Monday, December 14, 2015

400

Hi hi hi! 
     I can't believe another week has flown by. I am happier and happier by the minute. How could I not be?? I am the luckiest missionary in the world. I serve in the most beautiful place with the most beautiful people sharing the most beautiful message with the most beautiful family and friends supporting me. Hello??? I am so thankful for this special time I have as a missionary.
     I just found out about 2 minutes ago that my area (San Leandro) is being taken over by Elders next transfer!! So I don't know where I am going, but I know I am being transferred. Transfers are on December 29. I haven't had time to process the fact that I am leaving but my initial reaction is that I am heartbroken! It's unbelievably beautiful how much I have come to love these people that I have served, ward members and recent converts and investigators and all. They become like your family, and I've only been here for 2 transfers! I have this pit in my stomach thinking about leaving the investigators we have worked so hard with, investigators who have come so close to baptism or have so much potential. I have a longing desire for the ELDERS who replace us to love the people as much as I do. I know the work in San Leandro will move forward when we leave, but MAN I wish with all my heart I could be a part of it. I already miss it and I am still here for two weeks! Weird feelings, but I EMBRACE change and can't wait for a whole new chapter of my mission!!! So exciting. Bring it on. Appreciate the time you have with the people you love in the place you are because you never know when it will end!
     This week we only had 4 hours in our area hahah oh wow. BUT we made the most of it! We had some awesome lessons and contacted some awesome referrals. Ann Helen is reading the Book of Mormon on her own from the very beginning. So awesome. Lucia is out of the hospital and is ready to keep learning. We started from the beginning because we didnt know which lessons she had officially had from the Elders before us. We taught her the Restoration and it went so well. She understood everything and the Spirit was so strong. She told us that through all of her searching for a religion that was right for her, she finally found the church she wants to join! She is awesome. 
     THE HIGHLIGHT of my week was Elder Larry R Lawrence of the Seventy coming to our mission!!! At the beginning of the meeting, President Frandsen announced a new mission goal. Our goal is to reach 400 baptisms in 2016!
"He commanded them that there should be no contention one with another, but that they should look forward with one eye, having one faith, and 400 baptisms, having their hearts knit together in unity and in love one towards another." 
Mosiah 18:21

When we reach this goal, it will be a 15% increase from this years baptisms. Elder Lawrence said he can count on one hand the number of missions that have increased that much over one year in baptisms. He gave us some guidance on how to reach this goal. 
    Say WHEN we achieve this goal, not if.
  • One name for Christ is "The Holy One of Israel." He was a descendant of Israel and His mission call from the Father was to this home, to Israel, to the lost sheep. 
  • We are literal descendants of Israel. We are children of the covenant. 
  • WE WERE CHOSEN BEFORE WE WERE BORN. We were chosen because we demonstrated our obedience in the premortal life. We demonstrated our spirituality (the ability to recognize truth then act on it).
  • Why did we win the war in heaven? 1. Jesus Christ 2. Thetestimonies that were born. That was us! That was OUR testimonies. We are still bearing our testimonies. That war isn't over, the war goes on!! 
  • We are the only earth that is wicked enough to crucify our Savior. Why is our earth so wicked? This earth is Satan's headquarters. He is the literal God of this earth. He lives here. 
  • Why would Jesus Christ come to this earth? Because He had to descend below all things. ALL things. He had to come to the most wicked earth so if we got up to judgement day and said, "Well it was really hard for me because I lived on the most wicked planet where Satan lived," Jesus Christ would respond, "That's where I lived, too. I know how you felt. I know how hard it was to live there." 
  • Why would Heavenly Father send us to the most wicked earth?? Because we proved ourselves in the premortal life. We are strong enough. It also provides the most growth and opportunity to become more like Him because there is so much opposition. He puts His strongest soldiers on the front battle line. 
  • Why did we agree to come to this earth? Because we love Jesus Christ and because Heavenly Father promised us so many blessings.

1. Be Believing.
    Rid yourself of DOUBT
2. Plead with Heavenly Father
3. Include it in EVERY prayer
4. Personally commit 
      We can apply these steps to any righteous goal we have. Choose a righteous goal, something that requires faith, something that has a gap that only the Lord can fill through grace and exercise FAITH. I am so excited for this new goal and grateful that I will be here all of 2016 to be a part of this marvelous work. Don't hesitate to pray for us to reach 400 baptisms, every prayer counts :)
     I went into the Mission Tour very prayerfully. I prayed for a lot of personal questions or things that I was struggling with. Every single prayer was answered to my heart through the Spirit through this mouthpiece of the Lord. Whether the Lord says it, or his servant says it, it is the SAME! It was as if the Lord Himself came to MY MISSION in California and gave us advice and guidance, so I took it as such. I tried to approach it humbly and teachable, and just as the Lord promises us, He taught me and I received answers to my prayers. 
     Sister Lawrence gave an amazing talk/presentation about the premortal life and our lineage and our role as the House of Israel that literally changed my life. It changed everything. I was getting wave after wave of the chills as she spoke of our divine nature and our responsibility here on earth. It was unreal I wish you could have BEEN THERE! I will try to explain some of her main points. 
      When we pray to find the "elect" we are praying to find the rest of the House of Israel. Their believing blood will recognize the truth of the Book of Mormon. We are here among gentiles to be a LIGHT and a LEAVEN to all those around us.
     Sorry I know that was probably really scattered, it all came from my notes but I learned so much and the Spirit was so strong!  One of my concerns was exact obedience. A lot of the Elders and Sisters in my mission are totally hard core about exact obedience and I started to get really frustrated with myself because I kept failing. I kept falling short of little tiny rules and I was being really hard on myself. I was comparing myself and it was wearing on me. I went to the conference with a prayer that I would receive some guidance regarding exact obedience. Lo and behold Elder Lawrence gave a full sermon on it. He reminded me that exact obedience is not PERFECTION! I was striving to be perfect! How silly of me!!! It is impossible to be perfect. I was striving for an unreachable goal. He reminded me that being exactly obedient was toSTRIVE to be obedient, make mistakes, repent, recommit, and move on. With this process, we become consecratedmissionaries. We wont want to break the rules. We will be working towards sanctification. And the reason that ANY of this is even possible is through Jesus Christ. HE is the reason that we can change. HE is the reason that we can improve and fix our mistakes and move on and BE BETTER TOMORROW. The only thing we should be comparing is ourselves to how we were yesterday compared to how we are today. 
     My sweetest Momma sent me the most inspired quote. I am so grateful for a Mother who is so in tune with the Spirit and loves the gospel. She is the most righteous and faithful example to me. I do not deserve a Mother like her.
"I have learned a truth that has been repeated so frequently in my life that I have come to know it as an absolute law. It defines the way obedience and service relate to the power of God. When we obey the commandments of the Lord and serve His children unselfishly, the natural consequence is power from God --power to do more than we can do by ourselves. Our insights, our talents, our abilities are expanded because we receive strength and power from the Lord."
-Elder Richard G Scott
      She said, "Right now you are obeying the commandments and serving his children unselfishly and you have received that POWER OF GOD!!!! Isn't it marvelous. Isn't it wonderful" I was overcome with humility and she shared this encouragement with me RIGHT when I needed it. 
     I had a very special experience that touched my heart. As you know during Christmas schedule we switch stations and companions all night. I was on a station with Sister Housekeeper, one of my Sister Training Leaders, and we were just greeting people and laughing and talking with them. Elder and Sister Jepperson (a senior couple who work in the Mission office) came over and we were chatting with them. All of the sudden Elder Jepperson looked me right in the eyes and with tears in his, said, "The Spirit just told me that you were called here for a reason, to this exact Visitors' Center. You are so special. You are perfect for the job. You are absolutely glowing and I know the people can feel your love and joy. You are bringing people to Jesus Christ just by smiling at them." Amid all the commotion of the Visitors' Center, the Spirit quieted things down and testified to the both of us. It was the most beautiful and sacred experience. I am grateful for his sincere testimony. It made me cry (surprise surprise) but oh my tender mercies like that are seriously answers to unspoken prayers of my heart. 
     We did the math and a mission in the Lord's time is 3 minutes. 3 minutes. I am determined to make every second count! To go forth with a sense of urgency and determination. I am so grateful for this sacred time! Especially this Christmas Season. I echo my DARLING Daddie's testimony:
"I'm grateful that the Savior loves me enough to teach me, to hear me, to die for me. JOY to the world! The Lord is come! Let earth receive her King! I am in awe of his atonement and his power to heal and give peace to His humble followers. I can't imagine my life without Him!!"
Merry Merry Merry Christmas,
Sister Brinton
Sister Harper, Sister Fetzer, Sister Jorgensen, Sister Housley and me at the mission tour! All VC Sisters
Sister Tam! VC sister she is so cool!
This is Roslynn! Please excuse my ghost face?
This is our ZONE! i love them. The elders were so excited to be VC elders haha
These kids were playing with a snake so of course I had to say hello!


Sister Schaerr and Sister Lee
Elder Cruz (our district leader, he is HILARIOUS) and Elder Kulka his companion
Sister Lawrence, Elder Larry R Lawrence's wife

Sister Williams (Employment), Sister and Elder Jorgensen (Family History)! One of my MANY grandparents here.
Sister Herrara, Sister Diaz, and Sister Winters (all VC sisters)
Brother Simpson hahahah
Sister Muench. She is the new sister here and I've taken her under my wing. I love her
Keven Garces (best friend from Utah State)'s mom!
Sister Payne (employment center) My 50th grandma here on the mission I LOVE HER
I LIVE HERE

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