Monday, July 27, 2015

By Small and Simple Things

July 27, 2015
Well this week I went on exchanges to Warsaw with Sister Bąk which was awesome! Mondays train ride was fairly uneventful, they moved the whole mission over to using Polski Bus rather than trains, except Lodz, so we still get the trains whoot! Kaja was at the train station right when I pulled in to say hello. She is doing so good! Life is not perfect and I can understand why she is nervous, but everything is pretty much set for the 22nd of August. Please pray for her. But we had a wonderful chat while Kaja escorted us home on Monday evening.
Tuesday was really great. We had district meeting and I got to see two of my really good friends who were in my very first district. Elders Retallick and Wynne were comps in Warsaw II when I first got in the country and now Elder Retallick is ending his mission with Elder Wynne in the same area. After district meeting we had a rushed lunch and then I got to see one of my favorite members from the Warsaw II branch, Karolina. She left last week right after we saw her to go and live in England as a nanny, so I am so glad I caught her one last time! We helped her clean out the relief society closet for Monika the president as one last farewell gift, then had a very sweet lesson with her! As we were teaching her this lesson I felt the spirit so sweetly, I never cry in lessons, but I was tearing up the whole time. Moments like that are so so good. I am going to miss her so much! The elders came and grabbed Kebab's with us for dinner at one of my favorite Kebab shops in Poland afterwards, which let
Cleaning the Relief Society Closet

me tell you is such a sweet miracle. Lodz is supposedly the Kebab capital of Poland, that is such a lie! I have not found a single Kebab here that is even worth trying. So Kebab time in Warsaw is coveted by us Lodziankan's. Then we had contacting at this completely random corner in downtown that was really successful. Sister Bąk and I had 8 really good lessons at this banner board and the elders had like 6. That is another miracle, we no longer have to deal with the dinky heavy trashed white boards anymore. The mission finally ordered in these light-weight portable banners that we can put up when we are out contacting.

Wednesday was pretty uneventful other than a really hot sweaty train ride back to Lodz. We then rushed up to Zgierz and met with one of our members, Irena Zak. She lives an hour away, can't see, is older, and she still is an active members of the church. God bless that woman! All week we have been gearing up for our new referrals lesson on Saturday. We practiced our restoration all week, I legitimately have not taught an actual interested investigator lesson in so long that I was nervous out of my mind. I know because we
prepared that the Lord blessed us! It went really well. She accepted baptism on August 21st, whoot I know! But alas we already have to move it back significantly. She lives far out of Lodz and can only come in every week or two, so we need more time to teach her the lessons, and she needs more time to learn and gain a testimony. Then the same day, Saturday, we received another referral from a member in Wrocław of her friend who is living in Lodz. She was supposed to come to church on Sunday, but ended up canceling the morning of so we are praying that it will happen next week! Finally some momentum in the work, praise the Lord!

I just have to let you know, not because I am a missionary and I have a missionary obligation to throw
something spiritual into my emails, but because it is something that has been on my mind. This week I have felt the spirit so strongly as I have studied and pondered and tried to seek after good things. It all started when I watched the movie "Mountain of the Lord" one night before bed, then another pioneer movie "The John Tanner Story". My mind has been called to serious reflection. This gospel, this life, is so much more than we actually see. I have been trying to pray for the veil to be lifted a little so that I may see with a clearer perspective all that is in store for those who honor and give their lives to the Lord. This life is a life of preparation, and we will never be fully prepared, we will never be spiritually full enough to stop progressing and stop making those agonizing changes that make us more like our Father in Heaven. All of this jolly spiritual ranting means nothing to any of you unless you try them for yourselves, they are simply put just a bunch of words. But words put into action result in growth, real life-changing, life-building growth. The words of the scriptures put into actions equal a living testimony. Having a living testimony also means it has the potential of dying unless fed by continuous nourishment and care. One more thing, for years I have read the Book of Mormon over and over again. Yesterday I finished the Book of Mormon for the second time on my mission. I have always had a testimony that the Book of Mormon is true, that it is good, but I have always felt that Moroni's promise at the end has fallen flat for me. " 3 Behold, I would exhort you that when ye shall read these things, if it be wisdom in God that ye should read them, that ye would remember how merciful the Lord hath been unto the children of men, from the creation of Adam even down until the time that ye shall receive these things, and ponder it in your hearts.4 And when ye shall receive these things, I would exhort you that ye would ask God, the Eternal Father, in the name of Christ, if these things are not true; and if ye shall ask with a sincere heart, with real intent, having faith in Christ, he will manifest the truth of it unto you, by the power of the Holy Ghost. 5 And by the power of the Holy Ghost ye may know the truth of all things. (Moroni 10:3-5)" I never feel like I had received that big spiritual witness and it was so frustrating. Like I said, it doesn't mean I didn't believe in the BOM, I have read it every day and I know the difference it makes, I just felt like I was still searching for something more from that promise. Yesterday as I read the last five chapters of Moroni and tried that promise yet again, I feel like I got my answer. Still, ever so small, but yes it was an answer. As I read those last five chapters I knew what they taught was true, I knew that was my answer after all of these years. God truly has been patient and merciful to us children, Christ is the way and the life. The decisions we make now will truly affect our eternal destinies! "By small and simple things are great things brought to pass." Basically dear family and loved ones, don't give up, don't give in, make the gospel something personal in your lives. The more you learn, the more you understand, the more you will find joy in living it, and vice versa! This mission is blasted hard, but so so worth it. Miss you all, but we will see each other again soon!

Siostra Benson

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