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.
Dearest family,

Hola buenas dias todos! ¿Como estan? How are all of you? It sounds like you are all having a pretty good summer! Thanks for your all of your love and support. I have the best, most good looking family around. I missed you this fourth of July!! It sounds like you had a good time! It was weird to be somewhere where the fourth is not celebrated. So in order to do some celebrating we sang the national anthem a few times throughout the morning, dressed up in all the red, white, and blue we had, and we even made an "American" lunch. For lunch we ate hot dogs, chips, watermelon, and lemonade. It was a great time. I love it here but sometimes I miss America haha. 

This week Ali (our investigator from Pakistan) had us over for medio dia and he made us a traditional Pakistani meal. It was a little nervous but it was actually really good. He made this chicken with all these different spices, and I think there was some curry in there too, with rice. Super good! Haha and then we brought brownies for dessert. It was really nice of him to have us over. He is really great and would make a great member of the church. He is still waiting to recieve an answer from God about baptism.... But it seems to me that he has already recieved many answers. So we are working on trying to help him recognize answers from the Holy Ghost. It´s really interesting because he has told us that he wants to be baptized like Christ was and he wants to feel clean from sins... But he needs an answer. I hope he recognizes these answers soon! I have faith that someday soon Ali will be baptized! 

So yesterday was fast Sunday and a really cute member named Paola invited us over to eat after church. We got to her building and all got in the elevator (note... the elevators are tiny here) and it got stuck!! All six of us were stuck in the elevator for about an hour. It was a little stressful to say the least haha but it was so cramped with all of us in there and yesterday was a pretty warm day. Haha I tried to keep people calm... including myself haha. We were all a little on edge because of the hunger levels, heat, and cramped space. And then we said a prayer... and then we called the 911 number here hahaha. It was semi embarrasing that we had to call the emergency number because we were stuck in this elevator. While we were waiting for someone to rescue us we sang a few songs haha and shared a spiritual thought with the member. Good missionary times. Then some guy finally came and opened the door for us and all was well! And then we went and ate a really yummy meal with Paola!

Hmm I´m trying to think what else. Oh okay so the other day I was on a split with one of the Hermanas from Pamplona. And guess what, she is even newer than me! Weird, I still feel like I just got here. But anyways when we were together we saw so many miracles. So many people were just put right in our path. First we went to visit a less active and it turns out we went to the wrong appartment but these two women let us in so we talked for a little bit and prayed with them. They are potential new investigators. Then we ran into this cute family from the Congo who we talked with, gave a Book of Mormon too, and prayed with. They are really cute and I´m excited to meet with them again. Then we ran into two American girls, which never happens! They were really nice and we ended up giving them a card and inviting them to churhc. And then we went and met this reference from the Elders. And it turned out that he and his friend just wanted to Bible bash... Haha in Spanish. But the miracle to this incident was that I understood what they were saying and we were able, in a christ like way, have a conversation and leave them our testimonies and The Book of Mormon. 

Missions are great and I´m grateful to be here in Spain. I learn so much everyday and my testimony is strengthened everyday. I know this gospel is true. I know that as we obey God´s commandments we are blessed in many ways.  Yo se que Jesucristo es nuestro Salvador y mediante El podemos recibir perdon y mas paz y consuelo en nuestras vidas. Se que Dios nos ama much. Somos hijos de Dios. Digo esos cosas en El Nombre de Jesucristo. Amen. 

I love you all and I hope you have a great week! I hope to here from you soon! Un besaso! 

Con amor,

Hermana Benson