Monday, June 27, 2016

Hey Mom!

I am so frustrated with 'MyLDSMail' right now haha I keep losing my draft email to you and I swear I sent one to you last week but obviously it never sent and I can't find it in the sent mail either. Oh well.

I got your letter with the $$. That was lucky because the 'M' family is still receiving our mail even though we moved to another place and they just left for a couple of weeks on a long trip! I caught Sister M on the day before they left so I got your letter, my trunky papers and a letter from Grandma. If you sent anything else, hopefully I get it! The 'M's' should have someone else watching their mail so they will get it to me. 

Can you figure out if I can have 3 checked bags or is it 2? That's like the only question I have. In my paperwork it says only two, however I have three... I'm thinking that this might be a problem??

Sorry this is brief, it keeps deleting my drafts to you. Satan is hacking the email system! lol

Yes, we actually had 2 investigators at church! It was wonderful and they had a great time!

I am so weirded out that it's my last week! I don't know what to say! I love you have a great week!

Love Elder Brinkerhoff

Exchanges with Elder Boshard:

So hard to believe, but one more week and this will be true!!!! (ha ha)

(Elder B. when he was about 9 years old)

Here is what he was imitating:

Monday, June 20, 2016

Hello All! 

I have done a terrible job at updating all of you in group emails! Hope you are well!

Well, let's see... last Monday started off on the right foot! We got our laundry done in time to get our weekly car wash and then proceeded to email at the Moxee library. Right near the end of our emailing time however, we got a call from a local housing coordinator for missionaries in the Selah stake letting us know that we would be moving out of our host family's house and into a new one because they would be having family moving in the next day! He thought that someone had previously informed us of the move, but no one had! He said "I'll be over in about an hour to help pick up the furniture and beds, etc, make sure that you've gotten everything out and cleaned up by then" 

AHHHHHHHHH!! Let's just say that p-day was pretty much over at that point...

We proceeded to jump in the car and race home as fast as our lovely Tiwi box would allow so that we could begin packing and organizing and taking everything off our desks and beds and out of the fridge like madmen!!! Elder Powell and I kept our cool though as much as we could in the 100 degree weather. We got everything out by the end of the afternoon and in to our new place in only 2 loads. We enjoy our new place. It is way small and there is not a lot of places to put anything but we are settled in pretty well. The members we live with spoil us with lots of food and comforts of home. It's pretty great! It's only going to be a temporary place for a couple weeks we hear. The mission may be working on an apartment for us. It may be ready for us to move into by July 1st which would be just my luck because that weekend is gong to be crazy enough as it is! 

Our current investigators are doing well and we have been working hard and finding a lot of new people to teach. NOBODY came to church and it's so frustrating but that's not abnormal. Miracles are definitely real though. They might not always be big ones but we see them every day.

A scripture that I read this morning (Helaman 13:2-4) reads:

  • 2 And it came to pass that in this year there was one Samuel, a Lamanite, came into the land of Zarahemla, and began to preach unto the people. And it came to pass that he did preach, many days, repentance unto the people,and they did cast him out, and he was about to return to his own land. 3 But behold, the voice of the Lord came unto him, that he should return again, and prophesy unto the people whatsoever things should come into his heart. 4 And it came to pass that they would not suffer that he should enter into the city; therefore he went and got upon the wall thereof, and stretched forth his hand and cried with a loud voice, and prophesied unto the people whatsoever things the Lord put into his heart.
This struck and impressed me this morning just how strong Samuel was. He was pretty discouraged and was about to return home after the people rejected the gospel. He didn't give up however when the Lord called him to go back another day. Taught me an old lesson that missionaries hear a lot, but it stuck out to me. I never had thought of it in the context of Samuel the Lamanite before. The scriptures are amazing and this has motivated me to keep going another day! I only have 2 more weeks here in Washington before I return home. I can't believe how fast time has gone. I will keep running up onto that wall every day just like Samuel did when he went back to Zarahemla to help teach people about the gospel and to cry repentance (even if people try to shoot me with arrows! Hopefully not!) I am grateful for my mission and for every day that I have left. I pray that many hearts will be prepared to accept the message of the restored gospel around the world. Especially as my little sister Emily prepares to serve in Idaho by entering the MTC this week. I am so proud of her and excited for everything that is happening.

Hope you all have a great week!

Love, Elder Dean Brinkerhoff
Attachments area

Tuesday, June 14, 2016

Hey Mom! Going great! 

My last Zone Conference was REALLY short, but it was neat to hear from Elder Johnson again on my mission and to see a bunch of missionaries I will probably never see again! There's so many new missionaries that I had no idea who they were either. It's so weird! Elder Decker (my ZL who goes home with me) made a comment that he was SO tired. I sympathized and agreed with him. I said "the tired never seems to go away!" then he said something like the tired will go away... in 3 weeks! [  :D and :'(  ]

On Saturday I went on exchanges in Naches with my District Leader Elder Shupe. It was pretty cool. He's from Syracuse Utah and is actually in this seminary video at time :38 seconds! He's the one who gets up and walks away from the girl in the pink shirt haha

I can't believe Emily is leaving next week! Time goes too fast. I heard a rumor that siblings who have overlapping missions can visit the other if they are still in the MTC but I doubt that's something we can easily do. Who knows if that's something true either. I can't remember who told me that. 

Man, I don't want to come home to sick kids! Tell everyone to get better! :)

I will not likely be having any more baptisms on my mission. There are 2 people who will be baptized here in Moxee in the very near future but they will still be working through some things until after I'm gone. Lots of exciting new prospects are here but not many of them are going very far. That's often the case unfortunately. There are so many people who are set in their ways. That frustrates me so much. 

I am doing well. Although, lately I have been experiencing a lot more moments of sadness. Sadness isn't really the right word though. It's more like I feel solemn. I can't put my finger on exactly why. I guess I have a lot of bittersweet and conflicting feelings right now. I want to come home, but I don't.. I want to get to know the members here in Moxee, but my time here is so limited that it almost feels pointless. Talking to new people is still hard, but I still do it. I don't know what keeps me going, I just know I have to keep going. It feels so good to serve and to be a missionary, but it's so tiring. Do you know what I mean? I have so much going through my mind that I have moments where I just stop and sigh and tell myself to just keep going. Is anything I am faithfully doing helping? Or am I wasting my time? There are so many conflicting voices right now. I can't believe how hard this is. That one poem you sent me in my package was really spot on accurate. I loved that package by the way! Thank you for that! :) 

Well, pray that I can make it through 3 more weeks! I love you and hope you have a great week! -Love Elder Brinkerhoff

Hi Mom! 

Wow.. Crazy week!

Yeah the mission office will either forward the pkg to me or they will just wait to give it to me in zone conference this Friday. I wish the mission office was in my zone but unfortunately it is just outside of it in the Yakima Zone. (Selah zone covers north Yakima)

I am continuing my weekly sessions of My Plan. Last week I was asked to consider my patriarchal blessing and to think about where I want to be in 1 year. This week I will be watching videos and making plans for "continuing discipleship" Should be good! Better than week 5 anyway! (Week 5 is marriage and dating prep...)

We had Zone Training Meeting on Saturday and it was pretty neat. I was able to reunite with Elders Rosenkrantz, Jeffs, Cicon and a few others. I was shocked that I would have to give a departing testimony though... And I was up first! (3 others gave theirs as well, Decker, Rosenkrantz and Wilkey). It wasn't easy to do. We normally give those at Zone conference which is this week, but I guess because Elder Daniel L. Johnson is coming we won't have time. I'm glad I'm able to see so many other missionaries before I go home. At transfers I was able to see Elders Olson and Poloncic and Sister Skousen before they all went up north: never for me to seen again! (As a missionary!) However, I will be able to see a bunch at Zone conference (Elders Bawden and Burbank to name just a couple)

Yes, I still love this area and my new companion! Elder Powell is great and we have a lot of people to teach here. We're finding new ones pretty much daily too! I can't even believe how awesome the work is here! The work is always awesome but the Elders before me have definitely been working hard! I've taken over many areas that I've had to jump-start, but this one is up and running! I love it! There is a Sister "F" and her husband in the Moxee ward that we had dinner with. She grew up in southern Arizona and went to NAU for college later on. She's younger than you though. She couldn't remember any names of anyone and I didn't get her maiden name. That's the only connection to home I've gotten so far. There's a lot of people that know people I've known in previous Yakima areas though!

This week the most exciting thing has been joining the chain gang! (no, I didn't do something stupid and get sent to the big house). We've been doing service for a nonmember man named "W". He wasn't the most open to religious talk or the missionaries before. (His fiance is a member). Their home teacher offered to help them dig a trench for a canal pipe that will be buried underground. He had done most of it himself with a backhoe but he needed to go a couple inches lower past a layer of natural cemented rock. You can't get past it without picking and sledging it (Pick-ax and sledgehammer). Their home teacher offered to take us there and help out and we went over 3 mornings this week. When the nonmember saw us he wasn't impressed with our body sizes and didn't think we could help him much. However we proved him wrong by breaking through that natural cemented layer of rock and getting the trench to the level that he needed. He was so appreciative. He's in his 50's and it's hard for him to do a lot of physical labor. It was a lot of hard, back-breaking labor but it was super fun! Nothing better than breaking and cracking rocks! He began opening up to instigating spiritual talk and asking us about our faith. It was great! Some walls have definitely come down! Service works wonders! Hoping to teach them soon!

Well, I love you and hope that all goes well! Stay safe!  Love, Elder Brinkerhoff