Sunday, October 13, 2013

Happy to be staying in Stratford

September 16, 2013
Well, this week was really busy! On tuesday we went to sister's meeting down in richmond. It was five hours long. . . but it was really fun! there were a bunch of different rotations that we went to. One of them were some representatives from mary kay. They stayed through the whole meeting. None of them were members or really knew what they were getting into haha. At the end of the meeting all of the sisters and the people that were doing the stations were in the chapel, president asked if any of us had any questions. One of the ladies from mary kay raised her hand and started asking questions about our religion. Probably not the smartest thing to do with a room full of missionaries. . haha. That might have been the biggest lesson about the restoration for one person ever! At first Pres let us answer some of her questions, but we ran out of time so he taught her, standing at the pulpit. It was pretty great.

So this week, President challenged all of us to see who could get the most new people to teach. We started out having a really bad week, and we've been feeling like bad missionaries cause our teaching pool is really low right now. Well, on thursday things kind of turned around! We went to visit an inactive member who lives in a motel. There is like a run down motel that people live in now. So we went there and found out that she had been evicted for not paying her bills or something. So we were walking back to our car when we ran into this lady. It was night time and was raining pretty hard so she told us to come into her house. Once we were in her house, we realized that she was a former investigator named Princess. She had been meeting with missionaries for years and they stopped going there a few months ago cause she wasn't progressing. I guess she had a drug problem and was never really "there" for lessons. This time she was fully awake and involved. A few minutes after we started teaching her, her neighbor Doreen, knocked on the door to borrow some milk for her coffee and ended up staying for the entire lesson. The visit was pretty crazy haha. Princess and Doreen are very spunky ladies haha. For the first time, I had family prayer while kneeling and holding hands while everyone yells our what they are thankful for haha a little different for me. When we went over, her son was in the bathroom. The appt/motel room is tiny so the bathroom was right by the living room. He kept yelling things at his mom haha when we started with a hymn, he yelled, "mom, what's that noise?" from the bathroom haha I was dying so i couldn't stop laughing. It was bad. Anyways, we are meeting with both of them again on tuesday! So we left princess' and were walking to our car when we saw another girl who had been a potential investigator, she told us why she had been avoiding missionaries. It turns out, she had been looking up a lot of anti-mormon stuff that was not true at all! We made an appt to meet with her a couple days later, but she didn't show up:( We are planning on stopping by another time. . The next day we were weekly planning when we got a text from someone sis thuerer met a while ago, saying that he wanted to meet with us. His name is caleb and we taught him about the restoration. He really loved the part about prophets and is excited about conference. We have about 5 investigators who are on date for baptism. one family hasn't been coming to church lately, so we are getting a little worried. So there was a baptism this week in the Akekeek ward, and we were told to bring an investigator, so we brought a boy named Cordell Cournia. Right when we walked in, the bishop told one of the elder's to pick a sister to go up and bear their testimony and of course he picked me! It turned out being fine and it's a lot less scary now that i do this all day every day! The baptism was really cool even though the person getting baptized wasn't our investigator and president showed up at the end and talked a little. So this week ended up being a lot better than it started!

Today we went to Fredricksburg for p day. It was really cool. I will be sending home pictures when mom sends me the envelope! We went to all of the battle sites and walked on the sunken road trail. I took pictures and bought a few souveniors!

Well, that's about it for this week! Write me at my new address!

Love Sister Bennett


September 23, 2013

Dear Family,
This week was pretty crazy. I did get a pillow pet - that made me really happy! my companion is asking her parents to send her one now haha. I'm really excited to get the disney cd's!

Enough of that, this week was zone conference, which was all of the missionaries in the fredricksburg stake and president and the ap's came and we had a 7 hour conference haha. we were in the relief society room for 7 hours. except for lunch. It was really awesome though, i learned a lot! As for teaching, We have one family, the cournia's, who are doing awesome! The other's not so much. Tricia's husband still says he will divorce her if she joins the church and the other family, the Spears, we are teaching hasn't been coming to church. Michael Spear, the father, is a scientist in the navy and was in the building right next to where the shooting was and was on lockdown for a day. I think they are a little shaken up by that. Also, they were looking for one of the shooters in stafford. They had a bunch of fbi people and dogs around. We also saw lines of cars and police taking up the road, there was a hurse in the middle of the cars, so i'm guessing it was one of the people who was killed in the shooting. Anyways, we are really trying to work with the ward to get refferals, but they are not cooperating too well. They don't seem to have the same missionary spirit or love as my last ward. It's actually pretty hard when they are like that. What they don't realize is that it is their calling to find people for us to teach and to fellowship them. We could go tracting all day and maybe baptize some people, but that would do nothing. We are really nothing without the ward. Coming out has really made me want to live in another country besides utah because i want to be a good ward missionary. I really think that the age change is so that there will be more people who went on missions, so in like 5 or 10 years, the wards will be super into missionary work. I've also realized in the past little while, how much Heavenly Father doesn't need missionaries. He could share His gospel with His children in so many other ways. He LETS us be a part of his work and glory and I think that's so cool. Also, I really want you guys to pray every day to find people to share the gospel with and I know that he will provide a way for you. Just a precaution, when He gives you a prompting, do it. because if you don't, He will let someone else have that blessing. There's a quote from President Monson that i love and i don't know exactly how it goes, but it's something like "And I always want the Lord to know that if He needs an errand run, Tom Monson will run that errand for Him.' I try to put my name into that and really live it. It's really hard being on a mission, but i can see how it has been a blessing in my life and in your lives. I really know that Heavenly Father is real and is my Father. It's weird cause i thought that i always knew that, but now i really do. I don't have much time left and i need to write President, but I love you guys!
Love Sister Bennett


I would also like to add, that we were doing service for a lady in the ward who lives in the aquia harbour and a forest. And were all carrying weeds and stuff to the woods and Elder Worthington just found a tick. . . I'm like freaking out that i have one now, so if you have any advice. . . let me know. Ticks are everywhere around here! And to answer dad's q about Quantico, they don't allow missionaries to proselyte there. if the elders go in, they have to take off their name tags. They are nicer to the sisters:) We go into the Aquia Harbour a lot, which is a lot like Quantico.

September 30, 2013

Dear Family,
This week was full of miracles! So we went on exchanges with the sister training leaders and i was with sister moon, who is awesome! She is in a YSA ward so all of the people we visited were around my age! It was fun! We taught a girl named Kayleen, who is really sweet and is a member, but is really struggling with knowing if God is real. We taught her the plan of salvation and she had so many out there questions. It's weird how Heavenly Father helps us deal with people who are just everywhere. He usually just guides us to bring it back to the basics. That God loves all of us. We talked to her about that a lot and she just opened up to us and was bawling. We were in Sweet Frog (frozen yogurt place) and even though there was music playing and people talking loud all around us, the spirit was really strong. From almost all of the lessons i have taught, which are not many, i have learned that the number one thing Heavenly Father wants his children to learn is that He loves them. So cool! Out of all the cool things our church has to offer, that is the number one thing He wants us all to know. After we taught Kayleen, we went and visited a lot of members and less actives. The last lesson we had was with a guy named Kenny. Kenny is awesome. He is 21, and was just baptized in July. He told us that he decided to go tracting by himself to get ready to go on a mission haha. He told us that he had been teaching all of his friends the lessons! So yeah, he is just cool.

Another cool thing that happened is that we have a new investigator! Her name is Olga, she is 31 and is engaged to a marine. He has been out of town, but is coming home today. A family in our ward invited her to dinner because she just moved into the apt complex that we live in. She said that she had been looking for the mormon church for a long time! So she came with us to the relief society broadcast and loved it! She said that she would try to make it to church, but she had a lot to do to get ready for her fiance to come home. So the next morning we decided to go over to her house! We ended up cleaning her apt and helping her bake cakes and doing all of the dishes, which there was a lot!, while she got ready for church! It was awesome! she came and the ward loves her already. She told us that she doesnt care if her fiance doesnt like the mormon church because she wants to join so badly. She has never read the BOM, but we are working on that!

The last miracle that happened to us was last night. We went over to a member's house for dinner and while we were there we looked out the window and saw a family outside. The family we saw are the Castillo's. The mom is a less active that literally works all the time, she has no time for anything! Since traffic is so bad around here, we gave her the BOM cd's to listen to in the car. She drives about 4 hours a day. Yeah, the traffic is crazy! Anyways, her husband is not a member. He has tried a lot of religions and thinks that he has found the true church. He goes to The Church of God, which is one of those rockband churches. It was litterally a miracle that we saw them as a family cause his working schedule is insane like hers. He usually works till like 3 in the morning so he is NEVER home. But he was last night! He had a lot of genuine questions about our church. He has heard a lot about the FLDS and thinks that's who we are. He also doesn't understand that Joseph Smith did not write the BOM, but he translated it. He just can't understand that for some reason. But it was a good lesson, we got him a spanish bom and he said he would read and pray about it. so please pray for him! we want this family to have the gospel so bad!

The church had a huge 5k run for food, where the cost to run was a can of food! it was a great turnout! there were over 1000 people there! We were asked to direct traffic so the runners didn't get hit. We got cool yellow vests and orange flags. It was pretty fun to be able to stop cars haha maybe i will do that for a career?? The race was in fredericksburg, which is about 20 min from us and it was along the Rappahannock River, which is really pretty. It was freezing though! It is starting to get really cold here!! so if you want to send me any warm gear, that would be nice. I might even be ready for my winter coat. Sister Thuerer and I are making cookies today for a bunch of less actives and then we're going to Government Island, not sure what's there, but i'll let you know next week. I'm excited to get the disney cd's and package to send you all my pictures! Other than that, there's not much else! We are hearing a lot of commotion about this government shut down or something and people are freaking out that they are going to be laid off! I hope you guys aren't involved with that!

For dad: Heavenly Father always has someone around you prepared. A suggestion: Don't just pray for opportunities to share the gospel. Write down 5 names. It could be anyone, even people who you "know" would reject the gospel. Then Pray to know which one is ready for the gospel.Make sure you pray specifically for each one and say their names. Sometimes the people we think could be ready aren't at all. Don't rely on what you think about someone. Heavenly Father is preparing the people who are ready and sometimes those people seem like they would never accept it, but Heavenly Father knows. Try this out and continue to trying to find.

My last remarks are that I got a haircut and it is not good.

Sister Bennett
PS thanks for fasting for me, keep praying for me! I need all the support you got!
October 7, 2013

Me and Sis Thurerer (her first name is Brittney), have been listening to the Tangled cd, "mother knows best"" over and over haha. I was so excited when I saw them. THere is a tornado warnign blaring outside and it's raining pretty hard and blowing like crazy so this might not be a very long letter.

For Conference we watched most of it at our church building. there weren't many people there other than us and a few other sets of missionaries and the bishop and his wife and the spanish ward that was in a different room. we watched the second session with the Hawks, who are a young married couple. Sister Hawk is being deployed on saturday so we are really sad:( we went to outback with them after.

I don't think I told you about the guy from Peru. So last week we had to stand outside of this grocery store called Shoppers to try to get people to donate food for a local food bank. A guy came up to us and told us he was mormon and he was in the spanish branch in our building. When he came out of the store he gave us like 5 bags of food to donate and water bottles and each of us $25 gift certificate to outback. He was awesome! we saw him yesterday at conference when we had lunch in between sessions and he said he was from peru and he lived in the lima south mission bounds. Almost all of the people in the spanish ward are from peru and they are all so so nice. So Shae has some great people to be around!

Sister Thuerer is amazing at musical stuff. she plays all kinds of instruments. so she is teaching me how to sight read. It's really fun! Missionary life is the best life ever! Also the hardest, it's bittersweet! I loved Elder Hollands talk saturday night and Russel m Nelsons talk yesterday. they were my favorites. What was your favorite talk?

Also, transfer calls were last night and we didn't get one so that means we're staying! I'll be in Aquia for at least another transfer! That's good that you guys didnt get furloughed. Almost everyone in our ward is still furloughed. It's good for us because everyone is home! But it's still really sad that this world is crazy. There are still people here that are freaked out about the navy shooting. A lot of people we talk to were in the building next to the one that the shooting was at and were on lock down for a couple of days. I've also learned from like FBI people that the news is not reliable cause the FBI doesn't tell us what really goes on most of the time.

Yeah I will try to find a p-day where we can go and buy warm clothes and boots or something. One of my favorite Hermanas is going home today so I'm sad about that. Her name is Hermana Storts and she is awesome! We are having our last zone activity today before people leave to be transferred on thurs! And today I'm starting piano lessons with Sis Thuerer haha. If you guys get time you should write me this week! love you!

Love sister Bennett

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