Thursday, October 23, 2014


*This is probably the last email from Sister Briggs before she returns home! Things are busy at Temple Square and she is happy to be working hard right up to the finish line. Everyone is invited to meet her at the Redmond airport on Wednesday around noon. She will be speaking in her home ward the Sunday of Thanksgiving weekend. She sends her love, is glad to be working hard and excited to see everyone again.*

I want to share with each and every one of us, with every soul around the world who hungers, with every person who has felt in despair, with every one who feels in wanting of something, and even with those who feel they are content, that there is nothing greater, nothing to compare with knowing and following the Savior of the World, even Jesus Christ.  I love Him and am so happy and grateful for Him, my family, each of you! I have found Him again as I have served here. The feelings of the spirit that take place when a child walks into a room, comes from knowing that this child can learn and grow, fall and get back up because of Him.  The overwhelming love that pierces your heart when you see one of our brothers without a home on the street corner, comes from knowing that my Savior died and suffered for His sorrows and hunger.  The peace that comes from holding someone while they cry, and knowing that the greatest solace will come from humbly kneeling to pray. And certainly, there is nothing more humbling and awe inspiring, then having a Father look you in the eyes with questioning as he holds his son, and is asked by this small and beautiful child, "Where is Jesus?"

I testify that we know Him, we lived in His presence before.
"And hath made of one blood all nations of men for to dwell on all the face of the earth, and hath determined the times before appointed, and the bounds of their habitation." (Acts 17:26).
And today, He is here, working through each of us, bringing light to us through His restored gospel.

"That they should seek the Lord, if haply they might feel after him, and find him, though he be not far from every one of us." (Acts 17:27).
Last night, I did experience the humbling glance of a curious Father as he held his little boy in his arms.  As I served with my companion in the North Visitor's Center, I saw a family over by the map of Jerusalem.  I walked over and approached the man and his little boy.  The little boy wriggled and squirmed in his arms, looking for something that it seemed he could not find. 
"Look!" I exclaimed.  He continued to wriggle more.  "No, really--look," I said once more as I reached down to touch the buttons that would cause lights to illuminate the map of Jerusalem below.  He quickly became in awe, reaching down to turn on the lights himself.
"This is where Jesus walked," I whispered to him.
Leaning against his dad's chest, he looked to him and said,"Where's Jesus?"
This father, with far more experiences than I most surely have had during my mortal time here, turned to me immediately and with confidence. I was struck as I truly felt the spirit testify to me in that moment of the divine reality that I represent the Savior of all mankind.  That I represent answers to the questions of the soul, and I can do all of this only through Him, my best friend and Redeemer, Jesus Christ.  That I, a 23-year-old girl from Bend, OR, am chosen by Him to answer the pleas of His family looking for Him.
"Where do you think Jesus is?" I asked this little boy.
"I don't know! I can't see Him anymore," was his honest and anxious response.
Brothers and Sisters, with all my heart, I know we lived with Him before.  We in reality have seen Him, and as we follow Him, the distance between us becomes closer and closer, and we may see Him again.  I have experienced this divine reality as His representative and am humbled by this experience.

I know that Joseph Smith has seen God and Jesus Christ.  I know this by the power of the Holy Ghost, and the promise of God is to ALL of His children, that we can know this too. I have come to know this for myself, and know that this knowledge has been given to me of God.  I cannot deny it.  Joseph Smith saw Jesus Christ, and as a miracle to the world, and divine evidence we may hold in our hands, we have been given The Book of Mormon--another testament of Him who He saw.  I know that The Book of Mormon is true, and I know that everything that comes from knowing this--eternal families, peace, revelation and personal relationships with God, the Priesthood authority, baptism in His very same way, and the gift of eternal life--all such is matchless, because His Atonement and His love is matchless. It cannot ever be replaced.

"...But behold, he has brought them into his everlasting light, yea, into everlasting salvation; and they are encircled about withthe matchless bounty of his love; yea, and we have been instruments in his hands of doing this great and marvelous work."(Alma 26:15).
I love each of you!

SHOUTOUTS: Mom & Dad, Bry & Case, Robert Donakey and family, Sister King, Grandma Jeanie, Nikky Lin, Jessica Helms & Matt ( congratulations!!!), Amber, Jacque

Tuesday, October 14, 2014

Preparation Day

We went to the Planetarium today! I look at the world from this perspective and know without any doubt that God lives, that we are His children, and that this place was created for us.  The Restored Gospel answers why and how.  I am so happy to know the answers to these questions with full confidence that could never be shaken.  

Hello Hello everyone! I want to start by saying congratulations to everyone for  everything and anything that has happened this week! Whether it was rough, uplifting, inspiring, educating, discouraging, I am proud of each of you and grateful to you for your faith and for your diligence to press forward.  Know that the Savior notices and knows everything that comes our way, and with the Atonement, we always have great reason to celebrate.  I want each of you to be happy, I want you to feel joy and know that you are loved.  My desires during my time as a missionary have changed so very much.  We are here with the sole desire to help others choose to have joy, and because of the restoration of the gospel of Jesus Christ, we have been given the message that emanates joy in every corner!

"For the Lord hath heard thy prayers, and hath judged of thy righteousness, and hath sent me to declare unto thee that thou mayest rejoice; and that thou mayest declare unto thy people, that they may also be filled with joy." (Mosiah 3:4).
This is a joy that is not shared just on Sundays, or just during the week at church events, but is something that completely becomes who we are--even on our Preparation days.

For full-time missionaries for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, we have a couple hours on an assigned day every week for grocery shopping, laundry, writing letters, and taking care of other personal needs.  Oftentimes, this day is called "P-day" for short, but I have seen that this takes the whole significance out of what this day truly represents.

Sister Brink and I prayed that for today's Preparation day, we would be filled with the Spirit, that where ever we may be, we would be able to encourage and help those around us as disciples of the Lord, Jesus Christ. Not only did we want to be prepared for the week ahead, but we wanted to help others be prepared for whatever it is that may come their way. 

Today we walked to the Gateway mall just down the street from Temple Square.  As we ate up in the food court, we saw families and friends eating together, enjoying time to relax and get-away, but we also so so much more than that.  We saw and experienced the great and in-depth plan the Lord has for each of us.

As we sat and ate in the food court, a woman continued to look at us from a small Brazilian cafe just next to us.  She would take great, deep sighs, and fold her arms, almost as if to pray.  The prompting came to me to look in my bag.  There, in the small side pocket, was an old temple recommend cover--the painting was one of the Salt Lake temple.  It was a recommend holder given to me by my Mother.  When it broke months ago, I continually felt the prompting that it was to remain in my bag.  When I looked down and saw it there, the Lord sweetly and gently whispered to me that it was for her that it had been preserved there in my bag--there it had sat waiting for months on end, and all for this very moment.

We went over and spoke with the woman there, her name was Luitha. Her and her husband from Guatemala worked in this cafe together, and we were humbled to see their eyes meet ours when we walked over.  Luitha worked in the front folding pizza boxes, her husband Luis in the back cooking and cleaning for the next day.  She shared with us that they had been baptized nearly two years ago, and that they were preparing to be sealed in the Salt Lake temple in two weeks.  With the painting of the Salt Lake temple in hand, my former temple recommend holder, we handed it to her, and her eyes began to water.  She turned back to her husband and called him to come forward.  He held the painting in his hand, looked to his wife and looked back at us.  He said that he knew that the Lord had sent us to them that day-that we were helping them prepare for one of the most glorious days of their lives.

How humbling it was to see that our Father in Heaven knows every little detail of our lives.  He knows when we need to hold onto something old, to become something new for those around us, even a new ray of hope, a new answer to prayers, a new and more meaningful experience with the Spirit, and a new desire to follow Him more fully. 

It was a preparation day I can never forget, for each day is a day for us to prepare to meet God again.  I am so excited for that day.  I know He lives, I know He knows each of us by name, and I have come to know this through the personal ways He has reached and touched my life.  I know that the promptings that come to each of us are by Him.  Even if we do not fully understand them at the time--know and trust that He does.  Trusting Him comes with experiences with Him.  Follow His promptings and know that people beyond measure are counting on you, and pray in gratitude for what you do each day. You never know, but He does, and one day He will tell us in the most perfect and glorious way--where we are able to see Him face to face, and know that we went where we were called.

I love each of you! Thank you for everything!

Sister Briggs :)

SHOUTOUTS: David Archuletta (He came and sang for our mission this past Sunday night, what a blessing! He is as Enos 1:26, his joy in life comes from serving our Father in Heaven more than anything else and the spirit bore powerful witness to us of that, we are proud of him!) Jessica Helms, Kate Thornock and Landon (congratulations!), Grandma Jeanie, Mom & Dad, Bry & Case, Jacque, Amber, Robert Edgie Donakey, Barbara Keil, Donakey family, 

Tuesday, October 7, 2014

"What would you attempt if you knew you could not fail?"

(Kelsey returns home on October 29 and will arrive at the Redmond, Oregon Airport at 12:20pm - anyone who would like to join us to greet her is invited.  She will speak at the Cascade Crest Ward in Bend, Oregon on Thanksgiving Weekend at 9am on Sunday, November 30.)  
Photo by Mormon Newsroom

Ah! My heart could absolutely burst right about now.  There is nothing quite like being a full-time missionary for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints at Temple Square during General Conference.  We wake up early, we go home late, we have 20-minute meals that seem to only be eaten simply because they were donated and prepared by loving members within the Salt Lake valley.  We walk, but we do not tire. No, we run, but we do not find any weariness.  Why? Because we know we cannot fail, we know that we are on the Lord's errand and that His children are here to hear just from Him.

There is a spirit about Temple Square at Conference time.  Everyone walks a little faster to hear the Prophet speak, everyone shares a little more of their light.  People ask in their hearts, "Was Joseph Smith truly a prophet of God?  Heavenly Father, did this young boy really see you and our Savior? Are the people speaking to us today really your called Apostles and Prophets today?" The restoration of the gospel is not a one-time event, it is about each and every one of us being restored to what we once knew as children living in the presence of God. It reminds me of President Uchtdorf's talk from this past General Conference, "Are you Sleeping through the Restoration?"

"Sometimes we think of the Restoration of the gospel as something that is complete, already behind us—Joseph Smith translated the Book of Mormon, he received priesthoodkeys, the Church was organized. In reality, the Restoration is an ongoing process; we are living in it right now. It includes “all that God has revealed, all that He does now reveal,” andthe “many great and important things” that “He will yet reveal.”2 Brethren, the exciting developments of today are part of that long-foretold period of preparation that willculminate in the glorious Second Coming of our Savior, Jesus Christ." -President Uchtdorf.
 Sister Brink and I made bookmarks to give out to people on the square about the importance of missionary work, 
we gave them to our zone as well!
We were blessed to witness thousands of our brothers and sisters be restored to this very knowledge this weekend and feel humbled thinking about the millions around the world who felt the spirit as leaders in Christ's church again today testified of our Savior and of the living Prophet of God. 
People were restored in the smallest of ways.  There was the Judds on the couches by the New Testament paintings. Without our knowledge we shared D&C 6:22-23 as they sat and pondered if they did the right thing selling their home. Tears welled up in their eyes to see their prayers had been answered.

There was our two beautiful friends from Puerto Rico--they spoke hardly any English, we spoke hardly any Spanish (even though I like to say I speak much more).  We shared Alma 33:9 
with them as they sat on the sidewalks outside the Conference Center.  They looked at each other and seemed unaffected.  Later that night, the same two woman ran up to us, embraced us and asked again for the scripture we had shared with them, that it was exactly what God needed them to hear. 

There was little 3-month old LaKai, who laid in her stroller sleeping as her parents asked us to take a photo of them at the beautiful Christus statue in the North Visitor's Center.  As the photo was taken, little LaKai opened her eyes and smiled at us.  She started to cry, we placed a photo of the Savior on her blanket.  She stopped crying and with all her might reached for the photo.  She looked at the photo, looked to her left at the Christus, looked back at the photo and smiled. She knew exactly who she was looking at. 

There were two precious young girls by the reflection pond who had dropped their flower from Grandma in the water and couldn't reach it, it was out of my reach as well. When I said I was a representative of their big brother Jesus Christ, they said, "We know, you can help us."  We knelt, we prayed, the flower was rescued, and their eyes became big and bright. "God knows you," I said.  They too were restored to the daughters of God they have always been.

Photo by Mormon Newsroom
There was Ben who we met last week  in the South Visitor's Center, who was so inspired by General Conference, he decided to kneel down and pray, and ask the Lord if we on this earth are important enough to have a prophet lead and guide us today.  He testified to us on the phone that he knows, that he wants to follow his Savior and be baptized.
There is no shortage of miracles with General Conference--we see them, He sees them, and we each are them. I love each of you and pray that we each are restored to who we are, and who we can be as we read and re-read the messages from this past Conference!
Sister Briggs

SHOUTOUTS: Mom & Dad, Happy birthday Barry!, The Donakeys, Robert Donakey, Bry & Case, Grandma Jeanie, the Burkes, Kellie McDougle, Brig & Lisa, Aubrey & Jordan, Britania, Tom, Ella and Britania's mom, Preston Merchant, Jessica Helms, Jacque Sweeney, Amber, Sister Opeda, Sister Takahashi, Sister Olden, Sister Nelson, Sister Cummings