Monday, February 8, 2016

Xin Nian Kuai le!

Xin Nian Kuai Le!
Kuai Le Zhong Guo Nian!
  Happy Chinese New Year!!!! No, I would not be this into it if Sister Zhong was not my companion, but hey! Why not. I wanted to make her day really special because Chinese New Year is a BIG deal in China, as big as Christmas in America, so I took her to an American restaurant and we had burgers and fries and shakes! She told me, "This was the most American Chinese New Year I have ever had." Your welcome.
  Sister Zhong and I both had colds this week. I guess I jinxed myself last week saying I never get sick. We share everything, why not a cold?  So this week involved a whole lot of tissues and soup and sleep! But that doesn't stop us from the work! We seriously made it a goal to get through a full prayer without coughing, sneezing, snorting, or blowing our nose. I think we made it once! I am feeling much better though.
  This week was BEAUTIFUL weather. I think it was 65, 68, 75, and 78 today! The sunshine seriously changes everything. I am happier and more excited and enthusiastic. I LOVE IT. I love the weather and the palm trees and the breeze and the ocean smell. Best ever. 
  I could not believe some of the excuses we were getting as we knocked doors this week and I had to write some of them down. Let me just say that these excuses do not come up until we say that we are missionaries from the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Days Saints, then they are suddenly the most urgent excises imaginable. 
-"I am in the middle of cooking something and I dont want it to burn."
-"I just got diagnosed with this terrible virus" *fake coughs*
-one time they said no because it was US that had a cold haha I guess it is pretty rude to ask if we can come in when we are coughing and sneezing. Oops. But I think salvation is worth a cold. 
-I also love it when the phone rings with the most important phone call on the earth RIGHT when they open the door and see us. 
One of my favorites: 
-"It is my 1 year old niece's birthday in a month."
  No joke. In my head I said, "what in the heck does that have to do with anything?" But out loud I said, "Oh, okay, are you in charge of that?" And she said that she was and she was just getting stuff ready for it. Ohhhhhhhhh okay gotchaaaaaaaaaaaaa. That must be one awesome birthday party, can we come and share a message of Jesus Christ with your one year old niece in a month?
  So Ashley and Billy, our Chinese investigators, ask Heavenly Father in EVERY SINGLE PRAYER to help them find their playdough. I guess they lost it a while ago. I couldnt bear it any more so I went and bought them playdough. At the end of our lesson, which began and ended with a prayer asking for playdough, I told them I had a surprise for them and they SQUEALED when they saw the playdough. so cute. I love them. 
  We taught them fasting the other day and when we were done, Billy goes, "I am fasting tomorrow." We were like, "oh you can just do it on this Sunday on fast Sunday." (shame on us) and he was like, "nope, I am doing it tomorrow, breakfast and lunch." The next time we saw him he was SO proud to tell us that he had in fact fasted two whole meals. So cute. So sincere and precious.
  Tori still has a baptismal date for February 20. We had to move Ashley and Billy's date to March 5th because they havent been to church yet due to complicated schedules. It is Satan's favorite thing to get in our way. Idiot. But other than that, we are struggling to get return appointments with people and are going to focus on finding some new investigators. 
  TRANSFERS are TOMORROW. I can't believe this transfer is already over. Sister Zhong and I were for SURE planning on staying together in San Lorenzo because we have only been together one transfer. We got a call telling us what was happening in the zone and they told us, to our complete and utter surprise to the dropping of jaws, that Sister Zhong is getting transferred to Oakland and I am staying here and getting a new companion!! Crazy. The only thing in the mission that is constant is change haha. I am going to miss her. I learned so much from her. This is her last transfer! She goes home in March. 
  My new companion is Sister Fetzer, also Chinese! She grew up in Canton, China, Mainland China, until she was 13, then she was adopted into a Mormon family of 13 kids. She has been out about  months. I am so excited!! I hope she loves San Lorenzo as much as I do and that she is ready to FIND! What an adventure. :))
  I learned and experienced so much this week that I am not sure what I want to share. I would like to share part of a talk I read this week. Hold On Thy Way by Koichi Aoyagi:

   "The Lord God declared, 'And we will prove them herewith, to see if they will do all things whatsoever the Lord their God shall command them.'
  The principle is that the God who created the heavens and the earth knows the grand design of this earth, that He has dominion over all things in the heavens and the earth, and that in order to bring to pass the plan of salvation, He provides us with many different experiences, including some trials, while we are on this earth.
   And the Lord said the following to Joseph Smith: 'Know thou, my son, that all these things shall give thee experience, and shall be for thy good. … Therefore, hold on thy way … , for God shall be with you forever and ever.' The trials of this earth are a part of the plan of salvation and are inevitable experiences. It is necessary for us to“hold on [our] way” and accept our trials with faith. However, the purpose of our lives is not merely to endure trials. Heavenly Father sent His Beloved Son, Jesus Christ, as our Savior and Redeemer so we could overcome the trials we face on this earth; in other words, He makes our weak things become strong, He atones for our sins and our imperfections, and He makes it possible for us to obtain immortality and eternal life. 
   President Henry B. Eyring stated: 'The test a loving God has set before us is not to see if we can endure difficulty. It is to see if we can endure it well. We pass the test by showing that we remembered Him and the commandments He gave us.'
  'Hold on thy way' is a key choice during times of trial. Turn your heart to God, especially when you face trials. Humbly obey the commandments of God. Show faith to reconcile your wishes with the will of God."

  I absolutely love this. I was grateful for this gentle reminder one morning this week during personal study. I know Heavenly Father loves us SO much that He gives us trials to grow. It is easier said than done, but our trials will be for our good, because they help us become more like Him! But we have to believe this. We have to have faith that there is a better world waiting for us if we hold on our way and that our trials will be worth it!! 

"Eye hath not seen, nor ear heard, neither have entered into the heart of man, the things which God hath prepared for them that love him." 1 Corinthians 2:9

I can't express my gratitude for all of your love and support and prayers and fasting!! 
I love you. 
Sister Brinton (or, as Sister Zhong says it, Seestair Breen-tone)

church building

Chipotle is my life
my district leader, Elder Meier
Celebrating the Chinese New Year american style
me and my chocolate milkshake

eggs and hash browns 0:)
celebrating the chinese new year

Saying goodbye to sister Zhong

Sister Benosa!

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