Monday, April 27, 2015


April 27, 2015

Hello Family,
So this week we got transfer calls!!! It has definitely been in my thoughts for the past couple of weeks, yet I still had no idea what to expect. I have just been praying for President to be inspired as to where I need to be. My transfer here in Gdańsk has been an interesting one, way different than I had expected. Looking back I see unexpected growth, hopefully growth that will remain, but I am being transfered to łodz to finish Sister Herrera's training. Well that one took me by surprise. President had mentioned that he wanted to shake things up this transfer, pretty much he rocked the boat in the entire mission, whitewashing multiple areas and changing everyone around, whoot! When he called on Saturday he said "Sister Benson, pack your bags again." I kinda just laughed because I didn't believe him, then he said it again and I was like... "Wait, what, are you serious President." Apparently he had me staying in Gdańsk all transfer on the transfer board until like the day before transfers, he just didn't feel right about it, so he moved me to Lodz and then slept peacefully all night. Well I will take that one as revelation! The hard part is we have been saying goodbyes all week, but for Sister Bąk, not me, because we knew that she was leaving for sure. Sister Bąk is off to my old area of Warsaw II. Both areas are whitewashing. The branch wasn't too happy, good thing I snapped a few goodbye pictures along the way!
It was a good last week here, Tuesday was a great day. We, as in the Sisters, got to teach district meeting. Then we visited Marynela a member here. After that culture night began. My district and our good friend Stan went and rented a squash court and played a couple of crazy rounds of that. I think I am obsessed, so fun. Then we got to eat some delicious Manekin Należniki! Such a good night! We had the opportunity to visit a lot of our members and less-actives this week in the process of saying goodbye. We went and saw Magda in Sopot, Jósef and Irena, Agnieszka and her kids, Ines, and others. I think I was finally able to look back at this transfer and see that I have formed bonds and done good here, though of course at the time I did not know that I was leaving yet. I am so grateful we got to see them all before we left. I will honestly miss this beautiful city, there are good people here.
Sunday the Shaw's cooked us one last fantastic Sunday dinner. A giant ham, mashed potatoes and gravy, brownies and caramel, umm umm so good! Those Sunday dinners were a blessing this transfer! The rest of the time we have spent cleaning and packing, our apartment is a mess. During cleaning checks on Thursday I was telling Elder Shaw, who was checking out apartment, that my wardrobe was really not safe and about to collapse. He was like meh it will be fine, the landlord can deal with it sometime later. Well Saturday during packing in the evening, after I had taken everything out of it and packed it, I was kneeling on the ground in front of the Wardrobe packing and next thing I know.... Booom, crash, smash, and then there I am getting smashed by this wardrobe. I somehow busted through the back on the other side in the process haha, otherwise it would have flattened me like a bug. Super funny picture and video of that one!
I really look forward to this next transfer, of course there are some nerves of moving, yet mostly anticipation. I think I definitely learned some things that I can do better in my next area. Lodz has a beautiful branch and I am excited for the great missionaries that will be with me in that area.

I can say this transfer I learned to trust in God (trust is more than just believing, it is allowing your actions to reflect that belief you hold). Also I learned that no matter how hard my trials are, I am still so so so blessed in family, friends, potential, and so much more. I think I learned a lot of what not to do's haha. I am grateful for my loving Heavenly Father who knows the plan, and a loving giving Savior. Thank you for all of your support on my mission, I love you all so much!
Kocham Was.Z Miłośćą,

Monday, April 20, 2015


April 20, 2015
Hey Everyone,
Solidarność Museum
Last Monday we went and visted the European Solidarność museum, or in other words the Solidarity museum. European Solidarity actually started right here in Gdańsk Poland! The museum was really amazing and it also really opened my eyes to even more struggles that the people here have faced. I think I understand a little bit more now why the culture is the way it is!

My Dear Friend Kaja
This was probably my favorite week of the transfer! I was thrilled to go on exchanges this week back to my hometown of Warsaw. Sister Bąk got to be with her MTC companion Sister Kucher, and I got to be with one of my MTC companions Sister Woodward. It was really good to see her again and especially work together. Sometimes I forget how far we have come. While on exchanges we did a super crazy great whiteboard on old town. Sister Woodward got these huge "I'm a Mormon" posters made in Polish, combine that with a whiteboard and some excellent singing and we didn't even have to stop people, they were stopping themselves! I am going to try to find out if we can get those banners all over the mission.  Afterwards we got to go and teach a family that has three baptismal dates; two daughters and their mother. It was so wonderful to teach an actual lesson, and I am so excited for that family to get baptized in May. Honestly the knowledge we have about the restoration of the gospel blesses families so much. I am so grateful for the knowledge that we have.

New Favorite Aloe Drink
This exchange was a ton of good work, but I also learned so much about being positive and learning not to be too hard on yourself for your best efforts. This whole transfer I have been feeling like it’s not good enough, no matter how hard we worked that day. Let's just say that is not helpful or constructive at all. Exchanges helped me begin to change my perspective that when we do what we can, the Lord is happy with our efforts not disappointed because it was just another day!
We are truly blessed to have the lives, the opportunities, that we do. I find myself thinking of my upbringing in such a loving gospel centered home, surrounded by amazing grandparents, friends, neighbors. Please stop and take a moment to be grateful and realize the blessings we have been given. My patriarchal blessing talks about counting my blessings and being grateful for all that the Lord has given me, for it has been great. I have not been very grateful lately, and I want to do better. Today I am grateful for all of you and I love you all so much! Have a wonderful week!
Package From Home. Yeah!!!
With Great Love,
Sister Benson

Tuesday, April 7, 2015

Happy Easter

April 7, 2015
Hey Family,
Eggstraordinary Sisters Bak and Benson
Zone Conference
Guess what! On Sunday we actually got to watch General Conference. We were told last week that we probably wouldn't get to watch it, and if we did there would only be maybe one session translated into Polish. We watched the Saturday sessions and Sunday morning session throughout all of Sunday. Our branch was able to get the Saturday morning session translated and playing in Polish while we watched it in English in a different room. Then we took a break and had a big brunch. There was even ham! Sister Bąk and I made mom's homemade chicken noodle soup which was a hit! General Conference was so wonderful. What a blessing it is to have the chance to have modern prophet's, seer's, and revelator's speak and encourage us. Everything they spoke about was so relevant and perfect for what the saints of these times are dealing with. I also had several of my concerns and questions answered through various speakers in conference. Honestly I felt like President Monson and Elder's Bednar, Holland, Christoffersen and so many others were speaking directly to me. My commitment for myself and for all of you is to now take what we have learned and apply it. There will be no increase of blessings or benefit in our lives unless we act on what we have been inspired to do. This conference also had helped me have a greater love, respect, and belief in the men who are called to lead this church. They are truly from our loving Heavenly Father. I am already looking forward to the next sessions haha.

Yesterday was śmingus dingus day or the day of water fights. Essentially men have permission to dump or spray women with water. It was chilly yesterday as well, so it is a good thing that Sister Bąk and I survived without incident. Anyways, I love you all and am so grateful for your influence in my life! All of your emails, prayers, and love are what lift me and help me carry on. I am grateful for this mission, no matter how many times I say that, It is so true. I know that Jesus Christ is risen and that He lives. Last week I was thinking to myself, Sister Benson do you even know the master whom you serve? It is so important that each of us is actively engaged in making sure we are seeking after God and the Savior every single day. It is going to be my pursuit of a lifetime, but I promise that all efforts are worth it. That relationship we share with the Father will bless and strengthen our families, give us a greater sense of direction, bring us peace in times of trial and struggle, and happiness throughout the eternities. Let us all open our eyes and truly see. This life is more than it seems to be, it leads to so much more, and I don't want to waste a second of it!
Sister Benson and Elder Wright from same ward at BYU
Siostra Benson