Tuesday, December 24, 2013

We are so blessed

Hello Family!!
Well today my email will be a little short so that I still have some stories for tomorrow when I get to SKYPE you!!!! AHH :) :) This week was probably one of the weeks I learned the Most in my whole mission. Honestly I feel like I changed as a person just in a week..ha But I had some great experiences. Well last Wednesday was pretty hard, but I really felt Heavenly Father's love for me so much, and I realized just how much I need to rely on Him every single day. At the Christmas Conference I got to see all my friends!!!! Sister Miner and Sister Kalama will probably be my best friends for the rest of my life.
Also at Christmas conference we got to watch the movie Ephraim's rescue and it was INCREDIBLE!! I pretty much bawled through the whole thing..ha But it was so so so good. It amazed me how he was always so prepared to do whatever he could, and was always worthy to use that gift God had given him. Watching all that the pioneers went through crossing the plains made me so grateful for all I have here..because sometimes I feel pretty down but I see that I really am so so blessed.
Also this week I think I got hit with death as I call it...when I get colds here it is like ridiculous..It literally feels like there is cement in my nose and my cough sounds like I have whooping cough or bronchitis or something..it's terrible! But we just keep working and I'm getting better slowly :) I get rashes on my hands too which is pretty weird...but hey I figure it's just one of those other perks of serving in the Philippines.
Also some news on our investigators...we have one named Daizel that is like our best friend! Actually we were going to drop her, but we decided to go back one more time before Christmas and we were talking to her about some of her concerns, and found out that she really does want to get baptized just had heard some rumors about the church so we talked about it and she accepted a baptism date!!! We were Shocked and so so excited!!!! This really is God's work..I am so excited :) Well family I love you so much..I finally opened my Christmas package!! THANK YOU!!!! Literally all the beauty products...probably the Best gift I could ever get. I actually feel Clean now!! ha Maybe I'll try to make it last so that before I come home I can try to clean myself and not smell too bad when I get home ;) Thank you so so much!! I love you so so much, and I cannot wait to talk to you tomorrow!!!!!!!! MERRY MERRY Christmas I love you so much!!!! :)
Sister Benesch

 Merry Christmas from the San Mateo missionaries!!
OH And do you see the American, Elder Jones? I found out he was best friends with Chris in elementary!! ha Do Holly and Rohn recognize him? It was pretty cool to talk about my family with someone that knew them :)
And then the other pictures is the little girls of the Tripoli family (my Favorite family I've ever met in my life) and this was our Christmas with them...I seriously cannot explain the feelings of love and gratitude I had as we celebrated with them...they are so so grateful for the little they have, and they're willing to give it all. Man I love the people here!!! Love you :)

Christmas Caroling

Hello family!!!
Well sadly I'm trying to SQUISH my email into short time we have today because we got to go to the TEMPLE!!!

And we're busy...so I'll try to fit in stories but sorry if this one is a little shorter!!!
First, I want to tell dad my big news of the week! One memory I have very vividly is when you were trying to teach me to take pills and I just couldn't, so you yelled at me. WELL This week I hit swallowing 5 at one time! So that was an accomplishment :) Anyway...besides that, this week was pretty good! We've had a ton of meetings and activities so we haven't had a ton of work, but it's been fun. Actually on our one full day of work this week we were able to teach sister Grace and her family again and it went Great! We found her so prepared, then she was just kind of dying on us...it was so so sad to see Satan immediately attacking and taking her down, when we knew their family was ready. Then our schedule got busy and because she was no longer progressing we didn't go to her, but we did this week and she was So excited to see us! She told us how much she missed us and how guilty she felt that she hadn't gone to church because she knows that this is the church where she needs to be. She promised to come to church and begin reading the Book of Mormon, and we also were able to talk to her about getting married to her husband so that she'd be ready for baptism, and when we told her it'd be free at the church she was SO excited!! The spirit was so strong, and I really do know that she'll be a member. It'll be hard, but I think she's getting stronger now. I'm so grateful :)
Also this week we were able to start our Christmas Caroling! As a district we go to each other's areas different nights and carol with Santa hats and it is So much fun!! We have been able to meet a lot more people that we hadn't before, actually tonight is in our area so hopefully we can get some great new potential investigators!! OH and speaking of Christmas..I got the Watt's package this week. Tell them thank you so much!!! The pajamas are adorable :) I love you people :)

Alright so for the last story...tomorrow is our Christmas conference with the mission and I'm SO excited!! Us four sisters have planned out our dance...and it's going to be awesome!! Me and Sister Surio start out singing lines to the little mermaid song all changed up...sounds like this "I've got bug bites on my arms a plenty..I've got heat rash and fungus galore. You want lice in your hair? I've got plenty! There it is, I found one, nope there's more!..." and so on. ha And then Sister Bautista and Criste come in with You Don't Know You're Beautiful and we all start dancing...anyway all of it put together is awesome!!! It'll be hilarious. I'll send pictures for sure :) I'm really becoming a real pop star! haha Just kidding :)
And I guess one more fun fact...every once in awhile there's TONS of cats all crying at the same time, and one morning I asked Sister Surio "Do you know why all those babies are crying?" hahaha I obviously need more experience with animals.. anyway. I'm learning a lot here :) I love you all so much. I know without a doubt that this church is true. I had an amazing experience in the temple today and I know that the name I went through for accepted the Gospel on the other side. This is God's kingdom here on earth. I love you so much!!!
Sister Benesch

PS. these pics are...The BEAUTIFUL waterfall we went to last week, me and Sister Surio in our Adorbs christmas hats, and us at the temple this morning at about 5:30 :)

Monday, December 9, 2013

All I want for Christmas is more lice shampoo, more lice shampoo, ...

Hello Family!!!! AHHH malapit na ang pasko!! I am so excited for Christmas :)
How are you all doing?? SO this week was pretty crazy. I have TONS of stories, and sadly I had lots of pictures to go with those stories but the computer shop we're at we can't connect our cameras so there are none today :( BUT the stories are still pretty  great! I guess I'll start with myself, I am a walking pharmacy. ha So pretty much every morning I shower (of course) and then I put on my heat rash powder, my fungus cream on my feet (now Chels isn't the only fungus foot! gross..) and NOW I have added lice shampoo and a little comb. Yes, that's right, I got hit with lice for the first time ever and I think I want to die. So the first day we figured out why my head was SO itchy all the sisters were around me with the combs...usually a normal case of lice has about 4-5 little lice, or atleast under ten. But not me, I'm special when I get little illnesses or weird things. I think I had for sure more than 30 and there were some BIG ones that you had to kill on the paper and there was blood and everything! Grabe.... As in you cannot understand. It was terrible!! So I've been dealing with that this week, and the number has gone down but I still get a few each day, luckily they're dying off now :) The day we found them was exciting though, because we came home and washed EVERYTHING, boiled everything, and washed my sheets and towels with hot water...however that meant I had to do it pot by pot of boiling water from our little stove because we don't have hot water..ha It was nuts!! So that was good times. Then besides that I just have vitamins and calcium supplements I have to take on top of my prescription...It nuts! But it really is so much fun :)
My next story is about a funeral we went to. A lady in the ward passed away so we went to the family's house for a necrology, and it was so so sad!! Her and her kids were members, but her husband wasn't. During the program he just started crying and crying and I felt so bad! I had to hold in tears myself...but it just really got me thinking about life and how much time we waste in our lives with the things that aren't important. Worrying about jobs, school, things other people do to us...there is SO much more than this life here and if we actually understood the eternities and God's plan I think we'd be so much happier. Me and Sister Surio started reading the Bible Dictionary every companion study to start connecting the Bible stories to Book of Mormon and it's been a HUGE learning experience to actually know the gospel and feel so much more that we truly do have a Heavenly Father who loves us. He has a plan for all of us, and all we have to do is trust Him and then watch that plan unfold in our lives according to His will..it's amazing!
Then today was pretty fun! We had a zone activity and we went to this crazy old church that the muslims used way back when the spanish came in and were driving them out..it's up in the mountains hidden away and it's beautiful! Then we went to Wawa dam which is....describable. It is gorgeous!! It's so green, high in the mountain, and just tons of water around these white rocks you can climb on and then a huge waterfall..I wish so bad i could send pictures! Even though it doesn't do it justice, it's incredible :) There are so so many beautiful places here, I'm so lucky to be here!!
Then just for a few random things...There's this old filipina woman that's probably like 4'7'' and every time we pass her on the street she laughs and points at me saying "Amerikana!" and I have no idea why!! haha It's pretty funny though :) and we saw Beth again!!!! Ah she's HILARIOUS. She invited us to her house this sunday for a party so I'll let you know how that goes ;) OH ps my next 3 pdays will be different...next week it will be wednesday for our temple day, the next wednesday for CHRISTMAS AND I CAN SKYPE YOU!!!! (I'll let you know what time maybe next week), and then the next Tuesday for transfers....crazy that I'll be done with training Sister Surio, it's gone crazy fast! SO ya, just so you don't expect emails sunday night and they don't come :) Oh also, I spoke in sacrament yesterday about Christlike attributes and realized I have a LOT more to improve before I come home ;) I'll keep working! ha But I love you all so so much, thank you for all the support!!! See you SOON!! Over computer atleast :) ha
Sister Benesch

I totally forgot to tell you about our baptism!! It was a success....for the Philippines :) meaning, there were only us missionaries, the bishop and ward mission leader there. None of our speakers showed up, but it still went pretty good!! Gelo and Red were both SO excited, and the spirit was so strong. They're amazing people :) And Gelo's wife had her baby last week that we got to meet and he's ADORABLE! Man I miss holding babies...so so cute :) I'll try to send pictures next week!! love you all :)

Wednesday, December 4, 2013

Thanksgiving Ice Cream

Hello family!!!
 Well we finally found out when actual Thanksgiving was and got to celebrate....by ourselves!! :) haha It actually was really fun though! We had follow-up training that day which was really good, and we got actual American pizza and I literally almost cried...Then after we got home and did studies we taught a lesson. We taught a part-member family about temples and it was so cool! Sister Lani was just baptized with their 2 daughters a year ago so she's getting ready to go, and then Tatay (that's dad in Tagalog) is our investigator but he's no where near progressing..ha but he actually was interested for this lesson, so I hope it planted a seed in him :)
And then after that Sister Surio and I sprinted to the palegke to buy Christmas decorations and our "thanksgiving feast" to surprise the other sisters!!! We decorated our adorable apartment, and then had a feast of ice cream, chocolate sauce, and candy!! So it wasn't quite a turkey Christmas (which would be impossible since they don't have turkey here..ha) but we had a blast! Sister Surio made all our investigators talk about what they're grateful for in our lessons, and it was hilarious :) ha
 Also this week we had stake conference, and they let the missionaries go to the adult session! It was so great, one of the speakers was the 2nd councelor (is that spelled right??) and he's this HUGE guy, who started off his talk describing all this delicious food and making these little noises with how delicious it sounded..I was like peeing my pants! Anyway, he related it to sharing the gospel with our friends, because the gospel really is the "sweetest, purest fruit" they can partake of. It was a great talk! And then they had a choir. Sadly..a lot of filipinos are kind of tone deaf..so they did pretty good and it was a pretty song, however me and Sister Surio were a little bit irreverant. She kept whispering "do you see that Nanay with one tooth??" hahaha and then this old man was walking by with his pants way high, and his daughter reaches out, grabs him by the pants and pulls him into the bench so fast he looked like he'd actually had a heart attack!! Poor little guy..haha So I was already giggling..(Yes, I know it's bad) and then the choir hit their last note. It was literally like in the cartoons when it breaks glass!! I could not for the life of me hold in my laughter!! The elder behind me was like "Sheesh Sister Benesch control yourself, you'll offend the nanays!" But it was so funny :) Man it was good times. Then on Sunday sadly was a little boring, but one of our less-actives came and I got him to wear a white shirt and tie!! He didn't before because he was offended, and it was quite childish, but he didn't want to 'show respect to the bishop'...so I just talked with him about how it's Christ's church and everything we do is for our Heavenly Father. So he showed up looking real nice and I was so proud :) He's about 60 so I told him I was proud and he looked real guapo and he just punched my arm..haha Atleast he obeyed :)

We also have an Amazing new family of investigators!! Sister Grace was an investigator before but moved before her baptism, but she moved back and we started teaching her, and her husband and they have 6 kids with the oldest 8 years old! So we have baptism dates for those 3 at the end of this month and I'm so excited!! Their kids are Crazy but so adorable, so it's quite a circus when we teach there but we have fun :) I just feel so much love there! They also have a son with down syndrome, and whenver we go he yells "Sisters!! Kumusta?!" and he's so excited we're there! He's my new little buddy here. So they're progressing, and then we have 2 baptisms this Saturday which I'm way excited for! Brother Red and Gelo, they passed their interviews (wheew..) and now we're just waiting for Saturday. They're so hilarious, I'm so happy for them :)
 Besides that nothing else really happened this week...but I really am absolutely loving everything. It's such a crazy adventure everyday, but I'll just have lots and lots of stories for when I get home! Happy birthday month Donald!! Next year I'll make up for my lack of presents this year ;) Oh also I learned I have no talents...ha We're trying to prepare something for the talent show we're having at our Christmas conference and I tried dancing, singing, acting...Sister Surio laughed at everything! But I think the 4 sisters in our apartment are going to all sing together and it'll be great :) I'll let you know what we end up deciding!! But I did feel pretty worthless...ha not really I'll just work harder and improving the little bit of talent I do have and blow you all away when I get home! I love you all SO MUCH! Thanks for everything :)
Sister Benesch