Monday, October 31, 2016

Happy Halloween PDay!!

The awkward part about being a missionary on people think we're actually Mormon or just dressing up? Because it wouldn't be the first time I've seen that. #bookofmormonmusical We're switching our P-Day for P-night, so right after we email we're going out proselyting for a few hours and then we have the rest of the evening free! 

We met up with Fritz and John again, which was awesome! Fritz (who's a religious anthropologist) has already read a big chunk of the Book of Mormon. His friend John (who's Presbyterian) read all of Alma! What's funny is that Fritz started off the lesson with some "points" he'd noticed from reading, which were mostly questions about the geological and historical evidence of those things happening. Then something SUPER cool happened. He was talking about the unlikeliness of Lehi and his family being able to travel across the Atlantic from Jerusalem to the Americas when they didn't have those kind of advancements yet. It reminded me of the brother of Jared making barges to travel across the sea in, so we went over to Ether 2 to read the description of the boats they made. While Fritz was reading, his eyes got wide and he said "I know exactly what they're talking about." So he whipped out his phone and googled a photo of these barges the early Egyptians made to travel in, and the description is literally the EXACT same as what the brother of Jared described. AND the time period of Lehi and those Egyptians match up! So Fritz ended up answering his own question and getting a witness that there's no way anyone could have just made up a description of a boat that matched perfectly what archaeologists didn't even find out until over a hundred years after the prophet Joseph Smith translated the records. The Book of Mormon is true! John is a little overshadowed in our lessons, but he's already on board. He said, "Yeah, it just makes sense. I think it's true."  The awkward thing is that they're roommates so we teach them together, but they're on such different levels of understanding that it's hard to focus on each one individually. But they seem to be doing fine! Also, another crazy witness during our lesson was when we were saying the closing prayer, the heating unit in the room started going bezerk, and all these weird things started happening in the room. We all looked  up in the middle of the prayer (except Sis Wilcox, who kept praying like a trooper) and we were all kinda spooked. It was definitely not normal. After we closed, the presence in the room felt so icky, I just wanted to run outta there. It was a total Joseph in the Sacred Grove moment before he saw Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ...Satan was doing all he could to scare him and distract him from saying that prayer. That's what he was trying to do that night. It testifies to me even more that this is the truth, and the adversary does NOT want them to gain that valiant testimony. Step off, Satan! 

Someone who also gained a testimony of the Book of Mormon this week is Taylor! She's been getting up early to read every morning before work and she said it's been giving her the strength and energy to get through the day. She said quoting Bro Johnson from last week, "It's not a book, it's a feeling. I don't understand everything I'm reading, but I feel it- in a good way." She knows it's true, but she's still hesitating to be baptized at this point in her life. She's aware she struggles with a lot with using drugs and alcohol as coping mechanisms, and she doesn't want to make a covenant with God she knows she'll break. It's awesome she takes the baptismal covenant so seriously and realizes it's a big deal, but if she puts her faith and trust in the Lord she can for sure overcome those bad habits and follow Christ whole-heartedly! 

Miracle of the week: So a couple weeks ago on campus, this girl walked by us and her dress was caught in her backpack, so you could see her underwear. She was booking it to class, but I would have been MORTIFIED if that was me, so we chased her down and tried to help her out. She was super grateful and told us she was getting married the next day! Anyway, we exchange contact info- fast forward to this week when we're knocking on some doors. This really nice guy answers one of them and we get to talking, and GUESS who pops her head behind him...the same girl!!! They let us in and we talked for an hour and a half! Their names are John and Krista and they're PERFECT. We're going back to teach them again later this week! Temples and eternal marriage, anyone? 

Okay I lied, one more miracle. Glenn brought his whole family to church!!! They stayed almost the whole 3 hours and were really into it. Way to share the gospel, Glenn! It's almost his baptismal date!!!! SO excited! 

We had the ward Halloween party which was WAY fun! Us and the elders dressed up as cats and mice. Apparently if you go to Chipotle dressed up in costume you get a $3 burrito, so we'll see if that's a real thing or not. We've been having a lot of lessons and a lot of miracles! Eau Claire is ready to harvest some souls. Sorry, this email is super long so I'm gonna hop off, but have a fun Halloween!!! -Sister Brett

Sunday, October 23, 2016

Some Kind of Wonderful!

Can you spell e-x-h-a-u-s-t-e-d? We had a teaching appointment for almost every allotted hour the past 7 days, so I'm grateful it's P-day! #sleep. The members have been getting us lots of referrals...teaching member's friends is ALWAYS more effective than trying to find them on our own. But tracting is cool too. One of the coolest women in the ward is Sister Olson- we're teaching her friend from work who is super excited about the gospel! We taught about the Plan of Salvation and she was so wrapped up in it- it was amazing! The spirit was super strong. Later in the evening we taught Aaron and Taylor, our favorite thugs. We brought the second counselor in the bishopric with us to fellowship Aaron, but it didnt go quite the way we'd hoped. The first thing Aaron said to him after Brother Johnson introduced himself was, "Brooke? Your name is Brooke?" and started laughing to himself. Brother Johnson was clearly a little hurt and said' "Is it because Brooke is a girl's name?" And Aaron just laughed harder and totally offended him. Bro Johnson is a super straightforward and blunt guy (probably because he does have a girl's name 😂 ) so I think it was good for Aaron to have someone similar to him there to help him out. He's going to play b-ball at the church tomorrow...keep him in your prayers! (And the members playing with him). 

Other than that we've just been teaching new investigators- I'll write more next Pday about them! The work is going well and I'm excited for the upcoming week! 

Love, Sister Brett

Tuesday, October 11, 2016

New Kid on the Block

This week has been insane! My trainee is fabulous: Sister Wilcox hailing from Salt Lake City! She takes the term "hit the ground running" to new extremes...she's quite literally chased down people on the street to talk to them. Her fire for missionary work is unquenchable- I'm just trying to not get burned! Her first 24 hours in the field she committed 2 people to baptism who said yes! Allison, the single mom I talked about last week, is super on board and excited to make this covenant with Heavenly Father! The other is a woman named Clois. Clois is basically an exact replica of my mother (decorates her house x10 according to the holiday, wears pearls, adores her children)! Her nephews are LDS and recently got back from serving missions. She thought they were outstanding young men and wanted to learn about what they were teaching for the past 2 years, so she referred herself to us. She's SUPER Methodist- tons of pictures of Jesus in her home, wears a cross necklace, her Bible is all marked up and obviously well studied- the whole shebang. I was kinda nervous about how our lesson would go, but it was the most spiritual lesson I've ever had my entire mission. We talked about our life stories and how Christ had brought us to this point in our lives, I showed her MY marked up Bible and we bonded over scripture stories and similar notes we'd taken in the margins, and most importantly talked about the Book of Mormon and how it's an additional witness of who the Bible testifies of: Jesus Christ. When we were talking about it the Spirit got so strong, and she was probably listening the most intently that anyone has ever listened to us talk about the restoration before. She asked a lot of amazing questions, and we had an incredible conversation about all these things she had never heard before. Sister Wilcox took the opportunity to testify of the truthfulness of the restored gospel and invite Clois to be baptized. Her response was so heartfelt and faith-filled. She said, "This is all so new to me. I'm 70 years old, and I was brought up so differently. But I feel like these things are true, and I can't not follow God if this is what He's telling me to do." I have never met anyone so devout and so willing to submit to the Father's will. She did say her family would have some issues with it (her husband is Lutheran and her son is a born-again Christian), but I know she has grit to stay on the path! I am SO grateful Heavenly Father is allowing me to participate in her journey! 

Glenn showed up for church yesterday in his blue suede shoes, parrot shirt, and blue fedora. It was awesome. Everyone loved him and he stayed for ALL 3 HOURS. That's like unheard of with investigators. Can't wait for him to get in the font next month!!

Sis Wilcox is a little insane in the best way, and loves tracting. We're been doing a ton of door-to-doors and trying to find new investigators. She said her transfer goal was to baptize 10 people....#dreambig. I won't burst her bubble quite yet about Midwest receptiveness to Mormons, we'll just keep that between us :) I'm lucky to have such a motivated companion- watch out, Eau Claire! We're comin' for ya! 

Love, Sister Brett

Quotes of the week:

*during our lesson with Aaron*

Me: "Mosiah 4 is one of my favorite chapters. But King Benjamin is pretty bold, so don't freak out."
Aaron: "Sister Brett, you say that is if you don't light a fire under my butt every time you come here. If he's bold, you a dang lion."

Ginnie: "You just need to suck it up and get dunked. Get baptized, Aaron. Just do it."

Sunday, October 9, 2016

Transfer Shockers!

This week was sooooo awesome! The Lord's hand was seen in everything
that happened- God is a God of miracles! Near the beginning of the
week we had a lesson with our investigator, Glen (who, by the way,
wears a different 'Trump for President' shirt every single day of the
week). We were talking about the doctrine of Christ, and Sister Grover
extended a beautiful baptismal invitation! Which, by the way, he
accepted! People have this need to feel clean and guilt-free in their
lives, and I love so much getting to be a bearer of good news and say,
"Hey! You can be completely sin free! You can have your guilt swept
away! God has provided a way for you!" You can see people's eyes just
get so big, and they want to do anything to feel that peace that comes
only from the Savior. Glen is definitely headed in the right
direction! (He also referred us to his two daughters in town he wants
us to teach- holla!).

This week we also taught Taylor, who high-key (no pun intended) is a
little bit (a lot bit) of a pothead. She's always kinda high, but she
has a strong testimony of Jesus Christ and wants to make changes in
her life to follow Him more completely. She loves the Book of Mormon
and told us she knows that it's true. We committed her to be baptized
and she said yes! She has a couple things she has to work through
before stepping into the waters, but I'm confident that with the
enabling power of the Atonement of Christ, she can do it!

We taught our first lesson with Allison, a single mom of 3 kids. We
shared the Plan of Salvation, and all of them were absolutely
captivated. They'd all grown up going to church, but she said, "I've
never seen it like this, and I've asked a lot of pastors about it who
can't tell me the answers. Why can't they explain it like you simply." We testified of its truthfulness and asked her to
pray about it, and she said she would, but she also said she already
could tell it was the truth. We gave her a Book of Mormon and told her
the whole reason we know about the Plan of Salvation is because of
modern-day revelation. She was so excited to read it and put the Holy
Ghost to the test. I think we're even more excited to go back and see
how it went!
We also found a new Hmong investigator- zoo kawg nkaus! It's been a
whole transfer since teaching gospel principles in Hmong...I went from
teaching Hmong people 90% of the time, to now teaching them 10%, if
even that. I love Eau Claire, but I definitely miss the Hmong branch!
But teaching Vaj will be a good opportunity to keep the language up-
AND bring him closer to Christ. Obviously!

General Conference was AMAZING! I feel like so many of the talks were
geared toward missionary work and sharing the gospel. For sure a major
advocate for that :) I felt so much peace hearing the apostles share
their messages, and couldn't help the flood of absolute love that just
washed over me when President Monson got up to speak. When you look
into his eyes, you can feel in your soul that he's a prophet of God.
It's undeniable, and the Spirit bears witness of it so strongly. For
anyone who hasn't watched it before, WATCH IT! My favorite talk was by
Russell M. Nelson, who talked about how the key to spiritual survival
in the latter-days is JOY! "Adam fell that men might be, and men are
that they might have joy." 2 Nephi 2:25. With all the craziness going
on in the world, it's hard to feel at peace or feel safe or feel
whatever comfort you're hoping for. TRUE joy, (not the kind the world
tries to sell you) comes only through the Savior, Jesus Christ. When
you put your faith in Him and make your life His, you don't have to
worry about what else goes on, because your anchor is in the Lord!

So....transfers....Sister Grover and I are splitting up- I'm training
again!!! I'm so sad to not be with her anymore, but I'm so grateful
for the opportunity to have been her trainer, and know she will do
FABULOUS- not cuz of anything I did, obviously. But because she's just
amazing! #proudmama I'm so excited to welcome a new sister into the
mission, and I'm so excited for this upcoming transfer!!!

**Quotes of the week:

Sister Grover: "I can't understand him! My soul delighteth in plainness!"

Elder Swendsen: "I feel like the organ says, 'You play the piano?
Cute- I play five at the same time.'"

Also... I'M AN AUNT!!! My first baby niece was born September
30th...welcome Anna Elizabeth Brett!!! Congrats big bro!

The wind bloweth where it listeth

This week was a whirlwind! Literally and figuratively. It's the last
week before transfers, so our zone is working really hard to
accomplish our goal of finding 64 new investigators (averaging 16 per
week) before the end of the month. Sister Grover is a spiritual giant
and led us straight to the door of an awesome new potential! We walked
past the door of an apartment and she was like "I want to teach a
lesson to the people in this apartment. Right now." She stopped dead
on her tracks and just knocked! And the girl who answered was SO super
sweet, had just moved in, and invited us over for dinner this week!
I'm a proud missionary momma! She's got way more guts than me...I'm
not training her, it's definitely the other way around! She teaches me
something new every day- I'm so lucky!

The literal whirlwind came in the form of a torrential thunderstorm
that flooded a majority of the streets in town. The Lord is so mindful
of us! We were planning on going to Augusta, a town about 30 miles
outside of Eau Claire that you have to take all country farm roads to
get to. We just had a feeling we shouldn't go that day, and we were so
grateful we heeded the Spirit, because all the back roads were
underwater and we would have been stranded. It was pretty cool- all
the tornado sirens were going off, and we decided to watch the storm
from our from our front hallway- we sat outside with our blankets and
rain ponchos and watched all the thunder and lightning.  I think it'll
be one of the last summer thunderstorms before winter hits- it's
stayed in the 50s all week. I'm ready for fall!

We had a super spiritual lesson with Aaron and his daughter! We
brought a member with us named Brother Harris (whose great x10 uncle
is Martin Harris #mormonfamous). The two were definitely an unlikely
pair...they come from completely different backgrounds, but they hit
it off so quick! Bro Harris invited Aaron to church-ball this week, so
hopefully he'll get fellowshipped in pretty well. Taylor got us these
matching key chains to thank us for always coming over to teach them-
it was so sweet! They've got a lot of rough edges (blame it on
Detroit), but inside they've got hearts of gold!  Speaking of rough
edges, our other investigator Glen is the poster-child for Hell's
Angels. He's this scary biker guy with a long beard and tons of
tattoos, but he's one of the gentlest people ever. We were teaching
him about the Plan of Salvation, and he started to tear up and said he
was afraid to meet God because of the things he'd done in his past.
It's so wonderful when you can bear testimony that because of our
Savior, all of our mistakes can be made right. Through the Atonement
of Jesus Christ, we can ALWAYS repent and come back to our Father.
There is nothing we could ever do to make Him stop loving us! I think
that brought him a lot of peace, and he said he would pray about what
we taught him. Keep him in your prayers!

washable car paint and advertised it on our car...we can't see out of
the windows, but others can see what's ON them, and that's what's
important! The opportunity to hear directly from the prophet of the
whole world is such a huge blessing from God, and I know whoever hears
President Monson speak will feel the Spirit testify to them that he
truly is a prophet of God. You can watch the live streaming at
on Oct. 1st and 2nd (the time depending on your time zone in the US).
Check it out!

Quotes of the week:

Aaron: "Y'all don't have any crosses in your church, what's that about?"
Sister Grover: "We celebrate that He's risen, not that He died. How do
you think Christ would feel if he walked in a church and saw a giant
cross on the wall? 'Thanks for reminding me guys, as if I need another
reminder of my brutal death!'"

Love, Sister Brett