Friday, April 29, 2016

Hey Mom! 

I'm doing great! The temple was amazing and we have like no time to write today gaaaah!

This week we had some great lessons! We have a new energy and motivation to help investigators be less apathetic. We feel that our commitments for the people in this area have been a little hard for them. We helped some of them come up with small "goals" that they can make for themselves to improve and repent. Then, we promised them blessings and offered ways for them to accomplish these goals. We also had them commit us to do something in turn to help them feel the motivation of a group effort. It's going pretty well! :) 

I learned this week that a temple sealing is extremely short but is pretty much the most powerful ordinance I've ever seen! I was blown away at the spirit that was in the sealing room when the Ludeman's knelt at the altar and made sacred binding promises to each other. I could see and feel the love they have for each other and the love that the Lord has for them too! The temple is amazing!!!!!! I can't wait to go through an endowment on Wednesday! Got to see Elder Stef there (former Kennewick zone member) and I briefly saw Sister Cain run down the hall in the Gage building (Old couple I lived with in Kennewick) but she didn't see me. It was weird to leave the mission but the Joneses were so nice to take us! We got some sweet pictures and ate at Panda Express in Pasco. SO good! 

Well, I love you! I will try to respond to your questions later!

Love Elder Brinkerhoff

Monday, April 18, 2016

Hey Mom!

Great first week of the transfer so far! Yes I am still with Elder Hanna. I am so excited to tell you about everything that is happening!!

First, I have to plan my first District Council for this transfer ALL today because I just got the official outline for it from the APs this morning... and it's tomorrow!!!! AHHH! 

Then, later this week we have several sweet lessons! 

Saturday, Elder Hanna and I will get to go to the Tri-Cities with Brother and Sister Jones because the "L" family from Wenatchee is getting sealed!!!!! I had to get official permission to go. (Especially because it means leaving the mission). It will be the first sealing I've ever been to! I am super excited to be there and visit with members from Rocky Reach!  The "L's" are an amazing couple and they've been waiting for this day for awhile. I can't wait!

Also, next week's p-day will be Wednesday because our zone is taking a trip to the temple to do an endowment session! I get to go twice in a month!! Muahahaha! :) Don't worry though, I will still be emailing on Monday.

Since I was released as a District Leader right after the "Super" Mission Leadership Council, I wasn't entirely up to speed on everything that changed. Elder Wilkey and Elder Haymond helped to clarify and update me on everything and I am so excited to once again be a missionary to the missionaries. This zone has a unique energy now. Something has felt odd about it ever since I arrived here and it's hard to put my finger on it. I think we are more unified now. After District Leader Orientation I feel confident that unity, charity and diligence will be huge themes here in Moses Lake. We are doing our best to role-play every morning in companion study and it is helping us to teach more in unity. It's building our confidence in teaching together as well! things are looking good! One huge problem that we can't control is that everyone is so busy and they claim they have no time to meet with us even if they are interested. It's super frustrating but we are doing our best to have patience. We love this work and we won't give up!

Well, that picture of Amy and a boy really creeps me out but maybe I'm just jealous? haha jk but seriously though... It weirds me out that I might actually have to date 'n' stuff in the near future. I am not afraid to stand up against apostates and peeps who aren't interested in the church as a missionary but I fear that I will still get butterflies when I attempt to just have a simple conversation with a girl in the future... I hope not! haha being a DL over mostly Sisters has helped me though. It's weird to have a calling where I have to call Sisters multiple times a week and check up on them. Missions are the weirdest thing but they are the best :)

Well, I hope you have a great week! Stay safe and keep being a great member missionary! :) 

Love, Elder Brinkerhoff

PS Start thinking about what to talk about on Mother's Day! It's coming up! :)

Monday, April 11, 2016

Hey Mom!

I am not being transferred. However, our mission will have 2 less Elders when the new missionaries will come in so President Lewis has to close an area. He's closing the Moses lake 2nd Ward East area where Elders Bawden and Shupe are serving. Because of that, I am District Leader again! I am changing districts in order to replace Elder Shupe but we are staying in 4th and 7th. Elder Bawden is going to The Dalles... :'(

My District will be the 2nd ward Sisters (Hirsche & Luevano), the Zone leaders (11th & YSA, Wilkey and Haymond! Yay!) and the 10th & YSA sisters (Averett & Michalek). Not too many changes with transfers. I am just sad to see Elder Bawden go. I may not see him again! It will be cool to have Elder Haymond again though! We were in the MTC together and we were trained in the same zone. I haven't really seen him since then!

Thanks for sharing what Sister Lewis said! That makes me happy! I've definitely learned a lot of patience out here!!

I'm glad the van is fixed! That is a huge chunk of change! Hope that new couch works out! Man, EVERYTHING will be different!

Here's some of my trunky adventures: I've been running into so many RM's it's not even funny. It's weird! Also Wednesday night, we decided to knock on a member's door to stop in and get to know the family. They didn't expect us so we weren't sure if they would be home or not. Turns out they were and they were watching Star Wars Episode 7. They invited us to come in but we both looked at each other and agreed that this wasn't going to happen hahahaha We just set up a return appt. Members are evil! ;)

Well, fast Sunday was really good. We went in to talk with the young men about missionary work in 7th ward and it was really fun! We sit in on their individual quorums every week but we lead a discussion on how you can prepare for missionary service and they all had a great time! Lots of powerful testimonies too! After dinner however we unknowingly knocked into a former member who asked to have his name removed from the records. He invited us in right away. Turns out he had a church group over to study the Bible. They were not very nice... They were an odd bunch and the spirit definitely wasn't there. They tricked us and trapped us into a bashing discussion and we tried to get out of there as soon as we could. It was so stupid... Put a damper on our evening for sure but then we went and proselyted for the rest of the night and it was great! We have had a stellar week! We have been talking about family history with many people. It's helped us to get our "foot in the door" with MANY individuals. One guy said that he will put one of our cards up on the bulletin board at the Big Bend College. He himself was interested in genealogy as well! We are going to also meet a lady at the family history center on Tuesday to help her learn more about familysearch! This is all just from tracting! It's pretty great! 

Well, Hope you have a great week! I will continue to Press Forward! I love you!

-Elder Brinkerhoff

Moses Lake Stake Center:

Just took a sec for a picture before visiting an investigator! <3

Elder Radcliffe! ha ha

My hair is much shorter now :)

Monday, April 4, 2016

Hey Mom! It was a pretty typical crazy week for us!
Conference was great! You need to make some time to watch the Saturday sessions (including priesthood!) They were all great!

I LOVED Conference this week. We even had ONE investigator watch it (though many were invited...) while she and her husband (member) were out of town! She loved it and they received many answers. I received several answers to questions as well! 

One thought in particular that stood out to me was when Elder Gary E. Stevenson talked about Priesthood keys. He said that it is our sacred privilege to work and serve under the direction of Priesthood keys. I know that I will continue to work under priesthood keys after I return home from my mission, but it really stuck out to me that I don't have a lot of time left. I need to savor every day and remember the wonderful privilege it is to be working and serving under the direction of chosen mission leaders who hold the keys or who have them delegated to them. What a special time to experience this sacred privilege here in the Washington Yakima Mission. Another thought was from Stephen W. Owen when he said that Jesus Christ is the greatest leader because He is the greatest follower of Heavenly Father. That was pretty cool! The priesthood session was great as well because of President Uchtdorf's Star Wars reference! haha There were a couple of trunky talks as well but I will continue to PRESS FORWARD!

On Monday night at 8:30 we were out wondering what we should do. We weren't sure. Nobody was home and it's not polite to knock on people's doors that late. We decided to pray and ask Heavenly Father where we should go. The name "Char" came to Elder Hanna's mind after we prayed. That is the last name of a part member family in 7th ward. I told him that Elder Poloncic and I tried to visit them before and it happened to be around that same time of night. They weren't too excited to see Elders that late at night so I wasn't too supportive of going again but Elder Hanna felt prompted to, so we decided to go anyway. Turns out Sister Char was having major back pains. She needed a blessing and it was the perfect time. Her non-member husband wasn't home so we went and grabbed Brother Hogsett since he lives 2 doors down. She was crying and very grateful that we showed up!

Yep! Transfer calls will be this Saturday. I am anxious to find out what happens! Sounds like your Saturday was pretty crazy!

Hope to hear good news about Emily's mission when the time is right! Also looking forward to my package! Whoo Hoo! Hope your week is great as well!

love, Elder Brinkerhoff

What a week!

At zone conference I saw an Elder that looked super familiar from across the room! I walked over and instantly recognized him as a priest from the Duportail ward! John C.! He and his twin brother were among the group that Elders Johnson, Loertscher and I interacted with in priests quorum every Sunday. He's all grown up (haha) and is on a "trial-mission" right now. It's where you go to a neighboring mission for 2 transfers if you have health related or other issues un-endowed and without MTC training. After the 2 transfers it is then determined if the missionary feels he can do the real thing and stick with it. He's currently in his first transfer up in Ephrata with Elder Leavitt (Elder Poloncic's "Father"). It was SUPER neat to run into Elder Cornelison! He and I were able to catch up with each other and he updated me on how Duportail is doing. Nothing too exciting but several of the youth I knew there are now missionaries which is SO cool! Heavenly Father is definitely setting up all these "coincidences" for me. It's pretty fun!

The rest of the week wasn't so great. 

I got a head cold/flu virus thing that knocked me out from Wednesday to Saturday. It started developing on Tuesday with drainage in my throat that made it sore. Then I got super tired, congested and achy. No fever, but just MISERABLE. My ear is all goopy and I feel waterlogged STILL. We were able to get to church on Sunday though and we did a lot of proselyting last night even though I still didn't feel 100% back to normal yet. I still feel the effects of it today. PRAY THAT MY EAR POPS please! haha That will be the greatest moment of this week when it finally happens!!

Things are going well for 4th and 7th wards. Though their progression is slow, many of our investigators are still going strong!! We're really looking forward to actually working this week and for the miracles that General Conference will bring!

Hope your week was better and that Emily gets her mission call soon! I'm so excited to hear the news!

I love you! 

-Elder Brinkerhoff