Tuesday, July 30, 2013

Week #8

Sorry that I didn't get to email yesterday! They move P-days to Tuesday on transfer weeks. Sister Monks and I are staying together and staying in the same area too! Just a different apartment. The address is 200 Newport Way SW #203. The city and zip are the same as last time. So you can share that and send stuff now :) I'll be sure to take pictures.
Lake Powell sounded like a blast! I can't believe Em didn't go. The pictures were awesome! A nice reminder of what life used to consist of ;) Sounds like Em had fun at the Ranch though! I miss that place so much! Our investigator Brandi's house smells like it. I haven't decided if that's a good thing or a bad thing yet but it does. So I get reminded pretty often. Poor grandma though! It sounds like a mess down there. I hope everything gets fixed up alright.
By the way, mom, HAPPY BIRTHDAY!!! I should've said something in my email last week but I just didn't think about it. I'm sorry! But I hope your day was fabulous! I'm excited for you and dad to try out your new bikes! Be sure to get matching outfits when you're really good. It's a good thing you don't look a day over 25 mom :) But really. I missed you even more than I normally do on Sunday so just know that I really was thinking about you! I wish I could've done something for you but i'm a missionary. Haha I'm poor and don't have a ton of resources so sorry... Sounds like Maddie did the job for me though. haha
It sounds like Zach did a great job! He is a sweet kid and I'm super excited for him! Stephen mentioned he saw you guys and was super embarrassed he didn't recognize you til like right after ha. Oh well. He leaves on September 4th to Spain. Madrid I'm pretty sure?
I loved reading Finn's email! The poor kid is in a trio.. I hear that's pretty rough sometimes. he'll be fine though! It's all a big adjustment. Thanks for forwarding me his letter! Keep me updated on him if you hear from him anymore.
Thanks for the help on the work! That advice is awesome! I'm trying to do everything that I can within my power to be obedient and I'm hoping it rubs off. It's not terrible but sometimes it's frustrating when she just won't help ya know? But I'll try all those things and hope they work out! I don't want contention so I'll do it gently. Thank you!!
So mom, did you get Jami's voicemail? haha I'm not sure what the rules are on that but that woman has a mind of her own. She said if it was ever an emergency or I absolutely had to get in contact with you I should go through her. We'll see about that.
Well, I think that's all. Oddly enough, I'm starting to love it out here! Weird!! I'm so grateful for this opportunity and the experiences I'm having. I love this gospel and the chance I have to share it with others! I love you guys soo much and am so grateful for the support! Have a good week!!
Sister Brian

Monday, July 29, 2013

She's moving.....UPDATED

I just got a voicemail message from a lady in Montana's ward that she is moving to an apartment today. I know that this will be a good move for her! Maybe now they can get a little sleep at night....

I will post her new address as soon as I get it!


200 Newport Way SW #203
Issaquah, WA  98027

Monday, July 22, 2013

Week #7

Hello! Monday couldn't come soon enough this week. It was just a very slow week with not a lot to do. Thank you SO much for the package though Mom and Dad! It was awesome! We listen to the music all the time, not even kidding! Those speakers are awesome, Dad. And the Swig cookies stayed good :) We enjoyed them haha. Everything in there was awesome so thank you :) 

So, a cool story. I guess it was last week but I forgot to tell you. After we had our interviews with Pres. Choi the ZL's looked at our planners. Me and my companion are both so new that neither of us knew fully how to use them and we wrote in pen. The ZL's gave us some advice and told us to write in pencil. So we did and the next week we like doubled all of our numbers! It was so cool! The planner works. 

This week, we had the Laurels come out with us for a day. That was super fun! They're sweet girls. But of course all the people we wanted to see cancelled but whatever ha. 
We also got to help with the Community Dinner this week. It's open to anyone in the community and our church was putting it on this week. Mostly homeless people and the druggies come but it was still cool to be able to serve them food and talk to some of them. 
We have been trying for a while now to see a lady named Lisa Parnell. She is way less-active but we were finally able to get into her house this week! We just chatted and got to know her and at the end she said "This is nice, nobody ever wants to talk about me". She's so sweet! She has a ton of health and personal issues but we are working on getting her back to church. 
We saw Brandi Koonce again and she is doing well! We did find out that she has issues with church though. She likes it but it scares her because she doesn't want to conform. So we're working on it. 
We did have a MIRACLE this week though! So we were at church handing out the programs in foyer when a lady walks in looking confused. She came over to us and said, "I'm looking for the missionaries I think? Someone who can teach me? I found the address of this church online and I was wondering if you could help me?" HAHA! Sister Monks and I walked right up to her and said, "HI! We're the missionaries!!" It was sooo cool! Her name is Katherine Clark and she works with a lot of members. She asked if she could just follow us around for the meeting. We told her absolutely! At the end of church she was like, "So what now? When do I get do I get the whole shpeal?" We were like tomorrow...? Ha! So we are teaching her tonight and are super super excited! Hopefully all goes well! Pray for us! And her haha. 
Other than that... It's all pretty much the same out here. The house is still so disgusting I want to puke every time I'm in the kitchen. Mom, you would probably pass out if you saw it. It's hard not to sometimes...The smell is overwhelming. It's a joy. And their grandkids are still here with more on the way! Super JOY. Til the end of September. It's going to be a long summer. The mom believes in letting her cry it out. That's not okay especially when the baby's room is next to ours. I'm a little crankier than usual. 
I love you all! And miss you! Thank you for the letters and emails :) You're the best!!

Sister Brian

Monday, July 15, 2013

Week #6

Hello!! Dad, don't call me Sister Brian.. I'm afraid I'm forgetting my first name. Haha.
This week sounded so crazy! I totally remember that. I'm stoked to read through Finn's farewell talk! Or dad's third farewell talk haha. It sounds like it was packed and I'm sure everyone came over after. Finn's friends can eat a lot so I'm not surprised you ran out of food. I want to hear from him how his temple experience was! He was probably thinking it was crazy just like everyone else does the first time. I'm so happy he had a ton of family to go through with him though! That's awesome about his extra long patriarchal blessing! What is the Patriarch's name? Everyone I know in the stake seems to love him. By the way, send me the recording of his talk! I'd love to hear it. That's hilarious that Joelle recorded it! HAHA I laughed out loud and told my companion that Finn fell asleep during his setting apart! That is so funny! And so not what you would think would happen with a missionary haha. But, I don't blame him. Being sick and so much going on this week I'd probably fall asleep too. I've sent him a couple emails to his ldsmail account so I hope he gets to read them in the MTC soon. Just advice on the MTC and all :) Be sure to tell him I love him and miss him and that he is going to be an amazing missionary when you send him off! What is his MTC address? I want to write him too.
Poor Indy, that surgery sounds nasty. Why does it take so long? It is a miracle he is finally going to get his license though! Dad, your bike sounds awesome! Haha I want a picture of it!
I'm stoked to get the package!! Thank you so much for sending it! Tell Emerson thank you for the letter too :) We're going to try the recipes and hairstyles! The mornings here are actually really nice but a little chilly so a nice hot cup of Crio in the morning would be awesome! I want Sister Monks to try it too. Haha pretty sure when I told her what it was she thought I was crazy.
Alright...  other things this week....
We watched the Joseph Smith movie they play in the Joseph Smith Memorial Building. I love that movie!! I'm such a missionary.. But she liked it I think? But she totally complained because the part when Joseph is praying is dark ya know? Like the devil is trying to tempt him? So she said we're giving her kids nightmares. She is such a dork. We're not making a ton of progress with her but we're trying.
We also met with President and Sister Choi this week, like one on one. They are awesome! And hilarious. It was a good interview. President told me my assignment this week was to tell you, mom and dad, that he loves and appreciates you so much and your help in getting me on a mission. So there you go :)
Next, did you get my letters with all the pictures?? We were tracting one night and knocked on a door of this Indian athiest guy. Holy cow. He chewed us out for like 30 minutes. Seriously. He told us there was no God and if there was, things like 9/11 wouldn't have happened and then he started talking about the sun and biology. Honestly, I have no idea what in the crap he said but he was just talking. Then, I gave him a Book of Mormon!! What!? I have no idea where it came from. Just the thought.. Give it to him. So I did. Haha I was afraid he was going to rip it up in front of my face... So uh.. That was fun. We'll see where that goes?
One other quick story.. So the Elders found a lady named Marie as a referral from someone in the ward. They called us one day and asked them to be fellowship on a church tour. We said sure, thinking the Elders would be there too. They called us and said meet her there! We asked if they were coming and they said no it was all us! We have never done a church tour so it was super sketchy. Thank heavens for the bishop or it would've crashed and burned. But I guess she liked it enough because she invited us back. So we went over one night and shared a message when she had a knock at her door. Sister Monks leans over to me and says how funny would it be if that was the Elders? Marie opened the door and....It was the Elders. HAHA! We kinda took their investigator but it's hard cause they can't go in her house. So I guess we're tag teaming her? I'm not really sure but it was funny anyway.
So I think that's all??
Oh, one more thing. The Sparks, the people we live with, have their daughter and 2 granddaughters staying with them for the whole summer. I repeat: THE WHOLE SUMMER. One is 6 and is probably the most obnoxious child i've ever met. Her name is Keira and she loves sister missionaries.... Unfortunately. She follows us everywhere! It was cute for like 5 seconds. So that's super awesome. And they have a 1 year old. She, like her sister, makes me want to pull my hair out! She screams when she's happy, when she's sad, when she's hungry, tired, anything... It's a joy going to bed at night. We don't sleep much these days.
So I think that's all now! We didn't see the Koonce's this week - they all have the flu. We didn't go anywhere near them. Hopefully this week!
So sad I missed Grandpa! I didn't think about how tiny the streets are in Issaquah but they really are.. I felt so bad! But it's okay, I got to talk to him which was awesome :)
Also, I'm glad I'm not the only one that gets home sick. I hope Johnny and Wilson are doing better! It happens to us all I guess. I miss you guys like crazy and think about you everyday! I've been praying for Finn a lot and I know he'll be great. I love you tons!!!
Sister Brian

Friday, July 12, 2013

Fun in Issaquah

This was their 4th of July BBQ at home.

This is where they get to hold their planning meetings.

Sheila the Subaru----brand-new mission car!

This razor belongs to a potential investigator!

Monday, July 8, 2013

Week #5

You are all finally home!! My heck... I feel like it's been so long for all of you! Geez! It sounds like so much fun though.. I miss the Del! I've been thinking about that all week. But I'm glad you had fun! And got suckered in to going again next year. I'm glad I wasn't the only one missing though! I felt like I was. It seems like the group really is thinning out but I guess everyone is just growing up. You have to do it for at least 2 more years because I want to go when I get back.

It sounds like you have a huge week ahead! Well, enjoy it! Haha I remember that week... It was madness. And emotional. Good thing Finn isn't as emotional as I am. You'll have to send me his talk because I want to hear it!! Not going to lie I'm really glad that Finn is finally leaving because I don't like being the only one who misses everything! Haha. Now someone else can be missing out too! I'm assuming his email is finn.brian@myldsmail.net? Everybody elses is that same format so I'll try it anyway. I'm excited to talk to him! I feel like it's been an eternity. That's exciting about his patriarchal blessing and the temple and all that jazz! I want pictures!! What temple is he going through? Is the fam going?? I'm sure he's a little easier to shop for than me so that's good, right mom?
So this week was just another week in the field. We did get our new president so that was super cool. The Larkin's were nice but they were a little different. I didn't get to know them super well anyway so it wasn't that big of a deal for me to get a new President. So we met them on Tuesday morning with about half of our zone. They had us all line up so we would be ready to take a picture right when they walked in and the first thing he says is, "Oh! Look how handsome I am!" Haha we all started dying. I think we were all super nervous so that was nice to know he was funny. They have 3 boys but they are all older. Their youngest just got back from his mission in Australia and so he came with them and spoke to us too. They have thick accents and use pretty broken English but you can understand what they're saying for the most part. It was awesome! His talk to us was about marriage. Ha! I don't think that happens a ton in missionary meetings. But they were super cool and I think they'll do some really great things for our mission. And! Hyunah Lee is now in my mission!! They took some Everett missionaries and brought them here and she was one of them! Random!
4th of July here was interesting. We had to be in at 6!! Lame! We were supposed to weekly plan all night so Sister Monks and I made it a party. We roasted hot dogs and smores in the Sparks' backyard. While we planned of course. We didn't get to see any fireworks either. Too many trees. So, that was the most uneventful 4th of July I've ever had. I kept thinking of you guys on the golf course with all the glow sticks and pizza... And then the Pedersen's party which apparently was the coolest thing that has ever happened to anyone??
Then, the next day I hit my month!! Happy one month to me!! It was also the worst day we've ever had out here. We were knocking doors all day and only saw 2 people. From 11 to 9 we saw 2 people. Nobody is ever home here so that's obnoxious. But we did get a referral from members which is always gold. Their names are the Koonce's. Kelly and Brandi and their 3 kids. A 6 year old and twin 5 year olds. They are probably the most redneck family I've ever met. The directions from the members to get to their house were "the yellow house with crap in the yard". We were like are you serious? That's it? Then... When we found it, it all made sense. Seriously. They have so much crap in their yard and they call it the WhiteTrash Wonderland. Let your imagination run with that one. The dad, Kelly, is super nice but sooo distracted. It's hard to have a lesson with him but Brandi is pretty interested. She has lots of questions and we taught her the plan of salvation and the restoration and she said it just makes sense! So that was good news. We invited her to church and she asked if she could bring her coffee. Haha. They didn't come but keep them in your prayers!
No other investigators really. We met a guy named Lee who tried to hug Sister Monks. He said he didn't do handshakes. She totally had to dodge him. Hilarious. Oh! And side note.. A random stranger payed for my groceries last week. He was a gruffy man who kept asking me if I had swiped my card. I said no and he just swiped his! He said it was his donation to the missionary service. Pretty cool. That's about it for this week. Oh! Another random thing. I started working out this week. hallelujah! And I get to watch the Joseph Smith movie. Nothing like getting my sweat on to that.
So, I have a few things I need if you wouldn't mind chucking them in with the ipod. Thank you so much for doing that by the way!!! I can't wait! The new rules are still only hymns plus come thou fount and childrens hymnbook. You can't buy shaka laka here! I have searched everywhere and cannot find it! So if you want... Throw it in. I have a tube left so I'm good for a bit haha. And.. I was wondering if you could get me the Warmth powder from bare minerals? I'm out and they don't have one here that I can get to. Oh!!! And if you wouldn't mind sending the prom pictures of me and Kurt that would be great. Haha no one believes me! So I need proof! Haha! I think that's all?
The money thing works like this.. You pay $400 and I have no idea where it goes. Haha I get $160 a month on my missionary credit card and that's for groceries and hair cuts. Anything else I buy I have to use my own card. I'm nervous to use it though cause I don't know how much is on it! But i've been fine so far.
Thank you for forwarding those emails mom! And no zone conferences yet, dad. It's been a mess with the whole mission split but I'm sure we'll have one in the next week or so. We have district meetings every week and my district is pretty cool so those are fun. Haha we joke all the time about finding our husbands there! It's a weird thought...And since our mission president talked about marriage it's a little weird haha.
Well, I think that's all. I love you all! So much! And think you all should read A Time for Faith Not Fear in the July Ensign. Such a good talk! And super applicable right now. I miss you all and think of you lots! I don't have a cord to hook my camera up to a computer so I'll be sending a letter with a bunch of pictures in it. Talk to you next week! Good luck Finn! You'll be great and I can't wait to hear from you! Indy... It'd be nice to hear from you! Emerson, have fun at EFY! It's a blast and there are plenty of cute boys :) Love you!
Sister Brian

Tuesday, July 2, 2013


Whitney Ferguson, Montana and Sister Monks

The entrance to Montana's house.

Monday, July 1, 2013

Week #4

Hi fam! I was so glad to get emails from you this week! It was awesome! I'm glad to see you figured out my email mom haha...
This week was so much better than last week... Thank the heavens. Also, thank you for the package from Laguna! We were on our way out for the day when the package came so I opened it in the car and just started bawling! My poor companion is not a crier and all and she gets stuck with the girl who cries at the drop of a hat. Oh well. It really was the best though! I have all those cute pictures from the kids hanging up on my wall and I've eaten too many Joe Joe's for my own good. I love the polish color and tell Aunt Darin thanks for the granola! I have a hunch she was in on that. I told her it was my favorite when I came to visit.
It was awesome to have Whitney come visit!!  But they brought me donuts and it was just so awesome! Of course I started crying.. Just like I always do. But I'm glad she sent you that video. I really was happy to see them and I wasn't just putting on a show. But you're right about the cold. I'm still not quite over it! The cough is still here. It's a gross deep throated one and I just can't seem to shake it. My body just isn't adjusting super well. But I do have a funny story about the cold... So there is this lady in a ward a little ways away from ours and she is good friends with the people we live with. She is in to natural healing and energy and lots of weird things like that. She heard me coughing one night and so she had me sit down and she put her hands on my back for like 30 minutes. Just sitting there. She said, "I'm transferring all my good energy to you so you should be better by tomorrow!" Well, suprise! I'm not. Haha my companion was dying laughing the whole time. It was crazy.
I can't believe the Ranch flooded!! That's so sad! Did it really rain that much...? Or was it just a broken sprinkler or something? That's so sad! Hopefully it gets all fixed up. It sounds like it isn't discouraging anyone too much if they're all headed down there for the 4th. That will be fun. I'm super jealous that you're all going to be in Coronado...While I'll be here in Issaquah. Lucky. Haha just kidding, it shouldn't be too terrible. Not like we can do anything anyway. You'll have to send me pictures and tell me all about it!!! I'm hoping Duke and the plants are still alive when you get home. I feel like you haven't been home for ages! Geez!
How's Finn doing? Getting ready to head out? I hope he got my letter. Exciting times ahead! It's so weird to me that they set Savy apart so early.. But I guess she will be here. I hope her and Finn get on the same flight! That would be awesome for them. It's scary as it is so it'd be nice to see a familiar face. How's Laguna been? I feel like you've been there for ages too! Enjoy the beach for me... I hope Emer had a fun birthday! I sent her a dinky picture but she knows I love her. I hope?? The pictures were so cute! Thank you haha I finally get to show people that I actually do have a family. So keep them coming. The Nothing Bundt cakes is a birthday classic for her. I didn't know that Darin and Pete were moving!? I feel like that was so sudden? Lucky you guys, got there right in time to help move! Haha. That's so like Darin though. Loving company amidst a move.
So, like I said this week was so much better. We were able to go over to Jami's house (the less-active lady with the nonmember family) and we are still reading Our Search for Happiness with her. We actually brought up Patriarchal Blessings with her and she was super intrigued by them so I'm hoping that will help us out some. We still can't get her to church so we'll keep trying. Another lady we saw this week is named Heather Chamberlain. If you could pray for her that would be awesome. This poor lady has been through a lot... She and her family are members but she is inactive. Her awesome husbands gets her 3 kids to church every week and loves it. She had an awful miscarriage and had to deliver the baby still born and that destroyed her. Then a week later her dad died, and then her sister got cancer. So she isn't super happy with God right now but she knows she needs to come back to church so we're really trying to just visit her and let her know that she is still loved. We had a big miracle this week though! We were visiting a less-active member named Vicky. She loves the church but is a heavy smoker and is having a hard time with that. But we were visiting her and her neighbor just randomly came over. She invited him in to meet us and we kept on with our conversation. He decided to sit and listen and we basically answered a bunch of questions he had. We told him all about missions and what we do here and he was just floored. He told us he had so much respect for what we were doing and then my companion told him why she came out. We read Moroni's promise at the end of the Book of Mormon with him and he felt the Spirit! I know he did because he said... That was the best feeling I've had in a long time. We didn't want to push him so we said a prayer and that was it. But we're going to go back and see him this week. Solid! Another miracle.. The elders here in our district have been teaching a lady for like 5 months but she won't get baptized. They saw her on Friday and just asked her again and she said yes! She is moving on Tuesday and wanted to before she left so they hurried and filled the font and she was baptized like 4 hours later. We got to be there and there is just an amazing spirit at baptisms. It was awesome!
Me and my companion are still getting along super well. She is great. Once we actually get out and get going it's great. More than anything we're just really good friends which is nice. Our room is super super cozy and pretty claustrophobic but what do you do. Haha the members we live with are actually super filthy. Like they just do not clean. EVER. Mom you would pass out if you saw their kitchen. We come from very clean families so it was just not flyin with us to have a disgusting house. So one day we took our lunch hour and just cleaned. Like everything. It was the best! Haha and 2 days later... It's dirty. Ahhhhh oh well. And as for eating with members.. I don't know why it's only on Sunday and Monday. It depends on your Stake President. I think they just know we get distracted and will spend all night there instead of doing other things. But it is a bummer sometimes!
So this email has been super super long... I know, I'm sorry. But I just have a ton of time today I guess! I love hearing about what you're doing and telling you all about my week. Thank you for cancelling my Netflix! If you have any crockpot recipes please send them! We need food ideas! So any easy recipes at all please send them! Sandwhiches and cereal are getting old now. Also, Emerson will you send the recipe of cake in a mug? Haha sometimes you just need something sweet... I'm doing fine on everything else for the most part. I still just need plain shirts! I can't find any here and the only place we have to look is Target anyway. I just need summery plain tops. It was 98 here yesterday and the humidity is brutal. Im super sweaty all the time haha it's disgusting but I don't have any cooler tops! Also... I have a bunch of plain like modbe-ish tank tops in a drawer at home. If you wanna chuck some of those in that would be awesome.. I hate wearing a full shirt under another one so tank tops would be perfect.
I'm so glad the kids got to go to the LA temple! I'm sure it was beautiful! I don't even know what it looks like... And mom, that is super cool that you've been doing Bikram yoga! It sounds... sweaty. But I'm sure you feel refreshed after right? Haha! I wish my companion would work out but she won't! I told you she likes to sleep a lot so I can't ever get her to do anything which is a bummer sometimes. But it's all good I guess. I'll just come home fat. Haha.
Dad, feel free to drop on in Issaquah when you're here :) I love you all and miss you so much! I hope you are having so much fun doing a million things back at home... The work is progressing but it's slow. That just gives me time to work on myself. Just like you said dad. Thank you so much for the letters and emails and support. I couldn't do it without it!! I love you!! Have a good week!!
Sister Brian