Saturday, July 16, 2016

Mission Conference and exchanges

June 27, 2016


Dear Everyone!!!!!!! Whoa!! 
I'm so sorry I didn't write last week! Last Monday we had a conference for the whole mission. It was a crazy busy, and lasted the entire day!
We woke up early, and then drove for two hours north to Short Hills. Everybody gathered together in a big park and got together in our zones. Each of the zones had to give a zone chant. It was the equivalent of camp roll call in young women's. After that we all broke up and got to play sports all morning. It went from 8-11:30.  They chose me to be the team captain for Ultimate Frisbee. It was tons of fun. I got to see all the old buddies from the MTC, and from other times in the mission. it was fun because the mission only gets together 2 times a year. We had a big lunch and then there was a clothing exchange. After that they played a video that a set of elders in our mission made. They had sent it home, and one of their sisters put it online. A lady moved from jersey, found the video on Youtube, called the mission president and said she wanted to be baptized. She had just recently told the missionaries that she wasn't interested. It’s called the "4 minute Plan of Salvation." After that we had a fireside, then drove back to our areas and got back to work. It was real great. 

This week we were out tracting, and it was 8:50pm. Right before we go in for the night- so we went to Dunkin Donuts (New Jersey runs on Dunkin) to sync our i-pads. We met a man from Haiti named Rolf. He was AWESOME!!! we get to meet up with him on Thursdays and Saturdays.

On Friday we went on exchanges. I went with sister Bain. SHES SO AWESOME!! We went contacting in the mall. My favorite story of the exchange was the shirtless guy. Saturday, we were driving home from ward coordination, we are going back to the apartment for studies and she turns to me and says, "Hey, Heavenly Father told me we have to go contact that shirtless guy back there on the highway." Me "ok" so I turn the car around to go find him. He was coming off the highway, and we see him coming down the sidewalk. We turn into Twinbrook (an apartment complex) and say a prayer and come out, look both ways and he's gone. How do you lose a shirtless black guy walking down the street?? She says, we’ve got to find him! So we walk one way, turn around and walk the other way down the street. After walking for a little bit, I see him several blocks down, so I pointed him out to Sister Bain. We started briskly walking for a few seconds and then we started running. We ran for about three blocks chasing down this shirtless black man. It’s humid, sweaty, we're out of breath, but all I could think was, "this is probably the coolest story ever." We reach him. He's on the other side of the street. He looks back at us. We cross the street. (side note, Sister Bulson is one of the most amazing people ever. She is wonderful at planning, but there’s nothing very spontaneous. Sister very spontaneous- so this was exciting.) We cross the street and the first thing we say "hey! we have something to share with you! God told us to talk to you!” We taught him the restoration. We got a new investigator, his number, and address. (He no showed us later, but Sister Bulson and I made a new appointment.) Sister Bain and I all stoked, walk back to the car, and on the way she sees a sticker on a stop sign. "COOL STICKER!! I want to get it. Quick sister Burk, climb on my back and get it off. She bends down on a busy corner underneath the stop sign. Cars are going by, people are walking by, I stand on her back and the blasted sticker won't come off. Slowly and surely I pull it off. All that’s running through my mind is "man I really hope that if this is some kind of gang marker that they aren't looking, so they don't plan their revenge and shoot us the next time we contact in this neighborhood.’ We got it off, get back to the car in safety, and by this time it’s time to end exchanges, but we have like ten minutes, so what do we do, I'm thinking, "wow, look what we just did-we chased down a shirtless guy and stole a gang symbol, sister Bain lets go to Wendy's :) We get there, and great minds think alike, we pull into the parking lot, and Sister Bulson is there with sister McAlister. They randomly picked Wendy's too.

Random thought: We met a two year old boy in a store with his mom, and I loved his name. It’s my favorite one this week. Messiah.

Figured I would save my favorite thing for last- but Chase-I saw my first firefly on Monday! We needed to send in some record reports to the ward mission leaders, and we needed to use the church internet. Once we sent it, we go outside lock the church….And realize we locked our keys inside! So we start walking to the ward mission leaders house, and as we’re going down the street, what do I see? Fireflies!! I wouldn't have seen them that night if we hadn't locked ourselves out. Why is this significant? Chase once used an analogy that I love! He was talking about spiritual experiences, and he compared seeing angels like seeing fireflies every day. Seeing fireflies every day is like the small little miracles Heavenly Father sends to us. The small and simple blessings he sends to let us know he loves us.
When I saw the fireflies, I had really needed it. Not only did I need it that day, but in the upcoming days I would especially need it. Getting locked out of the church was a blessing. :) as well as so many other simple experiences.

I love you all so much! I know the hard times we experience are the times that allow us to grow. They become our anchors. If we endure through them, they let us see the miracles. 
Thank you all for all you do. :)

Love Sister Brook

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