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