Tuesday, November 26, 2013

Crazy lady and flesh eating fish

Hello hello everybody :)
This week was pretty great, a little slow honestly...but alright! We didn't have quite as much teaching as we usually get, however we now have 4 investigators progressing to baptism, and for here that is like Amazing!! I am so so excited :) We have Sister Grace, her daughter, and then Gelo and Red that will now be getting baptized December 7. So there isn't a ton of work going on, but we atleast have them and they're all way solid so we're pretty excited about that :)
Also this week, for some reason me and Sister Surio thought it was Thanksgiving. haha Needless to say we were VERY disappointed when we found out it wasn't, but hey we still have it this week! And it's the same day as follow-up training so I think we'll get some kind of celebration! It's kinda hard here because Filipinos don't celebrate it, and so all the Americans in our zone want to do something, but the filipinos don't and so it's kinda causing problems...so we'll see if we do anything. But we have follow-up training so I'll get to see Sister Tupa'i and eat some good food so it'll be good :) ALSO, I am writing my "Thankful Journal" to send you in the mail to put in the binder so I'm not left out this year!! So be looking for that.
And now today....we had a pretty crazy zone activity earlier! We went to this spa/resort place where we played on this playground and it was Way super fun..haha And then we got to stick our feet in this pond and the fish would come and nibble on your feet! It was so cool...so we sat there for like an hour with fish eating our feet :)
haha It didn't hurt, it just tickled way bad!! But it was pretty awesome.
AND my very very favorite story now for the week....We got this new investigator named Beth, and actually I don't know if she's new because we're not going back, but the whole time we were there I just thought about Syd. Sydney, you would have been peeing your pants!! So she stopped us on the street and starts talking to us in english, but she sounds just like sid the sloth!!! And her hair is combed Straight back and then she has this long dress and socks with flip-flops..haha I was holding in my laughter. So she says she really wants to go to church but doesn't know where the mormon church is here, so we got way excited and asked if we could come in and teach her and she let us...well. She is CRAZY. Like she really is insane... We sat down and started the lesson and she just talked and talked and talked without a break for about 30 minutes and I can't say everything she said, because all of it I was like Dying trying to hold in my laughter!! But I will tell you she used the words "erotic dances" (while doing movements) and told us how babies are formed and then how the woman gives birth, all these crazy medical things, and then there was this little girl that was walking around with one of those eye masks you sleep with just with her arms straight out bumping into things...haha It was the craziest thing ever! But probably one of my favorite lessons of my Whole mission because it was so so hilarious! She also had these statues that I think were supposed to be Adam and Eve, but it was just a naked man and naked woman...Man me and Sister Surio were dying afterwards. Just everything about it was hilarious because of what she was saying, and talking like sid the sloth Only in english-she refused to speak Tagalog for some reason-and then the outfit and hair. I just wish Sydney was there to meet her :) (Syd I think I will nickname you Beth now instead of Gale ;) haha) So it was a pretty good week, not too eventful, but I'm doing great and just loving it still :) I love you all so so much and hope you have a great week!!!
Sister Benesch

PS here's us sittin at the fishy pond :) And I had to send another of my feet so you can see how bad my tan lines are getting..I think they'll be there the rest of my life!!! haha

Thursday, November 21, 2013

Bowling, Sushi, & Ice Cream - Now that's living

Hello everybody!! Man this week really was way crazy, I can't even think where to start. I made a list so I'll start at the top, this email might just be all over the place as I try to fit everything in. First off, last night we had a goodbye party for and elder in our ward that's going home, and we had this frosting fight that was hilarious and so much fun!! However then they made me eat balut again...and it wasn't quite as bad as last time but I still don't think I like it very much! Also this week, one night we were walking home and there's a certain area we walk by that there's a lot of kuyas (just look up the word kuya) ha but they all know us, and so we're walking by and then I start hearing my name being yelled from some house, and then another one like turns and bows at us as we walk by...hahaha I get some of the funniest responses here being american. But don't worry about it, I'm totally safe mom :) Then today was WAY fun! Because there are lots of people going home we went bowling
and out to a Delicious korean/chinese/asian food place that was so so delicious.
In the center of the table they have this hot palet that you put all you can eat fish, meats...basta asian foods and it cooks it. They had unlimited sushi and ice cream..it was so good! So today was a ton of fun, and definitely something we needed to just relax and have fun :) Because I do have some really good friends going home that I'm so sad about..but I guess it's just part of the mission.
Now I want to talk about Tacloban though. That was where the huge typhoon was...(Oh and I found out Sister Mabini's family is all ok, however they're now struggling with food. But no one died so I was SO relieve!!) However there's a few stories I want to share. This week I've seen so many images and heard stories that have just ripped my heart out. There's an elder here who lost every single member of his family and his home. He of course is staying here because he has nothing to go home to, but it is SO so sad..I just wanted to cry for him, I actually served with him in Baliwag and he is only like 2 transfers into the mission. I just want to cry right now talking about it..he's SO so so great and I feel so bad. Also, Elder Howey's companion's brother was there (all the missionaries are being transferred in the Manila mission, Quezon City, and ours) and so they got to go talk to his brother and others at the MTC while they were staying there. He told me one story about a sister who said that they were right in the center of the storm, but when it started they went to the top of their house thinking they'd be safe from the floods. Within 10 minutes the water was up the stairs and there was no way out because most the windows here have bars over them. They literally thought they were going to die..so they knelt and prayed, then noticed a small space in the wall covered by a wood plank. The sister was samoan, so she ran at the wall and busted it, and then they all clawed (I say that because Elder Howey said she showed him her bruised and scabbed hands from literally clawing out of the cement walls) and they all managed to get out as the water rose and swim to safety... I can't even imagine. I just here these stories and see on the news how terrible it is. I know if I were at home I'd feel bad, but then move on with life. Here it's my people now. I can understand what they're saying when they're heartbroken and wondering if their families are ok...or if anyone is even still alive. I'm sorry I don't want this to be a sad email, it's just really effected me, and I've realized how to really be humble and appreciative of all we have. I've learned so much being here, I couldn't be more grateful. Family I love you so much! Remember that this is the One true church of Jesus Christ on the earth today, and that we have a living prophet leading it today. Stay worthy and ready, you never know what could happen. I love you all with all my heart, and I am LOVING it here so much!!! I'm in love with missionary work :)
Sister Benesch

PS This is me and my awesome friends bowling and eating at the asian place with the COOLEST asian ever, Elder Wu who's going home :(

Monday, November 11, 2013

How to kill a snake

Hello family, I hope you are all doing great!  Sister Surio and I are going to be best friends forever and go on awesome family vacations together :) ha She's really great. I had lots and lots of great experiences this week though, and I really do know that being here is the Only thing for me right now-it brings me So so much happiness. I am in love with missionary work :) It will test you to your very limits...but the rewards truly are like in my call "happiness that I have not yet known." It's amazing!
So a few funny things I'd like to share this week...I learned the Filipino way to kill snakes!! haha We were walking down this road when all these men stopped us, then we saw a big gross snake in the road. So they throw a board on it and then call in all the jeepnies!! They run it over one by one, and after each jeep they check to see if it's dead. They're all checking it and yelling "Python iyan!!" and not letting us walk by, but it really wasn't a python :) ha It was just so funny to watch them all freaking out. But I think then Heavenly Father wanted me to see how it felt and the other experience is ME freaking out! We were walking to an appointment the other night and saw these 2 HUGE rats running around the streets and down the gutters. I literally couldn't even walk, I had no idea what to do. Sister Surio too...we were SO scared! Then she just takes off running down the road leaving me there with the rats running around, so I couldn't even breath and was like screaming running after her! This man was watching us and I'm sure he was very confused about what was going on and the crazy American running around screaming from a few rats... haha It was gross!!
We also had some really great spiritual experiences this week that really helped me remember why I'm really here. There's a family in our ward, the Tripoli family, and they are my very favorite!! My heroes really :) They're so poor, but SO so strong. (I sent a picture a couple weeks ago with one of the little girls) but we walked by last night and Pingky told us that they were having some problems.. SO there's Nanay (the grandma) and then her two daughters and son, and then all the grandchildren..all living together that we visit each of them. Sorry if you're confused :) But we found out they were having problems so we shared with Nanay, Grace (one of her daughters) and then Pingky's kids and had the most spiritual lesson about the Gospel of Jesus Christ. We talked a lot about Faith, and about the healing power of Repentance. Not just for our sins, but also for all of our pains in life. I was able to share this scripture that I had only found that morning in my studies and they were crying and the spirit really was so strong. I know that I will love them forever, and I know that those are the reasons why I've been called here. I am so so grateful that I have this chance to be an instrument of the hands of the Lord to bring such peace and happiness to people's lives.
Now about today...It's still morning but we've already been partying hard here in the Philippines! ha We woke up this morning at 3:15...yes 3:15 am. The elders picked us up at our apartment and we hiked up this mountain, we got to the top about 6 for the sunrise!! However...it was so smoggy and rainy that we didn't even see it, it just was all the sudden light! haha A little disappointing...and literally it was straight up for 2 hours..I didn't think I'd be able to make it really! But we still had lots of fun, and then afterwards we were able to go to the other missionary's bishop's house for buko! Or, baby coconut! ha They got them down straight from the tree and chopped them open then we drank the coconut water and scraped out the buko, and they also had the brown ones that the coconut is a little harder, and that's my favorite way to eat it! Anyway it was absolutely delicious.
So needless to say, I am doing fantastic. I know that this is where God has called me to serve Him, and as long as I stay faithful and do my very best I can be successful, and happier than I can imagine. I'm so grateful for the knowledge I have of the Gospel and the light it brings into my life. I know that this church is true, I know that God is our Heavenly Father and loves us, I know that He truly has a plan for all of us. I couldn't be more grateful for all that I have. I love you all so so much!!! Take care :)

Sister Benesch

PS this might just be the best picture so far on my mission :) There was a way cool waterfall too up where we were but sadly the program on this computer changed and my camera won't show up...So I'll have to figure that out..

Saturday, November 9, 2013

Before the Typhoon

We just received a quick note from Carly this week so I did not post it.  Even though she did not say anything about it, I think they were busy getting ready for the big storm.  She did send some photos though.
Carly preparing Tilapia.  Her cousin Robbie will be proud.

She got to go to the Temple.  This will now be a monthly occurrence in her new area.

Here she is with the other Sisters in her house.

We received an email yesterday (11/9) that all the missionaries in her mission are fine and safe.  They just received a lot of rain from this massive Typhoon.  We are hoping for a new email on Sunday night.