Tuesday, May 28, 2013

I Look Like Peter Pan...

So. I may or may not have made a very rash; humidity induced decision and cut off all of my hair. Humidity makes people do craaaazy things... I don't think I'm a fan....
Oh well, It'll grow, I guess.


After!  She was going for a Jennifer Goodwin look (as Aunt Bea in the Romana and Beezus movie).  I don't think her stylist knew what she was talking about.  Oh well it will grow and in the mean time she doesn't have hair on her neck in horrible humidity!
This week we have been on a word of wisdom kick. I can honestly say that I have never been in possession of a pack of cigarettes, but this week, we collected a good 10 packs or so! We were teaching one guy named Unice, and he had a pack of cigarettes and a lighter in his hand... we asked if he would give them to us, and he said he was just going to smoke the one last pack, and then be done with them forever. Sister Gardner looked him dead in the eyes and said-
"Unice, God.... or Cigarettes?"
There was no hesitation.
Without another word, he handed over the pack and the lighter. It was such a cool experience!

All the cigarettes and lighters they collected!

On p-day last week, we got the opportunity to learn how to knit! I can just hear mom groaning and calling me an old lady, but I love it! ;) (Torie may or may not be getting a scarf in the mail for her birthday....) We were taught by Sister Dent, who is the primary president. She's like our Missionary Grandma... She's wonderful!

Who we've been working with this week-

Tatiana and Luther- They got married this week! The coolest part about being a missionary is watching people change... they didn't want to be sinning anymore, so the up and went to the courthouse and got married without telling anyone but Luther's dad, who they called on the way there.

 George- George is so cute! He is a 40 year old, toothless less active member who, when we asked him what blessings he wanted from God, replied with "I just want a wife!" . We got him a ride for church on Sunday and he called us Sunday morning at 6:45 to let us know that he was dressed and ready for church (Church starts at 9:00 :)) He was just so excited to go!

Bryndee and George

This week, we also had our very first open house! It was beautiful, with Mormon messages and posters and cookies.... We met quite a few people and are looking forward to doing it again next month!

I feel like this week’s letter is kind of short and scatterbrained, sorry!

Have a blessed day, ya’ll!

S. Derrick

Monday, May 20, 2013

Thank Heavens For P-Day!

Phew, I feel like it’s been a year since I wrote last.... was that really only 7 days ago??? This week was a growing experience for me, because I got the opportunity to lead 2 exchanges, with sisters that have been out for less time than I have, therefore making me the 'trainer'. Let me tell you, Miracles happen on exchanges! 

On Tuesday, I got to enjoy Sis. Ballard (distant relative of the apostle!!! no pressure, right? ;)) and Sis. Houston for my first exchange. I was so worried, because Sis. Gardner wasn't there, and she's the one that usually leads the companionship. I was so afraid that all of our appointments were going to fall through, and I wouldn’t know where to go or what to do... and sure enough, we got stood up 2 times in a row and were left with around half an hour before our dinner appointment. I was praying so hard that I would be able to figure out where the Lord wanted us, and then, I got a subtle impression to go knock the houses around our apartment... even though we had knocked those houses a few days before. I was confused, but I went ahead and voiced the prompting, and we went. We knocked 4 or 5 houses with nobody home, and we were about to turn home, when we decided to knock one more house.

*knock knock!*

*inside door creaks open*

We couldn’t see who was inside, because of the glare on their glass door, so I just kind of awkwardly plowed into a door approach...

"Hello! My name is Sister Derrick, and this is Sister Ballard and Sister Houston! What’s your name?"

*awkward hesitation*


"Oh! Rebeckah! Nice to meet you! We're missionaries from the church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints! We were wondering if we could share a short message with you and your family about Jesus Christ and his restored gospel!"

There was an awful 5 minute pause, and I was about to turn around and say thanks anyways, when she blurted out


She came out of the house, and we could see how exhausted and sad she looked... she just looked very defeated. We asked if she would like to choose someone to say the opening prayer, and she bowed her head and started praying on the spot. (Which is something that never happens!) We were surprised, but more surprised by how she prayed. She said the most beautiful prayer I've ever heard... it was just a simple conversation with her Father in Heaven. We talked with her a bit, and were astonished to find out that she was a less active member who had moved in the day before! She was baptized 2 years ago, and she had been really struggling, thinking that God had forgotten about her. I know that our Father in Heaven led us right to her, because he knew that she needed to know that he still loved her and cared about her. I know that God knows each and every one of us, and wants us to be happy. 

On that exchange, we also had the opportunity to meet Christine, who is one of my favorite investigators, full of spunk and Baptist fire! She had asked Tatiana, one of our investigators, to send us over to her house so she could learn a little more about this church that she had been going to. Christine is a missionary for her church, but feels like it isn’t quite the right fit for her. We told her about Relief Society, and she was SO EXCITED. She came to church with us this weekend, complete with pink crown (it was her birthday) and I HEART JESUS barrette in her hair. She even participated in Sunday School! We're hoping she agrees to be baptized here pretty soon :) 
Bryndee and Christine!
My second exchange, I got the opportunity to go to Augusta to be with Sister Lusk. It was so fun!! My favorite person we got to meet was Brother Walker, a less active, and the most sarcastic man I've ever met. He speaks 4 languages, owns two dogs, a turtle, and a flock of ducks, and has an awesome Santa Clause beard. He is also married to a Chinese woman, and his whole family speaks Mandarin. He told me he was going to look me up on facebook, and If he did, he probably has found the link to my blog. So, Brother Walker, If you're reading this, you should really go to church on Sunday :)  

Well, that was my week... I know that the Lord had a huge hand in it, and that without Him, I would have never been able to lead these sisters successfully this week. I've never had a calling make me grow and stretch as much as this one has, but I've also never been so grateful. This is truly the lords work, and I am so, so glad. 

Have a blessed day, ya'll! 

S. Derrick
In Georgia they call it Dolla Tree!  She thinks she is so funny!
The Elder's tried to scare them...I don't think they did a very good job...That is a very ugly doll though!

Wednesday, May 15, 2013

Bryndee's Letter To The YW of Coronado 1st Ward

To the YW of the Coronado 1st Ward,                                                                    April 2013

Hello!  I feel like it’s been forever since I’ve seen yall!  I’m not entirely sure what to write since my Mom sent me and email saying “write a letter to the girls” and that was it…so here is what I decided to do:

1.  You are good enough!  I don’t know why, but for some reason girls never feel like they’re doing enough.  Something my Mission President has adopted as a motto is: “Elders are adequate, but sisters are perfect!”  Now I almost never feel perfect but he still tells me that anyways…because that’s how the Lord feels about me!  The Lord would NEVER tell me I’m not good enough so why should I tell myself that?  Remember this:  The prophets and Apostles are constantly telling us that the Lord has a soft spot for the youth.  And that the Lord has a soft spot for the women as well.  So what does that make you?!?  YOU ARE BOTH!!!  The Lord loves you so love yourself! 

2.  Have good examples!  Okay, as much as I love Taylor Swift, I’m sure she’s had at least 3 boyfriends since I’ve been gone (almost 3 months)  The women that the world tries to emulate are not all they’re cracked up to be.  Who wants to live like them?  If you’re looking for someone to emulate why not try Ester?  Or Emma Smith?  Or Marjorie Pay Hinckley? Or Mother Theresa?  These are women whose names will be remembered forever.  These are the kind of women you want to look to! 

3.    Its ok to be extraordinary!   I don’t know if this is one that will apply to everyone, but it’s something I wish I would have known in high school.  I spent so much time and energy trying to fly under the radar, not wanting to be different from everyone else.  I had gifts and talents that I didn’t share, opinions I didn’t voice and questions I never asked because I was afraid.
Jesus Christ had lots of gifts and talents.  He was an excellent teacher, a master story teller, and a dedicated leader…and you know what?  People did think he was weird…but weird wasn’t necessarily a bad thing.  Do you think he would have amassed so many followers if he had acted just like the Pharisees?   Would he have been able to establish his church if he had emulated the scribes?  NO!  He was different!  He was unafraid to boldly preach the truth!  And so should we be.  It is ok to be that kid that answers every question in seminary.  It is good to us words like “gee-dangit”.  It’s wonderful to share the Gospel with our friends!  The Lord tells us that we were sent to earth during this time for a reason, because we are elect.  So act like it!
4.  The internet is a MASSIVE waste of time!!!  I am ashamed of the amount of time I spent on facebook and pinterest before I left on my mission.  Word to the wise:  DON’T DO IT!!!!  It’s really not that great.  It won’t make you a better or more interesting person.  It really not that fun, and let’s face it:  how often do you actually do the things you pin on pinterest? 

Well in closing I hope you’re all enjoying this time.  If I am being completely honest I wish I would have taken the time to enjoy High School more.  You only get to do this once so enjoy it!  Time is too precious! 

I love you all!  If you want to shoot me a letter you can write me at:

Sister Bryndee Derrick

South Carolina, Columbia Mission

110 Oak Park Drive

Ste B

Irmo, SC 29063 


Sister Derrick

Monday, May 13, 2013

Happy Post- Mothers Day!

This week kicked off with zone training, which was incredible. We focused a lot on a talk called the 4th missionary, which is something I would recommend that everyone and anyone read, Missionary or not. I also had to teach a training with Sister Houston and Sister Gardner about 'enduring to the end', or how to build a convert instead of just a baptism. I feel like the Lord is reeeealy making me stretch with this sister trainer leader assignment, because a huge part of the calling is public speaking, something that has always scared me to death. I am perfectly content to sit at the back of the class and let everyone else do the talking, but the Lord is not a fan of comfort zones. I’m so humbled and grateful for the opportunity I have to become good at something that is hard. Every morning, we quote "I love tough things! I'm first to do tough things! I do tough things first! I'm a finisher! I LOVE being a missionary!" and I can honestly say I'm starting to love tough things! 

A miracle from this week: We were walking in one of the less-sketchy areas of Thomson, on the left side of the road where we could see the oncoming traffic. We were just walking along, when we hear a car right behind us, driving on the wrong side of the road! We turn just in time to see a big silver S.U.V., speeding by at something close to 100 mph, coming right towards us. It was maybe 10 yards away, when it swerved into the grass next to us, barely missing us, then swerved back onto the road and kept going... this all happened within the span of a few seconds, with no time to react! We stood there, dumbfounded, for a good 5 minutes, when the car came back and rolled down the window, revealing a cute little old lady: 

"Did I hurt anybody?"

Us- "no, but what just happened?!?"

Faith Die (we found out her name later.... not at all ironic, huh? :)) "I fell asleep at the wheel, and next thing I knew, something woke me up and I saw I was about to hit somebody, so I swerved into the grass! I’m just so glad y’all are okay!" 

Yeah, me too...
I know the Lord spared my life that day... My companions and I could have easily been killed, if the Lord had not kept me safe and had faith wake up at just the right time. Plus, guess who's investigating the church now? :D

You can see the girls walking and off to the right are the tire marks in the grass!

Miracle Numero Dos: Sisters Gardner, Houston, and I taught a lesson on Wednesday, completely in Spanish!!! The Gift of tongues is a real thing! It was really cool, because Reymundo (the investigator) would say something In Spanish, I would be able to understand exactly what he said, tell Sister Gardner, and she would be able to remember vocab from her BYU Spanish class, and teach him. When there were words that sis. Gardner couldn't remember, Sis. Houston would know the Portuguese word, which would be very similar to Spanish and Raymundo could understand! We taught him how to pray, and he said a beautiful prayer at the end... We referred him to the Spanish missionaries in Augusta, and he's super excited to learn more :)
Speaking of Portuguese, It's so fun! Sister Houston is a fantastic teacher. Here's a (very simple) testimony in Portuguese:
Eu sei a igreja de jesus cristo dos santos dos ultimos dias, è verdadeira. Eu sei que jesus cristo è o nosso redentor e salvador. Eu sei que thomas s monson e joseph smith são profetas. è nome de jesus cristo, amèm. 
:) cool huh?! 
The main people we're working with this week are Luther and Tatiana. They are a couple who have been living together in the projects for a few years, and have three darling kids (who LOVE to braid hair... have you ever had a black person braid your hair? impossible to get out....) we've taught them the restoration, the plan of salvation, and the law of chastity. I’m excited to announce that they are getting married on the 17th! It’s so stinkin' exciting! They’re also set to be baptized on the 25th of May, and I'm so excited for them... I just love them so much! 
Well, I hope everyone is having a great week, and sharing the gospel like crazy!!!
Have a blessed day, y'all! 
Sister Derrick


The Sisters of the Augusta Zone

Mother's Day Deer
Two cute sisters washing the car!
We take our callings as Sister Trainer Missionaries very seriously! 
Sister Houston, Sister Gardner, and Bryndee teaching a craft to the Activity Day Girls!
Oh how beautiful are the feet of those who spread the gospel.... 
Ghetto Thompson's Med School!

Monday, May 6, 2013

Happy Monday! :)

This week has been completely amazing... one of those weeks where you can see the Lord’s hand in your life e.v.e.r.y.w.h.e.r.e! It all started with a hole in the tire of our car (we ran over a screw....) We were stressing because we needed to go get it fixed, but we didn’t have the miles to do it (the closest tire repair place is Augusta, a good 100 miles away.) we decided to just do a lot of walking until the month was up, but we were going from house to house and appointment after appointment was falling through, and we felt kinda stuck. We ended up deciding to call Elder Decker (the guy in charge of the cars) and ask him what to do. He surprised us by saying a companionship hadn't used all their miles that month, and we could take their extras to go get our car fixed. So, we drove to Augusta, and not only were able to get our tire replaced, but were in the right place for another miracle to occur... We got a call from our Investigator, Tasha, who was in the Augusta hospital with her 5 month old, just needing support. We talked to our zone leaders, and got permission to go visit her because we were already in the area.( something that would have never happened unless we had gone to fix our tire... Permission to leave our area is hard to come by.) We went by the hospital, and got to meet Derricka's daddy, Derrick, for the first time. We took Tasha and Derrick down into the hospital chapel, and read with them the book of Enos. Tasha was in tears, and Derrick wanted a Book of Mormon for himself. Now, the only copy I had on me was the copy I use whenever we go walking (a missionary copy that I've marked up, and written my name on the bottom, because it’s lighter than my quad). I fought with myself for a second, and then gave him my copy... and his eyes lit up. "It’s got my name on the bottom! Ya'll must have known I'd need it!" (He never said anything about the 'sister' that came before 'his name' on the bottom.... ha-ha) It was a really cool experience, and I know that the Lord knows where we need to be much better than I do... and I am so grateful for his help!
Funny story: remember Sister Story? That sweet old grandma lady we'd been visiting? Well, we went to go visit her this week, and the first thing she said was that she'd been bad this week. We were all worried that she had relapsed on her coffee or cigarettes or something of the sort; but that was not the case. She told us about her daughter in law, who had a drug problem and was constantly making family drama and driving Sis. Story’s son and grandchildren out of the house and putting holes in the walls and such, and finally, one day, Sister Story got so fed up with her that she punched her in the face! Ha-ha it was the funniest moment of my whole mission, listening to that sweet old grandma talk about how she gave her daughter in law a black eye.... :) I stinkin' love the Storys!

 So, at transfers, I not only got a new sister, but I got called to be a Sister Trainer Leader (a new calling for sisters... basically, I am the Augusta zone sister zone leader.) this means I get to do all kinds of scary things, like lead exchanges and teach at zone conferences (I have to teach at a zone training meeting tomorrow.... scary as heck!) The lord seems to be able to see something in me that I can't quite see in myself yet, but I’m thankful for the opportunity. I'm so excited to be able to serve these sisters.

 Speaking of sisters, my new companion's name is Sister Houston. She is great! She's from Peachtree, Georgia, which is not common..., she's only an hour and a half away from home! She’s super sweet though, and I’m excited to be able to serve with her. Language study is also going pretty well... I can say Love, Toothbrush, Peace, Book of Mormon, and Spirit in another language now :)
Yesterday, we got the opportunity to teach Relief Society. Holy Dang. Put me in front of an investigator, and I can teach just fine, no problem.... but put me in front of sixty women, to tell them how to visit teach (something I've never really done as a 19 year old) and basically call them to repentance (it’s a huge problem in our ward, because 69%of our ward is inactive, and these sisters aren’t getting visited...) and I'll freeze up like a clam. It was really, really hard for me, and I don’t think I’ve ever prayed so hard for a lesson. once again I am so glad that this is the Lord's work, and not mine, because if it were up to me, I would have never stood up there and opened my mouth... but because I did, the spirit was able to work through me, and teach those ladies what they needed to do. I’ve never been in a lesson where the spirit was so strong, and it had nothing to do with me. The Lord cares about those who don't get visited, who don’t feel like part of the fold. He knows their names. And he's given us, as the members, the stewardship to take care of them. I know that the Lord loves them, and he loves me, and he loves you. I can testify of that.

 SO DO YOUR VISITING TEACHING!!! Your local missionaries will love you forever if you do!
*gets off of soapbox* :)

 Well, Time's about up for the week... I love you all!

 Have a blessed day!

 Sister Derrick

Look who Bryndee is teaching...Doesn't he look excited?  She is too cute!

The new threesome...Bryndee, Sister Houston (from Peachtree, GA) and Sister Gardner.

Leadership Training Council...The first one in South Carolina, Columbia Mission!  Look at all those sisters!  Exciting times!!

All the zone leaders and Sister Houston.

This cracked me up...Bryndee said she had no idea who these 2 missionaries are but they asked if they could get their picture with Bryndee and Sister Gardner.  They know 2 beauties when they see them!

Bryndee, Tausha, and Sister Gardner in the chapel at the Augusta Hospital.