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!
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!
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!
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!


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!