Saturday, December 28, 2013

Transfer 2 week 5

Hello Family and Friends!

First off, Merry Christmas! I wish I could be with you, but there is no where I'd rather be than on a mission during Christmas. So many people are receptive to receiving a message about Jesus Christ during this time. It's awesome! But definitely should continue throughout the year... 

So we'll start with last Tuesday morning! Once a year, we have the privilege of getting a tour of the Conference Center Organ and Tabernacle organ. Those are what people ask about a lot, so we need to be educated on it. And boy way that amazing! We got to go inside each of the organs, and play them both! The Conference center organ has over 7 thousand pipes, but 40% of the ones you see in front, are actually fake! They are just there to balance the appearance of the organ. So the picture of all the little pipes is in the Conference center organ. Some of the pipes on that organ are just the size of your pinky fingernail! Crazy right? And the Tabernacle organ is even more impressive. It is original from 1875! And so the 11,623 pipes are actually made out of wood. Which is pretty much unheard of. They are painted to look like gold though. No one, except organ experts get to play the organs, so it was such a blessing and privilege to get to play them! 

Thursday we got A LOT of snow. And the Square was super slippery, so we saw quite a few people slip and fall! My DL, Sister Ordonez, fell and hurt her back pretty bad. So when the square gets pretty bad, it actually closes. The square closed at 2pm and we all just went back to our apartments and studied/watched church movies, cleaned, cooked/baked, and hung out! It was fun, but definitely felt weird. I got a hair cut though! Just cut my bangs. Not too fond of them, but hey, it's a change. Sister Gudiel cut all her hair off and it looks SO CUTE! I'm so tempted to cut mine now... what's your vote? 

This Saturday we had another baptism! I forgot to mention we had one last week, it was kinda a mass. The local missionaries sometimes are so stupid. We have a hard time with local missionaries. But Paul got baptized last week! He's 13 years old and lives in Mexico. His mom is still investigating the church and will hopefully be baptized soon. This week, DAN got baptized! I absolutely love Dan. He's like 47, and lives in Missouri. He had made a lot of bad decisions in his life that lead him to some really hard times. But he has made so many hard changes in his life and he knows this church is true! He has worked so hard to be baptized, and he's so happy to say that he's an official Mormon now :) 

On Saturday, I was talking to Dan on the phone about his baptism when I got a text from a Sister saying that my brother was here!!!! AHHHH! So as you can imagine, I started freaking out. But I was in the middle of teaching Dan about the Priesthood, and how he can get it. Well, I finished the lesson and ran out to meet Garrett, Micah and Jordan! It was so great to see them. Most missionaries say they get distracted by seeing their family, but not me. It definitely motivates me to do and be better. I just love my family! 

Another one of my investigators name is Thomas. I have another one named Tom! So I have to make sure I don't mix them up, it's sometimes hard because we don't see their faces, only hear their voice. But Thomas is so great. He came on chat and straight up said "I want to investigate the church" Now this NEVER happens for English chats, Spanish yes, but English no. So Thomas's wife is a member, but she is deployed in the Army right now. So he thought this would be a perfect time to investigate the church. Over the course of 2 lessons within 5 days, he has read almost 400 pages of the Book of Mormon. He loves it! He has so many 'Crazy experiences" as he says. He uses his wife's scriptures, and he opened up to a random page and found a book mark with his name and a scripture on it, he read the scripture and cried. Cried and cried and cried. It was the exact scripture he needed. He's so good! But he is having a hard time saying yes to baptism. So I'll keep you posted on sir Thomas. 

So church is different here at Temple Square. We go to sacrament meeting WAY early in the Joseph Smith memorial building, a ward consisting of just Temple Square missionaries. Which makes for amazing talks every week. Well we don't have any other meeting that day because the Square is always so busy. So we have Relief Society on Thursday mornings, early again. And when I say early, I mean like 7am. That means we have to have eaten, exercised and gotten ready, AND 15 minutes early by this time. So we get no sleep here. But we are blessed! Well this week for relief society we were SO blessed. Why? Because we had relief society in the General Relief society building. We got the privilege of having Sister Elaine Dalton come and speak with us. Wow. So powerful! We talked about women that have influenced our life. And the women that came to my mind are so near and dear to me. I have a hard time staying patient with girls, so when I find some that I like, I hold on tight! They were, my mom, Cindy, Angela, Alli, Micah, Becky, and Megan Gneiting. All of these women have changed my life! They are such great examples and friends to me. I love you all! 

Well I guess it's time for a Christmas message. A few weeks back, we had the chance to go to the Christmas devotional. And although there were beautiful talks given by Sister Wixom, Brother Rasband, and Elder Nelson... my favorite part was the introduction by President Monson. I know he is a living prophet of God. He is so inspired. The spirit isn't just always with him, it is apart of him. I inspire to be 1/2 the person he is one day. He said a few things, but they really struck a cord with me. First was something I've been thinking a lot about this season, "What can I give Him?" We are celebrating HIM. So what can I, Gretchen, give Him? His gift to me was matchless! I can do my best to become like Him. This Christmas I have tried to focus more on serving. Serving my companion, roommates, investigators, etc. And I can testify that my genuine love of Christ has strengthened so much! Christmas truly is a blessed time of year. The next thing was something that I have mentioned earlier, having the Spirit of Christ rather than the Spirit of Christmas. Now what does this mean? This means that we always seek to follow Him, to do His will, and live as to always have His spirit to be with us. Having the Spirit of Christ is the key to happiness in this like. And the last thing President Monson said that really stuck out to me was "As the wise men did, seek a bright star to follow." This has been a focus of the message I've been sharing with the thousands of people who have come to the Square this Christmas season. People always come "just to see the lights." But they don't realize that these lights represent Jesus Christ. "I am the light and the life of the world..." (mosiah 16:9) This is repeated all throughout both the Bible and the Book of Mormon! In this dark world, He is the light. He is the bright star we should follow! Jesus Christ if the prince of peace, the great Jehovah, the great I Am. He is our Savior and Redeemer, our brother and friend. I love my Savior, Jesus Christ. He is my light and star that I follow. I praise His name forever. 

Wish you all a very Merry Christmas! 

Much love,
Sister Brock

p.s. thank you for the many wonderful Christmas cards I received this week! 

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