Monday, June 27, 2016

I'm so juiced!

I love you!
This was a wonderful week. I love Oakland and the people and the adventures. 
     We started the week of on exchanges with our sister training leaders and I was with Sister Chiang! We got to go street contacting in Berkeley, which is on the University of California Berkeley campus and everyone is SO intellectual and liberal it's insane. I am used to talking to people on the street who just let you in and say, "Praise the Lord!" Instead we were talking to students who say, "I am not sure my theological standpoint on the topic, but due to my research I have found that.." I just bore my testimony most of the time haha. Definitely a different experience than downtown Oakland! 
     Most of our thoughts and prayers have been for Earnest this week. He is such a sweet heart who has a good heart. So we dropped Earnest because he was NOT progressing. He wasnt reading or praying and didnt want to come to church and wasnt keeping the word of wisdom. Later that week, he called us back and said, "Sisters, I stopped drinking coffee." The next day he called and said, "I want to come to church on Sunday." That night he called and wants to set a new baptismal date. It's a miracle! He came to church and LOVED it. We are going to pick him back up and see if he is willing to commit and change. Maybe dropping him was something that we needed to do to so he could realize that something needed to change! 
     One day we went out tracting. Tracting takes a whole lot of faith. Faith that you are in the right place. Faith that the Lord will place people who are prepared in your path. Faith that you will touch the hearts of the people. Faith that you arent wasting your time. So, after about 5 doors we knocked on the door of this Chinese lady who had JUST moved here. She said she has wanted to be a Christian her whole life. We gave her the info for the Chinese English class and have an appointment to teach her this week! Then comes the ultimate miracle. There was a Hispanic guy cleaning out his car and I introduced ourselves to him. I told him that we shared a message of Jesus Christ and asked if this was something he and his family would be interested in. He said, "yes." We met his whole family: beautiful wife and 2 sons, one is 5, one is 3, and a 1 year old daughter. They were all GLOWING and couldnt stop smiling. We kept talking with them and he told us that they are planning on moving to WEST JORDAN, UTAH in July!!!!! They said they have some family in Utah and they want to move somewhere more safe. We set up an appointment with them and left. A lot of people that we talk to are nice and its hard to tell if they are really interested or if they are just saying yes to be nice. We got in the car and looked at each other and we knew that this family was different. They are so prepared. The Spirit told us that they were ready for the gospel!!!!!!! We are SO excited to teach them and if they dont get baptized here, they will FOR SURE be baptized in Utah haha. This just strengthened my faith so much, that the LORD DOES place people in our path who are prepared to hear the gospel. A FAMILY. It has been my absolute dream to teach and family and watch them change. I am so grateful for this experience.
     They do this really cool thing here called a mini mission. It's where priests and laurels get to go out with the full time missionaries for a weekend! So we had a sister named Sister Latu come live with us for the weekend. She did everything with us: exercise, eat, study, teach, ect! I think she loved it. What an awesome experience to see what a mission is really like! She was fun to have around and it kind of re-kindled my greenie fire! She was so amazed and some things that I had gotten used to. She talk me some of the bay area slang:
   "that's my slap!" = that's a good song
   "that food is smack!" = that food is delicious
   "I'll swoop" = I'll pick you up
   "hecka" or "hella" = that was so fun! That was hella fun!
   "I'm so juiced" = I am so happy 
Yeah so I felt pretty white learning all of these and more.
     Sister Taylor told me a story I wanted to share. She said that her cousin was at the MTC and one of the teachers asked for a volunteer to come up. Her cousin went up and the teacher asked him "What if you died and Jesus Christ came to you and said, 'The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints isn't my church.' What would you say?" Her cousin said something so profound, "Then you aren't the Christ." This story touched my heart. He KNOWS that this is the Lord's Church!!! With everything in His being. He knows that the Savior Jesus Christ and His priesthood are at the head of this church and it HAS been restored. I love that statement and have been thinking about it all week. This is His church. He guides and directs it. My testimony of that grows stronger each day as I work alongside Him and STRIVE to be like Him. It's so hard!! It's taking everything within me. Every ounce of energy. Every waking moment. Every thought. It's exhausting, but it is SO rewarding. I am here to give my all. to Him. and He is helping me do so. I love it. I love being a missionary. Especially the hard parts because I have grown closer to the Savior because of them. 
    I was reading in 3 Nephi about the people who believed Jesus Christ would come, but they began to doubt their faith because it had been so long and Jesus Christ still hadnt come!! People began to mock the believers and their faith in this so-called Messiah. The believers began to wonder if their joy and faith and hope was in vain! in 3 Nephi 1:8 it says, "but they did watch steadfastly for that day, that they might know that their faith had not been in vain." Sometimes it does feel like our joy and faith is in vain. Sometimes it feels like it's too late, the miracles and blessings and hopes are past. We question ourselves: did my faith count for anything? Was I hoping for something fake? Are my prayers being heard? I bet the righteous people who believed in Jesus Christ and had faith in His coming felt this as people ridiculed them. They were sorrowful thinking, "what if my faith was in vain?" BUT they did watch STEADFASTLY!! They wanted to prove their faith. This gives me strength to exercise my faith when I am full of doubt. Let us watch steadfastly and continue to be faithful even if people are mocking us and our faith. The Lord and His promises are sure. There are blessings ahead for the faithful!!
I love you all!!! Have a wonderful week.
Love love love
Sister Brinton
Visitor Center Sisters

Sister Herrerra

ghetto Hippie car

Morning run with Sisters Chiang and Harper

beautiful run

I took a nasty fall on the trail

Yummy Vegetarian Pizza Place called Cheeseboard in Berkeley

Sister Chiang on exchanges

Sister Herrerra

Sister Herrerra is going home

Mediteranean Buffet 

With Brother Aliling

Me and Angel Love (recent convert) matching
rolled sushi
sister Harper

Rafil's Baptism
Our mini Missionary Sister Latu

Sister Herrerra

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