Monday, May 26, 2014

Week 33: Mattresses, machetes, and miracles.

Well I have a lot of thoughts. And then I opened my email to amazing news about Rachel's mission call and basically erupted in happy screams and tears. And it's been an incredible week of miracles and emotions and testimony building and Preach My Gospel studying.
The gospel is true! That's basically the message of this whole weekly email. I cannot imagine my life without the hope of the Atonement of Jesus Christ, without the knowledge of God's plan for us all to be eternal families, without the gift of the Holy Ghost guiding me in everything. I love the Book of Mormon. I have gained such an amazing appreciation for this gospel the past few days.
I just have a few miracles from this week to share with you:
Cynthia. We were in Walmart getting water because we ran out when we got a text from Elder Larsen telling us to call Cynthia as soon as possible. So we call her and she asked, "What do I need to do to be baptized?" BEST PHONE CALL EVER. So we were talking with her in the middle of Walmart and our phone died. NO. So we ran around the store like crazy people trying to find someone who would let us borrow their phone. Anyway, we ended up calling her a little alter and setting up an appointment.
A sister from the ward came with us on Saturday morning to the lesson. Cynthia had so many questions, but her faith is so strong. We reviewed the baptismal interview questions with her, and even though we need to still teach her most of the lessons, she knows it's true. She asked about her daughter who passed away at age 3 and her dad who passed away when she was young and never accepted the gospel. As we taught her the Plan of Salvation and promised that she would one day see them again, the Spirit in the room was incredible. Sister Tucker bore simple, powerful testimony that we will be with our families for eternity. The sister from the ward bore testimony that helped calm Cynthia's fears. It was one of the most incredible moments of my mission. I love this gospel. I know it is true. I know we will be with our families in eternity as we strive to obey the commandments here. Cynthia chose to be baptized on June 7th, and her husband wants to be baptized as well, though his testimony is a little slower in coming. They are absolutely amazing, and I love them so much!

Brooke. I have really been focusing this week on putting myself and my fears out of the way in talking to absolutely everyone. We were grabbing a snack after correlation on Saturdaynight and there were a few people there as well. I talked to one guy, and then I was talking with the other missionaries about the stake. Then this girl walked in and I just felt like I needed to talk to her. We talked for a second, and it turns out she's been wanting to meet with missionaries for a while and hasn't known how to go about it!! We took down her information and sent it over to the missionaries in her area.
Moral of the story: open your mouth. Never postpone a prompting. People need the gospel and peace it brings to our lives. 

And now for the less spiritual side of this crazy week:
First off, while waiting for companions to finish emailing last week, I clicked back in some part of our family tree on and found out that not only are we related to Uther Pendragon (read a Camelot legend if you don't know who he is) and some guy named Theseus, but that particular line goes clear back to Adam.

Moral of the story: do your family history and find awesome things like that.
Funny story: Primary kids. We were invited to sing a song in a six-year-old class yesterday. And they were so cute. And they talked about how they could call the cops or Batman if they were in trouble, so the teacher said they should call Heavenly Father. Then I was asked to play piano for Primary singing time in another ward because there were no pianists there. We sang "The Family is of God" probably eight times. And I played "Jesus Wants me for a Sunbeam" for the sunbeams. Best day ever :)
Funny story numba two: awkward run in with the mission president. Twice.
First time, we had to grab something from our Bishop who happened to be in a bishopric meeting while the missionaries who were leaving were just getting out of their testimony meeting. At the same building. So everyone thought we were just crashing their party when we were actually attempting to do missionary work. But we got to help out Sister Hansen a bit, so that was fun.

Second time: we get to the machete story.
We were cleaning out our apartment of Elder relics this week since we needed to, you know, LIVE there. As we were cleaning, we found a machete and a hand ax. Seriously. Majorly lethal weapons in a missionary apartment. No bueno. So the next day we obviously took it all over to the mission office. BUT there was no parking at the mission office. Which meant we had to park over at the church building and walk down the street carrying a very suspicious looking package - a machete and ax wrapped in a filthy T-shirt we also found under a bed. That was fun.
But of course, as we're walking up to the mission office, who should pull up but President and Sister Hansen. They were happy to see us but heading to a meeting. So they walk in to the mission office and we're behind them in the doorway. 
Sister Hansen turns around and looks happy to see us then gives a puzzled look at our package.
"What's that, Sisters?"
"Uh, lethal weapons left by the Elders."
"Oh, what Elder left a bee bee gun this time?"
"um, it's a machete. And a hand ax."
At this point, President Hansen turns around and they both look extremely concerned that these two sweet sister missionaries have discovered a machete in their apartment.
"a MACHETE?! What Elders lived there?!" -President

And then the entire office staff joined in making up stories about the history of the machete.
Love life.

Fun experience with the Smith's of this week: throwing 20 year old mattresses over our little porch down to the truck. Basically the best experience of my life.

We had one of our investigators kind of disappear in Texas. So that's fun. And we're really focusing on finding more and trying to utilize the ideas on page 162 in Preach My Gospel in helping the members be involved. There you have the life of Sister Holbrook. I hope you all enjoyed this highly intense and slightly concerningly emotional email. 

Mission life really is the best. I love this gospel! I love being a missionary! There is nothing better than being engaged in the work of the Lord.

I love you all! Have a fantastic week! Remember to smile and expect miracles!

Sister Holbrook

This talk by President Packer is amazing.

Sister Taylor and Sister Pearson weren't there, but here are the rest of the sisters in the zone!! We have such a blast together haha

Our zone: Elder Fearnley, Sister Jacobson, Sister Cox, Elder Gonzalez, Elder Taylor, Elder Unklesbay, Sister Bill, Sister Tucker, me; front row by face: Elder Westlund, Elder Thevenin, Elder Nelson, Elder Whittle
Love them all.

So we were cleaning out our apartment, right? And we found a machete. And a hand ax. But the machete is the important part here.
So then we had to take the two lethal weapons to the mission office. And of course there was no parking at the office because they were in the staff building so we had to park down the street and walk to the office while carrying a very suspicious looking package wrapped in a T-shirt we also found underneath one of our beds.

Me and Sister Smith. I love the Smith's so much. And they helped take away all of our Elder relics. So wonderful. She also told us we should keep the machete if we had plans to go bushwacking or sword fighting so we could brandish it high above our heads for protection. Love her.

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