Monday, October 31, 2016

Happy Halloween!

Dearest Family and Friends,

Wow, I can't even believe I've been out for 16 months already!! Time is a crazy thing on the mission! I know I say that a lot, but I really mean it :) Haha.

This week was AMAZING!!!!!!!! We had a lesson with an investigator named Shirley. the lesson started off with her telling us how much she loved the Book of Mormon, and knew it was true! WHOA!! Her son Daryl was playing video games. He was actually listening to the lesson! He turned around and asked about God's authority and who has it. We taught them both the restoration, and they both accepted baptism. There was not a dry eye in the room! It was amazing!! :) We told our ward mission leader the experience, and he started crying. i wish I had time to share more details, but let's just say these people are prepared, and it was one of the best lessons of my mission!! :) They couldn't come yesterday to church because they had to fly out for a funeral, but they'll be here next week! :) Yay! :)

We're also helping a Recent Convert come back to church....her health is a big part of it. her husband is not a member. He has listened to ALL the lessons, and will NOT join the church. Out of nowhere, he finally accepted the lessons, and the high priest group leader has come with us a couple times to teach him. He is more humble and teachable now. His wife looked at him and said, "I love you, and I want to be sealed to you. I won't force this on you, but just know it's important to me." I've NEVER heard her say that before. It was SOOOO powerful!! I almost started crying!! Who knows if he really will soften his hear ....but you never know. Miracles happen :)

One of the members from the Spanish ward called our investigator family and invited them to dinner!!!! So we had a lesson in their home this last Wednesday. These members are AMAZING!!! :):) They didn't come to church either, but they will next week!!! I'm sure of it!! :)

The wards are sooooooo supportive of missionary work. I'm like in missionary dream land right now!! I LOVE it here!!! :) :) SOOOOO much!!! I hope y'all have a GREAT week and a GREAT Halloween! The church is true!! :) :)

Sister/Hermana Bringhurst :)

Monday, October 24, 2016

Double the Blessings :)

Dearest Family and Friends,

This week was incredible!!! I am slowly getting a little more comfortable in the area. 2 areas is a LOT to juggle. Sometimes I feel inadequate because when we don't get aorund to visiting someone, one ward thinks we weren't working hard enough. I think they forget we work in 2 wards. I feel bad I can't give 100% to both, but I can try! :) I need to stop being so hard on myself. But it is sure fun to be here in this area! We couldn't pass around our dinner calendar because of stake conference, so we had NO dinners this last week. By some miracle, every day a member would randomly text us and ask if we had dinner. Then they'd invite us over! We were fed all week and it was a miracle!!!! Both wards are really looking out for us and making sure we're being taken care of :) I really do love the people here!!

The Douglasville ward meets at 10am, and Sweetwater ward at 1pm, so that's 6 hours of church!!! oh my goodness! We also have meetings sometimes. So we were at church from 8:30 to about 4;30 on Sunday. I will NEVER complain after the misison if I have to stay after for a meeting or something. This is teaching me patience! BUT, the good news is, it feels like double the blessings! We get to go to church twice every Sunday! it's SOOO cool!!!

The members came out with us a lot this week. They drove us clear to Carrollton and Dallas to visit some Spanish people. These wards are ALL about missionary work. It's crazy amazing!!!! They really take care of you here! Everyone is so friendly and nice! We're really getting to know all the people here! It's SOOOO amazing!!! :):):):):):):):) I see some great things coming! Even if I can't see them happen, I will know I got to be a part of it here :)

I want to end with a neat story. At zone training, we were asked to go in a room and pray with our companion, and draw specifically someone we wanted to find and baptize in our area. We prayed, and it was amazing to see the spirit guide the both of us. We really thought of the exact same things! For Douglasville, we thought of an older man who just lost his wife. We drew him with a dog, and one of those camp baseball caps. Well, as we've been planning this week, we have wanted to go see a less active lady like every day, and we always knew this man would be in that area. We never got around to it until Saturday. After trying this lady, we actually forgot we had planned to find this man. We were driving away and noticed a beautiful house. There was a man putting somehting in the mailbox. He was older and had on the EXACT hat we drew. I thought, "huh, what a neat coincidence" but I kept driving because I felt awkward stopping there. Well, the spirit was too strong, so I turned around and we marched up his long, long driveway to talk to him. We said, "hi sir! We're misisonaries, and we felt the need to come speak with you today." we then heard a dog barking. We KNEW it was him!!! He then proceeded to tell us he was catholic. He accepted our card, and was NOT interested...but very kind. Even though it wasn't HIM him, I knew we needed to stop by and talk to him. Maybe the spirit was testing to see if we'd really seek out this man?? I don't know. But for whatever reason, we were led to him, and it was a neat moment :)

Well, I love y'all (haha) and hope you have a GREAT week!!

Sister/Hermana Bringhurst :)

Monday, October 17, 2016

Greetings from the South!

Dearest Family and Friends,

I have finally been called to serve in the south!!! For real!!! I got transferred to an area that covers 2 wards. I serve in the Douglasville English Ward, and the Sweetwater Spanish WARD. I am SO pumped!!! I serve half and half English and Spanish! It is a LOT of work, and we have no problem keeping busy!!! :) Hahaha. I am having real experiences serving in the South. For real now! They are SO loving and SO sweet here! They all LOVE Jesus Christ. It's amazing! I love that I can talk to anyone now! I don't have to just look forhispanics! It's amazing! I'm living the life!

My first experience tracting in English was pretty cool. We met a man named Terrance. He showed us his card that makes him an official preacher. Boy did he preach to us! haha. He looked me in the eyes and told me, "You look like you worry a are worried you aren't perfect, and you're beating yourself up about it. Don't do that. God loves you, and you're doing a great job. Stop worrying." It was seriously an answer to my prayers! He was SO sweet! He agreed to read the Book of Mormon. We said a prayer holding hands, like they do in the south, and it was SO powerful. I just LOVE being a missionary!!

The people in the Spanish ward are SO nice! I haven't gotten a chance to formally meet the wards because it was Stake Conference yesterday, but I've met a couple here and there. They are SO nice. They all are SO excited to have me here. It's a HUGE difference from the first part of my misison. The Lord is really helping me with my Spanish, and I think the people are trusting me because of that. It's SOOOO incredible!!!! I am SOO happy!!!

Unfortunately we only have 1 English investigator, and no Spanish investigators. There is a lot of work to do. My companion is Sister Sundwall from Tremonton Utah. She's super sweet! She wasn't called Spanish originally, but she has been learning it on the mission. She's such an inspiration to me! :) She's adorable! :) She's new to the area as well, so we're both just starting fresh and giving it all we've got!! :) We are SO excited to get things going here! :)

I miss my old area dearly...but I know I'm where I'm supposed to be. It's been a hard change, but I know it's right. I only have 2 months left. I have to give it EVERYTHING I have, and take all I've learned with me off that airplane. :)

So I have a funny's not that funny, but it was to me. (Keep in mind i've been in Spanish, so all this southern stuff is new and SO funny to me) We were at a less active's house. We were cleaning her house. Her son was in the bathroom taking a shower. He's like 28. Just picture this conversation with the most black southern voice you can imagine. "SON, don't you be walking out here with no clothes on! Them sisters are here in thehouse!!"  "MOTHER, really? I know better!!! could you imagine me walking out in all my negligence???" It was SOOO funny. I just about DIED!! I LOVE these people!!!!

The mission is amazing. I am finally serving in ther south and LOVING it!!! I am officially Sister/Hermana Bringhurst :) LOVE YOU ALL!!!!

Love,Sister/Hermana Bringhurst :)

New outfit for birthday!

There is sunshine in my soul today.
It's my new companion, ya'll

Tuesday, October 11, 2016

The Ultimate Test of Faith

Dearest Family and Friends,

You know how you have low points in your mission, and you fight and fight to get out because you know there's that light at the end of the tunnel?? Well, that's been happening to me these past 3 transfers. It's been SOOO hard to get the work going here. But I knew the Lord was in charge and I just needed to put my faith in Him. Well, We went from like 3 investigators to 17 in like 2 weeks. SO many miracles have been happening. We're right about to hit the peak of some amazing things here in this area.....then Saturday I got the call I'm getting transferred. :( I was BEYOND upset. I've spent the last 3 transfers giving it my all, and then getting taken out right before I'm about to see the fruits of my labors. I was VERY upset.....but then I knew the Lord was still in charge, and I needed to see it from His perspective, and not question so much. Some really amazing things have happenedhere, and I need to focus on that. I wanted to share a neat experience. Last night we went to a part member family to say our goodbyes. The 12 year old son is baptized, and the dad is the brother of the 2nd counselor in the presidency. They aren't members. when I went to say goodbye, the dad was getting emotional, and he told me he just felt so close to me, more so than other missionaries, and he was so sad to see me go. He told me how mytestimony impacted him. I was in TEARS. No one has ever told me that. I couldn't believe there was actually someone who was really touched by the spirit we brought. I am SOOO sad to leave them, but I left that lesson knowing that there are indeed people we touch. It doesn't matter how long we're in an area, or who gets baptized or doesn't, etc. What matters is that Heavenly Father puts us there when we're supposed to be there, and for how LONG we're supposed to be there. I served the time here I was supposed to. I have SO much faith in that. I am SO happy to have spent 4 months here. I love these people somuch. They have changed MY life. Being a missionary is SOOO rewarding!! Aracely came to church!!!!!!!! YAY!!!!!!! She's SOOOOO amazing!!! :):):):):):):):):) I WILL be coming to visit for her baptism! ;) Haha :)

So, we have standards of excellence for all the key indicators. President Foote wants us to all hit those numbers by October 18th. I have never successfully done it my entire mission. My companion and I wanted to put our faith to the test, and put our trust in Heavenly Father and get those numbers!! We worked SOOO hard this week. We were shoving food in our faces and didn't even have time to breathe!! :) It was CRAZY!!! Unfortunately, we still didn't hit the numbers. BUT we saw the hand of the Lord in the work. We needed to contact 10 referrals. We only received 4 that week. This was Saturday, so we had until Sunday night to get 6 referrals and contact them. We called almost every member, and got 2 more referrals that DAY!!! :) WOOHOO! the Lord was looking out for us! We called the elders in a frenzy, and they found one for us! We bolted over to her house, and she wasn'thome! We literally just stayed on the porch and talked about something for like 5 minutes 
... then decided to leave. As we drove away, she came outside!!!! Heavenly FAther TOTALLY inspired us to stay there so we could contact her! In conference we learned that we cannot use our faith to take away someone's agency....but what we can do, is have the faith God can put us where we need to be, and tell us what we need to say. We have NO control over who comes to church, who gets baptized, or who gives us a referral...but what we DO have control over is our FAITH in the ONE PERSON who can lead us to those people who ARE prepared. ANYTHING IS POSSIBLE!!!! This week truly has been a test of my faith, and I'm SOOO glad I learned this valuable lesson. Being a missionary is SOOO rewarding. The key to happiness is obedience and faith. Truly. I have learned SO much about weakness and repentance on my misisno. Good thing God is loving and merciful, and can take someone weak like me, and make me strong. :) I love you all! have a great week!

Love,Hermana Bringhurst :)

P.S. The branch threw me a surprise party for my birthday. Aren't theySO sweet!!! I LOVE THIS AREA!!! :)

Monday, October 3, 2016

Happy 15 Months!

Dearest Family and Friends!

I hope you all enjoyed conference this last week as much as I did!!! :) It was SOOOOO amazing! I received SO many answers! I definitely LOVE being a missionary at conference! :)

This week was pretty amazing!!! Sadly, Sister Helsten and I got sick on Tuesday, so that put us out for a little bit :( It was quite a bummer. There was a virus going around the mission, and I guess we got it :( it didn't last long though. On Wednesday we were sick of being sick (haha) so we decided to ride BIKES! haha. it was SOO fun!! :)

We met with joseida this last week. She's still SO excited for her baptism, but she's worried she won't make it for the 15th because her husband can't really join in on the discussions because he works so much, and she wants him to be more involved. We may have to move it, but that's okay! We'll go at their pace! I am still SO full of faith!!

We also met with our investigator Aracely. I'm not sure I've mentioned her yet. The elders found her sister knocking, so they passed it to us, but ARacely ended up being the interested one! She reads the Book of Mormon, and she LOVES our visits. She truly wants to change and is turning her life around! She has a little girl, but is single at the moment. She's incredible! She accepted a date for baptism on the 22nd! :) We are SO excited for her! She couldn't make it to conference
because of work, but she has committed to coming next SUnday!! :) Woohoo!!

I really had an amazing week. Things are really going amazing here in the area. We have SO much faith that so many great things are coming for this area!!!! :)

I love you all SO much!

Hermana Bringhurst