Monday, September 26, 2016

Jessie set her own date to be baptized!! Yippee!

Emailing with my best buddy
Happy last week of September! 

Holy cow time is flying by so darn fast! I can't believe this. I feel like September just started and this transfer just started as well. But we only have 2 more weeks left. I can't believe it. Time goes by fast when you're having fun! This week has been amazing. It started out a little slow but by the middle of the week, Sister Fitt and I couldn't stop smiling. We have been able to see so many amazing miracles. 

   Our investigator Stefano is doing great.  We have been meeting with him pretty regularly. He came to family home evening and institute this week. The ward has been so amazing with fellowshipping our investigators. When he comes, he has a lot of people coming to him and introducing themselves. It is so amazing to have them help fellowship our investigators. It's very helpful and makes gaining friendships so much easier. He didn't come to church sadly, but we will hopefully be meeting with him soon. He has a lot of potential; we just don't know how much he is truly grasping right now. 

    I can't remember if I have talked about Malcolm before but he is the greatest. Malcolm has been meeting with missionaries for over a year now. He had his baptism interview last November and due to some complications, he had to wait a year to be baptized. He is on date for December 3 and that date is very solid. He really has such a strong desire to be better. He has received all of the lessons multiple times, so now we are doing reviews and having him teach us. It's pretty awesome. As we were leaving the VCU library after his lesson, we walked outside and there was a huge crowd of people and this guy standing on a box preaching about the Bible and people cheering and screaming at him. We couldn't help but watch for a second. It was very interesting to see! This school is very liberal and opinionated; it makes every day a little more interesting cause you never know what you're going to get. 

  Okay, biggest miracle of all is about Jessie!!! She texted us at the beginning of the week asking us if we could meet with her. Jessie has been very busy because she was just got a teaching job at a high school. She said she needed to talk to us and got a member for the lesson and everything. Long story short, she told us her journey of coming to the Mormon Church and how she was teaching youth ministry at the time but just kept getting feelings she needed to come here. She has been coming here for almost 2 years now. (Sorry, I can't remember how much I have told y'all about her) She even said she wants to raise her kids Mormon. She was about to finish the story when she looked at us and said, "Sisters, I'm going to be a Mormon. I have been praying about it and I even had a dream about it, I'm going to be baptized November 11!!" This was such a huge miracle. From not wanting to meet with us 5 weeks ago to saying she wants to be baptized and giving us her own date and everything was absolutely amazing. I seriously love Jessie to death. We have been able to get very close to her these last 4 weeks and have such a strong bond with her. I know I was sent here to Chippenham to meet her. She has such an amazing strong spirit about her. I have been able to see such a big change in her as well. She is incredible!! Half the ward already thinks she is a member and the other half knows her well and freaked out (happy) when they found out she was on date. It was such a good way to start the second half of the week :) 

     The Woman's broadcast was amazing! (Every time I watch it, I just have so many memories of when Mom, Mikelle, and I went to the conference center for the General Young Women’s Conference. That was one of the best moments of my life and very special to me. I will never forget that day :)) We watched it at the institute building, the church right next to VCU campus. It was only going to be broadcasted at the stake center, but Emma Claire wasn't able to make it on time and we didn't want to drive 30 minutes, so the Elders were very kind and set up their laptop for us to watch it.
Watching woman broadcast. Emma Claire wasn't there yet. 
  Today we are going to Powhatan to help one of the Sisters pack. She has been sick a majority of her mission and she is just getting worse. It is so sad. She is amazing. She has such a love for missionary work and is one of the smartest people I know. I am so sad to see her go :( but I'm excited to go to Powhatan again! Yay! 

Scripture of the week: Luke 8:5-11, this is the parable of the sower. (Read it, it’s good) We need to plant our seeds where they can be nourished and strong. I know if we have that strong foundation, life will be a lot easier and when trials come, we can come out stronger! 

I love y'all so much! I hope you have a wonderful conference weekend! I can't wait to watch it!! This week is going to be great. We have a week full of meetings, so it's going to be very spiritually uplifting :) I love y'all! 

Love Sister Brooks :)

We made a little light canopy over our bed. 
 We wanted to take a picture of our little light canopy and it wouldn't work
unless we put our iPad on the wall and taped it hahaha  
This is from walking to our car after getting groceries. It dumped on us. 
Beautiful sunset #VCU
We thought this was pretty cool, couldn't pass it up. 

We had dinner with Cristhian, a recent convert and this was his little dog Achilles.
Lilly came too because we needed a 3rd female to go into his house :)

Funny sign Cristhian had 
During Gospel Principles class. Photobombing the Eders iPads.
 Shaquan is on the left, the Elders investigator, Sean on our right,
Cristhian is the one taking the picture.

Monday, September 19, 2016

Wrong phone numbers won't stop us!

Emailing and P-day at the church

Hey everyone! 

     We've been on the hunt for some new people to teach, so that's kept us busy. We are trying to implement all the things we have learned at all of our meetings into our teachings! Contacting on campus is lots of fun.... when people want to talk to you. Most YSA's are little stinkers and give us wrong numbers, or completely ignore us but we've met some pretty cool people. 

     Chris, Perla's boyfriend, is doing so great. He has so many questions, Most of them are about deep doctrine, but luckily our studies have helped us out. :) Then we met with him again this week and it was even better! Last Sunday, he had a Book of Mormon, but hadn't read it. As of Thursday, he'd read up to 1 Nephi 11, watched the YSA broadcast, and read some other material and came with lots of questions. We asked him to pray about being baptized on October 8th, and he agreed. He is very sincere and truly wants to know for himself if this is what he needs to do. Perla is awesome and has taught him a lot of stuff already and he has done studies by himself, so he is very knowledgeable! 

    Another cool thing was with our investigator, Jessie. We had dinner with the senior missionary couple, the Boswell's, this week. They seriously are so funny. Elder Boswell is super quiet but every time he opens his mouth, it's something funny and we always are dying laughing.  We invited Jessie to come with us to the Boswell’s. Luckily, she said yes, and we had a great time. :) We received a text a few days later, saying she wants to meet Thursday at 7 and she invited this guy, Benjamin, in our ward to meet with us. So.... She set up her own lesson! She even made sure a member was present! We aren't complaining haha!! So that was sweet. Sister Fitt and I were just had to laugh a little because what investigator does that? If only they all did :) 

     We also have this great investigator, Stefano! He's this guy from the Netherlands and he's so sweet. He has lots of good, sincere questions so it's been fun to teach him. He seems to agree with a lot of what we are saying, so hopefully he'll continue to progress. We have met with him twice and in between lessons, he had read quite a few chapters of the Book of Mormon and gave us a good summary of it. He really comprehends what he reads. We taught him the Plan of Salvation and he really liked it because it answered some of the questions that he has had for a while. 

  We went on exchanges with the Powhatan sisters!! I was able to go back to Powy and holy cow, I miss that place. I was able to see Sister Foltyn and little Lily, because she came out with us to some lessons. She seriously is one of the best member missionaries ever. She will do anything for us missionary's. (Everyone needs to be like her)  I also saw James and Lisa!!! It was almost curfew but I HAD to see them. We pulled up to their house and ran to their door. Once Lisa opened the door, we just stood there for a second and then she processed who I was and we just hugged each other forever. I love Lisa. I feel like she is one of my best friends and I have known her for so long. I am so so grateful for her and the friendship I have with her. It was so fun to be in Powhatan again. I wish I could have gone around and seen some more of my friends in Powhatan, but I didn't have time at all. We were so busy teaching and finding cool miracles. Hopefully I can go back soon and see some more. I truly miss that place so much.

With Sister Foltyn 
Sister Sorensen and I 

James and Lisa!!! 

   Funny thing that happened is when Sister Fitt and I were trying to contact some potentials in the Bon Air area- We were driving near Brusters, the best ice cream place in the world, so we said, what the heck, it's hot, let’s get ice cream. So we got out of the car and started walking up, when all of the sudden we hear, "Hi sisters" and out pops Sister Smith from their car with President! We talked for a while and they insisted on buying us ice cream. Talk about being at the right place at the right time :) 

Scripture of the week: Matthew 18:12-13, Jesus Christ cares about each and every one of us. He is always there for us and will do anything that He can to find us and have us come back home with Him. He loves us more than we can imagine and all He wants for us is to be with Him again and to follow Him. He will find that one who strays away.

I love y'all so much!  Have a wonderful and fantastic week. #someoneinVAlovesyou

Love, Sister Brooks :)

Us and Kiara. She is a recent convert and just moved back. 
Our girl Emma Claire
Isn't my companion the cutest? 
My new ride. #knees 
Ryan came contacting with us and we had to take a gangsta picture duh.
Working with YSA is fun.

Monday, September 12, 2016

Another Amazing Week!

Emailing from the Church/Institute building
Happy Monday 

This week was another amazing week! I was very uplifted spiritually this week and I can't wait to tell you about the amazing zone conference we had. Boy, am I glad to be a missionary!! 

   Last Monday, we went shopping with Emma-Claire, a member in the ward. We were going to a mall near Cafe Rio, so of course we had to go eat there. As we went up to pay, the lady at the register said that someone had paid for our meal already and we could just go sit down. We ended up getting out of her who it was that paid for us and went up to thank him. Come to find out, he's a member of the church and saw we were missionaries. We were talking and found out that he lived in Ivins about 2 months ago, probably like 10 minutes away from our house. He just recently moved to Virginia to get closer to his family. He recognized the name Brooks as soon as I introduced myself and we got talking about Great Grandpa. It was so awesome!!  Sadly, I can't remember his name. Terrible of me, I know. Sorry!
Shopping with Emma-Claire 
     Thursday was a day full of meetings but it was so wonderful!! Elder Kopischke from the Quorum of the Seventy came and did a mission tour. We had zone conference which started at 9 in the morning. Holy cow, I received so many answers to my questions and was able to learn so many new things and how I can become a better missionary. One thing that has really stuck out to me and as I go back to re-read my notes, he said this phrase, "Just worry about the things you can control, let God worry about the things you can't." I find myself worrying about investigators or different things throughout the day. Half the things I can’t control. But I can control my attitude and what I do. That's all I need to worry about! We also talked a lot about the Book of Mormon and how we can better use it in our teaching. He said, "People will be judged on how they accept the Book of Mormon. We are giving them the chance to learn about the Book of Mormon. We need to present it well to them." It is our responsibility to present the Book of Mormon to those around us and present it well, so they have the chance and the opportunity to accept it. He talked about so many other things that I would love to share, but this could get way too long. We then had a MLC. He met with the leadership and gave us some more council on how we can become better leaders and examples. That night, we had all the bishops, ward mission leaders, stake presidents and anyone else who was associated with missionary work come to a meeting. There we talked about how we as missionary's can better work with the ward and how the ward can work better with us as missionaries. We ended up leaving around 9pm. To say the least, I was very spiritually uplifted, learned so many things I could do better on and came out with a very sore bum.  :)
Elder Kopischke walked by as we were taking a picture and said,
 "I'm going to photobomb your picture." 
Some sisters I came out with 
Zone Conference
     It was really cool. When we were done with our meetings Sunday morning, we received a text from a member saying she was bringing her boyfriend to church and he agreed to meet with us. His name is Christopher. They have been dating for a while and he has been really hesitant to meet with us but his girlfriend had to meet with the bishop, so he agreed to meet with us as she had her interview. He is so cool. He grew up Catholic, but decided he needed to go out and explore other churches to see if this was for him or not. His girlfriend had been talking to him, had brought him to church a few times, given him a Book of Mormon and even took him to the Philly temple open house. We talked to him about the restoration and he had already seen the restoration video. (It’s on Netflix if you haven't seen it, it's the greatest. #favoritemovie) He has a lot of good and deep questions, but there is really good potential in him. We will hopefully be meeting with him again soon.

  I went on exchanges with Sister Mooney this week. Holy cow she is the cutest thing. She just came out on her mission two weeks ago. It was total flash back of when I came out. She is from Panguitch. She went to school at SUU. It seriously is such a small world. We were able to see many miracles and had quite a few lessons together. It was fun to think of the progression I have made, not only in the gospel, but as a person. The mission has changed me in the best and biggest way I could possibly imagine. I LOVE BEING A MISSIONARY!

Scripture of the week: Doctrine and Covenants 20:11-12; Joseph Smith was inspired of God to translate the Book of Mormon. He was given the power and authority to do so. I know with all my heart that the Book of Mormon is true. I read it every morning in my studies and I can't put it down. The stories, lessons and sacrifice people made are incredible. Read the Book of Mormon if you haven't. I know it will change your life, because I have seen the change it has made in mine. 

I love y'all to the moon and back. Have a fantastic week and always remember that Sister Brooks in VA loves you!

Love Sister Brooks :) 

Daniel is the greatest member missionary 
The Moes, the senior missionaries in our ward, left on Thursday :(
Vicki!!! She was from Glen Allen. 

We were contacting last night and found this funny mural.
 I love downtown haha 

My best friend/twin 

Note from Mom:
We received these text pictures from Andrew who takes the missionaries out to dinner quite often. Thank you Andrew! These pictures make our day!!!