Monday, March 31, 2014

The One with the Guy from the Library

March 31, 2014
"No kidding, a frog jumped onto my nametag!"

Transfers on 3/26/2014
Hermana Burnham is remaining in Spring, TX
Can you tell that her mother misses her? 
While I recognize President Pingree in this picture of Elders,
I posted it because Hna Burnham is in the background with Hna Hosking
(at least I think it is Hermana Hosking)

Hermana Burnham y Hermana McOmber
Staying together in Spring, TX
I also debated naming this email, "The One with Peanut Butter", because this week I found the most delicious peanut butter known to man annnnnd have probably eaten my weight in its deliciousness. Yumm, peanut butter.

I have so many things I want to write this week; so many ideas running through my brain!! Maybe I will write all of them and this will just be a really long email...

I will start with our miracle this week (and the name of my email).   About 3 months ago, on P-day, I was sitting in the library emailing you, my dear family and friends, while sitting next to a man.  I began to talk with this man and learned he had a lot of friends who were members of the Church. I gave him a pass along card and committed him to visit (because I am a missionary and that is what we do).   Well fast forward to this week. Hna McOmber and I decide to try and visit a woman in our ward (E. R., the one from the fasting story). With E lives J, whom we also teach (I have included her in stories as well).  So we went to try and see one or both of them. However, a man opens the door. He opens and says "Heyyyyyy, I know you! Do you remember me? We met at the library!"  "Of course! Hello!"   I reply, "What are you doing here?"  "I just moved in here this week", says he.  Yes, everybody, that really happened. The guy, D, who I met three months ago at the library just moved in with a member of our ward and one of our investigators. This kind of stuff doesn’t happen every day! We proceeded to talk with him about the Church and clear up a few misconceptions. He ended up saying. "Okay, I think I will come to church on Sunday (we didn’t invite him, he just said that); but, you should get my number to make sure that I am there."  He didn’t come, haha. BUT, we have super high hopes for him! And he will come eventually!

On Friday A (RM of about 4 months) got married to D(who she wasn’t dating before she left).  It was a joyous occasion!  I giggled the whole time because I felt uncomfortable being around so many lovey dovey things.  I think we can all rest assured that I am going to be an awkward returned missionary. But, it was so fun to see some people from H5!  Lots of hugging and rejoicing occurred.

Then we had the Women’s General Broadcast on Saturday! It was fabulous, and I have 5 of my 7 mission companions in my stake (Hna Howard is in Chile and Hna Hosking is still in the middle of nowhere, haha). Being in a Spanish stake is absolutely amazing. The Hispanic women here never cease to amaze me! Like I did in conference 6 months ago, and like I will do next Monday after general conference, I will now list the things that I wrote in red while taking notes during the session:

-We simply cannot call ourselves Christians and still continue to judge others and ourselves

-If there are barriers it is because we ourselves have created them

-The work of a disciple

-Step forward in righteousness

-But especially as nurturers

There ya have it folks!

WHO IS EXCITED FOR GENERAL CONFERENCE!!!!!!! THIS GIRL! AHHHH. This is like Christmas! Whooohooo!

To end, I copied below the story from last General Conference as told by President Thomas S. Monson. (How great is it that we have a living Prophet?) I read it this morning in personal study and re-determined to be happier and more grateful—all the time.

"As I have traveled far and wide throughout the world fulfilling the responsibilities of my calling, I have come to know many things—not the least of which is that sadness and suffering are universal. I cannot begin to measure all of the heartache and sorrow I have witnessed as I have visited with those who are dealing with grief, experiencing illness, facing divorce, struggling with a wayward son or daughter, or suffering the consequences of sin. The list could go on and on, for there are countless problems which can befall us. To single out one example is difficult, and yet whenever I think of challenges, my thoughts turn to Brother Brems, one of my boyhood Sunday School teachers. He was a faithful member of the Church, a man with a heart of gold. He and his wife, Sadie, had eight children, many of whom were the same ages as those in our family.

After Frances and I were married and moved from the ward, we saw Brother and Sister Brems and members of their family at weddings and funerals, as well as at ward reunions.

In 1968, Brother Brems lost his wife, Sadie. Two of his eight children also passed away as the years went by.

One day nearly 13 years ago, Brother Brems’s oldest granddaughter telephoned me. She explained that her grandfather had reached his 105th birthday. She said, “He lives in a small care center but meets with his entire family each Sunday, where he delivers a gospel lesson.” She continued, “This past Sunday, Grandpa announced to us, ‘My dears, I am going to die this week. Will you please call Tommy Monson. He will know what to do.’”

I visited Brother Brems the very next evening. I had not seen him for a while. I could not speak to him, for he had lost his hearing. I could not write a message for him to read, because he had lost his sight. I was told that the family communicated with him by taking the finger of his right hand and then tracing on the palm of his left hand the name of the person visiting. Any message had to be conveyed in this same way. I followed the procedure by taking his finger and spelling T-O-M-M-Y M-O-N-S-O-N, the name by which he had always known me. Brother Brems became excited and, taking my hands, placed them on his head. I knew his desire was to receive a priesthood blessing. The driver who had taken me to the care center joined me as we placed our hands on the head of Brother Brems and provided the desired blessing. Afterward, tears streamed from his sightless eyes. He grasped our hands in gratitude. Although he had not heard the blessing we had given him, the Spirit was strong, and I believe he was inspired to know we had provided the blessing which he needed. This sweet man could no longer see. He could no longer hear. He was confined night and day to a small room in a care center. And yet the smile on his face and the words he spoke touched my heart. “Thank you,” he said. “My Heavenly Father has been so good to me.”

Within a week, just as Brother Brems had predicted, he passed away. Never did he dwell on what he was lacking; rather, he was always deeply grateful for his many blessings."

Might we all be a little more like Brother Brems...

Much Love,

Hermana B

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