It was a super good week!!!
I am so excited to hear my new niece is here and to boot looks like me?? In my honor? ;)
No, but really, congrats Katie and Brad!!!
- Jaime is reading in Alma...I think he is going to finish the Book of Mormon this cambio. He also didn't drink for one whole day!! Lots of progress.
- I sang a duet with Elder Marsh in Spanish for zone conference. AH! It was nerve racking!! We sang I'll Go Where You Want Me to Go. I think it turned out pretty good. Unfortunately I deleted one of the practices we did that I thought of sending. But if you want Elder Marsh and I can sing it again. Elder Marsh has the best tenor voice I've ever heard.
- We had two divisions this week. It was tiring, but oh so good. This cambio I have hermanas that come with a few more challenges and are going to need more attention. Before I chose who to have divisions with I prayed to know what hermana needed it most. Throughout the day the same hermana kept coming to my mind, so I chose her.
After we chatted a bit and set goals she said to me "Hermana Brinkerhoff, how did you know I needed to talk to you? I really needed this, and whenever we have divisions I get chosen second with the other hermana leaders, but you chose me first...Thank you."
It really was a powerful moment for me and made me feel like I really was making a difference in the mission. I testify that revelation is a real thing and that listening the spirit is SO IMPORTANT.
- Gonsalo has a date for the 25th of Feb. We are so excited and he is doing so well. He was waiting for his ride to church yesterday a half an hour early and loves to come.
- I think the best part of El Abrazo is my mamita. There is an hermana here that has literally taken a mother role to me. Her name is Isabal Palominos and last October her husband (who was the bishop) died of a sudden heart attack at 44. I love this family to pieces and I know that part of the reason I came here was to meet them. They have become my Chilean family. They have a son on a mission and 3 other kids all under 21. Every time we talk she always says "If I live up to my covenants I will be with him forever." The testimonies of these people help me so much and I just love this country.
XOXO Hermana Brinkerhoff
Alright. First things first. I'm pretty excited have TWO nieces. (Congrats Dave and Shayla!!)
My companion has a touch of Lauren Hopkin in her. It's almost like they are the same person sometimes (in the best possible way)! It's starting to freak me out a bit. Lu, did you grow up in Ecuador and just not tell us? No, but really I love my companion. She is a sweetheart who is very humble and kind to everyone.
I found out I will be in charge of eight hermanas this cambio. That is a lot of divisions. They are all from different countries so this will be fun!!
I will be in charge of my first "hija," la hermana Rodriguez!!! She is also in my zone. It's so refreshing to see her and I just feel so proud everytime I look at her. We go way back, that Argentinian and I.
Jaime told us he wants to get baptized...I'll just leave it right there for now. Vamos batem.
Gonsalo (a man we found our first day here) came to church yesterday. He can not walk or talk very well, but loves our visits and everyone at church yesterday ate him up! He is such a good man. His sister told us he has become more positive the more we visit. He understands perfectly. That's how the spirit works.
It's been interesting to teach about Christ here in Chile. Many of the people we teach don't actually understand who Jesus Christ is. They don't actually know what the atonement is and the importance of a Savior, the resurrection, or the second coming.
I testify He lives. He loves us. He is our older brother, savior, and redeemer of the world. Gracias a El podemos estar juntos para siempre en una familia eterna.
I am so grateful we have a Savior. Let us live to be worthy of His love, sacrifice, and strive every day to be more like Him.
XOXO Hermana Brinkerhoff
foto: Lito before I told him that prophets are and always have been men. We'll see if he wants to meet with us again ;)
-Jiame is reading the BOM like a madman. He's a guy we found who used to be a Jehovahs Witness. He's come to the church 3x and loves it. Says he feels the love of Jesus there. We set a date for 25 de Febrero!! He's just a miracle and has come a long way from when we first found him in a park drinking and invited him to church.
-We had divisions. I have loved this calling of being a sister leader. It's by far my favorite calling in the mission.
-Ricardo came to church yesterday and loved it!! (Because it's the church of Jesus Christ, duh!) He's a guy who yelled "HELLO" at us and so we contacted him. He's a single dad with a cute little son and is a police officer here in Chile. He had a mormon friend when he was younger and the church has always called his attention.
-Rodrigo and Victoria are doing super well!! They love us and we love them. Rodrigo bore his testimony yesterday. It was so special!! Interesting story: The elder that baptized him sent him a happy birthday wish about a month ago and ever since then they have been talking. That was one of the leading elements in why they came to church all by themselves.
-lito isn't progressing but I love him to death. I love being a missionary!! fotos: my posterity and hermana amestica a guy who always gives us juice and wants to play tennis against me. We said goodbye to elder Anderson, :( and Elder Rios is staying in the El Abrazo family. I think he is staying because I have to learn to get along with him. As usual he sends his "saludos" to my family.
What a weeeeek.
1. Saw my old companion this week, Hermana Amestica. That was so awesome. She told me that I was a huge help to her in the mission. I had no idea I had any impact with her, but it was such a pick-me-up. She is a great girl.
2. Lito came to church again. He also gave me a copy of his old CD's. He's a "cantante" in case you didn't know. He's also been trying to guess our first names. He is the funniest person I know. Look him up in Google search if you get the chance: "Lito Saravia." His most famous song is "Padre nuestro"
3. The haitians die when I speak in my non-existent haitian. They think it's the best thing ever. I love it.
4. Victoria told us this week she wanted to get baptized like...now. We've been working a lot with her. Her boyfriend, Rodrigo, has been helping a ton. They still need to get married so we are working on that... ;) they remind me of Jakie and Kaleb from the district movies.
5. I really enjoyed the worldwide devo, and for the rest of my mission I am going to focus on preaching repentance!!!
Also this morning we did a service activity and we organized food for the people in the south of Chile who lost their houses to the fires that are going on. It was really fun, but really sad to think that they have nothing. So keep my Chileans in your prayers please.
XOXO Hermana Brinkerhoff
P.S. I hit one year. Yikes.
This week was rather...normal. BUT that's okay.
First of all of we had zone conference with Presidente. We got an horario change...so now we can wake up at 7?? Like, what is this world coming to. I still wake up on the dot at 6:30. That's called TRAINED, people. Ah, the mission.
Aaaaand there has been a scripture flying through my head all week. We have a new missionary couple in the mission. She is a doctor and he is a psychologist (however you spell that). They are such a blessing in our mission!!! I love them.
Elder Atkins talked to us about stress and how to deal with it in the mission. He shared a scripture that I just loved:
"Knowest thou the condescension of God?
"I know that HE LOVETH HIS CHILDREN; nevertheless I do not know the meaning of all things."
I testify of that. He loves us. That is why sometimes we go through things that are really hard. I know He loves me so He sent me to Chile. In Chile I have been able to learn things that only in Chile could I have learned. I think we go through certain things because we need to progress and become like Him. He loves me so much, and I love Him.
We also had a super awesome noche de hogar!! We have a new investigator that needs to get married and then she can get baptized. She's seriously de ORO (golden).
And a little misson drama right now...an elder in my zone got hit by a car yesterday. It was wild. He was just standing on the corner and two cars hit, and then hit him when the other car started to spin. It was super, super bad. Luckily he's totally okay. He has some broken ribs, needs stitches, but he'll be fine. Really we are protected here on the mission!
love you all with all my...hearrrrt.
XOXO Hermana Josie Brinkerhoff
1. There is a guy in my sector who, every time we talk to him, tells me, "I had a dream about your mother last night. She misses you and is looking for you." I asked him what color my mom's hair was and he said, "I can't give out those details." I'm on to him. I love being a missionary in those moments.
2. We did two divisions this week with Hermanas Alvarado and Gubernick. Two of my favorite gringas!!! The division with Hermana Alvarado was awesome because we have about the same time in the mission..so we went crazy. With Hermana Gubernick we had the worst day ever. Everything went wrong. It was so bad, but she's the bomb and super funny so we just laughed it all off.
3. We had a service project where we cleaned the new house of a couple that is coming to our mission. The elders put me in charge of inspection and now my new name is "dicator." I may have been just a little bossy with my power. ;)
4. I asked for a blessing this week from one of my leaders. It was the first time in a long time. I am grateful for worthy elders who literally came running when I asked. During the blessing I could feel the power of the sacerdocio (priesthood) and it was a great experience. It was also in Spanish so that was cool!!!
This week we saw so many miracles. We had four people come to church all by themselves...basically people we invited on the street. Then an inactive brought his girlfriend to church which is like the best thing EVER.
I am happy, healthy, and—just an FYI—never coming home!!! I love my new sector soooooo much! I've never had a ward so active in the work. It's the biggest blessing.
I love you all so much and hope you are surviving the SNOWWWW.
XOXO Hermana Brinkerhoff
P.S. My district leader tells me every week "Hermana, tell your family I said hi." So Elder Rios from Orsorno Chile says "hi" to you all. ;)
This week in my part of the world...
1. I called the hermanas that I'm in charge of, who just so happen to live in my old house with the good old Hermana Rodriguez. Upon telling the hermanas that I am their sister leader I hear screaming....
"MOMMMYYYYYYYYYY! Mommmy I love you!!" I died laughing. She literally started crying and told me she missed me a lot. I have to say that my first baby is one of my favorite people in this world. She even made me promise not to get married until she can come to the wedding. Love that cordabasa.
2. The hermana leaders had breakfast with Hermana Woodward. The assistants made it for us and served us. Those elders are high on my list.
We talked about some of the issues the mission has and our plan for this cambio. Best of all I saw GROVE CITY!!!!!! (Shoutout to the Grover family in Gilbert) We've come a long way since our MTC encounter one year ago. Then we met with all the zone leaders and made plans for 2017!!!
After the meeting la Hermana Zapata told me, "Wow I missed you! You know how to get stuff done." Haha, she didn't like her divisions with some of the other hermanas.
3. I had my first division with la Hermana Chimbo. She is also from Quito Ecuador!! This girl was the bomb. She's a convert to the church and almost became a nun. I really enjoyed being her comp for the day.
This week we found some of the greatest people. We were able to find 28 new people to teach and had a new haitian friend at church. I've been reading the Book of Mormon in Creole. and I'm starting to understand. Maybe I'll speak three languages when I get home?? My haitian friends are helping me. :)
We want to make this area a stake!!! That is the goal for El Abrazo this year. We've got to work hard.
The church is true. This is God's work, &&&& I love my mission. Read the Book of Mormon or...you lose. It's the most clear and perfect book!!!
XOXO Hermana Brinkerhoff
Fotos: Elder Jennings after telling me I can't have the package David and Shayla sent. Make this picture famous!!! Blackmail. He eventually gave it to me
Thank you Katie, Brad, Shayla, and Dave for all the wonderful gifts!!! It cheered my missionary heart!!!
Best meal evaaaaa.
I need to wash my backpack more...
This week was probably the hardest of my mission.
Okay, now that I've got your attention.
I love my new sector!! I still don't understand it all, but I'm learning. The ward is fantastic!!!
My new comp is from Ecuador (shoutout to Hermana Williams in Quito!!!!) She's very, VERY sweet. Knows PMG like a bible and I've learned a ton from her thus far. The carpeta (area book) was terrible when we arrived, so we have a lot and I mean A LOT to do. I've only cried once. ;) No, really I'm good.
I've also been called to be a sister training leader ;) I told the zone leaders I didn't like their jokes when they told me the news, but they weren't joking. I'm excited to help other hermanas in the mission with their progression. My new motto is bring it on, I can do anything the mission wants to throw at me at this point.
I've also been talking in my sleep lately...in english. It's getting weird. My poor latina comps are a little freaked out.
It was a week of contacting, changes, adjusting, moving into a new house..to-dos. We saw so many miracles and somehow had two people at church in a whitewash.
The year 2017 kinda scares me. Last year, 2016, was the year of my mission and I will hold it forever so dear to my heart. It was a very special year.
BUT I'm excited for ya, 2017. I'm going to keep working my tail off here in Chile for the next 6 months.
Other exciting news....after much thought and prayer I've decided to head back to UW. I love that place. Too bad all my friends and roommates are married and on missions, I may be a loner for a semester, but I'm excited for this year!!!!!
XOXO Hermana Brinkerhoff
Fotos: I made my district leader sing Happy Birthday to me over the phone. It was great. Also a sweet hermana in our ward gave me banana bread!!! I think I'll be Chilean FOREVER!!!! These are the hermanas that are going to train at the same time as me!! Two of my greatest friends!!!
First of all, my hija started crying in a lesson this week when we were talking about obedience and said I was a good example of being obedient. It was really special. That's all I ever wanted as her trainer in the mission. I really hope it sticks with her, because I can promise you one thing—and I can promise it with ALL my heart—when we are obedient, we receive blessings. Not just in the mission, but in our lives too. We show our love for the Lord and we are protected.
We had a dinner with the president for christmas. It was soooo fun! We played bingo with all of our faces on this card, and if you won you got to go pick a gift. I quite enjoyed it. Everyone loved on us this week!! Everyone was giving us goodies, clothes, you name it. It was so sweet!!!
I sure loved talking to my parents this week, and I send all my love to my siblings..hopefully we can figure out how to all talk on Mother's Day!
On Christmas Eve we had a dinner with Olga, Paola, and Ignacia. They treated us way too well and it was a great time full of a million laughs!!!
Yesterday we got transfer news...
I got changed!!! No. I seriously cried. I love El Sauce!!! But this hasn't been as hard as leaving Republica (there is something about your first sector). The members were so sad and I was too. They really were my first family ward. The Morales family invited us over and threw me a little goodbye party. It was the sweetest ever. Then I had to call Makenson and tell him I was leaving. He started bawling over the phone and was like "You won't come back???"
Nope. So sad.
Anyway I've been moved to Maipu- El Abrazo. I don't know who my comp is because president has asked me to train another new missionary for 12 weeks!! woo-hoo new sector and training. Love curve balls. I'm thinking I need to train again because there is still more I need to learn from the new missionaries. Anyways, I'll be busy, a little stressed, but ever so happy to be a missionary.
LOVE YOU and happy New Year! I turn 20 this week. Kissing the teens goodbye, they were some good ones and I'm grateful for the life I've lived up to this point.
XOXO Hermana Brinkerhoff
Alright, I'm just going to start by saying this..
I went to the beach this week.
Well I saw it more like...okay, I saw the water from far away.
BUT this week we had divisions and we got to go to the coastal part of the mission. It was AWESOME. I loved it. Loved it. It's not as hot there and the hermanas have a sweet view of the ocean from their house. During the two days we were there I just watched the light house light go round and round. It was a dream. I really didn't get any good pictures...but I hope you enjoy.
While we were there I met this lady named Alejandra who got baptized in March. This lady changed my life. I'm never met someone so golden. Holy cow. It's rare you find someone so ready—no, so prepared. She started talking about how she is so excited to go to the temple. And on top of all of that..this lady got baptized in two weeks. Escogida, no?
We had a Cenda de la Navidad with our ward. It was super, super fun!! Good food and of course good people.
Yesterday we set a fecha with a lady named Maribel. :) I'm excited to see how it all turns out!!!
And I gave a talk in church yesterday about the Book of Mormon and how it needs to be the keystone of our testimony. Eight minutes of me rambling in Spanish. I based it off of the talk "Look to the Book, Look to the Lord" from this last conference. Really the Book of Mormon is evidence of the restauración through Joseph Smith and I hope you are all reading it every day!!!!
Love you to pieces and Merry Christmas!!!
XOXOX Hermana Josie Brinkerhoff