Monday, February 29, 2016

Cooperstown #4 "He's a Mormon... you know how they are about Leap Day."

Feeding the baby lambs!
Hello my dear family!

Happy Leap Day! My weird subject line is a quote from Meet the Mormons if you didn't already recognize it. It's one of the few movies we can watch so I  have it memorized! It's one of my favorites ever!

Oh, also, some of you noticed my Facebook is being weird lately. I don't hate any of you! Facebook is just kicking me out of missionary life and asking me to change my name back to Brynn Hallsted. Hah! I'm trying to figure it out, but I may have to be done with Facebook until I get home because I don't want to make a new one. We'll see!

Anyways, this was a pretty good week. I ADORE COOPERSTOWN. Really, I feel overwhelmed with gratitude to the Lord for placing me here. I should really express my thanks more. I feel like I've been complaining so much and I'm sorry!

This last week was a little slower with the finding and many of our new investigators have been hard to reach, which is not unusual.  But we shared the Restoration with them and know that a seed has been planted! I haven't been feeling very well, which hasn't slowed down the work just made it a little less enjoyable for me.

We've been bringing members to our lessons, especially with the families that we have started to teach! It always seems to make things extra chaotic! Haha! But the members really are doing a great job of fellowshipping. Hopefully they can come to church next week. They'll have great fellowshippers!

This one lesson with the Rudloff family was the craziest lesson of my life!!! I am still laughing about it! Sister Jones the younger came with us (she's too cute and such a good member missionary) because she's in the Young Women's so she'll be Stephanie's leader. Stephanie didn't even come until the end though. We forgot about her because of the craziness. So, the Rudloff family: Paola (mom), Danny (16), Mikey (15) and Stephanie (12). Mikey and Danny both had friends over and so they alllll came downstairs and surrounded the kitchen table. We taught like 6 teenage boys about the Plan of Salvation. No time! i'll write it to you in a letter!

This week the missionaries, branch mission leader and branch missionaries are doing a fast with each person taking one day of the week. We should see many miracles! This area really has tons of potential and the members are ready to work to build the Lord's Kingdom here in Oneonta! But we need direction on where to go and what the Lord wants us more to do to find the families that the Lord is preparing to receive the gospel. We know we will find them! It's just a really exciting time. Also a very humbling time as I'm trying to make sure I'm always worthy to receive those important promptings from the Holy Ghost. We're listening closely for every prompting and acting quickly on them.

The highlight of my week was doing our usual Tues and Friday service at the Joseph's little "farm". I LOVE SHEEP. Who knew? And I adopted Little Lambikins, the little black sheep I sent a picture of last week. I got to feed him and hold him and I couldn't stop thinking about him. I was so excited to go back on Friday and see him again, but when we went to the shed, Renata was there and said she had some bad news that was going to be hard for me. Little Lambikins didn't make it through the cold that night :( So sad. We were going to have a really intense lesson with them that day too, but postponed it because she was so sad about the lamb. I may regret that, but we'll have it tomorrow. The Josephs are my greatest love and they just addddddore me. They haven't made a lot of progress though and so it's hard to think we may have to discontinue teaching them... Don't know how it's going to work with the farm…

Everything is going great in Cooperstown! The potential is very exciting for me!

Thanks for all your help and support! I SUUUUUUUURE LOVE YA!

Sister Hallsted

P.S. The mission office just texted us and I guess you can all send letters straight to our address now! Hooray for simplicity in this mission!!! My address is 165-167 Main St. #3W Cooperstown, NY 13326 Now you can totes google maps my adorable little apartment ;)

Monday, February 22, 2016

Cooperstown #3 "#MIRACLES"

signed up for clergy at Basset hospital. What does that even mean? Idk but it's in the finding section of PMG and we got fancy name badges! Yay!

Proof of the freaking cold :)

Baby lamb from the Josephs that I so so love.
Oh! also had a branch chili cook off and talent show. Of course we sang! Elder Harvey is the best man singer I've heard in real life. This was a little band by some branch members that was super good! I'll try to send the video of the four of us singing!

Bought a plant at the Cooperstown farmer's market this Saturday. Saturday was a really good day. and I needed a plant :) Lavender! No, I won't really eat it!

I wish I wasn't driving so I could have been so mom-like!!!! Making sandwiches as we drove to Hamilton for our blitz! Oh yeah, we blitzed the STLs this week. Pretty fun!
Me and Sister Howard are buds and were together for the blitz. She goes home with me! Idk why we're with an owl but it was kinda cute.

Dear Family,
Thank you for the WONDERFUL email!!!!! ! I am so glad that you enjoyed my letter! Just hearing all these sort of updates and plans for coming home makes me feel much better!! I may just write you another letter today but I have many people to write from Oswego this week haha.

HALEY GOT HER CALL!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Oh my gosh, I FLIPPED! We went to branch council Sunday morning, they kicked us out for a bit to talk about non-missionary stuff and so we went to check Facebook. I didn't think she'd get her call until next week since it was so  late in the week! That was the first thing on Facebook! AHHHHHH! I ran around the branch and told everyone :) When I watched the video on a computer with sound I was crying and crying! HAHA! She was so stinking cute and, ya know, it was soooo weird for me to hear her say "Brynn is coming home May 3rd". It was weird for me to hear her say my name! I truly forget you guys are still alive!!! Haha! Brother Kite showed it to me at the end of church as well. Sister Hansen sent it to his wife. Basically the best Sunday EVER. I'm am SO excited about Haley getting her mission call to Panama! I've met many people from Panama on my mission and they make the best food EVER! She's gonna get fat! Hurray!

This was quite the rollercoaster week for me! I am just SO emotional. I'm hoping this curse will be lifted after my missionary service is done but I doubt it! :)

Regardless of the rollercoaster week, we have seen the Lord work SO many miracles! Absolutely amazzzzing. Our branch mission leader continues to be so excited about missionary work and it is spreading through out the branch. We've set a branch goal of 12 baptisms for the year. Brother Bruneau and I believe we can reach more than that for sure!!!

The miracles we have seen.... oh my gosh. NINE new investigators this week and we're teaching THREE families. The branch is FLIPPING OUT about it! Hahaha! This branch is absolutely amazing. The branch has organized several missionary focused activities for March! The families all seem to know each other but thus is Cooperstown! The miracles that are going to take place here soon are going to be incredible.

I think this week with my companion was better than last! I'm having much much more patience! I've been studying it and it doesn't seem to be a problem anymore. The Lord always helps me quickly with little things like that if I really am sincere.

Thanks for your support! I sure love you ALL!!!!

Sister Hallsted

From Companion Sister Trapane’s Email for the week - I love to hear how Brynn is making a difference in her new area!! ~Julie
It was the most miraculous week of my entire mission, so far.

We had so many miracles, we picked up at least one new investigator everyday this week, except one! It was so amazing, and we generally found them all between 8 and 9 o'clock! I someone had told me this at the beginning of my mission, I would have thought they were crazy! The Lord really does bless us when we pray, and strive to find the answer.

Monday, February 15, 2016

Cooperstown #2 "New York Antarctica Mission"


Valentine Cards and Packages!
me in the shirt! I love it!

suuuper bored during snow day so I did cool hairstyles for her.

cooperstown: baseball cards littering the ground haha

For Sister Hale. Crocks to theend!!!!! Hahahaha
Me with a little animal... idk
otsego ?? lake!

doorknob or door bell? You pull these knobs next to the doors and nothing happens! Maybe just for decoration but everyone has them
me outside of the apt. We live under a little shoe store!

cutest apartment ever (when it's clean)!!!

Hello Family!

I am alive! I am sooo sure I have frostbite in my toes but it's worth it, right?! So, on Tuesdays we make cookies and cupcakes with Grandma Carter ("service" I guess) but she always tells us the weather and this time she's like "It's gonna be -18 on Sunday." We all laugh and think to ourselves "crazy old people". We even told Brother Bruneau what she said and we all chuckled together! Haha! Now we all know to believe Grandma! It hit -21 as we drove to church!!!! Don't worry, they said we could only go out if we had set appointments and all we do is tract so we couldn't go out! Also, Sister Trapane has had 3 nosebleeds so we had to stay in regardless... This week was a little more difficult, but we did see a lot of miracles with the work! We found many new investigators and the branch is sooo excited about it! Our branch mission leader continues to be incredible (we're actually emailing at his home today) and the branch council we had yesterday was really great! We're going to be starting weekly splits like we started in the Fulton ward and having a branch fast to find prepared families and potential priesthood holders ending the fast with a sacrament meeting about showing our Savior our love by spreading His gospel to our fellowmen. Super exciting! The branch is so ready to work with us!

Oh, also, this ZTM was my absolute favorite of my entire mission! It went perfectly along with my studies and thoughts that I've had for a while now. Especially the last portion on Jacob 7:5 and the faith pyramid! Although things aren't easy right now, I am so grateful for it. I truly have come to love how I grow through trials and I love love love Cooperstown and the branch.

I felt so so so much love from my V-day packages. Seriously, THANK YOU!!! I just felt so happy and loved. Sister Saunders got a bunch of people from Oswego to write me valentines and I just BAWLED because I felt so much love! Especially loved the letters from the kids. Also, Hyrum's letters are up on the wall above my bed and there's glitter all over the floor from the other notes. I love it! Truly, I was having such a rough day and it all helped soooo much. Couldn't have picked a better week.


Sister Hallsted

Monday, February 8, 2016

Cooperstown #1 - The Town of Fancy Doors, Doorknobs & Doorbells

Cooperstown #1 - The Town of Fancy Doors, Doorknobs & Doorbells

Hello Family!

Things are just going SO great here in Cooperstown! The Oneonta Branch just has been so wonderful welcoming me and they seem really excited to work with us. We got a new branch mission leader, Brother Bruneau, on Sunday and he is AWESOME. He's so ready to see some miracles and build the Lord's Church here in the Oneonta branch. It seems like the work in this area has been at a stand still. Sister Trapane is an extremely chill person, but she has a great desire to work hard and finally see something happen in Cooperstown. The work can use a lot of improvement, which I am excited about! There are way too many eternigators here and we both feel we just need to build a new teaching pool. We've found some people already! But it seems everyone in Cooperstown is a former! Haha Not a bad thing; just different. With every eternigator currently being taught, we've brought up baptism with the first lesson I had with them. If they don't know why we are here, then what's the point? Some of these investigators seemed to think we were just here to help them have better lives. It reminds me of a quote in Preach My Gospel, I think in the Our Purpose section under Baptism. I think it's by Elder Oaks (I don't have my PMG with me). That quote hit me hard at one point in Oswego. The work seems to be the same as it was there when I first arrived. But I know things are going to change like they did in Oswego! I KNOW that there are wonderful people that the Lord has prepared here. I know miracles are going to happen. We can both feel it!! It's going to be exciting.
Thank you for your prayers!!! I sure love you all!


Sister Hallsted

Monday, February 1, 2016

Oswego #28 "Blood & Baptisms"

Jackie’s Baptism!

We wrote out Mormon.Org in the snow. Creative proselyting, right?

We got  footie pajamas for Christmas as part of a district gift exchange

Us with the Feito Family, and with some old folks. :)

Hello Family!
This was an awesome last full week of Oswego! As you saw on Facebook, Jackie got baptized this Saturday with the elder's investigator Debbie! It was after the blood drive that we had to kind of run. We had quite the scare because Debbie donated blood, then drove home to change for the baptism. She was like 20 mins late to the baptism and no one could get a hold of her! But it was all okay. She was alive. She was just making food! She's so cute.

Our mission president set a goal of reaching 280 baptisms this year. My mission hasn't even really been able to make it to 200 baptisms for the previous couple of years, so that number is a really big deal! He's promised us that if we obey exactly and follow the Spirit that we'll be able to see miracles, and so far we are! At the end of January, we've seen 33 baptisms as a mission! That's incredible!

On Thursday we had to take our car in to the shop. A pair of previous missionaries got a crack in our back bumper. The body shop that we took it to is in Scriba, which is about 4-5 miles from our apartment. We were supposed to take it in at 8:30 that morning. We decided that we would rather have personal study than exercise, so when we woke up at 6:30 we went straight to personal study. We looked out the window an hour later and it was a total blizzard! We were pretty nervous because we knew that we were going to be walking home from Ken's, the Body Shop we went to. We prayed and prayed and prayed and set out to leave. As we drove our car there, the snow stopped! Definitely a miracle.

So we dropped off our car and the lady behind the counter asked us if we had anyone picking us up. We looked at each other and I said "No, we're just walking." The lady and a guy right next to her both looked at us with shock on their faces. I wish I had a picture! The lady then asked us how far we were walking, and because we didn't want to tell her we were walking all the way to Oswego in the snow, I said "Oh... just down the road..." and then we walked out of there. The road was a highway and didn't have a sidewalk and every time a car came we got dirty snow splashed on us, but it's all good. We were both SUPER sore. We couldn't even walk up stairs. It was totally ridiculous.

Anyways, transfers! They freaking call on Sunday nights now (Elder Oaks suggested they call on Tuesday nights... it's just a nightmare) but they finally called and I'm going to Cooperstown! ... I know nothing about Cooperstown except that Sister North is going to be super jealous because of the baseball hall of whatever that I don't care about. But I hear they have a cool art museum so that's cool! And making Sister North jealous is always fun too! Sister Saunders has been crying and crying. I think seeing her cry has been up there on one of the saddest things I've ever seen :( But I'm praying she's all cried out because I hate crying from me or anyone. Plus, she's getting two new sisters who are coming from Manchester VT and Hudson Falls! I'm pretty stoked about that. Tripanionships are the best! They needed two sisters to replace me ;) And, can you believe it?! My first for real transfer!!!! No ET for me this time! It kind of sucks actually saying goodbye to people. I was pretty pleased by the ward's reactions yesterday at church! Turns out they do love me! I didn't cry until I hugged Sister Reidy.

My time is up!

Love ya,
Sister Hallsted

P.S. We have absolutely NO snow. It's in the 50s right now. I'm wearing short sleeves. Best winter EVER.