Monday, March 14, 2016

Goodbye Sister Squires, Hello Sister Mailata!

Emailing at the library with my new companion, Sister Mailata
Hello my lovely family and friends!!

I hope y'all had a wonderful spring break! It's finally starting to feel like spring here. It has been in the 70's all week and it has felt so great!! 

Cat shirts that we bought.
Saying Goodbye to Sister Squires was very hard!
We had the dreadful transfers on Tuesday. Let's just say I hated every second of it. I seriously love Sister Squires and I am so thankful I was able to spend the transfer with her in Powhatan. She has taught me so much. I seriously bawled like a baby when we left each other. I don't know if anyone from now on will be able to top her ;) Maybe we can be together again sometime. Cross your fingers. 

My new companion is Sister Mailata. She is from Samoa and has been out for 13 months. English is her second language so sometimes it is hard to understand her. I'm sure she hears "what?!" all the time since she has been here. Everyone has said that multiple times including me. We get along fine but don’t know each other much yet. This transfer will be 7 weeks because the MTC decided to have the missionaries stay for 3 weeks instead of the 12 days, so it pushes is back a week. But it will be good, I'm am excited to get to know her better. 

This week has been pretty good. We had two amazing miracles and I am so excited to see how the next 6 weeks go with Charles and James. 

To start off with Charles... (Excommunicated guy)
We set an appointment to meet with him Tuesday right after transfers. He called us on the way home saying he wouldn't be able to make it and asked if we could please come the following morning, Wednesday morning. So we brought a member with us Wednesday morning and visited him. We started asking him what he remembers and knows about the restoration and he started to say he knew about Joseph Smith but he didn't think that he or the restoration was a big deal and didn't understand why the Mormons "worshiped" him. The member that was with us was so good for him. She explained how much Joseph Smith did for us and how we don't worship him, we just know that he was foreordained to restore the church Jesus Christ had when he was on the earth. She also told him that at one point in her life she found it hard to believe in Joseph Smith, but as she continued to read and pray, she felt so much peace and gained a testimony about him. It made him realize we aren't all perfect, members have doubts too. It made him feel a little more comfortable. We brought up 2 Nephi 3 and how Joseph in Egypt prophesies of Joseph Smith and how he would bring both good word and deed into the world. And of course he did! (This was my scripture last week and it totally fit in great with what he needed to know, ponderizing is the bomb) Charles loved how our member explained it all and helped him clear up many things for him and answer some of his questions. He told us his concern on how he would love to read the Book of Mormon but it is hard for him to understand everything. We suggested he studied with the seminary manual and he was very happy about that and said he would start to read again. He didn't come to church yesterday sadly, but we hope he will continue to progress and we can get everything straightened out. 

Okay James. I love him and Lisa. They seriously are the best. We went over and saw them on Friday night. We talked about the atonement and how Christ knows what we are going through because he has gone through it all. We talked about how the atonement isn't just about Christ dying for us on the cross but it is also him suffering in the Garden of Gethsemane and how he was resurrected. After the lesson, Lisa brought out her ice cream cake because it was her birthday on Thursday. We were just talking and enjoying cake when James, out of NO WHERE, says that he has been thinking a lot about baptism and how he feels like he is almost ready. Last Saturday, Sister Squires asked him on a scale of 1-10 where he was on being baptized. He said he was probably at a 5.1. He goes on to explain he is probably at a 6.5 now!! He jumped a whole 1.4 in one week! If he keeps progressing this quickly, he will be ready in no time. The look on Lisa's face was priceless. She had no idea and you could just see the happiest smile on her face. In church, we talked about the Holy Ghost and how it can be a constant companion for us after baptism. James was asking so many good questions and would answer a lot of the questions as well. He is doing so good! Everyone is getting really excited for him. 

Since it is warming up, we are getting more service opportunities! Sister Squires and I have been asking for a while for people to have us come do service for them because tracting all day gets tiring. Now that she is gone we are getting some... :( haha  Brother Noe had us do some yard work and we helped him get more gravel so we could fix his gravel driveway. Then Bishop and his wife had us come over and do some yard work, rake old leaves, plant flowers and put some pine needles down in their flower beds- can't remember the reason why hahaha. They are so sweet. They then fed us lunch and we admired their view. In their back yard they have a lake and they built a pretty dock and they have little chairs on it. They have tons of fishing poles and kayaks. It's so pretty! I told them when I come back, I'll definitely be using them. 

I'm excited, I'm able to go to mid mission this coming Thursday and Friday. It's a meeting the missionaries are able to go to with president and learn new things and set goals on how you want the rest of your mission to be like and how your mission has been so far. Time sure does fly. So I'll be able to spend time with the sisters I came out with and be at the mission home. I'll make sure to tell y'all all about it next week. I'm excited.

Scripture of the week: Amos 8:11- it talks about how there is going to be a famine in the land, not of hunger or thirst, but of the word of God. I hear from people how crazy the "real" world is and how they are scared for the future. It just makes me really grateful that we have the gospel of Jesus Christ on this earth. Because we do, we know that we will be okay. I am so grateful for this gospel and the wonderful time I have to go share it with those in Powhatan. Time sure does fly fast. I love being a missionary. 
I love y'all so much, have an amazing week!

Love Sister Brooks 

Sister Mailata and Me at our apartment

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