Monday, January 27, 2014

Muchas Blessings

This week has been a really good one. We are seeing a lot of improvement in the way we work, and the blessings are muchas!

We got to have a pretty cool lesson this week with Lenny. We went to his house in the afternoon, but he wasn't home. Later, in the evening, an appointment fell through, so we felt we should go see if Lenny was home. He had come back, and his aunt and uncle were also there (the are very active members, who are planning on going on a mission as a couple). The uncle said, "It looks like the spirit has brought us all together!" Lenny was very excited to talk about the Fall of Adam and Eve (which had been the topic in Sunday School yesterday). He said that he really liked how we looked at it, not as a sin that all of us carry around, but as a transgression that was a vital part of God`s plan, so that all of us would be able to come to earth. He has also been reading in the Book of Mormon. At the end of the lesson, we asked him if he would prepare to be baptized one week earlier than what we had originally talked about. He said, "Would that be possible?" and we said, "of course!" He accepted, and told us that he had been out of the house earlier, but then he felt the need to return to the house. He didn't know that we would be coming, but he decided to follow that feeling and returned. His uncle said the same thing, that he was serious when he said the Spirit had brought us all together. And of course, we were all just like, "whoa." The most awesome part is that he's only like 26 years old. That means it is possible that he can leave on mission someday! how cool would that be? I truly feel that he is a person that has "been kept from the truth only because he knew not where to find it."

the other day we went with a member to talk to an investigator named Jorge. He is so close to getting baptized, he is just always so busy. We went with Hno Cunibertti. We got there and saw Jorge talking with to friends in front of his house. Hno. Cunibertti started yelling, "Hey Jorge!" and when he didn't hear, Hno Cunibertti picked up some rocks and started throwing them in his direction to get his attention. In my head, I was like, "Brother Cunibertti, what's up with that?" We talked to him and he told us, "I'm sorry, but i actually have to leave with my family." We re-scheduled, and as we were walking away, Hno Cunibertti told us, "I'm going to go back in ten minutes to make sure those guys left. They're 7th day adventists, and we can't let them get Jorge!" ha ha ha i was dying ha ha.

hmmm.. what else is going on? we had interviews with President Ardila this week. I really love and respect him and his wife. I passed! ha
and also, our neighbor always listens to America's top 40 in the mornings when we are studying. it's rough trying to read the scriptures to lady gaga. but we shall survive. I have really come to love latin music though.. Marc Antony has a new song call "Vivir la Vida," which i can't complain if i happen to hear it while riding the bus.

wellll, that's it for now. les quiero mucho!

Monday, January 20, 2014

The Mission is Changing Me

This week, we accomplished some things here in el barrio Canadá!
Hna Llavilla and I are working on improving our tracting skills, so we have put the goal to talk to at least two people on the way to every appointment. We have met some pretty interesting folks ha ha and also, we are getting more new investigators! So that's awesome.

We started teaching Leny this week. He is the nephew of a couple in the ward, the Zumayetas. He has come to church the last two weeks, and the young single adults have already taken him in, which is really cool! He asked if we could come visit him after church, so of COURSE we went. He had already read the first 14 chapters of the Book of Mormon. When we asked him what he thought about it, he said that there is a lot of good counsel in it, and that it's really interesting. He's just really thirsting for the truth, and now we get the opportunity to help him along (but really, he's doing it mostly on his own). We invited him to be baptized the 9th of Febuary. He said. "Well first, i need to read the Book of Mormon, meditate about it, and then i'll need to pray to God about it." (see: the second to last paragraph of the introduction of the Book of Mormon, which says exactly that). But he said that of course he would be baptized if he found the Book of Mormon to be true. We have a lot of high hopes for this hermano.

We are also on the lookout for any less actives that we can find. The other day, we went to the house of a less active whose mom was receiving the missionaries before. The house is actually connected to a store that the family owns, so we entered in through the store. There was a woman working at the counter, and she asked us, "What do you want?" so we asked, "Is Maria (the mom) home?" This woman looked at us and said, "She left." We then tried to see if she would be interested in hearing our message. "What's your name?" we asked. She answered, "Ilda." She then said she was too busy to talk to us. All of the sudden, another girl appeared and said, "Hermanas, how are you?!" She was Carol, the daughter who is a less active member. We greeted her and said, "Hey! When can we come talk to your mom?" She looked at us a little confused, and then said, "My mom is right here..." pointing at "Ilda." and, here comes the best part... Her mom glared at her daughter and growled, "No. MARIA left." and then the three of us (my companion, me and Carol) just started laughing awkwardly. ha ha. we haven't had a single follow-up with maria/ilda.

And then, yesterday, we had a pretty profound experience, at least for me. We were running like crazy to meet Antony at the church for a lesson. When we got there, we waited for half an hour, and he didn't show up. I remembered something a sister from my MTC district told us. She said that her older sister had learned on her mission that the majority of times that we go to appointments, people aren't going to be there. She said that God knows that as well, and that he is always putting people in our paths that we need to talk to. Her advice was that whenever we go to an appointment and they aren't home, to look around for people to talk to. As we left the church, I thought of that advice and saw a man sitting on the grass. I told my companion to contact him (ha ha I'm the worst trainer ever). As soon as we started to talk, he said, "please, i do not want to talk to anyone." We sat silent for a minute, not really knowing what to say, and he started to talk again. "Two months ago, my baby girl died. Right now i am fighting with God. How could he do this to us? I see families all the time celebrating and having a good time with all their children and aunts and uncles, and God took my baby from me." Again, we sat silent for a minute. All i could think to say is that "I know that families can be together, even after death." My companion asked if he would like to talk to someone, and he said no. I testified that I know that God loves this man, and he said to me, "Don't tell me that. How can God love me if he took my baby from me?" I asked if i could leave him a picture of Christ. He said, "ok." I happened to have a pass along card with a picture of Christ smiling with a group of little children. on the back was a message about the family. I gave it to him, and he said, "Thank you." And then, we left. I was dying inside. I think i maybe felt a little bit of the pain Heavenly Father feels when he sees his children suffering, even to the point where they question His love for them. I also thought, "What was I supposed to say to this man? Why didn't i have the words to comfort him?" I thought that this was the man we were supposed to find and help, but in the end, all we could do was give him a picture. I felt so...terrible. And then, it slowly started raining. In perú. in the middle of summer. I honestly felt as if it was a moment for me, that our Heavenly Father was in reality crying for this man, His son, in this painful time of his life. I was also given the assurance that our short conversation with him was enough, was what we were there to do for him at that point in time. Who knows what will happen in the future. I pray that something we said will help him realize that God is very aware of him, especially in these heartbreaking moments.

The mission is changing me. I am becoming a more sensitive person, and I am learning the beauty of humility. I am learning patience and brotherly kindness. Maybe someday, i will even learn how to love my enemies. Through all of this, i am learning more about our Savior and Heavenly Father. I know they are real and that they live.

Hermana Bennett

Monday, January 13, 2014

New Years

here is a short email. oops. i will try to do better bext week....
This week we had some really good times! First of all, it was Hna Llavilla's birthday, so we went to the house of the Castillo family to eat some tres leches (a vanilla and a chocolate cake) with some people from the ward.

The other days, we taught some people about the Gospel. Right now we are working a lot with Elena. She has 6 children (all grown) and speaks quechua, a native language of Peru (she is from a province outside of Lima). She has been attending the last three weeks, and has a lot of faith in Jesus Christ. Yesterday, we were running late to pick her up to go to church. All of the sudden, we saw her turn the corner from her house. She started waving and smiling, and as she got closer, she said, "Well, it looks like i'm picking you two up today!" ha she's the best. Maybe i will be here to see her baptism.

Today, the elders are going to play futbooollll for p day. but us sisters can't play with elders, and there are only four of us in this area, so we're going to go shopping for some better summer clothes in a huge market called Gamarra. Everything is super super cheap. Like, 5 dollars for a Peru soccer jersey! holla.
i would take pictures, but i'm pretty sure someone would steal my camera in Gamarra. sorry.

Also, my pensionista had a guinea pig in her fridge for a couple weeks. I was so close to getting to try it! but, alas, they used it for a party. someday.

welll, this was a weird letter. i am going to commit myself to writing a good one next week...

DON'T YOU.... FORGET ABOUT ME.... (to the tune of that one song on breakfast club/pitch perfect)
k bye ha
Hna Bennett

new years with some investigators and member

Monday, January 6, 2014

hola 2K14

Helloooo to all and happy 2014!
We celebrated by talking about our expectations for the next year and how we're going to accomplish them, and then going to bed at 10:30! ha ha

This week, I don't really have one story that sticks out in my mind to tell you. I would be ungrateful to say it was an uneventful week, but i just will have to see if anyone comes to mind to tell you about as i write.

I was watching a video yesterday about the Atonement of Jesus Christ. It was a mormon message with pictures of Christ during His life and scriptures desribing the way he selfessly lived and sacrificed Himself for us. As I felt the Spirit testifying of the truth of that message, i realized that, somehow in acting as a missionary of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints, i had somewhat forgotten about Jesus Christ and that everything i am here doing is to help people remember that He lives and loves us. I had become over-worried with numbers of investigators with baptismal dates and how many had attended church that day and other numbers that we have to report that i really had not been focusing on whether or not i had been testifying of His love to all that would hear me out. How is that possible? I guess the perfectionist in me got to focused on numbers. But, it explains a lot of the lack of succes i have been feeling here the last couple weeks. How could i share the gospel of Jesus Christ without putting all of my mind and heart into what it actually means to live His Gospel? We have to have hope, love, charity, patience, and long-suffering, just like He does. Without that, we will NEVER progress in this life. Furthermore, unless we feel the power of the Atonement in our lives, will we never feel the need to follow Christ; without understanding the Atonement, we will never understand joy in this life or the life to come.
This year, i hope to come to understand that Atoning sacrifice more. While i can never completely understand with my human mind all that our Savior went through, and all of the love He has for us, and can always feel in my heart that it is very powerful and very real when i take the time to remember. Let us ALWAYS remember Him, because i can assure you that He always remembers each of us.

Con mucho cariño,
Hna Bennett