Monday, March 10, 2014

Finding the Balance

The weather here in Chosica is one of the biggest blessings in my mission life right now! it is cool, sometimes rainy (with a chance of mudslides but i'm assuming someone will alert us if that's a problem) and less humid than in Lima. This week we had to go to the main city to go to the doctor (my companion got a stomach parasite, and ulcers, and something called gastritis. The Peruvian response to all the northamericans getting sick: "Well, you guys have stomachs that can only handle baby food" ha) and the weather in Lima is disgustingly hot and humid and i am here just livin it up in the rain.
As far as missionary work goes... it's been a slow week for me. But somehow, time is going by very quickly, and i finally had this panic of, "oh no i am going to be home soon and i need to get to work and use every second i've got." There's just a hard balance of spiritual and temporal things that i've got to figure out (and now, everyone who's already returned from a mission is thinking, "wait till you actually get back to real life and can't devote every day to preaching the gospel")
I've learned a lot here, and i know that it's all going to help me get to where i want to be in the future. I know i wouldn't be able to get through all of life's up and downs if I didn't have a Savior who has already been to all my lowest lows and back, and knows personally what i am going through and how very possible it is to make it through. That's the best reason to have hope if I've ever heard one! and i know, and have felt, and always feel that that hope is true, and that He lives.
love you all
Hna Bennett

P.S. here is a picture of me and companion who every says we are twinsies, but i wasn't fully convinced until she came today wearing a whale shirt and i just happened to have my own... also, mc hammer pants are in style here and i could not be happier

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Monday, March 3, 2014

Bad Things, Good People

Well this week was my first week in my new area, Chosica, in the El Sol ward, with Hermana Cornu who is like a laugh a minute ha ha i am actually just laughing with her right now because she is sitting right next to me reading this... Luckily the weather here is a lot less hot than it was in Lima. it actually rains a lot, which i was super excited about until they told me it is mudslide season ha. we seriously go hiking up this one mountain every day to make visits. i have seen some very humble homes this week. there are also some parts of our area that remind me of the part where you get on Pirates at Disneyland, so that makes me happy. Maybe someone out there will know what i mean.
     What can i share with you this week? hmmm. well, yesterday was interesting because we ended up teaching the plan of salvation in almost all of our lessons. we got to the home of a woman who has been less active for about 10 years (almost right after she got baptized) and we were planning on teaching the restoration. but for some reason, i just didn't feel that that was right. so, by some miracle, her microwave went off and she said, "oh one second" and left. My and Hermana Cornu turned to each other and it was like, "Lesson 2?" "Yeah, lesson 2!" and our game plan was set. so the sister came back and we said the prayer, and as soon as we finished with the amen, she started off on a little bit of her life story. She told us that recently, she has been fighing a lot with her son and husband, which are the only family she has really. She told us that she feels very lonely, and that she has even had thoughts of suicide. she told us that she didn't understand how God could love her, or anyone, if he would allow such bad things to happen in the world. I was just kinda amazed, because i could feel the answers forming in my head. and could feel the truth of them in my heart as i said them. i even surprised myself at how well we were able to respond to that tough question, but of course, it was purely by the spirit.
     There is a scripture in Moses, chapter 7 verse 32ish, i believe, where the prophet Enos (or is it Enoch? ha ha i am the worst at scriptural context remembering) is taken up in a vision by the Lord, and is shown all kinds of wars and just really horrible things that are going to come to pass in the world before Christ comes again. Enoch/Enos then looks up at the Lord and sees that he is crying. He asks something to the effect of "Lord, how can you be crying, if you are all-knowing and all-powerful, and have already seen this all before?" and The Lord responds, "These are your brothers; they are my own creations. i have given them the commandments to help them be happy. but they have used their agency for the wrong. they have even come to hate their own blood." that was a lot of paraphrasing by hermana bennett, but the point of this is that God doesn't like to see our pains any more than we do. he has given us the commandments to help us avoid these pains, but he has also given us agency, and will never force us to do anything no matter how much he knows it will help us. And when we use that agency to make wrong choices, it not only hurts ourselves, but many others. that is one answer to the question, "why do bad things happen to good people?"
    the other answer is that some of our difficulties here on this earth are just part of the reason we decided to come here: to be tested, to grow and overcome, and to earn the mansion that our Savior is preparing for us in His Father's Kingdom. It's the truth: we wouldn't know the good without the bad. So when you find yourself wondering, "Why me?" look for what you're supposed to be getting out of these problems you're facing. remember that God is with you every step of the way, and don't forget that you are His, He loves you, and He wants you to be able to pull through even more than you want to be able to pull through. it's easier said than done, but if i ever start to complain about the hard times, just remind me of this email.
  lots of love wherever this email finds you,
hna bennett
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Some members of the Canada Bishopric keeping it classy

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Manuel, who will soon be baptized in the Canada ward

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Hermana Helena Inga and I
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This is my new companion, Hermana Cornu!
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My new Chosicano view