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

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