Wednesday, April 27, 2016

The Walking Dead

Hey everyone! This will be a short letter, there isn't too much to tell. We have been struggling without a car and are super sleep deprived.

Why sleep deprived, you ask? Well, our neighbor likes to blast music all night, every night. Not for himself of course, but for his birds... that's right, his birds! He plays music for them at night so that they don't get lonely. Yeah. So, we are running on almost no sleep. Hiking around Philadelphia hasn't really helped that cause either. 

We had to find our way around in the city from the hub of 69th street. Ran into our district leader, he asked if we knew where we were going (we were running on nothing by then) he asked if he could help us and asked for the address... uh, yeah... both Sister Abbott and I had looks on our faces of "What's my name, and how did I get here?" Vacant stares. We have felt a little like tumbleweed napkins on the streets of Philly.

The good news is, WE GOT OUR CAR BACK TODAY! We are so happy! As much as we love having stories to tell from public transportation, it's been so hard to see people these past few weeks and we are excited that it will be going back to normal now! No more looking dead tired and completely lost.

We went on exchanges this week and it was a blast! I went to the Philadelphia 4th area with Sister Kartchner! We had lesson after lesson all day and it was awesome!

We had three of our investigators at church yesterday! William was there finally! He has a baptism date coming up and it's great to see him progressing again! And Michael came with both his parents! It was a good Sunday!

The Lord has really helped us get through the past two weeks. They've been rough but we have learned so much!

I hope you all have a wonderful week! God bless!

Love, Sister B

I've been studying the last chapters
of Alma this week.
Mormon was a big fan of  Captain Moroni.
Kind of a fan girl.
He even named is son after him!

It was sunny and warm this week! We loved it!

Good ol' row homes!

Picture I drew for Dulce and David.
They helped us out a lot this week so
we repaid them with muffins!

The day we walked through the rain.
We have never been so tired in our lives.
Yesterday we became aware
that this is the look we have been giving people
as we process what they are saying.

We made some for Sister Cullen too
because she came and saved us from the
badlands of the city when our
appointment cancelled.


Friday, April 22, 2016

Hopeful Wanderers - Week 18

Hello everyone!

I don't have much to tell this week because it was mostly full of walking (Lots and LOTS of walking) and waiting for the bus... (Mostly because we would miss them.) And a majority of the time we weren't even in our area. But that's okay because we still saw miracles!

Thursday we had Zone Training and Sister Abbott and I gave one of the trainings. Talking in front of groups is getting easier little by little, but it's still not my cup of tea. Right before we went up Sister Abbot started breaking out in hives! She was super allergic to something that is still unknown to the both of us. It got worse and worse throughout the day until I finally made her call the nurse and take some Benadryl! That knocked her out for about 4 1/2 hours so I just did weekly planning by myself to pass the time. Loads of fun... I had to wake her up twice. Once when the Relief Society President called to ask us if we were okay with doing the lesson on Sunday. Another to ask her if she wanted to go to our dinner appointment. She doesn't remember any of it and was pretty disappointed to find out that she had said yes to teaching on Sunday and no to going to dinner. Benadryl is some heavy stuff!

Because we had spent most of the week trying to get around the city, we were struggling with finding people to teach. Friday morning Sister Abbott and I prayed that we would find a new investigator. On our way to city we stopped by Carol's. She is the sweetest old lady and a potential investigator that lived near the train station. Sister Abbott and her last companion had done service for her a month or two ago. She invited us in, talked with us, and brought up the Plan of Salvation. We were able to teach her a little bit before we had to leave to catch our train and she wants to know more! We are excited to teach her!

In other news, Philadelphia is still a scary place and we feel like we are wandering around without a clue most of the time. Luckily, Heavenly Father is looking out for us. We have a few members who are angels in disguise that have picked us up from some pretty sketchy areas and driven us home. I am so thankful for them! Elder Rose said it would be about two more weeks before we get our car back, so we'll continue hoofing it until then.

I love you all! The gospel is true! The book is blue!

God bless! :)

Sister B

The pictures that basically sum up our week.
 Maybe the GPS can tell us why
we got off at the wrong stop!

Lost?? Maybe a little... 

Valley Forge East Zone!
 (And the beginning of Sister Abbott's allergic reaction.)

The comic that cheered me up this week!
I was also reminded of a quote from conference:
 "Murmuring is the scriptural equivalent
of childish whining."

My new favorite food is fried plantains!
They are SO GOOD!

Waiting for the train! :)
The back of my neck got a killer sunburn.

Thursday, April 21, 2016

Pictures From Week 17

Here are some pictures from the week of transfers and my birthday.

Sister Ashcraft and I since we
didn't get pictures from exchanges! 

Transfer Day!

Saying goodbye to Sister Gomm!
The best trainer a Sister could ask for!

Sister Similien gave us some sweet bread
and we used it for my birthday cake!

21 years! Whoo!

Spring has Sprung!

Sister Abbott and I ignoring the cold. 

We found this when we got lost in the city....
I honestly don't know.

Wednesday, April 13, 2016

Hit on by everything. Including cars!

Hi everybody! Wow, this week was hectic and one for the books!

Tuesday was transfers and I couldn't believe it! I was reunited with Sister Abbott! I was so happy I almost cried. We are in the Philadelphia 1st area and it is amazing!

We are teaching so many people! A lot of them are from Liberia and I have no idea what they are saying to me. Sister Abbott says it will come with time. It's way cool because we get to teach an English class because of it! That is something that is so fun and so fulfilling!

The week was full of lessons in and out of the city. The city is an interesting place. We have a lot of less active single women that we go teach downtown but it isn't actually our area, so it makes it tough to contact there. It makes it even harder to share the gospel when the person you're talking to just wants to take you out for drinks. Yikes!

On a brighter note! One of our lessons this week was the son of a woman who joined the church when she was 15 and hadn't been since. We met with her little family and it was amazing. We could see a fire rekindled in her as we taught her son and her husband who isn't a member was asking us lots of questions and even said the prayer! What a blessing!

Saturday was a humdinger. We got in a car accident! We were waiting at a stop light when someone ran into us from behind at full speed. It slammed us into the Escalade (which came out without a scratch) in front of us and completely smashed the front of our car in. When we got out to see what was going on the guy that hit us sped off! Other than some shock and whiplash, Sister Abbott and I are fine! We were protected! Our car is totaled though! So we will be walking and taking public transportation for a few weeks. It'll be interesting.

We experimented with it yesterday and got lost beyond belief! We walked for 3 1/2 hours back to our area and made it home just in time for curfew. That was a prayer answered!

I know that Heavenly Father is truly watching over us and answering our prayers!

I love you all! I hope your week is as interesting as ours is going to be. God bless! :)

Sister Brunsdale

Companions again! And the squatch!

Transfer day. We are staring at
Elder Weisler, he is so entertaining! 

District Meeting!
President and Sister Anderson showed up!

Monday, April 11, 2016

Tender Mercies

So, as Kaylie's Mom, I have been missing her and wondering a lot about her this week. I think it was because it was her birthday, and she was being transferred. And transferred ON her birthday, no less!

But as I got on Facebook on April 5th someone from her mission had posted 215 pictures of transfers! So, I started going through them, Elders, Elders, Elders, more Elders... I was like, Kaylie is not going to be in any of these pictures. But then... there she was!! And she looked so happy, and she was wearing her birthday outfit that I had sent. So, I knew that she had opened her presents. It made my day, it really did!

So, I messaged the guy and told him thank you for posting those pictures and then he messaged back and told me where Kaylie was being transferred to! It was just such a blessing to hear so soon about where she was being sent and to see a picture of her.

And then later in the week I got another Facebook message and more pictures. Kaylie was in her new area and a kind member was feeding Kaylie her very first authentic Philly Cheese Steak. And she was with her MTC companion, who she loves!

So, just goes to show you that Heavenly Father really is looking out for us and blessing us with little things. I still can't wait to hear from Kaylie today and have her tell me all about her transfer. But I am so grateful that I didn't have to wait a whole week to hear where she was going and to see that she is doing just fine.

Picture of Kaylie on her birthday, on transfer day. 

The message I got!
Kaylie eating her first Philly Cheese Steak!

She's doing just fine! :) 

Wednesday, April 6, 2016

Plot Twist!

Hi friends and family! This letter will be short considering I wrote most of what happened this week on Friday. I hope you all had a wonderful conference weekend!

Mine was so good! I love to see how all the talks interlock together into a giant message that's different for every person. Many times I heard the reminder of Christ's call to us: "Come follow me." I know that Jesus Christ is our Savior and as we do our best to follow him, we will experience peace. Like President Monson said: "If we choose Christ, we have made the correct choice." I am so thankful for a prophet and apostles that lead and guide Christ's church today. We are so blessed!

In other news, transfer calls came! And... *insert drumroll here* We are doubling out! Both Sister Gomm and I are leaving Bethlehem. I am still in shock and a tad heartbroken. I thought for sure I would have another transfer with the incredible people here. But, I will go where the Lord wants me to go. We've been told they are doubling us out in preparation of the temple open house in August, so that's super exciting! I have had so many crazy experiences here and I am so thankful for all the people that I have gotten to know and love. I am also so thankful for Sister Gomm. We have been through A LOT and she has taught me so much about being a missionary! Wow, I am going to miss her! Well, Bethlehem. It's been real. God be with you till we meet again! :)

Love, Sister Brunsdale

Loving all the blossoms!

Soldier Memorial in Bethlehem

Sister Adams!

Sister Batman! (Coolest last name ever, I know!)

Peeps are made in Bethlehem!
Rosie and Suky! Lots of tears saying goodbye to these two.
 I love them SO MUCH!
Last day in Bethlehem.

Sunday, April 3, 2016

The Big Apple and Happy Easter To Yous

Wow! These past two weeks have been too much fun! I don't know how I am going to fit everything in this email, but I'll do my best!

Last Wednesday we got a MINI MISSIONARY! Her name was Sister Raphael and she was way too cool for me. In the 3 days she was here, she got a solid missionary experience. Miracles, rejections, crazy lessons, tedious weekly planning... You name it. We went to see some referrals and within 15 minutes they both had baptism dates! We were talking to a guy in his garage and his wife yelled at us to leave and closed the garage door on us. We almost got smacked in the face with an old guy's cane. We taught our investigator who is from Egypt and tried to give her family (who only speaks Arabic) directions to the church. And we watched the General Women's Broadcast! It was a good 3 days. We miss her.

Sunday was Easter! Hallelujah! I love holidays as a missionary! People's hearts are softened and miracles happen! We had 4 investigators at church! We thought it was 3 but as we were walking out of the church, our investigator Diana walks out of the chapel! She had come late, but she had come!

Monday we had two really cool lessons. One was with a family who spoke mostly Spanish. Sister Gomm ended up showing the 3 little girls bible videos while I talked to the parents. The language barrier was real, but I was able to help the dad download the Book of Mormon app on his phone in Spanish and then showed him Helaman 5: 12 (And now, my sons, remember, remember that it is upon the rock of our Redeemer, who is Christ, the Son of God, that ye must build your foundation; that when the devil shall send forth his mighty winds, yea, his shafts in the whirlwind, yea, when all his hail and his mighty storm shall beat upon you, it shall have no power over you to drag you down to the gulf of misery and endless wo, because of the rock upon which ye are built, which is a sure foundation, a foundation whereon if men build they cannot fall). That's such a powerful scripture and I could tell that it really touched his heart. It was so cool and strengthened my testimony that this gospel is for everyone. The spirit is universal! We also had a lesson with Diana! The investigator who came to church! We have been wanting to ask her to be baptized the past few lessons but it just hasn't happened. We finally invited her Monday and she said, "Yes. It's something I've been thinking about." She is set to be baptized May 15! I love Diana so much! It's been amazing to see how the Lord has been preparing her.

AND TODAY WE WENT TO NEW YORK!! We got to take Brother Henderson to the Manhattan temple! Sister Gomm and I were so worried that it wasn't going to happen. Wednesday night we got a call from the members that we were supposed to be going with and they told us that they weren't going to be able to. We had already asked most of the ward with no luck and so we did the only thing we could do and prayed. The Lord is so good! Thursday afternoon we were able to find two members to go with us, and one of them was even willing to drive! Which now, after experiencing New York, is a big deal. It was such an amazing experience! I had never been to New York before and it was like being on a different planet. I absolutely loved it! The traffic was CRAZY and there was so much to take in! We didn't even notice the temple until the member we were with told us to look up and there was Moroni! It was amazing how quiet that temple was. All that noise outside and you couldn't hear any of it! I'm so thankful for the peace that can be felt in the temple. We did baptisms for Brother Henderson's family, which was way cool! The spirit was so strong. I know his family was rejoicing in the spirit world!

Transfer calls are tomorrow! Time flies. We'll see what happens, but it's been amazing seeing this area progress.

I love you all so much! I hope you have a successful week! God bless! :)

Sister Brunsdale

Us, Kezia, Brother Henderson, and the Brother Reed! 

On our way to Manhattan! Kezia
was rockin in the back seat with us! :)

Temple trip! We were so excited!

I love to see the Temple!

First day with Sister Raphael!


It's Spring!

Happy Easter!

A member in the ward gave us Easter treats!

Listening to our voice mail in the car again! 

Last District Meeting of the transfer! Such a fun district!

Red Robbins with Rosie and Suky and their daughters!

Our waitress was a recent returned missionary from St. George! Small world!
Suky was showing me on her phone the new
thing that snapchat can do. We laughed so
hard that I thought I was going to die! haha