Monday, October 26, 2015

Oswego #14 “Back in Oswego!”

At the airport selfies!!!! JETBLUE!!! It made me crazy homesick to be at an airport without my mom!

Sister Hess and I were so in love. We were sad to leave each other! These are pictures from the day that Sister Sellers arrived at the airport :) Haha!

walk from this morning

Hello family!

It is so good to be back in Oswego again! I was nervous about the work in Oswego and about training and about leaving my trio and about the work in Liverpool after I left, but both areas have seen so many miracles just in the few days! I love Sister Sellers. We get comments about our big hair all the time! I love it! We teach really well together and she loves to work hard! It seems like she's been out a lot longer than 6 weeks in the mtc :) She's teaching me Portuguese!

I have no time! Sorry! But last night was awesome! Our mission has been pushing finding during "prime proselyting time" which is 6-9. I had seen no cool miracles yet from doing it. We had tracting at night earlier that week with no luck at all. But last night we picked up a new investigator named Michael who seems so prepared! We're going back to see him tonight!

But, all is well, sorry this email is terribly short. 

Sure love you all!

-Sister Brynnie Hallsted

Monday, October 19, 2015

Oswego/Liverpool #13: SNOW!!!!

Yo Family! :)

This week was absolutely incredible! I adore my three-o, but this Wednesday it is coming to an end. I have mixed feelings about it. I was getting kind of nervous to go back to Oswego after three weeks and be training a new missionary all at the same time, but when we went back this Saturday, we saw a ton of people and it was pretty easy to set up appointments with just a few phone calls! That made me very relieved. I really want to focus on finding the "elect" as Elder Bennett would say, in Oswego. So we're going to be doing a lot of finding again when I get back!

This week we found super solid investigators in Liverpool!!! We tried this potential named Joanne and he son Greg happened to be there so we taught them both about the Plan of Salvation. They had a lot of questions, which I love. Greg is about 30 and had been to church in the Schenectady ward and he really loved a lot of things about it. Awesome!

My favorite thing from this week though was when I went to get new glasses!!! This was on Tuesday..? This got me SO excited to be a missionary when I get home too. My companions just sat outside in Walmart for TWO hours! I gave the optometrist (sp?) a Restoration pamphlet and talked a lot to the guy who did the frame measurements and gave him our number. I really really hope that guy calls us. But, if not, I'll be seeing him any day now to get my glasses! It was sooo fun! You can truly relate the Gospel to anything. Even eyeballs :)

President Rogers called me sometime this week and told me that he has a companion set up for me! Her name is Sister Sellers from California... (did I already tell you this?) She is waiting for a visa to go to Brazil. WE get to pretend to be sister assistants and pick her up ourselves from the airport on Tuesday! Then we're all going to sleep in our two beds together because I've just been sleeping on couch cushions on the ground and there's just no room for her there :)

I'm so sad to be leaving my trio. I adore them. ahhhhhhh. But, I'm just feeling very grateful to have had the chance to be with them at all.

Sunday was incredible. I LOVE the Liverpool ward. They really want me to stay. I hope that I come back here to finish my mission. President said that I'll definitely be staying in Oswego until the week before Christmas. But I am hearing terrrrible things about the snow there. IT snowed on Sunday!!! And the Fulton elders say that it dumped on Oswego and Fulton.... I was excited for the winter, but now I'm getting scared. I have like ptsd from last winter, but the people here say that last winter was abnormally bad. Hopefully we survive! 

Pray for me and for my new companion Sister Sellers. I hope she likes me. I hope she's excited to work and be in New York because it is the most wonderful place!

I sure love you all! Thank you for your prayers and your love :)


Sister Brynn Hallsted

We squished the two beds together when we go to Oswego. SO fun!!!

More bed squishing

Went to a baptism in the Fulton ward when we came to Oswego for the day. that was fun.

Monday, October 12, 2015

Oswego/Liverpool #12 #teamrogers

NY Utica Mission Photo with visiting Elder Bennett of the Seventy   (White arrow on Brynn)

Hello Family!

What a beautiful week I have had! I absolutely adore this trio still. We have seen SO many miracles. I can't believe how much the area has changed in just a week!

We cleaned the nasty nasty apartment. I'll send the nasty pictures :) Now we can feel the Spirit. Then I called all the potentials/ formers in the area book that Sister Loveland thought seemed promising. We got four appointments set. The area book was so sad and basically, missionaries before didn't try. It felt so good to get our lives cleaned up a little bit. Then the miracles started happening! We set a goal of 6 new investigators this week thinking that would be a miracle. Liverpool only picked up 1 investigator a transfer for the past few. We prayed soooo hard and fasted to be led to new people to teach. We picked up seven new investigators this week!!!!! And found an awesome family to teach! I have never seen 3 sisters so excited in my life! We called President Rogers last night just freaking out! I love him. He was so excited for us. He told me that he wanted to call me anyway because he's just found out that a visa-waiter is available for me on October 20th and she'll be going to Brazil. He said Brazil visas usually take the longest so I'll be training her in Oswego for the rest of the transfer and then staying another until her visa comes. But he said this isn't for sure yet. That's the earliest I'd be getting a new companion though. The Fulton ward thinks they're dying without sister missionaries. I get calls from Sister Whitley, Roberta and our investigator Dawna at least everyday asking me when I'm coming back.

I adore my tri-panionship and getting this opportunity to help the Lord build up a "dead area" like Oswego used to be. But we go back to Oswego once a week and it really really made me sad this Saturday to be back and see how my area is hurting with out us there all the time. I know the Lord's got some plan though. I just need to remind myself that so I don't worry about my Oswego peeps. The elders are doing a good job seeing them a couple times a week too. But it's not the same as being able to fully proselyte there. But then my comps were all depressed after President's phone call because I'm eventually leaving. Haha I looove them. Whatever happens is supposed to happen! That's all I know!

With Elder Bennett's mission conference, a lot of changes have come about. I feel like the Spirit was really humbling me in preparation for the mission conference so that I'd be open to accepting the changes Elder Bennett suggested we make. I absolutely loved it. It really hurt all of our pride! He basically yelled at us for 6 hours and we weren't allowed to talk at all....not at lunch or anything but luckily I got to sit by Sister Hansen the whole time :) It was quite the life changing event and I prayed sooo hard the whole conference that the missionaries wouldn't start some sort of uproar and beat Elder Bennett. They didn't :) It was exactly what I've wanted for this mission from the beginning. Sister Hansen as well, so we were just thrilled!

I know that the Lord is who truly leads this mission now and I love the Lord. So I'll try my hardest to do what He asks. I am trying to help the other missionaries understand because I love them and I know they'll be SO much happier if they do change what has been happening.

I LOVE President Rogers. I will follow everything that he tells us to do. We have seen incredible blessings across the mission already! The Zone Leaders sent a text this morning saying that the number of investigators from this last week were triple the amount of the week before. I love all the new rules although it's going to be different for me too. THIS IS WHAT I ALWAYS THOUGHT A MISSION SHOULD BE! I have not felt comfortable the majority of my mission with the things that go on. I'm definitely not saying that I haven't added to the undignified-ness, but the Lord's work is going to progress sooo much if we change what we've been doing.

I felt the Spirit so strongly tell me that President Rogers was called of God to be our mission president right now when I first him at MLC and I can't deny that ever, so I will try to make the changes that I know this mission needs. I truly know that the windows of heaven will be opened and we will see miracles. We're already seeing those miracles here in Liverpool and the sisters that I'm with recognize that they're coming because the Lord is pleased with our effort to be more obedient! It's exciting and SO much fun for us!

I sure love you all!!!
-Sister Hallsted

Ps. There's an awesome picture on facebook from the mission conference of all of us! Our mission has never taken a picture like this before! Find it!

Pps. We dyed our hair one night- Sister Loveland convinced us to do it and then the next day I had her cut my hair. Haha After having 5 people randomly tell me I needed a haircut in the past two weeks, I decided they were probably right.

Monday, October 5, 2015

Oswego/Liverpool #11 TRI-PANIONSHIP!!!!

Pictures first from now on for those of you who don't want to read the letter :) -Julie

Sister Baxter and I on my birthday... horse heads at the Pappas :)
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Last drive as the Fulton unit :( I miss Elder Corbin.

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And my new companions! We're at the Oswego beach at Lake Ontario. 
They were dying about how gorgeous it is :)
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Me with SIster Hansen. I miss her already!
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Yo Family!

To start off, I am doing very well! I forgot what it was like to be a fun, laughing missionary. Happiness just comes so easily in these circumstances. So... just to add some more chaos to the layout of my mission, President Rogers calls me on Tuesday at 10 pm and tells me that he has bad news for me. I've heard this twice before so I just assumed I was being ET'd (Emergency Transferred) again. Who's up for round three? ;) He told me that my trainee went home right from the MTC before they flew out to NY, so I would be joining Sister Loveland and Hess in Liverpool and that we would work something out for Oswego so that I could drive up once a week to teach people. I am sooo grateful for the experiences in my life thus far that have helped me know without any doubt that the Lord will take care of things. I was only a slight bit stressed for my people in Oswego that we teach, but I know completely that once I get back, the Lord will rain down blessings upon us. I just didn't realize how many miracles would happen while I was gone!! There's been soooo many blessings, guys! The elders are seeing lots of my people and having such powerful experiences with them and members have ran into some of my investigators randomly and have actually decided to fellowship them! miracle :) Also, I wondered if some of the people we teach were becoming more focused on me than Jesus Christ, so it's been great to see that they're converted to the gospel, not me :) Many other miracles with my specific investigators that I am thrilled about.
I'm just staying in Liverpool until we can get a visa-waiter (missionary who will serve in the Utica mission only until their visa comes for their foreign mission). They're estimating two weeks, but now they're acting like it's going to be a lot longer than that. This is SUCH an inspired thing we've got going on here. I LOVE the way things have turned out. I was bummed not to train. They made me go to the trainers meeting still because I'll technically be training the visa-waiter I guess, but the whole time Elder Ayre kept making jokes about how everyone's training... except Sister Hallsted. Rude :) I got to see Sister Hansen at transfers and we didn't leave each other's sides for a single minute. Also, I got all my birthday mail and packages at transfers and everyone was like Holy Cow, Sister Hallsted!!! Hahaha I looked so loved. I felt so loved :) So thank you so so much everyone!

So, basically this is the most inspired last minute companionship. These sisters both came out three transfers ago and it is SO fun! Remember when I went on exchanges with Sister Loveland and she was totally unteachable? That was the only exchange this transfer that I felt like wasn't complete. Now I get another go at it! I'm only afraid that I'm just so used to being an STL and exchanges that I'm STLing them too much and taking over things. But they are both so open to changing and growing right now. AHHH. THAT'S THE BEST. It's this beautiful love triangle we've got going on that I explained to my journal. We're all helping each other so much, but mostly it goes Sister Hess is made for Sister Hallsted, Sister Hallsted for Sister Loveland and Sister Loveland for Sister Hess and our specific personalities and strengths are so fitting for what we need most right now. I love it so very much.

Liverpool is interesting.... more like Liverpoop in my opinion, but it's going to become the promised land by the time we leave this place! They have one investigator, but we're going to see so many miracles this week!!!!! We already have! I am SO excited to help the Lord build an area from the bottom up again! I took the sisters to Oswego to watch conference at my ward mission leader's house, the Murphy's, on Saturday. We stayed there all day with the elders too and that was just too much fun. We had a sleepover in my apartment in Oswego, both of these sister's first times leaving an area. So cute :) We watched Conference at the Maccallums for Saturday morning session, had some lessons, then left to Liverpool again and just watched Conference at the church. I loved Elder Renlund's talk and Elder Christofferson's! It was sooo cool to show them how Oswego was before and how an area can grow sooo much faster than most missionaries realize. Because it's not our work, it's the Lord which allows a ton of miracles to happen. Just having Liverpool sisters now that love the Lord and His children and want to work hard for Him is making a huge difference. It's so exciting explaining all this to these adorable newer sisters. Especially telling them the power of obedience and using 100% of our time to serve Him. They are seeing it too!
Another cool thing is that a general authority is coming to our mission! Elder Bennett is coming this Friday! So we're having another mission conference and I am so excited!!!! Plus, I get to see Sister Hansen again. I'm so happy!!! We're planning on going back up to Oswego again after the conference and sleeping over and working there on Saturday.
I know this is going to be a great two weeks and definitely a part of my mission that will change me a lot! I love the Lord so very much and feel so much gratitude to Him for how He's blessed me and my dear Oswego friends. Jehovah-Jireh. The Lord ALWAYS provides.


Sister Hallsted