Monday, March 6, 2017

Let Us Labor Diligently

hi hi hi!
I know I say this every week, but WOW what a week!!  
     We set a baptismal date with Albert!!! March 18th! WHOO HOOO!!! We taught him the word of wisdom because he had some questions. He drinks coffee. We brought Daniel to the lesson. Daniel had to overcome coffee too! He shared his experience and how he lives the word of wisdom now. He testified to Albert. He said, "Dude, do what the sisters tell you. I am so happy you are here right now." It feels like just yesterday we were helping Daniel overcome his coffee addiction! Now here he is testifying of it! 
     We had three exchanges back to back this week. I LOVE going to the sisters area and seeing them lead and teach and grow. It is way better than having them come to Berkeley and just follow our lead. They grow so much more this way! One area in our mission is called Moraga. They haven't had very many baptisms over the past few years. It is a very wealthy area with multi-million dollar doors that have been knocked and slammed multiple times. The ward has a horrible, negative mindset:
"This ward will never baptize."
"There is no body to teach."
"No one will ever listen."
     There is a new Sister there. I got to go on exchanges with her to Moraga!! It was soooo beautiful. We got to the apartment that night and she said, "I am going to change this area Sister Brinton. I am so sick of people talking crap about it. There are people to teach. We will see miracles." YES! I told her I was 100% on her side and we went to work!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! You should have seen her planner. Every inch was full of notes and people and addresses. She is so motivated and hard working. She knows her purpose. She has been holding back because she is getting trained, so she didnt want to step on toes. I said, "SIS! GO FOR IT! The Lord is literally waiting for someone to take action and change the area. It's about time someone does something BOLD." We have similar personalities so we get along really well. 
     We expected miracles from the Lord and we prayed for them and WE SAW THEM! The Lord has made us this promise: Ask and ye shall receive. We contacted a less active they had been trying to reach for MONTHS. She answered the door and lit up to see us and agreed to host a Young Womens activity they had been trying to plan for months. We received a referral that day from the elders. That was the first referral she had ever received. We moved around our plans to go contact this lady and we step foot our of our car and she was walking into her house. I said, "Denise?!" She said "Oh yes! hi! I am in a rush but make sure you come back on Sunday at 5!" We stopped by a former investigator they had called a million times before and she let us in her home and we taught her all about families and life after death. She welcomed us back and said she would read the Book of Mormon. We worked so hard that night and on the way home, she was on cloud 9. She said, "this was the best day I have ever had on my mission. I LOVE BEING A MISSIONARY!!" I have never seen her like that. I told her, "Every day can be like this. You can see miracles every day, Sis!! This is what missionary work is supposed to feel like." I am so grateful that we can do exchanges this way, going to their area. Their confidence is boosted, they are motivated, and Moraga will see miracles. They are already on the way. I love these precious sisters. I am just treasuring every single minute that I have with them!! 
     We added 3 new investigators this week. One was a member's classmate who she just invited to church! 
     David, Bee's boyfriend, is moving back to his hometown, about 2 hours north. We are so sad to see him go, but we will make sure that he gets integrated to the ward there!
     Ever since Brother Hodges from Salt Lake gave us the training, our tours and referrals have improved dramatically! He put such an emphasis of teaching the ONE and focusing on their NEEDS and inviting with LOVE and testifying with BOLDNESS. 
     Elder Carl B Cook, a General Authority of the Seventy, came to our Mission Leadership Council. It was so powerful to receive training from him. He taught with such love and power. He taught us the importance of emphasizing the Atonement of Jesus Christ in our teaching. He also referenced Mosiah 3:19 and taught us about changing the natural man into a saint. We need to experience this process ourselves, then we can help others experience it. When we are experiencing the Atonement in our lives, our testimony of it will be a lot more powerful! This process is called conversion. At the end of the meeting, he shared a powerful story of his neighbor who had been less active for 25 years. He began to meet with missionaries and slowly take the steps of the gospel: faith, repentance, sacrament, Holy Ghost, endure to the end. He went to church one Sunday, talked to the Bishop the next, and hasn't missed a day of church since. That was 16 years ago. I was FILLED with the Spirit listening to this story. The gospel of Jesus Christ changes out hearts. It has changed mine!!!!!!! I just had chills all over my body and the strongest, overwhelming desire from the bottom of my heart to LIVE the gospel of Jesus Christ. And help everyone to experience that JOY of doing so. This is truly the way to true peace and happiness in this life and salvation in the world to come. I just want to cry out of gratitude and humility for this mighty change and desire I have experienced. Heavenly Father knows us perfectly. He is omniscient and knows what will make us the most happy. So, when He provides a way of living for us (the gospel), He is doing it because He knows what is best for us! The most wonderful thing we can do is THANK HIM for showing us how to be happy and then follow His plan. It's the best plan because it is from the SMARTEST and most loving Father.
     I love this scripture and turn to it often:

"My beloved daughter, notwithstanding their hardness, let us labor diligently; for if we should cease to labor, we should be brought under condemnation; for we have a labor to perform whilst in this tabernacle of clay, that we may conquer the enemy of all righteousness, and rest our souls in the kingdom of God." Moroni 9:6

     I love looking people in the eyes and testifying to them of whatever message I just shared with them, whether it be the truthfulness of the Book of Mormon, the reality of Jesus Christ, the peace that comes from repentance, the hope of the plan of salvation, etc. I am so so happy. 
Sister BRINTON! 
Daniels ancestors written in Chinese

Exchanges with Sister Rice!

David is moving. :'(

My mom sent me a box mix of Swig cookies.


Bro and Sis Neves made them with me!

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