Wednesday, February 29, 2012

And they wonder why we attend church each week . . .

Being a missionary is hard work sometimes. It is hardest when you really don't have anything to do for the next 2 or 3 hours. It's so depressing when people commit to do things and they don't do them. We had like 5 investigators and another 5 inactive people commit to come to church and only 1 came. Uggh.... it's frustrating sometimes. It makes me feel like I'm starting to understand what Heavenly Father goes through. We KNOW we should do it, and we CAN do it... but yet we don't.

Man you know how many people do marijuana here? I thought it was kind of a dumb "political" thing they brought up in government. But MAN! It’s just amazing how many people think it’s just fine. We are teaching this one guy who goes to church every week. He gave up smoking and drinking, but under no circumstances will he give up his "medicinal" marijuana. You think getting someone to stop smoking and drinking is hard, try getting someone to stop doing marijuana. It's NASTY -- smells like a skunk or something.

The week has been pretty good, although Elder George has been in a bad mood because he got a speeding ticket in a school zone. He didn't intentionally speed, but did not notice the school zone lights flashing. He got slammed with a $280 ticket. Ouch!

Tonight I'm going to this "interfaith dialogue class" presentation and we’ve been invited to speak there about the church. And when I say we I mean I. Elder George is going to go on exchanges somewhere else and I will be working with Elder Cook.

Did I tell you I accidentally broke the word of wisdom last week? I ordered a chocolate shake at Wendy’s, and I took a few sips of it.  I realized they gave me a Jamocha Shake! ahh!! Repent!! It was funny.

Oh thank you all for your loving words and thoughts.  They really help me a lot. I love you all and have a great week!

Elder Bringhurst

One Baptism!

First off let me say yes mom I remembered my camera at Chris's baptism and took a picture with him. But before I go on, Elder George and I will continue to serve together for another transfer, so six more weeks here J Send stuff please! J

The baptism was a nightmare getting ready for, because the time we told the ward he was getting baptized someone had already scheduled the building for the WHOLE DAY.  So we pulled some strings and finally got it all sorted out for Saturday at 2:00. It was kind of sad to see only about a dozen people show up for him, but then I kind of realized that he had never been to a baptism before so he didn't know the USUAL attendance for convert baptisms. But it was a great experience.  When he came out of the water he got this big smile on his face and just said "wow." He was bubbly and happy as always and the next day he asked me to confirm him a member of the church. It was kind of scary, considering PRESIDENT MAYNES showed up for our church services. The spirit helped me a lot though.

Speaking of blessings, I had a pretty neat experience blessing somebody this week. First off I am usually pretty nervous giving blessings to people because I don't know the first thing to say, so my blessings are pretty simple. But this time was different.  The spirit was just feeding things to me like I couldn't believe.   I'm convinced it truly was a blessing from our Father in Heaven.

Yeah, it was a good week. Chris is like a shining light in the people we teach, because otherwise people are just moving slowly. So this transfer might be pretty slow.

Thank you so much mom for sending me the letter about the priesthood! It helped so much. It helped a lot, but this woman we teach will slowly but surely grind to a halt. She thinks Jesus was a "good teacher" but doesn't believe the concept of sin. (moral relativity anyone??) She says anyone can be a Jesus.?????  She refuses to pray the way we ask her to. (She prays so strangely. She says she prays in the "affirmative." She tells God what she knows....doesn’t ask questions, nothing.) So after she's done asking US her questions we have to stop seeing her because she refuses to get answers from God.

Ahhh! Agency! My mission is teaching me so much about people and what they are able to do with their agency, and I'm learning about the phrase in D&C 4 that says the field is white already to harvest. We aren't out here to convince the green, tiny plants to get white, but to find and usher in those who are ready. It's why we make the decision to stop seeing people.  It’s when we decide they aren't white, but they need time to grow. We've given them all the rain and sunshine they need. They just need to take advantage of it.

I love you guys so much and keep sending me stuff. Thank you so much I love you all!

Elder Bringhurst

Monday, February 13, 2012

Another week - Woot!

So interesting fact before I start. President's day is on Monday, so all of the libraries will be closed. So I won't be able to email until the next day, and that day is transfers. So a lot could unfold this coming week.
Well we've been having some trouble getting a hold the 18 year old I told you about. His parents are VERY against the church, and unfortunately they don't want us in the house. So we are trying to arrange another place in which we can meet him. It's kind of been a bit of a fiasco.  He has cancelled like 4 times on us already, and unless this works out soon we'll have to drop him as an investigator. It's sad but we have to able to meet with him and so far he hasn't lived up to it. It's sad to see but we are just going to keep on pushing to meet him.

Chris has finalized his baptism for this Saturday at 5 o clock. He asked Elder George to baptize him. So it will be fun and he will be confirmed on Sunday.

In other news I have a funny story. We got a referral from the big campaign going on here in Denver.  Come to find out this referral was a self referral and she wanted us to come over because she was studying to be an "interfaith minister".  She wanted to talk to an "empowered member of the church." She was EXTREMELY excited to talk to us, so I like freaked out when we showed up at her door. She is 28 years old and single. And from our conversation, I will describe her with one word - liberal.  We taught her the first lesson on the first visit, and she was extremely receptive. It was a great visit. She wanted us to come back the next day. We were going to teach the plan of salvation, but then she started asking questions about the church’s stand on gay marriage, abortion, transvestites, why women can't have the priesthood, etc. We tried to explain that by nature men and women have different roles, but we all enjoy the same blessings from the priesthood. We gave her the family proclamation, but she still accused the church of having this "equal but separate" philosophy on men and women. It was crazy! I just told her that a woman wanting the priesthood is like men wanting to have a baby. Fundamentally we have different roles. She is so nice, yet so liberal!

Well that's my report for the week. I love you all so much and keep sending me letters. I love getting mail!!!

Elder Bringhurst

Monday, February 6, 2012

From Sun to Snow

So yeah -- We had been having quite a few days of sunny days and then we wake up one day to find about 8 inches of snow on the ground. It snowed that whole day, and it was kind of an interesting experience. My bike has just been giving me troubles! The ground here is diabolical! I've had 2 flat tires from stupid things that were just lying around on the ground. So I got these special "slime" bike tubes that say it will prevent flats from this stuff that's in the tires. Hopefully that will make the tubes last longer.

So it was a good week this week. Snow and Super Bowl made it hard to teach a lot of people this week. But otherwise it was amazing! We were able to go to the Denver Temple last Wednesday. That was really great. I saw my MTC companion Elder Mclaughlin there and afterwards we talked a bit. It really helped to go and do that this week.

Oh yeah, our investigator is doing just amazing. He's been reading the Book of Mormon like a madman. He's almost done with 2 Nephi. He's marked up to that point as much as I have in mine! He loves it! He just absorbs every word like none other. In fact, we gave him some pamphlets, and in the pack are some questions you can answer about it, and he actually took the time to answer them! Wow he loves it. He’s been to church twice now and is right on track to get baptized on the18th. (Mission president requires all investigators to come to church at least 3 times before baptism.) So yeah, he is really amazing, and is currently obeying the Word of Wisdom. He totally understands what we teach him. He kept telling me at church that he "felt touched and close to God whenever he reads the Book of Mormon." His prayers always include things like "thank you for helping me to find your true church, and thanks for sending your missionaries to teach me your word." Wow, it’s just powerful to hear someone say that in a prayer. He also got up in front of the congregation last Sunday for fast Sunday and actually bore his testimony to the whole church. Wow, that was so special.

We also found this 6'6" kid this week, about 18 years old, and he said he wants to get baptized. So he will get baptized sometime in March if all goes well with him. Things are going well here, just chugging along.  Some days are really good, and some days you get NOTHING. But I've learned that when all is said and done, I won't remember how many lessons I got on a certain week or if I had a bad day on January 30th. I will only remember the absolutely good things. My success is measured primarily by my commitment to find people and help them come unto Christ. If I do that, all will be well.

I love you family and thank you so much for your letters you send me every week. They really are amazing!

Love Elder Bringhurst