Sunday, December 18, 2016

Jesus Christ is Lord

What a WEEK! AH! We had such a great week together. We are seeing so many miracles and learning and growing so much. Being a missionary at Christmas time is the best experience. I love standing in front of groups of people just SO HAPPY to share this message of Jesus Christ, that He is the Light! The Visitors Center is busier than ever. I love the lights. I love that people come here to feel the peace and hear the music. We had over 1600 visitors on Saturday night! 
     DANIEL!!!!!! We started teaching him again! We have had three lessons with him and he came to church. We set a baptismal date for the 23rd and we were on our way home, when I had the impression that we need to set a sooner date. We texted him that Dec 18th will be better. He said, "That works better for me. I start work the 19th. I will follow you two leading." He is SO prepared. He even said, "When I came to meet with you two for the first time, I was just so prepared." In his prayer, he prayed that he wants to be more submissive. He told us, "All I really want right now is to please God." We taught him tithing and he told us that he already paid tithing the last time he met with missionaries and he already has a testimony of it, he knows i is from God. Then told us that he just got chills and he was shaking. I took that moment to tell him that when he says something, then feels that way, that is the Spirit telling him that what he is saying is TRUE! It is a messenger of truth. 
    This is one of the most beautiful things that he said. "I feel like everyone has a hole that needs to be filled by the gospel, but sometimes they try to fill it up with worldy things like money or girls, etc and they still feel empty. He said the gospel is the only thing that can fill that hole. It seems so boring on the outside, just reading old books and sitting at church, but it has filled me with JOY. Not happiness, but like sincere, fulfilling JOY." No one told him to say that. No one taught him that. He is saying that from his heart! That is what he FEELS! That is what his experience has been with the gospel.
     I was sitting next to him in sacrament meeting and his leg was bouncing and he was fidgeting around in his seat. He suddenly said, I have to get up there. He jogged up to the pulpit and bore the most powerful testimony, setting an example for the members of the ward. He said, "Jesus Christ is Lord. The Book of Mormon is His word. Joseph Smith was a prophet of God. This Church has received the authority from God." I couldnt believe what I was hearing. He is AMAZING! 
     I know that we are just instruments in the Lord's hands. I felt something warm that filled me with joy. We are representatives of Jesus Christ here on the earth, because He isn't here! Daniel is following us, which is really like following the Savior. I know that is true. I know we are His hands and His ears and His mouth. It is not us as humans. It is us as instruments. What an honor and privilege and responsibility. I have joy in my heart that exceeds the joy of this world. I LOVE BEING A MISSIONARY.
     We are still teaching David, Bee's boyfriend. He is doing great! He is praying and receiving answers to his prayers. He said he knows the Book of Mormon is true! We are still teaching Oscar as well. He is really dedicated to school but he also wants to learn and is keeping his commitments. He is praying every day! What a change! His member friends help so much. Oscar didnt want to come to church but our member texted him that his was a trial of his faith and he decided to come. We have the best ward.
      We added a new investigator named Jared! He was walking his dog at the dog park on Friday and saw the temple lights! He came in and Elder Nielsen gave him a tour. He agreed to meet with missionaries and we met him on his way out.. YSA! The next day we had an awkward 45 minutes before we had to go to the Visitors Center, so we just shot him a text to see if he could have a lesson. He said YES! So we taught the Restoration and it went so well. Then he came to church yesterday! 
      We had FOUR investigators at church! A record high! YAY! It makes Sunday so so fun and busy. Our ward did a HUGE Sub For Santa fundraiser and they raised $12,000!
     Sis Chiang and I were half joking, half serious about meeting a Chinese student to teach because they wont go home for Christmas. A Chinese student came in, I quickly introduced myself and got to know him and got his info. He was so sweet. After he left, we waited for the door to close and we hugged. I said, "Sister. A Chinese student." There were tears in her eyes. We knew it was an answer to our prayers.
     We had Missionary Leadership Council this week where we all get together and discuss concerns of the missionaries and the mission. We discussed the 2016 baptismal goal and what we can do to reach it. We also discussed setting a 2017 baptismal goal. It is really beautiful to see how the Spirit guides our discussions. President Frandsen is so inspired and I am so blessed to have him as a mission President. He loves the work, the Lord, and his missionaries.
      I LOVE Sister Chiang. We work so well together. I am so so lucky to serve with her here. We are always talking, whenever we get the chance. We don't even have music in our car, we just chat!! About everything under the sun. We work hard but have fun. We laugh and cry. We share personal experiences and help each other grow. We are so happy and seeing so many miracles. I love her. We were in ward council and the bishop asked us if we ever had a disagreement. We just looked at each other and said, "no not really." Hahaha we were all laughing and they said, "yeah we can tell!"
     There was a scary fire in Oakland and they are still counting, but so far 34 people have died!! We drove down to get groceries and there were cop cars and news reporters and flowers and groups of people crying. It was horrible!! We rolled down our window to ask what happened and someone yelled at us, "DON'T YOU WATCH THE NEWS?!" Well actually, we dont because we aren't allowed to.
     Well, I love this quote about Lighting the World this Christmas season!
"Since a new star first appeared above Bethlehem, Christmas has been a season of light, reminding us that Jesus Christ is the light of the world. Together, we can celebrate His birth by making the world and brighter place. All we have to do is follow Him - His life, His example, and His teachings. In doing so, we can help Light the World."
"When you find yourselves a little gloomy, look around you and find somebody that is in a worse plight that yourself; go to him and find out what the trouble is, then try to remove it with the wisdom in which the Lord bestows upon you; and the first thing you know, your gloom is gone, you feel light, the Spirit of the Lord is upon you, and everything seems illuminated." 
President Lorenzo Snow
Merry Christmas!
Sister Brinton

Cal Bear

Sis Shkapich's reaction to Daniel's lesson


The Visitor Center

Bee (member) ad David (Investigator) lesson outside

Exchanges with Sister Shkapick

Hispanic Parade around Lake Merritt

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