Monday, May 25, 2015


May 25, 2015
 So we had a pretty good week over here in Lódż land. My voice recordings record most of the major things that happened this week. I am grateful to be finding more joy in what I am doing as a missionary. Things that I used to absolutely dread are getting better, for example tracting. It has been really fun to travel way out of the cities and talk with different people. Last night we traveled out to Zgierz and did tracting in a beautiful neighborhood right next to this green forest. (too bad my computer erased the pictures). The people who answered were actually decently friendly, and we had a couple of conversations at gates. I am really hoping we find a family amongst all of our newfound tracting places, that would be amazing!!!

New Hair Cut
So I need to be less stuborn and admit more of the miracles we are seeing. I feel like I might downplay miracles sometimes just because they are not what I am looking for or "walk on water" status, but when we look for them they are really there. To start off with, in all of our searching in the past couple of weeks in and out of Lódż we finally have two new investigators. We met one on a whiteboard a couple of weeks ago and had an interesting conversation on the street.  He has a ton of potential. We will probably pass him off to the elders as of right now, but I really think that what we teach can change his life for the better, he also has two young children. I will admit that teaching lessons to investigators is something that has terrified me for most of my mission but now that I understand the language better,  my desire to teach has increased. I truly want and intend to find, teach, and baptize, regardless of my limitations as a missionary. The Lord makes up the rest. I am grateful to see progress in area's that I have previously struggled with such as finding and having a true thriving desire to overcome my nerves and teach it. I am grateful for time to serve my Heavenly Father, and I know that as I do so, I stand alongside with my brother Jesus Christ. I acknowledge that in all of our struggles as missionaries and human beings, we will never experience the persecutions that Christ endured and sufferings he bore while in His earthly ministry and atonement. How he bore it with such grace, humility, love, and longsuffering I do not know, but I know that as we turn to Him, He will show us the way to everlasting life. He is the light of the world, invite him in.

Tuesday we had the cool miracle of running into two previous Poland Warsaw missionaries. Sister Master's, now Sister Murphey and her husband, both served here a couple of years ago. Sister Masters served in the exact cities that I have on my mission thus far, Lódż, Warsaw, and Gdańsk. It was such a blessing to have an opportunity to be uplifted by their conversation and presence. They left my comp and I some treats which was sooooo kind, and then bought my district ice cream. Miracles I say! :D We also had the opportunity to go into Zgierz to teach a part member family about Alma 32 and faith last week. We bought cute little flower seed packets for the mom and her two daughters, and then carrots for daddy, because dad probably doesn’t' want flowers. Then we put a recipe for how to grow your faith on back, so fun! I also showed them pictures of Anni's baptism and Drew's wedding, they were really interested. It was a blessing to be able to share that with them, lessons like that have helped me to increase my desire to share, maybe that and the fact that I understand people a little bit better now haha! Go Polish!

Thank you all so much for the birthday wishes, they were very much appreciated. I booobed when I heard all of the recordings, thanks! :D My district was really kind and let me pick what we are doing for p-day, so we have a fun day planned with bowling and chocolate. Then Sister Bąk my last comp is coming on exchanges tonight! We have a four day exchange and then will get back to our old comps in Warsaw during zone conference on Thursday. It is going to be a good week. I am so blessed. Seriously thank you so much for everything, I love you all dearly and hope that you have a beautiful week. Don't drown in the rain please, haha, I would love to join you all puddle jumping haha! XOXOXO

With Great Love,
Sister Benson

Monday, May 18, 2015

You Can Hear Us Tracting A Mile Away

May 18, 2015 In a Rush
Hey Fam,

So I sat down at our library to leisurely read my emails and then just barely started emailing everyone back, then the lady at the desk got up and said the library is closing early today and we didn't know so I have about five minutes. We might try to finish emailing from another place, but I am not sure so just in case I will send this one really fast.

Nothing much new to report this week. We had President Edgren come and visit us down in Lódż this week. He took us out for lunch and interviews. That was my first time doing that with President so that was fun! We have also been traveling outside of the city more often to try to find new people and maybe even a family to teach. President recommended that we try to get outside of the city centers, so we have been going to new and far places in search. We got pretty far out with our district yesterday to do some tracting, for some reason I thought that the country would be so much more friendly haha. Literally everyone has a german shepherd guard dog that tried to eat us regardless of the thin fence between us. You could tell the Mormons were out tracting because you could hear the dogs going off in the neighborhood next to us on the right, oh that is Elders Wride and Moulder, then on our left the dogs started going off, oh that is Elders Fogg and Garrett. I am sorry not to include many details but you could hear us tracting a mile away.
So Funny!
Sister Benson

Monday, May 11, 2015

"Beautiful Growth Through Difficult Experiences"

May 11, 2015 Happy Mothers Day
Hello Everyone,

My Beautiful Family Skyping on Mothers Day
Oh boy, I can't even tell you how good it was to talk with the family yesterday. I couldn't stop talking about it for probably an hour. I would even add that it was quite constructive; I don't think I have felt so much like myself for months until skyping. Goodness why don't they let us do that more often. Like every Sunday haha, alright probably for good reasons. Ugh I cannot believe that that actually happened. It was so wonderful to actually be able to have a conversation with my family! You are the best! Love you!
Since I already divulged much of what has been going on I will just give a brief rundown of my last week. Last Tuesday we had zone training in Warsaw, which was a good reminder to me of some things I need to work on. (Pride has been plaguing me). Then I remained behind for exchanges in the wonderful land of Warsaw II, my home land!!! Back in an area that I know and love. I think I had forgotten how much I love the people in that branch. I was able to talk with Kaja, Henryk and Diana, Sławyk, and a couple other branch members and missionaries. We played soccer in the morning, white boarded at the university, ate sushi with Sam Chit, Kaja gave me a delicioius jar of homemade pickles, and so much more. It just felt so so good. The people I had the opportunity to meet and serve with there have left such an impact on me. I think I can work on building more solid relationships with people in this area and I know that Lódż will in time become a good home for me.

Lodz Branch grill. We made flower crowns.
Lately I have really been trying to look up and find that personal conversion. I have always been a decently good girl my whole life. I mostly kept out of trouble, and I have always had a genuine desire to be good. When I decided to serve a mission, one of the main things I wanted to learn was how to make my understanding of the gospel and relationship with God something much more deep and personal. I wanted my testimony to be sure and the ability and desire to help others find their own surety. Sometimes I look at my mission and worry that I have actually gone backwards in personal progress. I feel like the attributes of kindness, love, friendship, and service have in some ways diminished instead of grown. But something that I read in Sister Kosanovich
Sam Chit is so kind, she made us sushi 
's email today really struck me. Since their family is moving a lot of people have been asking her lately if their time in Poland has been "fun". Sister Kosanovich said that her time in Poland was like her mission, filled with "beautiful growth through difficult experiences". I would definitely not describe my mission as "fun" either, though I can say I have been blessed with bright billiant rays of funshine through it all. And so I know as much as I feel like a stranger in a far land, a little lost, trying to seem so strong and sure, the Lord is building me. I know that I am in the place the Lord needed me right now, thank goodness I got that information right and followed those promptings, because I am learning so much. I will return home a better woman.

Thank you so much for all of the love and prayers! Stay strong and trust in the Lord! Happy Mothers Day and have a beautiful week!

Sister Benson

Monday, May 4, 2015

First Week in Lodz

May 4, 2015
Hey There Family,
Sister Benson and Herrera
So just for a quick update on my first week here in Lódz. My companions name is Sister Cindy Herrera, she is from California, in her second transfer.  She is really sweet. They have a nice sized branch here which is great.  I was excited to move areas, but I forgot how hard it is to transition cities. Everyone looks at the missionaries and expects them to just immediately know what is up, the in's and out's of the branch, and everything else with the spiritual maturity of an apostle. Plus my comp is still trying to figure things out from last transfer, good thing my transnavigational system learns fairly quickly. Top it all off with the language, which yes has gotten better, alas it is still a struggle. A lady in the branch heard me pray yesterday in church and talking with a few other members, afterwards she was like "you translate for your companion, you speak perfect Polish," which of course I really do not. Five minutes later she had taken that statement back haha. It's been a pretty good first week. They have a lot of investigators here in Lódz... just not any that are progressing haha. There is a really cool recently returned missionary here who just got back from serving in Chicago, her name is Dominika and I love her already, hopefully we will become good friends.
Tracting a Bunker

This week we are headed into Warsaw for zone training, and then I will actually be staying behind for exchanges even though it is super early in the transfer. Sister Bąk (my last comp) will be coming back to Lódz with Sister Herrera and I will stay in Warsaw with Sister Gustafson. I am definitely planning on going to see Kaja at some point! Our branch here in this area is also having its first Polski "grill" on Saturday. It's a basically like a Polish version of a barbeque and they are popular here during the warmer months. I am excited!
Last Day in Gdansk

Other than that, I am just trying to catch up with everything going on here. I have a fantastic district comprising of Elder's Wride, Fogg, Garrett, and Moulder and I have some high hopes for this transfer. This area was once upon a time booming, it has huge potential. Please PRAY for my companion and I, and our district to find those who are prepared be baptized and strengthen this branch this transfer. I love my Heavenly Father and brother Jesus Christ and I am grateful for the opportunity I was given to learn more about my relationship with them by serving a mission and others. I also must add how blessed we truly are. Sitting here on the other side of the world looking at how much good I have around me at home has made me realize how richly blessed I am. Allow God to shape you. The quiet reminder I had this week was that we are individually known, trust Him, and humble yourself enough to let him make more of your life. I love you all and hope you have a good week.
-Sister Benson