Thursday, February 2, 2017

He is the only way!

     David got baptized! It was so wonderful. The Spirit was so strong. So many people came and participated. It is always so powerful to see them standing in that water. I wish you all could have seen him during our first lesson and then again when he was standing up there bearing his testimony. Wow. He has changed so much. He is full of light!!!! David and Bee are SO happy together haha. They are planning to get sealed Jan 29, 2018, a year and day after his baptism.
     Oscar's baptism is this Saturday! I asked him what kind of treats he wanted at his baptism and he said, "anything coffee flavored." hahaha he is the best 
     We had a lesson with Daniel. Wow he always blows me away. His testimony is so strong!! He is really converted. He knows the Church has been restored. It is so neat to just sit and listen to him testify to us about his beliefs. 
     We added FIVE new investigators this week!!!!! R E C O R D! We had a lesson with our member Katie's friend Albert (the one she shared the gospel with through Facebook, then he came to church). The lesson went really well!! Katie and another member Charles got lunch with him before the lesson, then came along. After we told him the way we find out if our message is true is by praying, he asked, "How do you pray?" Another male Asian haha! He is Vietnamese. I love it. The Lord is preparing these people!!
     We met a guy named Derrick on the Berkeley campus the other day and set a return appointment. We taught Restoration and added him as a new investigator. Again, a male Asian haha He is from Shen Zhen, China.
     We always write down people's names and phone numbers even if we just talk to them on the street. These are called potential sheets. For example, "Sarah 6783947552 met on the Berkeley campus Jan 2017 Christian texted, but never texted back." We have sheets of these from all the way back in 2013. Sometimes when we have a few extra minutes or we are waiting for someone to come to a lesson, etc, we call these people! Most are wrong numbers or have moved or aren't interested. We called one named Jasmine and SHE WAS INTERESTED!!!! I am telling you this never happens. We were so surprised when she said yes that we didnt know how to respond haha. We set up an appointment and she came and we taught her the Restoration!!! The Spirit was sooo strong! She is Filipino, Christian, and loved our message. She is so excited to read the Book of Mormon and said the sweetest prayer at the end, setting the pamphlet in front of her so she could use the instructions to pray. In her prayer she said, "Please guide me as I read the Book of Mormon." First female investigator in a while! Still Asian haha I love it. I love all of it. This is beautiful work.  
     We had a world wide missionary broadcast with Elder Oaks & Bednar. Wow it was so powerful. We all gathered together in the chapel and it starts counting down, about to start. We all had our pens and journals and scriptures, and it started playing... in TOGAN. We all panicked (mostly me) and I was about to hurt someone. Luckily they fixed it and I could breathe again. It was an amazing broadcast.. all about teaching repentance and baptizing converts. Those pep talks really help you stay motivated and bring the Spirit so strong!!! Then they announced some pretty big changes! So we set goals for numbers called key indicators like 2 less actives, 3 other lessons, 4 street contacts, etc. But they changed that to only 4 that we will record and report:
investigators baptized and confirmed
investigators with a baptismal date
investigators at sacrament meeting
new investigators
     This is to focus on baptizing!! Yes less actives are important, yes we need to do service, but our goal is to baptize. Our job as missionaries is to bring people to Christ through the waters of baptism. It was so powerful to hear Elders Bednar and Oaks testify of this. Then they also changed the daily schedule. Instead of wake up at 6, study at 8, its "get these things done within this period of time." It allows for more flexibility and agency! It will also make it easier for missionaries going home because they will have an easier time adjusting from a not so rigid schedule. It allows us to use our time wisely and effectively!!!!! Wow!!!! Huge changes. It's such a wonderful opportunity to be here for it! Sister Chiang is excited to live the new schedule for one week haha.
     Wow I really admire her. She is the hardest worker I know. Never slows down. She is dedicated and obedient and loves the Lord and loves the work and LOVES the people!!!!! No one even knows she is going home because of the way she works and never talks about home. I want to be just like her. We have been together since AUGUST!!! Time has just flown by. One day we were eating dinner and I casually asked, "What would you do if you look me up in like 10 years and I am totally less active?" Without hesitation she said, "I would come visit you!" It really caught me off guard and I almost cried! I really love her and will miss her dearly.
     Our ward realized that we weren't getting fed and so they started a dinner calendar haha.
     I write about the miracles and the happy times and the blessings and my testimony. This doesn't mean some days I just want to eat a gallon of ice cream and veg. This doesn't mean some days I cry out of frustration or sadness. This doesn't mean some days I want to quit or argue or slap someone. Missions are HARD!!!!!!!!! They bring out all of your weaknesses and faults. I have never learned or grown so so much. I will be eternally grateful that I had a chance to serve a mission. The blessings outweigh the dark and lonely times. The joy exceeds the pain and suffering. That is the beauty of the gospel. 
     We also had zone conference this week! Also a wonderful spiritual boost! President Frandsen talked about our purpose as missionaries: to invite others to come unto Christ. Why do we invite others to come unto Christ?
2 Nephi 2:6-8
6. Wherefore, redemption cometh in and through the Holy Messiah; for he is full of grace and truth.
7. Behold, he offereth himself a sacrifice for sin, to answer the ends of the law, unto all those who have a broken heart and a contrite spirit; and unto none else can the ends of the law be answered.
8. Wherefore, how great the importance to make these things known unto the inhabitants of the earth, that they may know that there is no flesh that can dwell in the presence of God, save it be through the merits, and mercy, and grace of the Holy Messiah, who layeth down his life according to the flesh, and taketh it again by the power of the Spirit, that he may bring to pass the resurrection of the dead, being the first that should rise.

Because He is the only way. He is the Way. He is the Life. I was talking to Daniel today and he said, "Why me?! Why did God choose ME?! I pushed Him away for so long and He accepted me with open arms. That is mercy." I told him that it was because he turned to him and humbled himself! God is mercy. We need His mercy and grace to help us overcome our weaknesses and mistakes. Without Him, there is no forgiveness or hope or restoration of life. With Him, there is happiness and peace and love! I have watched it happen! I love this work. I love this work.
L O V E 
Sister Brinton
Exchanges with sis Foni

zone conference

my companion hahahaha

Bee and David

Bishop Sherwood

I said, show me how excited you are Bee!!!

huge burrito


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