Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Lots of news this week

Okay so the first piece of news is an update on the baptism of Lisa. Wow she is progressing so much and learning so much in the lessons with us. She is getting married to her fiancĂ© the day before her baptism. So Lisa will have her whole family at the wedding and she invited her nonmember family to her baptism. So it will be great. Also, President Maynes came with us to a lesson we had with Lisa. It was great. She talked so much about how much she has learned from us. And president gave a powerful testimony of how the best fruit of the gospel is a testimony, and how as we get the "fruit" of the gospel, it will become "delicious to us." (Alma 32).  Also Lisa has asked that I would baptize her. So I get to actually perform the baptism! I'm so excited!

Okay the second piece of news is we got a new ward mission leader. He is the former Bishop of the ward. He is hilarious. I'm excited to work with him because he knows everyone in the ward and has been in the ward since the Stone Age.

So third piece of news, next week we will be losing the senior couple missionaries here in the ward. We are all pretty sad that they will be leaving.  I've been in the area for pretty much the entirety of their mission.  I came into the area when they were three weeks into the mission and now they are leaving to go home. Dah I guess I have been in the area for some time. So it’s sad that they have to go, but now we get to teach all of the people they have been teaching, so we might get a lot busier.

Well that’s all of the news I can think of at the moment.  We are doing great here and having a wonderful time J

Elder Bringhurst

I'm sure many are wondering

Yes, I am officially a trainer here in the good old Colorado Denver South Mission. I'm not quite sure at the moment if this is a blessing or a curse, considering what a challenge this has really become for me. My new companion’s name is Elder Gallardo, pronounced in a variety of ways. It all depends on your nationality. For us Americans it is simply pronounced how it looks. He’s from Newport Beach California, and has grown up in the church. Both his parents served missions. His mother actually opened up the Dominican Republic mission when she served. His father is Mexican so my companion will fit in just perfectly where he is going. He is headed off to the north Argentina mission. Can't remember the city... But it’s basically the northernmost part of Argentina. He has studied Spanish in the MTC for 9 weeks and now he's with me.

As far as the "greenie" thing goes he's not really green. He has been teaching with the missionaries at home for a good 3 or 4 years, so he knows how it all goes. Our week went really well though.  We were able to really work and we had such a good week, that the zone leaders congratulated us and praised us for like 10 minutes in District meeting. Afterwards the zone leaders said that they are really proud that I did so well because our area hasn't been doing so well for a while.

It’s hard to train, and this is why. In the MTC they tell you that your trainer will be this amazing missionary and that you should follow his example. I feel like it's been hard to gain my companion's respect because I've only been out 6 months. He's an awesome missionary though. Nobody's perfect and I'm certainly not the perfect companion to be around either.

As far as our investigators go, our good investigator on date for June 9th, has hit a bit of a road bump. She is struggling a lot, but hopefully we can prepare her for her baptismal date so she can make it. We did get a good surprise this week though. An excommunicated lady came to church last week and had asked the bishop to have the missionaries come over and teach the lessons so she can get re-baptized. When we went to the appointment, turns out she has convinced her nonmember husband and son to sit in on the lessons with her, so we were able to teach them all. It was a great lesson for everyone and it definitely had the spirit there as we taught. Hopefully in the near future we can get them all baptized.

Well that's what I got for this week, and we are headed into a crazy week to come.

Elder Bringhurst

Thursday, May 17, 2012

I'm a trainer - craziness!

I know we just talked on Mother's day, but I thought I'd at least just reiterate the highlights of this last week.

So we get a call on Friday (which means something big is going down... Friday calls are leadership calls for transfers), and I get a call to be a trainer for a new missionary! That is a fun call, considering it wasn't too long ago that I was a new missionary. Am I nervous? Yes. Am I excited? Yes. Was I expecting this to happen? No, most definitely no.

Elder Croft is not too happy about leaving the area. He was convinced that he would be staying here for some time so he unpacked all of his stuff (which is a lot of stuff, enough to fill 3 suitcases, a bike box (no bike), and a study suitcase, and his backpack).Since he is getting transferred he has to gather it all up again and get ready to go. He has been called as a district leader elsewhere, so I will stay and train.

Not much is happening missionary work wise this week. Transfer weeks are always hard, and we often don't get a lot done because so many things are happening. So I will pick up a brand new missionary tomorrow and train him in the work until he gets his Visa for his ACTUAL place. We have no idea how long he will actually be here. I'm sure he isn't disappointed that he is coming here for a while, because every missionary in the MTC is told nowadays that visa stuff for other countries is actually very hard to get, so they likely will be going to a US mission for a while until they receive all the necessary visa stuff. And government is slow.... So it might be a while, or it might be three weeks. We really don't have a clue.

Well that's all I have for today. Hope Mother's Day was awesome for everyone!

Elder Bringhurst

Wednesday, May 9, 2012

Oh, What Crazy Stories

Okay so I have some incredibly funny stories to tell you guys about on Mother's day.  It doesn't do them justice just writing them down. But I can tell you one cool story.

We were having a rough week. It was incredibly long and trying for both of us. We were trying to get lessons, and we couldn't get anything. But yesterday, Sunday, we kept our hopes up and wanted to finish up the week strong. So Elder Croft suggests that we go see Elaine, that brain cancer lady. It was a weird suggestion, seeing that we had met up with her just two days prior.

She lives in a government funded place and Elaine's neighbors are always outside.  All of the neighbor kids just love us and they always come running up and ask us to play with them whenever we come over. So their parents are quite familiar with us, but for some reason we have been prompted not to talk to them quite yet. But yesterday, a large group of these young single mothers of mixed nationalities were outside when we went to see Elaine. The kids, as usual, start talking to us and asking us kid type questions ("Are you guys Jewish?"... No we are not Jewish).  One of the parents yells, "Hey! Get over here, I have a question." We look at each other.  We think we know where this is going.  She is going to pull out some doctrine of our church and start bashing.  So we walk over there and say we will be glad to answer her question. Turns out all she wanted to know was the difference between us and the Jehovah's Witnesses. (She was a Jehovah's Witness herself growing up) We just said we believe God sends modern prophets for our day and that we believe in the restoration of the gospel of Jesus Christ. Then all of them start asking questions. Turns out, they all are looking for a church for their kids to go to, and they want to know how to feel God's presence more in their lives. "Well that's why we do what we do", we tell them. So we managed to get 5 new investigators out of that.
So it was really a cool week. We were number one in the mission for new investigators this week, a total of 7 (5 for Sunday, one of them we got by helping an investigator move in and their father was there and wanted to learn more, and the other was a guy named Jacob, who was a friend of Chris's and basically walked up and said he wanted to go to church). So despite a low number of lessons (14), we got an incredible 7 new investigators. Wow.

Can't wait to call you, which will be on 2:30 on Sunday.   I'll call you guys so be ready J. Can you believe that this will be the second of only 4 phone calls for the whole mission? Crazy. I love the picture of Kimberly. I couldn't believe it.  And I had to stare at the picture from The 12 Dancing Princesses for a second to realize it was Shannon because She looks so different! Dah! Life as a missionary...

Elder Bringhurst

The Subject is Missionary Work

Well I'm glad you got all those pictures. It probably took forever for them to be sent. I maxed out each email so I could get some pictures home. I know I probably should have taken more pictures, but I hope that everything works out. I will do better with the picture thing in the mission.

Sigh, we had kind of a slow week. We moved the Jones' family.  We also did some painting for a nonmember guy. We were just swinging by to visit (me and elder George had seen him before and we talked about the gospel with him some weeks prior) and he said he couldn't talk because he was about to paint the house. So we asked if we could help. He accepted and we painted his basement for about an hour. It was really good. He asked a bunch of questions about the Mormon’s and about what we do. It really was a good day for us. Otherwise the week was really slow.

Elder Croft runs constant errands for medicine, food, etc. Plus because he is leaving in 6 months he has applied for a credit card to establish credit while on his mission so he can come back and buy a car, and yeah, about a quarter of each of our days is his "errands." Plus we have to turn in early. Oh well. We get along well. There really aren't any other highlights this week.

Chris has come back into town. He was in Phoenix for about a month taking care of his dying cousin. So we are really glad he is back and we are in contact with him. He's getting married pretty soon. But let me tell a quick story about how converted he is. When he came back he had no where to stay because his mother had kicked him out. So his girlfriend offered to have him stay just ONE night at her place until he found the money to stay in a motel, but he refused.  He told us that the temptations would be too much and he would rather sleep on the streets than go against his religion. His family has been very unsupportive to his conversion, and he told us that he doesn't even care. How cool is that! It’s really cool to be in ward council and having 10 to 15 minute conversations about the temporal welfare of a guy we ran into. We truly brought him into the fold. The ward really cares about him.

Well we are chugging along here in Colorado and the work is progressing. Have an awesome week.

Elder Bringhurst