Sunday, December 8, 2013

Christmas is coming on the Islands

From Megan December 2:

Happy December Family,

The Christmas lights in the street are finally on and they are just as great as I hoped they'd be! Christmas trees are going up and everyone is surprised at how cold its getting.

Hermana Wallace and I finally bought a space heater (ours broke last week), we have discovered that tile floors can get really cold, I may have to invest in slippers.

I have been bragging like a proud soccer mom to all the Elders that Ricky was in the Saints and Soldiers: The Void Teaser Trailer. For all they know, he is the next Johny Depp.

This week we celebrated Thanksgiving as a district. It was obvious to see it was planned my missionaries the day before though. Almost all the missionaries from the islands were there. All we had was 7 chickens, one bowl of veggies, chips, and juice. We set up the tables into a long rectangle, got some Christmas tunes going, shared stories and tried to enjoy ourselves as best we could. I felt bad for one of the native elders sitting in front of me. You could tell he had no idea what people were saying, everyone was laughing, and he just looked like a fish out of water. I talked to him for a second afterwards and he had a good attitude about it and said it was a good chance to learn English. It reminded me of how I felt my first month of the mission. I cant help but feel for the natives a little though because they don't get to learn English as quick as we get to learn Spanish. Its like they get the band aid peeled off slow, ha,ha. I really enjoyed the dinner though, especially when one of the elders shared a story about how an officer got confused one and tazed him as he was walking out of a movie with his friends (think of that the next time your at the theatre) ha, ha.

I have finally gotten up the guts to buy and advent calendar for 1 euro. I figured on a limited budget there's only so much I can do to celebrate, and that will last my all the way up until Christmas (assuming I can wait till the next day to eat the next chocolate).

I love you all so much,

Hermana Bennett

Excerpt from Megan's Letter November 26:

It has been another amazing week in Palma.

Hermana wallace and I are doing good, we are getting a lot better at our communication skills. There is nothing more humbling than being with companions on the mission because its like you can't hide from your flaws. At home I can blame everything on all of you, ha, ha, but here you move companions and your flaws move with you...and become easier to pinpoint. I know its hard to believe that I have flaws everyone, I am pretty great, but believe it or not I am working on the pride factor (which we all know is secretly the root of all evil).

My funny story for the week: We are preparing Cielo to be baptized this Saturday and its been a little stressful because its like the last week is when you find all the bumps in the road. All the problems come out and adversary really kicks in. That being said we had some Jehovah's witness stop by during our last visit, which is always nice and awkward. They politely left, but now I am really wondering how serious Cielo is about all of this. I feel like it can be easy to get caught up in "We´re jus´sharin´the goood wurd!" as opposed to, "we have a message that will change your life, God talks to his children today just like he did in old times. No, the heavens are not closed. Yes, we have modern day revelation thru a living prophet. You are a child of God now come and partake of his love thru the atonement." (is my head I just yelled all that at Cielo just now, thanks for letting me vent a little ha, ha).

P-day on a small Machu-Pechu type island:

iPads, Care Packages and What Was Dropped is Now Picked Up.

Excerpt from Kim's Letter November 26:

Dear family, 
It is so fun to write you using the iPad!!! What a neat thing. The work is truly hastening. The brethren have recently said that this hastening is right up there with the major events of church history. That includes the restoration. Thank you, Mom and Dad! Thank you for helping lay the foundation for this hastening. The hastening is not only in what is going on out here in the front lines.... May I submit that the hastening is what happened when you both decided to serve your missions and when you raised us in righteousness? I can't thank you enough for everything you do for me.

Thank you everyone in South Jordan 7th Ward who made the care package! I crushed up a lot of the candy and put it in brownies and made a killer batch of brownies for some of our members. And all the notes that came with the package were really cute.

So, this week we did caricatures in front of CVS.  It was nice to be out in my element and drawing. We got to talk to people that normally would not have given us the time of day.


Excerpts from Kim's Letter December 2:

You may enjoy hearing some of the amazing circumstances we are in here. It's been amazing to be so trusted by The Lord. We were dropped by an investigator family one month ago. We'll, we got into their home and they want to investigate again. Joe, the husband, even apologized for the awkward phone call he made to tell us they weren't interested. We'll, Rhiannon , the mom, is struggling with so many addictions. This issue is that she needs to rip herself from the grips of multiple addictions and she doesn't believe in her ability to do it. We feel honored to have this opportunity to come closer to God. I don't know what she is going through, and I can't imagine the fight with darkness that the next few months will hold for her. But I do know one thing- the atonement is more powerful than anything. It has irreversibly changed me.

Tornadoes and Miracles

Excerpts from Kim November 18:

As for tornado's, we are safe. We are not really affected by them, except the wind is MIGHTY! we were visiting a less-active on Sunday at the hospital and when we exited the hospital, we noticed it was raining. No big deal, right? WRONG! because as we went walking out into the storm, it was like the water cycle had declared war on Michigan City, and as we ran through the parking lot to the car it felt like nature was pelting us with a super soaker. It got to the point where I couldn't see because my glasses seemed to be a main target. Sister Villagomez was yelling, "ow, OW! As she was hit by raindrops a foot or two ahead of me. I yelled, "I can't see!" That only made sister Villagomez laugh harder! What a sight we must have been- her yelling out in pain as we ran to escape the watery darts, with me right behind her unable to see because my glasses were doused, and sister Villagomez looking back to see my lenses absolutely covered with the wetness. Little did we know we had sat in nature's spalsh zone and we were laughing like maniacs until we finally reached the car. Our makeup ended up running almost as hard as we did. It was a fun adventure.

We have seen fallen trees, we heard a tornado had touched down in Chesterton but we didn't actually see it (I am somewhat disappointed).

Miracles have happened almost daily but the experience with one sister stands head and shoulders above the rest. We have been praying for weeks to run into a lady named Sandy (yes, another Sandy). We first met her just walking around, and we had an amazing discussion about the Plan of Salvation; the most amazing thing about it is that we felt- as she related the sad tale of her daughter Sherry's passing- that her Daughter Sherry had apprehended us and made sure we went and talked to her mom. Unfortunately, All Sandy gave us to contact her was a phone number. She did not want to give us an address. We tried calling her so many times, with no response. So, we began petitioning the Lord for a chance to run into Sandy again. Our prayer was answered! This Saturday, we were walking and I had to stop and adjust my scarf or something when sister Villagomez said: "is that Sandy???" I threw that scarf on as fast as I could and we tried to catch up with her. she disappeared down an alleyway, and we knew that if we ran we could catch her as she exits on the other side. So we RAN! and we did catch her, and we did have an amazing discussion with her.

P-day Contacting

Excerpt from Kim's Letter November 11:

This p-day was a humbling experience! Sister V and I took our car to the dealership because the engine has been mysteriously acting up (and it is a NEW car!) The truth is, our car is new enough that if it is having a problem... it is God trying to put us somewhere. So sister V and I were trying to be ready for whatever the Lord put us there for. As we sat in the waiting room of the dealership, I thought maybe it was the guy on his computer across from us. So I prayed for some way to share the gospel with him (without being awkward). Then another man came in and sat down, and I thought: "maybe we should talk to him!" Then, the manager/ supervisor came in and said he was done working on our car and we left without sharing the gospel with any of them! So, feeling a little lazy, or like a failure to some degree, we got in the car to go to Wal-mart. Then, unexpectedly, a man named Orlando who had greeted us when we first came in, came walking toward us from out the back door of the dealership. I almost didn't see him as we prepared to drive away for Wal-Mart, but somehow we did see him and I rolled down the window for us to talk to him. He had mentioned earlier that he was a Marine a few years back, and he knew a Mormon guy and he thought Mormons were nice people. We didn't get the clue then, so Heavenly Father gave us a second chance to share the gospel with him! And this time it was a very blatant chance. Not wanting to let this one slip, we gladly accepted a business card from Orlando and set an appointment with him. And wouldn't you believe it, he wanted to come to church this Sunday! He even asked us what to wear! We are so excited and so pleased. as we drove off, sister V and I agreed it was a very eye- opening experience. How many of God's elect are we missing on p-day "because it's p-day and we have too many other things to do" or "because we don't want to proselyte in a business" or "because this is our one day to get everything bought and done for the week?" Heavenly Father knows what we need and he plans our p-days accordingly.

Sunday, November 3, 2013

Two transfers in one week???

On October 15, Megan informed us that her trainer was transferred and she got a new companion, Sister Hamson. She sounded very excited to be serving with her in Sabadell. They both are Recreational Management Majors at BYU-I and very compatible personalities, Meg describes her as "spunky, happy and has a tomato plant." She also tells us "Our investigator pool has the potential of bursting at the seams!" They are working hard and preparing investigators for baptisms that are scheduled. Megan sounds happy.

She also comment on the increase of missionaries serving, she states: "Our district of 3 companionships is now going to be a ZONE of 9 companionships! We will now have 3 companionships (as opposed to 2) in our ward and the other ward instead of 1 companionship will have three!" Wow, that ought to impact the work!

Excerpts from Megan's October 21st Letter:
(Only one week after her trainer was transferred out.)

"Okay Brace yourselves gang, I have quite the news this week."

"So I just had one of the best weeks of my mission with my new companion Hermana Hamson. She is incredible and I absolutely LOVE working with her. We have literally gotten over a page full of numbers this week from street contacting. Its like, we just have faith and we get the job done and we enjoy ourselves on the way. She reminds me so much of Sara it is not even funny, like I literally feel like I am talking to Sara sometimes, we get along like peanut butter and Jam, and I couldn't have prayed for a better companionship...HOWEVER, here's the catch to this day dream..."

"We had interviews with President Pace today in Barcelona. After telling me how great I am and getting me all watery-eyed, he told me that he is putting me on an emergency transfer. There are some not great things happening with a companionship in the islands there and it sounds like I am being sent to... well, in all honesty do some clean up work. I will be leaving Wednesday for Mallorca, one of the Ballearc Islands. I will be companions with Sister Wallace who is now on her second transfer and still in the 12 week training.  I will be serving in the area : Palma de Mallorca in a branch there. The number one thing he kept telling me is that my job is to love her and that "she may be the most important convert of your mission." All I felt as President Pace talked was love for this new companion and I am praying that I will be able to be what she needs. I would be lying if I said I was perfectly at ease about all of this; however, I do feel an unmistakeable peace. President has expressed that they desire to turn this branch there into a stake. I really feel like this is going to be one of those experiences where I will realize exactly how much I rely on the Lord. I am so excited! It is going to be an incredible experience, but please pray for me. On the train ride home I read the most perfect scripture, Mosiah 23:21-22, it was a tender mercy.  I know without a doubt that the Lord is looking out for me and this is his work, he is not going to put me somewhere, where, if I try my best I will mess up. I know I have something to learn."

"One crazy story this week:
We had an experience where we prayed to find Angel, a man we had met before, and to get his number and set up a visit. Ten minutes later ...we found him, got his number and set up a lesson for that same week. Talk about a miracle, he even assured us he would read the Book of Mormon we gave him. More stories will come I am sure."

Love, Hermana Bennett

Excerpts from Megan's October 28th Letter:

"I don't even know where to begin, I have had such an incredible week. First off my companion Hermana Wallace is wonderful! She is in her 2nd transfer on the mission. She speaks perfect English and Spanish. She is from Uraguay, but she grew up in New Jersey so she has a cute little accent. It is interesting to see how the members react to a native Spanish-speaking missionary, it is definitely a different connection. She loves the rain like me, and we really enjoy talking with each other. The other day we had a picnic at this park which has water that shoots out of the ground, and sometimes there's music playing and we get a little water show to the sound of the music, its like a tame version of "The World of Color" at California Adventures, ha, ha. This branch reminds me a lot of my old ward. except the numbers much lower. We have about 100 more members in this branch yet, half as many as my old ward actually attend. The members are great, the bishop is very supportive, which makes a world of a difference. "

"We are currently teaching Junior who has accepted a baptismal date for Nov 16th. In our last cita he expressed to us his testimony, that he knows the Lord works thru prophets on the earth. He also shared that he has heard missionaries and members bare testimony and he desires to be able to do the same one day. We have given him specific reading and prayer assignments from the pamphlets (Pray to know for himself that the gospel has been restored on the earth). He has the desire, if he prays and reads and continues to make the effort to come to church I have no doubt that he will gain that testimony he is seeking for and he will want to be baptized and come unto Christ. We plan to see Him twice this week and teach him with his girlfriend, we are hoping to include her more (she is a member) she doesn't want to feel pushy, but I think helping her be part of this is going to be a big blessing for the both of them, it will be key in his conversion. She had backed off a little in this past lesson and it was easy to see that he wanted her validation and support, especially after he committed to a baptismal date. We are so excited to be teaching Junior, he is so ready to be baptized! Keep him in your prayers."

"In my scripture study I am currently in Mosiah, reading about how the sons of Mosiah and Alma go about repenting of their sins and teaching the people and doing all they can to make right what they had done wrong. In ch 27 vs.36 it really hit me that we do not need to be perfect people with a perfect past to go about teaching Gods children and building up his kingdom. God uses tools that have gone thru the fire first to be molded into what they are."

"I love my are and there is so much work to be done, I just pray that we will have the courage and faith to do this work."

Hermana Bennett

Halfway through mission and this is the first transfer Kim did not have to go to.

Excerpt From Kim October 28th Letter:

For the first time since the beginning of my mission when I was with sister Smith, I won't be going to transfers! Whew! Sister Villagomez and I work so well together.  We are going to work extra hard at achieving the standards of excellence this transfer. Our area is blooming!

FaceBooking is really fun. I enjoy getting to post new things from on my perusal of, I discovered that they have new scripture mastery! you will be pleased to know, they have included alot more about the family.

Thank you for praying for Sandy. Her interview is coming up! The branch/ward is all ready to call her as nursery leader after she gets baptized, she is so good helping in there.

Our branch is SO close to becoming a ward. How exciting! The stake president and Branch President have been scrambling through handbooks and figuring out all the specifics. WooHoo!

-Keep praying for us, because I sure feel it and it WORKS! (:Thank you, Thank you, Thank you for all those prayers!)

Love, Sister Bennett

Tuesday, September 24, 2013

Pictures of Kim - new companion, branch beach party

Kim with her new greenie companion, Sister Villagomez

Enjoying the Branch activity on the shore of Lake Michigan

From Kim:
"My new companion, Sister Villagomez is SO chill! This companionship is the best. She is good at being on top of things AND she is easygoing. Time after time I am being blessed with wonderful companions."

Monday, September 23, 2013

9/23/13 Letter from Megan

Letter from Megan 9/23/13 was one I thought needed to be shared, so here it is:

Dear Family,
First of all I would like to share how excited I am that I bought all the ingredients to make Moms meat loaf... I know it doesn't sound like much, but I plan to leave Spain a chief! I figured I won't be able to master any of the intense Spanish dishes unless I get some familiar ones down first. It's so funny, every time I tell people I don't really know how to cook they begin talking about my "pobre esposo" or poor husband.  Its a big deal here for women to know how to cook.  Every home we have been to the women know how to cook VERY well. I love the food here. Most meals here have chicken and different types of rice. I had crepas the other day, which is...actually I have no idea what it is, but to me it was like mashed potatoes  but better. I also had Paella which is this special type of rice with crazy seafood. I ate it with my Dueños (the people that we are renting the apartment from) and she had a massive pot on the stove just for that! It was nice eating with them, they have had missionaries renting from them for about 15 years but have had little exposure to the church. I'm going to guess they were all afraid of developing an awkward relationship with the dueñ we will see what we can do there.

Yikes, I must be hungry, I better move on ha, ha.

People here are very straightforward, which is being very good for me. I realize that I can be a very sensitive person sometimes, but here I just can't be. The members tell it like it is and don't sugar coat anything. Its nice though because they let us know how we can improve and if we do something well, we know the compliment is sincere.

I get laughed at sometimes because of how animated I am when I talk. The other day I was explaining something to my companion as we were walking down the street and walking by a less active members home that had the lights on...nothing too complicated right? But they started busting up laughing, I thought I had made a Spanish mistake, but no, turns out I am quite the actress when I talk, compared to people in Spain that is (they are very serious and you are lucky if you get more than a smile out of them).

Something I noticed this week is that there is an extremely noticable difference in the spirit in some homes than in others. I couldn't put my finger on it for awhile, but now I know what it is. The homes with a strong spirit are the ones in which there is a worthy priesthood holder. It's as simple as that. While on my mission I have received a new found testimony of the priesthood. I feel like I took that for granted a little at home; I am learning that the priesthood is more than just being able to get a blessing when you are not feeling good, more than just being able to pass the sacrament. It is truly the power and presence of the Lord on the earth. That is what makes our church different from the rest, we have that sacred power and it truly does make all the difference. The comfort and love the priesthood brings to a home is unmistakable and I am so grateful to have been surrounded by worthy priesthood holders thru out my life.

Thank you for your emails and prayers. I love you family,
Hermana Bennett

Thursday, September 19, 2013

so, like, Megan Irene has a family to teach.

Megan reports their zone has been focusing of finding families to teach. She and her companion have been praying for this and a couple they just started teaching had their daughter move in with them so they are teaching the three of them. She is pretty excited about having a family to teach.

On the light side from Megan:

"So a funny thought for the week, the missionaries in my district are starting to notice that when I speak Spanish I still say filler words like "so" and "like," ha ha, its my valley girl California accent coming thru."

"Something interesting here is that people like to go by there first and middle names, for example: Mary Angeles, Maria Rosillo, or Maria Dolores... sooooo Ive decided that when I get home I am going to go by Megan Irene. Isn't that a great idea!!!? (insert cricket sounds here) okay maybe not, but someone could have some fun with that"

Kim is training again.

Kim reports she has loved training and working with her greenie, Sister Spackman. Now with so many new sister missionaries come into the field, her greenie is going to be moved to open a new area and train a greenie of her own. Kim will be training another missionary in Chesterton. We look forward to hearing about transfers. Kim also tells us an investigator of 7 years has finally committed to baptism. She is very excited about that fact.

Saturday, August 24, 2013

Kim Training and Teaching

Pictures from Kim:

  Training Sister Spackman

Excerpts from Kim:

On Training:
Sister Spackman is amazing. she personifies "work ethic." She works smart and she works hard (she's alot like Megan in that way). I've been trying to be a good leader. She surprised me the other day by saying she admires how great I am with improvisation. She said this because we had no gospel Principles teacher on Sunday so I volunteered on the spot to teach and she thought the lesson went well. And in that moment I realized: SHE is good at planning and I am good at teaching on the fly.

On Investigator:
During a lesson with an investigator, we just couldn't help him resolve his one concern (sarcasm alert), "I want to learn all there is to know about Joseph Smith."
... of course, we could help get him started but this will be a lifelong problem for him. (:

He thirsts to know all we have to share with him. He read the pamphlet we left on his doorstep the night before, he believes it all (which may be a problem, we have to get down to real intent with him and asking God to know the truth for himself). But He is SO receptive! what a pleasure it is to teach him. He has been preparing hard for over 10 years to get to where he is at right now. Truly, the field is WHITE.

Pictures from Barcelona

Yeah, some pictures from Megan!

Hermana Bennett and other missionaries headed into Barcelona:

Here is a street near my Piso, so you can see what I get to walk thru every day. 
It kind of reminds me of main street in California Adventures.

The random architecture and castle/church is to show when we are 
on the train we seen a lot of beautiful old buildings:

There is lots of graffiti art here, I think it is beautiful.

Hermana Barrera and I enjoying this ice cream here, where you buy a coconut, orange, 
or lemon and it is hallowed out and filled with ice cream. Yummm!

There's a bit of a joke behind this picture, that illustrates the life of a missionary:

The apartment buildings have buzzers for the apartments so they can unlock the door and let you in. We were knocking doors at this building which we often do. The buzzer that has a paper taped over it says "no funciona." This is the apartment we had a return appointment with.  Its funny how the 2 times we scheduled a return visit here is when this paper has been there...hmmmm haha.

 We are currently on the hunt for new investigators. We have become contacting machines, we are getting good at getting numbers, but true to form here, people always seem to "chicken out" of letting us come back and see them.We have one investigator right now that has been an eternal investigator, but he is really beginning to progress. He came to a baptism for the first time and we think that was a turning point for him. We are hoping to commit him to a date this week.

In a ward of 300 members only about 98 are considered active. We have been working a lot with less actives and part member families. I believe there is a lot of work to do within our ward before we are going to be blessed with more baptisms. Why would God give us more when we can't even take care of HALF of the ones we have. Its a lot of fun but also a lot of work, the hard part is that working with menos activos is not the work that produces numbers and thats always hard at zone conferences, but we are learning humility and PATIENCE....lots and lots of patience...thankfully not so much with each other as companions, we get along and that is a blessing.

Sunday, August 11, 2013

Excerpt from Megan:
"On our way to Zone Conference on the train, my companion and I were just happily chatting and this homeless guy comes into our train car and happily shakes our hands. We thought he recognized us as missionaries and we waited for him so say something but he didn't. He just stared right at me, so I asked him the basic questions, "Have you seen missionaries like us before?" "Where are you from?"... I don't think he even responded. He looked at me and said "Where are you from?" I responded "California" and he quickly and seriously said "Can you take me with you!?" I began trying to decide whether I should laugh or run...or both ha ha. I put my stuff in my purse and just sat there next to my companion. He just stared at I would look away and look back and he would still look at me. SO since the 5 minutes of giving his the cold shoulder didn't work, we got up and went to the back of the next car. I mean It was a full train, so we weren't that worried, but we thought we´d better move anyway. We sat next to this cute social little Chinese lady who knew Spanish well and even a little English. She enjoyed practicing with me which was really cute. She gave me a Chinese candy and I gave her one of the Hi-chew Kameron had sent me. It was way too big for her mouth, so it was funny to watch her eat it. Good stuff..."

Another Transfer???

Excerpt from Kim:
"Transfer calls came on Saturday and I fully expected to stay in my area with sister Hansen. In fact, in an interview with President Woodbury he told me we would be staying together. But, alas- we have 12 new English-speaking sisters coming in, and only 6 companionships of English-speaking sisters. You do the math. This means that sisters who have only been out for 6 weeks now have to train a new missionary. And it gets better. We have another 25 coming in the next few transfers. WHEW!"

"I am being sent to open a new area in Chesterton Indiana.
and training a new missionary.
I've always wanted to open an new area! 
I've always wanted to serve in the sticks!

"... did I mention that this is really exciting?"

Monday, July 29, 2013

One of those Mission Miracles and an Iguana??

Excerpt from Kim:
Sister Hansen and I got to see a miracle this week! we were about to head home for dinner and we felt impressed to tract a street. Sister Hansen and I looked at each other and as I looked back at the row of apartments and they seemed to glow with this sense of "I have at least one person inside of me that wants to be baptized. You just have to get in here and find me!" So we rolled up our sleeves and tracted for three hours. In that time we found 6 potential investigators, 2 solid investigators, and we even got a referral. Not bad!

On Wednesday we went on exchanges and I got to be companions with Sister Breinholt, the English sister Trainer leader. She is awesome! In the morning we walked along lake Michigan and I found a little shell. It was so nice to be there, the waves were bigger than Sister Breinholt could recall them ever being before; I think that was for me. The Lord knew my soul needed a little ocean.

Oh, and as Sister Breinholt and I were out working, we walked on to this man's porch and sister Breinholt says: "Is that an iguana?" sure enough, there was an iguana. We got to share the gospel a bit with the owner, and all the while the iguana kept coming up to us and tasting us. It was licking our ankles over and over with it's little pink iguana tongue!!!

I'm an Aunt!!

Megan reports she is VERY excited that beautiful baby Anna has arrived and that she in an Aunt!

Kim reports "I never knew what proud was until I saw that picture of baby Anna. She melted my heart, she is so beautiful and her jaw looks like Sara's in the photos."
Keep up with Sara and Zach at: only baby pictures posted so far are on Sara and Zach's facebook pages. Sara and Anna are coming home from the hospital today.

I'm goin in! (Insert James Bond music here.)

Letter excerpts from Megan:

Trip to Barcelona:
 I felt like Harry potter when I got to the train station with my MTC group. There were 8 of us, the ride was beautiful! It was about 2 hours, but it felt like 2 minutes. When I stepped off the train the first thing I noticed was the humidity, it was like I had just taken a mouthful of fishy water! It is humid, but I love it!  (Side note: I heard about the train accident that happened transfer day. Elder Ward who was in our MTC group was injured in the accident. We have been told he would make a full recovery and will be able to stay in the mission field. The lord looks out for his missionaries. The elders said he was in the office the other day with his neck brace just cracking jokes...good for him.)

Companion Assignment:
President assigned us our companions like we were on a T.V. show. There was a room full of trainers, and the new batch of missionaries. I was called up first and President gave my brief intro and gave hints for where I would be serving and then paused for effect... "You will be serving just over the hill from Barcelona, how would you like that? How about...SABADELL!?" I had no idea where that was of course, so i just smiled as my trainer Hermana Barrera came up to give me a hug. Hermana Barrera is everything I could have hoped for in a trainer. She is from Texas, but her parents are from Mexico, she speaks Spanish perfectly. She is very patient, organized, humble, a great teacher and incredibly faithful. Sometimes In think she has more faith in me than I do. Her faith and excitement for the work is contagious. The very first day on our way to our Piso, we missed our train and I made a comment like, well I guess there's someone we are supposed to find who needs to get baptized. She lookesd me straight in the eyes and said "Hermana, that is exactly why." She is excited that I know Spanish, she openly compliments me on my Spanish every time we meet someone new, she gives me the validation I need to feel like I am doing well and can therefore progress faster.

First Day in the Field:
We had to wait in this government building for our residency or something and I got antsy. I told my companion I wanted to start talking to people and she egged me on, so I did. It was awesome. I talked to the man across from me and it was contagious, other missionaries caught up with our group and pretty soon we had the whole building talking. After 2 hours waiting for our turn we had talked to almost everyone sitting down. I decided to make a game out of it so we set the goal to get three people's telephone numbers and we did! I was going to give it to the AP, but he told me it would be better to give it to the president at lunch, so we did! He was surprised, smiled, and said that was a first. We were all way too proud of ourselves and just beaming!

A Few Random Things:
I will likely be training on my 2nd transfer.

There are no carpets here! weird.

Everyone here kisses on thee cheek, on on each side, I'm getting used to it, it is more personal and kind of nice.

I am enjoying using my Spanish.

I do stand out by the way, everyone thinks I am European, which is good, because If they thought I was American they would not talk to me (so my companion tells me).

This week has been hard, but very rewarding, the lord is helping me in very specific ways and I am grateful!
Hermana Bennett

Thursday, July 11, 2013

Teaching Children

From Kim:
Our new apartment is way too nice! It was meant for a new office couple, but the wife didn't like the carpet and the fact that you need to go through the bedroom to get to the bathroom. So the mission gave it to us! I even have a queen- size bed! the office told me to go buy bedding for it so I got a cute quilt for it.

Sister Hansen and I are getting along great.
This week, we got to teach KIDS!
On the 4th of July we went into the courtyard of a complex where all these kids were playing and we sung a patriotic song to this man and one of the little girls heard us and asked if we would sing her a song, so we sang her a patriotic song, then sister Hansen got out her Hymnbook and we taught them primary songs. Soon we had quite the group of kids gathered around us- When it came time for us to go, the kids begged us to stay and when we told them "we can't, we have to go teach people," they all said: "teach my mom! Teach MY mom!" So they ran in to get their moms. We have 3 of their moms who agreed to a return visit! one of them is Erica's Mom, Theresa. We have returned a couple times since and the kids continue to swarm us.

Kim became a trainer at transfers

So Kim's area was split she is over one ward and her old companion is over the other and they both became trainers on 6/25. She has since moved into a new apartment. She also has a new mission president.

About transfers she said "I watched as the new missionaries were assigned their new companions, one by one, and when I looked into the eyes of the last 2 left I looked at mine and I thought, "please, no, not her." But as always, the Lord has a sense of humor and that is exactly who I ended up with. Her name is sister Hansen. And I only want to tell you how much I didn't want to be with her at first because I have already grown to love and appreciate her."

She also reports: "We have lots of less-active work to do, which is probably why sister Hansen is here because we visited a less active yesterday and he cried because she knew exactly what question to ask him. She's a lesson teaching machine."

I love you all. Thanks for your prayers.

Megan has been out a month!

I cannot believe I have been gone for a month! I feel so blessed to have had such a wonderful experience here at the MTC. The food is still awesome, the people are still fun and the language is still coming. I have been the one in my district with the most improving to do by ways of learning the language, but I am really coming along. We have been teaching more lessons in front of the class and now I really feel like I can teach to the investigator; I can understand and answer questions. I can ask questions, which believe it or not is harder than I thought it would be. I can also teach concepts and not just memorized phrases. These all may sound like small things but to me these are a big deal. I feel like I can teach a lesson and that was one of by goals for before I leave the MTC in a week and a half.

My Companions are so good to me. We enjoy every day together, we are all leaders which is nice because nobody has to do all the work and nobody is getting left behind either...its like the ideal group to do a group project with haha.

 My District.
My companion and I teaching a real live investigator.

Friday, June 21, 2013

From Kim Tuesday 6/18:
She reports they have been teaching a woman from Mongolia. Her husband, Bata does all the translating for his wife when they teach her. Bata will be baptizing her (this weekend I believe.)

Also, transfers are next Tuesday, which happens to be Kim's 22nd birthday. The mission will be splitting, the ward she is serving in is splitting and she has been with Sister Smith since she got there in February so maybe even their companionship will be splitting. Exciting times, change is coming for her. Her mission president will be moved over into the new mission and the new mission president will take over the established mission. The question, Which one will she be in? Stay tuned -April
Excerpts from Megan's letter on 6/20:

There are about 60 Missionaries here total. We have districts of about 9 missionaries, so we get very personalized lessons.

I was originally put in a 3some companionship in the Beginner class, but after my teacher heard me pray over lunch he put me in the intermediate class. I therefore had to switch companionships and I am so grateful!! At first I was completely overwhelmed! The teachers only speak in Spanish, and its not some cute easy Spanish either… we are also expected to respond and only talk in Spanish everywhere in the MTC, Maestras are always on our case about that in class, which is a good thing.
I am truly beginning to understand the meaning of “el don de linguas” or the gift of tongues.  Thank you guys, especially Holly for encouraging me to pray in Spanish. This class may be a challenge but the Lord knew this is the companionship I need and this is the class that will help me learn and progress the most. After only 2 days of stress due to not being able to understand my teachers, I am now able to understand the Maestra (teacher) and respond somewhat intelligently.

My Companionship is incredible! Both my companions know a lot of Spanish so I am the one benefiting the most from the companionship. We realize that we all have something different to bring to the table Hermana  Folsome is the Spanish speaking master, I am good with organizing the lessons and asking inspired questions, and Schone…. Well she just holds the keys to our room…jk she is reading this right now and laughing, no she is the grammar and scripture mastery queen!! I love my companions so much, we all push each other and enjoy every second together, I have absolutely no complaints I am being so blessed right now.

I have been so excited to tell you about proselyting in the Park on Saturday. First off the park is said to be comparable to Central Park in New York… it is huggggggeeee!  There are huge fountains and artistic gardens and pond and a roman looking are that I have yet to explore. I was put with a companion that didn’t know very much English (like I was supposed to be the one who knew a lot haha) We briskly went around the park and after lots of embarrassing and exciting moments did very well: we talked to 4 people on the metro (which Sara and Zach will understand was very hard) but very rewarding, we had 16 contacts at the park, 8 in which we gave something out (i.e. pass along card, pamphlet, etc.), placed the 1 Book of Mormon we had, and got 2 referrals!!! Afterwards I got to conduct everyone in singing a few hymns at the fountain! It was incredible!

Okay, now for the juicy random details mom requested:
Spain is beautiful, its like a mix between Mexico and San Francisco. The buildings are tall and boxy with this pretty bright orange color. The air is very moist but more often than not it tastes like smoke. We have had fish every day(squid, clam, swordfish, etc.) , we eat French fries almost every lunch, I think its because they think Americans like fries, and there's this drink that’s like cold tomato soup that one of the elders chugged thinking it was a smoothie…hilarious! There's also tons of flan that one of the Brittish elders can slurp in one big …slurp (his record was 5 in a row).
We have a British elder in our district and it is hilarious to hear him speak Spanish, he says “El libro de mormon” by stressing the “O” like “El leebro di Mooooremin.” We make fun of him all the time! Haha.
I get distracted because the language is so beautiful! The lisp is less of a “-th” sound…its made as they tap their tongue on the back of their front teeth…yeah I´m a little creepy…I watch their mouth, its hard not to, I get distracted by the beautiful words that I forget to translate them in my head!
Oh and I accidentally said”soy embarrasada” with my companions like you always hear not to say (it means I´m pregnant).
At the park I accidentally called a little girl a boy and I pretended it was because I didn’t know Spanish haha.
Funniest moment of the week: I asked our mock investigator to practice praying by repeating after me in a prayer, I was still in bare my testimony mode so I said “dear heavenly father, I know this church is true…” she looked up and we all giggled, we joke that I was trying to hypnotize her.
For kicks a couple nights ago, I turned off the bathroom light while the Hermana's were using the facilities. ha, I thought I was pretty funny!

To close I feel the Lord has been literally carrying me, everytime I think my heart is about to sink in my chest like it usually would it stays fixed.
I am learning the language soooo fast, its frustrating at times, but the progress each day is incredible. I love spain, it has been waiting for  me. The people here are wonderful.
In the few occasions I have time to think about home I do miss you haha, especially you mom and dad! I feel so much closer to you as I get the opportunity to go out in the world and learn things for myself. I love you all

-Hermana Bennett

Sunday, June 16, 2013


Megan in Madrid!
We were so delighted to hear from Megan her first day in Spain:

"Hey everyone!
On the flight to Atlanta I had the opportunity of offering the gentlemen sitting next to us a book of mormon, he did not accept it but he did take a pass along card. Madrid is everything I dreamed it would be, just more humid. Its like a combo between CA and Mexico. They encourage us to only speak Spanish here, our teachers only speak in Spanish, which is nice so far because I feel like I can understand. The teachers are incredible and so is the President. There are maybe 50 people here, and the second we met the teachers they were kissing on the cheeks and only speaking in Spanish.

"I almost forgot in the airport in Atlanta there was a man playing a church hymn on the piano when he saw the army of missionaries walking by. He also played Piano man really well which made me think of Ricky. I was just moved to the intermediate classes, the teacher chose to move me up, which made me sad because the teacher was really incredible, he threatened to kill us with the sword of Laban if we do not bring our manuals into the mission field. People are getting more and more comfortable speaking Spanish by the hour, which is fun for me. I am so tired, but very excited. The food is good, but very different. We had this soup that tastes like V8 and jello that was more like pudding in taste and texture. They spelled my name on my nametag wrong which is pretty funny. I got to conduct the song for the orientation, which we sang in Spanish. All the girls in my district are incredible! I was one of the few sisters who introduced myself to the whole MTC in Spanish, I am part of a 3some and my companions are very good at Spanish, but very kind and fun and encouraging. I got maybe 3 hours of sleep and still feel like I am on a boat.

"I am so excited for this adventure!

"I love you guys!"

-Hermana Bennet(t)

Wednesday, May 1, 2013

First Baptism!

I'm really happy because Kim sent a lot of pictures this week. They had to move their p-day because they got to go to the temple. In her short email she shared about her FIRST BAPTISM!

"And the baptism went off without a hitch. Except the water was a little hot according to Logan. Maybe he should talk to anyone who had to be baptized in a lake."

We are all happy because kim seems to sound a lot happier, less stressed, and more herself. It seems like she's finally getting into the groove of things.

Here's those pictures:

Sunday, April 21, 2013

"Best News Ever"(Sister Kim Bennett)

Sorry to not have posted Kim/Sister Bennett Updates for the past week or so. In her latest email, she was very excited about Finding a golden investigator named Logan, this is the story in her words, "Sister Smith and I have had the opportunity of teaching a 19-year old named Logan. He is SOLID. The lord has been preparing him for years, I just know it. we invited him to be baptized on April 27th... AND HE ACCEPTED! (: It was like my first ju-jitsu competition all over again. But better. Logan is the kind of guy that, when we gave him Alma 32 to read, he read it 3 times!!! I've got to say, I've never felt so humbled by a victory before. He accepted the invitation, and This huge wave of "wow, I did not do anything to get him to this point. THAT was all the Lord" swept over me." 

She and sister smith were also blessed to find two progressing investigators. They also met a guy named Kevin who lives in a more beat up part of town and didn't seem to have the best habbits. Later Kim talked about how appreciative she was of the assertive member they asked to come. She asked them to stop working around the house and pay attention to their message. 

Kim later compared the atonement to the Pasta Bar at brick oven, an endless supply that needs to be restocked continuously with, "scriptures, praying, and repenting. Above all it is repenting."

She mentioned her mission will be split with the new "wave" of "reinforcements", and she hopes she will get to keep her current mission president. 

Hopefully this update wasn't too scatter brained, please include Sister Smith and our "Sister Bennett" in your prayers as well as their aspiring investigators. 

Thursday, March 28, 2013

Kim's Mission-Excerpts only

Hey Everyone!
Kim's Mission president has asked that the missionaries families do not blog the missionaries emails except for excerpts; however, I have been informed that missionaries are now allowed to email whomever they please. I'll ask Kim what her Mission Presidents stance is and let you know ASAP. I'll put her email in the Blog title if we get the "ok". As for now I guess I can summarize and give excerpts.

She says she's working on being on time with her scripture study and the lessons with her investigator Kwasi has stayed more on track now that a member has started attending the lessons. She is also realizing that she needs to find new ways to deal with stress, now that she can't, "go punch a punching bag or go to the temple ". Then she wraps it up by saying, "when moments of stress occur, I can't really run away and I want to just grapple my stress and make it tap out, but I don't really know how to take on such a shape-shifting and illusive enemy. "

Earlier in the email she commented on how, with Easter coming up, it'll be easier to invite people to come to church. My challenge to the wonderful friends and family reading this blog would be to find someone you could invite to come to church this Easter Sunday; wether its a brother or sister who has a hard time actively attending church, or if it's a friend who has never been introduced to the gospel before, I can't think of a better time or excuse to come and enjoy the love of the Savior!

Sunday, March 24, 2013

Week #7

"Sorry, we had ZERO p-day today because we had to go to the mission office and it was a temple day. here is what I sent my mission president!!!

Sister Smith and I have had a much needed kick in the rear from the new missionary orientation. We were being chickens-- we were chicken to invite people early and often to baptism. But you can bet we are inviting like crazy now. Like you said at the training, "What's the worst they can do, yell at ya'?" We  haven't gotten yelled at yet, but we sure have gotten some raised eyebrows and gasps of suprise. Actually, when we invited our investigator named Kwasi to baptism, he did both of those things. Kwasi is the one who wants empirical evidence before he will believe in any of our doctrines, more particularly the plan of salvation. He wants knowledge that he can trust to be 'real.' Well, I realized the kind of "REAL" he needs after reading Alma 32. Alma describes Faith and then asks:' O then, is this not real? I say unto you, Yea'. "

Megan (Hermana Bennett) Receives Endowments

I had the opportunity to receive my temple endowments a little over a week ago. I was so grateful to have had friends and family there (in person and in spirit) to support me during this incredible experience!

Monday, March 18, 2013

Lessons Learned

Hi All! 

Thanks for the advice, encouragement and love! 

There have been so many experiences this week. I've learned alot!!!

1: saying "that's a good idea."
I'm finding that I always shoot down other people's ideas so I have been practicing telling my companion "That's a good idea." I had to force it the first few times, but it is coming out of my mouth more naturally now...! 

2. When I say sonmething dumb or inconsiderate or in a mean tone, say: "let me try that again." then try it again. 

3. admit when I am wrong.

Funny story with this one; so my companion and I walked by this guy and I shout out if he wants to hear about the book of mormon. He said no, and that he's the worst person we could've asked. so I, not thinking, replied: "What, are you Aetheist or something?" 
My trainer turned red and I was forced to admit that I could use a little more tact..... 

we laugh about it now. 

4. I am really fiery, and passionate. 
I'm learning to control it but there have been times where I feel the fire build in my soul so fast and sometimes others get burned. like when we went to a members' home and they said we shouldn't talk about church stuff that much because their non-lds friend was there, FIRE. 

5. My trainer says I'm like elder Calhoun. I am not afraid to talk to people (in her eyes at least! I still have lots of fear to conquer,)

6. bringing up school shootings never yielded as many terrified looks as the simple statement: "have you ever heard of the Book of Mormon?"

7. I'm still adjusting to being called sister bennett....

8. my purse rocks. thank you mom. it is super waterproof and perfect!

9. food storage is important. You NEVER know when a natural disaster will hit. we didn't get hit but a lady who bore her testimony talked about hopw a disaster hit and they "literally ate [their] food storage"

and this is my struggle this week: 

I need more faith, yes. but just because I don't have all of Chicago lined up at the font doesn't mean I don't have faith....! 

Ok, that's all folks! talk to you next week. 

I love you all and the Lord is watching out for me here. I know now more than ever that God has a plan for us. He sends us where he does-- in our families, our workplaces, our lane on the road, etc. FOR A REASON. God truly loves us and he has been apart of my everyday life. I'm no Ammon and chopping off arms isn't practical but I am trying to serve out here. Happiness is not in the next transfer or even the next day. happiness is in sacrificing for those I love now. 


Tuesday, March 5, 2013

More Pictures

1- me and sis Dudley at the Temple. (:

2- me, sis Dudley and some of the guys in our MTC district. who were AWESOME btw. 

3-our district with Brother Roberts (right, white tag) our P.M. MTC teacher. 

4- us Girls with our A.M. MTC teacher, Sister Metzger!( with the long curly dark hair). We really got along and I will never forget her prayers for me. I'll never forget what she has taught me. 
Treasure MTC time, Meg. And We all have black glasses, too! (:   

5-All my roomies! except the guys in the back... can you say photo-bomb?

6-Me and Sister Dudley again!

7-Me and Sister Smith (in mid-blink.. oops!) planning.