Monday, November 23, 2015

Week 14 - 1st Zone Conference & following the Spirit

November 16th, 2015


Hello!!! How is everyone doing??? Still alive and happy, I hope :) You guys keep getting in a lot of accidents and I think I should be more worried about you, than you about me :) 

Our 1st Zone Conference in Pucallpa.
This week we had zone conference for the first time since I have been here and it was SO good! We learned so much about diezmo and ayuno (tithing and fast offering) and the importance of teaching our investigators directly. They have to know at some point or they're just going to be confused :) I also got to talk to President and Sister Gomez during lunch and they remind me of Grandma and Grandpa Briggs on a mission! I love them so much!

I am understanding the frustrating part of missionary work when you commit people to come to church and verify it with them the night before and then they don't show up!!!! Like 5 families!!! But all you can do is your best and leave it to them. One of the gifts we have in this life is agency. A challenge and a blessing all in one.
Our home in Pulcallpa! 
Our cute little family that is getting baptized didn't come yesterday or last week because their house was almost flooded, so I'm worried about them. 

Cool experience this week was that Hermana Willes and I were trying to find a house that we had the address for, and we had contacted the woman once, but not at her house. We passed  by this yellow house and I thought you should go ask them for directions, but we went back and forth and to a bodega (mini mart) and then finally I followed the prompting! Well, what do ya know, it was her house! And we taught her and her husband and they were both super into the lesson and we are going back on Tuesday!! Crazy how following the spirit actually works :) 

Also we found out why Hermana Willes has been sick...she has parasites and an intestinal infection :) But now we have medicine, so, hopefully she will be 100% better soon!

This pic is of us cleaning the flooded apartment!!!! Literally the entire thing!
I hit my 3 month mark this week!! I can't believe how fast time goes!! I'm 1/6 done with my mission!!! That may not seem like a lot to everyone else, but I am shocked! 

Keep counting your tender mercies! They are so abundant and I could go on forever about them here :) And keep smiling and showing the light of the Lord.
Love you all!!!
Hermana Briggs

Also mom I had a crazy idea that for YW you should do an activity where you have practices saying yes or no to watching a bad movie or things like that. If you practice it, they have so much more confidence!

Monday, November 9, 2015

Week 13 - Rain and Tender Mercies

November 9th, 2015

Riding in a "moto."
I am so glad to hear you are all doing well!!! And that Gable shot another one of God's great creatures....props to you :) (Her brother shot a big buck last week).

Thanks for the pictures! I think I am going to go print some out today. You guys are all so cute! 
Ya, it breaks my heart when people decide to go against what the prophets of God have said. They are the reason we have the church of God on the earth...una luz en la obscuridad (a light in the darkness) as I teach to investigators. 

So I wanted to do what I do in my journal: I write Entrañares Misericordias por cada día! (tender mercies for each day)

-First, we went to the muncipalidad to take out birth certificates for our family that is going to be married. Att first they told us because he was born in Lima and his birthday was wrong in the computadora that we were going to have to go through this huge process to get it...I said a prayer hoping it would help. She came back and told us that the computer was actually wrong and that we could get it like normal!!! Huge blessing!!! They can't get married the date we planned because they didn't come to church...because it RAINED SO HARD!!!! And they live over the river...this is a really bad pic of their house.
You can see the water lines from the
flooding that occurs here often.

-Next one day we found this super friendly family that was making cigarettes in their house and we went back and had a lesson with them later this week. They are super awesome and the son was reading my Libro de Mormon almost the whole time we were there so I left him with one. But I have never seen such a huge pile of cigarettes in my life!!!!! I wish I could have taken a pic of it! But I love them so hopefully we can go back!

-We taught the husband of one of our menos activos (less actives) this week and wow it was a cool lesson. The wife has been wanting to get married for forever and we were on track to do it but then if fell through because of money and really I think that the husband couldn't see any reason for doing it. But last night we found him at his house because it was raining (thank you rain) And we taught him!!! He is also super chevere (cool, macho), so I really hope he progresses too.

Also this is what the dogs look
 like here...i finally got a pic!!!
-So we were talking with this lady at the airport the other day who said she hates it when it rains because it brings in the gripe (flu)...I laughed inside because I thought "ya right." Well, I spoke too soon because I got sick. The next morning I got up and we had soup for the second time ever on my mission! Complete tender mercy! And we had a conference that didn't start till 11, so I got to sleep and recuperate. 

I could go on and on about the tender mercies this week but I don't have a ton of time! 
That's my challenge for you, though; to see the hand of God in your life. Because he is everywhere! You just have to look for him.

Well, I love you all!!! Keep smiling and being progressing!
Hermana Briggs

Monday, November 2, 2015

Week 12 - Cultivando with Machetes!

November 2, 2012

I cant believe everything that happens in one week there! Incredible :) Well this week was  another great week as a missionary, and a hard one...but i think i could say that every week! 

This is us cultivating with our awesome machetes (actually, they really
hurt your hand)!
We did cultivando for our service activity on Wednesday this week, which basically means you use a machete and shovel to cut the grass down to nothing. I am still amazed I can sweat to the point of being completely drenched! It was a little area but it literally took us 2 hours because we are all pretty inadequate at it :) And the entire time they wanted to give us food and juice and chocolate.  The people are so generous here. They have such pure and humble hearts, willing to turn to God.

So update on the family that lives in the stilts house...they are progressing a ton and really understand the why behind everything. They really don't have very much money but they are determined to go to church every week without us picking them up and paying for them. They are also getting married (most people here are not) and baptized on the 21st!!! I'm so excited! Little tender mercy with them...I called them to remind them about church and they told me they weren't going because the father was sick.  We have been praying for this family in literally every prayer all week!! So, we were super disappointed. They called back 10 min. later and told us they were coming because it was more important!!! I seriously couldn't believe it!!! So incredible!  They are the type of people that actually follow through with their compromisos (promises). They actually come to church and read the scriptures and pray! They ask questions in church and their goal really is to go to the temple in a year because they understand the importannce of eternal families!!! I just love them!!!!
This is a stream that runs through our
 area!! Gorgeous besides the fact that
 there is so much garbage everywhere!!!

Also, Hermana Willes got sick Saturday, so we were in our apartment for half of the day.  We don't know if it's parasites or not, but during that time I read the Book of Mormon out loud in Spanish for a straight hour and I couldn't believe how much it helped the next day! Learning through the spirit is real!
Our companionship has really progressed too. We haven't always seen eye to eye, but the Lord has helped so much with that process.

Every Sunday as a zone we go and visit different menos activos (less actives) with the members in different wards and yesterday I silently prayed we would find someone to teach. Well, we found someone and the entire time the mother was complaining about her daughter and right when I tried to wrap it up and leave her daughter who apparently had been listening to the entire thing came out to defend herself....oh, man, it was crazy. And, so, finally, after an hour and a half of being there and 45 minutes of me trying to wrap it up we got out of there. But it made me so sad that this was happening because the teachings of Jesus Christ weren't in their home. I know that with Jesus Christ we can overcome all our tribulations! It's never easy, but it's always worth it.

I am loving becoming submersed in the work!!! That is seriously the best but it takes the most effort not to think about yourself. I love talking to people and you build this different connection with them because of the spirit. I love teaching people that want to progress...

Thanks for reminding me of the reason I am here every week!! 
Love you with all my heart to the moon and back!
Hermana Briggs

Week 11 - Visas, Fish and Teaching!

October 26th, 2015

So the period button doesn't work well so I might be using lots of exclamation points instead!

In front of the Lima Temple on a trip to get a Visa! Ran into Elder
Connor Pearce, a friend from back home!
This week I got sent to Lima for a day to get my Visa because I was one of the few that didn't get it while I was in the CCM (MTC)! And I was super frustrated about it, but we got there and they took us to this super nice hotel . . . like super nice. I had a hot shower with water pressure and everything was so clean it kind of shocked me! But while I was there I was trying to find myself being more happy than I was in Pucallpa with our constantly dusty floor, with little inchworm bugs all over the wall and dirt bumpy streets, but I wasn't happier! I was content, but I wasn't happy.

Then after we got our visas, we got to go to the TEMPLE!! I walked in and I started bawling because I felt so happy and realized the stark difference of worldly contentedness and true happiness!!!! True happiness comes from our families and from things of God! I know that without a second doubt in my mind! I don't have the nice things of the world in Pucallpa, but I wanted to come back so bad! I wanted to come back to teach the people of the thing that brings so much happiness! The Gospel of Jesus Christ! 
So ya that was my little aha moment this week :)

Also, we have a new family I think I said something about last week. Carlos and Chelith are their names and they have 4 cute little kids!! They came to the Peru Bolivia conference with us this week at the stake center on Sunday and they were so ready to go!! They woke up at 4 in the morning to be ready for us to pick them up at 8:30! Elder Neil L. Anderson spoke in Spanish. If you can try to imagine that, you have imagined right.  IT was in a super gringo accent, but he was so filled with the spirit. Carlos told us last night that Elder Anderson is so humble and he could feel something different. And then we told him it was the spirit! They are so awesome!!! 

This week has been hard.  I don't want to make it sound like missions are only great! They seem to be full of lots of hard experiences and then absolutely beautiful streaks of the good times!! And really it is so easy to find the good in everything if you are looking for it! Like the cute little old Peruvian ladies that remind me of the Native Americans :) Or when we find someone new to teach! Or when you figure out that they have chocolate dipped ice cream cones here!

A menos activo (less active) we were teaching had a live fish that flopped on the floor during the middle of our lesson.  They buy them live because they are fresher!
Cherish the little things in life!! Thank you for being such great examples to me!! I think about you daily and give thanks that I have such great people in my life! I can feel of your prayers and love so strong!! "Doubt not and fear not." "All these things shall give thee experience and shall be for thy good."
Love you all!!!

Hermana Briggs

Oh and enjoy the "bad weather" for me :) I love snow!!!! 

Answers to questions:
So, October is the rainy month which I am not going to complain about because like every other day is cloudy!!! Otherwise, you literally drip sweat all day!! And when I I look like dad after a's disgusting :) Love ya, Dad!
My companion's name is Hermana Willes..she is from San Diego, California.
We live in an apartment together and there is another companionship of sisters that lives next door to us in another apartment.