Saturday, December 31, 2016

Merry Christmas!

Wow! Where to start!! I can't believe how wonderful life is. I am as happy as can be. I only have an hour to type everything! AH!
     Daniel came to all our lessons in a full suit. He passed the interview with flying colors. Daniels' baptism was wonderful! We had so much support from the ward and the senior couples! His less active cousin flew from LA for his baptism and confirmation. He is the one who brought him into the Visitors Center in July! That is how we got his information and he started meeting with missionaries. Daniel's parents arent members and they also came! They loved it and were so happy for Daniel. They were standing wrong in the font so Daniel hit his head on the way down into the water and we were all laughing pretty hard. He came up and did a thumbs up and said, "I'm immersed!" hahaha. Here is a sweet text from him. "Sisters, it was great being led by you to the church & allowing me to investigate. Finding Christ in your scriptures was all that I needed. And the charity that you have showed as young women in Christ was a testimony of the God you worship." He spoke in sacrament meeting after he received the Holy Ghost! He is so so great. Oh sweet the joy this work brings. Seeing them in white. Daniel's testimony of this covenant he just made with the Lord was so powerful- how he was giving his WHOLE heart to Him.
     Emily got baptized as well! We went to breakfast for her birthday that morning. We just kept looking at each other and CRYING! What a special day!!!!! I was so sad I couldnt go, but she said it went perfectly. I am so happy for her and I am so grateful for her example! She came into the Visitors Center that night and we just hugged and hugged!!! FINALLY a member!! She is just GLOWING. We couldnt stop smiling the whole night.
     We had a great lesson with Oscar. We just decided to read with him wherever he was in his reading. We read 1 Nephi 16 and discussed it. He said now he can really see how the scriptures can help him. He said that he felt like this chapter was meant perfectly for him today. We told him that we didnt pick to read this chapter, we just decided to read where he was reading! The LORD picked this chapter because He knows you! He knows this is what you needed. The Lord answered your prayers using the scriptures. He was hesitant to pray, but he did. He said, "Thank you for answering my prayers through the scriptures. Thank you for finally letting me know that you are watching over me." 
     I was at the Visitors Center last night (we had 2211 visitors, breaking the 1800 record from 2 years ago!!!!) and who do I see out of the corner of my eye? MARY. Let me remind you who Mary is! She came into the Visitors Center with her less active boyfriend in October 2015. She filled out her info and wanted to meet with missionaries. She lived in Sister Harper and I's area!! San Leandro! We met with her and taught the Restoration and she said this is the truth she has been looking for her whole life! We told her she needed to get married before she got baptized. They got married. Then they moved to Idaho and she got baptized. Then she moved back here and is living in Hayward! She is taking out her endowments in February and I GET TO GO!!!!!!!!! I was the most joyous reunion. We just hugged and cried. I couldnt believe it was really her. She is so beautiful and sweet and full of light and life. I am so happy to see her. I havent seen her since Nov 2015!!
     We visited a lady in the hospital. Her husband is a member and she is not. She is suffering from anorexia. She was so so skinny I could see her bones. We talked and sang to her and read with her. She hummed along as we sang. It was a unique expereince sitting in a strangers hosptial room with just a bed and a desk listening to her read the Bible in her strong Russian accent. She was so so sweet. As we were leaving, she just stood there hugging us and said, "I just need to hug someone. I haven't hugged someone in so long." I was filled with love for her. That visit helped me remember how blessed I am. I loved visiting her and hugging her and I hope she felt uplifted from our visit. 
     I was at a baptism for the elders on Sunday and I wrote this in my scripture journal: "I am at Ravi Vaidyanathan's baptism and I dont even know Ravi or his story but I do know that he was a Church headquarters referral and he is Indian and he was an alcoholic. He has only been meeting with the missionaries for about 1.5 months. Just seeing him standing there in the baptismal font in all white and hearing the Elder say, "Having authority from Jesus Christ," MY HEART! I feel the Spirit so strong! I am just so full of gratitude for the restored gospel and the Atonement of Jesus Christ, watching people like Ravi change their lives. WOW. So powerful. I KNOW this is the restored Church of Jesus Christ. I know Joseph Smith restored Christ's Church and Priesthood to the earth. I just knew when I saw the witnesses standing there and the Elder in the baptismal font that they were working under the authority of Jesus Christ.I knew it was by His power. I knew He was proud of everyone involved. Because He couldnt physically be here, they are given His power so we can do these ordinances. My heart is SO full of GRATITUDE! I am so grateful to be a part of this work and be here to experience it. The joy I feel is deep and abiding.Not temporary or fleeting. It's real. I ccan feel it. Right now. It's filling my heart. It feels like I have to breathe hard and deep because I am so tight and full in my chest. Anything anyone says about the gospel I just start crying! I cant stop smiling. I know it's true. It's all true. What a beautiful blessing."
     I am spiritually and physically exhausted. This work takes every part of your heart and mind and strength. I love it. All of it. YAY for baptisms. YAY for reuniting. YAY for sharing love this Christmas season. YAY for families and hot chocolate and Christmas music. YAY for the Savior. His love is so real. Reach out and you will feel it. I love you. I miss you. See you soon. Merry Christmas.
Sister Brinton
Zone Conference

Sister Smith

A cake for Emily's 18th BIRTHDAY AND BAPTISM

Birthday Breakfast with Emily!!!!!

Emily's Baptism Day

Emily got her temple recommend

Package from HOME!!!

Temple lights

Zone Conference

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Daniel's Baptism

Bishop Sherwood Baptized him

Daniel's nonmember parents and less active cousin

Radison, Oscar's roommate and friend

Some YSA members

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