Tuesday, January 26, 2016

Moses Lake:

Hi Mom! 

You'll have to tell the Monson's that lots of people from Moses lake say Hi!

Sister Hogsett had us for dinner on Tuesday and it was really good! She did tell me about my temple question. It sounds like it's super complicated. I'm not going to worry about it for the time being. It was raining ALL day on Tuesday and it stunk... Then the next day it got all sunny and warm up through SundaySunday then got really foggy and cold. Luckily members here are very willing to help us and give us rides when we need them. We didn't have to ride bikes at all yesterday. And no, an umbrella wouldn't do any good :) I'm going to get wet either way! 

I love biking actually! It's not something I want to do for the rest of my mission. I'd like to be back in a car but I think it will be okay. Especially as spring comes in. The hardest part about riding a bike is that it's still winter. We don't have any snow on the ground but the cold air isn't fun. 

That's crazy to hear about your van accident! Nope I wasn't hurt in the accident I was in. It happened just after we left Ellensburg. I was in the backseat left side of the corolla and we got hit on the right side. We were turning left and it obviously wasn't our turn to go... Elder W. tried to avoid it but this lady in another little car ran straight into us. We were like "WHAT ARE YOU DOING??" and then BAM! Her car had like 2 scratches on it but our car had a big dent right in the middle of the two right side passenger doors. It was BRAND NEW off the lot that day. Elder W was pretty embarrassed.. No one was hurt but I wish I took some pictures haha! The lady was totally cool  and didn't care about the accident. Elder W and I freaked out though because we were with 2 young elders and none of us had ever been in a wreck on the mission. (There's a procedure to undergo for the church legal system but it turned out not to be too hard) :)

We had a neat missionary broadcast on Wednesday from Salt lake. Learned lots of good stuff! It was all about making sure conversion and repentance happens before baptism because that seems to be a big issue. Elders Andersen, Bednar and Oaks spoke as well as Sister Oscarson and Elder Clayton and a couple others. 

I've been very busy trying to meet all of our investigators and keep their names all straight. There's a lot going on here! It feels good to be this busy! Yakima and Wenatchee were pretty slow going as far as areas normally go. I'm not a fan of covering 2 units at a time but it's fine :) 7th ward is amazing! 4th ward is still getting there but the work is definitely picking up!

We've also had a couple training sessions on family history this week. Mostly on how to help others get started. I've been able to accomplish a couple things though! I can't wait to get more into it after my mission. We also had our first district council on Wednesday. Elder Bonzo is a good DL! Very down to earth and pretty cool! He came from the Vancouver mission. 

We have zone conference tomorrow so be on the lookout for some pictures! :) I love you!

-Elder Brinkerhoff


Guess who is here with me in Moses Lake!

Moses Lake Bible study:

My new companion, Elder Poloncic:

Saying goodbye to people in Yakima:

Monday, January 11, 2016

Wow. What a week!

Wow. What a week!

Just to let you know... It's a VERY emotional and bittersweet week for me in the Washington Yakima Mission full of lots of memories.

This week began with the news that my dear friend Brian Kisner had passed away. This is news that came only soon after I was given word that another dear friend Mike Gilbert had suffered a heart attack. I found out last p-day from a Zone leader currently serving in second ward and also Elder Thompson that Brian had passed away while traveling in Idaho over the Christmas break. Christmas Eve was his last day on Earth. I had the wonderful opportunity to attend his funeral this morning and be reunited with my Yakima 2nd ward family. The funeral was presided over and conducted by Bishop Christensen: A very spiritual giant and one of my heroes. He bore powerful testimony of the Savior and His love for us. Brian's powerful passion for life was remembered by his loving mother and his son. They had many wonderful memories to share with us and lots of laughs from his former days fixing up and riding motorcycles! That made me very happy. We enjoyed a luncheon afterwards with lots of catching up and friendly faces to remember while I felt down. I was looking much forward to when Brian would be able to receive his endowment in the Columbia River Temple in a few months but I know that God has other plans for this great man! :) I love him and my Heavenly Father very much.

Elder Brinkerhoff and Brian at Brian's baptism

Thursday brought many needed changes to the Mission leadership in a "Super Mission Leadership Conference" with all of the Zone leaders, District Leaders, Sister Training Leaders and the Assistants. Our follow up with the Elders and Sisters in our varied stewardships will be much improved and clear. We are getting away from the mixed cultures from the WKM and WVM and building the culture of the WYM together. It was great to reunite with former companions and missionary friends and to learn about these much needed improvements. These changes brought many answers to many of my prayers. However... I received a phone call from President Lewis on Saturday letting me know that my service as a District Leader will be coming to an end and that I will be transferred to Moses Lake 4th and 7th wards. It is a relief to be released but a sad thing as well. I will be serving with a young missionary named Elder Poloncic from Utah. He came out twelve weeks ago with Elder Peterson and has also just finished up his training period. It is a biking area! It will definitely be an adventure and I will be sad to leave Yakima but I will return in a few months ;)

'K' is doing very well and still understanding and learning a lot! I hope he is on date for baptism again soon!

I'm glad that I am here on my mission. If I was home now, I could be at school. I could be earning money. I could be dating. (I could be watching STAR WARS!!!) I could be living life selfishly, but I am grateful for my Loving Father in Heaven who has led me here and let me have these experiences. I love my Savior Jesus Christ. I devote my life to Him. This week has been hard, but because of Him, I will continue to... "...Press Forward with a Steadfastness in Christ, having a perfect brightness of hope, and a love of God and of all men. Wherefore, if ye shall press forward, feasting upon the word of Christ, and endure to the end, behold, thus saith the Father: Ye shall have eternal life” (2 Nephi 31:20)

I miss Brian Kisner dearly, but the peace and love that I feel right now is so sweet. 

Have a wonderful week. 

Love Elder Brinkerhoff

 Our Zone in Yakima:

 On exchanges with Elder Dalton:

Wednesday, January 6, 2016

My mission is incredible and I am so grateful to be out here!

Hey Mom! This week was great! We have another on date in the YSA branch named "J"! He is on date for February 6th! We just met him last night and we are excited to meet with him again. He is GOLDEN like no other investigator I've seen before. 
"K" is still doing VERY well but he wont be getting baptized as soon as we had hoped. He wants some time to develop his testimony and to develop the courage to talk to his parents mainly. He is not excited at the prospect of letting them know he wants to get baptized into this church. We had a good talk with him about that though so we're hoping he just does it and takes whatever comes. He's just afraid of the unknown really so we explained that if he loves God and is devoted to Jesus Christ, then everything will work out fine! He's still scared though. I don't blame him a bit. 
"I" is incredible. He bore his testimony yesterday and did a great job. Let me just say that he and "A. K." are the type of guys I would let my sisters marry haha. They are studs! He is preparing now to become a Priest (He's a Deacon) and he really wants to go to the temple. 
I bore my testimony too yesterday. I haven't gone up to do that for a little bit. I'm glad I did!
Glad to hear that Star Wars was great! Can't wait to see it!
The "N's" are hanging in there. We hope their situation improves a bit.
That is cool to hear about the Anonymous person! I am very grateful for that and for all the contributions people have made. Could you please let them all know how much I really do appreciate it? My mission is incredible and I am so grateful to be out here.
On New Years we taught "K" and also "T" and the "P" Brothers. "T" and the "P's" are recent converts. We made chicken and pork tamales with them! It was very fun! And Yummy!
Got your cards! I loved them! Hope to respond as quickly as I can! Transfer calls are this Saturday!!! We'll see what happens!

I love you! -Elder B