Wednesday, April 29, 2015

So, as always, I don't have as much time as I would like to have to tell you about all of the amazing miracles that happened this past week. Literally it is insane how blessed us missionaries are. I have never been happier in my whole life, nor more confident or willing to change and learn. Sometimes it freaks me out to think about how different I am, because a few months ago I would never think that it was possible. But I am so very grateful that it is, and that it is all possible through the Atonement of Jesus Christ.

This week, I was able to go on my first exchanges as a Sister Training Leader with a couple different companionships that we are over. Our sisters are absolutely AMAZING!! Really, I feel as if my heart has grown SO MUCH and it only continues to expand and fill my entire being. Charity is such a gift from our Heavenly Father, and I have been able to see it change lives, especially my own. One thing that super stood out to me as I went on exchanges to try and help and love the sisters as much as possible is that as we center everything on Jesus Christ, everything will be okay. Maybe they wont be perfect, and maybe we will still mess up. But that is why He gave us the Atonement, so that we can overcome that and learn from our mistakes. The purpose of this life is to learn and grow. We cant do that if we are already perfect. :) 

AND A MIRACLE HAPPENED WHILE I WAS ON EXCHANGES. So I went to Duvall on exchanges with the amazing Sister Thinn from Arizona from Friday to Saturday. And we had an awesome day full of meeting awesome people and eating Thai food :) and then as we were finishing our daily planning that night, we get a phone call from my companions back in Bellevue. They had just gotten off of the phone with President Miller (a member of our mission presidency) who told them that CECIILIA WAS GETTING BAPTIZED IN THE MORNING!!!!!!!! My dear companion Hermana Dilworth and her new companion Hermana Fowlks would be holding the baptism for Cecilia the next day and she was going to be sharing her testimony at the Member-Missionary Fireside on Sunday evening. Cecilia had asked that I be the one to translate for her at the fireside as she bore her testimony :) I was just overcome with happiness and love that I could just sit there and cry. I looked back on the months I shared with that woman in her living room, reading with her in the Book of Mormon, fasting for her to come to church, crying when she lacked faith, and falling in love with her amazing family. I was blessed to watch her change over the 4.5 months that I taught her, and because of her, I know that the Book of Mormon changes lives. It isn't just true. It is the truth. 

The fireside last night was one of the happiest nights of my life. Being able to see Cecilia and her family (her daughters Estefany and Karla are preparing to be baptized on April 11 and her husband finally started letting the missionaries teach him) was just such a blessing sent directly from my  Heavenly Father. As she bore her testimony in front of the hundreds of people there, I felt the confirming power of the Holy Ghost tell me that this really is the true church of Jesus Christ. I know it without a doubt. 

I was also able to see so many of the amazing people that I love from the May Valley Ward: The Baggenstos family who has become an extension of my own, Bishop Jarman, my wonderful Laurels Riley and Gillian, and of course my amazing, beautiful, wonderful companion Hermana Dilworth. There is little so rewarding on a mission as training a new missionary. It is equal to watching someone gain a testimony of Jesus Christ and entering the waters of baptism, like Cecilia. The responsibility is huge, and the stress is high. But seeing her last night and being able to talk to her about the miracles she is seeing (she can finally speak Spanish!) just confirmed to me the power of the Atonement. It is so real. I love her so very much, and we both have been strengthened by each other and were able to see the fruits of our labors last night as Cecilia testified in front of many the truthfulness of the message we brought her. 

Missionary work is amazing. There is nothing in the world I would rather be doing right now. I know without a doubt that the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints is the true church of Jesus Christ. I know that as we exercise faith in Him, He will help us transform our lives. I know that the Book of Mormon is the word of God, and that as we read it, ponder it, and ask God about it, He will let us know that it is true. 

I love you all so much and I pray that you have an amazing week full of guidance from our loving Heavenly Father. Look up to Him and He will fill you with a love and happiness that is the sweetest gift you could ever receive in this lifetime. Also, shout out to my little brother Austin Brooks. Happy Birthday bud, You are my example and inspiration :) LOVE YOU!!

con mucho amor,
La Hermana Brooks

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