Thursday, July 25, 2013

Mahal kita!

My beautiful and sweet companion and I at the parade-Sister Reniva from the Philippines.
We are already having so much fun together and really working hard

Well, I was about to say another week has passed by, but it's just been a few days since I was able to write! Transfers have been absolutely INSANE. Usually it all happens on one big day during the week, Wednesday, but this week we have been sending out and receiving sisters the past week.  

Not only did we get new sisters from the MTC (yayy!) but we also got Sister returning from their outbound assignments, and now.....this is the first time they have ever done this....we received Sisters from the MEXICO MTC!!! They got in this morning at about 1, so when Sister Reniva and I woke up, we were speaking some Espanol! Of course, I loved that, because if you know me at all...I love to pretend I speak Spanish :)  All in all, but the end of next week we will have over 200 Sisters serving here at Temple Square.  
This is the busiest summer we have ever had, the work is really going forward!

 I cooked on P-day so I could feed my companion! Thank you Dad for teaching me! 
Grilled asparagus, potatoes, and grilled pork with a raspberry balsamic sauce and apples. 
It was delicious. 

So quick update: My last companion, Sister Lin from Taiwan, left Tuesday night for her new mission assignment in Spokane, Washington.  I am truly grateful for her and her example of hard work and diligence.  It was such a blessing for me to have her as my companion and to be able to teach 100's of people every day from China about the restored gospel of Jesus Christ. 

Sister Lin and I with T.C. Christensen, holding up the flier for
"Ephraim's Rescue," another movie he worked on. 
The famous quote, "I am ready now."

Before she left, we had a special surprise for Transfer Conference from our mission presidency.  It was one of the best nights I have ever had.  We are so lucky in this mission to hear from the people we do!  

T.C. Christensen, the director of 17 Miracles and many many other films, came and spoke with us.  It was an amazing night that really got us ready to celebrate Pioneer Day yesterday.  He talked all about his experiences learning more about the history of the church, and the faith of these early pioneers.  He said to us, "Great things will happen when preparation meets opportunity.  This mission is preparing you for the rest of your life."  That has really stuck with me.  

The Christus statue at Temple Square at night after our Transfer Conference meeting.

My mission is already something that I hold very sacred and very dear to my heart.  I have seen that when I do as much as I can, as small as it may be, that my Heavenly Father really makes up the difference- actually, He IS the difference.  I couldn't do any of this without Him.  I know that He can make more of us because He sees us for who we will become.  His view of us isn't hindered by our daily shortcomings, WE are the only ones the can hinder our view, hinder our opportunities.  That's what I have really learned about this gospel, that it truly doesn't just say it wants to make us happy, and successful, but it really gives us every step to get there.  Already on my mission I have felt myself change in ways I never expected, and I know that is because I have truly asked Heavenly Father what plans He has for me, what potential He sees for me.  Heavenly Father loves me enough to not leave me the way that I am.  He wants to refine me and make me a woman who will be a better daughter, a better friend, a better wife, mother and neighbor.  I am forever grateful that His vision is longer and better than mine. :)

Sister Siegle and I making our planners for our 2nd transfer.

I have a new companion! Transfer day was overwhelming but I am SO excited about my new companion.  Her name is Sister Reniva and she is from Cebu in the Philippines! Already, she is teaching me so much and she does it in such an uplifting and loving way.  Speaking of love, "I love you" in Tagalog is "mahal kita," which is why it is the title of my blog.  LOVE is everything as a missionary, as anyone.  When we truly love someone, it makes all the difference.  

Meet Sister Bowden from Oxford, England. 
It was such a blessing to be here during her last transfer here at Temple Square. 
She truly reached out to me and really took me under her wing while she was here. 
I am forever grateful for her and already miss her so much. 
I am terrible at good-byes and definitely had a hard time saying goodbye to her. 
Oxford is lucky to have her back.

Our assignment here on Temple Square is to hold the Youth Conferences! Woo! I am so excited to be involved with this part of the work here at Temple Square.  Sister Reniva says, "When you save a youth, you save a generation," and that really is so true.  When we put forth the time to help people find their own testimonies of the gospel and Jesus Christ at a young age, it is something that can help them through everything in life.  Why procrastinate a testimony of this gospel when it can do nothing but bless us in EVERY aspect of our life?

President Uchtdorf waving to the Sister Missionaries.

Happy Pioneer Day Everyone! We started off the day at the Pioneer day parade in downtown Salt was SO much fun! I even saw President Uchtdorf and he yelled, "Ah! The Sister missionaries!"  It was fun too to see the BYU float going by and to see some of my friends from school walking in the parade.  It makes me happy to see the people I love so happy.  I saw my Uncle Butch too! Uncle Butch is a member from my homeward who has blessed my life in tremendous ways.  Butch and his family are like family to me, really, my whole ward is.  They have shaped me in so many ways and prepared me for this mission in ways they may not even realize.  

Sister Sharatt and I with KAYLA and KEVIN'S wedding announcement!
I opened it up and everyone thinks you are just a stunning couple...congratulations you two!!!

I ran into Uncle Butch on the Square after I kept hearing Sisters say, "There's a 40-somethin year old guy looking around for you..."  Yes, I was a bit concerned :) haha luckily it was Uncle Butch.  Hello to him, his family and to the whole Cascade Crest Ward! Seeing him absolutely made my day, it was a wonderful way to celebrate Pioneer Day!

Sister Siegle, Sister Lucas and I watching the parade- all sisters from my same transfer!

Waving to Taylor Veater Winters on the BYU float, so fun to see familiar faces!

The pioneers, the early members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, first arrived in the Salt Lake Valley on July 24, 1847.  These individuals, these families gave up everything for this gospel, for the building of the temple.  I thought so much yesterday about how they could've just stopped where they were, they could've turned around, but they did not.  They pushed onward through hunger, frost bite, long days, long nights and made famous the words, "All is well, all is well!"  I think of how they walked 1300 miles. 

Sister Humble and I became friends on Facebook before coming out to Temple Square
together, and now we're both in charge of Youth Conferences!
So much fun to see her every day!

Is there anything today that you would walk 1300 miles for?  To see your favorite basketball team play?  To eat at your favorite restaurant?  To see your loved ones?  Would you walk 1300 miles, pulling a handcart, knowing that the people you love might suffer and struggle along the way?  These people didn't do this for nothing, they had some idea of the trials that would await, and they pressed onward.  They put one step in front of the other because they knew, without any doubt, that they were children of God, that all their sacrifices would bring forth the blessings of heaven through the temple not just to them but to generations to come.  

Sister Reniva and I with Sister Lucas and Sister Parkinson. 
Sister Parkinson is a visa waiter and will soon be leaving us for Taiwan!
We love her and are so grateful for all she has brought to Temple Square
this summer...weird, that it's almost August.

And now today, all Heavenly Father asks is that we just put one foot in front of the other too, just in very different ways.  He asks that 1 day out of 7, we just think of Him and remember that His truly beloved son suffered for us.  He asks that we love our neighbor, He asks that we don't do things that will hurt us, He asks that we talk to Him so He can uplift us.  Sometimes here when we meet visitors, they will say, "Wow, 18 months, that's quite the sacrifice."  But I write now, even with tears in my eyes, "No, this is the smallest thing I can do and I am receiving more blessings than I even have room to receive."  I am so grateful for this time, and so grateful for the faith of the pioneers.  When we think of what God asks of us, in comparison to what he blesses us with, we really are not making sacrifices at all.  He is the most perfect, loving, enabling Father and my mission has taught me more and more about Him and His true character.
Sister Reniva and I making plans for Youth Conference as the member events coordinators!

Last night, I sat in our window seat, and our view overlooks the temple.  I just want to share with you all a little something that I wrote...

"Right now, I am sitting on the little couch that I got so used to seeing Sweet Sister Siegle (Sao Paulo Brazil) sit on each night as she wrote in her journal.  I know now why she liked sitting here so much- It's the perspective it gives.  Behind me are fireworks for Pioneer day, but directly in front of me, if I just glance my eyes up, is the Salt Lake temple.  This is the perfect perspective for my time as a missionary and for my whole life as a woman, a daughter, a mother, a wife, a neighbor, a daughter of God.  My focus is on the temple, my focus is on eternity.  The happiness that I have found by doing this is pure joy.  I can't even express or explain it."  

With Sister Reniva and her trainer, Sister Edmond...she left us today
to go back home to the Marshall Islands. 
We will miss her!

I truly love each of you that are reading this, I have found that Heavenly Father has blessed me to be a part of a family here that just loves, even adores people instantly, and I have felt that strengthened even more as a missionary as I feel not just of my own love for others, but of our Father in Heaven's love as well.  All I want is for the people I love to be happy, and this is making me so happy.  I hope you are all doing well and that you can feel of my love for you through my letters!  I truly promise each of you, that through prayer, you can come to know your full potential, you can come to feel of God's pure and deep and sincere love for you. 
I am so excited to write you all again oh so soon!

My MTC companion, Sister Marsh, and I are in the same zone this transfer. 
I am so excited to be with her again, I just love her.

Thank you for everything!

Mahal kita!
Sister Briggs :)

Shoutouts to:  UNCLE BUTCH (so good to see you!!!), Robert Donakey, Makelle Wood, Kayla & Kevin, Clarissa, Brig, Andrew, Dane, Grandma Jeanie, Joahnna, my Mom, Britt Lam and Aubrey Steenhoek (congrats on the wedding, and I saw your family!!!)

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