Wednesday, October 19, 2016

October 18, 2016

We had a fun, feet aching filled week of tours at the temple open house! We talked to so many people, answered so many questions and heard nothing but positive comments from everyone who visited the temple, that was until Saturday when this lady came up to me and just drilled me with questions in a not so nice way... but hey opposition in all things right? So I bet you're wondering what some of her questions were, well she started off by asking me why mormons have to wear white underwear... I explained that we wear garments as an outward expression of our inner commitment to follow our savior and to remember the promises that we have made with God.. her response: well why can't you just remember why do you have to be reminded.. I explained a little more and she let it go next she asked why can't mormons drink coffee and i explained we have a health code that we follow because God created our bodies and He knows what is best for them her response: well you say you try to take care of your bodies but i have seen some pretty fat mormons maybe they should stop eating sweets instead of coffee. I was a little taken back by this very blunt comment so i explained that we believe moderation in all things but obviously no one is perfect. then to top it off she asked why mormons don't wear makeup.... I said we do.. she said no you dont I havent seen anyone with makeup on, then i told her i was wearing makeup and she didn't believe me! She asked a few other questions but I think you get the idea, it was brutal and she had a friend with her who looked so embarrassed and I could tell she felt bad, at least now she knows a little bit more about what we believe and it's all good because earlier that day i had someone come up and straight up ask me for a Book of Mormon because she had watched the Mormon Tabernacle choir for years and wanted to know what the book was!

This week at the temple there was also a Wilford Woodruff descendants tour! For those of you who don't know Wilford Woodruff was the fourth prophet of our church in these latter days, my fourth great grandpa and he was also born in Farmington Ct which is where the temple is so it was really neat to meet some distant cousins i even got to take a picture with all of them! 

I also got to see tons of members from Westerly and Weston this week at the temple which was really fun i got to see Bud and Ruthy Walters and their daughter Victoria who just got baptized, which was a huge transformation because she used to leave the house when missionaries came over and now she is getting back to college and living the gospel with her parents!
Its really fun to see lots of people i have met over my mission especially recent converts who i met while in PVC from various areas of the mission.
So we left the temple early on Saturday to do an FHE activity with some less active families in the ward we got to make fresh apple cider and brother Tubiola, who we have been trying to get to come back to church since i have been in Bloomfield came to church after 2 years of not coming! 
About 3 months ago we met with one of our member's brother's girlfriend who is not a member we taught her the restoration of the church and after the lesson we were really worried that she didn't like it and that we didn't do a very good job, she left for college and we just kind of forgot about it... fast forward to this sunday we get a text from our member who tells us that this girl has decided to get baptized! Our member told us that this girl, Sara, told them that she had been praying the week before that they would invite her to take the lessons from the missionaries and that same week was when we went and taught her! She then went to school and took lessons from sister and will be getting baptized in November! 

Perks of being tight with the cleaning lady, and maintenance and security guys at the temple is that you get to go to the roof of the temple and you get to clean the temple including the oxen! 

Key Principle:
Mosiah 12:21 
Dont be afraid to share the gospel of Jesus Christ, people may have different views/believes than you but the most important thing we can do is "publish peace" and treat others with love, that is the only real way to share Gods love with others. 

love you all have a great week!

-Sister Sophie Brooks

1204 Kristins Way 
Bloomfield Ct

October 11, 2016

Missions are amazing like really. This week I had some time to reflect on my mission so far, mostly because all the other missionaries keep talking about how soon i go home, which really isn't that soon, but anyway its cool to see how far i've come and also how much i've learned and its crazy to me to imagine where i would be without this experience. 

So this past week in our area it was really good we found lots to do and picked up two new investigators. Everyone is getting referrals like crazy from the temple which is wonderful, people wanting to learn more about what "Mormons" believe. 
We also had a zone meeting which was interesting because we were the only sisters because all the other ones were at the temple. I was glad to be in our area for a while though to catch up on some things and visit some members. 

Back to the temple- it was nice to be back at the temple there is such a good feeling there just being one the temple grounds feels so good. Saturday was crazy we had like 5,000 people come through we just did tour after tour after tour! Then monday was a holiday and tuesday kids have off school and wednesday so hopefully it stays busy. We get out of the temple early on Mondays because they close early for family night and it was really fun the new york sisters mission president took us all out to eat its weird hanging out with all the sisters but really fun! 
Also President figured out how to get all the sisters in the whole mission to the temple for at least two days so everyday two days we pick up new sisters and our van has been so full its a blast! 

We had such a great pday today we were asked to go to the temple for some special ASL tours because sister morris is so awesome and knows sign and had been teaching me a little! So we went through with a group of deaf people and they absolutely loved it! There was a husband and wife with the group who were members and the others were the womans bffs from college and her bridesmaids at her wedding and she finally got to show them where she got married and explain why it was so special to her and how she knew her family will be together forever. When we were in the celestial room i sat and just stared at the huge chandelier, and after sis morris told me that a couple of the women were singing about me and saying how they could tell it was a special place to me and how peaceful i looked. Its really cool to see the spirit works on people no matter the language, race or background. They can tell there is something special. 
After the tour we went on a hike to the Hublein tower in Canton it was gorgeous fall is in full swing here in New England and there aren't a lot of things that are better than that! 
Then we went and got our hair done by a less active member who served his mission in Portugal and loves talking about missions he is great and so nice to all the missionaries! 

Fave questions from this week's tours: 
"are there any fat mormons?"
 (this was a question we got after explaining word of wisdom) 

woman: "are there any women who are mormons?" my response "you're lookin at one" 

Key Principle:
Alma 1:26
You are not better than anyone and no one is better than you
Its important that we dont compare ourselves to others, God created us to all be different but one thing is the same we are all His children and He loves us. You can count on that.  

October 3, 2016

Tours this week were so good! It got really cold which was kind of hard but there is no where else I would rather stand in the cold rain.
There were a ton of people that came to the open house this week and everyone absolutely loved it there were tons of good comments people were impressed with how well done it was and how friendly all the staff was.
Stories of the open house:

tithing: I was talking with a couple that attends a congregational church in the area and their pastor came up behind me and didn't realize that i was a missionary and started talking to the couple and said "man these mormons must be in a ton of debt over this thing" then the couple i was talking to said "actually this missionary just told us that this church doesn't build anything that they haven't already paid for, so the whole thing is debt free." the pastor was pretty embarrassed but mostly just impressed with the dedication that goes into a "mormon temple" then he asked how we could possibly pay for something like this and i got to explain tithing to them it was really neat.
crazy spider guy:this guy walked into our video tent and he looked like he came straight out of a haunted house it was crazy he had a black wig on and his face was painted with spider webs and he had all black on, oh and he was carrying a purse. very interesting looking. so he went all the way through the tour and then he went to the reception tent at the end of the tour where people ask questions and look at displays. Spider boy went up and talked to everyone he could telling everyone that the church was full of lies and that we are racist etc the people that we were talking to said "oh we are so sorry that he said that some people just need attention you should have him leave though he is ruining the good atmosphere" it was cool though that people didn't treat him any different and that it didn't disrupt the spirit and that it didn't affect what people thought. 

good vibes:we went on a tour so that sister morris could translate (ASL) for some guests I was following the tour and making sure everyone was with our group, there was a woman standing at the end of the group she was tearing up and told me how she just felt so good and that it was the prettiest building she had ever been in. I asked her if she knew why she felt that way and she said no then i explained to her it was because she was in the house of God, she thought that was so cool and i told her to fill out a comment card and she said she was going to have missionaries comes see her.  

Jesus in the chandelier:there was a comment card where someone said she saw the face of jesus in the chandelier in the celestial room and so she requested that missionaries come see her.
jokes from the open house that random people told us:
 what prophet broke the most commandments?
         Moses, he broke all ten
how many times could noah go fishing?
          twice-he only had two worms 😅
i know what you're all thinking, missionary humor is very dry but how could i not share these wonderful bible jokes 

So this week we got a call from sister miller our mission president's wife and she said that we would be going back to our area for a week so that they could try to get all the sisters in our whole mission to the temple open house... needless to say i was a bit frustrated we have no plans, no lessons set up, our members all think we are gone, the elders are working with all our investigators so we don't have anything to go back to but it's okay i know that God will help us find people who are ready to hear the gospel we just have to try!

key principle:
conference was wicked good!
I loved all the talks of course and learned a lot but one point that i want to share is from Elder Rasband's talk, he spoke on when we go through trials and tests of faith he pointed out that its easy to have faith when things are going well but when it gets tough its hard to have a positive attitude and keep an eternal perspective one of his suggestions was that we write down spiritual experiences or just our testimony in general so that when we do go through hard times we can look back and remind ourselves of how God really has blessed us.
-Sister Sophie Brooks

1204 Kristins Way 
Bloomfield Ct

September 26, 2016

Okay get ready for a temple overload... 
First week working at the temple and wow I am so lucky/blessed!
We moved down closer to the temple and we are living with the Eberlys they are so sweet and have a daughter serving her mission in Brazil.. living with members is weird but fun.
there are twelve sets of sister missionaries working at the temple and its a blast! I pick half of them up in at 7 in the morning, yes in the big pvc van again, and we go to the temple until 9pm then we go home and do it all over again.
The first day we got there and we had a training and then we got to tour the temple! We were the first official tour of the Hartford Ct temple! It is gorgeous! i absolutely loved it! The detail inside the temple is just breathtaking! its all colonial and marble and bright and a lot of the paintings are original scenery of New England.

So we did a few VIP tours this week for the contractors who worked on the temple and for the neighbors to the temple and also for missionaries and their investigators. 
We work in the video tents where people go before the tour and then we also rotate into the reception tent the is at the end which is my favorite cause we just get to interact with people and ask them about their experience.

I think one of the coolest parts/stories of this week was when sister morris translated for a deaf investigator. She learned sign language in high school and it was so neat to watch her sign during the tour she did a great job! I learned a little sign language like how to introduce myself and the investigator even gave me a name sign!
its amazing to see how people react when they see how beautiful and special the temple is one lady said she didn't want to leave and that she is going to come do another tour. 
Tonight is a tour with all the sister missionaries from the mission! 
I am so excited to be working at the temple for the next month and cant wait to share more of the amazing miracles that temples bring. 

I can not wait for general conference we get to go back to Bloomfield which will be nice I miss it, plus we get to hear our prophet and apostles speak! 

Key principle:
God only micromanages two things
so much work went into this temple and so much good will come from it and God is definitely making sure it all goes well and that is so comforting