Wednesday, December 26, 2007
pics . yay!
2- Kids playing in the graveyard in the late afternoon sun, flying chi-chiwas (little hand-made kites, they´re everywhere). ...and some old dude who was walking around picking stuff off the ground... ?
3- a little night-time fun flying in the front room. Now, if anyone can photoshop this one and give me some wings and stuff, THAT would be totally awesome. Anyone up for the challenge? of course you are. ;)
4- Jumpin rope with the girls on the street. wee!
5- sharin´ the word with Mr. Longface
Tuesday, December 18, 2007
Happy Christmas time!!
Merry Holidays!! Boy, it sure does feel like Christmas here... Dominican style anyways... BIG diference. So I miss the good ol´ Amarican traditions... I almost forgot it was even Christmas time cuz I´ve been so busy and caught up with investigators and baptisms, appointments, meetings, activities – brain going a mile a minute!
Today, though, we got to relax and fun a little with most of the missionaries in the West misión. We gathered at a classy restaurant with a man-made lake and a pretty view. It was a perfect day. We sang Christmas songs, exchanged gifts, had a spiritual program with the Christmas store and musical numbers (one by me and Hna Cornillez called ¨Star Bright¨ (Estrella Luz) a primary song, think it´s only in Spanish...?)
We ate a huge lunch and enjoyed the moment. I spaced off a bit and wandered around the gardens, so pretty.
(Yes Melanie, you can send me pics via e-mail. :) It´s the quickest, cheapest way, and there´s not limit! ) Luv ya!
Wednesday, December 12, 2007
I popped the question…
… we arrived for an appointment with a darling young woman named Cathrin, but she wasn´t there, surprisingly. Her mom said she´ll be back late at night. Well, we thought, as we walked down the street, stopping a while later on the corner. Who can we go visit? And as we were discussing the next visit, a boy, Cathrin´s brother, ran up to us and told us she was home. (that NEVER happens, by the way) Sweet! So we walked all the way back and sat down with her. She has been understanding our messages very well and has many good questions (she´s very intelligent…unlike some Dominicans… It´s TRUE!) ANyway, we were reading in Alma 31, since she didn´t have time to read it herself. And when we were talking about the principles therein, I found myself, unexpectedly, suddenly asking her if she wanted to follow Christ´s example and prepare to be baptized... Well, to our surprise, she accepted. I thought, ¨where did that come from, Julie?? I dunno, you tell ME. Well -I- wasn´t expecting that. It must have been that Spirit guy… Yeah…¨ (yes, I´m a skits-o) We are excited to help her be best prepared for her big day. She has the sweetest smile, and we can see her little seedling of faith grow brighter already. =)
Had a fantastic baptism the other day for Selichel, a darling young lady who feels so different now as a new member of the church. Clean and renewed, as she´s taken a big step into a new, better life. We are excited for her. She will need lots of support from her parents, friends, and us from now on.
We have also set a couple more baptism dates this week that were definitely encouraged by the Spirit. We will be diligent in working with these people so they are prepared.
At this last fast and testimony meeting, there´s a nice kid named Jeffrey (that isn´t capable of speaking normally but is always happy and friendly) we continue to visit him and his siblings that are new members. Jeffery sat in front of me in church and he kept lookin´ back at me and pointing at the pulpit as people bore their testimonies... I urged him to go up there and do the same. He hesitated... I said, go on Jeffrey! Go share your testimony too! And with a big smile on his face he walked up there and when he talked the words didn´t make sense, but I knew that he had an enormous tesimony that had been hiding deep in his heart. That was probably the first time he´d ever shared it! Great kid. :)
wait WHAT?? Mom and Dad have an IPOD?!?... wha-- When did this happen?? Now that´s some big new I never got… lucky ducks. I´m so proud of you! ^_^
… Now how ´bout high-speed Internet? … har-har
Phone call home: well… It´s absolutely fine to conference call to JR and Mel and staff, they ARE family, right? Yup. I´ll love to talk to everybody at once! Hee-hee. I have a feeling I´ll be doing most of the talking, just since I´ve been recieving updates from you all, and I just might have more interesting info to share. Cuz yer all curious, I know it. ;) Speaking of JR, what´s JR´s family blog address? Could someone send it to me please? Thanks. Mom: that package I got did have the gum, Lego magazine pages, the yummy dried pears, and the other stuff. That was all right? No sign of the other packages yet. Thanks again!! Still don´t know about the ¨pick-up-from-the-mish¨ situation. Still trying to get a for sure answer if I will be able to be released here or not. But either way, parent pick-ups have been done before.
EEP! Times up, gotta roll. Any more questions? no time to proofread...
Love to family and friends, especially MOM and DAD!!! ^_ ^
Hna Julie Benson
Tuesday, December 4, 2007
First, lemme tell ya about a sweet fireside we had this last Sunday night. ! Wish you could´ve been there. Elder Lee, my Zone leader (he´s a riot) got us all to help put the whole thing together and it turned out just perfect, everyone loved it. We split up and fervently taught the importance of using Preach my Gospel and studying the scriptures, and how to best openly share the gospel with anyone. We feel like the members have recharged their spiritual batteries and are pumped up to be missionaries in the daily lives. =D I sang with the choir and after the first verse the light blacked out (again) and Elder Lee just kept on playing...we kept on singing, people in the congregation had their glowing cell phones out waving them in the air (haha) Were out for a while, but then they flew back on right before we sang the last few powerful words of ¨Joy to the World¨ It was great I tell ya. We also enjoyed a couple great talks about missionary work and how members can be just as willing to serve as us missionaries. The whole chapel was overflowing with the workings of the Spirit! I know it definately made a difference in everyone´s heart. :)
What do I want for Christmas??? Gee golly I don´t know… I´ve been thinkin´ about it for a while, but I can´t come up with much. One of the first things I thought of were Legos… yeah… WELL, they´re only the one thing I ask for every single year… I would assume it´s a given, but I thought I´d throw that one out there in case someone forgot. ;) No, Legos aren´t entirely useful on the misión, BUT they still have a place in my heart. They´re just hard to find down here, or I would grab some in a jiffy. I can also go for music CDs…(as of right now Melanie, I´m thinking... Anastasia Soundtrack...) can never have too much music. Maybe a little pine stalk so I can remember what Christmas smells like. I love getting photos from ya´ll, that´s always a perfect gift. It never hurts to send a bit of money too. There are a lot of fun things to buy here in the DR, plus it would save you paying for a package. I was actually thinking the other day how happy I get just to hear from all of you every Tuesday. I said I would give up all our holidays if I could just keep my p-days so I could check my e-mail and feel a part of those I love. So keep ´em comin´, and I´m a happy camper! I can´t think of much else I would want or need, or crave or whatever… I trust your instincts. :)
..no sign of a new house yet... still working on that...
Wednesday, November 14, 2007
Friday, November 9, 2007
Yeah, TOTALLY forgot it was Halloween… I -think- I ate some candy… lemmy see: Jelly Bellies, or a granola bar… hmph. I did dress up for a ward activity the week before (if you want to see my costume, you have to guess what it is…) :D Though on the 31st, I taugh some good lessons, and actually found the father of a new member in my last area! Cool stuff that Spirit can do… ¨mmm! Great power you have young Skywalker¨ ^_^ …Anyway, How was everyone elses´ Halloween??
Thursday, November 1, 2007
4- Chicken foot.... I kind of ate it... there just wasn´t much meat!
5- Taught a bit of English to the neighborhood of kids that gathered on a member´s porch on night. Fun!
4- Lupe and her ADORABLE baby
Tuesday, October 23, 2007
Okay, some news: my sis has constructed a brand new blog just for me and my mission. THANKS MEL!!! LOVE YA TONZ!! so all can check up on my adventures or what not. Be sure to tell your friends and your neighbor´s dog, those who might not have an e-mail. yup. http://juliesmission.blogspot
Tuesday, October 16, 2007
5- Tito and Guadelupe´s cute little family. The baby girl is Michel, little Justin in middle, and Jordy at right. This was taken after our car ran out of propane (yes, a bomb on wheels) on our ride home after conference. I recall there were 10 people in that car (3 kids, 4 misioneras, Erik, Tito, y Lupe). We had a good time chatting and singing on the side of a really busy highway, and in front of som Evengelist church.
2- Awwww! Perhaps the 2nd best baby shot I´ve taken so far. I HAD to share it. Jordy, the son of Tito and Guadalupe, fantastic couple that´s getting baptized real soon. Tito works for the police, and while at the neighbors´ house he handed his belt to Jordy and told him to walk it back home. I totally captured it. ;D
3- The Primary program last Sunday. Cute little colored capes like a big gospel choir. :) And SO organized they were.
4- Hna Bair (Pres wife), Guadalupe, Hna Taylor and Lupe´s ADORABLE baby... (see last pic, I decided to send it again :D) The Pres. planned a fireside for all those in our area that had a Baptism date. It was so perfect for them all. A great jumpstart to their Spiritual growth in the church. Also, there were cookies and juice ! :D We were filled spiritually AND physically.
5- okay, this was the night I talked about a couple weeks ago, but couldn´t get the pic out in time. It´s when I got to play a few tunes on this man´s beat-up guitar, even for the opening hymn! It was raining, we were sittin´ under a leaky tin patio roof, a cute dominican family... I was in heaven. :)
Thursday, October 11, 2007
*Ahem* so out hear in the Dominican Republic... it´s far away... just thought I´d remind you all. no reason.
Conference!!! I was sooo excited to hear such good words and direction from those holy men. I took so many notes! My hand was flying across the pages, trying not to miss one good word. I especially loved talks by Eyring, Richard G Scott (stars, galaxies, atoms, cool!), and wow, Uchtdorf (¨Have we not reason to rejoice!¨) loved it, and Hales, and Cook (live by faith, not by fear), all so much what I needed to hear! Hope you all listened and took notes too! I even got to watch it in English, YES! I made sure that happened. I was soo grateful. Power went out only a couple times. :)
Tomorrow we get to go to the Temple! I am so in need of a good long time to just sit and pray. I´ve got a lot to talk about with the Lord. With a mission schedule, sure we pray a lot, but never enough time to really express all your feelings, y´know? Yeah. I´m stoked. I love the Temple. It also means we go to the capital. Hna Taylor wants to develope some pics and eat at Wendy´s... I guess I´m in for that too. :)
We´ve gone on a few intercombios, where we split up with a member so we can teach more lessons at one time. I´m frustrated cuz I´m afraid of getting lost... it´s SO easy to get lost here. Anyway, the last one was better and I taught a lot of great lessons on my own. I´m gettin´ better!
Sorry, gotta stop. can´t proof-read. lemme know if anyone wants on my e-mail list or off. I¨ll try to have pics next week.
Some great Scriptures I´ve studied:Moses 6:34 / 7:13, Mosiah 2:20
Love to all, take care
Hermana Julie Benson
There have been some really fabulous storms here lately. Wow! And lots of rain too.
Okay, I haven´t been taking notes this week... way too busy! So I¨ll try to remember some good stuff to say... ummm......
Sunday was a long day, we visisted a lot of people, some to check and see why they didn´t come to church, teach them a little something. It was raining hard that night, that´s why I always bring my umbrella with me, cuz it comes and goes unexpectedly. (the rain, ... not the umbrella) Crazy! So it was muddy too...We were on our way home, but decided to stop by an inactive family and teach them about profetas, prophets and the upcoming conference (YEAH!). The dad was playing his guitar and singing to his kids. The guitar was way out of tune, but he made it sound so pretty somehow... I want to learn how to do that. As we were waiting for everyone to come out I played a few tunes. FUN! I was in heaven. Then I played Silent Night for our opening hymn... under a leaky tin shack roof on the patio, with this beat up guitar, singin´ pretty songs with a cute Dominican family... *sigh* Ah, it was so great. Wish you could have all been there to feel the Spirit. I will try so send pictures next time, can`t today, the computer is stupid. =) Anyway, after that last lesson we headed back home in the rain. We had to trudge through more mud and cross like, 9 big lanes of traffic again to catch a carrito on the other side. Why did the hermanas cross the road?! ha jk. No carritos came, we were standing there forever! In the rain. And just guess what I was singin´ in the rain?... yep, you guessed it. :D We were laughing, we were cold wet and shivering... somebody pulls up in a really nice silver Jetta... a bola (ride)! They were really nice people, we didn´t know them, but Hna´s the boss. They asked why were out in the rain and dark alone... we were just tryin´ to get home! But I told them that the Lord´s protecting us. :) Good times, good times. I love the rain. It always makes things fun!
There was a strike today from all the transportation workers so we weren´t alloud to leave our house or at least the neighborhood. I have no idea what strikes are like, we don´t actually see them... Who knows if it´s like a mob with picket signs and smoke bombs in the street... We just hear about it a week before it happens and are told to not leave til it´s ¨over.¨ But we´re here in an internet cafe, I guess it´s over. :) in the house we had lots of time to study and organize, clean. I had a lot of loose ends to tie up. *whew* I still have a lot more to do, but that time really helped. I´m in the house with Hna Taylor, Hna. Garcia (from the DR) she´s a little fireball, love her! and Hna Carr!! Remember her? It´s good to be with her again, we´ve had some good times laughing and talking. She´s really not such a ¨Barbie¨after all. I exhadurated that one time. :D Just cuz she´s so funny.
Hna Taylor has been sick lately... she´s never been sick in her life, and now it happens! Poor girl was crying... hurt so bad in her stomach. I ate the same things she did, but I´m just fine... she´s immune to everything! Why her and not me? She got a blessing, and is slowly recovering.
Well, my stomach is pretty tough too. I´ve noticed one thing so far that will make my stomach turn almost instantly (though has nothing to do with bowels). Chinola, a fruit/juice that I had drunk before and was fine. It´s good. But after Hna Robertson made a juice out of a ton of fresh chinolas, it´s like an acid overload or something... so I´m carful about chinola... even if it tastes so good, my stomach remembers it´s experience and reminds me, even if I can smell it. But there are some darn good jugos (juices) here! mmm, Mango (out of season now) :´( and mmm Lechosa! (papaya)
Lisa!!!!! I got your package!!! I absolutely loved it all! And yes, I´m taking the alfalfa tablets, and sharing them, hehe. I´ve listened to the music, it´s just perfect! And I love all the little useful items, I will definitely use it all. Thank you so much sis! Luv ya! Keep me updated on your thoughts sometime, k?
Again, sorry no pictures. Thanks everyone for all your efforts to send me a little love. It always means so much. :) Sorry if there were questions or something I didn´t answer... I always miss something important...
Ahhh... Life on a mission... always wondered what it was like. Now I´m in the deep end! Bring it on.
Agent Benson, signing out.
*ahem* Hermana Benson... ;D
3- Us, familia Roa, and Elder and Sister Mask
4- A couple days after they legally married, we celebrated with biscocho! Cake!! Such a fun family. We played games and had such a fun time. They´re Mormons now! ;D
5- We arrived to see Darlin, an investigator, reading his Book of Mormon! Sweet!
6- Olga and her lil boy. ha ha!
7- BABY!!!!!!!!!!!! Lisa! This one´s ESPEcially for you!
8- The friend who greeted us back home last night
9- What Hna Garcia did to our friend... my friend... :´(