Monday, October 28, 2013

Carly and Trixie, Sittin' in a Tree ...

Hello hello everybody,
Man this week was Crazy!! We have not had near enough time to get everything done that we need to, but we've done a LOT and had some great great experiences. It was so great :)
So first I'll tell you why I'm emailing later today...we had a Way fun Pday at Avilon Zoo! It's pretty close to the status of Hogle Zoo, so it's pretty good.
We saw lots of way awesome animals and it was fun just to relax and have fun after the crazy week we had. AND I met my new best friend, Trixie!! She's the chimpanzee that I have those Awesome pictures with, she was so great! haha She'd smile at you and give high fives and kisses, it was so awesome!
But now about our amazing crazy week.
I've really really felt so blessed to have Sister Surio as my trainee. As a missionary it's pretty much inevitable that you will hit a point where you kinda start slacking just a little, just because of getting used to everything and it starting to feel a little robotic..ha But me and her have made a goal to just keep working our very very hardest and really strive to do All that we can for the people we're teaching, and I can say that as soon as you give your a little more, Heavenly Father will step in a miracles will begin to happen. We received a referral from the office this week of a boy named Shingo. He had seen about the BOM on facebook before and so went to to put his name on there as someone interested in listening to missionaries. So we went and found him, and let me just say he's the most Amazing person ever. He is SO prepared!! We were able to teach his aunt and uncle that he lives with and another 11 year old girl (he's 18) and as we taught the spirit was so strong and he just soaked everything in. Well then yesterday at church, about 2 minutes before the meeting started he walked in! You may not understand how amazing that that NEVER happens here! We have to try hard to even get members to come! So we were SO excited, and it was the primary program too which made it even greater! Then we were able to go back last night and teach them again, and the spirit was so strong, they were crying, and they all accepted baptism dates, including Shingo's friend that was there. I feel so good about them. We also got another new investigator this week named Grace, a friend of one of the YW in the ward who also is so interested and accepted a bap date..and we love her!! She's absolutely adorable, and so smart. So this week I really learned the importance of working hard, and then working a little harder. I will say there have been days that we were waking up early and skipping meal hours just to fit in all the things we have to do, but we do now have 10 people working towards baptism, and I feel like I've never been closer to the spirit. It's been such an amazing experience and I'm definitely being stretched. I absolutely love the work we're doing, and even though I am exhausted, it's the most amazing feeling of exhaustion that just brings so much Happiness.
Also this week, we made it a goal to knock on every day of our area..ha But the first day we started we actually ended up knocking on a members house that we hadn't met yet, and she was SO nice. And...SO RICH. We went inside and it actually looked like an american house, with a bathroom that had a FLOOR and the toilet FLUSHED. Oh my goodness I literally almost cried in there. haha And so we were able to talk to her, and then help her set up lots of Christmas decorations!! It was so much fun. She's in the YW presidency so they invited us to come to workshops with the young women on things that will help them either on their missions or in the future, so that should be fun! But it was a really really great week and I feel so blessed. I know that this is the work of God, and there is Nothing that can stop it. As we give all of ourselves to serve Him and keep the work going forth, He will help us and we will see miracles. I love you all so much!!
Sister Benesch

PS Here's some nice pictures of me and Sister Surio's tired eyes...haha And my new best friend in San Mateo (the daughter of Pingky) and this crazy lizard thing that I actually held and it was totally scary!!!

Monday, October 21, 2013


Hello family, can anyone else believe it's almost the end of October?? I remember thinking it was crazy when it was August and all the sudden we're almost to November! Crazy really. But this week was really good. We've gotten to know where our investigator's houses are and met more members, the people here are incredible! This ward is very missionary focused, one part of that is hard though because their goal is us to get 10 baptisms a month and so of course they're behind because that's a LOT, so it's up to me and Sister Surio to get like 30! ha It'll be fun :) So this week some pretty great things happened.
We had an investigator named Pingky that was preparing for baptism, however she'd been baptized before they just hadn't found her records so we were going to rebaptize her...but then on Sunday they found it so she isn't getting baptized now but it's great news because now their family can start working toward the temple! They're the most amazing people. We were able to teach her and her husband and three of their kids last night. Their oldest is 17 but less active because of his job, but he was so excited to listen and was setting an appointment for us to come back and we had the most amazing talk about the temple...I love them so much I really pray I'll be able to see them sealed in the temple here on my mission!! They're incredible :)
Also on Wednesday we were able to participate in the proselyting activity for the MTC, so I had two Americans come and work with me, and it was so fun to see them trying so hard to talk to the people, but they would always look to me for translation..ha But the sisters never gave up and I really noticed from them how much I've grown here on the mission. I remember when I did that activity and couldn't speak anything and was so scared to even talk to anyone, but now only 6 months later I am the one approaching people and actually translating, and it's amazing! I really have such a strong testimony in the gift of tongues, and receiving help from our Heavenly Father to do His work here on earth.
We also had an investigator come to church that we weren't able to meet yet, his name is Red and he's like the perfect investigator! He is so receptive and wants to learn and is just so humble, but he just has that look about him that he's already a priesthood holder..we have an appointment with him Wednesday and Saturday so I'm very excited to teach him :) Hopefully He'll be the first of our 30 baptisms! ha
Last Monday we went to our Ward Mission Leaders for FHE, he actually has it every Monday, but it was a blast! We had delicious food, and played uno! But they play so that whoever wins gets to put coal on the losers face, and me and Sister Surio were the only ones with clean faces at the end of the night. I was real proud of myself :) haha The poor elders were covered..
Also, training is going great. It's really hard sometimes because I forget the things she doesn't know yet so I get pretty stressed with trying to do everything about missionary work, at the same time teaching how to do it..But it's great and I love Sister Surio. One thing I love about being companions with her is that we have Amazing talks during our studies in the morning. We're reading Moses and Abraham together and we've really talked so deeply about God and His creations, this morning we were talking about Kolob and how in the scheme of Eternity Satan really has NO power, so it's so sad when we let him in because we all have the seeds of Godhood within us, and it's never that we're not powerful enough to overcome him, but because we forget that our agency is our power to choose the right all the time. I just really love everything I've been learning and I feel myself growing so much. I truly LOVE being a missionary! Greatest experience Ever :)
We also have this hilarious map hanging on our wall we's called Carlland!
There's a subdivision in our area called that, but we thought it was pretty funny, so we made it into like a Filipino amusement park and it's so hilarious.

(Here is a satellite photo of the Carland Subdivision from Google - these are some of the streets that Carly is roaming)

Maybe when we're done I'll send it home in a letter so you can see it :) We're like using all the missionary and investigators names with different rides or restaurants and stuff inside's So awesome! So don't worry about me, I'm just Loving Loving Loving it so much here. Honestly I see now that I will just cry when it's time to leave..I love it so much! Thank you for all your support, I love you all and pray for you everyday!

Sister Benesch :)

(Here is the church that Carly and her companion attend)

Monday, October 14, 2013

Russian Monopoly

Hello family, it's been quite a week! Before I left Baliwag I think I had about 6 birthday parties with members and missionaries..ha So it was actually a great birthday! I'll miss everyone in Baliwag so so much. SO...On Wednesday we traveled to meet our trainees!
I am now training Sister Surio, and let me just say Heavenly Father loves me. She's absolutely amazing! She was born here actually in this mission, then when she was 9 her family moved to San Francisco, so she's fluent in Tagalog and English. She went to BYU for 2 years before coming here and she was in the nursing program...Let's just say I feel a little inadequate like she is more beautiful and smarter and greater in every way. ha Just joking, but she's absolutely amazing I feel like I'm not even training. We get along great too.
We are living with two other sisters, Sister Criste who is training Sister Bautista from Las Vegas, and we have a blast together! I really just feel like I'm living with my best friends. It makes opening the area a lot easier, because even though the work is so hard and I'm really stressed with trying to train and open up the area here in San Mateo, it is just fun being with the other sisters. We found this Monopoly game in our apartment, but all the names are in Russian! So we have this on-going game of that and it's hilarious!! Sister Criste (filipina) was picking her piece to use and was so excited when she picked up the dog and said "I know this one! I want the horse." I started laughing SO hard and told her "aso iyan!!" which means "that's a dog!" but maybe it was funnier in the moment... But I think these next few months I'll really learn a lot, and especially improve my Tagalog because we all try to speak it to help Sister Bautista learn it, but I think it'll help me just as much. Sometimes I think about the fact that I'm actually bilingual and it's amazing to me :) ha Crazy really!!
Our first day in the area we were just walking around getting lost trying to follow this map, ha but we were blessed to accidentally meet this amazing member that brought us around to meet was a true answer to prayers!! And by the way I'm sorry if any of this doesn't make sense, I'm finding it a little hard to speak in English...spell check is saving me right now! haha But anyway, after that we didn't have much work because we finally got to watch General Conference!!! It was AMAZING. I felt the spirit so so strong, it truly was an incredible weekend. I agree with President Monson that everything was so inspired. Actually one thing I love about Sister Surio is she loves talking about deep doctrine, which I've really learned to love to study on my mission so we have some Great talks..but we were talking about the second coming and how close it really is. But after conference I really felt that you could give it a title of "Just hold on a little longer and do the simple things, the end is almost here" I just really feel that it's coming so fast. It's such an exciting time!! But I really am so grateful for all the blessings I've seen just in the last few days...When I think about what I've been asked to do as a trainer and in an area I don't know, leaving all my friends I feel that I should want to cry, but I'm just SO Happy and feel completely great about it. I love it here :)
So sadly I don't have too many stories yet, but this will be a full week of work and actually finding all our investigators and those we teach so I'm sure I'll have some good ones next week! I love you all so so much, thank you for all your support! It really makes it a lot easier to be here knowing I have you all at home. Love you so much!!  SO glad to hear Grampy's surgery went ok, tell him I love him and am praying for him!

Sister Benesch

Wednesday, October 9, 2013

Birthday Transfer

Hello family, oh my goodness I don't even have words for this week...actually I have way too many! ha I can't even possibly fit in everything that happened, but I'll try to get all the real good parts! So it actually started just after emailing last Pday. Actually I wrote you a letter about it, but I'll write here too because it really effected me... while we were emailing Sister Tupa'i started crying, but she said she was ok and so I just figured she was homesick while talking to her family. But then she acted really weird the rest the day and, although I feel terrible now, I actually got a little annoyed with her and was pretty impatient. Well later that night she told me that she found out her mom has cancer. She was talking about it while trying to eat some food because she hadn't eaten all day, and was just crying. As I watched her my heart literally just broke... She was really struggling. Remember that in the last 2 transfers her parents split up, her mom moved to New Zealand, her grandpa died, and now she received that news. And I truly felt that Heavenly Father was disappointed in my actions of judging her and being impatient. I have never felt more humbled in my life, and over this last week my love for her has grown so much! I will probably cry saying bye to her tomorrow, I've learned SO much about humility and faith from her. But after she told me that we decided to fast the next day for her mom. It was a really neat experience together and I truly felt the spirit so strong. Then on a funnier note...we got SO hungry, on our way home from working that day at about 9 we stopped and bought ice cream then literally Ran home with it in our hands so it wouldn't melt before we could say our prayer to close our fast..hahaha It was hilarious!
> Now speaking of saying bye to her tomorrow...this next transfer is going to be HARD. I will be transfering, saying bye to Baliwag :( But not only that...I will be opening an area. It's called Montalban, San Mateo I, but I'm most excited that it's in the city so now I'll be able to go to the temple once a transfer! SO happy about that :) AND finally the last part..I will be training!! And wait it's not over. I will be training an american! Her name is Sister Surio and she's from California, which means that I will be opening an area with a companion who speaks almost no Tagalog. I think President has a little too much trust in me..ha It is going to be Extremely difficult, but I actually have a really good feeling about it so I think it'll be good :) Wish me luck!!
> Also this week was great, because I truly have another family here in Baliwag!  I had a whole birthday weekend :) On Sunday we went to Sister Lily's in the Branch for dinner, then Monday after transfer announcements we went with the zone to this was Amazing! ALL you can eat and it had a chocolate fountain! Delicious :) And the workers sang happy birthday to me and another Elder and brought us cake! Sadly it was mocha so we couldn't eat it, but I wanted to SO bad.. ha But it's ok! They had a drawing of names from each table out of the whole restaurant, and they picked Sister Tupa'i's name so we won a cake!! We then ate it later that night at a FHE that we had at a members with other members and missionaries for my birthday party! Elder Howey, my zone leader, gave me macaroni and cheese!!! I was pretty excited :) I really have had a Great birthday, I feel so loved by all the members and I'll be sad to leave. But it really is just the Filipino culture, so I think that's how my whole mission will be. I really do love the people here :) Except annoying investigators who won't do Anything..ha Just joking, I do love the people.
> ALSO! Thank you thank you thank you all for the package!!! I finally got to open it this morning and I was so stinking excited! We're going to use a member's oven later to make the brownies! :) And thanks so much for the hilarious cards, I love you all SO much! Also special thanks to Skyler, I'm Very very proud of his special creative talents, his card was definitely spectacular. haha I love you all so much! Thank you for all your support. I truly could not be happier than where I am right now. Serving here is the hardest thing I've ever done, but I absolutely love it. I feel myself grow every single day, thank you for everything :) Love you all so much!!
> Love,

> Sister Benesch :)

Wednesday, October 2, 2013

Bald and Clumsy

Hello hello hello family! Sorry I missed you today earlier emailing, we had quite the adventure as a zone! ha We went to Banal na Bundok again (the mountain with the statues of Jesus, and the zoo with the crazy monkey!) And me and Sister Tupa'i got a sweet picture riding these huge giraffes!! But that'll be one you'll have to wait to see because I want to send different ones for you to see of the rest our adventure :) After that, we went to...(oh PS we woke up and left at 4 am for this day!!)...but we went to Jesus Mountain.

 You have to walk quite a long way and cross this big river, and it's Gorgeous!! Then when you get to the top there are three HUGE statues of "the godhead" in human form. It's pretty cool but it feels a little weird because it's a catholic site and so of course it's not a spiritual experience...but it was really pretty and cool to see!
And now I can say I've stood on Jesus' lap before. ha I was actually the only sister that got up there, the other ones were so lame! It was something I know our family would have had a lot of fun doing :)'s beautiful! And I'll send it so you can be jealous :) ha SO it was really fun, especially crossing the big river on this "barge" thing that the Filipinos would pull across the water as we stood on it. Quite exciting! Sadly I got sunburned though so my face is all red and it makes it even Hotter which is miserable! Speaking of, I can't believe it snowed there!! Crazy. Here it's coming out of the colder season and getting very very hot again, so actually I'm a little jealous! I honestly don't remember what it feels like to sleep at night or get ready in the morning without sweating... It'll be nice next year when I get some cool dry weather ;)
Other than our great adventure, this week wasn't too eventful. However, we have been blessed with an amazing new investigator!! Yay :) She actually is the neighbor of one of the less-actives we teach, and her name is Yam. (Like yum really..haha) and she is really really receptive and I can tell that she already is beginning to love the gospel. One thing that's hard is her husband is really ayaw, which means he doesn't want anything to do with it because he's devoted to his religion, which is hard because she didn't come to church and has him saying things that kinda work against what we're trying to do. But we try our very best, and we've had some real spiritual experiences with her so I'm very happy about that :)
Also just a few random facts about me I thought you might like hearing about...I am going bald. But really I lose so much hair here, I think I've already lost as much as Syd has on her head! haha Actually a lot of the sisters here say they have like half the hair they come with...I don't know why! But it sure makes me grateful for my thick thick hair so it isn't noticeable :) Also...I was exercising the other morning and doing yoga, and had the bright idea to see if I could still get up into a headstand from when I was taking the class at Utah State. Well. I got up and was real proud, then I started to fall backward and hit our couch SO hard. But the thing about the furniture here is that it's all made of shin hit it SO SO hard, I was just rolling on the ground in pain! I screamed and sister Tupa'i didn't even check on me. haha So now I have a big bruise on my leg and it hurt pretty bad walking the first day, but I made a nice little ice pack and I'm all good :) ha Also I'm really beginning to appreciate the nice safe place we live at home. The word Baliu in tagalog means crazy, and that's where Baliuag got its name actually. And it's true! I won't lie, earlier today I saw a completely naked old beggar woman on the street. It's crazy! I just wanted to come back to Utah and cleanse my eyes...hahah So it's definitely an adventure.
I really am learning so much every single day though, especially as I really read the scriptures and I can feel my testimony growing so much! Being on a mission is the very hardest thing I've ever done, but I am so grateful for the opportunity and I know it'll just make me a better person. Thank you for all your support, I love you all SO much!!! xoxox
Sister Benesch

PS next time I email you I'll be turning 20, because it's transfers which means I'll email Tuesday on my birthday!! WOO it's finally here! Love you all :)
PSS I forgot to tell you a great story from this week...I got hit by a tric!!! haha It actually is funny because I didn't get hurt, luckily my bag just took the blow and my body turned and my arm kinda flew out...
Sister Tupa'i and Sis Rosana thought I was really hurt...but the tric driver just kept driving and looking back all scared! Sis Rosana said he was probably thinking he couldn't stop incase I wanted money from him because I'm american..ha But it was a new experience. Gotta love the transportation here :) Love you all!!!

(I pulled this photo of a "tric" from the internet - Ron)