There were quite a few highlights this week and one of them is the attached picture of the "art work" that RWLJ brought to us. He called us the night before to tell us how excited he was about this thing he made for us that is "what the LDS church is all about". He was just thrilled about it. So he comes to the VC and is hiding it behind his back and then finally reveals the surprse. And boy, was it a surprise! Sister Browning and I both didn't know what to do but just smile as big as we knew how. I hope you can tell from the picture what it is... But the child is the world, and the woman holding him and comforting him is the LDS church. And then of course the "Get the Word out!" message at the bottom. Just so classic. He's right, though! We gotta get the word out! A corner of the picture got ripped off so he taped it to the side of the paper. AND his paper is the back of a manila envelope. Yes, he is just that cool. He showed all of the sisters and of course they loved it.
RWLJ comes into the VC the other day again and looks pretty upset. He says "Sister Brinkerhoff, I have to talk to you about something." Of course I'm just stressing out and Robert tends to beat around the bush a little bit so I had time to stress. He says..." The other day when we were talking... You said something that really upset me (STRESSING OUT)... and I just needed to talk to you about it because I haven't been able to even sleep because of it.... The other day.... you told me that I was So much smarter than you, and that's just not true! You are VERY smart and capable!" Let's rewind. I had asked RWLJ a question about something in the Bible, and he answered it of course with flying colors, and then I said something like "Robert Webster Light Jr, you are just so muchest morest smarter than I is" (in a dumb way, on purpose...) And it really hurt his feelings because he says he would never want me to think badly about myself. RIGHT?! Ya, I think I teared up a bit. He is just the mostest tenderest man.
We had Elder L. Whitney Clayton from the presidency of the 70 here for a mission conference on Saturday and then a fireside for recent converts and investigators on Sunday. At the mission conference, he went around and shook all 200 something of our hands which I thought was very nice of him. The spirit was SO strong during his talk. He actually opened up the floor for questions and the whole meeting was him answering questions like "how do we get members to give us referrals?" and "How bold should we be with people". I realized a LOT about the type of missionary I need to be... and she is WAY different than the missionary I am now. Being bold is scary... BUT this is the TRUTH and people NEED to hear what the Gospel is about! We have a part member family in our ward. The Dad isn't a member and we have been thinking about them so much but I gotta be honest, Sis Browning and I are just so scared of inviting him to meet with us. We had dinner with them a couple weeks ago and I asked him if he'd ever met with the missionaries, he said no, and then I asked him if he'd ever thought about it, he said "Thats a good question... I'll let ya know." and then we left it at that. But then last week we had an FHE over there and it was way fun. They have 3 kids and they are adorable and they all know that Daddy doesn't have the priesthood and its just so sad. We didn't invite him to meet with us... I know, shame on us. BUT after the whole "YOU NEED TO BE BOLD, WHAT ARE WE SO AFRAID OF" speech, we are going to ask him this week. PRAY that he says yes. We haven't had an investigator since RWLJ's baptism and it's discouraging. We have these amazing 1st contacts and then they disappear. So we have a lot of work to do. Anyways, back to the conference. He talked about the importance of members and how they are expecting us to ask for referrals, so don't be scared to do so. I really hope that I am a Member Missionary when I get home. It is SO important. We had to leave halfway through the conference to go to the VC but it really was amazing.
But the HIGHLIGHT of Elder Clayton being here was the fireside last night. Robert came and even gave the opening prayer! In front of a FULL chapel and cultural hall! And it was a GREAT prayer. And THEN Elder Clayton asks all of the recent converts from 2010 and 2011 to stand. And then they became the "speakers" and Elder Clayton asked questions for them to all answer. Roberts answers were, of course, superb. He answered the question "why did you get baptized?" by just bearing his testimony of the Book of Mormon which just was so amazing. I just had the best feeling that THIS is what it's all about! This is why I am here! Hooray! And then the best was the question "how do you feel about the missionaries" to which Robert quickly raised his hand and said "i'll keep this short and sweet. The missionaries are the salt of the earth and I had 2 of the best". Awwwwwwww. He is wonderful. He got to meet elder Clayton and Elder clayton said "I loved your prayer! Welcome to the family" and Robert was just beaming from ear to ear and could not stop smiling. So great.
I had some great experiences at the VC this week where I spoke to several new friends who I just knew I needed to talk to that day. It was pretty amazing. The Lord is SO aware! He really does place people in our life who we need to be influenced by or who need to be touched by us. We should always remember that there is always someone who needs a pick-me-up, even if its yourself, so be aware of those opportunities to share a lovely moment with one of your brothers and sisters.
I wanted to write more.... but my time is a tickin. I love being a missionary and it is just wonderful.
ps- the 2 pictures are the poster RWLJ made and then me with a couple people-- Hector and Janette at the VC. Coolest story... they came in with their missionaries and were having a hard time deciding to be baptized and I got to show them some things and have a lesson with them and they came back a week and a half later saying they had gotten baptized! What a tender mercy!