Monday, December 3, 2012

Christmas and Comfort

Heyo F+F! (Fam & Friends),

Hope all is well and warm back home. The weather here has been slowly getting colder and colder every day until it finally snowed again yesterday. It was the first time it's snowed since the freak snow storm back in.. October? Thankfully this time I am more prepared for the winter now and am fully outfitted with a winter coat, scarf, gloves and cap. But snow is here, and so are the lights in the cities! Tonight is the first night where the lights turn on, and everyone is having a big party supposedly in town, especially Ljubljana to celebrate the beginning of the Christmas season. Before now, there hasn't really been many signs of Christmas. Slovenes don't really start Christmas in November since they don't have Thanksgiving to kick it off from.

This week has been an interesting week. English class has been really fun. I've finally gotten into the routine of how to effectively do it, and one of my students is interested in the gospel. Every time we talk about some topic in English. Some of the topics of the past are: What is your favorite holiday? What fables did you grown up listening to? What is your favorite foods? It's been a great opportunity to really learn the culture too. Last week, I brought some homemade pumpkin pie I made for Thanksgiving from my mom's recipe and everyone was super excited and interested. They don't have pie like we do in America, so it was a new dessert none of them had ever tried before.

This week, we also reached out to a member who has been stuck in a nursing home for months and months. Very few people have reached out to her, and she has fears of what is next. It was a great opportunity to be able to go visit her and comfort her soul with the truthful peace that comes with the restored gospel of Jesus Christ, and the greater peace she can achieve through living the gospel. To visit her and be only a poor similitude of the love Christ has for her was humbling to know that I am being given this chance and time to bring people's souls to peace.

Also, we had an... interesting, if not a little crazy, discussion with our great legenda who knows it is time to return to the fold. We learned she is not particularly keen on returning to reading from the scriptures, believing she already had them as a part of her heart (she said she's read the Book of Mormon over ten times). The plan of the things we wanted to talk about almost immediatly dissolved and the Spirit of the Lord took control. I was reminded of an experience I had had in the MTC, when I was in a particular low of if I could really do this. Could I really learn a second language that is night and day difference from English? Can I really teach people to bring them to Christ? What am I doing? Going off for two years to the middle of a foreign country to say things no one really wants to accept. And then I was reading in my scriptures through this, in Alma 45:2-8, and the words began to talk directly to me. I likened the words to myself, and God spoke directly to me. The name ˝Alma˝ changed to the name of the person who taught me the gospel, and it became, ˝And (Elder Hertig) said again; Believest thou in Jesus Christ, who (came)? And (I) said; Yea, I believe all the words which thou hast spoken. And (Elder Hertig) said unto (me) again: Will ye keep (His) commandments? And (I) said: Yea, I will keep the commandments with all my heart. Then (Elder Hertig) said unto (me): Blessed art thou; and the Lord shall prosper thee in this land.˝ From that moment, I was filled with a peace and power that words can't describe from God, and was given the confidence and comfort to continue, many steps and days later, to where I am today. She, and her friend who was there felt the Spirit, and committed to read the scriptures.

I know the power the scriptures have given me in my life. More than just knowledge, but peace and power in this life as well. The blessings are undeniable. They are from God, and will bless every person who reads them with a sincere heart desiring to know God and build a relationship with Him.

I pray everyone is safe and happy this Christmas season! I just got a TON of letters yesterday, so combined with Christmas gifts, mail should start rolling out before too long.

Much Love and Care,
Starešina Benson

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