Monday, March 21, 2016

Hi Mom!

No, I am not sorry that I sent my umbrella home. Imagine me holding one on a bike! haha 

Hope Dad's truck and the family van are ok! Please don't cost too much! Have you considered just getting new cars and selling those old heaps for scrap metal? ;) haha

Yeah, my doctor's visit was useless but it was good to do I guess. There was a $15 co-pay that I wasn't happy about... Apparently I have a "fried egg" mole (That's the nickname for it) I can't remember what the medical term for it is but it's not an issue. It's just ugly! Dr. Quinn is LDS and his receptionist is Sister "B" in 7th ward. We ate dinner at her house that night so it was funny to walk in and see her there behind the desk and realize she was the lady I talked to on the phone. She was like, "When you told me your name I assumed it was you but I didn't want to assume and be wrong!" haha  Dr. Quinn knows Elder K. Mark Frost pretty well too apparently! 

I was pretty nervous that my moles would end up being a bigger issue. I was scared that I had cancer and would have to return home early and all of these crazy scenarios kept going through my mind! Did Sister Call contact you about my flight home? She gave me what's considered among missionaries as their "Trunky call" this week where she confirms that all my contact and home information are correct so she can begin filling out my flight info. 

Yay! Glad your hand came back normal in the results!

It's fine if my package is late. At least I'm getting one! YAY! I love reeses and those walmart baked goods (cinnamon rolls, danishes, as you know..) I like surprises too! Some cash $$ would be nice as well (with the understanding that it's MY money you're sending. If I don't have that much at home I would feel bad taking your money. Not too much but enough. Maybe like $20-50 to have on hand just in case.

Yes we had one of our wards talk about the Atonement. 7th ward had a lesson on Joseph Smith. 

Have you guys shared the church's Easter website with anyone specifically? :)

I'm glad you got Sister Jones's letter. She said she was going to write one to our parents so she asked for our address. It's pretty neat to see what she said! She and Doctor Jones are amazing people and I'm glad to be able to have so much interaction and conversations with them! They help us out a ton! Yeah, There are too many accidents in the mission lately. The incident Sister Jones was referring to happened a couple weeks ago to Elder "B's" companion and a Spanish Elder. They butted heads accidentally. One Elder's forehead went straight down onto the other's jaw, cutting his forehead open as he broke multiple teeth of the other Elder. That was the first p-day of the transfer. Not to mention last week, one of my very "jock" zone leaders ruined his ankle bad enough playing basketball and rough-housing that he can't play on p-day for 3 more months... ...and he goes home with me :)

Thanks for all of your continued love and support. Things are well and I am Pressing forward!!! I love you! HAPPY EASTER!!

Love, Elder B

PS Here's a blurry pic of Elders Bonzo and Bawden with me at a service opportunity! We sang hymns in an 
alzheimers care rest home.

Not my favorite place to tract! ha ha

Found a sweet HUGE duck at a member's home!

I LOVE this vibrating Massage chair! It's really nice! Can we get one? hahaha

Monday, March 14, 2016

I received the best letter today from Sister C. Jones.  Elder Brinkerhoff and his companion live in the Jones' home.

Dear Sister Brinkerhoff,

I wanted to send a note of appreciation for your wonderful missionary son!  Elder "B" has been staying in our home for the past several weeks and he has been a delightful servant of the Lord. Faithfully following the mission rules, keeping up with the rigorous mission schedule, he is blessing 2 wards here, and is exemplary to all.  He is well and happy, and has his infectious smile on when I ask how his day was.

     What a blessing it has been to have missionaries living in our home that used to seem empty now that our daughters are grown and our youngest serving her mission in Brasil.  We are so grateful for the stronger spirit in our home, that comes from missionaries residing here.  As a convert myself, I wanted to personally thank you for raising such a wonderful missionary, then entrusting him to the Lord.  He and his companion, Elder Hanna, are having success here.  They are drawing our ward to being better member-missionaries too.

     Elder Brinkerhoff reminds my husband and I of our nephew who will be mission age in just over a year.   So every morning I enjoy seeing and encouraging him, and asking who we can pray for that day for the missionaries.  I have also seen his wisdom growing, he is maturing unto the Lord.  He is putting off the desire for play and recreation because he desires more strongly to faithfully finish his mission.

     This past week he phoned us at our office needing help.  It seemed two missionaries were playing soccer when a significant injury happened to one of the Elders.  Elder Brinkerhoff knew by the Spirit who to call, we were able to work with the injured Elder to help put him back together.  A few nights later, your son, knowing we can't discuss details of our patients, sincerely asked if this Elder would be okay and if he'd be able to finish his mission.  Then he quietly said he had seen enough injuries that forced missionaries home that he chooses to not participate so he can finish his mission.  I thought, this is an unselfish servant of the Lord.  And he is!

     So faithful in being happy in his service, so often checking his little calendar book to see they are on time and who they are getting a ride from and who they are visiting.  He plans well.  He studies hard and leaves and is home according to mission schedule.  Your son is well cared for.  The Lord loves him.  And we've committed to do all we can to assist the missionaries living with us here.

     I told my husband, and we've told your son and his companion--As a convert myself, I feel like Amulek; humble, and grateful to have living in our home Alma, a great servant of the Lord.  We love and respect your son as such and hope you will find peace and joy in hearing of your son's success in the mission field.  It is truly a pleasure to know Elder Brinkerhoff.

Most respectfully, Your sister in the gospel,
C. Jones
Hey Mom! 

We're doing pretty well! It's been raining a lot this week but we've been blessed because we're often not outside when it downpours super hard. I can't believe how much weather we've had this year! Last year we had NOTHING.

I am super excited for Emily! I can't believe that this is actually happening! How crazy! Feel free to ask but I doubt they'll let me skype since Mother's day is pretty close. I'd be fine if I just heard the news from Sister Hogsett. (She's been out of town but she can just text me.) My call came pretty fast! I'm sure Emily's will too! Be sure to get it on video! Has she watched that Elder Ballard talk yet?

We had exchanges with 5th ward this week. I took Elder Johnson into my area. It was a pretty eventful day! It was the first day of our extreme spring wind. I also popped one of my tires... It felt flat so I looked down and saw a random goat-head sticking in it... We were able to have someone take it home though and we got it fixed. The Jones's have these super heavy duty tires that they helped me put on it. (And I mean HEAVY!!) I'm going to see what my options are because it is painful to ride. It's so heavy and the crazy wind doesn't help at all. 

We also had district council and did some more service at the food bank. We also sang hymns for service as a zone on Saturday at an Alzheimer's home. Daylight Savings Time also Sprung Forward on Sunday. We lost an hour of sleep but we're back to normal now :) We also taught so many people and great things are happening! It's only a matter of time for some of these people. I may also get to go to the temple with the Ludeman family from Wenatchee next month for their endowment and sealing!

The new Easter initiative is out! "Follow Him" It's pretty good! Have you seen the website yet? Sharing it is pretty much my life right now. haha  #HALLELUJAH 

I hope your hand gets feeling better! I'm glad that the car was fixed quickly and un-painfully!! There's a recent convert in 7th ward that has a similar deal going on with his truck. Sounds like the exact same issue funny enough! It was great to receive your letter! It was fun to read! I just wish I could have been there to hear your talk in person. Nathan's letters were fun too! I will reply as soon as I can!

I love you! Have a great & safe week!

Love, Elder Brinkerhoff

Exchanges with Elder Johnson:

Wednesday, March 9, 2016

Hi Mom!

 It was a great week! We've been blessed with 3 new families to teach in 7th ward (So far that's 8 new investigators!!!) 

We have diligently worked to commit member families to doing small Christlike acts of love and service. We've definitely seen a lot of indirect blessings come from this because of the teaching pool we now have. The "M's" are a family that was taught by missionaries a few months back and now have accepted to meet with us again! The "L" and the "C" families are new. The "C's" were prepared by Brother "F" (A member carpool buddy). When we knocked on their door they were open and invited us in to have a discussion on questions they had about the church! Their 2 young kids love us and the parents invited us to come back to teach them the discussions! The "L's" are a part-member family that fell through the cracks for awhile! They were under a former name that wasn't used by the mother for 11 years! Her husband and their kids agreed to meet with us after a member of our bishopric invited them to meet with us. Members are key!!!

Can't wait to get your letter this week! You should get a package this week with some of my winter stuff in it. (I have never worn my winter boots but I like them so I am sending them haha) I love you! Have a great week!

-Elder Brinkerhoff

Moses Lake on my 20-month mark!

Elder Hanna and I

I'm currently borrowing a member's bike. It's VERY nice and I'm doing my best to take care of it!

Friday, March 4, 2016

What a Powerful Week!

Hi Mom!! 
What a powerful week! It was sad to say goodbye to Elder Poloncic but it has definitely been a pleasure to begin serving with Elder Hanna! He has brought a lot of energy and fresh ideas to this area! He and I get along well and he will do SO much good for this area. He also just came from Yakima 2nd ward so that has been pretty cool to swap stories about the area and the people there. 

We had great meetings with our Bishops and Ward Mission Leaders on how we can best help the 4th and 7th wards. We discussed how we can be more unified with the ward council. We are extremely EXCITED and MOTIVATED and we have seen many great things begin to happen. We have now a solid sense of what needs to happen to help nurture this area. 

We are beginning to improve member interactions in 4th ward. We are firmly (but lovingly) committing them to interact with their neighbors and find ways that they can develop friendships with nonmember friends. Many are afraid to begin simple interactions but we are encouraging them strongly to do so. Many of them think that they have to extend an invite to church or place a Book of Mormon or something BIG like that right at the start. This is a problem. We are striving to help them understand that it's simple things like introducing themselves and their families to others and developing friendships and interactions in their homes that will do more good than any of those big things will do at the start to share the gospel with others. Bishop Daniels-Brown has encouraged us to approach the members in brief, spirit-filled visits where we, in an assertive way, commit them to do something small to spark neighborly interactions with their neighbors and friends. We will then keep them accountable by following up with them once they are committed. Bishop feels strongly that this is what will help 4th ward the most. We do as well.

In 7th ward this week we introduced "T" to the Word of Wisdom and he is so far committed to begin living it!! He didn't come to church this week, but we will see him tonight. Hoping that all goes well! We will teach one of Sister Hogsett's friends tonight at their house. Should be great!!! :D

This transfer is 7 weeks long to accommodate the extra week for English MTC-goers. Closest thing to an extension I will ever probably get! It gives us some extra time to get some stuff done!!!

That's a great suggestion for me to do! I will bring that info with me in my carry-on bag. Funny enough, I had a pretty neat experience this week during my personal study on Tuesday. I just stopped what I was reading and pulled out both my state ID card and my expired permit and looked over them again. I've done this many times before trying to find a solution that pops out or something. Anyways, I was thinking and pondering a lot about if I will be able to get onto a plane with what I have. I can't explain it or begin to tell you how it came, but I received a calming assurance that it will work out. I don't yet know how, but I know strongly that the Lord will help me get home :) Tell Mazie thank you. I am grateful for their prayers!

Well, I appreciate all the updates! I will continue to do my best to keep you updated too! Have a great week! I love you!

Love Elder B