Thursday, December 31, 2015

Week 20 - Christmas!

December 28, 2015

Singing in the Plaza with our zone.
 As for the patience thing, I think that is something I am learning to work on with my companion. We don't always see eye to eye and I have gotten frustrated with her more than a few times, but the one amazing thing I have learned is communication. I have always been awful at communicating and never liked talking through things, usually just avoiding about talking through them. But I have learned that when you talk through things, your relationship grows! Because you actually understand the other person and their perspective! Who knew!!??!? Ya, so every day seems to be just trying to understand her perspective, but it has been so good for me even though it has been hard. And I absolutely LOVE her and am so excited to be her companion!

Also she told me that she is always going to remember your voice (mom) talking to her. She could feel of your love for her. She really is the only member in her family besides her mom and really just wants to have a forever family. She said you guys were that example for her of what she wants to create for her own family in the future. Thanks for that mom!

As for this week, we have been trying to find the Less Actives in the ward because there were only a few in our area book when we got here. And we found SO many!!! And even better 5 of them came to church on Sunday!!!!!! I think this is the first week in the mission that we have had investigators, recent converts and menos activos (less actives) come to church!!! We are trying to work with the members more in our lessons and in finding people and it really has been working. I think I talk about this every week but its true! The members and the missionaries aren't of different religions...we are the same trying to do the same thing....Bring others Unto Christ!

Quick story...we have really been able to feel the spirit a lot in our lessons lately and as a companionship and one effect from this was that we were walking in the street one day, our other appointment had fallen through and we were going to another potential, but we decided to take a different route. 2 girls called out "Hermanas!" and we went over to talk to them. Turns out their older cousin is inactive and we had a super powerful lesson with her. She came to church on Sunday and told us she has been feeling so much better lately. I love the spirit!!!!

Christmas morning!
As for was AMAZING!!!!!!! We sang Christmas songs in the motokars and made all the motokar drivers laugh. We went and sang in the plaza as a zone and contacted people! So incredible to see the power of music! And oh man it was so good to see all your glowing faces through skype!!!! It just seemed like a casual conversation in the moment, but after it just seemed like a dream. But its not :)

That was about my week :) I have been so tired but I'm learning how to be a happy tired. Missionary work takes a lot out of you :) 

I love you all so incredibly much!!!  My scripture I've been focusing on lately is 2 Nephi 28:30. It is a great reminder that we all learn a little bit at a time and that we need to be patient in the things we learn. And that it's okay not to be perfect all at once :)
Love you!!

Hna Briggs
And thanks SO MUCH for the Christmas presents by the way :) I adore them!

Monday, December 21, 2015

Week 19 - First Transfer & Big Spiders

December 21, 2015

Primero.....FELIZ NAVIDAD!!!!!!!!!
With my new comanion, Hermana Mucha
at Zone Conference!
I am hurrying to email back!!!! It sounds like you all have had so much fun during this Christmas season! Christmas isn't really as big of a deal here, and people really just love it because they get to eat Paneton (fruit cake). It is a joke in the US that people eat fruit cake during Christmas, but here it is actually a real thing! And they love it; so good for them! :) 

This week has been absolutely crazy!!! We had transfers on Monday night and my companion got sent to Iquitos!!! And I got sent to the area right next to mine, so I am still in the same ward, just a different area. So, I already know most of the people, but we have already gotten lost so many times in this new area! Oh ya!! I have a new companion!! Her name is Hna Mucha and she is amazing!!! She actually lived in the apartment right next to me before, so, we already know each other!! She is from Lima and has been a member for 6 years. She reallly understands what it means to teach by the spirit 

We moved houses and there are so many spiders
 that keep appearing in this house so this is me with
 the broom valiantly killing the giant spiders! 
We had Zone Conference only for Navidad!!! (Christmas). It was super cool to get to know our new Zone and, man, President and Sister Gomez are just incredible!!! They always know exactly what to say and how to help us. 

We have had some really cool teaching experiences this week, too. We don't know our area really well so we have been relying on the members and the spirit to help us. Last night we were walking and I had the impression to contact two people sitting outside their house. They didn't seem like the type that would listen but we went anyways. We learned that their grandma was a member and so we went in to visit her. Turns out that she is super menos activo (less active) and no one has visited her in years!! She told us she wants to change and she was praying that God would send her someone to help her!!!!! Incredible!!!!!!

Also, we had a super powerful lesson that wouldn't have been powerful if we hadn't messed up a few lessons before. We had some problems with our lessons previously in that day because we weren't used to teaching together, but we talked through them and figured out how to fix it, which prepared us to teach by the spirit that night. It's cool to see how God will use our weaknesses to help his work, to help us grow. 

I really am so excited for Navidad and I hope all of you really remember why we celebrate it! I have been able to see more of the true reason durante (during) this time here. 

Mosiah 3:7-8,17 Remember the reason he came for you! 

I love you all so much and am so excited to talk to you on Friday!!!!!!!! 

Hermana Briggs

Monday, December 14, 2015

Week 18 - Personal study is awesome!

December 14, 2015

 A pic of us contacting by asking to take pics with Christmas
 trees :) so much fun and so much more effective!
Thanks so much for your uplifting emails always...I think it's just because of the way you live life.

I think every week I'm probably just going to say was full of miracles, but I think all of our lives can be that way if we are looking for the miracles.

So we were in a lesson one night and we had started late, so we were little bit crunched for time; but were still trying to follow the spirit. We got an impression to invite them to be baptized even though we were super tight on time. I was hesitant, but we did anyways...and I'm not here to say that they just jumped up and accepted, but we knew it was what they needed. We ended and ran to find a motokar! We found one within a minute and he was the happiest motokar guy I've ever met! I felt like God was sending one of His angels to us and we miraculously got home almost exactly on time! God provides a way if we follow Him!

Also another day, I think literally everyone fed us!!!! But I didn't feel sick at all!!! Another little blessing :) 

I've had some really cool experiences this week during personal study. I have been focusing on studing more directly to the needs of the investigators, and so much of it has strengthened me and my testimony more than I think it has strengthened theirs. You can't light another candle if yours isn't already lit! I can feel so much more power as I testify, too, as I know more for myself of the power it more in my life!

I also hit 4 months this week!!! Crazy how time flies!!!

Ponderizing this week!!! Romanos 5:3-5 Learn to be patient with yourself because God is patient with you!
Love you all!
Hermana Briggs

Monday, December 7, 2015

Week 17 - "A Savior is Born" & Godly Sorrow

December 7, 2015


I can't believe how much can happen in just one of your days there! Haha, I've actually been thinking about those homemade peanut butter bars you ate lately, so I'm glad you enjoyed them for me too! Also, did you get my letter I sent?  I'm so glad you are all enjoying life! It is so fun to see what you are doing and how you are growing!

This week was quite the adventure! Like every week :) We started Tuesday with having to drop our family that had a date to be baptized, but when we went the father was drunk. We still walked in and taught a lesson about the Savior and the message that Christmas brings...and when we started testifying of Jesus Christ both my companion and I just started sobbing. We were testifying of how He can change lives, and we had started to see it change theirs, and then they decided that they didn't want to continue to follow the commandments. I don't think I have felt so much godly sorrow before. But we both knew that it was what we needed to do, so we went back later this week to really let them go, and cried some more, but the spirit was there. We know it is what we need to do to find families that are really ready to hear the gospel and accept it in their lives.

Cool thing that happened, though, is that the non member father of the member family we are teaching has changed. There is a different light in his countenance and he now tries to find reasons to let us in and teach him instead of reasons to change the cita (appointment). And he came to church without his wife for all 3 hours!!! He ususally comes to church but it's because his wife drags him along. I am so excited to be part of his progression! We had a lesson with him last night and he had such honest questions and I could feel the spirit put into my mouth exactly what I needed to say and the way to do it. SO COOL!!! 
Another miracle this week is that we went to visit a new family we have but they weren't home and we felt the impression to go visit a less active, so we started our walk there, and on the way the first family we went to visit drove by!!!! We talked to them for a little and set a new appointment with them! The spirit is real!

Click HERE to view "A Savior is Born"
So the initiativa (initiative) for this Christmas for the church is "Ha Nacido Un Salvador" or "A Savior is Born." We decided one night when our meeting with the bishop and ward mission leader was canceled that we would go try to take pics with people with their Christmas trees! Well this opened people up super quick because people love their Christmas trees here, and I feel like every person we went to ended up telling us their whole life story while we were sitting in their house! A really cool and much more effective way to contact...and really fun too :) And I would send pics but the computer I'm using today is being a pain, so I'll try next week!! 

Sometimes Satan just tries to get you down, but I've been learned more how to combat him this week. It is SO hard but nothing in life with eternal significance or really anything that really matters is meant to be easy. There were so many cute little kids who called  out, "Hermanitas," (sisters) and waved to us this week that really just helped me get through. So many tender mercies! Thank you for your prayers as well! I can definitely feel them; especially when it's hard. 

This week Ponderize scripture is 1 Nefi (Nephi) 15:7-11 And think about humility when you read it. 
One of my favorite quotes I put on my desk says "If you are the same person you were yesterday, then what was yesterday for? Don't be afraid to change!" 

I love you all so much!! You are constantly in my thoughts and prayers!
Hermana Briggs

Tuesday, December 1, 2015

Week 16 - Earthquakes & Dreams

November 30, 2015

This pic is one of a recent convert that is leaving to Lima
 and her mom!!! I absolutely love her and am going to
 miss her so much!!!

I look forward to reading your letters every week!!

You asked about how to teach girls modesty...well that's something we deal with every day, but not really something we teach yet cause women just nurse openly in front of you and people hardly wear any clothes because its so hot! But I would ask them what kind of man they want to marry...because the only ones worth having are ones that want you to be modest. It is a sign of respect not only for you but others around you and your heavenly father. 

I'm also glad you had fun with thanksgiving and putting up the Christmas decorations.

Well this week I feel like a million and one things happened!
We started off Tuesday with an earthquake and everyone was super scared...we were the closest city to this 7.3 earthquake!! And I understand why they would be so scared cause there would be nothing left if there was actually a big one. 

We taught a father of a super active strong family yesterday, but the dad isn't a member. The missionaries have been trying to teach him for years but he wouldnt' have anything to do with the elders :) He has started to warm up to us and last night really showed a lot of interest! He actually committed to reading the book of mormon and he willingly said the prayer at the end!!!! He only lets us come on Sundays but were going to try to slowly sneak other lessons in there because we are teaching his convert son right now. It is amazing to see how with the help of God we can do exactly his will for us and his children because it has been SO hard to teach him.

So i learned how to cut hair this companions and one of the other sisters...and it actually looks good! So gable dont be scared to let me cut your hair okay???

Also. I interpreted a recent converts dream the other day...EVERYONE has dreams here or wants an answer through a dream..she was running in a white dress and had to pay to get into a building with other people...and I likened it to an urgency to get to the temple and paying tithing as part of it. It was like a lightbulb went off in her head!!! And now she has a desire to pay tithing! So if dream interpreting gets people to pay their tithing I'll keep doing it like Joseph of Egypt!!!

Also diligencia (dilligence) is what my Ponderize scripture is on this week!! Deuteronomy 4:9 If we are diligent in all things and do our part first the Lord is bound to help us!

I love you all so much!! Send me pics of christmas!!!

Also if you would like to bear a short testimony that i could use about church attendance and the importance of it...that would help so much!!! Thanks!

Hermana Briggs

Week 15 - French toast & Protection

November 23, 2015


So some little tender Mercies this week!
Figured out how to make French toast & syrup!
We figured out we can make french we did :) and tortillas...those ones didn't quite turn out the same the first time. I used my great college skills to make syrup to go with our french toast! Thanks 211 :) Some times just little things from home make a difference.

We have a new family this week that really has just been a joy to teach so far because they have fulfilled all their commitments besides coming to church...which I guess is a problem but we´re going to work on that. 

Really cool experience, it was small but powerful. We were looking for someone to visit because our Plan A and Plan B fell through and I thought of this guy who seemed cool that lived close that we contacted a few days earlier. We started walking to his house and I got the most distinct impression that we shouldn't go. Actually parts of the movie Saratov Approach that we had watched the pday earlier in the week as a zone came  to my head. What was even cooler was that almost at the same time Hermana Willes and I stopped in our tracks and both said, we can't go there...I don't know why, but I am so glad the Lord watches out for His missionaries!

We had a lesson with a recent convert who is 15 years of age and reminds me a lot of Gable :) Well we could tell he wasn't super excited for our lesson and so Hermana Willes and I decided we were going to make it fun. We were teaching Articles of Faith, so we decided we would sing some of them from the Children's Songbook. Haha! Well, the words don't exactly match up in Spanish and we ended up kind of just making ourselves seem silly...but I don't think he will ever forget the 13 articles of faith!

Also we found the power of working with the members! We visited a member in the ward one night and found out she had a whole family of menos activos (less actives) for us to teach and gave us 3 other references and then offered to have a family home evening with them tonight!!! There are some people who are so prepared for the missionary work, not just investigators! 

I learned the importance of making our own decisions this week too. We choose every day what kind of day we are going to have because we are THE ONLY things we can control in this life! And when we choose to be happy, life really is just so much better! 

My scripture to leave with you this week is Matthew 7:20-21....never forget who your faith is in!

Hermana Briggs