Tuesday, December 27, 2016

Week 72 - Christmas & Jesus Christ Lives!

 December 26, 2016

Familia y amigos!
So this week was really such a good week just to reflect on the life of Jesus Christ! It made me grateful for the little moments...making the nativity video, singing in the plaza and contacting millions of families, eating panettone (click here to see pictures), sending off a sister who was finishing her mission, and also having the privilege to have Hna Gomez with us! She is the other missionary by the tree! She just started her mission 6 weeks ago and her trainer went home so she has been our little sister for a few days! I have learned so much from her humility. 
Singing in the Plaza
We did some service for a less active who introduced us to her sister! I love references because they have the most probability to progress! The other pic is of the A* family! I love this family so much! They are coming back to church and are so persevering! This day was one of the little moments I will always treasure. Everyone was so happy and we were bouncing questions off the kids. There is such a peace that comes to a home when the gospel is there. 
I love this family!
This Christmas Sunday, the most special part was probably taking the sacrament on the day that we remember our Savior, Jesus Christ. I really could feel his sacrifice for me and the divinity of his life on earth! I KNOW He is our Savior and Redeemer! He lives and because of that we will live again as well!
Sending off a missionary
Also, family, I loved seeing you! I really don't believe you are all that big and that so many of you have had voice changes! 
I love you all! Keep smiling brightly to light the world with the light of the Savior!
Con amor,
Hermana Briggs

Below is a video of me and my extended family reciting a document entitled, "The Living Christ" for my grandparents for Christmas! It was written by the apostles of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.  We add our testimony to theirs of the divinity of Jesus Christ and his role as our Savior and Redeemer.  Hope you enjoy! Merry Christmas!

Answers to questions:
-There are about 117,000 people living in Tarapoto. 
-Tarapoto is hot hot! (It was close to 100 F today!), but it does cool down at night.  It is less humid than Iquitos (which is surrounded by water)!  Although the summers here are hotter than the winters, there are more rains to cool things off.
-People call me "Elsa" here:)
-The people eat lots of fish here and in Iquitos, but they don't necessarily serve it to us "gringas," because at some point someone told the pensionistas we don't like fish! I love fish.  They fry the entire fish, (head and all) and then you eat the entire thing:)

Monday, December 26, 2016

Week 71 - Floods, Rejection, Baptisms and Mangoes!

December 19, 2016

Hello everyone!!

I don't even know where to start! SO much happened this week!

This week we had a lot of rejection, but I think that it was necessary to find the chosen ones. We had so much rejection one day that literally every single person we contacted didn't want anything to do with us.  One literally ran inside and turned off her light and shut her door. BUT that does not mean that miracles did not happen!

Hna I* (the one in the pic) accepted a baptismal date and is going to be baptized the 28th of January!!!! Her conversion process has been so cool! She can barely walk and grab things because of a bone disease but came to church with us yesterday! She kept asking all sorts of questions, like "what is Zion," during the songs :)

Also we had a Christmas devotional that was so, so good this week! I learned about becoming more converted to our Savior Jesus Christ. I know He was born for ME, that he died for ME and that He did it for EVERYONE of you as well. We enjoyed singing Christmas songs together and eating good food...paneton as well!

It flooded this week! We helped one of our investigators, whose house had flooded!

Well love you all! I hope you all have a beautiful Christmas wherever you may be!

Love you all to the moon and back!
Keep smiling!
Hermana Briggs
Also, I've turned into the mango Santa Clause :) 

Monday, December 12, 2016

Week 70 - Be With Him

December 12, 2016

Hello Everyone!!! Feliz Navidad otra vez!

So this week was amazing! We did service with our sweet investigator B*, helping her make food to sell! She has a foot that swells up every time she works from an accident she had, but she is determined to make the money she needs to get married! I am so excited for her; there are going to be some difficulties in the way, but we will get there! Her mom is also in this picture. When she prays she always asks God to forgive her for forgetting things because shes just a viejita (little old woman :) I love this family!
Making food. Love this family!
We did a sister change this week with the other sister in our zone and I got to know Hna Gomez. She has only been in the mission for 4 weeks but she is so humble and willing to learn. I am so grateful for her example.
I was reading in Matthew 12:30 today about being with the Lord or not. "He that is not with me is against me; and he that gathereth not with me scattereth abroad." It really struck me that it is so simple. We are with him or not. I know that if we decide to be with him we will find the peace that is sung about during Christmas time

Love you all!
Hermana Briggs
Merry Christmas!

Loved this about Matthew 12:30 (Student Manual)

The Pharisees took an untenable position when they accused Jesus of using the power of the devil to do something good by healing a man possessed with a devil (see Matthew 12:22–24). The Savior taught that “a good tree cannot bring forth evil fruit, neither can a corrupt tree bring forth good fruit” (Matthew 7:18). In challenging the Pharisees to “either make the tree good, and his fruit good; or else make the tree corrupt, and his fruit corrupt” (Matthew 12:33), Jesus was telling them they needed to make a choice about Him. Because of His good works they could not consistently call Him evil, and they could not take a neutral position (see Matthew 12:30). Confronted with His testimony and good works, the Pharisees had to choose whether or not they would accept Him as the Christ and follow Him.
Christian writer C. S. Lewis taught that we too must make an all-or-nothing choice in response to Jesus Christ: “You must make your choice. Either this man [Jesus Christ] was, and is, the Son of God: or else a madman or something worse. You can shut Him up for a fool, you can spit at Him and kill Him as a demon; or you can fall at His feet and call Him Lord and God. But let us not come with any patronising nonsense about His being a great human teacher. He has not left that open to us. He did not intend to” (Mere Christianity[1952], 41).

Elder Bruce R. McKonkie said, “There is, in fact, no such thing as neutrality where the gospel is concerned. Jesus said: ‘He that is not with me is against me; and he that gathereth not with me scattereth abroad.’ (Matt. 12:30.) … If we do not sustain and uphold and support the kingdom of God in all things, we are thereby aiding a cause other than the Lord’s.”

Monday, December 5, 2016

Week 69 - I love the Book of Mormon & Beauty

Hiking in the mountains near Tarapoto.
December 5, 2016

Hola Familia,
Yes! Merry Christmas starts today...before today! I love the Christmas season so much! Sometimes I still wait for the snow to appear, but sadly it never will. But the Spirit of Christ is the thing that doesn't change world wide!
This week has been full of its ups and downs, but I'm always amazed that even through the struggles, I am always at peace and have joy. What Elder Nelson said in General Conference is so true . . .that it doesn't matter our circumstances whatsoever, what matters is where we have placed our trust.
I worked a lot with members this week because Hermana W. had to go to Iquitos for a training, so, I got left here alone. Hermana M. worked with me, and when I walked into her house her son was listening to music in English. I was helping her wash dishes and had the impression to show him the EFY music from 2015. I did and he LOVED it! So now he will only learn good words in English. :)
I* accepted a baptismal date for January! I am so so excited for her because she is gaining her own testimony of the Book of Mormon and that is the basis for her desire to join the church. I know the Book of Mormon is true and it is essential to know to know everything else. She has artrosis (osteoarthritis) and can't walk very well, or grab stuff well, so we will do her hair for her and walk her dog when we go. I love being able to serve her!
On Monday last week Hermana W. and I went to hike the mountain a little bit in the other sister's area. Oh, it is so, so, so beautiful there! We found a few cute little women washing their clothes in the river and we just enjoyed the beauty.
Cooking at home.
I am so grateful for the Savior, Jesus Christ and that through Him we can Iluminar el mundo! (Light the World) mormon.org That is the theme! Light the world every day with the Light of Christ! I am loving doing it!!

Love you all!
Keep smiling BRIGHTLY! Iluminen el mundo!

Con amor,
Hermana Briggs