Monday, October 26, 2015

God is looking out for each and every one of us!

Hey y'all!
I'm short on time this week, so sorry about the short email!
This week was good! We did a lot of finding and so we have our fingers crossed for a few people we will hopefully start teaching soon!
We spent another morning in Columbia helping with the house of a girl whose parents are in the Camden Ward! So that was a lot of fun!
We also got to go deliver a Bible to a lady at the very edge of our map in a tiny town called Bethune! It took us about 2 minutes to drive through the entire town! It was cute and a lot of fun to get to see!! The lady we went to go see ended up not being home, but we talked with her neighbor who used to work with a member that we were actually seeing later that same day! So that was pretty cool!! 
On Friday the young women had their fundraiser where they did a baked potato bar! It was a lot of fun and it's great getting to know more and more people!!!! 
As for a tender mercy this week! A few weeks ago I ordered a spare name tag just in case I lost the one I had. It came in the mail last Monday. Later that evening my name tag fell off without me noticing until we were home! It was such a blessing that the very day my name tag came in the mail was the day that I lost my original name tag! I know that God is looking out for each and every one of us! He does what ever he can to show us of His love. Sometimes it's as small as a new name tag showing up in the mail the same day you lose yours!

I hope that y'all have a great week! I invite y'all to look around more for the ways that God shows you His love! I promise you He does daily, we just need to look around! Y'all have a blessed week!
Love always,
Sister Amy Bennett :)

Sister Harvey and I in Bethune

I caught a lizard!
 Amy's Hero Halloween Package arrived

Sister Harvey and Sister Bennett with the Super Hero Package
A familiar gnome! :)

Monday, October 19, 2015

"But what could I have done more in my vineyard?"

Hey y'all!!
This week has been another great week in the world of Camden!!
It started off with right after emailing last week we got a call from our Bishop asking us to go with him and a few other members to do more service in Columbia! We had just enough time to make a quick trip to Walmart for food and run to our apartment to tidy up and then change into service clothes! We spent the rest of the day continuing to clean!
Tuesday we had interviews with the mission president! We talked a lot about faith and how when we rely on Christ then our faith has the power to cause righteous things to happen! We related it to the story of the Brother of Jared from the Book of Mormon. How he is praying and His faith is so strong that Christ is no longer held within the veil and the brother of Jared gets to talk with Him face to face.
Wednesday we spent the entire day in Columbia again doing service! We made it back and I got ready in 15 minutes (including showering and blow drying my hair) so that we could still make it to the Book of Mormon class we hold every Wednesday night!
Thursday we did service at the Library that's right across the street from us and then taught a lesson to a lady named B! She is loving reading from the Book of Mormon and has lots of great questions!
Saturday we talked with a lady who moved here about 6 months ago! She was baptized in the 70's when she was a nurse in New York. Between work and religious differences with her husband she fell out of the habit of going to church. She was very excited to have us there and loved talking with us! We read a conference talk with her! She lives on a ranch now and owns these horses and loved telling us about each of them! I loved getting to hear all her stories!
Sunday we went to church and are continuing to meet more and more members! After Church we went with a member, Sister Lewis, to go visiting teaching with her! It was exciting because we got to go all the way to the top of our area, which was an hour away! Because of the limited miles we have we thought that we would never get to go to that part of our area and visit the members up there, so we were really excited that we got to do that! We had this funny realization that the city of Columbia is closer to us than the top of our map!
And now we are back to Monday!!

A Spiritual thought for this week actually comes from my studies this morning! This morning I was continuing my journey of reading Jacob 5. This chapter is where the prophet Jacob is relating the allegory Zenos gives of the olive trees. The very basic outline of this allegory is that there is a vineyard of olive trees and the Lord of the vineyard is pruning and grafting and nourishing the vineyard to produce tame olives. At one point in this allegory all of the trees are producing wild olives. The Lord of the vineyard says several times "what more could I have done for my vineyard?" It hit me very strongly this morning of how that is what Christ says over each of us. Because He Atoned for us He knows what we all go through in our lives. He knows all of our pains, mistakes, weaknesses, and sorrows. And He went through that for all of us so He could literally do everything for us. He knows exactly how to help us, it is just up to us to turn to Him. There are times in each of our lives when we fall short and Christ is standing there saying "What more could I have done?" He doesn't want to lose any of us. He wants us all to return Home to Him. That is the strength of His love. So I would invite all of y'all to read the chapter Jacob 5 this week and think about how the Lord of the vineyard works hard and individually on each tree. And notice the repeated number of times He says he does not want to lose any of His trees.

I love y'all so much! Thanks for all y'all do for me!!!! I hope y'all have a blessed week!!!
Love always,
Sister Amy Bennett :)

Sister Harvey and Sister Bennett unintentionally matching for church
Sister Bennett and Sister Harvey serving in Columbia

Sister Bennett and the cow!

Monday, October 12, 2015

The Rains Came Down and the Floods Came Up!

Hey y'all!
For starters I hope y'all are doing great and staying nice and dry!

Things are going good here over on the east coast! A little soggy, but good! We got released from lockdown on Tuesday morning (yay!!) and set out to start meeting people and see how the storm had affected them. Luckily Camden is not a flood area and the ground is all sand, so water is basically just absorbed into the ground as it falls, so there was not much damage at all from the storm!

Wednesday we had a service project at habitat for humanity helping them sort through clothes to donate and also went out and tried to teach! Thursday we planned for this week and had a pretty typical day! Friday we had a zone meeting and then a zone service project!! For our zone service project half of us helped in Windsor lake (about ten minutes away from Columbia) by filling orders of food and clothes for those effected by the big storm. And the other half went into Columbia to help for clean up. For some odd reason which we never figured out they had Sister Harvey stay in Windsor lake and they had me go to Columbia. In Columbia we went into my old area (which was a little weird going back so soon after leaving) and go to an area where the flooding had gone over the roofs of the houses. We went inside the houses (with protective gear such as hard hats and masks) and started shoveling out every thing inside. There were very few things that could be salvaged from the damage. It was sad walking down the street because there were spray painted yellow "X's" on the houses that were condemned and basically every house in the neighborhood we were in had the yellow x. After finishing one house we went to a second lady's house where she was a retired professor/historian and we were trying to help her save all of her books and pictures and artifacts. It was a pretty special day.

The fun thing was we got to go back to Columbia again on Saturday! They kept me and Sister Harvey together that day! The exciting part was it was raining really hard again. This time we were out helping sort the piles of the gutted houses so that the city could start coming and picking everything up. We were very wet and tired by the end of the day but it was really great to be out helping there again! Sunday we got to go to our Ward for the first time and start to meet the people there! That was a lot of fun and the people here seem really great!

As for a spiritual thought this week. During service in Columbia it was interesting to see what people were and weren't trying to salvage from their flooded houses. People didn't care about the furniture or their big TVs or their clothes. What people were trying to save were their pictures. And these pictures were for the most part all of their families. It got me thinking of if I was in that situation what I would be trying to save, and I came to the conclusion I would also really only be caring about family pictures. I got thinking of how important families are to everyone and how at the end of the day, the memories we make with them are what is most important. I am grateful that we know that families can be together forever. That no matter what we go through in life, that if we are sealed in the temple that we can see our loved ones again. It made me want to go out and share this message with even more people! Good thing I'm on a mission then ;) Well I hope y'all have a blessed week!
 Keep Columbia in y'alls prayers please!
 I love y'all!
Love always, Sister Amy Bennett :)
 Happy Mormon Helping Hands!

 Sisters Serve!

 One of the homes they cleared
 Serving at a home

 Flood Destruction
 I only got a little muddy during service ;)

Serving in the rain!
 Halloween Package made with Sarah
Halloween package to Sister Bennett

 Sister Bennett's happy sheets she bought

Monday, October 5, 2015

All is well :)


Hey y'all!
This week has been quite out of the ordinary! So transfers are on Wednesday! To end the suspense I am now serving in Camden with Sister Harvey! Camden is about 30 or 45 minutes away from Columbia! Fun fact is that the very bottom of our area touches the very top of FortJackson! Also we are replacing a set of Elders so that's fun as well! So Sister Harvey and I arrived at our apartment! We realized that the Elders left a list of names of people we should visit and had their dots up on a map for us, but did not leave any indication of who was who on the map. As a missionary plan for our next day activities entirely based off of these area maps, so we quickly realized that we would be unable to really plan and work until we fixed the map. So we spent most of the afternoon on Thursday working on the map. Then we went out to a few appointments. We planned to follow a similar schedule Friday where we spent the afternoon on the map and then go out and work the evening. 10 minutes before our break we got a voicemail from our zone leaders saying that because of the hurricane in the Bahamas that the Carolinas were going to be hit by a "historical amount of rain". And starting after dinner we were being put on lockdown until further notice. We did not have very much food at our apartment so we spent our dinner break running to Walmart and buy food along with the rest of the city of Camden. The funny part was that it the mad rush for food the things that were out were chips, sugar, and bananas. So I guess I know what's considered good food storage here haha!

Then the lockdown started. Basically lockdown means you can't leave your apartment. Saturday the rain wasn't too bad, at least where we were. But Saturday we got a text from the zone leaders saying we were still in lockdown until Monday morning. Sunday the rain was a lot harder, but still not too bad. We later learned that the storm had been much worse other places. The Columbia church building, where I was just last week, has three stories and the flooding reached all the way to the third floor. Also there has been some flood in Camden, we just can't see if from our apartment window. We consider ourselves very lucky that the only problem we have had is that our ceiling has a little leak in it. The other excitement is that yesterday we got a text saying that South Carolina has issued a warning about the water so we have to boil all of our water before we drink it. So we spent a good portion of yesterday boiling water and finding containers to put it in. Also last night we got another call from the zone leaders informing us that South Carolina had declared a state of emergency and that we were to continue to go on lock down. We got another voicemail this morning saying that we will continue to be on lockdown until at least Tuesday morning. But we had permission to get a member to take us to the store to buy food. Luckily the elders that split Camden with us helped us to find a member to drive us to Walmart and luckily Walmart has wifi so I can quickly send out this email to let y'all know where I am and how I am doing! So I actually am writing this in my apartment so I can just hit send in Walmart haha!

Also funny fact is that because of this lockdown we were in our apartment for 74 hours straight haha! But I am doing safe! We are doing good and we are in a very lucky situation where the storm is not affecting us very much! The saddest part of this weekend was because of the lockdown we were unable to watch General Conference. But I am grateful for the gift of technology so I will be able to read and watch it later! So yay technology! I hope y'all have a blessed a safe week! Love y'all!

Love always, Sister Amy Bennett :)

Walmart shelves are empty for Sugar, chips and bananas

Boiling water!!!!  Lock down excitement!

Sister Bennett and Sister Harvey in front of their new apartment before the storm!

Package from Laura arrived just before the lockdown!

 The Package that saved us during Lock down

Lock down button creatures!