Monday, March 12, 2012

I Got Home on Friday to a Surprise

(NOTE FROM DIANA:  For Valentine’s Day this year Cory gave me a gift certificate for dinner at our favorite restaurant, J. Alexander’s.  We discovered it when we lived in Dayton.  It is an east coast franchise so we rarely get to eat there.  Upon searching for the nearest J. Alexander, Cory found one newly built in Denver.  It was the cheapest plane ticket so that’s where we went this weekend.  It was a quick “over-nighter” just for dinner.  However, since Brandon was serving right in Denver this transfer, his apartment was 20 minutes or so from the restaurant.  We decided to leave him some of his favorite frozen items we can’t send in the mail.  We had fun shopping at the grocery store he probably shops at!  We were sneaky and made sure we wouldn’t see him or he us!  I even asked Heavenly Father in my personal prayer to allow us to deliver it safely without us seeing each other. I wrote Brandon this week that I love him and want to send fun stuff, but it is all about OBEDIENCE and SACRIFICE and I would never break a mission rule.  I think our little surprise turned out great on both ends!)

So it’s late, and we are going home to find a Styrofoam freezer on my front door. At first I thought it was a package just delivered, until my brain kicked on (it was late) and I realized there was no way something like this could be delivered. I opened it up to find some of that fudge.  Yup it was from mom! Elder George fell over dead. I called the zone leaders and they were laughing really a lot. I played a prank on my district leader telling them we had an hour long conversation and you refused to leave. He was about to call President then I told him I was yanking his chain and we all had a laugh. I was like, "My family was here.  I'm going through the weirdest set of emotions right now." Oh it was great! Yeah that means I don't have to go shopping this week J Thank you guys so much. What time did you do it? (P.S. you would have a good chance of missing us that day. We are NEVER at the apartment. Just for sleep mostly.) We usually go back for lunch and we are out at 1 o clock and don’t come back till 9 or 930. So that was a great finish to my day. But don't worry about it making me homesick or anything, my mind is fully on the work. J

Well I had a better week. Our numbers would disagree but we are trying! I've learned a lot about life this week. Sounds weird huh? We had zone conference on Wednesday and President Maynes gave us a talk on integrity. He told us that Jesus Christ will save ANYONE who wants to be saved. And that means everyone. The telestial Kingdom is a Kingdom of Glory right? He told us that every Kingdom has one thing in common: honor (or integrity). Telestial is people with little or no honor. Terrestrial are the honorable. Celestial are the honorable WHO MAKE AND KEEP THEIR COVENANTS. Integrity! Thus he told us that the purpose of this life is to become men and women of integrity. That's how we can become like him! Integrity and Honor are actually the source of God's power. His integrity is so perfect the ELEMENTS obey him. It really affirmed my purpose as a missionary. It’s not just to baptize, it's to find those people who are willing to become those men and women of integrity. Baptism is the way we show Heavenly Father that we are willing to become men and women of integrity (keep commandments, etc.) God doesn't have a little magic wand that makes the planets move, he commands them to move and they obey.

I love being a missionary. I learned this and now have such a better understanding of the mission of the church. Other churches seem to be checklist churches. Baptism? Check. Communion? Check. Restitution? Check. Come to church? Check. I love it when we talk to people and they say, "I've already been saved." Our church is not like that. It’s about the gospel, and the gospel is to perfect us -- to become men and women of integrity. If you can’t tell I really ate up that talk President Maynes gave us.

Well in other news we are having trouble finding more investigators to teach, and it’s a slow process. And now I'm okay with that! I've learned that even if I go the rest of my mission without a baptism, I will have at least converted myself. So I can save my children, and teach them to save their children. I've learned a lot about my purpose as a missionary. Everything I go through is to give me experience and will help me. God is perfect and I just need to trust that He will help me along the way, as long as I stay an honorable man of integrity and keep my covenants. It’s amazing how my understanding of these things can help me understand about the basics. I love this gospel!

Thank you so much for all the emails you send me. J Thanks for the fudge, egg mcmuffins, and pizza's. J  I really needed them... We are poor as missionaries... Love you all!

Elder Bringhurst

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