I am so happy to be back in Padre Hurtado. I feel so much better.
My sector is fantastic. My companion is so great & I live with the funniest hermana in the mission. I just feel so blessed. It's so nice to be with people who you get along with so well.
-We rode bikes. The hermanas we live with have bikes and we can use them. It was a whole different world for me after walking everywhere for so long.
-This sector is FULL of haitianos. It's fantastic, pero FANTÁSTICO. They are the best. We always end up laughing our heads off by the end of the lesson.
- I am now acting has a human translator because hermana de la cruz is training a gringa! It's almost like I'm training her too because I have to explain everything in english to her.
-We had our leadership meeting with presidente woodward...he is the best. I really like how he focuses on us making our own decisions and preparing us for after the mission.
-Yesterday at church i got attacked with hugs by my old ward (we share a building with them). It was a grand reunion. Angelina and Sabina cried. Love them so much. As we were all talking someone came up to me and said, "Look what you did!! Look at the people that are here today for your efforts." It was a really touching moment for me. I had no idea the impact our work had done in the ward.
-We have a hatian friend named Fransisco. He told us "me mormon" I think that means he's interested in hearing our message.
What a week. Five things to say...
1. Holy earthquakes. I take it all back. I want the Wyoming tornado. We had a 7.0 this week. I'm not a fan. Every day it has been shaking.
2. I had divisions with my Hermanita Zapata. Oh my goodness, I love her. We had a fantastic day and visited many of our old investigators and favorite members.
3. I got transfered...but it's the best transfer EVER!!!! I have come back to Padre Hurtado, but now I'm in the ward El Manzano. This ward shares a church with my old ward which means I get to see Angelina, Sabina, Markenson, and all of my favorites from El Sauce all the time. Angelina cried when she heard I was coming back. My new companion is Hermana Bedoya. She is Colombian and sooooo cute. She reminds me of Kierstyn Soloai.
El Manzano is the best ward to finish my mission in. I AM SO HAPPY. Vamos penaflor round 2.
4. Leaving El Abrazo was terrible, but I am so grateful for all the things I learned there.
5. Hermana Rodriguez is training. That makes me a grandma in mission terms, right?
Love you all so very much!
My motto these days:
"Twelve weeks to baptize" -my zone leaders.
Here is a great article and way too many fotos.
Great story of the week:
[We're doing service and a lady walks by.]
"Que lindasssss!!!" -lady (what beauties...referring to Hermana Robertson and me)
"Gracias" - Elder Marsh
"YO DIJE LINDAS" - lady (I said beauties!!!)
"Ohhh, lo siento" -Elder Marsh (sorry)
"Ahora voy decir lindos a ustedes...que lindos" -lady (no I will say lindos which is the male version) super snake.
*she walks away really ticked and we all die laughing*
If you speak spanish, please tell me you found that funny.
We had the great Chilean census this week. We were stuck in the house all day. I managed to write five letters. We made fake snow and drank hot cocoa. It was a waste of a day because the census person never came and then they cited us two days later for not being home when they passed by...two days later. Below is a photo shoot.
We had divisions and it finally rained here. It's about time.
11:30 at night...
I wake up because i thought someone was shaking me. Nope. Just a classic Chilean earthquake. Our conversation:
[silence and shaking]
"Do we bother getting up?" Hermana
We've become real Chileans now. That was a 6.1, the biggest I've had here. Also I have theory we have earthquakes all the time in Wyoming being so close to Yellowstone. The only difference now is that I know what they feel like. Don't stress out, Mom! I'd choose an earthquake over a Wyoming tornado any day.
This week we met Leandra. She came to our english classes and is the sweetest 12-year-old....ever. Her family is so kind to us, it's refreshing.
I have a rant today...
"Si guardáis mis palabras no seréis confundidos en este mundo ni en el venidero."
[...inasmuch as you keep my sayings you shall not be confounded in this world, nor in the world to come.]
Basically if you treasure up THE WORD OF GOD you won't be confused in this world or in the world to come. I've been thinking about some of my dear friends and family members who have gotten deep into anti-mormon doctrine. How sad.
If we fail to treasure up the true word of God (the scriptures and the words of living prophets) we will be taken up in the winds of the world. We will be lost, confused, and our eternal salvation will be in jeopardy. HOLD TO THE ROD (the word of God). Don't read the garbage (basura de verdad) that is found in the internet and from people who have no right or authority to say these things. (Since when can we trust the internet anyways? Rule #1, duh).
I LOVE YOU ALL regardless, although many have broken my heart. I know that salvation is personal in the end and I must do my part in coming unto Christ and believe me, I will bring others with me as I come unto HIM, the author of peace and truth!
"Keep the commandments in this there is safety."
BE GOOD. Keep your covenants por favor.
The church is true & Joseph Smith is the prophet of the restoration. I know this without a doubt in my mind, but I must keep this testimony burning BRIGHT.
This week in Chile:
- A service project which included cleaning up a lot of trash. We found two new people to teach and we got a lot of attention.
- Searching the country part of our sector and finding a ton of houses and a sweet less-active who gave us once (Chilean dinner).
- Self-defense and english classes are now in session.
- Family home evening with Elanie and Eric. It was a success.
- Raul, a haitian, came to church and a new investigator named Alejandro came to church too. El Abrazo is far from dead.
...and we just keep chugging along.
I love you all.
This week I had divisions with Hermana Alvarado from Utah. She's the sweetest! She goes home in three weeks...that just weirds me out because we got here almost at the same time. How the heck did I become the oldest in the mission?
We have some investigators de ORO...(gold)!
- Ricardo (the single dad police officer) is back in the teaching pool and wants to get baptized ASAP. Unfortunately he couldn't come to church yesterday so we are preparing him a bit more!
- Elanie (Eric's little sister): nine years old and reads The Book of Mormon more than I do. Her mom is less active, but has desires to come back. She's the cutest, most intelligent little thing!!
- Jaime made some big steps this week and asked our ward mission leader to get him to an alcoholics support group for help. Finally. Jaime still comes to church every week and gets there before we do.
- Viola, our sweet Haitian lady, came to the ward family home evening. She's so cute. The members ate her up.
Yesterday we were praying for some miracles. Week Three of a cambio is CLAVE [key] to baptizing that cambio. So we tried our best to get everyone there that had potential. I was feeling a bit down because a lot of people didn't come...just then the elders came running up to us and said, "HERMANAS, there is a menos activo that brought his whole family to church!!!"
We then met Tamara and Francisco. Tamara isn't a member but Francisco is. They had been assisting church in La Riena with Francisco's brother. I asked them where they lived and when they said the name of the street I almost died because earlier this week I almost passed right by them. Tamara is an old investigator whose teaching sheet I found earlier this week! Crazy stuff. And they're married. It's almost too good to be true.
I am soooo excited for Easter. For me, Easter is waaay more important than Christmas (and we make a bigger fuss at Christmas). I have a very simple testimony to bear this easter and that is....
¡YO SE QUE VIVE MI SEÑOR! [I know that my Lord lives!]
How grateful I am for Him and the opportunity to preach of Christ EVERY day. Wah. I love my mission.
"Even as the son of man came to be ministered unto, but to minister and give his life a ransom for many." - Matt. 20:28
This week I challenge you to read about the Savior's last week. It starts in Matthew 21 when Jesus rides into Jerusalem.
"We should be worried when we don't have problems." -Nelson
Don't you just love his attitude. Nelson is worth 400 rejections. ;)
This week was great!!!
- I had divisions with Hermana Gubernick and Hermana Gomez. Both are lovely, lovely girls. The future of the mission is bright.
- This week we had a special visit from the elder who baptized Rodrigo (the boyfriend of Victoria). His name is Elder Montgomery from California and now he is almost 50!! (It was weird seeing an American fresh from the states). We had once with him, Rodrigo, and Victoria. It was so fun seeing his old photos and hearing his stories. He served in a part of out mission almost 30 years ago. Many of his converts are stake presidents, bishops, and so on in our mission. What an influence he had here. I guess we never know how much good we do. He said to us "It's true what they say, it's two years and eternity to think about it." That struck me right in the heart and now I know I need to work harder!!! Also the Elder had perfect spanish still. He is goals.
- I LOVED CONFERENCE. I get so much more out of it as a missionary. This is probably weird, but when they said the number of convert baptisms I got huge smile on my face. I know and personally taught some of those people. For me that number has faces, stories, and a good part of my heart.
- I went into conference just looking for some general guidance and peace. I didn't write any questions this time. For me the most powerful part was when the choir sang "Go Forth with Faith." This song has a special meaning for me. In fall 2015 we sang that in the General Women's Meeting. I remember being fresh into college and with a brand new mission call to a country I didn't know anything about. I was very scared. We sang that song and I cried! I remember feeling the courage to continue on with school and with this scary new mission call. It was more than ironic that we sang it again and I thought back to my days in Laramie and how that song gave me the courage to keep going. It was exactly the reminder I needed from my Heavenly Father to finish these next few months...strong. Without fear or regrets.
-When they sang "How Firm a Foundation" I couldn't help but think of my wonderful mother (especially verse 3: "Fear not I am with thee..." ;) I am so grateful that she taught me about the Savior and gave me the firmest of foundations. I am grateful for a father who taught me a good work ethic, how to make jokes, and the importance of serving others. They seem to have both given me a good combination and I love them more than they will ever know.
LOVE YOU ALLL!!!!!! :D
this week was a bit slower. I have been sicker than a dog with a cold, but it's all good because Mama Palominos has been taking care of me. :) It's getting cold here!!!
I love my new companion, but miss my sweet Hermana Zapata with all my heart. She wrote me the sweetest letter and called me her "gran maestra." it was the sweetest ever. Good news is I'm in charge of her this cambio, so she will be visiting. ;)
My companion knows self defense. She's been teaching me to punch. Watch out world.
We found fantastic people this week with whom I am excited to work with and see what happens. One of them speaks fluent english!!!
I'm excited for conference and this should be a crazy good, but crazy busy week in my part of the world.
foto: Hehe, Mom, this is what I used the credit card for...a new scripture case. :)
Wow, this was a week.
A few bits of good news:
- Nelson got baptized!!! He was the guy who read the Book of Mormon in jail and came to church alone!!! Oh my goodness, it was the biggest miracle EVER. After he left his interview with one of Presidente's councilors I was sure he was going to tell him to wait until he was officially off of probation...but Presidente Loyola said "He's suffered enough, just let him get baptized." Nelson was so excited!!! He's waited 20 years for this.
I sure am grateful for an elder named Elder Christiansen who served in Anafagosta 20 years ago and taught Nelson the message of the restoration. He was more than prepared and Nelson just might be one of my favorite people in the world. I think the first thing I am going to do when I get home is look for Elder Christiansen and thank him. After he was confirmed yesterday he said to me "Hermana [then did the 'L' sign that means loser], this actually stands for the light of Christ!!!" I've never met someone so funny.
- Jaime passed his interview, but broke the Word of Wisdom, so we are going to keep working there. He needs a lot of help.
- Hermana Zapata got changed to Talagante. Wah. I am going to miss her so much. We both shed tears this morning. She is literally an angel. I am staying in El Abrazo for another cambio and my new comp is American!! Miracle. Her name is Hermana Robertson and she is from Ohio. She almost has her black belt in self defense so we're all good there. She is taller than me too, so El Abrazo doesn't even know what is hitting them.
- This week I heard an analogy that I loved. Remember after Christ finished the atonement, when he was betrayed by Judas? A member in my ward said this. "After he was betrayed by a kiss, Christ didn't get offended; He finished His work." I really like that. We too as members should not get offended when people let us down. Just keep doing what you know is right.
Love you all!!!
XOXO Hermana Brinkerhoff
Here are a million fotos!!!
It was a good week.
We had two divisions:
#1 con: Hermana Rodriguez. Oh my goodness, it was so fun to spend the day with my old companion! Wahhh. She's grown so much. We made goals and I cried (haha!) because she's going to have six months soon. She's a 10, through and through.
#2 con: Hermana Sotomayor. She came in the same group as Hermana Rodriguez and was in my zone before. It was great to see how much she has grown and it's nice to spend the day with a chilean because she knows how to talk to the chileans.
Every one of our investigators seems to be having problems this week...like, major problems. It's been hard, but I know that after the trails we see the blessings, no? If all works out, Jaime and Nelson will be baptized this weekend...but we have to work through some Word of Wisdom problems and maybe an interview with Presidente. ¿Los milagros existen verdad?
I don't want to name drop but there is an elder in my zone whose family does the kid history videos on Youtube. Gets me everytime. He's the little boy who talks about completos in the hotdog video. Well, now he's a missionary, but same thing.
I was overcome with gratitude this week as I took a moment to see how the Lord has blessed my family while I've been on the mission. This is manifest in the two baby girls that will be/have been born while I've been on the mission. First of all Katie, who before my mission was struggling to have kids and now has Capri. To add on to that Shayla will have hers right before I get home. Seriously, my heart is overcome with gratitude and I know for a fact that my family has been in the hands of the Lord these past 14 months.
I love D&C 31 which says...
"I will bless you and your family, yea, your little ones and the day cometh that they shall believe and be one with you in my church....
"Behold verily I say unto you, go from them only for a little time, and declare my word, and I will prepare a place for them."
"Be patient in afflictions, revile not against those that revile."
I know this is the work of God in these latter days and that the Lord cares about my beautiful family.
Okay this week a lady accused Hermana Zapata of stealing her boyfriend. I could not handle it. I died laughing and I still am. I swear my comp is innocent.
- Nelson is so awesome. Yesterday he came to church and when he saw the baptismal font he was like "I am going to be baptized right here."
- I keep running into people from my other sectors that I taught...it's like they're following me or something. No, just kidding, it's super fun to see people from my other sectors!!
- We helped a lost old lady find her daughter's house. She had been looking for two hours in the dark. She says we are her angels. ;)
- Yesterday, Olga, Paola, and Ignacia made a visit to my ward. It was so fun to see them and I received the news that Olga got baptized. She said to me "I was sad you weren't there, but don't worry you are my missionary!" Wahhh. Sometimes we just do the pioneering efforts, no?
- Victoria shared her testimony in sacrament meeting. (She's not even a member yet.) The people here are so great!
I am well and am enjoying the mission life.
This week we had a meeting with Presidente. I saw Grove City, so it was a good week. The other hermana is from Hawaii!!! She's the sweetest!!