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

January 23, 2008 Pictures A


boil 'em, mash 'em, stick 'em in a stu...
jk ... Photos!

- old comp, Hna Delgado, flys home tomorrow *sniff*
- New comp! Hna Carlsen, a sweetheart! from AZ as well

- Mario - letsa-go!

- new house =D

- we cleaned the old house. I sang a lot, the rooms echoed really awesomely.

- fun group of kids that got baptized just before I go here. fun bunch

- octrich face.

- simple pleasures of life...

PS. Mel, yes, I can see your blog pics. You're all so CUTE!! Thanks! adn Mattew Ball, I didn{t get thos attatchments, send them another way so I can open them. thx!

Wednesday, January 16, 2008

January 16, 2008 Letter

We went to the ZOO today!!! maybe pics next week...

P-day is Wednesday! I guess... but we are sure it will stay Wed now. para que sepan. Just so you all know.
Aaah! another big big day!
Well I'll just get to the biggest news...
We are moving into a brand new house just down a couple new streets that's been a long frustrating process, but we are lucky to have it. ANd it's got water all the time, a less noisy street, not as much space (which will be hared to leave behind), but I will also be glad to get away from our naughty-mouth neighbors. The house is worth a LOT more that 5,000 pesos a month (which is our limit) but the owner is a friend and wants US to have it. Yay! Gotta start packing all my crap...
I have officially lost my voice... I have gripe, all my energy drains too quickly, I hurt ALL over (especially my chest and arms cuz I tried some weird pushups the other day... but hey, no pain no gain, right?) My nose is all stuffy and I probably sound like a nerd when I talk... but I laugh at myself. =)
Oh...well... BIGGEST news... since Hna Delgado is venturing home soon... I will become a trainer of a completely new missionary... osea, mission lingo: I'm gonna be a "mom" and I'm gettin' a "kid"!!! I heard she could be dominican, or from some other country or maybe american who knows. I don't believe it. I'm not freakin' out though... yet. I'm not even sure If I'll still be in this area or get "white-washed" to another area, but I doubt that. ...... ... I guess I'll just sit back and watch the fire burn ... as I face some more of life's difficult challenges. yay!
Your prayers are welcome.
Mom and Dad: info on the DR: I can't get released here... if it was up to me I might want to leave alone and have a family vacation here a bit after the mission... but, if you guys really want to come up it's very possible and all you need to do is call the mission office here. They should tell you all you need to know. I'll still feel weird as a missionary though... but that day's just too far away! Let me know what you decide for now...
Time's up. Love you all. Hope I get better soon so I can have the energy to bear up the next few months...
Hna Jules Benson
PS - send me pictures pleez!!! =)

Wednesday, January 9, 2008

January 9, 2008 Letter

¨There´s more??¨....

So first off I´ll tell you about this sweet woman we found near our neighborhood in LA, her name is Elizabeth. Our first lesson with her was later than usual, it was dark, we were pretty tired and we had to read by the candle light (but that´s normal) her kid was crying and wining about stuff... kind of stressful a bit. But the lesson went surprizingly well, even amidst all the boyah she and her brother there were paying good attention. Our second visit she came up to us with the little pamflits that we give to everybody, she said she had read the whole thing AND filled in all the scripture study questions, AND read a handful from the Bood of Mormon... now, this had been the first time for me that ANYONE had ever filled in those little questions in back... I was amazed. This obviously shows that she´s interested, is studying, and understanding. Woah. We taught her the plan of salvation and gave her different booklet to read. She was all excited and said, there´s more??? I´ve never seen some one progress so fast. I look forward to teaching her about baptism... She´s such a wonderful lady. Her family totally deserve the gospel right now.
Just a spiritual check up: Are you all having family prayer? studying the scriptures together? Going to church EVERY Sunday?? If you´re not with your family, have you developed these habits yourself?... Just makin´ sure, cuz I´ve got the rights to tell you that YOU BETTER! ... I´m legal y´know.
Important info!!:
In case some of you have been wondering why your mail has been returned to you it´s because the rules have changed (and sorry I neglected to tell you all in time) this is what I tore out of the newspaper that said:
Three-fold letter:
Lay the blank side of the single sheet letter facing down with the writing facing you
Fold it three ways, use two pieces fo tape or two stocker tabs , no more than one inch from each side , but ´don´t seal the ends.
Don´t include other stuff in the letter... just the peice of paper
write address in top left corner, stamp in right and the mailing address:
Hna Julie Benson
Dominican Republic, Santo Domingo West Mission
P.O box 30150
Salt lake City, Ut 84130-0150
...just self explanitory. Only one peice of paper folded up with writing on the inside.
OR you can just send me normal letters with the Pouch address (I believe it´s still on my myspace address in case you don´t got it ;P) may cost a bit more, but it´s the other option. That´s how cards and pics (and packages) are recieved here.
Anywho, oh, yeah, New Years! The eve night we ate at the Bishop Coyado´s house (finally) And it was AMAZING! I´m a pasta lover (and i think he knew that, cuz when we were planning the x.mas party food ideas, everyone else said they wanted rice, beans etc, and I said pasta pasta pasta!! So we had pasta!) and for the bishop´s dinner there were two big pans of lasagna, and some cheesy eggplant stuff, delisious baby back ribs, fruits, garlic bread, potatoes, MM! sorry, didn´t get pics, I was OBVIOUSLY drooling over this masterpeice meal and not thinking about pictures. He cooked it himself, and he takes that stuff seriously. Bishop´s awesome. Then they drove us home, cuz the streets can be prety dangerous for this holiday. we said thanks a million and sat in the house for while (well, Hna was sitting, while I was dancing away to all the loud, unavoidable music) Then we decided to go out and see what they do for the midnight thing. Everyone goes up and down the streets kissing and hugging people saying ¨felicidades!¨ or ¨congratulations!¨ Lots of fireworks from all around, music, drinking, all are dressed up really nice, or skanky... normally that... But as we stood in fron of our apt a couple ladies came up and congratulated us (not sure what for) but some guy came right to up kiss Hna Delgado and we said whoa! hold yer horses buddy.. etc etc, so we shook his hand. heh, good times. So, Happy belated New Years!! What are your new goals? hey Mom, what were MY new year goals from last year???
Well... sumthin´s always missing. but I´ll close it here.
Thanks again to ALL the love I recieved on Christmas!! Wooohoo! I LOVE YOU! I´m one happy shmappy missionary girl! ^_^ oh, and Melanie: I got it. ;D Thanks!!
Any questions??? just type URGENT! on the subject line and bold underline your queston in the e-mail if you need a reply the day I recieve it. cuz I usually print out the e-mails and read them later, I can still answer, it will just be later. Cool. thx.
Hna Juleez Benson

Wednesday, January 2, 2008

Darn schedule changes...

...all the time!...
Just a little frustrated... not only with this computer that shut off about three times and has multiple problems and extremely slow ram functions... grr... having to re-write everything and loosing it again...
So letting you all know that I hope to have a normal, even better letter next week, including stories and news... still not sure which day is P day, so be prepared for Tues, or Wed... who knows. Our p-day practically got overrun this week by bad scheduling by some leaders... not blaming anybody... things just didn´t work out and, well, I just don´t have much time to throw out an outstanding letter. ^_^
... That was boring.
Oh! Happy New Year everyone! Felicidades! (don´t know why they say that here at new years...)
For now all I can say is THANKS A MILLION for all you folks have done for me. And love and hugs especially to my FAMILY!!!
Feels good to start a new year... can´t believe it´s ´08 Aahh!
Hna Benson
ps - Mom and dad.. sorry, random question, but just curious if you guys got high-speed internet yet...?? =)