Monday, February 20, 2012

The Way the Cookie Crumbles

Speaking of cookies.... there have been too many in my life these days. That's all about to change in a couple weeks. Or maybe it will just get worse.... Yeah, probably worse. Mom, careful with the cookies. I've had enough for the last 18 months to last a lifetime. All I want is a yummy sugar cookie that first day back.... Mmmm....

And then it was week 6...

Every transfer is broken down by weeks in our planner. So it's always like "wow... it's all ready week 4!" etc. Week 6 came all to quickly this time. My planner ends in 7 days, and they aren't going to give me a new one to decorate and get all bent and dirty by the end of the transfer. I will move on to other planners, that don't say "missionary daily planner" on it. I do have a fantastic array of planners... it's fun to look at all of them and remember what I was doing a year ago. I do have to say (Thats mine and Sis O-Taquita's favorite phrase right now) that I really have gained a testimony of the importance of planning on my mission. I think I was a pretty good planner before, but now, I am a HUGE planner... I think it's a good thing. Maybe a little too intense sometimes, but honestly, what can you expect from me. Anyways, the bottom line is, I'm sad that I don't get any more missionary daily planners. I guess now I will have to have a life planner. Ahhgfkjlsk, scary.

I think this transfer has gone by faster than any other one. And it's the one I DIDNT want to go by fast! Thats just the way the cookie crumbles... ah... cookies again...
It was a great week! The Lord is really blessing us in Brentwood. We did go back to see the family we found, but the kids and husband weren't there. But we set a for sure appointment for this week! Hooray! She( Mom) was really excited about it, too. She is going to read the "Family a Proclamation..." before then, and she seemed really interested to see what it was all about. I really do feel that the Lord led us right to her that day. What a miracle! I have prayed to find a family my entire mission. The Lord answers prayers. Definitely in his own time and own way, because I would have LOVED to find a family a year ago that I could actually see get baptized... but this will work too :)

We had a great lesson with Abuelo this week. It was definitely the best so far... The ward is working on getting him hometeachers, so hopefully that will happen soon and help him along towards baptism. We can't continue to teach him often if he doesn't set a date, but he still comes to church, etc, so if he has hometeachers, they will be able to help him progress spiritually instead of us. BUT hopefully he will be baptized in the end of March. When I told him I was leaving, he started crying a little. He said "Can I fit n your suitcase?". That was the first time it really hit me that I am leaving. I am leaving these people that I have just absolutely fallen in love with. He came to the concert at the Visitors Center and I cried a little knowing that that was the last time I would sit with an investigator at a concert and just enjoy whatever we were watching, because the spirit was strong. It has never mattered if the people were super fantastically talented or if their performance was just superb, what has mattered is if our people felt the spirit. And they always did, and they always will. A very sweet member from the ward who is a very special man, one of those people you know will go straight to the Celestial Kingdom,  came too and he said "Sister Brinkerhoff... I'm really gonna miss you, you know that." And then he walked away. And then the tears really came. I went outside to look at the temple and just thought "I don't want to leave... I can't leave..." and the tears flowed a bit.

Do you remember me telling you about the woman who I called for months and months and then she finally met with us my last week in Bel Air? She is getting baptized in March. She came to the concert, too. She pulled me aside a couple weeks ago and just said "Thank you for stalking me. My life is changed...". Haha, kinda funny, but true, I did stalk her. I really can look back and see that I was prompted by the spirit to keep trying. I didn't get to teach her but one time, but even just to be a little part of her conversion is an amazing feeling. I really love her a lot. The changes she has made in her life are absolutely inspiring, you have no idea.

Polly came to our ward finally yesterday! It was such a surprise. I was sitting there, kind of sad that she didn't come, but then during sacrament she came and sat by us! It was such a blessing! I was soooo happy to see her. She stayed all 3 hours and I think she really enjoyed it. Everyone was super kind to her and she is going to a relief society event this week. Hooooooray! We had dinner with her and her friend Friday and it was super fun, too. Really authentic Italian in a TOTAL "Brentwood" scene. Seriously... you have to experience it to understand.

Last Wednesday we had our "Departing Training" and all of us departing missionaries and Pres and Sister Baker went to the temple. It was so great. The training was all about what to do when you go home, etc. It was sort of overwhelming to think about. It was mostly about how our pattern as a missionary is completely set, without any doing on our part. Now, going home, we have to set a new pattern. I definitely knew how to set my own patterns before, so maybe that will be an advantage, but it's a totally different ball game after having had this kind of a pattern. It will take some adjusting to. Just the way the cookie crumbles... Ah! The Cookie! The temple was amazing. I love going to the temple. I know it is a House of God. Attending the temple will definitely be a part of my pattern. Hold me accountable!

Little Visitors Center tender mercy... a girl who I talked with and taught a year ago here came back and told me she was baptized on Valentines Day. Ah! So cool. When I taught her, she was having such a hard time with things and was VERY unsure about the truthfulness of everything... when I saw her this week, she was completely different. Such a glow and a light. Soooo cool what the Gospel does for people! See attached picture.

Have to tell you about... We will call him... King. King came into the VC a whilllllle ago to argue about the church. He was homeless, and was once a member of the church. We all talked to him. (now that I'm writing about this I think I have all ready told you about him... anyways...) Flash forward to the picture I attached. He got a job. He knows the Book of Mormon is true and he is changing his life compltely around. AMAZING. He came to say bye before he left for his new job. None of us recognized him without his beard and lonng hair. So cool.

RWLJ played his final piece for us! It was AMAZING! Zephir in A: Journey to the Light, a Valentines Card for the missionaries. It was so sweet. I am so grateful that God let me and RWLJ become friends. He is such a huge blessing in my mission and my life! I cried when I thought I won't see him every Tuesday anymore. I will be back, though, and I promised him he can give me a "squeeze" that is so hard that all of my "Brinkerfluff" will go everywhere and we will have to put me back together. RWLJ, you are the best. Thank you.

I look forward to another week as a missionary. What an experience... I will hold these memories and experiences in my heart forever. Thank you all for your love and support! You are all the best.

Sista Brink

Court: your letter today made me cry a lot. I am totally going to steal your idea.... so stay tuned for next weeks e-mail. It will be the last one, hopefully a good one....

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