This week has been full of so many emotions, but somehow i can really only remember the good ones.
the other day, we went to teach a sister who hasn't been coming to church because she recently had a spinal operation (I know, i know, what a lame excuse...) Earlier that day, during personal study, i had been drawn to the parable of the ten virgins. we decided to share it with her for the appointment we had lined up that day. As we began the lesson, she got very defensive. she said, "I told the other missionaries, and i am telling you. i still have my faith, i still read my scriptures and pray, i just can't go out very easily because of my operation." at this point, i was actually just thinking, "Well, okay, you can't blame her. let's just deliver this lesson since she hasn't been able to go to church in a while and it will lift her spirits." but as we started to teach about the ten virgins, i just realized how much this parable applies specifically to church members. And she did too. we asked her what could be represented by each of the parts of the story. she answered without much thought: we are the virgins, the bridegroom is the Lord, and the lamps are what we do to follow god... then her daughter stopped her and asked, "then what is the oil?" her mom stopped and thought for a while. Then she said, "You know what... the lamps our are testimonies, but the oil is what we do with our testimonies.Right now, i have my lamp, because i have my faith. but it's empty. i'm not doing enough. i need to attend church. i need to read my scriptures EVERY day. i need to go to the temple with my family and be sealed to them. at the day the lord comes, i can't ask someone else to borrow their temple recommend to hurry and go through the temple to be sealed to my family. I know i need to change." She then actually become emotional and said something that i will never forget. She said,"When you first came here, i thought, 'oh great, they're just going to preach at me.' and then you said you were going to talk about the 10 virgins and i thought, 'oh great, this story again?' but then, as you invited me to really think about it, i realized that god is completely aware of my situation, and that he wants me to come back and fill my lamp. and you sisters have some here, with your lamps spilling over, with this message to help me. thank you sisters for coming. you have blessed my life." and then i was just over, sitting in my chair, thinking, "how did she get all of that out of the crummy spanish that i just stumbled through?" The spirit truly works through us as missionaries, if we will allow it. Her statement about how my oil was above the brim touched my heart, and also compelled me to change, to become worthy of that image she had of us. I am grateful for these little reminders that i am, in fact, becoming a better missionary, and a stronger disciple of christ. there is always room for improvement, but it's always nice to realize how far you've come. i truly have changed so much for the better in these 5 and a half months, and it's all because of the love of my father in heaven.
thank you for your emails and letters, and love!
Con muchísimo amor, hna bennett
our district in a taxi
children asking me to sing one direction to them
a large hill overlooking lima
our zone struggles with pictures...