Tuesday, April 16, 2013

Happy Days!

Family!!!! I was just so happy to hear from each of you this week, and catch glimpses of your lives and the amazing things that are happening. Dad, I can't believe you're actually here!!!! THE PACKAGE I GOT WAS THE BEST THING THAT EVER HAPPENED TO ME!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Oh my gosh I love my family. Thank you SO much for everything! :):):) Mom, I just love you. I'm so grateful that you have been recognizing the Lord's hand in everything. Tay, Brit, Ben. I love you all so very much:):) Keep up the hard work in track and Tay, stop being so good at history. Professors want you left and right.Keep writing me letters everyone. I love the food you send, and I love to hear the updates in your life.

So, this week was simply marvelous. I have gained SUCH a testimony of the MTC, and I have fallen in love with it all:) Truly, I'll always think of the MTC as a sacred place, because of the ways it has already changed my life. I just love everyone and I just want to hug everyone!!!! I had the chance this week to teach a lesson of the Restoration in Portuguese, and it was the first time that I had recited the First Vision in Portuguese from memory in a lesson. I was looking at the investigator, telling him the story of Joseph Smith, and I was just hit with the wonder of it all. The Spirit entered the room so powerfully. It was silent for a while after I finished, and all I really knew how to say was "I know that this happened. I KNOW that this happened." Sister H. and I left the room and I just looked at her and said: Wow. It really is true.

And by gollee it is!!! I've always had a testimony of the gospel, I've always known that it's true. But when you teach, and when you don't know what you're saying and the Spirit somehow enters the room, it is truly the most powerful feeling ever experienced. I can hardly contain my excitement for getting out there and teaching in whatever language I need to!! GIVE ME PEOPLE TO LOVE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! :) I just love them already. I just want them to be happy more than anything. Like. How did this happen? :)

So, you're all probably wondering where I'm off to in 13 days to serve a mission. Hey,
Eventually I will get there!
I'm wondering the exact same thing!!!! I'll get a re-assignment next Wednesday or Thursday most likely and I'll have 5 minutes to call home so don't you dare not pick up! Mom, I'll probably call your cell? Just let me know!:) I am really excited to be re-assigned! I could go anywhere in the United States speaking any language. Most the time it's English, but sometimes it's Spanish or French. I'm really grateful for the opportunity to serve somewhere else, because the Lord's hand is going to be that much more evident in my language learning. Because heaven knows I'll need help if I don't get to Brazil for a few more months! I'm confident that the Lord will help me say what I need to say:)

So this week I decided to play four-square, which was maybe the best decision I've made thus far on my mission. My friends were all playing and I was tired of running and so I jogged over and got in line. I was just being all cute and dumb like "LALALA, no one get me out, I've never played, etc...etc..." I got in and the first time I touch the ball, I absolutely slammed it in this Elder's square and owned him. Back of the line my friend. Everyone in line erupted in "OHHHHHHHHHH!!!!!" and I just walked my little self to the next square. I proceeded to make enemies very quickly, hence the reason I have only been back once. Everyone was talking about it all day. I'm famous.

I get to be a host tomorrow!!!! That means that I get to be nice to the new missionaries and carry their stuff and tell them "just make it to Sunday Sister friend!!" Sister H. and I were also chosen to be the teachers of an activity that all the new missionaries get to go to. So I'll for sure see Whit! And I get to be at training all day, so I'm really excited. 

Also, I met this fellow who has the most beautiful voice in the nation, and I told him that I would play the piano for him anytime. Two days later we tried out for a devotional and it was just so lovely!! We made it, and will be performing pretty soon. The MTC president's wife asked me if I would be an MTC pianist, which of course I was thrilled about. Happy days:):)

I run. I run a lot. I run way too much, still. Sister L. runs with me every morning at 5:45, and Sister N. runs with me everyday for 50 minutes in the afternoon. Haha I figure the rest of my companions will most likely hate running, so I'm making the most of it. We have good chats, and I just love my friends!

Prayer is becoming a conversation. He always listens to me for a while, and I've been trying so hard to figure out how I receive personal revelation, which is mostly through feelings and thoughts. I love that when I pray about something, it's me talking to my Father and my Friend, and He wants to talk back to me. This week I have felt so grateful to wear the Savior's name over my heart, and I've been praying for the Lord to help me see my weaknesses so I can work on them to be more worthy for His Spirit. He is very good at letting me know them:) And I'm just realizing that weaknesses are a funny thing, because they are not worth being sad about for one second! It's so selfish to pity your weaknesses. I'm finding that when we seek correction, the Lord helps you see your faults, but that if you immediately get on your knees and say: "My gosh, I am so sorry. Have I really been doing this my WHOLE LIFE?! What direction would you like me to go?" that without fail I feel an increasing of love in my general direction:) He doesn't want me to be impatient with myself. What a concept! He wants me to ask Him how I can be better, and I'm quite confident that He will help me whenever I'm ready for it. I've seen Him help my heart and change it and make it better, but it's usually after I make a mistake and a recognize a new side of my pride and selfishness that I didn't realize I even had.

Probably the biggest thing I've learned over the last four weeks is that my weaknesses are gifts, because it's a chance to learn personally of the Atonement. Like. How cool is that? I love the Savior. Through my own little human non-missionary self, I've seen Him work and change me. I've never wanted to be corrected this bad in my life!!

I get frustrated with Portuguese. I try so hard not to! But the more I learn, the more I realize I have no idea what's going on! I can understand Portuguese pretty well and read it and understand everything. Speaking it, I sound like a 2 year old. It will come if I work:)

About the Boston Marathon. It was announced yesterday at our table at dinner and everyone immediately looked at me. The day before someone had asked me about it, telling me they wanted to share the story in a General Women's Conference at BYU, and I had just melted into tears because I so badly, so badly wanted to run it. When I heard about the bombings, I just got really quiet and Sister H. (since we're best friends,) grabbed my arm and let me cry for a long time in the bathroom. I just...goodness, I just don't know why the Lord is so kind to me. I was so upset that people were hurt; I was devestated that other people had to see such terrible things. And I was humbled for all the tiny miracles that led me here at this time. I think the Lord wanted me to serve a mission, and it isn't often He lets you see the reason for a sacrifice you made. I just cried because I didn't feel worthy of being treated with such care, and I was amazed at His plan and His awareness of me.

I just LOVE YOU ALL!!!! Your letters and support mean everything, especially on days when I'm like: "All my friends are getting married. Why am I here again?" Your love means so much!!! Thank you!! I do love the Savior:) I do love this work. I love these people. I'll talk to you NEXT WEEK!!! WASSUP!!!

Love you love you,
Sister Brooks:)

Abby snuck me in a diet coke:)

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