Wednesday, October 26, 2016

MIRACLES!!

Hi friends :) 
 I am so happy. I am so so happy and I love being a missionary more and more every day!!     
     This late October/early November period is SO critical to our 400 goal. We have to find people NOW to baptize them before December 31, 2016. Every single prayer we plead, we include this goal, asking the Lord to guide us to people who are prepared, asking for the Spirit to help us know what to say. We have to do our part. We have to pray and study and plan. THEN we go out and we act. We open our mouths and extend baptismal dates. I can tell you that Heavenly Father is LITERALLY placing people in our laps. I have never seen so many miracles in my life. These miracles are 100 from the Lord, nothing that we could have done on our own. It is just so obvious that this is HIS work with HIS people and we are just the instruments.
     -Daniel came into the Visitors Center in July and Sister Chiang has been keeping in touch with him on and off. They hadn't talked in a while, and she "randomly" decided to text him (nothing is random). He responded that his cousin was just talking to him right then about the church and he knew this was God working in His life. We set up a lesson with him and he couldnt get over the fact that God was leading him back to this church again and again, perfect timing. He then found out that his co-worker was LDS. Yet another sign from God. We had one of the most incredible lessons I have ever had on my entire mission with him. The Spirit was so strong. He is so sincere, so prepared, and when I asked him if he would follow the example of Jesus Christ and be baptized by someone holding the Priesthood authority of God, he said, "Absolutely." AAAAAAAAAAAAAHHHHHHHHHHH!!! In the lesson, we read 3 Nephi 11, which is Jesus Christ appearing to the people in the Americas. He couldnt get enough of it. He told us he knows this is a testament of Jesus Christ. In the last verse Jesus Christ says,
"Therefore, go forth unto this people, and declare the words which I have spoken, unto the ends of the earth."
He said, "Doesn't he say something similar to that to his disciples in Matthew?"
"Go ye therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost." Matt 28:18
I told him, "Daniel. Jesus Christ died and was resurrected. He appeared to the people in Jerusalem and taught them this. Then He appeared to the people in America and taught them the same thing. You are exactly right." He said, "Oh I just got the CHILLS!"
We set a baptismal date for December 4th and he came to church for the second time yesterday.
     -Mauricio is progressing slowly but surely. He is so sincere. He really wants to know if this is the path he is supposed to follow. We had a lesson with him that was honestly (I know I always say this, but I am serious this time) top THREE lessons I have ever had on my mission. AH! The Spirit was so strong you could cut it with a knife. We taught him the plan of salvation (I like to call it the Plan of Happiness). He said, "I have been searching for these truths for my whole life. I went to preachers and they couldnt tell me the answer. I mean I knew the general idea of this plan, but you are filling in all the gaps, all the questions I have had." I testified that it is because of the Restoration of the gospel and the Book of Mormon that we have these answers!! We talked about baptism and asking God if he should be baptized. We asked him what he was going to do if he found out this was God's plan for his life. He said, "I am going to get baptized." We asked him when he was going to ask God. He said, "Tonight."
     -Noreen was a student we met at Mills college. We decided to try out campus contacting here, it was our first time. Noreen was the second person we talked to. Hi have you ever seen missionaries like us before? Yeah I have! Did you have the chance to talk with them? Yeah actually I was meeting with them for a while back at home in Massachusetts. Oh thats wonderful did they teach you about the Book of Mormon and Joseph Smith? Yes! Did you go to church? Yes! Why did you stop meeting with the missionaries? Well I came here to school! Do you want to meet with us? Yes what time is church tomorrow? She texted us later that night, "I know that God put us together today." The fact that we decided to go to Mills college THAT day. The fact that we decided to turn right on THAT side walk. I mean HELLO?!?! The Lord is literally guiding us to people who are prepared! All we have to do is ACT and open our mouths.
      -Deb is an Indian student at Berkeley. We started talking to him and he asked where our church was. I said, "It's just up the hill. Wanna go see it?" He quickly agreed. I didnt realize what I had just said until we were all walking toward the chapel. I have never ever said that to anyone! It wasnt me, it was the Spirit!! We taught him the Restoration in the chapel and gave him a Book of Mormon and he felt the Spirit for sure. He agreed to come to church the next day. The whole ordeal was about 10 minutes. We just stood there in AWE when the door closed behind him.
I have never ever ever been so happy in my entire life. My eyes are stinging with tears as I write this. My heart is overflowing with gratitude. It feels like my chest is going to burst! I have never felt so fulfilled or productive or close to the Lord. I hope this never ends.
     There have been COUNTLESS miracles like these all over the mission. There are two areas that havent baptized in 3+ years and this weekend both areas saw the same miracle: A family moved into their ward with a nine year old who hadnt gotten baptized yet. The families are fully active and they called the missionaries and said, "Will you please come teach our 9 year old so they can get baptized." On exchanges, Sister Chiang and Madsen got SIX self-referrals at the VC. This means that someone walks in, they give them a tour, and at the end they fill out a referral card with their information on it saying they want missionaries. THREE of them are in the Oakland 9th area. These people are falling into our laps. It is nothing we can do. It is the Lord!! My prayers at night are just full of gratitude. I stand all amazed and the MIRACLES the Lord is working here. He works according to our faith and diligence. 
     One morning this week Sister Chiang and I were discussing the importance of our calling as missionaries to preach repentance & the gospel. We came to the same conclusion that many of the Prophets have come to, which is this:
"Our duty is to preach the gospel to all men. … This is what God expects of us." President John Taylor
“We have come to this earth upon a mission… To go forth and warn the nations of the earth. Very few of us fully comprehend our position, our calling, our relationship to God, our responsibility, or work the Lord requires at our hands” President Wilford Woodruff
“We as a people have one supreme thing to do, and that is to call upon the world to repent of sin, to come to God. And it is our duty above all others to go forth and proclaim the gospel of the Lord Jesus Christ, the restoration again to the earth of the plan of life and salvation." President Heber J Grant
"Surely taking the gospel to every kindred, tongue, and people is the single greatest responsibility we have in mortality." President Howard W Hunter
"After all that has been said, the greatest and most important duty is to preach the Gospel." President Joseph Smith
      I imagine up in the pre-mortal life Heavenly Father took us aside and we listened intently as He lovingly said, "You will be born into the gospel, but all those people in the other room won't be. Your job is to help them find me so we can all be together again one day." I imagine we readily & excitedly committed to do everything to build His kingdom here on the earth!! We pass through the veil and maybe we lose that excitement, maybe we get caught up in other important cares and worries and responsibilities. Have we lost sight of the ULTIMATE goal? Of course it is important to go to school and work and develop our talents and raise our kids and fulfill our callings. But the REASON we are HERE on this earth is to bring Heavenly Father's children back to Him. When our spirits remember this beautiful privilege, there will come into our lives a new FIRE and DESIRE to share the gospel. Our OWN testimonies will be strengthened in the process. We will experience greater love and appreciation for the Lord and His gospel. We will have a more grateful heart, because we realize the precious blessing that the gospel is in our lives, that we have been taking it for granted!! As we discussed this, its like my Spirit was jumping up and down inside of me. I can't really explain it. I felt this sudden and overpowering NEED to run out of my apartment and share the gospel with every person I could see. My Spirit remembered what I promised to do and so when we talked about it, my Spirit was like, "YES!! YES!!!!! LET'S GO!!" We were both in tears. 
     I love this work. I love the gospel. I love the Lord. I love you!!
LOVE
Sister Brinton!
Fentons








Bye Sister Resendiz :(

Thanks for the Halloween Decorations!

hahahahahahahahahah

Don't Show these to ANYONE!! OOPS

Lunch with some members

Exchanges

My first Pupusa (Stuffed Tortilla)

Sister Gonzalez from New York. She has been out for 3 weeks!

Love my new dress



Caramel Apples!!! YUM!!! Sister Chianges first one!



activity at the institute
Exchanges!

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