Monday, March 28, 2016

Tender Mercies and Priesthood Blessing turn my week around

Emailing with Sister Mailata
Happy Easter!! 

I hope everyone had a wonderful Easter Sunday and pondered about the Savior and his resurrection. I am so grateful for Jesus Christ and for his unconditional love and his atonement. I learn and become more grateful for our Savior everyday as I see his hand and his love for each of us daily. He is truly amazing!! 

This week started off so slow and very hard for me. We were tracting pretty much all day and not finding any success and it was starting to get very frustrating. Things weren't going how I wanted them to and I didn't like that one bit. Haha. I wanted to just sit down and cry and give up once Thursday hit, but the Lord is great and changed my week and attitude as He put miracles and tender mercies in my path. (To be continued)

On Tuesday night, we had a Passover dinner with the Relief Society sisters. We had a good turnout. We had some less actives and people brought their friends. We had a lady in our ward and her husband, who is Jewish, do the whole ceremony/ritual (I don't know what to call it) for us. They condescend a lot, but it was fun to see and eat some of the things that they would. The guy doing it, would read all the prayers in Hebrew, - that was really cool. It was definitely a different experience and I really enjoyed it. 

On our way to the Passover dinner

Tender mercy number one-  we had Lisa's mom, Terri, call us and ask us to do service for her. We jumped at the opportunity and didn't even care what it was. Terri is living with Lisa and James because she was evicted out of her house and has some sickness which makes her very weak. She moved all of her stuff into a storage unit, but it was starting to get expensive and add up quick, so we took all of her stuff out of her storage unit and brought it into her shed at Lisa and James’ house. My arms haven't had that good of a work out in a long time. It was hard labor, but boy did I enjoy every second of it. It was so much fun to do service, get to know her and her life story a little more and take a break from tracting... Haha. We also helped brother Noe again this week. He is trying to fix up his house and we have been helping him with tons of yard work. His house looks SO much better already. It just really needed some attention. He had a trailer full of a ton, literally,it was a ton, of rocks and we shoveled all of those out into a wheel barrow and dumped it on his driveway. Let's just say my arms are huge now. Body builder, here I come... Sike.

Thursday, I pretty much had it. I was emotionally drained and frustrated. I felt like a chicken running around with my head cut off this week. We went to zone workshops and had 3 different workshops and they were so good. Tender mercy number two- all three of the workshops were EXACTLY what I needed. We learned how to help our investigators pray and the importance of it. Dan doesn't like praying with us, so this was revelation for him. The next was how to get our investigators to church. THIS WAS A BIG ONE WE NEEDED!!! It was so great. We haven't been able to get investigators to church, except James, so this was perfect for us. Then the last one was about planning and how we need to do better nightly plannings. I learned so much from this workshop and I am so so grateful that we were able to have them. After workshops, President Wilson pulled me aside and asked me how I was doing. I told him I was doing good. He didn't believe that for a second apparently and he then started talking about my area and companion. I think he could see I was struggling... This guy is amazing!!! We talked for a little and he gave me some advice. He then gave me a priesthood blessing. Wow, talk about big tender mercy. It was so amazing and powerful. I walked out of the room feeling so much more confident and my spirit so much higher. I am so grateful for President Wilson. He truly is called of God and he is so sweet. I am thankful for him and his willingness to talk and see if things are okay and be my therapist haha. I love him! 

We were asked to help with this GIANT Easter egg hunt on Saturday morning that one of the ward members was putting on. He had over 2 thousand or so eggs and was inviting his whole neighborhood and tons of ward members and less actives. We jumped at the opportunity because PERFECT missionary moment... But, we got a call from the mission secretary saying Sister Mailata had to go into Richmond to take an English test, I don't understand the whole thing, she doesn't give any details.  Thinking it's only going to be 30 minutes or less, we figured we could still go and help out at the Easter egg hunt. We had to be down to Richmond by 8 so she could get there and checked in. Elder and Sister Sopp picked us up about 7 and we were on our way. When we arrived at  the testing center, they told us the test will be 3-4 hours!! Ahh. So the Sopps and I had  3-4 hours of time to burn. We ended up going to the state capital and taking a tour, then we went to the James River and went across the bridge and then we went to the Hollywood Cemetery and saw where some governors and presidents were buried. It was really fun to go there and see so much history. Nate (Caplin) would LOVE Virginia!  It’s full of history. I'm sure he knows everything already, but being there and seeing it in person was awesome. And guess what? I even remembered some of it from his history class. Yes, I paid attention, sometimes.. Hehe. We then went and picked up Sister Mailata and drove home. We had power exchanges right when we got home. That’s when the stls (Sister Training Leaders) come to our area for a few hours in the day and we just go find people. So when we got home, they came and off we went. I went with Sister Patching and Sister Mailata went with Sister Schenck and Sister Madsen. We had about an hour and a half to tract. HOLY COW SO MANY MIRACLES!!!! The street we were on was amazing! Almost every house there was someone outside and we jumped on the opportunity quickly. We ended up finding two solid people and we were able to have a lesson with them!!! (Getting 2 lessons while tracting in Powhatan is a big deal). Sister Patching and I were pretty pumped.  When it was time to go home, we met up with the other sisters. They had THREE lessons. It was such a big miracle!! They said that everyone was outside as well. That definitely was such a good day to tract and have exchanges because we were able to get double the work done. It was such a big tender mercy and it definitely made my attitude sky rocket. I love it- it takes the littlest things for missionaries to be happy. :) But these were pretty big, for Powhatan. Haha 

The Captial Building:

With George Washington
In front of the Capital

James River

Hollywood Cemetery

Woman's broadcast was amazing! I loved every second of it. I loved how it talked about service a lot. We are trying to do a lot of service here and love the people in our area so we can get to know them and they can help us and be more motivated to do missionary work. We had Lisa and her mom also come with us which was really cool. 

Easter was great, it wasn’t too much of a different day besides the wonderful meaning of Jesus Christ and his resurrection. We had beautiful songs sung, and the choir, which I am in hahahahaha, even sang. I was embarrassed, it sounded awful. Ha but enough of that. Our dinner cancelled on us at the beginning of the week so the Murpheys, I love them so much, had us over with a few other families for lunch and wow it was so good. 

James is doing good. He is still trying to gain a Testimony for himself and prepare to set a date for baptism. Dan is still doing great and thinking about baptism and reading the Book of Mormon a lot. Not much has changed with them this week. 
Okay sorry for the long and rambling email. 

Funny story of the week: it was raining yesterday and pretty chilly. We were tracting last night and it was like a misty rain. We were walking up this driveway and Sister Mailata says, “holy it's humid out here”, I looked at her very oddly. I said,  “uhh, no hahaha, it's actually pretty cold and not humid at all.” She's asked, "it's not humid? Then what's this wet stuff in the air." I was trying not to laugh and said, “Sister, this is rain!” Hahaha, it was pretty funny. She said she obviously doesn't know what humidity is. Yeah... 
Scripture of the week: 1 Nephi 22:2- with General conference coming up, I have been studying about prophets. I love this scripture because it talks about how God has given us prophets so we can know of the things that He wants us to. I am grateful for the prophets that we have had and for their direction and guidance that they give to us.

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

Love Sister Brooks!

Virginia is so pretty in the Spring
Brother Noe and I match!

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