Monday, December 28, 2015

Almost a New Year!

Dear family and friends!!

Hello hello!!! How was everyone's Christmas?? Mine was absolutely incredible!!!!!! I LOVE Christmas!!! We had such a great day!!!! We were able to visit a less active family, and read the Luke 2 Christmas story with them. Then we headed to our member's house to Skype our family!!!! That was a priceless moment for me. I LOVED talking with my family!! It gave me just the boost I needed to go out and work hard this next year. I sure love my family. Then we went to East Point and had a late dinner with a member family. They were so sweet to invite us there. Our Christmas was definitely occupied, but we had long drives so I was able to ponder about my Savior during the day. I was thinking....we were driving back from East Point at about 8;30 pm, and I was thinking. "What would I be doing if I was home?" I noticed a lot of families driving with sleeping children in the back. I thought they were probably returning from Grandma's house or something. I thought that's probably what I'd be doing if I were home. I'd be driving back from the house of someone I love, with people I love, thinking about how much I love Christmas. I thought, "hey, I love the Mendoza's (the family we ate with), I'm driving back with companions I love, and it's still Christmas." Christmas is the same no matter where you go or who you're with. That is something I truly learned this Christmas. Christ is still our Savior. The day is still about Him. And the feelings I feel were exactly the same. I truly love my Savior, and I'm grateful I had a lot of time to think about Him and what He's done for me. :)

Our district was able to go caroling twice this last week. It was such an incredible experience. We weren't able to sing to too many (caroling isn't super big in Georgia apparently) but those we were able to sing to were truly touched by the spirit we brought. It was an incredible experience. I love my district, and I was grateful for the opportunity I had to spread Christmas cheer with all of them!!

We had a Christmas zone conference this last week. It was SO incredible!! I was expecting a lot of "Christmas" type stuff. But I was surprised to find that we hardly talked about it at all! We watched a little video, and President and Sister Foote shared their testimonies on the Savior. But the rest of the time was dedicated to
Family History, and the mission's goals for key indicators, and training on new baptism calendar ideas. I was surprised. But now I KNOW it's what the mission needs! So as a companionship, we are really going to try and achieve the mission's goals for the key indicators! yay! President challenged each companionship to one baptism every transfer! We can do this if we have faith! :) I learned so much from the zone conference. It was truly amazing!!!!

We are SOOO excited!!!!! He is too. He's probably more excited than us! That’s the goal here!!! I can't wait for Saturday. It will be a truly marvelous experience. I can't wait to see his face when he comes out of the water. What a change he has experienced! I can't wait to send pictures next week! Pray for him to stay strong this week!

So news update, we've had to take Hector off date. He's still going to get baptized, but his schedule is so crazy and he gets sick a lot, so we'll just have to teach him when we can, and the baptism will happen when it's supposed to :) He and Zoraida are engaged though!!! yaay!!!

Well, that's it for my week. It was a pretty slow week because everyone was partying, or out of town. But it was a great Christmas season. I'm sad it's over, but hey, I'm still a missionary!!! It always feels like Christmas when you're a missionary!!! Have a great week everyone!! Love you!!

Hermana Bringhurst

Monday, December 21, 2015

Christmas Miracles!

Dearest Family and Friends,

Christmas is finally here!! I can't even believe how fast it came! I have LOVED the Christmas season. Everyone is so friendly, happy, and open to talk with us!!! It's the BEST!!!! The coolest thing about my mission is that the Hispanics celebrate Christmas on the 24th, so we have TONS of people to visit on Christmas! We'll be busy busy busy!! Yay! :)

So, this week started with our first ever experience in a companionship. President and Sister Foote took Sister Meneses to the airport on Monday, and so we had that night, and all day Tuesday in just a companionship. It was soooo weird!! You know how missionaries feel so alone when they come home because they're used to a companion? Well we felt similar to that because we've always been used to a trio!  It's really funny. It was a great experience though! I am so used to a trio, so it was nice to be able to experience a normal companionship for a couple days. now we are back to the trio! We have Sister Webb with us. She is from Herriman Utah. She's been out for 10 months. She was the very first Spanish missionary on the mission, so sadly she had to be trained in English. but now she's here with us! She's been made designated driver even though she's never been in the area. I'm thinking it's because she'll be staying here for a while, and needs to become familiar with the area somehow! ha-ha. She's really sweet. It's kind of cool to be in a companionship with all white people. I've learned that the people still love us even though we don't speak the language perfectly. Ha-ha. I LOOOOOVE Chamblee!!! I really do!!!!! :)

So, sadly I had the flu this week. I was in bed for 3 days.....:( We didn't get a whole lot accomplished this week. I guess me not dying is an accomplishment. ;) Ha-ha. It was kind of a bummer to be in bed for 3 days, but oh well. I'm better now! Yay!!

There's a really neat miracle I want to share. We taught Fermin the Word of Wisdom on Saturday, and it went SOOO well!! He told us he had already stopped drinking, smoking, etc. 2 years before!! He said he knew it was something he needed to do! So, he was ready before we talked to him! Yay! Fermin is the bomb!! So, at the end of the lesson, the spirit told me to promise Fermin that one day he'd be able to pray in the Gospel Principles class. I thought it was way off topic, and kind of ignored the prompting for a little bit. Side note: Fermin is very shy, and doesn't really like to pray in front of anyone. It's the one thing he's struggling with. Then I finally listened to the prompting, and looked Fermin dead in the eye and said, "fermin, I promise you that one day in the gospel principles class the teacher is going to ask for a volunteer for the prayer, and you will shoot your hand up and say 'I will pray!!' " He kind of just looked like a deer in the headlights...but then he said, " day." So, I knew that the spirit had promised him something, and I was anxious to see if this promise would come to pass! I knew it would, but there's always that fear....SO the next day at church, the teacher asked for a volunteer for the prayer, and no one said anything, so he asked one of the members to pray. THEN, Fermin shot his hand in the air and said, "I will pray!!" It was incredible!!!! he gave the most BEAUTIFUL prayer I have EVER heard! I was almost in tears! It was amazing to see that the Lord truly gives us power to listen to the spirit and make promises to people, and see them come to pass. We were so proud of Fermin! He is absolutely amazing! Unfortunately none of the branch presidency will be able to make it on December 26th, so we have moved his baptism to the 2nd. But it's okay, because on that date he will have more love and support from the branch! yay! He's SOOO ready!!! I love being a missionary!! a little update on him. We are unsure of when he'll get baptized. It's just a matter of when he has time, but we were able to meet with him last night, and we have an appointment tonight!! Yay!! Everything happens with the Lord's timing. I have to keep that in mind. He is absolutely incredible as well. he is so ready, and so excited. I just love teaching him!! He has opened up to us WAY more!! It's absolutely incredible. I just love being a missionary!!! It's the BEST!!!!!!

So, I just wanted to say how much I love my area. I love the members, I love the people, and I just love everything! I am so happy to be here!! I love love love it here! I would be TOTALLY fine if I served my whole mission in Chamblee!!!! I feel like the longer I'm here...the sadder I'm going to be to leave if I do.....I just love it here!!! I am SOOO happy!!! :)

I just wanted to share my testimony of my Savior. I love Him so much. I know the atonement is real. I am so grateful to have an older brother who is with me every step of my mission. I know He suffered for all my sins, and all my sadness, all my trials, and everything else. I know He knows me. I know He lives. I know He loves me. I am so grateful for this Christmas season. He has given me everything, and I will do my best to give Him everything I can.

I love you so much!! I hope you have an amazing Christmas!!! :) :)


Hermana Bringhurst

Monday, December 14, 2015

With God, All Things Are Possible

Dearest Family and Friends,

Hello again!! I feel like this Christmas season is flying by WAY too quickly!! I simply LOVE Christmas! It's been such a great week! We had so many incredible experiences, and I can't wait to share them with you!! First off, Hermana Meneses is leaving today :( We are also going to transfers, and we will be receiving another companion! So, more trios! The Lord must want me to learn something. I guess I haven't learned it yet. ;) She is the Spanish sister that was Emergency Transferred to English at the end of last transfer. Now she's coming back to Spanish, and I guess she's coming with us! :)

So, something I've learned this past week - I've learned that it's SO amazing to stay in an area for a long time. I really feel that because I have been here for a long time, I am closer with the members, more familiar with the area, and can follow up with EVERY investigator! It's so amazing!! I am soooo excited! At first I thought I'd be bummed to stay in one area for a long time, but now I realize that it's a huge blessing! I absolutely love it here!

Miracle - so our miracle of the week was pretty incredible. Elder Holland was coming to talk to the sisters on Friday night at 7. We were encouraged to get there around 1:30 to ensure a seat......1:30???? No way Jose. We felt that we needed to work that day instead of getting there early to get a good seat. We felt that Elder Holland, and the Lord, would much rather have us out finding His lost sheep, than sitting close enough to see him speak. So, we went out to work. Sadly, no one was home, and we had ZIP luck. However, we went to visit this one less active. She lives in a scary house on a tiny road in the middle of nowhere. We were leaving her house, and guess who was drove by on the road? WALTER!!!!!!! He had gotten a new job as a taxi driver, so the Elders were never able to contact or meet with him. But, here he was....delivered to our feet. He parked the car, jumped out, and asked when we could come see him. So, we have an appointment with Walter today. We know that the Lord blessed us because we chose to work instead. It was SOOO fun to see Walter again.
What a coincidence that we saw him! It was absolutely incredible!! :)

Elder Holland - so my experience with him was definitely the highlight of my week. We actually ended up getting a seat on the 6th row!!!! Holy cow!! The Lord does provide! :) Elder Holland did such a great job. It was such a privilege to be in the same room as an apostle of the Lord. He truly delivered a powerful talk. He asked us to not share it over social media, because he wasn't talking from a script, and didn't want to have problems with 1,000 different versions of his talk all over Facebook and Twitter. So, I will just say that he testified of the Savior, and told us how we can be happy. We need to come to Him with a broken heart and a contrite spirit. God can fix anything. He is such a powerful speaker. He can make anyone laugh, and he can also flood the spirit into the room in a matter of seconds! It was an amazing experience! Then we got to meet with him as a mission! Our mission and the Atlanta North mission were able to meet with him. He even took the time to shake every single missionary's hand. He said he looked each of us in the eye, and had a personal interview with us. It was so amazing. I just felt the spirit so strong as I shook an apostle's hand, looked him in the eye, and KNEW he was called of God. He also gave the most powerful talk. It was everything I needed to hear! We read a lot of stories about missionaries in the Book of Mormon, and also in the Bible. He taught us how to teach with power and authority - and how to astonish people. It was so powerful. All the missionaries here in Atlanta are super pumped to go out and work! How incredible is it that we were able to receive counsel from an apostle! He even had us bring in a white board, and he was just drawing and talking to us like we were just in a class! It was so fun to connect with him on that personal level. I definitely learned a TON from him. I am so grateful to have had that experience. for an update. Fermin is TOTALLY ready and prepared for his baptism on the 26th! woot woot! He is so amazing. He has such a strong desire to follow Christ. I love being a part of his conversion. Hector sadly has been sick, and working, so we have to push his date back to January 9th. He's still getting baptized, but he is just so busy, it's hard to meet with him. But there you go! The work is progressing! When some of our other investigators progress more, I'm sure I'll talk more about them. :)

Well, I love you all. Truly. Thank you for all the love and support. I couldn't be here without the support of my family and friends. I hope you all have a wonderful Christmas!


Hermana Bringhurst

Monday, December 7, 2015

Happy Holidays!

Dearest Family and Friends,

Wow. Can you believe it's the Christmas season? I just love it so much!!! This week has been great! Every week is great though, if you really think about it. This email will probably be shorter, because it was a fairly uneventful week.

The first thing of interest this week was the new missionary meeting. We had to go to special training because Hermana Meneses is a new missionary. It was SO amazing!!! More than anything, I really needed this meeting. We watched a really powerful video on the Atonement, and I just cried. We talked a lot about being our best self, because Heavenly Father called us for who we are. It was absolutely amazing. I have been feeling really discouraged this past week, because it's hard for a white person to completely be accepted in the Hispanic culture here. It's been really tough. This meeting helped me see that Heavenly Father called me here for a reason, and I don't need to be anything different than who I am. It was definitely powerful. I learned so many things!! I was just in tears during the whole meeting. It's amazing to see how Heavenly Father works. He made it possible in every way so that I could be there at that meeting. The video was soooo powerful. I learned that Jesus Christ went through SO much, and if anyone can understand what it's like to be a missionary, it's Him. So, I will always have someone with me every step of the way. It was very powerful.

I actually forgot to tell a story in last week's email. At district meeting 2 weeks ago, all of us sisters went to Chick-fil-A afterwards....because we always do that....and there was a member family there. The father of the family walked up to us and just said, "Hi Sisters!! Lunch is on me!" And he paid for all 5 of us to eat at Chick-fil-A. Holy cow!!! That was absolutely incredible!! How sweet!!! There are angels everywhere looking out for us! It was truly touching. So, that was one of the highlights of November for me. :) the only thing we really did this week is contact referrals. We got at least 10, and we've been trying to meet with them. We've only found luck with 2 of them, but still haven't been able to have a lesson with them. We'll keep trying, and hopefully something will come of it later!!! We also got rules clarified to us....we have to bring another woman with us to a house where only a man lives there in order to go Juan can only visit us when he's babysitting his nieces and nephews. So, we've always just taught him on the porch, because we can't go in...well, we've been given clarification that even THAT isn't allowed. So us, and the elders, are in the midst of switching investigators with each other. We're giving them Juan, and we are visiting one of their less actives. So, this week has been a crazy one! It's all good though :)

Hector and Fermin....I thought I'd give an update with them! We had to push Hector's date back to the 19th, because he's been super busy and we haven't been able to meet with him. But Fermin is still good for the 26th!!! WE have such great lessons with both of them, and it's amazing to watch them progress!!! I love missionary work!!!

Nativity Activity....the Atlanta stake had a cool Nativity activity at the church on Sunday. they set up nativities from many differentcountries, and there were musical numbers, refreshments, etc. It was a fun activity. Only 3 ish families from Chamblee came. It was such a fun activity!!

Christmas Devotional....we were able to watch the Christmas Devotional Broadcast last night. Wow. It was absolutely incredible!!! It may be difficult to be away for the holidays, but I always find peace when I think about my Savior. I was definitely reminded of how incredible He is during this broadcast. He is what Christmas is all about. I love my Savior. It was such a beautiful devotional. The musical was really touching!! There was a family there that I had the opportunity to eat dinner with during exchanges, and they remembered me!! They even went out to their car to grab me a plate of cookies! How sweet is that??? Oh, there are sooooo many little things that happen to me that just bring a smile on my face. :)

My heart is full of love and joy during this Christmas season. I love my Savior. I am grateful for His example and His light in my life. I pray that I may remember Him throughout this month, and keep that spirit within me after the holidays. I love being a missionary. I love this Gospel, and I love all of you. I hope y'all have a great week! Happy Holidays! Merry Christmas!! Be sure to watch the new Christmas Video "A Savior is Born!" Share it with everyone!


Hermana Bringhurst