Monday, December 26, 2016

Christmas 2016


I honestly have loved being a missionary during this Christmas season. It has been amazing to represent Him during the time when everyone is a little more sensitive to Christ's message. 
I got the chance to go to a Christmas Catholic Mass. It was my first time going to a mass and it was a good one because it was Christmas Eve. IT WAS PACKED. We decided to be Christlike and give up our seats so an elderly couple could sit for the service. All i could think throughout the whole thing is how eternally grateful i am for the knowledge of the restored Gospel and Priesthood. It is real. and i felt the confirmation of the Holy Ghost testify to me in a Catholic Church that the restored Gospel is true. ahh it was pretty crazy. 
Christmas was awesome because we get to watch any PG movies we want. We ended up only watching the Grinch who stole Christmas and this movie called a Castle in the Sky which was way weird and amazing. (prolly cuz i haven't seen a moving in like 5 months). We didn't stop watching shows all day.  hahaha
ODD side note: it kinda sucks not doing anything now. I use to be good at not doing anything, but now its hard.
Anyway, I had a wonderful Christmas. I cannot believe that i will only have one more missionary Christmas.... time is absolutely flying. I love the Lord and i love this Gospel with every fiber of my being and I'm so blessed to know what i know. 

I pray you had a wonderful Christmas as well. Happy New Year!

LOVE ELDER BRIAN

Monday, December 19, 2016

Edwardsville

Well hello,
This week has honestly lasted, probably about 16541 weeks. It has gone on forever, I swear. BUT it has been the funnest week of my mission so far. Lets begin at the start.
On Tuesday i get transferred. I say my goodbyes and get in the car with this kid thats like 20ish named Brandon. (Turns out he is one of the coolest kids ever.) We drive until i start noticing all the dead corn all around me. So much dead Corn.
Edwardsville, is a small town in Illinois that is pretty much the opposite of my first area. I like to refer to it as simply "the best mission place on the entire world." 
We finally made it to the apartment and i meet my companion. Elder Serage. Turns out he is the coolest companion anyone could ever ask for. I'm semi sure that we already have a better relationship then peanut butter has with chocolate - and thats sayin' something. He is a huge nerd but he is also ripped because he loves basketball and working out.. haha I'd say he is a mixture of two of my best friends Stax and Hunter. haha 
i guess you could say we are getting a long quite nicely.
I'm here now, just having the time of my life. We are doing so well together and having a blast in the service of God. A few days ago we set 2 dates for people to be baptized and it was amazing. The members here are the coolest people ever, and right now people are literally contacting us because they want to learn more about the church. It is the best place ever.  I also got to meet this guy named Ron who is crazy. Honestly he is probably the craziest person i have ever met. Ron must like the taste of soap or something because he cusses like a sailor. He is so funny though, and has a genuine concern for the missionaries and he told us he would try coming to church again, but the last time he did that his car wouldn't start when he tried to leave (early) and so he doesn't want that to happen again. hahahaha One crazy guy. 

So i attached these two videos so you can see what i mean when i say that elder Serage and i are pretty good homies. We had a little bit of freeze rain and once we were able to get home, (almost dying like 3 times) we made the best out of the situation, by sliding our way into town and getting some pizza.(don't worry this was all on foot)  I fell really hard 2 times but elder Serage destroyed himself and it was the funniest thing i had ever seen. i wish i had a video of it, but i don't so everyone can just take my word for it. hahaha When our tummies were full we slid home and what happened? These videos happened.  hahaha Well, i thought i should throw in something that has been on my mind recently. 
Everyone listen to these words:
It's as simple as this. The Book of Mormon has the answers. If there is any question that is on your mind or if things are hard and you need direction, the Book of Mormon has the answers. God is a loving God and he will never ever leave us with no hope. We are children of God. We ARE Gods children. This simple fact is what is changing all the people i talk to. 
This Christmas season, i just want to encourage everyone to remember Christ. Jesus Christ. The King of Kings and the Lord of Lords. That wonderful man who suffered the sins of the world. Every individual, one by one, he suffered. For me alone he bled. I know that he is my Redeemer and  i will do everything i can to follow in his footsteps.
 In life's worst storms, with the strongest winds. I know of one thing that we can hold on to and remain grounded and safe. That is the Book of Mormon and its teachings. That is my testimony. This is real.

video
video

Well, I love you all so much. Hope everyone's having a wonderful Christmas season. I wish you a merry Christmas, I wish you a merry Christmas I wish you a Merry Christmas and a happy new year.  
Note to Mom:  MOM!  I love my new area with all my heart. I refer to it as the Celestial kingdom. AND my new companion, totally would have been in la fam if he had been by us. He is the coolest kid ever. He is a mix between Jaxon and Hunter. hahahaha

Monday, December 12, 2016

Getting Transferred!

Well that's all for me in Frontenac, I'm getting transferred. I'm going to this place in Illinois called Edwardsville. My new companions name is Elder Serage or something like that. I hope he is cool... I don't know right now if that is a good thing or a bad thing to be moving to Edwardsville because I honestly don't know anything about it besides it is kinda the opposite from Frontenac. I’m hoping that means more investigators! 
This past week has been a good one. My first birthday in the mission field was a lot different than what I thought it was going to be. I have to say a big THANK YOU to everyone that was sending your love to me on the 10th. In the mission when your birthday rolls around its like you wake up in the morning and go..."woah its my birthday." and then you forget about it until someone says, "hey, happy birthday" and then you realize it's still your birthday. hahaha I had a ton of fun though, and I got to play some birthday sting pong with the 5 other elders in my apartment complex. I got Mom’s package and the Ugly Christmas sweater was a hit. I wore it to play basketball in the morning with the AP's and everyone laughed super hard. I also loved the “positive affirmation button” that says, “you’re awesome” when you push it! Oh, and we got a car again so that was a wonderful birthday present!
I have been saying my goodbyes to all the people that I've become close to here, but I am not sad because its not like i'm dying. I can come see them sometime in the future. 
I had a grand time on exchanges this past week. We, at the time, didnt have a car and so it was a biking day. I got a different bike because the old one only had one pedel and that made it kinda difficult... so this new bike looked awesome. We started biking and when we came to the first intersection I realized why this bike was free to me... #nobreaks so i just rolled on through the intersection kinda like the grandma on the Mulan movie. hahaha To make the day even better, it was around 20 degrees outside. My companion during this exchange was an office elder that hadn't been doing stuff like this for the last 3 months and he was dying. That made it WAY more funnyr. He kept saying, "I cannot feel my hands or my face." We went and visited a few people, stopped by this old folks home because it was the day on the light the world thingy to do that, and then biked all the way across town to visit a few other people. It was s'cold. hahaha
Finally the time came for a dinner of a lifetime. The only problem was, that the dinner was approximately 15 minutes away by car and we only had bikes. I thought, "no problem” because I had already called this priest age kid to give us a ride. Just as I was telling this to my companion, Elder Timmereck , we got a call and the kid was actually going on a date soo… hahaha I started calling a ton of people. We finally found someone that was willing to give us a lift and made it to this wonderfully fantastic dinner. After which we waited outside in the 15ish degree weather for our ride. Elder Timmereck was so funny 'cuz we were both freezing. hahaha

Well fam. The truth is that no matter where you go, no matter how hot or cold, the church is true and everyone needs to be told. ( i just made that up and it came out sounding a lot cooler then i thought it would) I have grown immensely here and Im excited for the fun coming my way in Illinois. hahaha
 Love you all,
Elder Brian



Tuesday, December 6, 2016

Time is flying

Well hello everyone. I cannot believe that it is December. Time is totally flying.

First and foremost, HAPPY BIRTHDAY DAD! you da man. 

Now onto the content of this letter. 
Whelp, just to update anyone that is interested. We are pretty much still meeting with and talking to the same people i talked about before. hahaha its just kinda harder to get to their houses now. 
Let me tell you, we are getting dang creative out here in the Frontenac area. We have been relying on the members of the ward for rides places and then also bumming rides form the other elders that live in the same apartment complex as us. It has been wild. But there are always good things to come of hard things and I truly believe that through and through. And here is the evidence that that last statement is correct: 

The other night we went to a members home for dinner. We got there a little late because we had to wait for a member to take us there because its pretty far away and it was dark out. We ate dinner and what do you know, they turn out to be probably one of the most missionary-minded families on the planet. I mean they have a daughter in 2nd grade that brings a Preach my Gospel to school and keeps track of all the commitments she makes to her fellow school mates. (blew my mind.) So we talk about how their kids are probably better missionaries than I am and how they are constantly inviting people and looking for opportunities to serve and they told us they had been praying to be able to give someone a ride to church. They asked and we told them we would let them know if one of our investigators needed a ride. Soooo, we leave their house and they just think we have a car so they say bye and close the door and we just started walking... in the dark... it took about ten steps before I pulled out the phone and started to call all the other missionaries that lived in our apartment complex to come and get us. hahaha They decided that they wouldn't make us sleep in the streets and they told us to just get to the main road where they could see us and pick us up. So we wandered around until we got to the main road and just sat by this gas station. (This is where it gets cool)
As we are sitting there I hear this terrible scraping sound from down the road. I walked out and there was this car coming that had sparks flying out of the back of it as it drove! It pulls into the gas station and I get a good look at the two rims that he was driving on. hahaha- totally destroyed. I walked over as this man gets out of the car and I almost started laughing. This little ole Chinese man gets out and says, “I think I hit something." hahahaha He had hit a curb going pretty fast and blew up both his tires on the passenger side of his car, and then drove a good 4 or 5 miles (destroying the chance that that car will ever be able to drive again) before he decided to pull into this gas station right where we were standing. 
As we were standing there I realized that the Lord just given us this man to teach and he cant even get away because he was just as stranded as we were! hahaha We talked for a moment and he was actually on his way home from his bible study class. He realized that we were trustable and so he asked us if we could give him a ride home. We cant do that as missionaries, but I knew of someone who had been praying for an opportunity to give someone a ride... We called up the member we had just had dinner with and he came by and ended up giving this man a ride to his home with us in the back seat teaching the whole way. He lives out of our area but he is definitely gonna get a few missionaries knocking at his door this week. it was awesome.

That's a good story. hahaha Well things are good here and i'm not dead and I am doing what I've dreamed about doing my whole life. Everyone do the light the world thingy  (#lighttheworld) because its gonna bless your lives! hahaha, just a little plug right there. I love you all and hope that this Christmas season is just absolutely amazing.  

Keep on keepin on
Elder Brian