I hope that you are all doing well! Things are going great for me here in Ohio! It is hard for me to believe that I've almost been out for a month! Everyone always says that when you're on a mission that days feel like weeks and weeks feel like days. It is definitely true!
The past week has been really great in a lot of ways. The three Sisters that I live with are so funny! We have a good time. Once upon a time the toilet overflowed (too much information?) and the bathroom flooded. It was by far the funniest experience of my life the last month! I will send a picture. Haha. Another funny experience: I rang a doorbell. Then Sister O'Driscoll told me that there was a spider on it. I looked and I had just crushed the legs of one of the BIGGEST, ugliest spiders I have ever seen! I don't do well with spiders. The man came to the door and I was trying not to panic haha. But then we went in and talked to him and his wife for a while. Such nice people!
We have been working on finding people who want to hear about the gospel throughout the last week. We don't have many current or progressing investigators, so we've just been trying to talk to everyone! There are some really nice people here... and then there are some not-so-nice people. One of the nicest people that I have met here was Jewish and wasn't interested in talking about the gospel, but we talked for a while and he gave us water (which is sooo nice when you're tracting in the heat and humidity!). We also have weeded. A lot. Whenever we offer to do service for people that seems to be what they always want us to do. It is fun, though! The ward members here are great. Many of them are very committed to helping us, which is always so nice. People that we are teaching will never actually want to keep coming to church if they don't feel like they have friends at church.
I have learned so much in the last month; I can't wait to see what the next seventeen will hold! Before I left, I thought that I had a strong testimony of the gospel of Jesus Christ. Now my testimony is so much stronger. I think that part of this is because I am constantly with other missionaries talking about the gospel, but I think that an even bigger part of this is because of my commitment to learn more about the gospel and to really 'learn it in my heart' so that I can help others. You don't have to be a missionary to have that happen. I have learned so much about the importance of always wanting to follow Jesus Christ and then acting on that. Jesus Christ did so much for us. He suffered for our sins and our pains and He died for us, all because He loves us and wants us to have the chance to return to live with our Heavenly Father someday and to live with our families forever. It is an amazing thing that I still don't fully understand. The way that we can show Him that we love Him and that we appreciate His sacrifice is by having faith and helping others build their faith in Him. He is the ultimate example of love and peace. I know that His gospel is true and that it has been restored on the earth! Through it and through Him we can have so much happiness and joy in our lives! One thing that I have come to understand is that, yes, we can be happy without the gospel in our lives, but by choosing not to follow the gospel, we are cheating ourselves out of our full potential happiness. The word "gospel" means "good news." It is good news and it can bring so much happiness in our lives!
I love you all and hope to hear from you!
-Sister Heather Benson