Monday, June 17, 2013

After the Rain Comes the Rainbow

Wow. What. A. Week.
I still love being a missionary, despite this being one of the toughest weeks of my mortal existence. Missionary work drains you--emotionally, physically, mentally, spiritually and everything-ly I am exhausted....but I love it. I have gained a brighter and brighter testimony of the REASON we are all here on the earth. God never said that this life is going to be a party all the time, paradise and easy....he said that it is a "time of our probation"--which LITERALLY MEANS that it is a time to be tested, stretched and built into the eternal beings that we are meant to be for the rest of eternity. And I have learned something about myself---sometimes I don't like to be tested, but I KNOW that all of these things are making me into what I need to be in order to become like my Father in Heaven. Knowing that I am a literal DAUGHTER of my Heavenly Father and KNOWING that He loves me has helped me gain better perspective on trials and hard times--because I know He wouldn't give me hard times if He didn't want me to be strengthened and grow. I know that my Heavenly Father loves all of us---He LOVES you--and the reason I know that is because we do have hard times and we do have to do things we don't necessarily want to. But all those things make us into what we are meant to become, and our biggest test is HOW we endure those hard times. I am learning how to be a Queen. Because one day, if I prove faithful, I can become like my Father in Heaven. And so can all of us. There have been times where I seriously have felt SO alone and like no one understands how to help or how to give me strength to do the things that I have been asked to do...but then...
A quick experience. It had been the hardest day of my mission. My companions didn't want to work and I was dying because I just wanted to go out and work so bad...but nothing was working. I felt so alone and so frustrated with the situation....(I have learned that God will never change our situation, but He WILL give us the strength to make it through ALWAYS) and so I spent a LOT of time on my knees. I was so stressed and saddened just thinking about all the people that were waiting to see us, but we were inside the apartment. I was saddened. That night I had a dream. It was my Savior Jesus Christ holding me in His lap. I was bawling, but He kept whispering in my ear: "Peace, be still, Brooke, peace be still." I woke up the next morning with a totally different perspective on my life and especially on my mission. I decided that the only thing that I can control is my attitude, actions, thoughts and outreach. I was so calm and so focused on how I could help my companions and help the work to still progress, it was incredible. There was such a strength that overcame me, and I am so grateful to the Lord for helping me see through His eyes. Not only was I able to help figure out how to help our investigators, but I was able to look at my companions through the Lord's eyes and was able to help them accordingly. Never forget the power of prayer. We are literally God's children and He wants us to succeed. He wants us to be happy. And for that reason He really does listen to us and our prayers. He really does. I know that for a fact. He will give us the strength and show us the way to accomplish all that we need to accomplish.
I have been learning a TON on my mission about how to help people and how to serve in the way that the Savior would have. And one think that I have definetly learned is that often, missionary work has to do with helping your companions as much as it has to do with baptizing people. So a lot of my missionary work this week has been serving my companions in EVERY way I possibly can. Whether it was writing a cheesy song to make them smile, or if it was fixing them dinner. It makes my day just to see them smiling, and hopefully one day they will be back and motivated to work.  People won't always do what you want them to do when you want them to do it, but all you can do is love them for WHO they are and try to make the best of all the situations that you have been put in. When people see that you love and care for them, they automatically listen to you more and respect you more. That is something that I am striving to develop---respect.
Because of my situation, I have been going on a lot of splits with ward members. It has been really fun and really interesting. Yesterday I took a 19 year old girl out tracting with me. Her name is Kenzie and is currently preparing to serve a mission. We had such a blast knocking this apartment complex! It was the best thing ever! We found so many interesting and cool people! As we were knocking doors we realized that there was a bunch of girls moving into an apartment. As we got closer I realized that these girls were SUPER ripped and looked super legit--tattoos, earrings and the works. I was a little intimidated at first, but I got over my fear and asked if we could help them move the boxes into their apartment. They said that would be just fine and they were the nicest people EVER!! But the crazy part was that I realized that we were moving a lot of football equipment into the house...and asked about why so much football equipment. Then! They continued to tell me that there are SEMI-PRO FOOTBALL PLAYERS!!!! WHAT?!?!?!?!??!?! I think it took me like a full minute to respond. Because here were these girls and they were telling me that they play football. So cool. I almost fell on my face when then accepted an return appointment to come and teach them! So I will teaching the line-backer and the quarterback from the female semi-pro football team called the Utah Blitz. And yes, I got their autographs.
Then, if things couldn't get awesomer we had the feeling to go an knock this random apartment door. On the other side was a man that just came from Saudi Arabia, visiting Utah for a couple of months. As we got talking, I asked him if he knew who Jesus Christ is. He said he had NEVER heard that name before in his entire life. It took me really off guard, because usually people have a least heard the name. I bore quick testimony of my Savior Jesus Christ and the Joy that He brings into my life. His face lit up and said that he wants to learn more. We are going to teach him the restoration tonight! I AM SO EXCITED!!!!!!! But apparently, if he chooses to get baptized, he has to be aware of the fact that he will be totally ostracized from his people because currently he is Islamic. Apparently it is really dangerous for him to change religions, even to the point that he may be killed for doing so. I will choose not to discuss any of those points with him tonight....but I am sure we will have to if he chooses to get baptized.
2 words: GOLDEN CONTACT. His name is JONATHON. He is literally the most prepared person that I have ever taught on my mission. He has been attending church for the past 2 months with a Mormon family, and finally decided that he wanted to learn more about the faith. As we taught him the Restoration, we focused on the Holy Ghost and the feelings thereof. We taught him how the Holy Ghost bears witness of truth and helps us to make the right decisions. After we read the first vision to him....there was silence. For like 5 minutes it felt like. And then we asked Jonathon how he felt. He responded "scared, there is a huge overwheleming feeling that has come over me and I can't describe it, I know what you just said is true." The Spirit was so strong in that room at that moment that you could cut it with a knife. I got the chills. And then as we asked him to get baptized he said "Yes, when can I be?" and we set the date for 2 more weeks! He said he didn't know if he could wait that long, so we might be moving up the date! I was SO SO SO SO excited!!! He was asking all sorts of questions and said---"WOW! This honestly just makes sense! this is something I have been searching for my entire life!!" It was really cool. When we told him about the Book of Mormon I thought he might pass out....He was so excited and said that he literally couldn't wait to read the whole thing. When we asked when we could come back to teach him more he demanded that we come the next day. I WAS DACING OUTSIDE AFTER THE APPOINTMENT (kinda embarrassing)---I was literally on cloud nine I was so HAPPY for him!!!!!  There we taught him the plan of Salvation and he kept asking questions and he listened intently. I shared an experience of a dear friend and family member who had passed away a few years ago, and how I hope that he is up there learning the gospel and changing his life around in the Spirit World. Jonathon was fascinated, he was drinking the plan of salvation like it was a (virgin) :D pina colada on a hot day. He never knew that he was a child of God. He never knew where he came from, why he is here and where he is going---and the plan of salvation answered all of his questions for him. I have never in my life seen a happier person than Jonathon after we taught him that night. I am so excited for him and all the changes he is making and all the things that he is learning!! It is the simple truths of the gospel that change us in and shape us into the people that we want to be!! :)
Thanks so much for ALL your support, love and EVERYTHING. I pray for all of you every day and I love you SO MUCH. More than you will ever know. If you haven't prayed yet to know what your purpose is in this life, will you pray TODAY to know? and then will you listen to hear the response? Because I promise you if you ask and you listen, God will give you an answer, and you will find that purpose. You will also be given the confidence, strength and everything necessary in order to accomplish all that is at hand. I KNOW THAT.
Hermana Weenig

Sister Pena and Sister Marin!

Trip to the Brigham City Temple

I got to feed pigs!!!! Kinda gross, but kinda awesome.

I no longer have a phobia of rats! One of the families we are teaching put 2 rats on me!!! CAN YOU BELEIVE IT!?! I almost passed out.

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