Friday, September 27, 2013

The Gospel Restored and People Restored.

Hi everyone! It's been yet another amazing week here at Temple Square.  Each week I realize more and more perfectly how well God knows each and everyone of us.  I feel blessed that this is where He assigned me to labor for 18 months His full-time servant.  It is a very exciting time to be at Temple Square.  We have a countdown to General Conference in our mission office and it gets me so excited every time! Only 11 more days!  This week we were so blessed.  We were able to hear from Sister Ruth Todd, the head of public affairs for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (which for me was a dream come true as I studied Public Relations at BYU before my mission), we got to see MUSE come and take a tour before their big concert, we met inspiring members, we made new friends with visitors from around the world and we were even able to volunteer to clean the inside of the temple and see the room where James E. Talmage wrote "Jesus the Christ."

 Our wonderful district this transfer with our amazing district
leader, Sister Moldogalii from Mongolia!

I just have to start off this letter by testifying to you all that I really know the temple is the house of God.  I felt so blessed yesterday to have the opportunity to mop, dust and vacuum in the Salt Lake City temple.  Even with the vacuums and the scrubbing, there still was a peace there. It says so much about God and who He is not just as the creator of the Universe, but also as my Creator, as our Father as well.  Think of how many times you've wanted peace in your life, comfort or solace.  Think of how many times you've wished you could have a quiet place to rest and to be away from the world where you can just be.  The temple truly is a place set apart from the outside world.  As I walked up and down the halls vacuuming I couldn't help but think, "I am so grateful that Heavenly Father has homes here on earth and that He invites to come inside.  Do I invite Him into my home?"  I know that God wants to be a part of our lives just as much as we want to be a part of His.  Let Him in, and I promise you will see miracles :)

I call her "Momma Olden."  She is from Australia and has completely looked out for me since day 1 :)

As I have let God become not just a part of my life, but everything in my life, I have seen so many miracles.  I have started to realize that I really am nothing, yet to Him I am everything.  I feel very blessed to be here at Temple Square to be a link between these visitors from around the world and their Heavenly Father.  Every day this week I saw God turn my footsteps another direction, fill my mouth with different words, or talk to people I hadn't even seen there at first--He is trying to come to each and every one of you, let Him in :)

Thank you for the package Mom, you're the best!

Friday especially was a miracle day.  Sister Siegle and I were walking out of the mission office, past the Assembly Hall when a man stopped us to ask a few questions about the building.  I told my joke that I made up a few weeks ago...have I told you all my joke?  Okay, well here is a quick version of it without my silly Sister Briggs faces and hand motions :)  "The temple was built using granite rock.  These early members of the churches carved these granite rocks by hand and they gathered all the chippings together into a pile.  The pioneers were very resourceful and then used these granite chippings for the exterior of the Assembly Hall.  So we can really see that the pioneers didn't take anything for granted."  Get it? ahhh I crack myself up sometimes :) haha

Sister Ince gave me an honorary Canada skier sticker for the back of my name tag...
yes, there is also a BYU sticker :)

Anyway, here was this man, Paul, a member of the church from Saint George Utah who was taking around two business associates from New York.  Both men were wonderfully kind and had such a pure love for others.  Lester, originally from Guyana, is an "adopted" Dad to about 50 youth living in New York City.  He is there for them as a mentor and even throws them birthday parties so they know they are loved and appreciated.  He even said that for some of his youth, he would love to bring them up to Temple Square for their birthday--that Temple Square was the best gift anyone could have.  Karl, originally from Jamaica, is a man always involved in the service of others no matter what the task may be.  Paul asked us if we had just about twenty minutes to spare that we could show Lester and Karl around on Temple Square.  I feel so blessed that Sister Siegle and I were able to be with them for those short twenty minutes.  This was one of the strongest spiritual experiences not only of my mission so far, but of my life.  As we spoke with these two men and shared with them about the restored gospel of Jesus Christ, they seemed to have a light go off inside of them.  In just those short twenty minutes, I saw the countenance of these two men completely change.  Lester and Karl would continually say, "yes, this all makes sense.  I feel something here I have never felt before yet somehow it feels familiar."  Wow.  That is the power of the spirit- and it is a power that cannot be replaced. So often we have people asking us for evidence something is true, for secular sources to verify The Book of Mormon, but I have learned a very valuable lesson on my mission.  Yes, there are secular sources, and yes, I have seen books that talk about the validity of these ancient inhabitants in the Americas, but this really means nothing to me. I pose to you this question, "Do you take physical and tangible evidences to be more powerful than God Himself telling you something is true?"  God is the source of all knowledge and truth, and I think it is so powerful that of all of the ways we have to find out something is true, He asks for us to ask Him.
Sister Siegle and I.  I absolutely love this girl, I am so grateful to have her as my companion
 and am learning so much from her.  My testimony is getting longer, little by little in
Portuguese and I am so grateful for all the time she takes
 to teach me her language!

Our experience with Karl and Lester really has stuck with me this week. I saw these two men change in just 20 minutes.  I saw that the light of Christ within them, within each and everyone of us, was being embraced and brought forward even more so than it already was. That night as I read The Book of Mormon, I really fully grasped one of the "why's" of the Restoration of the gospel.  
In 2 Nephi 30:8 it reads,

"And it shall come to pass that the Lord God shall commence his work among all nations, kindreds, tongues, and people, to bring about the restoration of his people upon the earth."

Notice it talks about the restoration of the gospel, "his work among all..." but then it talks about bringing about "the restoration of his people."  Brothers and Sisters, family, friends, neighbors, strangers, whoever you are, this is the profound message of the restored gospel of Jesus Christ.  The Gospel restores God's children to who they used to be, so they can be who God wants them to become. At any stage in learning about the gospel, we start to feel a change within us, we start to feel a difference in our lives, and yet that difference is something familiar and something comfortable.  The gospel of Jesus Christ needed to be restored in its fullness to help each of us remember who we truly are and then gives us everything we need to grow into who God wants us to become.  We are His greatest work. 

 I was so excited, Sister Huffaker drew us all dinosaurs for our district meeting!

Thank you to all of you for everything you do and everything you are.  No good deed ever goes unnoticed, there is no such thing as a small act of kindness.  I invite you all to let the light of Christ shine more fully in you.  Get back to who you were so you can get to who you need to become.  It's like in a math problem--if we are trying to solve an equation and along the way we get stuck, we need to go back to the beginning and start from the top to get to the end.

Love Always,
Sister Briggs :)

SHOUTOUTS: Jessica & Katy (two amazing girls who did baptisms twice in two different temples in one day...such good examples!), Madeleine Kmetzch, Sister McDougle, Sister Samuels, Kayla and Kevin Lussiers (your picture from your wedding is beautiful!), Grandma Jeanie, Momma Briggs (thank you for the letter and package!), Bryan and Casey Briggs, Dad, Donakey Family, Robert Donakey, Kylee Rowley (from one Sister to another---you AMAZE me :) thank you SO much for your letter, I cannot tell you how excited I am for you, Washington D.C. is so very lucky! I'll be writing you soon sweet girl), Sister Rushing, Sister Dimatera.

Also, fun shoutout--Sister Marsh, my MTC companion, and I started dancing one day, laughing, crying, hugging one night because our MTC teachers, yes, the lovely Sister Moffatt and Brother Ellsworth are now engaged---to each other! Congratulations you two!  We couldn't be more excited!!! :)

1 comment:

  1. Anyone who reads Kelsey's letters or speaks to her is uplifted. I've often thought of her attributes of radiance and kindness. I wish I were more like that. I consider myself blessed just to know her.