Wednesday, August 21, 2013

You Are God's Investigator

My heart is extremely full right now and I am not really sure where to begin.  In almost my three months as a missionary I have experienced heartaches, trials, joys, excitement, miracles, discouragement and all have been the best three months of my life.  Through all of this I have felt this underlying peace that I don't really know how to describe, and now I know why.

Thank you for the package Robert :)

Last P-day we had a picnic with Sister Alvine (France) and Sister Roman (Mexico) and it was so fun!
I love serving with Sisters from all around the world.  I am learning so much from all of them.

Sister Reniva and I got to speak in a home ward last Sunday and it was awesome!
I loved being in a family ward again :)

Many times at Temple Square we are asked what is so different about our church from the other churches in the world today.  I am here to testify and tell you with everything that I have, everything that I am, that this is the very same church which was once established by Jesus Christ himself when he came to this earth to atone for the sins of all mankind.  This church is not a reformation, but a restoration of those very same precious and eternal truths that were brought here by Jesus Christ himself under the direction of his father.  Still today, we have a prophet, Thomas S. Monson, and 12 apostles who lead and guide this church.  I am overflowed with the spirit as I tell you that this morning we had a special guest, Jeffery R. Holland, one of the 12 apostles on the earth today, came and spoke to our mission.  He told us that he wouldn't be able to stay long as he had to get to a meeting with the Prophet and the quorum of the 12 Apostles, but what he said I will never forget.

Sister Humble and I studying for the day! 

Thanks for the headbands Mom! We were cooking up a storm!

After our day of amazing chat miracles in the Teaching Center!

He reminded us that the last thing he said, his fundamental message to his apostles was, "Go ye therefore and preach to all nations, baptizing..." There was so much more he could have said, He was leaving it up to these 12 men to go forward and establish the church from what he had taught them.  He could have taught them more about tithing, about temples, about prayer, but then Elder Holland said, "Nothing can happen on the road to salvation unless someone first gets on that road!"  He said it with such boldness, such power that I couldn't deny that he truly is an apostle of Jesus Christ, I could just feel it.  He told us that one of his favorite scriptures is in The Book of Mormon, in Mormon 8 where it talks about seeing our latter-day.  
He said and testified with so much power, 

"I believe all prophets kept going, those who knew they wouldn't succeed, those who knew apostasy would raise up and the Priesthood of God would be taken from the earth, kept going because they could see you, they could see today. NOW, TODAY is the time that kept their faith alive.  Ours is the dispensation that succeeds, never again will the Priesthood, the blessings of the temple, the true church of Jesus Christ be taken from the earth again."

I don't know what any of us did to be so blessed to be here at this time, but I am grateful for it and I know it to be true.  I have seen so many miracles these last few days, with my new companion Sister Humble, that I know without a shadow of a doubt that this is God's work.  I testify to you that this is the true church of Jesus Christ on the earth again today, I can feel myself being more fully converted with each passing day.  I promise you, wherever you are that if you truly want to know God better, if you want to see him as your Father, if you want to know how He sees you, put in the effort to find your answers and you will feel an outpouring of love and blessings from this.  It isn't always easy to put what we think is right behind us, to put our will in the past, to truly seek for something greater than ourselves, but oh my goodness, when we realize that we are part of such a greater picture, think about how much that influences our lives and for so much good too.  A quality life is one that is not confined to this life only, but one that is based on eternal potential.  See that in yourselves :)

Yes, I am a missionary, so I do back cars out of parking spots :)

As for miracles!  AH!  Sister Humble and I have been together since Thursday and already we have 5 amazing and wonderful investigators.  We met Everett, a 15 year old boy on our first tour together.  He is Chinese and is now living in LA with his parents.  He said, "something just feels different here, very powerful and I want to always feel this way."  We hear people say that a lot at temple square.  We know that this feeling is just emanating from the temple--the house of God here on earth today :)  On Sunday we then met our two new investigators on chats (yes, if you ever do that, those are real people responding!) Charlie- is about 17 years old and he is from ENGLAND.  His friend invited him to come to church this upcoming week and he wanted to know how we can best prepare.  He said that he already knows he wants to join and even wants to be a missionary like us someday.  We will be teaching him this upcoming Sunday after church!  He had questions about how members of the church believe they can become like God, and what that really means.  He was so overwhelmed to hear that we truly believe that God wants to give us all He has.  He is not a selfish Father, but an all loving, all encompassing Father who wants to give us everything He has and enjoys.  

The night I invited Meng to be baptized...this was her contact card
she filled out at Temple Square! :)

Okay, now I am so in love with this next family.  We met Richard on from NEW ZEALAND.  He said that his life long friend bore his testimony to him of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints and that both of them were both so filled with emotion--he said that he had never seen his friend like that, so happy, so overwhelmed that it really struck something in him.  He knows God is his Father and as a father himself he wants to do the very best by his 6 amazing and wonderful children.  We will be teaching him and then he said he would be teaching his children :)  I am so happy and so excited.  On we then received a referral to contact a woman named Adelle in the PHILIPPINES.  She has two children, one 3 year old girl and a 7 year old boy and she is so excited to learn more.  She works for a man who is a member of the church and said there was just something different about him :)  

Finally, our amazing miracle yesterday :) My new amazing and wonderful companion and I have been really praying in our planning at night, and Sunday night it took us a little over an hour to plan because we could feel there really was someone we would meet that needed us.  We both felt so prompted that we would meet someone who would need to hear about adversity and how the Atonement can lift our burdens.  The next day (Monday) we could feel it with us all day, that there was someone who met us. We even picked up a Book of Mormon and being completely spirit led, we began to write in the inside cover, not even really knowing what to say. We walked into the Christus and looking at each other we said--him, that's him.  We played the narration and then walked over to this man, only to see he had tears in his eyes and was praying that God was aware of him, that he could have help during this trial with his family.  We sat down and spoke with him and he said that missionaries had even come to his home earlier this week and that he was going to read The Book of Mormon that night when he went home.  In amazement he read what we wrote in the cover of The Book of Mormon and just wept. We promised him that God was aware of him, so much so that we knew we would meet him the night before.  We love this man.  His name is Juan and he truly desires to know for himself that what we are teaching is true.  He wants to have that restored light of Christ that he says he so often sees in the missionaries around him.  We will be calling him soon and I am so excited.

With Sister Ince (Canada) and Sister Ha (Korea) after speaking in the ward!

I promise you that miracles do happen.  Not only do they happen, but they are natural to happen when we truly have the will of God in our hearts.  Sister  Humble and I are so happy.  We truly have seen the hand of God in our lives these past few days.  We are so happy to have these new investigators who come eager with questions and desire to draw closer to their eternal potential.  Elder Holland this morning said, "You are God's investigators."  And so I say the same to you.  Often we look to the missionaries for all the answers, and yes we are here to answer, but we are guides to lead you to the ultimate source of truth, your Father in Heaven, God Himself.  Be HIS investigator and you will without a doubt know with a surety what He wants for you.  I invited my first investigator, Meng from Shanghai, now living in Indiana, to be baptized, and she said yes!  And this all came because of her powerful prayers--I could hear in her voice she KNEW without hesitation that she was God's daughter and that out of His love and care for her, she would be answered if this was right.  She says she feels a lightness about her, she feels God's love and she even wants to keep a journal of how she has seen God's hand in her life.  We are calling it the Meng journal! 

Change comes from first changing our view, turn around and turn towards your Father in Heaven and He will open up to you all the He has in store.  
I solemnly testify, humbly, in the name of Jesus Christ, Amen.


Sister Briggs

SHOUTOUTS: Kelsey Eakle, Christ Lyon, Alyssa Stromberg (I met your cousin!), Mom, Dad, Bryan, Casey, Robert Donakey, Brother and Sister Donakey, Amy Briggs, Elder Huntington, Sister Rushing, Sara Donakey, Mary Donakey, Becca Donakey, Rob Versaw, Grandma Jeanie, HAPPY BIRTHDAY GRANDFATHER--you're now 102 years old :), Grandmother, Kandy Lovato, Kaiti Purse, Heather Brown, Julie and Griffin McGinn, Steven Meyers, Steve wonderful to hear from you all and to even see many of you! You are amazing! :)

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