Monday, November 28, 2011

Gonna Be Short

I'm not sure where my time went today... SO I'm just gonna send some pictures and a little udpate!

Things are looking up for Bel Air. we hav APPOINTMENTS this week! Can you believe it?! I kind of can't... super grateful.

Sister Pinto is no longer with us :( There was a sick sister living in an apt far away from the temple and so they brought her back here to be in a trio and sis pinto bean went with her companion Sister Thompson in Santa Monica. We miss our little bean, but we are getting by without her!

Thanksgiving was awesome. We did service for Homeless people in Santa Monica. It was an incredible event. And then we had lunch with the Crowes (Ok, I can't remember what you wanted me to call you, Steve... Crowe wil have to do!). They are seriously the biggest blessing for us! WE LOVE YOU GUYS! YOU ARE THE GREATEST THING IN THE WORLD! they even gave me a birthday present. AND we had pazzokie for dinner! Anna was sneaky and found out that that is my favorite treat. She is the greatest. And their baby is seriously adorable. See picture.

Thank for all for the birthday shout outs and what not! You are all just thebest.


RWLJ came on Thanksgiving. We exchanged "Happy Anniversary" cards because we met at the VC one year ago on Thanksgiving. Haha. Loved it.

we love Abuelita, the hot chocolate. I thought I looked like her, so we took a picture. I'm a dork.

Listen, everybody. The Gospel is true okay!? ITS TRUE! I love it so much.

Love you all
Sista Brink

Monday, November 21, 2011

The Golden One.

Yep, the Golden One is happening this week. The Golden Birthday. Well I dont feel so Golden about being Golden. 24 on the 24th. I AM GOING TO BE 24! That seriously makes me sick. Some of these missionaries graduated in 2011! OH MY GOSH! Disgusting. Seriously disgusting. But you know what? Life goes on. So I am getting some grey hairs. So I maybe have some wrinklkes starting to emerge around my eyes. The Gospel is true, and thats all that matters. (But seriously can someone please get me some seriously good eye cream? And maybe a cane?)

And the lessons keep being learned. That's what this is all about, right? I am so grateful that the Lord is in charge, that He knows what is going on. I had a really good moment during the sacrament yesterday. This is what I wrote down:"I am sitting here at the Westwood building in the lobby waiting for the sacrament thinking about how grateful I am to be a missionary and more especially how grateful I am for the SAvior and for his sacrifice for me. I am also thinking about trusting in God and how I can do that more. I think that trusting in God is not stressing out about things when they don't go my way, but relying on Him and the plan He has. He is the one in charge. It's not about will power, strength, skill or talent. It's about trust. Letting it go and giving it to God." Kind of a little personal revelation. Something I really need to learn. I realized that I need to learn to trust the Lord more. Not just to rely on Him and to try and do what he wants me to do, but to trust him. And I believe that trusting the Lord means letting him take away worry, stress, or any negative thoughts because if we trust him, we know that those things really do us no good. When we trust the Lord, we rely on the promises He has given us and we do all that we can to be worthy of those promises and then we keep going. And then keep going some more. There's my little Lesson Learned from LA today.
We had a pretty amazing miracle at the Visitors Center. A few weeks ago we met a guy at the Visitors Center.. We will call him M.  We talked with him for a long time and he was really sad and angry, you could see it in his eyes. He was there with a member, and we talked for a long time. M was really closed off at first and wouldn't look at us or smile. Eventually, he opened up and told us about some things going on his life that have caused him to really question the reality of God. His stories really brought tears to my eyes. We read from the Book of Mormon together, talked for a long time, and invited him to not give up, and to read the Book of Mormon, and he agreed to allow us to follow up with him. By the time he left the center, he had a smile on his face. We followed up with him, and a few days ago, he told us that he is getting baptized, that he has been reading the Book of Mormon everyday and that he is HAPPY! And coming from this kid, that is a lot. Such a neat experience. The Lord really is so aware of every one of his children.
Another miracle happened. A former member of the UCLA ward who I just love brought in her 2 friends to the Visitors Center. She has been away at BYU and came back for a visit and felt prompted to bring them in on their way back to the apartment, mostly just wanting to say hello to me. Well, we took them all 3 into Savior of the World and found out that one of them was really struggling to believe in anything right now, but loved the way her member friend had faith. And let me tell you, this member is incredible. She has been such a wonderful influence on everyone, including me. She was in the UCLA ward last year and she was just a gem. I love her! Eventually, her friend was crying and saying that she wanted to have faith. We talked about belief, read from the Book of Mormon, and testified. She agreed to meet with us, and so did the other friend. The spirit was so strong and I know that everything worked out perfectly for that to happen. We weren't even supposed to be working that night, but had switched a few weeks ago. How amazing!
We had a good lesson with Bro Simpson last night... he really is starting to be more and more open, I feel. He now says things like "When I get baptized" not "If I get baptized", but he still is very sensitive about it and does not want pressure, so we are honoring that.
Most of our other new investigators that we have found have not continued to want to meet. But that is OK because the Lord knows what is going on and what things need to happen.

We had an amazing couple of trainings this week from Bro. Lusvardi who is over all of the Visitors Centers and Sister Cottam who also works with all the sites. It really was incredibly amazing. With Sis Cottam, we talked about having balance through the Savior Jesus Christ, something that I think takes a lifetime to learn but is sooo important. I gained a lot of perspective, mostly about the seriousness of our work at the Visitors Center. It really is a place of miracles and I am so grateful to be a Visitors Center missionary. Some people think that VC sisters are weak, that we can't do "real" missionary work. If you think this way, lets chat... Because you are wrong. These sisters here are strong and understand the Gospel and the importance of sharing it with our friends. I have a lot to learn from all of the missionaries at the Visitors Center. I am really grateful I have been able to serve here, and to be a trainer here for the last 3 transfers.

My Mom is apparently on the countdown. That kind of makes me sick to my stomache....

But speaking of countdowns, there are 34 days til Christmas! I remind everyone everyday. It's a special day! Especially as a missionary. I will have had 2 Christmases, 2 Birthdays, 2 New Years, 2 thanksgivings as a missionary. I love it. I don't love that I turn 24 in 3 days, but whatevs. It is what it is.Be with it as you may. I'm still a Child of God. Even if I have wrinkles and grey hairs.

I love being a missionary. Thats all. I love these people, I love the Visitors Center, and while I do love all of you veryvery much, I think I will stay here for a little while longer.

xoxoxoxo hope everyone has a wonderful thanksgiving! Mom-I am very grateful for YOU!

Sista Brink

Monday, November 14, 2011

It's over. Hallelujah!

Finally. The Talent Show is over! The last 3 months getting that thing rolling has taken quite a toll on me, but it what awesome!

We had quite a few non-members there. Not as many as we hoped caught the vision, but they did come and were excited about something, which hasn't happened for a long time in this ward. The only activities they have are the Christmas party each year, so it was fun to see people actually mingle and get to know each other. It was a really fun evening and we learned a lot for what the ward could do next time if they continue to do things like this (which they should). You better believe that I taught some deacons a lip sink number to N'Sync and they were AWESOME! And then the Elders Qurorum broke out of their shells and did a seriously hilarious skit of synchronized swimming. I was dying laughing. So was everyone else, I thought some of the oldies were going to have a heart attack. Sis Seagull and I sang "When you Believe" and Moffat was our dashing MC. I owe him so huge. There was a magic show, some harmonicas and guitars, a pokemon song (you better believe it) and it was just really a fun evening. A few part-member families, and inactive families came as well. And there were some seriously delicious chocolate truffles that made my night a little better and a little worse at the same time. My lovely Deanne was there, a former investigator who I know was my lovely friend in the pre-existence and who I will be in touch with forever. And I will sing at her baptism. Even if I am 35 with 5 kids (5 is a little much...). Anyway, just glad it went well and that it is over. I think it will be a night that most will remember for a looooong time. It will go down in WW 1st ward history!

We had Zone Conference this week and it. was. incredible. It's so interesting how these things roll around RIGHT when you need it. Like General Conference. It always seems to come when you seriously just need a huge glass of spiritual guidance. Adn then you just chug and chug and chug until you just want to sleep. But then you can't sleep because you need to go to work. I will be able to sleep soon enough, for now, it's working time. I have dreams about sleeping. Last Sunday was daylight savings so we were going to get an extra hour of sleep. I had seriously been counting down the days for it and was SO excited for an EXTRA HOUR OF SLEEP! I was so excited that I couldn't sleep. Haha. Of course. I kept thinking "this is so cool that I can say I slept for 9 hours instead of 8" that I never really got tired and then didn't really sleep at all. Hahahaha. Typical me.

Anyway, that has nothing to do with Zone Conference. The theme was the Doctrine of Christ. Pres. Baker is incredible and just said all the right things that I needed to hear. He talked a lot about enduring well, and not comparing yourself to other missionaries. Why do we do that? Why do we feel the need to base our personal acceptance or progression on the success of someone else, who then compares theirs to someone else? It's a really weird trap. And it's really unhealthy on the mind. I am going to try and be better about just worrying about what I am doing, how I feel at the end of the day, and my progression and work, rather than thinking "Man. She's had like a thousand baptisms. What am I doing wrong?" It's a slippery slope.  I don't have my Zone Conf. notes with me unfortunately because there really were some serious gems. But they were probably just gems for me and wouldn't mean anything to you. And so it is. We did get another Book of Mormon challenge though to read the entire thing by Jan 1st. I'm doing it in Spanish. Eeeek! I love it though. I really love Spanish a lot.

So sister green and I have a problem. We fight. Like literally. Not in a serious way, but we brawl in our apartment and it is hilarious. She is feisty and is the only one who gives me a good fight in an arm wrestle. So last night, we were wrestling and my nail literally broke into her skin. It was SO funny. And painful for her, but I broke my nail! Hahaha. I love Sis Green so much. We have had some of the most amazing talks of my mission.... she is incredible.

well, I am going to head out.

I love you all. Send me letters.

Love-Sista Brink

Monday, November 7, 2011

It was destined to happen.

So. I'm not going to really write a super big thing today because I have other things I need to take care of... Gonna be a bullet-point style today.

- we went to UCLA campus today and walked around (I had been around, never ON campus). I have never felt like such a small fish in a big pond. And it was scary. I probably will throw up my first day back at BYU. And all of those people get me! (Sort of)
- K didn't turn out like we thought. The concept of ONE God is very new, so its totally understandable that she felt a little overwhelmed and needed some time to ponder. But the lesson was amazing, the spirit was strong, and she is an absolutely incredible person.
-Did lots of finding. Had a neat experience trying to follow the spirit. It was like 8:30 and so we only had a few minutes. We stopped this girl on the street over by UCLA and she was from Brazil, here for a short study thing. She said she would be interested in having the missionaries in Brazil. So we got all her info of course, but then when she walked away the Spirit said "STOP HER!" So I quickly said "Can we teach you until you go back?" She said, Yeah! So we are meeting her tomorrow :) She is beautiful. Beautiful Brazilian.
-So maybe we finally got the courage to talk to a VIP in our ward. And maybe she wants us to come over for dinner. And maybe she has a referral for us... Pretty exciting. She seriously is beautiful and stunning and very humble.
-I bore my testimony in relief society yesterday all about my Mom and how she taught me the importance of loving people. Loving them regardless of who they are, what they look like, etc. It was very needed for me to express my gratitude for my Momma. Momma- you are amazing!
-We have a tender mercy family in the ward. We will call them the Seagull family (I hope you know who you are). They are seriously such a huge blessing to me. Sis Seagull is my sister and I don't know what I would have done without her these last few weeks. They have been so wonderful to us and always seem to say things at dinner that we totally need to hear. The other night, the subject was "Don't worry. Enjoy your mission and don't sweat the small stuff. Love people, and thats all that matters." That was a bit of a Neon Sign for me, if you know what I mean.
-Jenn Johnson. I. Love. You. Thank you for being here at the right time. You are such a blessing in my life. Thank you for... Everything.
-Sis Green is such a blast. we are having such a fun time.
-I am grateful to be a missionary. So. Grateful.

Love you all. PS you are all getting bad at writing. Come on! I still have a looooooooong time! I need letters :)
Sista Brink