Tuesday, December 17, 2013

I have been thinking a lot lately about how technology is everywhere.  It can be used for great things or for things.. not so great.  I want to help flood the internet with wonderful things.  I want to try to share what I believe and provide opportunities for others to share what they believe as well.  Nobody is perfect.  Everyone believes in something, whether it is a religion, certain moral/personal standards, a goal that they have, a friend that they trust, trust in general.  I want to provide an opportunity where others can learn about beliefs in general.  Where we can all come together as human beings and share with one another how we feel about certain subjects.  Questions we have, things we wonder about.  I don't know everything.  In fact, I know very little.  But... I am willing to put in the effort and research it.  If you have a question please leave it in the comment section.  If you want to read about my take on one thing or another, please let me know.
I can honestly tell you that I don't care what  your religion is or what your background is.  I don't care if you want to make the same sort of life decisions as me or not.  I do however care that respect is shown for each other.  That we all, no matter our beliefs, look out for one another because whether you believe we are all Sons and Daughters of a Heavenly Father, meaning we are all siblings with a divine nature and destiny; or if you think we all formed from a small particle of basic nothingness and eventually evolved into what we are.  Whether you believe we are all reincarnated and are living a life based on how you lived in a previous life or that once we die everything is done. It's all over.   None of that matters to me.  I think something that we can all agree on however is that we are all human beings.  We all look different.  We all make different choices.  We have all gone through different things.  We all need someone to look out for us.  Someone who cares about us no matter the decisions we make.  Please, let me be that person.  Let me help each of you whether its through this blog or some other means.  I believe that there is a God.  I believe that He wants us to take care of each other.  In the New Testament of the Bible,  Jesus the Christ, during His last public discourse said,(found in Matthew Chapter 23 verses 42-45) " 42 For I was an ahungred, and ye gave me no meat: I was thirsty, and ye gave me no drink:

 43 I was a stranger, and ye took me not in: naked, and ye clothed me not: sick, and in prison, and ye visited me not.

 44 Then shall they also answer him, saying, Lord, when saw we thee an hungred, or athirst, or a stranger, or naked, or sick, or in prison, and did not minister unto thee?

 45 Then shall he answer them, saying, Verily I say unto you, Inasmuch as ye did it not to one of the aleast of these, ye did it not to me."

The last thing He said to the people publicly is to take care of one another.  He didn't care if they were rich or poor, Jew or Gentile.  He wanted them to look out for one another. Please, especially during this time of year, please, look out for your neighbors, friends, and even strangers on the street.  Take a little extra time to smile or wave at someone.  Please help those who are in need, whether they realize the need themselves or not.  All of us are in need of something.  

I know that this post has been a little all over the place today, but I know that the message I wanted to get out got out.  

I love each and every one of you.  Thank you for reading and being a part of this world.

love,

Hermana Bricker

Saturday, November 16, 2013

The blog will still continue!
Just because I no longer wear a name badge on my chest does not mean that I am no longer a missionary.  Member missionaries are truly what help the world go forward.
I am and forever will be a missionary.
Being home has been a really strange experience.  Some people have changed, some people haven't.  But all in all it has been a wonderful opportunity to grow since I  have returned.  
I want this post to have 2 main subjects.  The first is one that can be a very sensitive subject unless treated properly.. That is.. how to respond to a missionary returning home early for ANY reason.
My ward has been phenomenal in helping with this transition.  They have welcomed me back with open arms and open hearts.  They try to not ask probing questions, they just love me for me and I love that!  My first Sunday back I was extremely nervous about being overwhelmed.  When  you have left for a period of time, whether it be from moving away, inactivity, or any other reason seeing people you knew/know can be really overwhelming.  When everyone comes up and asks you questions or says how happy they are to see you it can be really awkward.  In situations like this, feel free to go up and welcome them home. But please, treat them as if they had been there just the week before, ask them questions you would ask other people who are there.  There is a time and a place for learning about their mission experiences or what is going on in their lives and that time and place is not in the chapel during church hours.  (speaking to my ward members from home)Thank you so much for treating me like a normal person.  For talking to me as me and not as some health problem.
The second thing I want to talk about is member missionary work.  As I was out in the mission field there were things that I liked and things that I didn't like about the areas I served in.  One common theme I noticed in the wards and branches that I served in was that the work cannot truly go forth and progress when the members are not united with the missionaries.  Whether its offering rides, offering your home for a lesson, feeding the missionaries, praying for their investigators, whatever it be.. be a missionary whether you are wearing a name tag or not.  Help out in little ways and it will change lives and help in the conversion process.  Be a friend to your neighbors so that when they decide they want to learn more about what makes you so happy they will be willing to ask.  Don't push people into joining the church just because it's a number to a goal that needs to be met.  Love everyone you see, don't be afraid to share your beliefs and what is important to you.  And most importantly, be an example of the believers in all that you do, say, and think.  Pray for opportunities to help someone each day to come closer to Christ.  Whether someone is a member of the same church you attend or not, it doesn't matter.  We are all children of our Heavenly Father and we all need to be brought closer to Him by becoming closer to Christ.
I love you all!  Thanks for all your support.
Love,
Sister Bricker

Monday, October 28, 2013

I know I have been really bad at writing to some of you and I apologize for that.  These last few months have been really trying for me and I have been experiencing many health issues.  It was decided on Friday that I will be returning home in order to get the health issues fixed as  best as possible.  Thank you so much for all that you have helped me to learn.  Thank you for your support and prayers. It breaks my heart, but through prayer, fasting, and priesthood blessings I know without a doubt that it is the Lord's will for me at this time..
Nos Vemos,
Hermana Bricker

Monday, October 21, 2013

Sorry!

I am so sorry for not being as good about updating the blog lately, things have been really crazy around here.  
I have recently been transferred to an area that is much more of a city.  It is a college town with a lot of young families that are working on medical residency so there is a lot of turnover in the congregation that I am serving in.  There are quite a few members of the church in this area so I am serving in a Ward that has both Elders (the guy missionaries) and Hermanas (me and my 2 companions.  Sisters that are called as Spanish speaking missionaries).
That's right, I said that I am working with 2 other people.  We call it a trio or a tripanionship.  One of them is from Idaho and the other is from Bolivia.  The Bolivian sister has been serving on Temple Square in Salt Lake City for a while now and she has been called to serve here for her outbound mission for the next 3 months.
The area is really great and we are working to gain a lot more member support and help.  We are trying to increase the number of members who help us to find, fellowship, and testify to their friends and loved ones that are around them.
We are not here just to baptize people but to develop strong friendships and help them to realize that the church is a family and it is part of life, not just a place to go on Sundays.
I am really grateful to be in this beautiful place, especially during this time where the trees are changing color.  It has been really cold here lately, no snow yet but it has been down in the upper 20's and low 30's so snow is not too far away.
I love you all and I hope to hear from each of you soon. 
Love,
Hermana Bricker
8515 Douglas Ave Ste 19 
Urbandale IA, 50322

Monday, October 7, 2013

Hello Everyone!
Are you ready to start another new week?
I really hope that many of you were able to watch the Semi-Annual LDS General Conference this Saturday and Sunday.  It was amazing!  One of the best ones that I have watched in a while.  For those of you who haven't had the opportunity, it is available online at LDS.org  you can type it in the search box for easy access.
Conference is great because it is a time where the Prophet who is on the earth today, as well as the 12 apostles and others who have been called of God, speak to the world, the world just needs to listen.
The topics were all sought out, studied, and pondered.  None of the speakers were given a topic and yet they all worked together to edify all those who heeded their words.
I know that many people can get something different out of each talk than that which I got, that's the way that the spirit speaks to individuals.. however, I wanted to focus on the 3 main themes that I felt were running through each session of conference.
1. Family
2. Missionary work in ALL forms and places
3. Utilizing the Atonement.
In regards to family, the family is being attacked... more and more people are choosing to delay creating a family, they are choosing to work crazy hours instead of spend family time, they are choosing to degrade the role of the family today.  I am saddened by all of the broken homes that I see as I am out here.  I am saddened by the choices that some people choose to make simply because they don't think of the consequences for others they just think of the temporary joy that they can get.
I know that families are supposed to be together forever and they can and will be if founded upon the proper teachings and principles of the Gospel.  I know that I am part of an eternal family and if I live a righteous life, I will return to live with my Father in Heaven again as well as with my family and loved ones.
2.  You don't need to wear a black name badge on your shirt to be a missionary.  Paint it on your heart instead.  Elder Edward Dube, in the Saturday Morning Session said, "In the work of the Lord, it doesn't matter WHERE you serve but HOW  you serve."  Serve others will all of your might mind, strength and heart and I testify to you that you will be greatly blessed.
3. The atonement is one of the most unused gifts we have been given... no, it is not a free gift.  Jesus Christ, our brother, suffered in order to provide that gift for us.  He paid the price so that we might not suffer as much as we would have had to when we sin.  He paid that price so that we could become clean again and one day return to live with our Father in Heaven and receive eternal joy.  He did what he did out of love.
Yes, because of the Atonement (the perfect life of Jesus Christ, the suffering in Gethsemane and on the Cross, the resurrection of Jesus Christ) we will live again.  All of us on earth will be resurrected.  All of us will be restored to our perfect state with our spirit in our body however... only those who keep God's commandments, live faithfully and actually utilize the Atonement when mistakes are made, and we all make mistakes (President Uchtdorf talked about this on Saturday as well) will be able to truly be saved and inherit the kingdom of God.  We need to use the give that he gave us or his suffering was and is in vain.
I love you all! Please watch conference if you havent, and if you have, it doesnt hurt to watch it again.
Love,
Sister Bricker

Monday, September 30, 2013

Hey everyone,
Time has run a bit short on the computer so this will be a short update.  I am doing alright and the work is progressing in this area.  The highlight of my week has got to be either working at the YMCA during homework hour and helping the kids with homework there, or the General Relief Society Broadcast that was on Saturday night.  For those of you who missed it, you can find it on LDS.org  I am really looking forward to this weekend.  This weekend is General Conference.  It is a day where we get to hear from prophets and apostles who walk the earth right now!!  It is so cool.  I want to invite everyone reading this to prayerfully select some questions that you have been asking whether just to yourself or in your prayers and take them to conference.  You don't need to be present to watch conference, it is broadcast all over the world.  You can find it on the television, not sure what stations you have but you can also find it on the radio and LDS.org  it is saturday and sunday with a morning and afternoon session on each of those days.  It is an amazing experience that happens 2 times a year.
We have also started to do these church tour  presentations on different gospel subjects every Monday evening at 7 at our local building.  The spirit is so strong and everyone is edified as they participate.  I am so grateful for the Holy Ghost and for the comfort and strength and direction that it provides.
I love you all!!
Love,
Hermana Bricker



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Monday, September 23, 2013

I am going to try this again.. for the 3rd time.. my computer is being a pain and apparently doesn't want anyone to see the wonderful pictures of the baptism.
Callie gave me permission to post the pictures online so here they are.
Sadly, Callie has recently moved, however I know that she was guided where to move to and that she will be taken care of in the ward/branch that she and her husband are in.
This week I have been thinking a lot about family history.
Today, I received a priesthood blessing.  Within the blessing it specifically talked about how those who have gone before me are with me at the time to hold me up during this time of trial.  As those words were heard a flood of people's names entered into my mind.  I remembered my grandparents and great grandparents as well as many others that i didn't recognize the name to but I knew they were part of my lineage..  I remembered my Uncle Johnny in particular.  I never had the opportunity to meet him in this life but I know that he is helping me out through the good times and the bad.
I have a strong testimony that families are in fact together forever.  I don't know how it works, but it works and we will be blessed as we keep the promises that we have made with our Father in Heaven.  I know that whether it is doing family history work just to find out where you come from, prepare names for the temple, doing temple ordinances or just reading stories from your ancestors all of these things will give you blessings and all of these things help in the work of the Lord.
I love you all!
love,
Hermana Bricker



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Monday, September 16, 2013

This week has been filled with a lot of ups and downs.  We were able to get 4 referrals (when someone tells us that they have a friend who wants to learn more about the gospel)
We also had a visit from Elder Robert C. Gay from the quorum of the 70 (one of the people that help the Prophet and the Apostles) and receive a training by him.
He focused a lot on responding to the Spirit. He said that there is no 'silver bullet' solution to missionary work because every situation is different.  The only way to know how to truly help those who we see is by listening to them and listening to what the Holy Ghost, or the spirit directs us to say and to do.  I know that listening is essential, whether you are a missionary or someone else working in another capacity.  Listening to the feelings and thoughts of your heart and truly listening to those around you will help to diminish misunderstandings and deepen and strengthen the relationship that you have with those that you listen to. 
Elder Gay also quoted Elder Holland (an Apostle) and said, "You have the power to astonish the world!"  He taught us that ordinances, sacred promises and acts done using the power of God, the priesthood, open up the powers of Heaven, and he told us many stories that he asked us not to write down, but that were faith building about the power of prayer and temple work.
I know that I am here for a reason.  I know that The Book of Mormon is the Word of God and I now can say without a doubt in my mind that prayers are answered... All prayers... they just aren't always answered in the way we want them or at the time that we want them.
I love you all!  NEVER forget to pray, pray always and you will receive the strength and guidance that you need.
Love,
Hermana Bricker




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Monday, September 9, 2013

The Field is White Already to Harvest

This week has been really hard with health issues popping up again or increasing in their intensity but that won't bring me down.  I know that part of the reason why the health issues are popping up is because there is something big planned for me coming up.  Part of it was shown this week.
While we were in an area that isn't usually visited (not many people, small town) visiting  an investigator who referred herself online at mormon.org and requested a missionary visit she told us of a friend of hers that asked if she could borrow her Book of Mormon.  She said no but that she would send us over to her house and so she did.  As we met this wonderful lady she told us of 14 other people from her previous congregation left last week because of a disagreement and were all looking for truth elsewhere.  I am not trying to sound grateful for the fact that there was a disagreement but I am grateful that she was willing to open up to us about it and possibly share with those friends of hers of the truth that she has found in the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints.
The field truly has been planted and prepared and is ready for the harvest.  We are seeing people pop up all over who at one time or another had looked into the church or knew someone who was LDS and it wasn't the right time but now they are coming to us, asking us questions and wanting to be taught.
I am here for a reason.  I know that I am.
I want to invite each of you to think about your past, think about what has got you to the point that you are at now as well as your future, who you truly want to be.  Not just a week from now, or a year from now, but who do you want to be at the end of your life?  Who do you want to be known as by those who follow you?  Are you on that track? Are you taking the steps you need to take to get to that point?  If not, I invite you to start now.  If you don't know where you want to be or who you want to become, don't just go off of what others have said you should be, make it a matter of prayer.  I know that our Heavenly Father knows and loves each and every one of you.  He knows who you wanted to be before this life and who you are now, ask Him for the guidance and He will guide you.
I love you all!  Have a great week!
love,
Hermana Bricker



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Tuesday, September 3, 2013

Everyone,
Sorry for not writing last week, things have been crazy and there was a lot to be done so I didn't get around to posting a blog update.
This week we had our very first baptism that this area has had in about 3 years :)
She is a wonderful woman who is married to a member that has strayed a bit from the path but who is trying to return.  They have the goal of being sealed together as a family for time and all eternity in the temple within the next 2 years. 
I know with all my heart that families can be and should be together forever.  Heavenly Father is in fact our Father and we are His children.  Each spirit is part of this amazing heavenly family and heaven wouldn't be heaven to me without those who I love being there.
The weather has been extremely hot and humid for the last while.  Almost every day this last week got up into the 100s and it was at least 70% humidity every day.  For the last 3 days of the week our car was in the auto shop getting fixed from the fender bender over 12 weeks ago so we were biking during the heat wave.  We biked over 25 miles in 2 days.
This week I wanted to focus my entry on family.  While being out on the mission I have been blessed to see families of all different sorts.  Each one is different and each one is amazing.  It is completely shocking to me however to see how many times I see people go against their family to fit in with their friends or to make themselves look better.
In The Family A Proclamation to the World (The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints official declaration on family)it states:
Successful marriages and families are established and maintained on principles of faith, prayer, repentance, forgiveness, respect, love, compassion, work, and wholesome recreational activities. By divine design, fathers are to preside over their families in love and righteousness and are responsible to provide the necessities of life and protection for their families. Mothers are primarily responsible for the nurture of their children. In these sacred responsibilities, fathers and mothers are obligated to help one another as equal partners. 

I know that families are ordained of God and that each member plays a vital role.  I am so grateful for the family that I have been blessed to have grown up in and I know that I wouldn't be where I am today without their support, love teachings and prayers.  I know that families are to support one another no matter what.  I love my family and I love that I have had this opportunity thus far to work with other families and help them become more united.
Love,
Hermana Bricker


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Monday, August 19, 2013

Changes

First off, I want to apologize for my most recent posts.  They haven't been very insightful and they haven't really held any value in regards to the work that I have been called to accomplish.  This is going to change from this moment on.
This week contained a lot of little changes.  One of which is a new rule in dress and appearance.  Missionaries are now not allowed to have backpacks but must have shoulder bags that can protect and house something that is Ipad size.
We are also allowed and encouraged to wear more trendy styles in order to blend into the more modern professional look that we have been asked to portray. 
Another little change that took place was that in regards to my outlook on things.  For a while now I have been looking at challenges as being attacks from the adversary, the opposition that comes when you are doing good.  I have now changed that.  Challenges are not always things that are supposed to tear you down.  More often than not, challenges and adversity are wondrous gifts from a loving Father in Heaven who wants you to grow.  You cannot grow and be strengthened without there being opposition.  Every challenge that comes I see as a gift because Heavenly Father knows that I can handle it, with His help, and it will be a growing and learning experience for me.
I am not saying in any way shape or form that one should pray for challenges.  If you pray from them, be expecting some big ones, but I am trying to say that challenges can either squish you and pull you down or you can climb the hill that has been placed in your path and end up with a gorgeous view while standing on high ground, stronger than you were before.
The last change I want to talk about today is a change that has yet to take place but it is something that I assume will be happening soon.  As a missionary, we go through things called transfers.  These take place every 6 weeks and each transfer is an opportunity for either you or the person you are working with (we refer to them as companions but they are co workers and roommates) to leave the area you are serving in and go somewhere new with all new people and new experiences.  For a while I was not looking forward to this aspect of mission life... you get to know the people in one area, you love them and you see the progress that they are making and then all of a sudden you have to move away and trust other people to take care of these people that you had been taking care of for a while.   It wasn't something I looked forward to but now I see the beauty in this change.
Each area that you are blessed to serve in increases the love that you have for all people because you still love those you served before and you want to love those you are serving now.  It also provides a new perspective on things and some answers you may have been looking for to help the people in your previous area may be much easier to find in the new area.
I am feeling very strongly that I may be leaving the area that I have been serving in since April and I have come to accept that as being the case.  If I don't leave and I am blessed to stay here another 6 weeks that will be great and I will find joy in that as well.  For now however, I will serve those I have been called to serve with all my heart might mind and strength  and work until I can't work anymore.  I know that I have been called to serve in this area for a reason and I will find joy in the journey as well as in the destination.
I love all of you!  I want you all to know that the atonement is real, that Jesus Christ died for you individually.  If you were the only person on the earth Christ would come down and go through all of that pain just so that you could have the opportunity to return to live with our Father in Heaven.  No mistake is too big, no repentance is too late, start now and search for the truth.  Once you have the truth, dig deeper, there is always more to find, always more to learn and to understand in your heart and your mind.
Love,
Hermana (Sister) Bricker



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Monday, August 12, 2013

What a Week!

This week was really strange and good and hard all at the same time.  We saw some miracles and now have 3 new people who are interested in learning more about the church. 2 of which have accepted baptism and want to be baptized as soon as they can.  We have 3 baptismal dates set for August 31st which is really exciting.  Transfers come up on the 29th so I may get moved areas but in regards to mail you can still send it to 8515 Douglas Ave #19  Urbandale, IA 50322 and I will get it.
With school beginning again and the summer temperature slowly cooling down some it has been nice.  
We have biked a bit more this week which is great, I love to bike but it's interesting biking with a side shoulder bag that will be required beginning next transfer (August 29th).
I also got a package that included a video from my family.  I loved it so much! it was great to see and hear each of them and I know that the Lord is sending them blessings.
I can't really write much about what happened because in order to do so I would need to put in some personal details about the people we are teaching which I don't feel is right to do on the internet but if write me a letter I might be able to explain it a little bit more to you.  I love you all!
love,
Hermana Bricker



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Monday, August 5, 2013

Hey all!
Not much time to write but I wanted to let all of you know that I am doing just great.  Things are tough but I, with the Lord's help, am tougher.  Thank you for all of your support and for all that you have helped me with.  Thank you for reading.  This last week I had the chance to go to the Nauvoo temple for the 3rd time since I have been out.  Make the temple your goal.  Not only is it super pretty but it is eternal.  In it is where you make promises with our Heavenly Father that are eternal, they last forever, it isnt just something that is here one day and gone the next.  I love you all!
love,
Hermana Bricker



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Monday, July 29, 2013

"Work like an employee and baptize like a boss"

Hello Everyone!
What a week it has been here in this area.  Some people may wonder why the title is what it is.. well.. that's simple.. An elder I served with at the MTC said that in an email to me and it made my day so I thought I would share it.
This week has been extremely crazy!  We had exchanges which is where another companionship (2 sister missionaries) from another area come and spend the night and work with each of us individually during our teaching appointments.  It is a great way to work with someone new and gain a new perspective on the work and how to help different people that you are teaching.  Because we had exchanges and I am senior companion, I had to plan for them and that basically means planning for 2 days activities that will take place in 1 day because there are 2 sets of missionaries working. 
Then, I had been asked to do a training during district meeting.  District meeting is where missionaries from a couple of different areas meet together (it usually happens once a week) and go over goals, things going on in our area, and then have 2 trainings where were are taught a new way to teach something.   The training I did was on Revelation through Prayer.
I was stressed this week and preparing for this training was one of the things that kept me going.  I know that Heavenly Father Answers our prayers.  I know that prayers are answered because our Father in Heaven trusts us to act upon those answers.  He won't always give us the answer that we want but the answers are given out of trust.  Trust is essential both in praying and in receiving the answers.   If we put our trust in the Lord that He will answer our prayers we are PROMISED that He will answer them.
I am so grateful for prayer and the role that it plays in my life.  I am so grateful that my father in heaven trusts me enough to answer my prayers.
After the training, I received a blessing.   A Priesthood blessing is where men who hold the priesthood, or the authority from God to act in His behalf, lay their hands upon your head and through that authority, tell you what Heavenly Father wants you to know.  The priesthood is so very real!  It is what Christ had when He walked the earth and it has been restored to the earth.   I know that the priesthood is real and that blessings work because things were said during that blessing that the person who gave the blessing didn't know I was struggling with.  I know that the words that were spoken were from my loving Father in Heaven.
After that we had 2 girls come to our area who are 17 years old.  They came on this thing called "Called to Serve Mini Missions" where for 3 days they are to live like missionaries and they work with missionaries in teaching and finding people to teach and all kinds of stuff.  It was a really great way for me to see the importance of preparing to serve.  I was also able to strengthen my testimony of why I had decided to serve a mission.
I know I am here for a reason, I know that there is someone that I need to talk with that nobody else can relate to in the way that I can.
I know that the gospel of Jesus Christ, the same that was on the earth when Christ himself walked the earth, along with all of the power and authority that Christ had, has been restored to the earth and is in full force today.  I know that there is a prophet that leads and guides the world today if we listen to his words, the words given to him from God himself.  Pray about what I write, don't just read it.  I PROMISE that you will receive an answer as you pray as long as you are willing to act upon the answer you receive.
If you have any questions, go to mormon.org



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Monday, July 22, 2013

Weird!!

So.. this will prove to be a really weird transfer.  I didn't get a new companion.  Instead I got a used companion.  My MTC companion is once again my companion so it is weird getting to the point where it doesn't seem so surreal.   I'll let you know when it gets to that point.. if it gets to that point.
This week I really focused on the power of the Atonement.  I know that through the Atonement of Jesus Christ we are all never left alone.  Christ knows what we are feeling and what we are going through exactly.  It is personal and it is eternal.  Through the Atonement we will live again because Christ lived again and through the Atonement, we have the ability to live in God's presence again.  This week I want to invite all of you to reflect on  your relationship with the Savior and your knowledge and testimony of the Atonement.  Write it down.  Write your testimony and look back on it ever month or so.  See how it has grown or how it has dwindled.  It will bless your life.  
I love you all!
love,
Hermana Bricker



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Tuesday, July 16, 2013

I'm Staying!!

This Thursday is transfers so on Saturday we got our transfer calls to say if we are staying or going.  I will remain in this area at least another 6 weeks.  I will however be getting a new companion and I am really excited to see who the Lord has in store for me.
This last week we had exchanges.  It is where another set of missionaries comes to our area, stays the night and goes out teaching with us.  I worked with one of the sisters for half the day and then switched and worked with another sister.  It was a really great experience and we were able to teach 10 lessons that day.  Each lesson was powerful and the spirit was so very present.  I am so grateful for that opportunity to see new teaching approaches and new ways to have more focused lessons.  
This week I have realized more fully how important having a strong testimony of The Book of Mormon.  I highly encourage anyone and everyone whether you have read The Book of Mormon before or not, no matter how many times you have read it, read it again.  Study it, Pray about it, and Ponder it.  You WILL receive a witness from the Holy Ghost in regards to its truthfulness. 
I love you all!  You are amazing! Thank you for your support.
Love,
Hermana Bricker



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Monday, July 8, 2013

Nauvoo Pageant Is Around the Corner

The Nauvoo Pageant starts tomorrow which is exciting.  We are permitted as missionaries to attend the Pageant  once during our missions so currently I am thinking I want that to be my last summer spent in the field but I am not quite sure yet so only time will tell.  It goes from tomorrow July 9th, to August 13th.
Along with the Pageant comes a lot of great things and a lot of difficult things.
The great things are that it presents more teaching opportunities at times and it's a great way to receive referrals who decide to go down to the Pageant and request a visit from us.
It is a great way for people to learn more about our church and to feel of the spirit of this divine work. 
It is also a great way for people's hearts to be opened and realize that Latter-Day Saints are not just really crazy people who walk around in sets of 2 with a black name tag and white lettering on it while wearing either suits or skirts.  
The mission is changing and the work is hastening.
On Wednesday I was able to sit down and have a one on one interview with my new mission president, President Jensen.  It was great!  He will be a wonderful addition to this mission and I know that he will lead us in the hastening of the work in this mission.
I was also able to talk to my mission president's wife for a while and she is so cute!  She loves hugs and she, or course has been feeling overwhelmed with the changes but I know that she and he will both be blessed.
We found out this week as well that we will most likely be one of the tester missions with the new ipads that will be coming out to the  missions.  They are also looking for housing for more missionaries in our area so that we can have the Church buildings open daily for tours and have a set of missionaries at the church doing tours and online proselyting and then have another set getting people to come to the church for tours and doing what missionaries normally do.  I am really excited for this.  This will be a great way to diminish a lot of the stereotypes that have been formed against our church.  It opens up the doors for people to look around our churches and ask questions.  Whether they want to convert or not it doesnt matter, they can be of any other faith and I for one would love to just answer questions and help them to know what we believe and gain understanding about what they believe.
Now is a time not to fight one religion against another but to unify and bring all of our brothers and sisters unto Christ.  To work together with the common goal of edifying one another.
I am so grateful for Jesus Christ and for His sacrifice for me.  I am grateful that through Him I have the blessing of living again after I die.  I know that Jesus Christ, when He rose from the tomb made it possible for everyone on earth to live again in a resurrected state.  I also know that through His Atonement in Gethsemane I can become clean and that by following His example and not just using grace to save me but to change me I can and will return to live with my Father in Heaven.  I will, on the day of Judgement, stand in front of the Father and say that I have done all that I can and that I have shared the gospel with all those who were willing to hear.  I am a missionary for life.  I don't have to wear a name badge to preach the Gospel of Jesus Christ.  I choose to never leave the mission in the mission field but to bring it throughout my entire life  on earth and in the life to come as well.
I love you all!
love,
Hermana Bricker



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Monday, July 1, 2013

Crazy week!

Hey everyone!  
Things are going well now in regards to some of the issues that were going on in the past.  I don't really want to go into much detail about it but this last week was crazy! Here is a day by day synopsis:
Monday-Tornado Warning goes off.  We spend all of p-day in the library tornado shelter being asked by this lady if we have been saved and have accepted Jesus Christ as our Savior.  When we said that we had she then decided to talk about our stance on homosexuals and the Boy Scout program.  We referred her to mormonsandgays.org and she wasn't happy that we had a response.  I kind of think she was just looking for someone to bible bash and since we didn't found some way to walk away.
Tuesday-Went to the doctors and got misdiagnosed.
Wednesday-spent all day in the apartment sick from the misdiagnosis then went to the ER here in town where they said that they didn't see any abnormalities in the x-ray that had been done the day before which is why she had diagnosed me the way she had...got misdiagnosed again!
Thurday-District meeting!  It was great even though I was sick.  I got a blessing that I thought was really interesting.  It didn't say I would be healed or the pain would subside but instead it said that the pain I was feeling would be a blessing for others in the future as I shared my message about what happened.  Maybe the misdiagnosis were to meet people that otherwise might not have been open to talking to a missionary.
Friday- Went to the ER in Iowa City.  After 7 hours there they finally diagnosed me correctly.  Don't worry, I am fine and will not be dying anytime soon.  I got to talk to a lot of different people through the process though.
After we got back from the ER we had the opportunity to go clean the Nauvoo Temple!!!  :)  I am so happy about this!  We got to clean the tower that is right under neath the Angel Moroni and I learned a lot of really cool facts about the temple.  I also got to kill a bunch of spiders that were up in the rafters.  I don't deal with spiders very well but I think now I am one step closer to getting over my fear.
Saturday- Trek Fest!  Star Trek people.. feel free to be jealous.. Riverside is the future birthplace of Captain Kirk.  Each year they do this huge 2 day convention and one of the members invited us to come to it.  People dress up and there are talent shows and a lot of different people to talk to.  It was really great!
Sunday-I got to translate the sacrament meeting into spanish... It was really difficult and interesting but I did it and I was told by one of the members who speaks both spanish and english that I did a good job with the translation.
Anyway, that was my week and it has been crazy!
I am so happy that the week is over.  Also, we got a new mission president on Saturday and  he wants to interview me on Wednesday after our Zone meeting.  I'm really excited!
love,
Hermana Bricker



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Monday, June 24, 2013

This week was an interesting week.  We biked 25.3 miles on Wednesday... ouch is basically all I can say about that... haha
We had our last Zone Conference with President and Sister Jergensen, they will be leaving this weekend and President and Sister Jensen will be coming in.  I am sad to see them leave but I am excited to see who the Lord has placed in that position of leadership in my life at this time.
The weather here is expected to be crazy for the next few days and so far today we have tornado and flash flood warnings but we are safe and I know that the Lord protects His missionaries.
The power of prayer is an amazing thing.  It really truly can change people.  Prayers can be specific or broad, both are heard and both are answered.  I know that prayer works and that Heavenly Father loves hearing from us.
I love you all, you are all in my prayers!
love,
Hermana Bricker



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Monday, June 17, 2013

A Really Tough Week

I am not going to have this be a super long blog post.  I just don't have it in me today to write all that much.  This last week was a really difficult one but I know that sacrifice bring forth blessings.  I want to let everyone know that I love them and care about them and would really love some extra prayers sent my way if you would.   I knew that missionary work was hard but there were just some things I couldn't prepare for emotionally.  It is a major heart break when someone who was progressing so very much decides to, in an instant, no longer choose to investigate into the church.   It is hard when you bear your testimony, hold out your heart and soul so someone and they stomp all over it.  
I know without a doubt in my mind that The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints is God's church on the earth in this day and age.  I know that it has all of the same power and authority as the church had when Jesus Christ himself walked the Earth.  I know that The Book of Mormon is true.  I know that it is scripture and contains, as does the Bible, evidence of the truthfulness that Jesus Christ is in fact the Savior and Redeemer of the World.   I know that families can be together forever.  I know that Thomas Spencer Monson is a prophet of God as was Adam, Noah, Isaiah, Moses and many others who were called by God to lead an guide the people of the church and the people of the world who would heed to their message.  I know that Thomas Spencer Monson is God's mouthpiece on the earth today.   I know that Heavenly Father answers all prayers.  
I am blessed to have the opportunity to serve as a representative of Jesus Christ and to bring the people of Missouri, Illinois, and Iowa that are part of the Iowa Des Moines mission boundaries the truth.
Love,
Hermana Bricker



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Monday, June 10, 2013

Iowa mountains...

We were driving down the road yesterday and Heavenly Father gave us Utahns a tender mercy... He made the clouds look kind of like mountains. Enjoy the pictures from within the car.  Love you all!



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Hey Everyone!
The pictures included are so that you can see some of the landscape of the area I am in.  The picture with water in it shows some of the flooding from the river... that area is rather far away from the river, like about a half mile away... ya... lots of flooding.
This week was really tough but we made it through with the help and direction of God.  I was able to get a priesthood blessing on Saturday.   It's great because through the priesthood, which is the power given to man to act in God's name, I was able to receive more direct guidance and extra comfort that I needed.  Elder Beck, our district leader was voice and he said things that I know were definitely not things that he knew of but were words from my loving Father in Heaven.  Priesthood power is truly an amazing thing.
Last week I talked about a talk that Brad Wilcox gave.  The link to the talk can be found here:
Everything that happened today I could relate to this talk.  Whether it was because I was feeling overwhelmed with all that I had to do or whether it was because I didn't understand why the trials I was experiencing were happening this talk came to mind.   
I am so grateful for the Grace of Jesus Christ as well as for the power of prayer.
Prayer is not just a grocery list or a voicemail left for some all powerful all knowing being to listen to or read once he gets the opportunity.  Prayer is a 2 way communication between a Loving Heavenly Father and His child.   Yes, Heavenly Father is all powerful and all knowing. Yes He knows your desires and He knows what you are going through and what you are going to say to Him but He wants to hear it from you anyway.   It's like with my earthly parents.  They may know that I messed up big time on a test or I was struggling in a relationship with someone.  Maybe they know that I really really want a pony for my birthday or something like that.  They might even know when I am feeling stressed and just need to be told that I am loved and be given a hug but usually, things don't happen until I open up and talk to them about it.   He wants to hear from you and He wants you to communicate with Him.  Communication requires listening for a response.   It is not just talking to a wall but listening is an active roll.  I know that prayers are answered.  I know that Heavenly Father loves each and every one of His children.  
I know that if we take the advice given in the last 2 paragraphs of the introduction to the Book of Mormon we will receive an answer.   It doesn't matter if you have taken that challenge a million times, just once or have yet to take that advice, it will happen every single time. You WILL receive an answer and you WILL find the truth. 
In order to know it, you must read it and "ask in faith, believing that ye shall receive" Mark 9:45 and you will be given an answer.
I love you all!
Love Hermana Bricker



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Monday, June 3, 2013

First Transfer in the field... COMPLETE

Has it really been 6 weeks since I got to Iowa?!? I guess so, that's crazy though!
Transfers take place this Thursday and I was informed on Saturday and I will be staying in the same area for at least another 6 weeks.
I am really excited about that because that means that I will be here for our investigator's baptism for sure.  She will be getting baptized on June 22nd as long as she stops smoking in time so please pray for her.
Things are going really well and the work is progressing a lot.
We were promised as a mission a while ago that if we strived to teach 20 lessons, no matter who to, whether it be members, less actives, recent converts, or investigators, the members in the area would begin to do their part and we would have people to teach.  This last Sunday marks week 2 in a row of getting at least 20 lessons a week.  I can already see the promise beginning to be fulfilled. One of our less actives who has recently been reactivated gave our number to some of her friends and another sister in the ward has been handing out pass along cards as well as talking about the articles of faith with her friends.  We also had a family in the ward who has never had the sister missionaries over for any sort of lesson and they volunteered to feed us this next week so things are definitely in the works.
On Saturday I got to view my first baptism as a missionary.  It was the Branch President's daughter and it went really well.  My companion and I got to teach the Restoration while she and her dad were drying off and getting ready again and there were 4 non members there so we might get some teaching appointments out of that as well.
I feel so blessed to be in this area.  I love the people and I love the progress that is taking place.
On Thursday we had a district meeting which is where some companionships in an area come together and talk about ways to improve as well as get taught different things.  This week we talked about what I wrote about last time from Zone Conference and we also watched a BYU devotional by Brad Wilcox about grace.  It was amazing!  I highly recommend looking it up online.  He talked about how grace isn't something that is given after we do all that we can do but it is something given before, during and after everything.  It was great!
Well I need to get going but I love you all and I am grateful to be serving as a Representative of Jesus Christ 
Love,
Hermana Bricker



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Tuesday, May 28, 2013

Crazy Week

Hey Everyone!
This week has been crazy with both good and bad things.  It was a really hard day on Wednesday and I will be sending home my journal today in a package so those who know my parents or contact my parents can hear about some things that are a little more personal that I would rather not have online.  Thursday was really great though!  We had a Zone Conference (the last one for President and Sister Jergensen).  I had interviews with President Jergensen and we talked about some of the trials that have been happening but also about applying the Atonement into the situation.  I hadn't ever really thought of it before Thursday that the Atonement is what makes trials easier and worth it.
For those of you who aren't familiar with the word Atonement it all goes back to our knowledge of the Plan of Salvation.  Life began with our Father in Heaven, most refer to Him as God.  He created our spirits.  We lived with Him and things were great but we had come to a point where we could no longer progress. He created a plan in which we would come to this place called Earth and go through things that were hard, things that hurt, but also things that were wonderful and would bring us joy.  When we came to the Earth we would receive bodies of flesh and blood that were created after the image of God.  We would be placed into family units that would support us, that, if we relied on the Lord, would help us to eventually return to live with our Heavenly Father again.  The one stipulation to this plan was that in order to return to live with our Heavenly Father, we would need to be clean and pure, without sin, without spot so that we could return to His presence.  This wasn't possible without a Savior.   Jesus Christ volunteered to do Heavenly Father's will.  He volunteered to come to earth, not sin, and still suffer for all of our sins, pains, sicknesses, everything.   He did so in the Garden of Gethsemane and it continued on as He hung on the cross at Calvary.  It was there that He felt the ultimate pain of Heavenly Father's spirit leaving Him without direction and without any feeling of hope when He stated, "My God My God, Why hast Thou forsaken Me?" (Matthew 27:46 in the New Testament of the Bible).  Through this atonement, He, Jesus Christ, made it possible for us to be forgiven of our sins and missteps.  He made it possible for us to be cleansed from that and through this atonement, we can return to live with our Father in Heaven.  
Everyone here on earth chose this plan.  They had to in order to receive a body.  Often times, the premortal life is not something that we remember, however, parts of it can be brought to our remembrance.  When we teach people about the Plan of Salvation, when we teach about the Restoration, or Gospel of Jesus Christ, or any of the things that we as missionaries teach, it is not new information.  It is information that through time, will be brought to their remembrance through the Holy Ghost.
During Zone Conference we talked about the hastening of the work and about the importance of being a righteous representative of Jesus Christ as a missionary.  We talked about the atonement and about repentance.  We talked about a lot of things but the most important thing to me was not something that was talked about as a group but something that was very personal and came to me through the Holy Ghost.  I have been called to succeed and not to fail. Jesus Christ did not just come to earth to give us the directions to go back to our Father but rather, He came to the earth so that He personally can bring us back to the Father.  In order for Him to bring us back, He has to be coming with us.  He is here, He is with us and He will help us every step of the way, we just have to ask for the help.  He is the way, the truth and the life.  No man comes to the Father but by Him (John 14:6).  He is there with us and He will always be there for us, every step of the way, especially when times get hard.
Anyway, I love you all!  It has been  rainy and stormy all week but I am safe and things are going well.  Feel free to write me at any time.
8515 Douglas Ave Ste 19
Urbandale IA, 50322

Love,
Hermana Bricker



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Monday, May 20, 2013

NAUVOO Temple!!!

I loved going to see this beautiful temple and going inside was even better!!! Strive to reach the goal of getting to the temple and once you get there, go often!!



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Miracles!!!

Many miracles took place this week. The sad thing is, most of them I can't put in here because they contain a lot of personal details but the power of prayer works.  For those of you who were't aware, I was able to attend the Nauvoo Temple this past Saturday and it was amazing!!!  I was able to do a session at the temple(for those of you who aren't familiar with this term, I am not completely sure how to describe it or what I feel comfortable putting online so I recommend asking your local bishop or branch president aka leader of the local LDS chapel or a friend who is strong in the church).  Normally when you are going because it is a recent converts first time (my companion's recent converts first time going to the temple)  you simply assist in the baptistry area however because the 4 sisters who are serving in Ottumwa also had a recent convert there my companion paired up with another sister so they could help in the baptistry and I was able to go on temporary exchanges with another sister and do a session.  I needed that so badly!  Heavenly Father knew that I needed it and He made it possible.  When my companion told me that the mission president had called and allowed it I almost burst into tears.  
Near the end of the session I was sitting and pondering about when the next time I would have the opportunity to enter the temple would be.  I began to get sad thinking about it but then a feeling a peace came over me as my heart was touched by the spirit.  I know that as long as I continue to be a consecrated, dedicated, and obedient missionary no matter where I stand, I will be standing in holy places and can have the same feelings that I have in the temple.
As I relayed this experience to my companion we came up with an idea to rearrange our apartment.  We will make so that one room is set aside to be like our temple room.  It will be where we go to study and it will be free from distractions and the only things in it will be inspiring gospel related pictures and our desks as well as study materials like preach my gospel or the scriptures.  It will not be a place where any clutter will be.  It will be decorated similar to the temple and it will be our escape, it will be our consecrated room that will help us remain focused and receive more guidance from the spirit even during times when we aren't allowed to attend the temple.
Last night we experience our first Tornado Watch.  The weather has been crazy and a tornado was expected to come through the area.  The sky looked crazy and I honestly got rather scared.  The tornado didn't end up touching down in Iowa at all, it touched down in Oaklahoma but the weather was really scary.  We had everything ready in a to go bag just in case we needed it.  The tornado season is upon us and I am grateful for the service opportunities it will present.  I know that obedience is key to being safe in storms like these and that the Lord will protect me and my companion as well as other missionaries as long as they are doing things according to His will and timing.
I love you all and I know that prayer works.  I know that anything can be overcome through prayer, faith, and reliance on the Lord. Temples are amazing and are places in which revelation and other gifts of the spirit are magnified.  Obedience is key to safety through the storms of the adversary.  I also know that Heavenly Father and His son Jesus Christ know us all individually on a personal level.  They know each and every one of us and they know our needs and our desires.  Often times, all we need to do is ask and act in faith in order to receive the desires of our heart.  I know that if it is a righteous desire and itis in God's plan and timing we will be granted the desires of our heart and that sometimes when you don't know you need something, whether is be a trial or a gift Heavenly Father knows that it is needed and He will grant it to you for your growth and perfection in order to come closer to Him and eventually be clean and worthy to return to live with Him.
I love you!
love,
Hermana Madison Bricker



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Monday, May 13, 2013

Service works!

Hey Everyone!!!
This past week has been such a testimony building week for me!  I had always been told that serving others does a lot more than the service its self and I never really understood that until this week.  As we went from appointment to appointment we were able to notice a lot more things that people needed help with.  We were blessed with opportunities to serve and we were able to see hearts that were once really closed off to the gospel begin to be softened and open up to opportunities where we could, through the spirit, teach correct principles or capitalize on correct principles that they already knew.
I also had the opportunity to not only speak to, but to see most of my family on SKYPE.  It was so great to see their faces along with hearing their voices and I got to see my dogs which always make me happy.  This week has been filled with so many tender mercies from God and I was just informed of another one......
On Saturday I get to go to the Nauvoo Temple with my companion because one of her recent converts is going for the first time! 
For those who know me, I love temples!  It is my place or refuge and peace.  It is the one place that I am able to completely separate myself from the hardships of the world and I am so excited and feel so honored to share in this sacred opportunity that this new member has to enter the temple.
Another thing that I learned from this week is that you get out of life what you put into it.  If you go into something thinking that it is going to be horrible, it will be.  If you go into something thinking that it will be a blast, it will be.  It is all about your attitude and you outlook on things.
Life is hard but life is great.   The hard moments in life are times of growth..  They are times where our loving Father in Heaven is refining us.  Nobody ever said that the refining process would be easy or feel good.  When silver is refined it is heated up.  It becomes pure, maleable, and strong.  When it has reached its perfectly pure form, the refiner, can see his image in the piece of silver.  We are being refined in the refiners fire.  We are being changed in a way that is painful, but that will make us stronger, purer, and able to be molded into who the Father wants us to become.  Heavenly Father is the refiner.  Allow Him so see His image in you.  Allow Him to keep you in the flames long enough that you become perfected through them.  The hardships are trying and sometimes you want to just give up, but if you hold out faithful to the end and trust in the Father's timing, you will be exhalted on high at the last day.  You will be perfected and have the privilege of returning to live in His presence.
You are love!  You are smart!  You have divine potential and it can be reached through the help of Heavenly Father and though the use of the Atonement of Jesus Christ.
Love,
Hermana Bricker



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Monday, May 6, 2013

Washington Iowa Week 2

Wow! What a crazy week! I am so grateful for what has happened so far and for all of the love that this area has shown me.  Time is weird, some days it seems like they take forever and somedays seem like really short.
On Saturday we had a mission conference with  all 235 missionaries that are in our mission as well as Elder Neil L. Andersen of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles, Elder L. Whitney Clayton of the Presidency of the Seventy, Elder Edward Dube of the First Quorum of the Seventy and with Elder Michael J. Reall of the Seventy in attendance.   And we got to shake hands with all of them!  For those of you who aren't super familiar with the organization of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints  the prophet is the head, then the first presidency, then the quorum of the 12 apostles, then the presidency of the seventy, and then the other quorums of the 70 so these people are pretty high up there and it was great.
One thing of many that stood out to me during the mission conference was "Do you love your companion? Do you love your area?  When you do, miracles will happen"
I am so happy to hear that because I love my companion and my area.  Things are hard but so worth it and the people here are great.
The members in this branch are so great!  They all really want to help and they have been doing all they can but right now it seems like they don't know of a structured way to help.  In 2 weeks we will be doing a lesson during one of the hours of church to talk about how the members who are the permanent missionaries in the area can not only help their non member friends gain more understanding about their beliefs, but also how they can help the full time proselyting missionaries in their area with the finding, fellowshipping and retaining of the investigators and potential new members of the area.  It will be great because they are already doing a wonderful job with helping those who come feel welcome and loved and now we will be able to also increase sacrament meeting size, which has been pretty big lately which is great!  We were going over numbers and we had one week with 99 people there, we almost had a 100 day!!! We are really close to needing to open up the overflow and I know that everyone is really excited about the growth in the area.  This new program/guideline will help to increase that as well as help others who have fallen out of habit of coming return.
  This last week we had a few miracles, one of which was one of our recently inactive members who has now come to church the last 3 weeks brought a friend to church with her.  Her friend is not a member of the church but she supports her friend and it was so great!  Her friend said she wanted to learn more so we will be setting up an appointment with her soon and she even bore her testimony during one of the classes and her testimony was so strong!  It was amazing!
We also got a new car that is literally fresh off the lot, it only had 158 miles on it so it's super new and I like it a lot.
Anyway, I love you all!
love,
Hermana Bricker



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Monday, April 29, 2013

First Week In Iowa

I am in a place called Washington Iowa.  It is a large area but the town that I'm living in, Washington itself, is rather small.  The work here definitely needs improvement.  We currently have one investigator that will hopefully be baptized sometime in May and that is ALL.
We will be going out finding a lot more often because we need more investigators.  Our mission has a goal for this  year to get 550 baptisms, last year's goal was 400 so this is a big jump but more missionaries are coming and the work is hastening.  
Yesterday we went finding for a bit and we came across this family of 9.  We talked to the mother and of her 7 daughters 5 of them are 8 or older so 7 of the 9 are eligible age wise for baptism (In the LDS Church you can't get baptized until you are at least 8 years old).  She said that she has been looking for a church for a while now and that she grew up Baptist but didn't call herself Baptist because she got baptized at 6 and didn't really even know what she was doing so she is having all of her children not get baptized until they can explain why they need to be.  (Can you say Golden Investigator?)  She has had a Jehovah's Witness friend come over to teach her for the past little while so that will be interesting but she said that she is sick of people saying they believe in one thing and then going around and doing  another.  She said that she is completely sick of hypocrites and that she wants to find somewhere where what they believe is actually something that they act on.  She thinks that it is pointless to say that you believe and then go do something wrong just because Christ suffered for your sins but that when you do something wrong you should feel sorry for it and try to fix it and not just say that you are sorry for it.  So she understands that repentance requires action and that people aren't perfect and that repentance is necessary.  I'm really excited for her and I think that she definitely has found something without realizing it yet.
Also, she speaks spanish and so do her children.  They also speak English so there will be no language barrier which is awesome.
Today is our first preparation day which is why I am able to email.  We come and email at the library and they we have to go shopping and wash our car and write letters and what not.  I am really excited to be in this area and I know that they are many people here who have been prepared to hear our message.
Love you!
Love,
Hermana Bricker



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Monday, April 22, 2013

Last MTC Update

I ship out to Iowa this Wednesday so this will be my last update while at the MTC.  It has been a great experience full of so many changes.  I am grateful for this opportunity to have spent 6 full weeks here with the wonderful people that I have met.  The moment I got my travel plans things started to not seem real once again and now that tomorrow will be me very last day it really feels unreal.
     Don't get me wrong, I am extremely excited to start yet another chapter in my life, but with new chapters come more uncertainty and more worries as well. 
I know that although there are worries and uncertainties all will work out the way that it should as long as I am doing what I should be doing and I am following the will of God.
I love this opportunity that I have had to be a missionary thus far and I feel extremely blessed to be able to share the things that I have learned over my life and specifically the past 6 weeks with others who haven't had the chance to hear about it.
For those of you starting a new chapter in your life, here is some advice:
1. PRAY, communicate with your Father in Heaven.  He wants to hear from you.
2. TRUST the answers that you receive from prayer
3. ACT on the answers that you receive, in faith and all will be taken care of, you WILL be blessed.
4. REMEMBER that the Atonement of Jesus Christ was not only infinite, but it was INTIMATE He atoned for YOU individually.
 



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Thursday, April 11, 2013

Experience a Change!

Conversion=change of state
There is an experience from yesterday that i want to share with you.
"The MTC is a very interesting place. it is a place for conversion or change. It is also a very difficult place. Opposition is everywhere and doubt is placed into your mind all the time. Thoughs of "'am i good enough or do i mess up too much, can i do this'' pop into your head all the time. often times i find myself comaring my inability with other abilities and that is definitely not the right thing to do. comparisons can be great except when you are comparing ability to speak the language, utfits, body types, testimonies or actions. its really easy to be judgemental on things. when you are put under stress its really easy to turn in and focus on yourself rather than on others. today in class we talked about our testimonies and about conversion. the question was posed "what do I know to be true by the power of the Holy Ghost?" this is our testimony. Elder Bednar said that knowing what is true is testimony but consistently being true to what you knwo is conversion. I want everyone to write down what you know to be true. Write down your testimony. Write it often because it is always changing. after you write it down, think of how you are living your testimony. are you lving it? are you only living parts of it? then write downa goal for only one part of our testmony and how you can more fully live that part fo rth enext week. each week take anothe piece and add onto it. Beliefs are great, they are the start of knowledge, there are a lot of things that i believe that i dont know to be true yet. i am working on that and the way you can know it to be true is by applying it to your life, by testing it out. exspeience it. think about what you beleive and put that belief inot action so that you can change that belief into a truth."
doing this is so cool. i have only been doing this for a day but i can already feel myself growing stronger in the subject that i chose. i can already feel myself becoming closer to our Heavenly Father. The spirit is so amazing and everyone, whether they are a member of the LDS church or not can experience it. Some people call it a consious, some people call it a Jimmeny Cricket but I know that it is the Spirit of God, the Light of Christ, the Holy Ghost, The Comforter and the names go on and on. Everyone is entitled to this. The same thing applies for beliefs that aren't necessarily gospel related. It applies to anything and everything. How can you really know something works unless you try it.
Keep your mind and heart open to experience new things and the new things will result in a new you.
Love you!
Love Hermana Bricker



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Thursday, April 4, 2013

I just found a really cool scripture!

Ephesians 3:13-19
Wherefore I desire that ye faint not at my tribulations for you, which is your glory.  For this cause I bow my knees unto the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, of whom the whole family in heaven and earth is named, that he would grand you, according to the riches of his glory, to be strengthened with might by his Spirit in the inner man;  That Christ mmay dwell in your hearts by faith; that ye, being rooted and grounded in love, may be able to comprehend with all saints what is the breadth, and length, and depth , and height; and to knwo the love of Christ which passeth knowledge, that ye might be filled with all the fulness of God



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3 Weeks Down, 3 More to Go

Exactly 20 days from today I will be on a plane headed to Iowa.   I am really excited and I really hope and pray that  I will feel ready in time.  The Spanish is coming along great and this last week we had an amazing lesson with our investigator Alex.  The spirit was so strong in that room and I know that he knew that we cared and that Heavenly Father cares as well.  This last week we did this thing called TRC for the second time.  It stands for Teaching Resource Center and I really love it.   We talk to members of the church who are struggling with different things and this week both lessons ended up talking about Revelation through Prayer.  One set of sisters really loves to dance and the other set really loves to read so we talked to them about how through both music and books Heavenly Father can answer our prayers.  It was really fun and I think that the message that we shared with them really helped them a lot.
I don't have much time today because one of my friend's happens to be on the computer at the same time as me so I will be emailing her back and forth but I love you and Heavenly Father loves you.  You are a child of God and nothing will ever change that!  You have a family who has and will give up everything for you.  You have a brother, Jesus Christ, who gave His life so that you can live yours and return to live with our Father in Heaven.
Love,
Hermana Bricker



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