28 December 2014

Christmas? Ha. You mean HAPPY NEW YEAR!

Sister Brewer, Sister Kartchner, Elder Watson, Elder Schmeil, Elder Suzuki, Elder Yamamoto, someone's legs and random small candid Japanese child!

Once upon a time a companionship in the best little area in the Japan Nagoya Mission did Weekly Planning as usual but did it for week FIVE and realized this transfer is almost over and that Sister Kartchner has to go back to real life in two weeks like whaaaat? Where did that time go?! Being a missionary is in the holiday season is the bee's knees wearing the cat's pajamas but also totally crazy. There is literally so much wonderful to do every day you are shocked to crawl into the futon every night because it feels like you just got out! On Tuesday we had appointment with one of the cute Kodomo Eikaiwa moms where we talked about the Restoration. She had a lot of great questions about other religions and the divisions and why our church is a thing. She is a great and sincere investigator. And her two kids are so cute!! That night the Japanese Elders also recruited us for their monthly Eikaiwa (this means English class) at a company they do, because the other Elders had a dinner appointment and they need native speakers. It was a little weird because it was all men and they were so confused about the difference between "merry" and "marry" and thought we were all in Japan to try to get married for Christmas. Sigh.
We did a lot of Christmas Caroling to less actives with the members! The Relief Society rocks! They made so many cookies. Here in the mission the Elders call that Shimai Dendo... dropping by with cookies all totsuzen and accidentally sharing a message while we're there. :) It works, what can we say! Everybody needs a little sugar and gospel sweetness. After Skyping on Christmas we made brunch with the Elders! I made some rather mediocre French Toast and Elder Schmeil made some pretty mind-blowing Black Thunder pancakes. We also went for an amazing Sushi lunch at Kunioka Shimai's house! Her ten-year-old son was making gyoza like a pro! Oishikatta!! We're definitely well fed here. Someone will probably have to roll me out of Okazaki. 
We found so many new investigators this week! I testify that as you pray sincerely and work hard Heavenly Father will always help you accomplish your goals that align with His will! Holy Hufflepuff, He was just handing us random weird marvelous opportunities to teach new people this weekend. "Merry Christmas Missionaries, here are some of my precious daughters I need you to help teach." God works on His time, aaallll the time, in His ways and I promise you they are miraculous. And joyful. 
Today one of our investigators is having us over for a new years meal! Along with many other members this week...again....I hope more mass on my body means more to love because suddenly everyone wants to put an  exceeding amount of delicious Japanese food in addition to twice as many chocolate corn flakes in our mouths at all times. 
Thank you for all who sent me such sweet Christmas cards, e-mails, and prayers! Your love is felt over here in abundance, I sincerely appreciate it. I love you! So does your Savior, purely and perfectly. Don't forget to pray and remember Him always!

Learn Japanese!
Kawaii (ka-why-ee)
Meaning: Cute!!

Letters are always lovingly welcome.
Sister Brooklyn Brewer
1-304 Itakadai
Meitou-ku Nagoya-shi
Aichi 465-0028 JAPAN

21 December 2014

Happy Winter Solstice!

Guess what? It snowed so much this week. Merry Christmas!
Our Savior lives!

14 December 2014

"Did you fold you futon and turn off the toilet?

What?! It's another P-day already? It was long week but it went really fast!
This is a picture of us wait for the でんしゃ (train) at the えき (station).
This week we have been meeting with our 13-year-old investigator who is so ready to be baptized!! She has been taught everything and believes in God and Jesus Christ but she just doesn't think she is prepared to be baptized. We're like you are!! Hontoni!!! Also on Thursday Sugiyura Shimai came with us and gave a powerful testimony. The members are so important! We need their help to find, teach with, fellowship, support and befriend investigators and converts. They are doing a great job here in Okazaki! 

Yamada Shimai actually referred us to one of her friends this week! She is also a cute young mom. She is 30/30 investigator which means we do half teaching english and half gospel. They are so so so cute learning English together. She also seemed intrigued by the Book of Mormon and really interested so we'll see how the appointment goes in a couple hours!
Speaking of English I taught my first Eikaiwa class on Wednesday night. I love it! One of my favorite things so far. Japanese people study and work SO hard. Kodomo eikaiwa is still my favorite...because small Japanese children are so adorable singing Head Shoulders Knees and toes. Oh my cuteness. Lots of singing and high-fiving and coloring.
On Wednesday we had Mission Tour Conference! We caught the train at 7:03 a.m. (by the way train rides in Japan are one of my favorite things ever. Feels so urban すてき). Elder Ringwood from the 70 was our speaker. What an awesome conference! He taught us about the importance of giving our hearts to the Lord. It might be hard to do but I know that Heavenly Father really knows us and our lives and how He wants to bless us. He also wants to bless others THROUGH us, so when we listen to His counsel, we can have and perform the best life ever
Street contacting is kind of random because it goes something like this, "Pardon me beautiful Japanese woman, I know are walking very fast and are too busy for life, but 著といいですか? Thanks we believe in Jesus Christ and I know you have never even thought about the nature of God but hontoni He loves you can we come over sometime and tell you more (about the marvelous blessing that is this life and Jesus Christ)?" And if they understood your Japanese and are not actually Chinese then they will either say no thanks or "sure I'll just check out your website and call you when I have questions" (ha). BUuut on Saturday we actually found someone who wanted to meet with us! IT was this cute woman with an adorable baby and she was like "yeah all those sound like really great things let's meet!" And we were super genki all the rest of the day. I'm so excited to teach her.

This Gospel is true! Check out the Christmas video this week if you haven't already and spread a little Savior-inspired joy! The First Presidency Christmas Devotional is also fantastic. You can watch it anytime on LDS.org. I really liked the insights shared about Mary and Joseph. Have a wonderful week! Much love!

Sister Brewer

Learn Japanese with me!
すてき ~ su-te-ki 
Meaning: Fancy!

07 December 2014

Japan I am in You!

 I'm a real-life missionary for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints in Nagoya, Japan!!
My first area is down south in  Okazaki! As soon as I was assigned here ALL the missionaries came up telling me what an incredible area it is. I am so blessed to be here!
Monday we flew safely all the way to Nagoya, where the mission presidency met us and took us to the mission home! President and Sister Yamashita are so sweet and wonderful and determined to help us to do the work! Sister Yamashita had a traditional Japanese meal of Costco clam chowder and croissants ready for us. After that delicious meal we went to bed and in the morning had great orientation and then went to the church to meet our trainers! My lovely companion is Sister Kartchner ! Wow this keyboard is really different and weird. 
So instead of going to our area we actually took the train to yokkaichi where i spent my first missionary work day with Sister Humphreys because Sister Kartchner had STL training in Meito. I looked really cute and smelled awesome in the same outfit for three days. But Thursday afternoon we trained back to Okazaki and I got my luggage and our apartment is so cute! It's super nice, we even have a washer and dryer! Every day we study, eat, street contact and teach (if we are lucky :)). I love it! My first Sunday was crazy but awesome! The members are so sweet. Most of them are like ooh Nihongo was jyozu jyozu!! (You are skilled). But they are just being nice. One woman said (in english) "Welcome to Okazaki ward. Your Ja-pa-nese is so-so." And Elder Watson said my testimony is full of mistakes and hopefully people knew what I meant ha ha. His companion, Elder Schmeil is from Brazil and my district leader and just about the nicest guy you could know! 
The Church is true. Everywhere you go. Although the meeting is in Japanese (and sometimes Portugese), the bishop still lovingly presides, the toddlers cry during the sacrament, the deacons have an artistic way of tying their ties, and the spirit radiates from the strong spirit of the member's testimonies. This is the Church in which God has restored the fulness of Jesus Christ's gospel. In it we can find direction, happiness, and peace in this life an immense eternal joy.
WHA HOO. Sounds like a great party, so everyone is invited and if anyone needs a ride let me know. Be sure to check out the "He is the Gift" video this week on YouTube.
I love this gospel, I love you, Jesus is our Savior!
Brewer Shimai

27 November 2014

Thank You! And you, and you and you...

Happy Thanksgiving lovely people! I hope you have a magical day and a lovely holiday season. I am certainly grateful for the MTC. Our teachers are experienced and loving and dedicated to our success. There are people here to feed us every single day with edible and satisfying food. The huge media team makes sure all the enlightening meetings run smoothly and with really awesome touches. Our Branch Presidencies and their wives make sure we are spiritually cared for and loved, our companions are patient and willing to grow with us. It has been an honor to learn here. I loved my nine weeks and yes... you make it out! Monday morning I board the airplane to Nagoya, Japan! Hooray!
This morning Elder David A. Bednar came and gave us a exciting devotionals. At the beginning of his talk, he had all these people pass out a large quantity of cell phones. After we shook our heads a little and answered each other's "Wait, what's a cell phone?" inquiries, Elder Bednar asked us to pass the phones around and text him questions we wanted the answers to. And he also gave an e-mail address the other missionaries international MTCs could send questions to. Unchanging in the Lord's church, the prophets and apostles care personally for God's children. The advancements of the Latter-Days increasingly allow us to hasten the work access testimony and knowledge more often and efficiently. The testimonies of Elder and Sister Bednar were so motivating! Elder Bednar is truly a witness of Christ, and magnifies his calling as servant of the Lord very well. 
He explained to us that our missions are comparable to "boot camp" to gear up for the rest of our lives. It's true, every member has been called as a missionary. I am thankful for my Savior, I love Him and thanks be to God for the love He pours upon us in thousands of daily ways. What better way to show thanks than to share it? Elder Bednar iterated that we are free agents. We are to act, not be acted upon. We we are baptized we make covenants, one of them is to take the Savior's name upon us. This is a lifetime commitment to bear our testimonies. A favorite motto here at the MTC applies to each of us in each calling throughout our lives: "Preach the Gospel at all times, and if necessary, use words." We are as the army of Helaman. And what a sacred blessing that is.
I love you and I love missionary work. Please, join the fun! 
Sister Brooklyn Brewer

20 November 2014

*squints eyes and sees Japan emerging from the fog*

What! It's P-Day already?

The last two weeks are flying by! We only have ten days to be para para AAAAAAAHHH. Ha ha It's okay. We have been receiving e-mails from our senpai who have been in Nihon for two weeks. It made us realize we actually get to go and it's going to be fantastic! Barbosa Shimai has alas departed from us. She is in fabulous and beautiful Japan being a very well-trained missionary. We took her to the travel office at 3:35 Tuesday morning and waved to her riding away on the bus after a tearful goodbye. I thought I wouldn't see the sky at 3:00 AM again until after my mission but PSA and reminder: IT IS SENSATIONAL. One of my favorite things. Wilkinson Shimai and I love each other sooo much. Demo....it has certainly been harder to get used to being only a companionship. There is too much room to breathe in our room and our drawers our much too organized with only our belongings in them. Not to mention our lessons and study sessions sans her testimony. So sad for us. But SO happy for her. THANK YOU times 4.923 for sending her that package. Kate she LOVED your beautiful scarf and letter. Parents you are a miracle, how was I so blessed? Heavenly Father loves me. 
We were blessed with some very special speakers this week! In Relief Society the General Primary President Rosemary M. Wixom spoke. I love her simple testimony and love she brings. I hope to exude it like she does. This church is led, advised, and blessed by some incredible women.
So this Tuesday's devotional was given by the one and only LINDA K. BURTON. It was broadcast to the other MTCs so I hope Jordan got to see it as well. She is fantastic. I love her testimony and conviction. She knows the Savior, she testifies consistently of His love and has made her life dedicated to declaring his word. She and her husband motivated us very well to take on the mantle we have been given, and do everything we can to be worthy representatives of Christ. I am so blessed and not ready to be trusted with this work. I promise to work as hard as I can to accomplish these things! She also taught about the Christlike example of Mary Williams. It touched my heart to be reminded of a woman I want to be just like on my mission. She is selfless, loving, helpful, and completely dedicated to the will of the Father. 

So on Wednesday for TRC we get to SKYPE a REAL LIFE JAPANESE CHURCH MEMBERS. It's the scariest most happy thing ever. The members are so nice and faithful and willing to listen to the testimonies we can muster and share theirs. They make me very excited to come to Japan! I know Heavenly Father has called me to there to hasten His work and love His children in Japan. Trust me, loving Japanese people will certainly not be the hard part. Being a missionary is the happiest moment of my life so far. How could I possibly be so blessed?
I testify that being on a mission is important. I am called to serve because e v e r y o n e needs our Savior Jesus Christ. We have all already partaken in His mercy. The Gospel of Jesus Christ is given so we can access the Atonement he performed for us. In heaven, Heavenly Father wanted us to experience the joy and love He had, so he gave us the opportunity to come have bodies, love each other and LEARN our whole lives long. We knew we would be separated from Him, and that we would sin because we're humans. We need a way back. The Savior satisfied that necessity for justice by performing the Atonement. Access to the Atonement requires repentance, baptism and other covenants, reception of the gift of the Holy Ghost. Each of those three things are a miracle and gift. Through them we can reach this marvelous potential we have to become farther more than the natural man we are now. There is an eternal, completely fulfilling joy awaiting us as we return to Heavenly Father. It requires some work on our part, and thank goodness. I testify that as we do our best to follow the example of Jesus Christ and keep His commandments, the blessings, joy, and person we become are gifts we will hardly have the capacity to receive. I love you. Your Heavenly Father, your Savior Jesus Christ loves you. I know it. The goodness of Christ's love and mercy is demonstrated in Alma chapter 42 in the Book of Mormon. Don't go taking my word for it, read and find out for yourself. I testify that as when we kneel to pray, that act of willingness and humility allows our Heavenly Father to love and listen and understand us. Trust me, if He can understand and answer my prayers I say in "Japanese," He is most certainly awaiting your prayer. 

Much love! Letters are always welcome!
Sister Brooklyn Brewer
2007 N. 900 E. Unit 53
Provo, UT 84602

13 November 2014

Week Seven, We're in Heaven!

There's an attemptively artistic photo for you.
This week new kohai came in! Our first group of sisters as STLs! Whoo. They seem pretty cool and hopefully they will adjust well and love it here. I hope we can be good STLs. We are stiiiillll waiting for Barabosa Shimai's visa. Oh man. She goes to the Travel Office every day to ask about it. They don't have any answers for us...seems odd. I am honestly going to be really sad when she leaves our companionship. She has brought so much light and learning to my life. But I know Japan needs her and she wants to be there so so much! Our district iswonderful of course. I admire their courage and testimonies and I am blessed to have them shared with me. Missions are truly incredible! Also necessary, a blessing and a miracle. All the senior missionaries here are so sweet too. 

This week we had more wonderful devotionals and a really uplifting district lesson. The Atonement is REAL and an expression of love from Jesus Christ to all His father's children. The Atonement allows us to repent, which I always thought sounded a little scary and hard. But I have come to learn that repentance is for LEARNING. We are given the fullness of the gospel of Jesus Christ through the Book of Mormon, and when we make a mistake, we just need to let Heavenly Father know we did, we're sorry, and He will strengthen us, so we can learn and become marvelous people. He gave us incredible potential. Ether 12:27 testifies of the truthfulness of our potential to grow. Pretty cool, we can learn and grow our whole lives long! 
Much love to all you fellow children of God, have a happy week! Whatever is is, you can do it!
Sister Brooklyn Brewer

06 November 2014

Tripanionship Power!

Greetings Readers!
This week was extremely dramatic, so I'd sit down for this one.
Extremely dramatic means something slightly out of the ordinary occurred. 
Because MTC is Groundhog Day. Awesome day, but Groundhog Day.
So Friday was Halloween! My favorite! We didn't do a ton, as missionary work requires all the focus, which is good! But Wilkinson Shimai and I dressed up as each other. So clever, right? The elders in the older district dressed up with decorated swim goggles as masks and came around "trick or treating," which was giving all of us a pack of cereal they had stockpiled from sack lunches.We ate way much candy from everyone's family all day. Fun times! Cavities for life!
So that district left for Tokyo and Sendai on Monday, so sad but we are so excited for them to finally get to Japan! However, when they checked in at the travel office at 3:30 a.m.,They did not have Barbosa Shimai's visa yet, so she had to stay. It was so shocking and pretty sad. She came to our room at about 4:00 and stayed the night and she had been reassigned as our companion until her visa comes. Which should be very soon! Although we have heard a lot of should be's from the Travel Office this week. We really love having her in our companionship but we hope she can go soon! Ten weeks in the MTC is a bit too long! 

This week I would love for you to read Helaman chapter 5, it's about his sons recounting what their father taught them. Helaman named his sons Nephi and Lehi in hopes that they would follow the example of their forefathers in taking on their name. I love that concept, because when we can do the same thing! When we are baptized we take on the name of Jesus Christ, promising Heavenly Father to do our best to follow His example. Jesus Christ is our friend, brother, Savior and main support. Through Him we can be clean and happy. I love my Savior, and I love you!  I would invite you to pray to Heavenly Father this week and thank Him for loving you. If you're not sure about that yet, ask Him! He loves questions, and that's how we learn. 

Letters and DearElder.com's and e-mails are the best so don't be shy to say hello! Have a wonderful week. :)
Sister Brewer
2007 N. 900 E. Unit 53
Provo, UT 84602

30 October 2014

Frog-Eye Salad

So every Sunday night after devotional we get to watch a film! This week it was Pitch Perfect. I forgot how funny Rebel Wilson is. Good show! Ha ha, just kidding, obviously. It's either a previously recorded devotional or one of the movies from temple square. I haven't seen any of them before but last week we watched "Legacy" and this week we saw "Joseph Smith: Prophet of the Restoration." Wow! I can't believe how good they are! Maybe it's just because I'm here and on a church history high from Institute this summer, but I actually really enjoy learning about the fathers of our church. If you run out of F.H.E. activities one week I highly recommend scooting on down to Temple Square and enjoying one. Joseph Smith is incredible, He's really become and "real" person to me and I'm so grateful for his in-action faith. 
Japanese is a little hard but by the grace of the Lord I am improving every day! Yesterday we taught two lessons, and I only had to look up two words! I didn't even read off my notes this time. I just decided to have faith in my abilities strengthened by Christ and OF COURSE it worked. I've got a long way to go but I'm running full speed. Thank you, Lord. Philippians 4:13. 
I hosted again this week which is always fun! there are so many sisters ready to serve! It's totally exhausting because sisters usually have to take two at at time since there aren't as many sister hosts. But I met eight wonderful sisters ready for action! I didn't host Amanda but I  did very briefly see her while loading in another girl's luggage. She is so beautiful and i'm so happy she's here! I'm glad their farewells were great. I didn't even know Jordan stuttered? What? I admire his faith and of course I will pray for him. The Lord will take very good care of him. 
When I was a kid (you don't become an adult when you turn 18, you become an adult when you begin a story like that). My family sometimes went to Apple Spice Junction for lunch! Which you delicious sandwich you receive a side of frog-eye salad. My dad loved it and was always trying to get me to try it, but my preconceived notions and possibly past experience with kept me from doing so. Here at the MTC, my lovely companion invited me to try it again. In need of some variety, I went for it. 
Um, like super yum.
HOW have I missed out on frog-eye salad all these years! So sad. But now I enjoy it every time it is served.

Sometimes that happens with the gospel.  Some people maybe opposed to trying it out because of past experiences or  preconceived notions they have. However, how can you really know if the wonderful message the missionaries are over-ecstatic about it really all that great until you sincerely find out for yourself? Reading the Book of Mormon has been the most loving and enlightening experience of my life. But I never really FELT that until I did it. I would invite you to investigate for yourself, come and see, because sweet love from Jesus Christ is glorious, and absolutely wonderful. Life will always be hard, but we can do all things through Christ, which strenghteneth us. 

Have a marvelous week all! Letters are always welcome.
Sister Brooklyn Brewer
2007 N. 900 E. Unit 53
Provo, UT 84602

P.S. I saw Hermana Barker this week! Whoo!

23 October 2014

Hosting.. Already?

I hosted new missionaries this week! That was so fun and I can't believe that was me three weeks ago. the MTC is a great place to be. The employees have been putting up an immense amount of Christmas lights! They better turn on before I leave because these are a few of my favorite things: Christmas lights.
MTC is fabulous! Sorry, I can't exactly figure out how to send pictures to the blog, hopefully some will show up someday. As missionaries, our purpose is to invite others to come unto Christ by helping them receive His restored Gospel. I testify that the Gospel is true and it is the way to fulfillment, happiness and righteousness. But the best thing about it is the fact that we all have agency, or power to choose. 
I invite YOU, reader, to get your hands on a copy of the Book of Mormon and read the introduction of it, please. Especially the last two paragraphs. Don't take anyone's word for the Gospel to be true, come see what you think! Then invite a friend to do the same. If you have any questions hop onto Mormon.org or talk to some missionaries, who will do their very very best to answer your concerns. This week I have gained a testimony that the Book of Mormon really is the keystone of our religion, it is true, and therefore all our principles, which are derived from it, are true. I love the Gospel, I love you, and so does Jesus Christ! 
Please be kind to one another.
Sister Brewer.

MTC Week 2

Hello Reader,
Thanks for being one.
So, "normal" Sundays in the MTC are awesome! RS if first, then stuff, then sacrament meeting is in the afternoon and there's a devotion in the evening. I feel like mom when she was a kid. They asked me to be the chorister in Sacrament meeting which is really cool but also harder than I thought because reading hiragana as swift as a coursing river can be a challenge. But I am so grateful for hymns because they really bring the spirit and it's great reading practice. Sacrament meeting is totally in Nihongo. All the missionaries prepare a talk on the same topic, then the Branch President chooses two people to speak at the pulpit. Relief Society was WONDERFUL. It was combined with all the sisters in the MTC, therefore in English. Our speaker was Sister Eubank, who taught me some things about my divine nature that really stuck. I am, I am a woman, I am a daughter, wife, and mother. I'm entitled to all those roles just because of my heritage! WOW! I really felt the spirit as she testified. I know for sure that being a missionary right now is the best character development for all those roles. That night our devotional was from Elder Droubay, who is the church media director. He had so many cool facts to share with us about how the church is "flooding" the earth with the Gospel. Let us all be sure to contribute what drops we have to the flood. 

So a bit more about the MTC: I am sort of surprised about how much "agency" we have. Obviously we are all free agents, but there's not junior high principal marching around telling sisters their dresses are too short, or computer program that locks us out of the e-mail system after 60 minutes, or teacher to make sure we are studying what and when we should. Except for short class hours, we are totally by and accountable for ourselves. That totally makes sense, I guess it just surprised me because of how high missionary standards are. That shows the Lord really trusts us to be obedient, and almost every one here has the strong desire to be fully obedient, which is so powerful and evident of the sacred, essential nature of this work. I am so grateful to be a part of it and hope to make Heavenly Father and you proud. Also, every Wednesday they bring BYU ice cream. Subarashi desu. 
Missionaries have like ALL the learning resources ever. It's so cool! We have six hours of class, but also 2 hours to work on TALL, which is the church-designed Technology Assisted Language Learning program. It has vocab, grammar, reading and listening exercises! You can literally listen to the missionaries teach every lesson to a real investigator to practice deciphering what they are saying. Japanese is coming along very slowly, but I know we can do it because we are so abundantly blessed with resources and the spirit! On Tuesday we have TRC, which is were we get to teach short lessons to members who speak Japanese in order to practice with less pressure. I loved that!

As you know, missionaries love letters of course! If you wanted to tell me what's up in your life and if I can help you in any way, please do! You can mail an good old-fashioned letter to 
Sister Brooklyn Brewer
2007 N. 900 E. Unit 53
Provo, UT 840602

Or you can enter that same address on DearElder.com and send me an e-mail that they will print out and deliver to me any day you send it! Wow, thanks MTC! Or you can always e-mail me at brooklyn.brewer@myldsmail.net. Which I will see on Thursday. Whatever you do, please include you physical mailing address so I can write you back. And I WILL write you back. Thanks! I love you and you words.

This work is very special and I am honored to be in it. This work isn't about teaching what we know, it's about sharing what we feel, and inviting our brothers and sisters to our amazing dance party of salvation. Then we make sure they RSVP by following up, and do everything we can to help them get there with sincere compassion. However, they can only dance if they want to. (Ssss...A a a a .. F f f f ... ha ha not sorry). Really. Everyone has their agency and when we do our best to help them use it well they will be blessed and we can be happy! Yay for happy! 
Challege: This week read Doctrine and Covenants Section 6 and go and do good! Fear is unnecessary when you have faith in the Lord.
Sister Brewer

09 October 2014

Brewer Shimai Survives MTC!

Hello Adoring Fans, Family Members, Facebook Friends, Bored Folk, and Accidental Blog Stumblers,
I am now a missionary for the church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints! I am in the Missionary Training Center preparing to go to the Japan Nagoya Mission. This report may be a bit unorganized, I apologize for the shortage of time but I've got gospel magic to do!
 Learning Japanese is really fun! I said my first prayer last Friday and I get better every time! SYL (speak your language) is truly a rule and pretty intense but good! Our sempai (older elders and sisters, except not really older just more experienced) are so nice to show us the ropes and help us out. Japanese is going as well as it can, I think. It is so overwhelming to try to figure out what someone is saying just based on the vocabulary I know. Everyone else in my district except one elder has taken at least three years of Japanese, so I feel pretty behind but it is okay because I know I'm doing my best! We taught out first lesson to "Yamashita Kyodai" who is acting like an investigator. We have to teach him a lesson every day. That is the hardest part because if you can actually understand his questions, you know exactly what you want to testify to answer but you don't know the vocabulary or structure so you're rifling through your dictionary and phrasebook at rapid speed trying to come up with something competent to say. It's good. I can really feel the spirit helping me learn. I can introduce myself, carry on a short conversation, pray,and ask a lot of questions. My sensei is really nice. 
 The Lord takes care of His missionaries. This really is His time and not mine, so I want to use all of it as effectively as I can. The food is AMAZING. Really good. It's a cafeteria, but there is so much and I haven't had anything awful and I never go hungry. I'm blessed. My marvelous companion is Wilkinson Shimai, she is from Sandy! Her mom is a convert from Japan and her dad went to the Okinawa mission. It's a blessing that she can understand Japanese pretty well! she is so willing to be my friend and we work well together. We laugh together and have so much fun, but study hard and accomplish a lot. She is the best part of the MTC so far for sure. The MTC President is President Nally and his wife. They seem nice from the short addresses they've given. My branch presidency all served missions in Japan. President Stephenson is really nice and cares about us and our success a lot. The presidency's wives are so nice and want to be our moms.
 I thought learning Japanese this fast was the hardest thing I've ever done.
But then we went to cardio.
They have 6am fitness classes and they are actually really good! I also LOVE gym time waaaaay more than I thought I would. It feels good to move and take care of my body. I'm trying to try and eat as many vegetables as possible. Most of them are okay but who the who decided cauliflower was something you eat? Are we sure that's not just a plant we should leave alone? 
The spirit here is also great! General Conference was a  great experience. I love how Elder Bednar spoke directly to the non members, I  hope that sparks a lot of interest. I also loved the talk from the danish elder about taking responsibility for ourselves. I felt like each talk was very direct and a call to action and that is very good! I feel so much love from our yogensha President Monson, it is a blessing to have his keys and care. 
My district has ten senkiyoshitachi (missionaries) total. Four sisters, six elders. It's a great group! I love spending time with them, everyone is willing to help each other which is great!
The computer doesn't have an SD card slot but I will figure out how to post pictures soon.
 The Savior lives and loves us and love when we serve each other. Thank you for being you! 
Sister Brooklyn Brewer

28 September 2014

Farewell Talk

Good morning Brothers and Sisters, I am so grateful to be able to call you that. The Lord has blessed me with a wonderful family. Brother Dallas Anderson and I get to speak today because we have been called to serve as missionaries for this, the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints. On Wednesday, October 1, we report to the Missionary Training Center at 12:30 to prepare to preach this gospel in our respective areas. I have been assigned to labor in the Japan Nagoya mission.
How exciting! I think we can agree that we have received an outpouring of loving support from our families, our ward and friends visiting today. Thank you for being generous with your love, morale, and advice.

I have wanted to serve a mission since I was pretty young and in Primary. Now that it is at last and yet all of the sudden here, I think I finally know why I want to go.  In 3 Nephi 27:21, Jesus is commands the people to be like Him: 21 Verily, verily, I say unto you, this is my gospel; and ye know the things that ye must do in my church; for the works which ye have seen me do that shall ye also do;   and then in 18:16 He iterated it clearly, Behold I am the light; I have set an example for you.
It’s nice to have light in a dark room, so you can see clearly your path and accomplish the tasks you are assigned to do. 
The Savior spent His earthly ministry teaching and serving people, and developing and full and pure love for each of us, His brothers and sisters. If I want a love similar to the Savior’s, I need to follow in His example by learning from Him and those around me whole exemplify His qualities.

I am grateful for the power of prayer, and the sacred spirit in the temple, through which I know that going on a mission is what I, personally need and get to do to progress further in becoming like the Savior.
In the scriptures we can find the attributes of Christ, and today I would like to highlight four of them, and share how I learned them from the great disciples  of Christ around me. 

First, faith in the Lord Jesus Christ.  First. Faith is our very first step in accomplishing anything spiritually. 
Last night in the Women’s Conference Broadcast, Jean A. Stevens said,  "Your choice to believe and keep covenants will leave a rich legacy of faith for those who follow you." 
Jesus Christ left us a legacy of faith by fulfilling His Father’s will without fault. We have been blessed with the agency to choose to have faith, and blessed with the Atonement to become better when we falter. As long and we have and act upon our faith in the Lord Jesus Christ, we can come back to Him, grow with Him, and become like Him. 

I love to observe the examples of others and they magnify their faith. At the meeting for the Ogden Temple Rededication last Sunday, as I watched Brother Ben Newbold carefully and lovingly bring his daughter Maddy into my heart filled all the way to the top. He made sure she could see the speakers and feel the spirit that was there. I am grateful for her mother, Emily Newbold, who has taught me in since she served in Young Womens how to be patient, how to help others, and how to love unconditionally. I know she gains these qualities through faith in her Savior. She is generous in sharing her spirit and experiences with us, we are blessed as a ward to have their family in ours. I admire the faith of their entire family as they live the life they have been given, and show faith in Christ every step of the way.

The next attribute is one that has been difficult for me to work on: Humility. It’s hard for me to find the balance between being bold and being meek, Although in my case I think “bold” just equivalates to “loud.” But the Savior was powerful in His ministry, and simultaneously humble, submitted to the will of His father and consistently praising Him. I hope I can be like the humble people in our ward, like Wayne Bott, my friend who is always willing to teach me something good. Or like Tara and Dustin Applegate, who are so receptive the the goodness of the gospel, and willing to do what is best for their family. I admire them so much and am so glad I got to meet them.
I think someone who displays Christlike humility is our lovely prophet, President Thomas S. Monson. Whenever He speaks, I never feel reprimanded.  I feel the love and command of Christ. He is never hesitant to share a story from his life, explaining how he grew, or made a mistake, or followed the example of the Savior to gain his great knowledge. He counsels, “To live greatly, we must develop the capacity to face trouble with courage, disappointment with cheerfulness, and triumph with humility.” (President Monson: Each Soul Matters)

With faith in Christ and humility to follow His commandments, the Savior asked that we be diligent in enduring to the end. We know this one well, but in Doctrine & Covenants 58:27, Verily I say, men should be anxiously engaged in a good cause, and do many things of their own free will, and bring to pass much righteousness;
When I read this scripture, I think of the Rodriguez family, anxiously engaged in a good cause. Brother Rodriguez has served us as bishop, and in the stake presidency. He is now the ward mission leader. He is the epitome of “magnifying your calling.” Lisa blesses the Young Women and our ward with her testimony, bright spirit, and brownies. Karli has always been diligent in developing her multiple talents and helping others, Elder Rodriguez is on his mission, diligently and daily on the errand of the Lord. Stephani has grown up to be a great leader, diligently sets a great example for her many friends around her. 
I testify that blessings come when we are diligent in the Lord’s work like Jesus Christ is. He loves us, and He desires to continually bless us in and for our work. 

Love and Charity
Lastly is the attribute most important to my heart. We know from Moroni 7:47 that charity is the pure love of Christ, and it endureth forever; and whoso is found possessed of it at the last day, it shall be well with him.” 
The Savior’s life was governed by His love for us. His birth, baptism, sermons, miracles, and Atonement. The whole thing was to let us know, personally, that He loves us, knows us, and wants the best for us. He is the light and He shows the way. To feel love, He gave it. I feel my Savior’s love. I feel it from Him directly, and from the abundance of love and charity I have received from you. 
I know you have noticed, my mother also fills her life with love and charity. She accepts her callings from the Lord, and infuses her loving efforts into them. She has been so charitable in raising me, and my sister. She prays every day, and never for herself. She thoughtfully includes everyone she feels needs a blessing. Then, she goes and loves people every day. She is an excellent and true friend. She is a smart, talented, strong, nurturing, fashionable, helpful and beautiful daughter of God. All of those things are true. I’m honored to have her as my mother.

I would like to share a short passage from a novel. This is called Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone, by J.K. Rowling, the first in a series of seven. Harry, the main character, has just finished the first of many battles with the evil antagonist. The headmaster of his school gives him this answer, after he asks why he won the battle even though the odds were stacked highly against him: (page 299; “If there is...something good.”) We are protected by the love of our Savior, forever. 

25 August 2014

Do You Want to Be Friends Again?

Me, Teagan, Alyssa. Two of my best friends, the day Teag got her mission call.
This weekend I was doing a show at a seven-year-old's birthday party, and as I was setting up, I noticed the middle of a scene. Two of the party guests seem to have a minor quarrel, which ended in "Fine!" from the first girl and "FINE!" from the one talking with her. I'm not sure what happened, but that second grade drama is serious stuff, as many of you know. As the show went on, they laughed and had a good time but did not sit by or talk to one another. At the end, all the kids sit in a circle to meet and pet the rabbit. Bitter Girl tried picking up the rabbit and stumbled with how to hold it. Ex-friend immediately (out of habit, I infer)  helped her and showed her how. They paused and (no longer) Bitter Girl said "Do you want to be friends again?" And Helper/Healer Girl said, "Yeah, let's do it."
And bam.
Besties again.

How easy was it for these two girls to forget about what was bothering them, stop judging one another, and simply cater to one another's needs and decide to be in good company? It was like they squirted a bottle of friendship in each other's faces.
Yeah, let's do it. Then they were cool. Not judging is hard. Being kind to everyone is harder. However, this is what we were made to do, what we can thrive in, and what we can continually have success doing. We "naturally" judge each book cover we see. We linger on the ones that seem colorful and interesting, we read the summary of the ones with intriguing titles, and we delve into the ones we love with all our hearts.
There may not be time to read every book out there, but there is time to give each book the care it deserves. Books are not to be thrown, stomped on, torn up, soaked or spilled on, neglected or left out of place. An author created that book, with passionate ideas and great potential in mind. You may not have time to read the story, but please have respect for the artistic, divine value and wonderful potential the author designed this book to have.
Everyone comes with a great story, and different wonderful elements. One may have flawless word choice (or good leadership skills) or enticing descriptions (or a lovely singing voice). Everyone will also have a sentence fragment, a missing page or maybe a rough introduction. But can't we step back, take a little breath, and smile long enough to notice the many masterpieces we have among us? Yes, we "naturally" judge each book cover we see. We also "naturally" each have the light of Christ in us. Intrinsically. Dutifully. You deserve to be cared for and read carefully, so please treat your fellow shelf mates similarly.
Please be kind to people.

11 July 2014

Book Talk: The Reason I Jump by Naoki Higashida

This was a very, very fortunate random grab off the "Featured" shelf at my library.

Sentence-Synopsis: An explanation of common autistic behaviors through an extensive interview with a thirteen-year-old autistic boy.

At only 193 pages, this was a two-hour read, which became two important hours of my life. Naoki answers the questions about autism honestly and fully, providing unexpected understanding for an outsider. The active effort to understand and love each other is essential, and this book provides another opportunity for that. It reminded me that as I go on my mission, it isn't "my" mission. My mission is for others, for the people in Japan. To love them, understand them, and render service to them the best I can. The Reason I Jump is a gentle, wonderful reminder to simply follow a commandment: Love One Another.

Overall Grade: A
Disclaimers: No controversial or adult material.

07 July 2014

Side Effects of Receiving a Mission Call

(so far)
1. Tears
2. Hugs
3. Extreme Overeating
4. Loss of desire to go to work
5. Premature feelings of missing your job
6. Random hymn solos
7. Tears
8. Extreme Happiness
9. Scripture Hunger
10. Insomnia
11. Oversleeping
12. Tons of Exciting Mail
13. Desire to kiss and cuddle always
14. Desire to never look at a boy ever
15. More eating
16. Getting up early to exercise and eating Lucky Charms instead
17. Writing every missionary you know daily
18. Loss of proper grammar usage
19. Making lists
20. Losing keys
21. Sudden need to enroll in every Institute class
22. Happy tears
23.  Loss of motivation to do anything that requires opening of the eyes or moving of the limbs.
24. Surges of Satan eating your brain
25. Surges of the Spirit hugging your heart
26. Constant itch to move out
27. Extreme rage and hatred for anything that dares to stub your toe
28. Elongating of bucket list
29. Inability to let go of your mother whilst hugging
30. Crying over simplistic contemporary novels
31. Sighing
32. Constant craving for breakfast burritos
33. Immense support from family and friends
34. Capital letters
35. Extreme love for God's children.

28 June 2014

Book Talk: Fangirl by Rainbow Rowell

This book was strongly recommended to me, and the title snatched me for sure. Unfortunately, I was overall disappointed.
Sentence-Synopsis: Fangirl is about a girl who is obsessed with Harry Potter and doesn't want to move on to college but she has to anyway and has personal growth.
First of all, I really enjoyed Rowell's writing style. Her sentences were crisp and her vocabulary was good enough to keep me interested. She had excellent flow and easily painted a picture of each scene for her readers. She often includes details that may seem unnecessary, but really end up complementing the piece nicely.
Having just finished my freshman year of college myself, the story was very relatable. Cather has all the same apprehensions we do, and same dry humor we love to use in ventilation on Twitter. I can see how readers easily connect with her story. We root for her as we would ourselves in her relationships and accomplishments. I was simply disappointed that the story didn't grab me more. It wasn't quite tantalizingly unique.
Sometimes, predictability is a side effect of a relatable book. I didn't guess every detail coming, but no gasping or rapid fanning of face occurred. Although the boyfriend is a total dream, Cath gets there in a very realistic way. He isn't a far-away fantasy like Edward, but he's someone we would wish for, even though there are evident flaws. Rowell doesn't leave out the minor dramas that happen in college, but she doesn't blow it out of proportion either. I applaud her for that and I reiterate, it's a very believable novel. If contemporary romance is your favorite, you will love this book. Slightly witty, entertaining enough, and easy to breeze through.
For me, Fangirl would have made the perfect grieving book. It's the hammock you lie in while wearing your Literary Indifference hat after having your heart broken by the most recent installment of the sci-fi series you're committed to.
Overall Grade:     B
Disclaimers: Adult language used casually and consistently, very brief intimacy.

15 June 2014

I'm 18, of course I know everything.

Sometimes I go lovely places and marvel at a geographically different portion of the sky we live under. The trees are majestic and the mountains are big show offs and the air feels lighter. When the environment changes sometimes the thoughts get cleaner and deeper and extremely analytical. So I feel like I've learned another tiny piece about something  I want to be good at and am a long way from doing so. But I forgot my journal, so here's another 212 words into the sea of internet oblivion.
It's not about loving each other despite our weaknesses, it's about loving each other because of them. When they have a weakness and they're willing to show it to you, that is a rather high level of trust. They don't want the weakness, maybe they haven't even recognized it yet. But there is a good chance they are trying their best. With the trust, you have the opportunity to help them improve their character and yours by demonstrating patience, understanding, support. You are going to need it too, someday. When they have a weakness and can do good things and be happy anyway, you've chosen a good one. It always helps to have good things happen to them, however; there's another choice you can make. Don't regret your choices, what an unfortunate waste time that is. Recognize them as yours, recognize what you can't and shouldn't change. I find it in people's best interest to be happy. The person with the most power over one's happiness is himself. However, a very close second is that person they've chosen to share all of themselves with. You can make happy or you can exert contention. One is to no avail of your own happiness.
At least those are the thoughts. What do I know?

11 June 2014


So there's that moment. When you have to use the bathroom at your guy friends' apartment, and you're like ew. Just ewwww.*Shiver*
No Brooklyn, it's okay, they're boys. Boys just do, they don't analyze spaces. Boys are messy. No big deal.
But then you realize, oh my goodness. I'm marrying one of these someday. And that means live in the same proximity thereof.
So conclusion:
Boys (or messy people): ask your mother if you're rather messy, and if so, enhance your bonus points enormously by working on it in the name of love.
Girls (or fellow anxiously OCD people): take a deep breath and calculate priorities. Messy rooms are not rebellious backlashes of evil laughter. They are humane occurences.
Wishing you peaceful, strong, responsible and passionate love,

18 April 2014

"What the Hell is Religion?"

A Reflection of my Religion 101 Class, with a rather pretentious but honest-as-possible ending.
As soon as I started registration for college, I asked the counselor if there was a Religions of the World class. I was eager to take it because I plan on serving an LDS mission in the fall. I wanted to know as much as I possibly could about what other people were thinking before I went out and told them my way was better. The two most memorable phrases Dr. Anderson has ever said to me came on the first day of class. First, “What the hell is Religion?” I thought it was witty and ironic, and I liked to think I understood witty humor and was cool enough to nod in comprehensive laughter. 
Religion is a system comprised of people with similar belief, with rituals to enact those beliefs. Religion is a community, a therapist, and an inspiration. Religion is controlling, violent, and destructive. These are all things Religion can be, and have been. Learning about all these denominations and connecting them to real people has been impactful for me. Seeing the sacred value of family in Shintoism is so beautiful, something that wouldn’t be as significant without the religion. Then, seeing the violent, even murderous rites of passage and rituals in other religions shocked me and broke my heart. But that’s something about humans I learned. We have incredible, extreme capabilities when motivated by fear, love, or family. 
A lot of religion is about perspective. In learning about all these religions, I see that our actions are totally dependent on our situation and even beliefs about consequences. That brings me to Professor Anderson’s next little quotation. “If you no one, you know none.” This one really smacked me in the face and reiterated why I was there all throughout the course. If you’re happy 100% of the time, and never sad, you aren’t really happy, you just are. The opposition is necessary. Opposition is also necessary in knowledge. To know what a prime number is, you also need to know what it isn’t. This especially became significant when we discussed Religion’s role in the world. 
If I put on the close-minded, Mormon girl bubble glasses, I’m not going to think very highly of other people, and especially other Religions. This class has influenced my view of Religion by enhancing my perspective of people. People like certainty, and I think that is one thing Religion does really well for some people. Death is the one thing that happens to everybody that nobody knows everything about. When searching for a Religion (if they have the opportunity to do so) they may go with the one that gives them the best feeling and most satisfying answers. 

Most people are also essentially obligated toward family in some way. In families all around the world, Religion is absolutely foundational.  Religion can guide many significant stages of life, such as birth, puberty, marriage, death, and many in-betweens.
      More than anything, my Religions of the World class has confirmed and clarified by desire to serve a mission for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints. I am very young, not very smart, inexperienced and probably still rather naive. However, now I know I believe what I do because I personally want to and feel very happy about it. I can honestly say I have a respect for all other people and their way of life, because my way of life isn’t the only one. I would love to share the Church’s message with anyone with a desire and willingness. Religion, as illustrated by history, has enormous capabilities; which means people have them. I’m happy and grateful to be able to choose what I am a part of. I hope, someday, everyone feels like that have been able to do that, too.

07 April 2014

Magic Words

Hello! Today, I’m going to invite you to say the magic words! Now what are the magic words? Different magicians may disagree. I can tell you what they are not: “You’re ugly! You have too much acne, You’re not smart enough, you can’t do that, You eat too much, I don’t like you, and that means nobody likes you.” Now of course I didn’t mean any of those words, but they were hurtful ones weren’t they? And they would probably hurt just as much if you read them in a Facebook message. 
Today I’m here to let you know that Cyber Bullying is a real issue, how we fix it, and the small and easy thing you can do to help just by staying right there in your seat.
1. Bullying has to do with opportunity. Where there is a means of communication there is possibility for attack. Multiple studies have been conducted recently to verify the reality of cyber bullying, and how its affecting people, especially between the ages of 13 and 17. This statement from a study done by Xiao and Wong identifies and confirms the problem:
“The Internet (which confers anonymity in communication) has provided an ideal platform…to perpetrate such relational/verbal aggression as spreading rumors, excluding someone from their social network, and sending harassing messages.” (Xiao, and Wong 34-69)
They’re right, just like it’s easier to ask that cute girl out by sending her a text message, it’s easier for adolescents to become bullies behind the safety of their screen. In Xiao’s study, we learn that there are direct links with cyber bullying to poor academic performance, impaired family relationships, and even suicide. Now we’ve heard this before, but try putting a face to the reality. My sister is 14 years old. She’s beautiful, a great cook and a wonderful dancer. If she felt like she needed to end her life because of constant jokes make about her online, I would be absolutely devastated. Let’s watch this video to  understand a little more.
2. Cyber bullying is not an inevitable practice. It can be stopped, and it needs to be stopped. The first solution is to go where kids are almost as affected as they are online— school. 
This is from a study connecting cyber behavior to school behavior by Melissa Ockerman: “The American School Counselor Association's (ASCA) position statement regarding this topic states professional school counselors can spearhead training programs that include recognition of early warning signs of violence, prevention/intervention services, crisis response, appropriate use of technology and social media, community involvement, and parent/guardian and faculty/staff educationally.” (Ockerman)
Of course this sounds like the assemblies you dreaded as a kid, but this really works. An alteration in behavior begins with information. If students are consistently aware of a serious problem, they will try and help prevent it. And if resources like therapeutic counselors are available, these kids can get the help they need instead of taking drastic measures. 
3. So hooray for schools, we can support that from afar, and if and when we have children, we can get in that PTA and make sure the appropriate resources are in place. However, what about today? Here’s what you can do today to stop cyber bullying. Think about what you’re posting, retweeting, liking and sharing. If the vibe you are sending is offensive, destructive, or hurtful, stop. Find something kind to say, because the world could always use a little sunshine. 
The other important thing you can do is open your laptop right now, and type in this web address. www.DeleteCyberBullying.org is a website working really hard to eliminate the problem and obviously, they need our help. On the left hand sign you can click to sign a petition and promise never to cyber bully. It might seem like a nuisance, but your promising word is worth something, and so are your words. 
Monitoring our own behavior online is essential, and must be done immediately, because cyber bullying is real, and destructive. Obviously, magic words are not the ones that belittle, insult, or make fun of. So don’t be afraid to stand out in the middle a little, because real magic, is KINDNESS.
Xiao, Bo Sophia, and Yee Man Wong. "Cyber-Bullying Among University Students: An Empirical Investigation from the Social Cognitive Perspective." International Journal of Business and Information. 8.1 (2013): 34-69. Web. 6 Apr. 2014.

Ockerman, Melissa S. "From the School Yard to Cyber Space: A Pilot Study of Bullying Behaviors Among Middle School Students ." Research in Middle Level Education Online. 37.6 (2013): n. page. Web. 6 Apr. 2014.

Delete Cyberbullying, prod. Talent Show - Cyberbullying Prevention Commercial. Ohio Commission DRCM, 2008. Web. 7 Apr 2014.

26 March 2014

Stake Conference Talk

Hello. My name is still Brooklyn. When the Stake Presidency asked me to share some of my thoughts and feelings for eight minutes, I was really excited. However, I believe it is very impossible for any 18-year-old girl to comprehensively explain her feelings in eight minutes. And besides, you wouldn’t understand. All drama aside, I chose just a few passionate feelings and I’m grateful to share them with you today.
I will begin by introducing myself a little, just in case some of you don’t follow me on Twitter. I am Brooklyn Brewer from the Hillcrest Ward, my daddy Paul and I do magic shows, my beautiful, amazing mother Jodi teaches dance classes, and my baby sister Katelyn makes really delectable cupcakes. I go to school at Westminster College, where I major in being a Freshman, which means I have no idea what I want to do with my life yet. 
However, I do know who I am. Which I think is a good first step. 

I am a child of God. God is my Heavenly Father and He loves me. I know he loves me because he gave me an earthly home. The Earthly Home came with a lot of great amenities. My body, my agency, my parents kind and dear. And best of all, my trials. Comparatively, my life isn’t difficult at all. But I have frustrating days, sad moments, I get upset over which sweater to wear over-analyze a one-word text message. It is in these weak, devilish moments that I have been able to feel the love of my Heavenly Father so purely. I am a child of God. God is my Heavenly Father and He loves me. Good news: YOU are a child of God. God is your Heavenly Father and He loves YOU. He loves you so much. Let’s turn to Acts 17:28. Here we learn something very important. [READ] You are a child of God. Families are forever. Heavenly Father has always been, and always will be your loving, supportive Father. 
Additional good news: He sent His only begotten Son not only to die for us, but to live for us. He shows us the way, He gives us the light. Jesus Christ literally understands you, your thoughts, your pain, your anger, your mortality. He has plenty of love for all of us, so it’s time for us to embrace it, and even more importantly, it’s time for us to share it.

Missionary work is the sacred duty each and every one of us has been fervently called to. Let me share with you some powerful words from President Hinckley. Now I would invite you to listen here, because this is a prophet of God. 
“We are here to assist our Father in His work and His glory, ‘to bring to pass the immortality and eternal life of man’ (Moses 1:39). Let there be cultivated an awareness in every member’s heart of his own potential for bringing others to a knowledge of the truth. Let him work at it. Let him pray with great earnestness about it.” 
You are a child of God. That means every single person you encounter in your life, even the ornery ones, is a child of God. 
Our precious, full-time missionaries are doing a wonderful job dedicating all of their time to the salvation of their brothers and sisters. I recently wrote every missionary I know to ask them why missionary work is so important, here are some of their answers: 
 Sister Becca Baldridge- “People need the healing power of the Atonement of Jesus Christ. You get to see that Light of Christ become brighter and brighter in their eyes as they begin to apply the teachings of the gospel.”
 Elder Thomas Rodriguez- “Everyone needs to have the atonment in there life and know how to use it so that all there pains and challenges  can be gone and so they can be clean again.”
Elder Jason Porter-
Elder Arthur Diaz- “Missionary work is so important and happy because we are all brothers and sisters which means ohana and ohana means family and family means nobody gets left behind!”
 Elder Connor Holt- “Because you get to share the Happiness that Jesus Christ gave us when he suffered for us! :)”
 Sister Lennyx Hatch- “Missionary work is important because it is God's work. It is Christ's work. As missionaries, we invite people to give them the choice. If they didn't have the information, how would they ever be able to CHOOSE it? Missionary work is service, and it is the best possible thing we could ever be doing.”
 Sister Alyssa Chamberlain- “Missionary work is joyful, hard, invigorating, blissful, euphoric. Reminding people who they truly are and helping them feel the spirit is beautiful.”
As you can tell, these missionaries are special. They understand the importance of Christ in our lives and everybody’s life. They need our help. We can be missionaries by sharing our testimonies. We can be missionaries by praying for and looking for people to teach ourselves. We can be missionaries by being kind. The purpose of missionary work is bring the light of Christ into the lives of our brothers and sisters. What better way to do that than acting as Christ did? We are missionaries when we befriend people, help people, talk to people, encourage people, love people. 
“If there is anything virtuous, lovely, or of good report, or praiseworthy, we seek after these things.”
If there is anything virtuous, lovely, or of good report, or praiseworthy, it comes from our Heavenly Father. If there is anything corrupted, destructive, sinful, or vain, it comes from Satan. SATAN DOES NOT LOVE US. Satan works hard to make us miserable like him. Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ are there for us, to love us, to deliver us from the unfortunate things of the world.
 Ammon says it best in the Book of Mormon: "Now have we not reason to rejoice? Yea, I say unto you, there never were men that had so great reason to rejoice as we...Blessed be the name of God, who has been mindful of us, wanderers in a strange land."  ALMA 26:35-36.

I am so grateful for my testimony, and it is this:
You are a child of God.
This Gospel of Jesus Chris is the truth and it always will be.
I hope they call me on a mission.

I love you. 

05 January 2014

New Year, New Mascara: Nearesos, Happy & Cheese

That's about as new as twenty-fourteen me gets, and that's my satirical slam on society for the day. I don't do New Year's Resolutions. I don't make them either. Now before you write me off as a snob hipster, which you're free and probably entitled to do, read my rant since you're already here and internet-wasting time.
First, Nearesos seem impulsive. There is ALL THE MUCH going on in November and December such as recovering from Halloween's awesomeness, deciding how you feel about Christmas music, eating too much, NaNoWriMo, pretending to study for finals, frantically "shopping" for gifts even though you're broke as a joke (thanks Kate) and have no idea what your family could possibly enjoy, working ridiculous hours, deciding how to make your one party dress look different at each party, contemplating on conforming to ugly sweater day, and then shifting into quality family time mode and magically getting along with everyone. So by the time you exhale, you have approximately 29 hours to decide on your Nearesos. The ones you'll be stuck with for a whole year! An entire year of way too hard work or disappointing guilt!
This is a rather drastic viewpoint. I'm happy for and inspired by Nearesos and especially those who work hard at theirs all year long. Truly, it's just all of us trying to become better people, which I'm a definite advocate for. I'm also a fan of active goal setting and execution. So if Nearesos work for you, AWESOMEAUCITY. Go you. * I'm cheering for you! * Did you see the pom-poms? I also just did a backflip. Did you miss it? Can't believe you blinked.
Okay, I did half-cave and make sort of a "To Do List" for the year because I'm super into lists and I like activities I've never done before. Pleeease comment if you have something radical to add to my list. I'd love it if you did. Life input is the best. And I'm sort of willing to almost try anything. Hit me with your best shot. The thing with the new year is it's made up of days just like today and all the days last year. Some sun, some shine, some night, some fright. It's your day, and each one has the power to be a good one. And that makes me happy.
Not that I'm old enough to be wise, but I have so far decided that being happy is a decision, not a result of a circumstance. Stupid, sucky, lame, tragic, heart-breaking, embarrassing, hurtful and frustrating occurrences occur. No one likes that. But if you know rough and tough on any level, you know happy. We need that opposition. I'm a strong believer in being anxiously engaged in a good cause. If we're taking care of the people and earth around us, we are at least doing one thing right. If we were supposed to make our own selves happy, I think we would be living here all by ourselves. People equal an opportunity to talk, express, serve, learn, love. People make me so happy. So thank you for being a part of the people, Patient Reader-Person. You make me smile.
Another thing that makes me smile is cheese. I have truly grown to love cheese a bit more every day. I like all the cheeses I have tried excluding cottage, American and blue. Cheese is simply one of those beautiful, scrumptious, versatile, guilt-ridden but completely satisfying life joys. My favorite kind of cheese is Havarti, and I can always go for some classic cheddar. There are probably way too many kinds I have not tried, but I'm totally willing. Come at me, cheeses. Cheese has been my favorite food for about eighteen years, five months and nine days now. I love cheese.
Too bad there's no "ignore call" button on lactose intolerance.