June 3, 2013
Hello Friends and Familia!
I'm in Ohio! It's crazy to me that I'm actually here. I am loving it!
We left Tueday morning bright and early! I will attach some pictures of that. It was so fun and such a relief to travel to Ohio with my entire district. (I am attaching pictures!) I sat next to Sister Astle, Elder Anderson, and Elder Bunnel on the planes. It was really fun and we couldn't wait to get to Ohio! We had a lot of meetings and interviews and a very delicious dinner that night at the Mission office in Cleveland. There wasn't enough room for all of us to stay at the mission home that night, so Sister Astle and I stayed with Elder and Sister Jacklin. They were so nice and took good care of us (mom....). We went to the Kirtland temple and sites the next day! That was an amazing experience. When my mom and I went last summer, they didn't let us go up to the third floor of the temple, but they made an exception for our group of missionaries. There is such a peaceful feeling there. We went to the sites after that for just a few minutes. We got our pictures of our companions and our areas after that and then went to meet them at the Stake Center! My companion is Sister McKenna O'Driscoll from Elkridge, Utah. She is so great (and an even greater driver.... ;)). Our area is Massillon North (about an hour and a half south of Cleveland). Another amazing thing- Sister Astle is companions with Sister Chapman. Their area is Massillon (south) so they are in the same apartment as us! When we found out that we are going to be living together for at least the next three months, we were so excited! It has been so nice to have someone who I know and love with me while I am getting to know everyone!
Sister O'Driscoll has been a great trainer so far! I have learned so many things from her and I love her already! We have been working on finding people to do service for and finding people who we can share the gospel of Jesus Christ with. There is one family that we are teaching that the mom only speaks Spanish and the son speaks some English. I thought that it would be so hard to help them understand the things that we are saying, but it has actually been amazing so far! It is crazy to me that they are still able to understand our message and progress and feel the spirit- simply because the spirit is the teacher, not us. It has been amazing. Laszaro is (hopefully) getting baptized on the 22nd. He is so excited and says that he feels ready (Yay!!!!!).
The thing that absolutely has surprised me the most about being on a mission is that I love it. I honestly never thought that I would say that, at least not at the beginning of my mission, but I really do! I feel like being a missionary and sharing the gospel of Jesus Christ with others is something that I am meant to do. I can't believe that this experience and amazing opportunity is something that I very nearly passed up in my life. I am so, so glad that I made this decision and that for the next year and a half that I have the opportunity to share the reason behind my happiness in life and hopefully help others to feel that peace, comfort, and joy, too. I know that this comes from knowing that Jesus Christ is my Savior and the Savior of the world. I love you all very much! Thank you for your support and letters, I really do appreciate it! I hope that you are all doing well, I would love to hear from you!
Sister Heather A. Benson
My address is:
Sister Heather A. Benson
2040 Tennyson Ave. NE #7
Massillon, OH 44646
A few of you have asked about how to send packages- if you send them through USPS, they will come to my apartment. If you send it through UPS or FedEx, it will go to the mission home and I probably won't get it for a long time. Thanks!