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Hey family, one of the best weeks of my mission has now come to pass.
Elder D. Todd Christofferson came to our mission on Saturday and gave
us all much needed advice. We all got to shake his hand, and he asked
each of us where we were from. He talked a little on obedience, and
then opened it up for questions. One missionary opened the questions
with “how can we more fully purify our hearts?” Elder Christofferson
said, “Be obedient to all the rules, I know that each one of us has
at least one that we have a hard time giving up, there will never be
a time better then now to give it up” “Second continue to have daily
scripture study” “Third praying twice a day is not enough” He gave us
a discourse on prayer, saying that what he enjoys most is praying
with no time restraints, he said, we needed to pray at a time when we
had no other pressing matters, and no appointments, so that we could
pray and ponder as long as we needed. It was a great experience.
That is about it for this week. Love you guys!

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Dear Mama and Family,

It’s been quite the week this week.  We’ve been working really hard
with our investigator, Dana, who will be baptized this next Saturday
(on the 21st).  She’s had an incredibly hard life and has gone through
things that I can’t even imagine, but she has an amazing testimony and
an admirable determination to do whatever the Lord wants her to do, no
matter what comes her way.  We told her that now that she’s decided to
be baptized, Satan is going to do everything in his power to stop her
before her date comes.  And boy, is he ever.

So this week Dana found out that her landlord, who she usually pays
for rent twice a month (on the 15th and the 24th) because that’s when
her husband gets paid, wants all of her rent right now, or he’s
kicking her out on the street.  With her 6-year-old son.  She had
until Sunday to find the money.  She doesn’t have a job right now and
has been looking for one for a month, so she can’t ask her employer
for an advance, and her husband asked his employer and they said
absolutely not.  She doesn’t have any living relatives, and her
husband’s relatives don’t like him and won’t help him.  She really had
absolutely nowhere to go.  We talked to her about enduring through
trials, but were feeling entirely powerless.  And we had to tell her
that she needed to come to church on Sunday if she were to be eligible
to be baptized the next Saturday (investigators need to come to church
at least two times before they can be baptized, and she had only been
once).  And she did.  She came to church rather than spending an extra
few hours searching for a place they could stay, even though she
didn’t know if she would even have a home the next day.

And the Lord blessed her for her faith.  On the way home from church
she ran into an aquaintence on the tramvai.  They got talking and the
aquaintence asked Dana where she was working.  Dana told her that she
didn’t have a job, but that she’d been looking for one.  The
aquantence told her, “Well, why didn’t you tell me earlier?  I know of
a place that will be perfect for you!”  So she starts today (Monday)
and they’ll pay her at the end of every day rather than just once a
month.  Also, one of the members of the branch–who doesn’t even
really know Dana, he’s just seen her at church and knows that she’s
getting baptized Saturday–offered to pay half her rent now out of his
own pocket if she would pay him back after her husband gets paid and
they have the money.  Bless his charitable heart, he’s a great man.
So Dana’s in the clear for now, and is super excited for her baptism.

S.Ausen, bless her heart, gets really attached to people and cares
about them so much that their trials stress her out just as much or
more as they would if they were her own.  So she made herself sick
(and ended up puking at an investigator’s house, poor soul) and we’ve
been taking it easy this weekend.  But life is good again and we’re
ready to rock the world.

Dad–you asked me a few months ago something that I learned at home
that’s come in usefull here in the mission field.  I mentioned you
teaching me to fix things, and now I’ve come up with something else.
Thank you so much for teaching me the purpose of guilt and when it is
and is not an appropriate reaction to different situations.  S.Ausen
was absolutely torn up that we live in a nice apartment (it’s decent
by American standards, but by Romanian standards it’s definitely above
average) and that Dana was going to have to sleep on the streets.  She
was getting herself worked up (she’s a little dramatic, bless her
heart, but she’s a good person anyway) and feeling incredibly guilty
and so I told her, “Yes, we live in a nice apartment and Dana isn’t
sure where she’s going to live.  But we are under no circumstances
allowed to even let investigators in our apartment, let alone let them
stay here.  There is absolutely nothing we can do about it, so there
is absolutely no reason to feel guilty that we have a place to stay
and she doesn’t.  We are doing absolutely everything we can to help
her.  Letting her stay his is not only not required of us, it’s
completely forbidden.  Like King Benjamin said in his sermon, it is
not required of those who cannot give to give.  If we could give, we
would.  But we sincerely cannot.  So there is no reason to feel guilt
in this situation.”  She said good for me and that she was happy that
I could be so calm and collected.  She helps me lighten up and reminds
me that it’s ok to be silly sometimes, and I help keep her grounded.

Well, I’m ’bout out of time, so I’m going to end here.

Love you!

Brielle

P.S.  Gage–Little do you know that that’s what I actually look like
now.  Why do you think I haven’t sent any pictures of myself home for
a while?  Don’t worry, I intend to lose it again before I get home.
🙂

Hey Family, it was good to hear you voices yesterday, I am stoked to
see you guys again. We had a ton of people to church yesterday, it
was awesome, the boss family that I told you about, that are super
crazy, they came, and two other less active families, one with two
kids, and one with four kids. We had great meetings, at Church, and
then just kind of took it easy till dinner. Our dinner canceled on
us, and salazars called us, so it worked out perfect, we went over to
there place, and ate with them, and talked a little about them going
through the temple. I said it would be nice if they could go through
while I was around, but not to adjust when they were going if they
didn’t feel ready yet. They said they didn’t think they could make it
in the next four weeks, but they said they would wait till I came
back to visit to go through for the first time… not good. I told
them that I could come back and we could re visit it at any time, so
not to wait for me, but I may have to tell them a couple times, so
they know I am serious about them not waiting for me. To tell you the
truth I am a little worried, because they sometimes blow things out
of proportion when they don’t understand it, and they temple prep
teacher is a joke. I think that the ward has really dropped the ball
with them, but the AP’s are now in the ward, so I am hoping, that
they will crack down on the ward a little bit.
Sister moss told me to tell you thank you for raising such a good
missionary, so I thank you as well, for raising me right, and setting
such a good example for me.
That’s all for this week!
I guess the office can ship a bike home for like 25 bucks, which is a
pretty good deal, I was thinking about filling another bike box with
suits, and stuff like that because it seems like it would be cheaper
to send it that way, what do you think. Also how much was it for
John’s mom to do it, and could I do it through her again?

Well another great week of just livin’ it up! Skelley and I are still bro’s
and we are staying together until the end of my mission. We are getting
closer every day to getting on the same page as our ward mission leader, so
that is always good. One thing we thing that we tried this week that was a
little different, is we went into Lincoln 2nd ward, which has been a little
slow lately, and Elder Brennen and I went in one car, and Elder Skelley and
Del Rio went into another car, and we all four stayed in Lincoln second
ward and just started contacting a ton of people, after lunch, we busted
out their ward list and we had three of us at a time, each on our own phone
calling through the list setting up lessons with active members for the
week. With nothing set up at the beginning of the day, we got four lessons,
and set up eight more for the rest of the week. More importantly then that
we kept them excited about the work, and showed them that no area is dead.
It was a blast! Skelley and I set a goal to read six chapters of the book
of Mormon a day, which takes about half an hour a day, but we will get
through the whole thing before I come home, so that will be really cool.
We have been doing a ton of service, which is my favorite, and just having
a ton of fun teaching, and doing everything together, I feel like this is
one of the most spiritual parts of my mission. We have been watching elder
Holland’s testimony of the book of Mormon with those that we eat dinner
with, and we watched it the other night with a family, the Bailey’s, who
just had a son who turned eight and got baptized. The movie was very
powerful, I think in part, because they already have the spirit very
strongly in there home, and after the movie I asked the 8yr old son, liam
if he felt anything, he said yes, I asked what he felt, and he said a warm
feeling inside. I started to tear up, and told him, that feeling was the
whole reason that I was on a mission, and that helping others to feel that
same feeling is our whole purpose. It was really cool for me, and I hope it
made an impression on him as well.
Our investigator came to church again, and after, we thanked her for
coming, and she said, don’t thank me, this is a huge blessing in my life,
and I love coming. She is totally going to get baptized! The only thing
holding her back is the fact that her family, including her gay brother,
and her dad who thinks the Mormon religion is a cult, is going to disown
her as soon as she gets baptized. We gave her a talk by G.B. Hinkley titled
“it’s true isn’t it, then what else matters?” I think it will help.
LOVE YOU GUYS!
Ps. Dad I asked my last comp what I needed to change, and he said I need to
not just say whatever when a missionary breaks the rules, but come down on
them a little more, and rebuke them… My philosophy is to reward good
behavior and ignore bad behavior, (and report it of course) because
attention positive or negative, is a reward. I don’t know, the theory still
needs a little work, but it seems to be working, everyone in our zone is
almost perfectly obedient, so we are doing good.

Dear Mama and Family,

Ok, so I’ll talk about some treaba first and get to the fun stuff at
the end.  I won’t be able to call you guys because I’m back in Romania
and we don’t have international calling like I did in Moldova for
Christmas.  And I don’t have the option to skype, either, so you’ll
have to call me.  Our cell phone number here is 0753058823 and the
international calling code for Romania is 004.  If you call me
Saturday, call me at noon your time so it will be 9 pm my time.  If
for some reason that doesn’t work out and I don’t get a call then,
call at 8:30 am your time Sunday morning (you don’t have church until
1 this year, right?) and it will be 5:30 pm Sunday my time.  I think
that’s all you need from my end, and I’m looking forward to hearing
from you!

I’m having a ball in Arad–it’s a beautiful city and my companion and
I are having a blast.  I was a little nervous about serving with
someone that I had already served with–I didn’t want to get tired of
them or anything–but S.Ausen’s such a cutie and she’s a lot of fun,
so there’s no problem there.  Yeah, not a lot of interesting stories
this week, sorry.

Love you all!

Bri

P.S.  Dad–you asked me what my most spiritual experience so far has
been.  I think it was the moment when it was confirmed to me exactly
why I had been called to Romania and not to Mexico or Bolivia or
anywhere else in the world.  It was an amazing feeling.  But it’s
kinda a long story, longer than what I have time to get into right
now, so you’re going to have to wait another three months for more
details. 🙂

Hey baby,

I loved the picture of Cody, with the rock chuck with a gaping whole in the
side of it, that is awesome. Sounds like you guys had a great time with
Easter, I am getting excited to see you guys again. A girl in our ward here
just got home from her mission, along with two other guys, and it is weird
because I can see myself in there shoes here in 6 weeks. I am way too busy
to get trunky though, Elder Skelley and I are working our tails off, and
having a blast at it. Our Ward Mission Leader is a slave driver, but he
keeps us motivated so it is nice.  We have a lady we are working with Erin
Emmerson, who is reading the book of Mormon ever day, and praying about it,
and last night we had a lesson with her, and she said that she knows the
book of Mormon is true, and the Church, and that she wants to get baptized,
she just has some questions about the temple, and doesn’t want any
“surprises” to come up after her baptism. She is great, she said that she
went to a Rated R movie the other day with her son, and she said usually
the dont’ really bother her, but this one really offended her, and she felt
like walking out, but didn’t. We told her there is no shame in walking out
of a movie, and it was the holy ghost telling her to leave. She said that
next time she would be sure to leave, so she didn’t have some many bad
thoughts floating around in her head.

Love you!

Hey family, not too much time this week with transfers and all, only one
important thing, I am staying with my best friend skelley! not much else to
say, just a good easter week, we have a new family who is a little less
active that we are working with, and then are a buch of fun, the BOSS
family. well, I guess just look foward to six more of these emails!