Thursday, December 11, 2014

New AP in the Square!

Dearest Family and Friends,

Today was transfer conference, and my p-day got switched to Monday so I won’t be having a p-day this week, so thus why I am emailing quickly today.

This morning I was called as the new assistant to the president, alongside Sister Taito from Fiji. I am completely honored and excited for this new assignment. Tomorrow I get to go to the Temple and lunch with President and all of the departing Sisters, and then on Wednesday is transfers where we interview and match up all the trainees with their trainers with President Poulsen. Then we have lots of meetings coming up! Such as trainer/trainee meeting on Thursday, MLC next Monday, and then Zone conferences in the next 2 weeks! Very excited for all this assignments entails.

That’s it for me now, but hopefully I’ll have time to email next week after MLC! I love y’all and hope you have a great week.

Love,
Sister Brock

Saturday, November 29, 2014

Transfer 10 week 1

What a week.

To begin, today is Halloween. Which means that the Square closes at 5:00. Tonight we will be having dinner with our whole mission in the church office building and then we are all going to a session at the Salt Lake Temple! I am still amazed that this Temple can hold all 200 some odd sisters. This will be a great P-day!

Tuesday was my last full day in San Antonio, and we spent the day doing departing activities. We began with making a scrapbook page of pictures from our mission, had lunch and then had the famous marriage talk. Every transfer President and Sister Slaughter always talk about marriage and dating to the departing class, so lucky Sister Armendariz and I got to go as well. We took our notes, and then tucked them away for the next 4-6 months. Definitely shed some good insights though! After that we all went to the Temple, and boy was that amazing. I had been to the San Antonio Temple once before, but being in the celestial room full of missionaries was a powerful experience. There is nothing like being in the Temple!

After the Temple we went to the Slaughter House (mission home) and had a f.e.a.s.t. It was some of the most glorious food I had ever beheld. Honey baked ham, cheese potatoes, green bean casserole, creamed corn, rolls, and my favorite: Cheesecake. Cheesecake truly is the key to my heart. I could eat it all day long. And I did! I ate my piece and finished off 2 other pieces. Yumm yumm yummmm! We then said our goodbyes and went off to bed before we woke up bright and early to catch the plane! We flew back to Salt Lake with about 20 other missionaries that just finished their missions. Some of which I served very close with. Sister Armendariz were the head of the pack, and we headed down the escalators first. Immediately we see about 200 people at the bottom with banners and costumes and balloons. They all pointed to us and said.. "Missionaries! They're coming!" We stepped through the crowd to the sisters who picked us up in the back. We immediately hear a loud booming cheer come from the crowd behind us; the missionaries had arrived. All four of our busted out in tears watching all of these missionaries return home to their families. I await that day, but until then I will do as I did in the air port and press forward.

After a trip to taco bell, we made it back to the Square! I was greeted by every passing Sister with open arms! You never feel more loved than when you come back from outbound. I was reunited with some of my bestest friends; Sister Ferguson, Sister Gee, Sister Yeung, Sister Asay, Sister Christensen, Sister Richardson, Sister Jones, and countless others. I love all of the amazing sisters here. When I saw my Temple Square trainee, Sister Rangel, we busted into tears again! She has grown SO much since I have been gone, and I am so beyond proud of her. Still as saucy as ever. Shortly after, I met my new companion! Sister Brooks; ironic right? Everyone looks as my name tag and says "Ah, Sister Brooke" well everyone loves to practice saying our names together "Sister Brocks and Sister Brook, oh wait no, Sister Brock and Sister Brooks!" It's definitely a tongue twister. She is in her 3rd transfer and she is from California. She is one of the most Christlike people I know, she is very soft spoken, but when she does speak it ispowerful. I love her so much already! This transfer is going to be great, I am serving as a district leader, and we are serving in West Gate! Which is a super fun assignment. We will be in the booth just inside the west gate that is in charge of all the tours on Temple Square. We also have some really fun sister in our district, from Fiji, South Africa, Latvia and somewhere in the US! We have our first District Meeting tomorrow, and I will be giving a training on doctrine, principle and application; how important it is to use all 3 when teaching.

Yesterday we called one of the investigators that Sister Brooks has been working with, her name is Alli. She is one of the most prepared people I have met in my entire life. She meets with the missionaries 3 times a week, goes to devotionals, has family home evening, and stays up to the wee hours of the night reading her scriptures. Her husband joined her and her 3 kids at church this last Sunday and is talking about being baptized as well! She is getting baptized on the 8th of November. Very excited for her. I was also able to get in contact with one of my recent converts; Scott. He has been a member for about 9 months now, and has prepared over 2,000 names for the temple, of which he has personally done 500 of their baptisms. He goes to the Temple weekly and is close to finishing reading the whole quad! I can't express the joy that I felt as I was hearing this. Him and his wife are preparing to be sealed in the Temple on January 30th, one year from his baptism. This is what we are here for, to help families receive all the saving ordinances. To not only be baptized, but to help them enter the Temple and be sealed as a family unit for all eternity. I am so excited for Scott and his family!

I love y'all and I still have my Texan accent!

Sister Brock

Transfer 9 week 6

This week has been absolutely stellar. 

To start off, on Tuesday I had my exit interview. Super weird. I really don't feel like I'm leaving the TSAM, and I don't think it will feel real until my feet hit the pavement on Wednesday. But my interview with President Slaughter really helped me to catch a greater vision for what I can do and accomplish at Temple Square. I accidentally went 20 minutes over in my interview, but it was much needed. Not feeling as anxious and overloaded as before. President Slaughter is simply amazing. 

Saturday was such a fun day! Started off with a super powerful MLC. We then were knocking at an apartment complex when a family from Nepal opens the door. They immediately hurry us in, sit us down and grab their daughter who speaks English. We are in the middle of explaining who God is when the daughter gets up and leaves... we were sitting with her parents who don't speak an ounce of English. So I start trying to play charades and act out that God is our Father, and he loves us. (Don't ask me how I did that... I still don't know). No bueno. But just then the daughter comes back with a million plates of Nepali food! She gives us each 3 plates and we start going to town. It was so good! Come to find out, it was a Nepali holiday called Duali (sp?) We ended up taking the food and more home with us because we were heading over to the Theurer's for dinner. Nicole made the cutest cake that looked like a missionary tag! It was so good. We went to stake conference that night, and on the way back there was a HUGE firework show for Duali! Apparently there is a big population of Nepal people in San Antonio. Who knew?

This week we had mission tour, MLC and Stake Conference with Elder Hamula of the first quorum of the 70. He spoke this last general conference on the sacrament. I had quite a few encounters with him this week, beginning at mission tour. I am generally a pretty quiet person, I'm not one to raise my hand and volunteer for things. So when Elder Hamula picked me out of the many zones to simply read a few verses, I was petrified. But little did I know, in MLC he was going to ask me to do something that almost gave me a heart attack. We were nearing the end of the meeting when Elder Hamula announces that we are going to have a few of the departing missionaries share their testimonies. President Slaughter provided him with a list of 5 names. I look around at the 20 some odd missionaries in MLC leaving and feel pretty calm. "We will begin with hearing from Sister Breakall," one of the Sister Training Leader Leader's (the Sister Assistants), "then from Elder Lundstrom" one of the assistants, "and we will conclude with hearing the testimony of Sister Brock." Boom boom, my heart literally dropped to my toes. I looked right over at President Slaughter and he gave me a reassuring look. Well, I did it. I survived! And I feel good about it, so I am happy about that. But mostly I felt good because I was honored that President Slaughter would include my name with the 4 assistants heading home. The trust that he has in me, and has shown me continually has helped me to gain so much confidence in myself and this amazing message that I share. I am so grateful to have had the chance to have served under President Slaughter, and to feel of his love and learn from him. I cannot wait for him to be the president of the church one day!

Thursday we had mission tour with Elder Hamula. And boy was this a powerful meeting. I can't even begin to describe the gist of what we discussed. We talked about many different topics, but one that was prudent to me was sacrifice. Sacrifice of one's self. In the Bible, in Luke 14:27-28 it states...

 27 And whosoever doth not bear his cross, and come after me, cannot be my disciple.
 28 For which of you, intending to build a tower, sitteth not down first, and counteth the cost, whether he have sufficient to finish it?
The cross represents the shame of the world. If we are to be true disciples, we must pay the cost and be willing to bear the shame of the world. There truly is a cost of discipleship. The cost is you. You must lay yourself upon the alter of sacrifice, and give all that you have. This pierced my heart. I have worked hard in my mission, and I have lived up to the light that I have received. Now, I will do everything I can to continually gain more light so that I may more fully be able to lay myself upon the alter. There is nothing that I love more than my mission, this experience has meant everything to me. It didn't simply change the degree of the angle I set for my life, but it put me onto a completely different plane. I have been changed, molded and crafted into a completely different person. With new dreams, desires, hope and vision for life. My entire life with effected by the decision I made to serve a mission, and I am forever grateful. The gospel is true, it has to power to change us, if we let it. Let us all press forward each day, seeking continually the will of the Lord.

I love y'all and am looking forward to seeing the beautiful mountains on Wednesday!

Sister Brock

Transfer 10 week 4

This week has been an exciting one! Let me give you an overview: we had two baptisms, Elder Clayton Christensen (author of Power of Everyday missionaries) spoke to us in relief society, we watched Savior of the World last night, went the the Temple this morning, and I am oh-so close to finishing my college application essays!!! 

To begin, let me tell you about Alli and Michael. They are such an amazing and powerful couple! He is in medical school and they have four young children, and another on the way! Sister Brooks found Alli from mormon.org chat a week or so before I got here. We have been teaching her since and they are SO prepared! She would stay up in the wee hours of the night reading her Book of Mormon because she loved it so much. She met with the local missionaries 3 times a week and our phone lessons 2 times a week. She is just on fire. After her first Sunday going to church with her kids, her husband decided to join her the following week. After that first Sunday he started mentioning "When I get baptized..." She was so excited to tell us this! We started teaching them both together and got to Skype this last week for their baptism. It was so powerful. In the scriptures in D&C it talks about how the power of God is manifest in the saving ordinances of the Gospel, that is one reason why I love going to/watching baptisms. Because the power of God is truly manifest. 

I would like to relay a story shared by President Slaughter in stake conference back in San Antonio. He was in the state championship game for his high school basketball team. There as 3 seconds left on the clock in the last quarter and his team was down by one. You could feel the excitement and intensity in the air. The plan was to pass the ball in to President Slaughter and he would shoot the final shot for the win. The game resumes, President Slaughter gets the ball and shoots. The ball goes rolling around the rim, for what must have felt like an eternity, then the ball falls out. No points. No re-do. No win. President Slaughter stood staring at the hoop hours after the gym had cleared; jaw dropped, with tear-filled eyes. He later, to his disappointment, received a certificate of participation. He continued on to say "If all I get after this life is a certificate of participation in missionary work, I will rejoice." Although our efforts may not always have a positive result, the effort is not wasted. Someone may reject us, someone may slam the door in our face, someone may yell at us, but we are still participating in the work of the Lord. We cannot simply be instruments; the Lord will not use a vessel that does not act. We must be agents of the Lord, actively seeking opportunities to be an instrument. I am so grateful to have this experience now to serve a mission, so that I can learn how to share the Gospel in my everyday life. This is the Lords work, and we all are apart of it. May we ever be found in the work of the Lord. 

I love you all and wish you a very merry Thanksgiving!
Sister Brock

P.s. This week for thanksgiving we will be going to a member's house for dinner! Then the next day is black Friday/p-day. Y'all know what I will be doing... :)

Thursday, November 20, 2014

Transfer 10 week 3

This has been a very busy week. I went on 24 hour long exchanges with each of the sisters in my district. Back, to back, to back. I'm grateful to be back in my cozy apartment with my own bed and blankies. On the bright side, I got to serve in West Gate every day this week! Every TSQ sister's dream.

This week I also went to the dermatologist, again. I have been having pain in my scars for quite some time, so I wanted to check that out. Ended up getting another skin biopsy; I'll get the results back on Wednesday to see if I need to get more skin dug out and more stitches. On the bright side, I got my scars injected and they have almost shrunk half the size! They've bled quite a bit, but they're a lot smaller so I'm happy.

Just yesterday I got to see a great friend from back home; Saige Miller. Ironically, I've never actually met in her person. But we both have known so much about each other for so long because of my darling mother. Saige joined the church just under a year ago, and my mom was great fellowship for her as a recent convert. She now attends UofU and is working on mission papers. As we were talking, I was thinking about the difference between her and a lot of other recent converts I know. She immediately grasped onto the Gospel, and has been firm in her witness since. She stands alone as a member of the church in her family, and yet is stronger than most life-long members. It is simply about dedication and diligence. When we decide to be dedicated to the Gospel, every other aspect in our life is effected; we are changed forevermore. Our everyday decisions are already made because we decided to follow Christ, to do and be good. This should be the aspiration in each of our lives, to have complete dedication to the Gospel. I know that is my life-long goal. And I am excited to see where that takes me.

I love y'all so much and hope you have a fantastic week!

Sister Brock

Transfer 10 week 2

I cannot believe that it has been a week already. So much has happened, but I feel at a loss for words.

I have continued to keep in touch with my investigators in San Antonio, such as Brother James, Christine, and Pat for the most part. The other day I called Brother James and got his voice mail. I left him a message and just a few minutes later I got a call back with a booming... "HEYYYY Sista Brock!" We had a good chat and I was pleased to hear that he is doing well. He always has a ton of questions, so it's great that he has us and Sister Risenmay back in San Antonio. We also called another investigator from San Antonio, Pat! She is just the sweetest lady ever. She has had such a hard life, and she loves the church so much. When she saw a picture of the Temple she immediately wanted to go there and was willing to do so much to get there. So when I told her the other day on the phone that I'm at that same Temple now serving my mission, she was in complete awe. She will be baptized one day.

Speaking of baptism, we have a great baptism tomorrow! It is for an awesome couple; Alli and Michael. Sister Brooks has been teaching Alli for a little while now, and she is just completely prepared and grasping on to the Gospel. She stays up in the wee hours of the night reading her Book of Mormon because she can't get enough! She brings her 3 kids to church each week and they can't stop talking about primary. A few weeks ago her husband, Michael, came along to church as well. And just that day he mentioned to her "When I get baptized..." She was so excited to hear that! We hadn't set a date for him yet though. This week we got a text from Alli asking "Hi Sisters, we have a question. What are my husband and I supposed to wear for our baptism?" We almost flipped the table over we were so excited! Michael is getting baptized tomorrow too! And we found out this week that she is pregnant with her 4th child; she will do very well in this church.

That's pretty much my update for the week! The square isn't too busy right now, but will pick up quite a bit in 3 weeks when the Christmas lights turn on. This week I got to see Sister Simonsen, one of my outbound companions, her finance, and just on my way over to email, Elder Franco from my outbound! It's so great to see familiar faces.

I love y'all and hope you have a great week! This week will be a week full of exchanges. Woohoo!

Sister Brock

Tuesday, October 28, 2014

Transfer 9 week 6 : Happy Duali!

This week has been absolutely stellar. 

To start off, on Tuesday I had my exit interview. Super weird. I really don't feel like I'm leaving the TSAM, and I don't think it will feel real until my feet hit the pavement on Wednesday. But my interview with President Slaughter really helped me to catch a greater vision for what I can do and accomplish at Temple Square. I accidentally went 20 minutes over in my interview, but it was much needed. Not feeling as anxious and overloaded as before. President Slaughter is simply amazing. 

Saturday was such a fun day! Started off with a super powerful MLC. We then were knocking at an apartment complex when a family from Nepal opens the door. They immediately hurry us in, sit us down and grab their daughter who speaks English. We are in the middle of explaining who God is when the daughter gets up and leaves... we were sitting with her parents who don't speak an ounce of English. So I start trying to play charades and act out that God is our Father, and he loves us. (Don't ask me how I did that... I still don't know). No bueno. But just then the daughter comes back with a million plates of Nepali food! She gives us each 3 plates and we start going to town. It was so good! Come to find out, it was a Nepali holiday called Duali (sp?) We ended up taking the food and more home with us because we were heading over to the Theurer's for dinner. Nicole made the cutest cake that looked like a missionary tag! It was so good. We went to stake conference that night, and on the way back there was a HUGE firework show for Duali! Apparently there is a big population of Nepal people in San Antonio. Who knew?

This week we had mission tour, MLC and Stake Conference with Elder Hamula of the first quorum of the 70. He spoke this last general conference on the sacrament. I had quite a few encounters with him this week, beginning at mission tour. I am generally a pretty quiet person, I'm not one to raise my hand and volunteer for things. So when Elder Hamula picked me out of the many zones to simply read a few verses, I was petrified. But little did I know, in MLC he was going to ask me to do something that almost gave me a heart attack. We were nearing the end of the meeting when Elder Hamula announces that we are going to have a few of the departing missionaries share their testimonies. President Slaughter provided him with a list of 5 names. I look around at the 20 some odd missionaries in MLC leaving and feel pretty calm. "We will begin with hearing from Sister Breakall," one of the Sister Training Leader Leader's (the Sister Assistants), "then from Elder Lundstrom" one of the assistants, "and we will conclude with hearing the testimony of Sister Brock." Boom boom, my heart literally dropped to my toes. I looked right over at President Slaughter and he gave me a reassuring look. Well, I did it. I survived! And I feel good about it, so I am happy about that. But mostly I felt good because I was honored that President Slaughter would include my name with the 4 assistants heading home. The trust that he has in me, and has shown me continually has helped me to gain so much confidence in myself and this amazing message that I share. I am so grateful to have had the chance to have served under President Slaughter, and to feel of his love and learn from him. I cannot wait for him to be the president of the church one day!

Thursday we had mission tour with Elder Hamula. And boy was this a powerful meeting. I can't even begin to describe the gist of what we discussed. We talked about many different topics, but one that was prudent to me was sacrifice. Sacrifice of one's self. In the Bible, in Luke 14:27-28 it states...

 27 And whosoever doth not bear his cross, and come after me, cannot be my disciple.
 28 For which of you, intending to build a tower, sitteth not down first, and counteth the cost, whether he have sufficient to finish it?
The cross represents the shame of the world. If we are to be true disciples, we must pay the cost and be willing to bear the shame of the world. There truly is a cost of discipleship. The cost is you. You must lay yourself upon the alter of sacrifice, and give all that you have. This pierced my heart. I have worked hard in my mission, and I have lived up to the light that I have received. Now, I will do everything I can to continually gain more light so that I may more fully be able to lay myself upon the alter. There is nothing that I love more than my mission, this experience has meant everything to me. It didn't simply change the degree of the angle I set for my life, but it put me onto a completely different plane. I have been changed, molded and crafted into a completely different person. With new dreams, desires, hope and vision for life. My entire life with effected by the decision I made to serve a mission, and I am forever grateful. The gospel is true, it has to power to change us, if we let it. Let us all press forward each day, seeking continually the will of the Lord.

I love y'all and am looking forward to seeing the beautiful mountains on Wednesday!

Sister Brock

Wednesday, October 22, 2014

T-SAM




Good times in Texas

Another recent convert, Sister Mary Jane Sweet!
We also lost our house key yesterday... my companions looking for the key in the grass while I shine the brights in the car. 

Trying to fit Sister Clark in my suit case... she wouldn't quite fit...

This Oregon girl can pump her own gas!! 

Transfer 9 week 5

Sister McGinty, a recent convert

my district! 


Another glorious week!
My brother and his wife had their baby, little Braxton. I love him so much already! Definitely feeling the mission baby blues right now, I just want to hold him so bad. But he is beautiful, and sounds like he is doing better! 

Last p-day was super fun! Typically for p-day we play volleyball and basketball with our zone. But this one we mixed it up and went to a members house to play capture the flag in the woods in their backyard. It adds a new intensity when you need to stay within sight and sound of your companion, especially in a trio... but it was so much fun! Our team was all the assistants, and we creamed them. 

Last week we found a new investigator who has so much potential. His name is TJ. He's probably about 28 and keeps asking us, why did you choose to talk to me? Why me? Why am I so special that you wanted to share this with me? We show up for our appointment, brought a member and everything, knock knock knock. No answer. Then we get a call from him, saying that he was 2 minutes away and to not leave. When he gets home, we have a super powerful lesson. We simply taught the restoration and it had such great application to him! He was engaged and excited about it. He's also a cop! So hopefully we can get a tour of the jail one day... I'm excited to continue to teach him from Temple Square next week.
 
We also have a great investigator named Brother James! I met him last transfer in the parking lot of an apartment complex. When we introduced ourselves, he called himself Brother James, and he will forever be Brother James. He talks A LOT, so sometimes it is hard to guide the lesson with him. But something that my companions and I have been working on the past few weeks is what we call the 4 Ds in teaching. Discern, discuss, doctrine, declare. The 4 things that you need when you are teaching. And with brother James, it is definitely a lot more of discussing rather than a 'missionary discussion'. At church yesterday, the Elders told us that he spoke up in priesthood and gave a powerful comment, about how we are in the world but can't be of the world. He's so great! Even when he showed up to church, he was sitting with a member, and everyone thought he was a member! He showed up in a white shirt and tie. He's so great. 

This week is going to be an absolutely amazing week. We have a mission tour with Elder Hamula of the 70. We have been reading a lot of scriptures he assigned us to prepare for it, and I am so excited for this mission tour! He is also doing an MLC on Saturday with us, and speaking at General conference with our mission president and both of their wives! It is going to be a powerful week. 

I love y'all and hope you have a great week!

Sister Brock



I'm driving!

We had to get the flu Shot. :(

An investigator who has been in the hospital for the past month, we keep visiting her there. Christine Mountcastle


Wednesday, October 15, 2014

Transfer 9 week 4

This week was pretty good. I ended up getting pretty sick this week, so I was out with another sister who has meningitis. They let me loose on Friday before zone conference. Sister Clark and I gave a training on teaching skills summed up in 4 D's: Doctrine, Declare, Discuss, and Discern. It went pretty well considering I had a huge cough attack right before our training.

Saturday was a very interesting and amazing day. Started off with a huge thunder storm, which made the power go out. It was a little frightening considering I am terrified of thunder/lightening, and there were sirens and alarms going off for over 4 hours. Nonetheless, it turned out to be an amazing day! We didn't have many appointments in the afternoon, so we were visiting some potentials. No luck. So we were walking back to our car when we see a woman and her son unloading a truck. We immediately jump on the opportunity! Most people are very reluctant and hesitant to have 3 young girls help them unload things. But thankfully, she was in desperate need. We help her and her 15 year old son unload the truck and she immediately starts telling us about her life. Both of her parents have passed away in the last 6 months, and shortly after she lost her job and her house. Just now, she is starting to get her feet under her and she got a job and a new apartment. She had been going to another church for the past year, but hasn't gone for the past 2 weeks because she doesn't like the pastor. We started explaining about our church services, and she especially liked the youth programs in the church! She told us that her son wants to be around people with good values, and was asking her a couple weeks ago to buy him a Bible. So we gave them a Book of Mormon to read. They are both amazing and I am so excited to see what happens with them both. That night we went to an awesome baptism for some people that we have been helping the Elders in our ward with, they are amazing and I am so excited to see them go to the Temple one year from now!! Sorry this email is so short, hopefully the pictures make up for it! I love y'all, have a great week!

Sister Brock

Friday, October 10, 2014

Transfer 9 week 3

What a full and glorious week!
This week we had so many spiritually uplifting meetings and such. We had district meeting Wednesday, went to the Temple on Thursday, Friday was MLC and Saturday/Sunday was General Conference! Sounds like a pretty great week to me. 

This week while I was on exchanges in another area, my companions went and visited one of my favorite potential investigators: Brother James. He's this big ol loud man. When he invited them into his apartment, he didn't have anywhere for them to sit except for his bed... so they sat on the edge of his bed and taught him the Restoration! And invited him to come the following day to a Conference BBQ at one of our ward missionaries' house! He came and was the life of the party. Everyone knew and loved Brother James by the end of the night. He loved the ribs (even though he had to take out his teeth), the people, and General conference. It was a great experience! I am so grateful to be in a ward where the members are so diligent in their missionary work. This weekend our ward will reach over 12 convert baptisms in the past 3 months. And it is mostly because of the great fellowship of the members of the ward! They are missionary minded. They serve. And give of themselves and their precious time! But there is no greater cause that someone can be involved in. Because this is the work of Salvation, and we are all called to be apart of it. I love being a missionary more than anything else in the world! Especially in the great Texas San Antonio Mission. 

I love y'all and hope you have a marvelous week!

Sister Brock

Transfer 9 week 2

Another week showered with blessings. To start, we had general woman's meeting this last Saturday. Powerful. How amazing is it that we get to hear the words of prophets in our day, a tool and resource that is often overlooked in the church. Growing up, I was excited for general conference because that meant I got to stay in my pajamas and often I would fall asleep. And as glorious as that sounds, there is nothing more exciting to me than being able to hear the words of the prophet, apostles and leaders of the church. Truly they are sharing the words that lead us to happiness! And who doesn't want that? This was exemplified through an investigator that attended the general woman's meeting with us. Her name is Brittany; let me tell you her story...

Brittany is 21 years old, engaged and recently moved to San Antonio. She has always had a lot of questions about life. So one day she started doing online chats where you could ask questions. About a week ago, she ran across Mormon.org and started talking with the lovely Sister missionaries there (TEMPLE SQUARE SISTERS!!!!). We then got a text with her information, saying that she would like to have missionaries come and visit her. While I was on exchanges in another area, my companions had a lesson with her and called me to tell me about this amazing investigator! She has truly been prepared. The following night, I met her for the first time at the General Woman's meeting. When the meeting had concluded and our eyes were adjusting to the bright lights, I looked over at Brittany who had tear filled eyes. She expressed that she has never felt so loved in her life, and that there was this indescribable feeling that she never wants to go away. This is exactly what hearing the words of the prophet brings. Feelings of peace and joy that are so boundless that it is indescribable. Thomas S. Monson is the Lord's mouthpiece, and I know this because of this indescribable feeling; the spirit. The spirit speaks to everyone differently, but it is a universal language. It is the language that brings the children of God together. I would like to invite y'all to watch President Uchtdorf's address in this meeting... https://www.lds.org/general-conference/watch/2014/10?lang=eng&vid=3810258135001&cid=9 Search for the spirit in His words.

This past week we had zone conferences (which my companions and I sang at if you got the audio), and we talked a lot about how God is preparing people. In our mission, we talk a lot about the concept of nearness. Meaning, that we are guided to someone not necessarily because the person we seek is prepared, but that the people around them are being prepared. So we constantly are talking to everyone in our path, and asking who they know that will benefit from our message. This was manifest just yesterday as we were visiting some potential investigators. The people we visited were not home, but were then able to talk to some people as they were leaving their apartment. We set up an appointment to come back later and we went on our way! Though our purpose was not yet met. So we knocked a nearby door. Behind were a brother and a sister, Elise and Saul. They had a bunch of Catholic decorations and such inside and outside their house, but they let us right in! They said they have never met missionaries before and they accepted to hear our message. We sat down at the table with them and began teaching them the Restoration. In zone conference we also talked about True Baptism. How there are 5 points to a true baptism. First, for those who believe. Second, for the repentant. Third, by complete immersion. Fourth, by proper authority. And fifth, is followed by receiving the gift of the holy ghost by the laying on of hands. We taught them the points and invited them to be baptized. And they joyfully accepted! They even wrote it in big letters across their calendar! We didn't necessarily go into this lesson truly believing that these people were prepared and they would be baptized. But as we applied the principle of nearness, God allowed us to have this experience to increase our faith in finding. We must believe that God is preparing people all around us, or else we will never find those whom He is preparing. As we talk with our friends, family, coworkers, acquaintances, we must invite and discern through the spirit how to best help them on their path to eternal life. What can we invite them to do at this time that will help them come closer to Jesus Christ? Mutual? Family home evening? Read the Book of Mormon? Pray? There are so many things we can do to share the Gospel with those around us, and we must have the faith that they are being prepared. It is a sign of love as we share what is most precious to us; the Gospel of Jesus Christ.

I love y'all so much and am so blessed to have so much support. 
Sister Brock

Tuesday, September 23, 2014

Transfer 9 week 1

What a glorious week! 
Last week was transfers and I got my 2 new beautiful companions! Sister Clark and Sister Risenmay! Sister Clarke is from Georgia and is the Sister training leader leader. Yes, you read that right "leader leader." She is one of the sister assistants. She is absolutely stellar! And Sister Risenmay (pronounced Rizzz-in-may) is our pre-trained trainee from Washington. Seriously she is the bomb.com

This week we have found so many miracles. But I'm going to talk about one in particular. We have been setting appointments left and right this entire week, and we went to an appointment in a very familiar complex that I have knocked many times before. When we got out of the car, there was a man sitting outside his door. We get talking, and he tells us that his grandma would be very interested. They invite us to come back and share our message after our appointment. Well we came back, sat down and immediately started talking about baptism with the grandmother. She hesitated for a moment, and then we hear her grandson come out of the hallway and he said "I want to be baptized." We as missionaries can help you with that sir! We taught them the Restoration, and he is on date to be baptized on October 18th. We have been seeing miracles like this left and right. People are being prepared in the Balcones Heights area, and we are the lucky ones who get to help them. I love being a missionary!

Last night we had the opportunity to go to the Slaughter house for the assistants meeting. They have it every Sunday evening, and since Sister Clark is one of the STLLs, we were invited to come this week! It is very similar to the staff meeting we have at Temple Square. But after we got the business out of the way, President Slaughter opened it up to questions. We can literally ask questions about a.n.y.t.h.i.n.g. Holy manole, it was amazing, we were there until almost12pm last night asking questions about mission, leadership, after mission, etc. Everything we can imagine! President Slaughter literally has all the answers. And they are all completely doctrinal based, he always turns to the scriptures or words of modern day prophets. What an inspired and amazing man!

Have a great week, I love y'all so much!
Sister Brock

p.s. My angel of a companion, Sister Yeung from Hong Kong, is the new assistant at Temple Square! 

Transfer 8 week 3

I blinked and now I am sitting here at the computer again. It still amazes me how fast time is on your mission. I feel like just yesterday I was graduating high school and going to Disneyland. Exactly 1 year ago I was at Disneyland... okay that's a little depressing. #1 thing to do when I get home: Go to Disneyland. 

This week we found and AMAZING new family. We had knocked in their neighborhood numerous times without much luck. Quite a few people answered the doors, but just were not interested. So when we asked them who they knew in their neighborhood that would be, they all pointed us in the direction of this one particular house, which we had knocked before. Just then they pulled in and started unloading some boxes. Perfect! We went over and helped them unload the car, and they told us that they are very Catholic, but that they would be interested in hearing a message. So Sister Simonsen and I went back this last Thursday, and taught them the Restoration. This was probably the most powerful lesson on my mission. Now this family, the Villareal's, are very active Catholic's. Their kids go to a Catholic school and the mother works at the school. But they are one of the most receptive families I have ever met! We all sat in a circle on the ground. And at times I found myself getting lost in the spirit, it was the most amazing thing. After I shared the first vision, I asked the eldest daughter, "How does hearing that make you feel?" She said, "It makes me feel so good to know the Joseph Smith saw Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ. It answers a lot of questions I had..." 

I know that Heavenly Father prepares people to receive this Gospel, even if it be through other religions. I have been thinking a lot this week about teaching people who are very strong in their faith. Because typically I would think immediately that they are disinterested. But the more I thought about it, I realized that so many people are deep into faiths because they are searching for more. They are yearning to know God, and they are searching what they have received. But those who are ready, will greet the Gospel with open arms. And they will embrace it, realizing that the answers to the questions of their soul lies within the restored Gospel of Jesus Christ. Just like this family. The Villareal's have been prepared by God to receive the Gospel, and they are in tune with the spirit. I love seeing how the Gospel of Jesus Christ changes people. I've seen it in myself, my friends, family, and especially some of my friends who have joined the church while I've been on my mission. What an opportunity that I have to share it with the people of San Antonio. I love everything about my mission. I love the people. I love my ward. I love my fellow missionaries. And most importantly, I love the Lord. 

I hope y'all have a wonderful week. 

Sister Brock

Tuesday, August 19, 2014

Transfer 8 week 2

Another beautiful and hot week here in San Antonio! It is generally around 104 and very humid. But I was so surprised at how many trees there are here in Texas! Looks a lot more like Oregon than Utah does. This last Tuesday we had ward coordination meeting at our ward mission leader's home. We got out of our previous appointment a little early, so we decided to go knocking around our WML's (ward mission leader) home. We started teaching a guy on his doorstep about the restoration when out of no where it started down pouring! Rain on rain on rain, with thunder and lightening included. This man invited us in, but since his wife wasn't home we couldn't go in. So we set up a return appointment. But we still had 20 minutes before the ward coordination meeting. We we trucked through the rain and kept knocking. People were looking at us like we are crazy! And we probably are. But this is still the Lord's time, and we were not going to waste any of it. So then we showed up later to our WML's house completely SOAKED. So we dried ourselves off with countless towels and blow driers. But when it was time to go home, it was still storming outside! So while I was putting on my shoes, Sister Simonsen started running out to the car. When I turned around, I saw her flat out on the ground! I seriously thought she got hit by lightening! It was pretty frightening. But thankfully she just slipped on some mud. She got some pretty nice cement burns from it though. 

I want to tell ya'll about some of my favorite investigators and recent converts. First is Alma and Nick. Now two weeks ago, we set them on baptismal date for August 30th. And they were so excited! Then they didn't show up to church the following Sunday and texted us and told us that they were going to go back to the Catholic church. Noooooooo! So we went and visited them right after church. They were home and were so welcoming to us! Strange after they just tried to drop us... well we got talking and didn't really say much when they asked when they could get baptized. At this point I was very confused... but nonetheless, we picked them up again and they are on point to be baptized on the 30th! Their 16 year old son, Hector, wants to get baptized too, he's probably the strongest of the 3, but he has to get permission from his mom to get baptized. So we'll still working with him. But how could someone NOT get baptized who's name is Alma... She likes reading in Alma the most, obviously. 

Next we have Rick and Cindy. We were just knocking some doors when we found them. Rick opened the door, walked away and said "Well aren't ya'll going to come in?" So we came in, sat down and taught them the Restoration! They both are very strong Pentecostal, but are very open to new teachings. They love the Book of Mormon and believe it's the word of God, but no matter how many times we tell them that it means this is the true church, they just haven't made that connection yet. We are still working with them, but I see a lot of potential. 

Wes and Mary. Some of the best recent converts you'll find! They got baptized last month and Wes is now a ward missionary! They come from very humble circumstances, and already had a strong faith in Christ. But as missionaries, we aren't here to take away from people's faith, but to add to it. And Wes and Mary are a perfect example of that! They haven't missed a Sunday service since they first met the missionaries! Wes has been coming out with us to quite a few lessons, and I love seeing how someone so new in the church is already so dedicated to helping this work move forward. So many people in the church have been life long members and still have not had the missionary-drive that Wes and Mary have. They are truly perfect examples of member missionaries! Actually 3 of our recent converts got called last week to be ward missionaries; Wes Lightsey, Mary Jane Sweet, and Justin Ortiz! Justin is just 21 and is planning to go on a mission after he's finished in the military in just 2 years. He's super powerful!

Yesterday at church I had a peculiar experience. We were sitting in Sacrament Meeting when this gorgeous couple and their young baby come sit in front of us. I knew this woman from somewhere but I couldn't put my finger on it! I figured it was volleyball so I dropped it. But after Relief Society, I could tell that she thought she recognized me too. She asked what my first name was, and when I told her, she gasped! "I'm Megan Gneiting's sister-in-law!" What a small world! Out of allll the wards here in San Antonio, I am serving in the Balcones Heights ward. She's one of our typical member presents, so I'm excited to work with her a lot this transfer and hopefully next! 

One of my favorite experiences this week was just yesterday. We've been knocking a lot, visiting former investigators, part member families, and not too much luck. So we've been trying to do more service this week. But not too often do people let 2 sisters serve them. We were again on our way to our WML's house when we see a family unloading a huge moving truck. I suggest that we help them so we pull over and tell them that we are here to help. Margie, the mom, sighs in a big relief, wraps us in a hug and said "Oh Lord-y, I was praying for a rest and you answered. I praise thee!" So we rolled up our sleeves and started towards the moving truck! Her sons weren't too happy that we were helping, and kept giving us the stink eye. They kept saying "Oh that's really heavy, we'll take that." Yes I'm a twig, but I've lifted weights for the past 6 years. And being the stubborn person I am, I was even more determined to take it. We were definitely covered in sweat at the end of it though! It's so humid here. But Margie, even with her strong Catholic background, was so open to us coming back and sharing out message with her! And it all started with a little Christlike love and service. That's really where missionary work starts! Before my mission, I was so lost on how to even start sharing the Gospel with someone. I wasn't too strong in Gospel knowledge myself, but I knew I had a testimony that it is true. When I finally just realized that sharing the Gospel is an act of service and love, that's when it came so easily. I was praying and asking God for missionary opportunities, and boy did he give them to me! This is such a righteous desire, so why would God not give us missionary opportunities? This is the work of Salvation. And we are ALL apart of it. The gospel brings not only peace and joy now, but for the eternities. We must invite all to partake of the goodness of the Gospel of Jesus Christ. This Gospel is for everyone; and we will never know who will accept the invitation unless we invite. We won't find out who is prepared unless we act. This gospel is true. I bear witness and testimony of the reality of the changing power of the Gospel of Jesus Christ. I love ya'll and hope you have a wonderful week.

Love
Sister Brock

Monday, August 11, 2014

Transfer 8 week 1! Texas Bound!

What a full and amazing week!

On Wednesday morning we got up bright and early to catch our plane to San Antonio. As soon as we stepped off the plane we were sweating. Seriously, in an INSTANT I was sticky. Very different from Salt Lake City. But we got off and met the APs and our mission President, President Slaughter. Now, I was pretty nervous to meet him with his name. But he is just an amazing and kind man! He's definitely an inspired man. So we went back with all the new missionaries to the mission home. We had interviews with President, ate, role played, etc. But for those of you who don't know, my mission, San Antonio (or the TSAM as we call it) is where they filmed the famous missionary show, 'The District'. So just like in the District, we went to the Alamo and we needed to place a Book of Mormon. I went with Sister Armendariz, the other sister from Temple Square. We had only 5 minutes to give someone a Book of Mormon. So we went off and first talked to a Spanish family. They had gotten a card from some other missionaries, but the missionaries didn't speak any Spanish so they weren't able to share anything with them. So we taught them about the Book of Mormon (unfortunately we didn't have a Book of Mormon in Spanish). Come to find out they live on the same street as Sister Armendariz back in Mexico! So she gave them her dads number so that they could meet with the missionaries there. We only had about 1 minute left and we were determined to place the Book of Mormon. So we talked to a family sitting down on a bench, well they were very agitated because so many missionaries have been talking to them. So we turned around and see two girls. We went up and talked, they didn't seem to interested at first. But then we started testifying about the Book of Mormon, and they asked how they could read it! Uhh... perfect. So we gave them our copy and went back to our group happily empty handed. It was so cool to not only experience the same thing as the district, but also to realize that the work is the same wherever we go. I have been pretty nervous for how different my outbound would be from Temple Square, but the work is exactly the same, just in a little bit different way.

On Thursday morning we got up early to go to transfer conference in the same chapel as on the district. (family, you really need to watch the district to see what my mission is like!) They call out each district, one by one. Well, we weren't called. So that means we were heading up to the transfer conference in Austin! We have 2 transfer conferences, in San Antonio, and in Austin. So that means my companion was in Austin. We drove up and met the other half of the TSAM. And I was put with my companion, Sister Simonsen. Can I just say how much I love my companion. From the moment I met her, she has always had a smile on her face. She is exactly obedient. She is a hard worker. She is an amazing teacher. She is a light in my life. I love my companion so much! I'm just sad that it is her last transfer, so we won't be together next transfer. But we also have a 'mini missionary' with us for a week. Her name is Sara Jones and she just graduated high school and is with us 24/7 for a week to see what a mission is like. She has been doing SO good! So it's been exciting. We are actually serving back down in San Antonio, so we came back down with the APs. We actually have 4 assistants in our mission, and one pair is serving in the same ward as me. They are awesome missionaries! And the other set of APs are in my stake. So we are all really close. But we got back around 7:00 that night and were starving. So we went to McDonalds. We doubled in the area (are both new to this area) so we don't know any of the recent converts, less actives, members or investigators in the area. So we decided we needed to start finding right away! We were talking to the cashier and gave her a mormon.org card. She was so grateful and she wants to go to church! No matter where we are, Sister Simonsen always hands out pass along cards, and you'd be surprised at how well they work. That's one of the many things I have learned from her this week. 

Seeing as we were doubled in, we needed to meet a lot of people before churchthis Sunday. So we started with the less actives and part members. One of the people we tried to visit was named David. It took us awhile to find his apartment, but we finally did and knocked on the door. Well apparently David moved. So we started walking back to the car. But we made a decision that whenever the person doesn't answer the door, we'll knock on three more doors. We were almost back to our car when we remembered. So we chose a door and knocked. A guy answered and told us that he was about to leave, but if we wanted to see his grandpa, he would be home around 7. "Is your grandpa a member?" "Yeah I think so." Oh, what's his name?" "David"... . . . Seriously? It is the same David that we were coming to see, but he wasn't living in the same apartment. God knows each of us personally. And he works through his servants to help us on the right path. David has been needing help, but hasn't known where to turn. And God sent us. He sent us to find David. To help him to get back on the right path. No matter where we are, no matter how far off the path we may be, He will lead you back, if you let Him. Change is hard, but He has given us the tools to return back to Him with eternal happiness. This Gospel is true, and it is what brings happiness in a world of darkness. I love being a member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints, and to be able to proclaim that to the world. There is nothing greater than being a missionary. 

I absolutely love it here in the TSAM. I never want to leave! Hope you all have an amazing week. 



Love
Sister Brock

Transfer 7 week 6!

"Dear Sister Brock,
On 6 August, 2014 you will be transferred from the Utah Salt Lake City Temple Square Mission to the Texas San Antonio Mission under the leadership of President James E. Slaughter. You will return to Temple Square on 29 October, 2014."
YAYYYY!! As I'm sure most of you have heard by now, I am going outbound to San Antonio, Texas! And santo gatto am I excited. I have been 'patiently' waiting for so long to see the day where I would go outbound. Don't get me wrong, I LOVE Temple Square, but I know that this is an amazing opportunity for me to work within a ward, and learn and gain experience that will improve my service here upon Temple Square. I am very excited, but also extremely nervous. All I've known my whole mission is Temple Square, I haven't had the typical mission experience. So this is all new to me. Working with local leaders/members, teaching in people's homes, not having the Temple right there, etc. There are countless differences between Temple Square and other missions, but the one thing that is the same is the what we share. That is what I have been doing for the past 10.5 months, and what I will continue to do for the rest of my life. I am here to share the thing that is the most important thing in the world to me; the Gospel of Jesus Christ. And whether I am sharing it here at Temple Square, or in San Antonio Texas, it is the same. And what an opportunity it is for me to share it with the people in San Antonio, Texas.
This week has been pretty strange; first off because I have been preparing for outbound, second because Sister Rangel has been really sick, and third because we have had these crazy thunder/lightening and rain/wind storms for the past two days. We found out about outbound on Thursday, and I was so anxious that I didn't eat for 3 days! Every time I thought about food I wanted to throw up. I lost some major weight, but thankfully in Texas everything is deep dried. I'll gain it back in no time. We also had transfer conference yesterday, so Sister Rangel is going to be with one of our Sisters from Thailand next transfer! I'll probably butcher her name but it's something like Kalumanoigh. Or at least it's pronounced like that. It's strange sending your trainee off with another sister, I feel like she doesn't belong with anyone but me! But I know she will do great things with Sister Thailand... I have been thinking about what I have learned these last two transfers. It's definitely been very hard at times, but oh-so rewarding! I have developed so many Christ-like attributes these two transfers I have been training. I am so much more patient, charitable, service oriented, and motivated by love. I have seen how everything that I do effects her. Whatever my mood is, hers is also. And the biggest thing I've learned these two transfers is to not let others determine my happiness, but to decide to be happy all the time. Because it truly is a choice! And this is the best thing someone could ever learn, because no matter what we will face in life, we will be happy.
I don't have too much time today because I need to get packing, but I am excited to tell you all about my first week next Monday! I fly out tomorrow morning at9:50, so should get there in the afternoon sometime.
I love you'll! (ready for Texas!)

Sister Brock

I broke the word of wisdom... (transfer 7 week 5)

Hello friends and family,

Yes. I broke the word of wisdom. As described on Mormon.org, "The Word of Wisdom prohibits the drinking of alcohol, coffee and tea, and the use of tobacco. It also implies that we not use illegal drugs or abuse prescription drugs. The Word of Wisdom also encourages us to eat plenty of the fruits and vegetables that are in season, plenty of grains and a moderate amount of meat." I was doing so good, up until the last part. Eating moderate amount of meat... this week Sister Rangel and I went to Tucano's. A Brazilian BBQ, with endless Brazilian meat. So, we feasted. But can I say, I found my new favorite restaurant! There you have a wooden thingy on the table that is green on one side, and red on the other. So if you have it on green, they keep bringing you meat. But red means you are taking a breather. Well, lets just say I never turned it to red. It was the absolute best thing I have ever tasted! And I even fell in love with grilled chicken heart. Yes. An actual chicken heart. It's delicious, trust me. But that wasn't even the highlight of the week!
This week we had 2 fun activities. We went to the farm last P-day for our zone activity, and we milked cows and went on a wagon ride. Exciting stuff for missionaries! Then this last Thursday was Pioneer day; which apparently is a pretty big thing here in Utah. I remember last year I was here around this time at my Aunt's house, and there were a bunch of fireworks for no reason, or so I thought. Pioneer day is bigger here than the 4th of July is! So there was a 3 hour parade that we got lucky enough to watch. Somehow Sister Rangel got to a roped off area where they kept filming us. So if you watched the parade, look for us! President Monson was even in the parade and waved at us!
But one of my favorite parts of the week was just yesterday in the Beehive house. There was a sweet family that came through. The parents must not have been older than 25 years old, and they had one son named Nate who was 4. And Nate was in a wheelchair because he has muscular dystrophy, and he also has tubes in his throat for breathing and eating. But this family is one of the most adorable families I've ever seen. Nate is so gentle and loving. There are a few stairs in the house, and he asked "Sister, will you help my dad lift me up so I can see the prophet's house?" Everything he said touched my heart. I never want that tour to end! The way they interacted with each other; the love and the kindness that they showed each other. What an example to me! Throughout my life, I have always had a connection with those who were handicapped. And I had always been nervous that it was because God was preparing me for children who might be handicapped. But because of this amazing family, I don't fear it anymore. Because I know how much it would be a privilege for me and my family. My family would get to learn patience and love in a way that we wouldn't otherwise. Whatever God's plan for me is, I greet it with open arms.
I love you all and hope you have a spectacular week full of God's love.

Sister Brock

P.s. This week we will find out if I go outbound!

4th of July


Sister Hoffmann from Brasillll

ELDER SKANCHY!!! He's my absolute favorite. Before I got my surgery and found out what was wrong with my stomach, he gave me a bunch of chocolate because he thought it was really bad cramps. He's a judge and barely ever smiles, but he is such an awesome man! 
The Oregonian's at Temple Square! Sister Briggs refused to do the Oregon Duck's 'O'
Sister Toa, my favorittttteeee! She has the hardest time doing the rock sign, but she thinks it is so funny and calls me Sister B-rock
Sister Enis!!! (My sister Alli was in her EFY group back in High School!!)
President Harmon! Funniest guy you'd ever meet. He's small, but he has a way with fashion!!
Sister Yang! Who was in Elder James Kunzler's district in her outbound to NY!
Sister Armendariz
Sister Richardson