Monday, February 24, 2014

Maria's Baptism Day

Hola to all!
This week, we got to see another baptism! It really is super cool to see things changing in this area. Just in time for transfers.... But seriously, I really am glad to see that this ward is progressing, whether i get to stay and enjoy it or not.
Maria is the name of the sister who got baptized. She has been investigating the church for years. Her daughters are members, and one is very active, and making plans to get married in the temple it looks like. Maria has wanted to get baptized for some time, but only recently got married. We have been working a lot with her to give her the little push she needed to actually get baptized after so much waiting. It was a hectic flurry to get everything ready, but it turned out pretty sweet. The primary just happened to be in an activity, so they were able to sing the Baptism Song (i think that's actually what the name of the song is... if you don't know what i'm talking about, it's a really beautiful children's hymn that talks about how the earth is clean right after rain, which is similar to us right after baptism). After everything, we went to give her a hug, and she said to Hermana Llavilla, "Thank you two for coming to my house all the time to help me finally get baptized." So that made all the running to and from visits worth it.
Today, they will be announcing transfers. I have had 4 and a half months in this area so far (more than half of my mission). of course it will be sad to leave, but i am also excited for the opportunity to get to know a different area and different people. Such is the dilemma of transfers.
I know that a lot more happened this week, but i just can't remember much ha ha my brain just kind of turns off on preparation days now...
i hope all is well wherever this letter finds you!
con mucho cariño
Hermana S. Bennett (because i feel weird writing my name after so much time being called Hermana)

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Maria's baptism

Wednesday, February 19, 2014

The Baptism of Jesus

Well, next tuesday is transfer day, so i might (lets be honest, i am probably getting transferred) be emailing from a different land next monday. I have had four and half months here in Canadá, so i am excited for whatever change comes this next week. sidenote: there isnt a functioning apostrophe or question mark on this keyboard, but i still press the key every time i want to do either. so i just want you to appreciate my attempts to be grammatically correct.

This week, we had a couple baptisms in the ward! the elders had one on Saturday, and we had one on sunday. We also have one, possibly 2, planned for Saturday, and a couple investigators who are getting ready for following weeks. Just when i am about to leave... ha ha Just kidding. Something i have really come to appreciate, and not get too frustrated about, is Gods timing, which is really the only thing that matters.

Hermano Jesús Quispe was the baptism saturday. We tried really hard to get a lot of people to come out, but once it was time for the baptism to start, there was only him, his girlfriend, and a couple members of her family. Eventually, two members showed up, and later the second counselor came so that we would have a member of the bishopric present. At first, i felt pretty bad, like we should have done more to have more people there, maybe even brought refreshments and prepared a musical number or something. But, as i was getting ready to share a message about the Holy Ghost, I realized that, no matter how simple or small this baptism seemed, our Heavenly Father was, in fact, very present in that baptismal service, and that was really all that mattered. I was filled with peace as Jesús was baptized in the font. It was a very quiet, short minute that he was in the water, but it was perfect. It was perhaps very similar to the baptism of Jesus Christ that we read about in the bible and the book of mormon. I dont remember it saying anything about how many spectators there were, or great music coming out of heaven; only Jesus, his cousin John, and His Father in Heaven, who was looking down, very happy to share that moment with Him. Thats how it should be.

Hmmm, somehow, i have ran out of time (yet again) but i hope that all is well wherever this email finds you. I am learning so much about so much here ha. I know that i am working for a true and living God. And i am very grateful for that.
take care, until next time :)
Hna Bennett

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Santiagito, the son of the Castillos
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The Baptism of Jesus! (sounds funny in English...)
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Sister Reunion
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Hna Llavilla and I with our high quality crowns
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with the Obrigawitch

Monday, February 10, 2014

A Priesthood Miracle

Hello to all from here in Canadá, Perú.
     This week was really a faith builder for me. Everyday i teach people of the importance of the priesthood, the power of God given to us to act in His name here on earth. I always testify of how important it is that this power was restored to the earth after Christ and His apostles were persecuted until the death, and as consequence, the priesthood was lost until the time that José Smith (as we call him down south) restored it. But just the other day, i was reminded how real the priesthood power is.
     I found myself very sick the other night, with a horrible migraine from walking in the sun all day. It was so bad that i was just waiting until we could get back to the room so i could start crying ha ha, but, my companion needed to eat dinner. we went to the house of our cook, and i just kind of crumpled up on the couch. Then her husband, the first counselor to the bishop, came home. Just as we were about to leave, I realized that i needed to ask him for a priesthood blessing of health. It was a short, simple blessing, but as soon as he lifted his hands, I felt absolutely fine. In my head, i was like, "Wait, are you serious?" ha ha. It was the most immediate relief i ever remember having from a blessing of health. I have seen and experienced many such immediate answers, to prayers and blessings, on my mission. When i see these answers, i often find myself thinking the same thing, "Are you serious?" with that tone of disbelief, and then i realized how many blessings I am missing out on because my first reaction is one of disbelief.
   There is a scripture, Ether 12:18 and 19, that talks about "the eye of faith." These verses teach us of how, first we have to see things with our eyes of faith BEFORE we can see them actually happen. We have to have such faith that the will in fact come to pass that we can actually SEE how it will be when it happens. And that is something that i, as some people call pessimism but i call it being realistic, need to improve drastically. I think it's time for me to really change my attitude into one of "yes it can happen" so that i can actually start seeing the results that i want, and more importantly, the results that my Heavenly Father wants. It's time to forget myself and go to work, like our President Hinckley always advised us. That means it's time to stop seeing things in my limited perspective, and start seeing them in God's perspective. That's when the miracles will start happening. I just had to get an ugly migraine to figure all this out :)
    Well, apart from all that, things are good! we are working a lot with members now, and slowly getting more support. it is so so so much easier to help people progress in the gospel when we have the testimonies of members to back us up. i still have not been hit by a water balloon, for all of you who were worried about that. I have realized that seeing Peruvian hairless dogs doesn't even phase me now. and.... I know that the gospel i am sharing is true. more and more every day. i love you all! until next time.... ¡CUIDENSE!
Hermana Shae Bennett

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dinner with the Marcas

Monday, February 3, 2014

Dodging Carnavales

Well, i am still here in Lima, Perú on my mission. I am still in the Canada ward. And i am still training Hermana Llavilla from Cusco! We are working hard (there is always so much to do) and we are seeing a lot of cool stuff here.
We are also having some hard times with some investigators. They just aren't doing much to show they really value our visits with them (they cancel on us, they don't come to church when they say they will, we find out that they told us fake names that really aren't their names ha ha), but it's always a really spiritual experience when we actually get to teach them. They are always just on the point of committing to change, but then they decide not to. It's a little hard on us, but i can't complain too much.
Despite some rough spots, we have so many good times here in the mission! We were able to teach an investigator, her name's Maria, after months of trying to meet up with her. Her 2 daughters are members, but one is not active in the church. Her other daughter is very active, and is a big reason for why Maria wants to get baptized. Maria has been waiting a long time to get baptized because she wasn't married to her husband more than three weeks ago. She was waiting and waiting for her husband to decide to get baptized so they could do it together, but he just isn't ready and doesn't want to. When we asked her why she wanted to be baptized, she said that she was too old to wait any longer, and that her soul is at stake. We kept trying to visit her, but she would always have other things going on, or she would be too tired to visit with us. So of course, we got a little discouraged ha. But finally, the other day, she let us come visit her. She actually asked us, "Well, what do I need to do to get baptized? I think i'll just have to do it without my husband..." The truth is, she is very very prepared to be baptized; she has all the desires to do it, and is very humble and willing to do whatever the lord asks of her. I'm a little ashamed to admit that i got a little frustrated with the situation, especially since we tried for weeks to visit her, and she would say things like, "I'm too tired today, maybe another day." But hearing her pray in this lesson we had, i realized that she was just in the process of getting ready, and that i just needed a little more patience. I'm working on it ha.

In other news, apparently February is the month of Carnavales here in peru! Which means that everyone runs around with water guns and water balloons and gets other people wet! ha in some parts, they fill them with paint instead of water. I have been trying to find some reassurance that they'll only attack the people who are participating, but all anyone ever tells me is, "I don't think they'll get you..." So that should be fun!

and now they are kicking me off the computer ha ha
con amor!
hna bennett