Hello family! I can't believe I'm already emailing again...so much happened this week but it went by SO so fast!! I don't even know where to begin. Sadly this week we had to drop 3 of our investigators, one being Teng who I LOVED...so so sad :( That's what's hard about a mission, is seeing these people receive the gospel but are too prideful or don't understand enough to progress and then you have to drop them because it just gets to be a waste of time... But we also got 2 with baptismal dates and I think they are VERY promising!!! YAY :) Cathy, I absolutely love her, is about 30 and has a little girl named Chloe that's so adorable! But our lessons with her are so spiritual, and she's very smart so she asks some really good questions but always the gospel answers them in a way the world doesn't, and she said that every time she prays and reads the Book of Mormon she knows it's true, and she knows Joseph Smith saw our Heavenly Father. I was SO happy when I heard that, because my goal has been to memorize the first vision in Tagalog, so when I said it to her a couple lessons ago and she got tears in her eyes I knew that it was the beginning of her really receiving what we were teaching. I cannot wait for her to be baptized :) Also the 2nd, is Winnie. I don't know if I've talked about her yet, but I love their family. Her husband (they're actually not married and that's the ONE thing that keeps us moving her bap. date) is inactive, but all of their kids have been baptized. She comes to church every sunday, and when we gave her a hymnbook she was So so excited. She wants to be baptized so bad and knows it's what she needs to do, but the marriage thing gets in the way and it's so hard! So I pray every day that God will help them be able to do that, with it being expensive and a HUGE pain here in the Philippines, I just hope they'll have the desire enough that through a miracle from God, it'll happen. I want it to so bad for their adorable family!
Then, on Wednesday we had exchanges with the sister training leaders! It was an Amazing experience. I was praying so hard before that Sister Nunez (the sister I went with) would be understanding and loving to me and help me because I was nervous about being the one to give directions to tric drivers and getting us to our appointments, but she was SO NICE. I actually started crying during our personal study because she was asking about my family and Colton and just about life back home and she was so so loving. Then during the day we ran out of appointments because it was FLOODING so bad (we call it "swimming in the black river" because it's up to your knees and literally black with garbage and grossness...but it's ok because I'll only have these experiences once!) and a lot of people we couldn't teach, so we did tracting for about an hour and a half in this really nice subdivision and were able to find this man we began teaching who is SO prepared! He has heart problems, and awhile ago he was put in the hospital and given 24 hours to live, but he's still going today! He said he's so grateful to our Heavenly Father for that, and me and Sister Mabini are grateful because we know it's so that he'd have a chance to hear the gospel. We had a very spiritual moment with him...we invited him to pray and we all knelt down, and then it was SILENT for about 5 minutes. He didn't pray out loud, but afterwards me and Sister Mabini were talking about it and we both had the thought of "don't be afraid of silence right now" so we know that whatever he was praying in his mind or thinking, the spirit was working through him.
Tapos, (then) on Thursday we had our first follow-up training and I got to see all my batch mates from the MTC!!! I was so happy :) I love them and miss them so much! But after talking with them I realized how lucky I am. They're all really struggling and having conflicts with their companions over language and culture, but I got so lucky with Sister Mabini because she's really understanding about my needs as an american..haha like toilet paper and foods that I want! And she was actually an English tutor so we can communicate well, our problem is just not talking enough in Tagalog that I learn it! ha So I really am grateful for the trainer I got. This week was hard though because we had a really hard time reaching our numbers, but we both keep trying to stay positive and work harder! It's the small moments with those few investigators that are progressing that make the hard times worth it :)
AND FINALLY....I ate...Balut! ahhhh. haha And frog! One night we went to meet with President Santos, our district president (like a stake pres.) and he fed us frog! It actually tasted just like chicken and was really good :) ha Then me and sister mabini had the crazy desire to go buy balut and bring it home!
Sister Benesch :)