Friday, February 19, 2016

Love (and the Spirit) Are in the Air

Valentine's Day is one of the best times of the year- unless you're
single or a missionary. *Shout out to Sister Teuscher, or I guess
A BOYFRIEND (cough, ring by spring, cough).* Levels of trunkiness and
bromance among the elders skyrocket. But while love is in the air for
some people, the spirit is definitely potent right now with our
investigators! We're still teaching Paul, aka Seth Rogan. He's so
funny and has so much faith but doesn't even realize it. We always ask
him to pray and build his relationship with God, and he says he
doesn't get any answers or signs that He's listening, but he keeps
trying anyway. I know if he sticks with it that he'll find the answers
he's looking for in God's perfect timing for him. Barbara is doing
really well! She's cut down to smoking just once a day. We are SO
proud of her! Coming to church has really been helping out. She's
completely recharged afterwards and has such a desire to keep on the
path. She's going to start going to the church's addiction recovery
program, so I know that will definitely be a huge help. Carissa is
still the coolest person I know. She and her boyfriend are literally
the cutest thing. Sometimes I forget we're even teaching her anything
new because she takes everything in so well and already has such a
sound understanding of the doctrine. Please keep them in your prayers,
as well as the investigators we didn't get a chance to see this week.

We volunteer at a food shelf called STEP, and it's an amazing program.
People who can't afford to buy groceries for their family come in and
take whatever food they need. The same people usually come in during
our weekly shifts and I've finally been here long enough that the
people who come in finally remember me! (Everyone loved Sister
Teuscher so much, they're like, "Who is Sister Brett, she's not cute
or from Utah, get out.").  One of the old guys who came in shouted
when he walked through the door, "Where's the gal from Mississippi?"
and it legit made my day. One of the people who came in was a super
nice Jehovah's Witness. She said she wanted to give us a pamphlet from
her church, and I told her we would take it, but only if she took one
of ours. She agreed and I gave her a Restoration pamphlet. #success.
When she left Sister Peterson started low-key freaking out saying that
JDubbs get excommunicated if they take materials from other churches.
Oops. Did you know they don't celebrate holidays or birthdays? It was
the saddest thing I'd ever heard. One of the other volunteers is Mike,
who's the most sarcastic, affable Jew you'll ever meet. (his wife left
him because she decided she was a lesbian. The way he tells it makes
it sound like best story ever. I'm totally coming home and making a
screenplay out of it). He asked us to show him what we usually talk
about with people. He looked at the Resto cover with Jesus on it and
said: "We're not really getting off to a great start with the
pamphlet." Reason #374 we don't try to convert the Jews. But I've
turned into that super annoying missionary who talks to EVERYONE that
I always said I'd never be- too late to turn back now #noregrets :)

We went on exchanges this week, so I got to go to a new area for the
day. It was about 30 minutes outside of Minneapolis, so I saw a
glimpse of what life outside the city is like. One of the houses we
went to reminded me so much of home- it was scary similar. There were
deer heads and mounted fishes all over the walls, complete with
bearskin rugs. I say house, but it may as well have been a hunting
lodge.  Dad, you and Brother Jendro would be best friends. That night
we had dinner at a member's and the husband served his mission in LA
and one of his companions was from a town fairly close to mine in
Mississippi. The world is so small!

We visit Sister Fisher in the nursing home every week, and I swear,
she's so close to the other side that angels are literally pulling her
over- like, quit procrastinating and get over here, we don't have time
for this. But she's pretty stubborn! She's died 3 times and they've
had her funeral planned for months. Definitely a testament to the
power of the priesthood, because every time she's on her death bed and
gets a blessing, she's healed. The veil is so thin and the spirit is
always really strong around her. She's such an incredible woman and
talks to everyone about the gospel. Without her we would have never
met Mercy- Sister Fisher is an angel. I know she's still got some kind
of work to do on this earth before it's her time to go home.

Luckily we didn't have any traumatizing experiences in North Minne
this week. But the week up ahead has plenty of opportunity for that! I
pronounced 'ask' like 'axe' so it's really all downhill from here.
I'll sign off with a quote from an amazing study book filled with
advice from Latter-day prophets, called 'Teachings of Presidents':
 "If thoughts make us what we are, and we are to be like Christ, we
must think Christlike thoughts. Our thoughts should be on the Lord. We
should think on Christ. Let our personal lives, our homes, and our
work performance reflect our Christlike character." -Ezra Taft Benson.
It really made me think about how often our thoughts aren't what we
should be focusing on. Our thoughts become our actions, so naturally
if we're keeping our thoughts Christlike and pure, our actions will
mirror that. The presence of the spirit will be noticeably stronger in
our lives if consciously make the effort to keep our thoughts turned
toward the Savior and how to be more like Him. It's an ongoing,
everyday effort that will become part of our natural thought process
if we make a habit of thinking more like Christ would. Until next
Much love, Sister Brett

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