Monday, October 31, 2016

October 31st

Hi mom!  

I got your package (and Grandma's letter), but I didn't get a letter from you. I do love the candy and decorations though! :) I also just got Grandma's package!  Thank you guys!!! I love you!!!  We went to a trunk or treat last Saturday because they were having a chili cook off and a lot of people we see and teach were there! All less active, but there was a lady whose less-active husband came and we think he might come to church as well!

The baptism on Saturday went well!  I'll see if I can send pictures, but I didn't bring a usb cord for the camera and I keep borrowing from other missionaries.  "D" (the investigator) and his wife (member) were very happy!  He wanted his home teacher to baptize him, which he did. Brother Watts is great!  Sister Settle and I along with WML Brother Thurman got everything prepared.  Sister Settle and I also gave the talks on baptism and the Holy Ghost (basically a review for him since we've been teaching him).  

Thanks for the pictures of the kid's trunk-or-treat costumes!  At the cottonwood trunk or treat on Saturday, everyone kept complimenting Sister Settle and I on our "missionary costumes". Said we looked authentic!😉 Ha ha.

What's a typical day like?  Ok, I get up.. 😅 JK but yes I get out of bed at 6:30 and exercise for half an hour and then shower, get ready and eat breakfast.  Then we do personal and companion study for two hours.  Since I'm not a trainee anymore we don't do 12-week study (the first 12 weeks out on the mission), so we usually just start heading out.  It's really hard to find people in the morning!  There's also sometimes district meeting or zone training, weekly planning, and filling out progress records (these are more fun than the violin practice records)😊Every now and then we go on splits if some of the sisters have to go to meetings, and there's also exchanges (which are fun).  Then there's lunch, more proselyting, dinner at five (sometimes we get rides if it costs us a bunch of miles), even more proselyting (hopefully set appointments) planning at 9:00 and then bedtime.

I wish I could say that I rely fully on the spirit and that my confidence is soaring, but to be honest I go through the motions.  Who knows what will happen, but even if I'm still a quiet person when I get home I know that I'm a child of God and I'm enjoying my mission, despite personal struggles I've gone through even before my mission.   Things have been improving because I'm being pushed to my limits at times, and I'm feeling my confidence grow.  I'm probably going to be homesick on November 5th for reasons you already know, but I'll be alright!  :)  I'll go through a week like the last one where I'm really tired, but I have a lot of energy the next.  It's not too hard to get up in the morning, especially if I start exercising.  Maybe I'll have the motivation to go jogging with you and Amy after the mission. :)  

I'll try to send pics too!  Let me know if there's anything specific that you want me to take a picture of!


October 24th

Hi Mom!  

Yep, I had a good week (a pretty fast one though).  We did exchanges on friday and Sister Stein and I taught six less active lessons!  The directions are still difficult sometimes because I don't drive, but it was easy enough to figure out where we were going.  Sister Settle switched back with a sore throat, but she feels a little better as the days go on.  Aw, sorry you're not feeling good again.  Hope you can get some rest! :)

Our investigator is getting baptized on the 29th if all goes well!  We're super excited!!  However, he and his wife told us that they were leaving for Arizona in December, but they surprised us and said that they are leaving the day after his confirmation.  He can only be ordained to the Priesthood a week after his baptism and confirmation, so we've talked to the bishop and he'll try to get his records transferred there so that he can receive the Priesthood!  It would be bad for him to get lost in our records because baptism isn't the last step!

Man, I think the only crazy stuff that happened at those apartments when I was home was that person that shot himself, and now all that is happening!  I think Sarah and I could sleep through anything!  Although last night was weird.  I went to sleep a little early and woke up at midnight thinking it was time to get up.  When I saw the time I went back to bed, but I kept doing that the rest of the night!  And this isn't the first time that this has happened.😅   

That was sweet of Grandma B, and I'm so sorry her daughter passed away.  No hurries here.  Maybe if I can I should write her a letter too.

Ok, I'll decide what I want to do about the elections.  As soon as I get the ballot I'll get it filled out and sent.  I don't watch tv, but from what I've heard Hillary's going crazy.  That's mostly what Sister Settle and I hear whenever we try to get the focus back on the lessons or scriptures! :)  I've heard so many people worrying about voting for the lesser of two evils, but I haven't heard too much about Trump. Just that he's a jerk.   

I love and I hope you have a happy day!
~Sister Brinkerhoff

October 17th Email Exerpt

Hello again!

I emailed Dad, but tell him I said Happy Birthday!   

That's cool that you've been able to find service opportunities!  How did you find them?  Did people just ask you, or did you search out and volunteer?  I always felt bad because I didn't feel like I did enough to help people back home, but I love serving here.  

This week's been a little crazy.  It's way too cold for October! I'll see if I can call the mission president this week so that I can prepare for weather 25 degrees below zero!  We have been focusing a lot on our recent convert and his wife. 

Our investigators are doing great!  We didn't get to meet again with our new investigator, but we're working on seeing them another time. They had to cancel because they were watching an LDS movie with their boss (that's all we learned in a text) :).  There are two families in the Cottonwood ward that were less active, but they've been more active now!  The work is really improving here!  

I'm glad everyone's doing a little better! No new pictures yet, but I'm working on it! :)  I need to take pictures of my residence!
I love you so much!
~Sister Brinkerhoff

October 10th

Dear Mom,
Thanks for the email! My week's been good.  We've changed our strategy with receiving referrals and it's working a lot better than in the past.  After we call people to make sure it's still ok to come over for dinner we ask them to think of a someone who would benefit from our visit, and they usually have an idea the next day!  We've received a few more referrals since then, and in the Foothill ward we recently got a new investigator!  
Wow, Sarah will get baptized on Nov. 5th, huh?  That'll be cool!  Man, I wish I could be there!  Tell Sarah that day that I love her. ❤  

Dean's birthday and her baptism can distract us from the coming election! :)  Speaking of which, should I leave an absentee ballot?  How do I go about doing that?  I'm just asking because they encouraged us to vote if we could. They're not forcing us to, but I figured I should.  I just don't know who to vote for!  I heard someone talking about another potential candidate who was LDS, but I don't know anything about him and I don't want to vote for him just because he's LDS.  But if he's not running, what info would be useful for me in order to make a decision?  I already know about the jerk moves both of the major party candidates have done! :) 

I'm not sure what I'd want for Christmas yet.  I don't think there's anything I need right now, and I'm still trying to figure out when I can go to Walmart.  It stinks to not have one here in our area!  

Have a lovely week, and don't overwork yourself!! :) I love you!  
~Sister Brinkerhoff       

Monday, October 3, 2016

Hi everyone!  

I can't believe myself for taking this long to finally do a mass email!!  Anyhow, my companion, Sister Settle, and I have been getting along great, but we've had an interesting week...

So I'm still learning and have felt a little shaky as a missionary.  That's why this Monday was a little scary!  Now, I have been on an exchange out of my area, but I had never stayed in my area during an exchange before.  This wouldn't have been too bad except for the fact that I usually send texts on our dinosaur LG phone and I don't pay that much attention to learning my way around the area (no drivers license, at least until AFTER my mission).  Luckily the sisters here are super nice and understanding, but I was still nervous.  

Well, after p-day was over we went somewhere to swap with the Sister Training Leaders and Sister Fabrici took the wheel for the day.  I thought we were going to get a ride from the Foothill Ward Mission Leader and spend time in the Foothill ward for a while.  We ended up spending the rest of the evening with members and investigators from the ward!  No complaints there! I didn't have to tell anyone where to go!! 😊 We taught a couple of good lessons and left feeling happy.  The last person we stopped over to see was the WML's own dad, and he and Sister Fabrici had a great (and slightly long) conversation.  He ended up sharing more personal feelings than his son thought he would!  Score for Sister Fabrici!! :)

We went home while I used a list Sister Settle had left me.  It had a list of people we could possibly see that day and a few words of love and encouragement.  The next morning Sister Fabrici and I spent our time in the Ucon and Monument ward areas while I tried to make sense of the maps we had.  Luckily Sister Fabrici was a big help.  We encouraged everyone we talked to to watch General Conference, and we also invited them to try out family history work and attending church.  The missionaries I serve with here are waaaaaaay bolder than me!

So after all that, We swapped back and made our way to our next appointment.  We had been left a text message the night before from someone who is less active, and long story short, she wanted this lesson to be the last.  Sister Settle had been concerned about it the entire time she had been in Rigby with Sister Stein.  Turns out, people sound a lot more angry in texts than they actually are! 😛  This mom in particular has a daughter that was recently baptized and was having recent convert lessons.  The only problem was that they were still less active, and I don't know if they realized that we were still coming because of that.  She had been told that we would share six more lessons, and we had been sharing way more than that, so she wanted it to stop so that they had more family time.  We respected that and she said that we could visit anytime.

Amidst that whole time, Sister Settle learned that she would have to attend a Mission Leader Conference meeting.  So we started wondering if she was going to be a Sister Training Leader and get transferred.  Another long story short, there a couple of training meetings that some of the the Sisters in our zone had to go to, so we had to schedule splits like crazy and make backup ideas if things didn't go according to plan!  My companion and I have been running around like chickens with our heads cut off, all the while wondering what will happen at transfer time.
Last Friday I went on splits with Sister Hastings and Sister Mackley in Iona and did some service with them while Sister Settle went to a meeting.  Then we watched conference this past weekend and got to relax for a little bit.  At least until there was a tornado warning and we had to go home a 7:30 instead of 9 (no worries, nothing ended up happening! Just a fun lighting and rain storm).  We got our call early from President Nelson so that he could talk to Sister Settle about being a STL, and it turns out... drumroll...WE'RE BOTH STAYING! After driving back and forth to different meetings and going through crazy schedules and wondering how we will pack we're staying in Ucon! Ha ha!  Well, no complaints!  I love it here!  The only crazy thing about it all is that Sister Settle will end up being here for half of her mission.  And she's never been in any other area!!

Well, that was my week, how was yours? Ha ha!  Don't worry if you don't get to send me emails often because we all have busy lives! Just know that I love you all and I will hopefully remember to email you!

I love ya'll! Never change! 😊 

~Sister Brinkerhoff