Monday, January 19, 2015

Helllllooo dear friends and family!! I hope that everyone is doing incredible and smiling and wearing warm socks. Because really, that is something that everyone could use a little more of. This week was pretty wonderful, if I do say so myself. We met some pretty amazing people, and felt the Lord's blessings quite literally raining down upon us! And let me tell you, it rained  A LOT this week. Like more than usual. But it was beautiful. And made it hard to see. But mostly beautiful.

So this week I have been blessed to see the Light of Christ a lot. This is the light inside of us that we all have, but one that grows brighter the closer we come to our Savior, Jesus Christ. Something that I have learned a lot about this week, is that everyone comes unto Christ differently in their lives. We all have different paths to walk, and different experiences that we need to have. But every single one of them is DIVINE, and tailored directly to our needs. For instance, this week we met a lot of really amazing people (like i mentioned before), and every single one of them had found Christ differently. One had to be cut off from her family in order to find him, another broke her ribs in her old age. Even my companion and I have come unto Him differently, although we were both raised in the church. And everything we do, every word that we say, plants seeds. They plant seeds that will either help someone come closer to Christ though love, happiness, and truth, or farther away, through cruelty, lies, and rejection. It is up to us. And all of the people that we met this week would all be very different people if different seeds had been planted through out their life time. The individual must choose to water the seeds, that is true, but we should always be careful to make sure that the seeds we do plant are always good. 

Also, this week we had another miracle!!! CECILIA CAME TO CHURCH AGAIN WITH HER WHOLE FAMILY!!! Well, except her husband, but I think really he just needs some TLC. But oh my goodness, I dont think you understand just what a blessing it is. She is working so hard to being able to be ready to be baptized and not just come unto Christ, but to follow in His perfect footsteps. She is starting on the path that leads back to Christ, and eventually back to HIS Father. How beautiful is that?? Really, is just makes me so happy and blessed to be a missionary. THE CHURCH IS TRUE!!! 

Something that I have been thinking a lot about lately is actually something that my mission president taught. There is a Korean story, where in a village there is a giant rock that stands on the top of a mountain. This rock has been there for hundreds of years and has never moved. One day, the ruler tells his people to go and push the rock. So for days and weeks, the people of this village go up to the mountain everyday and push this rock. After months of seeing no success, the people come to the ruler, tired, disappointed, and ready to give up. They tell him that they are failures because they have not moved the rock even an inch. Then the ruler, in his compassion, tells the people that he never told them to MOVE the rock, only to PUSH it. He admonishes them to look at their arms and legs, to see how strong they have become through constantly pushing the rock. That was his purpose all along, and now his people were stronger, and healthier than ever before. Obviously, I think we can all see some relevance of this story in our own lives. This was a big theme in the mission last year, and it really taught me a lot about trials. However, this year, our mission president has told us that this is the year that we are going to MOVE the rock. And how are we going to do it??? CHANGE. My dear friends and family, nothing is impossible, no change too great, or challenge to hard. So what holds us back? OURSELVES. We are the only thing holding ourselves back from seeing the changes in our lives that we wish we had. When we are willing to humble ourselves and look to Christ, the one who makes everything possible, all trials overcome-able, and actually DO SOMETHING DIFFERENT. That is when we will move the rock.

I love you all so much, and I hope that you have an amazing week full of happiness, goodness, and change. And don't ever forget that the key to change is diligence. Dont ever give up on yourself. I will never give up on you. Christ will never give up on you. Dont ever give up on yourself. You are all amazing. Use your gifts and talents. Make someone new smile today. May you look toward Christ in all things and know that you are loved.

con amor,
La Hermana Brooks 

Sunday, January 18, 2015

Hello amazing friends and family!! I hope that you all had an incredible week and are ready for a new one that is even more amazing :) I know I am.

Well, I don't have a lot of time today, but I just wanted to give everyone a quick update! This past week was really amazing. We saw so many miracles, and really felt the guidance of the Holy Ghost in everything we did. Cecilia has decided to be baptized!! She is working on picking her own date right now. It is so amazing how the Lord works. I love it so much :) 

Also! We found Toni again!! So basically he completely fell off of the face of the earth for an entire month  and we couldnt find him at home, and he wouldnt answer our calls. It was a rough time. But we he texted us this week saying he was sorry and that he wanted to meet with us again!! The only problem is that he is leaving to Chicago with his sisters for their case, and he doesnt know how long he will be gone... :( so please just keep him in your prayers! 

Not much else happened this week, besides everything being fantastic :) I come to love my companion more and more every day. Today we had a mission walk event thing, and it was super awesome. We talked a lot about sacrifice and unity. There are so many things that are hard. But when we learn to focus outward, and build unity and love with those around us, it all becomes so much easier. 

Never hesitate to rely on the Lord. He knows you better than you know yourself and he wants you to be HAPPY. Trust Him, and He will be able to bless you with more peace and happiness than you knew was possible.

I love you all so much! I am sorry that this email is so lame. Literally no time!! Next week will be better, I promise :) I hope you all have a great week full of faith and love!! you are all amazing!!

con amor, 
La hermana Brooks

Monday, January 5, 2015

I hope that everyone had a Happy New Year!! We spent ours sleeping and doing the same things that we always do... but it really was so great, and I am so grateful for the new start that we get every year. One thing that is so important to remember, especially during this time of year where a lot of us are making new goals and trying to better ourselves is to not forget to look at how far you have ALREADY come. No, we are never going to be perfect, but every accomplishment and change is significant!!

This week was full of a lot of really awesome experiences and miracles!! As a zone, we had made a goal to invite 500 people to be baptized this week, meaning that with every single person we met, we had to invite them to be baptized! Now I know that this sounds pretty crazy, and you are absolutely RIGHT. But, it allowed us to have so many amazing experiences. When we invite people to be baptized, especially in the first contact that we ever have with them, it allows them to see our faith in the message that we share. We know that this church is true, we know that baptism is the door to the strait and narrow gait back to our Heavenly Father. We know that if they will open their hearts, this message will change their lives. People might think that we are crazy, but when we remember these basic truths, inviting everyone to be baptized and learn of our message becomes simple, if not natural. 

We also had a miracle!!!!!!! So remember Cecilia? The woman who loves every single thing we teach her, is reading the Book of Mormon from cover to cover (she is in the middle of Alma right now) but wont come to church? SHE FINALLY CAME TO CHURCH THIS WEEK!!!! All morning, my cosompanion and I were running around trying to invite everyone to come to church with us. It is so super important to get all of our investigators to church so that they can feel the Spirit there, and lately it has been super hard to get them there. Things come up, they are too tired, they are sick, etc etc. So we knew that we needed to do everything in our power to get SOMEONE to come to church with us. By the time we needed to be at the church, we still hadn't found anyone. We were disappointed, but felt at peace because we knew that we had done everything we could to get everyone there. Then, in the last 5 minutes before church started, while we were greeting everyone, we see Cecilia and her brother walk in to the chapel!!!!! Oh my goodness, my heart felt like it was going to burst! She had finally come to church after 3 months of praying for her to come!! Basically it was amazing, and I know that Our Heavenly Father is so aware of us, our desires, our struggles, and our efforts. When we do all that we can, and put our trust in Him, He will provide miracles in our lives.

I am so grateful for all of you. I am grateful for the amazing examples you are, and the strength and love you have given me throughout my life. I know that 2015 will be a year of miracles! Let us never forget our own personal divine potential. When we remember that we are children of God, nothing is impossible. Trust in Him, Trust in His Son Jesus Christ. 

I hope you all have an amazing week! LES QUIERO MUCHO!!
-La Hermana Brooks
I hope that everyone had an incredible Christmas with friends, family, and the Spirit of Christ. I know that I did :) I am so grateful for this time of year that we have to really celebrate the birth of our Savior, Jesus Christ. We saw so many miracles this past week, and we were also tested a lot. But if there one thing that I have learned about trials is that they bring us closer to Christ than pretty much anything else. And I am so grateful for all of my trials.

 It has been a hard week because we lost contact with one of our investigators, Toni, and another investigator, Raul, decided to stop meeting with us because he didn't want to change. It is always heart breaking to see someone so close to true happiness, but then see them reject that opportunity. So we did a lot of finding this week, and A LOT of knocking doors. On Saturday we decided as a Zone to do a car fast, which meant that we had to walk EVERYWHERE. So basically we tracted all day in Issaquah, and it was amazing!! We met so many incredible people, and we were truly able to feel the Spirit as we testified boldly of the Restoration of the Gospel to EVERYONE that we saw. We were also able to have an amazing lesson with Cecilia and her family on Christmas day! We talked about giving something back to Christ in the new year, and we all made goals together on what we could do to become more like Him. They all made the sweetest goals, and her brother, Mario, made the goal to read the Book of Mormon and possibly be baptized!!! It is so amazing to see people change their lives and truly have desires to come closer to Christ. 

Being a trainer is the hardest, and yet most rewarding thing I have ever done. Hermana Dilworth is amazing, and really inspires me to be a better missionary everyday. Whenever I am stressed, or worried... basically lacking faith, she always tells me to relax and just put my faith to the test. I had never really thought about that before. Because really, it is so easy to say that I have faith, and to pray for more faith, and to believe that I am acting in faith. But it is ACTING on our faith, and really truly MOVING FORWARD in faith, that actually makes our faith grow. I know that as we strive to truly act on our faith, and put it to the test, we will see miracles. Our loving Heavenly Father is just waiting to literally POUR BLESSINGS upon our heads. All we need to do is act. 

I love you all so much and I hope that you have a wonderful, and safe New Year. I am so excited and grateful for this chance that we have to start again and make new goals in order to become more like Christ. May we all remember the Spirit of Christmas as we move forward, and search for new ways that we can serve, love, and inspire. Never give up on yourself, and dont ever allow yourself to be discouraged. There is hope and happiness ahead!!

Shout out to all of my amazing friends and family who have sent me letters and packages this entire month!! I promise that I will write back to you soon! Just know how incredibly grateful I am for all of you and your constant love and support. Ustedes son los mejores!!! 

con mucho amor,
La Hermana Brooks