Friends and Familia,
I hope that all of you are having a delightful summer! I am minorly jealous of those of you who can jump in pools when it gets hot. It is definitely hot here! I am really enjoying the Ohio summer, though. It's so green and beautiful! One thing that I don't think that I have said already is that the houses here are gorgeous. Most of them are historical brick houses or colonial style with shutters and beautiful flowers. It wouldn't be that bad to live in Ohio (humidity......).
This week went really well. Sister O'Driscoll and I decided at the beginning of the week to write our goals on our whiteboard and fill them in as we go along. (Option 2 was a sticker chart. Did I mention I love stickers?) The most amazing experience of my week was on Friday. Everyone kept cancelling their appointments with us and no one had signed up for dinner. We were pretty bummed out when we got a phone call from one of the ward members. She was calling to confirm dinner (dinner? we thought no one signed up!) and said that she invited one of her neighbors to come and have dinner with us (she knew that we were going to be there and she still said yes??). She also said that she wanted to talk to us about the gospel, etc. (yayy!!!!! *cheers and high fives*). This woman was one of the single most incredible people that I have ever met in my life! She overcame so many challenges. She fell one day and messed up her knee. She had surgery trying to fix it, which made it worse. She then spent 3 years in and out of hospitals (over 300 total days) and eventually had to have her right leg amputated. The worst part is that she found out that the orignial surgery was not even necessary. During that time, she decided that she wanted to become "Better, not Bitter." She prayed and asked for help to know how she could inspire others in a way that she could not have with both legs. Her result was what she called a "Cross Walk." She walked around the entire permiter of the country (amputee, remember??) over the course of 9 years, dropping a cross at each mile, with a note saying to either keep the cross or pass it on to someone else who needs hope in their life. She is such an amazing woman. Long story short. She kept asking questions and wanted to know more and more. So many times during dinner she said "That's exactly what I believe!!" She also said that she really wanted to go to a church where they made her feel welcome and like family (*ahem* families are center to God's plan for us---> http://mormon.org/family) because she has no family. What an amazing, incredible, inspiring woman. I can't wait to continue meeting with her! (Let's take a step back for a minute and remember that we didn't even have a dinner planned!)
The other highlight of my week was meeting twice with our investigators from Cuba. They are teaching us Spanish (hence the "Familia" at the beginning... I'm pro) and we are teaching them some English. It is so awesome! The son came to church yesterday. He was so worried that his ride wasn't going to pick him up! He was so excited and happy to be there. We are so happy for him and so excited to see his testimony growing. His baptism date is set for July 20th. It is awesome to see people gain so much happiness in their lives through the gospel of Jesus Christ.
I love you all and appreciate your support and encouragement!
-Sista Heather Benson
PS Did anyone see that missionary broadcast last night? We LOVED it. It was amazing. http://www.mormonnewsroom.org/article/mormon-lmissionary-work-worldwide-broadcast?CID=HPL2P01W01032