Monday, January 26, 2015

Bennington, VT #13: "Eternally punished, he is."

Dear Family,

I'm becoming one of those missionaries who writes awful, short letters and I'm sorry! "Eternally punished, he is." is Sister Gochnour when she turned into Yoda while we were having a deep discussion about Satan with Charlann. We're trying to get Char to understand that Satan's a bad dude, but he's not the source of all her problems.. she's been, like, yelling at Satan lately when something bad happens. No bueno. But other than that, she's doing great!

So, lots of tears were shed this week from both me and Sister Gochnour. But they weren't all sad! Lessons-wise we're doing better and better each week!! But... we've decided that all this success is making me a little number hungry so we're not going to focus on that so much anymore. Haha :) This week I laughed the hardest I have since being in the field, had my most embarrassing mission moment thus far and loved these people more than ever.

Cried: Woke up Tuesday morning with lots of texts from Brother B. I had become an aunt over night! I had also gotten that glorious package the night before. I got horchata and a niece all in one day!!! :)

Loved: We had what Brother B told us was the greatest Wednesday night FHE there ever was, and I believe it! We did the Gospel of Jesus Christ lesson because we had three kiddos from three different families who will soon be baptized and we lit things on fire, bleached some stuff, blindfolded some people and laughed a lot. Mom, I'll write you the whole lesson plan so you can use it sometime. SO fun and easy too! Also, we made pizza together and Brother B died the dough all different colors so we had some weird looking pizzas. He has addiction to food coloring everything. I absolutely loved it of course.

Cried some more: At the end of the night, after everyone had left, Brother B just talked to us for a while. He's part of the reason I've fasted myself almost to starvation these past two weeks. I won't tell you everything of course, but in a couple years, Brother B might end up being homeless because someone he has helped a lot financially in the past is suing him for a dumb reason. We all just stood there and cried together and I sobbed the whole way home because I've seen a lot of the other side of a lawsuit, but never really thought about what happens to the person who gets everything taken away from them eventually. I have such a strong testimony of fasting now though!! We fasted Sunday, he got $4,000 dollars in the mail Monday. I love him so much (obviously) and I feel like the rest of the fasting and prayers have helped him to truly rely on Christ to help make his burdens so much lighter. He feels that way now, and says he's closer to God than he ever has been before. That in itself is such a blessing so I'm so much happier about the whole situation. The people I love most here are all going through something so similar, so it's been kind of a heavy thing for me and Sister Gochnour but our prayers have become so much deeper and sincere. And our love for these people has grown more each day.

Laughed: We had dinner at Jessica and Kahlil's house on Thursday! Jessica's daughter Leah is getting baptized on Valentines day :) Her kids are Tye, Leah and Isaiah. SO cute! We taught them the Word of Wisdom and Tye was telling us about D.A.R.E. at school. He told us it stands for "Decide, Asses (like the swear word), Respond, Evaluate.". He could NOT figure out why we all were crying laughing when he said what A stood for and was so frustrated! That night was just amazing. Kahlil is just the coolest in all ways :)

Embarrassing moment: Sunday, we went to President Finnegan's house randomly for lunch. Their daughter Jessie was looking through my camera (awful awful idea) and suddenly freaked out. She had gotten to a picture I took of my super hairy leg :) I tried to save the whole thing, but nope. Somehow within that minute they all knew that I hadn't shaved since Octoberish, that I basically do this all the time and Sister Finnegan had seen the picture and everything. I pretty much just wanted to melt away right then. Just transfer me now! Unfortunately, I probably wasn't embarrassed enough cuz I basically plan to do that same thing next winter :)

Awesome moment: The Zone Leaders called us last night to tell me that they just had a meeting with the Stake President and Pres. Wirthlin and randomly, a man walked in and said "Sister Hallsted is amazing!!" I was pretty shocked when the ZLs told us that & kind of assumed they were joking. I guess Pres. Wirthlin said "Oh, I have a package for Sister Hallsted!" and gave it to the man to give to me. We're not sure who it was, but someone in the stake council thing. But I really needed to hear that at that exact moment, because sometimes I'm really hard on my self and it hurts my work effectiveness and the way I teach too. It felt SO great to know that, even though members here don't tell us they appreciate us, they do! Or at least that man does :)

It looks like ending your mission is a hard, hard thing to do and sometimes things are a little rough for Sister Gochnour. I love her a lot, but I may be the worst comforter ever, so pray for her and pray for me to be able to know how to comfort her during these next six weeks. Also, watch the weather reports because apparently there's supposed to be one of the biggest snow storms to ever hit the east coast coming. I don't believe it, but the stores were packed today and everybody's going crazy. Guys, I love all of you so much and, as much as I would love to be there with baby Quinn, I absolutely LOVE being a missionary here in Vermont. I can feel it stronger and stronger each day that this is where I am supposed to be.

Sure love ya,
Sister Brynnie Hallsted

"Ice cream is NOT worth our lives." -Sister Gochnour
"We can't have the baby be born on the same day as a black person!" -Sister Gochnour
"Decide, Asses, Respond, Evaluate." -Tye
"Mary Lou Morning Star Spirit Woman." -Mary Lou told us her middle name.

1. Had a b-day party for Quinn!!
2. Isaiah and Leah (Isaiah's kind of flipping us off when he's holding up his mustache) :)
3. Leah :)
4. Me and Michiko 


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