Monday, February 29, 2016

20

  Can I please just start of by THANKING each & every one of you from the bottom of my heart! My sweetest Momma compiled a book of all the scriptures, testimonies, stories, and kind words you sent for me for my birthday. I cannot express my GRATITUDE for you and your love and support. Your testimonies strengthen mine. I was overcome with joy. I feel extremely undeserving of the powerful words that each of you shared with me. I also feel extremely unworthy to have the family and friends that I do! I will strive to live worthy of your love and friendship!! I know it probably seemed so simple to you, but that was a sacred gift to me. Thank you. 
   My birthday was one of the most special ever! My district sang to me at sports in the morning. Sister Fetzer continued to sing to me throughout the day, despite her extreme tone-deafness. I love it. LOVE her. Sister Harper (my trainer) brought me CHICKFILA because she knoooows it's my favorite. Love her. For dinner, we went over to this cute old lady's home. She threw a party for the three of us and we had pizza and root beer (caffeine free of course) and they sang to me and she gave me a gift. We listened to her tell INCREDIBLE stories from her FIVE missions all over the world. That night we had a lesson with Jessica and they gave me cupcakes and a gift and sang to me! So sweet. 
   Then we went over to have a lesson with Ashley and Billy (the two Chinese kids who had baptismal dates). We knocked on the door and Billy answered it, but kept the screen closed. He usually lets us right in so I was like "hi.....whats wrong?" He looked around, looked down at the ground, shuffled his feet, and my heart started RACING. I was like, "Billy, what's wrong!" After like 2 minutes he FINALLY let us in and told us that his parents said they werent allowed to come to our church anymore and we aren't allowed to come over. He wouldnt make eye contact with us. I was SOBBING. Sister Fetzer had to do all the talking. My heart was seriously broken. It felt like it weighed 3 million pounds. I just wanted to hug them and cry and cry and cry. We had to say goodbye, forever. I probably wont see them again in this life. It was like I was saying bye to my very own siblings. Seeing how sad they were just made it worse. 
   BUT I know that the Lord has a plan for them. I know they will find the church again one day and be FAITHFUL members. We were just a seed. I am SO grateful that I got to be that seed!! What a precious experience. These are two choice children of God. I know everything will be okay, which makes it easier to deal with but I was so so sad. And it HAD to be on my birthday :( 
  Then we went to visit a Chinese less active and they were having a barbecue. We went to their backyard and I was able to get my mind off Ashley and Billy by eating a spicy hot dog on a stick with chunks in it and an oyster and listening to lots of Chinese people. Sister Fetzer and I made hilarious videos that night of us sucking out the helium out of my birthday balloon. We were teaching the Restoration in our high pitch voices and dying laughing. 
  After a while, the sorrow returned and my heart was so heavy. That's right when I opened my birthday package and got the book of scriptures from my Momma from all of you! As I began to read, I was OVERCOME with peace. Every single one of you said something PERFECT that I needed to hear. Your scriptures were of 
HOPE
PEACE
FAITH
TRUSTING in the Lord
& feeling of His love.
Each of you bore your testimonies of how you knew God loved you and has a plan, how we need to trust Him. The Spirit was so strong as I read these scriptures and your words. I knew in my heart that everything was going to be okay and that God has a plan for Ashley and Billy. I was filled with comfort that you had been through hard times too and found peace and direction through the scriptures. You might think I am making such a difference, but TRULY, you are making a difference in MY life. You are an answer to my prayers! I cant thank you enough for providing me with that peace and healing when I was in desperate need of it. Thank you. 
   Some of you might remember Roslynn, one of my investigators in my last area San Leandro. She has been investigating FOREVER and right when she committed to baptism, she broke her foot. Then I was transferred. The Elders in San Leandro continued to teach her and SHE WAS BAPTIZED ON SATURDAY! Since she is still in my zone, I was able to go to her baptism!! It was 5 minutes until it was supposed to start and she still hadnt showed up. 15 minutes later we started to get so nervous. We called her and she didnt answer. She has been known to flake out on baptisms before, so we were pretty nervous. I suggested to Sister Fetzer that we say a prayer. We knelt down right where we were and said a simple prayer. We opened our eyes and she walked in the room, "Sorry I'm late guys!" OH MY HEART. I thought I was dreaming. Heavenly Father heard our desperate plea and we witnessed a miracle. It was one of the most powerful experiences ever. FINALLY seeing her in white after so much she had been through was so rewarding. She was so happy. They asked me to say the opening prayer and I could BARELY get through it. The Spirit was so strong, as was not only my love for her, but Heavenly Father's. I think He is up there just BEAMING! Another one of His children entering into the covenant of baptism! When she came up out of the water, she just stood there, took a huge deep breath, looked up and me, and said, "wow." OH! I wish all of you could have been there! FINALLY! So beautiful. She looked like an angel. 
   Tori came to church and we have been teaching her & her PARENTS! WHOO HOO! I told you how nice they were, and I invited them to "hear what Tori was learning," (so sneaky) and they have just embraced it! They dont feel ready to come to church but I know they feel the truth of our message. The mom cried when we explained the Atonement and how because of Jesus Christ we have hope. She doesnt like Him right now. I am soo grateful that I have the opportunity to be the one to tell people
THERE IS HOPE
YOU CAN CHANGE
YOU CAN BE HAPPY
THERE IS A GOD
and HE LOVES YOU and KNOWS YOU
It blows my mind how people live without this knowledge. We ask ADULTS, "why do you think we are here on earth?" or "what is the point of life?" It breaks my heart how many grown adults say that they have NO idea or they have never thought about it....... We are SO blessed to have this message of peace and hope and light! ah
   Transfers are March 29th and when we told Jessica that we might leave, we might stay, she said, "Well I will have to be baptized before then for sure!!" She is meeting with the Bishop this week and we are setting a date! She loves the church and knows its true. 
   At one point, she said, "I don't know if I believe that there are three kingdoms. Would this be something that kept me from being baptized?" Thanks to my recent studies (this is why we study so hard, so we can have the Spirit and answer hard questions with love), I knew how to answer her!! I said, "Jessica, you dont have to believe that there are three kingdoms. You need to find out that the Book of Mormon is true, because then you believe that Joseph Smith was a prophet, that this is the true church, and that it is run by revelation from God. If you believe this, you wont care if there are three kingdoms. You will trust revelation and embrace it." It made complete sense to her and it strengthened my testimony SO MUCH of that simple truth. We dont need to worry about the silly details. Just focus on the big picture. 
   Tristan met with the Bishop and his date is March 12th! His uncle is coming to baptize him and he is so awesome! I love him. Miracle. 
   Gaby is probably the sweetest cutest thing on earth. She went to the Relief Society activity and is already best friends with half the ward. Her fiance came with her to church!! He said he is interested in learning more! We know that Gaby's goal is to be sealed in the temple. Oh my heart. We had a beautiful lesson with her about the plan of salvation. Her prayer at the end was SO sincere, SO humble, and heartfelt. She thanked God for leading her. She asked Him to strengthen her. She asked Him to soften her husbands heart. She told Him that she wanted to follow Him. TEARS. I've never heard anything like it. She just told us that they are getting married in April and she is getting baptized right after! I am PRAYING that I am still here. Miracle.
  The temporary Visitors' Center has been fun! We only have two short shifts a week. I love being on temple grounds. It is so beautiful and sacred! We have been joking, "aren't all visitors temporary?" Get it... temporary visitors... I love the senior couples that we serve with. 
   I am looking forward to another BEAUTIFUL week here in the bay area. I am happier than ever. This is such a wonderful work. I cant believe how fast it is going by! SLOW DOWN! I am so lucky to be serving with Sister Fetzer while we are full proselyting because we get along perfectly. We teach in unity, at a level that takes months to reach. We just clicked. I love her. I also love that fact that I can tease her because I am such a tease and she is a good sport. The Lord is blessing us with SO many miracles, I am just in AWE of His power and love and direction. Luckily we are never alone! I hope I can work up to be worthy of these miracles!
  Thanks again for e v e r y t h i n g. 
 LOVE
Sister Brinton
Bro and Sis Nielson

Birthday Lunch



My birthday

20 years old



jessica and sister davis

chick fil a from Sis Harper

Matthew, a homeless man, played a full harp song for us in Taco Bell

Temporary Visitors' Center

Aren't all the visitors temporary?? hahaha
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Love her

Roslynn got BAPTIZED! So glad we could be there.




I love the rain

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