Tuesday, December 16, 2014

Week 56: "I'M STAYING, BABY!"

December 15, 2014
Dear my rays of sunshine,

Yes, great news - I get to stay here for a third transfer with Sister Capitan! I've never been so happy about a transfer call. I feel so incredibly blessed to be here. This means I will have spent 4/5ths of my mission serving in Boise, rather than in Meridian, Star, or Eagle.

Are you all getting in the Christmas Spirit? What kind of things have you been up to? I don't know if I've ever been as excited for Christmas as I am now. I just love this season out on the mission. People are so much more open to hearing about Christ. I don't think I've ever felt as much gratitude as I do now for this season, and the true meaning of it.

This week has been a little different than most, as many Christmas events happened. We had our Missionary Christmas Party! That was a lot of fun. Many Elders and Sisters shared talents - uni-cycling, Polynesian dancing, singing parodies, harmonica, violin, etc. Then came the devotional part. I had the chance to sing "Mary Did You Know." I accidentally switched some lyrics, but it went alright. It was a great experience. And there was great food!

We had our Hillside Ward Party - and a few less active families came, which was awesome. The primary kids sang, the Elders Quorum Sang, and they asked me to sing as well.

We got in to some non-members homes in Hidden Springs, and were able to share, "He is the Gift" with them. Overall the reception of it is very positive.

The highlight of the week was putting on the Progressive Nativity at a farm in Hidden Springs! This is the first time they've put it on - we were there when the idea came up in Ward Council. So cool to see things from beginning to end. At the last minute, the night before, they asked if I could be in it. Of course I said yes. Sister Capitan rocked it at the end, talking to people as they had food and hot chocolate, and giving out "Joy to the World" dvd's and showing He is the Gift continuously on a computer and giving out cards. They had me in the Bethlehem Scene. People would gather in groups of 10, and be led by a young man guide. They would first take them to an Inn. Outside of the inn was a fire with a family huddled. I was be a towns person, and sing "Oh little Town of Bethlehem" to start the scene off. Then a narrator would quote Luke 2, and Mary and Joseph would come in and knock on the door - only to be told there is no room in the inn. Then they would walk off. This process was repeated for two hours - probably about 25 - 30 times. I bet over 200 went through, most of them not members of our faith. :) It was an amazing missionary opportunity. It was cold, but fun. I tried to switch up my scene every time, interacting with it in different ways.

The next scene was the three kings with their gifts, pointing out the star in the distance. They sang "We Three Kings". Next, the group was led out to the edge of the farm lawn, where shepherds were herding sheep - and the angels came, told of Christ's birth, and sang.

And at the very end, was the stable with the baby. Yes, they had a live baby in it. :) What was amazing was what happened when it was all over. The actors got to see the scenes as we went through the last time, and so the wise men went in to get pictures "presenting" the gifts to the baby Jesus. When they came in, baby Jesus sat up, and smiled a huge smile, reaching out towards the wise men. It's definitely something seeing three grown men almost cry.

Keep on pressing forward! It all will work out in the end. I love you all so much, and my appreciation grows in this season. It's all about family, and I can't help but smile when I think of memories of our crazy family. The Temple President's wife spoke in Stake Conference about her kid's most memorable Christmas's. It was never memories the gifts they received. It was always memories of the feelings they had. I know that that is true in my life.

May we all feel that joy.


Week 55: "Now that I've caught up sending pictures..."

December 8, 2014

Sometimes pictures are worth more than 1000 words...

This was from two weeks ago.

#snow. The beginning. 

#stuck. The middle.

#hewaswaitingforthelikesofustonotmakeit. The End. 

NEFF OR NOTHING - Our current theme. Two transfers ago we had a greenie come into the district named Elder Neff...and we cover Neff street...what a coincidence! 

Walking on water. :)

Temple Day! We have the privilege of attending the temple once every three months. I look forward to it always! This trip was particularly special for me. 

She doesn't know how to play guitar folks. But she was given one! She's coo, I guess...

Elizabeth's baptism!

Saying goodbye to Elder Ferrell. We'll miss him. 


Sunglass day.

Neff or Nothing x 2. My compie is talented. 

Shenanigans of the Dread Pirate Capitan. She keeps things interesting!

Pretty snow!

Dear Family,

This week has been an amazing week. I can't believe this second transfer with Sister Capitan has passed so quickly. Transfer calls are in a week. I don't want to leave.

So, since time is short, here are some things I loved about this week.

-FHE with Louis and the Zendel family on Monday. It was a fantastic night. We talked about testimony-changing prayers. (Such as Enos had.)

-Serving, going out with Cassi (a recent convert) and keeping busy. We were led by the spirit that night to find a great family we can work with.

-Getting my hair cut!

-Having another amazing lesson with Yvette (from the Congo.) We brought French Speaking Bishop Sturgill from another ward, and does that man have the Spirit. Yvette is really interested in learning more.

-Our Book of Mormon class went SO well. Tiffany was the only investigator that made it, but as the Elders taught we were able to get in a really good discussion about the Book of Mormon, the history behind it, and how much sacrifice and effort went into these people preserving and recording these records so that in a future day it could help others. Tiffany texted us that night. She said she had a lot of fun with us, and that's the first time she's had fun studying scriptures in a long time. She's just an amazing person to be acquainted with, much less teach. I could go on, but I'll choose not to.

-Friday we decided to walk the streets, and try doors we never had before. We got to meet several new people, and we had the change to share He is the Gift cards with many people along the way.

-Saturday was an awesome day. We started out by helping a really cool lady move. She's a member, but temporarily she's helping out a friend and allowing him to stay. Well, at first when he saw us he started making fun of us and the Book of Mormon. He told us of times that he wasn't particularly nice to Elders, to put it nicely. Well, during our service we could just see his attitude change. He thanked us so many times, and at the end told us we really earned our badges with him that day. He's such a nice guy, I'm glad we were able to help them out. That evening we were in Hidden Springs, and struggling to know where to go or what to do, so we went tracting! And we saw ANOTHER miracle come out of service! A lady we met at her door looked at us and said, "You're the ladies that worked so hard helping us at the barn! Come in!" We had an amazing visit with them, and were able to share He is the Gift. It was probably one of the most positive tracting experiences I've ever had. Afterwards, we had dinner with the Roberts, and their son was wearing a ZELDA shirt and hoodie! I was so jealous. We got in a great nerd conversation.

Well, enough about me and my weeks. What about all of you? I want to know what's going on. :) Are you all ready for Christmas? What are your plans? I'm looking forward to it. Tomorrow we have our mission Christmas party. I'm going to sing Mary Did You Know. I'm excited.

I love you all! Thank you so much for being there. Your prayers really have meant a lot on my behalf. Things have been going so well here. I wouldn't rather be anywhere else. I don't want it to end.

Take care!

-Sister Rachel Bennett

Week 54: "#Sharethegift"

December 1, 2014

So this is my weekly email! First off, I'd like to let you all know that missionaries really do look forward to emailing time each week. :) And I would just like to thank you all for making my days. It is SO sweet to hear from my family and friends about the things that are going on in their lives.

I CANNOT believe it's already DECEMBER? Does time fly that quickly? Well, it's Christmas season, and I actually really do love Christmas's on the mission. I found in my past that I had started to dread Christmas. So, I decided to make a change. I decided to really attempt to make it personally about what Christmas is centered on: Jesus Christ. I found that as my focus changed, my joy in the season grew abundantly. SO...I've decided what gift you can all give me for Christmas. :) Have you heard of the new initiative put out by the Church called "He is the Gift?" It's a video that will be advertized over December on youtube as well as on Times Square among other places. It's just GOOD. The website the video is found on is centered on Jesus Christ, and what we believe about Him, and how we can discover and draw closer to him. If people so choose after watching the video they can scroll through the website. So, in everyone's December issue of the Ensign they were given 9 pass along cards for He is the Gift. My request is that you find one person, it doesn't matter who it may be, to share it with. :) Or you can share it online, it's up to you. That would be the greatest gift to me, to know that knowledge and testimony of the Savior is being shared. I love my Savior so much. He really is the best gift that's ever been given to me.

This week was abundant! Elizabeth was baptized on Wednesday night, and it was just an amazing experience. She's been taught for over a year, so there were a lot of missionaries there. Later on Elizabeth said that her feeling at her baptism could only be described as the way she imagines she will feel when she goes to heaven and sees her family waiting for her there to welcome her. It was so special. What was cool was that I felt like I should invite Sister Haas, Elder Odiorne, and his comp to sing with me. Well, we figured out what song we were to sing (Be Still My Soul), but we didn't have time to practice until RIGHT before the baptism. Well, we didn't have much time, and yet it was amazing how we all received inspiration as to how to sing and break up the song so that it was interesting, unique, and spiritual. It went amazing. The Spirit definitely provides when time is not provided. :)

We also did community service through St. Vincents for thanksgiving! We helped load turkeys, potatoes, and boxes with thanksgiving dinner items onto carts, and then load them into cars of those who needed a little extra help this year for a meal. It was SO rewarding, and cool to be able to work in such a large group for such a good cause. They provided thousands of turkey dinners over the period of a couple days. I was the "Large" turkey dinner girl. I think the biggest turkey I had on my cart was 22 lbs.

Thanksgiving dinner was awesome. I've found families away from home here. :) We also found a new investigator on Thanksgiving night!

I'm grateful for YOU! Have a good week and don't freeze in the snow!

Sister Bennett

Here's all the missionaries (left in the mission) that taught Elizabeth! Elizabeth's in the middle. :) 

Week 53: "I Love Turkey!"

November 24, 2014
Hola! Yateeh! Konnichiwa!

Navajo is a next to impossible language to learn. Have you ever heard of the Navajo Co-talkers (wind-talkers) of World War 2? They were able to send radio messages for the United States army without the Japanese breaking the code. It's a pretty darn cool story if I say so myself - and that's my companion's heritage!

It's been a good....4 days! The temple was absolutely amazing. It was exactly what I needed, and the Lord decided to send me even more tender mercies in the form of a member from my last area that I LOVE! :) Afterwards, us and another set of Sisters did CAFE RIO because it's Cafe Rio, and Target. I love Target. I think you can't be a Sister Missionary here without becoming prone to a slight addiction to it.

FRIDAY I had the chance to serve my very first day in Meridian! Haha yes it is different than Boise, but luckily the core of the work is the same. I missed Boise, but Sister Gummow and I had fun. We were able to meet some interesting people, and see spontaneous miracles that we prayed for!

Saturday was one of the best days of the mission. We spent the morning in service of one of my favorite people (Heather!) who is getting ready to have family over for thanksgiving. We had a blast. Sister Capitan was given a guitar? Don't ask me where she stores all the things she's given. ;) Then, we watched half of Joseph Smith: Prophet of the Restoration with the Shea girls and their mom, Robyn. That was awesome. We had a good chat with Robyn afterwards about her first temple experience, and then we went over to our Bishop's home to do planning! For dinner we had a thanksgiving dinner, and early one with the Fales. Brother Fales was a linebacker for BYU at one point, and his wife is a dancer! Their kids to sports and arts. :) That evening we were able to coordinate two priesthood blessings, and I can't even begin to describe the Spirit that surrounds those. I'm grateful for supportive members of our ward who are willing to take time out of their evening to serve.

Sunday was a little rough, but there were those little shining moments. Seeing familiar faces in church, laughing at President Ririe's hilarity in Stake Correlation, putting together ideas for our districts Stomp performance for the Christmas talent show...

And today! Oh, it was wonderful. I was able to receive some wonderful advice from Sister Winder. I'm so lucky to be serving with her. (Our mission President's wife.) Also, we were involved in a Boise-wide charity project, providing Turkey dinners for those that aren't able to provide them on their own! It was such a fun four hours, and it flew by!

I love you all. Service always makes the heart lighter.

Sister Bennett

Week 52: "Happy 1 Year"

November 20, 2014
Dearest Darlingest Friendsies and Famsickles.

Well, after making you gag because of all the cuteness, I...Well. I'm writing you a letter! Because I love you.
Today as Thursday! Why am I writing today? Well, our PDay was switched, because we get to go to the TEMPLE today!! :)

What an amazing year mark gift! You see, a year ago on November 20th I entered the MTC! It's kind of mind-blowing in a way. I can't believe I've been out here that long. I've learned, loved, and changed so much. I feel old. I want to live out my mission like my Zone Leader told us - he said he wanted to leave his mission tired. I want to keep on running to that finish line, and yes, I definitely want to leave tired.

So today is a PDay, and Monday is going to be another PDay! There are two other sisters that came out with me that are also hitting their year mark, so we want to do something awesome today.

It SNOWED this last week! What was crazy was that Boise hasn't seen this much snow (9 and a half inches - Canadians, don't laugh at us) in years! So...story time. We were driving in Hidden Springs during the snow storm, where we were working. Well, first we got stuck on a hill since we were parked on an incline, and our car has no traction whatsoever. Some nice people in the neighborhood helped us out. Afterwards though, we headed back to Boise, and we tried to make it up a huge hill at night....and our car couldn't make it! Luckily there was a police waiting on the hill for people like us, so he got us turned around so we could go the long way around back to Boise. We have since gotten chains for our tires. :)

Sister Capitan always keeps things fresh. I love serving with a convert, it just adds so much dimension to our work. :) And the Spirit speaks to her so much! She says it's almost like it is persistently bugging her until she cannot ignore it anymore. We've seen miracles through her promptings, that's for sure! I'm so glad there are two of us, and not just one.

Much to Sister Capitan's delight, members made lamb for us the other day! I've never tried it before, but with the mint jelly it was quite delicious.

We had the chance to teach Tiffany the Plan of Salvation. She had so many questions, which I loved! I love answering questions. I love meeting new people and finding out where they come from, and what they have been taught or believe. Tiff loved learning about the pre-existence and about Adam and Eve. She was contemplating about everything we taught her - she's going to study and pray about it. :) I love that. We're not asking others to take what we say without question. We're inviting others to study and come to know for themselves it is true.

I had an amazing epiphany the other day. Every time the Spirit prompts me to bear testimony of things such as the Book of Mormon, Joseph Smith, the Plan of Salvation, and especially of Jesus Christ, that is the Spirit confirming to me that it is true. I can't tell you how many times I've been prompted to testify of these things. I know that these things are true, with all of my heart. I love my Heavenly Father, and my Savior, Jesus Christ. I know they live, and they are away of the details of my life.

Have a great week!

-Sister Bennett

Monday, November 10, 2014

Week 51: "Ranger Danger"

Dear Family and Friendzos.

Well, another week has passed and gone in a FLASH. I really need to start writing down the best highlights, because it goes by so quickly you can lose it if you aren't careful!

Last P-Day Sister Capitan and I decided to go downtown on some adventures. See pictures attached. It feels good to be spontaneous!!

I thought I saw a theatre downtown that I wanted to see if I could tour - like a live theatre. Well...it was a movie theatre, so we didn't go in. How embarrassing. I can't wait to come back after my mission and really explore!

Tuesday was PACKED! Appointments all day! That rarely happens, folks. We were up and down and everywhere that day, and we even got to go out with three different members during the day! 
That evening we had dinner with Sister Willes. She told us the amazing story of her son, who has had an interesting life. He had a wife and kids, but then got into a huge addiction to meth. He ended up losing everything. He got in trouble with the law, and was on international news because he was shot down - 21 times - by the police. And he survived. He lost an arm, a leg, his teeth, and has several scars. But from this experience, he turned his life around. He overcame his addiction, and now is a runner. He is going into the Para-Olympics as part of the first United States Para-Olympic Bobsled team. But even more inspirational is what he does. He goes around Idaho and Utah and does drug awareness assemblies for schools, since he himself is an object lesson. He has since remarried, and is a business owner. It's an incredible turnaround.

Wednesday was the day of unexpected but good opportunities! We taught two college students about the Book of Mormon. It's a common misconception that the events in the Book of Mormon take place in the 1800's. They're usually shocked when we tell them the history and record goes from 600BC to 400AD. I love teaching about the Book of Mormon. That book has changed my life. Wednesday night we got to visit Aubrey! She was miraculously released from prison. She had been into drugs, but after getting in trouble a few times she reached out to God. She is the most sincerely and humbly changed person I've ever met, and I think that's why they allowed her to come out early. She's completely overcome her addictions, and is faithfully coming to church. We love her and her family.

Thursday was good! Friday we met a less-active couple who are into costume design and theatre! They had some AMAZING cosplay costumes they showed us, including a detailed Halo helmet! It was fun to get in a creative frame of mind again. They are wonderful.

Saturday we watched "Joseph Smith: Prophet of the Restoration" with Tiffany. I love that film. I even know an actor in the beginning, I got to do makeup in a show with him at BYU! He'll be famous one day. ;) Tiffany had MANY questions that she would stop the movie for, and we would answer. She has some pretty amazing questions, but she's also heard many many things about the church, some true and others false. There is a lot out there, that's for sure.

Sunday our highlight was meeting a baptist minister couple who have a pretty amazing life story.  They invited us back for dinner on Saturday! He proposed to her with an airplane dragging the words, "Valerie I luv u, will you marry me?" Of course she said yes! He had the press there as well, so it was on the news! And then he had a surprise wedding for her, which was also covered by the national news. Pretty crazy story. They have many family members who are LDS.

I love you all! Keep busy, keep working hard, and remember that you are LOVED beyond what you can imagine! :) I know we have a loving Heavenly Father who we can trust completely. He loves us, and is aware of us. He sent his son, so that through Him we can be free. :) 4th Nephi 3. This Gospel brings so much happiness. It helps me to have a greater love for all those around me, no matter who they are or what they believe. It helps me to find guidance and direction, and to feel good about the direction I take in my life. I couldn't be more grateful for it.

You are the best friends and family anyone could ask for! 

Sister Bennett

Sunday, November 9, 2014

Week 50: "Fire Away..."

November 3, 2014
Dear Folks!

Well, another week FLEW by. Why does time pass by so quickly you ask? I don't know. It's an enigma. You blink and *whoosh* the week is over again. And yet sometimes time passes by so slowly. It really depends on the day.

So, what made this week awesome? Well...

MONDAY: P-Day! Of course, Sister Capitan wanted to shop. So we did. Then, we went over to a P-Day activity. Sports, as usual these days. I played for a while, then got bored so I worked on an art piece, and finished it! Afterwards we went over to the Bonsacks, who are the ones who we started our art with last week. Debi and Brad told me I should submit it to a Christian (all faiths welcome) black and white art exhibit this January. I would absolutely love to do that! I wish I had pictures, but I don't currently.

TUESDAY: A lot of bike riding! That evening we also made a contact with a family who has been less active for 20 years, but whose niece had just been released miraculously from prison, and she is getting the entire family to pray and come to church now. Amazing!

WEDNESDAY: Awesome day! We were able to make two street contacts in a period of about 20 minutes who told us to come back and talk to them later on! However, it was also one of those days where all our appointments decided to cancel. But it happens, friends. It happens. :) We also marked up verses and chapters in a French Book of Mormon for Yvette to read! We dropped by to give it to her.

THURSDAY: I guess the highlight of the day was teaching our Book of Mormon class! Tiffany our investigator came, and had a lot to contribute. Louis also came, and bore a powerful testimony of his Baptism and confirmation. We covered 2nd Nephi 32. Amazing chapter.

FRIDAY: The BEST day of the week, because we had ZONE CONFERENCE with Elder Godoy of the 70. :) If you don't remember, he is one of the General Authorities who spoke in Portuguese in General Conference. He was amazing! And hilarious. He's a convert, he joined the church at 15 years old. Two sisters taught him. That night after the first lesson, he ran home to tell his parents that the original Gospel that Jesus Christ had established was restored. His parents shrugged, and said that there were many good churches out there. Elder Godoy said he wanted to shake them! He acted it out at the pulpit. "Don't you get it!! The gospel - it's been restored!" Haha. He also told us if we leave the church he will find us, and shake us. He was joking, of course, but it was great. He trained us on 5 "traps" that missionaries fall in to. Yes, I've seen those traps in various times on my mission. We have a lot to improve on, but Elder Godoy gave us many ideas of how we can improve. 
I had a really special moment after the Conference. After we ate, I had to speak with President Winder about an investigator. Afterwards, Elder Godoy was alone, so I had the chance to personally thank him for his address in General Conference. I told him that I received some very meaningful personal revelation during his talk. I thanked him for allowing the Spirit to work through his words. He was thankful I told him that. I also asked him if it was scary speaking in General Conference. Haha. He told me he wasn't afraid of the 15, 000 people in front of him. It was the 15 behind him that he was worried about. ;)

Our Mission President's Councillor also gave an amazing talk, on "Checking our personal Liahonas." He told a really cool story. He's a doctor at a Catholic run hospital. Apparently the hospital had a conference on how to better make their health care available to the poor. A renowned Catholic teacher and health professional began his conference by introducing an "amazing talk" on helping the poor that he had found on a website called lds.org. It was Elder Hollands talk. :) Apparently this professional quoted from what Elder Holland had said about King Benjamin as well, even though he didn't know who he was. President Christensen said he took that opportunity later to let him know who King Benjamin is. :)

Friday night was of course, Halloween, and so I had the chance to help a member with her daughter's peacock makeup before they fed us dinner! We also had to be in by 6:00 before we turned into pumpkins.

Saturday: Had a great visit with a less-active lady we've never met in Hidden Springs! We brought a member along with us, and she was spectacular. It adds so much to have members involved.

Sunday:  It feels so good to be able to take the sacrament after being sick last week! 

Well, I love you all! You are all such incredible examples to me. I know that the Gospel heals lives, and brings families together. :) I am so grateful for Jesus Christ. I am almost at the end of the book Jesus the Christ, and it takes me aback to learn more of what our Savior went through for us. It is the greatest act of love this world has ever seen. 

I pray we can all learn to love as He did. 

Sister Bennett

Lil' Sophie! It was SO fun to do makeup again.

DELICIOUS bread bowls and soup for Halloween!

Monday, October 27, 2014

Week 49: "Master has given Dobby a Sock! Dobby is free!"

Dear everyone!

This one is going to be fast! I think the computers here are slow, so we don't have as much time as I've had elsewhere to email. That's why I'm always RUSHED but that's alright! All is well!

Alright. This is my week.

Monday- It started off AWESOME! For P-Day we went and painted at the Bonsacks. They aren't members of the church, but they are super spiritual and nice to missionaries, and they are examples to me of Christlike living. :) Debbie is a professional studio artist, and so we joined with her for a few hours to do art! I'll show you my finished product next week. It was awesome. :)

Tuesday- another great day! We had dinner at the MacTaggarts, a great couple with three young, very energetic kids. In fact, before I knew it the two boys had duct tape, and were taping me up. I somehow managed to share a message despite my physical limitations though! I tried to be like Nephi and have the faith to break my bonds, but negative. It didn't happen.

Wednesday- we went on SPLITS with Mary and Nancy, two adventurous, two-peas-in-a-pod single lady ward missionaries. To illustrate how adventurous they are, in their sixties they often like to do things such as a) Whitewater rafting b) exploring, and c) fly hot air balloons. They are just a bundle of FUN. :) I went with Nancy, who reminds me a lot of my Aunt Mary, and so naturally we bonded pretty well. :) We rode BIKES and made a great visit.

Thursday- had an appointment, and during realized my stomach was not feeling well AT ALL. So we went home...RIP

Friday- Sick. What a struggle. My companion called me Dobby. She's full of nice compliments for me. We spend some time watching Church movies...My companion made Navajo tacos for the district though! I didn't get to try them though. :( 

Saturday- Sick. Again. The worst trial as a missionary is not rejection. Nope, it's those times when you can't go out and do the work. I felt so...blah. Well, it's more motivation to work even harder when we're better, right?

Sunday- I was feeling almost better!! And then...my companion got sick. :( I think we've almost died of cabin fever at this point! But on the bright side I read over 100 pages of Jesus the Christ. That book is absolutely incredible. It's like I can picture being there, in that time, where our Savior walked and taught. It makes things so clear. I love Jesus Christ, and I cannot deny my testimony of Him. :) All I want to do is read now!

That's the week! I cannot believe this transfer is over already. It's FLOWN by!

Love, your favorite Canadian, rose-from-the-dead, apparently a house-elf, Sister Missionary,
Sister Bennett

All the glory of Sheila Doherty's home. She has Aslan. 
Hidden Springs - the mysteries are being revealed. This is the BONSACKS. We did art with them last Monday. :)  She has a huge studio on the 3rd floor! It was an artists heaven. :) And yes, their yellow house with the purple door is complete with a matching birdhouse. 
Hidden Springs. We were out walking one day.
They go ALL out. Hardcore for Halloween. This is just scratching the surface.
We've been told the cat has no rules. Luckily we ate all the bread before this happened...Yet again, a reason why I love cats. 
Sister MARTEL! She's the one who lived and Calgary and brought me Macintosh's Toffee! 
This happened...It's blurry because that's how fast those boys are.

Grams Baptism! Pictures of Grams, Cora and Angie - who all were baptized in the past month and a half. :)

Kaity!! I got to go home to my old greenie area and I saw a few familiar faces. :)
Missionary swag

Another view of the Halloween House. Glorious.

That was scary. That dog didn't like us. And it bit our shoes, but then it was nice enough. But we were so scared. :P

JACK! I love you Jack! 
Tied up. And hostage to Sister Capitan's commands. (She's a UofU fan. I'll never hear the end of it.)

Week 48: "Macintosh Toffee"

October 20, 2014
Dear Everyone,

Emailing seems to last shorter and shorter spans of time! I apologized if I haven't had the chance to individually reply to everybody - I've wanted to, but I'm afraid that would take all P-Day, and I might not have a happy companion if that was the case. :)

First thing's first!! I JUST got a phone call from Sister Martel - a lady I met 10 MONTHS ago! She remembered me, because well, we're both CANADIAN! I got a call - and she said she went to Canada, and picked me up MACINTOSH TOFFEE! I've had people offer to pick me up Canadian treats etc, but they couldn't find that one, and now someone who didn't even know I love it bought it for me! I'm so happy. I didn't get to celebrate Canadian Thanksgiving at all, but this makes up for it. 

We've had just an incredible week. I think a start to it was going on exchanges back to my GREENIE area! It was surreal! It started out with doing service for Sister Himle, who I used to exercise with every morning a year ago! Then, we were able to have some great teaching appointments with new people the Sisters are working with in that area. Then we happened to run into CHARLIE Wilson (who was baptized a couple months ago!) with the kids - Ella, "Puppy", and Abby in tow, walking home from School. I loved seeing them. It's hard not giving certain people hugs. (If you know me, hugs = my life. How I've survived as a missionary and not hugging men, I know not.) We then had dinner with the WAITES, and I got to see Kaity again! (Kaity LOVES Canada - she went to Canada and brought me home precious gifts once upon a time.) And it's not over, I then got to go see my "Mom" Joyce Sundquist! It was such a blessing to be able to reconnect with all those people. They all look great. 

We also saw two miracles on Friday and Saturday. Well, it started off as a setback. We spend about half an hour biking up a hill, searching for an address that continually is a mystery to us. As we biked down such hill, Sister Capitan ZOOMS past me. And suddenly I hear a scream. SISTER BENNETT MY BRAKE BROKE, MY BRAKE BROKE! SISTER BENNNEETTTT!!! She disappeared down the hill, past a common road at the bottom of the hill. It was SO funny to hear her, and yet I was simultaneously terrified that she had crashed....When I found her she was on the ground, laughing. SHE SURVIVED. Her brake did break though! She managed to swerve to the side and forcible crash land. Well, that was a setback in time. We went to our Ward Mission Leaders, delivered the bike, and drove to our dinner, at the RIRIE's, who are related to us through James Boyack Ririe! Cool. We had a great visit with them. Sister Capitan told them about how before she came to the chuch she had 10 pt gages in her ears, she wanted to be a tattoo artist (now she does Henna instead), and she had snakebite piercings! It's so cool being with a convert. :) (Even if she was baptized at 10, we still consider her one.) She said one of her hangups to going to church was that she thought she would be judged, but she said that wasn't the case at all. I love to hear that.

Since we were in a car, we drove different routes, and we happened to drive past a referral we've been trying to contact for 2 months. I knew we needed to stop and try. We knocked...and she was home! And let us in, and we ended up teaching her about the restoration, and the Book of Mormon. She's a new investigator! It was an amazing visit, and I know it wasn't an accident we were there at that time. :) She's going to start coming to our Book of Mormon class.

On Saturday, we asked a French Speaking Bishop (of the 13th ward) to go and visit Sakina with us. Well, Sakina wasn't home (even though we had set an appointment), so we tried the Malubeki's. It was bad timing for them, so we decided to try a former investigator. We tried the Bisokas. I wanted to see where they were at, and what they had thought of the past teachings of the missionaries. It was a miracle visit! Yvette was incredibly receptive, and it was amazing to see the realizations she had that we believe that God still speaks and reveals things to us today. We need it in this crazy world, don't we? Bishop Sturgill taught about Prophets, the Bible, Joseph Smith, and the restoration. The Spirit was incredibly strong. I can only compare it to a feeling of tangible love permeating the room, almost like you could reach out and grab it. Before I was told that the Bisoka's didn't want to hear anything from the Book of Mormon, but now she sincerely wants to read it. :) We're going to bring her a French Book of Mormon, and mark "highlights" in it to read. I'm so grateful. 

I could go on, but I think pictures are worth a thousand words, so I'll try to send a few. :) I love you all! It's been an amazing week!

<3 Sister Bennett

Wednesday, October 15, 2014

Week 47: "Epic Fails, Maple Leafs, and Quarterbacks"

October 13, 2014
Dear Everyone,

Well, why is it that I always seem to not have as much time as I intend on having? Oh well, such is the nature of the mission.

This week. Hmm. This week. Well, it had some glorious moments! And some hilarious moments. But mostly it was us doing what we do best - try to take over the world! ...Or not. :P We are just up to the same missionary things!

Sometimes I have to remind myself to not be frustrated about things, especially when they are out of my control. So I'm gonna stop that right now. :)

My favorite moments of the week? Well, I'll tell ya!

1. Lets start with my embarrassing moment. We were walking on the street, and we saw two boys walking with a baseball bat. I asked them if they were going to play. One was going to answer me, but then he tripped in a random, foot size mud hole hiding on the corner of the sidewalk. He tried to walk it off nonchalantly, but his foot and leg were covered in mud! What a trooper. I felt so badly. Sometimes talking with everyone doesn't bring about the best results...My companion couldn't stop laughing.

2. Maple leafs. The leaves are changing colors! And it is beautiful here! AND everyone's getting decked out for Halloween, especially in Hidden Springs. The houses are crazy! Light shows, skeletons on the roof, everything! In fact, one house had a casket out front. Intense. My companion found a perfect, red, maple leaf. Like the one on our flag. She was going to take a picture, but didn't have her camera. Well, we had stopped walking and sat down temporarily so I could make a phone call and we could figure out dinner...and without thinking I picked up her maple leaf, and started playing with it. And ripped it. I killed her leaf! She'll never let me hear the end of it. :)

3. GRAMS was baptized in my past area! I had the chance to go back, speak on Baptism, and see many that I love, including Sister Roundy, Sister Fiefia, and Angie! And to top it off with whipped tender mercy topping, when we left families were coming in to do Stake baptisms, and I saw the JENKS! One of my favorite families in the world! I was so happy.

4. We got to see Meet the Mormons as a Zone! I forgot how much film can be a powerful medium for good. :) I really do love documentaries. Yes, I'll admit I miss watching movies, but don't worry, that's a sacrifice I'm willing to make. And I would recommend it to anyone! Especially those who want to know more about what us Mormons are about. :) It helps dissolve a lot of stereotypes. And no, I didn't cry. (Almost.)

5. We finally met with the Mapes! They're a family that are on and off investigating the Church, and I've been trying to meet them since getting here two months ago. We had a great visit with them, and ended up using our creative talents to help them decorate for Halloween! Their son has nicknamed me Princess Bennett. I wonder where that came from. It was a great tender mercy, that's for sure. I'm excited to work with them. 

6. A lady we met on the street the other day wants to meet with us! Miracles on miracles! We were late for dinner that day because we met her, and ended up talking for a while about the restoration! She's going to Comic Con this week, so we'll see what happens in a couple weeks from now. 

I love this work. I love my companion, and am learning SO much from her. Her story is amazing, and I love getting to know more of it every day. It's refreshing. I'm grateful for her light. I'm grateful that missions aren't what I expected them to be. I'm grateful for the boring or frustrating moments, or those moments when everyone cancels and you have to re-plan what to do. I'm grateful, because without those experiences I don't think I would treasure those moments where things do seem to just fall into place. 

I love you all!

Sister Rachel Ann Bennett

Tuesday, October 7, 2014

Week 46: "I Love General Conference :)"

October 6, 2014

Well, I have so much to say, and not very much time. So I'm afraid you're going to get a direct point form one  from me! 

1. I love General Conference. :) Was that not inspiring? I always leave Conference weekend feeling light and inspired. It's especially meaningful as I'm spending this time serving the Lord. I couldn't say enough about it and the talks that I enjoyed, but two that stood out to me in the Saturday Sessions were Elder Robbins and Elder Oaks, and Sunday's were Elder Godoy's, and Elder Bednar's. 

2. We watched conference with our Ward Mission Leader and his wife, and Chuck! It was really cool. Also, it was really cool that they made us breakfast. (Have I ever mentioned that it's my favorite meal of the day, and I'll have breakfast for dinner anytime?) 

3. We started riding BIKES!! It's exhilarating! No more walking all day and getting no-where, or driving all day and feeling gross because we haven't gotten exercise! Our Ward Mission Leader was so kind in getting everything ready, and he even bought helmets for us. Unbelievable. It's been about 6 good years since I've been on a good bike ride, and I had to re-learn how to ride one with a skirt and a bag. Let's just say before long I put on a longer skirt, and lightened my load a bit. Good thing you can't forget how to ride a bike.   

4. I've had no money for groceries the last two weeks, due to a few expenses I've had in the past month. We thought we were going to get money on our card last Monday, but, alas, to no avail. SO last Monday I spent my remaining dollerage on a loaf of bread and a bag of spinach. We also hadn't had any dinners scheduled last week. But this just goes to show that the Lord provides. :) We had a stranger-member from Oregon give us $20 on our way to Wendy's, getting food from the dollar menu. We ended up saving that for the next day going out to eat at Cafe Rio (since it's two meals in one basically - there's so much!) and when we went to Cafe Rio the next day we got to the till and it was paid for! We also were given more leftovers than I've ever received on my mission. My testimony has grown in that I know the Lord provides! 

5. I felt the most sacred Spirit in a home. Yesterday Sister Capitan and I were invited into a home of a less active couple, the husband of which has terminal cancer. We could tell it wasn't easy, and isn't easy at all in all aspects. I hope we were able to offer comfort with our thoughts, and love. I sang "Abide with Me." to him. It was one of the strongest feelings of love and peace I have ever experienced, and I knew the Spirit of the Lord was there. I'm so grateful for that experience. I cannot deny that God exists, not after having those experiences. I know there is a life afterwards, and that it offers incredible peace.

I love you, and hope you have a great week!

<3 Sister Bennett

Week 45: "BEST 1 1/2 YEARS!"

September 29, 2014
Dear Everyone that I Couldn't do it Without,

Honestly, this has probably been one of the most rewarding weeks of my mission. Louis was baptized!! I won't be able to say enough about him. What an amazing journey. He's on fire. I just know he's going to go out and make an incredible difference for good in the lives of others. I feel lucky to have been one of the missionaries to teach him! 

What was amazing was just the feeling of his baptism. But I just want to let you know of some of the back story, because it's amazing. Louis's friend, Ken, was the one to baptize him. Ken was at one point less active. However, when his daughter was young, she asked him if she could be baptized. He then called his very active father to see if he could do it. All his father told him (Ken) was "get it right" and then hung up the phone. Well, Ken discussed it with his wife, and decided to again become active in the church. From that, his wife joined the church, and his family has since been sealed for time and all eternity in the temple. :) Later down the road Louis comes into the picture, and Ken and Louis became good friends. At around a year ago, Louis designated this year as a year of change. It started with his mental health, and from that he has lost over 100 pounds. That began his journey. At this point, I'm not sure too much of the details, but basically Ken invited Louis (who has been to over 20 different churches and had been baptized twice before) to read and pray to know if the Book of Mormon was true. Louis took him on that offer, and prayed even before he had begun to read. The Spirit told him it was true. :) From that point, he has been reading, and making the amazing changes in his life that the Gospel can bring.

On Saturday he was just glowing. He bore testimony after his baptism of living Prophets, the Book of Mormon, and of the amazing feeling he had after his baptism. Yesterday was amazing as he was confirmed. It was fast and testimony meeting, and afterwards he got up to bear his testimony. He spoke of his feelings of the Gift he had just been given. He told us he knew it was real, and true, and that after 43 years of searching he had found his home. :) He is so grateful for that 43 year long journey. He also let us know that this will not be the last time the congregation would hear from him. I don't doubt that for a second. 

Well, there's not much I can say after that. I feel humbled. I can't repeat this enough - The most valuable gift my mission has given me is not the relationships I've gained with others. Rather, it is seeing others gain a greater relationship to a loving, forgiving God. I've seen that with Louis, and I almost envy him for what he has experienced. I'm so grateful I am here. I think God is letting me know more and more of who I really am, and who I can become.


So, switch gears for a moment, while I talk about this first week with Sister Capitan! I love her! Have I ever mentioned she's a convert? She was baptized when she was young, but has no memory of it since her family never took her back. She's only been an active member of the church for a year! Half of that year has been on her mission. I truly admire her courage for doing what she is. It's a breath of fresh air, that's for sure. Sometimes I wish I was a convert too, but I guess we all can be in our own way. :)

Since she's Native American, and I'm distantly related to Pocahontas, we call ourselves the Nephite and the Lamanite.

AND funny moments of the week:

- We were driving home, and I told Sister Capitan to slap me. So she did. And it was much harder than both of us expected. We couldn't stop laughing.

- We were outside of apartments, talking to a couple ladies. One of them used to be a member, and the other is a friend we gave a Book of Mormon to. Both are extremely friendly! In fact, the less-active member wanted to know how to get access to the film Joseph Smith: Prophet of the Restoration, so I referred her to it on youtube. :) She's going to watch it with her boyfriend who isn't a member, but is interested in our history! We also want to sing a duet at some point. Anyway, I digress. Both were smoking/sharing a cigarette, and at one point our friend held out the cigarette, waiting for Sister Capitan to share it with her! Sister Capitan didn't know what to do, and then suddenly it clicked with our friend what she was doing! She was so embarrassed! Again, we couldn't stop laughing. All of us.

- Sister McClellan is now in a trio, and I'm pretty sure they have WAY too much fun.

- Sister Capitan and I one night during planning decided we would go out...and dance in the rain!! Yes.

- Another night I decided to express how much I passionately dislike Duke. (Well - or I'm just envious of them - because of one memorable basketball game against BYU in which their Austrailian point-guard shot a last second half court shot to win it. Yes, I was in the stands. Yes, that wasn't cool.) Well, Sister Capitan had this strange look on her face, and she pointed toward her lamp. On it was a Duke lanyard. Oops. :P UofU AND Duke fan. Haha! We'll make this work. 

I love you all! Take care this week - and remember that you all are awesome in your own ways.

Sister Bennett


I feel like this is important. General Conference is this week! We got a taste with the Women's Session, and I just can't wait until this next Saturday and Sunday! Have I ever mentioned I look forward to General Conference more than I look forward to Christmas? I definitely invite everyone to watch as much as they can. There always seems to be a message said that is as if they are talking to me personally. 

Well, stay out of trouble! Remember who you are and what you stand for!

- Your Sister.

We cover some FARMS out of Hidden Springs! The incredible view from one of them. :)
Characterizes this tri-companionship PERFECTLY. Mysterious. And way too much fun. 

Louis with all of his Sisters! 
Louis with Ken and Emily Zundel - the couple that introduced him to the church. :)
Louis and his daughter, Emily. :)
Sister CAPITAN! Aka the NEPHITE and the LAMANITE.
Sister Capitan trying out the U of U gear. Yes, she's a big fan. Yes, we're making this work between us. ;) We were at the Weights. Cody Weight played for U of U. Amazing family.