Monday, March 31, 2014

This week I was able to put everything in order for class registration and academic planning from Rice, so time ran out, but that is over now and I feel a whole lot better. 

Have a great week!

Wednesday, March 19, 2014

Family and friends, This is just a short note, be sure to continue on  to his letter from the 15th if you have not read it already.

We were given a few minutes to write and let our families know that all is well. Mostly for the new missionaries arriving. My new companion is Elder Smedley. When I went to pick them up in the airport I felt something pretty special in meeting him and it was confirmed when we were assigned to work together. His spanish is pretty basic, but we are going to work hard and get going fast. 

It is a weird sensation to be back in where I started. So far we have only been able to visit a couple of families, but all of them have greeted us with a lot of excitement and joy, so it makes me feel really special and loved as well. 

We have a lot of work ahead of us and we are going to need more faith than ever. I can see the potential, but the climb is steeper than ever. It is no easy path, but there is no looking back. I humbly ask for your prayers on both of our behalf.

Lots of love,
Elder Brighton

Saturday, March 15, 2014

Dearest family and friends,

This week was a great one and full of miracles. I would like to share just a couple of brief experiences. Yesterday I saw the hand of the Lord stronger and more uncovered than ever before. While working with Elder Bentall we were humbled and blessed by the Lord. During one day we had 5 separate occasions in which people contacted us and asked that we come and teach them and their families.

It began with the family of a less active member. We had invited them several times without much interest expressed. But yesterday was we said hello to them in passing they called us over and asked a couple of questions. After answering, the father of the family asked, “When will you come to talk with me and my family?” (first family).

As we walked to our next appointment, full of awe and gratitude, we were surprised to hear someone calling us from behind. A man approached and explained that he had been baptized in Salt Lake and had received the Aaronic priesthood there. He called us over and asked us to visit and teach his cousin. In talking with her she asked if we could come back the next day. We will be taking her to the chapel today to give a tour (second).

As we continued on our way, and within 15 minutes we were stopped by another young man. He was baptized in Mexico and pleaded that we visit him since he has not had contact with the church since arriving to Guadalajara. Surely there are others to teach in his home (third).

Our evening plans had fallen through, so we were on our way to visit a recent convert when someone honked their horn and pulled over. A sister from the ward asked if we could come to her home that evening to teach their family members, one of which is a recent convert. We agreed and made the arrangements. When we arrived later to the house only the sister was there and was still waiting on her brother and sister-in-law to arrive. She insisted that we pass, but we kindly declined and said we would be right back as soon as her brother arrived. As we turned back down the street, unsure of what to do, we heard someone call out. Dumbstruck we turned to the man and began a conversation. As he expressed his situation and his desire to learn tears nearly rolled down his cheeks. He said that that day he had felt particularly down and knew that God had sent us there at that moment to talk to him. (fourth)

The man told us where he lived (a couple blocks away) and said that right now he was just visiting some friends. Elder Bentall asked if they might be interested. They came out and we spoke to them as well. In short time we realized they had listened to missionaries before and already had copies of the Book of Mormon. They enthusiastically accepted an invitation to listen again, mentioning that the whole family would be interested (fifth).

Now almost overwhelmed, we returned to the home of the sister where her brother had now arrived and went in. Before starting she said, “Elders, when you left I started thinking about how you declined the invitation to come in. How wonderful it is to see such dedication and discipline. I think if we were all so obedient the world would be so different. Thank you for that example.” We then shared the experience we had just had, showing that when we are obedient God blesses us. Perhaps we could have entered and waited the 4 minutes that it took for her brother to arrive, but God had placed, positioned, and prepared the hearts of two families just 5 houses away to receive two obedient missionaries. Had we made the “harmless” decision to enter when we felt and knew we should not, we would have lost the blessing of finding those two families. (After a moment of silence where the Spirit testified of the truth, the good sister immediately, and without prompting, gave us the name of a dear friend she had wanted to invite for quite some time).

It was a beautiful experience, one I will never forget.  There were so many lessons learned.
I know this is the work of the Lord and that He is capable of doing it. He allows us to participate to witness His power. I am grateful I have been given the chance to be here. Miracles are occurring and will continue in this mission.

With that said, I have pretty big news. Monday I will be leaving the offices and heading back out. I have been assigned to train a new missionary. And we have been assigned to work in .... AUDITORIO. That is the area I spent the first year of my mission. President says he has not done this before but feels that we will be able to help a lot of people there. Several families to continue teaching and help to come back. I was somewhat overwhelmed to think about it all and am still a little nervous about everything. But it is going to be great and I know it will be an unforgettable time. 

So the conditions are set, everything is in place, and now it is time to both witness and take part in miracles. 

I am not sure how else to express myself, but I am truly grateful for the chance I am being given. I dedicate myself to this cause. During the course of my mission all of my dreams and hopes have come true. Who could have ever imagined? It is truly unbelievable.

I love you all and testify that I know this is the work of God. This is His Kingdom on earth. All are welcome and invited. 

Elder Brighton