Wednesday, June 25, 2008

June 25, 2008 Letter


...Whaaat.... I´m allowed to start counting now aren´t I? ...Haven't been counting the whole mish until now. I can hold up my hand and stare at the four fingers that are left. ha-ha, jk. Heh, I remember a time when I was still saying I had nine months or something when I had about 10/11... :P REALLY I can't pay attention to the time.
BUT seriously... Don't worry, I'm staying focused, there are SO many other important things to focus on right
A Baptism next Saturday! w00t! His name is Adam (Adán) and he is one of the most amazing, non-Dominican-Dominicans I have had the oportunity to meet. In other words, he's humble, funny, smart, has good values, he's willing to fullfill the commandments the Lord has given him etc. Doesn´t smoke, he hardly drinks, but he agreed to stop in a second. He has a little business that he even CLOSED ON SUNDAY morning to go to CHURCH!!!... (heh, funny, cuz his car was the only one in the lot...) We jumped for joy to see him pull up (thanks to Hna Meyer, who knows a lot about cars, who recognized his Honda). He wants to start a better business that doesn't sell alcohol.... ?!? ... (this is a shock, bacause the DR comsumes more alcohol than the states combined and it's the ¨best¨ comodity to sell in the stores...) He wonders all the time why all those Dominicans are so evil... (YEAH, we say... tell us about it :P ) His son once stole everything he owned (a LOT of stuff) and he's learning to forgive and love him. He doesn't have a girlfriend and doesn't want anything to do with relations until he finds a worthy wife (Yay Adam!!!) He told us how he doesn't have any friends cuz they're all bad people, and when he came to church he looked around, turned to us and said with wide eyes ¨these are good people!¨ He has great values and wants to have a bright future...
This is how we FOUND him... And he said the most beautiful words, in a casual conversation, that I have ever heard on the mish... ¨when I'm a member...¨
We hope to see him this Sunday at church and we'll continue to prepare him for his baptism.
His daughter is a member too, but inactive. He didn't even know until we found him! We are hoping they can be good examples to each other.
Well, wish us luck with all our other investigators and inactives...
Love you Mom and Dad!! Miss you bunches!
hmm... no proof-read-- Bye!
Hna Julie Benson

Wednesday, June 18, 2008

June 18, 2008 Letter

hard days work...

HAPPY FATHER'S DAY!!! - I promise , I'm trying to prioritize a chunk of good time to make you and mom a fun card, and that doesn't even count waiting for it in the mail... Just remember I still Love you both VERY much even if I have issues trying to send it to you. HAVEN't forgotten you. ;D There's just so much to do, organize, take care of - the people we have to pay attention to and give our whole efforts to... barely have time to take care of myself... I guess that's the idea. That's prolly the reason I haven't sent a card out yet. Sorry. ;P
How was the Dad's-day celebration? Special days of the year for special parents like you. SOOOO lucky. I'm not so anxious to be a mom yet... golly , I'm still on a mission... ba'ha'ha! jk.
Hey, Mom, I noticed your question about the money and I should prolly let you know the situation. Ever since I was in Los Alcs we've had to pay a ton of passage to get around to our two areas just to go teach, etc, and that money would go pretty fast in a week ot a month. But the dumb thing was that when they said it got reembersed that reembersment took FOREVER. So I was having to pay for food and passage with my own money... that's no fun.
And even now, when we moved out here to Villa we came to a FILTHY elder's house and had nothing to clean it with, so we needed to buy some basic supplies for the house which would also be reembersed, but that still hasn't shown up yet... SO I have had to use a bit of my own cash to cover for our present needs until that roll back in. I hope it's all back to normal soon ... I hope I hope I hope...
In other news , we have actually had a pretty rough week. Although we have found a great group of investigators we're working with, there was a day that it just hit us hard... these Dominicans can be Really Hard Hearted... i mean... really. And my heart just aches to see these people in their state... this country is drowning in its own evil, (if I might put it lightly) ... sometimes I can't believe the things people do here. WHY?!?? I ask myself, and hit myself in the head. I feel like we're teaching them basic human values and telling them not to lie their whole life through more than getting them baptized... though we ARE praying fervently and faithfully to find the right people. Not to mention there are a TON more inactive people around than there are actives... we're focusing on them as well . But the days get better when we need to just keep going, and more and more we realize why exactly we're here... AND we've got the Lord at our back... so anything's possible. ;) Yo -ho-ho!

¨For the LORD¨

Wednesday, June 11, 2008

June 11, 2008 Letter

Ho there!

IT's HOT!!!!!!!
and too darn HUMID!!
...actually at this moment it's bloomin hot, and I can hardly type for too long before I have to stop and fan myself. *blehhh* The light left (aka the power went out) and they´re using the generator to power the computers and won't turn on the fans...*bleh* again. It was raining too, so not many breezes either...
ANYwho, dying of heat.... ummmm
OH, so I got bit by a dog the other day... think he drew blood but really it just turned ino a big bruise. Nothing really. Didn't foem at the mouth er nothin'. It was really funny though... :P It was half my falt, but not really,... but kinda all happened so suddenly. The dog was crazy so I blame it on him. I have a rip in my dress to prove it. :) hehe.
Hey, random question: how do get my buns of steel back?!? All advice is welcome. =)
We have found some great investigators this week (and a lot of not-so-good ones) but some on the verge (WE HOPE) of baptism... Pray for us to be good instruments in teh Lord´s hands to help them! We have had to start over completely after a number of elders who didn't do their job... and there are a TON of inactives. *sad face* But the lucha goes on.

pic 1- Our chapel :D

pic 2- ummm princesses??...

pic-3 ugly duck - (my arm looks kinda big huh... but it really is quite muscly. )
pic-4 dog bruise
5- horsing around at a local ¨Bon¨ ice cream store yeehaww!
6- BIG beatle
7- FULL, TINY guagua that we sat in for a long time to our house... we live pretty far from the city... pretty far. But it's a beautiful ride if you look outside. ;)
8- ooo! this is cool, this is how my hair has bleached from being in the sun.
9- AND last one, today's mountain scene by teh chapel... very pretty.

I love you, and you, and you , and you, and you, aaaand YOU! Thanks all for your suport!
....sorry, it's waaay too hot, I can't go on... seeya!
Hna Jules Benson

Wednesday, June 4, 2008

June 4, 2008 Pictures B

round two

1- CUTE adorable crazy faced kids of a wonderful member family.
2- THIS is sweet Antonia, an investigator from our last area ( so basically all the pics you've seen so far were from Los Alcs, last area... the move was sad and sudden...) Antonia loves the church and even WALKED to church (she lives flippin' FAR) a couple times before a member gave her a ride. But that shows her determination to find the truth... you NEVER see that in domincans... EVER. So we stuck with her and kept teaching her family. She needs to get married to her husband (thanks heaven he's faithful) before she can get baptized... She's a fun lady... gonna miss her.
3- Church in los Alcs... this is how fast the rain comes... and it's rain season, even worse out here in Villa Altagracia. It's kind of out in the boonies and when we tell people that we live there people always gasp or gawk in surprise... but it's beautiful and green. It's a nice little town, kind of... KIND of reminds me of home... in an eery sort of way. But I like it. Did I mention the house was filthy??? Yeah, took us a whole two days to clean it right... those darn elders don't know anything...
ANywho... we're in a lush, green valley surrounded by mountains... I'll get some pics out later.
4- Oh, here's a lovely pic of the clear-water waterfall right next to our house. It's quite pleasant.
5- AND a cute little puppy I put in my shirt pocket for a while. (don't worry mom, I washed my hands real good after) ;)
Love to all!!!
Hna Benson
JR my brother!- what's your blog? can't find it. I want to print out pictures of you to look at all the time. I don't have any! thanks, Love you so much and miss you Dr. Jay!
Oh, PS- Leonel won the elections... just in case anyone was curious. :P

June 4, 2008 Pictures A


Pics! and this time of real people. yay!
1- well... almost real people... this one's a cute sleeping kitty. =)
2- Gabriel and another member, they're both crazy. Gabriel is a riot. His family aren't members. They wouldn't listen to us much so we told him he's gotta be the spiritual stronghold to be the perfect example to his family. He's a strong member already, now his influence can effect his whole family.
3- some more members playing dominos. yeah, the all dominican game. the one waving is Erik. He is Hna Taylor's baptism, not even a year, and he's the ward secretary, VERY strong member, one of the best they got. He helps us with a lot. He knows a lot of English and teaches the Eng clas Saturdays. Awesome guy.
4- this is Neli and two of her 4, 5 ? kids. She and her husband are saving up money to get married, so they can get baptised. WOOT! Very cute family. And progressing quickly.
5- ... very pregnant woman leading the kids in a fun water activity. :D
6- Delio, another strong member of only, what... 7, 8 months? Yeah, he got beptized just barely after I left for LA. I got to go back and visit for his baptism. He also helps out a lot. Funny guy, we love 'im.
7- ooo cool negative shot.
anywho... next slide coming up...

Wednesday, May 28, 2008

May 28, 2008 Letter


Slap in the face transfer change!!!!
So they took us both out of Kilometer 23 and drove us farther up north ot a place called Villa Alta Gracia. People say it's dangerous and we should get home earlier etc... everyone says that about everywhere, but we're always careful. :) So we're here now and it's more jungly, our house is pretty roomy and things are nice inside. good fridge, washer and kitchen... hmm, didn't look at the stove yet... but is was all dirty and junk was lyin' around cuz we replaced the Elders before us. But still we're technically white-washing an area again. weeeird. But we already love it. We have a district of us four, 2 hnas and 2 eldrs who are really cool and old friends in the mish. I have a feelling things are going to go really well. Eventhough we're much farther away from the world, big stores, and fun zone activities etc, we're gonna have our own fun in our little town... actually reminds me a lot of Logan. It's got that kind of atmosphere... kind of... or maybe I'm just trunky. NOOOO don't say that!!
shh.... you heard nothing....
We are going to see Elder Cook in june pretty soon ( he's a Loganite!!) How cool is that?? yeah, we're stoked.
I'm gonna miss my last area.... we left behind a lot of golden investigators... we revived the area a whole lot. we seemed over burdened with great investigators after 4/5 weeks. It's always so hard to leave. I hope the elders that took over will take GOOD care of them and get some of them baptised in June. Yay! then we could go attend the baptism too.
So we're here to revive another area... from the ashes, so to speak... ;)
Your prayers are felt deeply, thanks to all for your love and support.
until next week...
signing off,
Agent : Benson
PS - ....Ernie! My eyes are turning green!!! *gasp*

Sunday, May 18, 2008


Man, Last week it was SO stinkin' hot I coudn't even think straight... But anyway. TOO much has been goin' on... and it's hot again... and I owe you folks some pictures. =)
So here we go:
1. Hna Marianne Meyer! My sweet little companion and friend. I took one just now cuz I haven't pulled out the camera that much lately. :P I love it when he shares her testimony, Sometimes it's exactly what the investigatores need to hear and she understands enough now that she knows exactly what to say, Simply and boldy. I've also learned so much from her already. This transition of areas, people, traveling, new home (which I'm quite fond of already), and manner of work... it's all quite different, as every area is different, and a bit unnerving sometimes. I wish the Lord would tell me what he brought me back for exactly... hmm... I may have a few guesses already, but it's only been what... a week?? psh. Well, when real stuff starts happening I'll tell ya, and about investigators too. :)
2. funny face... that was my lat day at Helen's... *sniff* it's no fun saying goodbye...
3. Chicharra!! Cool bug friend. =P Very friendly.
4. um... just havin' some fun with the equipment... That day we were helping an investigator clean out their house: ¨Pour water on every corner and get Satan out of this house!¨ was what they said. =D Anyway, that big yellow friend was sittin' in the back yard so I ran over to it, hugged it, and said lovingly ¨Are you my mother??¨ ha ha. yeah.
5. releif society activity where they taught us how to cook chicken 3 diffferent ways (wasn't time for the fourth!) MMM!! The pollo de piña was AMAZING!! We must attempt to cook it sometime. Yes. Those women sure know what they're doing.
7. HAHA!! okay, I'll just start our by saying that it was all my fault, BUT the story is good anyway. SO, after Zone Conferencia, mi Hna needed some supplies at the store, so we planned to swing by (w/ permision!) and pick of some stuff and then go right back home... I what I failed to remember was that I had the keys to the house... and the other Hna's that we live with were going straight home. They wouldn't be able to get inside!!! EEEP!! I only realized this in the check out line, and luckily we hadn't planned to stay very long. ANyway, I got to the house, expecting to see the hna's huddling in the nearest spot of shade from the intense heat of noon day, but noticed the house was open... How did they get inside?? Well, look at eh picture... that little spike that's missing on the gate above?... yeah, Hna Rivera, a cute little misionera from El Salvador, and I mean LITTLE... had climbed through that little nook, jumped through the window and opened the door. I gotta send you a pic. I'll try to get more pictures of people instead of bugs, dogs, and gates... :P
Love you all, thank you so much for all your support, e-mails, and Prayers!
Hna Jules Benson
PS - please ask me questions! I'm really not good at telling you what's going on... quiz me! I feel like every e-mail is just a BLAH of words that I throw out like I'm banging on the key board and hitting 'send' ... please tell me it all makes sense and satisfies your curiosities of my mission life...
hm... can't spell either. Foo.

Wednesday, May 7, 2008

May 7, 2008 Letter


* Now entering freestyle mode*... * mode where Julie starts to type (just about) whatever her mind spills out*...
>>> (Not rated) <<<
haha. jk.
But really, I'm just gonna start... um....
So we were going to have a baptism, but last week when we were gonna have a lunch slash lesson with Angelica, she wasn't there, and that wasn't normal... but then we found out that same morning that her husband had died.... we were all shocked and weren't sure what to do... We stopped focusign on baptising her and now wer're just trying to help her recover, be her friends in need and let her breathe.... There seem to be a lot of people dying around here... almost every day we hear of something happening to someone we know that knows someone that... etc. It's so sad. One Dominican hermana in the mission lost her dad... someone had killed him in the capital... DADDY DON'T DIE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! ......
I think she's staying to finish her mission. It happened to a Dominican Elder here too... This country has problems...
ANywho, So there's this one family Neli, Bienbo, and their 3 or 4 kids that are preparing to get married and then get baptised. They are saving up money and quitting bad habits, improving their home lifestyle adn are progressing really fast. Such a great family! The hard part is waiting for legel papers to get filed and all that crap, that stuff is usually the hardest obstacle. Again... this country has problems...
I think I've figured out a few reasons why I came back here... I'll mention a couple.. well I had thought about this before in my other areas when sometimes I had felt so useless and like I'm not helping anybody progress... but I stop my self and realize that there are so many people that we had met that no one else could have connected with... I mean, my personality... you guys would know... just isn't ... normal... and..... I've been able to find and connect and converse freely about the doctrine than if anybody else had tried... And I've had companions that if they had not been there, things wouldn't have worked out, y´know? It's all about revelation man. The Lord knows who I am and is using me to connect with certain people here. And I've seen the fruits of our labors and my purpose and direction are becoming clearer as I spend more time in the work. Did that make ANY sense?!??? ... yer a special one, Julie...
ok. so elections are coming up quick and things are gettin' LOCO over here, more than normal (and normal was crazy) but with all the stupid elections parades, drunk people, women dancing in the streets, and insanely loud music I'm sure ready to have it be over. Frankly I'm quite sick of the electees´ faces. Leonel (current Pres.), Miguel, and Amable Aristy ¨Presidente de Los Pobres¨ , heh, that's kind of lame. ANyhow, I was never into politics, I despise them actually. But the whole reason I brought this up is to say that I have actually seen all three of them in person. Without even trying really... got photos of them too, not great but their fotos. ... because they show up sometimes in these random town-street parades, sitting on top of the car, surrounded by guards because people climb up and want to touch them like he's a god or something... all they want is money really... it's kind of pathetic.
uh next subject...
There are some awesome investigators here that are juat golden. One is named Suleman, he's originally from Africa (a country in the North, Niger I believe...) He's really nice and loves everything about the gospel. He speaks English, Arabic, and his native language... but not Spanish! Weird! We've taught him a few lessons and he's reading the Book of Mormon in English... But because he lives in the other Hermanas area we're not really entitled to teach him... there are a number of investigators that are mixed between us four hnas and two elders cuz our areas are close yet far apart, and we're al in the same ward and use the same chapel. I guess as long as they get baptised in the end... right?
... it's really weird to teach in english! and don't get me started about PRAYing in English... sheeesh.... I sound like an idiot.
We celebrated out one year mark by making a yellow cake with chocolate frosting and we decided to crunch up frootloops and sprinkle them on top. Yum! (pics next week) Lit it up with candles and blew 'em out and, well, ate it. We like to celebrate day ¨Eves¨ of special days like P-day eve, or 1 year mark eve, or cinco de Mayo eve... hehe. Not to mention a couple HUGE rats that have ventured through our house but not after playing around with it first. We named one Federiko. And one time after catching a rat we made El Salvadorian tortillas with beans and made Hawaiian leys.. guess it was some weird culture night orsomething... rats, leys and tortillas. yum. Heh, my and Hna Cornillez (from Hawaii) built a little village out of matches and burned it... that was a really brief explanation but we'll leave the rest to imagination cuz I gotta go...
Really, I wish all of you could experience what I do down here. Especially inside peoples homes, when the spirit is so strong as we're testifying of te truth and watching the Spirit changing peoples lives. Those kinds of things I can't take pictures of... but will deffinately be remembered.
OH!! I will call on Sunday May 11th... don't know when, but I might be able to call and inform you Saturday night what's gonna happen. well see... so with that much said...
HAPPY DAPPY MOTHER'S DAAAAAYYYY!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
+ Hna Julie Benson +
no proof read, I can't type so it's full of eRRoz...

Wednesday, April 30, 2008

April 30, 2008 Letter


oh, man... we've had such a long P-day and I barely had time to write the president... :P And the computer's bein' stupid, which doesn't Ever help...
So you might not get a real e.mail today. :( I did want to tell you about some of our investigators and random experiences... which I should have been doing with Every e-mail...
Plus, we have an apointment like, right now and we need to get truckin' outta here.
um... so.... I´m alive... I think I´m well..... oh, we have a baptism this Saturday, Wee-hoo!! I´m broke, have no food...that will be fixed soon.
aaaand no package yet... I'm waiting OH so patiently... =)
LAME e-mail coming to an end --


Wednesday, April 16, 2008

April 16, 2008 Letter

News Flash! Man... I shall miss os Angeles Deeeeearly... I MUST go back and visit with fam and friends some day. OKAY?!!! Yes.
But,okay, so I am now in .... *ahem*.... Los Alcarrizos 4 .... AGAIN!!!! No, really, the same area I left to Los Angeles from! It's freaky weird, but that's revelation! I was chatting with the President and asked him..."So, President... were there any surprises, or special messeges in the revelation you recieved to send me here again?..." *smiling innocently* he says, " Well, Hna Benson... ... There's something you need to do there..."
I could take that generally or literally, so I'm gonna make it into some kind of "mission" (doubl-y litterally speaking) to find out what I'm doing here again. We got white-washed, Hna Marianne Meyer and I !!! :D She plays piano, so I'm gonna be relearning to play again what I knew so long ago. She's from Kaysville Utah and I know we're gonna be having lots of fun with music. Wee-hoo!
* music makes the world go round *
Our house is right by the church too, and I'm pretty happy with everything.
I gotta head out and get everything unpacked and situated... dig out my brain that I left at the bottom of the huge suitcase.... which said suitcase is AWESOME by the way! THanks Allsops!!
Seeya'll! Let the games begin!
Agent Benson

Wednesday, April 9, 2008

April 9, 2008 Letter

Time is running out Jules...

-- WHo said that?!?!
Wasn't conference amazing?!?!??!? It just get's better every time. I leared so much! Laughed SO hard at Monson's last talk! We wanted to stay for the Priesthood session, but would'nt let us. Loved all the rest though. It was so perfect for anyone who's not a member. A lot of investigators didn't come that promised, but some very important ones did! That's good enough.
I saw Bob in the Choir!!!! How exciting! Tell me Bob, what's it like?? What an awesome oportunity. I bragged about you to the other missionaries... hehe. =)
So, in other news, I'm going to be a trainer again!!! Don't know who, don't know where, but the intensity is on!! The week before transfers is always crazy because we don't know what's gonna happen!! *clanched fists and crazy face*
I also heard they had bought 4 new houses and are opening up those new areas around the West Mission. I want to go to the one right next to the beach... but we'll have to see what the Lord wants for me and my new companion.... =)
Really, this week is pretty crazy... SO much to do before I leave... yes, we've concluded that I will likely leave and she will take over teh area... my blessed home of Los Angeles... *sniff* I will miss everyone so much... miss our house, the streets, the dogs, the garbage... well, there's enough of THAT to go around the world...
Anywho, what I will miss the most is being a part of, or rather, getting to experience our investigators progress. :) It's always so sweet to see the light turn on in their hearts as they begin to accept such beautiful restored truths...

...Have I forgotten any Birthdays?? Sorry!! Happiest of Birthdays to you from JuJu!!
Tonight.... Carmel Popcorn!! Happy P-Day everyone.


Hna J. Benson

Wednesday, March 26, 2008

March 26, 2008 Letter

Slumber Party!

heh, well, they called it an Hermanas ¨Training¨ meeting... but it was totally a slumber party. :P I hardly slept on the hard matress and I woke up feeling like crud, but everything else was great! mmm hot shower, lots of great food (yay food!) and goodies, fun talks with all the other hermanas, awesome inspirational talks and activities, oo! even got to go to the temple yesterday morning. We were soo excited to go, Hna Carlsen and I. we were counting the days! She and I have soo much fun together! She's got to be the best comp I've had. =) She makes me laugh a lot, that's a biggy. Ha! kinda reminds me of Elaine on Seinfield.
Anywho, so this past week was Semana Santa here and people party and go out to the campo to visit family and stuff. It's difficult on the missionary work, cuz everyone dissapears for a while, but it also leaves room for more opportunities. There's this DR traditional ¨food¨ call abituelas con dulce = like... sweet bean stuff. Beans that are sweet. They make it will normal and blended up cooked beans, some potato type veggie, lots of milk, carnation, and sugar, maybe some raisins, cloves, and topped with cute little sugar cookies with a cross on it... The whole realation to Beans ands Sweet can make your stomach churn... but it's actually good! Cold OR hot! I had tried it for the first time at the first of my mission, but decided I liked it when I got here. I got the recipie more or less and we'll make it when I get back. =) It will be an end of March tradition in the Benson home. :P One day, (I think it was Holy Friday) we were offered abituelas con dulce about 4-5 times. think we accepted 4 out of the 5. yum!
Well, kind of stopped the Baptism streak. I guess they were mostly niños too, hmm. Now we're trying to keep making sure they stay active and have suppirt form their families. And we're also working on a couple families and couples. The main problems with them is they have to get married first. They usually don't want to get married... for all kinds of lame reasons, but that's in the difficult long process. But we also have some other awesome investigators, but will require patience as well. So, back to limbo.
Are we excited for conference!???!??!!?!???
Did any of you take the chance to pray?....
Have you shared your testimony with anyone this week?? well get on it! You'll be glad ya did.
Ahh man. We want to color our Easter eggs the traditional way with tea cups and color pellets, but don't think they stores have that here. *pout*... maybe we can be creative somehow... there's always another way...
Hey Mom! I love you!!! I did get my hair trimmed once a long while back, but nothing else. It's getting pretty long too, and feather soft. And I guess I don't sweat as much now because... I'm used to the heat? not sure. Any more questions? =) And Dad! Thanks for the last e-mail! =D I'm soo glad that you got the chance to fly again!!!!!!!! How ultimately exciting!!! Aw, wish I could've gone with you... never been in a chopper. But wow, what a b'day presant. Good call Lisa! ;D
weeellll my I'm gonna close up shop and head out. we got back form the capital later, so I'm finishing up later. :P
Thanks for tuning in, thanks to everyone for all your support! ...proof read?... nope.
Luve? no Love,

Hna Julie Benson

Wednesday, March 19, 2008

March 19, 2008 Pictures B

not sure if I sent these yet, but they are of sweet dear Katerin at her baptism! Woohoo!

J. Benson =D

March 19, 2008 Letter and Pictures A

This past Monday a whole ton of our missionaries were invited to join the Pres. in a 2 hour personal prayer session. We would all find a peaceful, private place to kneel down alone w/o companion... and pray to our Heavenly Father for a good long time. We all did it and it was a wonderful experience. I admit it was nice to be alone, but I was so pleased to be able to just have the time to share everything with my dear Father. =) Never taken the time to do that. It was great! WE found a big park away from streets and people, just me, God, and nature. I was able to pour out my heart to Him, my feelings, thoughts, dreams, all my gratitude for anything and everything, my desires for the happiness of the people here on the mission... everything! 2 hours is a long time, but it may seem not enough for what we really want to say! I invite (challenge) all of you to find your sacred grove and do the same. =) Take the time-- just you and your Father. You'll be glad you did it. =)
Hehe. We're having a slumber party with the Hermanas! Yes, it's approved. :P We'll be at the Mission home Mar 25-26. It was originaly a New Years request, but Hna Bair is letting us do it this time. *psh* I never thought I'd get so excited about some girly slumber party... but hey, the mission's different.
We will be getting a new mission President in July ? He's Dominican, that's exciting, so there will be some changes. We're all excited, and also sad that the Bairs will be leaving. :'( The Mission home will look different and a bit cold for a while, but changes are supposed to be good. We've had some great times with the Bairs though, we shall miss them dearly.

umm prolly all for now. Well, I always forget something , but oh well! =D
Happy Day!!!

luv, Hna Julie Benson!

2-The CUTEST old lady with no teeth! When she smiles and laughs you can't NOT smile with her! AA!
3- Felix and his best friend Victor! Felix is such a sweet inocent boy who has had great support from Victor and friends, he's a Deacon now!
4- Cute baby! The mom, Anna, has been thinking about baptism, has been praying fervently and waitning for an answer... we had an awesome lesson in church about baptism, I asked her what she though. She wanted to get baptised ¨TODAY¨ she said!!!!... but she has to get married first... so we're working on that first. But how exciting!!
5- common fresh fruit cart... mm!
6- Happy kids!
7- Our humble home... and our VERY humble Lambraginni out front. :)

Wednesday, March 12, 2008

March 12, 2008 Letter

Thank you Lord... for sending me into a beer ridden billiard parlor...
I just have to say... You guys are totally missin' out!
So much happenes here, and I wish you could all experience it with me. Hna Carlsen and I are having a blast together and we get to experience all the ¨CRAZY¨ around here. There is always something to laugh, smile, or joke about. :P And our great memories are already innumerable. It's possible that I might leave Los Angeles at the end of this transfer (6 weeks) who knows... ? because I will complete my 4th already here, and 5 transfers in one area is rare, unless requested for a good reason... (puppy faced-hermanas usually...). But we'll just have to find out and be ready for anything. I'm already missing it... it will be really sad to leave all the sudden...

So last Saturday we had a baptism planned and the only time we could interview Katerine was that same afternoon... she didn't show up at the church on time and we waited for quite a while. There was no way to contact her except walk ALL the way to her house (but we didn't know if she was already on her way etc.). We were worried cuz...well, if she's not interviewed she can't get baptized!!! Panic! But we thought a brilliant Idea: Since we had waited long enough, we headed to her house to to the interview there! Thankfully she was there, just showed up late to her house (she lives somewhere else with her family, and here just for the weekends with her aunt and grandma.) we got her interviewed, she passed :) and the Elders went their way. We got Katerine equiped with a towel, undies, and we speed-walked to the church, giggling and cheering about the baptism that night. Oh, yeah. About an hour earlier, the President called me *gulp* ¨Hello President Bair! What a pleasent surprise! (oh no, what did I do wrong???)¨ hehe, well, he just wanted to know when our baptism started, so they could come! eep! The whole schedule was totally messed up that day because there was another baptism from the other ward (we use the same chapel) And another big activity was going on in the chapel as well. I took a guess and said ¨well, I'm not sure...¨ ¨No one ever comes on time so it might start sometime after... 6?¨ how emberassing. But really, these Dominicans (the majority) are incapable of being one time... There's always some...way time... between meetings and such...
Anywho, They ended up coming, and everything, yes, everything turned out perfectly! Not sure how that happened... Prayer works. I sang a primary song, and also in the activity next door after the baptism, lots of people came, AND in sacrament meeting Sunday morning with mi compa. I am always so delighted to sing at ANY occasion. It's especially exciting when it's a surprise... =D
...What was talking about?...
My Spanish is Awesome!! Thank the Lord ...but I have much to learn...
Ernesto recieved the Holy Aaronic Priesthood last Sunday, I was so thrilled! I'm so so proud of how far he's come... He's determined to convert his mom too heh, but in time. His example and testimony will help the most.
Oh, yeah,
Yesterday we were on our way home after an awesome zone meeting looking for some fellas that were missing at our cita the night before. We always check in the popular Billiard parlor near where they live, just peek in the window. But this time the owner motioned us to come in... ¨well, maybe they're in there¨ I thought. They weren't, but something made me want to shoot a couple billards...
Now don't get me wrong here. Just because I picked up the pole the guy actually got the balls ready on the table, I don't know why I didn't stop him. this whole time I was asking myself ¨what the devil am I doing here??...¨ ...Presidente beer advertisements everywhere and such, but no people really. ANYways, these three strange looking guys walked up to us talking all funny... oh, Americans! heh, yeah. It was wierd. They were each from a diferent state, and were here for medical school. oookay. Each an interesting character, I should have got a picture. They were all drinking. But I ignored that and focused on how I could help them. This was my oportunity (as randomly surprizing as it was) to share with them my testimony! We had a great chat we all of them, I got to know them, why they were here, names, etc... Talked about the church, they had heard a lot about the Mormons and one even owns the Book of mormon. Gavin. (Hans and Gerard the others went outside or something, I was left talking to Gavin). Anyway, after we were good friends, I told him about how quitting drinking would make his life a lot more awesome. That in order to fulfill his love for medicine and a career in the future (and everything else), in order to acheive happiness in his walks of life, one of the first things he should get rid of is the beer. I told him that as a friend that cared for him, not just a preaching missionary. I promised him blessings and huge changes in his life for the better, and that if he cared about his future career, family, and entire lifetime... he had better quit drinking. He was young... and doesn't deserve to ruin his life now. I got his e-mail so I could check on him in the future to see how he's doing. After that the boys headed out, we shook hands, (almost got kissed by Hans, prolly a bit wasted) I wished them the best of everything, and they drove off in their little rented car...
Great group of guys. Respectable, gentlemanly, and apparently pretty smart... in some ways... but not all. Weird it all worked out like that. but I hope I made some difference. And a little e-mail testimony here and there might change a life...
Thanks for tuning in on the Benson Specials, on DR2008. Pasen buenas noches.
Seeya! ...noproofread
Hna Benson !

Sunday, March 9, 2008

March 5, 2008 Pictures B

1- Henry, Toña, and Alejandro! Our investigator family who we love so much! (three kids aren´t in the picture) We went over to their house Sunday afternoon and learned to cook ¨La Bandera¨ and we ATE it!!! I felt like I was oging to Die with a capital ¨D¨ I ate so much. Fruits of the labors though. MM!

2- umm........ yo estaba...... cocinando. ya.

3- food´s almost done... it took like... 3... long..... hrs. Cooking is Way over-rated here. A lot of unnecessary waiting. :P

4-5, last district meeting of the transfer. We cooked pasta, made flan, and had a blast!! We used the Dueño´s empty house above us (asked first). It was the best idea ever. :) Don´t worry, it was all approved. ;)

... isn´t anyone sick of me yet??... *sigh* ok.
jus lemmy know, k? k. =)
Love and thanks to you ALL!!
Peace, Joy, and Marshmellows--
+ Hna Julie Benson +

March 5, 2008 Pictures A

1- the Zone ..San Geronimo


3- 5 - Ernesto!! Baptised this past saturday, and he'll recieve the priesthood after his interview this Sunday. Cool! He's really awesome and has really changed. We are soo happy for him and his decision to get baptized adn make good choices. :D

6- happy baby-chubby-legs!!


Wednesday, March 5, 2008

March 5, 2008 Letter

More pics, I guess, and stuff. . .

This p-day was rather relaxing. there weren't any activities, so there was nowhere to rush to this morning. :) We enjoyed studying for an extra hour, had a great discussion on the Atonement, and afterwards I had more time to get little things done. A lot of stuff gets left behind when you have a tight schedule. We got some food at the store, some long awaited applesauce, and had fun talking on the way home. We talk about fun stuff all the time, Hna Carlsen is a real cutie, makes me laugh a lot!. hehe.
Last night we had an awesome talk (and a great lesson on Missionary work!) with our new member Ernesto. He was looking back at those first days that we had found him on the street... everything that happened after that: teaching him, helping him, through good and bad... and where he is now. He thanked us for everything we had done to bring him to the gospel. Really it was the Spirit that has changed him... just reminded him of his own devine potential. Now his eyes are opened, his concience enlightened, and his Spirit filled. He's a different person, though still has a lot to learn. He was signed to play for the Yankees. But even though his biggest passion is baseball... he's thinking about going to school... ?!? We never even suggested that for him, but new that it was a decision made with the Spirit. All by himself! Wow.
He said if he wasn't married he would go on a mission... :D But not here in the DR he says. He said it would be easy to convert his mom, and we will also concentrate on his wife. Though she lives in Boston, he will be an example to her.
Well, we've got another baptism this Saturday. Yay! Katerine, a little jovensita, she has been so eager to ba apart of the church, meetings and activities, to meet new friends and be apart of the Spirit of teh Gospel. We feel she is ready, she feel she´s ready, so let the games begin.
Wow. guess we´re on a roll with the baptisms here... crap, don`t jinx it Julie!! *tsk*-- gosh.
more pics ?... yeah.

Wednesday, February 27, 2008

February 27, 2008 Letter

Didn't I just write you guys?

I swear I just wrote you all... I don't even remember what I've saiud lately... Oh yeah, I sent pics, right. Those are words enough.
Little Elizabeth got baptized this last Saturday and Ernesto will tak his turn This coming Saturday... I'll try to get some pics to you next time. Things are really looking up around here. I said that last time didn't I?... well, y'know baptisms just seem to make everything look better. I kind of forgot for a second all of the stuff that wasn't going well and just delight in the fruits of our labors... I thank the Lord every day, every minute, for all that He does, has done, and will do to help us in His work, after all he won't let us down. Even if I may feel like everything is falling (kinda like a couple weeks ago) I just know that everything has it's season. We do everything that we can and the Lord will work everything out in His own time.
did I say that already?...
Well, I seem to be reapeating myself. It's been a long, fast week. ALways so much to do. I have to take a day at a time, do what I can, and allow myself to sleep at night, cuz there's more to do tomorrow. Keeps my brain going... heh, I guess that's how I lived before the mish, as some of you might remember. I just live a day at a time.
We have lately been teaching a number of people who speak English adn are actually... intelligent. I find myself stuttering sometimes because I'm so used to teaching BASIC basic doctrines of the gospel... which even those some don't understand. I've even forgotten details to some lessons that I never end up teaching in the lessons. woah. It feels very nice to talk teach someone who can accept and understand much easier. =)
Thanks for all who wrote. I'll print you out and read it through the week. :D
sorry for the lame e-mail. :P

Hna Julie Benson!

Wednesday, February 13, 2008

February 13, 2008 Letter

subject?. . . .

Man, I can't even share a fraction of my experiences, and half the time I never end up conveying the message or feeling I've wanted to. To get even the slightest idea of what's goin' on here I'd have to have some kind of Truman show camera everywhere I go. ... though, that would be kind of akward. But you get the idea. Just wish you could all experience the awesomeness down here. XD
And I'm sorry about all teh dumb random comments in t eh past tha tonly a few # of people would get and laugh at... Having no relation to missionary work at all... Don't worry, I'm totally focused in the work and the people I need to help. Just remember p-day s when I just spill out my brain out onto the keyboard and occasionally there are some random... lumps... ?? wanted or not. bear with me. I'm striving for perfection here... ;)
Um, Happy Birthday to..... EVERYONE!!! I admit by now I've forgotten almost everyone's b-day and I can't keep up to date with all of them. I WANT to though. I love you all, and if I forget your birthday... it means I love you more! (but if I happen to remember and send a note it doesn't mean I love you less..) .... I just dug myself a hole... :P ohwell.
What am I talking about? .don't remember.
Happy Valentines Day tomorrow!! woo-hoo! Dia de amor y amistad. :) Spread the love!
hmm... the honest truth I've been rather ill lately. (don't worry Mom!) Lost energy, tired a lot, mm got a fever one night. I'm just pushing myself too hard. But there's SO much to do! But I'm taking my vitamins, drinking lots of water, trying to eat good, lots of fruit, excercising too. Our awesome Bishop gave me an awesome blessing! So I hope to recover and get working up to par again... well I've been working up to par, but I'm so dizzy and weak by the end of the day so I hope that gets better.
Wow, was that like the first bad news ever?? Don't think much of it then. :)
Something really depressing happened and my brain can't come up with any fun-whitted comments or stories...
Just need to feel better so I can think again! ... it's past 9 months huh?... not sure. i'm not counting. I guess this week full of random crying phases is normal then?.....

Hna J. Benson
-- hopefully a mass of pics next week...? ok. :) thanks for tuning in.

Wednesday, February 6, 2008

February 6, 2008 Letter

I pierced my ears!!!

jk....... =) hehe

Sorry, I felt like an idiot when I didn't even mention anything about Pres Hinkley the last time. :P SO much happens around, I even forgot for a second that our dear Prophet passed away. That Monday we were busy with a day full of citas adn knew nothing about it until a member stopped us on the street
and asked if we'd heard teh news... "What news?..." No one had called us at all that day, so if she didn't stop us we would have never known until the Zone meeting the next day where they had mentioned it again. It would have been a bigger surprize. When we found out we just stood in front of an investigators house staring at the locked gate.We sadly held eachother for a moment then slowly walked back to the member's home to sit and the the news sink in... It's hard to be way out here and recieve such ill news....
Well, .. we all know that he's happy beyond descrption. =) And that's comforting enough. We kind of got to watch the funeral conference but missed the end and the funeral part because the satelite was being dumb... because of the sudden rain storm. Oh, well. That's what DVD's are for.
We've got about six, er, five baptisms lined up for these next two weeks. =D Wish me luck with all teh paperwork and stuff... and everything else. I can't do it all alone. We are teaching some great people, but Satan just has his stupid little tactics to bring even the best down. He's actually extremely smart in that respect... but I still hate 'im.

A lot of people here are trying to convince me to get my ears peirced..... ........

Today I ripped a little peice of pornography out of a public car and threw it out in the street. Nobody needed it anyway. :) They driver got all flustered and said, hey, that's private. heh, in a public car?! noway. People don't do that.
A couple nights ago we had a long ways to walk to our next cita, and we would have been late if we walked... so I stopped at the police station and asked for a ride. The were all just standing around, and their huge car wasn't even being used. So.... we were officially escorted to our destination. *smiles proudly*

....can't think of any more stories at this moment. there should be a couple next week though.
Love to all the world and beyond,

Hna Julie Benson

Wednesday, January 30, 2008

January 30, 2008 Letter

Life saver . . .

First of all, Thanx to you ALL for all the family news, baby talk, and good laughs and smiles!! It means the world to hear how the family is doing.
... Well, Thought I'd tell you about a little service I did the other day. One night we were walking home at night, showing a member, Eliza, where our new house was. On the way we passed by a big group of guys sanding around (something) at the corner of some random church. We stopped because there were a couple investigators we knew and chatted with them. I asked what was going on, what everyone was staring at, adn I pushed through the crowd to see a guy sittin' on the curb holding a poorly wrapped hand, with blood all over the place... ?"Oh, ..." I said, "that sucks" Apperantly he got his finger cut off (likely "someone" else did it) and had been drugged up for teh pain. All the people just stood there... I thought, well, isn't anyone gonna do anything about it? but fortunatly some help was on the way. I had happened to have a handful of white Life Saver mints (;D) and handed a couple to Chris (an awesome guy who lived in Florida most his life but can't go back to the states for hte next 3-4 years reasons, but begged us for a book of Mormon in English and loves the meetings at church. He's determined to come every Sunday, as long as he doesn't work. He has a good heart. =) But anyway, I pushed through the crowd again with a Life Saver intended for this guy missing his finger. I bent down next to him, opened the wrapper (cuz he obviously wasn't going to do it...) and put it up to his mouth. (in Spanish, er ...Dominican) "Here, take it, it's really good. There from the States!" (which automatically makes them outstanding) ;D But since he was kind of drugged, he slowly nudged my hand away and smeared blood down my arm. I kindly put it up to his teeth again and assured him that it's pretty tastey. He stared at me for a moment and his buddies started eggin him on "abre la boooocaaa, open your moooouth!" Then the whole crowd grew louder with a big swelling "woooOOOOAH" Then the guy smiled and without a word accepted the mint. The crowd cheered! I clapped excitedly and lightly patted him on the head. I looked at the blood on my arm and laughed, wiping it on in inside of my dark skirt as we walked towards home. At least someone was trying to brighten his spirits... =) So, a message to all: take some time each day to brighten someones day... it will leave you both with a lasting smile!
So far training has gone really well. At the end of the day we are VERY tired, and that's a sign we're working hard. It's all worth it! Hna Carlsen is very sweet, she is so excited to be here and get right into the grit and grime (sometimes literally speaking) of the work here. She has such a great love for the people and really enjoys meeting our investigators. She is doing really well with her spanish and is progressing rapidly. We have lots of fun talking and laughing and getting to know eachother. (recently we've been laughing and laughing over a certain amusing calander... don't ask) She feels ready to help me teach soon. Things are goin' great!
We are slowly settling into the house. Finally got bars over the windows so we could have some privacy from the street... The landlord just took off to New York to work some more. I might see him if I stay for the next 2-3 months, which is likely... who knows. but anyways.
And for those who don't get my e-mails can still check the blog that Mel set up for my. Thanx! it looks great!! (JD, I still don't have all the CA buddies e-mails, could you send them over? thx! )
..This internet cafe is freezing...brrr... I can't imagine what it might be like there. it's been so long. eep!
Thank you all for your prayers, things are really looking up. but the work goes on and P-day is, well, over.
Hna Julie Benson

Wednesday, January 23, 2008

January 23, 2008 Pictures B

More . . .

- Snake

- cute little chiwawa!!

- Baptism!! Joel, and his family Yay!

- Pancake District meeting!! (don't worry, we were spiritually uplifted before the actual pancaking...)

- Burger

- Flamingos

- Swans

okaybye! ...anyquestions?okaywell I'mgonnabeprettybusyforawhilewi
ththisbigchangeinresponsibilitysopleasePRAYforme k?
love to all,
Hna Benson