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!
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!

Monday, April 28, 2014

A nice letter and pictures from Sister Holm

Ron and I got a surprise in the mail the other day...a kind note from Sister Holm (Bryndee's Mission President's wife).   It came at a time when we hadn't gotten a letter from Bryndee for almost 3 weeks.  I'm not sure what prompted Sister Holm to send this, but I am sure grateful she did. 

President and I wanted to let you know how much we care and appreciate your daughter. She is truly a "Preach My Gospel" missionary. She has the love and respect of the whole mission. thank you for sending such a great Sister Missionary. Sister Derrick is a Ray of Sunshine wherever she serves.


Sister Holm
The first picture is from about a year ago when Bryndee was companions with Sister Belyea.  The second picture was taken about 2 months ago when she was assigned to Sister Glauser...not the best picture but I am so happy to see her happy and healthy. 

Because of Him

So to kick off this letter, I’d like to invite everyone I know to go visit  Visit, watch, blog, tweet,…spread the word!  This video is amazing and I want the world to see it!
Now back to your regularly scheduled programming!
Hola familia!!! Hope y’all  had a good week and are preparing yourselves to remember the Savior this week, and the whole reason he was sent to us.
My week was nuts.  So fun but nuts (I feel like I say that in every single letter…but it’s true!).  We started off with exchanges in Goose Creek with Sister Manning.  That girl is cool!  She’s a rodeo queen in Idaho, grew up on a ranch, and can rope anything.  Besides that, she’s a stellar missionary.  She had only been in the area for 4 days and was able to plan for an exchange, by herself.  I was way impressed.

Bryndee and Sister Manning
We had Sister’s conference.  I got to see all my old companions, and ate a ridiculous amount of salad.  A good time was had by all, so I’m told.

We had what’s known as a “Summerville Day of Service”, and I got to volunteer at Gregg Middle School.  I spray-painted a fence black, and cleaned old paint off of door handles.  Best part = free watermelon at the end.  Yummmm!


We had a baptism this weekend!  Sweet 10 year old Alysa was baptized this Saturday, and received the gift of the Holy Ghost on Sunday (her birthday!).  I’ve never seen someone so excited about the Gospel.  When we were teaching her grandma (remember Paula back in November?  This is her grandbaby) she would very quietly play in the background, listening.   About 3 months after her grandma was baptized, she approached us and asked us if she was “allowed” to come to church and be baptized too.  It was so sweet, and she was a joy to teach.

Sister Glauser and Bryndee...SO VERY TIRED!

Welp, that’s my week.  Hope y’all  is blessed.


Sister Derrick

P.S. Sorry this letter’s such a short guy…duty calls!

Monday, April 14, 2014

Forget Yourself!

‘Ello Family!  Hope y’all are having a blessed week!  I know I invite you to at the end of every letter, but…I really hope you do!

This week was one of those weeks that felt like we shoved six million years into 5 minutes.  It’s a gooooooood feeling!

We kicked off the week by putting someone new on baptismal date!  Sweet Donna, our recent convert, has been bringing one of the little girls belonging to the family she lives with to church with her the past few weeks and we invited her to baptism on Monday.  That dear sweet girl is so excited, and so are we!  Her name is Sara, and she’s eleven.  It’s been amazing to see the fire & drive of a recent convert!  We’ve brought more souls to the Savior through them, than all of our other members put together!  They have no qualms about sharing, because they know what it is like to be without the truth.  They inspire me, and someday I hope to be as good a missionary as they are.

We also had Mission Leadership Council this week.  We got to discuss and plan the upcoming zone conferences and put together a Sister’s Specialized Training Meeting for the 10th of this month…Seriously so stinkin’ excited!  Members of the Missionary General Board are coming to teach, and it’s going to be amazing!

Friday was Zone training Meeting.  Sister Glauser and I got to give a training on…how to give a training.  It was the most confusing training I’ve ever had to plan (try role-playing role-playing a role-play…its pretty fun!) but the spirit was there, so it was a success I’d say.

Then, I finally capped of the week with the words of the Prophet.  Oh, how I love Conference!  This year’s conference was so inspiring! So many simple testimonies of the Savior, his love for us, and the things he expects us to do as his covenant people.  I’d invite anyone who reads this, if they haven’t already, to visit and watch all 5 sessions.  You’ll be blessed and inspired!

Conference sketch!

After Conference Selfies.


This next week should be an excellent one…we’ve got our Sister’s Conference in Columbia, exchanges with the Goose Creek sisters, Sister Robinson’s birthday, our “Summerville cares: day of service”, and if all goes well, Alysa’s baptism! 

A quick scripture before I sign off:  this week I’ve been reading Helaman 10.  It opens with Nephi teaching a group of people.  He’s got the spirit, he’s excited…and all the people get up and leave in the middle of his lesson.  They literally just stand up and walk out.  Ouch!  So, he starts walking home and he has this amazing vision, but what I want to focus on is HOW he was able to have this amazing revelatory experience.  Take a look at verses 2 and 3.  What was he thinking about, as he was walking?  Not what HE was doing, or what HE had wanted, or what those people thought of HIM…no, his thoughts were entirely focused on the children of God, and how they could be helped.  I’m entirely convinced that God does not give us selfish blessings or revelation.  All that he gives us are a means to helping his precious children…just look at Nephi.  He’s given this amazing blessing; he hears the Lord’s voice and is given great power for the blessing of God’s children.

So my invitation to you this week:  Forget yourself.  Heavenly Father knows your struggles and worries, so why spend so much of your time and energy re-hashing them over and over in your mind?  Use that energy to bless another instead, and you’ll find your trials much more bearable than you thought. 

I love you very much, and you’re in my prayers!

Y’all have a blessed week!

Love, Sister Derrick

Bryndee has discovered Thai Food...and she LOVES it!



Wearing the T-Shirts I sent them from San Franscisco...looking good girls!

Friday, April 4, 2014

Aye Carumba Que Pasa Aqui!

Hola Familia!
So first off, SO excited for Porter. He’s going to be a powerful missionary. Watch out Mexico!!
Second, it’s gonna be a pretty short letter this week. Next week is crazy with meetings (Mission Leadership Council, Zone Training Meeting, and General Conference) so we’re trying to get prepped.
This Week:
Exchanges with Sister Eames. We stayed here in Summerville. Cool miracle that happened: We went by Tracy, a woman who had been taught by previous Sisters and felt pressured into baptism so she stopped answering the door. We stopped by, and she was STOKED to see us! “I’ve been reading the Book of Mormon since I last met with the Sisters, and I’ve almost made it through Mosiah! I’m also getting my friend to read it, because she could use a little more Jesus in her life.” Way cool. We’re seeing her again on Wednesday.
Sister Glauser got some horrible flu. She woke up at 3 AM threw up and proceeded to run to the bathroom every 15-20 minutes for the remainder of the night. Freaky Stuff. When it was finally late enough to call someone, I called one of the older Priesthood holders in our ward. He came over, with his newly ordained son, and gave Sister Glauser a blessing, simply and powerfully commanding her to be well. Sister Glauser didn’t throw up once after that blessing. It was a huge testimony builder to me that God’s power is really here on the earth today!
Church…Paula got up and bore her testimony…sweet moment.
General Women’s Conference. Funny story…Our Bishop try as he might, could not get the projector to work. So, Sister Brimley pulled it up on her I Pad, propped it up against the microphone so we could hear, and that’s how we watched it! The Spirit of sisterhood in that meeting was incredible. Let’s not only love each other more, but love each other better.
Sister Glauser and Bryndee at the Women's Conference.  I love it when thoughtful members from South Carolina send me surprise texts with pictures of my girl.  
Welp, that’s my week. Quick thought…Sister Glauser and I were reading in 2 Nephi 4 and came across the age old promise “inasmuch as ye shall keep my commandments, ye shall prosper in the land.” But what really stuck out to me this time was the counter-promise “and inasmuch as ye will not keep my commandments, ye shall be cut off from my presence.” This isn’t just talking about big commandments either…in my mind, if you’re not thinking what you should think, doing what you should do, and being what you should be; you cannot expect the guidance of the Lord. You may not even be unhappy, but you miss the abundant joy and blessings that the Father has just waiting for you. Obedience, it’s the first law of Heaven for a reason!
Well, I love you, and…Y’all have a blessed week!
Sister Derrick

The caption I got with this picture... "my mom's gonna kill me! I didn't take any pictures this week! quick, take one of me and my soup!"  Silly girl!

A sign at an apartment complex...crazy!

Bryndee and Sister Glauser at a fireside.  Another set of pictures texted to me from thoughtful people.

Sister Glauser and Bryndee teaching at  a fireside.

Tuesday, April 1, 2014

Of Tan-Lines & Time Warps!

Happy spring, everyone!  You can always tell when it’s spring in South Carolina, because everything has turned green with pollen, and the weather is perfect!
This week has been full of exchanges.  I kicked off in Georgetown Branch with Sister Roundy from my MTC district.  So fun!  We got to see some really funny people and in-between we got to re-hash old MTC memories…it was a most excellent time!  My favorite part was the time we got to spend with their recent-convert, Amanda.  We went to a branch-party with her, and it was amazing to see the branch just take her in and love the heck out of her…the members down here are great that way. 
Exchange #2 was here in Summerville with Sister Daniels. She is so fun!  We’ve decided that we’re pretty much the same person, besides the fact that I grew up in AZ and she grew up in Texas.  Best moment in that exchange:  Most definitely dinner with Brother & Sister Duren…More specifically the spiritual thought that happened afterwards.  We borrowed their New Testament, because we had been walking all day & weren’t carrying one (no need down here…everyone in the south has a bible!) and asked them to close their eyes.  We went slowly back and forth, reading the account of the Savior’s Atonement in Luke 22:39-48.  There was an amazing spirit in the room, and when we got to the part where Christ, who is exhausted and hurting, gently rebukes Peter for falling asleep, the feeling got intense, and tears started streaming down Brother Duren’s face.  Now Brother Duren is a tough, mechanic type, the last person I’d ever expect to cry during a lesson…and yet, he was so touched by the Savior’s love for one, he just sat there and cried.  At that moment, the spirit really testified to me that the story I was reading was true.  Gah!  I love being a missionary!
Another fun part of this week:  We’ve been walking a ton because we’ve run almost completely out of miles (okay, so…not so fun but really, really good exercise!) My feet look so funny…half white, half tan.  Way cute.  But, while we were walking, we ran into this really cool guy named Justin.  When we were walking by his house he was working on a motorcycle in his garage.  As we walked up the drive way to go contact him, we noticed that his garage was full of motorcycles in various states of disrepair.  We introduced ourselves and asked about all the bikes (he seriously had like 17…), and his story was cool.  I guess he used to be an alcoholic, until one day he decided enough was enough, and he wasn’t happy.  So he started fixing broken down bikes to keep him out of the bars.  Way cool.  We gave him a Book of Mormon and are excited to keep working with him.
One of my favorite parts of being a missionary is church.  In the beginning of my mission it stressed me out! (Shout out to Sister Gardner/Walker for keeping me sane back then) But how I love it now!  This Sunday Kitt came (this man is seriously like an active member…he just needs to be baptized!)  Our investigator Mr. Green surprised us and came (he’s lookin’ for a Mormon wife…haha…) and at least 8 of the less-active members we’ve been working with came!  It was stinkin’ miraculous! 
One last thought before I sign off:  in PEC on Sunday our bishop was in the middle of something when he abruptly stopped speaking.  He turned to his scriptures and said “you know…I’ve had a thought on my mind all week and I think I need to share it with you.  When we get up in Sacrament Meeting & share our testimonies, we all say something like I know the Gospel is true or the Gospel has changed my life. What if someone not yet of our faith was to ask you what is the Gospel everyone keeps talking about?  What is the Gospel?  What would you say?” The room fell silent.  There they were 9 or so experienced priesthood leaders, and not one of them could tell the Bishop what the Gospel was…could you?  My challenge to y’all this week:  Take a good, long look at 3 Nephi 27.  I feel like we add so much fluff, so much programming sometimes that we forget why we’re really believers.  Let’s all be brilliant in the basics of the Gospel.
Well I love you!  And y’all have a blessed week!
Sister Derrick

I love Bryndee's sketches.  This is her most recent.  If you can't tell it is a picture of the back of our Savior sitting on a bench with his arm around them comfort.

Being A Follower Of Christ!

Hola Familia!  Hope ya’ll had some serious fun in San Francisco!  You looked like a Full House rerun in all the pictures minus the poofy bangs!
This week was packed full of meetings…(sometimes, being a STL is like that…meeting after meeting after meeting.)  But, cool part was these meetings were presided over by Elder Zwick, of the First Quorum of the Seventy!  That man has more energy than Taralee on Halloween!  He’s so funny!  I learned TONS But I think my biggest take-away from the meeting was about being a real true follower of Jesus Christ.  The last few months or so, I’ve noticed that we’ve had training after training after training on the mechanics of missionary work…putting people on date…being early, often, & bold in inviting to baptisim…working with members…contacting…the list goes on.  But what Elder Zwick relly focused on what a missionary needs to be, instead of what a missionary needs to do.  He taught me how important it was to come to know the man I’m serving & how the closer we come to Him the more our nature changes to be more like his.  He said “let the spirit within you help you elevate your performance.  Miracles have not ceased!  Are you willing?”  As we come to know the savior & we not just know about him, his will for us becomes not only clear, but attractive. 
Like I said, I learned a lot of other things, but I would have a mile-long letter if I wrote it all down.
A cool lesson we had this week:  We taught Fred (His name has been changed for privacy) this week, who’s still on date for the 29th of March.  The lesson itself was pretty un-remarkable until the closing prayer.  The member we brought invited Fred to say the closing prayer.  Now, by way of background info, Fred is struggling in his family.  He caught his wife cheating on him a few weeks ago and has been living all alone.  So when he shyly started into his prayer he earnestly thanked the Lord for the people from the church who “really actually care enough for me to keep coming by.”  I cried.  The spirit in the room was so strong because this lost and lonely child of God was starting to find his way home.  Way cool.
The other person we put on date this week was Alysa.  She is the 9 year old granddaughter of Paula who approached us and asked if she could “pretty please be baptized?”  Oh, my heart melted.  Have I told you that my very favorite people teach in the whole world are kids and the handicapped?  Oh, I’m so excited to teach her!
Welp, that’s my week.  Sorry for the short letter, but I’ve been up at 4:00 am a few too many times this week for meetings, and am in great need of a NAP!
Ya’ll have a blessed week!
Hermana Derrick!
These girls are supposed to be studying...I think they have way too much fun together!  Bryndee has said her and Sister Glauser will be forever friends!

Sister Glauser and Bryndee studying hard...Whatever!

Huge waffles...I have no idea if she ate all that.

Elena took Sister Glauser and Bryndee out for dessert...she ordered 5 treats.  Once again I have no idea if they ate all this.