Friday, February 28, 2014

transfer 4 week 2

Well as I'm sure most of you have heard by now, it's been an interesting week. Lets start from the way beginning..
Back when I was 12 years old, we discovered that when I was born, my intestines were born in a sac of skin. And that my appendix was on the wrong side, after many many years of pain and hospital trips, we finally figured out what was wrong with me. I got surgery a few weeks later to remove my intestines from the sac of skin as well as remove my appendix. They used scar tissue to attach my intestines to my abdomen wall so that they would hopefully not get twisted again. 
This brings us to Sunday. Sunday was going great! Got past the first few days of being a new OA and was starting to get in the swing of things. We even were a big hit at the staff meeting! They loved and congratulated us on how well we presented the data. I just love math. We were heading into the busy Sunday night when all the Zone Leaders turn their zone's weekly numbers into us when I started getting horrible stomach aches. I didn't think it was that big of a deal so I just grabbed a heating pad and some chocolate and sat down at the computer and started analyzing the numbers. Just a few hours later when we got home and in bed, I was in massive pain. We had to call the AP's in the middle of the night to come and help me, we all prayed fervently that night and did our best to calm the storm within! I made it through till morning, with absolutely no sleep. I didn't have too much luck with pain on Monday either. I made it halfway through the day before Sister Poulsen said I looked like death and needed to go see a doctor. We actually just called the doctor that all the Temple Square sisters visit, and after hearing my symptoms he thought that my intestines weren't digesting food. Which is something that often happens with infants he said, so he had me take some milicon. And on the bottle it said "If you weigh under 24 pounds take this amount, if you weigh over 24 pounds take this amount" uhhh.... so I'm pretty sure I'm way over 24 pounds? I gave it my best guess. Turns out that it didn't really matter because I threw it all up that night anyway! Monday night was what I imagine hell to be. Complete pain and lack of control of anything. I feel bad for my poor companion, she did EVERYTHING she could to help me, and there was simply nothing we could do to get better. She even held a heat pack with pressure on my stomach one night for 3 straight hours! She's an angel. Anyway, after a night of complete body disturbances in any way imaginable, we finally went to the hospital on Tuesday morning. 
The first thing the doctor said to me was "You must be tough, because you waited WAY too long. Most people only last about 30 minutes before coming to the hospital when they have this." They quickly gave me some morphine and I was in happy land. According to Sister Poulsen and Sister Takahashi (sister who drove me) I was hilarious. I was trying to get referrals from the nurses and was turned down hardddd. I blame my horrible How To Begin Teaching Skills on the morphine. Anyway, I got a CT scan because they figured I had a bowel obstruction. While they were waiting for my results they did the most painful part of this whole week, they stuck a tube down my nose, throat and stomach. I had one of these with my last bowel surgery, but they did it while I was asleep. So they started draining out my stomach (and the new blood that this tube caused to be there) until we got the results back from the CT scan. The results arrived and the news came that I would be getting surgery that day! 
What happened it that my intestines got twisted and stuck to the old scar tissue that was there from my last surgery. So it is like when you twist a hose and the part where things are flowing enlarges until it bursts from the other side (hence throwing up).They told me before my surgery that if the part of my intestines that is twisted is really bad that they might have to remove it. That it might be past the point of repair. Well prayers were heard and answered because they were able to save it! They said that it was very sick and purple, but repairable. The surgery and everything went really well, I got a simple 5-6inch vertical incision right in my mid-line, crossing my belly button. The healing process has been going very well and I am on my way to recovery! They told me 3-5 days of recovery in the hospital and then another week in bed. I'm going to be staying here in Utah at my Aunt's house for recovery, that way I'll be up back in no time on the Square! 
These past few days in the hospital have been interesting, it's so weird being a missionary in the hospital. For starters, I'm alone most of the time. I haven't been alone for 5 months... Something that I'm glad I don't have to get used to for too long. Also since they cut into my abdomen wall, it's extremely hard to sit up or walk. But I started racing one of my nurses Ezra in the hall (I think he's just being nice and letting me win). I'm at an LDS hospital, but a remarkable number of employees here are not LDS. I have been working on it though, slowly but surely! 
As of 20 minutes ago, I had some gas! Never been so excited for gas, because that means I am on my way to leaving the hospital soon. My surgeon, Doctor Jackson, said I am making a great recovery and that today I will be taken off the morphine, and put just on basic pain killers. And most importantly, that I'll be getting out of here tomorrow morning! So that's the latest with me.
I have been so lucky to have so many visitors this week! Some family, mission friends, countless long visits from my wonderful mission president and his wife, and even some missionary mom's who just simply heard about me on facebook! I've gotten spoiled with flowers, balloons, cards, and even a cookie dough blizzard that is waiting for me in the fridge! The love and support that I have felt over these past few days is incredible. I know that God is so aware of me, and that he has blessed me with such a remarkable recovery.
I just got done with a visit from Sister Poulsen, mission president's wife. And she told me that she thinks my remarkable recovery was due to my positive attitude and my faith on God's plan and will for me. That is something that I know to be true! I know for a fact that God WILL work mighty miracles, as long as you have faith in him. As long as you can accept His will before your own. God is a God of love, and I felt that this week. I am a witness of the true loving nature of God. I love my Savior Jesus Christ, he truly helped me get through this physically difficult week. He is my Savior, Redeemer and healer. I love this Gospel, and I love even more being a missionary.

I'll be with my parents for the next week if you want to send them a quick message to get to me. 

Best wishes for the week ahead,
Sister Brock

Thursday, February 27, 2014

transfer 3 week 6, valentines day miracle!

This week was packed FULL of miracles! And I'm going to start with one of my favorites. I got an email from Amir valentines day morning that said that his wife is finally coming to the United States!!!!!!!!! She got approved and now they are going to live together here in SLC. When I read it, I first cried, then announced it to the whole teaching center, everyone cheered with me! He said that he knows God has been listening to all of our prayers, and that he is excited to grow in the LDS church here in SLC with his wife. He is my eternal investigator that I just couldn't seem to let go, and now I know why. I'm so excited to see what happens in his near future! His wife is scheduled to come in the first weeks on March. What a beautiful miracle. Definitely kept me happy on just a crazy day full of proposals at Temple Square.
Last week we had our zone activity! And holy cow was that fun. We first went bowling at Fat Cats (it's free for missionaries. Why did I JUST find this out?! I know where I'll be for the rest of my P-days) and then we saw Frozen! Which I was super excited about because my sister is absolutely obsessed with it. I do admit, it was very very cute. And reminds me so much of my sister and I! But I am still a Rapunzel fan, all the way.
President also announced this week that he has chosen our new 2nd counselor in our mission presidency! His name is president Loos. We haven't met him yet, but if president approves, I know he's great! President also announced that there were going to be some big changes coming up, and one of those includes not changing companions as often! Normally in this mission we change every transfer, unless training. But president said that doesn't give you enough time to work out the kinks. My new companion this upcoming transfer is probably going to go outbound next though, so I will probably stay at our assignment and train the next person, as well as maybe stay together longer! I have no idea when I'll go outbound, probably not for a while now.
Update on the investigators/recent converts:
Thomas (recent convert), is seriously so golden. He called me on Sunday and told me that he got his meeting all set up to get his Patriarchal blessing and he got his temple recommend, limited use, this week! He took 2 weeks off of work and is planning to go to the Temple this week. He is so great, and his testimony of the gospel is growing every single day. He might be moving soon, I suggested to Utah but he laughed, and is working his way to being the next bishop! He just doesn't know it yet.
Dan (recent convert), everything is going great with him. He is getting a TON of job offers and might be moving to Wisconsin! (I feel like him and Thomas would be great friends, they're so similar.) And he is continuing to work towards the Temple, stead fast in his testimony. He told me on Saturday that he knows that all of the hardships that have been in his life recently is because he knew that he needed to be humbled, so that he could accept the gospel. This is repeated so many times throughout the scriptures, and I know that hardships are meant to draw us closer to our Heavenly Father, I am a result of that!
Logan, SO GREAT! We taught him about the 5 main things in the Gospel of Jesus Christ (faith, repentance, baptism, receiving the gift of the Holy Ghost, and enduring to the end), and invited him to be baptized. He said yes and then went on to say that it is kind of upsetting that he doesn't have the gift of the holy ghost now, and that he can't wait to get it! But he said he definitely wants to learn more before he gets baptized. And so we're going to continue to prepare him towards his baptismal date!
Byron, our Spanish investigator. Holy cow I'm going to miss him next transfer! Sister Rodrigues is going to keep him until Sister Gudiel gets back, and I'm totally selfish for wanting to keep him. But I know he's in good hands. He is continuing to pray about a date to get baptized, and we're hoping for March 1st! The local missionaries are being a bit... interesting. They have only seen him at church.. and he wants to be baptized. So we're trying to overcome this little speed bump.
Luiz/Fernanda/Aline/Ana Luisa/Luiz Fernando. A family from Brazil that is so prepared. Luiz is planning to get baptized this Saturday, and baptize his family the following on the 1st! They only get taught by us because the closet church is over an hour away, and the missionaries are unable to visit them. They are possibly going to get disowned by their extended family for joining the church, but they know that this is the right thing to do. Their parents belong to a (crazy) church that they started. They believe that you don't need to read the Bible to gain insights, but literally ponder over it (like meditate) to gain insights. There are many strange things about this religion, but Luiz and Fernanda have always known that there was something missing, and we were so luck to be the ones to introduce them to the Gospel. I love this little family!
Juanita is also doing great! She has been having some major health problems lately, but she is not letting that stop her from getting baptized. Her and her husband should be getting baptized this Saturday! That's the plan.
This week we have been focusing a lot on having member presents, that is something we have been struggling with lately. But we put an extra effort in for them this week! Sister Rodrigues has quite a few recent RM friends that she served with in Portugal, and so they were excited and willing to get right back into the work and be our member presents in our lessons. I don't know if I've explained this before, but obviously we teach over the phone, so we make 3 way phone calls for our member presents. And boy did these RM's pull through. We taught many of our Portuguese, Spanish and English investigators with them this week! They even came to the square on Saturday, so we were able to see them (and meet them on my part) that day. They were able to teach Byron. Luiz, Fernanda, Margaret, Juanita, and Logan with us this week! Member presents are the best.
So for the big news this week... it is transfer week! And boy do I have some exciting/scary news for you. First off, Sister Rodrigues is the new Apartment Coordinator (which is a pretty hectic assignment), Portuguese coordinator, and a district leader! She has a new companion, Sister Talatoga from Fiji. She's a fireball of energy, so she's going to have a great time next transfer. She's also moving to the one of the little houses we call GP. Sister Gee is going outbound to, drum roll please.... LAS VEGAS! She leaves tomorrow and is going for 2 transfers. I am so excited for her! Sister Tiritilli, my other twin, is training this transfer! Sister Gudiel is still outbound, but will be returning (if she doesn't ask to extend) in just 6 weeks! :) My old Zone leader, Sister Rosema, is the new AP! And this leads me to my big announcement...
Well let me start with I am in zone South 1. I will be moving back to DA, which I'm a little upset about, I'm going to miss West Temple. But I have awesome roommates, Sister Richardson and Sister Davis from my class! My P-day is on Friday, which means I get 2 P-days this week. My companion is the adorable Sister Yeung (pronounced Yern) from Hong Kong! So I'll get to teach in Mandarin this transfer :) I'm junior companion and my assignment is Office Assistant (OA)! This means that we are the assistants to the assistants (APs). So as you can imagine, I'm scared out of my mind. I am so young to be having this assignment! We also are the ones who process, organize and analyze the mission's numbers, so that we can discuss with President Poulsen what the trainings for the mission need to be on. We are in the office a lot of the time, so if you come to the square looking for me... good luck! We have our own office downstairs, complete with desks, computers, refrigerator, and a big old white board! Excited for that part. We also have our own car, because we run a lot of errands for the mission. And since my companion is from Hong Kong, I will get to drive :) Thankfully we're the only ones who don't drive a mini van. Phew! But I am feeling very unqualified for this assignment, any words of encouragement would be greatly appreciated! Yesterday I was able to take a few hours and analyze the numbers with the OA's. And I definitely have a lot to learn, there is so much more to this assignment than I realized. To be completely honest, I thought I would stay Sport Coordinator, and train one of the new sisters. But the Lord has other things planned for me! And I will put my trust and faith in Him. Tomorrow morning I start bright and early! I get to wake up at 4am and prepare everything for the new sisters. Then greet them and get them set up for their eventful day. Tomorrow is going to be crazy. So I'll give you the update on Friday.
Today my district is spending our last time together before Sister Gee leaves to LV. We are hiking up to Ensign peak and will hopefully go to Cafe Rio after, if I can convince them... hehe. Then it will be back to the room and packing up to move tonight.
Well I love you all, and will talk to you on Friday!! Wish me luck tomorrow.
-Sister Brock
p.s. Sister Torino's line of the week: Me, "Sister Torino, are you excited to meet Sister Cummings?" Torino, "Yes I'm going to eat her!".... what?!
p.s.s. One of my FAVORITE people in the mission is coming back from outbound tomorrow!!!!! YEEE! Sister Takahashi, from Canada!

Transfer 4 week 1

It was definitely inspired that we were to have a Friday P-day because I am dead tired right now. These past few days have been absolutely crazy! But I loved absolutely every minute of it. Tuesday was great, after emailing my district went on a 'hike' to Ensign Peak. It was so fun though, even though my white shoes got destroyed. They'll live! We took lots of pictures so I'll send some home.

Wednesday started off bright and early. We greeted the new sisters and helped them get all their stuff off the bus. Then took them to theater 1 and prepared them for their interviews with president. We helped them do all their paperwork and then just answered all their questions until President and the AP's assigned companionship's.  They got announced one by one and then we put on the training lunch (which we got to eat too which was nice) and helped clean up. The next 8 hours we spent in our office/running around the offices updating all the lists and getting everything organized so that we don't have to spend so much time in the office this upcoming week. We literally came to the downstairs in the SVC at 7am and didn't go upstairs until we went home at 9pm. That was a long and stressful day, especially not knowing anything really about my assignment. But I feel like now I understand what I'm doing. We am helping the mission run smoothly. We comb through the mission's numbers and pick out specific things the mission needs to improve on, and we present it at the staff meeting every Sunday.
Thursday was a lot smoother, but we were still in the office for a lot of the day. We got to go outside three times! Once to drop something off at the church office building, to go to the NVC for TC, and once to go to costco. We have been updating President Poulsen's transfer and had to go print off a bunch of pictures. (P.s. I REALLY like having our own car, it's nice not having a time limit also on P-day to use the car, and not having to drive a mini van.) We got some times yesterday to call our investigators, which I was very excited about because I had SO much time last transfer in Beehive to call people, but barely any time at all these next few transfers. 

But boy have we been so blessed by such effective TC time. In the short time we'd had, we have been able to teach 8 other lessons, and about 10 recent converts. The last OA was talking to me on Monday after transfer conference and she said that this is one assignment that will make you grow the most; as a person, and mostly as a missionary. That seeing the numbers will definitely change how you teach people. And I have seen a huge change already! Something that I was stuck on was not inviting people to be baptized sooner. In Preach my Gospel it says that we should invite them on the 1st or 2nd lesson, and that's pretty scary at times! Because you have just started teaching them about the Gospel, and it's usually a pretty foreign concept for them. But I know that there are SO many people out there prepared and ready for the Gospel. And that as we invite people to be baptized, we are finding those who are prepared. Elder Clark of the 70 came to the Square once and told me that "Those who are prepared to hear the Gospel will recognize you as a representative of Jesus Christ." And I know that this is so true. If they are prepared, they can feel the spirit, and the spirit will testify to them of the truthfulness of this message. There is nothing holding me back anymore from inviting everyone to be baptized.
Today has been a much more relaxing day, just a return outbound lunch we prepared, more scheduling on the computers, weekly planning and more office work. P-days sometimes get cut short when you're in the office, because we always have so much we need to do, but I wouldn't have it any other way! I absolutely LOVE this assignment. I can already tell how much I have changed as a missionary. I feel so much more love for the other sisters, I know who is struggling and I have the opportunity to serve them. When we get lunch/dinner, Sister Yeung and I made a goal to reach out to the other Sisters. Those who are maybe having a bit of a hard time, either with teaching or companions. And we want to be someone for them to turn to, someone that they can open up to! I feel so young still in the mission, but I hope to be someone that they know they can always come to.
Let me tell you about my new companion! First of all, for the past 3 weeks I have been praying for my next companion to be Asian. I have literally NEVER met a sweeter group of people in my life. They are so tender hearted and so genuine. And that's exactly what my companion is! She told me as well that she was praying for a companion just like me. We get along pretty well :) Not only is she the sweetest, but she is an amazing missionary. SO obedient and she knows her purpose. She knows how to get things done! We work so effectively and efficiently together. We are the perfect match! She's from Hong Kong, but studied at BYU-H for awhile before her mission. She is 21 and is in her 6th transfer. She speaks Mandarin, Cantonese, English, German and some Spanish. So she's pretty smart... She keeps saying "Sister Brock, you're so tall, skinny, white, blonde and light eyed. Beautiful!" What did I tell you? Asians love me.  

This morning I was richly blessed. I was looking through my luggage and stumbled across a piece of paper. This paper is a record of my setting apart as a missionary, with the blessings I was promised. Thank you Marge Cook for writing this down! Looking back at the words that were said, it just brought me to tears. This paper went almost hand in hand with my patriarchal blessing, almost word for word. And it is much more of a reassurance for me to know that these blessings truly are for me! That they aren't just fluffy words to motivate me to be a better missionary, but that God truly does have a purpose and a plan for me. That as I fulfill my purpose in my mission, that these blessings will come to pass. And I truly intend to do everything I can to fulfill my purpose and my calling. One specific blessing in it says that as I call upon my Heavenly Father for the strength I lack, that he will lift me and direct me to be a very successful missionary. I know how important it is to trust in our Heavenly Father in all that we do, there is no way we can do this work without him. I love being a missionary. I love the trials and challenges I have had through my mission, because I know that God knows my potential far better than I do. I have a very strong testimony about God's will for each of us, and am thankful for the opportunity I have to share that with others.
Thank you for all of your love and prayers. It is greatly appreciated! 
I love you all so much.
Sister Brock
p.s. Tomorrow we are going to a funeral of one of Sister Yeung's recent convert's (Mandarin) brother. Recent convert's name is Scott, he's 14 and was adopted from China. His family is LDS and there are 18 kids. Gideon was the young boy who passed away from a heart condition, he was only 2 years old. But Scott doesn't speak or understand English too well, so we're going to help comfort him and be his support.
My new companion, Sister Yeung, and I in our office!

Friday, February 14, 2014

Transfer 3, week 3 - oops a little out of order, sorry!

Well this week has been interesting. Starting on Thursday night I started getting really sick, I have been getting horrible migraines, hot flashes and nausea. Well I'm not going to waste any time I have on my mission, so I was still out on the Square and in TC/Beehive. But I would just be going back and forth to the bathroom literally every 20 minutes throwing up. But the problem is... I haven't really eaten anything since Thursday night. I went 2 days without eating a single thing! I'm just not hungry. I have been extremely thirsty though! I drink like 8 of my 24oz water bottles a day. Monday morning I woke up and it was my worst day, I just felt like death. I was getting my shoes on and my DL came in to go on exchanges that day and she looks at me and says half laughing "You look absolutely miserable, put your pajamas back on." So I had to stay in bed all day yesterday, and as a missionary, that is one of the hardest things. I just kept thinking about all the things I should be doing, I should be doing missionary work, not laying in a bed all day sleeping. But it is what it is. Sister Poulsen, Mission president's wife, came by to see me and she brought me some food and sprite. The sandwich didn't last too long in my stomach but the sprite worked miracles! I haven't had soda in over a year, so that was strange, but I was finally able to keep some food down after that. This morning I even ate a small apple :) I went to the doctors this morning, and he gave me some medication. He doesn't know what is wrong with me, but he thinks these drugs will help. The problem is, when I take this medicine, he said I will be out in 5 minutes... how does this help when I'm a missionary? I need to be awake! Well, we'll see if I end up taking the medicine.
Enough about that! This past Sunday we were able to go speak in a ward near Draper. Which I was hoping I'd see Ethan, but obviously Utah has a fair amount of wards. It was Sister Barrett, Sister Ficquet, Sister Rodrigues and I that spoke. The morning of our talks, Sister Rodrigues and I decided to switch topics, so I didn't prepare a single thing. A big tender mercy of the Lord: I was last on the program! Sister Rodrigues talks a lot, so I got about 4 minutes to talk when it was supposed to be 8. I spoke on the submitting to the will of God, which I have had a bit of experience with in my life. So it all went well, grateful for that opportunity. I loved being back in a family ward! I love my all missionary ward, but it is definitely way different than a family ward. We also had a musical number, which I had a solo in, and that was scary. It was good! But I was also grateful that the ward was small.
I guess I'm not being very chronological, but on Saturday Amir came to the Square and was interviewed by President Poulsen! It was strange because we had gotten an email from him that morning saying that he had to cancel, and so we just went to lunch instead. We were home and I was sleeping during lunch, and Sister Rodrigues comes in and basically screams "Amir is waiting for 'Sister Gretchen' in the North Visitors center!" So I jump up, trying not to pass out from moving too quickly, and we scurry our way over to Amir. He apparently had been waiting over an hour! Whoops. Well he met with President and everything is figured out. We all think it's best if we wait until his wife comes here to get baptized, because of the risk it puts her in. Amir said that they should get the final word on February 25th about her visa (my moms birthday!). We pray that she is able to come.
On Wednesday, we were working on our song for Sacrament meeting and we got a call from none other than Kennedy! He's one of our investigators that we found within my first few days in the mission. Well he wasn't progressing so we had to drop him. But he was on the Square and wanted to meet up! Funny story with that, that will unfortunately have to wait until after the mission. But he is back on track and wants to keep commitments, he wants to learn more about the Book of Mormon and truly find out for himself if this is true.
This week has been tough for me, physically and mentally. I have been struggling a lot with my imperfections. There are so many things that I need to improve to even get to a starting point of where I want to be, but it has been so hard to gather my thoughts and know where to begin. I ended up making a chart in the front of my Preach my Gospel, where I'll always see it. It is a chart of my weaknesses. It kind of surprised me how easily I was able to come up with my weaknesses, and how much I am adding continually as I go throughout the day. I then got to thinking about my Savior, and how His weakness chart would be blank. He's perfect! He doesn't need to work on being patient, or being unselfish, or not judging people. Some of my biggest imperfections! He is already a master at these qualities. He set the example for these attributes! But I know, without a shadow of a doubt, that through Him I can slowly erase my weakness chart. That because of Him, because of my love for Him, and because of His love for me, I can become the person that I want to be. That these weaknesses of mine, can be made into strengths! I am so grateful for my Savior, Jesus Christ. I have felt the enabling power of the atonement in my life, I am a firsthand witness! I testify that we each can become clean, become better through our Savior, because He loves us, because He paid the price for us. Thank you Heavenly Father, for loving me enough to provide me with a Savior, so that I can be better.
I'm sorry this letter is so jumbled, my head isn't on quite straight this week. We'll see what this medicine does. I love you all!
-Sister Brock

Transfer 3 week 4

Well to start off, I was feeling SO much better this week. I rested all last P-day and woke up the next day feeling great. I am still getting some head aches, but nothing that medicine can't solve. So I woke up Wednesday ready to take on the world!! That's what it feels like here sometimes, with investigators ALL over the world! It's hard to plan times to call them, because we only have so much time available on the phones, and we have investigators in Australia, Portugal, England, Brasil, all over the states, etc. So with all the different times zones, it's hard sometimes. But we are master planners.
So about the pie pictures... one of the senior elders brought the sisters in the Beehive house pie last night! We ate that thing like no one has ever seen before. He brought it at like 8:15 and we head home at 8:45, so then we went home and planned, feeling great! And Sister Rodrigues and I have been on a health kick, and so we've been doing a military ab workout, but were unable to do it yesterday morning because we had some assignments. So we decided to do it after planning! Not a good idea... About 5 minutes after Sister Rodrigues and I were not feeling too great. VERY nauseous. I headed to the bathroom first and met that pie again... Sister Rodrigues followed shortly after. All night we just kept smelling the puke, it was pretty gross. So we didn't get much sleep last night, thankfully we have AMAZING roommates who take care of us! They warmed up my rice pack tiger stuffed animal, got me water, chocolate (Sister Ficquet's comfort food, not complaining), and anything we could imagine. Cool story though: We also went to tacotime yesterday with our Zone leaders, and I haven't had soda since 2012... but I felt impressed to get sprite that day! So I did! And it was great. I refilled it before I left and put it in our fridge when we got home. For those of you smart mommies out there, you know that Sprite is GREAT on an upset stomach. And so after the pie incident last night, I was able to drink the sprite and feel so much better. Tender mercy of the Lord: prompting me to get soda for the first time in a long time, because he knows I'm imperfect and will do something completely stupid like do a tough ab workout after eating pie. I repent. 

Something cool about being right in Salt Lake is we have the opportunity to see many of the Apostles all the time. Like Elder Oaks, Elder Anderson, Elder Cook, etc. But the rule is, we can't approach them, even if we see them at the grocery store or City creek. We can only talk to them if they come to us first. Well I was stationed at a desk and none other than Elder Anderson walks by! You can always tell when they're here because the security load triples. Well he came up to Sister Rodrigues and I and talked to us for a little bit. He is a lot shorter in person, but you can truly feel his power and authority through his handshake. I feel so blessed to be in such a special and holy place.
President and Sister Poulsen have been interviewing all the Sisters to get to know them more, and this last week I had the privilege of having my interview! I have already spoken to them so much these past couple weeks regarding investigators, but it was nice to just sit down and talk with them. They asked me a lot of questions about me, my family, my goals for my mission, plans for after my mission, etc. And then they asked me about my conversion story, when did I know that the Gospel was true. Well I shared about Frida, and when I bore my testimony to her when she was in the coma, and that's when I knew without a doubt that this was true. Well President, Sister Poulsen and I all started crying. When we walked out everyone was asking "what happened in there?!" But President and Sister Poulsen are so great, they true love us each so much! I am so blessed to have them as my mission presidents. I KNOW that I was called here so that they could be my mission presidents.
I went on a lot of exchanges this week with Sisters who were 1st or 2nd transfers, so I had to kinda take the reins on contacting in the square. A lot of the sisters here are really shy because for a lot of them, English is their 2nd or 3rd language! But in one of the contacts this week, we found a young couple of probably 21 years of age. The guy had just returned from his mission, and we found them around the Temple model. And this is one of my favorite things to talk about! I LOVE the Temple, especially since I got to serve as a ordinance worker before my mission. So we get to talking to them about the Temple, and show them the rooms inside and explain the the girl kinda what happens. I love asking members who have experienced things that others haven't, such as the temple, to bear their testimony about their experiences. Because you can see the excitement and joy that it has brought them. That's why member present lessons are so important! It is another witness of the reality of this Gospel, it shows that we aren't all missionary robots as people often think we are. Member presents are the key to softening hearts, and opening the doorway to understanding.
Today Sister Rodrigues and I were on the square, and we got a text for a tour. We jumped at it! It was 2 men in their early 50's, here for skiing. One of them had come to the Square before and wanted to bring his friend here because he had such a great experience last time! We started at the Temple model and they absolutely loved it! They were so interested in baptisms and eternal families. They had the golden questions that every missionary dreams of!!! Like "Where are we going after this life?" And "What happened to God's authority after the Apostles got killed?" Well, we can answer that my friend! We took them to the SVC and went to Scriptures and Revelation, where it has exhibits on the Old testament, New Testament, and the Book of Mormon. So PRIME place to teach the restoration, and so we taught them about the restoration and come to find out, one of them has read the entire Book of Mormon! Well without us even asking, he started bearing his testimony of it straight to his friend, saying things like "Well you see Jerry, the Book of Mormon is another testament of Jesus Christ, and if you read it, you can know for yourself too! It all makes sense as you read it." It was so awesome! We ended at the Christus and ended up giving them both Book of Mormons and they both referred. So I'll keep you updated on our two new friends, David and Jerry!
This past week I had some GREAT personal studies. I was reading Matthew 26, which is about some of the last few moments of Christs life. And something that really stuck out to me was in verse 21 when Christ told his Apostles that one of them will betray him, and in verse 22 each one of the Apostles asked if it would be him to betray Christ. These are Christ's apostles asking this... they are unsure if it is them who will betray Him. Not one of them came forth and said that he would not be the one to betray their Savior! And then I got to thinking, what would I do? Would I have the faith enough to step forward and state with full confidence that I wouldn't betray Him? This is something that is going to be a lifelong goal and process, to continually build my faith and testimony of the Gospel, so that no matter what whirlwind's or storms come, I will be ready and prepared to stand firm in my testimony. We are never done with our testimony, it is either progressing or digressing, and it is your choice.
I am obsessed with missionary work, and I truly believe that every worthy and able member should serve, no matter the gender or circumstance. I was reading in D&C19 and in verse 31-32 and I love when it says "for this shall suffice for thy daily walk." If we look just before that it says that we should spend our days declaring repentance, faith on the Savior, baptism, and receiving the Holy Ghost. And that's exactly what we do as missionaries. And THIS is what will suffice our daily walk on the straight and narrow path. Being a missionary at ALL times will keep us on the path of Godliness. And then we turn to section 18 in D&C, which is one of my new all time favorites. It's talking about the apostles, but I would like to substitute disciples in (that's US!). How great will be our joy if we bring one soul unto Christ, and if our joy be great with one, what about many? We have been given SO much as members of Christ's church, we are rich with blessings! We have His gospel. And we're promised even more blessings and happiness as we share it? Woah. I have seen that as some of my great friends have entered into the waters of baptism: Rodrigo, Jordan, Thomas, Dan, Roger, Scott, Shawntay, Paul, Marcelo, Gabriella, etc! They are all so near and dear to me. And have brought SO much joy into my like as I have seen them partake of the goodness of the Gospel. I want to finish with testifying my witness of the reality of the scripture D&C 18:45, "Wherefore, the blessings which I hive unto you are above all things." I am so blessed to be a missionary. There is no greater happiness than sharing this gospel that I love so much, and I am excited to do it for the rest of my life. this I testify in the name of my Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ, amen. 
And Sister Torino and I

A chat Sister Torino and I took while on exchanges.... she obviously doesn't know what Bi-polar means........ HAHA 

It was a slow night in the Beehive so I jumped the fence and went upstairs... and while I was being rebellious I thought I'd kiss my old friend. George Washington.
Sister Rodrigues, Jesus and I. Our beautiful artwork in our apartment that isn't allowed to hang on the wall. But we LOVE this picture. 

Me every night after planning... writing away! I'm earning my steak Scott! 

Love you all and hope you have a great week!
-Sister Brock