Sunday, May 5, 2013

                                      Cute Brooke at the Madrid Temple!

                                      She never thought she would love a coug fan!

Hola from Barcelona!! So sorry I dídn´t get a chance to call this morning ;( But in two weeks we can talk! Can you believe that I am out in the field now?! Ah so exciting. We arrived in Barcelona around 10am and our mission presidents were at the train station to greet us. They took us to this beautiful view of Barcelona. And oh man it is amazing. Madre you would love it. And then they took us to the mission home where the president interviewed us and we had a little bit of an orientation. They are so kind and I feel so blessed to have them! Right now I am on splits with a couple of sisters and I don´t find out until tomorrow who my trainer will be and where I will be going. I honestly don´t care where the Lord sends me. I am just ready to get to work! I am still nervous about my spanish but I know with patience and hard work it will come. It feels really good to be out of the CCM. I will miss everyone there, but I know bigger and better things are ahead. I hope to hear from you soon! Keep me updated on everything. I love and miss you!


Hermana Brooke Benson

Hola everyone! How are you doing? It was so fun to hear from some of you this week. This week has flown by for me. I am getting closer and closer to being out in the field! I leave for Barcelona by train Tuesday morning. Can you believe it?! Ahhh I´m so so excited. The CCM has been awesome but I´m ready to move on haha to bigger and better things. As I was teaching one of my “investigators” last night I realized that the next person I will be teaching will be real! Ah man so cool but overwhelming. I pray that I will be able to communicate with the people of Barcelona. My Spanish is okay but nowhere near perfect. I can understand when people speak fairly slow and I am concentrating with every fiber of my being haha. This has and will continue to be a very humbling experience. I just really hope I am put with a patient companion that will be helpful! But guess what? I had two Spanish accomplishments this week haha. Numero uno: I memorized the first vision in Español. YAY. Ready…
 Vi una columna de luz, mas brilliante que el sol, directamente arriba de me cabeza, y esta luz gradualmente descedio hasta descansar sobre mi… Al reprosar sobre mi la luz, vi en el aire arriba de me a dos personajes, cuyo fulgor y Gloria no admiten descripcion. Uno de ellos me habló, llamándome por mi nombre, y dijo señalando al otro, Este es mi hijo amado, ESCUCHALO!
Proud of me? Haha I am. And just imagine me using some really cool hand signals hahaha just kidding. Now I´m working on Moroni`s promise. Okay accomplishment numero dos: Today at the temple I did the whole session in Español. I actually understood more than I thought I would and it was just great. I love going to the temple each week and I will really miss it once I get to Barcelona!
So basically Spain is the greatest place. The culture here is awesome. It is my second home. This week on the 23 of April was Dia del Libro. Book day! SPAIN has a book day? Are you kidding me? I love it. They celebrate book day on the April 23th because that is the day Miguel Cervantes died. As most of you probably know he wrote the world famous Spanish novel Don Quijote. On book day all of the book stores have really good sales, people trade books, and people give away books. I wish that the 23th would have landed on a proselyting day. We could have given out Books of Mormon like crazy haha. We need to start celebrating book day back home. For real.
Last Saturday proselyting was awesome. One of the best proselyting days I have had so far. This time I was put with a companion who is more on the shy side so I had to do a lot of the talking… In español. It really put me out of my comfort zone and was such great practice. We had many great conversations and people were pretty nice to us. But I want to share with you my favorite experience of the day. We had been walking around the streets of Goya for about 30 minutes with not very much success. So we found a quiet place in a little alley (sounds sketchy but it wasn´t haha) and decided that we needed to say a prayer asking Heavenly Father to put someone in our path who would accept our message and a Book of Mormon. We said the prayer and kept walking. The first few people who we talked with were not interested. But about 10 minutes later we saw this man and we both knew and I think he knew (if that makes sense) that we needed to talk to him. We went right up and introduced ourselves and got to know him a little bit and then we started talking about the gospel and I pulled out a Book of Mormon and before I said anything he said I want to read and study that book. I was shocked!! I had not said anything about it and he already wanted to know more. The Lord had prepared his heart. We then talked a little bit about El Libro de Mormon and we read Mornoni´s promise with him and just bore testimony that if he read and prayed he could find out if it was true. He told us that he would study, read, and pray about it. WOW! We got his contact information and hopefully some of the Madrid missionaries will be contacting him soon! Heavenly Father is aware of us and he does answer our prayers. I´m so grateful to be a missionary in Spain! The Lord is hastening his work and I am so happy to be a small, small part of it.
I forgot to mention in my last email that we got some new missionaries here in the CCM! All of them will be serving in Italy. They are from Italy, Argentina, and England. They all already speak Italian. One of the sisters shares a room with me and it has been so fun to get to know her! She is hilarious and we all love her. Who knows maybe she will be Victoria´s companion.. haha. She knows a little bit of Spanish and a little bit of English haha so we communicate in Spanglish/Sign Language. It is so much fun! I have gotten to know some many awesome people here at the CCM. And I will be so sad to say goodbye.
I hope everyone is doing great! I miss and love you all very much! I look forward to hearing from you! Que tenga un buen dia!

Hermana Brooke Benson
P.S. The new bishopric sounds fantastic! I´m so happy about it.
 P.S. I attached some really cheesy photos haha enjoy. Oh and one more thing... Every sunday we sing outside of the temple and one of the temple workers filmed it and put it on youtube. I think it´s called Mardid Missionaries singing infront of temple April 2013.. something like that. Look it up haha.

Hola! Sorry I am finally sending some pictures. These are of my companion Hermana Hopkins and I! One of them is on the metro, the next is infront of the Madrid temple, and then the next one is right by the Don Quijote statue which is located in the geographical center of Madrid. I will try to send some more next week too!

Today for p day we went to Sol again to go shopping and to get some yummy food. I bought another pair of shoes just at H&M and some head bands. And then we went to this cute little restaurant and bought paella.... So yummy. And then we stopped at this bakery and bought a really good chocolate pastery thing.
Okay so throughout the day I have been thinking of funny things that I want to tell you because funny stuff happens all the time when your on a mission! So I thought of a few...

Number 1: The other day during a lesson I was trying to explain in Spanish what the Holy Ghost is... Things were going smoothly until I mixed up the word comfort which is consuelo with sueno which is dreams hahaha. So I was telling our "investigator" that the holy ghost brings you dreams. I didn´t realize until she started laughing!
Number 2: My companion a couple weeks ago was talking about the atonement and she accidently told our "investigator" that Jesus spied for our sins haha not atoned for our sins. It was pretty great. The words are so similar.
Number 3: Another hermana at the mtc mixed the word pepper for priesthood. So during a whole lesson about the restoration she was saying pepper not priesthood haha. Basically learing spanish is not easy and it´s even harder to teach in español!
Number 4: I already told mom this but I went to the distribution to by some more garments. I thought I got my usual sizes... But I went back to my room and opened one of the tops and realized it was maternity hahaha. And it´s even funnier because I thought the cute Spanish woman working there knew what I said to her. Atleast she got the bottoms right haha.

I know there are a ton more funny things but that´s all I can think of right now! Que tenga un buen dia! Love you!

Hermana Brooke Benson
Brooke and her MTC companion!