Friday, December 26, 2014

Semana 48 en 9 de Octubre (December 22nd, 2014)

Feliz navidad! Feliz Navidad! Feliz Navidad, Prospero año y felicidad!
Wow so I've got a lot to update you guys from the last two weeks, and lots of photos.  I went to migrations in Lima last week, still workin' on the visa,  but I got to go to the temple---little slice of Heaven on Earth right there.
This week we had our missionary Christmas devotional and it was awesome! We talked a lot about how to truly live the spirit of Christmas and become more Christ-like. As a mission we are starting a new project of self evaluation, we have these cool new self-evaluation cards that we get to do every week to help us improve and emulate all of the Christ like attributes. The training was fun and President treated us to a delicious steak dinner---best I've eaten in a year!
Last night all of the missionaries in Iquitos wen the the Plaza de Armas and we sang Christmas hymns and then afterwards we went and contacted all the people that came to watch, it was fun!
We're pretty sad because it looks like our Brazilian investigators won't be getting baptized with us....They're actually not getting married at all, they are going to separate which means that Maria and Brenda will actually be going back to Brazil. We're sad about it but they have progressed so much and have such strong little testimonies, and we're happy to pass them off to the missionaries there in Manaos, Brazil!  I for sure wouldn't normally encourage that a family break up, but truly I think it is for the best and I am so happy that they will be taking one step closer to salvation there in Manaos.
Other GREAT news! We are teaching some ladies named Karen and Clara. They were a contact from a few weeks ago that were incredibly prepared to receive the gospel.  Just 3 days before we contacted them,  The husband of Clara had died in a work accident and it was just the moment that she needed us to speak to her. Her heart was softened in that moment and now she is so so excited, coming to church and praying and reading the book of Mormon, and preparing for baptism on January 10th!  We are also teaching her daughter Karen and her granddaughter amy. They are straight up angels, I tell ya. Love them SOOO much!  Unfortunately, as is far to common here in Iquitos, her husband wants nothing to do with the missionaries. But this week Karen was struggling with something and decided to open up the Book of Mormon to a random page and right where she opened to she received an answer of comfort from the Lord. She shared it with us and told us that it was the answer to her prayers and she knows that the Book of Mormon and the church are true and is ready to be baptized with her two kids.  I was SOOO happy, walked out of that lesson on cloud 9. Now to help that husband of hers want to get married!! Let's go.
Anyway, looks like I'm gonna be passing my second Christmas in my mission here in my area in the Belèn District of Iquitos---which means ''Bethlehem'' in spanish--sounds pretty Christmassy to me! Can't wait to see those pretty little faces on Christmas day!

Hermana Benyo


Navidad en Belèn!

. Our District Leader gave us a christmas challenge to contact people with the coolest Christmas tree, share the gift video with them and take a picture in front of the Christmas tree. Whoever in the district finds the coolest tree wins.  I think we're winning, and on top of it the owner of this pink tree came to church on Sunday! oh yeah!

Me and Hermana Burrell at our yummy Christmas dinner (well, lunch)

 Workin' hard! We did service this week as a zone in a really cochina (dirty) house, it was so gross and we found the skeleton of a dead cat in the back...gross!!

That's me with a chicken on a dog...

That's me and a turkey

This actually happened...contacting clowns

Me and my favorite Brazilian babes

Tuesday, December 9, 2014

Semana 46 in 9 de Octubre (December 8th, 2014)

Hey everybody!
Just another week in the life and it was a HOT one. It feels like satan's oven down here.
On thursday we had the monthly Mission Leadership council and that was fun! Got to see my best friend Hermana Talbert after 8 MONTHS!! Finally got transferred to Iquitos, reunited and it feels so good. We are going full on the new Christmas iniciative 'He is the Gift' and sharing the video and cards with everyone and there dog. I fully recommend it if you want to get into the REAL Christmas spirit, watch it here:  
Finally got my birthday package, woohoo!! Thanks mom!
Started freaking out this week about how fast time is going, can't believe I only have 4 transfers left, and Hermana Burrell only 2. Gotta make 'em count!!!
This week our favorite Brasilian ladies Brenda and Maria came. They are so awesome and so excited and want so much to get baptized, still waiting on the news about marriage papers.
Well I don't have much to talk about so here's a ton of photos to make up for it, as the time passes I get worse and worse at this whole writing home thing.  But just know that I am happy to be here serving the Lord and those around me!
Hermana Benyo

1. Us and Elder and Sister Mayne right before they went home to the old USA!
2. Birthday package!!! Thanks mom!
3. Me and my girl Hermana Talbert after way too long
4. Her name is Almendra
5. Cute puppy!!
6. The English room for the Christmas Devotional last night--Too many gringos packed in a tiny hot,hot room. Merry Christmas!

Tuesday, December 2, 2014

Semana 45 in 9 de Octubre (December 1st, 2014)

Happy December!
This week we had zone conference!!! Woohoo!!
Zone conference is basically my own little spiritually charged General Conference. As a mission our new technique to find new investigators is almost exclusively through the less active members and recent converts, We've already been doing it but we now are going to focus more on it, I think it is really truly inspired and is going to strengthen the 9 de Octubre ward as well as all of the mission. It was a good conference and got me pumped up.
We are teaching an AWESOME sister named Maria. She is Brasilan, From Manaus, Brasil, just a couple days up the river.  She speaks spanish as a second language so I guess me and Hna Burrell can kind of relate to her with that one. She is so awesome, a reference from the Elders who had stopped teaching her when she traveled to Brazil for a month,  and ever since she got back she had been praying that the missionaries would come by the house as a sign to know if the church is true. So then we showed up and she was a little cold at first but it didn't take long for us to see how truly special she is. She is one of those people that is VERY in tune with the spirit and recognizes answers that come from the lord. In various lessons with her she has told us that she feels the spirit testifying to her heart that this church is true. She and her daughter came to church on sunday and I was blown away by the efforts of the members. So many people came up to her to say hi and ask her about herself and welcome her, the young women pulled her 14 year old daughter into the class and we saw her walking out with like 4 or 5 friends already. Afterwards, maria told us that she felt the spirit very strongly in church and felt a TON of love, that only after one sunday she already feels like she has a family there at church. I am honestly so proud of the members in my ward right now, they are coming leaps and bounds!!  Maria is honestly SO SO prepared. The only problem is that she has a husband who she has a lot of problems with. We just started teaching him so we will see how it goes. And also, she is from brazil and will only be able to get married once she has her visa. But we have a lot of faith, she is so ready and wanting to be baptized but I know that the lord will provide a way for her papers to work out. I was talking to my companion about that one scripture in 1 Nefi where Nefi is being mocked by his brothers that he doesn't know how to build a boat. And he just kind of responds, excuse my scriptural paraphrasing, "For real? If god has power to do all the miracles that he has done in this world, dont you think he can figure out how to teach me to build a lousy boat?" So thats kind of my quote for the week, if God has power to do all miracles don't you think we can figure out some lousy visa/marriage papers? I've got faith.
Being a missionary is great as always and goes too fast!  

With love,
Hermana Benyo

Photos this week:
1. Zona 9 de Octubre!!!
2. That is not chocolate. That is the remains of a freaky spider I killed.
3. Me and my compi Hna Burrell
4. Me and the cutest mexican lady in the zone, Hna Rodriguez
5. Us and the Hermanas
6. Our district at the Elder's baptism. Best district EVER!

Semana 44 in 9 de Octubre (November 24th, 2014)

Hey everybody!

This week was awesome as always!
For my birthday on Monday all the missionaries from Secada and 9 de octubre went to the stake Presidents house. We ate barbecued alligator and played soccer, that was pretty fun.
We were pretty focused all this week on finding new investigators and families to teach. We have for sure been seeing the fruits of our labors in reactivation and have several families coming back to church. We're just being very patient waiting to find investigator families that will progress. Our area is very small and it seems like literally every person here has been taught at least once by the missionaries which leads us to some more creative finding techniques!
It has been HOT HOT HOT!!! Like I thought I was used to hot, but for real I am telling you I was dying this week. And this is gonna sound really weird and dont judge me, but the jungle makes you smell B.A.D. Like not your normal kind of bad. Like a really weird smell. There is no getting around it, there is no perfume or deoderent strong enough to hide it. And EVERYONE smells weird. But you know at least we all smell like really weird sourdough bread together. So there-s your probably didnt want to know fact for the day!
Hermana Burrell and I are really trying to keep our batteries going strong and give this area our all. Weve been fasting and praying for the ennabling strength to do it because sometimes I feel like such an old lady. Having lessons every half hour all day long really is exhausting and really cant be done with out some extra heaven sent help. But there is no better kind of exhausted than the one I feel when Im practically falling asleep on my face during nightly planning, sign of a good day well spent. Full Chamba!
This week I was studying and reflecting a lot on our physical bodies here on the Earth.  Part of the Plan of Salvacion was that we were to come here to the Earth to receive a physical body and pass through human experiences. When we found this out we rejoiced, so happy to finally receive one of the greatest things we had never had, a physical body.  It is so sad to me how astute Satan is to make so many people hate one of the most precious gifts God has given us, our bodies.  It truly is a temple, a kind gift or present from our loving Heavenly Father. One thing I realized for the first thing in my life this week is that I am not my body. I am my soul, who is dwelling inside this temple that was given to me. Only I am responsible of how it is cared for and I am the one who must love it and take care of its needs.  Its like a gardener who cares for the little plants, giving them sunlight and water so that they can grow and develop. When we put crap in our bodies, it would be like watering a plant with gasoline, our overeating is like pouring 10 gallons of water on a poor little flower.  We really must come to fall in love with the physical bodies that God has given them and care for them like a loving gardener.  If we hate our bodies, that is like telling your mom you absolutely hate the brand new BMW she just bought you. Its silly and rude.  I may not love the way I have cared for my body, or what a year of greasy rice and carbs has done to it, but I sure am grateful for it and love it a whole lot.  My perspective was changed a lot and I think we should all love and care for our bodies a little bit better than we have been.
I love you all and hope you have a great, spirit filled week!

Hermana Benyo

1. Me and my district buddies
2. Us in front of some weird post apocalyptic looking olympic rings outside of the stake presidents house
3. A freaky bug we saw
4.  Barbecued alligator, YUM!