Monday, April 24, 2017

Idaho Falls Temple Open House

Hi everyone!  I'm a dork and forgot my camera cord AGAIN. But, I can still tell you about my week since you've been asking!

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Working at the temple open house is crazy, long and sometimes weird but oh my sooo fun!


Every day is different.  Our Sister Training Leader now drives a big white van which holds the sisters in the zone and the sisters from Sugar City.  We all try hard to drive each other crazy for about a half hour or so until we get to Idaho Falls.  We then work at the open house from the afternoon till evening and sleep in apartments in Idaho Falls for the night.  When we wake up we get ready for our devotional at 7:30 and go back to work at 8. We pretty much have only a few proselyting hours after that back in Rexburg.  

The Sister Missionaries in the Idaho Falls mission and the Pocatello mission get to help out a lot. First, there's the video room that explains what temples are and why they are so special.  We have a recitation with instructions for the tourists before showing the video (which I mess up every single time at). We don't take the visitors inside the temple because they have ushers to do that, but after they go through the temple they can go to the camera tent, where you pose behind a photo of the temple. The missionaries have a little too much fun with that department. Then after that they end the tour on the temple grounds, which includes the visitor's center.  

I was an alternate once, who basically takes the place of sisters when they need a break.  Now whenever I'm at the temple I start out in the second video room, take a lunch break, and then work at the reception center (visitor's center). 

So the first day was really slow. It was a practice to see what we could handle, and it was also the start of the vip tours. Most of the people were just worried about missing rides, so they didn't really talk to us that much.  There were many people there from different walks of life, and it's still that way. The younger people were more fun to talk to because they asked questions. 

On Easter Sunday Elder Wilson of the Seventy took all of us through the temple. It was so beautiful, and very unique.  You can find photos on lds.org, and you should!!! It began to be constructed while world war 2 was going on.  The Saints had to have faith that they would have a temple even when the future was uncertain.  The baptistry, the instruction room and the celestial rooms all have murals on the walls.

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Sealing Room (one of them, and the largest)
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A companionship from the mission helped to put this together (I hope with help) in the Celestial room.
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I asked if any of the shapes had any symbolic meaning, and they said they were only for decoration. :)  Lots of squares...
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The next week went pretty similar to the Friday before, except we had a treat! A couple and their family that we just finished teaching the lessons to came for a tour! It was heartfelt, and we were so happy to see how they had progressed in so little time.

The public tours started on April 22nd, thank goodness. We thought it was going to be crazy busy, but it was all handled very well.  There have been a some amazing people that I have seen from Henry's Fork and Ucon stop over! 😄

This hasn't been easy, like my whole mission has been like. But it's so worth it. If you ever get the chance to take someone to something like this, DO IT!!!!  The spirit is so strong, and even if minds don't change they can definitely feel the love radiate from the building. It is the house of the Lord. I love you all and hope you have an amazing week!!!

~Sister Brinkerhoff

Monday, April 17, 2017

April 17th, 2017


Hi Mom!  

I love you!  Just so you know, I just sent some packages home with things I can't carry anymore (and also things siblings can have). Ask me about them next time. :)  I'm also going to send a package with my winter gear (except for my coats), just so transfers will be easier.

We started doing vip tours last Friday and I'm going again tomorrow. Yesterday the sisters in this mission and the Pocatello mission had a personal tour with Elder Wilson of the Seventy. The work they've done on the temple is so beautiful! You should look it up!  Everything is themed in white and green colors, and there are murals everywhere (which was there before, but they did some touch up).  Everyone's been asking us if the cafeteria is still going to be there (I've heard it was great back in the day, especially their pie) and it is. When we came on Friday they didn't have everything fully set up, so we stood around wondering what to do.  We ended up showing the other sisters who arrived how to use the camera.  We may have possibly taken too many goofy pictures, but I only have one right now (taken when I didn't know the camera was on...).  Then we ate lunch and started work at the reception center (last part of the tour).  It's set up in the visitor center of the temple.  The amount of people that came in for three hours, they're anticipating the same amount in one hour when the tours get crazy!  But that's ok because the majority of them will probably be members.  Most of the visitors zoomed through, and my companion even had someone tell her, "We're members, you don't have to talk to us". I get what they're trying to say, but sheesh don't be rude! And it seemed like the majority of people were trying to catch their bus as well, so I don't know how everything is going to be organized.  There were some nice people however. :)  These teenagers asked me why there were black things on the seats in the instruction room, and I guessed it was for audio because I didn't go inside yet (it was, specifically for ASL).  They also asked why there was a big rectangle gap in the wall of the celestial room, and when I asked Elder Wilson he didn't know either. Haha! It was just decoration.  Well, it's going to be a crazy transfer, but I'm excited!  We got invited to several dinners and an Easter egg hunt, but we didn't have time because sister Chandler got to skype her sister! President is letting us skype nonmember family members for the first few lessons, and we got to teach her non-member brother in law.  Easter is my favorite holiday, even compared to Christmas.  Mostly because it's about Christ's Resurrection. 

Have you seen the Easter videos on mormon.org? They're great! Yesterday after dinner we shared the main video, and Sister Chandler showed her favorite video on compassion. It touched the members so much that when the husband tried to say a prayer he started tearing up. His wife had to say it. After that he said it was the video. It was so sweet! 

I hope you have an amazing week! I love you! <3
~Sister Brinkerhoff

Monday, April 3, 2017

(Sister Chandler's mom sent me some Easter goodies!!!!)


Good morning!!

I'll just get this out of the way first...odisfgnlagnael;gnaejrgnadro;vnaerk.gnaeklruljvg Whoo whoo!! I hope Kortney will have a blast in July!  When did she get her mission call?  Ha ha I'd probably be a nervous wreck as well!!  I'd probably die in the heat, different culture, and don't get me started on speaking spanish!!! ok ok I know Heavenly Father would help me either way, but seriously though!!  But I'm so excited for her!  She looks so happy!

Sounds like you had a crazy weekend, but a fun one!  How did the concert go in Mesa? No worries, I have trouble paying attention to conference.  But I actually had a weird weekend because this is the most I've ever gotten out of general conference in my life.  I received great guidance from the last in October, but this one was just special for some reason.  Maybe it's because I've been out this long and really needed some spiritual advice.  Every talk was really powerful to me.  I have such a short attention span, but this time I came with several questions.  I was particularly struggling with a few things, and the speakers helped to give me exactly what I needed (even if I wasn't expecting it).  Just the things they said about how the Holy Ghost and how he helps us was exactly what I was looking for.  Elder Stevenson's talk was perfect for that.  Elder Palmer's talk was also inspiring.  I'm not having the same struggles those missionaries might have had, but I'd told my companion right before that I was having a hard time feeling like I was pleasing the Lord.  That answered my concern right on the dot.  Elder Holland's talk helped with that too.  I'll be honest, I was sad seeing President Monson look the way he did.  His physical appearance has changed a lot since his wife passed away.  I still remember what he was like at the Boise temple celebration.  It seems like such a dramatic change.  He wasn't even present for all the sessions.  It must be getting harder for him.  They had subtitles on the screen because they were worried about him slurring his words, but I could understand him just fine.  His message and countenance is the only thing I haven't seen change in him.  He's still a cheery and optimistic person.  I was just grateful to hear him speak.

So, I've been working on my communication.  I'm far from perfect and still get really scared, but I had a miracle happen yesterday.  I prayed the night before about it.  Because Sister Chandler and I are the only sisters in our district, we've felt a little distant from the sisters in our zone.  Our zone hasn't changed at all this transfer except for one Elder (an Elder that was in my MTC district replaced him), so we've been working on what we can do to make our situation better.  As for me personally, I hardly ever go out of my way to initiate a conversation because I freak out and don't know what to say.  Saturday felt really awkward, so that night I said a prayer.  I told Heavenly Father how I was feeling and told Him that I promised I would try to say something.  Even if it wasn't anything big or grand.  All I asked was that I would be given an opportunity.  We didn't see our zone the next morning because we watched general conference at our stake center with "T" (investigator) and one of our recent converts "A".  We later watched the afternoon session with our zone like the day before.  When it was over everyone was starting to zoom out and I thought I lost my chance, but then Sister Settle stopped us to say bye. We hugged and I, grasping for straws, talked about how everyone kept torturing us because the priesthood session was apparently amazing.  It got a group conversation started and all the sisters were laughing and talking about other things. There wasn't any stress, just peace.  Today I tried to go out of MY way (everyone else is already doing this just fine) for once to hug and ask how the sisters were doing here at the fhc building.  They told me about their rough morning, and I probably wouldn't have known about it if I hadn't asked.  

Sorry this email took so long to write!!  An Easter box sounds fun! :)

I love you! 

Love,
Sister Brinkerhoff