Wednesday, December 26, 2007

December 26, 2007 Pictures C

Baby picture Special!

I know SOMEONE´s gonna love these baby pics. =D
Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!

December 26, 2007 Pictures B

pics . yay!

1- me kissin´ the pig head... then after that I ate a piece of it´s meat. mmm. Take that, pig face! Ward Christmas activity dinner and music nativity program. I directed the kids and also sang 3 verses of ¨a poor wafaring man¨ It happens to be the bishop´s favorite.

2- Helen and her girls. She has been a faithful member for 10 years now. She´s a riot!! Funny, extatic personality. ...Reminds me of Marcia...
3. kids of Santa - a woman for whom we are trying to get legal papers finished so he can get baptized.

4- Christmas dinner with the members the Blancos. SO much darn food, couldn´t stand to look at it all. I´m glad their family came later to eat some more of it. Yum!

5. me on the phone in the bishops office. Happy Christmas!! My whole day was so wonderful just cuz I got to talk to you guys. And, Mel, thanks a ton for those shirts! I love them lots, they´re perfect. =D

6. this is where we taught Selichel and her friend sometimes. Outside, up the stairs on the deck of some ¨unfinished¨ house. We would light candles and enjoy the temporary peace away from the noisy street level.

December 26, 2007 Pictures A

Pics for y'all

1- our recent baptism - Selichel - she´s a strong spirited little girl who continues to surprise us with her continual obedience and excitement to read, pray, and go to church. Yay! She loves church, adn we love her!

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

6- Hna Delgado and I made the banner for the whole mission Chritmas party. Whaddya think?? It was fun to make, and we got glitter ALL over the place. bleh

more I hope...

Tuesday, December 18, 2007

December 18, 2007 Letter

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!

Yeah, there was kina of a storm here. It rained a little bit... a ¨little¨ bit... but there was some devastating floods in Santiago to the North... it´s pretty sad. But al lis well down here. Well... there has actually been a lot of murders in the past few weeks of so. All right in our area, very close. Even someone Hna Delgado knew that was an inactive member... news like that comes and goes pretty quick though... just gotta move on.
Sorry, I just don´t have time now to do a full letter.
Phone call: I can call in the day time and in the after noon (MY time). If friends want to talk to me, I dunno... I guess I can´t stop you from stealing the phone, can I...?
sorry sorry, I probably missed something important... just no more time. :P
Hna Julie Benson =)

Wednesday, December 12, 2007

December 12, 2007 Letter

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

December 4, 2007 Letter

spiritual blackouts...

Hiya clan,

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. :) sign of a new house yet... still working on that...

Mom, did Dad ever read your e-mail with that mushy subtext at the bottom?? Yer a hoot. Hahaha!
Well, we´ve got 2 baptisms set up for this coming Saturday... can´t believe it´s already December. We´ve had a handful of investigators fall through on their baptism dates... just not going to church. It´s frustrating to see patterns in their failures, but all the more reason to be more patient and loving towards them. The work moves on. :)
Sorry no pics today. I think I gave you a pic overload last time...
Smiles and sunshine,
Hna Julie Benson -
Sorry mum and dad, I´m working on finding out the info about you coming to pick me up and me calling you this x.mas. It´s very likely that I´ll be coming home November of next year, not Oct... depending on the transfers etc. - I´ll find out for sure about this stuff soon I hope. :) hugs to you two!

Wednesday, November 14, 2007

November 14, 2007 Letter

Whoa! Crazy couple days:
So, sorry I didn´t get to write yesterday. Sometimes they like to throw a Random Zone conference on our prep day. So, that, PLUS there was an intercambio with two Hermanas. I needed to switch companions for one day with Hna Carela, and Hna Cornillez stayed with my companion because those two weren´t getting along very well. Aparnently Hna Carela was the problem. But we had a good time together. ANyway, so we just switched back a couple hrs ago, back to normal... (if you call this country normal.)
Yesterday I gave un Libro de Mormón to a nice kid that works in the colmado (little store) next door almost 24-7. He will have lots of time to read it and already he has read a bunch. He (Juan) has wanted to learn English, so we teach him some words when we pass by. It´s hard to teach colmado people cuz they are always working, and he has school. But anyway. I think he´ll soak this gospel up like a sponge. :) *shloop!*
Since yesterday was zone conference, today is our P-day. Our zone went and toured the botanical gardens, tourist park. FUN!! and stopped by a really cool restaurant that looked like a western saloon. it was all decked up in everything western, even swinging doors at front. really cool. we all ordered burgers and a jugo, had a good time with our zone. I will send pic next week and maybe not write so much, depends on my time. Today I just don´t have as much as usual. we need to teach a lesson soon. :)
Another neat story: One night we taught a bunch of jovenes (kids) not members all of them, but I love it how they all are eager to learn more from us. We sang Called to Serve at the end and we sang loud and clear. we messed up on the words one time and laughed, but everyone learned the chorus well. It´s good to see good strong spirits in these great kids. :)
Something that freaks me out a littlë: our neighbor´s phone rings off the hook a lot... but the thing is that the ring is exActly like our phone at home (in Utah)... and it gets me EVERY time. weeeird....
We have one baptism lined up for the 24th: Janella, sweet teenage girl who seems to get more and more excited every time we come by. Good thing her cousin is a recent member to support her. He knew he recieved the preisthood, but thought he couldn´t baptize. But I told him he CAN and could even baptize Janella! How cool is that. This Saturday I will be visiting my other area to see the baptisms of a bunch of my old investigators. Cool! I love baptisms. :D
Wow. Christmas is just around the corner... I´m gonna really REALLY miss Egg Nog...and pumpkin pie... and the smell of pine trees... today I missed girl scout cookies mmm thinmints. Well, there´s enough junk food to get down here. So what are everyone´s plans for Christmas and Turkey day??? We´re having ¨Pavaso¨ dinner, activity party night next week where they play games and stuff. What did you think of my gryphon idea for the t-shirts? I´m afraid they might not use it.. just cuz E Fernandez wanted to keep his silly buffullo soldier idea. Well I think the whole zone should decide for themselves, and not just him. Plus I think we´ll win the BBal game if we have a more fierce maskot. Right?!? yeah. ;D
Well, things are good... still have a lot to learn. Spanish is getting really good, and it really helps to have a lot of confidence to speak a lot and ask questions etc. We had 12 investiagstors that came to church SWEET! That is also going well with them.
And by the way... I´m SO blessed to be on this mission!!!
Thanks again for all who wrote. I will print it out and enjoy reading all your news until next week!
Con amor,
Hna Julie Benson
ps - pics next week I hope =)

Friday, November 9, 2007

November 6, 2007 Pictures

More pics:


cute little kids, the little girl went crazy about the photo before it even went off!
Kids lining up to fill their jugs with water...there´s been a shortage...
mi compañera, Hna Delgado from AZ, people think she´s Dominican. She does have Mexican family, but she´s all American. :) She´s very sweet and diligent in the work.

November 6, 2007 Letter

Greetings and salutations!!!
First of all, thanks for all your prayers and thoughts… They really make a difference here in this perilous battlefield… the power of prayer is real.

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??

The Zone is planning a BBall game and are making t-shirts… no one liked the first design, so I threw a really cool one together… if it goes through, we´ll be the ¨Gryphons¨ Yeah, it´s cool. I´ll atatch the file.
Also, there´s a pic of an older baptism in my last area, Aneuris, with his mom, Taylor and I, and his friend.
Didn´t get water in the house until Monday in the later morning time... that´s bad English for ya... we were praying for water to come... and it came! ...if only for a moment, but we had enough to do the dishes and fill up a bucket to save for later. Blessings! But before even that, a guy from the bishopric, and another guy from the ward, Santiago, came with a van full of buckets filled up from the church! Blessings! We are grateful to have water. You guys have it good in the states...
I´ll remind everyone that Satan is always at our backs... that´s not a good thing. Lately, everytime wére headed to another appointment I always get these dark feelings that say I want to go home, I´m tired, etc... but then we teach the lessons and it´s always SO worth going. Because I know those people needed to hear our message. Got to learn to ignore that darn Satan voice...
Okay, the other pics: cute little kids, the little girl went crazy about the photo before it even went off! - Kids lining up to fill their jugs with water...there´s been a shortage... - mi compañera, Hna Delgado from AZ, people think she´s Dominican. She does have Mexican family, but she´s all American. :) She´s very sweet and diligent in the work. That´s good for me, I´m learning a lot... I may have to take over the area when she goes home in January... Aaaa! We studdied about some deep doctrines of the Atonement this morning. I loved it. There is so much to learn about our Savior!
Thanks for the Love. Hey, somebody play Settlers of Catan for me, k? Rack up those sheepys! ;D
*ahem* (send me pics) ;)
Hna Julie Benson
PS - ¨Start wearing purple, wearing purple...¨ - who can guess the movie?? They get 50 superpower points for guessing right! (let me know if anyone finds that soundtrack...) -peace

Thursday, November 1, 2007

November 1, 2007 Pictures B

More Pics:
1- two-week house in Los Alcarrizos

2- Got my hair trimmed by Wendi. She made my hair beautiful again!... For one day... ;D

3- Hna Taylor and I with pretty hair

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!

Sorry, camera died. Maybe more pics (especially a few more baptism pics!) next week. :D
Thanks again everyone for everything! Family, it´s so good to hear from you guys, and hear what´s happening when you tell me family news and get toghethers. Keep it up =)
Love to all,
Hna Benson

November 1, 2007 Pictures A

Okay pics:

1- me with the Bishop and his family, saying goodbye from Los Alcs

2- oops pic

3- Baptism: (in white) Tito, Colón, (Erik that did the baptizing), Felix, (Elder Rojas), Lupe Tito´s wife.

4- Lupe and her ADORABLE baby
5- Tito and Lupe´s marriage! They have to get married before they´re baptized. These legal marriages last for only a few minutes... sign a book, hand to the square, kiss the bride and that´s it! Gotta love the DR.
more comin up...

November 1, 2007 Letter

Yes, I´m alive. w00t! Sorry for the delay everyone... If anyone´s been checking the here there´s been a huge tropical storm down here. I thought it was another hurricane, but these are a lot worse I think, not really though ... it had been raining for... at LEAST 6 days... non-stop. well, POURING. if it stopped at all it was only for a short breather...luckily that was when we would run to the next cita (apointment) before it started again. SHeesh I´ve never seen so much rain!
Whoa, news: Transfer - I´m in Los Angeles (no, not California) with Hna Delgado from Queen Creek, AZ, I¨ll get a picture out eventually. It´s kind of closer to the capital. It´s gonna be great out here. Our neighborhood is pretty ghetto and It´ll take a while to get to know the streets, but I have high hopes things will be good. But switch back to my last area... for my last two weeks there we moved to a new house... but we never got electricity... we had to borrow light from next door just to keep the fridge goin´... but with all the rain nobody had power... AND the water pipes were shut off cuz of so much rain, so we didn´t have water either! heh, we were catching rain water dripping off the roof to use... okay, not bad... and here in Los Angeles there still isn´t water... I hadn´t showered for like... 3 or 4 days. Yum! I´m so hot. I did get clean yesterday though cuz Hna Delgado had 3 huge buckets of water saved up. Yay! and I got to wash most my clothes that had been in desperate need of washing. cha-ching! God loves me! ;D
(After our first couple hours of sunshine... it started pouring again...just now... when will the maddness stop?!)
After I washed my clothes though... the air is so EXTRA humid that nothing gets dry... all my stuff, papers, books, bed, whatever, is damp. :P just don´t have the sun to dry anything. Things will get better though. ;D Work still moves on rain or shine.
Oh yeah: in the six weeks I had in Los Alcarrizos (THAT went by fast) we had 13 baptisms. yeah. Crazy, I know.
some happened when I just arrived, so I didn´t help teach them much, but still. The work is on fire over there. Hna Taylor is a little firecracker. ;D I´m still learning... I´ve learned so much from her about teaching. She KNOWS how to baptize... as our pres. put it. Good times. I will miss that area... it´s not far so the baptisms that are coming up, I´ll be able to go back and attend the baptism. sweet! Love those guys.

Tuesday, October 23, 2007

October 23, 2007 Letter

I´ve noticed a lot of my e-mails have random junk in my letters... I still consider it my journal-ish kind of writing, but I want to try to focus on those who are reading it too… I am having so many great spiritual experiences, so many moments of learning and spiritual growth. I want to share it all with you, not really possible to share it ALL) so I´ll try to leave some sort of spiritual insight sometimes, instead of just blurting out my chaotic thoughts. ;) Though that will still happen often, just a warning. I can´t even write a fraction of my thoughts, experiences, trials and happiness I´ve had here, in only 6 months... Wow! The days just keep flyin´. I do know though, that sharing all the rest of my experiences after the mission will be that much sweeter. =)

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.

THANKS! to Matthew Vicklund, I´ve got some style and coolness back in my life (the pic attatched) I love it! Laughed my head off. :D Good work Agent V, it´s awesome!!
Hmm... Spanish.- This proces of understanding seems to take so long, but I know the time will come when I will understand every word and speak fluently, and I will be able to feel that I have helped them personally. When I can understand the peoplr and their culture, behaviors, needs, etc., I will better understand how to help them.
I´m STILL learning some basic doctrines, almost like I´ve had to learn everything all over again, like a child... evenso, I still know so little about the gospel. But I have learned SO much more. The mish is just one HUGE learning experience, like a blender. It´s really hard, for a LOT of reasons, but I appreciate every minute I´m here. I´m learning, growing, becoming a better person I thought to have been without a mission... getting stronger, smarter (yay!) so much knowledge being crammed into my brain. So much power of the Spirit in my experiences. Every day I can see the hand of the Lord in my life, in so many ways. Isn´t the Lord great?!? We should all talk our Father more often. Whatýa say, a challenge? Are you all reading your scriptures...DAILY?? (Mosiah 1:5-7) Sharing gospel truths and your tesimonies with your friends and neighbors?? Are you asking yourself: ¨how can I come closer to the Lord today¨? Are you praying fervently for love and guidance of our Heavenly Father?? (2 Ne. 32:8, 9) (Alma 37: 35-37) (2Ne. 27: 28, 29) (D+C 10: 5/ 19:38) Let me know how you feel after taking some bigger spiritual steps...
Once again I know I´ve missed something important, or someone, or an answer to a question...etc. I try to make time for everything, but always miss something. repetition is annoying, I know. :D no time to proof-read... hope I didn´t say any bad words er nuthin´.....
Love and a million thanks to all!!
Hna Julie Benson
¨For the LORD¨ ......

Tuesday, October 16, 2007

October 16, 2007 Pictures B

1- um... having fun with the fans... these little guys go every where with us. If we study at the desk they´re there. When we sleep at night, they´re right there. when we´re in the kitchen cooking-- etc etc...these fans are our bestest friends. It gets HOT!

2- Look really close... it´s really a truck! Craaaazy stuff goes on in the capital..

3- Who´s turn to say the prayer? Elder Rojas, me, Hna Taylor, and others at a fun charla night with apple juice, plateno fritos (fried platenos, like potatoes) and pollo frito (fried chicken)... I guess everything is fried or cooked with oil... Yum!

4- Dominos! (Possibly the most popular game on the street)...Dominican style. Caught in the act! Gabriel (This guy´s a riot) Hna taylor, drinkin´ Soda, E. Rojas @ right, and Erik @ top: he´s a new member, VERY intelligent, and very nice. He knows all about computers too. He´s a great example to all his buddies.

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.

6- Yum!... haven´t eaten chicken feet yet... but I wanted the photo ;D

Love to all, thanks to all who wrote!! BIG smiles!!
Hna Jules Benson

October 16, 2007 Pictures A

Here are those pics I´ve been promising! Enjoy. =)

1- Aneuris and Nawell, a couple of great investigators, still young, but hungry to learn more. We get a lot of random friends and neighbors that join us in our charlas. I think we´ve only contacted maybe 2 times in this area. People come to us. It´s great!

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. :)

More comin´ I hope...

Thursday, October 11, 2007

October 9, 2007 Letter

just cuz time flies so fast and next time I can just send pics and explain them... those will be good stories. ;D
*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

October 2, 2007 Letter

just kidding... ha ha.
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

September 25, 2007 Pictures

Okay, hope these pics make it to all you guys. Enjoy!

1- Tell me that girl (on right in yellow) doesn´t look just like Ellen´s Isabell... she acts and talks like her too! What a cutie. :)

2- The Family Roa, us, and Pres. Bair

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... :´(