Monday, December 31, 2012

Christmas Time is Here

December 24, 2012

Well surprisingly the library is open on Christmas Eve. So I do get to write a little letter. I don't have much to say really.  The times have been uneventful. But I got a text message from Elder Jennings saying that two of the people we have been teaching are on date for baptism over there. So I finally am seeing that my labors over there really were producing something. Hopefully those things pan out.

In this area we were able to teach someone who is really quite ready to hear the gospel. She's in her mid 50's and is dating a member of the ward and has just fallen in love with the church. We went over there to teach the first lesson and her response was quite literally "well those kinds of visions and visitations happened all the time in the bible so I see no conflict with Joseph Smith's story to the teachings of the bible." Talk about prepared. She even agreed to baptism. But she "wants to learn more" before committing to a date.

Also a quick funny experience: We got a referral for a 23 year old in our area who texted us and said she wasn't interested because Mormon’s teach "incorrect" doctrine concerning the trinity. And she sent us all the usual "trinity" scriptures. "I am in the Father, and the Father in me- the father and I are one" blah blah blah. One funny one she sent was Isaiah 44:8, in which Jehovah (Christ) is saying that there are no Gods beside him. I looked it up and read the context, and I kind of chuckled, because the verse wasn't a declaration about the "trinity" at all, it was a denunciation of idolatry. Needless to say, we decided not to argue with her and stay true to Articles of Faith 11. "Let them worship how, where, at what they may" (however wrong it may be).

I'm excited to talk to my family!  J It is my last Christmas here in the field, so It's kind of a weird feeling. But that's the update here in Littleton.

Elder Bringhurst

Wednesday, December 19, 2012

In the world of Littleton Colorado

So I have been transferred to good ole Littleton Colorado for a time. This is almost like opening a new area, because Littleton, before this transfer, was combined with Bowles Grove, and all of the people they were teaching pretty much were in Bowels Grove.  So yup, I get to start from scratch again.

My companion is Elder Fischer, who interestingly came out with me in the MTC. He's a good missionary. In my last area the problem was not enough less actives, and this area’s problem is not enough investigators to teach. It’s an interesting concept of missionary work: CHANGE. It's almost like the missionary experience is do destroy one's inertia (a scientific term defined as an object's tendency to resist change). The gospel is all about change -  change and adaptation. It's the first law of motion. Every object in motion will remain in motion and every object at rest will remain at rest UNTIL it is acted upon by an outside force. As I leave my last area, I had adapted and become comfortable there, so when I left I have to adapt. If you think about it, that's exactly what Christ had to do. "Knowest thou the condescension of God?" He had to descend from his throne and ADAPT to the change that had come over him due to his humble birth in Bethlehem. So how do we adapt as the Savior adapted? John tells us he grew "grace from grace." When I thought of this, I learned that God will not expect immediate perfection, but he does expect us to try. Maybe that's what I am supposed to learn. Adapt grace to grace just as the Savior did.

On another note, President Maynes gave a Christmas devotional on Saturday. He asked us which prophet knew the Savior the most. Moses? Joseph Smith? Abraham? Adam? He said that John the Baptist knew him the most. He was shown a vision of the Savior from the very beginning and the vision of His future. Of all the words John chose to describe Christ, He first chose "The Word." He said that he is The Word because he was never ordained to his office of High Priest. He IS the chief High Priest. He IS the Priesthood authority. He IS the WORD of God. "This is my beloved Son, Hear Him." Whenever Christ spoke, it was done. Nobody questioned him. He was the Word. "In the beginning is the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God." (See also the JST of the same verse) It was really powerful.

Well the area is a little slow, nobody on the immediate list for baptism, but that will change soon enough! Merry Christmas!

Elder Bringhurst



Monday, December 10, 2012

News of the Times

Well I have gotten my news for transfers and I'm being transferred to a new area L I don't know where I'm going but once I learn my address I'll send a letter as soon as I get there.

I'm pretty sad that I'm leaving. We had made some amazing progress with all of our investigators and brought a couple less active families closer to activity than ever before. The area really is taking off, and it's sad that I will miss the harvest.

Many people were sad that I was leaving, but I was able to deliver the Christmas presents that mom sent to me to pretty much everyone. Many were glad to receive those gifts. One ward member, Sister Dreksel, said that she had never been given a gift by a missionary in the ward. It was really sweet. The bishop told me that I give the most powerful spiritual thoughts of any missionary he's ever seen. It’s great to hear all of these compliments and know that so many people in the ward did appreciate my service there. But I am sad that I am leaving. It was a wonderful experience to say the least.

We had the ward Christmas party last Saturday and we were able to get a lot of people to attend there. It was a very successful event. I will let you all know where I am and whatever news I can share with you. Merry Christmas.

Elder Bringhurst

Cold and Flu Season

December 3

This week was rough because I'm currently under the deadly cold! I've had a splitting headache and stuffed up lungs and nose for the past 5 days! Ahh! It was awful because I couldn't ride a bike, and no one really wanted us over because I have the cold.  So needless to say, it was a crazy week. But a couple cool experiences came from that.

An investigator called us up, (her boyfriend is a less active member and recently decided she wanted to be taught the missionary lessons) and asks if we can come over a couple days ago. I'm lying down with a headache so my companion says, "Uhh he's a little sick right now, can we do another day?" But she was insistent that she wanted us over right now. So I just decided to deal with the cold and go. I couldn't really ride a bike, so we walked about a mile and a half to her house so we could teach her a lesson. I was miserable for the whole lesson, but the spirit was really strong. We taught her the first part of the plan of salvation, our pre existent life, our purpose here, and Christ's atonement. She really believed it was true and asked if we could give her a blessing at the end of the lesson. She was really teary eyed at the end and they both came to church this Sunday. It was a neat experience.

Also on Sunday Elder Jennings and I taught part of the combined priesthood-Relief Society bishopric lesson. It was on missionary work, so the bishopric asked us to talk for about 15 minutes on Preach My Gospel. It was a huge success. Members really got into the spirit of missionary work. Several members said until that moment they were hesitant to give the missionaries their friends to teach, but after hearing us teach they wanted to be more involved in member missionary work. So great things are happening for the work here. Hopefully I can stay a little longer because some of these people are extremely close to baptism in a way that I've never seen in this area so far.

So hopefully this nasty cold goes away soon, but all the best to everyone out there and Merry Christmas!

Elder Bringhurst



Monday, December 3, 2012

It's Beginning to Look A Lot Like Christmas

November 26, 2012

Yes, with my 2nd “in the field” Thanksgiving comes the Christmas season once again. What a wonderful time for everyone to get together and turn towards Christ. We spent Thanksgiving dinner at a member’s home named the Petersons. It was good. They cooked the turkey wonderfully and it was incredibly juicy! I probably ate half the dark meat of that turkey!

On an exciting note, we had 5 investigators at church this week! It was amazing! One of the investigators we brought had not been to any church in years! It was amazing. To top it off Elder Jennings and I were speaking in church. We both spoke for 10 minutes, and we spoke on missionary work (go figure J).  My talk basically was about the qualifications of missionary work in D & C 4 – “faith, hope, charity, and love, with an eye single to the glory of God, qualify him for the work." I melded faith and hope together because of their similar themes; same with hope and charity. I think the best part was when I crossed referenced "eye single to the glory of God," to Moses 1:39 which is "This is my work and my glory, to bring to pass the immortality and eternal life of man." I said that God expects us to desire the salvation of others, to trust him, and to keep his commandments. All of this qualifies anyone to be a missionary. I hope I did a good job, but that's in the eye of the beholder J

We had an emergency interview with president Maynes this week. At first it was just for Elder Jennings and then he talked to me. He just wanted to see what he could do to make my mission better. It was a good interview.

But anywho, the holidays are coming. I'm more excited than I've been in a while because of the deep rooted love for Christmas I have thanks to my father and mother J. Well that’s all the news I have for now. But I love you all so much and good job on those lights dad!

Elder Bringhurst


Monday, November 26, 2012

In sickness and in health

November 19, 2012

Well, this week went by pretty slowly since Elder Jennings caught the flu on Friday and was sick all weekend. It was really hard just staying indoors for the whole day on Saturday. Hopefully I don’t get sick!

Anywho, I'm going through the strangest phase on my mission. I still feel like I haven't been out that long, and yet I just got a letter in the mail from President Maynes congratulating me on reaching my year mark. It's also a strange idea to realize I have done all the firsts. Now I'm moving on to the seconds. Second Thanksgiving, Second Christmas. Second everything. It's an odd feeling. I'm also a little nervous because I hear the second half passes a lot quicker. But enough of my daydreaming.

It was sad to hear of Janet Rife's passing. I hope my heartfelt condolences will reach that wonderful family. It's times like these that we truly understand how much we need the truths of the gospel in our lives. In my mission I constantly see those who do not have those basic truths to hold on to in times of sorrow. Just last Friday we taught a lady that had seen so much evil in her line of work that she could not accept the idea that we are children of God. Satan wishes to put hate, doubt, and misunderstanding in our hearts so we have a hard time accepting the simple truths of the gospel. For those who do not have this truth, I can only invite them to find the truth through sincere prayer, scripture study, and even fasting. But how wonderful for those who know the truth of the gospel! We do not have to "wander to and fro from sea to sea" looking for the truth. We have it and this fills us with hope. I suppose that's why Alma called it faith. It’s also wonderful to know that that God and Jesus know our pain, and they can know what we feel. One of my favorite verses in the entire Gospels consists of only two words. "Jesus wept." Even though he knew Lazarus would rise again, he could understand and even felt the pain of loss. We, too, will all rise again. In time.

The work is going on pretty good here. Hopefully we will see the work pick back up again after Thanksgiving. But it still should be a great experience to say the least. Thanks everyone so much for all the support!

Elder Bringhurst


Wednesday, November 14, 2012


Welcome to the cold in Colorado. That storm you guys had a few days ago made it to Colorado. It was just snowing like mad. But it was warm so we only accumulated like 2 inches. And it melted in like 2 days.

We found out the members we live with have huge holes in their insulation so we are freezing at night and have very few blankets. So I find myself wearing thermals and a coat to bed. Ha ha.

I really don't have much to report this week. I found out how much bikes cost though. During the freezing storm on Saturday I went over to the bike shop to have them fix my malfunctioning brakes and they charged me 40 dollars! I felt like it was a little steep when all they did was replace the brake pads and redo one of the brake shafts. Oh well, enough of the lament of a poor missionary.

I can't wait for the massive increase in pot smokers coming to Colorado, as if marijuana wasn't already a problem in my last area. Oh well, as the world gets more wicked it’s the righteous who must work harder. But sometimes I fear for society as a whole. Even Abraham could not save Sodom and Gomorrah. But I have faith things will turn around.

No updates really on the area. Our week was a decent one, but our top people still are on the same boat as they were last week... how disappointing. But hey! More missionaries are coming in and it will be a great addition to the Elders of Israel!

Elder Bringhurst



Monday, November 12, 2012

This Might Interest You

November 5, 2012

So we had transfers this week and President Maynes made an interesting announcement. I noticed that many districts, zones, and areas were being drastically changed, and he got up and said that this in preparation of the wave of missionaries that are supposed to be coming to the mission field due to the age change of missionaries. Salt Lake has estimated that the number of missionaries that will be in the mission field 6 months from now will go from about 50,000 missionaries to over 90,000!!! Every mission will be affected. Currently, our mission has about 160 missionaries in the mission. Six months from now we are expected to have about 250. So wards will be split, and the areas will be much smaller (and probably a lot higher chance of biking on the mission).

President Maynes told us to "have faith that God is in it, and God will make sure the work picks up in every area to suit the needs of the number of missionaries serving." So some incredible estimates are just around the corner.

The work is definitely picking up, and although we only had 14 lessons, we finally have someone progressing well. Michael, husband of a less active member, is starting to come to church and Elder Jennings and I are thinking about putting him on a baptismal date this week! Pray that it goes well! Also we talked to one of our investigator families about the prophets and the priesthood. We challenged the nonmember father to one day hold the priesthood so he could bless his family just as Jesus blessed others. He said he felt humbled and the "prospect seemed exciting." So yes we are finally getting some really good experiences with teaching people.

The ward is also helping so much. This ward is the most enthusiastic about missionary work than any other ward I've served in. So I’m excited to finally see some work pick up here.

The election is absolutely nuts. I'll try and take some pictures of all the signs tomorrow. Its funny how like every other house goes "Romney, Obama, Romney, Obama, Romney etc." The members I live with seem to think Obama is the most likely winner, but we'll see tomorrow.

Elder Bringhurst

Transfer News

October 29, 2012

Well both of us are staying in Heather Ridge this transfer. It’s looking like a cold winter on a bike is ahead of us. I've learned the cold can really destroy your energy. We were huffing and puffing all day on Wednesday. It was freezing to say the least. We had another slow week. But overall our average is starting to climb. We hope we can become a thriving area here pretty soon. I have faith we can.

The ward is starting to help quite a bunch. The ward mission leader is trying to get an elder or high priest to come with us for an hour or two every day! So that will be great to have someone who has a car to drive us around and give us at least a little break in the day. Also, the ward council has updated the "15 names list" of people in the ward they want us to regularly meet with. Hopefully that will yield some lessons. I've said it and I will say it again; this work cannot go on without the help of ward members in every aspect of missionary work. And this ward is responding wonderfully to that invitation and I'm very grateful.

It seems like people here want to talk about two things, politics and the Denver Broncos. I live in Broncos Country, and I probably hear the names Romney, Obama, and Peyton Manning more than Joseph Smith or Jesus Christ. Ha-ha.
No updates really on the people we are teaching. But we did go to the ward's "trunk or treat" where everyone just opens up their trunk and kids in their costumes go trick or treating in the church parking lot. I'm hitting myself that I didn't bring my camera because the kids looked so adorable I thought I’d die. One little girl dressed up as a bouquet of pink roses by wearing a green skin suit with some plastic wrap on her shoulders with pink paper roses on her head and shoulder. One baby kid dressed up as an Ewok from Star Wars. Some nonmembers showed up so it was really good!

Well that’s all the news I have for today. Thanks for the Halloween package!

Elder Bringhurst

Tuesday, October 23, 2012


After a load of planning and an increased effort to find people, we finally got 20 lessons this week! I don't know how it happened, it just seemed like the Lord is blessing us in ways that I couldn't even foresee.

So first experience: Stake conference was this week, and it was a multi-stake broadcast from Salt Lake City. (58 stakes from Montana, Wyoming, and Colorado) Elder Nelson of the Twelve presided there. He spoke on how we need to take care of our bodies and avoid pornography like the plague, and Elder Tad R. Callister of the Seventy spoke about how our prayers need to be more earnest and to specifically pray on our knees. But I actually got a lot of enlightenment from the Sister who spoke. I forgot her name but she is the second counselor in the young women's presidency. She highlighted the connection of things that have changed for the youth in the last decade in preparation for the revelation to lower the missionary age. She pointed out that the youth had and are being prepared for the change in missionary age with the strength of youth, the duty to God, and other youth programs. The Young men's and Young Women's presidency had no idea that these standards were in preparation for this revelation, but now the purposes of the Lord have become more clear. God truly is hastening the work.   This last week really showed me that.  God really did lead us to the people that were home.

Also another experience connected with Stake Conference: The morning of Stake Conference we still had not arranged for a ride to go there, but out of the blue an investigator named Elijah (this super awesome guy who met with missionaries in North Dakota) gave us a call and asked where church was. We told him about stake conference and felt inspired to ask him for a ride. He accepted and took us to and from stake conference. He told us how God had blessed him in all the aspects of his life and told us that he wanted to be a part of a church, and that he admired our church for how we endorse clean living. So hopefully we will be seeing a baptism in the near future.

Andrew is doing well, he and his family are working hard. So yes we are starting to see the work pick up in the area after the long drought of nothing.

Elder Bringhurst



Friday, October 19, 2012

Cooling Down

Well this week we had a great experience. I've been praying for just ONE person who was solid, who would progress towards baptism, and on Thursday, Bro. Peterson who is in the young men's presidency set up an appointment with a kid named Andrew. He has been going to scouts and is a nonmember, and he invited him to have the missionaries over at his house. He accepted and we went over. He and his father are incredibly interested in the church. His father is also dating a woman who also seems incredibly interested. It was a wonderful lesson. Turns out his father is actually a less active member of the church and wants to come back, and Andrew is also interested in joining. YES! We actually invited them to the "chili cook off" this past Saturday, and they came! They even took us over to it. So we got to talk with them and we also gave them a tour of the church. That was a great miracle for us. Hopefully soon we can get them baptized and see some fruits of our efforts.

Also a funny note on the chili cook off: I decided to take a chance on some of the super "hot stuff". First I took the hottest chili, and it wasn't that hot. But someone brought this extremely deadly hot sauce to the place. The hot sauce came in a coffin shaped box and claimed to be the "hottest stuff in the world." So some people dared me to take some. I put about a half spoonful of that stuff on my spoon and just slurped it whole. Worst decision I could've made. At first it wasn't bad, then it just got hotter, and hotter, and it was just burning after about a minute. Big laughs! I was at the drinking fountain for about 10 minutes just trying to cool my tongue. I looked at the bottle to see what was in it. It was a mixture of ghost chili peppers and habanera peppers. You can look those up to see just how hot those peppers are. That was funny. I woke up the next morning with the worst stomach ache in the world though. So that’s all I have for today.

Thanks so much for everyone's support.

Elder Bringhurst

Wednesday, October 10, 2012

Conference Weekend

October 9, 2012
Well, conference is over and I'm a little sad about that.  We set up like 3 appointments to watch conference with less actives and they all cancelled,  so we just watched conference at home via the internet that the Stuznegger's lent us.
It truly was a great conference. If you noticed, Elder Bednar's talk was about the difference between a testimony and conversion. That's exactly what he talked to us about here in Colorado. It seems to me that the General Authorities have a really good idea of what they want to talk about long before they give the talks. Elder Holland's talk was an almost word for word reiteration of a talk he gave the MTC in 2010. Also it was interesting that both Elder Holland and Elder Hales talked about how the Lord asks us to leave everything and follow him. When they talked about this I thought that is exactly what missionaries ask investigators: To give up everything and follow Him.
My personal favorite was Elder Nelson's "ask the missionaries" talk. Mostly because I learned from what was not said. I learned from all the instances mentioned where you need to "ask the missionaries" that we, as missionaries need to be prepared to help them. The brethren expect us missionaries to help people a lot more than I thought. Overall it was good.
The area still struggles and the trials continue (and add on top of that freezing weather on a bike), but I learned sometimes God asks us to push against a rock that won't move, but he just wants to see if we will push it anyway despite the fact it remains stationary. All in all, God moves the work forward, and we just need to be willing to be there when He needs us.

Elder Bringhurst



What A Week

October 1, 2012

Well the struggles continue, but that's a part of life. Anyone who doesn't have problems in this are buried 6 feet under it. Right now I'm just working on finding joy in the trials. In a strange way, the line of companions I've had had made me want to better myself. It’s a strange concept but it seems to be working.

We had interviews with the Mission President this week and I asked him why I was in the situation I was in. He told me that he didn't know. He said that the Lord rarely, if ever, gives him a reason to put companionships together, but the reason why only manifests itself after he puts them together. His answer was simply "it felt like the right thing to do."

A mission isn't supposed to be easy, and I never expected it to be, but the lack of success we have in this area starts to weigh down on me. I'm not entirely sure what I'm supposed to be learning here, but the answer to everything is "work harder," so that's what I'm going to do. President asked me to study charity and love. So I've been looking up a lot on that, and I have gotten a lot from it.

In the news of missionary work, we really have kind of been running around like chickens with our heads cut off. Trying our best to contact as many as possible, and if possible build our teaching pool. Not much other news, so have an awesome week everyone.

Elder Bringhurst

Another Transfer Begins

September 24, 2012

So yup got a new companion. He is the District Leader here, but he has been out on his mission only 8 months. When I first heard he was coming I thought "wow he must be an awesome missionary if they are making me junior companion to him."  His name is Elder Jennings. He's from Las Vegas Nevada, but unfortunately, he says he wants to go home and hates the area so far. It kind of weighs on me.

At first I was really angry because I was junior companion to someone who is a younger missionary and new to the area and has a hard time obeying some of the rules. But after some praying the thought came to me. "You are not here for you, you are here for the Lord." It made me realize that I need to stop putting myself in the whole process, but to simply focus on the work. True, members tend to admire missionaries based on their leadership positions and by the number of conversion stories they have, but I realized the Lord looks at it differently. None of the baptisms, reactivation, or anything else done here is a measurement of MY capacity, but rather a reflection of the great and wonderful things that the Lord allows missionaries to be a part of. Admiring a missionary for his baptisms and leadership positions is like admiring a sculptor’s chisel rather than the sculptor himself. I realized we are all on the same team here, and it doesn't matter where I fall in on the team, because we are all tools in the shed. Let God use His tools however He wishes.

In other news, the family of about 6 investigators, ALL came to church yesterday. 9 people filed into church. (Less active mother, nonmember father/boyfriend, 6 kids, and a friend one of the kids brought with them) It was such a massive entrance into the chapel that the entire ward seemed to be turning heads to see what had filled the back seats up. They stayed all three hours and the father came to Elder's quorum just as the Elders Quorum was being reorganized, so he got to witness the passing of the keys to the Elder's Quorum President and feel the great spirit of brotherhood at that meeting. It was so cool to see his face as he saw everything. He loved it and everyone was friendly. Hope to see a baptism in the future!

We did get a new Ward mission leader this week. Bro Johnston is his name. He is really excited and seems up to the task. Well that's all for this week!

Elder Bringhurst

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Elder Bednar

Before I go on I have transfer news. Elder Kaze is getting transferred tomorrow and I am getting a new companion. It should be fun.

So the highlight of this week has to do with Elder Bednar and Elder Halstrom of the Presidency of the Seventy coming to our mission to speak. It was a combined mission conference, and it was probably one of the most revelatory experiences of my life. Elder Bednar didn't come prepared with anything. He had only his scriptures. He's a lot shorter than me, but it was cool that we all got to shake his hand.

Anyway, he had the coolest way of teaching. First of all, he said he wanted to teach us to understand the concept of "agents to act, rather than “objects to be acted upon." It’s the gift that God gave us, and he wanted to emulate that. He gave us some talks about faith and acting upon it to study while we prepared for the conference, and the first half was us telling him certain things we learned. Often when someone shared what they learned, he asked, "may I ask you a question?" and then he asked them to expound upon what they learned. The idea of this whole thing was to teach us how to teach with the Holy Ghost being the true teacher. He told us we need to take ourselves out of the mindset that we teach people. Our job is to invite them to learn by the power of the Holy Ghost. It was AMAZING.

One of my favorite things he said was when the brother of Jared saw the finger of the Lord, he pointed out that the Lord touched the stones "one by one with his finger." He asked us why the Lord simply didn't snap his fingers to light all sixteen stones. He told us that there were many reasons, one that the Lord usually works in one's (the ninety and nine sheep and the one, the woman at the well, Jesus and Nicodemus), and that is how missionary work is patterned. Second, he told us he didn't believe that the brother of Jared saw the finger after the first stone was lit, but after seeing the evidence of his faith "one by one" he saw the finger. He told us to imagine our investigators as the stones - that everything does not come at once, but as we exercise our faith.  One by one we will see the Lord’s hand in everything. It was such an amazing conference.

Well the time is ticking down but I am super excited for missionary work!

Elder Bringhurst

Tuesday, September 11, 2012


Well with trials come blessings. Due to time constraints I will make this quick.

Elder Kaze told me we could never get this massive family to church because of all of the insane legal stuff they are going through (custody battles etc.). But we invited them to church on Friday and I even coaxed the kids with candy (ha ha) and they actually came! Six people in the family happen to be nonmembers, and 4 of them came to church! It was great. The kids loved primary and they said they wanted to come back next week!

Also on the small miracle side. We lost the phone yesterday evening, tore apart the house looking for it, and completely came up short with anything as to the location of this phone! So finally we decided that we needed to pray that we would get the phone back. Not 5 minutes after this conversation, someone named Aaron knocks on the door with our phone (he was at the top of our phone's contact list) and he said someone called him with the phone trying to get it back to its owner.   So he got the phone from them and brought it to us. It’s amazing how God works in those small and sometimes obvious ways like that.

We are also very excited for Elder Bednar to come speak to our mission on Saturday! It should be a great experience.

Well that's all I have time for, have a wonderful week!

Elder Bringhurst

Tuesday, September 4, 2012

God Works in Mysterious Ways

So a short story to explain the subject. We were trying to street contact some people (it was a slow day) this week and some kids around 10-12 years old (one of them smoking a cigarette, definitely up to no good) walked passed us and were kind of eying our bikes. We continued to try talking to some people down the street and Elder Kaze looks back and sees the kids messing with our bikes and then they start walking off. We decide to see if we can see where they go so we slowly walk back to our bikes to see what they stole. Sure enough they had stolen my bike seat. So we go into the apartments to find them, and through an insane course of events that I can’t believe to this day, we find where these kids live and their names.

One of the kid’s mom was looking for a job and asked if we could help, and we directed her to the church's employment efforts in the stake. We asked if we could share our message with her sometime and she accepted! So we found a potential person to share our lessons with, and when we went to the bikes, apparently the kids saw us talking with their mom because they had put the bike seat right next to the bikes. Strange how we found a new person to teach :) So funny, but great story of the week. We plan on seeing her today so hopefully that yields something good.

Don't know what else to say here. Our days continue to be slow, with only 8 lessons this week. I have a slight worry that president might shut down the area or combine it with another one in hopes that by shutting it down for a time and reopening it things might pick up. Just so everyone knows in advance transfers are on September 18th :)

Elder Bringhurst

Sorry About the Late Letter

August 28, 2012

We had zone conference yesterday and Elder Lynn G. Robbins of the Seventy came and spoke to us so P day is today instead of yesterday. Wow, it’s been a roller coaster this week.

I was in McDonalds and the TV said that Lance Armstrong has lost all of his stuff with the tour de France. I told Elder Kaze that most likely every single athlete in that race was probably doping because if you didn't you wouldn't have the energy to keep up with those who were. I thought it was interesting that he lost everything just because he was caught. Makes me wonder, we live in a world where people follow the status quo. If everyone is cheating you might as well cheat because you can't keep up with everyone else unless you do. It made me start thinking, and I came across this verse in Mosiah 2 that said (paraphrasing) for us to consider on the blessed and happy state of those that keep the commandments of God. I learned if we do what is right in our life, God will compensate for what we might have lost. Lance may have lost the Tour De France if he didn't dope, but I'm sure God would have helped compensate his loss.

There are so many who don't serve missions because they feel that they will miss out on a huge opportunity, like professional sports, becoming a movie star, or a onetime offer that would stop you from serving a mission. I think I understand a little better what Thomas S. Monson said when he told us "serving a mission is a priesthood duty and an obligation." It didn't seem like there is much room for exceptions there.

This reminds me of the guy who was a number one draft pick for the New Zealand all blacks rugby team, but decided to serve a mission. Everyone thought he was throwing everything away, but he served and came back to become one of the greatest rugby players of all time. I learned that God will always compensate, even if it doesn't come in the form that you want or expect, and I will teach my kids that there is no exception to serving a mission. "Every able young man should prepare to serve a mission."

If anyone is curious to what Elder Lynn G Robbins taught us about, he talked about how to receive revelation from the scriptures. He also said that service will open people's hearts more than anything else. He told us that planning the day is super important, and the way Lehi and his family got the compass (liahona) to work is exactly the same as how we should plan our days. (see Alma 37, I also noticed that our missionary daily planner has a compass on the front). It was wonderful. Missionary work is kind of the same, slow, but going. I found out I'm biking approximately 105 miles a week. My jeans that I brought with me don’t fit anymore. I just hope my pants still fit after a while. Ha ha. Well that’s all I have for the week. Catch everyone later!

Elder Bringhurst

Thursday, August 23, 2012

Another Week

This week I experienced the slowest week of my mission to date. We were only able to teach 7 lessons this time around. Turns out previous elders have been stretching the numbers here so when Elder Kaze and I reported the TRUE numbers suddenly it drops a ton. Our investigator pool is effectively 2 people. So I went from a thriving area to a really slow area. However, despite the challenge, I have found a new motivation within myself to resurrect the area and bring it up to speed and make the best of things while I am here.

Elder Kaze struggles with depression, so I spend a lot of time trying my best to motivate and inspire him. The biking is difficult, since I truly don't get any rest from it.  We bike all the days of the week including Sunday and Monday, so my legs never get the rest they need to repair from the week’s troubles.

I had a neat experience yesterday though. The Spanish Elders gave a referral to us for a guy named David. Now David is from Nepal, and he and his family have a Hindu background. He is not a practicing Hindu because he believes there should only be one God. So he is trying to find a religion that makes him comfortable. His English is not very strong, but it was so interesting teaching someone that is so foreign. I know next to nothing about Hinduism, so it makes it difficult for me to know where to go. So basically we are telling him the absolute basics. The nature of God, our relation to him, and understanding God desires our happiness. So it's interesting to teach him. Otherwise I truly don't have much to report.

School is starting soon so that might attribute to the fact that our success has been slow. Well for time restrictions I must close.

Elder Bringhurst

Tuesday, August 14, 2012

New Area


I have been out of town so I just posted three letters from Brandon.  Don’t miss out on the previous two that can now be found in the archive, thinking this is the only one.

Also, Brandon has said that he gets less than 30 minutes of email time, so he believes snail, US mail would be the best way to write him while he is in this area.  Additionally, he wanted me to apologize to everyone for not being able to respond to everyone by email because of time limitations.


August 13, 2012

Well, well, well, we have a new area here in the mission. I've been transferred to an area called Heather Ridge ward in the Arapahoe stake. It is about 15 miles from my last area.

A few basic facts real quick:  It is a biking area, and we have no car. So I guess I will finally be able to lose some weight! Second, the area is kind of a "transient" ward, considering our ward has nearly 40,000 apartments. I cover only one ward, and the church we go to is the Crestmoor building which is about 20 minutes away from the ward. We live with members. They are usually gone but they are very nice. Just a father and mother and their two little boys live there. I've seen the boys quite often, but the parents I've only seen occasionally. Also my computer time is extremely limited due to the fact we have to ride with some other missionaries to get here and they don't like to stay long. My companion's name is Elder Kaze.  He's been out for 16 months and is a good missionary. He’s been here in this area for 3 months. Biking all day and all night is very difficult, but my legs will find a way to heal over eventually. We have a very small teaching pool, and because we see so few people a day we usually bike the entire length of the area several times in a day. We only have 6 investigators total, and 4 of them live in the same house. So less active work is prevalent. I do like the area though; it is a fun thing for me to do here. It may be hard at first, but I see a lot of potential here in the area.

Well the elders are kicking me off. My address is 2832 S Oakland Cir West, Aurora, CO, 80013.

Elder Bringhurst

Farewell to Mountain View

August 6, 2012

Well after a good 7 months in the area they finally decided that I need to leave. It’s been good while I've been here but I have been called another way. I won't know where I'm going until tomorrow morning, the day I leave.

I had a truly amazing sacrament meeting yesterday. I bore my testimony thanking the ward for all of the things I had experienced while I was there. It brought tears to my eyes as so many people from the ward went out of their way to thank me for my service. But now a new chapter unfolds on my mission as I go to a new area. It should be fun to find out where I go.

We had a wonderful lesson this week. We got a referral from some other missionaries to go see this woman, and we went to contact her and found her to be a truly wonderful lady. She is not a member, but her husband was abusive in her marriage and her family had been looking for a church ever since he left. All of her kids are grown up and out of the house, but her oldest daughter ran into the church and was baptized not even a year ago. She went to her daughter's baptism and felt the church was true and had been waiting for missionaries to show up at her door ever since. Then we show up and she has a great desire to be baptized. It was really a good experience.

Well not much else to report this week. We had a great week and found 4 new investigators to teach. So this area is doing well and I hope Elder Schwegler can take it from here. I started packing today and my oh my it feels like it's been forever since I've done it. Super glad for the space bags! Take care and I'll report next week from my new area!

Elder Bringhurst

Have faith, it works!

July 30, 2012

The subject says it all. We had a great experience teaching this week. We had been teaching a very old less active man for a long time. He has a strong testimony of the Book of Mormon and of the gospel, with just one tiny flaw. He is a homosexual. He says he cannot come to church and still be that way. He is the nicest older gentleman you could ever meet. He has all the correct ideas. He just marches to the beat of a different drummer.

Well the spirit got very thick in our lesson, and I decided to address the issue. I told him we all experience the natural man differently. Some people's natural man could be alcoholism. Some could be cigarettes. Some people get angry, some people's natural man is gossip. But just because someone is "prone" to a certain type of natural man doesn't mean you have to give into the cravings. For me, my natural man does not include drugs and alcohol. I stay away from those things because I have no desire to be a part of it. Satan doesn't waste his time on me tempting me to try drugs, alcohol, or cigarettes. It doesn't work because that is not part of my nature, or my natural man. It's not true for others. For others that is a big problem. But the principle is the same. Kind of like what Dumbledore says at the end of Harry Potter 2, "It is not our abilities (and I'll add our nature) that determine who we are, it is our choices." Though Harry was by nature a Slytherin, he chose to be in Griffindor. He thought about this long and hard. Our nature doesn't determine whether or not we can be in the church, it is our choices. You can be by nature "gay" and still be a Mormon, just not a practicing one. Then I invited him to church. He waved it off and said "no, don't do that to me, I can't." but he turned away just as I noticed his eyes start to water. The spirit touched his heart, and I believe in time, he will understand this principle and one day come back. Then after a moment he said his family (who are all faithful members) have been trying to get him to come back for years, and he is amazed at the amount of love he is receiving. He said we have helped him a lot. Faith works. All he needs now is time.

In other news we have been teaching another less active lady named and her nonmember boyfriend. They love having us over. And the Relief Society President says that she has been sticking visiting teachers on her for years and she believed she will never come to church. Well this last Sunday they came to church and stayed for the whole three hours and loved it. Her boyfriend even said that he now believes that there could be modern day prophets. HAVE FAITH. Well that's my spill for this week. Have an awesome week!

Elder Bringhurst

Monday, July 30, 2012

A Day in the Life of . . .

(July 23, 2012)

If I had one piece of advice that I would give myself earlier on the mission (and although there is a lot I'd like to say), this week my advice would be invite EVERYONE in on the lesson. My whole mission it seems like I was focusing on one person in a family and didn't take any notice at anyone else in the house who might have an interest. The reason I say this is an experience I had this week.

We have been meeting with a less active lady who was baptized at 17 and since has not come to church. We have been pushing and pushing for her to come but somehow she never has had the drive or the determination to actually come. She has had a really nice boyfriend over at her house a few times and he has been friendly towards us but always leaves the room when we start the lesson. Well we went back there a few days ago and the boyfriend answered the door. Turns out he has been encouraging this lady to come to church and to continue meeting with us. He informed us she was busy at the moment and to come back later. So we went in the car and he came back out of the house and knocked on the window. He told us he was trying to establish a relationship with her and that he grew up Catholic and then asked us if we had anything from our church that he could read. So we gave him a Book of Mormon and explained a little about what it was. We will have to follow up pretty soon on how that went and hopefully some fruit would come out of it. But the moral of the story is you never really know who might be interested in learning more, and you can't just assume someone is not interested. It's really neat.

There's also the black lady who grew up Jehovah's Witness and wanted a church for her kids, turns out her boyfriend is also interested in learning from us and he is taking lessons with us now. How cool is that?

On a funny note, we went to a child of record baptism of a less active family this week. And when he got baptized, he said "thanks everyone for coming to my baptism, this is my best baptism ever!" Lots of chuckles around the room. But it also was one of the sweetest baptisms ever. The family was less active, so the room was filled with people with tattoos, hardly anyone was in missionary clothes, and it was just neat how a little event like this could bring a family together. It was so sweet to see. We were also invited to be in the circle to confirm him a member of the church, and after the blessing, he shook everyone's hand, but when he got to me, he gave me a big on hug and continued to give everyone a hug as well. It was sweet.

Yes I had a good birthday, did lots of work and helped lots of people. Thanks everyone for the gifts :)
Elder Bringhurst

Wednesday, July 18, 2012


My email this week won't be about what I've done, but what I have learned. In the movie "Only a Stonecutter" the beginning starts by saying, “There are two types of people in this world, those who are acted upon, and those who act." I've learned recently that this is a true principle. The world is only shaped by people who act. The world only moves when people act.

I've recently had to deal with a trial that forced me to make a choice: to either react, or to act. As a missionary, the world has its eye on you, for good or for evil. The members expect you to be a source of strength for their children and for their friends, and the investigators expect you to have all the answers and show them that things will always be okay. It took a lot of strength for me to do this. To hide my true emotions from the world and continue to strengthen people when I had none for myself. But despite this, I knew what I had to do. Even though I felt alone, I stood up. I put the tag on, and I went out to strengthen the world. This act alone was one of the hardest things I have ever done. But I learned something by this ordeal. I learned that our Heavenly Father loves us more than we can ever imagine.

In a talk many, many years ago by someone I can't even remember, the speaker talks about how Heavenly Father will often cut us down and bring us low in order to truly bring forth good fruit, much like an orchard farmer must trim the trees every year in order to produce the crop. He talks about how the trees at the time of the trimming cannot understand why the farmer would cut them down. Despite the growth they made, the farmer must cut them down in order for the fruit to come forth. So our Heavenly Father has dealt with me. I felt like I was growing so well on my mission. I had made such wonderful growth, and then I was cut down. From the talk, the Father's reply to all of this is, "I'm the farmer here, I know where you are and I know what I want you to be.  If I had let you grow the way you had wanted, you'll never amount to anything. But someday, when you are laden with fruit, you will say, "Thank you Mr. Farmer, for cutting me down, for loving me enough to hurt me."

The adversary would like to fight against God's plan. He whispered to me that because I had been cut down and trodden over, that this meant that I was a failure, and that God had cut me down because I could not reach the expectations set for me. I realize now that he was a liar, and that the choice is to act. Not to react. I know why I am here in Colorado. I am a missionary set apart to preach the gospel and administer in the ordinances thereof.

Thank you so much everyone for all of the prayers and the support.

Elder Bringhurst

Monday, July 16, 2012

Cloudy with a change of Meatballs

July 9, 2012

So the word of the week has to do with the Monsoon season of good old Colorado. What a great break from the summer heat!  

Well we had a good week this week. For the 4th of July Elder Schwegler and I decided to take advantage of the low prices on food that was being sold and treat ourselves a rib eye steak dinner with corn on the cob and potato chips. It only cost me like 10 bucks to do it. Super satisfying! I've also never cooked a steak before and had no idea what to put on it. So I grilled it with onion powder, seasoned salt, and Italian seasoning. It was an interesting flavor, but it was really good. Unfortunately I got slapped with a 100 dollar parking ticket on the 4th because they were doing fireworks at the Broncos Stadium and I missed the "resident only permit A" zone, even though the people we were eating with had a permit for us to use. But guess what? It was expired. So I have to deal with that.

Also on the news of the mission, the lady who bore her testimony at church last week came to church again today! She stayed for all 3 hours this time, and we had a meeting with the bishop afterwards. It is really a good thing happening. I also had an interesting experience. We went on exchanges with the district leader, and they introduced me to a guy they were teaching that was a devout Jew. He had the whole getup -- the yamaka, the shawl.  I seriously thought I was talking to Tevye from Fiddler on the Roof. He said he can't stand Fiddler on the Roof because they lit a fire for the Sabbath, and you aren't allowed to light fire on the Sabbath. He was cool. But I was shown about 20 articles proving that the bible in original Hebrew condemns human sacrifice, and you cannot atone for another's sins. Cool guy, just extremely unwilling to change. It was fun though. They fed us a "kosher" dinner. So I had "kosher pizza." It was cold obviously (Jews believe microwaves make your food unclean, and he made it the day before to avoid breaking the Sabbath) but it wasn't half bad. Did you know they have found 613 commandments from the Torah (first 5 books of Moses) and must obey them all? It's crazy. So if you've ever wanted to know something about Jews, I know a guy. J

But we had a great week!   Let me know if anyone has questions!

Elder Bringhurst

Monday, July 9, 2012

Hot Hot Hot!

July 2, 2012
It's been really hot here. Our apartment A/C doesn't really combat three digit degree weather so we try to avoid going home for lunch. But we were able to get another A/C unit from a member and it's been a lot better. I’ll have to send you a few pictures of all the ridiculous things we missionaries do to stay cool. Ha ha!

Well one funny story:   We just got out of an appointment and we got into our car and this old guy knocks on our window holding a pizza box. He said, "Now I'm not interested in your religion because I'm Lutheran but I really respect what you guys do so please take a pizza and let's have old George Romney in for president.” So this random guy gave us a pizza just because he is a huge Romney supporter. Maybe someone needs to let him know that it's Mitt Romney. J  Oh well, as much as we try and disconnect missionary work and Romney's campaign, people still won't leave us alone about it. Ha ha!

We had another cool experience this week. We were looking for more people to teach and we looked through some former investigators we had. Three years ago some sister missionaries taught a lady named Esther but stopped meeting her because she "showed no interest." But we knocked on her door, she was glad to welcome us in, asked for a Book of Mormon and we met with her. As it turns out she remembered just about everything the sister's had told her and actually read the book quite a lot. She began reading again and is currently halfway through 1 Nephi. She loves the doctrine of the Plan of Salvation and even said the prayer! It was really a neat experience and it was great to finally start seeing some successful people.

Number two neat experience:  We had been meeting with a lady with some drug problems and she has been meeting with missionaries for some time. This week she came to church for the first time. She even went up to the pulpit and pointed at me and said "if it wasn't for this elder right here, I would not be here today, he stuck with me through all of my drugs and problems and I just want you to know that I know your church is the true church." Wow... that was cool. Next time we see her we plan on talking about baptism!

Well that's my report this week,  And have an awesome 4 of July!
Elder Bringhurst

Monday, July 2, 2012

Another Week Another Transfer

Apparently President really likes me here in the old town of Mountain View. I've been here now for 4 transfers, and President is having me stay yet another transfer so more than a quarter of my mission will be here. Elder Schwegler will be staying with me as well.  At the end of this transfer I will have been here as long as Elder George was which is abnormally long. It was expected though and I'm excited.

I don't know what else to say in the way of news this week.  It has been a slow week. But we have been teaching our regulars and even got a new one! Her name is Esther. She was being taught by the Sister missionaries about 3 years ago but they got transferred and Esther did not get put back into the works for some reason. We taught her the first lesson and committed her to read and pray about the book of Mormon. We will be seeing her on Wednesday so hopefully that works out to be a fruitful contact.

It is getting hard with the ward here. The church is structured in a way to benefit families and mold you into a solid, productive person. But the people here never stay put for more than a year, and hardly anyone has a job, and family values are being thrown out the window. So the ward expects us to bring nice, conservative, families into the church but keep getting unemployed individuals who have had problems in the past. But if all we did was go for the solid, conservative families, we wouldn't have anyone to teach. It's the nature of the area we live in. Everyone in the ward council understands the situation, except our ward mission leader. It's hard, and we haven't gotten a referral from the ward for at least 9 months. Take it from me. Missionary work goes nowhere without the members -- just nowhere. But on a positive note we were second place in the district as far as lessons go! Whoopee J

Well that's all I have for now. Have an awesome week everyone!
Elder Bringhurst