Tuesday, September 9, 2014

6 more weeks

July 28
On Sunday brother Butch Pagunsan got the priesthood! We went in and watched him receive it in Elder's Quorum and it was so cool! He was promised again that as he stays obedient his family will go to the temple :) Just working with their family alone has been so rewarding! We also took the most adorable picture of their 12 year old Andrie in front of the church with his white shirt, tie, and holding his scriptures and Duty to God! The changes and progress we've seen in them has been like miracle after miracle every single day. We walked by them the other day and all 6 of them were on the motorcycle! (Not unusual here..) but it was so cute because they all just looked So happy and seem to have this light about them. They are such special people, and I love them so much :) We've been able to work more with our investigator Corazon. I don't remember if I told you about her, but she has suffered her whole life from abuse from her son and husband and as we've worked with her over the last few weeks it's been Such a miracle to see the changes! She's been coming to church and when we walk past she looks so happy spending time with her family! The other night we were teaching her and I asked her if she felt any different, just because we've seen so many changes, and she just got the biggest smile on her face saying how much happier she is and how much things have changed. Then as we went on to talk about how much God loves her she just almost started crying, but also couldn't stop smiling because of how happy she is. It's been amazing for me to see the gospel really work in people's lives and see them change and find happiness. That really is all the gospel is about :) OH and almost the Most important thing...we had transfer announcements! So me and Sister Porter are going to stay together the next 2 weeks and nothing will change, so that will be tons of fun! BUT her replacement....is....SISTER MINER!!!!!! We are going to be companions again!! I am SO SO SO excited!! ha I just can't even hold it in :) Of course there are still challenges but I continue to learn everyday that the more I trust in Heavenly Father and stay obedient I'm so happy even when there are trials. I love you all so much and miss you tons!!
August 3
On Wednesday it was transfer day and there were very few transfers across the whole mission so when Sister Wilson transferred she had no one to go with, and she can't go by herself because it's dangerous. So me and Sister Porter were the lucky ones to bring her! ha We left our house at 8 am and got on 2 different buses, to finally end up in her new area of Malolos at noon! It took AGES, and I was starving and dizzy! But we did have a blessing.  It was super exciting because I got to see Sister Mabini! She's sister Wilson's new companion, which is funny becuase Sister Wilson is the trainee of Sister Surio, who is my trainee, and Sister Mabini is my trainer! So it's just staying in the family :) ha So it was fun to see her, because I probably won't ever again :( I really love her SO much!  Then
Thursday we had a service project with our district and it was super fun! We mixed cement to build a house. ha It was the first time I've ever done that and my body was so sore after, but it was super fun! It even started raining in the middle so that made it interesting..ha I really love the service here because it's things I will probably never do again in my whole life. Can you think of a single person in America who would invite the missionaries over to mix cement and build their house for them? haha It's more fun in the Philippines ;)
August 31
We also had a baptismal interview for Dominic and he passed!! They've had some problems getting all the paperwork done for the marriage sadly...but this wednesday they're supposed to get it all done, so hopefully it will all happen next Saturday!!!! I'm so so so excited :) They're for sure my favorite couple I've ever taught, I wish you could meet their baby Spade! He's basically my best friend. Michelle jokes that he thinks I'm his mom now because everytime he sees me he gets SO excited and starts screaming and running, and then whenever we say bye he like Screams crying! I love him so much :)
So the area is still doing awesome, I really don't even want to think that I might be leaving it! I'm still praying for some kind of miracle that I can stay :) But I guess we'll just see. The work is so rewarding though, I know that Heavenly Father is giving us so many blessings because we're doing our best...obedience really does bring blessings, but exact obedience brings miracles. I love you so much!!!
September 8
Hope you had a great week!! We had a pretty interesting week ourselves this week :) We had a big adventure on Wednesday!!! So when we came into the mission we got xrays done at the MTC, and then every missionary has to get them again 6 weeks before we go home to check that we don't have tuberculosis...so that was our adventure! Me, Sister Miner, and Sister Kalama went down to the MTC and got some xrays done. And good news...NO TB :) ha But it was so fun being back there and thinking about the great times we had together there, I can't believe how long it's been! We also snuck around the MTC a little bit and took some pictures of our old classroom and stuff :) haha It was so fun!

Sadly we did not have a wedding or baptism on Saturday because some things are still not done with paperwork...I honestly don't really know what the problem is but we're just trying to patiently wait :) However, we got a new investigator that is incredible! She lives with a member and is helping take care of their kids, and when we taught her the first time she was really interested and listened and loved everything, but we didn't quite know how much she wanted it. Then yesterday we went and taught her, and after we talked about the Book of Mormon she just starting crying to us saying that she feels like she's been lost and confused for so long and she finally feels like it's all coming together. And then she asked US when she can get baptized before we could even bring it up! It was so amazing. And her baptism date is set for October 11. OH I forgot!! I am NOT transferring and neither is Sister Miner!!! I am SO SO excited! I don't know how it'll work with a pull-in of sisters for the STL area, but I'm not really complaining :) ha I really feel like we have so much more to do here. I feel Heavenly Father helping us in the work everyday, and the miracles never stop.

Sister Benesch

Tuesday, July 22, 2014


Hello everyone!
Honestly I can't really believe that I'm already emailing again..I almost don't know what to say because I feel like I just emailed! ha But it's been an incredible week :) Last Pday was super fun because we went souvenir shopping! Let me just say, ALL of you should be super excited ;) Then we started out our week great and had exchanges! We went to the sisters in the city though, and let me just say I never want to be assigned there. It was SO hot, so many people, dirty and crowded...but we still had fun. I worked with 2 sisters I've never worked with before so it was way fun to get to know them and learn from them. I have so much fun on exchanges just meeting tons of new people, it's great!

Then when we did work in our area it was great! Seriously the miracles just continue. We were teaching a less active that has had a really hard life. Since the beginning of teaching her she tells us "Sorry sisters, but I just can't change"..because since she was young and married she's suffered abuse from her husband and then even her son when he was older abused her many times. The stories she shares literally make me sick to my stomach...but it's incredible because as we teach her about the Atonement and our Savior she really is changing! She even prayed that her heart would be softened and she would not be guilty anymore, because she knows that it's wrong of her not to forgive. She's never said that before, or even admitted that she too had a part of forgiveness! It is so amazing to watch the gospel work in her life. So even though she says she can't change, she is! We're thinking to have her start writing a journal so that she too can see the changes...because it's so incredible!

We also had another incredible lesson with our investigator Rodel who's really been progressing. His baptism won't be awhile because we're helping him get over his word of wisdom problems..but he's incredible! We were teaching about the Plan of Salvation, and Bishop and his wife were there with us so that was awesome...but he just kept asking a lot of questions and every single one of them could be answered in the Book of Mormon. I didn't really realize it, it just felt like normal teaching, but then he commented that when he was asking these questions he really thought we wouldn't know the answer because it was hard and he doesn't know anyone that does know the answer...but then every time we did! He just held the Book of Mormon in his hands and said "this book really has everything"..It was so incredible! Such an awesome testimony building experience.
Then we had our first MLC (mission leadership committee) meeting with President Bertin and it was awesome! Honestly I missed President and Sister Sperry, but just listening to President and Sister Bertin I really felt that they truly are the ones called here right now. I think they're going to do incredible things with this mission, and I already love them so much!
We also had some awesome progress with the Pagunsan family! They're all baptized and the dad is working toward his baptism date...but one of their sons was having terrible pains in his head on Saturday night. While we were teaching he was just screaming and crying! So we called a member to come over and give a blessing, and sadly we couldn't stay because of curfew, but they told us the next day that immediately after the blessing he was just calm and slept peacefully all night! It was such a wonderful experience for their family. And then yesterday (at church) they were all fasting and paid their fast offerings and tithing without us even reminding them! And their 12 year old son was interviewed to receive the priesthood! It is just so incredible to watch their progress. I love them with all my heart.

This area just continues to grow and progress..it's so incredible! I'm so blessed to be here. Oh one funny thing...a lady I met at church asked if I was Brazilian..haha I honestly don't even know what people look like there but I get the feeling it's not like me...but it was funny :) Well I love you all so much!!! Thank you for all you do :)

Sister Benesch

Wednesday, July 2, 2014

Kisses from Elias

Hello there, Happy Anniversary mom and dad! :)
Hope you are all doing great, I miss you all TONS but I'm doing so good! I absolutely love this area. Literally we just see miracles happen every single day. We had an awesome week this week too...We had our first exchanges with the sisters and it was a blast! I worked with one sister I've never met before, but she's from Georgia and has this Awesome accent and is absolutely hilarious! So that was fun, and then on Thursday I worked with a sister that I worked with before in my last area so we're already close and it was a blast too. It's just so fun having exchanges and being able to see my own progression so far in the mission as I work with the other sisters and they look to me for advice..it's a lot of pressure but I've learned so much! It's crazy too with our schedule and how busy we are..I think I haven't eaten a real meal of food for like 5 days, and that was at McDonalds. ha So it's been crazy but it's fun :)
We have some Incredible people right now that we're teaching though! We have an investigator named Rodel and we're teaching him and his kids, and he seriously is so prepared! I might have told you a little about him already, but this week his lessons were just amazing. I love teaching him because as we teach he practically quotes back the doctrine with this huge smile on his face because he's so happy and excited to be learning it all! There are a few challenges we'll have to work through with him, but he's seriously incredible. I always walk out of lessons with him and his family thinking "This is why I'm here!" It's so great!
Then we have the Pagunsan family! They are my Favorite maybe on my entire mission!!! They're incredible :) They have 4 crazy little boys that are adorable and all of them have been baptized but the dad (I told you about him last time) but teaching this week was great because even though their boys are usually loud and crazy they're just listening better and better! Their little boy Elias is SOO cute too! He's 3 years old and he just like hangs on us as we teach kissing our cheeks over and over! haha I love him soo much :)
The members here are so great too. It's my first area that really everyone is just 100% willing to work with us whenever we need them, and we've never gone a week without getting referrals! And then they go with us to their referrals to teach! It's so incredible. I feel like that's why the work here is so incredible, because almost everyone we teach already has great friends in the church. So we're seeing so many miracles and blessings, we just come home every night completely exhausted and happy :) But I miss you and love you all!! Thank you for all you do :)

Sister Benesch

Dance Team

Hello Hello, first off...I can't believe that this is the last week of June!! Time flies. Second, how are you all? I am doing so great, I absolutely LOVE it here! Honestly sometimes last transfer I kind of felt like I needed to be somewhere else and had a hard time connecting to the area...now that I've transfered here I feel so strongly that this is exactly where I'm supposed to be. The area is exploding in work and I know that I will see so many miracles here! The members are great, the investigators are great, and the work is just progressing so much! It's been an incredible first week here :)
So for some stories...The first full day after I got here Sister Porter had to go get Xrays (this is her last transfer!!) and so I hung out with another sister who's companion also went. We woke up early and traveled for about an hour to meet them, then me and her went back to our apartment for a few hours and just kinda studied and hung out, and then we went back to the meeting point.
Then on Saturday we had a full day of work and we just went everywhere in our area contacting referrals and finding people to teach, and we got 10 new investigators!! It was incredible! Me and Sister Porter both feel that we're being so blessed, people are practically being thrown at us to teach, it's so great! We also were able to give 6 new baptismal dates and so we have high hopes for a lot of baptisms :)
Also, it's hilarious because there are 6 people in our house and 5 are Americans! So all of us want to lose weight..(the poor single Filipina is in training..ha But she's great!!) But my new housemate is SISTER KALAMA!!!!! (YES I get to live with her and I'm SO excited!!! It's a blast!!) But anyway..she has these workout videos that we all do together and it's hilariosu! We call it our dance team :) haha So it's been so much fun. Hopefully I'll finally lose the rice belly I got here!
And finally, we got really exciting news yesterday from the ward! We have 2 families we're teaching that either the mom or dad is a member and the other is wanting to be baptized, but they both need to be married still!! It's so hard here...but the ward said they'd take care of all the paperwork online and pay for it! SO hopefully we'll be having a double wedding and baptism on July 26!! We're so excited about that...it'll be my first (and probably last) wedding and I absolutely can't wait. Pray for that one :) ha So everything is really going amazing here, we're working so hard! Hopefully we can keep up with everything...I think Heavenly Father trusts us a lot. There are so so so many miracles everyday :)
I love you and miss you all so much, thank you for everything!!! Hope you're having a great week :) LOVE YOU!

Sister Benesch

PS Here are some pictures of me and Sister Porter and then the sisters in our house ..haha It's such a blast!!

Thursday, June 19, 2014

Transfer to San Jose Del Monte

Hello everybody!!
Hope all is going well, sorry I couldn't talk to you today, we had a sports fest thing at the church this morning with our zone so we couldn't email till now, but this week was pretty good! It started out pretty interesting on Tuesday when we had to suddenly take a 2 hour trip to one of the zones close to us for a sister having some problems...so that was interesting! So we rode a jeep up there and talked to her, ate some dinner and then came home. ha It was so tiring, but it was the first time we actually had a problem so that's pretty good for a whole transfer! It felt good too being able to help her out and just by talking to her about everything I could see everything I've learned being here and how much I've changed...I'm getting pretty smart here ;) ha So that was interesting...
Then the rest the week we just had normal work. It was our first full week in our area the whole transfer so honestly it was kind of long trying to find things to do, but it was good too because we were able to get some new investigators and really work hard with our investigators and people here, so although it was hot and tiring it was rewarding :) Then on Saturday I learned that it was Father's Day this weekend pala!! I didn't even know..ha So HAPPY FATHER'S DAY DAD! Hope you had a great day, I love you so much :) Luckily, unlike last year, I didn't cry at church this year when they did the little Father's Day presentation, so I'm getting better! ha Hope it was good though for you guys at home.
And then finally...yesterday I got my news. I am transferring!!! Ya I didn't believe the zone leaders when they told me, I fought them to see the papers with transfers on it, but it's true! So I was only one transfer here, and now I'll be transferring to San Jose Del Monte, and there are some pretty good things about that. First, it's back with some mountains and more trees so it will be cooler, and second, I will have a temple day again!! Woo :) That's what I'm most excited about. I'm excited too because my new companion is Sister Porter, and she's from Logan! She's super nice and we talk about how great Cache Valley is..ha This will be her last transfer so it'll be the first missionary I "kill" and I'm pretty excited! I think it'll be a great transfer :)
So then today for my last Pday here we went to SM (the big mall here) and had a delicious lunch that Angie got us,
and I bought a couple new skirts since mine are pretty worn out after the last 14 months..ha and just had a good day :) I'm honestly pretty tired now, and don't even want to think about packing, but I'm excited for my new adventure. And I'm pretty sure this will be my last area, which is so weird to think about! It'll be good.
Sorry this email is so short, I don't have many stories...OH WAIT. I do have a story....this will make dad laugh ;) So every Tuesday we have follow-up calls with our district leader, so I was talking to him on the phone when I saw a RAT in our house! We've had a problem for awhile seeing the poop and stuff but I'd never actually seen it, and this time I DID. I immediately jumped on a chair screaming my head off! My poor DL just on the phone, probably holding it like 5 feet away, tried to tell me how to get rid of it and then honestly I don't know what else he said but I just ended up hanging up..haha And so I made sister Lorenzo come down and make room under this door that goes outside for it to go out (at this time it was under our fridge) and of course it wasn't coming out after my screaming...so she said "Alright. You have two choices. To stand on that chair all night and sleep there with the rat, or come down and we'll go upstairs and sleep nice with our door closed." Well it took a few minutes trying to convince myself, but I got down and ran up the stairs making this sound of have screaming half something I can't even explain...Sister Lorenzo literally just fell down laughing so hard at me! So basically I am way more scared of rats than I thought I was, but I blame it on dad! Because I think I recall a story of him jumping on the table when he saw a little mouse...haha :) So that was interesting. But that's about it... Oh and I also found out this week that Lea Salonga is my hero. If you don't know who she is, she's the voice behind almost ALL the Disney princesses and is Incredible. Her voice makes my heart want to explode...thanks to Angie forcing me to listen to her song. (Don't worry, I repented) haha Just kidding, but seriously she's incredible. Just look her up :) Well...
Hope you're all doing great, I love you and miss you all so much!!!
Sister Benesch

PS here is me and Angie earlier at the church, and then the perfect comparison of "American size" and "Filipino size" hahaha Hilarious :

The girl with the "red sweaty face"

Hello everyone, hope you're all doing great!
So this week had a lot of mixed feelings, but I'll focus on the good :) On Wednesday we had exchanges again and this time we went to...BALIWAG!!! I was so excited!! Actually first we went to a different area in that zone called Bustos and had exchanges with the sisters there. It was so much fun because I worked with Sister Deguplo who is still training, and I love working with trainees! They're just so excited to work and do their best and usually have no problems, and she was just like that! We had fun together. There was one appointment we tried to go to, and the jeep ride was like 45 minutes (their area is HUGE!) and so that was crazy, but we ended up at the house of this Tatay (old man) that was just adorable! You know how I'm kinda weird about cute old people..haha But anyway, he's an investigator, but the only reason he's not baptized is because he can't pay to go to church every sunday because it's so far. But in less than a week he'd read from Alma to Ether! He's awesome. He also gave me a fan because of my "red sweaty face"..haha Embarrassing. Anyway, there was no girl home so we couldn't teach, but we told him we'd walk up the street to his daughter in law's house and he could follow later, because we can't walk together...so anyway we're waiting there when we see him coming all slow, but he just wanted us to teach him so bad he was asking everyone! Sadly no one was willing, including his daughter in law so we just had to leave...that was sad. But Sister Deguplo bought mangos from him so he had money to go to church! He was great. And the other great part about working in that area is that Elder Liu is their neighbor!!! ha I was so excited to see him again, he's hilarious :)

Then on Thursday they had a CSP so I got to hang out more with my buddy...and although it was hot working out weeding and digging up tree stumps it was fun. Actually on Monday I got sick, and then until Saturday I didn't get better, so at the CSP I was kinda at my height of sickness and it was a little miserable...I cried that morning secretly in the bathroom because I didn't want to go. ha But I was ok. ha THEN I got to work with Sister Pristopher back where I grew up in the mission! I actually lived with her before when I was companions with Sister Patrus, she's also Pakistani and she's hilarious! I absolutely love her :) So we had fun. After we taught the lessons they'd planned for that day we went to visit some of my old friends, and so I got to see Sister Rosanna who I love SO much, and her nanay!! They were so excited to see me :) And even though they're so poor they bought us pizza! Actually Nanay was funny...I left her some earrings when I left the area and she told me that she keeps them safe for when she goes out with her friends and then she makes sure to tell everyone that they come from America :) haha She's still less active but she's hilarious and I love her anyway!! And then I saw Melanie, she was a YSA that I was so close with and it was just so fun! I felt like I got a little taste of how it'd be getting home...going so long not seeing someone you love and then when you see them you realize just how much you missed them! I was so happy :) So it was sad to say bye...but it was great to see them.
So besides that, we didn't get much done in our own area because when we got home Friday I was still doing terrible and so we just took a sick day..but it was good because I got better and then we could work a full day on Saturday :) But yesterday at church was hilarious because one of our investigators brought her adorable son who is like 3 or 4...and all during sacrament he was so cute! Whenever we'd sing he'd get up and grab the hymnbook and then climb back on the bench and open it to a random page and start signing along. Then during prayers he'd fold his little hands in his lap and bow his head then look up every once in awhile to see if it was over..(yes, I was peeking ;) haha) And it just melted my heart! Little kids are so precious :) So I had lots of fun hanging out with him at church. The only problem with his parents is they're not married yet and his dad doesn't really show much interest..but his mom is ready to go! So we're just waiting...but his dad is starting to show more and more interest so hopefully soon :)
So the work is going good, sadly no baptisms yet on the horizon...ha but hopefully some coming since we're done with exchanges and have a couple solid weeks until they start again! But I love you all so much!!! Hope you had fun in Moab and are having a good summer :)
Sister Benesch

PS Elder Liu said to say Hello just as always :) ha And then I thought you may want to see my big fat swollen hand with the rash I had when I was sick....the joys of serving in the hottest place EVER. But don't worry, it's normal now :)

Email from June 1

Hello everybody :)
I can't believe it's already June!! That means that it's summer now there and in just a few more months your Favorite Sister Benesch will be coming home! But I'm not counting ;) ha Actually this week was really good. I got to go to my first MLC (mission leadership council) and it was actually way fun! The workshops on leadership were so good, but actually most of the day was just about us as missionaries. How we can really be excited about the work and do our best. It was a good day to just think about all I've been able to do while I've been here and set goals for what I want to be able to do with the time I have left. And then the food was great for lunch so that just made everything ;) ha But it really was great to be able to see that side of the mission and just how much work so many people put into this for all these investigators and less-actives and they just don't even know it...Heavenly Father spends a lot of time trying to show us what to do in life and sometimes we just don't even notice.
And then on Saturday we had mission tour with Elder Craig C. Christensen and it was so fun! I really like him, his talk was great and then with Elder Ardern there too it was so motivating to keep doing our best in this work. They talked a lot about obedience and diligence and how we just don't have time anymore to do anything that may divert the work of the Lord. It was so great! I felt real pumped that day to keep going hard even though it's So hot :) ha Luckily it's getting closer to rainy season!! I think my very favorite part of mission tour though was when Elder Christensen was bearing his testimony about President Monson. At one point he was saying that he wished we could see the man he is behind the pulpit, and then he said "he is a minister." It was such a simple phrase but really touched my heart. I truly know that President Monson has been called of God and he is our greatest example on earth for us right now. He is such a great example of service and loving others and sharing the gospel. I really love him so much! So that was really powerful, and then it was also fun to be with the whole mission and see so many of my friends!! I didn't realize how much I missed them till I saw them, so we took lots of pictures and had so much fun..but sadly I forgot my camera. So maybe next week I can send some :)
Also a great story from this week...I don't remember if I told you a couple weeks ago about the elders taking 45 minutes to guess my first name and I owed them ice cream, but now they just say it all the time randomly to like catch me off guard, and it's so weird!! ha
So besides all that, the work is going pretty good. Honestly right now is a little hard with very little progress with our investigators and less actives, and I just don't really know what else to do..but we're going to keep trying with tracting and finding activities.
Sorry this email is so short, I just can't really think of stories from this week!! But I love you all so much, I couldn't be here without you!! Happy Summer :)

Sister Benesch

Monday, May 26, 2014

Happy Birthday Sydney

Hello everybody!!! HAPPY BIRTHDAY SYD!!! :)
I was with Sister Sene on exchanges, she's from Samoa and acts just like Sister Tupai!! I love her so much, we had a lot of fun :) Then the last night before we left we all had a big dinner together (six sisters) and it was fun making a bunch of food and we got sprite and just talking...then had to wake up early the next morning and travel and that wasn't quite as fun..ha But I really love exchanges! I learn so much, and they make time go by SO so fast!!
Other than that, we are still teaching Joan (our new investigator a few weeks ago) and I think she'll for sure be baptized on June 14. She's so awesome, and every time we teach she just has great comments. Like we were teaching on Sunday about the Book of Mormon and Joseph Smith as a review and she says "But he wasn't just any kind of man or prophet, he was one of the greatest there ever were and did amazing things for the entire world.." it doesn't translate perfectly in English..ha but she's just incredible! I'm excited for her :) Sadly our other investigator that was progressing (brother Bok) isn't so much now...he didn't come to church and he smoked again last week. We don't really know what to do anymore with him, but we're still teaching and hopefully something will happen...it's hard to see them when they start progressing and then just kinda die off again...Oh but speaking of him we had a very interesting experience this week with his mom who is a less active that's returning now.. But we went to a members house near them because we had extra time and saw her there, then realized that she was completely drunk. I guess her cousin had died the night before and she was just so sad she decided to drink, and so we got there and she was just acting so weird, then started throwing up on herself and went to the bathroom, then passed out with her head in the bowl and of course she couldn't really breath, so me and Sister Lorenzo bring her out and then Sister Lorenzo kinda took over (she's amazing..) I was just kinda standing there not knowing what to do since of course being a little mormon girl from Utah I have never been in these situations before..ha So she got her new clothes and water and then I was fixing her hair that was Everywhere and she just looked at me and then hugged me SO tight and Sister Lorenzo looks at me all nervous and says "what if she throws up on you?!" but she didn't :) So then we got a tricycle and took her home, but I was just sitting there thinking as we were driving how grateful I am for the way I was raised...that I've never had to deal with those problems, and just how much happier life is as we're obedient to the gospel. We still have challenges, but it's less and so much easier to deal with when you have the blessings of the gospel. SO that was interesting..
I'm so excited for this week though, because although we don't have exchanges, I get to go to my first MLC meeting! It's the mission leadership counsel with President Sperry, all the zone leaders and then the sister training leaders, and I hear that the workshops are SO great and the food is good too that they feed us :) That's on Thursday and I can't wait, and then on Saturday we're having mission tour with the whole mission and Elder Craig C. Christensen is coming to speak to us (I think he's the president of the Seventy..) and so it'll be great to hear him, and also to see all my friends in the mission! So this week will be fun, and probably go just as fast as the other ones!! 
BUT I have one more story!!! I almost forgot to write it...so on Saturday after we got home from the Elders baptism we started our planning and then Sister Lorenzo looks behind me and says "Now don't freak out..." but there was a spider as big as my hand behind me on the wall...and it moved FAST!! I was freaking out. ha So we're both screaming and trying to kill it, and we're both holding Baygon (bug spray that will kill it) and throwing things around the room and moving the table and couch and everything to kill the dang thing!!! Finally we sprayed it enough that it moved slowly and I got it with a shoe...but Man it was scary. I will be fearless when I come home to those tiny spiders we have. haha
But I guess I'll just end with my Greatest miracle this week...which was when I found hairspray that actually keeps my hair curly and not frizzy! YES!!! haha I haven't worn my hair curly in forever, and so I did on Sunday and Elder Doroson (my zone leader) just looked at me and starts singing this song "For the first time..." haha It was funny. So now I don't have to wear grandma buns everyday :) But everything is going great, just wayyyy too fast! I love you all so much and hope you have a great week! Hope Syd has a great birthday too!! LOVE YOU! :)
Sister Benesch

Brownies and butterscotch bars

Hello there everybody :)
Hope you're all doing great, I had a really great week this week! We had zone interviews on Wednesday and it was great, but so sad because President and Sister Sperry gave out there goodbye cards and took pictures with everyone...I'll be so sad when they're gone! I've really learned so much from President Sperry and I love them a lot. Although I'm sure President Burton will be just as great :)
Then on Thursday and Friday we were in Malolos! It's about an hour and a half away so we woke up at 5 to be there in time for personal study, but it was so fun! I didn't really know the sisters there yet, so getting to be there with them and getting to know more sisters here was a lot of fun. Exchanges went great. I think honestly I'm going to learn way more from the sisters I work with than they learn from me..ha It really was a great experience to work with them and recognize those things that I want to do better in myself. It's kinda weird being the one that like gives the evaluation and things that they can do to better their area and things...it really will be a big learning experience for me, and I think I'll improve a lot! It's been fun :) I did have some pretty funny experiences on exchanges though...first. The jeeps in Malolos are extra small and short, and so basically I don't even fit on the seat. ha One time it stopped really fast and I wasn't holding on, so my heavy back flew forward and since it was over my shoulder it brought me with it right off the seat and onto the floor! So that was super embarrassing with everyone looking at me like trying to speak English saying I needed to hold on and seeing if I was ok..ha Stupid American. So I just replied in Tagalog and got back up. ha No worries, I was totally fine, just my pride was a little hurt ;) But then the next day on a different Jeep I saw this sign that said "God know's hudas not pay"...hahaha I still don't know if it's a joke or something but I thought it was hilarious. My favorite part about being here is the signs I see :)
Sadly though after exchanges we got back on Saturday and Sister Lorenzo was sick, so we did our weekly planning then only had one appointment because she couldn't even walk her stomach hurt so bad..but it was nice because it gave me some time to rest since I was SO tired! Then Sunday she still didn't feel good so we took it slow again, but we did go to Angie's for dinner (the one we skyped at) and we got to eat brownies!!!! They were so super delicious :) So that was probably my favorite part of this week...the brownies, and also butterscotch bars! I've found here on my mission that I have like an addiction to sweets..ha
But we did get some new investigators, Sister Joan and Sister Bam that seem great! They both seem so prepared and ready to receive the gospel, I'm so excited to continue to teach them and give them baptism dates. Bam is 14 and Joan is 23, but they both just seem so prepared as we teach, and they're great in answering and asking questions. They are just the kind of investigators that are easy and fun to teach :) So I'm excited about that because our work has been suffering a little bit with us never being here. But it's going ok.
Also, this morning we got to deal with our first problem as STLs! ha There's just always more drama with sisters than elders..ha But I realized that Sister Lorenzo really is great dealing with problems and just listening to her talk to the sisters showed me how much I can learn from her. I know I'll learn a lot about patience and love during the next few transfers, and I'm excited. I think she's for sure one of my favorite companions. We never have problems and we just have so much fun...I'm constantly laughing because she's just so hilarious with the things that she says! It's the kinda of funny though of her saying things in English not meaning to be funny, but it's hilarious...so hard to explain over email. ha but it's funny :)
Well that was basically my week...it's been great! And not to be trunky or anything..but I only have 22 more weeks! That's my lucky number :) So I'll be seeing you people in no time!! I love you so much, I loved seeing you this week!! Thanks for all you do, hope you have a great week!!

Sister Benesch


Hey Everybody!
Not too many stories. Evelyn is still doing great and will be baptized May 17!! However...I sadly won't be here. Yes, I am transfering!! My next area is...in the same stake. ha I'm literally transferring like 30 minutes away to Meycauyen (I can't spell it yet..) and I will be companions with Sister Lorenzo who actually was Sister Surio's follow-up trainer so that'll be fun! She's a Filipino, so it'll be my FIRST since Sister Mabini training so hopefully I'll finally really learn to speak Tagalog! ha But the exciting thing actually about where I'm going is that...I've been called to be a Sister Training Leader! It's basically the same level as Zone Leader, but we're over multiple zones. So I'll get to go on exchanges with other sisters, and the Really exciting thing is that Baliwag is under us so I'll get to go back there and check up on everyone!! I'm so so excited :)
I'm excited for the opportunity too because I know I'll really learn a lot. I just want to take this as a chance to really take all my weaknesses and change. To be more diligent and obedient and just do the best I can. I've really looked up to my STLs while on the mission so I hope I can be like that for the other sisters now. It'll be a lot of fun :) And I get to go to more meetings with Pres so I'll get to see him before I leave! I love that man...he's hilarious! haha
But as far as this area goes, I just have been saying bye to people and it's so sad! I've really learned to love people here so much, even though it's the shortest amount of time I've spent in an area. We had one less-active return to church now (came 4 sundays in a row) and if her daughter comes again next sunday she'll be returned! I've just seen so much progression in the area, it's truly been miracle after miracle. I've learned so much and just can't believe I'll be leaving. Things just happen so fast! It really motivates me to do my best these last 4 transfers to not waste a single second since it'll end so fast.
Sorry this email is kinda short, there really isn't much news besides that. Me and Sister Clark have just had SO much fun and I'm so sad it'll be over...but we now have a bucket list of about 50 things for when we get home so it won't be for too long before we hang out again. ha Well I love you all SO much, thank you for everything! I couldn't ask for a better family :) LOVE YOU!!!!

Sister Benesch

Monday, April 28, 2014

Chicken Legs

Hello there everyone,
Since we just emailed on Wednesday this email might be kind of short, but it was a good couple days! ha On Saturday Rufina was baptized!!! YAY! Two little girls from less active families were also baptized with her and she joked that she's like their grandma getting baptized with them..ha but it went great. I really love her so much :)

However the day of her baptism was SO hot, we were trying to teach people and just dripping sweat, it was even hard to breath. Then we rode the jeep to the church and it started to sprinkle and then it dumped on us while we were walking and we had one little broken umbrella! We showed up to the church looking like we'd jumped in a pool...but it was crazy weather. Sadly because of that Sister Clark got a fever of 101 that night, but I was a good doctor and she was all better the next morning :)
So I can't remember if I told you this but I'm starting to write a miracle a day in my journal, and I decided I could share a few with you now. One day it cooled down a little bit at night and me and Sister Clark realized that we had chicken legs!! We never realized how small they are when they're not all swollen!! So Elder Kumar couldn't tease me about my "chubby leg" as he calls it :) haha It was awesome! It gave us hope that when we go home we'll be smaller! Also, another miracle was that little broken umbrella we had for atleast a little protection because actually it was one we had borrowed from Rufina and bringing back to her...neither of us had our own with us. And then another good one, one night we were both not feeling good from walking around all day in the HOTTEST weather you can imagine and there was orange juice on sale for 25 pesos!! And for the size it was, it usually would be like double that. I was so excited! I drank it all (800 mL) in like 5 minutes. ha It was great :)
That's one thing though that I don't think I could have imagined before I came here-the heat. It might only be around 100 degrees, but then when you add the humidity it literally is hotter than anything I've ever been in. You just have sweat pouring down you all day, and literally when I change into pajamas my clothes are just wet...it's so nasty! There are tons of ants everywhere, even in our water, that we have to pick out and you just feel itchy from the sweat. Not going to lie it's a little miserable sometimes, but it definitely makes me appreciate laying in my bed each night with the fan full blast blowing on my face :) It's an adventure for sure.
Well the rest of this week was good, Sister Evelyn is still doing great preparing for her new baptismal date, and then our other investigator sister Luz is really doing great too. Neither have drank coffee again so I think they'll be ok! :) Sadly transfers is next week so I might not be here :( But me and Sister Clark are hoping we can have one more together.. Oh I also spoke in sacrament and that went pretty good. I spoke about the "it" from the story of the 2,000 stripling warriors, saying their mother's knew "it" and I think it was pretty good :) ha But that was basically my week.
I love you all so much, thank you for all your support! Hope you're doing great :)
Sister Benesch


Hey familia,
Can you believe it's been ONE YEAR that I've been here in the Philippines? I cannot. That's pretty exciting :) Hope you're all doing great...I have SO much to tell you from this week.
Let me give you all the bad first then I'll give you the good... SO probably the hardest experience of my entire mission happened this last week. Sister Evelyn was not baptized on Saturday, and I'll probably be transfered before she even is. We went to teach her on Thursday (2 DAYS) before she was supposed to be baptized and she was so so excited...and then she told us that that morning she'd been so hungry, and she didn't have money to buy food, so she took some coffee from her sister to mix with her milk...and as she told us the story I literally felt my heart break. Me and Sister Clark's new motto is "A teaspoon can kill you" because we realized that Satan really can get us to do those tiny little things that'll lead to so much greater consequences...like not being worthy to receive those saving ordinances. So that broke my heart and I think I cried myself to sleep that night..But we've gone back to teach her twice and we've really helped her back up on her feet and she's working toward being baptized on May 17th! Hopefully this time it all works out :) And then that same day everything just went wrong...Almost none of our appointments worked out and we were just walking in the hot hot sun, and then I ripped my skirt Big time on a tricycle and we didn't know what to do, so I tried to cover it up with pulling my shirt down, then I saw this rusty safety pin on the road and said "Yes! God loves me!" And then it broke when I tried to use it...so that was sad. haha But then a less active had one that helped so that was good. But it was just kinda a hard day.
But Easter was great!!
Me and Sister Clark wore real cute Easter outfits and made a huge feast! We had our french toast, eggs, and bacon and it was so delicious! We even found stuff to make guacamole and bought expensive tortilla chips and it was Amazing!!!! We taught Sister Criste and Sister Andres to decorate eggs with crayons because they don't do that here...so it was lots of fun :)
Today was temple day so that has been great...I love the temple so much! And since it is my 1 year mark, I woke up to Sister Clark "flopping" on me at 3 am and there was a big sign that the sisters made saying "Happy One Year!!" and little notes to me...I felt like it was my birthday :) ha BUT I didn't really like waking up at 3..I'm a little tired and it's only noon. ha But do you remember Elder Ferrin? He is the one that called you when I landed here in the Philippines before going to the MTC to say I was safe, and he's from Farmington? Well we saw him today when we were by the temple so we went and talked to him and his wife. They're so nice! He showed us some information on our new mission president though! It's President Burton and he's from Bountiful! So that'll be way cool :)
And finally, the best for last. Sister Luzviminda :) Our new investigator that lives with members...is incredible! We asked if she'd read her assignment and she explained it all perfect to us, and then told us that as she read and then prayed she really felt the spirit tell her it was true and it was such a great feeling, different than she'd ever had before, and then she said "I think I need to be baptized." YAY! We were so excited :) She's so smart, and she just gets it! The spirit is strong and she's so excited to do all she can...so she'll be baptized on May 17 also because she has to give up coffee also. I love her so much :) We really have great investigators right now...Rufina will be interviewed later tonight because she was on vacation but I'm pretty positive she's all ready to be baptized Saturday!! I really don't want to transfer in 2 weeks. I love it here so much! The work is great :) But definitely my lesson this week was how important each decision we make is. Even the little tiny things that we think no one sees or doesn't matter...God is always watching and we're in charge of ourselves to return to Him. It really matters what we do and who we are.
I love you all so much, wish me luck because I am speaking on Sunday! Hopefully it'll be good :P ha LOVE YOU!!!!
Sister Benesch

Monday, April 7, 2014

Clouds and Rainbows (and mirrors)

How is everybody?? Actually I heard about the earthquake Colton experienced and thought it was crazy how he's experienced more than me and he's still in the states! ha This week was actually really good though, not too much happened with work, because we had a Great Zone Conference, and we also got to go to the broadcast of Women's Conference! I was super excited about that because I thought we wouldn't be able to, but we did and it was so great!! And yes mama, the Philippines was part of it, it's the big group of cute primary kids in like 3 rows with the whitish background :)  You can hear the word patnubay pretty clear..it means guide :)
But zone conference was so great this time. Everybody did great workshops, especially Sister Sperry's with just the sisters about virtue and remembering who we are as daughters of God. And then President Sperry did one about the scattering and gathering of Israel and our role in it as missionaries and members and it was INCREDIBLE. I wish I could just send you the notes I took on it...he's so incredible with scriptures and history. He definitely is the reason why I LOVE reading the scriptures so much now, it's incredible! But it was hilarious because me and Sister Clark were sitting in the back row and Pres. and Sister Sperry right behind us...at one point I was looking in this mirror trying to fix my crazy hair because it was so humid and all the sudden I see President's face Way close behind me looking at me in the mirror! I can't explain it as funny as it was..but it was hilarious!! And then later on while Sister Sperry was giving her workshop to everybody she said a quote that "We should try to be a rainbow in someone else's cloud" and Pres. leans forward between us and whispers "I'd like to be a cloud in front of someone else's rainbow..." and of course knowing me..I BURST out laughing!!! And could Not stop. The rest of Sister Sperry's workshop!! hahaha It was Hilarious!! Then he goes "Don't you dare tell Sister Sperry I said that!" haha I love President Sperry, I'm sad he'll only be here a couple more months.
Besides that our investigators are doing pretty good. Honestly though, I'm worried about Evelyn. Every time we teach we find another problem...like before it was basically everything with the Word of Wisdom, even law of chastity, and now we found out she has to interview with President because of abortion. She also shared that she owes a lot of money to the Municipio (I donno in English..) and just things that make us worry...so we're really praying about what to do and if we should postpone the baptism or not. Because where she lives there are Terrible terrible influences all the time and she'd be totally alone. But she's made a lot of changes and progress so hopefully she'll be ok :) Rufina is also doing Great...but on Sunday the funniest thing happened! We walked in and I saw her but her hair was Way super short! I tell her I like her haircut and she just goes OFF...talking about how mad she is about it and she doesn't know what happened, she was so mad she didn't even pay for it! She said "panget" about 50 times which means ugly..hahahaa I was trying so hard to not laugh, but it was hilarious! Poor lady..I'm sure it will grow back though :)
Also brother Jose just keeps doing better and better! He wore a white shirt and tie to church this week and he looked so great! It's incredible to see people just be more and more converted to the gospel :) When we were teaching him this week about the temple he just started crying talking about his family and how grateful he is for all the gospel has brought into his life...he's seriously amazing. I feel so so grateful and lucky I got to teach him!
Also this week I read two Really amazing talks from October Conference 2012..."Converted unto the Lord" by Elder Bednar, and "The First Great Commandment" by Elder Holland. I recommend both :) They both just have incredible messages about really being deeply converted to the gospel, not just having a testimony, and showing our love for God by obedience. I'm SO excited for conference next weekend!!
So it's been really great here, I'm still just trying to hold on to every single day because it goes SO fast!!! I can't believe I've practically been here a year...it's too fast! But I love it :) Love you all so much, hope you're all doing great!!!!
Sister Benesch

PS here's me and Sis Clark at zone conference :)

Welcome Sister Clark

Hey Hey everybody :)
Hope everyone is doing great at home, this week has been really great! We had transfers last Wednesday and my new companion is Sister Clark!! She is So great...probably will be one of my very favorite companions. She's from San Jose, California and is so much fun! I really feel like we're just like best friends, I think the hardest thing about our companionship is that we have a hard time getting out on time and getting to bed on time because we just keep talking and talking! ha I told her that she'll be added to the list of things me, Sister Miner and Sister Kalama will be doing when we get home :) So I'm way excited for this transfer...we've had tons of fun and I think we'll get lots of great work done.
As far as our investigators go, everyone is doing great! Sister Evelyn is working towards her bap. date of April 19, and then Sister Refina will be April 26. They're both still just really progressing and it's been so incredible teaching them because the spirit is so strong and you can just see the light changing in their faces! It's incredible to see what changes the gospel actually brings into people's lives, and I feel so blessed and lucky to be a part of it. Sadly we haven't really found any new investigators so besides them we don't have much news...that will be something we work on this week!
This week though the other sisters had a baptism for Sister Dionisio, the mom of my "boyfriend"! ha It was so great. Her husband was just baptized last transfer so he was able to baptize her and it was so great to watch. Then when she came back in they asked her favorite hymn to sing and she said Praise to the Man...when we all started singing the spirit was just SO strong. It was incredible to feel and know that I'm here doing this great work, and people are receiving the gospel all because of Joseph Smith. I really have strengthened my testimony here serving, I know that he saw God the Father and Jesus Christ and that through him the true church of Jesus Christ was restored..I'm so grateful. It was a really great experience.
The work really is going great though, we're busy all the time going to appointments and it's really a blessing because most my mission I've spent so much time every day just walking and walking not really knowing where to go..ha But we have lots of less-actives in this area and we've had some really great experiences just dropping by those that we haven't seen in awhile and sharing with them. We have one less active that has had tons of way hard challenges, and now she doesn't have money to go to church, but as we were sitting there sharing with her about putting our trust in God and staying true to the covenants that we have, the spirit was so strong-even with the karaoke Blasting outside at her neighbors. ha It's just so great to see that even when the world is noisy, the spirit can still speak louder if we're listening. I really feel so lucky to be serving here and learning so much. I feel like every week I just learn more and more and appreciate being her so much. I feel like the longer I'm here I just love my mission more..I can't believe that I'll be hitting ONE year here just this month! The time goes so fast. But I've been so blessed :)
Hope you all are doing great, thank you so much for all your support and love!! I love you all SO much!!!! Hopefully I'll have some funny stories for next week :)

Sister Benesch

PS Here is me and Sis Clark, and then a picture from the baptism..
Look who my boyfriend is looking at ;) haha

Thursday, March 27, 2014

Purse snatchers

Hello everybody! :)
Well this week I have lots of crazy, good, and a little bad news...ha It was quite entertaining!! So it all started Tuesday... We had had a really great day of teaching and were just So happy walking home talking about all those we were teaching and how much they're progressing. Sadly we were running about 10 minutes late home, but we were walking really fast. So part of our walk home is right past this catholic church that has no lights and so it's the One single spot on our whole walk home that is dark...and I saw this motorcycle coming down this little hill ahead of us so I moved out of the way, then the next thing I knew I heard Sister Jenkins SCREAMING yelling "HEY HEY HEY!" and so I turned around because she'd been behind me and saw her running after the bike and realized that they'd stolen her bag!! Some things had fallen out on the ground and so I picked them up and went to her and by then she'd stopped and was just standing there crying, because of course it was scary! What happened I guess was her bag got heavy so instead of having the strap across her body it was just on one shoulder and so when they went by they just reached out and grabbed it.. Luckily nothing too important was in there, just some debit cards which she got cancelled and our phone, which was a bummer..but she still had her scriptures and camera and everything. SO it was a little scary, but we just kept walking to go tell the zone leaders so they could call the APs, and as we're walking I feel someone run up behind me and grab my bag and because of what had Just happened I screamed WAY loud STOP!!!! and grabbed my bag back, then realized it was Elder McKinney behind me!! They were a little scared from my reaction..ha But then we explained what had just barely happened to Sister Jenkins and they felt Way bad! So after that the elders came with us to our apartment and called the APs and then let Sister Jenkins call her family to explain what happened and get her cards cancelled...but it was just because I'd made mango float (a delicious dessert with graham crackers, condensed milk, cream and mangos that you freeze) and so we ate that and waited around..but sadly I didn't get to sleep till about 1 because we had to wait for her mom to cancel the cards and call back and it took awhile!! But it was quite exciting.. ha Then the next day she skyped her family just to make sure they knew she was ok, so I wrote in my journal just sittin in the little computer shop :) I asked if I could skype too since Elder McKinney scared me but they said no..haha It's ok though, I can in like less than 2 months ;)
So besides that, our week was really great!! We got Aubrey baptized so that was way exciting!! And we now have April 19th set for Evelyn and Refina, since they have to go 4 weeks with no coffee. But they're doing incredible and progressing so much, I absolutely love them! I am so excited too, because I'm Not transfering so I'll get to see them baptized!!! YAY :) SO about transfers...I am SO SO excited for next transfer!!! My next companion is Sister Clark, and she's so awesome! Sister Kalama actually trained her, and she said that they're like best friends so I think we'll have tons of fun! I can't wait :) Actually I was way nervous that we'd get pulled out or something because of what happened with Sister Jenkins, so I was way relieved and happy when they said I wasn't transfering, AND that I get Sister Clark as my companions! I'm so happy :)
We also had a really fun FHE last night at a recent converts house in the other sister's area...they have this little boy that is SO cute!! His name is actually Jaydon :) haha And he tells everybody that I'm his girlfriend!

But he always sits by me in Sunday school, and then last night we were playing this game where you have to switch seats a lot and he just kept following me to sit by me and like putting his arm around me :) hahaa He's so so adorable!! So I'm glad I'm staying for him too :)
SO that was basically our week, just preparing our great investigators for baptism and now reteaching brother Jose and Aubrey as recent converts! It's been so so great to see the progress in this area, and I'm excited to see what will come next transfer :) I know that this is God's work and as long as we trust in Him we can truly work miracles. I love you all so much and hope you have a great week!!!
Sister Benesch

PS Here is Brother Jose, Aubrey, and then at Evelyn's house with Nanay Fe who is blind, but the most hilarious person I've ever met in my life!! She BAWLED last night saying bye to Sister Jenkins...it was so sad. But I love them :)

Ebang - HUH?

Hey there everybody :)
Hope you're all doing great, I cannot believe I only have 1 more week here until transfers!!! That means I only have 5 transfers left! That's crazy. Time seriously goes so fast, I'll hit 1 year here in the Philippines next month! It's been great :)
Well this week I don't have too many stories, the work was great but pretty much same old same old. But on Saturday Jose got baptized!!! That was way exciting :) I'm so so happy for him and his family, it really is incredible to see the amazing blessings coming into people's lives as they receive the gospel. Also we're having a baptism this week for Aubrey!! She's 12 and also the only one in her family not yet a member. At her interview Elder Schneider (District leader) said she's way smart and really doing great, so we're excited for her too :) Then our other ones preparing for baptism are Evelyn, Refina, and Julie Bangga.
Evelyn is doing great, but we talked about the Word of Wisdom this week, and before we thought she didn't have any problems, but turns out she does...so her baptism will be moved but hopefully only about 2 weeks :) She's really progressing in the gospel and coming to understand all that we teach her, I absolutely love teaching her!! Also, Refina is a referral from some members and she's doing great! She's pretty much an active member, going to all the activities and church on Sunday. ha We just have to finish her lessons which will hopefully be the next 2 weeks and then she'll be baptized too!! And lastly, Julie Bangga. I LOVE THEIR FAMILY!!! They are definitely my favorite in the entire area :) They're the ones that had their baby blessed, and we went again to teach them last night, and the spirit was so so strong like usual. We talked about the Atonement and it's incredible to see Sister begin to understand things she hasn't before...like when we taught about the Fall of Adam and Eve she says "I'm almost 31 years old and only now understanding what actually happened!" ha She's great :) We're still working on their marriage though.. But last night their little boy who's 7 wanted to say the closing prayer and it's the cutest thing I've ever seen! He repeated what his dad said, but some parts he didn't understand or his dad went so fast and so one time his dad said ebanghelyo (gospel) and he goes "ebang-HUH?" haa or he got behind and says "bless us...tapos.." (then..) like the way he said it was just so so cute with his little voice. I may have giggled a little bit too :P But sometimes I just can't keep it in! I blaim that on the Freeman side of my genes ;) haha But it was great.
We're really having great success in this area and we're So busy going everywhere every day. It's been incredible to see the progress and the work done, I really feel God's love so strong and the spirit guiding us as we try our best. I think I've grown the most in this area too..it's been great :) I really love it! I'm so grateful to be here, thank you for all your support!!
Sister Benesch :)

PS Here's me and sister Jenkins on a pedicab in our beautiful area :)

Friday, March 14, 2014

I hope that's chocolate :)

Hello Everybody!!
We actually had a really incredible week this week!! We seriously have some of the best investigators I've had my entire mission, I feel Sooo lucky and blessed to be teaching them. So first, we have Evelyn. Before she was having a hard time understanding the doctrine, but she was coming to church like every week, and it's now been almost 2 months. So we decided to just start teaching her atleast 3 times a week to get her prepared for March 22, trusting that she'd be able to understand because she's so ready, and honestly it's been incredible. As we just set the goal and a way to reach it and trusted Heavenly Father we've really seen her grow. It's been a huge testimony of  me to just believe in these people I'm teaching and truly want them to accept the gospel as soon as possible. She's incredible :)
Next, we have Jose!! His baptism will be this Saturday and I'm so excited!!! Sadly he won't be baptized here, but where he's from..it's ok though because his entire family is all members and so he'll be baptized there with them. The spirit is so strong in our lessons with him, you can see in his face that he'll do amazing things. Especially yesterday as we taught him about the Priesthood you could really see how prepared he is. It'll be an incredible blessing for his wife and three daughters to have him baptized and able to use his priesthood to bless them, and hopefully in one year they can go to the temple and be sealed! That'll also be the same time his daughter wants to serve a mission...there are sooo many blessings in store for that amazing family :)
And next, the Bangga family!! When I got here and we were teaching them there didn't seem to be much progress and I didn't know how much we'd teach them. The husband has been less active forever, and sister is an investigator...they're not married because she was married before and has 2 older children from that, but they just had a new baby together and honestly I think of her as a special angel from heaven sent here to help them into the gospel. The first time they came to church was yesterday because they wanted her blessed, and I could literally see the light in their faces change, and then throughout classes they were just so involved and loved all of it!! We were also able to go teach them last night, and sister's whole countenance has physically changed. We talked about the Restoration and Book of Mormon, and she was so curious about everything, and told us that she believes it. It is the most Amazing feeling to see that true light of Christ go into someone's face as they accept the gospel. I love their family so much, and I hope they'll continue to progress so that we can somehow find a way to get them married and then baptized...it'll be hard with all the legal complications but I know they're ready.
I really am so blessed to be in this area right now, I could see the potential it had when I came into it, and now we're literally witnessing miracles every single day as we watch people change and really become converted to the gospel!! I absolutely love the work here :)
Oh and probably the highlight story of the week!! We went to an investigators house to teach her, and although we'd texted and she knew we were coming she wasn't home...but her 2 friends were there and they were being taught by these Baptist preachers...however we didn't know that until we sat down. ha SO they said "Alright, let's start!" I was nervous because I didn't know what was starting...But I asked to say an opening prayer and they said it was ok, then the preachers began to teach about all of us having sin and having to overcome that to return to God and they taught that we do that by faith. So luckily it was a simple subject, and they used bible verses that really taught truth so it wasn't too bad, and then we asked to share a little bit and we shared in 2 Nephi 31, and I just read the verses about needing to have faith, repentance, baptism, the gift of the Holy Ghost, and enduring to the end...and not just faith. So we kinda just built on what they said and it turned out ok...but Then the sister asked if we believed in a hell. ha So I explained about the 3 Kingdoms and they asked if we had any verses in the Bible, and luckily I knew 1 Corinthians 15 and so we showed them that. Afterwards they were quiet, they said a closing prayer and then left. But what happened after was incredible! We talked to the 2 girls who have been researching Tons of religions forever, and we were able to explain the differences of our church, and even talk about temples and families being sealed forever by God's authority...we had some great conversations and left them with a Book of Mormon and lds.org. They said they were really interested in the missionaries visiting (they don't live in our area) and so hopefully the missionaries will and they'll also progress! It was just a great experience to testify to me again that we truly have the fulness of the Gospel and there is only one true church.
I fell SO blessed to be out here, thank you so much for all your support! I got Tons of letters from family this week and that was incredible! Thank you all SO SO much!! How'd Robbie's surgery go? Is he doing ok?? Hope all is well! Love you all :) Never forget how blessed we are to be members of this church and to know the truth that we know...we're so so blessed.
Sister Benesch

PS I may have had a small accident with chocolate this week...haha I had to work all day like that :P

Ayaw Ko Dito

Hello Everybody!!! I cannot believe it's already Pday again...how are you? Well it hasn't been quite a full week since I last emailed, but it's been incredible!!
While we were doing our weekly planning literally I feel like I saw a miracle just unfold before us as we planned...this area before was really not doing great and I was SO stressed when I first got here. But me and Sister Jenkins have really been working hard, and before when there was like 5 lessons planned a week with investigators, we now have 26! We have 3 progressing to baptism in the next 2 weeks, and 2 more that came to church and can get baptized in April. That's 5 baptisms in 2 months, when this area hasn't had a baptism in a year!!! It is seriously So sooo incredible to watch and feel the spirit guiding us. I really have a testimony that God is preparing people, that all we need to do is be worthy of His guidance, be obedient and work hard, and then the miracles begin to happen.
This week we were able to find some new investigators that's a whole family (So awesome!!) and then Nanay (the mom) came to church with one of her granddaughters and absolutely loved it! I'm so excited to teach them because there's like 8 of them, one of their daughters is already a member so they're very prepared, and they ask really great questions. They're probably some of the nicest people I've ever met, even though they're very poor. Usually it's sad because we can't really teach families that poor because it's impossible for them to come to church, but this family has their own tricycle, and Nanay really is gaining a testimony that it's true because she reads the Book of Mormon every day!!! She's incredible :)
This week we have a goal to start finding and visiting every active member in the area to try and get them involved in fellowshipping our investigators and then getting more referrals to us so the area can just keep building...there is so much potential here I really just can't say enough how incredible it truly is!! Especially with yesterday being fast sunday....Really every fast Sunday on my mission I've seen miracles. I have such a strong testimony of fasting, that if we have true desires and are willing to do whatever is our part, God will be there to help us. It's so so incredible to see these people's lives changing, to literally see their countenance change and become lighter as they accept the gospel. I'm so so grateful to be serving a mission. I wouldn't want to be anywhere else :)
Sadly I think this email will be kind of short because I don't have much more than that...usually I don't when the last time I emailed was Wednesday..ha But I am absolutely loving it!! OH but I did think about something random to tell you about...this shortcut we take to church that I HATE. It's this tiny dirt path that's usually muddy and filled with tons of trash and bugs flying around and poop..and right along it is this little Black stream of "water" that's solidifying because of all the crap in it and it is seriously the Worst smell ever. I just walk as fast as I can trying not to step on anything too questionable and just say "Ayaw ko dito.." over and over! ha Which means, I really hate this place. I'll try to think of more random things like that this week that I don't really think about telling you...but the work is going great, I seriously love being a missionary :) I love you all so much, thank you for your support!!!
Sister Benesch :)

PS We had a birthday party for you mama...we ate a Very delicious mango cake!!! Happy Birthday again!!!! And then Sister Andres said the big cool shark teeth smell bad...haha These teeth were cut out of a freshly killed shark just weeks ago!!! Weird...they're pretty cool :)

Wednesday, February 26, 2014

Happy Birthday Mama!

Hello po family :)
How is everybody doing? I actually had a crazy week, it was temple pday (obviously since I'm emailing on Wednesday) so it was a long week for lots to happen!! Again I just wrote a list so it may be random but here's my great stories of the week...
We are teaching this Great investigator named Avelyn and she has a mom that is blind, she's hilarious to teach because she's so old! But while I was explaining about the Book of Mormon I let her hold it and afterwards she was just smiling and holding it SO tight to her, I couldn't even get it back to write a testimony in it for her! ha it was so adorable :) Avelyn actually will hopefully be getting baptized this transfer, so that's something to look forward to!! We also have Jose and Aubrey preparing for baptism, so our goal as a companionship is 3 baptisms this transfer because there hasn't been a baptism in this area in a YEAR! That is Crazy for being in the Philippines...so we've been working really hard to help the area progress, and seriously the progress has been incredible. I have definitely seen miracles happen :)
We also got to go on exchanges this week with the Sister Training Leaders and I had a blast! I was with Sister Jones who I didn't know before, but is like best friends with Sister Mower and so we had tons of fun! She really taught me a lot about just teaching according to the people's needs and helping them understand the message, and a lot too with learning Tagalog because I'm kind of starting to plateau.. ha So it was way fun.
Next, we have these Awesome investigators that I might have told you about, I don't remember? Nanay Inovero...she is bedridden but the most faithful woman I know. We had a hilarious experience though this last Friday with her! So it was weekly planning which is usually supposed to only be 2 to 3 hours, but last week was about 5 hours, so we finally left our house and went to Nanay Inovero, however the lady that'd been with her left when we got there and she can't be left alone, so we got trapped into staying with her for like 2 1/2 hours and missing our other appointments! But it was ok..ha We just read her out of the BOM since she can't see and then she'd ask questions, but sometimes we'd have to turn her when her body would start to hurt, and one time I was and literally ALL under her was just soaking wet because I guess her diaper didn't hold in all the pee...ahhhhh So then Sister Jenkins helped me and it was pretty nasty.....ha as soon as we were able to leave when her son got home (our really great investigator, Jemar) we went straight home, even though it was still a little early, to just wash ourselves and all our stuff!! I thought I was going to pass out from the smell. haha But even though it was gross, I really love her so much!! She told me the first time I met her that I was her family and she always just tells us how much she loves us and to never leave :) It'll be sad when one of us does at transfers...
Then the last crazy story was that also on Friday night we received a text saying "All foreign missionaries will meet tomorrow at 9:30 am at SM Fairview" (which is a big mall) and we were freaking out because we had No idea what was going on!! So we woke up early and went, and it turned out that for all our visas to be renewed we had to get these "mugshot" pictures where you can't smile or have jewelry or anything...so it wasn't as crazy and exciting as I thought it'd be, but I did get to see my Whole batch!!! It was soo great :)
So this week was pretty great, I learned a ton, and I'm still learning everyday to be patient and find love...ha I've learned that with all my companions..And then this morning the temple was INCREDIBLE even though I had to wake up at 3 to go..ha It was great :) Well I love you all so so so much!!!!!! Thanks for everything :) Happy Birthdy Mama!!! I can't believe it's already like March...soosooooo fast!! Love you :)
Sister Benesch

PS Here is me and Sister Jenkins, and then my BATCH!!!
OH Elder Liu says Happy Birthday mama :) haha I've missed that kid!!

Half a dead rat

Hello there family :)
Well this week the subject of my email is Humility because that is what I've learned from this week. I've transferred into Valenzuela..and I love it! Sister Jenkins is so devoted to the work, and such a hard worker. There are definitely some differences in the way we work but she's open to changes so I think we'll really be able to do great work in this area and help it to progress! We've made some really great goals, one of which is to get 3 baptisms this transfer because they have not had any in the last 6 months or longer and so we're really going to work hard for that and get the ward more motivated to do missionary work!! We've been working so hard, even just the first few days have flown by! And then living with Sister Apolinario again... I absolutely love living with her and we have so much fun!  I'm really excited to see all that will happen in the next transfer :)
Some fun things about this area is that we have an english class every Wednesday and then a music class every Saturday, so it's fun to get involved with the people, and I love teaching classes like that. One of the Elders played a song on the piano by John Schmidt and I realized just how much I miss the piano, it's definitely something I'll start up again when I get home! We also got to do a service project last week and teach English at a call center to those training for the job, and they really just wanted to know a lot about the culture of Americans and so it was tons of fun!
The people in this area also seem pretty promising. Well, actually..ha there are So many less-actives I can't even believe it! We probably have over 50 records in the area book for less-actives and that isn't even all of them...it's insane! So we're trying to figure out who we really need to spend our time focusing on now to get them back, but we have some investigators that are incredible. One is getting ready to be baptized in a few weeks, his name is Jose and his whole family are members, his wife is even endowed! He's definitely a golden investigator..in our lessons he like quotes scriptures to us and the spirit is so strong! He told us that he already considers himself a member even if he hasn't been baptized :) We also have this investigator that we teach who takes care of his mom who is maybe in her 80's now but bedridden...it was the saddest thing ever to go in there and see this woman SO so skinny just laying there with nothing, and then hearing stories of their family taking all that they owned when she was in the hospital, and being left with literally nothing, for her son to take care of her. It's terrible! But she has incredible faith and just tells us how much she loves us. She is able to sit in her wheelchair one hour so we're trying to make arrangements for her to come to church just for sacrament..she really is incredible.
Maybe the worst thing about this week is that on transfer day I forgot that big bag of reeses you sent me in the fridge!!! Ah I was in the taxi with another elder transferring here (transfers in our mission are a little different and it was not disobedient for me and him to be in a taxi..ha) But I told him I had forgotten them and he wanted to tell the taxi driver to turn around and go back! ha But we didn't...so that was sad. But atleast I got a few :) Thanks!! I'll just have to eat tons and tons when I get home since I miss them so much. That's pretty much it though for my week so far...I'm doing great, and I really am just excited to kinda get the area cleaned up and really progressing :) I love you all so so much, thank you for your support in everything!! Hopefully I get some good stories to share with you next week :) I did see half a rats body on the road earlier when we were walking to buy water..ha Gross!! Love you all :)

Sister Benesch