Wednesday, September 14, 2016

Berkeley!

HI from the happiest missionary in the Bay Area!!!! I know I say that every week haha but I really had the best week in Berkeley with my new companion who is an angel and we saw so many miracles and I am in LOVE with the ward!!! I really am so so happy. I just sit down to write in my journal at night and I just write how happy I am. And sometimes when I am offering just a normal prayer like over my food or when we are kneeling by the door about to leave, I totally get choked up! for no specific reason, my heart is just so full and I thank Him for the opportunity I have to be a missionary and I just start crying!! haha I am psycho. I have felt a new energy and love for the work and the people, a new desire to work hard and talk to everyone. I love the new area. I LOVE it. I love Berkeley. I LOVE being in a YSA! I LOVE the ward. I love Sister Chiang, we work PERFECTLY together. I cant wait for this transfer, it is going to be WONDERFUL!
     I wanted to explain the picture of me holding the pink box of Chinese pork buns. These are rolls filled with different kind of meat and cheese, MYSTERY MEAT! As you know, we teach English class to a ton of Chinese people each week. We help some of them prepare for a citizenship test they have to take. I helped this CUTEST old man a lot last week one on one and this week he walked into class just BEAMING. He ran over to me with this box and held it out to me and goes, "For the teacha!!!! I pass!! I pass!!!" hahaha It was the cutest thing of my life I almost cried. He was so proud and so happy. 
     The best news of all, WE SET A BAPTISMAL DATE! When I got to the area a week ago, we had no investigators. Not one. We have 2 days before the end of the month. 2 days to reach our goal of every companionship in the mission having a baptismal date by the end of the month. We prayed in faith in every prayer for our area and for the other areas in the mission. Time was ticking and I was getting nervous. But I didnt let doubt crowd my mind. I relied on the Lord and continued to have faith. The Sunday before I got to the area, a guy named Mitchell randomly showed up at church. He has been meeting with missionaries on and off for years and said he wants to join the church. We had a lesson with him and he was very knowledgeable about the gospel! At the end of the lesson, we invited him to be baptized and he said "Yes! On my birthday!" So we set a baptismal date with him for November 14th. I knew this was Heavenly Father answering our prayers! It was truly a miracle in response to our faith and prayers and fasting. I knew we couldnt do this without the Lord. Mitchell is AWESOME. He came to church again on Sunday and we have a lesson with him tonight! 
    We also added a new investigator last week. Her name is Marissa. The lesson went well! One really awesome thing about YSA wards is that people just show up to church or people bring their friends all the time! So the girl I sat by at church just turns to me and goes "Hi this is my friend Cat. She wants to join the church!" We have a lesson set up with her on Tuesday and she is coming to Family Home Evening tonight. SO many miracles. 
     It is definitely different being in a YSA ward!! Everyone is your age and you kind of think, "If I wasnt on my mission, I would be in a YSA." I love it though. Sacrament is so quiet! So different from a family ward haha. And the Berkeley ward is so wealthy. Everyone was on their mac books with their pressed suits and gelled hair and heels and so I am still adjusting from the Oakland 9th ward haha but that is the BEAUTY of the Bay Area. The Bishopric is so on top of things and everyone is so involved and centered on missionary work!!! I couldnt ask for a better ward. We are so involved, with the students as much as possible. I love it! 
     This was the first week of classes for everyone at Berkeley so the campus is just FULL of people! It was a perfect time for me to come to the area because everyone is new! We went street contacting on campus and it still holds the beautiful Bay Area diversity. We met a Catholic priest from Chile, a girl from Ethiopia who had been in the US for 2 weeks, a Muslim practicing Egyptian, and a man from Taiwan. Everyone is SO smart. Sometimes it's hard to just walk up to people on campus but most people are really respectful!! 
     Sister Chiang is an incredible missionary. We are working so hard together. I get into bed EXHAUSTED at the end of the day, but wake up with desire and energy to conquer another day. We laugh so hard together. She is really calm and good at fixing problems and not stressing out. She is a perfect example of kindness and humility. She has a powerful testimony. I love her to death and am so lucky to be her companion. 
    As part of being Sister Training Leader we go on exchanges with all the sisters meaning they come to our area and sleep over and we get to serve a day with them! We got to plan those out this week and I felt the Spirit guide me and we decided who should go where and what each sister needs. I have felt an overwhelming love for them as I have prayed for each of them individually by name. I love them! I am so lucky to be with these sisters! 
     Well we have another great week ahead of us. Thank goodness for the gospel and families and prophets and the Book of Mormon and prayer and forgiveness and the Atonement and the list goes on and on. I know the church is true! The gospel is the way! I love being a missionary and this could be the happiest I have ever been on my mission. I stand all amazed and the Lord and His work and His miracles and His ability to help ME be better each day. I know that as we forget ourselves and serve and love others, we will find true joy!
Love Love Love
Sister Brinton :)  

UNO with the new district

Me and my asians at English Class!

Chinese Pork Buns!!

Matching

Cutest Sister Chiang

New apartment
We were in a trio with Sister Costa for a night!

Our Kitchen 


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