Yep, I know. It's nuts. Today marks my 6 months to go. AH! Time to evaluate, set some new goals, think about how I can really make the best of these last months, and come home ready to face the world and to try and do something with my life. Lot's to think about.
I have a watch tan line. And I love EFY music. So sue me. Just had to throw that out there and get it off my chest.
So I have been thinking a lot about repentance lately (not because I think I need to repent for having a watch tan line or listening and loving EFY music, although maybe I should...) From the Bible Dictionary, Repentance is any time we gain a "fresh view" on ourselves, on God, or on something that we need to change or improve. (Not exact words and I only have my Spanish scriptures here with me) So it's interesting because I think about things that I didn't really think were "bad" before my mission that I would do. Nothing horrible, of course, but things that maybe I didn't have a "fresh view" on. I have a fresh view now... meaning, I understand the principles behind why we don't watch certain kinds of TV shows or movies, why we don't do things on Sunday that take our minds away from the Savior, why we keep morally clean before marriage, so now I have a greater understanding, or fresh view, or how God wants us to live our lives. SO that is repentance. But repentance brings out a change, and the change only happens when we HAVE the fresh view, and then to actually DO something about it. And do it consistently. That's the change that Alma talks about in the scriptures. There is the "baptism of fire" bringing a complete transformation. I think we underestimate the power of the atonement. Sometimes I ask people here at the center "How did you use the atonement today?" and I get a sort of perplexed look as if they think I am expecting and waiting for them to spill their sins and tell me how their repentance process is going. But it's so much.... smaller?... for a lack of a better term.... than that. The Atonement is in EVERYTHING! If we say a prayer, we are using it. An act of service, setting a new goal and asking for help, praying for someone else, reading the scriptures, saying nice to someone, sharing the Gospel.... Everything that we do that invites us or someone else to come closer to Christ is because of the Atonement. Whew. It's amazing. I am so grateful for my Savior.
Had a very sweet tender mercy this week at the Visitors Center. This couple came in and I said hi and everything but then on their way out, they noticed my name tag. The woman said "Brinkerhoff...(at this point I'm thinking, NO I DON'T KNOW THEM! But then she said....) from Arizona? Do you know Troy?" So of course I said "Yeah! That's my Dad!" and the woman got very teary. She said "Your dad took such good care of my Mom when she was on dialysis. We love your Dad" And then the husband said "And he took out my Gallbladder. He loves motorcycles, right?" By this point, I'm teary... I told them he had passed away almost 5 years ago and they had no idea. They were really sweet and just told me how much they appreciated everything he did for them. I love my Dad. I really really do. I am so grateful for these tender mercies that the Lord gives us to just see a glimpse of the bigger picture for a minute. I mean, I am on a mission in LA, these people live on Catalina Island and happened to come in... There are no small miracles.
So fun to see THE Rob Gardner here. I thought Sister Macdonald was going to faint. And of course I was thinking "Por favor! He's like.... Rob..... and hes MY friend!" Haha. I sure love that guy! Thanks for coming in :) Even if I couldn't give you a hug.
Things are going well in Bel Air.... just in a mode of finding to try and build a new teaching pool. Most missionaries can build a teaching pool WHILE they are teaching people, but when we have people to teach, that is where our limited time in the area is spent. So it's usually like an all or nothing pattern. Which is annoying, but it's OK cause finding is fun :) Fun is a very positive word to describe it. But it makes for a lot of really hilarious stories.
Simpsons.... He didn't accept a date just yet :( BUT HE WILL! Mark my words! He is sooooo close! I seriously go to bed every night imagining that family in the temple, hoping that having that vision will help. I want to be there so badly with them. I really do love this family very much.
Speaking of families going to the temple. Remember when I did like a music-lesson for the other sisters' investigator? And then I sang at his baptism? And got to know and love his family very much? They came into the VC last night and it was so good to see them. The wife of the Baptizee gave me a thank you card and it seriously brought me to tears. To think that all I did was just do what I love to do. Sing. And she talked about how after the lesson where I just sang for them, that that is when he decided to be baptized. He had started to listen to hymns over and over again, especially the ones I sang. Music is powerful. I teased him that he will be bishop in no less than 10 years. And its true! Completely true. When that family goes to the temple, that will be a very very special day. Ahhhhhhhhh. I love them so much.
Not much else to report on.... Living and breathing gospel. And it's so good. I really really really love this and I am grateful I still get to do this for 6 meises mas! Estoy muy agradecida por esta opportunidad y quiero hacer todo que puedo en la obra del Senor!
Love you all.