Monday, June 17, 2013


Hello everyone! 

So, remember how I was super freaked because I was whitewashing and training and leading and everything?  

Well, the training and leading still happened, but instead of whitewashing an area, I’ve been called to open up an entirely new area. 


The Lord sure must trust me or something.... 

Welcome to the Simpsonville 2nd ward! We are just south of Greenville, SC and it is absolutely beautiful here! We're in a ward that hasn't had Sister Missionaries in over 10 years, and I have never seen a ward so excited before!!! They're wonderful! The ward is made up of 80% new families with 3 babies, and 20% old people. Our bishop's name is Bishop Powell, and he reminds me tonnnns of President Houserman... super wise, but funny too :)  

Opening an area is definitely the hardest thing I’ve ever done. The ward was previously made up of 2 sets of elders, who shared an area, but they have now sent the elders down to Laurens County, and given us charge of this new area. We are currently doing lots and lots and lots of logistical stuff, but we have somehow found time to put a few people on date to be baptized this week :) thank heavens for UPS... I swear, that job prepared me more for my mission than anything else I ever did (besides reading the scriptures and stuff :)) ! 

My companion is Sister Cierra Belyea (pronounced Bell- yay) and she is super sweet. She comes from a split home, so she is able to offer our investigators a lot of cool insights into that. Her dad is an airplane mechanic, and her mom was a flight attendant, so she has spent half of her life in an airplane, and been all of the places that I have always wanted to visit.  

Sister Belyea and Bryndee

 The "Greeie"' package Sister Belyea's mom sent them.
The view out her back door...beautiful!  She (or I) can't believe how green everything is!

Simpsonville, SC...So beautiful and green!

The area they are in charge of.

People we have been working with this week: 

Bryson: Bryson is probably my favorite investigator I've ever had. He's just super funny! He is very political, and super bible smart, smokes a pipe like Sherlock Holmes, and just really fun to talk to. Right now we're teaching him about the Priesthood, and the Plan of Salvation, and he is on date to be baptized on the 6th of July. 

Herb: Herb is a 30ish airplane mechanic whose wife recently died. We taught him a little bit about the restoration and he wasn’t super interested, but then he asked us why God allowed people to suffer so much, and we switched gears and taught the Plan of Salvation. He got all quiet and thoughtful, and we took a plunge and invited him to be baptized. He agreed!!! It was such a powerful lesson, one of the most spiritual ones I've ever taught. I am so excited to see him baptized in July as well.  

Dejon: Dejon was actually taught by the elders, but he ended up living with his cousin in our area the week before his baptism. Most stressful thing of my life: coming into our new area on our first day, getting a call that basically said "Hey! This guy is getting baptized in three days; ya’ll should probably plan a baptism for him..."  


I'd never gotten to plan a baptism before! And here I was, with my new little trainee on her first day, and figuring out how to plan this baptism with ward members I'd never met. 

Fast forward to Saturday morning.... 

We get a panicked call from Dejon (who we had met with twice at this point) saying that he didn’t want to be baptized yet, he felt like it was too soon. We talked to him, bishop talked to him, his old elder talked to him, but to no avail. The baptism was called off 2 hours before it was set to happen :(. We came to find out later that he had been talking to a member, and the member brought up an aspect of the word of wisdom (sweet tea) that the elders must have accidentally left out, and it freaked him out. Luckily, we were able to go over and see him, and remedy the situation. We are hoping to re-teach him the lessons, and put him back on date soon. 

Funniest lesson of the week: I got the opportunity to teach someone that had some pretty interesting insights this week..... He very excitedly let me know that he thought Jesus Christ was an alien, kind of  like Superman...... :)

Well, I’ve got to go, But I love you all! 

Have a blessed day! 

Sister Derrick
Checking her mailbox hoping for mail.  Would LOVE to get more...Hint Hint!
 Working hard!
Bryndee very serious at driving...thank goodness!

Looks like baking isn't her strong point on the mission.

Monday, June 10, 2013

Are You Sure You Got The Right Sister Derrick?

Hello Everyone! 

This week has been super weird... Between zone conference, Interviews with President, Firesides, exchanges, and car issues, I only got to spend 2 days actually in my area. I've got to say, I really missed being able to do 'missionary work'!  

Biggest part of my week: On Tuesday, I got to have an interview with President Holm. He talked a lot about the mission splitting, and my zone becoming the Georgia Macon Mission... then he paused... kinda looked up at the ceiling for a second, and then said that he was feeling prompted to Transfer me, Because I needed to be a part of his mission. Whoa. I felt so special!  

-Fast Forward- 

On Friday, Sister Houston called president to see if her visa had come in yet. They had a 30 second conversation, and then he asked to speak with me. She handed the phone over, and president let me know that not only was I being transferred, but I was being called as the sister trainer leader over my new zone, I was whitewashing an area (missionary lingo: I’m going to be basically re-booting an area... starting from scratch), and I would be training a new sister... 

I about dropped the phone. 

I'd never felt so overwhelmed in my life! I accepted the assignment, and then I took some time to talk it over with the Lord. I spent a good chunk of time asking my Heavenly Father what I could do to help this new trainee, What I needed to know to work in this new area, how I could be bold enough to lead my new zone... And then I realized how many times I had used the pronoun "I". My self-absorption was staring me in the face. The Lord told me that missionary work has nothing to do with "I". "I" am not going to convert ANYONE. "I" cannot help ANYONE. I realized that in order to have any semblance of peace, I have to trust the Lord. I have to KNOW that he will never leave me hanging. If I do all I can, He promises me that He will make up the rest. I know what He's promised me... I just need to trust Him enough to believe that He will do what He says He can do.  

I've found great solace in Nephi’s words, just after the death of his father. He has a huge weight on his shoulders... Not only is he mourning the loss of his dad, He's responsible for the beginnings of a whole nation! He starts to talk about his weaknesses "I am encompassed about, because of the temptations and the sins which do so easily beset me, and when I desire to rejoice, my heart groaneth because of my sins" He felt totally inadequate... but I love what he says next. "Nevertheless, I know in whom I have trusted. My God hath been my support; He hath led me through mine afflictions" I know that the Lord has called me to do something really hard for a really good reason. He has faith that I can do it, so why should I think any different? I am so grateful for a Father in Heaven who loves me enough to scare me :) 

So, Next week I'll be in a new state, in a new area, having a new adventure... Can't wait to write about it!
Ya'll have a blessed day!

Sister Derrick 

P.S. Just to clear up, I’m still going to be a SCCM (South Carolina, Columbia Mission) missionary. Kami just wrote me back all confused.... haha. I hope I didn’t confuse anyone!

Bryndee's last picture with the deer.

Monday, June 3, 2013

"Goliath Was the Best Thing To Ever Happen to David" - President Holms

Hello Everyone! Hope y’all had a great week!  

This morning, Sister Gardner informed me that I've started talking in my sleep, Inviting people to be baptized and offering to do things for people. I feel like I've hit an important missionary milestone or something :) 

Last week kicked off on a really incredible note. I had the opportunity to get a Priesthood blessing from E. Gemmell, one of the elders in my district. Sister Gardner was having a hard time health wise, and Sister Houston was a little bit homesick, so they both asked for blessings at the end of our DDM on Tuesday. By the end of their blessings, I got a really strong impression that I needed to ask for one as well, and I needed to have Elder Gemmell do it. I felt really weird asking for one, because I didn’t really need one as much as the other sisters did (so I thought...) but I ended up awkwardly blurting it out. I sat down and received one of the most powerful Priesthood blessings I’ve ever gotten, answering questions that I had been praying about for weeks. I am so grateful for the Priesthood, and for Elders who are worthy to hold that Priesthood. 

We began the week at kind of an awkward spot, missionary-work-wise. All of our investigators lived in this certain project, and Saturday night we had a really powerful spiritual conformation that we WERE NOT to go back to that area, for safety. So, we were limited to phone calls, and desperately needed to find some new people to teach. We knocked and knocked and knocked and knocked. We finally knelt down to pray, because we didn’t know where the Lord wanted us to be. Instantly, we were directed by the Holy Ghost, and found Willie, who goes by Mary. We knocked on her door, and the first thing out of her mouth was “Do you believe in the tree of life?"  

Kind of a weird intro, but we went with it. We showed her the chapter in 1Nephi about Lehi's vision, and taught her the restoration. She was so excited! She told us that she had had a near death experience where she had seen a vision of the tree of life, and she had never had a church believe her story. She's currently on date to be baptized for the 22nd. 

Yesterday, we knocked into this incredible lady named Keisha. She let us right in, and as we sat down, she pulled out a Book of Mormon! I guess a couple of elders had knocked into her years ago, and left a Book of Mormon and never came back. She had put the book on a shelf, and a few weeks ago, she got curious and started to read it! We taught her about Joseph Smith, and she was really excited to read more of the restoration pamphlet we left her. She's also supposed to be baptized on the 22nd... should be a pretty great day :) 

Friday, we had our second Mission Leadership Council, where had the opportunity  to listen to President Holm speak. We talked about inviting people to be baptized "early, often, and bold!" sometimes people think that it’s weird that the Prophet asks us to invite people to be baptized within the first lesson (I know that’s how a good 90 percent of our ward feels...) but It’s really a great thing. The Lord is hastening his missionary work, and we need to find people who are ready to hear the gospel now. It makes me so excited to be a missionary right now! Also, President Holm stopped in the middle of our meeting, turned to us and our zone leaders, and said, "I'm going to call an audible. The Augusta zone needs to have a zone conference, this Tuesday. Will you guys put that together?" So, I get the opportunity to teach zone conference again tomorrow. I think the Lord is trying to teach me not to be so afraid of public speaking, because he's sure throwing a lot of it at me! :) We also get to do a fireside at girls camp next week (which I'm stinkin' excited for! I love camp!) 

Well, I hope ya'll are having a great week, loving tough things, doing tough things first, being finishers, and sharing the gospel with your friends like crazy!

Have a blessed day!

Sister Bryndee Derrick

A little P-Day yoga!
For the record...I really like her hair (Bryndee's Mom)!
More Yoga!
Bryndee, Sister Gardner, ?, and Sister Houston
The Harper family aka Mission Grandpa and Grandma
along with Sister Gardner, Bryndee, and Sister Houston
Bryndee's mom here...I asked Bryndee to tell me a little about sister Houston and this is what she said...
"I really love Sister Houston... We get along really really well, and I can see us being good friends after our mission. She's 20 and was originally from Peach Tree City, Georgia. Her mom is a fashion merchandiser, and she's the most fashionable person I know. She loves rock climbing, doesn't like to watch movies, and hopes her visa never comes because she loves being able to speak English :)