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.