Monday, July 25, 2016

I SAW SISTER WALTON (from the Washington DC mission)!

This is us NOW, emailing
I'd like you to meet my new companion, Sister Johnsen

Hello from Richmond! 

   Before I start anything I have to tell you something Super cool—Sister Bray is now serving with Sister Grace Walton. Their area is right above us. We tried to figure out how we could meet before I was transferred on Tuesday. We both called our president and they both said it would be fine if we met for breakfast Tuesday morning. We only could meet if an investigator or recent convert came, so we invited Desmond to come up with us so he could see Sister Bray again. Well, WE WERE ABLE TO MEET THEM!!!!!! I got to see Sister Walton and Sister Bray before I left to transfers. It's was the best ever! I have tons of pictures!!! 

    I was transferred this week and I am now serving in the Chippenham YSA ward. Our area is covering 3 stakes of all YSA age students. We mainly do street contacting around VCU (Virginia Commonwealth University) and have found quite a bit of success this week. It's a little bit slower because it's summer, but there are still so many people around campus and this area.  It is so much different than a family ward, but it seriously is so fun! We serve with the AP's, so we are with them a lot. We mostly walk around all day, so if you combine that with the heat and humidity.... We are drenched within an hour. 
Transfer Day!
   My new companion is Sister Johnsen. She is seriously the best!! Funny thing is, I kind of knew her before my mission. She went to Dixie State University and we played intramurals against each other a few times. She even knows Chris very well. I seriously love her to Death. We already have so much fun together and work so well together!! She is super athletic and loves working out which is awesome because we play ball a lot. We also live in the same apartment complex as the elders and there is a little gym here. Since we can't work out with them, we switch off every day on who wakes up at 5 to work out and who goes to work out at 6. To say the least, we are pretty tired. But that doesn't stop us! 

  We have been able to see SO MANY Miracles this week. We have been able to see pretty big ones as well. It's so cool how God truly does bless us. Within 5 minutes of us going out and contacting, we find one person to share a message with them and they are interested in learning more.  Here are a few miracles that have stuck out to me today: 

    We met Shaquan (pronounced Shay Quan) as we were walking to campus. He was sitting on a bench drinking a smoothie. We asked him if we could give him our card and then started talking to him. He had many questions and we read scriptures from the Book of Mormon to help answer his questions. He was really intrigued with the Book of Mormon so we explained to him what it was and how it came to be. He said he really wanted it but he didn't have enough money to pay for it. We told him it was free and his face lite up. We talked about how Jesus Christ and our Heavenly Father truly do love us and it wasn't a coincidence that we met him. He knew we met him for a reason. We gave him the Book of Mormon and invited him to read the introduction. We set up another time to meet with him. A few days past and it was time to have our return appointment with him. It was sooo hot outside and we didn't want to meet outside. There is a church building right down the street that we hang out in, so we decided to have a lesson there, but we couldn't go inside because if we are with a boy inside, there has to be a third female. Anyway, we tried so hard to find a female to come with us, but it was the ward temple trip so EVERYONE was gone. But, the last person we called was able to come!! We had an amazing lesson with him. It was only a 15 minute lesson because we had to get to another appointment. He asked us if next time we met, we could meet a little longer because he loved learning about this and felt something when he met with us. It was awesome! 

     Next we met Badaidra,(pronounced buh-day-dra). Nathaniel, in our ward, brought her to church yesterday. We met with her afterwards and we were able to share the restoration with her. The whole time during the first vision she just kept saying "Wow, this is amazing, I love this!" She was super excited to learn all about our church and come and experience it. She loved church and wants to come back next week. We invited her to be baptized and she said yes without hesitation. She set a date and everything! We will be meeting with her again this week.

Few other miracles:
-We set three more people on date. 
-We met many solid new people who want to learn more. 
-We were texting people in our area book and a guy texted us back saying he was interested and would love to meet with us. 
-We were contacting and a nice breeze came in and saved us from dying. (Okay that was exaggerated, but it was so hot)

 Now for a few funny stories:

   We were walking around campus one night and we were talking to some people and next thing we know some lady is trying to get this drunken guy off campus. She found him passed out on the library stairs. Sister Johnsen recognized him. His name is Robert and he was one of the elder’s investigators. Well, he was super drunk and security was called on him, so this sweet girl was trying to get him off campus so he didn't get in trouble. Well long story short, we tried to help him and sat with him on a bench for a while (about an hour). He told us his life story, which was wayyyyyy too much information.  We stole all his alcohol and threw it away sneakily.  He sang us songs and tried running away from us. After about an hour, he was knocked out and sleeping on the cement.  The police and EMTs finally came and took him to the hospital. It was a very interesting night to say the least. 

   Because the mission orders so much pizza for meetings, the AP's had tons of free Pizza coupons. So on Saturday they got a few and we walked around a park that is right next to the campus and fed all the homeless people. There are a lot of homeless people around here. We had around 12 boxes of pizza and we got wiped clean. They were so happy and thankful we came around and delivered pizza to them. It was really fun. 

Scripture: 1 Samuel 12:24- we need to serve God with all our heart. We need to think and "consider" like the scripture says and really ponder about what He has done for us and the many blessings He has blessed us with. 

I am so grateful to be on my mission. I love it so much out here and can't believe how blessed I am each and every day. I love y'all!

Love Sister Brooks :) 

Chippenham crew, before Elder Albrect, the one in the front, left to go home. 

The Stanley family. I love them all so much. 
Kevin a less active who is moving to Virginia beach. Saying goodbye. 
What you do if your companion falls asleep before you do.
(Just kidding.  She's not really asleep)

Monday, July 18, 2016

Great week in Aquia , but unfortunately, I'm packing my bags again :(

Emailing with my fellow Sisters!

Hi Everyone!

It has been another great week in the Aquia area!! I literally should copy and paste my first paragraph every week because the same thing happens  haha. We have some of the best moments and some of the worst in one week, it's crazy. Missionary work is always keeping me on my toes! 

     Well, let's start off with the terrible news, I'm getting transferred. I am so so so sad to be leaving Aquia. I seriously feel like I just got here. I am cursed; I will break it one day though and stay in an area for longer than 2 transfers. I never have. One day!!! Getting the call was heart breaking, but I know I need to be somewhere else and will meet so many new wonderful people!  Time to pack the bags again... Yay! 

Now for some cool, funny and dramatic things:

    We have the funniest and crazy older guy we are teaching named Brother Joe. He has been meeting with the missionaries for over 9 months now. He lived in the elder’s area but moved into ours, so we met him a few weeks ago! Anyway, he called us one night and asked us to come over so we could pray for one of his friends that just had surgery. We just got done with an appointment and were right next to his house so we ran over there. He introduced us to his friend, Lori and, holy cow, she was golden!! She told us how she was searching for a church and just randomly showed up to ours during a fast and testimony meeting. She even went up and bore her testimony!! She said she would love to be a part of our church but she smokes and drinks tea. We shared with her the message of the restoration and how our prayers can be answered. We also talked to her about how we can help her quit smoking. She was so excited. We set a return appointment with her. As we were leaving the lesson, she turned to us and said, “I know this isn't a coincidence, I am never at this house and I know God put me here for a reason.” Well, I wish I could say it ended up to be really good, but we went to see if we could still meet with her for her return appointment and she ended up dropping us (saying she doesn't want to meet with us anymore). She read the Book of Mormon and didn't know how she felt about it. I am pretty sure she ran into some anti :(

     We had MLC with President Smith this week. He wanted us to get together and talk about some of the rules/things we have done in the past and how we should go about them or if we should change them. Holy cow, I seriously love President Smith so much. He is so down to earth and so funny!! He really cares about the work and wants to do everything he can to bring God’s children closer to Him. 

We were able to volunteer at the animal shelter again. It was so fun! We just went for an hour to play with dogs! I taught the dogs how to do sweet tricks. I had way too much fun playing fetch with them. Talk about stress reliever. 

We were able to go on Exchanges Saturday! I was with Hermana Rodriguez. I love her so much. She has become one of my best friends. I love her to death. Thank goodness she lives in Arizona. We already have trips planned for when we get home :) but seriously, she is such an amazing teacher. We stayed in my area, and the things she said and questions she asked our investigators were so amazing and helped them so much. She really is such an amazing missionary and person. I love her.
Hermana Rodriguez and Me

   Hermana Rodriguez, me, and Skyler Oti, our ward mission leader's daughter.

Scripture Alma 38:5: this has been my favorite this week. It just says that if we trust in God, we will be delivered out of our trails and afflictions. We all need to trust our Heavenly Father and know that He has a plan for each of us. We just need to continue to endure our trials and look at the positive of things :)

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

Love, Sister Brooks :) 

Cutest little girl ever!

Investigator, Dymis and his girlfriend, Jaimie- she's a member.
Hermana Rodriguez walked into the gym one morning with flowers for me.

Desmond and Us. . . . . 

Our District

"Hi Mom!" Video with Desmond- you gotta love him!
When in Virginia, eat a cricket!

Monday, July 11, 2016


Happy email day!

Happy happy Monday family  and friends dear!! 

I hope y'all had a wonderful Fourth of July, it definitely was different in good old Virginia, but it was still so much fun! We went over to a member in our ward and there was lots of food and there were tons of people. It was raining all day, but thank goodness it was only sprinkling when it was time for fireworks :) they had SO many, it definitely reminded me a lot of home and I loved every second of it. Desmond was able to come as well and meet more people and even better, get away from his friends so he wasn't tempted to break the Word of Wisdom. 

Fourth of July FUN!

Some really fun and exciting things happened this week, our zone and the work in the mission is progressing very well. I can't tell you enough how much I loved President and Sister Smith. I will talk about them soon. 

Okay funny/creepy stories...
One evening we had a few more minutes before it was time to go home. It was about 8:30, and we were walking around these apartment complexes. We didn't have any potentials in one of the buildings, so we decided to tract it a little. We were down to the second level and this guy comes up to us yelling at us and telling us he isn't interested. (We didn't say a word to him or even look at him, we had no idea he was there until he started yelling). We were polite and told him okay and just went on our way knocking doors. He then started saying all this crazy stuff to us and just screaming. Then a girl pulled up in her car and was walking up to her apartment (God sends people to help us, I'm telling you). She heared us getting yelled at and walked back down the stairs and invited us in her house. Long story short, she told us that the guy is crazy and has been in jail 5 times for harassing women. We start talking to her and she said, “Hey! My boyfriend is a Mormon. She wasn't interested at all in us teaching her, but it just showed us that God really does work in mysterious ways. He put her, us and Mr. crazy pants yelling at us in each other’s path just so we could meet her. God is funny sometimes. Once the guy finally left and walked into his apartment, we were able to leave. 

      We were again knocking some doors on Friday. We knocked on this door and this guy answered. He was really standoffish and didn't want to hear from us at all. I then asked if I could give him something (a picture) and his eyes lit up and was SO happy. He thought we were there trying to sell him something or we were the police. He was saying how amazing it was that we came by and how he knew this was a sign from God and he had to become a Mormon now. Don't get your hopes up, this story gets crazier. We set a return appointment with him for Saturday. We went by and talked to him a little more. He then became weird. He said he is half human, half alien, and God speaks to him and he had it on film and he showed us, (it was just a giant lightening/thunder storm we had the other night), he can smell me at times through the day and even when he ate his popcorn that night, and then he told us he was part of the Illuminati. Yeah- We won't be going back there again. Haha Jess, one of the young women, was with us... She was weirded out big time. 

      I forgot to mention this last week; it is so funny and so cool!! When were in the middle of our last MLC with President Wilson and he was in the middle of a sentence, his phone rang. He looked at it and said, "hold on one second." He left for a few minutes and came back in and said, "Sorry, that was President Monson, and he just needed to talk to me for a second." He had no emotion or anything on his face and started up where he left off. Everyone was just sitting there like what the heck!?!? It was so funny but cool to know the PROPHET was on the phone with our mission president. 

       We were able to have Zone conference with President and Sister Smith. They are so inspired by God and are truly called by Him. They know exactly what we need and will try and strive to do everything they can for us. Cool fact about President Smith: he marketed and came up with the idea of Funfetti cake mix, so of course, that is now our mission’s favorite type of cake :).  He also worked for the juice company, Ocean Spray. If that doesn't show you how cool he is, I don't know what will. Haha 

We had the chance to volunteer at an Animal shelter this week. I don't know if you remember me talking about the Hoyts. They are non-members and fed Sister Bray and I one night. Well, they own an animal shelter and we finally got a hold of them and went and volunteered. They mainly have cats and dogs. But we got to learn how to take care of them; we played with them, took them on walks and helped clean around their shelter. It was so much fun. They have so many types and sizes of cats and dogs. Their shelter is amazing because it's not a kill shelter. Most of them are. But they will keep the animal until they get adopted. We hopefully will be going back this week. 

    One thing that has been slacking really big in the mission since I have been here is getting investigators to church. But it was so amazing, we were able to have a girl that we found recently named Tasha come and Roger who has met with missionaries before but we got in contact with him again and he came to church, and of course Desmond! They all LOVED it. They both plan on coming back next week :) Roger came to all three hours and participated in class and loved when they talked about Temples and baptisms for the dead in his priesthood class. The elders came up to us after church and said he was so happy and excited when he heard there were baptisms for the dead because his father passed away and it has been really hard for him to get over that. He is super cool. He is in his middle 40's. 

HIGHLIGHT OF THE WEEK- DESMOND WAS BAPTIZED!!!!! Holy cow he has been doing amazing. He really has changed and progressed so much the last two weeks. He keeps saying this is his church, he knows he needs to do this and he has God more in his life now. It has been a stressful week with him because so many things have been going wrong, but then of course, things always work out wonderfully. He had his interview on Wednesday and he walked out of the room with the district leader, threw his hands in the air and said, "I did it, I'm getting baptized!!!!" Everyone just laughed. His family has been trying to talk him out of meeting with us and coming to church, but he has held strong and he knew he needed to do this. He was baptized last night :) He went to put his baptism jumpsuit on and walked out of the bathroom and just looked at me and said, "ew, I look like a stuffed turkey." And of course, the room busted up laughing again. There were SO many people at his baptism. So many people from the ward were there and some of the elders and sisters brought their investigators! He asked us if we would sing at his baptism, so of course we did. His baptism had the spirit their sooo strong. I am so grateful for Des and his decision to be baptized and do good in his life. 

Scripture of the week:  Moroni 6:6. I have been thinking a lot about the sacrament. Really, we are so lucky and very privileged to have this ordinance here for us every week. It's a chance for us to repent and remember our baptism covenants. This should be a time we look forward to and really ponder as the sacrament goes by. I have seen such a change in my Sabbath worship as I have focused and prepared more for the sacrament. 

It's so crazy; we receive transfer calls on Saturday. These transfers have been going by crazy fast.  I love y'all so so much!! Like what the heck, can you believe summer is pretty much half over??? 

Love Sister Brooks :)

Crazy sunburn- from walking around tracting

P-day crafts with the Sisters