Monday, January 4, 2016

Ni Hao!

 Ni Hao!
     Sister Zhong has been teaching me some Chinese and she said that I was a natural 0:) 
     Sunday was our first Sunday in our new ward! It is a HUGE ward! Packed compared to San Leandro. I loved it, it felt more like home. Everyone was super excited to meet us. We were at the door greeting everyone and they would all say, "FINALLY! We can hug the missionaries!!" I guess they have had Elders for a while. The ward is fabulous. I gave the opening prayer, Sister Zhong gave the closing, we both bore our testimonies, and are both speaking next week! We love love love the ward and they love missionary work so this should be a good relationship :) Our first impression is very important, showing the ward that we are ready to work and we are obedient and responsible! That we are serious about the work. So far so good and we are SO excited to get to know them and work alongside them. 
     Shotgunning has been a liiiiittle stressful, just getting to know everyone and figurnig out logistics with strangers, one of the most frustrating things is having to rely on other people, but Sister Zhong has done it before and she is the most calm and patient person I have ever met. I love her. She is incredible. And this is a beautiful adventure!! I am SO lucky to be working alongside her. 
     We have a few really great investigators right now, and a few with baptismal dates! One of our investigators is Keith. He is a big white bearded man, probably around 50! After one of our lessons we challenged him to pray to feel God's love. A few days later he called us and said, "I prayed and asked God to feel His love and He told me loud and clear 'I sent two angels straight to you from hundreds and thousands of miles away to tell you that I love you, Keith. What greater manifestation of love do you need?" It was seroiusly the sweetest thing. We had known this man for less than a week. God works through us and I am SO happy I get to be a tiny instrument in His hands to help people feel of His love!! How beautiful and fulfilling to have experiences like this. 
     Sister Zhong is an angel. She has language study in the morning for 30 min so I make lunch for us while she studies and then we were eating together and she just looks up at me and she was like (in her CUTEST BROKEN ENGLISH ACCENT) "did you receive some sort of special training about me?" I was giggling, or trying not to, and I was like, "what do you mean? :)" and she pretty much said that she had never gotten along so well with any of her companions and they have cultural differences that get in the way and her companions have really offended her. She was wondering if I had had an Asian exchange student or lived in Asia or something!!! I told her no, that I had waited on Asians a lot in West Yellowstone, but other than that no, that I was just acting normal! I told her that I always tried to be open minded and loved learning about other cultures and everything! She was literally so amazed.... It was the sweetest thing.
     Another really really beautiful thing about her is how PURE and clean she is. I have noticed myself being more gentle and kind and clean. As we all know I am SUPER sarcastic, but she doesnt understand sarcasm, so I dont use it anymore!! Not on purpose, just because she doesnt understand it. Then I realized the difference it has made!!! Seriously! She is so pure, never says ANYTHING negative, which is helping me SO much with my sacrifice, which is gossipping! I havent said one bad thing! Its so easy to be good and happy and positive around her. And I dont say "crap" or "freak" or anything because she cringes hahah not in a rude way but she is just soo innocent. We only talk about uplifting things, not that me and Sister Harper didnt but we would talk about boys or movies or sing non mo tab songs. But with Sister Zhong, all we talk about is getting to know each other and the gospel and I have noticed a huge increase of the Spirit and sincere desire to be virtuous and clean in my life. 
     I may or may not have just found out that my District Leader, Elder Meier, was my PRESCHOOL crush hahaha. We went to preschool together in Holladay, Utah. Small/awkward world.
    Something beautiful I read in my personal study Sunday morning:
John 6:48 "I am that bread of life."
John 6:51 "I am the living bread which came down from heaven: if any man eat of this bread, he shall live forever: and the bread that i will give is my flesh, which I will give for the life of the world."
John 6:56 "He that eateth my flesh, and drinketh my blood, dwelleth in me, and I in him."
John 5:57 "As the living Father hath sent me, and I live by the Father, so he that eateth me, even shall he live by me."
       I love this beautiful symbolism of the sacrament! How incredibly humbling is it that have the opportunity to partake of the sacrament EVERY WEEK. I have truly come to love and appreciate this sacred ordinance. I rely on it so heavily every week to repent and receive strength and renewal. I am so grateful that I have the promise to have the Spirit to be with me if I always remember Him. I know that as we strive to live worthy of the Spirit, as we come to the sacrament table with broken hearts and contrite spirits, humbling ourselves before our Father in Heaven, He will sanctify us. How pure and beautiful and sweet is His love for each of His children. Jesus Christ, our Savior, came down to this earth as the living bread to provide us a way back to our Heavenly Father! Without Him, hope faith, progress, repentance, forgiveness, nothing is possible. I pray that we may each partake of the sacrament and leave carrying Him with us. He can be our constant companion and our guide. I can testify that He loves us. He WANTS to walk beside us. The sacrament cleanses us so this is possible. How I love Him. How I love being a missionary. How I love California and it's absolutely unpredictable weather. I am as happy as ever, but wouldnt be without YOU!
I love you.
Ai Ni O,
Sister Brinton



life of a missionary. eating cereal on the floor huddled by a 1 inch by 1 inch heater...

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