Tuesday, November 25, 2014

Wow, this week was incredible!! We had a lot of really cool experiences that have strengthened me sooo much, and I am so grateful for all of them. Me and my companion had the wonderful opportunity to go the temple with our mission president and his wife this week, and it was truly a spiritual experience. While being on a mission, even though I cannot go very often (once every 6 months, with this time being an exception) my testimony of the temple has grown so very much. We have the amazing opportunity to be sealed together as a family for time and ALL ETERNITY! How incredible is that?? I am so grateful for the chance to be with my family for eternity, and especially during this Thanksgiving week, that knowledge gives me so much comfort as I am away from them.

We also had the awesome opportunity to have a general authority, Elder Falabella of the Seventy, come to our mission yesterday and give us a special zone conference. He talked a lot about service, which I thought was really neat. Something that us missionaries get in the bad habit of it serving people in order to gain something in return (referrals for people to teach usually). But what he taught us is that true service needs to be out of LOVE for that person. We should not do anything out of a desire to receive something in return, and in order to be true representatives of Jesus Christ, we need to have pure love be the motive for everything we do. 

And miracle!! Our investigator Cecilia was really struggling a week ago to have faith and read the Book of Mormon. She was about to drop us, when we invited her to fast with us that coming Sunday to know if she should continue to learn about our message. Well, she fasted with us, and the next day we went to go see her and see how it went. She was so happy to see us, and to tell us that she read all of 1 Nephi! She told us that as she was reading and praying, she felt that the Book of Mormon was answering her questions, and helping her understand what was once so confusing to her in the Bible!! She is still too afraid to come to church, but she is gaining a testimony of the Book of Mormon, and the difference it has made in her countenance is just incredible! It made me so grateful for the Book of Mormon in my life, and the guidance it gives me. I know that it is true, and no matter what you may be struggling with, you can find guidance and comfort in the Book of Mormon. 

Well, I am so grateful for all of you and the amazing examples that you are to me.  I am also so grateful for this wonderful time of year (that I can't believe is already here) that we have to focus on our families and our Savior Jesus Christ. If you haven't told your family lately that you love them, I would strongly encourage you to do so, because they are the most important people in our lives. There is a great power in the 3 words "I love you," so don't ever hesitate to use them. and I love you! I hope that you all have an amazing Thanksgiving week full of family, friends, and love. 

Con amor,
La Hermana Brooks

Hello dear family and friends! I hope you are all staying warm! Basically this week was FREEZING, as noted by our frozen water bottles that were left in the car over night and the frozen fountains in from of people's homes. Las Vegas, I miss you :)
haha But actually this week was great. A little harder, a little less friendly people on the street. But still great. and we are definitely learning A LOT. :) Its awesome. 

So I don't really have a lot of time this week, but I want you all to know that we are working hard up here in the Washington Seattle Mission! This week we received some really hard news that my companion's step-father had passed away from his cancer. It was not a very fun weekend, to say the least. She is okay and really just so strong. But it has really given me a lot of time to be grateful for my own family and loved ones, and all of the blessings we receive every day. We really are so blessed, and I think a lot of times it is hard to remember to be thankful. But especially this Thanksgiving season, take a few minutes to count your blessings. I know that you will receive more strength in the hard times, and more joy in the happy times when we always have a grateful heart. 

This life is not easy, nor is it always fair. But I know that there is a purpose to all things, and that if we put our trust in the Lord, we can receive comfort in all things. With all of my heart, I ask you to pray and to be grateful for those things, talents, loved ones, in your life at this time. Never stop being grateful, and never shy away from an opportunity to love and serve someone. 

You are all amazing, and I hope that you have an amazing week. Never forget that you are children of God, and that He loves you. Never forget that I love you. and Let us more fully receive all things with thanks this coming holiday season.

Con amor,
La Hermana Brooks

Monday, November 10, 2014

So this week was a lot of adjusting to my new area. It is HUGE and there are a lot of farms and driving involved. Also not a lot of Hispanics, especially interested ones. But we have some really solid people that we are working with right now! First of all, we are teaching this amazing family, Los Parez, and I love them so much! There mom is just amazing,and she loves having us come over and teach. She have so much faith, and really wants to know if our church is true. But she also gets a lot of anti-mormon material that makes her nervous. However, every time we come over we talk about her concerns, and she always says that she knows what she has heard isn't true because of the way us missionaries live our lives and our kindness to her and her family! Aww man, I love her a lot. 
We are also teaching this awesome young man named Toni! He just moved to the States from Mexico about 2 months ago, and so he doesn't speak any English. But we had our first lesson with him on Tuesday on the Restoration. He loved it, and really felt the spirit when we talked about the First Vision! He was so excited to go home and read in the Book of Mormon. Later that night, he texted us saying that he would definitely read in the Book of Mormon, and that he really wants to be a part of our church!!! YAYYY!! Oh  my goodness, we were so excited! But the only problem is that he works a lot-- A LOT. So please pray that he will have this next Sunday off so that he can come to church and progress more towards baptism! 

A little tid bit about my amazing new companion, Hermana PIer! She is really just amazing. We have so much fun together, and she really just helps me always be happy, even when we can't find people to teach. Oh, and her Spanish is PHENOMENAL, so hopefully some of that rubs off on me :) This is her last transfer before going home in December, and so we are working really hard at making this the best transfer ever! I am excited for it, and we have some amazingly fun things planned for this holiday season coming up. Whoop!

So basically all is well here in the Washington Seattle Mission. Nothing is as constant as change, and nothing helps us learn and grow more :)
If there is one thing that I have learned this week is that there is always room to improve. Never let yourself think that what you are doing is just "good enough." We have so much potential as God's children here on Earth, and if we really want to become better, we have to be better. Starting now :) And I know that sometimes that seems really scary, and really hard. But we have been commanded to do it: "Be ye therefore perfect, even as I" But we can have comfort knowing that "The Lord giveth no commandment unto the children of men save he shall prepare a way for them to accomplish the thing which he commanded them" (1 Ne 3:7). And I also know that all of God's commandments have been given to us to make us happy. Never stop improving, never stop being happier :) 

I love you all so much and pray for you and your success! Trust in the Lord and move forward with faith :) 

con amor,
Hermana Brooks