Sunday, April 24, 2016

April 18, 2016

Last week for pday we went with our district into Boston to walk the freedom trail it was really fun! We walked to the top of the Bunker Hill monument (294 steps!) Saw the USS Constitution, the Paul Revere statue and the Holocaust memorial monument! We asked someone to take a picture of us just randomly and what do you know they were members traveling from Utah and their son was getting his mission call this week!

Tuesday we went to the Belmont building to help president with a tour for some college students from Alabama, they were from "Christ's Church" they came to meet some of us because they are wanting to serve their own "missions" it was really neat they asked us lots of questions about what its like to serve a mission and president basically gave the first lesson to them. One girl seemed really interested and asked a ton of questions, we also took them up to the temple and they got to go in to the lobby and someone from the temple presidency spoke to them it was amazing!

Australia mission has their PVC! They are so excited about it! They have an area seventy coming to see their mission and hopefully they will have everything all set with the PVC so they can show him. We are still working on the app we have been having lots of problems with it recently and we were told by the programmer that the provider for the app (facebook) is shutting down its system so we have to figure out what to do! Stress!

Maureen is doing pretty good, we have been meeting with her less and less because she has had all the lessons but we are really just trying to get her hooked on the BOM so we have been reading with her, she still has a bunch of questions and concerns, and at this point all she needs is to just take a leap of faith! 

We went on exchanges again this week, it was good we stayed in my area and i was with Sis O'Keefe she goes home this transfer and is from England. We did lots of less active work and stopped by this one woman who got super mad and said she never wanted to see us again and so i said if you dont want to see us again you have to get your records removed and she said i dont want to if it means any more contact with you.... its pretty sad that people harden their hearts so much but ive learned that you just have to laugh it off because we can only do so much. 

 PVC in Boston Commons! So we went on Saturday into Boston to set up the PVC it went pretty well. We drove right up into the park in our huge van with Brother Dowling in the car behind us, a park ranger came up to tell us to get off but of course Brother Dowling with all his experience in the media sweet talked us out of it and so we got to unpack and set up right there in the park! Then we drove the van back to the Cambridge stake center and rode the T station back to the commons. We had a few missionaries come and help us but it was super windy so the displays didnt last long. It was a good trial run and hopefully we will be doing more. We contacted a bunch of people using family history and we talked to one lady and i got to recite the first vision to her and i think i even saw her tear up. After we took down we had to stop by Sis Blacks favorite food spots in Cambridge since she served there for seven months. We went to this super yummy dumpling house and LA Burdick chocolates, their hot chocolate is to die for! Its taste like a melted chocolate bar!

One of the members of our ward just returned from Afghanistan this past weekend and during the middle of sacrament meeting our bishop had everyone stand up and thank him for his service with a round of applause it was really cool i had never seen that done before, thats one thing i love about the east coast- people do what they want to and what they feel is right, they dont have to worry about Mormon culture because there isnt any here. 

Patriots Day!!!! Okay my favorite part of the whole week! Today! MARATHON MONDAY! We woke up at around 3 a.m. and headed over to Lexington to get a good spot to watch the reenactment of the 241st anniversary of the shot heard round the world! It was amazing to watch and hear the stories of the those who died for our country! There was a member who lives right there in Lexington, the Johnstons, and they let missionaries part on their lawn for free so we got a nice parking spot! 
After the reenactment we went over to the mission office to watch the marathon which runs right in front of the office! It was so much fun we had a little BBQ in the parking lot and there were tons of missionaries and senior couples and President and Sister Miller were there with their signs cheering everyone on! It was so fun- every once in a while there would be someone from Utah or a member who would be running and they would stop and take pictures with us or they would just say "hey missionaries!" Sister Black and I ran across the street to take a picture of our group and this guy started to talking to me and asked who we were and how impressed he was with all our cheering and how fun it looked, his name was Wesley, he is from Brazil and runs a tae kwon doe place with his brother he asked me a lot about what we believe, he was a super nice guy, sister Black spoke with a woman from Russia and so we went and grabbed some Book of Mormons for them they both loved it. Wesley seemed really interested and said he was going to actually read it and i made him promise. who knows. 

Key Principle:
Im so grateful for this amazing country that we live in and for the freedom and safety that we enjoy we are so blessed. A quote that they said this morning at the reenactment that i really loved was
"They gave their today for our tomorrow" 

April 11, 2016

Okay i dont have a ton of time so im just going to do bullet points and hope that you can fill in the blanks

  • went on exchanges with spanish sisters and helped them set a baptismal date with one of their investigators! I learned how to pray in spanish and even bore my testimony in one of their lessons! 
  • Went to MLC (missionary leadership council) which is a meeting with all the zone leaders and sister training leaders where the mission president and APs tell us what they want us to train the zone on. Our mission is working on getting back to Preach My Gospel
  • Sis Black hit 11 months and i hit 7 months!!! 
  • planned zone meeting, it was super hectic but went really well, we used a science experiment as a visual aid we put salt and water in a cup then put a light bulb in, and put it in the microwave and it lights up! (try it at home 😉
  • we met with our stake mission leader and we coming up with some cool things to do with the displays this summer taking them to down town Boston to the big events and festivals and parks etc to get in the public and proselyte there! We are calling it PVC in BOSTON our first event for it we are trying out this saturday in Boston Commons! 
  • We went to a baptism in Nashua NH it was so great we taught the Plan of Salvation to a few investigators who attended
  • We went to a baptism in Ludlow Mass and taught restoration it went so well!  I love going to other wards they just welcome us right in and all the members get so excited cause they think that they have sisters, but we have to break the news that we are only there for the day haha. We also went to their relief society and during the middle of the lesson one of the woman got super bad chest pains and they had to call an ambulance and everything it was crazy but before the ambulance came the elders were able to give her a blessing it was so cool to see them how worthy and willing they were to exercise their priesthood to help this woman. We also found a little family owned zoo on the way to the baptism random i know but it was cool. 
                                                          Key Principle 

during the Ludlow sunday school class we were discussing charity and one of the members talked about how just the night before her inactive son came home with a beer brewing kit, she told us how he does things like this all the time just to get a rise out of people, but this time the missionaries were over at her house she said that they just sat there and talked to him about his beer brewing kit and how they seemed genuinely interested. After ward he commented to his mother on how he felt the least judged he had ever felt and it was by Mormon missionaries listening to him talk about brewing beer. 
Sure the elders could have turned it into a lesson about the word of wisdom or talked about how he needed to go back to church, but by simply listening and loving him for who he was they had a greater impact on him than they otherwise would have. 
This week I have really been focusing on being more understanding more loving and it has inturn made me so much happier with what I am doing and who I am. 

                           "Let us cheerfully do all things that lie in our power" 
                                                  >>Joseph Smith<< 
                                          the Lord with take care of the rest

sending all my love 

April 4, 2016

As you can see from the subject line yes we are getting snow out here and no im not loving it so much... im ready for some spring!

Well another great week filled with PVC events and missionary moments! 
This week we had a good lesson with our investigator Maureen, she is doing really well and coming closer to baptism but i think it will take her a little longer than we initially thought, which is hard as missionaries we keep wondering what we are doing wrong but sometimes its not what we need to do but they just need time to feel comfortable and  confident in their decision and we have to remember that we arent the teachers the spirit is.

We also had an awesome lesson with our other investigator Guerline, she is from Haiti and almost everyone in her family is members except her so we are just slowly teaching her and inviting her to join her family. Haitians are very family oriented and that is something that really interests her about our church so we invited her to fill out her family history booklet. 

So there is this Elder in our district who always drinks out of my water bottle and it bugs me. So this friday (April fools day) we had district meeting and i filled my water bottle up with vinegar... lets just say he probably wont be drinking from my water anymore... I know it was a bit mean and i actually felt super bad after but he even thought it was a little funny, and they put mayo on our car so i dont feel that bad. 

We had an open house in Hartford this weekend it was a bit of a disaster caused by a series of events including tracting in the pouring rain for an hour and getting lost, anyway i was feeling very down and just wanted to get out of there. We hadnt found hardly anyone to bring to the open house, then as we were about to leave one of the elders came up to me and said "sis brooks thanks so much for coming we picked up a family of three because of this open house, the mom heard our message and started crying" although it wasn't something that i saw or necessarily had anything to do with directly it was so nice to be appreciated and to see that the open house was successful if only one person is brought unto Christ, then all of it will have been worth it. Sometimes that can be hard to see but its true.

Conference weekend is bitter sweet on the mission, its like March madness for missionaries but its hard to be away from family on a weekend that in the past has been so family oriented, regardless we had a nice mellow weekend watching conference, we watched at our stake ward mission leaders house on saturday, and then headed to the mission home for interviews, interviews took a while so we ended up just staying there and watching with President and Sister Miller. On Sunday we watched both sessions at a senior couples house, the Algers, with our whole district. The Algers are so welcoming and loving it was nice to be in their home for those sessions. 
As were walking out with the spanish elders, who we were going to drive home, Sis Black was talking about how slippery the steps were and the next thing i knew i slipped down the concrete stairs and landed right on my back.... it hurt so bad! Most of the time people say their pride was hurt more than they were but i think it was about even this time. Falling in a skirt is never graceful... its just not possible. 
So now i have a humongous bruise on my back and bum... and i cant even really sit or lay down.. its gonna be a long week haha. 

key principles:
I thought i would just tell you all my favorite talks/quotes from general conference this weekend 

Henry B. Eyring: how do we stop the withering of our faith

Bonnie L Oscarson: I love how she is so powerful and gets right to the point when she speaks, she spoke about how we know the gospel but do we really believe what we "know" 

Gerritt Gong: "life is learned backwards but must be lived forward" he had some wicked good quotes! 

March 28, 2016

We had some really great lessons with our investigator Maureen this week! We went over earlier this week and helped her clean out her dining room for Easter dinner after we finished she made us some lunch and we were just sitting there talking then Sis Black asked Maureen if she could give her 20 year old self any advice what would it be she said i would start now everyday looking in the mirror and telling myself i was beautiful, she said she wished she would have starting doing that sooner in life. Then she told us that she wished we could see ourselves the ways she sees us. It was really sweet she is always taking care of us because she knows we are away from home and wants to make sure that we are safe and happy.
We also had 2 other lessons with her in members homes and they went so well we taught her about the commandments and talked about fasting, tithing and general conference- she committed to do it all! Having members help is the best its so nice to have a members testimony supporting ours and most of the time our members are so smart they end up teaching most of the lessons for us haha. 
So we went on exchanges this week with the Weston 2 sisters it was my first exchange as a sister training leader and i think it went really well! I was with sister Pearson who has only been out a month or so, its so weird when you realize that you arent the youngest in the mission anymore! So we challenged our whole zone to pass out all of our Easter initiative cards this week before Sunday and since we dont get to contact/tract very much we had a ton left so guess what we did on our exchange? Yup we passed them all out! It was actually pretty fun and i felt like a normal missionary for the night! After we passed them all out sister Pearson and I treated ourselves to Brazilian food at this cute little Brazilian bakery down the street from the office! it is so yummy! 

In Nashua New Hampshire they had their big Savior of the World production, it happens every 4 years and they spend around 6 months preparing for it! I was so excited because they asked us to set up a display and watch the performance! So we went to set up a display and got a call from the Springfield Mass Elders asking if we could come set up for one of their members birthday parities i was super bummed cause that meant we didn't get to stay for the Savior of the World production. We went to the party in Springfield and it was fine there were a bunch of non members but to be honest they were no interested... well i was so annoyed but i wasn't about to miss the Nashua performance for nothing so I went up to one of the girls there and said "hey we have some displays and videos set up out in the foyer want to check them out?" she kind of rolled her eyes but her member cousin was sitting next to her and said "yeah then you can see what i believe" it was really cool we took her and showed her some videos and taught her the restoration and she was actually really nice to us afterwards, it turns out she is baptist and was just baptized that past week haha but oh well now she knows a little bit more and sometimes thats all we can do.

There was also a family history event in Brewster that we attended it was very interesting i never use to enjoy family history but now i love it! its so fascinating! 

Alright now for Easter Sunday! We woke up early and went to our chapel to set up some displays. The relief society asked us to set up our Jesus Christ display for their lesson, it was really good we showed some videos for them and they had a kind of "silent: lesson where we all just sat and listened to music and sang a couple hymns and wrote our thoughts on what the saviors resurrection means to us and what we thought God wanted us to know that day. It was really nice. As we showed some of our videos like the Hallelujah one, my favorite thing is to look at people's faces as they watch the videos you can actually see the spirit touching their minds and hearts, its amazing. We also got to set up our new Sabbath day display!!! it looks so good, i'll attach a photo. 
Well after church we stopped by the office to work on the ipads a little before dinner it was such a nice surprise to have a package from home with notes from my cousins in it thank you so much for that! 
After the office we headed to Maureens to help get dinner ready! she surprised us with Easter baskets, and she got us little nurf guns so we had an all out battle with her two sons it was so much fun! We got dinner ready, she had tons of family over they were all a bit skeptical of us at first especially because Maureen told them we were her 16 year old sons nannys as a joke...   but in the end i think they really liked having us there. Maureen's mom who is straight from Ireland was there too she is such a funny little old lady and kept offering everyone wine and introducing us by our first names it was hilarious she was just walking around like "oh have you met Lucy and Sophia?!" I guess its better than what Maureens son refers to us as... nuns.

Key Principle:
Recently I have been paying close attention to the lyrics of hymns I especially love the sacrament hymns, its an easy way to focus on the meaning of the sacrament and immediately draws your thoughts to the Savior. One line i found that really stood out to me this week was in Hymn #197
"The very foes who slay thee, have access to thy grace."

Let the distress from previous hours fall away is grace is sufficient for all.I dont fully understand the magnitude of the atonement and probably wont in this lifetime but just the idea of it is enough to keep me going. 
love you all and make this week full of "son" shine  🌻

Happy April Fools day everyone dont forget to pull some pranks i still remember the best/meanest april fools joke i ever fell for Uncle Dillon's mayo filled doughnuts... i still cant eat creamed filled- thanks for scarring me.😷🍩

March 21, 2016

Happy almost Easter everyone!
The weather has been so back and forth this week we went from warm to rain to hail to snow! 
I hope it warms up and stays warm!
We had a busy week of events!
We were in Amherst Mass for their ward pie day, we met a young woman who told us about her friend who only speaks french so we gave her a french BOM to give to her from our BOM table which has over 90 language! Its always a favorite!  
On Saturday we went to Waterford Ct for a baptism it was one of the best baptisms i have ever been to we played the He Lives video and it was just so powerful! We asked one of the members to share her testimony, she had brought a friend and you could just see how much she loved the gospel and wanted to share it with her friend! 
We also went to a karaoke night for the Springfield Mass ward it was super fun and of course they made us sing! They have such a beautiful building! That is one thing i love about visiting all the different areas is seeing the buildings and the dynamics of the wards/branches people are so loving and welcoming it makes me excited and confident to bring investigators to church.   
On Sunday we woke up early and went to Cape Cod for an open house! We got to give a chapel tour to a member and her friend she brought it was amazing to see her bare testimony to her of who Joseph Smith was and why we read the Book of Mormon. 
Then by the end of the day were kind of spent... like barely able to hold our eyes open but we drove to Ellington Ct and set up for their Easter musical fireside it was so nice and relaxing to end on such an enjoyable performance of testimony through song. 
One of the couples in our mission is really into family history and they set up a group on relative finder for the mission so now we can see all the missionaries we are related to its really neat!
Maureen did go to church and it was stake conference! She loved it! unfortunately Ronan didnt go to church but hopefully will go for Easter Sunday. Its kind of hard because we usually dont get to go to church with our investigators cause we are always at events. Sometimes Maureen calls us and says we are going inactive cause we are never there. 

love you all have a happy Easter, spend time with those you love.

key principle 
"Declaring our testimony of the gospel is good, but being a living example of the restored gospel is better"
-Dieter F Utchdorf 

share it with a friend 

March 14, 2016

March 14, 2016
Dont forget to wear green this Thursday i dont want any of my favorite people getting pinched!

This week was good and crazy busy as usual!
A couple highlights 
we spent a lot of time with our investigator Maureen she is doing amazing! She expressed some concerns about how she doesnt understand the BOM and how she is feeling overwhelmed with how members live their life. We comforted her and let her know that she is doing all she needs to do to be a member and how we are not even close to perfect, we all have things we are working on and changing thats why our savior is their to make up the difference. We also gave her a childrens book of mormon picture book so that she could learn the stories easier and she called us last night and told us how she sat down and read the whole thing in like an hour and she feels so much better! She also really wants her two sons to learn about the church so she had us over for dinner one night and her boys were both their. We thought it might be awkward to start a gospel dicussion but Maureen just went right into and asked her boys what they thought. They were really interested we taught them about the restoration and the plan of salvation and picked them both up as investigators! I know she is ready to be baptized but i think she is still a little nervous. 

We had a bunch of events this weekend so we didnt get to go to our ward but Maureen did go and loves it! she said her sons Ronan and Rory will go next week and for easter! 

So we were in Gardner for a baptism this weekend and then we went to Westbridgewater, that baptism was very interesting first off we set up the display backwards, lets just say it was long weekend, we didnt even notice until like halfway through the baptism the elders finally noticed and took a pic for blakcmail.. we are so getting fired.. haha jk but this baptism was very unique it was a woman with spine bifida, and she was baptized by a man with no arms and no legs.. it was amazing! 
Then we went to an open house/bring a friend to church day for the southcoast ward it was really good we taught a non member about the restoration and he became a new investigator for the missionaries there!   

We went to the departing missionaries dinner this week to help out and our mission president's daughter Bella is 8 years old and she has lots of energy and always asked her dad to play a game with her so President made us all go to the basement of the mission home and play tag with Bella! How many people do you think can say they have played tag with their mission president...?
We also took pictures of all the new missionaries and their trainers! It really makes you sit back and reevaluate everything you are doing on your mission when you see all the new and leaving missionaries it makes me want to work hard and not waste the Lord's time.

Key Principle 
this quote is from a talk called Consecrate thy Performance i read this week 

"the best way to valiantly testify of Jesus Christ is to become steadily more like Him

3 Nephi 27:27

March 7th, 2016

There is never a dull moment in the life of a PVC sister!
So this week Sister Black and i were called to be Sister Training Leaders, which means we are in charge of doing trainings and taking care of our zone with the Zone leaders I am so excited and honored to be in a leadership position for our zone! 

This past week we met with President and he told us he wants us to change the PVC a little so we are working on putting all new videos on the app that are more in line with the Preach My Gospel handbook lessons I think it will be a great change for the PVC but it will also be a ton of work! 
So we sent in the final order for our new Sabbath Day display so we should be getting that some time this week! Yay!

So our super solid investigator, Maureen, went to Florida this week so we didnt get to meet with her but we sent her the restoration video to watch and she loved it! Also i told her about my postcard collection and she totally sent me some postcards!!! 

So saturday was busy day! We had a bunch of events so we went on splits so we could go to them all! I went with Sister Holt to a baptism in Brockton it was so good! It was a baptism for a woman who married a return missionary they just looked so happy together! Also we asked the elders there to put the display cases in a classroom so they were out of the way and of course they picked the one classroom that the locks had just been changed and no one had the key to! Lets just say it was a good thing someone there knew how to pick a lock.... 

Next we headed off to WESTERLY RI! Back to my greenie area for the open house of their new building! Oh my it was soo good to be back it felt like i never left! The building looks amazing its crazy to think that sister williams and i were there cleaning out all the cobwebs and scraping the dust off the windows and now it looks like a real church building! I also got to see most of the members and investigators i worked with! Oh also Cate Christensen's cousins were there! apparently her cousin was the first sister missionary in Westerly pretty neat so of course i took a pic with them! 

Key Principle
So we went to our neighbor's house this week they are the ones who invited us to their "home group"which is basically just their church's version of FHE, they sing and pray together and we go sometimes its pretty fun so we asked if we could show one of our videos to them about some one who found God, they really liked the video but didnt want us to show it to the group because they think we will take away their members... they asked more about what we believe and we got into a big discussion about the differences in belief, and it turned into a little bit of a bible bash, i left feeling pretty upset and frustrated that they tried to discredit the core of our believes (BOM, Joseph Smith, Godhead) a few days later  on our exchanges sister Holt asked me if i went home today what would i take away from my mission, I realized one of the most important things i have learned is that when it really comes down to it we need to have a conversion to our Savior Jesus Christ, this church is amazing and i do believe it is Christ's church restored to the earth but as Joseph Smith said 
“The fundamental principles of our religion are the testimony of the Apostles and Prophets, concerning Jesus Christ, that He died, was buried, and rose again the third day, and ascended into heaven; and all other things which pertain to our religion are only appendages to it."

love you all have a great week!