Wednesday, November 27, 2013

That was God :)

Three Generations of missionaries...This is Sister Lin's last transfer, and she is a zone leader!
First things first--Happy Thanksgiving everyone! I hope you all have lots of fun and festive plans in place to celebrate the holiday tomorrow.  Thanksgiving at the Briggs house has always been one of my favorite family traditions- we call it the Briggs slumber party.  One of my favorite things about our Thanksgiving slumber party is being able to look around and see countless blessings from my Heavenly Father.  There really is so much to be grateful for, and I pray that we live with thanksgiving ever in our hearts, and not just with the holidays :)

 Our AP's and Temple Square Coordinators getting us ready for Christmas time!

Sister Taylor and I feeling a bit overwhelmed after our Christmas training meeting...Christmas at Temple Square is crazy!!!
Sometimes it takes training our eyes to see these blessings. They are not always big like our families, a new job that we've been searching for, or even a trip to go see a good friend that all comes together perfectly...often times, they are blessings that are scattered throughout every detail of our lives.  This week, we got to help Mike be able to see that.

Mike is our investigator in New York.  He is 23 years old and just graduated in Engineering.  He struggles to have faith and that has been our priority with him, as it is by faith that all things come to be :)  When we last spoke with him, we committed him to pray every day...and he did! We asked if he saw a difference in his life and he took a moment to respond.  

He then broke the silence, "Wow..I mean, wow, I guess I hadn't thought of it that, it really worked!"

As you can imagine, Sister Taylor and I just wanted to jump for joy, but we weren't quite sure what he was talking about.. we just were happy to hear he had been praying! Mike went on to tell us that he has been having a really difficult time finding a job since he graduated.  He told us about the amazing experience he has, that he has done countless internships and had really good reviews by past employers, yet nothing was coming through for him. He said that he had been praying every night for specific things just like we had told him to, and that he had been praying every night that he would have a break on the job front.  He said one night he prayed and then he couldn't sleep.  He was just laying there in bed where all of a sudden, in the middle of the night, he got this warm feeling and felt like he should post his resume on a website. He thought it was an odd idea, but got right out of bed, posted his resume on this website and went back to bed.  When he woke up he had a bunch of different businesses and companies that wanted to interview him.

As he told us this story, Sister Taylor and I couldn't help but smile.

"At first I thought it was just a weird epiphany, or a coincidence, but now that you've pointed it out...I think that was God," Mike said.

We both testified to him that it was God that had helped him.  That God knows the things that matter most to us, He knows the desires of our hearts, and when we pray to Him, it opens up the way for Him to guide us and bless us the way that He so desires to.

We committed Mike to look for all the blessings in his life every single day and to choose to believe that everything is from God. We said that by noticing these divine signatures, these tender mercies every day in his life, he would come to know God better. 

"And the reason why he (God) ceaseth to do miracles among the children of men, is because that they dwindle in unbelief, and depart from the right way, and know not the God in whom they should trust." (Mormon 9:20)

Last District "eating" :) miss them all already!

This is the great dilemma of the world.  So many dwindle in unbelief, they ask for a sign when it is in the little things all right in front of them, they ask why they haven't seen miracles. Really, God knew so many of His children would feel this way, so He gives us these little diving signatures everyday.  Through noticing these, our faith grows, we dwindle less in unbelief and trust in God more fully.  

The Prophet, Thomas S. Monson said, "To live with gratitude ever in our hearts is to touch heaven."  As we live with thankful hearts for the tender mercies we have, we begin to see more of the miracles and the hand of the Lord more fully in our lives.  We then touch heaven and realize it isn't so far away :)

As we had committed Mike to choose to believe everything was God, we chose to do the same, and it has opened my eyes to so many tender mercies and blessings every single day.  That night, Sister Taylor and I experienced a miracle with a man named Shane as we were about to start a movie for him to watch in the North Visitors Center. He told us he had gone through a divorce and was looking for change. He had asked us how The Book of Mormon could change anything in his life and we were able to testify that The Book of Mormon being true changes everything.  If testifies of Christ, and if Christ lives as the Son of God, that means that the Atonement is real.  We were able to say what he needed to hear, and we had felt prompted to be there in the North Visitors Center, at the very time that he arrived. 

When we left the theater, I looked to Sister Taylor and said, "That was God."  

She then smiled at me and responded, "Everything is." :)

I know that every good thing comes from God, EVERY THING.  I want to invite you all to live with gratitude in your hearts, to choose to believe and to touch heaven.  I wish for nothing but the best for you now, and always, and this is the best gift I could ever think to receive--to be able to have the eyes and the heart to see God's love, and to be able to be surrounded by heaven.

Happy Thanksgiving everyone :)  There is SO much I am grateful for--including you.

Received such a fun Christmas package from home! I decided to wear it all at once and look like a Christmas elf :)

Thank you Grandmother and Papa Jim for the package!
Gobble Gobble (that means I love you in Turkey language),

Sister Briggs :)

SHOUTOUTS:  HAPPY BIRTHDAY Sara Donakey, Briana Layton and MaCall Ovard!!! I hope you all had wonderful days! Grandma Jeanie and Grandfather, Papa Jim and Grandmother ( I love the wonderful gift box you sent me, so delicious!), Mom and Dad, Bryan and Casey, The Donakey family, Sister Bone, Courtlan Wilcox and Lauren Harris! 

 I got my hair cut! Ah!

Wednesday, November 20, 2013

If God has to wait, so must we.

With my amazing Zone Leaders Sister George, North Carolina, and Sister Ince, Canada,
who will be going home in just 1 week!
This really was such a powerful week, and I know I must say that every week, but that doesn't make it any less true :) Each week as a missionary, each week being a representative of Jesus Christ, brings me so much joy, so much happiness and so many blessings and miracles that I don't even have room or time to comprehend them all.

All of the lights are continuing to be hung here at Temple Square and you can really start to feel the Holiday spirit coming into play.  I'm not getting as many funny looks from people when I just give my huge smile to everyone who passes by and say, "hello!"  It's beginning to look a lot like Christmas, not just in the decorations, but in the eyes and hearts of the people--even John and Margaret.

The East 2 Zone of  Temple Square mission walking through downtown Salt Lake City
(The Sisters often travel in groups for safety purposes especially at night)

Friday night, all of us Sister missionaries were lucky enough to be invited to the dress rehearsal of "Savior of the World," a production put on every year about the birth, crucifixion and resurrection of Jesus Christ.  (If you have never seen it, PLEASE try to make time to see it.  It is at the little theater on the side of the Conference Center and it is so powerful and so beautifully done.) Sister Taylor and I were leaving the Teaching Center on Temple Square to go home for a quick dinner before heading over to the play.  As we walked out the door, a young boy, about 16 or so from Idaho, stopped us and said, "Sisters! I just found this wonderful couple crossing the street.  I told them I would be more than happy to show them around.  I have taken them to the Conference Center, the Tabernacle and have shared with them our basic beliefs.  I have to run off to drive home, but can you take it from here? They are so wonderful."

This adorable senior couple looked at us with the biggest smiles on their faces.
"Hi, we're John and Margaret, we're from Georgia," they said with their hands extended to shake ours. 

John had on such a funny beanie with strings hanging down the side, and his wife Margaret had the kindest smile and the biggest heart. They told us that they actually had to get going because it was getting late, which worked well because we had to get going home.  We told them that if they would be at Temple Square again, to ask for Sister Taylor and Sister Briggs, we would be happy to take them around!

Right after we had met John and Margaret, waiting for "The Savior of the World" play to start!
The next morning, Sister Taylor and I were sitting at our dining room table doing our Companionship study when our phone rang. It was the Sisters calling us from Temple Square, telling us that a cute senior couple had come into the North Visitor Center, requesting us to take them on a was John and Margaret.
We had such an amazing experience with them.  They are such a powerful couple full of so much love for everyone they meet, and also for God.  When we met them, Margaret gave us each a huge hug and they said they both just felt they needed to be here at Temple Square today.  The whole time we spoke with them I could feel the spirit so strongly.  We walked from the temple model in the North Visitor's Center, to the Assembly Hall, and then finished at the beautiful Christus statue.  They bore such deep and moving testimonies of Jesus Christ and kept repeating how they felt God had led them to us that day. Sister Taylor and I bore our testimonies there at the feet of this statue of Christ, and as I went to invite them to learn more, to read The Book of Mormon, I couldn't...I literally was restrained by the spirit as it sometimes talks about in the scriptures. 

I felt so stumped.  In every interaction I have I always invite people to act...whether it be to pray, to read The Book of Mormon, to attend church, no matter how big or small, I always extend an invitation as guided by the spirit, and here I stood after one of the most powerful tours and lessons of my whole mission and I felt restrained.  I couldn't understand why and I have to admit I even felt a little sad, I felt that I had let my Savior down as His representative just letting them walk away without inviting them to come even closer to their Redeemer whom they already loved so much.

Sister Taylor and I had such a long tour with them that we were running a bit behind to get to our next assignment at the Beehive house, so we stopped somewhere to grab lunch and headed over.  We thought we would be late, but we were still the first sisters to get there.  Because we had food, the sisters generously offered to switch positions with us in the line of rotation for tours.  When it was finally our turn to take the tour, we looked out the window, and there we saw them walking up the path...John and Margaret, our cute, wonderful, loving couple from Georgia, that I had previously failed to invite, and I had never been happier. 
It was such a miracle that we had taken time to grab lunch, and that we had switched places with other sisters, or we would have missed them all together, we would have already been on a tour.  I know God's hand was in that, I also know God's hand was in our entire meeting and experience with them.
We had such a fun and spiritual experience with them walking throughout the Beehive House.  At the end of the tour, I felt prompted to share with them Alma 26:12, one of me and my big brother's favorite scriptures.

"Yea, I know that I am anothing; as to my strength I am weak; therefore I will bnot boast of myself, but I will cboast of my God, for in his dstrength I can do all ethings; yea, behold, many mighty miracles we have wrought in this land, for which we will praise his name forever."

When we read that, Margaret and John seemed so touched by the words and by the spirit that accompanied them.

John looked at us and asked, "Now which is your primary book.  The Bible or this Book of Mormon?"

Sister Taylor responded, "Both, they support and compliment each other.  We use both books to bring us closer to Jesus Christ."

We went on to ask if they had ever read The Book of Mormon, and John went on to tell us that his Dad had met with Mormon missionaries about 40 years ago and he remembers seeing him open up and flip through The Book of Mormon but he had never really read it himself.
"I would certainly be interested in reading one now though."
What I want to share with you all, is that God has His timing in everything.  I know that the spirit had restrained me from inviting earlier, because that experience was more about softening their hearts, establishing a relationship with them and drawing them unto Christ.  Imagine what would have happened if we had gone against the spirit and invited them earlier anyway?  I do not know, but I know that God's ways are always better than our ways.
In 3 Nephi 20:30 it says, "And it shall come to pass that the time cometh, when the fullness of my gospel shall be preached unto them;"

If God had to wait to bring forth the most miraculous blessing of all time, the restored gospel of Jesus Christ, the fullness of His gospel on earth, then so must we. Imagine how patiently God was waiting for the day in which He would restore and re-establish His church among His children-the most amazing, glorious and biggest miracle of all.  I may not always know how long I will be waiting for these miracles, these tender mercies and blessings as God knew how long He would wait to restore His church, but I do know that God asks us to do that which we are capable of doing, and sometimes that means waiting.

John and Margaret left the Beehive House that day with their own copy of The Book of Mormon and a sincere desire to learn more about the fullness of the gospel of Jesus Christ.  We will be staying in touch with them and sharing more as they read :)
That is my invitation to you all this week.  I want to invite you all to pray for the direction of the spirit and to have the sincere desire to really do as you are instructed to do by it's impressions.  I promise as you do so your faith will grow not only in God, but in His timing, and sometimes, that means waiting.

I love you all!

Sister Briggs

Ice skating night for Zone Activity last week! so much fun!

More ice skating fun!

SHOUTOUTS: Mom & Dad, Bryan & Casey, Robert Donakey and the Donakey family, Sister Britt Lam, Sister Dimatera (is your family okay in the Philippines?) and John Bascom (so good to see you this week, it's been so long!)

Tyler, one of Sister Taylor's really good friends, sent her a package this gift..bubble wrap! So much fun! haha ohhhh goodness

Saturday, November 16, 2013

"Thou hast declared with unwearyingness...and thou hast not feared them.." (Helaman 10:4)

Hello again everyone! It seems that all of the seasons are changing so quickly here.  It feels like it was just the other day that I was taking all of the large groups of beautiful Mandarin speakers around Temple Square in the summer, and now I walk through Temple Square surrounded by the beautiful lights and even the set up nativity.  Christmas is just around the corner!

 With Sister Palmer, our choir director for one of the numbers!
This was a week with a lot of early morning meetings getting prepared for our Missionary Fireside last night.  We sang songs to the public in the Assembly Hall for about 1 hour and a half and it was such a beautiful thing to be a part of.  I got emotional so many times as I looked at the Sisters surrounding me, these amazing, talented, gifted daughters of God who have sacrificed everything to come and serve here.  I feel so blessed and so humbled to be serving with all of them.

Missionary Fireside Concert Program

Yay for Oregonians in the Mission!  Shout out to Sister Brock's Dad!

With all of the early morning meetings and extra rehearsals, it would have been very easy to become distracted or even tired, but I was determined to not let that happen, and I know Heavenly Father was too.  Early on in the week I read a scripture that became my theme for the week.

With our beautiful sisters from Brasil and Thailand after the performance in the Assembly Hall!

Always gotta have that Brasil pride  for my brother and Sister Siegle!
Helaman 10:4 says, "Blessed art thou, Nephi, for those things which thou hast done; for I have beheld how thou hast with unwearyingness declared the word which I have given unto thee, unto this people.  And thou hast not feared them and hast not sought thine own life, but hast sought my will, and to keep my commandments."

I was determined that I would be like Nephi, that I would serve my Heavenly Father and Savior with unwearyingness as it says in this scripture and I had one of the most beautiful weeks of my entire mission.

On Friday there was a tour texted out for 4 people at the Eternal Families desk in the South Visitor's Center.  Sister Taylor and I had planned to do Companionship Study at that time, but I felt like we needed to take it and Sister Taylor did too (love her!) When we got to the South Visitor's Center to meet our new friends, we quickly learned that we had two couples who were complete opposites from one another.  Kent and Melissa were from Arkansas and were extremely opposed to anything we had to say and even in a mocking way for most of the tour.  Paul and Liz were a couple from London, England who were both students and professors of Anthropology and were compassionate people with such a fascination for religion in general.

We were friends before our mission! We love you Aubrey and Jordan!
We spoke with these two couples for about 45 minutes in the Assembly Hall as question after question were thrown at us.  We were so grateful to have the spirit with us during that time as many of the questions from Kent and Melissa were ones that seemed to be coming from an angle to discourage our faith and our beliefs. Sister Taylor and I were led by the spirit and were able to answer them in a kind and loving way. It was so powerful to have Liz and Paul there because when we would teach certain doctrines that Kent and Melissa were upset about, Liz and Paul would often make comments such as, "Well that makes sense if you think about it," or "what a lovely belief to have, I would cherish that in my life."  Throughout the tour we saw Kent and Melissa's hearts soften so much.  It seemed at the beginning they would hardly make eye contact with us, but at the end, Kent went so far as to say, "You were all lovely people, thank you for your time."  That may seem little, but it was huge to us, and I know it is because we were able to have the spirit of God with us.  I know that the spirit touches peoples hearts, and so does kindness.

In Helaman 16:2 it says, "But as many as there were who did not believe in the words of Samuel (Sister Briggs & Sister Taylor) were angry with him; and they cast stones at him upon the wall, and also many shot arrows at him as he stood upon the wall; but the Spirit of the Lord was with him, insomuch that they could not hit him with their stones neither with their arrows."

Then it continues in verse 3, "Now when they saw that they could not hit him, there were many more who did believe on his words..."

I want each and everyone of you to know that no act of kindness will ever go unnoticed.  No smile, no hug, no words of encouragement, no testimony, no invitation will ever be a waste of time.  Do not be discouraged in the works of good you are doing, brothers and sisters.  Your patience, love, humility, diligence can soften hearts of people around the world- the Spirit of God is universal in that way.  God uses the small and simple things to bring about the great. 

If God wanted me to push over a mountain to show people He lived, He could do that- and yet He doesn't.  Why?  Because if we really pay attention, we can see that God is pushing over mountains through us every single day in the way we respond to the spirit.  Do you see that when you let the light of Christ in you shine through, God and you are working as a team to push the mountain of your natural man aside?  Is this making sense?  Please say yes:)  What I mean to say is that one of the biggest and hardest battles in life is pushing aside our natural man to let our divine nature shine through.  And this in itself is God pushing aside a mountain; He lives, and He shows us this everyday, and I know that Kent and Melissa were as the people in Helaman, that because their arrows and stones (their harsh words) could not hit us, their hearts became more open and they came to see that we're really not as different as they once thought.  Liz and Paul that day left with their own copy of The Book of Mormon and said that the whole experience helped them to regain their faith.

With Sister Ince and Sister Taylor in the Teaching Center!
(The Sisters make phone calls and do online chats with people from all over the world)
I am so grateful that God has allowed me to be a part of this work.  I know that He is pushing aside the mountains in our life every single day for the benefit of not just us, but His children all around the world.  Will you all make an effort to be kind to someone this week, especially those whom it may be difficult to be kind to? Remember, they are children of God and I promise your small act will be just what they need.

Love always,

Sister Briggs

Okay Casey---you can only imagine I screamed when I got this :) straight from Brasil too!
SHOUTOUTS: Mom, Dad, Bryan, Casey, Sister Britt Lam, Wes Christensen, HAPPY BIRTHDAY LAUREN RAWE (on 11-11-13), Robert Donakey, Mary, Becca, Sara, Brother and Sister Donakey (Thank You again SO SO very much for coming out for our fireside last night and thank you for the cookies too, you are all so wonderful!) and Grandma Jeanie

CTR power! With dinosaurs too! Rawr!

Thursday, November 7, 2013

How Can I Be Like Moroni?

Hi everyone! Has it really been another week already?  The snow outside is the only thing that keeps reminding me it's November now.  I keep thinking I'm still back in September.  Time definitely flies when you are doing what you love :)

I hope everyone had a Happy Halloween this last week too! We had a fun activity put on by our mission presidency that was so wonderful.  I was sad to close the square so early, but I know it was all just for safety reasons so that made me feel better about that :)  We had a wonderful dinner and even got to watch a movie.  I have to say I was a little nervous about what the movie would be. My mind is so focused on this work that I didn't want anything pulling me away, but I am so grateful for the movie that we did watch.  We saw, "The Chronicles of Narnia: The Lion, the Witch and The Wardrobe," and it was amazing.  When we watch this movie with the right eyes, it truly teaches us so much about the sacrifice of our Savior Jesus Christ and the matchless love He has for each of us.  I think I'll make it a new Halloween tradition :)

We decided to get these wonderful shirts at Wal-Mart with goats on them...we walked around saying,
"we are bringing them ba-a-a-ck to the fold." Ohh Halloween as a missionary :)

I hope I can gather all my thoughts today as I write.  My testimony grew so much this last week.  I am really experiencing and learning first hand the truthfulness of the saying, "Your mission is the MTC for the rest of your life," and I would even like to add, "Our lives and our personal missions are our MTC for the Celestial Kingdom of God."

I love our Senior Couple, The Frosts!!! Halloween picture :)

This last week I was reading in the book of Alma.  So often we hear people talking about the majority of this book being "the war chapters."  True--most of what is in here is wars, but we cannot discount it thinking that it only applies to us if we are physically fighting in a battle.  I have a very firm testimony that everything, I mean everything, in The Book of Mormon is for our gain
 and can be applied to our lives. Everything can be a direct letter from God to you.

One of my favorite scriptures this past week was Alma 48:17 which says,

"Yea, verily, verily, I say unto you, if all men had been, and were, and ever would be, like unto Moroni, behold, the very powers of hell would have been shaken forever; yea, the devil would never have power over the hearts of the children of men."

I shared this scripture with a lot of young men that I came in contact with this week.  I shared it with Elders just about to enter the MTC, I shared it with soon-to-be Fathers who were nervous about fulfilling their important role as a parent, and I shared it with Danny.

Danny is a good friend of a Sister serving here who will soon be going home from her mission.  Danny and her grew up together in California and he has always been referred to by this sister as "a powerful guy, clean-cut guy with a strong desire to do good and to be a good person."  Before she left on her mission, she gave Danny a Book of Mormon and he was receiving phone calls from the sisters here at temple square.  However, after a while, Danny stopped responding to their phone calls.  This Sister felt she should give me Danny's information.  I tried calling Danny twice, but with no luck, that is....until yesterday...Danny answered :)

I got to know Danny and really have a tremendous amount of respect for the person he is.  He is 23 years old and is in the air force.  He is an engineer and helps to configure the engines of the various planes. Danny was sounding like he wasn't too interested in hearing much about the restored gospel of Jesus Christ, and then Alma 48:17 popped into my head. 

Very boldly I said, "Danny, I want you to write this down- Alma 48:17."  For those of you who know me, you know I'm not a very bold person, and I think Danny already could already tell that about me, and he sounded a bit caught off guard. 

SISTER TAYLOR PASSED OFF!!! (a mile stone for Temple Square)
and so we celebrated by going to The Lion House with some sisters!

He said, "What's Alma 48:17?"

I read the words to him, and then afterward there was silence for a few moments.  I wasn't too certain what I should say, and then he broke the silence saying, "Wow.  I want to be like him."  I went on to ask him what it was he would do if he could be a man like Moroni. 

He responded, "I would do anything to be like him.  If I knew how to be like that, I would do it.  The world needs more men like this guy."

Throughout my week I have thought just as Danny.  The words of this scripture have passed through my mind and I too have asked myself, "How can I be like Moroni?"  Can you imagine how powerful it would be if we were each like this man that could shake the very powers of hell giving more power to the powers of heaven?  Think about it.

And then think about this...

Moroni is an amazing man.  He was humble, he was meek, he was faithful, his heart gloried in God, he was true to the commandments (Alma 48) and yet there is another who was and is even more...Jesus Christ.  Do we realize that?  Do we realize that by following the example of Jesus Christ we can become not only like this man Moroni, but we can become like the Savior of the world? The question we should always be asking ourselves is not always just, "How can I be like Moroni," but "How can I be like Jesus Christ?" for it is in him that Moroni even received the power that he had to do such good.

I testified to Danny then as I testify to you now, that because this truly is the restored gospel of Jesus Christ, it gives us every step to not just become like Moroni, but more importantly to become like our Savior Jesus Christ, our elder brother.  I know that obedience is the first law of heaven, and it is by obedience that we can fulfill our hopes of becoming more like these exemplary people we are meant to all become. 

The gospel of Jesus Christ sets higher standards because it doesn't just ask us to be followers of Christ, it asks us to be His disciples.
A bunch of the sisters dressed up as princesses and spoke to us in relief society about what makes them royal.  Remember are ALL daughters of a King


I love you all and hope you have a wonderful week!  I invite you all to read Alma 48 and to be familiar with the characteristics of Moroni and the characteristics of Jesus Christ, only by so doing will you be more familiar with their characteristics within your own self :)

Love always,
Sister Briggs :)
Sister Taylor and I carved a pumpkin and named it Charly!

SHOUTOUTS:  Mom and Dad, Nyal Sewell (sorry I missed you at the square!), Sister Dimatera, Barry Donakey (you're the best! Thank you for writing!) Robert Donakey, Sara, Mary, Becca, Liz, Reid, Brother and Sister Donakey, Sister Britt Lam and Sister Kim Blauer :)

Sunday, November 3, 2013

"Your guide should be the scriptures, not Wikipedia!" -Elder Dallin H. Oaks

After the Music & the Spoken Word  This Temple Square 1/2 hour broadcast is on BYU TV most every
Sunday Morning and features the Mormon Tabernacle Choir. 

Hello everyone! What an amazing week it was! I hope each and every one of you saw God's hand in your life this week.  If you are reading this and shaking your head thinking you didn't, look again, I promise you it's there :) You may have even been an instrument in God's hand this week in helping with His work, I mean it! Something I've really learned this week is that the Kingdom of God is built up by small and simple things.  It's those answers we get to our prayers, the verses that we read in the scriptures, the smiles that we share, the uplifting words we give and the testimonies we bear that bring people closer to Christ.

I got to announce for the first time this last week after "Music & the Spoken Word".  I announced in English as Sister John signed everything.  It was such a cool experience!

I am so grateful to be serving here at Temple Square, where we are able to hear from so many Apostles of our Savior Jesus Christ in such a personal way.  This past week Elder Dallin H. Oaks and his beautiful and adorable wife Kristin (that is what she asked us to call her) came and spoke to us! Ah! It makes me want to dance just thinking about it- it was amazing!  The spirit we could all feel when they entered the room was so thick.  The happiness they exuded was so real, and their testimonies of the restoration of the gospel of Jesus Christ were a reality.  Elder Oaks said so many powerful things that stuck with me and all of the Sisters there.  He talked about always doing the little things to keep in tune with our Heavenly Father and told us to focus on the fundamentals of the gospel, that we can wait for the details.  One of his most quoted things however from our meeting with him was, "Your guide should be the scriptures, not Wikipedia!" haha Elder Oaks said this to his adorable wife as she kept quoting Wikipedia as her source for all of the statistics of Temple Square. Remember that :)

All the Announcing sisters after we had a tour with a wonderful couple from Holland. 

As I continued to read the scriptures this week, I felt so much more in tune with my Heavenly Father. I experienced such a powerful miracle this week that is now very near and dear to my heart.  I want you to know that God cares about you and He cares about who you have the potential to become.  He cares about your hopes, your dreams, the things you like most in life, He is aware of it all.

KELSEY SIGHTING:  Sister Briggs with Hometown Family Friend, Cindy Johnson.
Kelsey was so happy to see one of her favorite YW leaders from Bend.  Cindy was dropping off her son at the MTC for his mission and they took time out to go on the Beehive House tour with Kelsey.  Said she was happy and doing great!

The Announcing Sisters. 

This past Friday, Sister Taylor and I were walking over to the teaching center to make some phone calls and to do some weekly planning.  As we were walking past the flagpole just West of the Salt Lake temple, I saw a young man sitting next to the flower beds, hunched over with his head in his hands. It was important for Sister Taylor and I to get to the teaching center, but as I saw Him I just felt pulled to him and felt the spirit so strongly to go and speak with him.  I am so grateful that I have the amazing companion that I do, that we were able to support each other during this change of plans and do what it is that the spirit directed us to do.
We ended up speaking with this young man for about an hour--his name is Cade.  We came to find that Cade is a 19 year old guy with a big heart, really, I have never felt such a strong love of God and a strong love for others as I did with Cade that night.  Cade got emotional as he related to us all of the difficulties that he has had this past year of his life.  He shared with us that he loves the Lord, he loves this gospel more than anything, yet he was struggling to feel the spirit or to feel the guidance of God in his life.  As I looked at Cade, my heart felt broken to see such a strong son of God feeling so lost.  I could feel of God's love for him and I need him to feel it too.

I stood there for a moment trying to think of what to say that would click with him, that would bring him closer to his Savior at that moment.  The thought came into my mind..."talk to him about cars." Alrighty, I don't know too much about cars and I really was at a loss of words as to what to say, and I didn't know how that would help him to feel of God's love.  However, I know that as a missionary, I am a representative of Jesus Christ.  This is not my time to say what I want to say, but rather to act as the Savior and trust in God.  I began with, "So, I want you to pretend that you have a car, and you just absolutely love this car..." Cade just looked up at me, his eyes locked on mine and I felt Heavenly Father lock His voice with mine. 
I went on, "I want you to pretend that you have a car, and you just absolutely love this car.  If something bad were to happen to it and you had to take it somewhere to have it worked on, you would probably be hunched over, watching every step that took place to get your car back to working order. You would be there for every moment."

There was a pause to me for what seemed like an eternity.  I had no idea where those words were coming from, but I knew it was what God wanted me to say.  Cade just looked at me and said, "I love cars, I am a total car junkie.  I especially  love my car, and it just got wrecked really, really badly, I know exactly what you're talking about!"
You can only imagine my surprise, I had to control the look on my face to make it seem I knew what I was talking about or knew what I would say next, but then it just came, "Since you really care about your car, your watching over it as it's worked on.  God cares about you so so very much and is watching over you extremely carefully that if anything were to happen that would go against His will, He can intervene. You may not feel Him there, but He is just as you are with your car, and even more so."  He went on to say that that made such a huge difference to him, that he had never thought about it in that way, but it was because he could relate to it, he felt so much peace and comfort.

Brothers and Sisters, this may have been a little thing, but to me, it was a testimony that God really, truly and sincerely does care.  He knows us perfectly and He needs us as instruments in His hands to help others to see this sometimes.  God knew what Cade was going through.  I didn't know he liked cars, I didn't know he had just been in a terrible wreck, but our Father in Heaven did.  It is through those small and simple things, that God can reach out to His children and show them just how involved He is in the every detail of our lives.

We really do love it!
We love serving in the Home of Brigham Young.
(The Beehive House)

This is my commitment to you all...use the scriptures as the source in your life.  I know it can bring you answers to everything you are searching for, and on top of that, it can comfort you and so many others.  I promise you will feel of God's love for you and for His children, and that is one of the greatest things to be aware of--that God loves you, and that He lives.

Love always,

Sister Briggs!

Having fun with Sister Taylor and Sister Liao from Taiwan
(In the Beehive House)

SHOUTOUTS: thank you Mom and Dad for the amazing package and letters, Shane Myers (congrats on the engagement! So excited to receive your announcement!), Hannah Taylor, Jason Mosley (I promise I'll write you back soon! thank you home teacher!), Sister Kim Blauer and Dennis Elton