Monday, February 29, 2016

Birthday, Tracting, Tracting, and Tracting, plus Dogs and cleaning service!

My Favorite people!

This week has been so great, thank you for all the wonderful birthday wishes. I had a good day. Not much different than any other day though, but still so good! Sister Squires’ Birthday was on Tuesday, so it was fun to share the week with her. It was a party.

We had so many funny experiences this week, but we had so many miracles. We will start for the miracles of the week!

First: Monday night we were just out tracting. That’s not a miracle, but we knocked on this door and an old man answered and looked at us and invited us in. We were really shocked he let us in. It’s never happened to me before in Powhatan. When we were inside his house and still by the door, he asked us who we were and what he can help us with. We explain to him who we were and not even a second later, he opens the door and tells us to have a nice night. We were laughing so hard. But we were so happy we actually got in a door. But it didn’t last long.
We were at the dump, teaching our investigator Dan. An older guy named Charles Pratt came up to us and started talking to us and Dan and talking about politics and then I completely zoned out until I heard, "Hey, I am one of you guys." Sister Squires and I were like what?? He explained that he had 7 brothers who served missions and he was converted about 40 or so years ago but hasn’t been to church in the last 30 years. We looked on LDS Tools and his name wasn’t on there, so we figured he never got his records moved. We invited him to church and didn’t think anything of it the rest of the week. We were sitting on the stands yesterday because I was giving a talk and we also sing in the ward choir. Sister Squires leaned over to me and asks if that was Charles sitting in the back of the room and guess what IT WAS!!! He said that he really needed to come to church again and it was great that we invited him to come. He wants to start coming back.
We were tracting yet again and met some really cool people. This week was so great. We met this young mom named Andrea. We shared the restoration with her and she really liked it. We started to talk about the Book of Mormon and she explained about a year ago Elders met her and gave her one. She said she hasn’t thrown it away because she new it was special. She hasn’t read it, but said she will start to because it sounds wonderful. She is right, it really is!!

We also met this girl named Althea. She was a referral from a member in a ward and we have tried to see her for about a week or two. We finally caught her at a good time and told her about the restoration. She loved it and said it all sounded so good and that it really interested her. She said she would start reading the Book of Mormon and wants to continue to meet with us. YAY!

And again.... We were tracting hahaha and met this 17 year old Zack. He was walking out of his house to wait for his friend to come. We introduced ourselves and he said that he didn’t like his church because it didn’t feel right and it was about an hour away. So we told him about our church and again, we taught the restoration! haha He said he loved that and really related to Joseph Smith. We are going back to meet with him on Friday. His friend ended up coming and then they both went inside. We continued to tract and then next thing we know he ran out the door full speed at us. We both looked at each other and just said, "oh no, this better not be bad." He ran over to us and warned us not to go to two of the houses on the street because they weren’t nice and we would "run into a bad situation". We took his advice and didn’t end up going to those. It was so nice of him to run back out and warn us.

Now for some funny stories:
So.. we ran out of miles, so we pretty much walked everywhere this week. We were just tracting this street, wow, I feel like that’s all I have talked about. It was raining and really cold. Everyone in Powhatan has No Trespassing signs, but that has never stopped us before. We walked up to this one guy’s house and knocked. He opened the door and started screaming at us about how we missed the two No Trespassing signs and we better leave now. We walked down his wooden stairs that were really wet. I walked down first and next thing I hear was a loud boom. I turned around and Sister Squires was flat on her behind. She has a nice bruise now.

Then, a few hours later, were walking up to this potentials house. They had two little pugs and I was being brave and started walking to the door. They were so small I thought I would be able to conquer them. Next thing I know they are charging at me and trying to bite me. Sister Squires ran and got safely into the car. I ended up getting chased around the yard and the car and after about 3 minutes jumped into the car as fast as I could. I hate dogs.

The Relief Society President called us and asked if we wanted to go clean this older lady's house. We agreed and she warned us that it was really gross, but she was out of town and we were going to do it without her knowing. So.. long story short, we broke into a less active’s house and EWWW, her house was nasty. But we cleaned her kitchen and living room. It sparkled! When she got home the next day, she called the Relief Society president and cried and told her how happy it was to come home to a clean home.

Scripture of the week: I was preparing my talk and came across this scripture in Matthew 26:39. It was when Jesus Christ was being crucified and he asks Heavenly Father that if it is His will, let the cup pass from him. I love that because Jesus Christ is so humble and submitted His will to Heavenly Fathers. He didn’t complain or anything. Jesus Christ is the perfect example for us and I am striving to be more humble and focus on God’s will instead of my own each day.

I love y’all so much. Have a wonderful week :)

Love Sister Brooks :)

Ty and Ashley gave me a Ukulele for my birthday.  Thanks!!

I am a firefighter!

A tornado came through and missed us by 10 minutes.

Monday, February 22, 2016

Training, Tracting and Killing a Chicken!

 Hello my favorite people!

I am so sorry my email has been working really strange lately and I
don’t think I have gotten all the emails that have been sent and some of mine haven't been sending.  I am really sorry, but hopefully things will start working now. 

This morning we had a sisters preparation day and we went to the
Richmond Metro Zoo.  It’s like 1/4 of the San Diego Zoo but it was still fun.  We had the 10 sisters in our Zone and then President Wilson came with us.  I will send lots of pictures.

We are teaching this guy named Dan.  He works at the dump and we teach him there.  In Powhatan, there aren’t any garbage men/trucks, because the houses are too spread apart and too far away from each other, so everyone has to take their trash to the dump.  Dan is an older guy and really wants to believe there is a God but he wants evidence or a "spiritual witness" like Joseph Smith.  He has grown so much since we have taught him.  He reads the Book of Mormon when we assign him something to read.  If we don’t assign him, he won’t read it.  So we make sure to assign him something every time.  He is doing great!  Every time we are there, he just tells us how amazing we are and how special we are because we are taking our time out of our life to do this.  We love that he says that because we get to bear testimony to him about how much we love the Savior and this wonderful Gospel.  It brings the spirit in a lot and it helps him know how important this is. 

We went on exchanges with our Sister Training Leaders.  I stayed in Powhatan and I was with Sister Schenck.  Her original call is the
Nauvoo Temple, but she is out here for 4 transfers so she can get the experience of a proselyting mission. We pretty much tracted all day, and we found some really cool people to teach.  We tracted into a member, so embarrassing, but I am new to the area so that worked out great and also he doesn't attend Powhatan ward anymore because he is going through a nasty divorce... his wife was unfaithful.. he’s so sweet though.  He gave us two really good referrals and the one is really interested.  They are a cute little family and we will be meeting with them again this week.  We also say an "albino deer" while we were driving.  It was really white and it had red eyes.  It was the strangest thing I have ever seen. I tried taking a picture but it doesn’t do justice. 

Albino Deer

We had sister's meeting this week. It’s self explanatory, but it’s where all the sisters in the mission get together and we have really good trainings and eat good food and of course do a clothing exchange.  It was fun to see all the sisters I know and be with them. 

Sad news, after being out for almost 7 months, I got asked to give a
talk.... I will be speaking next Sunday. They didn’t even give me a topic, so it was really hard for me to narrow it down, but the spirit just kept flooding it. Ill let you know how it goes. Thank goodness for having a small ward! haha

Okay.. the moment y’all have been waiting for. YES, I KILLED CHICKEN THIS SATURDAY!!!!  It was seriously so fun and yes kind of gross.  I will have plenty of videos and pictures for y’all this week. We did it at the Despains, the same family we had lunch with on the ground. They are known for being Santa and Mrs. Claus. They are the best!! 

This week hasn’t been too successful though sadly, a lot of tracting
and a lot of crazy people.  We did get threatened to have to cops called on us last night. We told them to go ahead, we could have probably seen our cop friends and taught them a lesson, but we got out of there before they came. Virginians are funny. 

Scripture of the week: 1 Nephi 10:18- it says that Jesus Christ is
always the same, if we repent and come closer to Christ, the way will be prepared and ready for us. 

I love y’all so so so much!!!  Have a wonderful week! 

Love Sister Brooks!

He liked the Book of Mormon :)

Brother Noe's old bike

I had to get new boots- can you tell why?

I got an amazing deal on new boots at Kohl's.
They were originally $100.

Thursday, February 18, 2016

Another Funny and Crazy Week in the wonderful city of Powhatan!

Email dated Monday, February 15, 2016.  Because of some "glitch" in Sister Brooks' email, her email did not arrive to us until Thursday, February 18. 

Happy (late) Valentine's Day! I hope y'all had a wonderful day. I love y'all so much and so grateful to have y'all in my life??

Well, another funny and crazy week in the wonderful city of Powhatan. Sadly, we didn't get the cops called on us this week, maybe next week hahaha

So we have been working with this guy named Michael. He has 2 kids, a boy and girl who are both teens, who are living with him right now. When Sister Squires met him, he was a heavy drinker and smoker. He quit drinking right before I got here. He has relapsed once about 2 weeks ago, but he is still going strong right now. We are going to slowly wean him off smoking, but we are trying to take it one step at a time right now. He is doing great though. He wants to be baptized, he just needs to work on his word of wisdom issues and continue to come to church and things will be great. We had a ward family home evening last Monday night and he and his kids came to it and loved it. We played a lot of games like Charades and Apples to Apples and they really enjoyed themselves. He knows this is what is best for him and his kids, to learn about the church. He LOVES the Book of Mormon and reads it everyday, which is so awesome.

On Monday night, Elder and Sister Sopp, a cute older couple that works in the mission office took us out to dinner. The also attend the Powhatan ward and are so sweet to us. They definitely spoil us. It's nice because he is over the cars, phone, and IPads, so if we ever need anything, like more miles, he sneaks them to us. It's so great!!

Sister Wilson, came to our district meeting about two weeks ago and told Sister Squires and I that if we ever needed anyone to come out with us, she would be glad to come. So of course, we took her up on her offer and invited her to a lesson with us on Tuesday. I seriously love her! She is so sweet and definitely brought a good spirit with her. Our investigator could tell how special and how much love she had. It was really neat to have her with us.

We have been teaching this guy named Cecil. He has been looking for a church and loves the messages we have to share with him. We talked about coming to church and being baptized and he is so cool. He wants to be baptized but just wants to be fully committed, which is awesome because some people aren't committed all the way and become less active. So he told us he wants to be all in it! He has a crazy work schedule so it's hard for him to come to church, but he is trying to make time and come to church. He is awesome. We hope that things will start to clear up for him so he isn't so busy.

There's also a guy named James, he just married Lisa, who is a member but has been less active for over 10 years. She finally started coming back to church which is so good because it helps James come to church as well. James has a very big social life and likes to drink with his friends. He believes everything is true but expressed that he isn't sure if he can live the lifestyle of being a Mormon. Yesterday at church, we had a really good lesson in gospel principles about having faith in Jesus Christ and if we keep his commandments, we will be blessed. He told us the lesson helped him a lot and he will still continue to pray and read the Book of Mormon so he can get his answer. Lisa is a big help for us because she motivates him and answers his questions and explains things to him when we aren't there. He just needs to soften his heart.

We also had interviews with President Wilson this weekend. President is so great. He truly is amazing. I am so grateful to have such a wonderful president. It's weird, he's only here for 5 more months! It's going to be sad when he leaves.

Okay.... Of course I have to have some funny stories, cause it's Powhatan- life is hilarious here.
We were doing some potentials at the beginning on the week. We went to see one of the potentials named Pat. She wasn't home, but we talked to her husband, he wasn't very nice and rudely told us she wasn't home, he wasn't interested and come back later. He had a very big gravel driveway and we knew we could just turn around instead of backing up. So we started to turn around and then we weren't moving anywhere. We were stuck in DEEP mud. We tried everything we could to get out but nothing was working. We decided to go talk to him and see if he could help. We knock on the door and he just gives us this deep glare. I explain what happened and he looks at Sister Squires who was holding the keys cause she is the driver. He started yelling at her and started to tell her how stupid she was. It was really sad. He told us the same thing happened to him the other day, but still continued to say how stupid we were. He the slammed the door on us. We called our bishop and he was so nice and came out to help us. As Bishop was pulling us out, the man came out and started yelling at Bishop and telling him to not run into his garage and all this crazy, mean stuff. But our bishop was being really nice and helped us out. It was definitely really funny/scary/sad though. Thank goodness for Bishop! He saved the day!

The deer are all over the place here. We were driving down the road the other day and there were a bunch of deer just sitting there. Then one decided to run RIGHT across in front of us. Of course we both screamed like crazy and barely missed the deer. The Lord was watching out for us, thank goodness.

Saturday night, we decided to heart attack our bishop to thank him. We knew they were gone because they told us they were going on a date for Valentine's Day. After dinner we ran over there before a lesson with a less active. We were just starting to put hearts on their door when they pulled up. We didn't know what to do. We walked to them and made some lame excuse up that we wanted to wish them a happy Valentine's Day. They went inside and we just ended up putting the hearts on their garage. In ward council yesterday, of course the bishop told the whole ward council how sweet we were and how we heart-attacked them. We are on the Bishop’s good side now hee hee.

Okay, last crazy story, we had a lesson with David Noe, a less active, on Saturday night. We were just talking about repentance when gun shots started going off like crazy and we heard a scream. We aren't really sure what happened, but it sounded crazy. 
Lucky us, it's snowing again. Boo. We are praying it doesn't get icy or else we will have to stay inside because we are out in the "country" and roads are super sketchy. It really feels like you're on a roller coaster. 
Scripture of the week: Alma 13:24. It's says the Lord is preparing the hearts of the children. I need to continue to remind myself that and know there are people waiting to hear this wonderful message.

I love y'all so much, I hope this week is amazing!!!!

Love Sister Brooks!!

When we got stuck in the snow. (It wasn't really funny)

I thought Dad and the boys would like this!

Boo- Snow

Just tracting :)

Sister Brooks is not KIDNAPPED!

Sister Kaylee Brooks did not email this week.  We are not sure why.  It could be combination of it was a Holiday (President's Day) and the Public Library would be closed so she was unable to use their computers to email home or she was just flat out BUSY!  I am sure we will  hear the reason why in her email this next Monday- if she emails us. :)  When Thursday came along, her Dad and I were thinking we wanted to know if she was OK and not kidnapped or anything crazy like that- if you have read her previous blog posts (emails), you would understand that it might be possible for two cute girls that are way too brave and trusting, and thinking they are invincible, to have something go wrong.  We just wanted to know Sister Kaylee Brooks is OK!  Her weekly emails let us know that all is well and is a good "check in" for us. Thankfully, before making the embarrassing call to the mission home to "check on our daughter", I received a Facebook notification that the "Virginia Richmond Misson" had posts some pictures. I excitedly looked through the pictures and found that Sister Kaylee Brooks and her companion, Sister Squires had not been kidnapped and they are safe and sound. Awwww!

Sister Mari-Lynn Johnston Wilson posted:
"Another wonderful day with the Sisters from The Richmond, Chesterfield, 
Midlothian and Waynesboro Zones!" February 17, 2016

Sister Kaylee Brooks and Sister Squires, sitting with
Sister Brooks' former companion, Sister Tadd and her companion ?
I can see Sister Brooks' beautiful hair (back of her head)  :)
Every picture I see of her, face or not, gives me happy chills!

Monday, February 8, 2016

Powhatan- Success, happiness, and blood squirting chicken :)

Sister Brooks and Sister Squires


Let’s just say life in Powhatan is never a dull moment. There’s always some crazy story and something funny that happens here.

On Tuesdays, we go and volunteer at the Food Bank. We stock the shelves and put orders together that people want. It makes me so sad to see the situation people are in and how they don't have any food. I am glad they have things like this to help those in need. it’s really fun to be there and make friends with the workers and people who come in, and of course, we get to relate the gospel to them some how, THAT'S PERFECT HAPPINESS RIGHT THERE!

We have started to teach this girl named Katie. Her Grandma that lives in Midlothian was just baptized and she attended that. Sister Squires used to teach her Grandpa and then when I got here, she said she was interested in learning. We have her on date right now, but it all depends on if she comes to church and when her date will be. She didn't come to church yesterday so that was a bummer, but she is really interested and has some really cool experiences on how she felt the Holy Ghost and saved her daughters life. We see her Tuesdays and Thursdays, so hopefully we can help her and motivate her to come to church.

We also found this really cute girl named Melanie. We had an hour before dinner yesterday and decided to go do some potentials. We stopped at her house first and she was outside playing with her little autistic boy. He is so cute!!  She told us the Elders came and saw her about 6 months ago and taught her a little. She knew a Mormon family and said she loved talking with them because they were so sweet. She said she has never met a rude Mormon. She explained to us how she is a therapist and uses her horses to help her clients. It really sounds so cool. As we were leaving, Sister Squires asked her if we could do anything for her or any service, she got really excited and said she wants to take us out to feed her horses and have us help her with them. We got really excited!! We can’t wait :)

So... some funny and gross stories now. . .

We were at a members house for dinner and she made this really yummy chicken, stuffing and salad. I cut into my chicken and took a good bite, wow it was good. I cut into it again and blood squirt out. I cut in a little more and no joke, blood just flooded out. I almost threw up. Yeah, I didn’t eat anything else after that one.

We send a scripture out every single day to our investigators. I was texting out a scripture and I accidentally put "moron", instead of "Moroni". I was made fun of all day, hahaha.

Well.. yet again, we were tracting on a street. All the streets are PITCH black and the houses are at least 200 yards from each other so we have to walk a good ways. But anyway, someone called the cops on us again, haha.  I’m starting to become really good friends with all the cops now. :)     

There’s this place here called, The Clothes Closet.  You pay $3 and get a big brown bag and you can fill up with clothes. So of course we went today and bought the ugliest clothes and we had way too much fun!! haha 

Scripture of the week: Exodus 4:12- The Holy Ghost will always tell you and put words into your mouth and let us know what we need to say. He is never going to leave us a lone, we just need to
be brave and know he will help us. 

I love y’all so much, have a wonderful week!! 

Love, Sister Brooks