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!