Sunday, November 3, 2013

The End of it All

October 28, 2013
It's surreal sitting here at this computer, composing my final email for the mission.  A week from today, I will be given a ride from a member of the ward here to make it to Denver in time for Tuesday morning's transfer meeting.  After the meeting, I will be interviewed by my mission president for my departing interview, and then attend an 11 o clock session at the temple for a session (I heard there is a new temple video so I will be excited to see it).  The following day I will depart for home.

Today my letter will be less about me and more about those who have supported me.  I'm truly grateful for all of the letters, packages, and prayers that have been offered on my behalf.  I truly know those prayers made a difference for my mission.   I'm so grateful for my family, especially my mom, who faithfully every week sent me a "motivation line" to help me keep going.  They really helped me ponder and think about the "bigger purpose" in everything that I did.

There have been so many changes in the last two years, so it's almost as if an entire chapter of my life is coming to a close.  As I return home it will be my duty and privilege to begin writing my own story.

This last week I was able to attend the baptism of Cole and Nikki McCluer.  Oh how wonderful that was.  Their kids were a big fan of me because I used Grandpa's old "magic tie" trick with them.  (You know the one where you hold the tie in your hand and the blow on it and it shrinks)  One of them saw me and just gave my leg a big hug.  It was so neat.  It was a simple baptism, as not very many people came  (I got to be the pianist for the whole thing and played my hymn arrangements for the interlude) but it was simple and I gave a talk on the holy ghost.  They were so happy and I felt really good about it.

I played the prelude music two Sundays ago in church for sacrament meeting and apparently I was such a hit that the music coordinator got several calls to request me again.  So Sister Nelson, the music coordinator, gave me a call to do a piano solo the next Sunday.  So I spent an afternoon on Saturday composing another arrangement for a hymn and played yesterday.  What I didn't account for was that I would be playing for a missionary farewell so the place was packed.  I was super nervous.  I played it without any mistakes though.  And afterwards I got some very kind compliments from countless people. 

Well my mission is drawing to a close.  I will end my letter today in those famous words by the Prophet Joseph Smith: "Shall we not go on in so great a cause?"

Elder Bringhurst, signing off


Friday, October 25, 2013

Best Miracle Yet!

For a while, I was so worried about my mission fizzling down to an insignificant finish, but this week, something amazing happened.  I don't know if you recall Cole and Nikki from my last area whom Elder Southworth and I started to teach after 7 years of effort from their neighbors.  Well I got a call from Elder Southworth telling me that they have made the decision to finally be baptized on Thursday!  Yay!!  I was so happy when I heard.  So I called the mission president and begged and begged and begged him to let me go to the baptism, and he said if I could find a ride that he would let me attend!  So I get to go over there and get a picture of them in white!   They are so prepared.  When they showed up to church the last week I was there, and apparently they haven't missed a week since.  They are totally active and ready to be baptized.  I've never been so happy in my entire life than I am at this moment!  We are desperately trying to get a ride there, and I hope that it will all work out.

In other news, tomorrow we have zone conference and Elder David S. Baxter of the Seventy will be attending.  I'm so excited for it all to come around and get the opportunity to hear from a general authority right before I go home.

Not much other news at the moment. My piano talents were discovered again so I got to do prelude in Sacrament meeting in church on the piano.  The speaker from the high council gave me a really nice compliment when he spoke for his talk saying that "this type of prelude music is beautiful and greatly encourages the spirit to come in at the meeting."

It’s been a great week with the news of the baptism and I'm ecstatic with the prospect of the baptism this week!  See everyone soon!

Elder Bringhurst

Friday, October 18, 2013

Week Recap

October 14, 2013

Well it has been a week as any other here in the Grand Junction 4th ward.  More and more my box of Rice Krispie countdown treats dwindles as I reach the final stretch of my mission. 

As far as the news center goes, again, not much really happened this week.  We had extensive car troubles owing to a lot of time at the Sears Auto center, but I made good work of it.  While sitting in the waiting room, I talked to an older lady sitting next to me.  After the beginning pleasantries, I learned that she had lived in Ogden, Utah, for a time and she told me she had a dream that before we were all born, we all lived in a great "city" in heaven.  I explained our belief in premortal existence, and she was greatly intrigued.  Naturally the subject rose to religion.  She grew up Catholic, but doesn't practice, and currently is a freelance Christian.  I explained what we did as missionaries and what our purpose is in the two years we have.  It was a wonderful conversation.  It confirmed something to me that I sort of previously had already known from similar experiences.  That people are naturally curious.  It effortlessly glided into the subject of religion, and she had questions.  I didn't really need to "bring anything up" so to speak to discuss it.  She knew I was religious, and felt comfortable sharing with me what she had dreamed about.  I just expounded upon what she had said.  She had to leave rather abruptly after we had talked but she told me that the next time she sees missionaries she will talk to them.  I realized that it's these types of things that happen to people that get them to investigate.  Although I will not be the missionary to teach her, some missionary somewhere along the road will be able to do so, and because of the experience she had with me, she will already have a good opinion of the missionary she talks to. 

What a great way to spread the gospel.  It reminded me of a time in Christ’s life where he was talking to the woman at the well, how the conversation started quite normally.  He simply asked her for a drink of water.  And then he effortlessly explains the need for a never ending supply of water that will forever quench thirst.  She then ASKED QUESTIONS because she was NATURALLY CURIOUS.  It was then the Savior announced to her who he was, and what he had to offer.  It was a great experience to show how we can touch the hearts of those around us.

Elder Bringhurst

Moving deeper into October

October 7, 2013

So it’s been another week here in the Grand Junction 4th ward.  The weather has turned a little chillier, as we've already had one night that reached below freezing.  Brrrrrr!  But it’s been pretty mild during the day.

Well conference was a great experience.  We went to the stake center to watch them all.  Besides the wonderful talks that were given, what I also noticed was the Tabernacle Choir's pieces were unusually good.  I really enjoyed the different arrangement of the songs.  They also did a really good job sort of correlating the choir pieces with the conference talks.  Overall conference was great.  

One talk that spoke to me was Edward Dube, that African seventy.  He told of how he did a lot of work in his farm and tried to tell his mother to look back and see all of the work they had finished, and she responded by simply saying something along the lines of, "Edward, we still have more to do."  I thought about my mission, how I am 23 months out, almost done, and am having the tendency to "look back" at all that I had done.  But the fact is, I still have one month left, and I cannot afford to look back now.  It really encouraged me to square my shoulders and finish up strong.

Not much on the missionary front.   The area is struggling profusely with missionary work and I don't have a lot of reference points to work with.  So we are really starting from the ground up.  Hope it starts up soon!

Thank you all for your support.

Elder Bringhurst

Tuesday, October 1, 2013

Back in Junction

September 30, 2013

For my 7th and final area, I will be in the Grand Junction 4th ward.  Last transfer it was combined with the 8th ward, so the work is progressing slowly....What else is new? Haha.  My companion is Elder Stantley, big large redheaded kid from San Jose California.  His family is pretty wealthy (he owned a BMW back home) and has only been out 5 months.  Lots of less actives, we do have a car.  No investigators. (seriously)  but hey once again, this situation isn't new to me. 

I will be here until I leave on Monday, November 4th, for Denver to begin preparation to go back home that Wednesday morning.  Not much else to report, we had a slow week, just getting to know the various people we teach.  Love you all and I will have something more next week!
Elder Bringhurst

Leaving Again

September 23, 2013
Well we got transfer calls on Saturday and it looks like I will be leaving to a new area for the last 6 weeks of my mission.  Elder Southworth will be staying here to train a new missionary. No new missionary has been trained here for as long as anyone can remember, which means that the area is turning around for the better :)  When the ward heard I was leaving, I've never gotten so many people come up to me and personally thank me for my service. We truly got the area moving forward.  The branch president told us that he has never seen two missionaries so full of the spirit.  I was touched.  
We both spoke in sacrament meeting yesterday and it was wonderful.  I spoke on the 13th article of faith and connected it to the story of Nehemiah building the wall.  I said the article was a standard of living for the church, and we all had to build our spiritual "walls" around these teachings.  All of the other block meetings alluded to my talk that day.  I never would have dreamed of the impact that I could have on an area in such a short time.  
Also, those two investigators, Cole and Nikki, the family that our branch president held on to for 7 years, both came to church yesterday with their whole family and stayed all 3 hours! They are so close to baptism!  I can't even stand it.  It's too bad I will be leaving.  So next week I will be emailing from another area for the last stretch of my mission!
Elder Bringhurst
ADMINISTRATOR NOTE:  These pictures came with a letter Brandon wrote to his dad.  Here is an excerpt: "I sent you guys some pictures of the hike we went on today with a member named Brother Mortenson.  He took us up this pretty road about two hours from Naturita.  Some place called Lone Cone mountain.  It was really snowy up there because we just had this massive rainstorm not too long ago and the mountain are nice and snow capped.  The snow was so wet and heavy it was perfect for throwing snowballs.  So while we were up there we also built a snowman.  There are leaves and rocks for his face.  It was quite a miracle we got the midsection on there... It probably weighed about a ton!  There's even a stick on there made to look like a pipe.  Haha. It was great.

No News

September 16, 2013

No email was received this week.