativity inside of a llama - holla.

Hna Aguayo and I finally got to go to the temple :)

Monday, September 23, 2013

Work Continues in Santa Anita

September 23, 2013
Well, the work continues here in Santa Anita! This week, we've found some new investigators :) but we've also had to drop some investigators :( that's always the worst. but some people just aren't ready.

On sunday, we are supposed to have a baptism for an investigator named George (not of the jungle, if you were wondering). Unfortunately, he didn't show up, and we haven't been able to get ahold of him.

It's interesting that in some parts of the world, it's a struggle to have baptisms, while here, sometimes we have people who want to get baptized just to get baptized! one of the struggles for us is making sure people are truly converted to this gospel before getting them to their baptism.

hmmm, que mas... well, i have to say that my spanish is improving quite a lot now that i have a latina companion. sometimes, i kind of just want to turn my mind off from all the translating i have to do all day, but it's getting easier. i'm trying hard to work on my accent now. some missionaries here are actually really good at the grammar and words, but the people can't understand what they're saying because of their accents ha ha!

The most spiritual part of this whole experience so far is that sometimes i testify of something, and while i'm speaking the words, the spirit testifies to me that they are true. This week on multiple occasions i was teaching about the Atonement of Christ when i realized how REAL the power of His sacrifice is, how perfectly he knows me, and how much he wants to help me whenever i have a problem. I was using my pocket knife the other day, and i sliced my finger open (que tonta). I was sitting in a car a couple days later, and i looked down at the cut when the thought came to me, "Jesus Christ knows the pain you felt when that happened." I thought, "But it wasn't even a big deal!" And then i felt the spirit SO strongly testify that it WAS a big deal for him, that he CHOSE to suffer for everyone of my pains, and of everyone's pains, so that he could perfectly understand us. this story maybe sounds a little silly or weird in email ha ha but i hope that if you are reading this, you can feel that your Savior, Jesus Christ, truly knows and loves you. This knowledge is what gets me through the hard times. Fasting really does work, i've already learned that.

Take care, and know that someone in Peru loves ya!

Hna Bennett


i got grandma's letter, not brody's.
i have been sick, but nothing serious. just adjusting!
i've had some dogs get pretty close, but nothing has happened yet! one lady said it might be our skirts that freak them out?? there's not much i can do about that ha ha
well, keep sending me news about home!

love you all!
hna bennett

Tuesday, September 17, 2013

No Transfer-- happy to get some more time in Santa Anita

September 16, 2013

i did not get transferred, but Hna Johnson did :( i would be really sad if we weren't going to see each other after the mission, but luckily, we go to the same school! i am now with hna aguayo, a chilena. she is so stinking hilarious. and very patient with my lack of spanish skills.

i've come to love joseph smith a lot so far on the mission. and also, to appreciate more and more every day the restoration of the gospel of jesus christ. i love teaching it, and luckily, the people here are very receptive to it.

 yesterday, we were talking with a girl who was ready to get baptized this week, but then her brother said she couldn't until she turns 18. in this same day, the owner of the place she works at said we can't visit her there any more. and then, right when i was trying to help her get through everything and i was finishing a pretty heartfelt testimony, the radio turned on all on its own to some stupid rap song! ha. the adversary is so real, and is working so hard to stop everything good. it's the worst.

i probably will never downoad anything from your emails, sorry. i just am too worried about getting viruses, especially with the experiences i've heard about/had already with computers here. thanks for keeping me updated though! i do like to look at pics you send. i guess what happened with my memory card is i got a virus when i plugged it into the computer, so one of the elders is giving it to his pensionista to figure out, it sounds like they can figure it out, which is good! my new companion has 14 months in the mission, and lost her memory card with ALL of her pics from the whole mission in the move to this area. technology is so hard :( luckily, with facebook, i'll basically have access to all the pictures of all of my companions and converts when i get home. so that's one good aspect of social networking!

well, i'm going to write a big email now for everyone. i'll get pics to you when i can figure out how to to do it safely.

love you! and mom and dad: send me your conversion stories. as detailed as you care to make them!

love you all!

hna shae


Hola from Peru!

This week has been crazy (i think that is probably the most-used line in all of missionary work). We had cambios (not sure what that is called in english), which means we get calls tuesday night telling us if we need to move out to a new area the next morning at 6:30 in the morning ha it's pretty stressful. I am still in Santa Anita, but Hna Johnson was transferred to Surco. I am now with Hna Aguayo from Chile! She's awesome. She has more than a year in the mission, and I have already learned so much from her. The first thing she said to me was, "We are going to laugh. A LOT." And we have! ha ha. She always asks me to teach her how to dance to country music... just because i'm from the US...

Anyways... We have a baptism planned for this Saturday, for a guy named George. He's been coming to church for a few months, all on his own really. He's 20. When we started talking to him, he said, ¨When is the soonest i can get baptized?" it was pretty cool. So now, we're teaching all the necessary stuff!

We're also working towards the baptism of Esmeralda. She is so cool. I can picture her being like, general young women's president someday. Which is probably why she's facing so much opposition right now. First, the landlady of the store she works at told her that we can't meet her at her store any more because it looks bad to costumers (she honestly goes from school to work to bed, so we only can visit her at this store). then, in the same day, her brother told her she can't be baptized until she's 18. also, he refuses to talk to us. it's dang frustrating. but things this important always have opposition. i think that once we get through this, we'll all learn how strong we can be with the help of our heavenly father in our trials.

we have also had a lot of fun this week too. hna aguayo and I were organizing these boxes that have all the materials for our area when we found a cd marked "videos mormones." We were so excited to have some nice mormon messages for entertainment! so we stuck it in the dvd player, and waited anxiously to hear the voice of one of the apostles or something. But, to our dismay, the cd just started playing some spanish pop/rap song. we looked at the cd and found about 100 more songs like this one! ha ha ha! apparently some elder from a past transfer had been smuggling some unauthorized music into the apartment... so naturally, we decided to leave the cd on the desk of our sister leaders, with a note that said, "hermanas, we found this while organizing. we really think that video number three will have a great spiritual impact in your calling as sister leaders."

they never said anything about it to us...

well, things here are good! the weather's getting hot, but i will survive (probably). I just know that this church is true, more and more every day. It makes me happy more than i can express to know that I have a heavenly Father who wants to talk to me, and that i have a Savior who loves me enough that he suffered for every single one of heartaches and pains, so that he can help me when i experience them.

Send me emails; I have more time for internet now! Tell EVERYONE you know to write me. Not really.

les amo MUCHOOOO!

Hna Bennett


Goodbye Hna Johnson (last night together with Betty) 

Second Companion - Hermana aguayo from Chile!

Monday, September 9, 2013

Jaime gets baptized! (and visitors from home, sort of)

September 9, 2013

[Note: Stefani that Shae mentions below is Stefani Lively from our ward in Hooper. She is from Peru and went to visit her family this week - and was SOOOO gracious to take Shae a package for her birthday. THANK YOU SOOOOO MUCH STEFANI and BRIAN- you have no idea how much this means to Shae and us and we know it was not easy for you - and for Brian (her husband). This was an incredible act of kindness we will never forget - kenny]

This last saturday was the baptism of jaime! i tried to send a pic, but then my whole memory card got wiped somehow, so i'm kinda trying not to cry right now. i'll figure it out... anyways, back to jaime! he showed up, all dressed up in his suit and tie. he even sang a song! I'm glad he did, at a lot of the other baptisms i've been to, Hna Johnson and i have had to sing by ourselves ha ha so that's always interesting. then the next day at church, Jaime showed up with his tithing, already to go. there are so many amazing people here, i just feel so lucky to be able to serve them.

The spanish is coming along. I can understand ideas of conversations most of the time, but every once in a while I miss something and it kinda makes a huge difference in the conversation. I can usually express what i want to say, which is nice! i've definitely come a long way. it's hard to believe that someday, i'll actually be able to hold conversations with people, but i have faith it will happen, i have a year and a half to figure it out ha.

i think the thought that has caught my attention most this week is my growing testimony of the Atonement of Jesus Christ. i though i had a pretty good understanding of it before i came, but i've quickly realized that this is one thing that i will never understand perfectly in this life. While i was teaching an investigator about the atonement, the thought came to me, ¨Why is it that the Atonement had to happen?¨ then a scripture in John chapter 15 or 16 i think, came to my head. it says something like - greater love hath no man than that who layeth down his life for his friend. Jesus Christ laid down his life for ALL. Furthermore, he took on the pains and sins and sufferings of ALL. There is nothing that anyone has ever done in the entire history of this world that has demonstrated as much love as Christ did during the Atonement. and He did it for ME. and for YOU. and i think when we have moments where we actually realize that we are THAT important to the Savior of the World, we can't help but be overcome with how powerful that is.

I hope these emails make sense ha sometimes my thoughts are in spanglish. i love you all, and hope you are well!

hna bennett


to my beloved familia!

WOW. you guys are the BEST. I happened to have to go to the mission home on tuesday, and was pleasantly surprised when one of the office elders dragged out a 50 pound bag full of stuff for me! do you have a way i can email Stephanie_ (no question mark on this keyboard, sorry...) she must have a had a hard time lugging that bag all the way from utah. i just feel so loved and happy whenever i think about how much work you all did for me! please don't try to send a bday package, this one is plenty, and i don't want you to send something that will probably get stolen. THANK YOU! I wish i could have met up with stephanie, but we really aren't supposed to work with people outside of our area. do you know where she is staying - which district_ maybe i can get in touch with the missionaries for her area. lima is a big city! probably has as many people in it as the whole state of utah. i hope she didn't have to come too far to bring it to me, public transportation is kinda horrible. but thank you all so much! when you see her, tell her gracias! and ask for her email address.

ha ha i'm so happy you sent pics, i was kinda bummed that i didn't bring a ton. don't worry about making me homesick, when i hear about all the fun you're having and the good reminders of home, it just makes me happy! I miss a lot of foods! cereal, milk, spaghetti... grandma's funeral potatoes! i think the reason i don't get homesick is because time is flying by so fast here! actually, my companions are always like, ¨hna bennett, why haven't you broken down yet_ everyone has a mental breakdown in the first transfer_¨ i think its a blessing that i've always wanted to serve a mission, because its making all the ups and downs much more bearable. i know why i'm here, and i'm ready to work!

love you all! work hard!

sister b


Jaime's baptism! he's the first person I've baptized that I taught from start to finish. Also, he sang a song at his baptism, so that was really really awesome.

Tuesday, September 3, 2013

First Baptisms!!!

[NOTE: I got a few more pictures from Shae that I have added to old posts below so that they appear in their proper timeline - go below to see them - kb]


September 2, 2013

Well, it's already september, which is the beginning of my favorite season at home! But here, it's beginning to get hot. About every other day, it gets pretty warm, but then the other half of the time, it's still pretty cold.

This week we had three baptisms! Ok, i can't really take much credit for that, they already had received a lot of lessons before I came, but i did have the opportunity to teach Deysi in the weeks before her baptism. She's the adorable little angel in a white baptismal dress. I love teaching children! they are so intelligent and pick up on the messages so quickly. They just have so much energy to learn, and they have so much room in their hearts to believe. The three who were baptized were Deysi, her uncle Tino, and her grandma, Petrona. When they were confirmed with the gift of the Holy Ghost, i personally felt that same burning in my heart that i know they felt. I really think i would have a hard time if i wasn't able to see convert baptisms as often as i do, which is one pf many reasons i am grateful for my mission call to lima, peru.

I also had the opportunity to go to a big stake talent show this week. One of our investigators showed up, Hno Jaime (whose baptism is next saturday). And while we were waiting to start, he went up and started singing in front of the whole crowd ha ha! i wish you could see the change in him since the first day we found him. every time he prays, he thanks god for the missionaries who found him when he was stuck in a depression, and the other day, he even told us that he had thought about suicide right before we started talking to him. and now, he laughs all the time and sings improv karaoke at church activities! he also prays for my and hna johnson's families every night he told us, so never forget that there's one more person in the world who keeps you all in his prayers :)

Another cool experience at the talent show was with a kid named Luis Enrique. I walked in the building and saw this kid just standing, waiting for someone. He smiled and waved and shook my hand, but i really didn't think much about that because everyone does that to missionaries ha. But then, i thought, "Wow, he looks so familiar..." and i just could not think of why i would know this guy in Peru. It started to bug me, and i just kept staring at him ha ha. Then it hit me: I had contacted him in the street the first time i went tracting in the MTC! He did NOT want to talk to us. He wouldn't even look at us, and when he answered our questions, they were mumbled one word responses. but i just kept bugging him ha (which really isn't in my character, so i was kind of surprised. Hna blackwell, my mtc comp, also looked at me a little puzzled). Finally it came out that he had three Book of Mormons at home and that he had received the missionary lessons before, but didn't want to give up smoking to be baptized. We left him an invite to church and then moved on. we didn't even fill out a reference card for him because he was so uninterested. So i was pretty confused as to what he was doing at this church talent show. From what i could gather, two of the elders in my district work in his area, and i'm not sure how, but they started teaching him! If i understood correctly, he has a baptismal date coming up soon!! It was a testament to me that you really can't put it past anyone to have the ability to change. I'm glad this lesson came so early in my mission!

well, i just have one more thing to share. As we get closer to finishing my first transfer here, there are a couple missionaries who have only a week left in their missions. They are all so so sad to go home. To be honest, the first couple weeks here, i looked at them and thought, "man, it would be pretty nice to be that close to going home." But, as i've grown to love the people here, and prayed for the ability to fall in love completely with this mission, i can now understand their sadness. Yes, most of the time, it's really REALLY hard to be a missionary. But being able to focus all my heart and efforts on the gospel, and meeting such loving and genuinely, plain good people every single day, who are so giving and open to our message, it would be kind of heart-breaking to have to leave it. of course i miss home, but i really do love it here.

Take care everyone! if you want, you can send letters to me ha! dearelder or regular, they take about the same time i think. and emails are also nice to get! les amo mas que el mundo.

hna bennett


There was a quote from one of the last general conferences that says that missions shouldn't be the best time OF your life, but the best time FOR your life. the purpose of the mission is to prepare you to be a missionary for life, even when you have to worry about things like school and jobs and cars and kids and houses. my job here is so much easier than yours because i can devote every minute of every day (almost) to being a missionary, but you guys have to figure out how to do it while doing other important stuff. but i do have to say that my job is even better when the members give me people to talk to, and even EVEN better when they come with us to appointments. find people in the ward (less actives, part member families, or non members) and just don't be afraid to start talking to them. eventually you'll find a way to bring up the gospel, i promise. a lot of the stuff i've learned so far has been through regrets, like, "dang i should have talked to that family in the park" or "oh man, i shouldn't have been scared to talk about the first vision because i didn't want to scare them off." if someone is prepared and one of the elect that God has chosen to hear the gospel, you really CAN'T scare them off, but rather, you can give them the message they need most in their lives. anyways, ha ha that was a kind of a rant ha sorry, but it was just something that came to mind. become friends with the missionaries in the ward or area! they will LOVE you!

and also, i love you! :)

hna bennett

                 Deysi on the right with Uncle Tino, and her grandma Petrona

My companion and i re-enacted a little bit of church history.
Luckily, my comp understands my sense of humor.

Our first trip to the big city!