Thursday, July 16, 2015

Week 79: "Endure to the End"

May 26, 2015
Dear Family, Friends, and everyone who has been such a support to me,

I just want to say thank you. Thank you for the huge impact that you've had on me. Thank you for being there, encouraging me, and cheering me on.

This mission has meant absolutely everything to me. I look to the person I was at the beginning of my mission, and I barely recognize her. I know the Lord has stretched me, pushed me, and refined me. He has helped me become more than I ever could on my own.

That doesn't mean that I'm perfect. I'm far from that, so don't anticipate a "celestial" Sister Bennett when I get home. ;) However, I'm going to quote my favorite passage from the film 'Ephraim's Rescue'. "I try." 

In the end, that's all it is about. Trying. Learning. Meeting mountains, and asking the Lord for strength to climb them. Falling down. Realizing we aren't perfect. Loving ourselves, and especially loving others. And loving the Lord.

Our mission President sent out an email to the missionaries of this mission. I want to quote him.

"Our missionary purpose states that we help others “receive the restored gospel through faith in Jesus Christ and His Atonement, repentance, baptism, receiving the gift of the Holy Ghost, and enduring to the end.” Enduring to the end is a vital part of coming unto Christ. It begins with honorably fulfilling the work and challenges of each day, week and month. Not giving up. When we successfully accomplish our commitments, we develop a pattern for successful and happy living.

Your call letter from President Monson was clear, “It is anticipated that you will serve for a period of 24 months”, or “18 months” for sisters. When you replied to President Monson your acceptance of your mission call, you implied a commitment to complete your mission to the very end."

It's my prayer that my mission will continue. Even after serving this full-time mission, I want to continue to serve others, and to share the gospel with them. I know that The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints is true. I know it is good, and of God. I know the Gospel of Jesus Christ has been restored through a Prophet. I know that God lives, and that Jesus Christ is his son. Without him, we would be nothing, but we are everything to him. :) I know living this Gospel leads to happiness in our families.  I know that the Book of Mormon is a great gift given to our day, so we can know that God is aware of us. We don't have to doubt.

I know that, because I've seen the Lord work in my life on such individual levels. 

This weeks been amazing. I'll tell you about it as I send pictures.

Until then, 'Til We Meet Again,
God Bless,
Sister Rachel Ann Bennett

The Memories may fade...but Pictures Won't.

This is from Mikey Jouvin's Baptism last Saturday. :) Sister Willard and Tauillilli were in this area about a year ago, and they made a HUGE impact on the Jouvin family. I just happen to be here to see the blessings of that. :) It was a wonderful baptism! Sister Brown and I sang with Maddie, Sayge, and a cousin of theirs. We sang, "When I Am Baptized." Sister Willard gave an amazing talk about baptism and the Holy Ghost. 

Lucky we made it early, because we realized the ward hadn't made arrangements to fill the font! We quickly had to do it! The font was filling up during the program, but it all turned out ok. Luckily both Mikey and his grandpa are small. :) And that's Bishop Benjamen with them. He may look small, but he's a Spiritual Giant. 

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It was a beautiful Memorial Day Weekend! 

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Monday morning we went to Sunrise Cafe to say goodbye to Tiffany Scudder! Oh how I love this woman! She has so much spunk. Sister Capitan also joined us with her companion, Sister Worthen! 
We met a lady with amazing purple hair. I asked if I could take a picture with her. She seemed pretty creeped out, but she agreed. 

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More of our morning! 

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And More. It was eventful, ok? 

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Next event of Monday: We were asked to sing a duet at the Good Samaritan Society for Memorial Day. We did, and they ended up giving everyone Roses! It was a lovely, Catholic based service. I met an older gentleman who was also a Bennett! 

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We said goodbye to Angie, Grams, and Cora. I love them so much! 
We also said goodbye to JOE! And KATHY!! - Classic Joe Moment. 
This is the fateful shed wherein we moved 16 cords of wood into it last summer. Time flies! 
I had a small....rebellious moment. 

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Every missionary that has passed through Joe's (or knew him, or did service for him) signed the inside of his shed!! I love his little farm. It feels like home. 

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Saying goodbye to my first MISSION MOM. I love you Sister Sundquist!
Saying goodbye to the Waites!! I <3 Kaity. 

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Poor...poor wittle wabbit. 
(We did have rabbit tacos that day...) 

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1. One more week until eternal P-Day land. :/
2. Beautiful park! 
3. Yes, this was at a store........they know.....

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1. Kitten takes a selfie.
2. Cuters. 
3. Side profile. I love the Sterr's backyard! 

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The Sterrs!!! And Steven (with the red glasses). This family has made a huge difference to me. I love them! 
Tyler!! And Libbi, the dog. 

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The Tolmans!! Another family that's made a big impact. I would tease them to high heaven. I hope they'll forgive me. ;) 

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Me being....strange. 
And I knocked on a haunted house...

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The Millers!!!
AND....I defeated Sam. 

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I bid you all adieu. Til We Meet Again.
Sister Bennett