Monday, April 25, 2016

Filling our hearts with Righteousness

Hey y'all!!!!
Highs are in the 80s and even hitting the 90s every day now so I feel a bit like Olaf... I do like warm hugs haha :) And... this week has been another great week!!
Monday: Not nearly so adventurous as last Monday haha!! We basically had a normal p-day with the exception of me thinking I knew my way around and decided not to use my GPS and accidentally taking us to Spartanburg instead of Boiling Springs.... Good thing we were ahead on miles for the month hahaha! That night we went and had dinner with J. and K. and then did a little family home evening with them! So that was a blast! We had a watermelon and J. cut it with his samurai sword! it was pretty intense haha :)
Tuesday: We had a district meeting which is always awesome! Then we were able to go see a couple people before singing at Golden Age!! Then we were able to see a really cool lady named B. after dinner. We met her a few weeks ago and I can't remember if I've said anything about her before. Anyway she was talking about how she wants to grow closer to God in her life and she really wants to come to church and read the Book of Mormon so we were excited about that!
Wednesday: We did service at the soup kitchen!! Then we were able to visit a few people that afternoon. Later we had an awesome lesson with B. about the 10 commandments. And then we had an appointment with a lady named L. who is hilarious haha!!
Thursday we had yoga day which is always fantastic!!! We also sang at Golden Age and in the evening we had a lesson with K. She's the cutest! We were talking about eternal marriage and she said the main thing she wants for her future husband is for him to have a kind heart!
Friday: We planned for our week!!! Then a lady in the ward (Sister F.) came with us to a lesson we had with a lady named N. After that Sister Staheli and I went to visit a potential who, upon first talking to us, wanted to give us the Book of Mormon back. We were able to explain to him what the book of Mormon really was and why it is important and then he asked us if it would be okay if he kept it so he could read it. So that was cool! That evening we had a lesson with J. and another one with S, and K,!
Saturday morning and afternoon literally everyone we tried was not home. Like no car in the driveway, all the lights off in the house. And our appointment for the evening canceled because he was going to the ER. But the member we had lined up for that evening came out with us anyway just to try some people and we were able to teach two lessons in the evening!!
Sunday we had church!!! The sad part was that B. was really sick and unable to make it. Also B. didn't show up. We tried calling her later and her husband answered. After a brief, but not very nice phone call, we learned that he wasn't letting her come to church or learn from us. So that made us very sad. :( But I know that God is mindful of her and will allow her one day to learn about the Gospel. It would just be nice if she could right now ! We were able to see the less active G. C. again. He was super friendly again and set up a time for us to come and teach him and his wife! Wahoo! Then we met a less active who actually had moved in with a potential we were following up with. So that was exciting! In the evening we were able to see a less active family and then meet a potential. She was interested, but said they were super busy and asked us to come back in the fall haha. My mission is really teaching me patience.

So yeah it was a really awesome week!! There were ups and downs, but that's life in a nutshell, haha!! This week for my spiritual thought I'm going to make y'all do a little homework haha! The lesson we had with J. this week was about the Armor of God, found in Ephesians 6:13-18. I want y'all to go look up those verses and then think about why each of the pieces of the armor of God are what they are. I'll give you a head start with one of them ;) There is the breastplate of righteousness. One of the most important things that a breastplate protects is the heart. As we fill our heart with righteousness there is less and less room for Satan to enter and tempt us. The more we fill our heart with righteousness, the easier it is to overcome Satan's temptations. Now go figure out the rest ;)

I love y'all so much!!! Thanks for everything y'all do to support me and help me out!! I hope y'all have a blessed week!!!

Love always,
Sister Amy Bennett :)

Amy was able to make a gluten free/dairy free pizza!  That was exciting!

Monday, April 18, 2016

My Grace is Sufficient for ALL men

Hey y'all!!!

How are y'all doing this fantastic day?? I am doing great!!! Mission life is the best :)
Now for the run down of the week! (I realize I always say quick and then it ends up not being super quick hahaha!)

Monday started off disguised as a normal p-day! We did email, shopping, laundry, the usual. Then we decided to have some fun and go look around at an antique shop near our house. We looked around and came back out to the car to go finish up our p-day tasks and relax and play a game. I put the keys in the ignition and..... nothing. So I tried again... and again... and once more just to be sure... and nothing. We looked and made sure that we hadn't left on any of the lights and we hadn't! We were quite perplexed! We called our vehicle coordinator and then called a member who came and jumped started us. We then had to drive down to Firestone in Spartanburg for them to check our car out. The funny part was we had an appointment scheduled for Firestone the very next day to change our oil. They were super nice and checked our battery and changed the oil for us at the same time. They ended up having to replace our battery, so that was an adventure. We were there a while and ended up getting home about the time we would have gone in anyway. So we missed the rest of p-day and our time to work in the evening :( But we found other missionary opportunities along the way!

Tuesday we went out and worked in the afternoon with a girl in the ward! So that was fun! We were able to see a couple people with her! Then she even came and sang at Golden Age with us!! Then that evening we had permission to go to K's (12 year old recent convert) elementary school music program. K. has been learning the violin this year and was really hoping that we would be able to come see her play it. We were sitting in the back corning (we got there only a few minutes before it started) and so she hadn't seen us in the audience so when we came up to her after her face was one of pure excitement! it was so cute!! We were then able to drop by and see a potential on our way home!

Wednesday we worked at the soup kitchen! That was a lot of fun as usual!! The people there are just the best :) Then in the afternoon we were able to see a couple people and in the evening we had Ward Coord!!

Thursday we busy!! We had weekly planning, then yoga day, then a lesson, then singing at Golden Age, then after dinner we had a lesson with B. about scripture study. Then an out of the ordinary experience that evening. A less active family in the ward was in a car crash on a trip out west and their 17 year old daughter was killed. Thursday evening they held a memorial service for her family and friends to attend. I was asked to play the piano at the memorial service. Most of her family/friends are not members so the Bishop wanted us and the Elders there to talk to the family after. Even though I had never met this girl I almost cried during the service. But I am very grateful for my knowledge that one day we will all live again and all the pains and sorrows we experience in this life will one day be made up. I was grateful that I got to share my testimony of that both through music and while talking to people afterwards. We actually found out her uncle lives two houses up the street from us!

Friday we had a zone meeting! I got to see two elders from my Camden district so that was a blast! Afterwards we had a car inspection... we passed!! waho!! Then we saw R.! His cat had the most adorable little kittens less than a week ago! After dinner we saw A. and J.!! So it was another great day!!

Saturday morning we saw a less active member, T. C.. Then the Bishop's son was getting baptized and we had invited B. to come. B. came and afterwards we were able to talk to him a little bit about baptism and read the baptism covenant out of Mosiah 18 with him so that was awesome! In the evening we ended up talking to this man, his father, his ex-wife, and her now husband. It was kind of a crazy all over the place lesson because they were asking a lot of questions. The man we had originally come to see ended up going back inside his house (they were all out on the porch) and basically what happened is Sister Staheli taught a lesson to the father while I taught a different lesson to the couple. It was crazy, but ended up being a really good experience!

Sunday we had church! After we got to meet a less active we had been trying to meet for a while. He's been wanting to come to church for a while now, but keeps getting scheduled to work Sundays. In the evening we saw less active V., part member family K. and R., and then had our lesson with J. and K.! At J.and K.'s we were eating these giant sausages while having our lesson (sitting on their couches), and me being my clumsy self dropped a tiny piece on my skirt. They were getting me a dish cloth to put over my lap. While I lifted up my plate to push the dishcloth down, the sausage rolled off my plate and down my skirt. Luckily with a quick intervention, and then a soaking wet skirt, we were able to get the grease stains out hahaha!

So there were many adventures this week ranging many emotions! haha! But overall it was an awesome week!!!!

Now for a spiritual thought :)

Sometimes as a missionary it is really easy to feel insufficient (I think that's the word I'm looking for) but it's always good to remember that when we turn to the Lord, He can cover our weaknesses. (I feel like a lot of my spiritual thoughts are about this... but it's an important lesson to learn and remember). I find a lot of comfort in the scripture Ether 12:26-27. Here the Lord is talking to Moroni who is worried that because he is not a very good writer, that people will make fun of his writing and will not believe in the Book of Mormon. The Lord says, "Fools mock, but they shall mourn; and my grace is sufficient for the meek, that they shall take no advantage of your weakness; and if men come unto me I will show unto them their weakness. I give unto men weakness that they may be humble; and my grace is sufficient for all men that humble themselves before me; for if they humble themselves before me, and have faith in me, then will I make weak things become strong unto them." So yeah, I love that scripture!

Well I hope y'all have a blessed week that is filled with wonder and glorious adventures!! I love y'all soooo much!!!

Love always,

Sister Amy Bennett :)

Attending K.'s Concert

Beautiful South Carolina!

With R's Kittens!

Monday, April 11, 2016

A Greater Follower of Righteousness

Hey y'all!!!!
How are you doing this fine spring morning?!! I use the word spring loosely because we have been enjoying... "enjoying" a little bit of cool weather the past few days. It was 32 on our way to church yesterday! But we managed to thaw out during the meeting and survive the rest of the day haha! Thank goodness for long sleeves ;)

And now for the quick run down of my week!
Last Monday was p-day! We colored and played some games so that was awesome! We had an appointment that evening but it ended up falling through :(
Tuesday we had district meeting!! That went well! We were able to see R. (the returning less active) and it was cool because his nonmember friend was there and we were able to teach her a little bit about the Gospel!! So that's always exciting! We sang at the retirement home Golden Age. My piano playing is improving, but I'm sure the old people miss Sister Yancey's amazing skills haha! But it's fun learning the other hymns! That evening we saw a less active teenager named S. She's in the family where we are teaching her 9 year old sister who hasn't been baptized. We had an appointment scheduled with all three sisters, but when we got there only S. was home haha! But we had a good lesson with her!
Wednesday morning we worked at the soup kitchen! Always a highlight!! Then we went and helped K. (J. the yoga teacher's wife) redo her bathroom! So we helped stain wood and spray paint metal rods and paint shelves! It was a lot of fun! We had an appointment fall through that evening and then we had our missionary coordination meeting!!! By this point we were thinking- it is already Wednesday night, we just had our appointment for Thursday call and cancel, and we've only taught two lessons this whole week... why are all our appointments falling through? But we did not let discouragement get the best of us and we worked hard and the rest of the week was basically the most productive 4 days of my mission!
Thursday we had our yoga class and we were able to share a thought with J. so that was awesome! Then we saw the recent convert K.! She wanted a break from 2 Nephi so we taught about missionary work and service. Then we sang at Golden Age! After dinner we were supposed to see B., but he ended up not being home. But his girlfriends 14 year old son, J.  (the one who came to church on Easter), ended up talking to us and we were able to tell him a little bit more about the Book of Mormon! So that was awesome :) Then we saw S. and S.!! With S. being younger we have a deal with her that if she participates well in the lesson, then we can do something fun afterwards. This day's reward was that we brought our makeup and she did it for us! She got very creative with mine and drew these "B"s next to my eyes for Bennett hahaha!
Friday we had weekly planning! Then we went out with a sister in our ward and visited a lady named M.   Missionaries had lost contact with M., but we were able to catch her and she told us she's been reading the Book of Mormon every day and wants to keep learning from us! Then we visited a sister in the ward and shared a quick thought with her. Then we had a pass off lesson for the M.s (the part member family who moved ward boundaries and has had a slow transition to our ward). The other sisters want to do one more pass off lesson and then we will be teaching them full force! Friday night we had a lesson with J. on patience!
Saturday we visited a less active man and read about scripture study. Then we met a man named B. who was actually outside his house while we were walking to an appointment. He called us over and started talking with us because he had seen us at the soup kitchen on Wednesday! We were able to talk with him and now he wants to learn more! wahoo!!! We had a lesson with B. that afternoon and we brought a brother from the ward who made a really good impression on B. and shared a cool story about his parent's conversion. Members are the best!  That evening we had a lesson with a lady named A. and her son K.!
Sunday we had church!! B., and the M.s family, and J. and K. came so that was awesome!!! After lunch we saw a less active who actually had previously told missionaries to stop coming by, but we are rebels ;) and we were able to share a quick message with him from the Book of Mormon and it was really cool because he was like "Maybe I should start reading from the Book of Mormon again." Then we had a visit with a sister in the ward who loves church but can't always come because of her health. Then we met a man named J. who actually moved into a house of former investigators we were trying to follow up with, so we just taught him instead haha! Then we visited a less active named V. and had a lesson with J. and K.!! After our lesson with J. and K. the four of us (J., K., Sister Staheli, and I) went four leaf clover hunting in their yard in the dark and I totally found one!! Best day ever haha :)
So this week was awesome and busy and we were able to meet some really cool people and touch their lives! Needless to saw I'm a very happy missionary :) hahaha!!
Quick spiritual thought this week from the conference talk I read this morning! I was reading the talk in the priesthood session by Elder Stephen W. Owen  and I really liked this quote. He said "Your ability to lead does not come from an outgoing personality, motivational skills, or even a talent for public speaking. It comes from your commitment to follow Jesus Christ. It comes from your desire to be, in Abraham's words, "a greater follower of righteousness." If you can do that- even if you aren't perfect at it, but you-re trying- then you are a leader." I was thinking how being a "leader" can mean a lot of different things. It can apply to being a missionary, or a mother, or a sibling, or a friend, or a teacher, or really what ever in life. As long as we are focusing on follow Jesus Christ then we are better able to help those around us. So I just really liked that this morning and wanted to share it with y'all!!
 I hope y'all have a blessed and fantastic week!! Know I'm thinking and praying for all y'all!!!
Love always,
Sister Amy Bennett :)

This little cutie listened and participated in our lesson so well that she got to put make-up on for us!
I love the "B"s!
Sister Staheli taking a "selfy" of us out on the Lord's errand!


Monday, April 4, 2016

What God asks of us is that we try and we try hard! :D

Hey y'all!!!
I hope y'all are doing well where ever in the world you are! But for me in SC, I'm doing fantastically! The sun is shining, the birds are singing, I get to email y'all, the work is great! So no complaints from me :)
Quick overview of the week:
Monday: for p-day we had our own Easter party including decorating gluten free sugar cookies and hiding eggs. Sister Staheli did such a good job I still haven't found my last one.... :) That night we were able to go and have a lesson with K. We are still reading through the Book of Mormon with her. Right now we are in 2 Nephi so that's an adventure haha :)
Tuesday: We had an awesome district meeting. Afterwards we usually have treats, but since I cannot eat the treats I brought with me a few of the GF sugar cookies from the day before. Turns out the new Spanish Elder in the district also has Celiac! So it's a good thing I brought more than one cookie so neither of us had to feel left out of the treat. Yay for Celiac friend!! haha We were able to see a few people that day and then sing at Golden Age. We got a new ward mission leader on Sunday and so we had dinner with him and his family and then talked a little bit about missionary work so that was awesome!
Wednesday: We volunteered at the Soup Kitchen! Wahoo!!! Remember that family from when I first got here when we were helping them gut their house and then repaint it? Well we went and helped them continue setting up their kitchen cupboards. They had them hung on the wall, but none of them had doors so we got to help with that! She's going to have a baby in like 2 weeks and he has a neck injury so they can't really do a lot right now so it was good to go help them!!! That evening we had a lesson with a part member family the Js. They are super nice and way into health. But they know how to do it tasty too! It was the first time in my life I actually enjoyed drinking a green smoothie hahaha! That night we went on exchanges (which is where we swap companions for 24 hours with our Sister Training Leaders). I went down to Spartanburg with Sister Bird.
Thursday: We volunteered at a place where we sorted through food donations that they give away to struggling families. So that was fun. We were able to then go and teach a few people. I really loved this exchange! Sister Bird is awesome! We had a great time and I learned a lot from her! She reminded me a lot of Sister Harvey so that was especially fun :)
Friday: We had our weekly planning which is always an adventure! Then we had a lesson with B. and told him about General Conference! That evening we had a lesson with a couple people and a lesson with R. (the returning less active). So it was a successful evening! We were trying to meet a different less active at one point and he wasn't home, but we were talking to his dad who was saying he has the two member sons (himself not being a member) and how one of them is on a mission in Brazil. So that's pretty cool!
Saturday and Sunday were General Conference!!! I loved the opportunity to hear from President Monson and the apostles!! It was cool to listen and receive answers for both me and those we are working with. On Saturday we watched with our ward mission leader's family (the Bs). On Sunday we watched with a family in our ward named the Ts. Sunday night we were also able to have a lesson with J. and K.!
So it was an awesome week :)
Spiritual thought brought to you by General Conference (surprise!): I really liked how several of the talks focused on how we don't need to be and we aren't going to be perfect in this life. What God asks of us is that we try and we try hard. And even if we aren't successful, He recognizes our efforts. I really loved in President Utchdorf's talk how he talked about the beautiful building that was destroyed in World War II and how basically nothing was remaining, but they were able to rebuild it. And then he compared it to no matter how broken we are or we feel, Christ is able to rebuild us. I add my testimony to his that God knows and loves us all. That He already paid the price and is waiting for us to turn to Him so He can rebuild us. I love general conference and I'm grateful for technology so I can go back and read them again!
I love y'all and hope y'all have a blessed week!!!!! Carry a prayer in your heart always :)
Love always,
Sister Amy Bennett :)

Our Easter Cookies and Party

Watching General Conference