Wednesday, November 16, 2016

The Lord works in Mysterious ways

 Transfers are this week and we are both STAYING IN BERKELEY!! YAYY!!!!!!!!!!!!! We found out in the car and we just hugged and hugged. I am so so happy to stay here with her. We are going to see so many miracles and baptisms. I love her. I love this area. I love the ward. AH! YAY! 
     Last Monday, I accidentally turned when I wasnt supposed to and scraped against a car in an intersection. We both pulled over and the lady only spoke Cantonese. My companion, Sister Chiang, is one of TWO missionaries in the whole mission who speak Cantonese!!! TENDER MERCY! So she handled the whole thing like a pro (tiny scrape, no one was hurt, I'm just an idiot). Then Sister Chiang, being the amazing missionary who talks to everybody, asked her if she had ever seen missionaries before. She had met with missionaries 10 years ago and now she has 2 kids (9 &11) and wants to meet with missionaries!! We set them up with the Chinese sisters. Miracle. So I keep joking that the Spirit told me to hit her car, so I was just trying to be obedient. The Lord works in mysterious ways!!!!!
     Mauricio couldnt come to church because of work again but we had a great lesson. He is so sincere and has some concerns, but he is coming to church this Sunday!! This Sunday is bring a friend to church day!!! Should be great :)
     Oscar is progressing slowly but surely. He is so sincere. He is changing. He is beginning to pray on his own. His faith is growing. I LOVE watching this change in someone. The light in their eyes! We asked him if he was able to pray if this church was true and he said he includes it in every single prayer and the last time he prayed and asked, he felt a "strong feeling of peace." He is recognizing the Spirit!! We will set a date with him this week!
     So about Daniel. He had dropped us. Then on Tuesday morning he texted us: "I would like to retain the original baptismal date on December 4th. I have spent the past 14 days in the scriptures and havent gotten any time to rest or sleep or eat appropriately and I am completely mentally and physically worn out. I started a fast on November 4th and broke it this morning (Nov 8th....) because I was desperate for answers. I was on my way to my old church then last minute you two texted me and I pulled a u-turn and came to church. I walked into the service (sacrament meeting) with morale low and my spirit broken to learn that the church was fasting and was comforted sitting next to two brothers that were also fasting. I testify that the Church of Latter Day Saints is true. I believe in the Heavenly Father, Jesus Christ as Lord, and the Holy Ghost. I believe Joseph was a prophet." OUR HEARTS!!!!!!! We couldnt believe it. What a MIRACLE. I have never had an investigator fast for an answer. So powerful. We are excited to meet with him again. 
     This week we had a researcher who works for Salt Lake Church Headquarters come to our mission! His job is to come to lessons with missionaries and observe, then interview the investigator afterwards!! They want to see more of the investigators viewpoints and see our teaching skills. I love this research - I think it is wonderful and so important to see how the investigator feels and how we can improve. He was able to come to a few of our lessons!! This week we also had Christmas training from Salt Lake. Last year they actually came to the VC but this year they just did it over Skype. The new Christmas initiative video is AMAZING!!! All about service and following the Savior's example. It invites us to ACT. It is powerful. I am so excited for you to see it!! 
     There were a lot of protests and riots in Oakland and Berkeley due to the election. We are in a bubble as missionaries so we have no idea what is going on but we are safe!! 
     The elders are teaching a man I met on the street!!!! He and his wife have a baptismal date!! I was on exchanges a few months ago and we were in a hurry walking to our car. He was outside his house standing by his car, like two houses up the street from us and we were LATE but I KNEW I had to talk to him. So I did. We got his information and gave it to the elders and now he AND his wife have a date. What if I couldnt have talked to him?? What if I would have just walked right past because I was running late? The miracles happen when you talk to people when it is unplanned and inconvenient. Those are the prepared people, the people the Lord is placing in my path to see if I will talk to them.
     Back in March, I answered a chat from a man named David off in the teaching center in the Visitors' Center. He came on with a few sincere questions about our beliefs. We exchanged emails so we could keep in touch. My ultimate goal was to prepare him to eventually meet with missionaries. We have been emailing back and forth about 2 times a week since then. I have been answering his questions, sending him chapters and talks to read, etc. He is amazing!
Here is an excerpt from one of his emails:
     "I know now that when the Holy Ghost visited me that night it was the perfect time for Heavenly Father to plant the seed. You can see that I have never let go of that seed and I have been watering it. I know the Book of Mormon and the living Gospel has changed me and is still changing me even as I type this letter to you. I want to feel the Lords presence in my life all the time not just while I'm in Church. I know there is a living prophet and a living Gospel that teaches how we live our lives makes a difference on our spiritual lives after we die. I know this is the path to salvation. All the answers are in the Book of Mormon and the Bible. I believe in the first Prophet Joseph Smith. I believe in the restoration of the Church of Jesus Christ. I believe in the true Gospel of Jesus Christ. David"
     He didnt want to meet with missionaries yet because he wanted to make sure he was ready. He wanted to learn on his own. I pushed him and nudged him with love, day after day. On October 29th he emailed me and told me he was facing a lot of opposition and didnt know where his path was leading. My heart sunk. The next morning he sent me this:
     "Hi Emma, I want to get back on track. Last night I woke up from a deep sleep with such a clear thought in my mind. The lord brought me to this for a reason he wants me to come to him. I remember an e-mail you sent me about Satan using every way possible to prevent it. He is using people close to me to confuse me and keep me from entering Gods Kingdom. I'm a little mad and I wont listen to anymore negativity towards the Gospel. Im going to start meeting with the Missionaries. David"
     My eyes brimmed with tears and my heart was bursting with joy. I have never even met this man, but I feel a special connection with him from all of our discussions, bearing testimony to him, and helping him! What a beautiful journey. The Lord isn't going to force anyone to meet with missionaries or love the gospel. It's US! It's us that needs to soften our hearts and open our eyes. Once we do, we see that He is there and just waiting to bless us and guide us. I am SO grateful for the miracle and blessing that David has been in my life. I am so grateful for the teaching center and for technology that helps people find the gospel!! I wish I could be the missionary who David calls and says, "I know the Church is true. Please baptize me." They are going to FAINT when they see how prepared he is and hear his testimony. 
     My heart is so full. I love you. Keep praying. Keep lifting. Keep loving. 
Sister Brinton
Love my new water bottle

By Sister Benosa

Bye Sister Fetzer

Bye Sister Wasson! all three are leaving the VC

Skyping SLC for Visitor Center Christmas Training


My cute companion is amazing at the piano. She can sight read anything.


Bro. Aliling takes us everywhere. He is hilarious


I love this place!!

Our poor car

Quidditch for FHE

Sister Harper and Benosa HAHAHAHAHA

Salt Lake Researcher, Brother Poulsen

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