Hey everyone! This week was sooooo fun! It's definitely interesting to leave your trainer...it opens your eyes to a lot of things. I am forever grateful for Hermana Aspitia and her example of...everything. She is an amazing person and missionary and blessed my life and my mission so much. Right now she's training another gringa. That girl has more patience than anyone I know!
This week we worked like mad women trying to figure everything out in our semi-new sector. I caught up on a lot of laughs and memories with Grove City AKA Hermana Grover...and I love her so so much! We were told by an old lady that our spanish was "pobre" but I think she was just having a rough day because our spanish isn't that bad. The issue is when both people don't understand it...you have problems. BUT we are learning lots. And we say about every two seconds "Bueno...vamos orar" or "Yeah, let's pray." Praying works, I'm telling you! Also a little kid dropped wet toilet paper on Hermana Grover and we got yelled by a crazy old man with his "Santa Biblia" about Joseph Smith. Good news is I understood about half of it and told him that I worship Jesus Christ and to have a good day. He left in fooms. (That's a word, right? like fire..smoke..)
There is a little girl here that we are working with that didn't get baptized because she was scared of water. I've been visiting her and this last week she said "I'm going swimming with my cousin this week, I love to swim." So...looks like the fear of water is gone! I can feel like there are so many miracles waiting in this sector. Republica—AKA the city—is whatever you make it and has more potential than most sectors in the mission. I'm grateful to have another cambio here and feel like there is still a great work to do in Santiago Central.
This week I've been thinking about the pioneers...nerdy, but I have no shame. I came across this in the new Liahona:
"Will you live true to the faith of your ancestors? Strive to be worthy of the sacrifices they made for you." -George Albert Smith.
I am so grateful to come from the lineage of Ephraim and to have the chance to share with my brothers and sisters from all around the world (another thing about this sector..the world lives here!) how we can go back to our Heavenly Father.
Also we went to get our visas today and waited in line for a good 6 hours, so sorry no pictures because I don't have my camera! and I promise if you wrote me in the last two weeks or so, I will write you back next week si o si!
Dear Brinkerhoff family,
Greetings from Chile!
Late last week, our family arrived in Santiago to begin our new assignment overseeing the Chile Santiago West Mission. We feel very honored to follow in the footsteps of President and Sister Barreiros who guided the mission with wisdom and love for the past three years. Their influence will be felt by the members and missionaries with whom they served for many years in the future. We are deeply grateful for their dedication to the work!
This week, we had the privilege of meeting Sister Brinkerhoff. We want you to know how blessed we feel to have the opportunity to get to know her and guide her during her missionary experience. We already feel a great love and respect for all our missionaries and we are thrilled to see the progress they have already made toward becoming more like Christ in their service to the Lord.
We want you to know that we are praying for our missionaries many times every day and we know that you are doing the same. Our greatest hope for our missionaries is that their missionary experience in Chile is one that they will always cherish and that it will help sustain them spiritually throughout their entire lives.
Thank you for your ongoing support and prayers and may the Lord bless your family.
This week was so fun!
First of all we had ward activities all week and went to the church almost every day with different investigators and recent converts. The theme of the ward conference was food and dances of different countries in South America. It was awesome! I have to say my favorite part was the food from all the different countries.
The big news ladies and gentleman is ..... I have a new companion. Well....you could say I have a reincarnated companion (Okay that's sacrilegious or however you spell that I really don't know).
Yesterday our zone leaders told us we didn't have changes, I was happy because I love my ward and don't want to leave this area. But that also meant that I would have four transfers with my trainer!!! (That's over 6 months together.) Throughout the day I came to the conclusion that that'd be okay, but we weren't sure if the Elders were joking or not...you know elders, they like to joke. Anyway, last night we got another call from them to say that Hermana Aspitia and I were staying in the ward but that she was going to have a greenie (the last 6 weeks of her mission, yikes!) and my new companion would be......
KELLI FREAKING GROVER! Or more commonly known as Hermana Grover. Yes my companion in the MTC/my favorite person in this world. Not sure how this happened or what is going on in this mission, but I AM PUMPED. And it will be interesting having a comp that is my twin but funnier for six more weeks!!! GRINGA power.
I love you all and am excited for new experiences to grow and learn here in Chile.
The church is true and the book is blue and true in every language...(Trust me, I'm reading the Book of Mormon in Spanish right now).
Happy fourth of July!
- said no one ever in Santiago Central. I hope you all had a great fourth...hurt my heart a little bit not to be in the US, but in September we have Chile day and it's going to be awesome.
No fear everyone my p-day will be Monday from now on. This Monday we went to Maipu and met our new president!!! President Woodward is from all over. No seriously he's lived in China before. He has four children all under the age of fifteen. It's like having Dallin and Jake in the mission! We had a great little meeting with him and I'm excited to see what he will do with the mission! His wife is perfect and we had a good ole chat in english. It was refreshing.
I'm not going to lie..my week wasn't all that exciting. Yesterday however we had eight lessons and nine new investigators. This is the most I've ever had. I guess it was a make up for the past few weeks. Now we are looking for new people to bring in to the gospel for July and August! "Bautizar no mas."
Love, love you all!
Here are some photos from the past few weeks:
At last a letter from Hermana Brinkerhoff!
This week was super awesome. First of all I spent the day with Hermana Johnson. She is the twin of Tellese Whitaker. It was super fun and I didn't want her to go back to her sector. Sadly, Hermana Johnson finished her mission yesterday and is back in Oklahoma! She has such a special spirit and I am so glad I got to know her. Also I am still in mourning because Hermana McNevin finished her mission too—shoutout to that woman! David, be sure to take her to dinner.
On Monday we had a reunion with all of the mission and we said goodbye to President and Hermana. It was SO sad. Although I've only known them for five months, they are my second parents. I look up to them so much and one day want to have a marriage like theirs. I am so glad I didn't go to the last semester of school for a lot of reasons, and meeting the Barreiros is one of them. President is tough and runs this mission in a very direct way (he used to be in the military), but at the same time he is a teddy bear who speaks a mad mix of spanish and portugués. Hermana is an angel and one of my goals is to one day be the example to someone that she is to me. President loves to call me out during these meetings and this time he said in front of everyone (while talking about how we are the future of the church) "For example, Hermana Brinkerhoff when you are President of the Young Women, visit your young women and tell them how much they are loved in the eyes of their Heavenly Father."
Alright I have a cute story for you all!
Hermana Barreiros grew up in Brazil, and when she was 16 her dad got a job here in Chile. So she had the opportunity to live in Chile for two-ish years. After that she went back to Brazil, met President, and they got married. Chile has always had a special spot in her heart and she dreamed of coming back for a long time. President told her "for our 25-year anniversary we will go on a vacation to Chile." (he said this in 2013). Right as they were making plans to head to Chile, he got a call for the Church and you guessed it...they got called to be mission presidents in Chile Santiago Oeste (mejor misión en el mundo). SO CUTE.
This week we were able to contact once more a woman I had taught in a park during a division. She is almost never home, but I think about her almost everyday. (She is sooooo sweet.) Turns out she has been in France for a month (welcome to my sector, this kind of stuff is normal). We were able to teach her once more and she has promised to come to church this week. (She didn't come the first time because she had to do her hair. Yes you read that right, she is from Haiti and has hair that is impossible to tame and takes two days to do.)
I love my sector and get more nervous as we end this transfer. Diego de Almagro 1 & 2 will always have a special place in my hard.
I have about a million photos to send, but this computer doesn't have an SD card reader. So prepare yourself for lunes [Monday]. :)
Love you all, the church is true, this is the Church of Jesus Christ on the earth in preparación for the second coming. God speaks to His people today as He did in olden times. He loves us and has a plan for us. It's interesting to be a missionary, you get a view of the world that you can get in no other way and see people in a way like never before. I sure am grateful for the experiences I am having. Even when they are bad, I look back and see the they were good for me, and I am being prepared to be a better sister, mother, daughter, wife, friend, and leader.
I testify it's so important to keep the commandments and when we do, blessings will pour from heaven.