Tuesday, December 20, 2011

It's Christmas TIME!

Okay, I’m sure you are all wondering when to call me. Well here's the deallio. I will call you, and I think the best time to call will be at 1 o clock pm. on Christmas day. The phone call should be about 40 minutes so keep the line open :) If that time doesn't work send me a letter pronto, otherwise that’s when I will call (luckily I don't have to do a lot of time coordination seeing that we are both in the same time zone). I can't wait to talk to you guys :) It will be one of only 2 Christmases without you.

Some people have asked me if I'm really sad that I’m away from my family traditions for Christmas. I tell them that I am doing exactly what I want on Christmas. I’m doing what I do every day. I’m talking about Christ. Christ really is the reason for everything in this life.   He is the center of all that we are here on this earth for.  So am I sad that I am away from family?  No. I am talking to people about Christ.

We have prepared a wonderful Christmas message for all of our less-actives and investigators. I helped prepare it :) I am going to tell people about the Christmas story from 3 Nephi Chapter 1 verses 4-20. I will tell people a little about Samuel the Lamanite and how they threatened to kill the people if a sign didn't come, and then we will read verses 15-20 together. I will say that Christ wasn't an event for Jerusalem; it was an event for the whole world. Then we will talk about Christ's life and the Atonement. It will be such a powerful message. I’m so excited to share it.

I also learned something here on my mission. I learned that this mission has nothing to do with me. What I want and what I want to feel and do doesn't matter. I’m here for the people. I’m here for others. Just like Christ. He came for us. He died for us. His life had ups and downs, but it was all for us. That's what I’ve learned about Christmas. I’ve learned the true meaning of the "Joy of giving." It isn't just giving material things, it’s doing what I’m doing here -- giving to the people. Giving them love, kindness, and personal attention to their lives and their needs. That is what I believe my current struggles are trying to teach me.

I have one spiritual thought I want to share with everyone. There is an old Christmas classic called "A Year Without a Santa Claus." One of my favorite Christmas songs is on that movie. It's called "I Believe in Santa Claus" Now I want everyone to listen to the lyrics of that song, but replace the words "Santa Claus" with "Jesus Christ."

The Year Without a Santa Claus

Music: Maury Laws
Lyrics: Jules Bass

I believe in Santa Claus
Like I believe in love
I believe in Santa Claus
And everything he does
There's no question in my mind
That he does exist
Just like love I know he's there
Waiting to be missed

I believe in Santa Claus
But there was a time
I thought I had grown to old
For such a childish rhyme
He became a dream to me
Till one Christmas night
Someone stood beside my bed
With a beard of white
"So you're too old for Santa Claus"?
He said with a smile
Then you're too old for all the things
That make a life worthwhile
For what is happiness but dreams
and do they all come true
Look at me and tell me, son
What is real to you?

Just believe in Santa Claus
Like you believe in love
Just believe in Santa Claus
And everything he does
Wipe that question from your mind
Yes, he does exist!
Just like love you knows he's there
Waiting to be missed
Just like love I know he's there
Waiting to be missed

Christmas is my favorite time of year, and I’m so excited to be here and to be with the people here who need Christ in their lives. I am so excited to be here, and I am so thankful for this season. Thank you so much for all your love and support.


Elder Bringhurst

PS Grandpa sent me some BOMs in the mail and I am so happy J I’ve gotten presents from Mom and Dad, Grandma and Grandpa Tanner and Kimberly and Keith. Thank you so much, they are all under my beautiful Christmas Tree!

Monday, December 12, 2011

Whoa - Another Week

Well time goes by a lot faster than you think when you are on a mission. The days are really short in winter and before I know it, it’s dark. I had a funny experience this week. Everyone here is a massive Denver Broncos fan, so yesterday the Broncos apparently were playing and we just couldn't teach ANYONE because they were all wrapped up in the game. In fact, we went to teach this less active lady who was of course, watching the game. It was like the 4th quarter and we came just in time to watch her reaction to the 58 yard field goal to send the Broncos to overtime. She jumped up and screamed and it was just so funny. It was really hard to teach because for 3 hours no one would want to hear us because of the game. I thought it was funny.

Anyway, the mission is good and I am trying my best. I have a lot to work on and a lot to improve on so it’s hard to have confidence at any time in the mission.  I did exchanges twice last week.  Man that was hard. I want to keep my letters positive so I won’t elaborate. J

We had 5 people come to church this week and that was really neat to see. One less active lady actually stayed for the whole 3 hour block. It was super fun to see her there. We teach the gospel doctrine classes and that is hard to do too, but it works out fine.

The library is kicking me off the computer for some reason, so I have to go.  If anyone has questions please feel free to ask me. I’m trying hard and working as hard as I can!!

Elder Bringhurst

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Hello from Grand Junction

Hello everyone, this is Elder Bringhurst contacting you from Grand Junction Colorado!! I’m actually staying in a small town called Clifton which is RIGHT NEXT to Grand Junction.  Packages CAN be sent directly to me here but transfers are every 6 weeks and I would have no idea how long it would take for one to get here. If you send packages to the mission home they can forward the package to wherever I am so you don’t have to worry about missing me at a transfer. But don’t Fed Ex or UPS if you send them to the mission home because they won’t be able to forward those. Send it "parcel".   I don’t know what that means but hopefully you do.

ANYWAY now for the cool stuff: WOW I am here in Colorado and when we got off the plane we were met by the mission president.  He and his wife are just SO nice! We had dinner at the mission home and slept one night and I was shipped off to Grand Junction the next morning -- a 5 hour drive. I am now closer to home here than I am to the mission home. That's funny.

Well I came and I met up with my trainers. No, that’s not a typo. I have 2 trainers. For the next 6 weeks we will serve as a tripanionship. Their names are Elder Scheopfle and Elder Houston. They are both the Zone Leaders. So yeah, I’m in pretty good company. They made me go tracting the FIRST DAY I was here. Scary! I did okay.  Nobody wanted to talk to us but it was fun.

This mission does really well and president has had us make the goal to get at least 1 baptism each transfer! Whoa! I believe we can do it.  We have like 5 progressing investigators (people who keep commitments) so it very well might happen. This week I help set a record with both my companions. This week we got 6 new investigators! Oh by the way, Elder Scheopfle has only been a member of the church for 2 years! His testimony is really powerful with the investigators. I never realized how much people need the gospel in this area.  Most of our lessons are for less actives and they know just about as much of the gospel as the investigators know. I am trying my best to participate in the lessons and help out, and my trainers say they think I'm doing really well, so I’m hangin in there!

We are teaching this 40 year old woman and she is a heavy smoker.  She’s been an investigator for 10 YEARS and we finally got her to agree to start the stop smoking program! AND she came to church this last week!!!  We taught 33 lessons this week. Ask Christopher if that's a lot (because it is). I really hope I see a baptism this month! My trainers have the most excellent way of teaching. Elder Houston has built such a relationship with these people and is helping me so much.

We are driving so I haven't had to use my bike. I probably will in another place though. My, my, I am really glad to be here. The days go by so fast. Well that’s all I can think of right at the moment. I love you guys and I miss you! But I am praying and the Lord is helping me get along my first few weeks out here in the mission field. I love you!

Love, Elder Bringhurst

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Five Days Left in the MTC

Wow! So I have some big news to start with..... I leave for Denver Colorado at 7:30 AM from the Salt Lake Airport this Monday!!!!!! I only have 5 days left in the MTC!! My next email to you guys will be from Colorado in my mission field! I’m so excited and am so stoked to get there!

Yes, dear mother I am getting all your lovely packages and sharing them with Elder Mclaughlin. He loves those kisses from your "orange" boxes. Those packages really are awesome because it gives me all those night snacks before I brush my teeth:) I love them! Thank you so much for all the love:)

In other news I thought I'd tell you what it’s been like for me here at the MTC. First I have to get up at 6:15 because Elder Mclaughlin and I hate super short showers and waiting for the huge shower rush that happens at 6:30, so we get up early for that. Every day there is 6 hours of class time and one thing that was crazy about the MTC is how much I TEACH. I teach so much. I thought they were just going to tell me how to teach and then that would be it until I got there. NOPE. I get to teach all the time, one or two lessons a day.  I even have to teach "Luke" (played by my teachers Brother Maquey) later today after P day ends.  I’m not the best teacher and the MTC has shown me just how meager of a teacher I really am. I need the spirit to help me teach probably more than everyone else here.

I will be sending pictures sometime but I honestly don't know how I am supposed to do that. How did Christopher do it? I will do a tape thing like Christopher did and explain a little bit about all the pictures. I think I got pictures of everyone in the district plus my first pictures with my nametag on :) I think I may have the first English Elder Bringhurst name tag in a long long time. Probably since Grandpa and Grandma went to New Jersey. That’s pretty cool :) So help me with those pictures :)

I hope mom got my letter last week giving her a better reply to her sweet email :) I think letters are the best way to tell me stories that you want me to take the time to read because letters get to me fast here and I’m sure it will get to me fast in Denver. So send me letters.  I love hearing from you! It helps to have letters because it gives me time to write these emails because my 30 minutes on the computer goes by so fast.

Wow I really love how the Lord has blessed me with health. I woke up today with a HORRIBLE cold.   I thought I’d have to miss the Temple :( but I prayed this morning and now I feel really great (with the assistance of multivitamins and a boost of vitamin C) Thanks mom!

Well the buzzer is making me get off. See you next week from Denver!!!

Elder Bringhurst

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

First Official Missionary Letter

Sorry Everyone.  I know I told mom I would write her on Monday but my P day is actually on Wednesday. Wow the MTC has been absolutely great! I really thought I would have a hard time adjusting to the new environment here, and I thought I would feel really sad the first few days, but surprisingly, I have been feeling GREAT! I am just so full of energy, life, and motivation. The mission rules are easy to follow because I feel I am really striving to learn them and get them all to be second nature.

My companion’s name is Elder McLaughlin, and he is awesome! He comes all the way from Maine. He is absolutely amazing and he is just so into the work and has a strong desire to learn and obey the rules just like I do.

I have lived a lot of the days kind of tired, because we have to get up at 6:15 instead of 6:30 to beat the "shower rush." But I think those multivitamins have saved my life because I think they are helping to keep me up. I never thought how much you would be teaching here at the MTC. I came in thinking "yeah I’m gonna feel the spirit and be like an instant great teacher!!!"" Nahhhhh. Me and Elder McLaughlin stumbled and stuttered so much in our first few lessons, and we have so much work to do. Teaching is like the number one thing we do here. Our lessons are 10 percent doctrine and 90 percent teaching. We do so much role play and we have to teach a lesson like every day now. But wow, the spirit here is so strong. It’s like I’m living in a temple or something. I love how much we work.

Time I kind of learned is my enemy. When I’m working hard and I need time, it goes fast.  If it’s a slower day with about a million hours of personal study, time goes slowly. But I am glad that I have always used my time effectively and WE have actually taught some great lessons. Our most recent lesson was with "less active" people.   (All the investigators and people here are actors) We talked with them and got them to come back to church! We are meeting them again in two days.  Anywho, our district has got to be the most amazing thing ever! We are becoming such good friends and we always sit next to each other. Well, I’ve got a lot of emails to read and write so that’s my update!

Elder Bringhurst

Monday, November 14, 2011


November 9, 2011

To my Dear Family:

Wow, a lot of people told me a lot of things about the MTC, but now I know about it for myself. First of all, I’m safe, I’m good and they’ve taken really good care of me.  Wow!  It’s amazing here.  As soon as I walked in the door, all I felt was happy.  I wasn’t sad at all.  My heart is so Happy! J  I got my companion.  His name is Elder McLaughlin.  He is so amazing!  He is just as excited as I am and he is from Maine!  Wow!   I have the most amazing branch in the whole world.  Most of them are going to Denver, but some are going to the West Indies and Las Vegas.  After a class, we went to an orientation meeting where the presidency of the MTC addressed us.  Great talks!  But the thing that got me the most was when everyone sang "We’ll Bring the World His Truth”.  They changed the line to “And we are NOW the Lord’s missionaries.”  That brought tears to my eyes.  Well, that’s all I have time for and I will write you Monday!


Elder Bringhurst

Thursday, November 10, 2011


On Tuesday evening, November 8th we had the sacred opportunity to participate in Brandon's setting apart as a full-time missionary of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.  President McGinn had some very kind words, as well as great counsel for Brandon and pronounced a beautiful blessing on his head.  The spirit of the Lord was present, testifying of the truthfulness of the work to which Brandon is embarking.

It was wonderful to have Christopher and Ashley there and Brandon was touched by their effort to make the long drive so they could attend.  It was also great to have Kimberly with us.  Brandon has always loved his big sister. Her beautiful smile always adds joy to our special family occasions. Shannon and Jennifer have always looked up to Brandon and this mother is grateful for the example he is setting for them.

How lucky Brandon is to have grandparents that love him so much.  He has a rich legacy of ancestors who have loved their Heavenly Father.  It was Brandon's great great grandpa Bringhurst, that while on a mission to Germany, baptized his great great grandma on his mother's side.  Brandon is the 96th missionary from her progeny.

Brandon's Grandma and Grandpa Tanner will truly be a blessing to him on his mission. Grandma Tanner is known as being an amazing letter writer and Grandpa's life example is not only a blessing to Brandon, but the entire family.  Grandpa's testimony is a strength to us all and his desire to be part of this great missionary effort is strong.  Click here to read Grandpa Tanner's Testimony

This was a choice evening for us all.

On Wednesday morning the immediate family took Brandon out to breakfast before our last goodbyes.

Mixed emtions filled the morning.  Sending off a missionary means sacrifice for the missionary and their family.  Elder Quentin L. Cook said, "We must know what we do is pleasing before God and understand that this knowledge comes to us through sacrifice and obedience. Those who come unto Christ in this way receive a confidence that whispers peace to their souls and that will eventually enable them to lay hold upon eternal life."  So there were tears because of the sacrifce, joy because of obedience, and a sweet peace knowing all would be well and blessings would come to not only our family, but the many families that are waiting for gospel in Denver, Colorado.

In the shadow of the beautiful mountains, with the Provo temple in the background, we hugged each other goodbye.  There is a new plaque that rests on a table in our living room that reads:  "Missionary: one who leaves their family for a short time so others can be with their families for eternity."  Thanks to my sweet and dear friend Janet who shared that with me.  It will be my strength for the next two years.

It was a beautiful day.  President McGinn promised Brandon he would rejoice.  On this day, we all rejoiced.

Monday, October 31, 2011

Church Talk - The Miracle of Conversion

Following is a synopsis of Elder Bringhurst's talk on Sunday, October 30, 2011

Upon being asked to speak on the Miracle of Conversion, I had to look at my own conversion.  As an earnest seeker of the truth I was given a witness over time of the truthfulness of the gospel. However, "being converted and having a testimony are not necessarily the same thing.  A testimony comes when the Holy Ghost gives the earnest seeker a witness of the truth.  A moving testimony vitalizes faith.  That is, it induces repentance and obedience to the commandments.  Conversion is the fruit or reward for repentance and obedience."  - President Marion G. Romney. 

In Alma 5:14 it says:  "And now behold, I ask of you, my brethren of the church, have ye spiritually been born of God?  Have ye received his image in your countenances?  Have ye experienced this might change in your hearts?"  That is the secret to conversion.  It's a might change of heart.  Through conversion we are changed almost entirely.  Our hearts change, our spirits change, and even our desires change.  A perfect example of this change can be found in Mosiah 5:2:  "The Spirit of the Lord Omnipotent . . . has wrought a might change in us, or in our hearts, that we have no more disposition to do evil, but to do good continually."

How is this change possible?   Through Christ's atonement and by obedience we undergo a spiritual change of heart.  We cannot change ourselves.  We cannot overcome our imperfections and our natural man by ourselves.  It is through the Atonement of Christ that we can be changed.  The miracle of converstion is the atonement.

So first comes a testimony, then we are converted.  The Holy Ghost provides a manifestation of the truthfulness of the gospel and sparks a desire to repent and become obedient, then through the atonement of Jesus Christ our hearts are changed and we desire nothing more than to be obedient.

President Ezra Taft Benson said, "When obedience ceases to be an irritant and becomes our quest, in that moment God will endow us with power."  This quote has been hanging up in my house for many years.  It has recently taken on new meaning for me.  Sometimes it's hard to be obedient.  Sometimes we don't understand why we should be obedient or sometimes we feel like we are asked to give too much.  But something happens just in the act of being obedient. If we are obedient with faithfulness, pretty soon obedience changes from a chore to, in Presdient Benson's words, a quest.  That change is the atonement.  Like the people in Mosiah we have a disposition to "do good continually".

I hope that while on my mission I will be obedient and through Christ's atonement continue to be converted.  I pray that service to the Lord will always be my quest.  I bear my testimony that I know I have been called by God to serve this mission, and it is only through Christ that we all can be converted.  I know that God has restored Christ's church on the Earth through the prophet Joseph Smith, and we are led by a true prophet of God, Thomas S. Monson, today on the Earth.  I have a testimony of the Book of Mormon and that it contains a fullness of the gospel and it is truly a divine work. Thanks to my parents, my family, and my Bishop for helping me get where I am today. I have been looking forward to this day for most of my life, and now that it has arrived, I'm filled with the spirit of missionary work!  I say these things in the name of Jesus Christ, Amen.