Monday, April 20, 2015

Dear Family,

     You want to know what the absolute BEST feeling in the world is?!
     Saturday was amazing. Words cannot do my feelings justice!

     Originally, we were going to have another member from the branch preform the ordinance, because every time we asked Edison, the answer was no (he was too nervous and his friends thought it’d be weird, anyway). We pretty much got down on hands and knees before our lesson on Friday and begged the three of them to reconsider. Donaldo and Renato ended up saying yes...but Edison still refused. Luckily, we had a super wonderful lesson and asked him once more after the Holy Ghost preformed some heart softening magic AND HE SAID YES.
     Ahhhhh, it was so great.
     Seriously one of the most special days of my life.

     I know anything I tell y’all about my week is going to be dull in comparison to the excitement of Saturday, but bear with me. On Wednesday, we had a super neat experience!! We were street contacting and saw a man outside his apartment juggling. We approached him and bombarded him with all sorts of juggling questions (i.e. where did you learn/how long did it take/how many balls can you juggle at once).
     Afterwards, we introduced ourselves and explained our purpose as missionaries...and guess what he said? "Oh, you’re Mormons?! Cool! My mom told me that if I was ever interested in religion, your church would be the first one to look into!" which I responded something along the lines of: umm excuse me what? WHO IS YOUR MOM?!
     We gave him a Book of Mormon (which he committed to reading) and promised him that, as he does so, though he may not see a reason to develop faith in God right now, he would through studying the Book of Mormon and praying about it. We were like "and our number is on the card we gave you—so when that happens—give us a call!"

     It was seriously the coolest contact of my life.
     He even took a second Book of Mormon to give to his friend!
     What a superstar, right?!

     In other news, I’m doing MUCH better this week. I know I didn’t share too much about this is my last general email home, but fun fact: Brooke Terry was struggling a little bit! I felt like I’d fallen into a sad little emotional pit and couldn’t get out! I felt exhausted, worn thin...and kind of broken. This has happened to me every so often since starting my mission. I'll be working extremely hard, putting lots of pressure on myself to be perfect, having a go-go-go attitude from sun up to sun down...then I crash, become really ineffective for a little while, then pull it together again and the cycle continues. I've been praying to know how to break this pattern, how to overcome this problem...and my answer caught me completely off guard!

     Sister Whicker and I went running for morgen sport on Tuesday. We’d done so a few times already, and it’s always the same. She gets outside, puts the pedal to the metal...then quickly runs out of gas and has to walk. She’ll coast for a while, refuel, then speeds off again...and the patterns goes on. I turned to her while we were running this last week and said "you know, if you run slower, you'll be able to run longer." As soon as I said those words, the spirit repeated them back to me. 
     Run slower.
     What a concept, right?
     That doesn’t mean stop working hard. That doesn’t mean stop striving for excellence or worrying about obedience—rather, ease off the throttle a little so the tank remains full longer.
     I think that’s advice we can all benefit from at some point or another.

     I also just wanted to bear testimony about God's love for each of us. So often we look at our perceived "flaws" and "shortcomings" and think "no way can someone so extraordinary care so deeply about someone like me". We so easily forget that HE CREATED US! We—each one of us—are the workmanship of His hands...and perfect hands create perfect works.
     We have each inherited divine traits and qualities—figure out what they are. Develop them further. But remember:
     If perfection is your aim, you’re just digging yourself into a sad little pit.
     Focusing on Christ and striving to become more like him, however, will lift you higher than you can even imagine.

I love y’all so much <3
Thanks for all your prayers. They helped SO MUCH (as always). (:

- Brookie


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