Monday, August 22, 2016

Fantastic Week!! Students are BACK on Campus!

Emailing from the church- our second home ;)
Hello :)

Wow, I can't believe it's Monday already. Time is seriously flying by and going so fast. The weeks are over in a blink of an eye. I can't believe transfer calls are this Saturday. I literally just got here and I can't believe it's time for the calls already. I hope and pray Sister Johnsen and I get to be with each other for one more transfer. I am excited to tell you about the fantastic week I have had. 

   Last Monday we had Zone p-day. There is a zoo in our zone and members own it, so we took advantage of that and went to the zoo. We were able to feed the giraffes and birds. It was seriously one of the hottest days and we were all dripping wet from sweat by the time we got in our car. But it seriously was a lot of fun :) We then went back to the church and had a BBQ. Wow, it was so good, It reminded me of all the holiday parties we have.  Nothing is better than a nice, grilled hamburger. Haha ! While we were at the church, we played some sports of course. This zone p-day was a lot of fun and it was fun being with our zone some more and getting to know them. 

Zoo time lapse :)

   Monday night at family home evening, we said goodbye to Missy. She has officially gone back to Virginia Tech. I am going to miss her so much and seriously am so excited for her. She is planning on getting baptized on September 3. She hopefully will email me and send me pictures and I'll have to send them to you once she gets baptized. I am seriously so excited and happy for her. I love Missy so much. 

    We met this guy named Adrian a few weeks back. He was moving in and we stopped him as he was making a trip back to his truck to get more things. We told him who we were and he was really interested. We met with him this week and it went so well. We brought a recent convert named Alex to our lesson and they connected really well. Alex explained his conversion story and how he needed to quit doing a lot of things but how it was so worth it. It really helped Adrian put into perspective how other people are going through challenges like him and how he can overcome them. Alex was a really great help and really fellowshipped him well. 

    Okay, this story is amazing. We had a lesson with Shaquan. I can't remember if I have told you about him. Katherine came with us; she is Alex's girlfriend that introduced him to the church. We were planning on talking about some of the commandments but the spirit sure told us otherwise and we talked about God’s love. Shaquan bluntly asked us, "does God love me? I feel like He doesn't and I don't know how y'all recognize that He does." It was so sad to see that one of God’s children didn't even know or feel His love. We then had a SUPER powerful lesson and talked about how much God loves each and every one of us. During the lesson, Sister J, Katherine, and I were teary eyed because we could feel the spirit so so strong and we could truly feel the love that our Heavenly Father had for Shaquan.  Shaquan said such a sincere prayer at the end and really asked God if He was there, if He loved him, and if He could tell him why. It was so cool to see how sincere he was and how he truly wanted to know if God did love him.

We were talking with Katherine after the lesson with Shaquan and thanking her for bearing such a powerful testimony and helping us bring the spirit in. She looked at us all seriously and said, "Sisters, I just had a prompting to go on a mission." We sat there not knowing what to say. We were so shocked, happy, excited and we were speechless! Finally we all just broke into tears and cried. Katherine is 24 years old but has always had a mission in the back of her mind. She went off a really deep path a few years back and knew it wasn't the time then. We encouraged her to go home and read her patriarchal blessing. She texted us that night and told us she never really realized it, but it said right in her patriarchal blessing that she was going to serve a mission. We are super excited for her and hope she continues on the path of being a representative of Jesus Christ!! 

   It's been really nice, students started moving in on Saturday so campus is PACKED!! Yay, finally!!!  It is nice because we get to talk to so many more people and teach so many  more lessons. We have a ton of new potential investigators which is so awesome :) School starts this week, so we are going to be extremely busy! I can't wait; it's going to be a fantastic week! 

   Ryan update: he is great, he has been praying about getting baptized and he told us he knows he needs to and he wants to, he just doesn't know when. He won't set a specific date yet, but he is still working towards being baptized. Ryan went to the Philadelphia Temple open house on Saturday with our ward. He texted us that night and said, "SISTERS!! The temple was RAD!" It was so awesome to get that text from him and of course we were one happy set of sister missionaries. They got home late last night and so he didn't wake up in time for church sadly. We texted him after church to see if we could meet with him that evening. He told us he is going through some things right now and wants to take a break to figure things out. It wasn't very fun hearing that. We don't know what's going on or anything. But he said he will get back with us in a few days to let us know if he is still interested or not. We have been praying for him like crazy. Ryan is so prepared and has so much potential, we just hope he continues to meet with us and wants to learn more. 

Scripture of the week: Alma 56:56- this is about when the two thousand stripling warriors surround the Lamanites. This verse describes how none of them were slain because they had the strength of God. I love when it says, "yea, and they had fought as if with the strength of God; yea, never were men known to have fought with such miraculous strength;". I truly know if we put our trust and our strength in God, we can get through anything. Good days, bad days, God is right there with us. We can have his strength and use it to overcome our everyday trials. I know we can have that "miraculous" strength and not fall when hard times come; just like the stripling warriors did as they were fighting the Lamanites. 

I love y'all so much. Thank you for all the emails, letters, prayers and the continual love. I hope y'all have a wonderful week and always know I'm praying and thinking about y'all.

Love Sister Brooks :) 

This is Josselyn. She might be moving :(

Note from Sister Brooks' parents:
We had a really neat experience on Friday, August 19, 2016.  We were in Salt Lake and planned on going to Temple Square in Salt Lake City to see if we could see Hermana Rodriguez.  She is serving as a sister missionary with 200 other missionaries on Temple Square.  (Those who are serving at Temple Square have the opportunity to serve a proselyting mission somewhere else for three months.  Herman Rodriguez was called to serve her three months in Virginia Richmond Mission.  Sister Brooks and Hermana Rodriguez were not companions but lived in the same apartments and went on splits together.  They became very close and loved spending time with each other as much as they could.  They made a music video together that was posted a few blogs ago.  Hermana Rodriguez has left Virginia and returned to Temple Square for the remainder of her time serving as a missionary.)  We were able to find and visit with Hermana Rodriguez and her companion, Sister Chan.  It was a treat to meet her and to feel of her spirit.  She is a wonderful missionary and so darling!  After she returns from the mission, she will be going to UVU in Orem, Utah.  We are sure she and Sister Brooks will meet up again!

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