Monday, September 15, 2014

Bryndee's Testimony!

This will be Bryndee's last letter as a missionary. Can you believe 18 months have already passed? It really has gone by fast! FYI she will be speaking in our ward this Sunday the 21st at 2:00 pm. Our building has changed since Porter's farewell...we are meeting in the Stake Center located in Power Ranch: 4170 South Ranch House Parkway Gilbert, AZ 85297. After the meeting we will be having an open house at our house so you can visit with her. Enjoy...

Family & Friends-

I've been doing quite a bit of reflecting as of late, as the end of my mission creeps closer and closer. I've been wanting to take some time & record some of the things that I've learned, the things that have become the most important to me.

First, I KNOW that Joseph Smith is a prophet. I thought I knew that before my mission...but coming to the Southern Bible belt challenged that a little bit. The words of Nephi ring true here where "it shall come to pass in that day that the churches which are built up, and not unto the Lord when the one shall say unto the other; Behold, I, I am the Lord's; and the others shall say; I, I am the Lord's, and thus shall everyone say that hath built up churches, and not unto the Lord. And they shall contend one with another, and they shall teach with their learning and deny the holy ghost which giveth utterance. (2 Nephi 28:3-4) In South Carolina, you literally have a church on every street corner (sometimes 2) and the only thing that they all see to agree on is that Joseph Smith was a fake. I've heard some serious religious slander over the course of my mission, but the worst of it always seemed to revolve around the validity of Joseph Smith as the Lord's authorized representative. For some reason, all the accusations and insults hurled from behind screen doors, seemed to stick in my mind. It seemed Satan was determined to toy with me, and it bothered me. So, I finally did what I constantly invited others to do. I read the book of Mormon. I prayed and I waited...and waited...and waited.

Answers from God don't always come when we want them to, but I testify that they come. It was almost a month later, sitting in a small, dark living room that my answer did come. My companion and I were finishing up a lesson on the restoration, when all of a sudden as I went out on a limb and began to testify that what we had taught was true...I began to feel it. All of a sudden, all the things I'd heard didn't really matter anymore. It was then that the Lord told me that Joseph Smith really was his servant. He was a prophet called to pull the world out of the dark fog of apostasy. It was by his hands that God restored the church that Jesus Christ had originally established here on the earth, with all of the authority to properly perform the ordinances necessary for salvation. I now KNOW that the be true.
 
Second, I know that the Book of Mormon is the word of God. I've felt the power of his word as I've taught & testified of it. I can remember one experience in particular that helped me to get there. I was in Spartanburg, sitting in the living room of one of our ward mission leaders. He'd forgotten to assign a scripture thought & had asked me last minute to do one. I flipped open to 3 Nephi 17:19-22 (my go to for spur of the moment spiritual thoughts) and began to share the story. As I explained the background & began to read, a distinctive spirit filled the room. It was almost like Nephi was sitting there next to me, saying "It is true. I was there...and I wrote that, so you could know the Savior. Come to know him like I do." Man, it was cool. To this day, it's stuck with me. I know that the people who wrote the Book of Mormon (Nephi, Jarom, Enos, King Benjamin...) were real people. They knew the Savior, and they labored with great diligence so that thousands of years later we could know him too. I can almost hear their voices as I read and I love those men for what they did.

Third, I have a testimony of repentance. I know the the Lord wants to forgive us again and again, because he wants nothing more than for all of his children to return to this presence and live with him again. What loving parent wouldn't? Lots of times, we make mistakes. Sometimes, they're big mistakes. These mistakes create within us feelings of guilt, shame, and isolation. Satan wants us to feel like we're stuck there, like it's all over for us. God doesn't feel like that. He's provided a plan of action, and promises peace if we follow though. I can testify that there is nothing in the world more wonderful, or more worth wile than feeling completely clean. Take a look at Alma Chapter 36...he'll tell you.

The final thing I wanted to write about was my testimony of the Savior. I know that he loves us. This morning, as I was doing my studies, I read Mosiah chapter fourteen, and it struck me. "Surely he has borne our grief's, and carried our sorrows; yet we did esteem him stricken, smitten of God, and afflicted. But he was wounded for our transgressions, he was bruised for our iniquities, the chastisement of our peace was upon him; and with his stripes we are healed." After all that he suffered, he has it within him to love me. It amazes me. I know that because of the savior I can change. I never have to feel stuck. He suffered, so that I can become. I know that he knows you. My mission has given me the opportunity to know him, at least a little. It's been the coolest thing coming to know him and not just know about him. If I had not baptized a single soul, re-activated one member, or even touched a single person's life, my mission would have been worth it...just for that.

I know he lives. I know he loves us. I know he's just waiting for us to exercise a little faith. So he can show us the amazing potential we have. I know that I want to live my life in such a way that he can say to me, as he did to Nephites of old "Sister Derrick, blessed are ye because of your faith and now behold my joy is full." (3 Nephi 17) I hope y'all do too.

Y'all have a blessed day. (See ya soon!)

Love,

Sister Derrick

Monday, September 8, 2014

Fort Jackson Mlitary Base!

Hola Familia!

Well it's been quite the week.. One of those weeks where you sit down on P-Day with your open notebook and think "shoot...where in the sam heck do I even start?..."

Well, coolest part of my week (or it might be the craziest. I can't decide...): I had the opportunity to teach on Fort Jackson Military Base. Every Sunday, a group of missionaries go, and help conduct sacrament meeting services @ the little chapel on base. Members come and usually bring their battle-buddies (similar to a mission companion...with each other 24/7). The missionaries' job is to find, teach, and baptize these soldiers. The cool thing is these privates spend their whole week being beat down, yelled at, and kicked to the ground...so the moment they walk into that chapel,they're so humbled that they feel the spirit almost instantly. Many tears are shed and many people are taught. It was like nothing I've ever experienced. Wonderful.

I'm sending pictures (finally).

Love y'all!

Have a blessed week!

Sister Derrick
 
 
We send this as a postcard through the mail to every member on their birthday.  They love it!  I've never seen my face posted in so many people's homes...
 

Sister Clark, Bryndee, and Ruby (their red car).

Mongolian Grill.  They look like wet dogs...but cute wet dogs!

P-Day at the Zoo!
 

Such a cute picture of cute girls!  Sister Clark and Bryndee

Sister Clark and Bryndee got recorders.  She found a hidden talent...she can play almost any hymn (with in range)!

Sister Clark and Bryndee at church
(this picture was actuallly sent to me from a thoughtful member)
 

Friday, August 29, 2014

Bryndee's Short But Sweet Letter!

FYI Bryndee arrives home Thursday, September 18th. Her homecoming will be Sunday, September 21st at 2:00 pm at our stake center located at 4170 S. Ranch House Pky, Gilbert AZ 85297. Please note this is not the same building where we had Porter's Farewell. 
 
______________________________________________________________________ 
 
Well family it'll be another short letter this week. Sincerest apologies!

Things that happened:

* I somehow got roped into singing a duet with Sister Clark at a funeral this Wednesday. 2 part harmony. I'm freaking out a little!

*We met a woman named Michelle. We taught her a lesson about the book of Mormon. She texted us a few hours later dropping us. Then...that night...we get another text saying she'd read through 2nd Nephi...slightly confused, but we think she's got potential.

*Taught a sweet new - member lesson to La Familia De Shardin. His mom and extended family gathered together on the floor of his small living room, and down the hall. Cool spirit in there. His Mom is opening up quite a bit. We're excited.

A few more bug bites, and few more miles on my bike, and a few more degrees hotter than I'm used to, but man am I happy!
 
 

Y'all be blessed!

Sister Derrick

Saturday, August 23, 2014

Word of Wisdom

Bryndee's very short letter for this week...short but great. Only 3 more letters then she will be home. FYI she arrives home Thursday, September 18th. Her homecoming will be Sunday, September 21st at 2:00 pm at our stake center located at 4170 S. Ranch House Pky, Gilbert AZ 85297.  Please note this is not the same building where we had Porter's Farewell. 
_______________________________________________________________________________________________

A quick experience before we head out tonight!

We got to take President Turner's daughter out teaching with us Tuesday...no pressure. We did a lot of thinking as to who we should take her to go see, and we finally settled on a man named Jim. Jim has been taught for years. His son was baptized a few years ago, but he never jumped on the wagon. We were nervous because we had just picked Jim back up (he had been dropped due to lack of progression) and we weren't sure how it was going to go.

Man it was a cool lesson.

We had planned to teach him the Work of Wisdom. It was a principle of the gospel that Jim had struggled with for a long time. We pray, hand him the Work of Wisdom pamphlet, then he puts out his hand to stop us "Sisters," he said "I already know this is true."

Whaaaat?
 
Turns out, he'd opened his bible that week looking for a little comfort and first verse he saw was something about Abstaining from wine (one of his major concerns) he was surprised, he didn't know that was in the Bible. You see...he'd studied out all the "health benefits" of drinking wine and was SURE that God couldn't oppose. But...there it was in black and white.

So he decided to try it. He quit drinking alcohol and he felt so much better. Surprise, Surprise!

I know the Lord really does prepare people. He's always ahead of things, never behind them.

Y'all have a blessed week!

Love,

Sister Derrick
 
Sister Clark and Bryndee enjoying some good Mexican Food!
 

Saturday, August 16, 2014

Friends, Family, Foes, and Fellow Men...

 
I feel like it's been ages since I've written a real-life letter (I wonder how many of my letters start this way...) so I hope this one makes up for the lack.

My week in review-

Monday: We helped a less-active woman clean her home in preparation for a new baby. Poor dear...she found out that she was pregnant, and then was scheduled for her C-Section a week later. She'd been going to the Dr. feeling sick, gaining weight...and they could not figure out what was wrong with her! Anyways we went and scrubbed her house with her. It was so fun.

Tuesday: had a cool experience with one of my favorite families. We went over to the Martensen's home to teach, and when we got there, Sister Martensen was trying to do laundry. About half way through our lesson the washer quit working...just stopped, mid-soak cycle. Sister Clark decided that "oh! Sister Derrick's dad is an engineer! I bet she could fix it!"

Ummm...? So I start messing around with their washer, and praying way hard. Harder than I 've prayed in a while. Then...all of a sudden it starts. It was such a cool experience. No matter what it is, or how un-qualified you are to do something the Lord can and will help you, if it's His will.

Wednesday: Met a cool new less-active member, got dropped by one of our investigators. Weird day!

Thursday: Taught some cool Hindu people! It's my first Hindus I've ever taught...we went over with a member and prayed with them. Pretty sweet!

Friday: Sister Clark and I got to give a training @ Zone Training Meeting...and believe it or not, I actually enjoyed it!

Saturday: Biked in the rain. Had some super spiritual lessons. Worked way hard. Good day!

Sunday: Church. Ahh I love church! Jim (one of our eternal investigators) came. Shardan got the priesthood...good day!

And then today. Oh! I got a letter from Brother Bryson Bailey (Bryndee and her companion, Sister Belyea, taught him when she lived in Simpsonville)! He's going to the Temple at the end of August/beginning of September (she hopes to still be around when he goes through so she can be there with him...how wonderful it will be to see him again...and in the Temple!)! I'm sooooo happy! Well that's my week. It was hard, exhausting, and completely wonderful!
 
 
Bryndee, Bryson, and Sister Belyea, July 2013 right after Bryson's baptism. 

Y'all have a blessed week!

Love,

Sister Derrick

Tuesday, July 29, 2014

Bryndee's Pathetic Letter...

 
At least she's healthy and happy...right?
 
 

I Love Tough Things!!!!!


I’m trying to think of a creative way to start this letter in honor of my brand-spankin-new mission president, who has a degree in English…, I’m comin’ up blank though.  I apologize. 
Whelp, this week was excellent.  We had this weird break in the weather where it was like 80 and hardly any humidity…it was phenomenal!  We biked all over creation, talked to tons of people, and had a great time!
So, update on Shardin.  He was not baptized.  We ended up pushing the date because he had decided to go on a campout whit the young men which went over Saturday and Sunday.  A little mixed up on the priority scale, but all-in-all not a bad thing.  So he’ll be baptized on the 12th (which he was).  He passed his baptismal interview on Saturday morning, and he’s way excited!
Cool miracle:  On Sunday, the sisters that we live with got a confusing phone call from a man named Lorrin, who is from Pohnpei.  So they hand over the phone, because I’ve gotten really good at interpreting the accent.  We called him back and he just kept saying over and over and over again “I rean pwuken mormon, and I see misineri on bike, and I cry tears of you!  I need baptized!  Can you help me!?  His English was very broken, and he couldn’t remember his address.  He had found the phone number somewhere and was so happy you could hear him crying on the other end.  It was so special.  We were able to ask Sel, one of our Pohnpeian Rc’s…and she knew who he was!  So the missionaries in Lexington (turns out that’s where he lives) are seeing him this week.  It was so cool to see the operations of the Lord in the life of this single man.  We are never, ever forgotten!
Something cool from the scriptures:  This morning as I was studying about the liahona and how it worked…in Alma 37:41 Alma is talking about the family of Lehi, and what happens when they tried to use it.  “They were slothful and forgot to exercise their faith and diligence, and then those marvelous works ceased, and they did not travel a direct course and were afflicted with hunger and thirst, because of their transgressions.”  It seems slothfulness = cessation of miracles in this story and every other I’ve been able to find.  There are no shortcuts…to making money, to losing weight, to learning a skill, to gaining a testimony.  It seems that we, as a general people, are always looking for that quick fix, but…we’re taught here that hard work will bring amazing things.  This is why the book of Mormon is so difficult to get through.  It’s why commandments appear so difficult to live.  The hard things torn out to be the world’s best.  That’s why our mission say’s every morning, “I LOVE TOUGH THINGS!” ‘Cause we do!
This week, I invite y’all to embrace tough things…to do something difficult this week.  I promise that you’ll see progression in your individual journey & you’ll be an example to those around you.
Love y’all
Have a blessed week!
Love,

Sister Derrick

Monday, July 14, 2014

Kitt Is Getting Baptized!!!


So to kick off this letter, I thought I’d introduce y’all to my new companion:  Say hello to Hermana Rachel Clark!  She was born & raised in Utah, can talk more than anyone I’ve ever met, and is way stoked to be a missionary.  I love her dearly!

This week has been…well, I don’t really know a good word to describe it.  Crazy.   Wonderful.  Hard.  Exhausting.  Miraculous.  Hot!  Good Week!

Sharden (the 14 year old Pohnpeian) is way excited for his baptism on Sunday.  He’s probably the most prepared teenager I’ve ever met!  We showed him the “Even If You Stand Alone” Mormon Message by President Monson for one of our lessons this week.  As the video concluded he turns to us and says with firm resolution, “wow, I just KNOW he’s a prophet.”  So cool!

Oh!  I got to see Sister Glauser at transfer meeting on Wednesday…and…KITT IS GETTING BAPTIZED!!!!!! Plus, they finally got an ASL missionary in Summerville!  I don’t think Sister Call (my companion that just got transfered) had ever seen me cry up to that point, but when President announced that they were putting an ASL sister in…man, I was a mess.  I was so happy!

Quick funny story, and then I’ve got to go.  So we were biking to a less active member’s home, and Sister Clark was going WAY slow.  I was hardly pedaling, and she kept shouting at me to slow down.  So we crest a hill, and I stop at the top to let her catch up.  She jumped off to drink some water and I take a good look at her bike…and bust up laughing.  She’d been riding for almost 3 miles in 7th gear!  Poor dear!  She was so excited when she figured out how to switch the gears…so funny!

Well, I love y’all and I want to invite you to take a good, long look at Mosiah 24.  The promises in that chapter are so true…the Lord remembers the covenants we make with him, and pulls us up to meet our challenges.  I sure love him!

Y’all have a blessed week!

Love,

Sister Derrick

Monday, July 7, 2014

It's A Good Thing I Love You...


Hello family!  I’m gonna to be completely honest with you…I’m not at all in the mood to write…It’s a good thing I love you!

Cool things that happened this week:

*We taught a man named Marvin.  Marvin is way cool.  We were tracting in an apartment complex when a maroon car across the complex rolls down his window and the man driving shouts “are you Jehovah Witnesses???”  Us “uhhh…nope” then all of a sudden I blurt out “we’re the Mormons!”  The man who we later find out is Marvin shouts “What?! I’ve never met female Mormons!”  and he pulls up next to us.  We chat for a sec, and set up an appointment to teach. We brought one of our recent converts with us and it was a powerful lesson.  Turns out Marvin used to be a very wealthy man, who lost everything in the economy crash.  His family left him, and he was living by himself working as a car salesman.  He’s been looking for more purpose in his life, and as we taught him the message of the restoration Sister Copeland (the member) shared her conversion story.  You could literally see the wheels spinning in his head.  The spirit was way way strong, and I’m excited to go back & teach him.

*Sharden (a 14 year old Pohnpeian we’ve been teaching) got permission from his mom to be baptized.  This is a big deal.  Sharden loves the church (he wants to go on a mission!) but until yesterday his Mom wouldn’t let him join.  I don’t know what happened, but whatever it is…I’m grateful!

*Zone conference I said goodbye to President & Sister Holm. Way emotional day!  I’m sure gonna miss them!

*Transfer calls:  I’m gonna be a training sister again…third time!  I’m excited, but also way nervous (I wonder if I’ll ever get over that…probably not)

Welp that’s my week!  Sorry this is super short…I think I’m gonna start emailing my weekly letter again now that my stint as a STL is done…my letters seem to be better that way.

Ya’ll have a blessed week!

Sister Derrick

Monday, June 16, 2014

So Cool Being A Missionary!


So this week will go down in mission history as the week I drove the mission TRUCK!!!!!
Back story:  We get out of a lesson with some less active members, and we check our phone…6 missed calls from the assistants to the president…Shooot!  So we call them back.  “Sisters, we’re going to need you to drive a truck for a couple of days…is that ok? I was so stoked!  So we got to drive a MASSIVE  Chevy Silverado for a few days.  It was grand!
A cool story¨ One of our Pohnpeian recent converts, Rose, finally earned enough money to bring her 12 year old daughter to America@  That seems to be a trend among Pohnpeians…the parents will come to the US to work, leaving the kids with relatives, and they work and scrimp and save until they can save enough to bring their family over one by one.  I can only imagine what a heart-rending decision that would be…so hard.  But, Rose finally has Millie, and she’s so happy!  We’re going over there today to teach her the first lesson and we’re pretty excited. 
Want to know something cool?  We had so many people want us to come over and teach today, we had to schedule over part of our p-day.  I LOVE being this busy!  Best feeling ever!
We got to spend quite a bit of time with President and Sister Holm this week, which was super neat.  Hey finish their mission at the end of the month so they were introducing us to all the people in the neighborhood they would like us to go and teach.  They’re also throwing a party on the 3oth so President and Sister Turner (the new mission president) can meet the neighbors and we get to go and help.  I can’t wait!
2 cool miracles and then I’ve gotta go:
1.  Brother Allancar is from northern Brazil, and is a less-active member of our ward.  We’ve been by his home quite a few times, and he’s never home.  On Saturday all of our plans, our backups, everything fell through, so we were about to start knocking when the prompting come to go see Brother Allancar.  Hmmmm.  We go and…there he is…painting the railing to his front stairway.  We asked to help, and ended up having a way good conversation with him.
2.  We had biked about 12 miles and I was out of water.  Nobody was home, it was 100% humidity, and I was about ready to keel over and die (not really but kinda…) I said a quick prayer that Heavenly Father would help me make it through that bike ride.  The next door we knock on turns out to be a long lost less active member, and she just happens to have 2 bottles of cold orange soda.  I don’t even like orange soda, but I was just so stinkin’ grateful for an answered prayer, that I chugged it down and was ready to go.
It’s so cool being a missionary!
Y’all have a blessed day!
Love,
Sister Derrick

 
Plan of Salvation...Bryndee style!

Thursday, June 5, 2014

Families, Fish Fries, & Fireflies; Oh My!

This week was good…lots of up’s and not-so-up’s, but that’s missionary life…the worst it’s ever been is WONDERFUL!

THINGS THAT HAPPENED THIS WEEK: 
-Exchanges!  Sister Anderson from Sacramento, CA came and did exchanges with me.  It was kind of fun being on the other end of these and left me feeling so grateful for the time I have to spend as a regular missionary…don’t get me wrong, I loved being in leadership for so long, but it’s cool to be in my own little corner of the state, focusing solely on the work…Perfect!
-Ward Fish Fry!  I guess that’s a normal thing in the south…I’ve heard of tons of wards doing it.  Basically, they get a boatload of fish and the High Priests fry it all up and have a cook-out.  Needless to say I spent a lot of time at the sides table…hush-puppies & macaroni salad galore!  We had one of our Pohnpeiian families there and they had so much fun!  Marcolia, Me’lela, Dee and Synjunn had a ball playing corn-hole (another southern thing, so I hear…) and Marcarita (mom) got some great ward fellowship.  A good time was had by all!
-Fireflies!  First of the year!  Stoked on that!
-Families!  So, this week, Sister Call and I decided to specifically pray for a family to teach.  My whole mission it seems I’ve taught a lot of single people (which are great too…I’m not knocking it) but I’ve always wanted to baptize a family.  So, we’ve been praying for it and taking every opportunity to exercise faith.
So Sunday all of our plans had fallen through, and we were knocking, when the inspiration came to go visit a former investigator.  We follow the prompting, drive over to her house (side note:  her house is bright pink!)  and knock and knock again.  Shoot not home.  So we walked back to our car, and there are 2 little girls (maybe Ellie’s age) playing right outside our car.  We go talk to them and ask to talk to their parents.  Mom comes out…
-Me:  He we’re the local missionaries from the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints!  We’ve been coming around the neighborhood today, and sharing a message about Jesus Christ…”
She cuts me off.  “Well if it’s about Jesus Christ I could use it.  Wanna come in?”
WOAH!!!!
So we go in, sit down, and it turns out to be a cute little family of five, who moved here a year ago, and have been to about 4 different churches since they moved. They started asking questions about the youth program, our pastor, if we passed a plate around…etc.  The more we explained, the more excited they got.  We talked about the Book of Mormon, and their minds were blown!  They were so happy!  They set an appointment for us (which never happens…) and we left them having family scripture study in 3rd Nephi 11.  Way cool!
Welp, to tie it all up, I wanted to write about a thought I had this week.  I’ve been thinking a lot about my expectations when I first came out on a mission.  Everyone pictures a mission as the best 2 years…or at least I did…
EXPECTATION:  Knocking doors.  Hanging out the members.  The worst thing that could happen was a slammed door.  Teaching families that kept commitments.  People always said it was hard, but it couldn’t really be that hard…now could it?
Then I got here…
REALITY:  There are things much harder than slammed doors.  People fall off date.  People struggle with addictions.  Families fall apart.  People get incredibly sick.  Missionaries, who you grow to love, struggle…some want to go home.  You deal with real people problems, things I only thought (based on my sheltered suburbia lifestyle)  existed in the movies and tabloids.  It’s been so different and so so much harder than I thought…but…the interesting thing is the things that make it so horribly difficult make it wonderful too.  The strength of people is AMAZING!  People keep commitments.  People conquer addictions.  People fight for what’s right and true.  Miracles happen!  It’s the coolest thing I’ve ever been witness too!
I LOVE BEING A MISSIONARY!
Ya’ll have a blessed week!
Love,
Sistah Dee (I’m thinking she has been in the South a little too long)
 
Bryndee and Sister Call on their new bikes!


Another Bryndee sketch...Helmet + Dress = Ridiculous!
Se La Vie...

Thursday, May 29, 2014

Highish-Highs and Lowish-Lows


Kaselelia!  Or hello (for you Americans)!
So, let’s start my letter off this week with a miracle.  Sister Call and I were contacting in a neighborhood called Yacht Cove (if that gives you any kind of hint as to what kind of place it was…scary place to tract.)  When we start to walk up to a man walking his dog and talking on his cell phone.  He looks up, see us coming, and almost drops his phone, he looks so surprised to see us.  Following is a conversation between him and us.
HIM  “Wow I thought ya’ll were never coming.  You want to meet my wife?”
US  “Umm…sure.  Were you expecting us?”
HIM  “Oh well my daughter is on a mission in Florida.  My wife is dying of cancer, and I told her she could send the sisters by if she wanted to…but that was like a month ago, so I thought she’d forgotten.”
Turns out this man was very, very less active.  He had been offended by a bishop in Salt Lake, and had moved here years ago without anyone knowing.  Cool thing was the Lord knew exactly where he was, and sent the missionaries right when we were needed.  Isn’t it so cool being a missionary!!!
This week was…interesting.  Lots of highish-highs followed by lowish-lows.  But all is good.  It seems that almost all of our investigators abruptly dropped us, dropped the ball, or dropped off the face of the planet this week.  But all is well!  We’re finding new people to teach.  Working with the ward, and having a jolly good time!  I love being a missionary!
So not much to write about this week…quite a bit of knocking, street contacting, and sweating.  So, I’ll just share a thought from the scriptures and close up.  Ether 12:23 & 26 was one of Sister Gardner’s (now Walker) favorite scripture to share with people.  I came across it in my studies this morning, and was drawn to a phrase in verse 26:  “…my grace is sufficient for the meek…”  In these verses, Moroni is bemoaning his skills as a writer, criticizing the awkwardness of his hands, and wishing he could express himself as well as the brother of Jared does.  Eventually, the Lord cuts in and reminds him that as long as he’s meek (God-fearing, righteous, humble, teachable & patient…according to Elder Ulisses Soares last October) the Lord will qualify his work with the Savior’s grace.  It will be okay.  Elder Soares also says “upon acknowledging our dedication & perseverance, the Lord will give us that which we are not able to attain due to our imperfections and human weaknesses.”  This is the Lord’s work, and as long as we consistently do all we can to earn his trust, it’ll all work out.  I sure love the Lord for that!
Ya’ll have a blessed week!
Love,
Sister Derrick
P.S.  Oh a quick note before I forget.  In my interview, President Holm asked about Porter…he then told me (ha-ha he didn’t give me permission, he commanded me) to call the week before he goes into the MTC.  I’ll have a new President by the, but President Holm said he’d let him know.  Just FYI!  I’ll only be able to talk to Porter, and it’s only for 40 minutes, but it should be pretty cool!  Love ya!

Monday, May 19, 2014

The Rolling Hills of Irmo!

Hello Family!
So, this letter’s gonna be rather brief, because it’s currently 5:22, and I have to be out the door soon.
So, I was transferred, and landed in good ol' Irmo, the home base of the South Carolina Columbia Mission. We share the ward with the assistants to the president, and the work here is rolling!!! I live in an apartment with 2 other sisters (sister Borglethaus and sister Shauerhammer (I think that’s how you spell them? hardest names ever...) and a senior sister named Sister Barlowe. so fun
Things I love about Irmo:
              Bikes! We bike everywhere! Way exhausting, but so fun!
Pompeian! We’re teaching a family from Micronesia, and baptized one of their little girls this weekend. So cute! This is the 5th language I’ve learned to teach on my mission so far.... English, Spanish, Portuguese, ASL, and now Pompeian..... Crazy huh?
The Members! The members here are stellar. So much untapped referral potential!
My Companion! My companion is sister Call, from Washington State. She has been out 3 months, and is super diligent and obedient. I love her so much :) She's a fantastic teacher, and we have lots of fun. She's got a sister on a mission in Florida somewhere, who entered the MTC the same day I did! Kind of fun.
I haven’t been here long, but the work’s rolling, and I am SO STINKING HAPPY!!!!
Y’all have a blessed day!
Love,
Sister Derrick
 
Saying goodbye to Sister Glauser. 
 
 
I guess Sister Glauser likes to sketch as much as Bryndee does.  These two are so much alike yet so different...I guess that's what makes great companions!
 
 
I always give Bryndee a hard time for her lack of info in her letters...she took a picture of Sister Glauser's letter to show that she isn't the only one with lack of info...silly girl!  

 
Bryndee and Sister Call with the family that speaks pompeian. 

 
Bryndee, Sister Belyea (Bryndee trained her), Sister Ramstedt (Sister Belyea trained her), and a sister that Sister Ramstedt is trainging...Bryndee is a great Grandma.
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

Thursday, May 15, 2014

Letting Go Of The Box Under The Bed!

Hello my family! So I’m sitting in a very empty room right now at a very empty table working where I’ll be writing from next week. I got a call from President and am going to be transferred on Wednesday to who-knows-where. So I’ve packed up all my stuff (pretty quick I might add…I seem to be getting pretty good at this…) and am sitting down to a few minute break and write y’all a quick note.
My Week:
Monday – grocery shopped. Emailed. Cleaned and cleaned for apt inspections. Ate Thai food. All in all a phenomenal P-day.
Tuesday – Exchanges with Sister Mchaley. We saw all of the recent converts, on one side our map, found a cool YSA lead (she’s responsible for the Charleston YSA Branch), and spent some time in Ridgeville (think…Mayberry. Super tiny super cute!) Exhausting day. We worked hard!
Wednesday – Finished up our exchanges with YSA, and then headed up to Walterboro branch for yet another exchange. Seriously the most fun I’ve ever had on an exchange. Sister Law (my temporary companion) was the greatest! So fun! I’m pretty sure we could be best friends.
Out in Walterboro, we had the opportunity to meet a woman named Dee. She let us right in (she said she’d talk to anyone with Christ’s name on their badge) and it turns out that she lived in AZ for a second (Yuma of all places) and was married to a Mormon they have since split ways, and all she had of his was an old blue copy of the Book of Mormon! For your old codgers that remember, it’s the one with the Angel Moroni on the front. Anyways, we taught her about the restoration, and she really felt the spirit. She accepted a baptismal date, and I’m way excited. Good exchange!
Thursday – Closed up exchanges for the transfer (that’s always an amazing feeling…like we accomplished something massive)
Friday – Put a man named Michael on date for baptism! Yahoo! His lesson started off pretty rocky. He kept going off on random questions and rants (why is Jesus white on your pamphlet? Where do you think God came from? Where can I get a Mormon wife?...that sort of thing) But we taught him a bit about how the Spirit can answer some of his questions as he listened to our message. We began to teach and the member we brought testified of her conversion, and the room got very quiet. The Spirit was there so strong and it was wonderful. Anyway’s he has a pretty soft date for May 31st. Should be good.
Saturday – We did a MASSIVE service project for “Habitat for Humanity”! There was a fair that they put on almost entirely manned by missionaries. It was so fun, but so exhausting. WE got to teach a few pretty cool people including (but not limited to) Miss Freshman of Summerville High (and future Miss America, she’ll be the first to tell you), a funny old man from New Jersey, who’s son may be a Mormon, he can’t remember, and the woman at the booth next to us who sat the whole 9 hours we were there & read the Book of Mormon. Way cool day! Oh and transfer call from President…not so happy about this.
Sunday – We had an ASL translator come from Augusta for Kitt & Alison! Both loved it! It was cool to see them so happy. Also, one of the little Primary kids was watching the while they sang for Mother’s Day and started waving her arms around, trying to do the signs. So funny and so cute. Also got to talk to you guys! A Good Day!



I got these fun pictures in the mail...Cute girls!

Welp, a quick thought before I go: I was studying the Atonement this morning and had an interesting thought. In Leviticus Chapter 4, it talks about the process of sacrifice involved in being forgiven of your sins. A very valuable, very clean lamb must be given. Then, in Hebrews 9 it compares that sacrifice to the sacrifice of Heavenly Father, giving up his perfect lamb. Whether you’re looking at the Mosaic Sacrifice, or the Father’s Sacrifice both give up something of great value, and they give it up completely, withholding nothing. So, my thought is this: when I’m repenting what am I giving up? Or am I stilling holding on to things? Sister Holm gave a talk once on what she calls the box under the bed…the little things we withhold, that are “too much” to let go of. I testify that when we apply Christ’s Atonement, and ask for his help, with real intent, we can be free from those things that are hard to give up. We are changing, dynamic beings. We were created to grow, and to be more than we are…but it requires sacrifice on our part. My invitation to everyone is to simply pray, find the “box under your bed”, and covenant with Heavenly Father to give it up. You’ll be blessed if you do!
Love Y’all!
Have a blessed day!
Love,
Sister Derrick
A few weeks ago Bryndee, Sister Glauser and their roommates went and toured a Manor House on their P-day.  Such a cool old house.  I love the smiles and the beautiful pictures!

Monday, May 12, 2014

I Love Tough Things!


I saw a church this week, who’s name topped all church names you’ve ever herd up until this point:  Christ Deliverance Temple Church Incorporated.

This week was very interesting.  I only got to spend 3 days in my area, due to various meetings & such.  But it was cool to see the Lord’s hand in our work, directing us to where we were most needed.

On Tuesday we got word that our Chevy Cruiz had been recalled, so we took it to a dealership in North Charleston.  The service guy, Matt, took a quick look at it, told us he needed to order some parts, and gave us back the keys so we could go on our way.  We drive back to Summerville, and then called our vehicle coordinator, to update him on the status of the repairs.  He was nervous about us driving the car, so he sent us back to N. Chuck to request a rental car, which we did.  We caught Matt, asked for a rental, he fought us on it for a second, but then ended up getting us the car…so now I’m feeling very adult in my new Chevy Malibu (seriously the fanciest car I’ve ever driven…way horrible turning radius though…) and we have unlimited miles!  Seriously the best thing ever! 

Wednesday was MLC.  I love our Mission President, and am not looking forward to his leaving.  I’m sure the new guy will be great, but he’s got pretty big shoes to fill.  We got a call at the car place on Tuesday to train on “having a positive attitude”, and because of all the mania with the car, we didn’t get to plan it until the car ride there.  We got up to train, nervous but confident that we’d have Devine help.  (This is one of the things I’ve noticed change in myself…) giving trainings used to give me serious anxiety…I think that’s why I’ve had to do so many of them (I recently counted up how many I have given…over 50…crazy huh?).  Now I’ve learned to plan to teach, and then simply give those plans to the Lord & let him direct the training to where it needs to go.  It was seriously a powerful training, and the Spirit was strong.  I’m so grateful that the Lord gave me this weakness, and the opportunities to practice, and make it strong.

Thursday we invited a young man named Davion to be baptized.  Davion is 16 years old, very very shy, and it’s hard to get any response out of him.  We’ve been teaching him about the Savior; who he is and his purpose & ministry here on earth.  We talked about the Savior’s baptism, and how we walked 90 miles to where John the Baptist was, so he could be baptized by the proper authority…meanwhile, Davion was completely silent.  We would ask questions and get a simple not, or a thoughtful look, but other than that…nothing.  We took a leap of faith and invited him to be baptized the way Christ was.  He was quiet for a sec, and then agreed.  We were pretty surprised but we pulled out a paper calendar, circled the 24th of May, and give it to him along with a green pen.  We invited him to write across the top of the paper why he wanted to be baptized, and sat there for a few minutes, wrote something, stared at it for a few minutes more, then held up the paper for us to see.  In big, wobbly letters it said across the top “It changes people”.  Whoa!  The spirit whoosed in at that moment and testified that he understood, and that his Heavenly Father was so proud.  Good day!

Friday was ZTM.  Not much to report except it was a good meeting.

Saturday we drove to the outskirts of our area and saw less active members that don’t get much contact because they’re so far.  Good day

Sunday was church.  I love church!  Towards the beginning of my mission I didn’t like it much, because it stressed me out.  People would go into deep doctrine in their Sunday talks, our investigators wouldn’t be fellowshipped like I would have liked, etc.  But now, I just enjoy the peace of the spirit that is there.

To close, a quick thought about faith and work.  President Holm told us a story about President Monson as a mission president in Canada.  He received a telegram from some of his missionaries that read “President the temperature here is 40 degrees below zero.  Please advise.”  President Monson quickly replied “Elders.  My advice is this…Dress warm.  Work hard.   And don’t look at the thermometer.  Warm regards, President.”

I love that!  If we have faith, knowing this is the Lord’s workk and he won’t let us fail, and work really really hard, we can do tough things.  President Monson knew the Lord would consecrate their efforts for their gain.  I don’t know about you, but I want to be like President Monson.  I’d rather wear out than rust out.  I love though things!

Y’all have a blessed week!

Love,

Sister Derrick
 
Bryndee with the Brimley Family
 
 
Good morning girls!  Sister Glauser and Bryndee first thing in the morning in their very clean kitchen...this mom is impressed!

Wednesday, April 30, 2014

How Do You Feel About Those You Love?

Hello Family! Hope you’re enjoying the sun down there, ‘cause it’s been a week since I’ve seen it…you’ve got one very soggy, very tired, very happy missionary down here!
My week kicked off (as it usually does) with exchanges. Sister Dent from Utah (as they usually are) came to work my area with me. One of my favorite lessons we taught together was with a woman named DeeDee. She was a woman Sister Lamb and I had found a few months ago, but when we found her, she was having a hard time keeping commitments. We stopped in on her, showed her the gospel library app and simply bore testimony of the Book of Mormon. It’s amazing the power of the stories in that book. I’ve grown to love the stories of Nephi, Enos, Helaman, Mormon, and Alma. These people went through trials that amaze me, and wrote down their feelings so thousands of years later; I can know that Jesus Christ is the One I can look to for a remission of my sins. I read their stories and think “hey I’ve felt that before, too.” And then these people became real. There’s no other book like it (and I’ve read a lot). Anyways…DeeDee committed to read 3 Nephi 11 and is coming to our weekly Book of Mormon class on Wednesday. We’re pretty excited.
My next exchange was with Sister Boyson in North Charleston. That exchange was probably the most miraculous of my mission. Sister Boyson had planned the exchange so that we had a solid appointment every hour of the day…but as the day went on, every single appointment (except 1) fell through. Oh well such is life. Cool thing was, wherever we went, we found someone that was majorly prepared for the gospel. We ended up teaching one lesson with a member present, nine other lessons and picked up four new investigators! N. Chuck (North Charleston) is going to have some major success here pretty soon! It was an amazing, uplifting exchange.
The next day was a specialized conference with the zone. We were asked to give a training on planning by the spirit. Because of all the exchanges, I hadn’t seen my companion all week, so we were super nervous to teach. Luckily, as we shared from the scriptures & role-played with the zone, the spirit took over and it turned out to be a pretty decent training, If I do say so myself. Also, as a random side-note, I beat my whole zone in a basketball shooting contest. There should be a picture somewhere on Facebook of me & the Elder that won the 3 pointer contest (Elder Goesch…that kid is HUGE!) with President & Sister Holm. I’ll have to save it to prove to posterity that I can actually shoot a basketball.
Easter was this week! Christ the Lord is risen again! Hallelujah! Our Sacrament Meeting was all centered around stories of Jesus Christ and it was completely wonderful! Anytime we talk about the Savior the spirit can’t help but testify of the truthfulness of it. I know that He lives, & he loves us. I feel like I’m starting to come to know him on my mission, because I’m doing my best to do what he needs me to do, instead of what I would like to be doing. When I give myself up like that, he gives me something eternally better…himself. Oh, how I love him for that!
We got to eat with some of my favorite members and shared a really cool message with the Brimley family. All-in-all, a beautiful Easter Sabbath!

 
An Easter treat from a very kind member.  The members in Summervill are wonderful!  They really know how to take care of their missionaries!
One last parting shot. This morning I was studying for yet another training I’m giving tomorrow (they never end!) and I was reading Nephi’s account of his father’s dream (1 Nephi 8) verse 4 caught my attention. “but behold, Laman & Lemuel, I fear exceedingly because of you…" this struck me as odd. I have this distant memory of a Sunday School class, where the teacher quoted President Hinckley as saying sometimes he was nervous & antsy, but with the Lord, he was never afraid. So, what would it take to make a Prophet of God afraid? Take a look at verses 17 & 18. The mere thought of someone that he loved, missing that fruit. Baptism, the gift of the Holy Ghost, the blessings of the Temple that was enough to make the Prophet scared. My question is, do we feel the same way about those we love? Elder Ballard challenged all of you to invite! Now, are you?
Well, I love you, and I hope you’re sharing this wonderful gospel like crazy!
Y’all have a blessed day!
Love,
Sister Derrick
P.S. If anyone sends me mail, we’ve been asked to tell people not to write “sister” or the mission name they’ve been having some problems with missionary mail being tampered with, so they’re trying to stop that from happening. Just put “Bryndee Derrick” please.
Love ya!
 
She was surprised to get her Eater Package.  I guess it came on a particularly hard day.  Needless to say she was thrilled to get it.


Just a cute picture of my favorite missionary and her companion.  These two really are great girls!
 

 
Probably my favorite picture of Bryndee on her mission.  She just looks happy!