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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