|Meet the Rios family!! They FINALLY came to church!! What a miracle!! I am so excited for them and all the changes they are making to come closer to God. What a miracle family.|
Monday, June 30, 2014
I LOVE BEING A MISSIONARY!!! Could I shout that any louder and could I just get on the loud speaker and just tell the story of the restoration from wherever I am? Man, that is all I want right now. The coolest part about this great work is that God does it. I am nothing. I am less than the dust of the earth. But, God is everything. He lets us missionaries contribute to the work. God has given me the most wonderful past 17 months to refine and re-refine and refine some more my life. But the cool part is, that hasn't been my focus. My focus has been His children and helping them, and in the midst...I got lost. Really lost.....the type of lost that makes you the happiest and gives you understanding of who and what you truly are. I hope all of you get "lost" in the lives and service of our King daily. BEST WAY TO LIVE. And I am seeing that type of thinking change these sister missionaries we work with and everyone that we are teaching. It is something else. The more we ALLOW our selves to become totally dedicated to the cause of the salvation of souls---and allow ourselves to become more and more consecrated....we become HIS. And God can make much more out of our lives than we can by ourselves. Quite frankly, I am relieved to know and understand that my Father in Heaven has got a perfect plan that is going to keep transforming me into the woman that I need to be in order to return to His presence. And guess what? He does that with all of His children. The more I get to know God, and FEEL of the absolute PERFECT love that He has for His children, the more I understand how great and crucial this time of life really is. It is nothing to stress over, but, rather it is the opposite. We should consistently ask ourselves if we are at peace with God. That is what matter most. Become His. Become at peace. Stop fighting the natural you that wants to do and have everything your way. It doesn't matter. We are God's. His opinion is all the matters. That is why I will never again let the world shift me like sands of the sea. Be founded on He that never changes.
CHRISTIAN COEN IS GETTING BAPTIZED ON JULY 12!!!!!!!!!! I can't even wait. He literally is one of the most prepared and amazing people that I have ever had the chance to meet on my mission. He is a standing testimony that God really is in the details of our lives. Christian immigrated from El Salvador 21 days ago. Two days after he got here, we started to teach him. The Lord has literally lead and guided every lesson and Christian really is applying all that he is learning. He has been reading the Book of Mormon, and just got a job from the bishop in the ward. He is SURE FIRE!!! He is learning so quickly and he is really changing. At first he didn't really want anything to do with religion. But then he listened. He went to church. We taught him. He read. He prayed. He questioned. He doubted---a LOT. But with the help of the Lord and His incredible Spirit, Christian is changing. That same Spirit has the power---if we let it---to change us daily. We had given him some homework to read in the Book of Mormon, and when we came back he had read the entire thing and had each character memorized with there perspective stories as well. Christian may be the most solid person that I have had the opportunity to meet on the mission. It is fascinating teaching him because he has a philosophical view of the world, and to now see him accepting the gospel and feeling the Spirit is incredible. Just last night we were teaching the Plan of Salvation, and BOOM. Christian started telling us, "If I didn't feel what I feel right now, I wouldn't keep listening to you guys. Logically none of this makes sense. But something or someone inside of me keeps telling me that this is right. I don't know what it is, but it is amazing!" We explained to him that it is the Spirit, and that God is trying to tell him that this is all true. God's plan is the best plan. I love it.
This week we were teaching a in-active/part member family. Vicky hasn't been to church in 20 years. But we began to sing "How Great Thou Art" and she burst into tears and started singing along with us. MIRACLE! She remembered every word. She and her whole family want to come to church, and they are coming this week! The Spirit of music changes people.
We also were teaching a less-active's non-member mom named Digna! She is INCREDIBLE. We probably had one of the most spiritual and intense first lessons that I have ever had on the mission. She wants to be baptized....so we will see! :) Actually wait. YES! She is getting baptized.
Hugo is golden....but he had a stroke this week! Keep him in your prayers! Hugo is like our new-found grandpa. We had a little hospital miracle. We went to visit him in the hospital and we sang him songs. He broke out into tears. He has no family here or anything, so we are literally all that he has got. As we are singing the nurses and the other patients flocked into the room and asked who we were. We got to share the Gospel with them. It was incredible. God always provides ways for us to talk with many people...He is micromanaging this great work.
Rios family came to church this week!! INCREDIBLE miracle! This family hasn't been active in a while, and we are starting to work with Stephanie, the youth on her personal progress. It is incredible to see the changes.
We are busy---ALL THE TIME. From working with these incredible missionaries, to doing exchanges, to teaching lessons, opening the area, meetings with President and the bishops. It is a BLAST. I wouldn't have it any other way...but we are busy!! I love this great work and can't stop smiling.
I am finding more everyday that when life deals us hard cards, it is wise to ask instead of "Why me?" to ask "What do I need to learn to be more like God from this situation?" or "What can I refine out of me to put off the natural man and become more like God?" That is what changes us. We can't change our circumstances, we can't change people, but we can change the way we ACT. And, hopefully every time we act we are acting like He would. Also, something that I have been learning is that sometimes we choose to let satan stress us out and make us worry about the "drops" in life, when really we should be focusing on the MORE important matters. If you feel like you are caught up right now in something, and are angry or sad....step back. Look at it from an eternal perspective. Pray to see as God sees and pray to see your life with an eternal perspective and the seemingly small and frustrating moments in life become a lot easier to handle. Moments really is what life is made up of. But every moment is like a QUIZ of sorts. We must ace each quiz that we possibly can, so that in the end we can pass the final test at hand. NEVER let satan make you fail a quiz of life....because that is really where happiness is found. The daily, little victories of becoming more and more like Christ.
Thanks so much for all your love, support and prayers. You are wonderful. Never forget.
Hermana Brooke Weenig
Posted by Brooke Weenig at 4:27 PM
Thursday, June 26, 2014
I LOVE BEING A MISSIONARY. This week was a roller coaster and possibly one of the most incredible and most growing times of my mission. I still have so much to learn, and time just seems to fly by...I can't slow it down!! I am so far from perfect, and I am SO grateful that God sent His Son Jesus Christ so that I can be healed and made into something much better. God can't work with a fine-tuned machine that runs independently on its own....He only works with broken things. I have seen that time and time again in my own life, as well as the lives of all the people that we are teaching. Miracles start happening in their lives, the moment that life breaks them. Broken=huge opportunity to change for the better. I always want to live broken, with Christ constantly mending me and making me strong to face life's ugliest challenges. The atonement is so much more than just a passing thing we talk about all the time in church--IT IS EVERYTHING. It is our energy drinks, our go-to, our confidence, our happiness, our team, our counselor....our EVERYTHING. I have changed immensely, because I have consciously decided to change everyday for the better through using Jesus Christ and His atonement. All of us can do the same.
Guess what? I wrote lyrics to a song last preparation day--all about the atonement--here is a snip clip---
Woke up this morn'
With a smile upon my face
The dimples show that I am carried by His Grace
Life can get tough, its mean, and gives ya lots of bumps and bruises
That's why I chose to play on the team that never looses.
Miracles are happening and I am trying to keep up. It is INCREDIBLE. Opening a new area has been a BLAST. We are busy ALL the time.....sometimes I feel like we are drowning, but then we grab the Savior's hand and we are now walking on WATER. Just when I don't know what to do next, God lights up the way and shows exactly what to do and what to say. This area is starting to LIGHT ON FIRE!! The members are referring us to their friends like crazy. We dedicated almost all last week to "swooning" the members and getting them on our team. Now, we are like a full-forced team sharing the gospel in various ways! It is incredible! This is going to be a baptizing zoo soon and I can't wait to see all of the miracles that are happening already coming to full fruition.
Example #1: CHRISTIAN!! Last week I told you about the amazing miracle of Christian!! He is made of GOLD. We have been teaching him, and he is just drinking it all in. This past week we taught him about the restoration and the Book of Mormon. Turns out, a TON of the ward members are all supporting him and fellow shipping him into the ward....which is a gigantic miracle! We did a huge miracle with him and a couple other families! While we were reciting the first vision, the Spirit was so strong and Christian's jaw dropped. After he said, "What is this amazing feeling that I have that is in my heart?" WOAH. It was the Spirit. The Spirit has and will always be the absolute best teacher. When we taught Christian about the Book of Mormon he just wanted a lot of things to read. So we gave him one chapter to read, and he said, "No! That is not enough! I need another chapter. I want to know if this book is from God!!" He is looking for truth, so he is going to find it. By far my favorite part of the lesson is when we get to bear our personal witness of what we have taught is true. There is a power and an authority and penetrates the room--it is astounding. WOW! He is going to get baptized on July 5. He just came from El Salvador 2 weeks ago, and the Lord literally brought him here so that he could find the Gospel and receive the blessings that come from it. GOD MICROMANAGES OUR LIVES---IF WE GIVE HIM ALL AND COMPLETE CONTROL.
Example #2: Hugo is on FIRE!!!!!! We found him when we were out tracting last week, and he said that ever since he has been reading and praying about Joseph Smith! Incredible! What is more, is that he knows it is all true and wants to get baptized! golden!! :) Also, he TURNED OFF the world cup to talk to us----this is probably one of the biggest miracles possible. He has been prepared by the hand of the Lord.
Miracle of the piano. We were visiting a widowed woman, and I saw that she had a piano. I asked her if I could play it. Her face lit up. No one had played it for years. We spent the next 20 minutes singing her favorite hymns. MUSIC BRINGS THE SPIRIT MORE THAN ANYTHING ELSE. She said we changed her life and ridded of her depression. Feeling down? Sing some hymns.
Humans (or the natural man in us) try to prove. Children of God try to serve. We don't have to prove anything to anyone. That is a decision. I have also made the decision that my whole purpose in life is to SERVE God and to become like Him. So anything that doesn't have to do with those two things, don't matter to me anymore. Heavenly Father is really starting to weave every lesson that I have had on my mission together and it has been incredible to see the tapestry all being woven together. I HAVE LEARNED AND AM LEARNING SO MUCH.
Vicky--MIRACLE. We met Vicky last week after following the Spirit to where she was at. She is incredible and she wants to reactivate and wants ALL her kids to be baptized. Miracle central? I think so. We are working with her entire family and hopefully I will get to see them get baptized this next month. I AM SO HAPPY FOR ALL OF THEM!!! :)
The World Cup. I never watched soccer, nor did I like watching it before the mission---but EVERYONE watches it---and so I am catching the fever. It is so funny to me that the Hispanics have 6 hours a day dedicated (religiously) to watching the World Cup, but don't have 5 minutes to listen to the word of God. It has been a BLAST though. We teach a lot of people from Chile and apparently--they are doing pretty well--so that's been the hype. When we go to the highly Hispanic populated places to teach, NO ONE is in the streets and you can hear the game blasting from all the windows around. It is literally a RELIGION for these people. It has made for a lot of creativity in connecting the Gospel to the World Cup. Satan (opposing team), God's team (whatever team they are going for), Coach (prophet/God)....until we finally are able to connect it back to the restoration. It is a BLAST!! I love it. Most of them just invite us in to watch the game. Our mission president has given us permission to watch a little of the game and then share a Spiritual thought either at the end of the game or at the half break. We are using the world cup to our advantage and miracles are coming from it!! We are using the members homes as places for our investigators to watch the world cup, so that they can develop relationships with them. It is working like a charm. I LOVE THIS GREAT WORK. EVERY OPPORTUNITY IS AN OPPORTUNITY TO SHARE THE GOSPEL.
I spoke in church this last Sunday and I love this ward SO much!!! I wish I could just take all of them around me wherever I go. I have also become the official music director for sacrament meetings. That is a blast. :) I love this work, this place and these people.
This week has been incredible. I have been working a TON with the other missionaries. In fact, most of this week was composed of exchanges with the hermanas! Currently I am on a special assignment for President Riggs. President called and asked me to do a special exchange with one of the missionaries in the mission, and so I have been here training and helping her for the past 4 days. I LOVE HER. It has been incredible, and I am learning a lot from her! I love serving and seeing the changes that occur in these missionaries. It is fool-proof---every time we do training or anything the focus is the Atonement. That heals everything, and seems to cure everything! I love this work. God is carrying me. I am exhausted, but GOD IS CARRYING ME and giving me the words to say and what to do. He will carry you too. Thanks for all your love, prayers, letters, emails and support. I can't tell you how much it means to me!
Posted by Brooke Weenig at 12:51 PM
Monday, June 16, 2014
I LOVE BEING A MISSIONARY!!! This. is. the. DREAM. LIFE. and honestly I feel like I am seeing more miracles than I have ever seen in my entire mission in these past few days. God is literally crafting the perfect end to this mission so that I come out stronger. NOTHING SHINES UNLESS IT BURNS FIRST. I am in love with this mission and these people and this place, I couldn't ask for more. Seriously. But, I just want to stay here forever. and ever. and ever. :)
Transfers happened! I AM SO EXCITED HAPPY AND PUMPED!!! GUESS WHAT?! I literally can't stop smiling I am so happy!! This is going to be the BEST transfer EVER!!! I am "Pink-washing" the Bella Vista ward! Pink washing is when President Riggs takes out the Elders that where serving in that area and he puts in sisters. I will be spending all of my time in downtown Arlington, preaching the gospel of the Lord. WHAT A BLAST AND BLESSING! I couldn't ask for a better way to end my mission. Re-starting an area and helping an area that has really been struggling to get some baptisms!! It's the dream!! My new companion is Hermana Moore, from Utah. She really is a wonderful young woman, and we are going to set this place ON FIRE. I literally asked President Riggs if I could open an area and it actually HAPPENED! YES! I will still be serving as a sister training leader, and also training Hermana Moore on how to be a sister training leader. She is a hoot and she is my dream team mate! I'm excited to work with her!
So we are starting over from square one. IT IS AWESOME! God has given me a chance to start COMPLETELY over, and apply everything I've learned over the past 17 months. No investigators, no member relationships, no knowledge of the area...nothing, CLEAN SLATE. And now it's like I am able to apply everything that I have learned on my mission up to this point!! What an opportunity!!! It is a HUGE adventure and I can't explain to you how much FUN we are having. It's like going on a roller coaster and not knowing what is around the next corner and just taking it all in! It is such an adventure and seriously, we are relying on the Lord in every minute of everyday because we have no idea what we are doing, but God is literally helping us to climb mountains and see miracles. We are diving in HEAD FIRST and it has been an absolute blast to see and feel the strength of the Lord carrying me and my companion so that we will be able to have success and see miracles. Just when I think I can't, I kneel. And pray, and then God opens up like 10 windows of opportunity. I love seeing the ways that the Lord is perfect orchestrating this area and helping us to develop a love for these people. Honestly we have seen miracles after miracles. Bella Vista was the ward I served in for 2 weeks at the beginning of my time here in DC. So, I am able to recognize faces, but mostly we are just starting completely over and helping the members catch the vision. WE ARE CHARGED UP AND READY TO SET THIS PLACE ON FIRE!!!! I can't even wait to see what happens in this area over the next six weeks. It is like this nervous, stressful, intense feeling of urgency and happiness that I wish I could explain to you. All I know is that the Lord is guiding our every footstep. For that I am so grateful. Without the Lord I literally would be nothing. GROWTH NEVER HAPPENS INSIDE OF THE COMFORT ZONE---God is a God of growth and a God of change, so he is consistently throwing us out of our comfort zones, so that we can become the absolute best people that we possibly can be. That is what I asked for and that is what he is doing! I love it!
TRANSFER VISION: TO OWN IT. Own the area. OWN the investigators. OWN the members. It is time to OWN it. Not a second to waste. :)
As we have been praying about what we could teach these people and what we could achieve this transfer, I got really excited. This truly will be the best transfer of my mission, because God has in store for us so many miracles and so many people that are ready to hear the gospel. I AM READY TO RUN!! I told Hermana Moore that I want her to send me home in an ambulance because I want to feel like I have given EVERYTHING to this work, and have completely submitted my will to the will of the father and have truly become ALL HIS. That is the beauty of a mission. Any one that is reading this and thinking about going on a mission, don't think anymore...it is the best decision I have ever made. I have changed. My very nature has changed and I have morphed into someone who loves the gospel and loves life. But most importantly, I have gotten to know my Savior Jesus Christ.
The first night here was like anxiously waiting a new Harry Potter movie. I AM SO SO SO SO SO SO stoked to be here. I have dreamed of doing this my entire mission!! As we sat there praying about what God's vision is for our area and this transfer, we called Danny Montoya. He is a member here in the ward that has truly changed my life and allowed me to see others through the eyes of my Savior Jesus Christ. I called him to tell him that we are back in the ward, and he began to cry. "The Lord sent you two to change our ward. We needed you back. What a miracle." Whoa. I can't stop smiling and it is starting to hurt. It is a beautiful thing. Can I just tell you that miracles are happening right and left? Listen to this.....
On our first full day here MIRACLES SPREAD like a wild zoo of amazing monkeys. We felt inspired to visit the Riley Family from El Salvador. Well, guess what? We called them ahead of time and we came to their house and they had an investigator there for us to teach!! WHAT A MIRACLE! Seriously! His name is Christian and he just came from El Salvador 2 days ago!!!!! BINGO! BONUS! Heavenly Father led us to a place that we would literally be able to teach a member-present lesson and get a new investigator! I just smiled. Turns out, Christian didn't want anything to do with God 2 years ago. But, after crossing the border and having to rely solely upon the merits of Jesus Christ, he has gained a desire to come closer to Christ. Whats more, is that he is the cousin of one of the ward members. He is one of the most prepared people that I have ever seen and we are SO excited to work with him. AND GET THIS!!! He came to church on Sunday, and He also came to the baptism afterwards! He loved it all! He went out and bought a suit, just to come to church! It looked really nice! We are going to teach him IN the member's house tonight! I know that he is going to get baptized in just a short amount of time! I am so stoked! We prayed to be led to the elect and see miracles, and God responded---the same day. God doesn't always work like that, but I know that all prayers always go answered in the exact way that they are supposed to be answered...if we just submit to His will.
Another miracle! We were tracting some apartment complexes in Arlington and we were headed one way, when I felt super strongly to walk another way. So we went with haste! There at the top of the hill was a bunch of moms chatting. We started talking to them and explained who we are as representatives of the Lord Jesus Christ. They were all kind to us, but one of them, Vicky, was particularly interested. She started firing us with questions and she told us that she is a member of the church!!! WAHOOOO!! MIRACLE!! She said that she was baptized 20 years ago....and has always wanted to come back to the church, but hasn't been able to find it anywhere. What a miracle! She started to cry as she told us that her two small children are being raised without a spiritual guide, and she so desperately wants us to help them to have that. Her husband is not a member, so we will be baptizing him as well. :) What a miracle! God literally guided us to where we needed to be.
ONE OF THE COOLEST MIRACLES I HAVE EVER SEEN ON MY MISSION: Benjamin. He is such a prepared child of God!! Get this: So we were walking down the street and there was a man at a bus stop--his name is Benjamin. We started talking about his life and why he is here. He was so interested. Suddenly, I was prompted to ask him, "If Jesus Christ was right here with you today, what would you ask Him?" His face became pensive. He asked, "How do I develop peace in this life?" PERFECT QUESTION OF THE SOUL! Since Preach my Gospel and the Book of Mormon have literally become my best friends here on the mission, I turned to Mosiah 2. THIS WAS A PERFECT EXAMPLE of how if we prepare ourselves, and treasure up the words of life continually, God will put the words that we need to say in our mouths so that we can help people come unto Jesus Christ. That is exactly what happened. I had no idea what to say, but suddenly I found myself turning to some obscure verse in the Book of Mosiah. There in the scripture it talked about how "finding peace comes from finding the path of eternal life"!!! WHAT?! AWESOME! We have that as missionaries. I wish you could have seen Benjamin's face after we read that to him. The Spirit of the Lord answered his question and filled his soul. Not only does he want to learn now but he wants us to come teach his ENTIRE family. Also---King BENJAMIN was the one who said the quote in the scriptures. Coincidence? I think not. God is so amazing, and his timing is absolutely perfect.
Also! That same day, we prayed to know what building to knock. A picture came into my mind. Whoa. We went there. We taught one of the most powerful first lessons that I had ever seen on my mission! One of them said, "What is the feeling of sheer joy and happiness?" We said, "That is the Spirit." He wants to get baptized. INCREDIBLE.
I feel new. and all I crave is the Spirit. It is a beautiful thing. I am so grateful to be here right now. Christ is my strength and who I hope to give ALL my glory to.
It has really been incredible to see some of these people that I haven't seen for over a year. It has caused me to do a LOT of reflecting upon the woman that I am becoming and the woman I still have yet to become. Seeing how my life has changed and how the lives of these people has changed is truly incredible. I am so grateful for the people that I have met and been able to see how they have been turning points for me and have allowed me to become more than I ever thought I could on my own! The Lord is helping me learn everyone's name quickly, and we are trying hard to get the members on board with us FIRST so that we can teach their friends and help them and train them to be better missionaries! I hope all of you are taking time to study preach my gospel and learn about how YOU are a missionary but the way you live and the way you act.
Thank you so much for you love, support, emails and letters. God helps us to find out who we truly are and shows us what we can become. But He also shows us and helps us to see that everyone around us is also a child of God with infinite potential. Never forget WHO you are and WHAT you are. And remember, God only works with broken, humble things. He can't work with us if we are being too stubborn and hard of heart. But he can work with us if we are soft and broken. So, be a little more broken. It is cool what happens. WE ARE READY TO TAKE THIS AREA AND SET IT ON FIRE!!! it is well on its way!
|Hermana Moore and I with a new family that we are teaching that is a part member family! AMAZING people!|
|Campos clan, I love these guys. Going to miss them!|
|I will also miss Hno. Delafuente, the best ward mission leader EVER!|
|We got in a car accident -- a man backed into us! SAD!|
Posted by Brooke Weenig at 3:44 PM
Monday, June 9, 2014
I LOVE BEING A MISSIONARY. Families. Families. Families. It is INCREDIBLE. I love this work so much, and what is more, is that I love all of these people and seeing their families come closer together trough the gospel of Jesus Christ.
Miracle!!!! EDUARDO'S ENTIRE FAMILY CAME TO CHURCH AND THEY LOVED IT!!!!! Eduardo is an 8 year old who is a friend to Dana (who was baptized a little while ago). He has been learning with us and has been wanting to get baptized for quite sometime. Well, we felt inspired to go and visit their entire family and to see if we could teach them all and baptize them all together. Well, when we got there, his mom (from Puerto Rico) was SO interested and SO kind. We invited her to church and she said, "of course!" She has been so prepared by the Lord. We taught her about what church is like and how she and her kids will be more united as they learn about the Gospel together. She loved the idea. Cute little Eduardo came and whispered in my ear---"Ask her about baptism!" So I did! And she said YES, as long as he is totally prepared! MIRACLE!! Eduardo was so excited, and will be the spark that gets his entire family baptized! After the lesson, Eduardo prayed (we have been teaching him how to pray, because he had never been taught) and after his mom was in tears. "I have never heard my son do such a beautiful thing!" WOW. Spiritual high. ALL of them came to church Linda (the mom), Abigali (daughter), Alyidia (Daughter) and Eduardo (the son). It gave me chills! Nothing short of a miracle and Linda asked us if we could come teach them as a family. THEY WILL BE BAPTIZED SOOOOO SOON!! :)
Sacrifice: Giving something good for something better. That statement has been tried and true every single time. It seems that God is really refining us as well as our teaching pool. We have been rejected, we have been dropped and we have dropped a lot of the people we were teaching, and God is now blessing us with elect and incredible FAMILIES...who are all ready to be baptized!!! Example A: We went to teach Elba, one of our investigators, and she told us that she prayed, and felt that she didn't want to change religions. So we went outside, and there was a family playing outside. I sat down by the oldest and started talking to her about change and about how God loves us and has a purpose for her life. She started to cry. She said, "I have been so sad for so long, and have waited for someone to tell me something like this." WAHOOOO!!! We have been teaching her every other day WITH HER FAMILY!!! They all want to be baptized. She is programmed to be baptized on the 29th of June!! SO HAPPY for her!!
YES!!! Another family is on board and learning together!! Mina, Alcidus, Anahy and Fransisco. MIRACLES have been happening in that home. When we first met them, they were really rowdy and rude. But now there is a peace in the home. The mom, Mina, received news that her mother was dying this week. It softened her heart. As she was talking to us she looked at us and said, "I know that you have the answers. Teach me and will you pray for my mom?" OF COURSE. We were so excited, because up to this point she hasn't been super interested, just her kids. We found out 10 years ago she came to our church and had read parts of the Book of Mormon. She wanted to change, but never could. Now, she is ready to completely change her life around! What a miracle! She has completely changed from when we first met her, and her, along with her kids, are praying and reading the Book of Mormon. Its amazing.
The miracle of "Bath St." I was on exchanges with Hermana McDonald, who is one of the most fabulous missionaries out here, and we prayed to find a street with a whole bunch of Hispanic families on it. Lately, I have been praying like crazy to find families---because it is the most incredible thing to see an entire family coming unto Christ as a FAMILY. Anyways, we were led to this door that we had tried to contact earlier but no one was home. (The way we tell if they are Hispanic is if there is gigantic moving vans, maroon drapes, toys scattered across the yard, and the smell of beans of rice easing throughout the door.) We knocked. Rosa answered. We taught her a quick lesson, and then asked her for referrals. Rosa wasn't very interested, but she said---"There are a ton of Hispanic families on Bath St." We looked at each other---WOAH! An direct answer to prayer. We went. As we walked down the street there were LITERALLY 5 or 6 families that were all Hispanic. They all accepted us to come back and teach them! It was a huge miracle! God literally led us there. THE FIELD IS WHITE, and ready to harvest.
That same exchange we saw HUGE miracles! The night before when I was planning for the exchange, I felt super inspired to go visit a family we hadn't seen since January. Well, when we got there the next night, both Emanuel and Elizabeth were firing questions at us about the plan of salvation. They LOVED it. They want to get baptized. They were so confused why their parents had baptized them at such a young age. We told them families are forever. We told them that they could be sealed forever in the temple. They want it---and they want it NOW. They were awe-struck and the Spirit was so strong in that room! I love them already, and know they will be baptized soon!! :) God keeps putting them in our path, because we saw them the other day, and they said that they can't stop thinking about God's plan for us! AMAZING! I really am starting to learn that God really does PLAN and do all of missionary work if we let Him take control. He can do much more with it all that we ever could. Divine and Spirit-filled planning allows miracles to happen the next day.
We are working with a total of 6 FAMILIES---->MIRACLE!! "Ask and ye shall receive, seek and ye shall find, knock and it shall be opened unto you" Is coming to full fruition! I love seeing the hastening happening right before my eyes.
This is the greatest ward that I have ever served in. The people are so willing to work and share the Gospel with all of their friends. I am learning so much from their examples. We are really trying to train the members on how to do missionary work. And it is happening! We are getting referrals like crazy, and it has been amazing to see the joy that the members feel when they share the Gospel with someone else. Becky, age 7, took the challenge on! We dared her to invite one of her friends to church! And she did!! It was incredible! Although her friend didn't end up going at the last minute Becky was fearless in sharing the Gospel. We should all be a little bit more like Becky....totally FEARLESS.
I can't tell you how many times this week, we were going somewhere and then the Spirit prompted us to do otherwise. We have found 2 less-active and part member families through listening to the voice of the Spirit. Each time that we showed up to their houses they were in desperate need of help, it is just another proof that God really does GUIDE us....each step of the way so that we can be successful in doing this, the greatest work. It blows my mind how integrated the plan of God is. So often, God does use the means of other people as the answers to our prayers.
Transfers are this week. Can you believe it will be my last one? SAD! I am still in denial, and just think I will be a missionary forEVER. Anyways, I love Hermana Woodbury, I have learned a ton from her! She is a stellar young woman and is going to change the world forever. It has been amazing serving with her and with this incredible ward in Little River!
I cannot find the words adequate enough to describe my joy, happiness, and blessings that have come from serving a mission. It is BY FAR the best decision I have made in my life thus far. I have loved seeing people change their lives, come unto Christ and have seen how applying the gospel in their lives has made them happier than any other thing that they could do in life. But most of all, the greatest joy, happiness and blessings have come through getting to know my Savior Jesus Christ, and His atonement. I KNOW Him, and FEEL His strength and changing power daily. On the mission we have the opportunity to represent Him--and He carries me and directs this great work daily. I have been refined through His great atoning sacrifice, and know that it is only through Him, and putting Him at the center of our lives that we can truly experience joy, happiness and blessings. The biggest joy and blessing that I have received is change. I have changed, and been able to put off the natural man, through confiding in the merits of the atonement of our Savior Jesus Christ. I love Him. I know Him. And I know that He loves me. Because of that, I have learned my purpose in life, and will never leave His side as a disciple of Jesus Christ. I have the opportunity to walk daily with my best friend, the one who understands me the most---Jesus Christ. And He has shown me all that I can become, and all that others can become. The joy, happiness and personal blessings from serving a mission are immense, because each day I become more converted, and know I will be on this journey to become more like my Savior for the rest of my life
I love this work so much. I love all of you so much. I am so grateful for all of your love, support, and prayers. You are always in my heart and in my prayers. Remember whenever you feel weak, that could be an opportunity to be STRONGER than you've ever been....if you rely on Jesus Christ. His life and His Atonement is a reflection of what we should be and what we should be becoming. If you don't know Christ, get to know Him---and apply what He taught, and still teaches through living prophets in your life. And guess what? You'll be happy. I can sure testify to that.
P.S. SHOUT OUT TO THE BEST DAD EVER!!!! HAPPY FATHERS DAY DADDY!!! You are MY HERO AND YOU ARE SUCH AN INCREDIBLE EXAMPLE TO ME. I am so blessed and lucky to have such an incredible influence in my life! I hope one day to be more like you!! THANKS FOR ALL YOU DO!
|Jill and Adla, who we baptized while I was in Old Town, came to visit me at Little River ward! It was amazing to see them!|
|Vivi and I. She has come SUCH a long way. She went from the party and drugs life to the Happy way of life. She is a huge example and influence on everyone she meets!|
|Becky, the greatest missionary ever, who invited her friends to come to church and was persistent until they came! She is incredible. ALL OF US CAN DO MISSIONARY work.|
|Lake Accotink last P-day, it is a beaut!|
|Dad, I took your suggestion. Last p-day we fed geese....but then!! They ATTACKED me!! It was so funny...my companion caught it on film.|
|GROSS! We ate octopus and squid! Interesting texture.... Yummmmm.....|
Posted by Brooke Weenig at 1:24 PM
Monday, June 2, 2014
I love, Love, LOve, LOVe, LOVE being a missionary! This is the greatest work that there is, and I can't describe how I feel right now. I can't tell you how I feel, because I am just happy. But it is a joy, a peace from knowing that this is God's will and I am doing exactly what He would have me do with my life at this point. This transfer has been a "growing" transfer, as satan has worked on us and those we teach and we have battled HARD. I have felt the strength of God more in the passed week than I ever have in my entire life. At times, that is all I have had to hold on to. Sometimes life can be like sitting at an ocean front and the WAVES of adversity keep coming and hitting you down and punching you down and you feel like you just need air. But luckily, my lifeguard can WALK on water. My lifeguard and all of our lifeguard is Jesus Christ. He is the fresh air, He is the one who picks me up and reminds me of my potential and power as a daughter of God. For that, I do not fear the crushing waves of life. I love my Savior, and I love growing and learning and BECOMING. If you are stuck in a rut---ask yourself, "what is it that I am becoming?" Truly, nothing else matters. What are you becoming because of the things that you are going through? What is it turning you into? Are you better than you were before? That is what counts. And that is what Jesus Christ is there for, so that we can defeat it all and become the best that we possibly can. Life is really incredible if you think about it as a place where we are meant to CHANGE.....meant to be outside of our COMFORT zone...."there is no growth in the comfort zone" so God constantly is pushing us out of it. :) Let Him.
MIRACLES ARE HAPPENING ALL OVER THE PLACE. I AM SO GRATEFUL to be here at the time of the hastening of the Lord's work, it is literally the most incredible thing and time I have ever had in my life. I told my mission president that I might just stay a missionary forever. And then he said, "Well you will be a missionary forever, just in a different setting." So true. We are all forever missionaries.
Bullying. If you see this happening at your school. STAND UP and LOVE THEM. We are teaching Fransico and his entire family---the mom is going through a hard time because Fransico is being bullied, which has been the PERFECT opportunity to slip in how the gospel blesses families. She wants her kids to come to church and be around those of our faith because she says that they "lift up and inspire" all those around them. They are such a special family, and I know that one day they will be baptized. Some of these Hispanic youth grow up in AWFUL circumstances. From being abused in every way possible, and from coming from homes where neither of the parents are at home ever....because they are working. Fransico, is hungry to be cared for. For someone to treat him with respect. I have no doubt that God sent us to this family right when they needed it the most. They tell us that they feel so peaceful and happy when we come over. It has caused me to changed my outlook on life. Sometimes we are so caught up in ourselves and how we are feeling. But just like the apostles have said, "If we are constantly checking our temperature to see if we are happy, we will not be." True happiness comes from getting outside of yourself and looking for someone that is having a bad day too. Lift and inspire them, then your hate and your sorrow goes away. Even if it is someone who is treating you bad or someone that is rude to you. CHALLENGE FOR ALL OF YOU: Think of someone who is struggling. Will you reach out to them, and love them and help them feel loved? I promise you that you will feel a joy you haven't felt in a long time.
Sad/awesome lesson on accepting God's will story. Fernando was supposed to be baptized this past Saturday. Well, miracle after miracle kept happening with him and we were so excited to see how he was changing and coming closer to Christ. And then the DAY BEFORE his baptism, his ex-wife flew from California to swoon him. She won his heart. He called us and told us that he was leaving to California, and that his wife wouldn't let him become Mormon. We were so confused. Satan twisted our plan!! mean guy!! So we twisted it right back!!! We fought for Fernando to stay. We told him that he knows this is the truth, and that in denying it, he will be responsible for that one day. He said, "I know. But I love my ex-wife." WOW. So then they left for California. There was nothing we could do. There was like 4 families in the ward that were involved with his conversion and they were all so disappointed. But we didn't let it affect us...we pulled their spirits up! We knew that it was God's will, and we know that he is going to provide someone that is prepared for baptism soon. Maybe we will meet him in the after life....:) I hope so. He is a good man, and will be baptized one day soon.
So, there are like 5 or 6 families in the ward that want to kidnap me and take me to their countries. So if I don't come home....I am either in Guatemala, Peru, Columbia, Ecuador, El Salvador or Puerto Rico. :) I LOVE THIS WARD. These members are on fire! We had the COOLEST fast and testimony meeting I have ever seen on my mission yesterday. There has been such a MISSIONARY spirit in our ward. The elders in our ward baptized a FAMILY yesterday and there was just this incredible energy. Each member that bore their testimony bore about how they have been sharing the gospel to their friends and have been sharing their love for the gospel. It has been incredible to see!! And it is true! We had a ward party this week (complete with mariachi--Byron Leonardo sang) and members where coming in with INVESTIGATORS!!! They would come up to us and be like---I brought my friend from work, here she is, teach her...WOW. It is exciting to see how all the times that we have been working with these members and strengthening their testimonies is finally paying off. We are seeing HUGE miracles come because of it. MEMBER MISSIONARIES ARE THE KEY TO THIS WORK!! :)
Speaking of member work. We had just finished up a lesson when we received a call from Oliver Mejia, a member--who is also the only member in his family. He said, "Hermanas! Come to my house for a BBQ, my entire family wants to learn about the gospel." We went in haste and with hunger :) . When we got there it was a feast! Their ENTIRE family was there and they were so interested in who we are and what we do. They wanted to learn more! We are SO excited to be working with the entire family now...which is a miracle, because before the dad wouldn't even talk to us. But he is opening up and miracles are happening!!
I love working with the hermanas as a sister training leader. Seeing their growth, and seeing their areas morph into SUPER areas in the most fulfilling thing. It is wonderful to see them using the atonement to change and to become more like Jesus Christ.
As a missionary the most important thing/tool that we have is the SPIRIT. Without the spirit we can't do anything. I can't tell you how cool it is to be guided to someones house through the Spirit. Or to just be able to tell what someone is thinking through the Spirit. It is a joy and a feeling that is completely and totally overwhelming. If we live worthy of the Spirit and are willing to do and act upon whatever God would have us do, we are happy. We are free and we are made stronger.
Thank you for all you do for me. The letters, the emails, the SUNSHINE packages...and just for being the best people I have ever known. I love you.
|Hermano Mejia, one of our investigators making us DELCIOUS meat before we taught their family. :) Yummm|
|This ward knows how to through parties!!! Complete with a DJ and Mariachi. I love this ward.|
|Fernando and I. He WILL be baptized one day. I hate satan.|
Posted by Brooke Weenig at 6:13 PM