This week was a week of adjusting, but super good.
My sector is HUGE. It makes me excited and want to cry all at the same time. My companion is what you would call your typical latina spice. She's a convert of 5 years and used to be evangelico, so she knows how to bible bash. It's a good time. No, but really it's a good time. ;) She also has labeled me as the mormon Taylor Swift, so things are looking good.
The ward is so sweet and it's been weird to have lunch in members actual houses! They've made me feel really loved.
Needless to say I miss Republica way too much still. Thinking about some of the people I taught and the members makes me cry a lot more than I cried from missing my family at the beginning of my mission. I may never see some of those people ever again, but they sure marked my heart SO MUCH! I guess I have the hope that one day we'll meet again, and I sure hope I did my part to teach them the gospel.
Saury, if you're reading this...please email me! I want to hear from you guys so much! Sorry we didn't get to say goodbye. ;(
Also, Hermana Aspitia went home and holy cow I miss that girl. How grateful I am for a trainer who loved and taught me so much.
This week we found some precious hatianos and taught them spanish. One of them said to me "I have a friend in Chile named Brinkerhoff". I DIED. So cute.
Also, we were teaching this less active family who recently lost a son, I started talking about my brother and the testimony I have of eternal families. Before the lesson the dad was super rude, but as soon as I started talking about my brother I literally saw his cold heart defrost, and we ended up having an awesome lesson with them.
This morning was by far one of the funniest and saddest mornings of my mission.
One of the girls I lived with got locked in the bathroom for four hours! Four hours. The middle part broke and there was no getting her out. The zone leaders came and tried for three hours to get her out of the bathroom. Imagine this...one from Brazil, 2 from Colombia, and a gringo trying to get poor Hermana Zomban out of the bathroom. One of them ended up cutting his finger and might need stitches, the gringo Eagle Scout ended up finally getting the door open. It was a morning for the books. I took some priceless videos and pictures. Enjoy. We all died laughing.
Love ya! XOXO
Hermana Brinkerhoff (P.S. No one here can say my name. It's always "Brink....ya no blah, blah, blah."
Hey everyone!!!! I love love love reading your emails every week. I laugh so hard and everyone in ciber looks at me like I'm a freak.
BUTTTTT....I have lots of exciting news.
1. Bendjy got baptized. Yes, H Grover and I pulled off a baptism. Milagro. He even came early to his baptism. It went flawless and I wanted to cry. We've known Bendjy for a while, but thought he wasn't interested. Turns out he was very interested. Bendjy is friends with Daniel and got to know him through Daniel. He's come to church quite a bit, but we always thought he never understood. This week he was like ,"Hermanas, let's go. Teach me everything because I want to be baptized Saturday." And that he did.
2. I left Republica. NOOOO! Yes we had cambios and I'm no more a city slicker and my comp isn't Hermana Grover. My new comp is from CHILEEEEEE!!! And let me tell you she is Chilean, but super awesome. Yesterday at church Juanita and Ricardo cried and told me never to forget them. Then they gave me a hymn book in english. I sure love that sector with all my heart and the many people I met and taught. Hermana Grover is now a trainer in our old sector and is going to KILL it!!! My new sector is La Sauce...and it's huge!! It's the country part of the mission, and it's the biggest sector in the mission I'm told. We are getting bikes...yikes. I am super excited and am looking forward to the many adventures I will have here in el campo!
This week will be fun as I get to know a new zone and sector. Sure love you all and I know that the church is true and que Jesucristo vive!
My home word for you all is to read the last talk from Elder Holland in the last conference. It's the pep talk we all need.
XOXO Hermana Brinkerhoff
* Email sent 8/22/16
Heyyy everyone. Hoping you're all well & getting ready to go back to school. ;)
This week we only taught Hatianos. Seriously. This isn't a joke. But they're THE BEST. We found out that one of our investigators that wants to get baptized needs an interview with president, so that was fun to try and arrange. Ah no. It was the worst, but we'll get it figured out. The lessons go from super serious, to joking, to Language Barrier City, and then we go from speaking english to spanish to french. It's great.
During a lesson this week, Hermana Grover BROKE a chair. No, read that again. That thing broke. In the middle of reviewing baptism questions. We laughed for at least 20 minutes. Se rompió la silla.
Also during a contact in the street our hands somehow got kissed. That was a new one that I will make sure to avoid that for further reference.
Here are a few photos from this week. We had a super awesome noche de hogar & I had to snap a pic of the catalina!
The church is true and Joseph Smith is a prophet. I love to testify of Lección 1! Jesus Christ's church is back on the earth. This is the good news of the evangelio!!!
* Email sent 8/15/16
Remember that week that we got roasted in sacrament meeting for not having a noche de hogar with this old man in the ward? Never laughed so hard in my life.
Or when Irma started yelling in gospel principles yesterday?
Or when Daniel said "At what time is my baptism hermanas? I want to get baptized!"
Or when you start teaching a "faithful" Catholic and the more you talk to them the more you realize they are apostates from the Catholic church. Those are hands-down my favorites to teach.
Or when you take trip to the MTC doctor (we are fine) and she teaches you how to do yoga.
All of that went down this week. It was a good week aquí en diego de almagro!
Yesterday I went on splits with Hermana Aspitia. It was so fun! We went and visited all of the recent converts and ended up running into a girl we have been teaching forever!! She finally accepted a fecha (date). We also went and visited Ricordo and Jaunita, AKA my parents in the mission. They were so excited to see us together again and at the end we all cried. They told us how the past five months we were literally angels to them and that we are their daughters. Ricardo was inactive for a long time and he said that us visiting and helping come back, and helping to baptize his wife has changed his life. He said that he will never forget us. He is one of the biggest miracles of my mission. I remember the first time I met him thinking that he would not be receptive, but he ended up being like a father to me. I am looking forward to their sealing in the temple in March! :)
Anyways, I love this place and am doing just fine.
XOXOXOXOX Hermana Brinkerhoff
* Email sent 8/8/16
This week someone told me they saw in a vision I was going to marry a mission president and that desobediente missionaries will fear me, so you bet it was an interesting week!
On Tuesday I had divisions with Hermana Jensen. She is Hermana Aspitia's new hija, so in mission terms that means she is literally my "hermana." Hermana Jensen has about three weeks in the mission and speaks a little spanish, so it was all on me. It was a good day, but also a little trip down memory lane. I remember feeling exactly how she felt those first few weeks. Ah, to be a greenie again.
Also I learned how to do the latino snap with my fingers this week. If you served a mission in South America you understand exactly what I'm talking about.
This week I saw the song "When I Am Baptized" for our noche de blanca. I sang it in both english and spanish. It was so fun! Lots of haitianos got baptized and when they heard the english they were super excited.
We also had interviews with President Woodward. He is SO awesome!
This week I taught these little girls the song "I am a Child of God." They loved it and the spirit was so strong! One of them wrote me a note (pictured below). It was so cute! I think she meant to say "you are the most beautiful." Not really sure.
This week I read in Luke 7: 37-50. Go read it right now! It's my new favorite bible story. "Thy faith hath saved thee, go in peace." I love how this woman literally washed Christ's feet with her tears and cleaned his feet with her hair.
Love Hermana Brinkerhoff
* Email sent 8/1/16
Hermana McNevin told me if you make it to six months you're going to make it. Only those who have served missions understand how true this is.
Somehow I've been gone for 1/3 of my mission and it's freaking me out. Like a lot. These past few months have been a personal and spiritual growth of leaps and bounds and I can't imagine what next year is going to feel like. Es verdad..la misión es muyyyy rápido. Okay that's enough trunky for one letter. Hope you all don't miss me too much! ;)
This week was interesting. Hermana Grover and I manage to have CUALQUIER experiencia. But it's so fun. I love being with someone who gets me...la verdad it's just nice being with someone who speaks your language sometimes. This week we got locked out of the house...recently I've become really good friends with the pensionistas in the mission (the elders that are in charge of all the houses). They're sick of us I'm sure.
This week we met a Haitiano. One of the dreams of my mission is to baptize someone from Haiti (I've had quite a few from Haiti, but none of them have gotten baptized). Anyways, yesterday he came to church on time and with a fresh haircut. Things are looking GOOD. I could hardly handle it. He was SO excited to come to church with us. (We took an awesome picture that is coming your way soon.)
Anyways, I am well and have been laughing my head of with Hermana Grover. She is so awesome. Miley and Jeff Grover, you raised a gem!
I love you all very much and know that the work I'm doing is true. I am proud to stand with all the other missionaries of Jesus Christ who have stood up for what is true.
* Email sent 7/25/16