Friday, January 22, 2016


What a week! Transfer calendars went out...found out who my new
companion is! I know she'll be great, but my heart is still wrenching
because Sister Teuscher is leaving.  She has truly been the best
trainer God could have put me with, and she'll be one of my best
friends for the rest of my life.

We went to the temple last week, it was so nice to feel completely
peaceful for a couple hours. Afterwards we got permission to watch The
Saratov Approach. It's such a great movie! Really makes me thankful
I'm getting to stay in the states haha! We did a service project with
Feed My Starving Children which was a lot of fun. I won't even bore you with the fact the windchill got up to -40 degrees last night, because, you know, it's just a fact I live in the frozen tundra.

CLEO. I LOVE CLEO. She has such a rough past and deals with it in ways
that aren't good for her. We thought she'd been doing better, but when
I used the bathroom in her apartment I saw some things that proved she
wasn't. But she's trying so hard to stay clean. We talked about it and
went back by later that week to follow-up. She was with some of the
wrong crowd but she still wanted us to teach, so here we are teaching
6 thugs about the gospel, and it's literally the coolest thing because
they're asking questions and actively involved in the lesson. If you
would have told me at the beginning of my mission that I'd be sharing
the gospel confidently with a bunch of street hoods, I'd be terrified.
But they're good people who just ended up in not great situations.
They call us family, and I know they're our "ride or die"! (By the
way, can someone look up what "tenderoni" means? They keep saying it
but I have no idea what that even is.) I've learned to rely on the
Spirit so much. You really have to pay attention when it's telling you
to leave, or not to knock on a certain house. But it also reaffirms
when you're in a safe place, which is really nice to have!
We had dinner the other night with a new-convert family, the Hinkles. He used to ride with Hell's Angels, no big deal. He's an ex-offender and has been prison lots of times, and also has some sweet tattoo sleeves and gauges, but he's the sweetest guy you've ever met.They have an 18 month old son named Abel who is the cutest baby to ever walk the planet. They are so solid in the gospel, it's CRAZY. Talk about a 180. Christ truly changes lives! 

There's so much more that happened, but I want to hop off and enjoy
this last Pday with Sister T! I'll write more next week! Missionary
work is the best! Much love, Sister Brett

Just a small town girl, living in a below zero world...

To start off, can I tell you what -10 degrees feels like? NOT GOOD. This week with the wind chill it was -20 degrees...did you know the wind can physically burn?? On the bright side I'm getting to bust out those super attractive long-john thermals...come at me, snow.
This week went by so quick, but it was so packed. This last week has been a blessing for finding new investigators. When I first got to the area we had 2, and now with one week left in the transfer, we've got 10! And they're GOLDEN. My infinitely wise mother has taught me countless things through the years, but I think the most important lesson I've taken with me on the mission is BRING TREATS AND PEOPLE WILL LET YOU IN. We spent all day baking 6 dozen cookies for members, less-actives, investigators- you name them, we baked for them. It really works! They love you for bringing food, and then they're obligated to listen to a quick message. It's GREAT! #sneakysisters
Last email I think I talked about Jeffrey, the nurse we met while visiting a sick member (who's now recovering and doing great!). We brought him some cookies to say thank you, and his eyes started welling up. He'd been on call 3 nights in a row and was feeling really low, and never got thanked for his hard work at the hospital. He committed to come to church, but yesterday he never showed. But he's got a great heart and we'll keep working with him! 
Another AMAZING investigator we have is Mercy! Mercy is a nurse at one of the nursing homes we frequent. One of the members there has been talking to her about the church and gave her her copy of the Book of Mormon. The other day she ran up to us and was telling us how wonderful the BoM was and she was learning so much, and is feeding us sometime this week so we can teach her more! Mercy is a tender spirit. I don't remember what we were even talking about, but I bore my very small, simple testimony to her about something we were discussing, and she got really quiet for a minute. I thought I'd said something wrong, but she said "What you just said went straight to my heart and into my soul, and God testified to me that what you said is true." We both got kinda teary-eyed...I can't be seen showing any emotion or it'll ruin my rep ;). But it was such a sweet moment and the spirit was so strong I couldn't help it. I wish I could be as in tune with the spirit as she is. 
There are so many surreal experiences we had with our investigators this week I can't even write them all, but I will write that the work is hastening in Minneapolis and the children of God here are READY. I know their hearts have been prepared to hear the gospel of Jesus Christ.
Being fed by Africans is the best. It's like spicy southern food, so I feel right at home! And they feed you ALL. THE. TIME. If you stop by, even just for five minutes, they will have a plate oranges and Fu Fu for you in a millisecond. And they get super offended if you don't take seconds (and thirds, and fourths), so I may have a hole in my stomach from so much habanero pepper. Definitely getting as much exercise in as we possibly can in every day...perishing for want of food will not be happening in this area.
P-Days in downtown Minneapolis are the best! There's always a ton of fun stuff to do and see. Granted it's nothing compared to the crazies in Hollywood, but it's a little taste of home! Today, since it's both -5 degrees and also Sister Teuscher's last P-day, we'll spend most of it inside packing and cleaning for when my new companion comes. But for dinner we're splurging on Applebees with the Elders...holla!
Please pray for Barbara and Brandy! They're so solid, but Word of Wisdom is really tough for some people. But through Christ we can overcome anything! He'll never give us something we can't handle. I'm so happy here, this is the only place I want to be! As the days go on I become more thuggin' and more spiritual as I could have ever hoped for. Love you all! 

-Sister Brett

Monday, January 11, 2016

New Year, New Goals, New Baptisms

HAPPY NEW YEAR! How is it 2016 already? This week was a blast. Missionary work was really slow because of the holidays with everyone out of town, so we got to have a little break and do some fun stuff. The sisters in our zone had a sleepover- we stayed up to count down to New Years and then I promptly passed out...the exhaustion is REAL. The next morning we had a huge zone breakfast. We all went to the church building early in the morning to cook, and then we went bowling and hung out all day. Can I talk about how this is the most marriage-hungry group of people I've ever met? 3 of the elders are already engaged and 90% of the sisters are planning on being married within 6 months of getting home. I feel like that's all we talk about! But it's all in the Lord's time. For now...missionary work!!!
We have 2 baptisms set for January 15!!! It's really tricky though, because both of them struggle with keeping their commitments, and that's vital for strengthening their faith. (Any ideas on how to help a chain smoker quit cold turkey???) I don't remember if I wrote about it in my last email, but we met the coolest guy named Nate while tracting who is super interested in the gospel and asked us to come back when his wife was home. We did, and they're literally the cutest couple I have ever seen, but she's content with where she is and says they aren't looking for anything more religiously. Which totally isn't true because I could feel Nate's yearning to learn more. It really sucks because his eyes said "Please come back" but his wife was like "Thanks see ya never." He did offer the sweetest prayer after we met and said in it that he hoped he would see us again soon. I know when the time is right she'll be ready to accept the gospel and he'll be a great strength to her. But it's not in my timeline, it's in the Lord's. (D&C 64 verses 32-33...holla!)
We had a missionary training on how to love and build a relationship with your companion- basically like marriage. The biggest thing was to keep everything positive! Relationships thrive in positivity. Luckily with Sister Teuscher that's not hard...we're probably laughing 99% of the time. I'm not even able to talk about her leaving soon. It's not happening.
Quick funny story and then I'll quit boring you and sign off. We went tracting (as per usual) and we knock on this house that legit looks abandoned but #nohouseleftbehind, so yeah. Surprisingly this guy opens the door and is really nice. He's like, "I'd invite you in but I'm having a shindig right now." ....... *alone, computer in hand, two days beard growing*
OKAY. You crazy but you nice so it's whatever. We finna go back and trick him into letting us in.
Anyway, the church is so true I can't even. 
Haha but seriously, everything about this gospel brings me more happiness that I could ever obtain on my own. Joseph Smith truly restored the fullness of the gospel of Jesus Christ, and translated the AMAZING Book of Mormon, which guides every step of my life. And I KNOW this because the Holy Ghost has testified to me over and over again every day that these things are true. No one can take that away from me, and till the day I die I'll say as Alma from the Book of Mormon "...Yea, who can say too much of His great power, and of his mercy, and of his long-suffering towards the children of men? Behold I say unto you, I cannot say the smallest part which I feel." -Alma 26 verse 16. (It's a good chapter, check it out).
I hope this 2016 brings everything you're searching for this year, and for the rest of your life. And if you're not sure what that is yet, I pray you'll find it :) (better yet, pray for yourself and let God direct you! Can't go wrong with that.) -Sister Brett