Friday, August 30, 2013

Crazy Rain

Hello Family, it has been a Crazy week!!!
It started out with a Total typhoon...that caused us to be stuck in our house for days!!! It actually was pretty boring.. We just played a lot of truth or dare and I got in some good hours of zumba and naps! ha It was a nice break I guess, but also a little boring with no work. By Wednesday we still couldn't go out and work, but we traveled the 2 hours to our Zone Conference, which was amazing! We got to listen to President and Sister Sperry talk and the zone leaders and APs, and they all had a lot of really good things that were so helpful. I learned a lot about studying and being prepared for our investigators, and really serving with everything we have, and forgetting ourselves. It was a really great meeting and I really felt so strong that I'm supposed to be here, and there are people here being prepared for me, I just need to find them!
By Thursday we were finally able to have our first day of work, and it was so nice! We were still walking through some floods, but it wasn't too bad, and it was nice to teach some lessons-although my Tagalog by then was already getting a little rusty..ha Sadly there's not any really interesting stories as far as investigators go because the only one actually progressing is Winnie, and they still haven't put their papers in..BUT Alex (her 'husband') came to church the last 3 sundays and has been participating in class and talking about how the gospel has blessed him, and so I really think it's helping in their progress. So hopefully Soon! We're going to teach her tonight so hopefully we can figure out that last push they need.
Also, yesterday was pretty crazy. Of course, it was the theme of this week. But at our district meeting they announced transfers! Sister Mabini is transfering and her new companion will be Sister Kalama!! I am SO jealous! ha They'll have so much fun together. And my new companion is Sister Tupa'i, she's from Samoa and I heard she's way nice. Her and Sister Collins are pretty good friends (Sister Collins is from my batch also and I really like her) SO I think it'll be another good transfer, with a great companion! I'm excited to be done training :) However after that we had a meeting to rediscuss the area splits for Baliwag with the new elders coming, and in the end they decided to switch one of the sister companionships to Bustos (near Baliwag) and the zone leaders would come here, so we'll have 2 sets of elders and 1 set of sisters now... So yesterday within 3 hours me and SIster Mabini were packed and moved back into our old apartment, and the other sisters were moved to Bustos! It was pretty crazy...and sadly another day with no work :( But I'm trying to have a good attitude about the old apartment, it's just not as nice as the other house. But now I get to find a new house that they'll move us into in 2 more transfers when another set of sisters lots of changes! But it's exciting :) It's kinda funny that me and Sister Mabini are going back and ending right where we started! I'm pretty sad to see her go, I've really learned to love her and I'm so grateful she was my trainer! I have learned SO much, I told her I can really feel that I'm already a different person, but it's a lot better than I was before! Even though that does not sound humble at all..ha But lots of crazy changes going on, so I'm just going with the flow :)
I guess that's all for this week, it was busy but at the same time slow because of just sitting in our house..hopefully there won't be more big storms like that! But I love you all SO much, thanks for everything, you're the BEST!!! And happy birthday this week pappy!! :)
Love you all,
Sister Benesch

Monday, August 19, 2013

Would you like some pig ears for the road?

Hello family!!
Well another week has gone by, and of course it was crazy fast!! We had a Very fun zone activity this morning! We went to Biak na Bato, and it is Gorgeous!!! We "hiked" around some trails and there were beautiful cliffs and trees and a big (brown) river, ha but it was so green! I also saw a bunch of crazy bugs that were pretty freaky and a spider that was black and yellow and literally maybe bigger than my hand!! It was like pure was amazing! Sadly we couldn't go in any caves,
but we just took lots of pictures :) And as you can see we have matching's our District shirt we all got made, and it means "You can do it!" After our activity we went to Rockwood for lunch, it's a very nice and very delicious restaurant! It was so fun with our whole zone just hanging out and being able to distress a little, and I had very yummy shrimp that Zach would be very jealous of.
As far as this week goes, it was a good week! I really learned this week how the spirit guides us to those who are prepared. We were down to the last appointment of the day and had to chose between 2 people, and I felt that maybe we should go to one and then as we were walking I didn't really know about it, and then we remembered a lady we'd talked to that said we could come by her house. We spent maybe 20 minutes asking around and couldn't find her house and no one knew her, so we were going to give up, then the member working with us stopped and asked this man, and immediately we found her the last person we asked. We were able to teach their whole family and got 4 new investigators, and actually they seem very interested and sincere! Filipinos have a tendency to pretend to be interested when they really aren't and that's why there are SO MANY less-actives because people just get baptized because they don't want to say no, and then don't stay in the church. But they seem to have a real desire so I'm excited to go back!
We also have another new investigator that does all her reading and says she's gotten answers that our message is true, she just hasn't come to church (like all our one comes!) but we were teaching her one day, and we teach her in a parked jeep next to her "tindahan", or where she sells meat and snacks on the side of this little dirt road...but we were teaching and I started feeling So so so sick and like everything was closing in. I made it through the lesson, and stepped out, and then she offered us pig ears!! Ahh it was such a horrible experience, I literally thought I was going to die..ha But luckily after that we went home for just a little bit to recover and went back to work and it was all ok, but that was one moment in the mission I really didn't know how in the world I'd make it to the closing prayer..ha Many interesting experiences here in the Philippines!
But I really love the work, and everything is going great. I love you all SO much, thank you for all your support and all you do for me! You're the BEST! Have a wonderful wonderful week! Oh and I keep learning lots of recipes and am getting pretty good at cooking Filipino food, so be excited for that ;) Except that with that and my new addiction to Ministop ice cream (a convenience store) I may be gaining my weight back...Not good. But I love you!!
Sister Benesch :)

PS picture of us and sister Cathy!!! I love her :)

Monday, August 12, 2013


Hello family! I thought I'd make "Typhoon" the subject of this one because that's what's happening outside right now! I don't know how it'll go with us at the palengke shopping for food, but it'll be an adventure :) It's crazy how much water actually comes down!! But this week was really great, so many stories!! Yet I get to emailing and forget them..ha

But we had Cathy's baptism! YAY!!! It was so so great :) I'm SO sad I forgot my camera to send pictures, but I will next week! She was just glowing before the service started, and then as I watched her go down into the water I felt the spirit so so strong, and afterwards she was just crying :) She bore her testimony and said that the first time she came to church she actually promised herself that she wouldn't come back because the beliefs were so different than hers (she was Iglesia before, or from The Church of Christ) but then she came back the next sunday and we started teaching her and since then she's been reading the Book of Mormon and knows the church is true, and was so happy. It was so amazing :)

But more good news....Winnie is malapit na (SO CLOSE) so getting married!!! Her 'husband' came to church this sunday and so they have all the papers, they just need to get a photocopy of his id! I am so excited :) She said that at Cathy's baptism she felt like it was practically her getting baptized. She's so excited, and of course I'm so happy!! :) So lots of good news with them. As for the rest of our investigators it's slow progress because even with the ones that read, none come to church. Except one new one!! His name is Jeff and he's a referral from some members, and he's come to church every week and is reading the BOM and has a baptismal date for September 7th!! So I really hope he continues to progress, but it's absolutely amazing how you can see your investigators truly change as they accept the gospel :) I love this work!

I love you all, thank you for all your support :) I really do love being a missionary, and I am SO so grateful for this opportunity! I realize now that I was so far from who I thought I was, but now I can become better here. It's a huge blessing. I love you all, I know that this is the true church and it was restored by Joseph Smith, a true prophet called by God. Have an amazing week! :)
Sister Benesch

PS Tell Alex good luck on his mission!! He'll do great :)

OH and actually yes (about Holly's letter) I got like 10 letters this week!! Tell everyone in the family thank you SO much, made me so happy! :) I got one from her, Marnie, Ava, Grammy, Chels...I got a lot! ha So thank you to everyone :)

Sunday, August 4, 2013


Magandang umaga sa aking pamilya! :)
How is everyone? This week was pretty full of just Tons of things that happened..I honestly don't even know where to start! ha I guess the first story is that Heavenly Father REALLY takes care of his missionaries! Because of the follow-up training last week we spent a LOT of our pamasahe (fare) on traveling and so we had no money left, and instead of our support coming on monday it came wednesday. So on Tuesday before we could get money we went to all our appointments and really continued to be obedient and go out and teach no matter what, even if it meant walking 10 miles home..ha And at the end of the day we made it home on a jeepney with 16 pesos left, which is EXACTLY how much we would need in the morning to get to the bank. It was such a small thing but it meant SO much to us to know that Heavenly Father takes care of us, that he gives us what we need in order to best do His work.
So on Wednesday we were finally able to get money, but that was the craziest day this week!! Ha we went out in the morning to get money and it was POURING rain, and my umbrella actually is broken, so I was just kinda holding it over my hand but still totally drenched in the rain. We made it to the ATM and it was closed! ahh But luckily there was another close by that we were able to get money at. Later that day we went about our teaching appointments, and literally of 14 that we had planned (including lots of backups and on the spot decisions) we were punted by all but 3 lessons we were able to teach.. It's crazy! And I attached the picture with me and my umbrella...can you see that it's completely turned inside out?? ha It was pouring so hard I am completely drenched there, but you can't really tell, but my umbrella did this in the wind and so I pretty much had zero hope of staying even a little dry. It was quite the adventure! Also, at one of our appointments that day, there were all these cockroaches coming through the door of the ladies house, so of course I'm staring at them scared out of my mind, but trying not to show it..then one starts crawling on Sister Mabini's foot as she's teaching so I kick it off. gets on MY foot and I try to kick it off but my shoe went flying across the room and almost hit the ceiling...haha It was hilarious! And a little embarrassing :) But I don't think I'll ever get used to those disgusting things!
And the BEST news of all....Cathy's baptism will be this Thursday! I am so so so excited :) We had her interview this week and our district leader agrees that she's absolutely amazing. I'm so happy, I can't wait for her finally to become a member. I can see such a huge change in her since we began teaching, and there truly is a light that comes into these investigators lives as they accept the gospel, and I want that for everyone I teach! Of course most of them use their agency to not receive it, but I want to do all I can to help them have the change I see in Cathy, because it truly is incredible.
Thank you everyone for ALL you do for me, I love you so much! I couldn't be here without the support and love of all of you and I'm so so grateful :) It's definitely an adventure here in the Philippines, and an experience I'll never forget! I absolutely love it :)
Love you all,
Sister Benesch

PS if you can find a copy of "The Fourth Missionary" online and read it..DO. It's so great, and it has really become my model of the kind of missionary I want to be while I'm here.

PSS the other picture is me and Winnie's adorable little girl!! She's CRAZY, reminds me of Grace :) She's hilarious! (Sadly no more progress on the marriage of syempre (of course) none on her baptism either...)


Hi Family, how is everyone??!! This week was actually pretty long...ha but I made it to Pday and I'm SO happy to email you now! :)
And I have some great news...last week I got a foot paraffin (hot oil treatment) on my feet and now they're back to normal! So I just keep sleeping with them elevated and I don't look like an elephant :) ha ALSO I got your letters!! From the cousins,and Grammy, and ward, and dad, and the stamps...THANK YOU SO MUCH! Made me so happy to get mail :) And so that's definitely a way you can send things to me.
So we had a few pretty hilarious, adventurous times this week. First, our stove that we had when we moved in was shocking us!! One time we were making hot dogs and it felt like a shock pen when you touched it, so I was showing them my weird talent of being able to hold it..ha Then Sister Mabini tried and totally freaked out! It was hilarious! The elders came over to bring a new one and asked to see what happened, and so I showed them and actually that time it hurt SO bad, so then one of the elders tried and like screamed..haha So of course we got a new stove and it's no longer a problem :) day we had so Little progress with teaching and investigators we wanted to do something fun when we got home to cheer ourselves up, so we put a matress on our stairs and made a slide and it was so fun!!! hahaha We got the most hilarious pictures. haha I could Not stop laughing after that picture, even when we were praying at dinner I was laughing so hard! It definitely cheered us up.
Also, we had a problem with our water faucet outside not shutting off, and so Sister Mabini and I spent an hour of our companionship study trying to fix didn't get fixed. ha So she told me that we're not housewife material and we'll never get married..haha I'll just need to learn more :) But it was pretty funny too. So sadly this week was very very slow in teaching and we have very little progressing seems that as soon as we get one that seems promising and we get excited, something happens and they say we can't come back. So that's hard, but we keep going! Atleast we have Cathy who's going to be baptized August 8th, so she's having her interview this week and we're So excited!! She told us her testimony during our last lesson...I almost cried, she's so amazing! So she's one investigator that keeps me going with all the others..ha Also this week I had my last follow-up training, and it was So great to see my batch from the MTC! I love them SO much :) And Elder Liu says Hi! haha He's hilarious. So I loved seeing them, especially Sister Kalama :)
Thank you SO much for all your support, I love you so much, and I couldn't do this work without you. I love you :)
Love, Sister Benesch :)

PS this picture is me and my Best buddy (Kotkot) here in Baliwag :)