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 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 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 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'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'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'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 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 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 :)