Monday, April 25, 2016

I'm transferring and going to be an STL!


Holy cow time goes by so fast!! I can't believe it's almost May and this transfer is already over. It seriously is so crazy and I never believed missionaries when they said that time goes by fast, but boy they are right. It's flying.

Well.. I'm sure you're curious about transfers. Let me give you the background story... On Saturday nights from 6-9 the A.P.'s or president will call you. If you get a call, that means you're being transferred. But, if President calls you, you're going to train or get a leadership position, so it's scary when he calls. We were visiting this less active and talking to her. It was about 7:30ish and we decided to head out. We got in the car and we had a few missed texts so we went over those. We were driving down the street and Sister M said, “oh no... we have a missed call from President. We called him back and he started some small talk with Sister M so I was thinking it’s for her. Then he asks to talk to me... Long story short, I have been called to be an STL (Sister Training Leader)! I'm excited for this calling and to see all the amazing sisters in other areas of our mission. I'll find out Tuesday where and who my new companion is. I seriously will miss Powhatan so much. I love it here. It's definitely been the most challenging place I have been so far, but it has been so amazing to see and meet all these amazing people. I have learned that even the smallest things that happen are so appreciated and I am so grateful for. I said goodbye to some people yesterday like James and Lisa, I have become really good friends with Lisa and it was so hard saying goodbye to her. But, thank goodness for airplanes and coming back to visit ;) 

This week has been pretty good. We didn't have a very good week last week, so we decided to work our bums off and work like crazy!!  The week started out with just tracting and trying to find new people for our teaching pool. When we were tracting Tuesday night, we were getting very discouraged. We had 3 more houses on this street we were tracting and were ready to get them over with so we could do something else. We knocked on the 3rd to the last door. This SUPER cute girl named Kaycee, (I was totally going to hook Chris up with her until she said she was a senior in high school) answered the door. She was so happy and said she would love to hear our message. We shared the restoration with her and she thought it was so cool and was way excited to read the Book of Mormon. She has (I can't remember the exact wording) some qualifying meet for swimming soon to get into the Olympics for swimming. She could be the next Michael Phelps, who knows. It was a cool miracle because she said she is never home until 9 but she came home today because she hurt herself during her practice as they were lifting so they sent her home. She recognized how cool it was and how God really must want her to listen. 

Super hyped about how cute Kaycee was and how we finally got a lesson and met someone cool, we were in good spirits now. The next house was a potential that the elders that were in Powhatan met about 2 years ago. We decided to just "tract" into him and talk to him. We walked up his driveway and we saw a guy sitting in the porch. He came over to us and we explain who we were and what we were doing. He invited us over to his porch and explained he has met with missionaries before and his name is Zach. He is probably in his early 30's late 20's. He then told us he has had a terrible day and it's been really hard for him. He said we could share a quick message. We knew we didn't have much time so we wanted to get the main points down, but the Holy Ghost was definitely with me and knew what Zach really needed to hear. I just started telling him about how much our Heavenly Father loves him and knows him by name and Sister Mailata was testifying about it as well. We looked over and he was in TEARS. He explained how he needed to hear that and was really doubting God and if He knew him. He was sobbing at this point and was really embarrassed; I thought it was super cool (his emotions not his embarrassment). He invited us to come back another time because he didn't want to keep crying in front of us. But it was so cool. It was such a testimony builder about how much the Holy Ghost is with us. He knew exactly what Zach needed and made us speak the words. As we were leaving his driveway, we knew the spirit was with us and it was us relaying the message through us. 

One more house to go, we are super pumped. At the last house, this guy answered. He said he had a few minutes to talk with us and wanted to hear our messages, and it was an excuse to get away from his crying baby. We shared the restoration with him and he really enjoyed it. He is a Baptist, but was so amazed about Joseph Smith. You could tell her was really touched and could feel the spirit, because we definitely could. Let's just say we ended that night very happy!! 

We were able to do some service for a less active this week. Her husband was in a car accident about 4 years ago and has had major problems with his leg since then. He went in for surgery and had his femur fixed and a knee replacement. He has been on bed rest, in hospital and getting worked on for about a year now. That makes our less active, Sister Wilton, having to do ALL the work. She is working about 12 hour days and doesn't have time to do anything for herself or even clean her house. She is the busiest lady ever. We have been trying to reach her almost this whole transfer. She finally reached out to us the beginning of this week and asked us if we could come over and help her. So we did. She said she hasn't deep cleaned her house for over a year and it was really starting to gross her out. We helped clean her bathroom, vacuumed, and dusted. She was in tears as we were leaving and was so happy we came and helped. 

Seriously, being a missionary is the best thing in the world. Seeing people's face light up, being able to help people in need and doing the Lord’s work is amazing. I couldn't ask for anything better. I am so grateful to be out here on my mission and to serve the people of Virginia. I know this is where I needed to be. I know I am in the right place and couldn't be doing anything better in my life right now. 

Yesterday, we had dinner with James and Lisa and they had the Despains, and the Nalders over-the Despain’s daughter. We had a little feast together and took lots of pictures and were able to say goodbye. I love all of them so much. It was fun and nice of them to all come together and as they called it, have a goodbye feast. I sure will miss them. 

 The Despain Family- in their cute matching shirts.

The Nalder Family

James and Lisa :)
My best friend, Lisa. 

James is doing wonderful. He is slowly but surely getting towards baptism. He is to the point where he has to work and try for himself to know if it is for him or not. But, thank goodness for Lisa. She is the biggest help and example to him. He has changed SO much since I have met him and I know he feels the spirit and God’s love for him. He just needs to have the faith in himself that he can do it. 

I am so grateful I had the chance to serve here in Powhatan.  I have grown so much since I have been here and know I needed to be here. I'm sure going to miss it. 

Scripture of the week: Doctrine and Covenants 84:85- I know the Holy Ghost will give us the things we need to say. We shouldn't be afraid of talking to people or sharing what we people, because the Holy Ghost will put words in our mouth and will not leave us alone. He will always be there to help us and testify of this wonderful gospel. To us and those we are talking to. 

I love y'all so much. I can't wait to tell you my new area and companion next week. I hope y'all have a fantastic week. Y'all definitely deserve. Always remember that you're a child, a son or daughter of God. That he knows you by name and cares so much about you. I LOVE YOU!!!!

Love Sister Brooks :)

(I just found out I was the only "English sister" called to be an STL. There was one leaving and out of ALL the English sister I was called.... Wow, I feel so honored!)

Me, Bro. Noe, and Sister Mailata.. 
Yes they are dark, I am white, but I had a disadvantage, 
the flash was right on me. But yes, I'm white. 

With Dan. I'm not crying, I just got done sneezing. Dang pollen. 

Terri, Lisa's mom. 
She is currently writing a book right now. 
She read us a few parts, it's super good. 

The following is a picture put together by the Despains and emailed to Sister Brooks' family with a message below.  (We think the world of you Despain Family!!) 
We are sad to learn that we will be losing our dear Sister Brooks this week because of transfers.  We don't know where she is going; just that she will not be in Powhatan anymore.  How sad for us.  We really love and appreciate the time that you have shared your daughter with us in this part of the Lord's vineyard.  In many ways, we consider her our daughter too....we hope that you don't mind.  We know that the Lord has more to teach her in other areas so we send her away with love. We really look forward to having you in this neck of the woods next year.  Your family will always be welcome in our home.  Sis. Brooks asked us to be all ready to serve you a "special" dinner so we can't let her down. See you next year. Again, thank you for sharing; we love all of you too.

Ron & Kathy Despain

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