Monday, February 13, 2017

February 13th, 2017

This has been quite the strange week. It went from frustrating and degrading to giving me one of the happiest days on my mission. 

So to explain, Sister Chandler and I were struggling a little bit. Things were said during a lesson that shouldn't have been said, and we ended up having an argument. I felt, in the nicest term, like trash. I don't always feel helpful. The amazing Sister Chandler is wonderful and productive, but in the process of that she is also really quick and assertive. I worry that I slow her down and frustrate her, nor am I as sensitive to things as she is because she thinks of things before I do. We talked before bed because I locked myself in the bathroom for 10 minutes. I'm doing my best to worry more about other people, but not last Monday.

Right before all of this, we'd been talking about getting the ball rolling with youth sharing social media. Sister Chandler has been trying to put me in charge of it because I keep bringing it up, but that's ok because she contributes a lot. I mean a LOT! So we called all the yw, ym presidents to set up appointments with them and their presidencies (we currently have seen three of them so far). We also went on splits with the amazing Sister Settle. Both the BYU companionships were busy with appointments while we were open, so we drove her to one of the church buildings in her area. She did a wonderful job leading the priest activity, and she let us participate as well. It was a great experience because Sister Chandler and I now had an idea of how we could do this for the youth in our area! 

Things went well with transfers. Sister Chandler and I are very grateful to stay in our area!

Now, you wouldn't believe the blessings that have come our way. We struggled with finding new investigators during my first transfer here, but we have had three calls for referrals. The first two are investigators who called us because they want to be baptized (we haven't counted one of them as new yet because we need to set up a lesson with her). The last is a less active member with a great background, and the bishop in her ward really wanted us to teach her. The missionaries in Rigby will teach her too because she lives there with her parents. She is engaged to a wonderful man who had a serious rodeo accident, and they a aiming for a temple marriage.

We are also teaching a sweet couple, along with the help of Cassie. Her husband passed away this past December. Both she and her husband helped to fellowship the couple we are teaching. This couple has participated in church callings involving missionary work before, so they are very fond of missionaries. However, both of them have had very rocky lives, so they struggle coming to their ward. To them, everyone else's life just seems so rich and perfect, without a care in the world. The only ones they really liked in the ward were Cassie and her husband. Cassie was a huge support in the lesson (we only got through three points of our lesson, but that was all they needed yesterday), and she was very bold with them. The brother liked to go off on tangents, but his wife and Cassie kept things straight. Sister Chandler and I were also able to share our testimonies of Jesus Christ, the gospel, and the power of the priesthood. I shared more about myself than I thought I would, but I thought it would help. I've struggled big time with emotional stress my whole life, including resentment, but I told them how I didn't let it get to me. Sister Chandler, by the way, is very good at making me say "put ups" (instead of put downs), because I tend to beat myself up. But anyways, Cassie stunned us when she started tearing up and acknowledged her husband's presence and spirit in the room at the time. It made some of us tear up as well. We look forward to seeing them again, same time next week. We also got to teach another family whose son is contemplating a mission. We made sure he had a Preach My Gospel book, which is good at answering missionary questions, and told them he could practice teaching the lessons with us (instead of us asking to 'practice' lessons on the family). They're a really sweet family!

I hope you are all doing well! I love you!  Have an amazing week!
Sister Brinkerhoff

Monday, February 6, 2017

February 6th, 2017

Hi Mom!
Sister Chandler and I are staying and I'm so glad!!!  Sister Chandler is too, but she'll only have one other transfer after this.  She doesn't want to be a 3 area sister missionary like a lot of missionaries have been.She probably will see a new area next transfer, especially with the temple open house coming up soon.  She's bummed because she will only get to help with that for a week, and that's where her parents were married.  But her parents will come pick her up, so hopefully they can enjoy the Idaho Falls temple that way.  But we're happy to stay with each other and have some sanity!  They are making a lot of changes to our Zone, though.  It's a lot smaller now, but Sister Settle is still one of my Sister Training Leaders.

This past Sunday
 was pretty hilarious.  We were trying to think of what we could do instead of interrupting people who prefer to watch the super bowl instead of talk to us (we found people to teach and serve luckily) and we ended up getting roped into two Elder's Quorum meetings!  It ended up being ok because we are the missionaries in the stake and the Elder's Quorum Presidents invited us to talk about missionary work.  That's probably the only time I would be able to do that as a sister! 😅

Yay for Amy!  I figured she would get 1st violin.  I wonder what seat she'll get.  I probably won't be able to send her a card this week, but hopefully next Monday.  I have Heidi's card today and will send it in the mail. I'm so slow!! :)  Oh my gosh, is she going to be 17?!!

I'm proud of Sarah too!  That's awesome!  What did she have to do for the reading program? Obviously read 😊, but a certain number of books or something time wise?  I'm glad school is going well for Nathan.  Hopefully he's enjoying it! :) That's so sweet of the cub scouts!  Sister Chandler's mom is sending her a package too.  I'm excited about the envelope from Nathan and Sarah!  I need to draw them pictures!

I love you too!
~Sister Brinkerhoff

  Last week's Laser tag (Lots of fun!  They had a Nymphadora Tonks vest that I was dying to wear, but I found out the strap was broken a little. Oh well, it still worked! I managed to get off the bottom of the roster during the last round...)😅

December and January Emails

Wow...I didn't realize I was so behind with my posts!  I thought it had only been a couple of weeks, but looks like closer to a month and a half.  Here are the rest of December's, and January's, emails and pictures from Sister B!

December 26th
So, yesterday we opened our presents, went to church (late because we got stuck at one point), then we went to the Laird's house to skype.  I was in their daughter's old room (she got married last week!).  Then we ate lunch with the Lairds, stayed for a little bit, and then headed to Bishop Child's house for dinner (the ward mission leader's name is Brother Kidd :) ). The Child's taught me how to play catchphrase, which I'm terrible at, and spot it, which is more fun!  Bishop Child is funny and is also great at listening to us!  We hope to help him as well.  The Lairds are also super sweet!  They're always willing to help out!  You can thank brother Laird for helping us get things figured out with skype, including letting me use his phone and shoveling us out of snow again! :)   There's a pretty bad snowstorm here, but we made it into town and did a white elephant exchange with the zone. At first I got american flag socks with some candy and little things, but I decided to be nice and trade with an elder who ended up with perfume. 😅  I don't know if I should keep it or send it home.  I'll probably use it, but Sister Chandler is allergic to scents like perfume, so if I do keep it I probably won't use it for the next transfer

The following pictures show what was probably the coldest day on the mission (not today). Even the inside of the car and the icicles outside had frost on them, and it lasted all day.  Never melted!

January 3rd:
It's still cold, but the snowflakes here are so pretty I don't care!

I caught something last week and was sick for a few days, but I feel better now.  I don't know if it was a cold or the flu but the members here are really nice and sent me medicine to help me feel better.  I received a blessing from my district leader and his companion, and ever since then I have made a speedy recovery!

I wish I had your will power! (I told her that I am not eating treats for 2 years)  Sister Chandler and I have been trying to get rid of the majority of our sweets after this holiday week!  

We got to go to the temple this week!
I love you!
~Sister Brinkerhoff

Here are some pictures from our Temple trip:


January 9th:

Hi Mom!  

I'm glad the card got there ok!  I wasn't done writing in it, so I sent it last Tuesday when Sister Chandler and I had our temple trip and p day. 

I've had a good week, but a stressful Sunday.  We were really busy, and we've had to change a lot of plans for a baptism coming up, but it's coming along.  It didn't work for the baptism to be held in the afternoon, so people were requesting a different day.  But the person baptizing couldn't change, so now we're planning for a Saturday at seven in the evening.  It's been crazy, all on Fast Sunday, but it's working out.  It's also been extremely cold, with a couple of nights being -20 degrees exactly, but now it's a balmy 40 degrees! Yay! 😅

Oh goodness, my 20th birthday!!  Crazy!  I'm not sure what I want yet, maybe tissues for my cold? :)  JK, but thanks for the notebooks!  They're cute!  I already got a scripture case for the small set you gave me, so I'm good there.  I'm not sure yet. I need to think about it.  I know, that's my typical response.  

I love you too!!!
~Sister Brinkerhoff  


January 16th

We took those pictures you wanted:

I also went on an exchange with Sister Settle this past Thursday and Friday.  We also did a service project, helping a family move and clean the house.  The exchange went well and we had a fun time.

Ok! So, for my birthday, the hand warmers would be great. Some stickers might be nice, so I can decorate letters or planners and such.  Missionary appropriate I assume :).  3 musketeers are good too.  Man this list sounds boring!!  I need some dark pens (black, and you gave me a blue pen, but yeah).

January  23rd

Hi Mom!  Grandma's package arrived safely!  She sent me a really pretty scarf (yes I opened it early.  Do you want me to wait to open yours on my b day when it comes?).  It's light blue and gray colors and works perfectly. :)    

We got a little bit of snow, but it's been pretty wet.  There was freezing rain a couple a weeks ago, and my companion and I were slipping and sliding all over the place trying to get across driveways to appointments!   Sister Chandler slid down a few steps on the bishop's porch, and I slipped and scratched my hand at a bishopric's house.  But it's been warmer lately.  it was 37 degrees yesterday and we were walking around outside without our coats because it was so warm! 😅  It takes a lot a bad weather for the kids here to get a snow day, so Amy and Sarah should be grateful.  Are regional tryouts on the 26th again?  Is Amy nervous?

Ha ha yeah that was cool!  Sister Brown was helping to take pictures of us and said that she knew a lot of Brinkerhoffs from Mesa.  She got excited when I told her who my Dad was.  She said her name was Angie Gurr (Brown now).  She found you on facebook and sent the pics to you!  We didn't see a response, but I figured you would get it.  :)  

I'm feeling better, but I have sinus headaches every now and then. I still have EmergenC  and someone in the ward gave me vitamin C chewables.

I didn't tell you about the exchange a couple of weeks ago because I was sending so many goofy pictures, but it went well.  I was nervous because this was the first time that we would be on an exchange together.  Sister Settle and I were companions for so long that I didn't know what it would be like.  She let me take charge and gave me helpful advice, especially with what she has learned after whitewashing with Sister Eas.  We also talked about how life was going for us.  She seems to worry that I thought she was a bad companion, which is a lie.  Ucon was a strange area considering all the less active work we had.  Now in my current area, I have only taught a few less active or recent convert lessons (LARCs) per week.  I just glad she's doing alright.  She was feeling sick during the exchange too (it's been going around), but she was alright.  She actually helped out a lot with a less active member we've been trying to get a hold of for the longest time.  Both her and Sister Chandler are awesome!

Thanks for the package!  I haven't received it yet, but maybe it will come today.  Sister Chandler can't wait either! :)

I love you! ~Sister Brinkerhoff

January 30th

Hola! No Habla espanol! :)

I had a great birthday!  I still need to take pictures of the birthday banner you sent.  We chopped it up so we could put it several places!  I was a little shocked by my surprise birthday visit, but she called us ahead of time. :)  She was super sweet!  She also let Sister Chandler send a video message to her Dad who has the same birthday.  It's so weird to be 20 now, but it was fun to have my only birthday on my mission.  We used those hostess cupcakes (I don't remember if you or Grandma send those, but Sister Chandler loves them!) and put the candles on one of them.  We then went to an appointment with an investigator whose Mom made homemade cupcakes.  I didn't ask for it, but they planned it anyway.  They're a great family! Well anyways we had a great day with appointments, and we got to set up a service activity for the next day. 

Man that's a lot of snow days!  Of course school started on my birthday... :)  oh well I'm a sorta adult now.  I still need to send Heidi her birthday card!  Is Bridget's birthday this month too?  Would Spencer want a card?  Take a break after regionals!  Does Amy know if she made it yet?  I'm glad this week will be calmer for you.  I'm always impressed at what you are able to accomplish each week!  

We're being affected by the changes too.  The mission schedule is just a little different now.  They switched things around so we as a companionship could decide when we want to do things like when to go to bed or when to do companionship studies and such.  The biggest change is the key indicators.  Now we only report investigators baptized/confirmed, attending sacrament meeting, those with a date, and new investigators.  We don't record how many lessons anymore.

This Saturday was crazy!  We helped someone pack their brother's things up in the morning and then got asked if we could come to another moving project.  We drove into town after lunch and helped out.  Lately there have been a lot of dirty and unorganized moves, but this family had everything packed organized and easy to transfer, thank goodness!  We've had a lot of snow, but mostly light snow that goes on day and night.  We're starting to get antsy about the transfers coming up.  I was feeling down but didn't realize I was acting rude to Sister Chandler, or at least that's how she took it.  So I apologized and explained that I was just worried.  I was whitewashed last time, so I've never fully been in the lead of an area.  Now I'm afraid that Sister Chandler will transfer and either I will stay and lead the area or also train, which I don't feel ready for.  But I received a blessing that comforted me and also reminded me of my patriarchal blessing.  Basically whatever I'm called to do the Lord will qualify me, and I need to continue to have faith and study the scriptures more often.  

 I hope you can get rest today! :)  We'll shop after lunch and go do lazer tag with the zone.  They do that every time right before transfers here.  I also need to get new socks because I've worn out some of mine.  I have to go now.  I love you!  Thank you for the package! ❤

I hope you do have a calmer week!
~Sister Brinkerhoff