Monday, November 28, 2016

Thankful

Hi!!! 
    My eyes have been brimming with tears all day. My heart is pumping with love and gratitude. We got to go to the beautiful, renovated  Oakland Temple today. I was just SMILING!!!! Every time they say, "Welcome to the temple," I tear up. I feel so much love in that precious place. It is powerful being in there with a group of missionaries. And how lucky that we got to go the day before Thanksgiving. Talk about being GRATEFUL!! I am so grateful. I am grateful for my covenants, my knowledge and testimony of the Plan of Salvation. I am grateful for my call from the Savior to serve as a full time missionary HERE. I am grateful for the family and friends who love and support me. I am grateful for the Savior and His unconditional love and forgiveness which I need DAILY. I am grateful for the message of the RESTORED GOSPEL! I am grateful for prayer. I am grateful for the JOY I experience every single day that comes from serving and testifying. I am grateful for the Visitors Center. I am grateful for home made bread and chocolate ice cream. I am grateful for laughter and sunsets and morning runs.
    We had Bring A Friend To Church Day on Sunday and it was wonderful!!! We had about 26 nonmembers there. It was a missionary's DREAM. We couldnt even talk to everyone that was there. All of the members were so excited about it and it opened the door to so many potential investigators. All three hours were geared towards non members and we had lunch afterwards. It got all the members excited to do missionary work and there were many who couldnt come this week but said they would come next week!! I think a lot of the members were like, oh! That wasnt that hard! So hopefully we continue to see them bring their friends. We have such an amazing ward. I love them!!! I encourage all of you to do a bring a friend to church day or activity or something!! Your missionaries will be in heaven and sharing the gospel is fun!!!! Your friend or neighbor might be ready to receive the gospel, you never know. And it's just our job to invite!
    We added a new investigator this week! One of our member's, Bee a return missionary AND convert, boyfriend! We got burritos and there was no where to sit, so we ate in the car, then had a lesson. We taught him the Restoration and he loved it. He was so sincere and willing!! He prayed at the end. Bee texted us later that night and just thanked us over and over. She said she mentioned temple marriage to him and he said he wants to marry her in the temple. AAAAAAAHHHHHHHHH!!!! We have another lesson on Saturday. I am dying. 
    We havent heard from Daniel in over a week. He lost or broke his phone or something. We are praying our guts out.
    Mauricio came to church and loved it!! He is so busy this week so we dont have a lesson until next week UGH but he accepted the word of wisdom. 
    We had a great lesson with Oscar. We wanted to set a baptismal date with him, but he has a few concerns. I was so frustrated after the lesson because I want to baptize him so bad. He is so golden. But Sister Chiang keeps me straight and we talked about how all we can do is help and invite and trust in the Lord's timing and respect his agency. WHICH can be frustrating but he is so sincere and wants to be baptized. It will just take some time and patience. 
    Christmas is upon us!! We already created the VC schedule for Christmas time & it's nuts! We are so excited to spend time here with the lights and music and Spirit. We dont have a ton of time in our area, so we need to use it to the best of our abilities!! We really get the best of both worlds. The LIGHT THE WORLD Christmas initiative is starting soon, which I am so excited to launch! It is all about service and the video that goes along with it is so powerful. I remember last year just standing in front of dozens of people testifying of the Savior at Christmas time. I cant wait to do it again!!!!! For service we got to paint some sets for the musical Scrooge, they are putting on this year. Exciting!
     I had a beautiful experience the other day at the Visitors Center that I would love to share. There were two older men from Mexico who just walked in and we greeted them and took them on a tour. In the back we have the powerful depiction of the Savior appearing to the people in America. We explained the picture and the Book of Mormon. One of the men asked me where in the Book of Mormon it talks about that. I opened it up and read him these verses as he stared at the picture of Christ:

"They cast their eyes up again towards heaven; and behold, they saw a Man descending out of heaven; and he was clothed in a white robe; and he came down and stood in the midst of them; and the eyes of the whole multitude were turned upon him, and they durst not open their mouths, even one to another, and wist not what it meant, for they thought it was an angel that had appeared unto them.
And it came to pass that he stretched forth his hand and spake unto the people, saying:
Behold, I am Jesus Christ, whom the prophets testified shall come into the world.
And it came to pass that when Jesus had spoken these words the whole multitude fell to the earth; for they remembered that it had been prophesied among them that Christ should show himself unto them after his ascension into heaven." 3 Nephi 11:8-12

     I couldnt even finish reading the verse because I was crying haha but the men were touched and I know they felt the Spirit as I read those POWERFUL verses. WOW! The Spirit was burning in my heart that what I was saying was true. Moments like that are hard to put into words but man are they precious.
     Sister Chiang and I were able to present a training to our sisters about our role as women and missionaries. I testified of the Savior, that this is His work, and that we are POWERFUL instruments in His hands. I think my testimony had more of an impact on me than on the sisters. It reconfirmed my belief, my desire, my conviction. This really is His work. The Book of Mormon really is true. Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ really appeared to the boy Joseph. Our families really can be together forever. Living the gospel really helps us to be HAPPY!!!!!!!!
Two quotes I love from President Uchtdorf that changed my week!!!

     "They had the attitude that if no one listened to their message, it would not be because they had not given their best effort."

     "I leave you my faith, my conviction, and my certain and unshakable witness that this is the work of God."

    Whenever I bore testimony or invited someone to act, I felt President Uchtdorf's testimony swell in my heart.
I am so so grateful for this sacred time in my life. I am happier than I have ever been. 
I love you!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Give thanks!! I encourage each of you to say a prayer to Heavenly Father tomorrow on Thanksgiving where you ONLY thank Him for your blessings. That's it. And you can tell Him how much you love Him because He would love to hear that.
Love
Sister Brinton :) 
I got to go to San Lorenzo and see everybody!!



Sister Wasson with a face mask at our sleepover the night before she left.

Sister Fetzer the night before she left

Sister Leigh Taylor came to visit!!!


The Simpsons from San Leandro came to visit!

James and Lyana at Why I Believe!! Members of the YSA ward





Kieth and Bro. Broberg

Bee and her boyfriend, David, who we added as a new investigator!!

Bean made us ice cream!

Sister Kylee Stockwell! She is in the spanish program


I love my companion


Sister Herbine

Sister Contreras

Sister Chen

Sister Smith

Elder Zhong, Sister Zhong's brother (my previous companions brother). He got called to this mission

Painting












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