Wednesday, July 3, 2013

Happy Canada Day, Eh :)

Happy Canada Day to everyone!  

Almost all of the Sisters on the square are wearing red and white to celebrate Canada.  Our house has been very excited for today as we have two Canada sisters with us.  This morning we woke up just before 6 to run the canyon (about 3 miles) and when we came back, Sister Nelson from Canada and a wonderful breakfast waiting for us!  She had made cinnamon french toast with apples, Canadian bacon, hash browns, and had fresh strawberries too! Ohh it was simply delightful and such a wonderful way to begin the day! 

Happy Canada Day! Me and our resident Canadians, Sister Nelson and Sister Hittrich! Love them both so so much!

I'm excited for the fourth of July this week believe all of us sisters will have on some red, white and blue!  

Thank you for the package Mum! My locker looks like a little store now...and treats are quickly disappearing, Thank you!

With that said, Happy Anniversary Grandfather and Grandma Jeanie! I hope it's a wonderful day for you! I love you both! Thank you for your letters!

Oh goodness, where to start.  Every day was full of motor coach tours, groups from all around the world that all came to Temple Square.  That's something that is such a blessing about this mission- people come to us, and they come curious and usually with lots of questions :) I was very excited when we got to take around a group of people from England...yay! 

One of my other Zone Leaders, Sister Dominic and I somehow were matching! So that's always fun :) She's from India and this is her last transfer, I will miss her.

Saturday was a special day for me though (it's the day we get ready for Sunday...(ya know, like the song?) haha Saturday, Sister Lin and I took around an older couple from Florida named Coral and Stu.  Coral and Stu came out to visit their son who is really, really struggling right now.  We didn't pry into it but he is in some sort of youth detention center and they are hardly allowed any contact with them.  They figured while they were here they might as well stop by and visit historic Temple Square.  They were so full of love from the very beginning.  Right when we walked up to them I could just tell something hard was happening in their lives, I could see it and I could feel it.  Lets just start by saying I cried at every place we took them :)  We took them first to the Temple Model, then to the Christus, and finished with the God's Plan presentation.  There were two quotes that I used that they loved so much, they had me write them down on a piece of paper to send to their son.  That's the power of quotes from our historical pioneers and apostles of the Lord.  The quote from the pioneer was something like, "The price I paid to become acquainted with God was a privilege to pay." and the Elder Holland quote is, "This is a gospel of second chances and happy endings."

Stu and Coral really touched my heart.  I have never felt the spirit so strongly, and even just through our short tour, I could see their countenances change, I could feel hope coming into their hearts.  It was such a powerful experience.  Stu and Coral gave us their contact information so we will be able to teach them over the phone and help them with anything we can.  I feel so grateful to be a missionary, I truly feel even just the smallest bit of God's love for each of these people, and it has already changed my life.

Sister Walsh and I...we found out she's best friends with MaCall Ovard too! how cool!

Yesterday was Sunday and I love Sundays here! I was so excited because we had scheduled exchanges for me to be with one of our Zone leaders for three hours just so she could see how I was doing here at Temple Square.  I ended up being with Sister Fredrickson from Seattle, WA.  We have so many mutual friends from Enclave and very similar interests so we had a blast together...and we ended up being with each other for 5 hours instead of 3.  Yep, it was a crazy and overwhelming day. We took two families through God's Plan back to back.  I cried both times :)  Really...the message in God's Plan is so powerful.  If you haven't seen it, please come and watch it, it's just 15 minutes long! It talks about the power of family and that we're created in God's image.  Something I've really learned too is that not only are we created in God's image, but in His likeness as well.  We ALL have Christlike attributes, they just haven't all been fully developed yet, that's something that takes time and the Atonement.  How better to learn how to be like Jesus Christ than by turning to Jesus Christ himself?  Use the Atonement-it is not just to be cleansed of sins, it is also to enable us to do everything that we can that is good.  It is the merciful plan whereby we can become someone more than we are now.  I know we all have such grand potential.

Wonderful Canadian celebration breakfast with our Canadians in the kitchen! ooh I just love them!

Later on we even got to take a Spanish-speaking family from Columbia through God's Plan, and the spirit was so strong.  The grandparents were members, but their children and grandchildren are not, and he just had the strongest desire to realize that this gospel isn't just something that makes us feel good, but that it is a reality, that everything we believe really is true.  We bore such a strong testimony at the end of the film, and although I couldn't understand what was being said, I could feel it.  Sister Fredrickson and I just cried.  I'm happy we were the ones in God's Plan with them, and actually that there weren't Spanish-speaking Sisters in there.  I think what the Grandpa said to his family was way more powerful than anything we could have said.  All you members out have more power than you think.  This gospel changes lives and can bless everyone, no matter what it is they are going through.

Afterward, we got to take 25 people from HOLLAND around on a tour! Ah! So cool! Sister Fredrickson and I were just all over the place and I loved it! They were the kindest and sweetest people I have ever met.  They all spoke pretty good English, we just made sure to speak slowly and to check for understanding whenever we could.  We will be sending some Books of Mormon to them in Holland soon :)  Ohhh how I love this mission.

Wonderful Canadian celebration breakfast with our Canadians in the kitchen! ooh I just love them!

Okay, well, Temple Square is unique for many reasons.  And one of them is the amount of antis that study up and prepare oftentimes for a very long time to come to Temple Square...where some of the very early beginnings of the church took place. Yesterday Sister Fredrickson and I were approached and asked for a tour.  It was a group of 10 people about my age and we were so excited.  They said they were a group just traveling the world, doing service and learning more about their relationship to Jesus Christ.  We were excited to take them around and get to know them, to hear about their adventures. 

We took them to the Tabernacle and we were there for soooo long.  I couldn't feel the spirit except for when Sister Fredrickson and I spoke, as soon as they would speak, the spirit was just gone.  I thought it was something wrong with me, and it just broke my heart.  I really opened up to them.  I shared with them my strong answer to serve a mission, I talked to them later at the Handcart Monument about my Mom's cancer and how her trial brought me closer to God...I really told them everything.  And throughout it they would just kind of nod their heads and then snicker to each other.  

Later on at the Christus statue, we played the recording for them of words from the Bible and Book of Mormon, and Sister Fredrickson told me they were a group of antis and we needed to leave.  It all started making sense...why I felt the uncomfortableness that I felt, even when they were all kind of nice for the most part.  We bore a simple testimony of Jesus Christ and then invited them to go about uplifting others and excused ourselves.  They kept trying to ask questions and we said we had an appointment to go to.  

I just cried when we truly broke my heart.  It fulfills prophecy that people will rise up against the true church of God, but I just thought of how Heavenly Father must feel- these are His children, they knew Him once before and they believe to know Him now.  It just saddens me that they believe in Jesus Christ and yet they go around trying to destroy those who have established their church in the very same way Jesus Christ did when he was on the earth, everything we do in this gospel is through Jesus Christ.  Ooh it just made me so sad.  I just pray for them that they can find happiness in their life.

I know that this is the true, restored gospel of Jesus Christ on the earth today.  I know that he is at the head of this church, and that him and our Heavenly Father speak to us today through prayer and through a living prophet.  The thing is, the more I learn about the basics and even deeper doctrines of this gospel, the more it just makes sense.  Not only do I feel it in my heart, but when I teach it to people, it's logical.  Heavenly Father waited until the right time for his gospel to be restored to the earth, when there were people who could carry it on.  I am so grateful for the sacrifices made to bring this great work about.  I know that it is not a gospel of men, rather it is the gospel of Jesus Christ, for all mankind.

Shoutouts to Sister Genster's sister, Sister Walsh's Father, MaCall Ovard (your old roommate is my roommate now, Sister Walsh!), my whole familia, Robert and the whole Donakey family, Stu Gadd, Grandma Jeanie, My Mom for an awesome package that is feeding the whole mission, Caroline Slater, Sister Lelle, Jason Mosely and Aubrey and Jordan for their wedding announcement!
I love you all and am so so grateful for you.  Please know you are always in my prayers and I can certainly feel yours. 

Love always,

Sister Briggs :) 

1 comment:

  1. I had to laugh a little. The week after we get a letter from Eric (in Guatemala) describing his "delicacy meal" of shark meat soaked in shark urine, I read that Kelsey's eating "...cinnamon french toast with apples, Canadian bacon, hash browns, and fresh strawberries".

    I'm thinking I'm liking Kelsey's meals a bit more than Eric's.