Sunday, July 17, 2016

Training

What a week! The weather has been PERFECT all week. Makes it so much easier to wake up and run and tract. I love being outside. It heals the soul.
  I got a call on Wednesday morning from President Frandsen to train a new missionary! I was humbled. I am so so so excited. I can't wait! I love her already. I have been praying for her already. I have no idea who she is but I will find out on Wednesday! I can't wait to be with a companion who is fresh from the MTC ready to work! I am going to help her LOVE the area and the people and the Visitors Center and studies and tracting and everything I love. It seems like I got to the mission YESTERDAY. I can't believe it has already been 9 months. What. I hope I can rely on the Lord to be the best trainer I can be. My trainer taught me so much and changed the course of my mission. I hope I can do the same!! I am grateful that the Lord trusts me. I am far from perfect. But I am perfectly willing to rely on Him and work hard and be obedient and see miracles. New missionaries brings miracles, I'm sure of it. 
   Earnest is doing great! He came to church again and SOBBED the whole time. He said that he felt the Spirit so strong!
   We found a new investigator named Joseph. We had our first lesson with him this week. We walked in and he goes, "Yeah I found the Joseph Smith movie online and watched it. It was great!" He also had read the pamphlet we gave him 26 times. It was all wrinkled and marked up. We taught him the Restoration and he was SO into it. After I recited the first vision, he had tears in his eyes and said, "wow." He asked awesome questions and loved every bit of everything we were telling him. At the end, we invited him to read the intro to the Book of Mormon and pray to ask God if it is true. He looked us right in the eyes and said, "I need to read that Book, don't I. You know what? I am going to have this book read by our next visit." AAHH We didnt even know what to say. None of this has ever happened to me on my mission!!! He ran to the kitchen to get his calendar he was so excited to set up another meeting with us. THEN we taught him how to pray. He really liked the idea of speaking from your heart instead of a recited prayer. This is so second nature to me, like DUH. But some people don't even knoooooow that they can pray to God about their problems!!! That they can talk to Him when they are sad or happy or nervous. ugh. Prayer is so precious and sacred and wonderful. My love for it grows daily. He said a beautiful kneeling prayer. 
   The less actives that we have been working with are coming to church so that is WONDERFUL to see the fruits of our labors. They are so so grateful for the missionaries.
    I got to see Gaby at the Why I Believe fireside. It was soo wonderful to see her and hear her testimony. She is going strong. She spoke of her love for the Book of Mormon and the peace and clarity the gospel brings. She quit her job so she is going back to church. It is just the most beautiful thing to see and hear someone you found and taught and watched grow bear their testimony of the Savior!! My heart was just racing with joy, my eyes brimming with tears. She was so full of light and the Spirit up there.
   Sister Taylor goes home TOMORROW! CRAZY! I am so grateful that I was able to spend a transfer with her here in Oakland. I love her dearly. We have SO much in common and she has become one of my very best friends. I am going from one end of the spectrum to the other with companions: a companion going home and a companion straight out of the MTC! It should be a hard, wonderful, beautiful, sad, happy, exciting, weird CHANGE! Welcome to missionary life. Welcome to growth. Welcome to becoming more like the Savior. 
  The sacrament hymn touched my heart this week, as I am a missionary and was called to train:

Thy Will, O Lord, Be Done
1. When in the wondrous realms above
Our Savior had been called upon
To save our world of sin by love,
He said, "Thy will, O Lord, be done."
2. The King of Kings left worlds of light,
Became the meek and lowly One;
In brightest day or darkest night,
He said, "Thy will, O Lord, be done."
3. No crown of thorns, no cruel cross
Could make our great Redeemer shun.
He counted his own will but naught,
And said, "Thy will, O Lord, be done."
4. We take the bread and cup this day
In mem'ry of the sinless One,
And pray for strength, that we may say,
As he, "Thy will, O Lord, be done."

I want to be more like the Savior. I want to follow His example and count my own will but naught and say, "Thy will, O Lord, be done." I want to accept the Lord's will on hard days as well as easy days. I want to be humble and submissive. He is helping me. He will help all of us. He showed us the path we should follow and is guiding us along it.
I love you. I miss you. Pray on. Smile. Just make it to Sunday. 
I can't thank you enough for taking care of my family while I'm gone. I miss them so much my heart aches.
XO
Sister Brinton

Gaby spoke at WHY I BELIEVE!!! :))

Serlfies


Morning run around Lake Merritt!


Last district meeting with Sister Taylor

Earnest crying at church

A recent convert, Eagle, and less active, Puuje, from Mongolia speaking at WHY I BELIEVE!

Gaby



Bye Sister Fetzer :( 

She is going to San Francisco!!


a recent convert named Jessie
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Sister Harper

Monday, July 4, 2016

Freedom

Happy 4th of July!! Yay for America and for freedom and for our ancestors but most of all YAY for being free to be a missionary and teach my beliefs and wear Jesus Christ's name on my chest. What an honor and a privilege. I don't think I fully understand or appreciate the freedom I have or have grown up with. I can make my own choices, I can practice my religion, I can get an education. This truly is the promised land. People come from all over the WORLD to experience these precious freedoms that I grew with. I am grateful to be here with the fullness and freedom the gospel and America offers. The gospel truly does make us free individually, in a beautiful country that we have to practice it!

"Wherefore, men are free according to the flesh; and all things are given them which are expedient unto man. And they are free to choose liberty and eternal life, through the great Mediator of all men, or to choose captivity and death, according to the captivity and power of the devil; for he seeketh that all men might be miserable like unto himself.
And now, my sons, I would that ye should look to the great Mediator, and hearken unto his great commandments; and be faithful unto his words, and choose eternal life, according to the will of his Holy Spirit." 2 Nephi 2:27-28

     We had an awesome zone conference this week. It lifted my spirits and strengthened my testimony. One thing we decided to do is read the Book of Mormon together as a mission in 90 days! This goal is to unify us and strengthen our knowledge of the Savior. I have loved it so far. There was also a huge emphasis on having hope. Hope brings the Holy Ghost into our lives. We studied hope in regards to our 400 goal. Alma 22:16

"If thou desirest this GOAL, if thou wilt bow down before God, yea, if thou wilt repent of all thy sins, and will bow down before God, and call on his name in faith, believing that ye shall receive, then shalt thou receive the hope which thou desirest."

  We are 187/400 right now! I know that this goal we are striving for is inspired of the Lord and He will help us reach it. We have to do our part, which can be exhausting. It requires mental exertion. Constant focus and eliminating doubt and fear and excuses. But the Lord will help. I have felt Him give me strength to walk one more flight of stairs and courage to open my mouth one more time. The 400 is out there! 
     We gave a tour to a broken family the other day at the Visitors Center. We brought them to the back to teach more about temples. As we explained baptisms for the dead very simply, the dad began to weep. He told us that this was an answer to his prayers. He said, "This knowledge that you just shared with me is worth the entire trip. This changes everything." He told me that he had never heard this before, but somehow, in his heart, he knew he already knew this. It was a powerful moment for me. We got his info and shipped the missionaries over to his home. This helped me appreciate the knowledge that we sometimes take for granted. This man was SO incredibly grateful and it rekindled my appreciation and love for the gospel. 
     Some of you mat remember Keith, the homeless man from San Lorenzo. He cleaned up and he is getting baptized this month! 
     In my studies this week I kept coming across the phrase, "Come unto me" or "Come unto Christ" and I really wanted to understand what that meant. I know it means come closer to Jesus Christ but I wanted to know HOW. How can I come unto Him?
"Yea, verily I say unto you, if ye will come unto me ye shall have eternal life. Behold, mine arm of mercy is extended towards you, and whosoever will come, him will I receive; and blessed are those who come unto me."
3 Nephi 9:14
  This isnt doctrine but some points I found as I studied were:
- Repent daily 
- PRAY
- Take the sacrament
- Try to be like Him
- Be humble
- Recognize our weakness/dependence on Him
- Acknowledge His hand in our lives  
     I know it's kind of a general list but I wanted something tangible that I can reach towards to "come unto Christ." I have noticed a difference in my life as I have slowly began turning to Him. He has promised us that if we seek, we shall find. If we seek HIM, we shall find HIM, which means we will find peace and joy and love and strength.
    Earnest is our only investigator but we are searching long and hard for the elect. I am grateful for the precious time I have to serve in the Visitors Center. I love being a missionary. Despite how much I miss my family and the cabin, there is no where I would rather be! This is the only time I have to serve as a full time missionary and I am going to work as hard as I can and love it will all my heart. I cant thank all of you enough for your love and support and prayers that strengthen me.
I love you
Love
Sister Brinton


Zone Conference
4th of July - Sisters

4th of July BBQ

Is this a women's bathroom? hahaha

Ice Cream with Angel!



Buddah Worshipping Shrine on the street


Sister Skapick

Jeff the security guard