Tuesday, September 9, 2014

Week 38: "Goodbyes and Graham Wafer Delight..."

August 11, 2014
Dear Family, 

Well, pull out your novels and get a snack because Chapter 3 of the life of this Sister Missionary is over, and a new Chapter is about to start! 

I really don't know where to begin, other than to say that I am not particularly good at saying goodbye in my opinion. But, I've been blessed to have been serving in the Bel Air Ward for 6 months. It feels like home, but I know it's time to leave. It's in God's hands now. :) And Sister Fiefia and Kingsolver's of course. :) 

I learned so much from being with my Tongan companion. Sister Fiefia was an incredible example to me of strength, faith, endurance, and humility. I definitely learned that I have a lot to work on, and she was just such a good example to me. Also, I learned a good amount of Tongan. Ok, only a few words here and there. One day I'll be fluent. I would love to go teach English in Tonga one day! Sister Fiefia wants me to. I'm so lucky I got to train her. She trained me. 

So much has happened this week...I don't know if I'll be able to express it all with the short time I have.

1) The BODILY's came to church!! The Bodily's are a less active family who have two kids that have not yet been baptized. Their kids LOVE us now! I've been working with them for the past 6 months, and slowly but surely they have progressed, and yesterday was one of those moments that don't seem like they actually happened but they did...The Bel Air Sisters are going to start teaching them every week now! Which is such a contrast from not even getting in the door at first! All from the faith of a child...

1.5) We had a unique service opportunity. We're teaching a lady who is struggling financially. Well, she's trying to come up with the funds for her to attend her son's wedding. She has the plane and motel covered, but she had none left over for food or transportation. Well, in a lesson we tried to come up with good ideas of ways she can come up with the extra money, and nothing seemed to be available. But then on Friday our appointment cancelled and we felt as though we should go over and see her, and immediately she said, "I thought of something! I have an old freezer that is currently unused I can sell!" Well, we wasted no time in helping her put it up on Craig's list. Afterwards, we watched the video, "Mountains to Climb", and the spirit was incredibly strong, stronger than I've ever felt in her home. She was touched - it took her a while to talk afterwards. I'm grateful we had the chance to go over and help her - temporally and spiritually.  

2) It was my birthday. :) What better way to celebrate my 21st birthday than serving the Lord? Sister Fiefia sure wanted to make it special. In Tonga there are HUGE celebrations when someone turns 21. I think she told me around 15 cows were butchered in celebration for hers, and many friends came and took portions of the meat home. :) Well, I'm afraid I didn't have any cows put down for me, but I did have bacon! I invited some good missionary friends (with permission) for a breakfast at Kneaders. Gotta love unlimited french toast, and somehow I ate 4. Needless to say I didn't need food for the rest of the day. They're HUGE. And then that evening we did service! I got to clean and sing, and it was actually incredibly refreshing just to not think about anything and clean. And sing. One of the tender mercies. :)

3) A member family who I was close to went to Canada! AND they stayed at what but the South Country Inn in Cardston! Small world! (I worked there a year ago!) They were telling me about the staff, and I definitely knew the people they described! That made me happy. :) They gave me some Caramilk bars. I love Canadian chocolate. Of course I had to share it with the Americans here. 

4) Transfer calls...and yes, I'm being transferred, away from my home away from home. So of course, I packed in about an hour, and then made my rounds to say goodbye. Easier said than done. I've been so impacted by those I've met in this area. Oh, I also got asked to sing another impromptu solo in the assisted living sacrament meeting since I was leaving. I chose to sing my favorite verses of "A Poor Wayfaring Man of Grief" and bore testimony of the Savior. I love those older folks so much. They've made a difference in my life, that's for sure. 

Now I'm with Sister McClellan from Florida! She is beautiful, she could come straight out of a Jane Austin novel. She comes from a family of 10 kids, and I think I'm going to love serving with her. She's been out for 4 and a half months. I've heard so many good things about the wards I'm about to serve in. I'm serving in the Hillside and Hidden Spring wards, they are right by the Boise rolling hills (I refuse to call them mountains.) 

Well, to go unpack and sleep. I love you.

Sister Bennett

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