Wednesday, November 20, 2013

Hola queridos mios! Como estan? It is so good to hear from all of you. You all seem to be doing really well! Is it Thanks Giving this week? Fam what will you be doing? Eat some pie for me haha. Obviously they don´t celebrate it here, but we will be eating with some members. The weather here is really rainy and cold but the worse the weather gets the more blessings right? Haha just kidding. 
Okay time for highlights of the week.... (drum roll)
1. I love working with the less active and inactive members. The rescue is just as important in missionary work. And often we find more people to teach through the less active members because they all have family, boyfriends or girlfriends, and friends who are not members. We have been working to get Soledad, a cute woman from Chile, to come back to church. After a hard divorce she hasn´t been to church in like 5 years. And as we have started to visit her she has been thinking of friends she wants to share the gospel with. And this thursday we had a cita with her and her friend Noemi! It was so so great. Her friend is so prepared to accept the gospel and we are so excited to teach her! And I think this will help Soledad come back to church as well. Yayyy. 
2. Last night some dear members had us over for dinner. And guess what they fed us? Pulpos........ (Octupus). Yes it was a greyish purple and it had the little tentacle things on it. Oh my goodness haha. And then if that´s not enough, they fed us anchovies (not sure how to spell that). They watched us eat every bite haha and of couse we ate it with a smile! It´s fun to try new foods but I don´t think I would choose to eat it again haha. I really think that as a missionary Heavenly Father helps you eat stuff you just couldn´t usually eat haha. 
3. So we have been knocking lots of doors lately because there just aren´t as many people out in the streets in the rain. And let me tell ya haha Hermana Reid and I are really mastering the art of it. I wish I could send you a video! To get into an apartment building you have to ring all the timbres and then people answer and say, "Quien es (who is it)?" And we switch off saying different things. There are three strategies here... You can say straight up the usual: Hola! Somos misioneras de la iglesia de jesucristo... Or you can say in your best spanish accent: Hola nos abre (Hey can you open?)... This works some of the time but my accent still isn´t the best haha. Or you can just ring all of them and not say anything and usually someone will just let you in without knowing who you are and then we just knock the whole building! Anyways the other night we starting knocking in a building and the second door we knocked the this man named Maksym, from Ukraine of all places, let us in (rare!). And he told us he was looking for God in his life and that he wanted to come to church! What a miracle! We have been praying really hard to find these people who are prepared. I know that God puts people in our path who are ready to hear and accept the gospel. 
4. One more quick thing. Onome is doing so so well! We went to see her this week and she is just glowing! And she is fitting into the ward well and they are being so good with her. Yay this makes me so happy!
I am grateful for all your love and support! Know that I miss and love you each very much! I hope you have a great week! Keep on keeping on! 


Hermana Benson
P.S. Next week is transfers and I´m pretty sure I will be leaving my beautiful San Sebastain ;( . And I will probably not be able to email you until Tuesday. I love you! 
Oh and also I attached some pictures of me knocking doors Haha. Knocking doors is kind of fun because you just never know who is going to answer or what they will say. Good times!

Hola everyone! How is everyone?! It is so great to hear from you and it sounds like everyone is doing good. Me alegro mucho. Okay so this week was one of the most stressfull but best weeks of the misson. Guess what?! My girl Onome was baptized on Saturday in the mar and confirmed yesterday. It was so much work putting it all together but with the help of Heavenly Father everything went just perfectly! And Onome is so so happy. 
Saturday morning we went and picked up Onome and her daughter Johana with one of the ward members. And then we drove over to a beautiful beach that is right next to France and met the Elders and other members that came. As we were walking out to the water I was asking Onome how she felt and she said, "Baptism is very important to me. I am happy. I want to follow Jesus Christ. Thank you. Thank you." Ah it was the sweetest thing. Then we picked a spot and then started with a song and prayer offered by Hermana Reid and then Onome and I gave testimonies. Then Onome and Elder Green (his first baptism!) went in the water to do the ordinance. Luckily it was not raining but it was still a bit cold. The baptism all went smoothly and then they came running out of the water and we wrapped them up in towels and blankets. Then we quickly got in the car and drove them to change out of the wet clothes at a members house. It was perfect. There was no where else I would have rather been! I am so grateful to be able to see people progress in the gospel of Jesus Christ. 
Ah really quick I want to give you an update on Cristina! She is doing so so well. Last night we had a cita with her and she told us that yesterday she was reading and she opened up to two random spots that both talked about baptism. Ahhh best thing ever. She has pretty much been taught everything and is ready to be baptized. Her goal is the 23 of November. She really needs to read and pray so that she can recieve a confirmation that José Smith was a prophet. I would love to see her baptized before I go! I am going to miss these people so much. 
I love being a missionary. And I love helping others follow Christ. I know the gospel is true. My testimony is strengthened every time I see how the gospel changes peoples lives and the happiness it brings them. Sharing the gospel is important. Everyone needs the opportunity to accept the gospel. Haha I think about this everytime Hermana Reid get rejected when we are knocking doors. Well I hope you all have a great week! Thank you for your love and support. I love you so much! 


Hermana Benson

Attached are some pictures of the baptism! 

Hola! Como estan? Espero que todo esta bien en sus vidas. How was Halloween? Haha it was super weird here because no one celebrates it. So Hermana Reid and I wore all black and a little bit of orange to celebrate. We looked good. And later that night we were fed pumpkin soup that was super good. And the lady who made it had no idea it was Halloween haha. This week has been super crazy but good. And San Sebastian has finally decided that summer is over and hace frio con mucha lluvia. Hermana Reid and I got drenched walking over to email haha. Whenever we are in extreme weather conditions or when we have to run somewhere it makes me laugh so hard. Ah I do love being a missionary. 
Our week was full of miracles! I have been praying so hard for Onome and Cristina because it seemed as though we had lost them. But last week we finally got ahold of Onome ( she is our investigator from Nigeria that had a baptismal date but then fell of the face of the earth for about a month). We went to see her and she was really sad because she has been going through some hard things. Anyways she let us come see here this week and we shared Mosiah 24 with her. Okay such a good chapter. It talks about how the people have afflictions but God makes their burdens light because of the covenant which the have made. The convenant being baptized. So we shared this with her and invited her to be baptized again. And guess what she said?! Yes. But I want to be baptized in the river. And we were like the river? But Onome it´s November and the water is cold. But she really wants to be baptized in the river (meaning the ocean) and so we said okay lets do it! Hahaha. So Onome will be baptized this Saturday in the ocean. Please imagine me asking our bishop if it would be okay if we had a baptism in the ocean on Saturday haha. He looked at me like I was crazy but then jumped right on board because he knows how important baptism is! 
The next miracle happened when we finally heard from Cristina again! She is our spanish investigator who had a baptismal date a few months ago. We finally were able to meet with her again yesterday and it had been probably 3 weeks since we had seen her! The cita with her went great and she was happy to see us. And we also set a baptismal date with her again for the 23rd of November. Ah we are so so so excited for her too! I am really hoping I will be able to see her baptized before I leave San Sebastian. My dearest companion and I have been praying so hard for these two women. And Heavenly Father heard us and answered our prayers. I know that Heavenly Father loves us and always hears our prayers. 

I think I have only 3 more weeks here in San Sebastian. I will be so sad to leave and say goodbye to all the people I love so much. Well please keep me updated on your lives! I love you all so much and thank you for your love and support. I hope you have a wonderful week!

Besos y abrazos,

Hermana Benson 

P.S. Attached are some pretty great photos that Hermana Reid and I took of the apartment. Haha hope you enjoy them!

Hola everyone! How are you doing? I miss all of you x 10! Can you believe it´s almost November! Ahhh so crazy. Time is going by so fast. Well things here in San Sebastian are going great. I love it and never want to be transfered haha. I am trying to just soak up every moment. I have already learned so much on my mission and I am so grateful to be here. Everyone should go on missions! Kath and Amy? Michael round 2? 
Okay so we had a pretty great week. We have been working so hard and we are starting so see some of the fruits! Yay. The highlights of the week: 
1. Juan Carlos (coolest best old spanish man in our ward) took us to the town where he was born today for preparation day. It was absolutely hilarious. He packed us all a lunch and was so excited to show us everything. And he even played us some of his spanish music. He lives to help the missionaries and he has only been a member for about 3 years now. His dream in life is to buy a house over looking the ocean where the missionaries can eat and stay for free with him and his wife. Is there anything else I would rather do on a preparation day? Probably not. I will attach some pictures! 
2. We had our ward mission leader come to some citas we had set up on Wednesday and after we had a little extra time so we were looking for some people to talk to in the streets. And we found this cute woman sitting on a bench so we stopped and asked her if we could sit down and share a message with her and she said yes! So we just started teaching her and things were going pretty good so I thought we might as well invite her to be baptized. And she said yes and now has baptismal date! What a miracle. There are people out there who are ready to accept the gospel! 
3. We were knocking doors the other night which is always a funny/interesting time. And we knocked on this door and this lady asked us who we were so I told her and she just shouted back through the door way loud, "I AM VERY CATHOLIC!" Hahaha it was so funny, my companion and I got a good kick out of it. And then we were knocking on this other door and the guy asked us who we were so I answered and he responded back,"You´re confused." Haha so I repeated myself and he just said, "No, you´re confused." Haha really funny. Knocking doors isn´t always the most successful thing here but sometimes you do find people that will listen. I think they say every 500 doors you knock equals 1 baptism. Sometimes you have to go through the 99 to find the 1! Vale la pena! 
4. So I don´t know if you remember me telling you about Onome? She was the woman we were teaching from Nigeria. She had a baptismal date but then didn´t feel ready. And we have not been able to get ahold of her for the past 3 weeks. So sad! But guess what? We decided to give her a call the other day and actually answered and told us we could come visit her. Seeing her was reallly bittersweet because she is going through some really hard things. But I am so glad we got to see her and share our testimonies with her about how much our Heavenly Father loves her and how through Christ we can have more peace, hope, and love in our lives. I hope that we will be able to start teaching her again. 
5. Last night when I was writing in my journal Hermana Reid did a dance for me to some organ music hahaha it was pretty great. What a good companion I have. We always have good times together.

Well those a just a few things from the week that were great! I hope you are all doing well. I love hearing from you each week. I am so thankful for all your love and support! The gospel of Jesus Christ is true and it changes lives. How blessed we are to have it in our lives! I hope you have a great week. Know that I love you and I am praying for you!
Hola queiridos mios,
Hey everyone! How are you all doing? I hope you are enjoying this fall weather as much as I am. It is so beautiful here in San Sebastian. The people say that it is strange it isn´t colder yet. It still gets up to about 70 degrees everyday. And I am loving the sun! In our piso we don´t have windows really to the outside world haha so everyday we just guess what the weather is going to be like or we ask people for the forecast. 
Okay I am going to give you highlights of the week! .... 
Numero uno: Tuesday we had a family night with a few spanish members and one of their friends! (Most of the members here are from South America so this was way exciting for us!) It is the greatest when members help with missionary work. Yay I love members. They had told us that this woman previously hasn´t been super interested in the missionaries or the church but things went super well! We shared Moroni´s promise and invited them to read, ponder, and pray. The spirit was really strong and my favorite part was when the members shared their experiences with recieving an answer that El Libro de Mormon es verdadero. Family help the missionaries! 
Numero dos: We contacted a woman named Erica who the Elders had taught previously. We met with her and told us that she wants to be baptied!! So great. The only problem is that she works on Sundays we are going to pray really hard with her that she will be able to find a new job or be able to get permission to come to church for at least sacrament meeting. 
Numero tres: We have been street contacting like crazy lately and we found this cute woman from Honduras and set up another cita with her. P.S. Her name is Estella and she was a gold star on one of her teeth.Love it. We met with her on a bench and about five minutes after talking she was like, "Do you want to know my house?" Haha and of course we said sure! She then walked us to her piso and her daughter and cousin were there so we just taught all of them! Three new investigators! Yayyy. They are all really great and I am so excited to keep teaching them. 
Numero quatro: Our dear investigator Angelica invited us to come eat with her this week! Haha and it was interesting. She fed us this grey worm looking things on top of this salad ... And when we asked her what they were she was like, "Se llama gooras... Pescado." So hermana Reid and I decided they were worms of the sea. Anyway my companion is just a champion at pounding food haha because the faster you eat it the better. I just ate as fast as I could and tried to not think too much about it haha. After we left the cita we were walking home and my companion was like, "Ahhh Hermana I don´t feel so good... my stomach really hurts." Haha and then she like started to panic and I was semi stressed because I didn´t know how to help her. So we hurried home and she just barely made it to the baño. Lets just say I don´t think we will be eating gooras anytime soon. 
Okay this email is getting long. Things are going good here and we are working hard! I am excited for this week because we have some new people to teach and we are hoping to get some more baptismal dates! I love this work and I feel so grateful to be able to see people change their lives and accept the gospel. Thank you for all you love and support! Que Dios les bendiga! 
Con amor,

Hermana Benson 

Oh my goodness I almost forgot! Today for preparation day Hermana Reid and I rented a tandam bike and it was hilarious. At first it was a little rough but by the end we were pros. Riding a tandam bike is just like a companionship... You both have to get on if you want to go anywhere. You both have to pedal and balance so you don´t crash. And you have to laugh and enjoy the ride! I will attach a photo. Les quiero mucho!

Hola everyone! How are you all doing? Ah it is so good to hear from you each week. I love you all so very much. Can you believe that Octubre is half way over?! So crazy. This week was so much better than last week. The work is going well for my companion and I. We are working so hard and be as obedient as ever haha. We were blessed with finding so many new people to teach this week. And guess how we found them? Haha we talked to and contacted so many people on the street. It was great times. And my companion´s spanish is improving so much and I´m so proud of her. I am sad to think that I will most likely only have 6 more weeks here in San Sebastian with her. I love the people here so much! I know that as we continue to demonstrate our faith that the Lord will bless us and we will see many miracles. 
There is one miracle story that I want to share with you all. The other day we had about 1 and half of time where we didn´t have a cita or anything so we decided we were just going to go find someone on the street to teach. We walked over to a park and we spotted these to latino ladies sitting on a bench, so of course we went to go talk with them. We just went up and introduced our selves and started to get to know them and then we asked them if we could sit down and share a message with them and they actually said yes haha! We whipped out the libro de mormon and explained a little bit about it and shared a scripture with them. I can´t remember all that we said but I know the spirit was strong. After we finished with a prayer one of the women, Gloria, told us that it was inspired that we came. She told us that she had been searching for something spiritual in her life. I know that the Lord puts prepared people in our path who are ready to hear and accept the gosple. I am so excited to continue teaching these two wonderful women! 
Hmm I am trying to think of what else to tell you... Oh! I know! This Sunday the Paces came up to San Sebastian for church. And it was so great to have them here with us. And all week Hermana Reid and I have been working so hard to get our investigators to come to church. So Sunday morning we picked up a less active woman named Milagros and then we quickly dropped her off at the church and said hola to the Paces and then ran to pick up our investigator Samuel (18 yr old from Columbia). Haha and we barely made it to church on time! And then to make things better just after the hymn started our dear investigators Angelica and Onome walked in. It was a miracle. And it was a wonderful meeting for them to come to because it was fast and testimony meeting! After church we had a ward cousel meeting with the Paces and the stake president to discuss the need for a new chapel. We are so packed in our little building. The talked about the option of splitting the ward into two branches or just having 2 sacrament meetings instead of one. I´m not sure what they will do but I hope they do something so we will have room for everyone! 
Well that´s about it for this week! I hope I have not bored you haha. I know the gospel of Jesus Christ is true. And that it blesses our lives! I am so grateful to be a missionary. I love this work and I love my Savior. I hope you all have a wonderful week! I want you to know that I love you and I think and pray for you often. Un besaso! 

Hermana Benson

Hello! How are all of you doing? I hope you had a wonderful conference weekend! I was so blessed to be able to watch most of the sessions. And we even watched them in enlish, which is a big bonus because it´s just not the same when the talks are done over in spanish haha. I loved how much the atonement was talked about. I think that one of my favorite scriptures was quoted a few times... Matthew 11: 28-30. I love my Savior and all the peace that we can find through him. I am so grateful that we have the gospel of Jesus Christ in our lives. How blessed we are! 
So there were a few highlights of the week that I want to briefly mention: 
1. Cristina prayed! A real prayer. Out loud, in front of us. Wow this was such a big step for her. She is really shy and was so so nervous to pray. Praying seems really natural for us but for someone like Cristina who has only ever recited catholic prayers it can be a little hard. With lots of encouragement and a little help she said a beautiful prayer. I am still so happy about it. Go prayers! 
2. Claudia (a less active) and Arturo (investigator) had their baby and they are so so happy! And we got to go see him! Unai is his name. It is a name in euskera that means good shepard. So great! I love babies so this was basically one of the best things ever. It was hard to not be able to hold him as missionaries and they were way confused as to why we couldn´t hold him haha. 
3. We found a less active member named Soledad who wants to come back to church but is scared to come back after a bad divorce. We just happened to come across her name in our phone and we decided to call her. I am so grateful we found her and that we are here to help her! 
4. Late thursday night I woke up real sick. Probably threw up a good amount of times. Mom I really missed ya.  I don´t know what happened but I think I ate something bad. Yuck. I never want to eat with people again haha. Luckily it only took me out for a day and I am feeling much better!
5. We went to Angelica´s (investigator) birthday party! It was a great time and so cute of her to invite her two, very tall, blonde, missionary friends haha. It was one of those awkward social settings but it gets even more weird when spanish isn´t your first langauge haha. And we even brought some brownies haha. People love brownies here. Mom could you send me one of your recipes? 
Well that´s pretty much my week! Haha. I am doing good and I am grateful to be here. Thank you for all your love and support! I love you and miss you lots! And I hope to hear from you again soon!

Hermana Benson 

Attached are photos from last dia de preparacion y de el cumpleaños de Angelica.

Hola everyone! These are some pictures of the beautiful San Sebastian today. Everything is going well here! I love this work and I am so grateful to be here. Have a wonderful day! I love you all! 
Besossss y abrazosss! 

Hola! Como estan? Espero que todo esta bien con ustedes. Les hecho de menos! La obro aqui en San Sebastian es genial. Me encanta la mision muchisimo. 
Everyone! How are you doing? I hope that everything is going good. I miss you all! The work here in San Sebastian is great. I love the mission so much. 
This last week was a crazy but great week. Haha my companion is awesome and is hanging in there so well. The first few weeks of the mission can be rough because you are thrown into so many new things. She really is a champ. She has such a strong desire to work hard and be obedient and I love her! And she speaks so well for a new missionary even though she doesn´t think she does. I am blessed to have her with me! 
So anyways back to the week, we were so busy but busy weeks are the best! It was also a crazy week where lots of interesting but funny things happened. But what do you expect when two, tall white, blonde, missionaries are walking around spain? I think we got quacked at and meowed at the other day... Haha. And one of our investigators gave us some fake (no alcoholic) beer. Oh and we might have locked our keys in the apartment. And we went to Bilbao for stake conference and zone conference! Ah and we played basketball with some investigators and members who had never played in there lives. It was awesome. 

Besides all those crazy things we have been working hard to prepare Onome for her baptism this Saturday! Yay :) She has been so prepared by the Lord and it has been such a pleasure to see her progress in the gospel. I can´t remember if I have told you a little bit about her story so I´m going to tell you right now! She is about 35 yrs old and from Nigeria. Side note, I love the africans here! They are the nicest most believing people. Anyways a couple months ago we started working with this less active man, Solomon, who now comes every week! And about a month ago he brought Onome and her little girl with him to church! It was such a miracle. A lot of the miracles we see happen through the members. And we have been teaching her for about 3 weeks now and she will be baptized this Saturday! She has been incredible to teach because she already has so much faith in Jesus Christ. And I am so excited for her to take this step of baptism because then the atonement can become real in her life. Whenever we talk about Christ with her the spirit is so strong and I can feel how much the Savior loves her and everyone. I love being a missionary and I love sharing this message of Jesus Christ with people!
So I mentioned a little earlier about how we were able to go down to Bilbao for a stake conference which was so amazing. The talks were super good but my favorite part was I was able to see some of the members who I love so much from Bilbao! It was the best day ever. I can´t even explain to you how much I love these people. And then later that night I went with my cute companion to visit a few of them. We got to go see my convert Mildret and her family who were recently sealed in the temple! They are doing so so well. I am so happy for them. We also got to see Gilda, Fatima, and Patricia. They are three cute women from Paraguay who I became really close with while I was serving in Bilbao. I hope and pray that I will be able to go back and see them all again before the end of my mission! Mom if you come pick me up we are going to visit these people. You will love them. 
Oh and also we had a zone conference yesterday and so that´s why I am writting to you today! But it was so great. I always love meeting with big groups of missonaries because the spirit is super strong. And I love recieving counsel from President and Hermana Pace. They are just the best! 

Woah sorry that turned into a really long email. But I just want you all to know that I love you and our Heavenly Father loves you! The gospel it true. If we follow Jesus Christ and we are faithful until the end we will have eternal life as families! I hope you have a wonderful week and I hope to hear from you again soon! 

Hermana Brooke Benson 

P.S. My fellow Utah fan President Pace told me about the win. GO UTES!!! 

Hola mi familia! How are all of you doing? It is always so good to hear from you every week! It is so good to be back here in San Sebastian with my new companion Hermana Reid. She is from Conneticut, 20 yrs old, BYU fan, haha and tall and blonde like me! Yay! ... Minos the byu part haha just kidding. But really I am so blessed and excited to have her as a companion. She is so ready and willing to work super hard with me! She is also likes to study a lot haha like Michael... So that´s a great example for me. And her spanish is way better than mine when I started. And actually yesterday she invited someone to be baptized for the first time and it was awesome! Haha it is always so scary that first time but she did well and he said yes! Training a brand new missionary is a lot of pressure but it is such a good opportunity for me to learn and grow and become a better missionary. 
The work is going so well here in the beautiful San Se. We have had our days packed with people to teach. The Lord is truly blessing us! And I think we will be seeing a few baptisms this month... Angelica, Cristina, Jenny, and Samuel! My goodness I just love all the people here so much, the members and the people we teach! We just got a new mission leader in the ward here. He is an 18 year old boy from Chile who is preparing for a mission. He is so excited to work with us and has already been helping us out a lot. The ward here is great. Our chapel is so small here though. It is so small that every week they broadcast sacrament meeting into one of the class rooms haha. I sometimes worry that we won´t have seats for our investigators but some how it all works out good. They are looking for a place to build a new church but it could take a few years. 

I am so grateful to be a missionary in the Spain Barcelona mission. It was so good to go down to Barcelona and pick up my companion. We had a big meeting with President and Hermana Pace (they are the best), the trainers (can´t believe I´m not new anymore), and all the new missonaries. I also ran into Corbin there too! Haha so great, I haven´t seen him for like 4 1/2 months. There we so many missonaries there! I love meeting with so many of us because the spirit is always so strong.
Keep me updated on your lives! It sounds like you are all doing really well :) Keep on keepin on! Love you all so much!! 
Hola mi querida familia,

How is everyone doing? I can´t believe that summer has come to an end and you are back in school! Que loco! It was so good to hear from all of you this week. I always look forward to reading your emails. This week has been great for Hermana Tyler and I. We have seen so many miracles. I am so grateful to be serving and I wouldn´t change it for anything. The gospel is real. I know that we have a Heavenly Father who loves us and knows us. I love being able to share this message of hope and love with the people here! I love the people here so much. I can´t even describe it. 

Okay okay I really want to share with you the miracle of the week! So remember me telling you about the spanish woman we found at the bus stop? Okay so she came to church last sunday and it was wonderful! Before church we were able to give her a LDM and explain a little bit about it. And on Thursday we had our first real lesson with her. So we taught her about the restoration of the gospel! It went so well! Ahhh I am so grateful. The spirit was so strong and she was so receptive to everything we said and felt there. At the begining of the lesson haha Michael will know this but usually as part of that lesson we explain that this gospel blesses families. And as we were talking about this i felt like I should bear my testimony to her about eternal families "las familias pueden ser eternas", as I bore testimony of this her face just kind of lit up and she said me too, I believe in that too! Ahh so good. Then later the member who´s home we were having the lesson in bore her testimony about recieving an answer that LDM is verdadero and about how we feel the spirit. And Cristina just kept saying I really want to find out if it is true, I want to know that too. Wow. Okay she is the most prepared person ever. But it gets better. So towards the end of the lesson I asked her if she had had a chance to read in the book of mormon and she was like ya a little. And she opens it up and she had read 15 chapters!!! This never happens. I am so excited and happy for Cristina. I can´t wait to continue to see her progress in the gospel. I know that she will recieve an answer as she reads and prays! We are hoping that we can set a baptismal fecha with her this week :). 

This is the last week of the transfer! It has literally flown by and I knew it would because I am loving my companion and area so much. I think this is transfer 3 for me. And for the last week of the transfer President Pace sent us two mini missionaries to work with. They are two 16 year old young women from Barcelona. Hermana Aragote and Hermana Mizzini. They are so cute and excited to be here. I will send a picture next week. It is so fun to teach, contact, and knock doors with them! I really hope that they have a wonderful experience and that they will leave with a strong desire to serve a mission. I wonder if you can do mini missions in Utah? I wish I would have done that! Anyways back to transfers, they are this next wednesday the 3rd. And I will probably stay here and train! Yay :) I will not be able to email next Monday but later on in the week once I get back from Barcelona!

I am so thankful for all of you and I love you so very much! Thank you for all your love and support. I hope to hear from all of you again! Les quiero mucho!! Que tenga un buen dia! :) 


Hermana Benson 

Hola familia,How are all of you doing? I miss all of you so much! :) Can you believe that beloved summer is coming to an end?! I can´t! Summer always flies by. Well it sounds like all of you are doing pretty well... Nothing too crazy haha. San Sebastián is just great! I am really starting to love it here. The mission just gets better and better. This week was a pretty good week. And we had such a wonderful miracle happen yesterday that I want to tell you about. So lately I´ve been thinking about how the actually people from Spain are really hard to contact in the street because they are just not very open. So usually when we contact them with a direct approach we get shut down just about every time haha. But the people who live here who are from South America and Africa are much easier to contact. But I have been thinking about how we can get more investigators who are from this country! Anyways back to the story... Yesterday my companion and I were sitting at the bus stop waiting and this spanish woman came and sat down and my cute companion just turned to her and started some small talk. And guess what? She was so nice and friendly and she was super curious as to why we were so far away from home sharing this message about Jesucriso. We continued to talk with her and ended up chatting with her the whole bus ride. By the end of the ride we got her number and she said that she would come to church! What?? This rarely happens with the Spaniards. Her name is Cristina and I am so excited for her. And as I was talking to her on the bus it just really seemed like she has been prepared to hear and accept the gospel. Sometimes I will just be talking with someone and it hits me like whoa I´m a missionary right now and I´m speaking spanish with someone haha. I am so grateful to be on a mission, it is an amazing experience!  This week in San Sebastián is a huge holiday called La Gran Semana. And there are so many people out and about! Every night at like 11:00 they have a bunch of fireworks and sadly that is past our curfew so we don´t get to watch them. Haha but it´s okay. They also have tons of concerts and fun things for the little kids to do.  But anyways I don´t have much time to write this week because the place we email is super busy! But I just want you to know that I love you and the gospel is true and it will and does bless our lives. Thanks for writting to me! I hope to hear from you all again soon! Keep me updated on your lives, okay? Oh and I am sending you a letter today with some fun pictures :) Love you,Hermana Benson 

Monday, July 29, 2013

Hola familia! Que tal? How is everyone doing? I hope you all had a great week! Haha we are here emailing and I am laughing super hard because this cute boy Samuel (18 yrs old from Columbia) that we contacted yesterday walked in and just tried to give besos to my companion and her reaction was hilarious. Instead of saying oh sorry we can´t give besos because we are missionaries she just let out like ahhh noooooo and dodged. Super funny. I could tell the poor guy was really confused.

But anyways, I am in San Sebastián now and I am loving it so far! ! It is the most beautiful city on the beach I have ever seen. I have really enjoyed running on the boardwalk every morning for exercise. So great! And yesterday was my first day at the ward here. It is a really small ward but I can tell they are all really strong members. I am excited to get to know them and work with them more! It was so nice to actually be able to understand and talk to people my first Sunday here. Haha because I remember my first day in Bilbao I really had no idea what people were saying. We had a few people come to church so that was great! We picked up a girl named Jessy, she is a menos activo. It was a miracle that we found her! The other week the hermanas knocked the building that she was living in and she found our card and called us to see if she could come to church with us! Really cool! And then one of our investigators and her cute little son came to church. And she, Angelica, has a baptismal date for the 17 of August! I am excited for her. And then guy from Nigeria who was baptized a while ago called us to see when church was because he wanted to come back! And we have a cita with him and his wife who is not a member tomorrow. So anyways I tell you these things because we have already been blessed with so many miracles! And I know that as we continue to work hard and exercise faith we will continue to see these miracles. 

I am really happy to be here serving here with hermana Tyler. I will send some pictures of us and San Sebastian next week. I don´t really feel like I am training. Hermana Tyler is already a great missionary who is willing to work hard and be obedient, so I am loving it! She is from California and her mother is from Mexico. So she understands and speaks spanish pretty well! Yay. And right now we have another hermana with us for a couple days because her companion had to go down to Barcelona for a meeting. Her name is Hermana Findlay and this is her like 5th day in the mission haha so it´s really fun to be with her! All the new missionaries that are coming in are super great. They all have such a strong desire to work hard and be obedient. It is wonderful. We will have about 45 new missionaries coming in this September... 22 new hermanas! The Lord is hastening his work and I am grateful to be a missionary at this exciting time! 

Did you all here about the awful train wreck that happened here in Madrid, Spain this last week? From what I have heard from the members about 80 people died and many are seriously injured. There were some missionaries on the train. Elder Ward was traveling to his first area on the mission when the accident happened. And he was traveling with a senor missionary couple. None of them were killed but they did recieve some serious injuries. I know that is a miracle that they were saved from this accident and that Heavenly Father was watching out for them. Pray with me for these families who have been affected in this tragedy. 

It is so good to here from all of you! It sounds like you are all doing well and it´s hard to believe we are almost in our last month of summer. I hope you enjoy your last few weeks! Here is my address if you would like to send me a letter :) 

Hermana Brooke Benson 
C/ San Martín 15, 2D
20005 San Sebastián

I just want you to all know how much I love you and I am grateful for you! Thanks for all your love and support. I miss you all but I know that this is where I am supposed to be. I am so grateful for the opportunity I have to serve as a missionary here in Spain. I wouldn´t trade it for anything in the world! I hope you have a great week! 


Hermana Benson 

Hola todos! ¿Que tal Salt Lake City? Hey everyone! How are you doing? It sounds like you are having a great summer!  Thank you for your emails, I love hearing all about your different summer adventures! I can´t believe it´s already the end of July...

And with the end of July comes more transfers. I am being transfered to San Sebastian where I will be finishing the training of Hermana Tyler. I´m a little nervous to train because I still feel very new but I know that it is really going to prepare me to train a brand new hermana in September. I am sad to leave Bilbao because I love everyone here so much but I know that the Lord has good things in store in. On Sunday the bishop gave me a few minutes in sacrament meeting and it was great to be able to just share my testimony and express my love for all the members there. The ward here is really incredible and the bishop too. And after the meetings I was able to take some pictures with the members and say my goodbyes. I will attach a few pictures to this email! And then these last couple of days we have been able to visit some people who are really special to me. We have seen Maria René (investigator), Fredy (recent convert) and his cute family, La famila Alvarez (they are a less active family that we have been working a lot with), and El obispo y su esposa. There are so many good people here and I really hope that I will be able to come back someday! Mom if you really come pick me up we will be visiting all of these people!  But back to San Sebastian... It has got to be one of the most beautiful cities in Spain. I went there about a month ago for preparation day. I don´t know if you remember me telling you about it? It is right on the northern coast of Spain. Meaning we will be albe to run on the board walk every morning! YAY. I can´t wait and I feel super blessed to have the opportunity to serve there with Hermana Tyler. And it will be great to get a fresh start somewhere! And I here the ward there is also wonderful! 

So earlier this week my companion and I finally got to watch the world wide missionary broadcast, "The work of Salvation". It was sooooo good. If you have not seen it I would challenge you to watch it. It talks a ton about member missionaries and how full time missionaries can better work with the members and ward leaders. I was reallly impressed with how well it was done. It was really powerful! It also focused on how we can have "missionary families", like what things we can do as a family to share the gospel. If you don´t have time to watch the whole thing, just watch the video of the family... Okay? Haha. These last few days I have really been reflecting on the importance of the family. Everytime I testify to someone of the importance of the family and that families can be eternal, I always feel the spirit very strong. "Salvation is a personal matter, exaltation is a family matter." I love this quote because I know it´s true! I´m grateful for all of you and I love you very much! Lets do all we can to recieve exaltation. I know that if we do the little things like reading in the scriptures and praying together we will be blessed! 

I love you all and I hope you have a great day! 

Les amo y que tenga un buen dia! 


Hermana Benson 

Picture 1- Me and with some of the young single adults! They are wonderful and always so willing to help with citas that we have. 

Picture 2- Me with Fredy and his wife and kids. They are a beautiful family! 

Picture 3- Me with the bishop and his wife. They are amazing!

Buenos Tardes! Holllllla everyone! How are all of you doing? I hope you each had a great week and I really enjoyed reading your emails! It sounds like everyone is doing pretty good. And it sounds hot in the SLC! Bilbao is beautiful right now. We have finally had some sun and it is just wonderful. It is probably like 70 degrees. Perfect. Today I´m in Barcelona picking up my residency card and it is pretty warm here! Barcelona is such a cool city! I would love to serve sometime during my mission. And today I got to see La Sagrada familia, which is a famous cathedral here. I will attach some pictures. This cathedral has been under contruction for over 100 years and is still not finished. But let me tell you... It is stunning. 

But the best part of my week was Mildret´s baptism!!!!! YAYYY. It was a great day and everything went smoothly. Mildret and her Dad looked so good in their white clothing. I will attach some pictures of them too! Mildret was so prepared and I am so happy and excited for her. Luckily this time I did not have to give a talk haha but I did participate in the musical number. We sang "We I am baptized (Cuando me bautice)" ... I love this song. She is truly a special girl that will be really hard for me to say goodbye too. She is always so happy and has a huge smile of her face. I just love her! And the best part is that her family is preparing to go to the temple!! I couldn´t be more excited about this.

I wrote you a letter earlier today haha that you won´t get for another week so I´m trying not to repeat things! But anyways the work is going good and I´m good too. I miss all of you but I am loving my mission more and more as I go. I´m really excited for all the new sisters that are coming in. The new hermanas we have a really great and it has been fun to get to know them. I´m not sure what will happen this next transfer in a few weeks. I really hope I stay in Bilbao because I love the people here and it´s beautiful. I would really like to get a spanish speaking companion so that I can get really good at spanish. My companion speaks spanish well but doesn´t like speaking with me. So it would be really good to be just forced into speaking spanish all the time. I feel like I need to get realy good at spanish so that I can be the kind of missionary I want to be and the Lord wants me to be. And I will need to be good when we get 20 new hermanas in September because there is a 90% chance that most us everyone (including me) will be training!

Hmmm I´m trying to think of what else to tell you... Oh did you watch the missionary broadcast or hear about it? I haven´t been able to watch it yet but hopefull sometime this week! I´ve heard that they may start implementing facebook and ipads for missionaries. Pretty cool. I don´t know when we would find time to use that haha but I´m sure they have a plan. This is an exciting time to be a missionary and I feel blessed to be here in the Spain, Barcelona mission (the best mission around)! I wouldn´t change a thing! I miss you all but I am happy to be here!

I love you all mucho! Y espero escuchar de ustedes pronto! Aguurrr! Besos y abrazos!

Con amor,

Hermana Brooke Benson
Stuck in an elevator.