Boy did this week go by fast! It sounds like you are aware that we had a very busy week with all the zone conferences. We had them on Wednesday, Thursday, and Friday, and by this time, I still have not caught up on the sleep that I desire from those busy, busy days. They all went well, I would say the last one went best, but that's to be expected since we had 2 days prior to perfect what we wanted to be changed. Someone from Salt Lake installed a black box called Tiwi where it monitors our driving and what not. It's a really good idea for our mission, especially because when you drive in California, you adapt to their lifestyle and we're always in a rush, so it'll do really good things for us and keep us safer on the roads.
I must tell you of a great experience we had on Wednesday evening that I will never ever forget. As we were going to the mission office, someone right in front of us had run out of gas, and the woman was just a couple of feet from being out of traffic's way, but where she was stuck at was on an incline. I get nervous to stop for people because I'm so ignorant towards cars and I convince myself there's nothing I can do, but we asked the lady how we could help and we decided to attempt to push the car. First we asked to say a prayer (because Elder Hancock and I sure are not big like the Tongans) and we pushed with all our might and then, nothing. ha, we got it moving a tiny bit, but I'm not sure what changed, because we tried it again and with all the strength I can provide, Elder Hancock and I were able to get the car out of the way and on to the side. We pushed it even further to the nearest park and wait there for AAA. It didn't end up working out though, so we call someone for help and a man named Andrew shows up to jump this woman's car. Andrew works super early in the morning and he is not even a member. It was so inspiring how good his heart is. He'll join the church one day (: We gave the woman a Book of Mormon and her response was "Oh, you're the Mormons! When I was 7, I ordered a DVD from your church because I wanted my family to spend more time together" (: How great is that!? She was on her way to Santa Monica, so I doubt we'll ever hear from her again, but it was awesome.
And the day before that, we were driving down Haven and saw an older man fall on his bike, so we went to help him to and he got cut up and what not, but he turned out okay. I'm just grateful for those experiences that the Lord put us on the right path for at just the right time. That seems to be a mission in a nutshell, right? the Lord is too good to us.
I'm not sure how we managed with the meetings, but this was the busiest week we had in the Tongan ward, we had 7 lessons and it was so awesome! 2 really spontaneous miracle lessons with our investigators, member missionary work, and a whole lot of talk about Joseph Smith. It's just so easy to tie back to him. If we aren't reading The Book of Mormon, it's crazy how easily our testimonies can plummet. A lot quicker than we'd like to admit, may I add. We're just very blessed to serve around people who have such a deep and abiding faith in the Lord. They live with such gratitude for the gospel. Where they're from, they don't have the best medical attention, so faith is what they rely on to get through illness and anything unfortunate really. There are so many great people in our ward, I love 'em. Yesterday, the Fonua's cooked Tongan food for us because they say they want to give us the Tongan experience without having to go to Tonga, which means we Kai peke Lu'a (eat till I throw up). I found a scale that said I only have 6.4% body fat, so I think the ward is really trying to beef me up ha. On Friday, I got to meet up with Elder Va'enuku! He's from Vava'u, he's so awesome. They're just such special people, I really don't know anyone like them. We are so lucky to know them and to be serving in their ward, I don't know what I would do without them at this point.
I've been in Rancho for 4 months now and it's so weird to think what's happened since I've been here. It feel like just last week I was made an assistant, there's so many great things to do for the Lord. Sometimes I get very overwhelmed because of the amount of work that needs to be done among the world, but I read in Alma 4 about how the Spirit of the Lord will never fail us, so that was encouraging. Elder Hancock and I can't stop singing Come Unto Jesus and Let Us All Press On, the former is so special and the latter is so invigorating. We cannot do this work without Him and the second we try to do it alone, that's when we get frustrated. We can't forget to let Him be apart of our everyday lives, even in the smallest things. I'm grateful to be able to call Him my friend and my Savior. His life helps me realize anything that the Lord asks of me isn't unrealistic. I know that we are victorious through Him that redeemed us.
Elder Shawn Lyle Bennion
|Elder Hancock and I took a bite straight out of these mango's! That's probably not how they are supposed to be eaten, but oh well!|