Modern argyle

Friday, May 29, 2015

A miracle in its own right

Love our Hermana talking with her hands!! Love her!!

We love Hermana Brightman!! It was so AMAZING to Skype with her on Mother’s day! The time went too quickly, but it was so wonderful to hear her voice and see her face! I especially loved when she bore her testimony in Spanish. I did not need translation. My heart could feel the truth of her words and her conviction!

Roy (brother 2) has more pictures from our Skype event, but they are still on his camera. 

Email from 11 May 2015

Hey everybody!!

I just want to focus today's email on how every tender mercy is a miracle in its own right.

I get to watch people learn and grow in their faith of Jesus Christ as their Savior and Redeemer every single day. Whether they have never had a faith in God before or have been active faithful members in whatever church they belong to, there is always room and ways to grow closer to God. If that's not a tender mercy miracle, I don't know what is! It's amazing to be here with these people (investigators, contacts, other missionaries, ward members, everyone) and watch them learn and grow and see the light of Christ illuminate their faces as we are all uplifted, edified, and a little more connected to our Father in Heaven.

Monday we encountered some AMAZING people with some INCREDIBLE stories as we were contacting. We're going back to meet with a few of them again today.

Tuesday I got to spend the day on an exchange with my friend Hermana Fish and it was so great to work with her, as it has been with all my CCM hermanas!

 Wednesday we had a zone meeting and I got start to understand why planning is so important.
Thursday we had the opportunity to go to the temple with a few very specific questions in mind and then had a zone conference afterwards, where I learned more about planning and its importance not just here but throughout my life.

Friday we heard from some investigators that we hadn't been able to get ahold of for various medical reasons.

Saturday we were able to go and look for some less actives in the branch that we'd never met. We didn't find anybody who still lived there, but we did meet some very nice people.

Sunday was Mother's Day and I got to skype my family! That was so amazing! It was so great to see them and hear them again!

Small miracles are still miracles, and that we have them is something that we can't afford to take for granted. Search out the tender mercies in every day. I promise you they're there. I promise you you'll find the miracles as you look for them.

I love you all!

Hermana Brightman

Wednesday, May 6, 2015

A typical day....NOT a typical week

My comments this week are more about the story you are about to hear told by Hermana Brightman. In our “underground network” we call Texas Dallas Mission Moms, we have been able to piece together a full account of what transpired last Friday.

car through the front of the church

Driving lesson gone bad

First, I was on fb and came across this picture. Whoa! I thought, that is a sight you don’t see everyday…then I read where this occurred, the Plano building where my sweet Hermana Brightman attends meetings. Okay, heart attack time. Then I read a post from a momma who is in the same area, the report, no one was seriously injured (what?! Did you see that car??) So, breathe a sigh of relief. Then in email Monday I find their district (a small group of missionaries in the same general area) was there for a meeting at the time! Tender mercies!! I will add more information after the email.

Hermana Brightman’s email from 4 May 2015

Hey Everybody!!!

So after seeing Hermana Fish's mom post her "Day in the life" email, Mom requested that I do something similar.
So here's a typical over view of what Hermana Pollock and do from day to day.

6:20 am- Wake up, pray, and get ready to work out
6:30 am- Work out, either in the gym at our apartment complex or for a walk around the park across the street
7 am- Come back, eat breakfast, and get ready
8 am- Personal study, preparing our minds for what our investigators, members, and contacts need
9 am- Companion study-- role plays and lesson plans.
10 am- Language study (or Wed and Fridays teaching english class)
11 am- 12 week new missionary training
12 pm- lunch
1-5 pm- proselyting, teaching lessons, visiting less active members, contacting
5 pm- Dinner with a member
6-9 pm- proselyting, teaching lessons, visiting less active members, contacting
9 pm- Back to the apartment and plan for the next day
9:30 pm- get ready for bed
10:30 pm- lights out

But this was not a typical week.

For example, we taught the plano first ward young women in a mini MTC with Sister Taylor. That was SO much fun!

And then on Friday, when we were having district meeting, a car crashed into the church. Yep. Through the double glass doors. We were standing up at the front of the primary room and heard the tires squeal, saw the glass fly, heard the crash and felt the building shake. Nobody was hurt more than just a couple scratches and an ambulance, a firetruck, 4 cop cars, a tow truck, and 3 hours later the glass was all cleaned up and we headed back out to teach.

Other than that, the week was pretty uneventful. Oh! And the person that crashed was a less active who ended up coming back to church on sunday. Something that could have been a tragedy turned into a manifestation of the hand of God and something that changed at least one life!

.....yep... that's pretty much it for this week, folks!

Con Amor,
Hermana Brightman

So her companion shared the story with a few more details included, but the same feeling of being genuinely happy they were there to help. That is my sweet Hermana Boo Brightman! She has the biggest heart of anyone I have ever known. She is an amazing person!! 
Hermana Pollock standing against the wall of the room where they were meeting. 

Glass down one of the hallways

The boarded up door after clean up. 

Story from Hermana Pollock (Hermana Brightman’s companion)
“We were there!!!!! We were in the building having our weekly District Meeting, we had JUST started. We had done the opening song, said the prayer and Hermana Brightman and I were standing up in front to start an activity were we report on our area's progress when BLAST! We see glass fly down the hallway through the doorway we were facing and feel the whole building shake. Smoke is in the building, glass is everywhere and a white Toyota is halfway in the building! We were having the meeting in the Primary room and the car flew through the glass doors between our room and the Relief Society room. SO CLOSE! But there was a cinderblock church wall between us and it. So the story is that a young adult member of the Chinese group was teaching his mom how to drive in the parking lot. She rounded a corner and he told her to brake, but instead of braking she punched the gas and flew up, over the handicap parking sign, barely missed a huge tree and smashed through the door! Crazy stuff...the Elders and us went running out into the hallway, saw we had to exit the other side, ran around the building and quickly ran to see if they were ok. We called 911 and Elder Cheatham and McBride kept talking to them, making sure they could feel extremities and were conscious. The operator gave us permission to get them out of the car so we did, making sure they put it in neutral and turned it off first. About 4 Police cars, a fire truck and an ambulance showed up shortly to the scene and talked with the boy, he translated for his mom. They declined going to the hospital , they only had minor cuts on their faces and sore necks from the airbags that deployed. We waited for the stake presidency and the branch president to show up, and then we helped clean up all the glass and mess inside the church, before they started taking out the door frame and boarding it up. We cleaned for 3 hours, finding glass shards that had shot down all 3 hallways over 50 feet! We vacuumed probably 3-4 times over! But everyone (the building managers) were SO thankful we were there and had been there when it happened. The craziest part about all this is that we WEREN'T going to be there...we had planned to have the meeting 2 days before, but because of their lack of miles to come down to Plano, our district leader Elder Evans and his companion Elder McBride asked if we could move it Friday. Divine intervention that some of the Lord's servants were in his house when more of his children needed them to be there. There was NO ONE else at the building that day... they could not have gotten out of the car by themselves and shortly after getting out, the son's phone completely died! They couldn't have even called 911... it was a miracle! So that's my story of the time a car crashed into a church building on my mission!”

And on P-day, they got some time to relax at top golf!
Fun times! 

Prove me now herewith

"Hi mom! I love you!" well that's what I imagined the caption to be ;-)

Here are some thoughts I shared with my sweet missionary in her last email.  

I was reading over the talk by Elder Jorg Klebingat from October conference (Approaching the throne of God with Confidence)
Here is the self-assessment he outlined in the talk “1) on a scale of 1 to 10 how would you rate your spiritual confidence with God? 2) Do you have a personal witness that your current offering as a Latter-day Saint is sufficient to inherit eternal life? 3) Can you say within your self that Heavenly Father is pleased with you? 4) What thoughts come to mind if you had a personal interview with your Savior one minute from now? 4b) Would sins, regrets, and shortcomings dominate your self image, or would you simple experience joyful anticipation? 5) Would you linger by the door or confidently walk up to Him?”
How did you rate yourself? If you didn’t rate yourself as high as you would like (that is the boat in which I found myself), Elder Klebingat outlined 6 steps to help us gain greater confidence before the Lord.
I will not expound on them, and save that for you to read from his talk.
“1) Take responsibility for your own spiritual well-being. (okay I could really expound on that one!)
2) Take responsibility for your own physical well-being....and for this I'd like to make excuses, but then I have to look back to number one.
3)Embrace voluntary, wholehearted obedience as part of your life. (In my world, treat obedience like a trip to ship wrecked beads! okay whoa, now I have to refocus)
4) Become really, really good at repenting thoroughly and quickly. (That one is my favorite, because that is the ONLY way for me to stay caught up with my repentance)
5) Become really, really good a forgiving! (Notice, it doesn't say quick, it says good. Sometimes quickly forgiving is the best way. Sometimes, in extreme cases, it takes healing your heart and soul before you are at a place to forgive. Just remember that it is for you, not for them. It is for your peace. They don't have to seek forgiveness from you for your soul to be healed and have the peace of our Savior because you forgive.)
Finally 6) Accept trials, setbacks and "surprises" as part of your mortal experience. (This doesn't mean that some of our trials are not brought own by our own poor decisions, but it also doesn't mean that ALL of them are.)

Food for thought.”

Here is Hermana Brightman’s email from 27 April 2015

Hello everyone! We have had some crazy experiences this week, but it's no wonder as this has been the craziest week of all so far. The days seemed like weeks but the week seemed like a day. We had two exchanges this week (I got to be with Hermana Schriener!! 2 MTC companions in one transfer!) and that was just the beginning of the craziness!

Milagros. Milagros CADA DIA. Es maravilloso. No puedo explicar porque solo que hemos sidos obedientes. Y Dios guarde sus promesas. (Miracles. Miracles EVERY DAY. It's marvelous. I can't explain it other than we've been obedient. And God keeps His promises)

 "prove me now herewith, saith the Lord of Hosts, if I will not open you the windows of heaven, and pour you out a blessing that there shall not be room enough to receive it." (Malachi 3:10, 3 Nephi 24:10)

These scriptures are specifically in reference to the law of tithing, however, there are other instances where the Lord extends the invitation to us to prove His promises and blessings.

"And I, Enos, knew that God could not lie...." (Enos 1:6) Another testimony I have gained in relation to that first scripture.

We have two new investigators. Bertha y Jose. Ella es la hija de nuestra investigadora Ignacia y Jose es el esposo de Bertha. Ellos tienen 3 hijas (Jenna, 7 or 8, Julie, 5, y Jackie, 2). Ellos regresaron a casa un dia cuando estabamos terminando una leccion con Ignacia y nos preguntaron si podriamos regresar una noche y enseñarles tambien! (She is the daughter of our investigator Ignacia and Jose is her husband. They have 3 daughters. They came home one day while we were finishing a lesson with Ignacia and asked if we could come back one night and teach them too!)

Vamos a empezar enseñando a Betzabeth otra vez! Ella nos mando un mensaje ayer y pregunto si podriamos empezar enseñandola otra vez este jueves que viene!!! Estoy tan tan TAN animada!!! (We're going to start teaching Betzabeth again! she sent us a text yesterday and asked if we  could start teaching her again this thursday! I'm very very VERY excited!!!!)

Isabel esta guardando sus compromisos!!! (Isabel is keeping her committments)

Y sabado, pasamos casi todo el dia haciendo servicio con la estaca. (Saturday we spent most of the day doing service with the stake) We painted houses and cleaned up yards, like the stake used to do in Phoenix every year! It was quite fun! We were there from 11-4!

Y palabras que estoy aprendiendo a vivir. (And words I am learning to live)

"When it goes bad it's my fault.
When it goes good it's your fault.

When it goes great it's our fault."

I feel these pictures need captions just as she included them. 

Hna Schriener and I contacted for like 2 hours. My knuckle started bleeding. i felt very accomplished.

Because I know mom worries about about what I'm able to eat. This was one of my lunches this week. 

Challenges and Reunions and Weddings, Oh my!

Chalk drawings with Hermana Schreiner

This missionary momma couldn’t be more pleased with the woman that Hermana Brightman (Boo to her momma) is becoming! We have embraced her Book of Mormon challenge whole heartedly! I encourage those reading this blog, whether you are a member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, whether you have never read the Book of Mormon before, or, as Hermana Brightman says, if this will be your one hundredth time. I encourage you to take the opportunity to participate in this challenge. I testify of the truthfulness of the Book of Mormon.

Hermana Brightman’s Email from 20 April 2015

So let’s see... where to start......

Well! We have been working on putting together a Book of Mormon challenge for our branch for what seems like FOREVER now but has probably only been a week or two. BUT! It’s finally done. After a long time, a lot of lists, and a lot of work. We made folders for each of the families in our branch and put an explanation of the challenge, a sort of topic/suggestion list (both of the first two in both English and Spanish) and then charts to mark off for each member of the family. For the youth and the less active families, we got them copies of the Book of Mormon and personalized them with their names in gold sharpie. We introduced the challenge and passed out the things yesterday. We all think this is going to do a lot of good in helping people find, rebuild, or strengthen their own testimonies.

Because of this, I'd like to extend this challenge to all of you, as well. If you read one chapter a day in the Book of Mormon, you can finish by the end of the year. Whether this would be the first time you read or the 100th time, I challenge all of you to read it and pray about to feel its truth. 

Reunions.... Well in Spanish, the word "reuniones" means "meeting" and that's where the reunions started so I guess that's where I'll start too. We had our follow up training meeting on Tuesday. I got to spend the day with all the other new missionaries who came in the same time I did and their trainers. Which means: I spent the day with Hermanas Fish, Schriener, and Cloward and Elder Richins again! It was awesome to be back with parts of our CCM district and see how far we've all come! And THEN, after the meeting, Hermana Pollock went on an exchange with Hermana Gubler. Which means that Hermana Cloward and I were together again for a day! It was so much fun!

And weddings. and miracles. 
Betzabeth and Scot got married! WOO!!! We got permission to go to the wedding and there we met an awesome lady named Gabby. She was the wife of the videographer and she was so excited because she has a friend back home in Houston that's a member and she's always wanted to learn more and so we taught her about the restoration and how to get in contact with missionaries there and yeah! 

Miracles are happening and change is coming and I couldn't be happier. We've gotten in touch with families we haven't been able to find, we've gotten through to investigators on concepts they haven't ever been able to understand the importance of before, and there has been such a HUGE surge of missionary focus with the members these past two weeks. It's the BEST!

Well, that's all for this week! Love you all!
Hermana Brightman

They were able to attend the wedding of an investigator 

Some of the many folders they put together for the Book of Mormon challenge

Together again! Well, just for exchanges

The daughter of an investigator wants to be a missionary :-)