Tuesday, August 23, 2016

Week 54 - Sharing the Gospel Makes us Happy!

Us near the Amazon River!
August 22, 2016


Cleaning the graves at the cemetery.
This week was super duper great! It's so crazy 'cause my "mom" (first companion in the mission) is going home today!!! I can't believe all that time has past! 

So, I tried to do a good deed this week by buying a piece of watermelon for one of our less active members who wasn't doing so good...well, it turns out she got food poisoning from it and I made her sick for 2 days! But good thing is she still loves us :) I felt SO bad! 

We did service in the cemetery this week cleaning the graves, and from this picture I'm sure you can tell that they do it a little bit different here. But it was super cool to talk to people about the gospel as we cleaned! 

One of our cute less actives we are teaching.
We had practiced with a family this week about sharing the gospel, and the next day we were at the church for a meeting and their little girl ran up to us and said "I shared the gospel with my friend! When she said we didn't believe in God, I told her the 1st article of faith!" My heart just about fell apart to see how happy she was to share the gospel! 

This week we passed by a house and I felt the impression to stop so we did. I tripped over my words as i tried to relate crocheting into the gospel, but obviously she felt something and let us in. After the opening prayer she told us she had been passing though a lot and we were an answer to her prayer. Turns out her daughter is less active and we have started to teach them both and befriend them with their LDS neighbors! God works in mysterious but glorious ways!
My comps in our apartment.

But I've learned a lot this week about the story of Ammon and how he did everything he did with the spirit and the power of God. He went around doing little deeds of good and that's the reason the king changed! Alma16-18!

I love you all so so much! Keep smiling and always trust in Christ. He will never lead you astray!

Doing Family History
Hermana Briggs

Week 53 - Quistacocha & Grateful for the Spirit

August 15, 2016

Halo todos queridos!
SO this week was amazing like other weeks! Filled with so many blessings! 

This last monday we went to Quistacocha...about a 30 minute drive out of where we live by bus. Its a zoo, but junglized! It was super cool to see the only trained pink dolphin in the world! All of the others had died in training cause they couldn't handle it:( But we made sand castles there and saw so many monkeys I think I'm going to go monkey!

We had a cool experience as we went to do service one morning and it fell through. We tried to visit other people and they weren't home, so we prayed to know where to go and we got the impression to visit a less active that I had just got off the phone with. We went over there and found out her 16 year-old son was home who we have been trying to teach for literally 4 changes! He didn't want to come out, but then precisely in the moment, his best friend walked by who we have previously taught! He came in, woke his friend up and dragged him out. He didn't look too happy to see us, but we taught them about the 2000 stripling warriors in Alma 56-57. They both got excited, and our less actives friend told us he had prayed to know if the church was true but he hadn't gotten an answer, but he wanted one so bad! SO, we committed the investigator friend to pick up the less active to go to church....and guess what... it worked!!! And they both loved their experience in the church and are committed to come next week! I'm so grateful for the promptings of the spirit. I am so less than perfect at following them, but that is something I'm striving to improve.

I'm also learning how to enjoy contacting more as going up and talking to me has never been one of the first things I love to do...well when you have a message that will change their lives, it's a little bit easier. I know that this church is true. I watched this week as a SUPER catholic woman told us she feels like the Book of Mormon is true but doesn't know how to just drop the catholic church. I know the Lord will help her and helps every single one of us in whatever we need.

Our previous ward mission leader called us this week and asked if we would like some tarycayo eggs....what are those you would ask? I asked the same thing....apparently turtle eggs! And they smelled awful but didn't taste too bad! My companion would tell you differently after almost throwing up :)

We read Alma 26:12, which reads  12 Sí, yo sé que nada soy; en cuanto a mi fuerza, soy débil; por tanto, no me jactaré de mí mismo, sino que me gloriaré en mi Dios, porque con su fuerza puedo hacer todas las cosas; sí, he aquí que hemos obrado muchos grandes milagros en esta tierra, por los cuales alabaremos su nombre para siempre jamás.
(sorry its in spanish) 
 (12 Yea, I know that I am nothing; as to my strength I am weak; therefore I will not boast of myself, but I will boast of my God, for in his strength I can do all things; yea, behold, many mighty miracles we have wrought in this land, for which we will praise his name forever.)

I know that this is true and if we put our trust in God that he will work literal miracles among us. 
Love you all to the moon and back!

Con amor,
Hermana Briggs

Week 52 - Grateful to be a Missionary

August 8, 2016

Also us doing service! I learned how to cut chicken
right! She wouldn't let me help her until I told her
 I wanted to learn!! :) with my crazy lions mane!
Our week has also been a week chucked full of miracles! I didn't know how I would feel about a trio, but every week I love it more and more! I have 2 of the best companions on the planet! 
Us, after getting completely soaked!
We had started teaching a hermana who at the beginning we thought would progress, but after a lesson where she only told us that faith can move mountains and that you don’t need anything more because all the churches are true, we decided we might drop her. She was an old investigator and we didn’t know how we felt about her progression.  We decided to wait to see if she came to church. Well, she came! And come to find out her good friend is a less active that is reactivating! She had such a great experience and we know that the Lord's hand was there helping her and us.
Eating cow tongue! It's actually good!
We were stuck another day when all our plans fell through, not knowing where to go; so we said a prayer and felt guided to go to a converts house on the other side of our area. So we jumped in a moto, but when we got there she wasn’t available. We made a return appointment and decided to go find a contact on the same street. We are looking for a new apartment right now, too, because we are not living in our area and we were drawn to a sign that said they had an apartment for rent. We started talking with her next door neighbor and ended up teaching her! By the end of the week we concluded that she won't progress, but I really feel that we were guided to her for a reason, so we will keep on trying.
We also had a huge storm this week that completely soaked us and knocked down a tree in our area. As we drove past, Hna Vazquez and I got to thinking about how we are like these trees…in all different forms and shapes, and we all need to be rooted in the gospel of Jesus Christ or when the winds come we will fall so quickly because there is nothing holding us down.  I know the Gospel of Jesus Christ is the root! And I am so grateful that it can make us strong, because with our own efforts we just can't be.
I really was just so incredibly happy to be a missionary this week. Every day we came home and I felt so grateful to have been able to help so many people. Sometimes we feel like our efforts aren't good enough, but if we are doing the best we can, God doesn't expect anything more of us. 
D&C 18:10-11
Hermana Briggs
Me and my companions!

Monday, August 1, 2016

Week 51 - 7 Soles, Holes, and Love Changes Hearts!

August 8, 2016


Haha! about the long skirts....we are a companionship of 3 now which means we all just wear each others clothes...those are my comps skirts :)

Us on a visit to the hospital.
As for my companion...she is doing a lot better. She has been resting for basically 2 weeks and she is going to start working today. Really it's such a blessing that we have been in a trio because we have still been able to work in our area pretty normally. It has been really rough for her because as a missionary, all you want to do is help people and when you can't sometimes it gets pretty depressing. We spent one of our nights in the clinic as the doctors over reacted about the severity of her condition...and all in all, we went back home with the same knowledge that we had at the beginning. The picture is us together in the hospital.

But I just wanted to share a couple of spiritual experiences....At the beginning of the week we went to visit a less active that won't let her 16 year-old son go to church. He wants to go so bad but she didn't want anything to do with it. We stopped by one night and she wouldn't talk to us. I had a bag of cookies that I had just bought and I had a strong impression to give her one. She accepted it and accepted us to come back! We visited her 2 more times this week and seems to be opening up her heart just from the love we are trying to show her. We have seen how miracles work just by showing a little love. 

Making visits in our area.
We were also walking in the street one night to an appointment, trying to figure out how to help Hermana Campana, who was staying in a members house while we worked. We said a little prayer and my first thought was ...wow, it would be cool if we could find 5 soles in the street to buy something for her to cheer her up... we kept walking and as I looked down to watch my step, I saw 2 pieces of money glimmering in the streetlights! There was 7 soles! We just stood in shock for a little bit because we couldn't believe that God had answered our prayer in such a quick open way! 

I also learned the power of sharing scripture stories this week! We shared a story about Amulek with a less active woman and her grandaughter who hasn't wanted much to do with us. As we shared this story with her, the light in her eyes changed and she beg
an to smile and converse with us more. These are the little miracles that I love seeing on my mission! They are the little things that make the big things come to pass. Alma 37:6

I love this gospel so so much and am learning so much more about the infinite love our Savior has for us every day. If we trust in Him and do what He has asked of us, we WILL NOT FALL!!! Thank you so much for your prayers and support! I can feel them half way around the world! 

Love you all so so much! Keep smiling brightly wherever you may be!

Con amor,
Hermana Briggs

Also, I finally broke my crocs this week! I must be getting old in the mission or something :) But dont worry, I still have shoes...I just thought it was funny I broke them.

Week 50 - Holes, The Living Christ, and Becoming

July 25, 2016

So sorry this is going to be short! But this week my companion, Hna Campana, fell in a hole in the sidewalk so our week has been spent helping her get better, have done lots of splits.  I am so grateful we have been in a trio to be able to help her get better and also to still help the work move on! 

We were able to help  a cute sister that leaves on her mission today! This is a pic of her and us! 

We taught the man that was super incredible again that I talked about a couple of weeks ago! His sister-in-law told us he was feeling pressured, so we we went just to talk and see if we could clarify the gospel a little bit better and help him feel the spirit! Well, yesterday we went and had another beautiful lesson with him! The beautiful lessons come when we are teaching by the spirit. The investigator has to let it in and we as missionaries have to invite the spirit in. 

And the picture of the other family is the one who is now commited to memorize the Living Christ! They are a mix of converts and less actives and this family is my absolute favorite! They are so willing to keep trying to do what is right even when no one else is! She kind of reminds me of Marnie my aunt! So super fun! We challenged them to draw pictures of their families in the temple and this is what they came up with! So cute!

Thanks for your unconditional love and support. Some weeks are hard, but the tender mercies of God always cover up the hardness. I love this quote from a 2010 General Conference address by Elder Scott I heard in zone conference this week "We become what we want to be by consistently being what we want to become each day." Keep smiling brightly and trying to be a little more like Christ every day!!!

Also mom...my comp and I walked like you and Heidi last night!!!! Actually, probably not as fast, but it made me think of you!

Love you all!
Hermana Briggs

Answers to questions:

With the Elders.
We found out that you can buy tortillas in Peru but they are scarce :) They don't eat them at all here...I think there is one taco place here but it's closed during our pday :) 

Sometimes it is hard not being able to find people. It has been eating at me this week and I realized that part of the problem is probably just me! I need to change my attitude a little bit and open my mouth a little bit more. Put my trust a little more in God and He is able to do all things. Sometimes God tries our patience to see how we will respond and if we will keep pushing forward. God also does things to help us, like he gave us a work visit. If you can believe it Hermana Mucha, my companion in Pucallpa, is now my sister leader. It was so cool to do a work visit with her and to see how she has progressed. She got me excited to talk with everyone and pray more fervently. Yes, there might be problems, but I'm grateful I can pray to the Lord to see others as He sees them. 

To answer some of your previous questions, when we don't have appointments we do a number of things. We contact referrals or contacts, or visit less actives or active members, or go knock doors. Just depending on what we plan and what the spirit says. We were able to put our memorized Living Christ to practice yesterday when we taught it as a lesson. It was so cool to see them get excited to also want to start memorizing it! 

Week 49 - I love the Book of Mormon! and a Birthday!

July 18, 2016

Wow, such a great week! The weeks always seem to be better and the hard parts sometimes funnier looking back on it. You end up learning a lot about what you can improve and what you did good. Now I understand why Grandma always does a weekly email. :) 

Our Trio - Hna Campana, me and Hna Vasquez.
Well, my week was a huge mix of craziness! On Monday we had changes...Hermana Vazquez and I didn't get changed, but we got an addition to our companionship!!! Yes, we are a trio and we are actually loving it!! Her name is Hermana Campana (that means Bell in English, so we call her our little Tinkerbell because she is so much shorter than both of us :) and she is from Lima! She was actually in our zone last change so she just hopped over to join us. She got baptized 2 years ago and has such a rock solid testimony! I absolutely love the 3 of us together and we have already been able to build a good strong relationship in just 1 week! we also got a huge part of the Elder's old area because they closed their area. We are actually glad we are 3 because we can do divisions easily to be able to help more people. 

Birthday celebrations!
Also, thank you all for the birthday wishes! I feel like a 15 year-old girl still, but I guess everyone has to grow up at some point. Hermana Campana said that we should have gone to Neverland, but we didn't find it fast enough :) I ate lots and lots of good food, probably too much, and we didn't do much exciting that day because we had planning and ward counsel and correlacion misional, but it was so good to reflect on what I have done for the past 20 years of my life and how I have grown as a daughter of God. 
We received an investigator from the elders, too, who has a baptism date and at the beginning of the week we went to visit him. He was passing through a rough time and we were able to give him words of comfort and to trust in God. Later he told us that he hadn't been reading his scriptures since the elders left and that we had answered his prayer for help. We don't always see how much of an impact we make, but I am grateful for those times to see that we are helping in the Lord's work and we are helping change lives. 

I was reading a lot about humility this week again.  Maybe it's just where I was reading in the Book of Mormon, but I love the difference between the people of Limhi in Mosiah 22 and the people of Alma in Mosiah 24. Limhi and his people were compelled to be humble, but the people of Alma were just humble because they loved God. Limhi and his people suffered much death through war and the Lord was slow to hear their cries. Alma and his people were captive, too, but the Lord was quick to hear their cries because they bore their afflictions happily and patiently (Mosiah 24:15). I absolutely love this! They were both humble but arrived there in different ways and received different blessings for their actions. I love, love, love it! I can feel my testimony of the Book of Mormon growing so much more and I find so much strength in what I read every day! That is why I felt the need and desire to share what I had learned with all of you. I know this book is true with all my heart and that it changes lives! 

Eating way too much food on my bday!  Pictured here is the 3rd bday cake with my pensionista and bishop and others. 
I wish I could write a million more things! But I love you all so so much! Keep smiling brightly wherever you are in the beautiful world God created for His children. Love you!
Con amor,
Hermana Briggs