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