Monday, July 18, 2016

First Email (excerpt) From the Mission Field!

***When I post, I am going to be careful about revealing Sister B's location for her safety (since this isn't a private blog).

I'm glad you got the picture of me at the airport!  I didn't know how to send it to you because I only remember our home phone (if I have any more numbers they're probably packed up!). Don't worry about losing time to write because there was enough on your plate at the time!:) And yeah, I haven't caught the flu.  I'm having a little trouble with allergies because of the farming, weeds and livestock in this area.  I took an allergy pill and some eye drops, which by the way, I don't know how to refill those prescription eye drops. 

The flight over here was so much fun!  I felt a little dorky because everyone else was used to flying already and looked kind of bored and sleepy (we did get up pretty early).  Meanwhile I was all wide eyed and happy.  It took everything in me to not start squealing and gabbing on about it the whole flight. :)  I was just sad that it was so short! :(  It wasn't too bad being the only sister amidst all the Elders, since I knew most of them well, not to mention that less girls means less drama, right?  I miss them actually, because I feel like I've known them all my life and was just separated from my brothers again! :(  But it's all good!  

I was nervous about meeting my trainer, but she's incredible! There have been a lot of transfers and boundary changes here.  Sister 'S' (my trainer)  was originally in the Pocatello Mission and has been in the same area for her mission so far.  She's been out for four months and was shocked to be called as a trainer, but she's doing a great job!  She's very humble, kind, sweet and smart!  She has a reserved personality, but she's really great at conversing with people.  We work off each other well in lessons!  We haven't been able to teach as much as we hope to because a lot of people have cancelled on us or haven't been home.  Last Friday was the worst because NO ONE answered, but I'm not too bummed about it because that sounds normal in missionary work.  Sister S. just feels bad because it's usually not that way.  I've noticed that there are many less active members here, which reminded me about my blessing.  This Idaho-Idaho Falls Mission is kind of in it's infancy and the ward definitely needs some strengthening.  Most of them feel offended by other members in the ward and just feel like they don't need to go to church to show their faith (WRONG!!!).  So it's a little frustrating for us, but slowly but surely we will hopefully help!  I forgot to mention that we are in charge of eight wards, so we bounce around all over the place!  Sunday was the craziest day so far because of all the meetings with the bishops we had to schedule!  I love it already up here, and the people are great!  We have a recent convert, 'B', who got baptized and had his daughter receive a baby blessing before I got here, and he has a great testimony! 

Hope Dean's still doing okay!  I pray every day that he will adapt back to "normal life" alright.  I imagine it's weird for him right now, but I also bet he's enjoying some sleep time! :)
I love you and hope for the best!
Your Daughter,
Sister Brinkerhoff 

At the MTC:  Sister B. and a great friend from Idaho!!!

A face from home!

Study area in Sister B's current residence:

Sister Brinkerhoff and Sister S. in Idaho!!!!

Wednesday, July 13, 2016

Safe Arrival in Idaho Falls

Sister Brinkerhoff flew to Idaho Falls this morning from Salt Lake.  We got to talk to her on the phone for a short while before her flight.  This evening, I received a picture from a friend who found it in her facebook is a snapshot of the new missionaries being welcomed at the airport in Idaho Falls!  I was so happy to see that she arrived safely and looks very happy!!! :o)  (She is on the back row under the flag holding a poster).  I'm so grateful to all of these wonderful people for coming out to welcome them!

Email excerpts from the MTC!

Hi Mom!  I'm am SOOOO sorry that it took a while to respond to your message!  Things have been really busy and my district never had a place in our schedule to email till now.  Ha ha I didn't even know I left my sunglasses in the car!  Thanks for spotting them!  I am doing alright.  My companion is Sister Geddes.  She is kind and just as nervous as I am about teaching.  We're not very happy about being called the quiet sisters in the district (and honestly my companion is more outgoing than I am), but I'm pretty sure our district is the BEST!  Tell everyone I miss them and I can't wait to hear from them!  Emails might be the easiest for now.

A sister in my district just met Elder Rasband, which is incredible (celebrities!! :) ).  Nobody can pronounce the poor girl's last name!  Sister Alvides (her companion Sister Scholl is sweet and hilarious) is the most outgoing and confident.

I'll tell you more when I can.  I don't remember anyone's emails (I should have written some down).  Have a safe trip back home!  It's hopefully cooler down there now.  I love you so much and will work as hard as I can.  I will also write longer letters if possible!

 I hope I have enough time to write here, so here goes (Luckily I sent a card in the mail!)!  The MTC has experience. Sometimes good, and sometimes... I'll explain.  I've had a hard time getting out of my shell and my companion thinks she is bugging me (she really isn't.  She the sweetest!).  My throat has also been pretty dry here, so it's hard to talk.  I've talked to a counselor to get help with my insecurities, but it's nothing serious!  I'm getting the help and support that I need.  I thought my district would be really awkward, but I actually look forward to seeing everyone in it everyday!  We work hard but take time to mess around! :)  By the way, if you can watch "The Character of Christ".  It's a devotional by Elder Bednar and it helped me remember why I'm even here in the first place.  Knocked me into place, you could say!  Satan's been working overtime, but so am I! :)  Seriously though, watch it!  It's the best talk I've ever heard!
    How are my siblings now?  I just emailed Dean, but I don't know if he'll get it.  I've taken pics, but I forgot to bring my cord with me in the computer lab!  :( I promise to send some to you guys soon!  

I'm the only one that loves the food here (except the pancakes. they're terrible).  Sister Geddes eats fast though and likes to get things done quickly, I can't keep up with her energy! :)  It will be useful on her mission to Vancouver, Canada.  I think I forgot to mention that she's also from Arizona (Mesa).
 You better be there at the airport to get Dean! :)  I can't wait to see the pictures!  I love you deeply mom and I'll work my tail off!  Have a fun day cleaning!
Sister Brinkerhoff (great to finally type my missionary name)


AWWW I wish I was THERE at the airport to pick up Dean!!!!  You're killing me smalls!  How's everybody?  I'm so sorry, that 'be right back' turned into a few hours!  You're probably not on anymore, but thank you for sending me the pictures.  I love you SOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO much!
~Sister Brinkerhoff
By the way I just found the note in the notebook.  I love you! <3


Hi everyone!  I'm starting to adjust to missionary life!  I'm the only sister in my district going to Idaho (the rest are going to Canada).  It was a very rough first few days, I'm not going to lie.  I'm just glad my brother returned home safely.  So far my pretend investigator discussions have gone well, although sometimes I don't feel like I contribute enough.  I know I do, and I do what I can.  It's just hard.  

Sister Geddes is very smart (more than she wants to let on :) ), and she graduated with an associates degree during high school.  She wants to one day do ultrasounds for expecting mothers.  Sister Alvides is lively and outgoing.  She's a fantastic hair styler (she cut my hair!) and a great listener.  Sister Shoell is funny and kind, and she has a particularly deep love for ice cream.  Don't ask her to share!  Elder Davis and Elder Larson are silly but very nice and sincere.  Elder Dunford really wants to go home, but he has the will and drive to be here.  Elder Archibald (the big DL) is the most mature and has a twin brother here who doesn't look at all like him. :)  Elder Layer and Elder Williams have a dry sense of humor, but are very good debaters.  Elder Cox is calm and easygoing, and he definitely has his funny moments (he loves the pop corn popping song).  And lastly. Elder Olsen cracks the most jokes and is a pure blooded farm boy.  He loves taking care of lambs back home.

I will write more soon!  I love you all and I wish you the best summer ever!

Life at the MTC:

Brand new Missionary!

Just set apart as a Missionary!

 The following pictures show our trip to Utah:

(Found this at one of our gas stops)

(On the roof of the Conference Center at Temple Square in Salt Lake)

 (Church History Museum)

(Family Search center in the Joseph Smith Memorial Building)

(At the Christus in the North Visitor's Center at Temple Square)


Loading up the car to leave for the MTC

Getting some help from Aunt Phoebe and Cousin Austin

 (Emily and Aunt Phoebe)

Saying goodbye at the Provo Temple

 Entering the gates of the MTC in Provo

 (Unloading luggage at the curb)

 The final goodbye

We told Emily we would go to Walmart in her honor (she used to work there) after we dropped her off! ha ha

 This was the fire rainbow that greeted us upon arriving home