Friday, January 9, 2015

Transfer 11 week 4

Another busy week, but thankfully we have been able to find a lot more time out on the square this week. We only have a few more nights left with the Christmas lights, and I want to take in all I can while we still have them and all the guests.

A good portion of this week was preparing for Christmas, between calling all of our investigators and preparing the Christmas devotional, we were able to work with the mission presidency in the elf workshop and prepare a nice surprise for all of the sisters. We are definitely spoiled in this mission! A lot of the sisters here have never truly experienced a Christmas, and so we do our best each year to help them have an uplifting experience and feel loved. This year we received HUGE stockings from a few local families. They were so generous, and made amazing stockings for all 200 sisters. It was such a sweet experience for Sister Taito and I to watch all the sisters open their stockings with surprise and awe. We also received a missionary CD by the BYU men's chorus, and an incredible blanket that was embroidered with the Salt Lake Temple and the words Temple Square Mission on it. It has been keeping us warm this week with all the snow! The first day of snow was on Christmas day, and hasn't quite stopped since. I am grateful for marshmallow coats this season.

This week was also interesting because my family came to Temple Square! Not just my family, but the whole crew. Rich, Patti, Garrett, Micah, Braxton, Alli, Chris, Megan O., Makenna, Marty, Megan G., Jordan, Nicole, and Hudson! It was really strange how normal it felt to have them there. Definitely a blessing! We also got to go out for lunch, and my favorite part being able to hold my nephew Braxton. I am so in love with him already!

This last Saturday I got to go to one of my outbound companion's sealing! Sister Simonsen got sealed this last Saturday to Mr.Larson Quick, and it was such a special experience. I served as an ordinance worker in the Temple before my mission, but have never witnessed a live sealing before and it is definitely something to look forward to. I am so happy for Sister Simonsen and this next phase of her life!

Today we started zone leader reports, where the zone leaders report to President and us on how their sisters in their zone are doing and what could be beneficial for them next transfer. So we begin transfer planning today and work on it throughout the next couple of weeks! This is one thing I was very excited for in this transfer. And so it begins!

This week we had a few minutes to spare between meetings and called one of our investigators in Africa. So as we were heating up some food in our office while we called Konah, one of our investigators in Liberia. She answers and is wailing in the phone, and we have the hardest time understanding what she is saying, until I finally realized and relayed it to my companion that "Daniel is dead." Her husband had passed away that afternoon and she is alone with her 7 children. Our hearts completely broken; we sat and comforted her on the phone while I called the branch President and ushered him over to her home. We talked with her about how important it is for her now to grasp on even more to the Gospel because this is what is going to bring her peace, and to do everything she can to prepare for the Temple so that she can be with her family forever. She is determined, and she is so strong! I'll keep y'all updated on how she's doing. Through these experiences this week with Konah, seeing my family and attending Sister Simonsen's sealing, my testimony of and desire for an eternal family increased ten fold. Truly it is the love of our family that is the closest to the love our Heavenly Father has for us; and that is manifest through everything he has created or organized. I feel of His love every single day of my life, and I will do anything to have that love within my family and spread it to families throughout the world. Konah and her family will be together again, and that knowledge will help them prevail through this and every other hard trial that they go through. This is the message of the restored Gospel of Jesus Christ. I don't know where I would be without the knowledge of eternal families; it shapes every decision I make, and makes me who I am today and who I will be tomorrow.  

That's about it for me this week; I haven't heard much from family&friends back home and I'd love to hear how y'all are doing! I hope you had a wonderful spirit-filled Christmas and will have a joyous new year. 

Sister Brock

Another blurb to add:
I also had my departing talk yesterday in sacrament meeting (is it really time for that already?). There are 37 people going home in my class so we needed to start early, and since I am at the beginning of the alphabet, I got to go first. I had gotten my topic a few weeks back and had been really struggling to come up with something to say; everyone always says that "President Harman is so inspired, this is exactly what I feel like I have learned the most in my mission!" But I feel like my topic is something that I am struggling with and haven't quite obtained on my mission yet. The topic I was given was on loving others regardless of how they treat you. And if you know me, you know that I sometimes have a really hard time letting people in. But on my mission, I have been able to learn to love people regardless of how they use their agency, especially with my investigators. But I haven't gotten to the level of love that I would like to be at in this point in my life, and that is why I had a very difficult time preparing a talk. So do you know what I did? I talked on what I wanted to talk on. I pulled an Avery Grasse and said to myself "Well I'm leaving in 2 months anyway, what could they do?" So instead I talked about the atonement, something I truly have strengthened my understanding of and qualified myself even more for on my mission. And I bridged it to loving others, saying that the greatest love we could show anyone is helping them learn of and qualify for the atonement, and that is is by the way we serve our missions. The way we serve is in direct relation to our love for our brothers and sisters, and especially our love for our Heavenly Father and His son Jesus Christ. I was able to realize that I have a lot more love than I realized, although I may not be the most patient with people's mistakes, I am beginning to understand that we are also sons and daughters of Adam and Eve; we are a fallen children and will make fallen mistakes. I hope to continue to learn to love more people regardless of the choices they make, and become more patient and encouraging.

Okay, this really is now for me this week. Have a wonderful week!

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