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