Wednesday, July 29, 2015

Hello dear friends and family!! Sorry I don't have tons of time to write today, but since I didn't get anything out last week, I think an update is in order! 

So Duvall is super beautiful. Farms, trees, sunsets that look like water-colored paintings! Really it is like living in a fairy tale, the land is so beautiful. This past week, however, was a little rocky in our picturesque town. I have never had so many doors slammed in our faces! Haha I mean, it is fine. An adventure for sure! But pretty much every one here is pretty religious, so when we come knocking they are not too happy. But we do also meet a lot of really awesome nice people! We have this one investigator named Dan who lives out in the sticks. He is such a sweet heart! He basically treats us like his grandchildren, and wears the shortest shorts I have ever seen old men wear. But we love him anyways :) this week we had a really great lesson with him and an older member couple. It turns out that all of them have been in biker gangs before! We have the coolest members out here :) but yah, hopefully Dan will be able to come to church this coming week! 

We also had a lot of investigators drop us this week. Well, I don't think you could really call them investigators. Really they were just people who had decided to be nice to us when we knocked on their door, told us that we could come back, but really were not interested at all when we showed up. Funny how some people just don't think that we are very serious :) We also tracked into a haunted house!!! Just kidding, it probably isn't haunted. But it sure looks like it! The cool thing about Redmond is that there are wild black berry bushes literally everywhere. And so this awesomely scary looking house is quite completely covered in these bushes, which makes it even more awesome! no one answered when we knocked on it, but there was definitely something moving inside. We haven't exactly decided if we are going to go back and try it again yet.... :) 

And I got to see a man's turtle farm this week!!!! Oh my goodness, so we were walking down this road after visiting someone, and there is this man working in his front lawn. We, of course, asked if he needed any help, seeing as he was the only one working on distributing this huge pile of bark in his driveway. He thinks for a second, shrugs his shoulders, and goes "sure, follow me." So we follow this man to his backyard where he shows us his TURTLE FARM! He explained that he takes care of over 150 turtles, and has over 200 animals total. And so he let us help him move the turtles, clean out their bins, and basically he just showed us around. It was awesome!! I was so upset when I realized that I didn't have my camera with me :( but we made sure to give him our number in case he ever needed more help. So pray that he calls us soon so that I can get some pictures for ya'll! :) 

Basically I am learning a lot while being out here. It is soooo different than any where else I have served in my mission, and it has been quite the adjustment. But I have been able to learn a lot about how patience and diligence are true signs of love. If we are not patient and diligent, we will never be able to prove to anyone that we love them, especially our Heavenly Father. I pray that as we all go through this new week we can be more diligent patient with those around us. The golden rule does not become any less important or significant the older it gets. That is something that I have truly found to be crucial to a Christ-like life. And the awesome thing is that as we read in the scriptures and pray we truly can develop those attributes and they will become a part of our nature. The gospel is so great :) 

I love you all so much! Let us all have an amazing week together :) 
con amor,
la hermana brooks

Sunday, July 19, 2015

So last week was literally AMAZING!! But right now I cannot even focus on all of the amazing things that happened, but I have just been transferred to Duvall!!! For those of you (all of you?) who have absolutely no idea where that is, basically it is in the middle of nowhere. It is a tiny little town about 20-30 minutes away from most things, and it is an area where I will pretty much only be speaking ENGLISH!! What?!?! I have no idea how to teach the gospel in English......just kidding. But I really do LOVE teaching the gospel in Spanish, and basically I just really miss my Crossroads family right now... BUT I am also super duper excited to be here, and I know that I am going to learn and grow A LOT. Like an insane amount. It is kind of scary. But I am ready for it, it is what I have been praying for. And I know that everything before now in my mission has been preparing me for this. I just have to figure out how....

My new companion is the wonderful Sister Lawson, from a small town in California :) She is actually a convert to the church for almost 2 years now! She is soooo wonderful, and really is just a fireball missionary. I know that I am going to learn a lot from her :) We have only been together for a total of 3 hours so far, but we have been able to talk to each other about some of our goals, and basically we are just ready to hit the pavement running. It is going to be awesome!!

Basically to sum up my last transfer in Crossroads and Overlake, I would say that I have never had so much fun in 6 weeks. We met so many amazing people, and saw so many miracles. From crazy old men who called us his "angels," the miracle Chavez family, and soccer fiestas, every day was an adventure. I learned so much from my dear companions, Hermanas Christiansen and Stoddard, and I am so grateful for these women in my life. They have strengthened me so much. Now it is my job to keep up the progress I have made, and then strive for even better. 

If there is one thing I have learned this week, it is that faith is not a passive, nor stagnant thing. It is real, it is living, and it needs to be an active part of our entire lives. Religion is not a 'club' nor a social phenomenon. It is something that shapes us into who we are, and gives us sunshine on the darkest of days. I am so grateful for my faith in Jesus Christ. It is something that strengthens me every day. 

Yo se que Jesucristo es mi Salvador. Yo se que El vive y que por medio de El, podemos llegar a ser mejores cada dia. Yo se que el poder del la Expiacion de Cristo es real. no puedo negarlo. Yo se que por medio de Jose Smith, Dios restauro su iglesia verdadera. Le amo a mi Dios. Soy su misionera, y voy a testificar de su amor a todos en mi camino. 

I love you all so much. I hope you have a wonderful week. Pray for me and my new area :) Les Quiero!!!!

-la herm
So this past week was really long and hard. We also had a lot of great fun! :) We kick started the week with our favorite Guatemalan, Hermano Garcia in the Cheesecake factory!! Literally I still cannot believe how much food we ate. But it was awesome :) 

Throughout the week, we did a lot of work with other missionaries who are struggling. It is always a very special, spiritual experience when you are given the blessing of having someone in need reach out to you. I have been very humbled, and my heart is filled with a lot of gratitude. What I have probably learned the most this week in doing so is that, in a very real and personal way, there is no hole too deep, no mountain too high, no root too stubborn that Christ cannot overcome. He already suffered for EVERYTHING, every single pain, mistake, misunderstanding, temptation. The purpose of that was not so that we would never experience pain, sufferings, temptations, etc. But instead it was so that when we come to Him for help, He can tell us that He knows how we feel, and He knows how to help. EVERYTHING is a blessing. 

And our new mission president, President Schofield from Heber City, UT is AWESOME!! We got to meet him on Thursday, and basically I already love him and his wife. They are such great examples of charity and love. We are ready to see some more miracles in the Washington, Seattle Mission :) 

Also, David, our awesome Chinese investigator who didn't have faith in God dropped us this week :( It was a really bitter sweet moment, because after praying on and off for about a month, he FINALLY found faith that God exists. It was really cool to hear him tell us that logic and faith do not have to be separate, contradicting things, but instead that they are one and the same. I cannot count the amount of times we tried explaining that to him over the past 3 months. But what was heart breaking, and the reason for him dropping us, is that he feels he cannot have faith in the Christian God. He wants so badly to justify so many things, he just wants to be right, and the fact that Gods laws and commandments tell him otherwise isn't something he is willing to accept. Basically I cried. A lot. It was a really hard, long day. But I know that He will continue to grow in his relationship with God, and someday he will might even accept missionaries again. I have faith :) 

For the Fourth of July, we had to do our weekly planning :( so we didn't get to see any fireworks, which was muy triste. BUT we celebrated regardless by getting all american cheeseburgers, fries, and milkshakes :) our healthy diets had to take the back seat for the night, but it was super fun and TOTALLY worth it :) Go America!!

Oh!! and one more thing :) Yesterday at church, Cristhian Chavez passed the sacrament for the first time and he bore his testimony in church!! Oh my goodness, it was just so special to see the whole family grow stronger and stronger in their testimonies, and it has only been a week since their baptism! Last night, we were able to go have dinner with them, and the Spirit was just so strong in their home. I love this family so much!!! 

Really, I love you all so very much. I am grateful for all of the trials that we have in life because they give us opportunities to grow. I know without a doubt that Jesus is the Christ. He did the things that He said He did. He loves me. He loves all of us. I know that as we come unto Him, He will help us to see miracles every single day. He Lives, and these promises He has given unto us are real. 

I hope you all have an incredible week.
"Look unto Me in every thought. Doubt not, Fear not" Doctrine and Covenant 6:36
-la hermana brooks 

Friday, July 3, 2015

Hello once again dear family and friends, I hope all is well and that you are all having a wonderful summer! This is probably one of the funnest summers I have ever had, and DEFINITELY the busiest. I love it so much :) 

La Familia Chavez was baptized on Saturday!!! AAAHHHHH it was really just the most amazing thing! I cannot believe that a month ago we didn't even know who they were. I Love this family so much!!! We were able to see them every day leading up to their baptism, and every time we could literally see their faith growing! Cristhian and Evelyn were sooo excited and really have taught me a lot about the importance of supporting our companions, whether they are just for the mission, or eternal companions. Really, an ideal marriage and family does not exist until you find a center in Jesus Christ. I know that may sound crazy to some of you, but I promise you that it is true. It is ONLY on a sure foundation of faith in Jesus Christ that we can really overcome everything to become an eternal family. Anyways, so the baptism was just BEAUTIFUL. Everything just seemed to go perfectly, and I know that it is only because of the faith of this beautiful family. Practically the whole branch came to their baptism, and everyone was crying and hugging, and it was just a really special moment to be a part of :) And they are so excited to enter into the temple and be sealed together as a family in one year!!! AHH I just love them so much :) 

Besides the miracle of the baptism, some other great things happened this week. We were able to go on exchanges with Hermanas Dilworth and Flores! Really, I love these two so much :) it is just so crazy to be a sister training leader and to be able to get to know and help them so much. It has been a calling that has strengthened my testimony of the Atonement, both the enabling and cleansing power that it has, every single day. I was terribly misinformed before my mission, thinking that all missionaries were perfect and had no struggles or worries. The opportunities we have to do exchanges and help one another are what make our growth and progress that we have made possible. And I am grateful for the perfect example of our Savior, Jesus Christ, that guides and leads us daily to help us reach our full potential.

Also!!! We get a new mission president this week!! (Technically today, but we don't meet him until Friday). It has been the most amazing 10 months with the Choi's and I can honestly say that I have never had leaders before who have brought me so close to my Savior. Their constant love and support has been tangible every moment of their time with us. But now they have been called to a new place, to serve in the Asian Region, and will be living in Japan. I will miss my Mission Mother and Father a lot, and I will never forget all of the things they have taught me. At the same time, I recognize the divine timing of this change. I am very excited for the new mission president, President Schofield, and I know that he will be exactly what this mission needs to become even more amazing (if that was even possible). 

Well, I gotta run, we still have lots of things to do today. But I love you all so much and thank you for all of your support. Ustedes son los mejores!!!
-la hermana brooks 

Hola a todos!! I hope you all had a WONDERFUL Father's Day spending time celebrating families :) Just a quick shout out to my own father, and all father figures in my life: I LOVE YOU ALL! Thank you for all of the love and support I receive everyday. 

Well, as you can see from the heading, we are very very very busy. I have never gone on so many splits in my life! But because there are three of us, and we have so many people we are teaching, it often comes up that we need to have two of us go to one lesson, and have the other find a female member to go with her to another lesson. Really it is just craziness. And just being away from a companion for any amount of time is stressful enough, let alone being in different parts of the city and relying on others to bring them back safe to you. Haha I dont know if any of you will really understand what I am trying to say, but just let it suffice that we are being stretched and stressed a lot. But we are seeing a lot of miracles from it. 

Okay, but here is the most important stuff. The Chavez family is getting baptized on Saturday!!! They are literally just the most amazing and prepared family ever! Cristhian and Evelyn are SOOO in love and they have the cutest kids I have ever seen! So we were a little bit worried about whether or not they would be able to make their baptismal date on Saturday, because Cristhian has been working on living the word of wisdom by not drinking coffee for only 2 weeks, and his work schedule has been CRAZY. so we havent been able to see him as much.So yesterday we decided to talk to them during church and see where they were at, and how we could help them, whether by teaching them certain things, or moving their date. We really didnt know. But as we were talking with them, and our branch mission leader, the spirit was SOO STRONG in this little room. All we did was testify of eternal families, and we knew that they could do it. After, we went walking around the temple with their whole family and planned some details for their baptism. Seeing them take family pictures around the temple was probably one of the coolest experiences I have had on my mission. We all promised that we would be coming back in a year for when they get to be sealed together as a family! Ahhhh!!! I just really love them so so so much. Families ARE the plan of happiness that God has for each one of us. 

Also, we had a great lesson with David this week, our Chinese investigator for the Overlake ward. He has been praying!!! Ahh, it was so cool to hear him pray, and to feel the Spirit. He still struggles with having faith, but we can see it growing every time we come over. He also committed to coming to church yesterday, but then texted us last minute saying that he probably wouldn't be able to come because his friends had invited him to go see Jurassic world (??) really late, and so he probably wouldn't be able to wake up on time. We were so heart broken!! So no, he did not come to church. But when he woke up, he sent us a text us saying that the movie was actually terrible and he feels really guilty for not coming. I consider that progress :) 

oh! and one more story :) On Friday, we were out knocking doors in this little neighborhood by Lake Sammamish (it is BEAUTIFUL by the way) and all of a sudden this old man parks his car on the side of the road and walks right up to us. His name is Pete. At first, we didn't know what to think, because he looked and sounded pretty crazy for about the first 10 minutes. He kept talking about how mormons arent as weird as everyone thinks they are, and how he has a bunch of mormon friends. Really, we just thought he was some kind of crazy creeper guy. And then I cant even find the moment when we realized it, but it turns out he is just the most genuine, happy person I have ever met. He talked with us for about 30 minutes on the street, and really was just doing everything he could to make us laugh and also be receptive to what we said. He even invited us on his yacht (turns out he is a marine pilot!!) and when we told him we werent allowed to, he promised us that it was "Mormon Safe" hahaha. Now he is officially invited to all of our weddings, and he cant wait to see us again! Yesterday we dropped off a pie a member had given us, to him for Fathers Day (and mostly because we did not need to have our own pie) and you'd have thought that he had won the lottery! haha I just love all of the cool and crazy people we get to meet everyday. Missions are the coolest! 

Well, to hurry and wrap things up, I will just share something I have been studying a lot lately. It has to do with Eternal Families. I am so very eternally grateful for my family, and for all that they have done for me to help me become who I am. Really, there is nothing greater than having an eternal family, and no more worth-while goal. In the end, all we get to take with us is our knowledge and hopefully, if we are worthy, those we love. Dont ever take your own family for granted. Dont do anything to jeopardize your own opportunity to one day have a family of your own. They are one of the greatest gifts Heavenly Father has given to us. Also, never forget that we are all a part of our Heavenly Fathers family. Let us love one another a little more. I love you all so much. 
-la hermana brooks

Sooo many things happened this week, I don't even know where to begin!! 7 days is just too many to have to keep in order, and so much changes in a week it is hard to wrap my head around it! But because I love you all, I will try :)

Mostly this week consisted of la familia Chavez :) We were able to see them every single day and have so many incredible lessons! They are some of the most prepared people I have ever met. On Tuesday, we were able to teach them about the Plan of Salvation, and they LOVED it. Gael, their 8 year old son was able to say the closing prayer, and it was so cute!! He was nervous about it, so I offered to help him. As he was repeating me, I was thinking of what to say, and so I said "yyyyy" and in his little voice, he also said "yyyyy" haha his mom couldn't help but laugh, and at the end told him that he needed to work on his prayers. :) On Thursday, we were able to put them on date!! They are now preparing to be baptized on June 27th!!!!! He has to give up drinking his coffee, but we have the faith that they can do it, and they are all so excited! On Friday they came to our branch voleibol activity and everyone loved them, and then on Saturday they came to see a baptism for Farjam, an Armenian guy the elders were teaching. (Fun Miracle Fact: Hermana Hales, Oliphant, and I found him in April and gave him as a referral! So cool!!) Yesterday they came to church, and basically I just love this family so much!! They are so lively and happy, and their light literally gets brighter every time we see them. It is so incredible to see how the Lord prepares His children! 

We were also able to go on a few exchanges this week, and I got to spend 24 hours with the wonderful Hermana Oliphant in Sammamish, which was voted Americas #1 nicest city?? But I can totally believe it, because everyone, even those who rejected us, were SOO NICE! haha it is this weird paradox, because it just goes against every other missionary experience I have ever had. But it was cool, and a lot of fun, and basically I just love my dear former companion :) it is really cool to be able to see their growth. It was also really great to be able to return back to our crazy, funny trio and get milkshakes together. :) 

Well, I am sorry that I don't have time to write more. We have zone sports day today, so that means less time for everything else. It is going to be tons of fun though. I hope you all are enjoying summer fun! Up here the weather is BEAUTIFUL!! Today is probably going to be the hottest day we have had and it is only 88... haha sorry Vegas! But I love you all so much! Have a great week, and never forget that your Heavenly Father knows and loves you personally. He is leading and guiding you every step off the way (if you let Him), and He wants you to be HAPPY! You are all so wonderful!!

-La Hermana Brooks 
haha I actually don't know if Milagrosas is a thing, but it sounds awkward any other way. Oh well!
Well hello dearest friends and family! I hope everyone is doing well and enjoying summer to its fullest extent :) I know I sure am! This week has been filled with so many miracles, so many laughs, and I even have a watch-tan!! It cannot get any better than this :) 

So first of all, our new companionship has had a week together, and it is AMAZING! Literally this is the most fun I have ever had. All of us are so different, but so alike at the same time. There is never a dull moment. Never :) We call Hermana Stoddard our hippie missionary if that helps paint a picture. But really, I have been so impressed by her! She is so loving and patient, which is something I am working on right now, but she balances us out perfectly, and helps us never lose the Spirit. It has been a great blessing to work with her this transfer :) I JUST LOVE TRIOS!! 

And speaking of great blessings, we were blessed to find 2 new Spanish families this week!!! Both are brand new from Mexico, and have family members who recently joined the church! One of them, la familia Chavez, was found by the Elders last week. The dad actually was walking down the same street as them, walked up to them, and asked them to start teaching his family!!! How cool is that?? So we were able to meet them on Thursday, and invite them to the Spanish branch. Yesterday they came and LOVED it, and we will be seeing them again on Tuesday! I am so excited!!! Our other miracle family we found last night! We had just barely finished knocking doors, and Hermana Christiansen had to use the restroom, so we hurried to the nearest church building. As we were on our way back out to work, we saw a Hispanic couple walking on the sidewalk right in front of the church building! So we hurry and run out and start talking to them. It turns out, they had just barely arrived in the States about 2 weeks ago, after leaving Mexio where his brother had just joined the church and they had both been meeting with the missionaries!! Whattt??? So we just asked if we could keep walking with them, and ended up being able to answer a lot of their questions about the church, USA, and faith in general. They will be coming to our weekly English Class and want to start meeting with us regularly again!! It is just literally so cool how God plans everything so perfectly, and He trusts us enough to not completely mess up His plan. He just loves all of His children so much! 

The English work has been a little bit slower this week. We were able to see almost all of our investigators though, and really make some head way! Right now we are teaching an Indian man named Shawn. He is soo great, and always makes us delicious food when we come over to teach him. He is really fancy that way. But we had talked to him about fasting, because he has a lot of questions that can only be answered through his personal effort, which he wasnt doing. So we were able to fast with him yesterday, and as we talked with him about his concerns, all it came down to was that he didn't understand the Atonement! We were really able to open his heart, and help him see that many of the concerns he has are through communication and being too stubborn to honestly seek out the truth. It was a really cool moment, and as we taught him about the role and sacrifice of Jesus Christ, the room was full of the Spirit. 

One thing that I have really been blessed with this week is the gift of love. Yesterday at church was one of the most incredible experiences, because I had never felt so much love for so many people at one time. I LOVE the Crossroads Branch, and I know that they love me. Through many months and trials, many different investigators and levels of Spanish, we have come to be united in love and as I looked around in church, I felt like I was at home. It is so amazing how much the gospel can and does unite others. The Gospel of Jesus Christ is a gospel of love, and that love is for everyone, everywhere. 

I am so grateful for my mission and the amazing experiences I get to have every day. There is not a moment that goes by where I do not feel the amazing grace of God strengthening me and pouring His love on me. And I know that it is not something just for missionaries, but it is something that applies to everyone at every stage in their lives, if they will but open their hearts to Him. We are never alone nor forgotten. We are always loved, prayed for, and important.  

I love you all so very much and I pray that you will seek out the Sunlight, both literally and spiritually this week. I know that we will be more able to recognize and create miracles that way, and the Love of God that we feel will be exponentially increased. 
Les Quiero a Ustedes con todo de mi corazon,
-La Hermana Brooks 

Buenas tardes!! Hola mis queridos hermanos y hermanas :) espero que todo este bien! 

So this past week was CRAZY! We were so busy, and we met so many amazing people, and really there are not words, or time, that could tell you about all of the experiences we have been having lately. There is no better word to describe it other than miracles.

 The week started off with an amazing opportunity of service! It was last p-day, and Hna Christiansen and I were at the local Blueberry farm. (it was awesome and beautiful and we took a lot of pictures :) All of a sudden we got a call from a less-active member, asking us to meet her at wal-mart because she was helping out a homeless family and didn't want to be alone. The wal-mart happened to be right down the street, and so we scurried over there to meet a beautiful Romanian family. Our member ended up giving them a bunch of food, clothes, and toys, and made sure that they had our information to call if they needed any more help! It was a super humbling experience, and really opened our members eyes that the Lord really does trust us and expect us to take care of one another. We had to go, though, since we were supposed to be meeting some people in the hospital at the same time to give them a lesson, so we left. But then the next day, we were able to go and visit with that member, and she shared with us a little more to the story. She LOVES hot wings, and so after she helped out the family, she went into the next door Little Caesars to get some. While waiting for her food, a woman asked her to come and sit by her. She thanked her so much for what her and "her friends" (aka nosotras) had done for that family, and she started asking questions about who we were, and what motivated us to do that kind of service. After talking for a while and sharing the basic message of our church, our member ended up inviting her over to her home, and hopefully she will start meeting with us missionaries!! It was just super cool to see that when we do serve people with pure hearts, the Lord always provides a way for it to reach more than just the person helped. It was a great lesson to me about genuine, selfless service. 

Also, transfers happened!! So nothing really changed between the area and Hna Christiansen as my companion. But guess what??? We are in a trio again!!! haha I am destined to always serve in trios :) but that is 100% okay with me because I LOVE TRIOS and there are so many amazing miracles we will see because of it! so now, la Hermana Stoddard is with us, and she is so amazing. We are Sister-Training Leaders together, and team training Hna Christiansen for her 2nd transfer :) it is just going to be so much fun! 

I just want you all to know that I love my Savior Jesus Christ so much. He has raised me up and helped me become someone who I never thought I would have the potential to become. I know that through the Atonement of Jesus Christ, we can all experience the peace and happiness that will help us overcome any trial, set-back, or temptation. I know He loves each one of you so very much. I wish I had time to tell you everything and to teach you everything I have learned. But I will just have to trust that you can all feel of my love and that someday that day will come. Just not too quickly :) 

You are all amazing! Shine brightly this week, and know that I love you :) 
con carino,
la hermana Brooks 

AHHH!!! Sorry, I am so low on time! And there are so many cool things I wanted to tell you all about this week! okay, I will try my best to type really really fast... so please excuse me if I spell like everything wrong :) 

okay, so FIRST!! We had so many lessons planned for this week. Like really, so many set appointments. It was ridiculous! We were going to get so much done, and it was all going to go according to plan.. and then one by one they ALL started canceling. Like really, I think we only had 2 out of like 14 appointments go through between Monday and Friday... But because the Lord loves us so much and knows that sometimes we just need a little bit of help, we ended up having probably one of the most successful weeks of the transfer! 

One of our miracles was with this woman named Chavel. Now, we have been trying to see this woman for 5 weeks now, and every single appointment we set gets cancelled for some reason or another (she was one of the 12 cancelled appointments from earlier in the week). But we had just had someone else cancel on us, and we were right next to her, so we decided to just go and knock on her door. So we go, and no one answers. But then right as we were about to walk away, she comes walking up the stairs to her apartment! She let us right in and we were able to have a really great lesson on the Restoration of the Gospel! She has actually been super interested in our church for quite some time! She was sick this week, so she wasn't able to come to church, but we are super excited to work with her! And the coolest miracle, was that after talking for a little bit, she told us how on her way home from work, she was about to go and run some more errands, but she had felt a very distinct feeling that she needed to go home. And as soon as she got there, she found us! It was an awesome moment to see the Lords hand in working in our lives. 

Ah! There are so many other great things I want to be able to tell you, but time is up!! I promise to be better next week! I  love you all and I want you to know that being a missionary is the greatest thing. I love it every single day, and I am so grateful for the chance I have to serve my Heavenly Father. 
Have a great week full of miracles!
Les Quiero!!
-la hermana brooks
Hello dear loved ones!! I hope you are all doing wonderfully and enjoying the wonderful transition into SUMMER!!!! I know that I am :) 

We had a really great week of a lot of inspiration and call for some change. Not gonna lie, I was having a pretty rough time the past couple of weeks. I wasn't necessarily unhappy, or sad. But I was more stressed than ever before in my life. and I definitely felt like I wasn't getting the support or help that I needed, which was making it worse. and then on Saturday, I totally got chastised by a member about all of the things I was doing wrong, especially how I never looked happy (that sounds bad, I know... it was not the most pleasant experience BUT it taught me a lot) and as I tried to be humble enough, I started to see Gods hand in all of it. No, He didn't want this person to be rude or outspoken, or even to hurt my feelings. But He did want me to understand that if I wasn't having fun and absolutely LOVING every single moment, then something was wrong. and if others couldn't also see that I was loving every single moment, then that was also an indicator that something was wrong. and so after about a day of being really butt-hurt, I decided that instead of telling that guy what was up, I was going to show him, and in turn become a happier, better me :)

so now, i am starting something new for myself called the Sun-beam project (aka the Happiness Project). Everything I do is going to focus on some key things:
1. Jesus Christ. He is the center of EVERYTHING, and He is the SOURCE OF ALL HAPPINESS. So I figure that He is a pretty good focus to have. If it doesn't remind me of, teach me of, or help me become more like Christ, it is not for me. 
2. I am going to REPENT every day . Not just saying I am sorry, but really changing and evolving and becoming something better. My inspiration was Job 5:17
3. I will be EXACTLY OBEDIENT, to the commandments, rules, etc. Proverbs 29:18 and Mosiah 2:41
4. I will have a BLESSING ATTITUDE. Gratitude for literally everything. 
5. I will write in my journal daily and take at least one picture daily of at least one thing that has brought me and others happiness. D&C 78:19
6. I want to TAKE CARE OF MYSELF. Actually getting ready in the morning and losing the weight that I feel holds me back. I will become the best version of myself every day, and hopefully that best version will get better everyday. not just in the way I look, but in the way I feel. See Articles of Faith #13.
7. I will SMILE ALWAYS!! A smile has the power to change the world. And it is one of the purest forms of a testimony. After all, you are never fully dressed without a smile:) 3 Nephi 12:14-16
8. Be Organized, Neat, and Clean. Decluttering your life has a HUGE impact on everything you do. More Junk=More stress. If it is not contributing to your inner peace and happiness, just get rid of it! D&C 132:8

Wow, so that is a lot. But really it is all so simple! And I am already doing most of these things, just not 100% of the time or with 100% of my heart. But I know without a doubt that all of these things are possible, and they are all connected. Happiness is not just something for the future, or for the perfect summer days. It is for right here, right now. Wherever you are. That is the promise that we receive through the gospel of Jesus Christ. It is the great plan of HAPPINESS. So by golly, let us all be a little happier and a little more dedicated to having this be an integral part of who we are! I already feel so much better :) 

Also, highlights from this week! Eliseo passed the sacrament!!!!! Oh my goodness, it was the coolest thing to see him start to become an active member and to live the gospel. He was so very nervous when they asked him to help, but as they started he was just beaming! I was basically crying, it was so cool :) We didn't have anyone come to church, which was rough, but seeing that made everything worth it!

Ahhh there are so many stories I wish I had time to tell you about! But today is zone sports day, and so we have less time to get everything done. Sorry!! But just know that I love you all so much and I wish you all of the HAPPINESS in the world. You are all incredible, and special, and can and will change the world. I want you all to know that I am so happy to be on a mission, sharing the happiest message out there. I love my Savior Jesus Christ, and I pray that all of you may be able to feel of His love and Light in your personal lives every day. LES QUIERO MUCHO!!
-la hermana Brooks