Friday, May 24, 2013

She's a barbie girl

This week....I hardly have words. It was incredible!!! I'll just go down my list of things I want to tell you on my sticky note :) ha I had an amazing experience while listening to a devotional by Elder Holland, he was talking about how being a missionary of distinction was having the ability to discern...I thought of a line in my patriarchal blessing about being a "mother of distinction" and felt so comforted that my mission is going to help me SO much with being a parent. This is really the best choice I ever made, and every day I feel like it's a miracle I'm here and I'm so blessed! Which brings me to my next story. We were practicing teaching about the Word of Wisdom, and I suddenly could just imagine missionaries teaching the lessons to Grandpa Benesch and thought about how if him and grandma wouldn't have made the decision to join the church and be sealed as a family..I wouldn't be here right now! Thank you Grandma and Grandpa for listening to the spirit so that I could be raised in the church, and now I can be sharing that message with others who it will bless in the same way :) I love you!

Also this week my teacher said something that really hit me hard during language study...and she said "you already knew this language in the pre-existence, now you just have to remember it." I KNOW Tagalog! It's honestly started to come a lot easier since I really took what she said seriously, I truly believe in the gift of tongues, because all the spiritual gifts we're receiving are things that we once possessed while living with God before. Also that day during our lessons my teacher was talking about angels being with us and I could clearly see Grammy Lue sitting with me helping me to learn the language and learn the things I need to teach these people...I know she's with me and helping me every single day!
On a funnier note...Elder Kiraren started randomly singing a song from a Barbie movie yesterday and all the sudden our Whole district was talking about Barbie movies and how much we really all like them! haha It was hilarious, and probably not way missionary appropriate, but it was just so funny to see these elders sing barbie movies, and all of us who are practically adults talking about how much we love those movies!! And Elder Liu. Always have a good story with him :) Yesterday he walks into the district room after using the CR (restroom) and goes "Oh my gos...LOOK!" And his belt loop had Totally busted off his pants and he was freaking out about it and I was laughing SO so so hard! He asked me to sew them for him! haha I didn't even know what to say...but I think he forgot about it. We were also teaching him how to say "chicken" and it was just so funny because he can't for the life of him make the "ch" I love asians so much! I wish you all could meet him and understand how funny my stories really are :) ha

NOW...for my BEST stories!!!!!!! I don't know HOW I forgot to tell you what I got to do this week, but we got to go out proselyting on Wednesday with the missionaries in the Manila mission!! Oh my gosh it was incredible. It was only for 4 hours...but I've now seen things I never imagined. These people live in cement houses with barred windows, and you just walk down these HORRIBLE smelling tiny alleyways (spell? ha I can't speak english!) but everything is just dirty and the houses have no AC and are tiny tiny with no doors even was amazing. I am so humbled comparing what they have to what I have, yet they're so positive and happy! We were able to go teach a little 10 year old boy named Christian and it was a blast! He was so adorable reading the Ang Aklat ni Mormon, and it just Amazed me how much he was really interested in the Gospel at such a young age...I love him so much and I only met him once! But we were walking around and you literally walk on the Crazy busy road like 6 inches from motorcycles and cars whizzing by and walk between cars and it's have to be very aware! I also got to ride a jeepny! it was way fun, but I hit my head on the roof that's how small they are! ha It was just a big adventure..I can't wait to go into the field!! I love missionary work :) I do have one thing to say to Zach though...Learn to study HARD. Like harder than you have before! Then you Might be prepared for the work of a mission ;) ha It's really hard, but every moment is so worth it! I love you all SO much and thank you for all your support!! I MISS YOU, but I know what I'm doing is right and I'm completely happy here :) Happier than I ever have been honestly! Oh, and HAPPY BIRTHDAY Syd!!! I love you so much sissy, you make me so proud by going to nanny and being brave out there! I hope you have an amazing birthday :)
Donny, your emails make me laugh Every time I read them :) ha I'm real proud of you for that dog walking business...good luck and tell me how it goes!! :) Everything sounds normal at home...sometimes I miss the easiness of it..ha but I LOVE being here :) Oh and Elder Liu says "How are you? Good luck, please be wonderful every day (araw-araw)" hahah What a cutie! Man I'm glad he's going to my mission. In the next year I'll be able to actually communicate with him!! ha I love you and miss you all SO much!
Sister Benesch
Here is the update from last week - email received on May 16th

Magandang Umaga ng pamilya ko!!! :) Well this week went even Faster, which I didn't think was possible! But it was great. I got my FIRST letter from you guys!! I looked at the date and it took about 3 weeks to get to me. But in comparison to how Great letters are it isn't bad at all! I'd wait 3 months! ha Sister Kalama saw it on the letter board (they pin them up instead of giving us PO boxes) and I started crying I was so happy! Thank you so much, I got the BEST family ever!!

SO I want ALL of you to find the book Our Search for Happiness and read it!! It's by Elder Ballard, and it has changed my life. It's incredible! This week I realized that this mission isn't for me at all, but it's for those waiting for me to teach them. I had a hard moment yesterday and was talking to my teacher about my feelings of inadequecy, and she gave me some Really good advice. She challenged me to not only go on my mission, but to become a missionary. And that's what I'm going to do! I am going to learn Tagalog, even if that means I can't speak english when I get home, ha because I want to serve these people. I love them so much already! My teacher is amazing though, she's 23 and just got married about 2 months ago and told us a couple days ago that she's pregnant! She's so excited :)

We had an incredible devotional this week also and President Nielson (area pres.) told a story about a man from Kiribiti (where Christmas Island is!) and so this was about 40 years ago or so, but there were 0 members of the church there and this guy was 19 and decided to go to school. So he moved away from home and went to Fiji where he met some missionaries and was baptized into the church. He went home and began his own missioanry work and set up a branch, and now there are 11,000 members! Elder Kiraren, from my district, is one of the first missionaries from there. It's amazing!!

I also found something SO awesome in my personal study this week! In my patriarchal blessing there's a line about my desire to do good will be magnified as I sit at the feet of those who have the right to teach the church...well in Preach my gospel it says "You have the authority to preach the gospel" as a missionary. I'm SURROUNDED by people who have that right, and I'd never thought about that line much before but now I see how incredible it is and it's happening RIGHT NOW in my life! Amazing

I had a HILARIOUS experience also. Remember how we have that joke of singing Happy Birthday like "maligadi waaaa" (however it's spelled..) ha BUT They started singing Happy Birthday in Tagalog in the cafeteria and it sounded JUST like that!!! Only like an hour earlier was I telling my companions about us singing that at home and then it happened and we all bursted out laughing! I have found the source of that song :) Was it Caitlin who sang it to Matt or something??

Oh I told Elder Liu I'm going to visit him in China :) ha Even though I won't because I never want to fly again...But I taugh him how to say "wattup homie?" and it's Hilarious because he says it now to like the President and everyone! Also, we were doing TALL (the language program on the computer) and the randomly started feeling my hair and I didn't even notice, but sister miner burst out laughing and he just looked up and said "What happened?!" hahaaha He always says that and it's hilarious!

The dogs here are WEIRD like one looked like half german shepard half weiner dog...hahahaha And they bite!! So I won't be cuddling animals ;) But don't worry, I will be able to talk and sing in tagalog for you all!! I'll have to sing happy birthday to myself for you guys :)
Sister Benesch

Friday, May 10, 2013

Just finished week 2 at the Philippines MTC

HELLO FAMILY!!! Sorry my time to email changed because I was welcoming a new batch and going to the temple...How are you all doin?? Well I can't believe another week has gone by...SO FAST.

This week was awesome though because I have grown so much! I am getting much better at tagalog, and can actually form sentences (even if it is only about gospel topics) but I'm getting better at teaching lessons and I'm so proud of myself! This week was MUCH better as far as feeling comfortable goes, I'll be honest, I only cried one time! ha But really I am so happy here and love it so much more than I expected!

My district is amazing, we all still laugh histerically at Elder Liu, my favorite quote this week was "I'm angry but I'm kind." haha Poor guy gets so frustrated learning two languages. Me and Sister Kalama have been on the ground laughing SO hard because of the things he says! The other day he was yelling "NO MY COMPANY! IT'S TOO HARD!" He meant his companion though...I feel so bad for him but he's so optimistic and happy all the time! Actually yesterday during class I had a hard moment and started crying, later he came up and said "Sister Benes? (can't say our name) We love you!" it just made me feel so much better! He was only baptized a year and a half ago but has an incredible testimony!
But there's a teacher here named Elder Rondilla and he hero! He's only 23, but when he was 16 he joined the church against the wishes of his family and woke up at 4:15 am, put pillows in his bed, and snuck out to go to church because it took 5 hours to walk there. Then he wanted to go on a mission and his dad told him "Choose your family or the church." And of course, he chose a mission. He never received a single letter, but after awhile he decided that the Book of Mormon was his letters from his Heavenly Father, and right before he got home (he wrote his family every week even though they didn't write him) he found out his mom was taking the missionary discussions. He's so incredible! He's married now with a baby, but they live in a one room apartment, they have one mattress and not even an oven, but he's SO SO happy and positive. The people here amaze me more everyday, I'm truly being humbled.

This week the batch of missionaries we came in with went out into the field, and it was so weird to say bye to the whole MTC! Especially such good friends, the picture I attached is me and my favorite Filipina!!

Even though she's way shorter...her feet are still bigger than mine. DARN! Haa

But A new batch came in today that we got to welcome, and 30 more language missionaries!! SO EXCITING! It was fun meeting all new people and helping them get into the flow of the MTC. We also went to the temple, and it was amazing as usual!

I hope all is going well at home, the blessing President Barfuss gave me when I was set apart is helping me in so many ways. I miss you all, but I can say that I don't worry at all about anyone because I know you're in God's hands, just as he blessed. He also blessed me with patience for those "less mature" than me (I don't remember the exact words he used) but it is DEFINITELY helping with my companions at times and other missionaries here. I can see God's hand in my life more than ever! I've never felt the spirit stronger. I still am waking up at 5:45 every morning (CRAZY HUH?!) But it's actually surprisingly easy for me...miracle I know! And then we have gym, breakfast, get ready, CLASS CLASS STUDY STUDY, and bed :) ha It's fun though, my district is getting better at studying, but we still laugh so much! It's a huge blessing to me.

OH and Sister Kalama and I (she's my Very best friend here!!!) are doing pushups every single day and adding more. We're up to 18 now so by the time I get home I'll be WAY buff ;) And I'm expecting a competition between everyone so begin your training!! ha I've actually been told by a lot of people that it looks like I've lost weight, and I can tell with my clothes...hopefully I don't look anorexic or anything when I get home. It's crazy though because they eat 5 times a day I must just be sweating it out!

OH But on Wednesday I saw LIndsay Hall!!! She stopped by the MTC for only like 5 minutes to pick up the missionaries here to go to her mission, but I was so excited to see her! I'll attach a photo, but it is NOT good...ha I promise I don't look THAT bad ;) I was waiting like 2 hours for Lindsay's bus to get here I was so excited just to see someone I knew!

 BUT I LOVE YOU ALL!!!!! and THANK YOU for the emails, mail takes forever so I haven't gotten any letters. Even Dear Elder comes from Provo through the pouch so I don't get it for 2 to 3 Emails are my life right now! My district writes letters to each other :) ha

But I was laughing so hard about Donny's email about breaking the window at school! Naughty kid ;) HOw'd that happen? Sorry if my typing is bad, time is limited. Also tell people sorry if I can't email them back personally all the time, I'm trying my best to give you enough stories in the small amount of time! I hope Syd is doing great in South Carolina.

HI! :) Ah man in the temple today I was sitting thinking about going with you and the last time holding my mama's hand in the Celestial room and it made me tear up...I miss you! But I LOVE YOU. Being here makes me appreciate my family more every day!! OH before I forget, will you tell people not to send anymore letters on DearElder till I get into the field? Otherwise I won't get them because of how long it takes.. haha I am typing like a maniac! It's funny, everyone in my district is loud and we are always talking, but then we get to emailing and it's Silent except the keys on the computers are going crazy! Emailing is such a great thing here!!!! I look forward to it all week :) I hope Chris likes it! I've now realized that wherever you are a mission is the same, so I think he'll love it! Oh but with the new batch there's a lot more white people here, and I'm no longer quite a minority! It's fun with so many people coming :)

We're going to a store called Rustons! It's a grocery store but they have delicious snack! Oh I took this picture for you...angry birds juice :) WE buy chocolate that's imported from America to get us through the week!!

Don't worry I don't cry at all compared to some's a very hard transition!

My poor companion (amone) has a twin and they've never been apart for 27 years so she's having a hard time..but it's getting better for everyone! I really am very happy here :) But I really am meeting incredible people, I now realize how much I took for granted!! You can't imagine how kind the people are here, the spirit they carry is incredible! OH and Chels asked if I met kids ( i think it was her...) BUT I have met a lot walking to to temple and around the MTC and they're adorable! I might just kidnap some to bring home ;) just kidding. But I love everyone here :)

Tell everyone hello for me, and HAPPY BIRTHDAY to Freeman!!
LOVE, Sister Benesch

Sunday, May 5, 2013

Sister Benesch entered the Philippines MTC on Friday, April 26, 2013.  This is from her first email.

HI FAMILY!!! :) Well I'm doing pretty good! The plane ride here was SO SO SO long, but I survived! I sat between two asian ladies, and one of them (by the window) kept climbing over me while I was sleeping because I guess she didn't want to wake me up, but she still did! It was kinda hilarious though, it was like Gabe climbing over dad in the movie theater that one time!!! It was also very hard to sleep so that stunk.

I absolutely LOVE my district! There's me, my companion Sister Amone from Australia who is Tongan, Sister Miner from St. George, Sister Jones from West Virginia, Sister Kalama from Hawaii, Sister Collins from Samoa, Elder Kiraren from Christmas Island, and Elder Liu from China! We pretty much cover the whole world, but we get along so well it's insane! Elder Liu doesn't speak english but he does the most hilarious magic tricks and says random english words SO funny! All the girls here are like my real sisters, I really am so blessed :) There are only 5 white people here, and they're all sisters! It's fun hearing so many different languages though, and it's really been a testimony about the church being the same EVERYWHERE. I've learned to LOVE hymns SO much because it reminds me of  home when everyone sings in english, and it's beautiful! I was only in the 4th batch of language missionaries EVER here and I only had 10 with me) and then 75 natives, so A LOT more!! I'm excited. I LOVE FILIPINOS! Like I love them so much I can't believe it. They're all SO nice, and so humble even though they have nothing

The food here is pretty good, but I'm already sick of rice. ha I eat it EVERY day! With some sort of meat and vegetable. But I now am in the habit of eating with a fork and spoon, NO knives, so that's interesting! My new moto is KAYA KO YAN! It means You can do it! It's what I live by :) ha. I love you all SO SO SO MUCH!! I hope everyone is doing well!GOOD LUCK SYD in South Carolina, and Happy Birthday!!! That story about Bella bearing her testimony about me
made me cry, so precious!!! I miss those kids. But I LOVE EVERYONE and I'll see ya in 18 :)

OH my gosh! I forgot to tell you about the best part of my week! We got to go to the temple on Wednesday, and I loved it!! It's very Very small, the endowment room held 25 people! But a lot of the Filipino missionaries and one in my district were going through for the first time because they couldn't afford to before the mission so it was fun escorting and being with them for that! After the session I was sitting in the Celestial room praying my heart out for confindence, comfort, and help in learning the language, and I felt the spirit so strong. I know my mission will be hard and I'm going to have rough times, but I can do it! Because it's what the Lord has asked.
I love the temple so much :) We also get to walk over there every day and talk to native outside using what we've learned that day. It's hard, but it's fun because the people are SO incredibly nice! It's also Very hot and humid here, but I'm actually getting used to it! It'll be so cold when I come home... Well hopefully I can send you pictures next week and show you my Amazing district, especially my new best friend Elder Liu ;) haha My favorite line so far is "My name is
Liu Mobow (Don't know how to spell it) but my facebook name is Marvin Liu" HAHAH!!! Oh good times. Well here is my testimony in Tagalog! :)

Alam ko po na totoo an simbahan ni Hesu Kristo. Alam ko po na totoo ang aklat ni Mormon. Alam ko po na mahalaga ang pananampalataya at pagsisisi. Alam ko po tunay si Hesu Kristo. Alam ko po na totoo ang buhay propeta.

AND YES. I did say that from my heart without notes :) Because I KNOW that this church is true, that the book of mormon is true that faith and repentance are so important, that Jesus Chirst is real, and we have a living prophet today. MAHAL KITA!! I love you :)

Now I am ready to GO and do the work, and when I get home in 18 months I decided the ONE thing I want is a toaster streudal. Hopefully you can come through for me ;)
Sister Benesch