Wednesday, February 22, 2017

There's nowhere I'd rather be!

 Hi! It's so rainy, but it doesn't get me down. :) We need to be the bright sunshine since its dark and foggy. We need to bring the light to the darkness. I actually love the rain. 
     We are helping David, Daniel, and Oscar to get the Priesthood. They are all doing so well. They all got callings on Sunday! We had a neat lesson with Daniel. Before the lesson started, he told us that he had waken up at 3 am and couldn't fall back to sleep. He was thinking about his ancestors and was overwhelmed and stressed out about how they had never heard the gospel before. He felt the pressing need that there was work to be done. Guess what our lesson was about? Temples and Family History. We had this lesson planned a week ago. When we were planning out what lesson we should teach, Temples and Family History wasn't next on the list chronologically, but I felt drawn to teach him that. I testified to him that the Lord was preparing him to receive this lesson and to realize the importance of family history and temple work! After the lesson he texted us that this was his favorite lesson so far and all of his anxieties left him. He is SO excited to "baptize people all day." He also bought us a ton of groceries because he felt like thanking us over and over for what we have done for him wasn't enough.
     We are still teaching Madeline. She has a lot of questions and doubts, but she has the sweetest heart. Albert is wonderful!!!! His faith is growing so much. He is reading a chapter of the Book of Mormon and praying every day! He said he is finally feeling like God is listening. AH!!!!!!!!! When we invited him to be baptized, he said yes with no hesitation. It is so amazing to see someone with no Christian background taking these giant steps of pure faith. He is so sincere.
     We were on exchanges and a guy walked into the Visitors' Center who only spoke Chinese. I was with Sister Hsiao so she talked with him. He is from LA, met with missionaries, found out the church was true, moved here, and lost contact with missionaries. He lives in Sister Hsiao's area and wants to meet with them.
     Every single day this week, a member has reached out to us on their own and said something like this, "I have a friend who is really interested in the church and she is coming on Sunday." It is amazing!! This is the best ward! Sister Muench can't believe her ears haha neither can I! We have had 47 members come to lessons with us over the past several months. We are continuing to help them share the gospel through Facebook. I feel so blessed to serve in a YSA ward. At first, I was very intimidated because I was going to be with people my age on a prestigious college campus, but I have learned so much. It has changed my perspective and I WILL be a better member of my future YSA ward because of the opportunity I had to serve here in Berkeley. I am so grateful for the things I have learned. These members are such great examples to me. I know the Lord placed me here so I can be an active participant in my future ward. I dont think I would have felt this way without serving in a YSA ward!
     We were in Berkeley and I started talking about Mauricio. I told Sister Muench how awesome he was and how he was so sincere and how despite what everyone says, I am NOT giving up faith. I thought, ya know what? We are already here, let's just go see if he is home. We pulled up, prayed, and got out of our car. He was walking out of his house. I tried not to puke I was so excited and we talked and talked. We got his phone number and set up a lesson for Thursday. I bore my testimony to him that GOD has YET AGAIN led us together. I told him that God wants him to meet with us, why else would he lead us together so many times. He said he knows and he wont let this happen again. He said, "I always asked you how I can see God's hand in my life, and now I can see it. I am going to read the Book of Mormon. I want to grow my faith again." We said goodbye and just sat in the car SHOCKED!!!!!!!!!! I just thought about him randomly, not thinking it was from the Spirit. I KNOW he will join the church. Miracle. 
     I got to go to the beautiful Oakland Temple today. I felt so much peace and love. When I got set apart as a missionary, my Stake President told me that there were crystals on the chandelier in the Oakland Temple celestial room that twinkled together when the AC blew and made heavenly music. I was sitting there today listening to the heavenly music and was overcome with gratitude for the opportunity I had to serve a mission. Wow. 
     I would love to share something that I have been studying that has really strengthened my testimony. I was reading the Book of Mormon and came across this verse: 

"God also declared unto prophets, by his own mouth, that Christ should come." Moroni 7:23 

I thought it would be neat to read all the prophecies of Christ's birth from different prophets! I had no idea how much this study would impact my testimony of prophets, scriptures, Jesus Christ, and God's love. Just three beautiful references are:

Mosiah 13:33-35
33. For behold, did not Moses prophesy unto them concerning the coming of the Messiah, and that God should redeem his people? Yea, and even all the prophets who have prophesied ever since the world began—have they not spoken more or less concerning these things?
34. Have they not said that God himself should come down among the children of men, and take upon him the form of man, and go forth in mighty power upon the face of the earth?
35. Yea, and have they not said also that he should bring to pass the resurrection of the dead, and that he, himself, should be oppressed and afflicted?

Jarom 1:11
Wherefore, the prophets did labor diligently, exhorting with all long-suffering the people to diligence; persuading them to look forward unto the Messiah, and believe in him to come as though he already was.

1 Nephi 10:4-6
4. Yea, even six hundred years from the time that my father left Jerusalem, a prophet would the Lord God raise up among the Jews—even a Messiah, or, in other words, a Savior of the world.
5. And he also spake concerning the prophets, how great a number had testified of these things, concerning this Messiah, of whom he had spoken, or this Redeemer of the world.
6. Wherefore, all mankind were in a lost and in a fallen state, and ever would be save they should rely on this Redeemer.

     All of the prophets have testified of Christ. Their words were fulfilled. Christ came. He made repentance and salvation possible. He lives today. All of their words will be fulfilled. They are the mouthpieces of the Lord. We are so blessed to have their words and MODERN words from our prophets today. It is beautiful and sweet and sacred and unique. 
     There is no where else I would rather be. This place, these people, this work, and the LORD have my heart!
Sister Brinton!
Temple Day...Oakland Zone

Exchanges with Sis. Hsiao

Sister Muench's blue eyes

name tag

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