Tuesday, July 23, 2013

A new haircut

Hello family! How's everyone doing?? This week went by CRAZY fast, I can't believe I'm emailing again already, I feel like I don't even have stories to write about because I can't remember what happened! ha But I wrote a few things down :) This week was really good, we had a lot of days where almost every appointment fell through because of being punted (either we went and they said they were busy or they weren't home) but Sister Mabini and I studied Chapter 6 of PMG which is about Christlike attributes, and actually this week even though it was hard and we didn't reach our goals we were both just happy and optimistic and I just feel so good about our work because I know we're trying our best.
We recently started teaching a new investigator named Glen, and he's actually really good friends with our District (stake) President! So that's good :) But we gave him a baptismal date and he accepted, and he told us how much he loves what we share and it makes sense and he believes it! The only problem is he works every day in the morning so he can't go to church, and we don't really know how to help him with that..but we're working on it! Speaking of baptisms...Cathy is getting ready for hers on August 8th!! I absolutely love her! She cries almost every lesson saying how happy she is there's a Book of Mormon and she believes what we teach...she even asked her boss who referred her to the missionaries to baptize her! What's cool about that is her boss is Richard Gomez, a very famous scientist here in the Philippines!! So everyone knows him!
On Friday we had a Branch FHE and it was so much fun! The Relief Society did the most hilarious dance I think I've ever seen, I wish I could have filmed it! But sadly my camera (Yes I got a new one!!) doesn't have video and technically I'm not allowed to use it anyway as a missionary..ha But it was hilarious, and it was a lot of fun. We went and picked up Venus and her two kids, so they came, and now we're just hoping that those in the branch that met them will have a greater desire to help them because they really need the help!! But it was fun :)
ALSO...Last P-day after emailing I did something bad..haha Just joking, but I cut my hair...a LOT!! I think I cut off 8 inches or so. But it's pretty short! And I actually love it :) It's not as hot so I can wear it down more, and I think it's pretty cute! But you can tell me what you think from the picture ;)
Also this week we had a lesson with one of our investigators, Clara, who is this old lady that is SO SO stubborn. Every time we teach she says she knows Joseph Smith is a true prophet and she knows the Book of Mormon is true, but she doesn't do her reading assignments and she doesn't come to church!! ha So I think we're going to drop her, but it's just sad to see these people that are so closed and not even willing to see if it's really true, they just say they know because they know it's what we want to hear.. But for our lesson we watched Finding Faith in Christ and she was crying and crying! I know she felt the spirit, so I just hope that if we do have to drop her maybe she'll remember that feeling and maybe it'll be a little crack that the gospel can slowly come into her life. I don't know what'll happen, I just have to trust in the Lord's will, that maybe it's not her time, but atleast we planted the seed and gave her the opportunity to hear the gospel.
But that's pretty much it for this week, maraming salamat (thank you so much!) for all your support and love, I couldn't do this work without a family like you!! I love you all SO much, and I LOVE being a missionary! Best decision I ever made was to come on a mission :) Thank you!!
Love always,
Sister Benesch :)

PS our English class is still going great, it's weird for me to be up teaching about pronouns and adjectives and sentence construction...ha But it's fun and I'm actually learning a lot!! :)

Sunday, July 21, 2013


Hello family!! Well I made it to my first transfer, and obviously that means my Pday is changed to Tuesday.  So every six weeks it'll be on Tuesday instead!! But this week is FULL of stories, honestly I just don't even know how to tell you everything, which is the hard part of only emailing once a week! But I'll try to remember the important things :)
First off, we MOVED!! ha We moved into a new house with the other sisters into a subdivision, so it's way nice!  It's pretty nice and big and I love it!! So it's fun living with them. The house was SO dirty, it took 8 hours of us and the elders cleaning and moving things in and building our own bunk beds and closets! ha So we had no lessons that day and it was a lot of work in HOT weather, so it was hard, but I was ok after I got to go to sleep, and now I love it :) I realized though I haven't told you about the bathrooms here really...it's the thing hardest for me to get used to!! So they call it the CR (comfort room) but it's Anything but comfortable. So they have in the corner a faucet and bucket to shower, then the toilet and sink all on one floor with one drain, so yes the floor is ALWAYS wet, so we keep a pair of flip flops in there to wear whenever we go in, and the toilets don't have seats, just the bowl, and most the time don't even flush you have to pour water in and then it goes down..ha It's quite a pain sometimes but I'm getting used to it. The bathrooms at home will definitely be luxury :)
We also started our English class this week!!! It was so much fun :) Only members showed up this time, no investigators, but we're hoping this Saturday we'll have more. But I feel so weird teaching English because I honestly don't really know much, just how to speak the language! ha So I'm learning a lot about English and Tagalog while I'm here!
We had another lesson this week with sister Venus, she's the one who I told about her house being like a dungeon and having the little boy with special needs...well this lesson was like all the others, and my heart just broke. However, while we were in the middle of teaching about the Plan of Salvation there was a Horrible smell. We then realized that Benedict (the little boy) was behind the bench where sister Rosanna (the member working with us) was sitting and he had pooped on the floor and was smearing it ALL over. They can't afford diapers, much less clothes so he just had a shirt on and went to the bathroom...anyway Venus just picked him up and started cleaning him off and we offered to help although both Sister Mabini and I were DYING, trying so hard not to just gag.. But it was just so sad that something like that is actually normal for them because of their way of life. They're SO poor, they actually had no food and another less active gave them some money we found out, which was great, but it just breaks my heart. I think the Lord sent me here to the Philippines to show me just how blessed we really are at home and how much I have, I have a lot greater desire to help more people outside of America, and even there, that have so little. But I talked about sister Rosana...she's my Favorite member here! I love her so much, she's like my second mom :) ha But she drives us around on Beatrice
...hahaha Funnest thing Ever! Just look at the picture and you'll know what I'm talking about. Just imagine us flying down the streets of Baliwag and that bad boy ;)
Oh, I also want to tell you about Rey. haha So we actually haven't taught him yet, but he's this man that we met just by ringing his doorbell. He used to be in the army, and he talks A LOT but is so hilarious, and his wife is like 30 years younger than him! Yesterday we went to see if he was reading the Book of Mormon and check on him because we didn't have time for a lesson, and he literally sat there talking to us in a speedo! It was quite interesting...but he Did read and he's interested! ha So I like to think that even someone like him could live the gospel. It's for Everyone!
Yesterday we found out that Sister Ayub will be transfering, and I'll miss her, but I'm excited for her. She'll actually live with Sister Kalama, so I'm so jealous!!! But we had a dinner/goodbye thing for her at a members last night and it was good. We had this fried squash that you dip in this vinegar/garlic thing and it was...SO YUMMY. ha I think I literally ate a whole plate meant for everyone because I just couldn't stop. It was so good :)
Well I'm LOVING being a missionary, and I still love sister Mabini so much. The church is true, Heavenly Father loves us SO much, and there is nothing that will stop His work from going forth. Keep following Him and doing what's right, we'll all be blessed :) I love you all, thank you so much for everything!!!

Sister Benesch

Tuesday, July 9, 2013

Monkey See, Monkey Do

Magandang Hapon!!!!

Kumasta kayo?? I love you all so much :) Man this week was a roller coaster definitely, I feel like it was Forever long, but I learned so so so much!! As far as investigators go, we found some new ones that seem really promising, one is a FAMILY yay!! But they are very smart and have been part of many religions and so it's hard to get them to see the importance of coming to church, but I think the more we teach them it'll hopefully turn into something great :) And we've found like 3 people, just by talking to random people on the street, who have previously been taught by missionaries and wanted us to come back and teach them! So hopefully that'll lead somewhere good too. AND my favorite news, Cathy got a new baptism date set for August 8th and she chose it herself so I think it's really promising, she's so excited!! And then Winnie FINALLY got her papers done for her wedding, her 'husband' just needs to get his and then it's a 15 day process...so hopefully in the next month something will get worked out, but it's one step further than they've gotten in the year she's been taught, so I'm SO grateful for all the little miracles this week from our Heavenly Father! Me and Sister Mabini both agree it's because of our diligence from the past hard weeks, where we'd honestly come home and sit in silence for an hour eating dinner because we just were so stressed. But it's really looking up and I've gained a whole new testimony about humility and really subjecting yourself to the Lord's will. You never know what He can do through you until you completely give yourself to Him. It's an incredible thing!

THEN, today was absolutely a blast!  We had a zone activity that was so so much fun! We went to Banal Bundok (look it up, it's BEAUTIFUL!) but it's a mountain kinda far from us, and there are SO many beautiful trees and it's so green and there's like TONS of butterflies everywhere...so beautiful! But it's a lot of stairs on this hill leading up to a big cross, and on the way is statues of all the phases of Christ's atonement and then the resurrection, and it's so cool! Then we went to this little mini zoo that was 20 pesos entrance fee (50 cents! ha) and they mostly had birds, but there was a tiger and literally just behind this chain fence, so it was a fingers distance away from me! So crazy. ha AND then monkeys.
The picture I attached of me almost touching the
monkey was after one of the scariest moments of my life. haha It was showing its teeth at me like it was smiling and reaching to me, so of course I want to touch it and I shook its hand, THEN it clung sooo hard to my hand and started sticking it's face through the fence hissing and pulling my hand to KILL ME and it was so scary! It's a good thing I've been doing my pushups and was stronger than the monkey because I could pull my hand away, but I decided I don't like monkeys anymore. haha Except then I fed it mango that was on the ground and it was cute again :) But I think I literally had a heart attack trying to get my hand away!! But it was a fun adventure, taking lots of pictures in this beautiful place, I wish I could send them all but I can only send a couple! It was a good stress reliever to start out a new week :)
Oh and one story from this week... I was still pretty stressed until about Wednesday, that day was actually really hard in the morning, but there was one single moment that turned practically my whole mission around. A sister in our ward was working with us, Arianne (she's 27 but a little special...normal enough to work with us but not married or anything and her parents are very protective of her) but we were going to an investigators and so Sister Mabini and I get in the tric and then she gets in to sit in front of us on this tiny little shelf thing where the pamasahe is (fare/money) but the tric driver started driving and she fell on the floor and was clinging to my legs and made this Hilarious screaming sound and then pulled her legs in and her shoe was ripped (we only wear rubber) and I literally could NOT stop laughing...I felt so bad! But it was the most hilarious thing that has happened my whole mission! You probably need to have been there..haha But it was hilarious! I realized though, that everything that stresses me out, I just need to not worry about it. I need to be obedient and work as hard as I can, do my very best, but just enjoy the little moments I've been given and this experience, because I'll never have it again! Then, to top it off...later as we dropped her off we were getting in another tric to finish our night with our last appointment and it happened to ME! He started driving and I fell on sister mabini! haha SO I guess that was just karma..but it was hilarious. So it's definitely gotten better, I know that if I just keep having faith and sticking it through, doing what I'm supposed to even when it seems like nothing really is happening, it will ALL work out. I love you all so much, thank you for all you do for me :)

OH and late happy 4th of July! I was thinking about you guys watching fireworks and all that fun stuff...we made up hamburgers with some beef patties we found and little pandasal rolls, and I found cheetos!!! It was fun :) And some other random facts, I have 25 mosquito bites JUST below my knees so that's pretty exciting..ha But I'm using Off lotion and bug spray so I don't really know, there's just Tonsss!! Oh and most important that I almost forgot, we are starting to teach an english class!! ha It's every saturday night at 6, and yes, I'm the teacher to a bunch of Filipinos.. Pray for me! Ha I'm so excited though :) And it's for members and their friends so hopefully we'll find some investigators that way!!

LOVE, Sister Benesch

Remember, ang ebanghelyo ni Jesucristo ay ang plano ng Diyos para sa kaligayahan at kaligtasan ng kanyang mga anak. Mahal niya tayo, and gusto niya tayong lahat na makabalik sa kanya...kaya nga, kailangan natin na sumunod sa kanya! Alam ko na Ang Simbahan ni Jesucristo ng mga Banal sa mga huling araw ay totoong simbahan ng Diyos sa mundo. Kailangan lang natin na STAY FAITHFUL. You're all the best :)

Wednesday, July 3, 2013

A few tears... But it's all good

Hello family!!! I still am surprised every time Monday comes and I get to email. ha Sister Mabini and I went on a special adventure today! I FINALLY was able to go to the distribution center. I don't know if I told you that right when I came into the mission they changed the rules and whoever is further than 90 minutes of travel to the temple cannot go on P-days or with investigators, and since we're about 2 1/2 hours out, we definitely can't go :( But we got special permission for today and woke up at 5 am to go to the distribution center for about 10 minutes then turn around and come right back :) ha and we both hate the travel because we get SO sick on the buses, but atleast we got to see the temple, even if we couldn't go inside!! I think the Manila temple will be one of my favorites forever, it's so special to me just because of the amazing experiences I had in there while I was in the MTC. So that was our adventure today...
As far as this week, I honestly have very mixed emotions. I'll start with the bad so hopefully you just remember the good :P So this week we had a VERY hard time finding members to work with us, and so our goal of 15 lessons for the week with members ended up being 4 which led to us not being able to even teach half of our investigators because they're men, and then we spent a lot of time not knowing where to go and just kinda walking in the rain showing up at house after house who said they were too busy for us. So it was a very hard week for lessons but we tried to stay positive and just do our best to find Someone to teach. Also, I have realized that although I keep improving little by little with the language, the longer I'm out I think the more impatient I get with myself, which is hindi mabuti! (not good!) I spent one language study this week just on my knees crying and praying SO hard that I would be able to do this. That day I truly gained an experience of God making up for the things that really are beyond our own capacity. I didn't teach the lessons in perfect Tagalog, but each time it was my turn to speak the words flowed, some Taglish, but it flowed and I felt the spirit so strong. I know God answers prayers!!! And mama, don't worry about the crying part, I'm much stronger now than I was at that moment :) And then...we had 0 investigators at church (2 of which were so promising about being baptized in 2 weeks and now neither of them can't for other reasons..) But you just keep going.
NOW for the good! My very very favorite part of this week was yesterday when we were able to see the broadcast of the Worldwide leadership training, and it was amazing! I think all of us 4 sisters were crying :) It was so motivational in just doing the work, not being afraid to share the gospel, and it really helped us get some ideas in how we can help the members realize how important it is for them to work with us. That's our biggest trial in the branch, and that's what the whole training was on practically, so it was so helpful! And it just helped remind me of why I'm here, my purpose. I really honestly LOVE being a missionary with all my heart :) There are hard times every day, but I just remember that even if all I want to do is cry, I get to go home each night and sleep in my bed :) ha That really is what gets me through some of those times! But there are more happy than sad, because even when we're walking for 5 miles in the rain/heat/rain/heat (literally the weather every HOUR) ha me and Sister Mabini just have fun together! We really are such good friends, I think she knows more about me than myself, we talk about everything! It's a huge blessing, and I hope that even with my difficult companions her example will help me be able to find a good relationship with each of them.
THANK YOU family, SO much!! I love you more than you know, and I am so grateful for your support and love. I couldn't make it through each day without knowing that I have all of you at home praying for me and expecting the most from me. Mahal kita :)
Sister Benesch

First, our adorable zone :) ha I love all the elders in our zone, and of course the sisters, we're all so close and I'll be SO sad when I leave Baliwag!!

Me at the TEMPLE today on our great adventure :) ha

PS I have NO idea how I forgot this...but I gave a talk in church on sunday! In...mostly...tagalog! ha It was very very scary, but I did it :) I spent the whole week translating the english to tagalog with sister mabini then trying to memorize it!! So hard...maybe that's why I cried :) ha But I did it!! :)