Sunday, February 26, 2017

Southern Hospitality + "Minnesota Nice" = Miracles

This week has been great! Lots of exciting things happened. First off- shoutout to my trainer, Sister Teuscher who is getting MARRIED next month!! And to the other 3 sisters I served around who are also getting hitched in March. #firstcomeslove #thencomesmarriage #thencomesamomvan

ALSO, Laura went to the temple for the first time!!! We went with her to go do baptisms and she did 18 names! It was so amazing. The Spirit was so strong and Laura is excited to start doing her family history work to bring her ancestor's names to the temple. (1 Corinthians 15:29). She also spoke at the mission president fireside and was FAB! A lot of the ward members came to support her- we had a big party in the front two pews! Also got to see Sister Peterson...can't believe she's going home in less than a month! Seeing your companions go home is WEIRD. 

We went on exchanges this week and I got to go work in Blaine. The sisters there are working on finding new investigators, so Sister Richardson and I went tracting! We prayed about where to go, and we looked at a map and saw a street named Mississippi right by the area we were going to be in. I figured it had to be a sign! So we went to that street and it was a total success! EVERY HOUSE we knocked at let us in to teach a lesson! A little piece of southern hospitality right here in MN :) One of them was a SUPER cool Hmong family! They kept asking if my mom was Hmong because I looked too white to actually be from Laos, and no white people speak Hmong haha. Either the Hmong elders or Sister Winters and I will have to go back to teach (I'm a little selfish and kinda wanna teach them haha!), but it was such a miracle that we found them and that we decided who would go where for exchanges. The power of inspiration! 

The other day we had a booth set up in the Student Center advertising institute and church, and this guy walks up and starts asking about our beliefs in Jesus Christ. He told us he's Muslim but was interested in learning more about Christianity! So we've been teaching him, and it's definitely been way cool! It reminds me of being in Hmong work where most of them are Shaman and don't believe in God or Jesus Christ, so you have to go back to the very very basics. I love it! Because that's where the beauty of the gospel is- it's so simple! He came to church and has been coming to the activities we've had and he's getting fellowshipped super well! 

Everything else is going great in the YSA. I really really love it here! 

Love, Sister Brett

2 Nephi 26:23-25

"23 ​For behold, my beloved brethren, I say unto you that the Lord God worketh not in ​​​darkness​.
​​​​​24 ​He doeth not ​​​anything​ save it be for the benefit of the world; for he ​​​loveth​ the world, even that he layeth down his own life that he may draw ​​​all​ men unto him. Wherefore, he commandeth none that they shall not partake of his salvation.
​​​​​25 ​Behold, doth he cry unto any, saying: Depart from me? Behold, I say unto you, Nay; but he saith: ​​​Come​ unto me all ye ​​​ends​ of the earth, ​​​buy​ milk and honey, without money and without price."

Friday, February 24, 2017

Frat row = Prime proselytizing!!

Hey hey! It's been a party in the YSA- the weather is gorgeous, like 60 degree gorgeous. The institute is right next to frat row, so we've been hearing the bass bumpin' all day for a week. #notcomplaining. You know you're an old missionary when you don't recognize a single song that gets played...probably obvious since I hit my 15 month mark today. 

Nice weather= people in a better mood= more people to talk to! We met these really nice girls from another church group on campus. We started talking to them about their beliefs and shared with them some of ours. They said they wanted to learn more about the Book of Mormon! Of course, right when we start talking about it their pastor walked by and totally gave us the stink-eye...but we set up a time to meet with them the next day! So we met at a cafe by campus and taught them about the restoration of the gospel. They were super receptive! They did say their preacher sent them a "website with some information" on the Church...we talked about going to reliable and accurate sources for truth- most importantly Heavenly Father! They asked a lot of questions about things he had told them about Mormons (none of it was correct, not surprisingly). Once we answered them they were kind of upset he would tell them things that weren't true so they wouldn't meet with us, but we told them that he probably just wanted to protect them- so many people are mis-informed, it most likely wasn't deliberate. Afterwards we went to walk them to their car, but it got towed! She had parked in a customer only parking for another store, so we called up a member and went with them to pick it up. We felt SO BAD. It was super expensive too, so Sister Winters and I pooled together the cash we had on us to try to cover some of it. We literally felt so terrible and figured they would think it was some sort of sign to never meet with us again! But they texted us after and said they should be coming to church tomorrow!

Tomorrow Laura is speaking at the mission president fireside! We are so excited! She's bringing a lot of her friends, and we've got several investigators going. Some of them have hit a few walls that are making it harder for them to progress, but they're keeping the goal of baptism in their sights for the near future! I truly believe that no matter what we're dealing with, the Atonement of Jesus Christ will help us and heal us. Without His grace, we could never overcome our sins and weaknesses, but with it we can do anything! We've been trying to teach repentance more and focus on making changes in their life so they'll notice the effect the gospel is making. All repentance is, is turning our hearts to align more with God's will. It's deciding to not listen to inappropriate music so you can feel the Spirit more. It's apologizing to someone even when it's hard because you know it's what the Savior would have you do. It's reading your scriptures when you want to watch Netflix because you understand the importance of growing your faith through study and personal revelation. All those things constitute as repentance. It's not just owning up to sins, it's changing your life to be more in harmony with Christ and His teachings. We all have things to repent of every day- when we make it a habit to ask for His help to overcome our shortcomings, we feel an increase of the Spirit and even more of His love. 

Anyways, hope you all have a great week! -Sister Brett

Ether 12:37 "​And it came to pass that the Lord said unto me: If they have not charity it mattereth not unto thee, thou hast been faithful; wherefore, thy garments shall be made ​​​clean​. And because thou hast seen thy ​​​weakness​ thou shalt be made strong, even unto the sitting down in the place which I have prepared in the mansions of my Father."

Wednesday, February 15, 2017

Can you spell M-I-R-A-C-L-E?

I don't have a lot of time to email today! Transfers were great- Sister Winters and I are staying together, and so are the elders, but we got another set of elders! So now there's six missionaries running around campus...we're taking over U of M! We also have 3 new baptismal date-sets!! Literally every single day we've seen miracle after miracle...Heavenly Father has prepared so many people to hear the gospel! 

We taught Jeanne about the Word of Wisdom and she loved it! She's a nurse, so she understands the health benefits, but she also loves her coffee to get through overnight shifts and her glass of wine at the end of the day haha...but she said she would give it all up! Her biggest concern was what her family would say, but she told them she was getting baptized and they were fine! They were a little sad it wasn't the Lutheran church, but as long as she's happy and improving her life, they're all for it. 
Vivian is doing so well! It turns out one of the students in her program is a member of the church, so they've been talking a lot about the gospel together. He's married and has been telling her how much the Church has blessed his family- she really loves how family-centered we are. She agreed to be baptized next month! We watched Meet the Mormons with her and a few of our other investigtors and she cried- some of the stories were really relatable to her and gave her a lot of strength. She's the best!
Laura has officially been a member for a whole week! She is SO amazing. And going on a hecka lot of dates. She's embraced the gospel so incredibly, the ward is so lucky to have her! Hope everyone has a great week, Happy Valentine's Day! 

Quote of the week: "Oh my gosh, I'm the worst. I'm like the white guy who told Rosa Parks to go to the back of the bus." -Sister Winters 

Love, Sister Brett

Monday, February 6, 2017


Today was AMAZING!!! Laura was baptized!!! Everything went smoothly and was relatively stress-free haha. Except for the fact that the hot water wasn't working in the font, so after we filled it up we boiled three giant cauldrons of water and poured it in before she got least she`ll have a funny baptism story to tell! Tomorrow at church she will receive the Gift of the Holy Ghost and be confirmed a member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints! I am so grateful that the priesthood authority of God, which was lost centuries ago through apostasy, was restored to the earth through the Prophet Joseph Smith. Now we can baptize and confer the Holy Ghost through God's authority and into His Son`s true and living church! Three of our investigators came to the baptism and said they were excited for theirs!

This week was such a spiritual high! During accounting our district leader asked us what we were struggling with this week, and we couldn't find a single thing that we were stressing out about. We keep finding great investigators, theyve all been showing up to church and activities, and a majority of them have asked US to be baptized (not the other way around for the first time!). We keep waiting around for something bad to happen, because there's no way things could be consistently going this well! Transfer announcements are coming up Monday, so hopefully nothing crazy happens and Sister Winters and I stay together! 

We had zone conference on Friday and it was SO great! There were three zones with us, so I got to see some of my companions! *Shoutout to Sister Peterson (who I was with over a year ago now! #throwback), Sister Xiong, and Sister Wilcox!* Somebody said something that I really loved, and it was, "Its through obedience that we gain knowledge." It made me think of John 7:17 where Jesus says (talking about Heavenly Father), "If any do His will, he shall know of the doctrine, whether it be of God, or whether I speak of myself." Basically, if we want answers, we have to do what God has asked of us. Its by experience that we gain the testimony that those commandments bring us true joy and happiness. We`ll never know if we dont try! So prove it for yourself- follow the teachings of Jesus Christ and see if your life changes for the better- its the only way we can know of the truth! 

Last PDay we went to the zoo and ran into the Eau Claire missionaries and some of the members from the Hmong branch! It was fun seeing them again! Then we went to a U of M basketball game. This area is the best!

The Church is True; the Book is Blue!!!!

I could swear Saturday was 3 days ago, but I guess it's already PDay again! #nocomplaints. This week was PACKED- it was awesome! Heavenly Father has been blessing us with SO many prepared hearts. From the start of the week we've gotten referral after referral, new investigator after new investigator! It's insane! We spend a good part of our day contacting people and walking around campus talking to students. There's such a melting pot of nationalities here, so our teaching pool is pretty culturally diverse! A teaching missionary is a happy missionary, which explains why Sister Winters and I are on Cloud 9. If you'd told me I'd ever teach the Restoration to a group of people on a public transit bus, I would think I'd have gone crazy. But I've come to feel such a deep personal love for the gospel that I'm more concerned for people's eternal welfare than I am about looking stupid (good thing, cuz missionaries look stupid a lot of the time, haha!). 

LAURA`S BAPTISM IS NEXT SATURDAY! I am SO excited!!! She's been inviting everyone and telling every person she meets that she's joining the church. She decided this week that if her dad really cared about coming, he would come on the day she felt ready to be baptized, so instead of pushing it back, she's sticking with her original date. Family opposition is so hard, but she's overcoming it like a champ. All things are possible through Christ, who strengthens us! We taught Jeanne about tithing and the importance of helping build up the Kingdom of God on the earth. When we started the lesson she had some concerns about it, but by the end after the Spirit had touched her, she saw what a blessing paying tithing was and committed to be a full-tithe payer after she's baptized! She told us she feels ready and wants to make that step now- she just has to tell her family. I'm so excited for her! 

A new investigator we're teaching now is SUCH a crazy miracle. He's been taught by the missionaries for 2 years, but a couple months ago he told them he wasn't ready to join the church because he was afraid of the persecution he would get, so he stopped meeting with them and told them not to contact him, that he would get in touch when he was ready. So we had no clue who this guy was, but his name and info popped up under "New Referral" in our Area Book (which was a totally fluke because he's not a referral OR new, so his name shouldn't have been there). So we reach out and contact him, having no idea about his history with past lessons, and he said he wanted to meet as soon as possible! So in walks the sweetest kid with this bow tie and loafers and dressed all fancy, and we have this amazing lesson with him and he tells us all about his past and why he hasn't joined the church, even though he believes it's true. He said the past 2 years he just hadn't connected with any of the elders or sisters, but he felt like Sister Winters and I were the ones to help him finally commit to be baptized despite his fears about what his friends or family will say. There's another hurdle in his desire to be baptized that involves changing something for the rest of his life. He knows it's not right, but he's afraid those tendencies won't go away, even after he's baptized. When he opened up the Spirit just filled the room- all three of us were crying. He has SO much faith and knows things will work out, either in this life or the next. He's AMAZING! 

Being in a YSA ward can only mean one thing....DRAMAAAAA. Which is all fun and games until it involves both of your investigators- who both are dating the SAME GUY IN THE WARD. Which can only end one way- badly. So we're low key stressing about how that whole situation is going to turn out. We're in the process of trying to play matchmaker and find someone else for both of's a struggle. But the Lord will work it all out! 

This week was also exchanges! Sister Ching came to my area and we worked here! She's from Los Angeles, so we spent 90% of the time reminiscing haha. I love getting to spend time with different sisters throughout the transfer- being an STL is the best! 

Funny story: So we go out contacting and give away all our Book of Mormons, and then we meet this AMAZING single mom who we feel really strongly needs a BoM. But we didnt have any to give her, except for the personal copy I use that I've been writing notes in and marking for a good chunk of my mission. It was probably against better judgment, but I gave her my copy hoping I'd get it back eventually! But we set up a return appointment with her and she said she'd been reading the highlighted parts and they really touched her. So hopefully there will be more to report on next week! 

*Quotes of the week*

Random guy on campus: "Can I just say something? Mormons are the hottest of all Christians."

*after teaching about the gospel of Jesus Christ*
Brother Woodward: "And you know what happens after we endure to the end?"
Laura: "The Millenium?"

Love you all! -Sister Brett