Monday, February 29, 2016

LEAP for JOY!!! God will place us exactly where he needs us to be!!

Hey y'all!!!
This week has been another great week!!! Also I have to say Happy Leap Year to all y'all!! Wahoo! It's pretty great that I basically get an extra day of my mission ;)

Brief overview of the week! It was as busy as ever :)
Monday we had a family home evening lesson with a less active member and her nonmember brother! It was pretty cool! We are hoping to continue to work with them.

Tuesday we had a district meeting, a few lessons, and sang at Golden Age!

Wednesday we worked at the soup kitchen and painted baseboards for the same couple we've been helping out. Then we had a couple lessons.

Thursday we had interviews with our mission president. We have interviews with him quarterly. This time was a little different because we had them in companionships instead of individually. Even though they are called interviews, they are more like conversations with him on a specific topic. This interview we talked about goal setting and the different kinds of goals we set and how to include faith in our goal setting. It was pretty cool! We then had our yoga class! Then we sang at Golden Age and had some lessons. The recent convert B., that I mention a few weeks ago, is actually going to start working with the Elders now. So we had what we call a pass off lesson, where both sets of missionaries are there for a lesson.

Friday we had weekly planning (where we basically discuss every single person we are working with and what we want to teach them next, etc.)

Saturday we helped the couple move into their house! Then we went knocking and actually had several lessons from that! So that was exciting!

Sunday we had church!! Our yoga instructor, J., and his wife came to church which was super exciting! Then we had a few lessons!

So it was a great week!!
     So a pretty cool story that I feel prompted to share from this week was that right after I sent in my mission papers (before I got my call) I had a dream one night where we were teaching this lady with a couple daughters and had a very specific conversation with her. From the dream I guessed that I was going to serve in the South, so I was very excited when I got my call to South Carolina! Well this week we were having a lesson with a woman named L. We started to have a conversation that to me seemed oddly familiar, which was strange for such a specific conversation. It was then I realized that it was the very conversation from the dream I had and that L's situation matched everything from the woman in my dream. So that was a really cool moment for me!
     What I learned from that is that as we are doing our best and all that we can do, God will place us exactly where he needs us to be. It may not turn out how we expect, or we may not get there in the way we expected, but God knows what He is doing. So that was awesome for me to see so powerfully this week!
     I love y'all so much and I hope y'all have a blessed week! We have pulled back out the short sleeves as it is back in the high 60s this week haha! I hope y'all don't freeze and have a happy last day of February!!! I love y'all!!

Love always,
Sister Amy Bennett :)
Waiting for our interview with President Turner

We love those selfies

The day we went running and got caught in a giant rain storm!

Teaching a lesson with a recent convert K. :)

Monday, February 22, 2016

The work is awesome! My companions are awesome! The gospel is awesome!

Hey y'all!!!!

We had another fantastically busy week here in Boiling Springs!

Quick overview of the week:
Monday there was a big freezing rainstorm and so we got put on lock-down for the evening. Meaning we couldn't leave our apartment. So we did some inside productive things like making phone calls. Lock-down seems to happen to me a lot haha!

Tuesday we had a District meeting! Our District includes us, the Zone Leaders (who we split our ward with), and two sets of Spanish Elders. So that's pretty fun! Then we had a lesson with a returning less active named Robert and then a few more lessons with some really cool people. We also sang at Golden Age!

Wednesday we volunteered at the Soup Kitchen again! It's fun because we help with serving the food and after everyone has been served we get to go around talking with people. A lot of them actually have questions about the church which is pretty cool!  Then we had to go get new tires on our car. That only took about 2+ hours haha. Then we went on exchanges (switching companions for 24 hours). In a threepack it is a little different because two of the three companions end up staying together. Sister Yancey and I stayed in Inman with Sister Stoker and Sister Staheli went to Spartanburg with Sister Bird. So that was a lot of fun!

Thursday we had a few lessons and sang at Golden Age and had our Yoga day in the morning!!!

Friday we planned for our week and then had some lessons!!

Saturday we helped paint at the same house that we've been painting at the past few weeks. Then we had a lot of lessons with is great!

Sunday we had church and Sister Yancey playing at the Spanish Branch. Then we had lunch with some members and taught a couple lessons.

A cool person we have been working with is the returning less active member R. He was baptized as a young teenager and then stopped coming to church just a few years later. Sister Yancey and her companion before us were knocking in a neighborhood and actually knocked into him. The ward here didn't have his records. He was actually wanting to look for a church to go to and so was super open to learning. We have been working a lot with him. Since he wasn't active very long he doesn't remember really anything, so it's been cool working and teaching him!

As for the Spiritual thought for this week. I was reading in the Bible this morning in the book of Matthew. I read the chapter where John the Baptist gets killed and when Jesus finds out He's really sad and goes out into the wilderness to be alone. A group of people follow Him and when He sees them, instead of sending them all away, He heals and ministers to them. I was thinking a lot about what a huge example of charity that is! I know there are times when I'm dealing with things and the last thing I want to do is help someone else, but as we look for those small opportunities to serve and help others, our own problems become a lot easier to handle.

I am doing awesome here!  The work is awesome! My companions are awesome!  The gospel is awesome!  

I love y'all so much and hope y'all have a fantastic week! Know I love y'all and am praying for you!!! Have a blessed week!

Love always,
Sister Amy Bennett :)

The Three Pack! :)

Monday, February 15, 2016

God has really got a handle on things!

Hey y'all!!!

How are y'all doing today??? Hopefully doing well and not too cold!! I
laugh because I was in the hottest part of the state for the hottest
time of the year and the coldest part of the state for the coldest
time of the year. I'm here in Boiling Springs at the warm temperature
of 26 degrees with humidity making it feel like 18. Which I'm sure
doesn't sound super cold to all y'all... but when I wore short sleeves
for all of December and most of January it's a tad bit cold haha!

But this week was awesome again!! This is just a really great area and
the three of us are having so much fun while being super productive!
So it's just awesome!!!

Brief overview of the week:
Monday we had p-day, which is always nice haha! Didn't do anything
super exciting, but buying food and writing y'all is always good haha!
We taught some lessons that evening!

Tuesday we taught some lessons and sang at the Nursing home Golden Age!

Wednesday we volunteered at a soup kitchen, which is always a cool
experience. And then did more teaching!

Thursday we had our yoga/martial arts class which is just super fun!!
Then we planned for this upcoming week! Then we taught some lessons!

Friday was a crazy day!! We had a big zone meeting but when we got
there it started snowing pretty heavily! They almost canceled the
meeting, but then we had it anyway. I got to do a musical number there
which was awesome!! I played the guitar while me, Sister Yancey, and
Sister Staheli sang. We did a really cool medley where we wrote our
own lyrics to the song Hallelujah (the one that's in the movie Shrek)
and then did called to serve and then sang them together. It was
really cool!!! So that was awesome!! Then we spent the rest of the
day teaching!!!

Saturday we helped paint the house of a couple that's moving. Then we
had some lessons. Then we had a ward party. It was a fun activity
where we were divided into teams and then drove around doing a picture
scavenger hunt! So that was a blast!

Then Sunday we had church and some lessons! Something cool I forgot to
say last time is that we meet in the same building as the Spanish
branch. No one in the Spanish branch can play the piano so Sister
Yancey plays the piano for their sacrament meeting so we get to go to
that. One of the Spanish Elders sits behind us and translates the
meeting for us. So basically we are the honorary Spanish Sisters. It's
pretty cool!!!

So yeah it was a great week!!
I'm going to tell y'all about someone we are working with and then tie
that into the spiritual thought for the week!
     So we are working with a guy who was baptized in September. His name
is B. and he is hilarious! He is a race car driver and loves it
so much. It's basically all he talks about. Last season he got in a
wreck where he hurt his back really badly. In a fellow up check up
just about a week ago the doctors told him that he wouldn't be able to
race any more after this season. He's really sad because racing has
been his dream his entire life and he's been doing really well and was
just about to qualify for some really big races next season. He's been
feeling really discouraged and sad, believable. Something we've been
talking about a lot with him and that I've been reflecting on is our
will verses the Lord's will.
     Sometimes in life we have these big dreams that we want and we work
our hardest to obtain them, but then something gets in the way. Some
people use this as an opportunity to get mad at God, when in reality,
the opposite is what should happen. And it's easier said then done.
But as we face opposition and trials in our life that seem to be
roadblocks, they are really caution cones that God has set up for us
so we don't go down the wrong roads. Often times what seem like
detours end up being the roads we need to take to make us the
happiest. When a door is closed a window is opened and it came become
an opportunity to find a kind of happiness we never imagined for
ourselves. It's pretty cool how much God's really got a handle on
things. I'm grateful for Him!

I hope that y'all have an awesome week! Know how much I love and pray
for y'all! Stay warm!

Love always,
Sister Amy Bennett :)

This building was built for pictures of trios!
Sister Bennett, Sister Yancey, Sister Staheli

With B. 

Monday, February 8, 2016

"This is not about what you've done, but what's been done for you."

Hey y'all!!!  :)
     I hope that y'all are having a great week! I am doing awesome!!!!
     Monday and Tuesday consisted of me packing like crazy and saying goodbye to the few people that time allowed and still trying to squeeze a couple lessons in. They were crazy days!!
     Then Wednesday was transfers!!! Although it was hard to say goodbye to Camden and Sister Harvey, I am excited for this next transfer! It should be awesome!!!
     I got transferred to a ward called Boiling Springs which is in the Northwest corner of South Carolina! We don't actually cover the city of Boiling Springs. We cover a town called Inman. I would call it a tiny town, but compared to Camden and the other cities we worked in there it's quite big haha!!  We actually have neighborhoods which make finding people to teach so much easier!!! Since we are in the upstate it's quite a bit colder here, but it's exciting because I can actually wear scarfs! Yay!! And the fun twist on the transfer is I am actually in a three pack, which means that I have two companions! It's like a giant party everyday!!!
     My companions are Sister Yancey and Sister Staheli. Sister Yancey is from Idaho and she was actually in my MTC district so that's really fun being with her again!!! Sister Staheli just got out of training (so she has been out three months) and is from St. George, Utah!! So far we have all been getting along really well and having fun together!! It's pretty funny because I thought that two girls walking down the street dressed nicely caught a lot of attention, but it's nothing compared to three girls all dressed nicely walking down the street haha!!
     Wednesday after we got to Inman (about an hour and a half away from Irmo/Columbia) we changed into service clothes and went and helped a couple that is moving. They are completely redoing the inside of their house and so we're helping with all of that!! Wednesday we pulled nails out of the walls and sanded some of the baseboards! After dinner we went out with a member to a lesson and then we had ward coordination where we met with our ward mission leader (well actually his assistant. Our actual ward mission leader is out of town for a while) and the Elders and discussed those we are working with and how we can best help them. 
     Thursday: There is an excommunicated member and his nonmember wife that we are currently working with. He is big into martial arts and yoga and wanted to have a weekly class with us, so we have permission from our Mission Presidents to have this class Thursdays at 10:30-12. Its a really cool combination of Yoga and Martial arts! It's a lot of fun! J., the teacher, is a really cool guy! Think of Frodo Baggins (from Lord of the Rings) teaching a Yoga/Martial arts class and that's J. haha! So that was awesome! It was cool because even though he's an excommunicated member, he still has a really strong testimony and was relating everything to the Gospel and to things from the Book of Mormon. For example he had these little punching statues that he uses for his kids class that we were practicing punching. And since they are for a little kids class, they look like little kids. At one point Sister Yancey punched hers and it fell down. J.  stopped us and talked about how on the inside we are all like little children and sometimes other people can hurt us and we feel like this child lying on the ground. Sometimes we need to tell people to get up and help them up, and sometimes we need to sit there on the ground (figuratively) with them and talk with them until they feel good enough to stand up. It was really cool! This class will definitely be a highlight each week!! On Tuesdays and Thursday we also go to a nursing home and sing for an hour! So Thursdays are going to be pretty awesome! Thursday afternoon we went out with a member to a few lessons And then had another lesson that evening!
     Friday we went and helped the same couple with their house. This time we were painting walls! It was awesome!! We taught 3 lessons that evening.
     Saturday we went out and tried some referrals and then went and helped the couple continuing painting their house! Then had a lesson that evening!!
    Sunday we went to church and started meeting everyone! I think everyone should be required to wear a name tag haha! We also taught the Sunbeams!  Then we were out teaching the rest of the day!
It's really cool how many lessons we were able to teach this week! Apparently that pretty usual for this area! So I'm really excited! Teaching lessons are my favorite so I'm excited to get to teach so much!!
     The other cool thing is we split the ward with the Zone Leaders so that's fun to work with such awesome Elders! So yeah, I'm really excited about this ward and everything that's going on here!!
     My Spiritual thought this week is actually going to come from a song that I really love right now. The song is titled "You are more" and it is by tenth avenue north. It talks about how we are more then the mistakes that we have made in this life because of the Savior and His sacrifice for us. There is one line that just speaks to my soul and it says, "This is not about what you've done, but what's been done for you." And I just think that line is beautiful! Because none of us in this life are going to be perfect and we will all make mistakes, but because Jesus Christ felt all of our sins and pains, with His help we can all become better people! It's just amazing! Y'all should go listen to that song!
Well I'd better stop rambling now ;) I love y'all so much and hope that y'all have a blessed week! Know that I pray for y'all everyday!!
Love always,
Sister Amy Bennett :)
Service Painting is fun!

Loving the painting!

Amy with her mission guitar!
Teaching the Sunbeams in church!

Monday, February 1, 2016

Onward Christian Soldiers!

Hey y'all!!!
     I hope y'all have been having a fantastic week!! I can't believe that it is already February!! Where did January go???  Well here in South Carolina our week of winter is over and I have dusted off my short sleeves shirts in honor of the 70 degree weather haha! But really... It's great!!!

This week was good!!
     Monday was a pretty typical p-day and then we had a family home evening lesson with some members!
     Tuesday we did service at the library and had a lesson with a sister in the ward we have been working with for a while now.
     Wednesday we finally got to have a lesson with a family we have been trying to get a hold of the entire time I have been here! So we were really excited about that! We also did service at United Way!
     Thursday we had our annual General Authority mission tour! So each year a general authority comes and speaks to the mission (usually over two or three days). So we had a combined meeting with our zone (Columbia), Florence Zone, and Charleston Zone held in Sumter! It was excited to have a combined meeting with half of the mission!!! Elder Brent Nielson came and spoke to us! He is the executive over the missionary department (right under Elder Oaks) so that was really cool! We learned a lot about working with both active and less active members, as well as getting a long with our companions and working in unity! That lasted from 9am to 4:30 pm! So that was a great day!
     Friday we planned for this next week! The really exciting thing was that we were able to take B. (the Sister who was baptized in December)  with us to a lesson that day! When we first asked her to come out teaching with us she was super nervous and was saying she wouldn't know what to say, but she came anyway. Once in the lesson she opened right up and bore powerful testimony of the things she had just learned. It was really cool! When we got back in the car to take her home she turned to us and was like, "Sorry if I was talking too much, I don't know where that all came from!" And we shared the scripture D&C 84:85 which says "neither take ye thought beforehand what ye shall say; but treasure up in your minds continually the words of life, and it shall be given you in the very hour that portion that shall be meted unto every man." And we were talking about how as we study the scriptures and focus on the Holy Ghost instead of worrying about what to say, then the Lord will guide and direct our words. She got a big smile on her face and was like, "Is that what happened to me?" It was really cool to see! I know that I have found a lot of comfort as a missionary about this. That when we are studying the scriptures and focusing on the Spirit, we don't have to worry about what to say. Whether that be in a lesson, or comforting a friend, or giving counsel to a family member, or whatever. The principle still applies. God will not leave us alone or without words to say :) (That's my spiritual thought for this week :) )
     Saturday was good! We had an appointment set up that fell through about 20 minutes before it was supposed to happen. We were meeting them at the church (which is outside of our area) so we were suddenly like, now we are outside of our area and our appointment fell through... what are we going to do next? When a Sister in our ward gave us a call saying she was in Camden and asked us to go out visiting teaching with her. It was a really cool moment  because if we hadn't been at the church and if our appointment hadn't fallen through we wouldn't have been able to go with her. So the Lord works in mysterious ways!
     Sunday I gave a talk in sacrament meeting about why we go out and serve missions even with there being a lot of difficulties. I focused a lot on how as a missionary we are going and assisting the Lord in the saving of human souls. So it was good!
     Then this morning with got our transfer calls and... I'm leaving Camden. I have absolutely loved serving here and I have been SO grateful for Sister Harvey! She is a blessing every single day, so I am going to miss her like crazy. But I know that This is God's plan and it's all in his hands so I am excited to see what the future has in store for me! On to area number 4!!! So stay tuned to next week ;)
     I hope y'all have a blessed week and know that I love y'all and am praying for y'all daily!
Love always,
Sister Amy Bennett :)

Leaving a Bible at a door with scriptures marked!

 Picnic Lunch outside in January?!?  ... we say YES! 

 I made a gluten free cake to "celebrate" 2 years since my Celiac diagnosis!