Monday, September 14, 2015

Sometimes I forget I'm in America . . .

Hello all!!!

Once again, it's been another GREAT week here in the Georgia Atlanta Mission....wait Georgia? I'm actually in America? Sometimes I forget. I spend most of my day talking in Spanish, eating Spanish food, and everything else Spanish....then suddenly I'm in McDonald's and realize there are Americans here. Haha :) We had this really neat activity on Saturday night called "Dia de Naciones" It was SOOO fun. The 4 Spanish branches in the area combined together to put together this activity. Every country that speaks Spanish was represented. There was food, entertainment, music, the whole 9 yards. It was SOOOO fun!! That whole activity, I seriously felt like I was in another country...then we left, and there was English again. I love my calling. I love being in Spanish. It may be difficult at times, but I am SO grateful for the opportunity. I can be IN the culture, but be by a Walmart....and a McDonald's. Do I get the best of both worlds?? Yes, I think so :) Walter and his 3 kids were actually able to come to the activity with us!! We had an appointment with him right before, and we asked him to follow us and bring his kids!! He did!! It was soooo fun. We gave him a tour of the building. He absolutely loved it! It was fun to just get to know him and his family better. :) Yay for ward (or I guess branch) activities!!

So......the best news I could possible this.....WE HAVE A BAPTISM THIS SATURDAY. IT'S OFFICIAL!!!!!! Ana, Edwin, and Ayari will be baptized this Saturday at 3pm!!!! They've heard all the lessons, been to church 2 times, and they are READY. We made the programs, scheduled the interview, and got the jumpsuits yesterday. It's really happening. This baptism is especially incredible because Ana and her family are the FIRST people that I was here when we taught them for the FIRST time. Everyone else we teach, I came after my companions had already taught one or two lessons. I got to introduce myself as "Hermana Bringhurst" not "Yo soy nueva...." (I'm new...) I am beyond excited!! It is amazing to see their growth and their love of the Gospel, and their testimony!!! Ana literally has nothing....absolutely nothing.....we taught her about tithing...and she said "of course I'll live the law of tithing! I'll get more blessings because of it!!" Holy. Cow. I love her. Her kids are absolutely adorable. They are soooo excited. Ayari draws pictures of Jesus in her school notebook, it is absolutely priceless. I thank Heavenly Father every day for giving me the opportunity to know these people.

Teaching....this week has been great!! We haven't been teaching a whole lot of people. They usually cancel, or don't return our calls...and we've been trying to focus on Ana and her family, and Walter and his family since they're progressing the most. We had 2 amazing lessons with Walter, and 3 amazing lessons with Ana and her kids. We taught Ana in Zoraida's house (an AMAZING member) and that was the best lesson I've ever been in. Members are EVERYTHING. I cannot say it enough. Ana has so many friends in the branch. That lesson was absolutely perfect!!!! Have I ever said that I love being a missionary???? Well....I DO!!!! :):)

Sunday....Okay, I love Sundays. They are the best days of the week....period. Just saying :) President Madsen was making the announcement of the baptism over the pulpit right as Ana and her kids were walking in. She wasn't listening because she was finding her seat.  Once President Madsen said her name, she look up with sheer terror in her eyes! (We forgot to tell her he was announcing it) Haha :) We were on the stand because I was playing piano, so we looked at her from the stand, gave her a "I hope this is okay" thumbs up.  She giggled and gave us the reassuring "I'm totally okay with this" smile :) LOVE HER!!! :) After the meeting, Zoraida suggested that Ana get a priesthood blessing. The first counselor, and the Patriarch gave her the blessing. It was such a neat experience. Ana truly has an amazing testimony. It's soooo amazing to be a part of her growth and acceptance of this Gospel. It was also incredible to watch her receive the blessings of the Priesthood. I love the Priesthood. I am so grateful for it. I was grateful last week when I got a Priesthood blessing to help me with my stomach (spicy food is no good ;) ) I am so grateful for the Priesthood!!! :) We also had 2 less actives comes to church!!! Oh my goodness!!! Blessings all around!!!

Well, sorry if this letter is all over the place. I want you all to know that I have a testimony of this Gospel. I really do. I know this is the Lord's work. I am so grateful for the opportunity to be a missionary. I have learned SO much already....even in just these short 2 1/2 months. I have learned that attitude really is everything. Every day can be a great day if you choose to focus on your blessings, and WHY you are out here. I know why I am out here. I am so grateful for the Gospel in my life, and I'm grateful that I can share it with others. Thank you for your support, I honestly could not be here without you. :) I love you all!!

Hermana Bringhurst

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