Monday, March 25, 2013

Hello from...

Georgia! That's right, I was lucky enough to be called to the very very south part of my mission, and am serving in Thompson, Georgia! I'm discovering lots of new things down here, like mist and fog and lots and lots and lots of churches. Seriously there is one on every corner (sometimes more than one!) and there are tons of beautiful pre-civil war houses. I'm really loving it down here! the very best part of this area is the overabundance of trees. I LOVE the trees! its like camping, but with plumbing! :)

 Mom- I'm sorry for the lack of pictures... I'm waiting to get some from sister Mumford from the MTC, but I'll try to figure out how to send the few I have. I don't have any from my new area yet, but I'm working on it.

 My trainer's name is Sister Gardner, and if you want to know what she looks like, look up a picture of Amy Adams. seriously, they could be twins. She was a psych major in college, and loves to pick my brain and figure out how I think, because I guess I think differently from anyone she's ever met before (ha ha go figure ;)) She is amazing because she discovered she had celiac, plus a bunch of other health problems, while on her mission, and so she's taught me a lot about relying on the lord and seeing trials as blessings. the down side of it is she cant eat.... well, anything. needless to say, I'm so excited to go grocery shopping in a bit... its also kind of funny, because I'm the youngest girl in the mission right now, and I got paired with the oldest :)

 Right now, our teaching pool is pretty small, because we've been asked to focus more on reactivation. a good half of our ward is inactive. so, our day is spent teaching and lifting families, and trying to get them to church activities. I've seen gods hand in my life many ways this week, but the one that stands out most in my memory was something of a miracle. Sister Garnder and I have a list of less active members that we have been working to try and bring to church. It seems that every time we went to go meet one of them, they aren't home or have some reason not to attend. We've been praying for a solution, and doing everything we could think of to remedy the less-active problem. I remember one night praying mightily that our father in heaven would help us figure out what to do, and we were impressed to visit a certain family, one Sister West. We went to visit her and share a message about courage, and as we were doing so, her friend Martha walked in. As we got to know Martha, We discovered that she was close friends with every single sister we had been trying to get a hold of, and gave us updated phone numbers and times we would be able to catch them at home, and then agreed to come to church with us! It was an amazing answer to prayer.

 A cool thing: one of sister Gardener's converts went through the temple on Saturday, so we got to go and watch their family be sealed! It was probably one of the coolest things Ive ever seen in my life. I'm so glad our father in heaven provided us with a way to be with our families for eternity!

so, an embarrassing story: My very first Sunday, the day I got to meet the bishop and everyone else, we arrived at church (a good 40 min. away...) and I realise I FORGOT. MY. NAME TAG. oh my heavens, it was terrible. I had to borrow an elder's and jerry-rig it so it said my name, using a sticky note and a black pen to black out the background. not a great moment for me.... It ain't easy being green :)

 One thing I've learned in the scriptures this week: I've been splitting my study time between reading in the Book of Mormon and Jesus the Christ, and I've discovered a great pre-indicator of going down a path that will lead you to misery: Vain ambitions and Flattery. Almost every time someone does something wrong, they start with a vain ambition (oh, I don't need to do that, that doesn't apply to me, I deserve this, why is this happening to me?) or flattery (doing or saying something for the sole purpose of getting what you want, getting people to like you, or even justifying something). Ive noticed myself thinking, ' oh, maybe if I say this then they will like me enough to come to church!' or other similar ideas. this is not how the lord works. He works by lifting others, simply for the sake of lifting them. it is then, and only then, that hearts are changed and things get done..... just a though :)

 Quote of the week: " what is to be, will be, and what 'aint to be, might just happen... So don't worry about it!"
- Sister Pullam ( who originally told me her name was Sister Pusham... just to tease me :))

 Well, you all have a fantastic Easter, and remember you are loved very much.

 Have a blessed day, Y'all!

Sister Derrick
Here are a few pictures Bryndee sent from the MTC...Enjoy!
 Bryndee and Sister Mumford at the Provo Temple. 

Sister Severtson and Bryndee at the MTC.  It is so fun to see these girls together with their name tags.
Bryndee and her MTC district.

Friday, March 22, 2013

Bryndee Is In South Carolina!

On Monday, March 18 Bryndee left the MTC and arrived in South Carolina.  I got a call from her at 5:10 am while she was waiting at the airport for her was the best 4 minutes ever.  She was happy and excited to be starting her adventure as a missionary. 
The whole group of sisters arriving at in the South Carolina, Columbia Mission.  This is the largest group to date.  The sister that Bryndee's arm is around is Sister Mumford, they were comps in the      MTC and became instant friends.  They shared some really  neat experiences together. 
I know Bryndee is happy because I can see it in her face.
Bryndee's first day in South Carolina.
  President Holm, Bryndee, and Sister Holm in the mission home. 

Sunday, March 17, 2013

Bryndee's 2nd and last letter from the MTC...Crazy Huh?

Hello family (and who ever else reads these! :)) Hope its been a good week!
Porter, Torie, and Ellie should be getting a letter in the mail soon (sorry they took so long, we can only write on Saturdays) but they can look for those. Tell the other kids to write me!!!
Pretty please? I would love to hear from them.

Mom- I'm not positive that I can call home from the airport, but if I can It'll be either from 4:30 to 7:00 in the morning, or whenever I get into SC (sorry, that's all the info they gave me... its about a 6 hour flight? if that helps?) Thank you for all the Dear Elders! They are seriously the best part of my day. I LOVE YOU!!!

This week we committed John to baptism (Ahh! most exciting thing ever!) and acquired 4 more investigators. Claudia reminds me a lot of Erma, and is super Catholic (which is kinda cool, Ive learned a lot about their religion as I've taught her about ours) Mary Beth is from Texas, and we could totally be friends. Shane the father of a part member family, and is having kind of a hard time believing our Father in Heaven cares about him. Robert is actually a member, but is inactive. Its been amazing to see just how many people need to know how much they are loved by their Father in Heaven. So many people feel so alone! There is a beautiful feeling when they finally realize and believe that they are loved.

Porter, Dad, and whoever else is Interested- A Really awesome article by President Hinckley: Find The Lambs, Feed The Sheep (may 1999 Ensign). Read it.

Dad, Did you ever go out to lunch with Mr. Eckert? How'd it go?

Okay, weird request: you know the song "longer than forever" from that animated swan princess movie? well, my companion keeps singing it, and it tends to get stuck in our heads.... but we only know like the first six words... could someone send us the lyrics? Please... for our sanity??
I FINALLY saw Sister Severtson! It was great to see her! I'm really gonna miss her like crazy when I leave! Could someone also send me her address? It's on her mission blog, I just forgot to write it down...

Random story: So, the other day I was outside for our study time with Sister Mumford, and while sitting on the same bench, I saw Elder Claridge, Sister Severtson, and a bunch of other people I knew from High School (this never happens!)! It was kinda exciting! There was also a random deer that ran through the campus... Scared the stuffing out of all of us....
Well, I love you all, and Ill try to send pictures as soon as I can... Most of these computers can't upload them.

God Lives and loves each and every one of us!!!

Sister Derrick

p.s. excuse my spelling and grammar.... time limit....

Saturday, March 9, 2013

Bryndee's First Letter From MTC

Heyya everyone!

Okay, so this letter might be really scatterbrained and spelled wrong and grammatically incorrect, because I have exactly 30 min. to email.

Thanks for the dearelder! keep 'em coming!!!

So, the MTC is AMAZING. I love it here. Ive been here 4 days, and I've already learned SO. MUCH.

My companion is named Sister Mumford (yes, like the band :)) and if Jessica Kleinman had a twin sister who grew up on a farm in Idaho, that would be her. I love her so much :) She happily puts up with all my scatter-brained-ness (Ive already lost my PMG, my keys, and my name tag, and she didn't even break a sweat ;)) and is totally fine getting up early with me, and loves lord of the rings and dancing :) she's great.

 Speaking of, Torie.... here's a job for you. get on my facebook and add Lori Mumford from Weston Idaho. Please and thank you :)

 Also, Porter, If you could ask brother Goodman for one of those sheets people use to practice for centurion award, and mail it to me, that would be great. thanks mucho.

 So far, Ive seen: Elder Bloomfield, Elder Washburn, Sister Nava, and Elder Claridge. No Kami yet, but Elder Claridge sees her a lot, so he's going to tell her where my classroom is :)

Porter- the food is.... okay. sometimes. but the DO have the worlds best chocolate milk. ever.

 Speaking of classroom.... We spend SO much time learning and in the scriptures! its absolutely wonderful! this week, I've been taking great comfort in the story of Abinadi (weird one to take comfort in, i know, but... Its really a powerful story!) . In Mos. chapter 12, It talks about how he was taken in front of the king and priests, where they did everything in their power to trip him up. That is one thing i was really afraid of from my investigators... but it goes on to say that abinadi astounded the priests with his reply, and he was able to convey his message, and change one man, which in turn changed millions. I've come to learn that that is a gift of the spirit, something you can pray for. Its kind of a cool thought :)

So, yesterday, sister Mumford and I taught our first investigator. (the thing about role play in the MTC. Its SO. REAL. There is no pretending or silliness here. He is a REAL investigator, with REAL problems and struggles). We spent the entire day before super nervous, and so we decided to do a companion fast. we started that night, right after dinner, and then just spent mealtimes in the classroom studding the scriptures and getting to know each other better. Lemme tell you,fasting in the MTC is incredibly difficult, because it feels like we fit the span of 8 days into one, and you really need your energy for that, but it is so, incredibly powerful. We ended up being the last companionship to be able to teach, and we watched one confident companionship after another walk back into our classroom after another, shoulders slumped and near tears. weirdly enough, the closer we got to the actual lesson, the calmer we became. We walked in to John's house (that's his name) with exactly two goals. we wanted to get to know john, and we wanted to help him build a relationship with his heavenly father. We learned that john is a single parent of a 1 year old boy named Dominic, who he described as his best friend. he's a born again christian from Texas, who just moved to Provo and saw the missionaries walking around, and had questions. we leaned that he hadn't prayed in a long time. we opened the lesson with a prayer, and then explained a little bit about what our church believes about our father in heaven. He had never realized that god actually listens to, and answers prayers. Its amazing how much real, tangible love i felt for this man, who was feeling so lost and alone. Sister mumford and I explained the mechanics of prayer, and then asked him if he would feel comfortable praying. My heart sank when he said no, he felt like it had been too long since he had prayed, he didn't really feel worthy. for half a second, we were stumped. then, the spirit whispered to me, and reminded me of the relationship john had with his son, and I brought it up. I asked how he would feel if Domenic didn't talk to his father when he grew up. It really made the idea of prayer real for john! I re- challenged him, and this time, he accepted! YES! He said a very quiet, very simple prayer, and the spirit was stronger in that room than I had ever felt before. He was really thoughtful when he finished, and said he felt really, really good. he then accepted our challenge to pray every day, and HE set up our next lesson, not us! he was really excited about what he was feeling!

I know the success of that lesson was definitely a result of our fast, and that if we faithfully do all we can to help the lord, he helps us come up with the rest. It was really an incredible experience. I know that our father in heaven loves each and every one of his children, so so much. I know that prayer is a powerful way to communicate with him, and through the spirit, he really does answer us! The Church is so true!!!

I love you all!

 Love, Sister Derrick

Bryndee Is Off!!

Bryndee is off! We took her to the airport this morning. Mom and Cassie picked her up in Salt Lake and met Stacey for lunch. After lunch they went to the Provo Temple for some pictures and then off to the MTC for their 2 1/2 minute goodbye. I sure love this girl and am going to miss her something terrible!

The Derrick  Family at the airport...saying goodbye to Bryndee.  This is the last time our family will all be together for many years.  Poor Porter he must have touched some grease and then rubbed his face...if you look closely he has a grease smear on his chin.

Mom and Cassie picked Bryndee up at the Salt Lake airport and then met Stacey in Provo for lunch.

Bryndee tolerating lunch...she was ready to go!             Cassie, Bryndee, Stacey, and Mom at MTC.

Bryndee off to the MTC and ready to start her new adventure!