Monday, April 25, 2016

Cooperstown #12 "Last Email"

Dear Family,

I don't know if I'm sad about that or happy. But I am SO sick of emailing! Haha

Sorry, my last email and I didn't even take time to write a good one! I'm cutting my time short because the librarian hates me. haha

Am I freaking out because I get to see Sister North tonight? Well, yeah :) Tuesday I go to the temple and Jackie and Jim will both be there! SO EXCITED TO SEE THEM! Jackie is being baptized for Jim's grandma and Jim is going to be baptizing. How amazing is that? My heart is so happy.

This week was... a rollercoaster. But I loved it. We met some wonderful new people. We went to the Quaker's silent prayer group. I looooved it! I told them I'm finding a group in Utah to go to. We also meet with a lot of Episcopal church members. Carrie and Burr are feeding us this week! YAY! They invited Connie as well. I know.. I probably never even told you about them. Sorry.

We also helped the Josephs on their farm... they're struggling. The elders came to help. We were happy they came because they got to shovel all this sheep poop and we just took pictures :) George wasn't wearing a shirt so that was awesome but gross :) I love him so freaking much. He prayed before we left and said "We pray Sister Hallsted will gain a few pounds. Have her eat some dark chocolate or something. She needs to gain weight, especially if she wants a husband." We all just lost it :) Hahahaha

We had quite the adventure in this new place we found called Schyler Lake. But we spent way too long talking with this Russian man about the house next door and how it was taken over by 7 demons and tried to kill him and his wife. There were a lot of interesting people in Schyler Lake. I want time to go back. I loved it.
Larry is doing well. He was supposed to be getting baptized May 1st but that's not gonna happen cuz he hasn't been well enough to come to church. But he got a priesthood blessing and is listening to the Book of Mormon on CD. I adore Larry soooo much. Micah drew him a picture of Batman and Larry was the happiest man on the earth :) We taught Larry the Law of Chastity Saturday night and I had him read the first bullet point in the pamphlet about the blessings of keeping the law of chastity. It says something like "Invite the Holy Ghost into your life" and Larry adds "Except you don't want him watching on your wedding night!" It was so unexpected and hi'larry'ous :)

Sunday was incredible. I looove this branch although I don't feel like I know them very well. The talks were incredible and afterwards we went with the Young Women's president, her daughter and Mary Noorlander (branch president's daughter) to the Weeks so they could meet Brianna and Abby! The Weeks are doing wonderful! They've opened up to us so much. I really don't want to leave right now because things have just picked up! We've had no news about transfers yet, but tonight I'll be having my departing interview with President and I'll ask him then. I'm excited to bask in the Rogers' presence for a couple days :) :) :)

I finished Sister Rogers' picture! It looks so good! But I haven't matted it yet, so I'll give it to her when I leave. I'm busy working on little projects for everyone I love here like always. Haha

I think maybe after the temple trip, it will feel real that I am leaving soon. Things have gotten much better with Sister T! We'll be good friends after our missions. The Lord makes me so much more than I could ever be on my own! Please pray for me lots! I love you all and I am so excited to see you!!! 

Suuuure Love Ya!

Love,
Sister Brynnie Hallsted

Monday, April 18, 2016

Cooperstown #11 "The God Girls"

Hello my dear Family!

This week was a good one! We've seen many miracles! We fasted yesterday and have been praying lots that sisters will be able to come to our mission and fill Cooperstown, but we also have complete faith that the Lord wouldn't be giving us these miracles if He didn't think the elders could continue to help these people progress if the sisters' area does have to close. Sister Trapane and I both think it would be best if the area was white-washed with two new sisters if there are sisters available though. But we know it's all in the Lord's hands!
President told the elders that Cooperstown may be closing when President and Sister Rogers came to inspect our apartments (we seemed to all fail that inspection haha). But the elders are being poopstains about the possibility of them taking over our area. A transfer is never complete without being annoyed with the elders for a little bit. Haha

On Monday night, we had a cool experience. Our appointment fell through so we were finding a new place to tract outside of Cooperstown. I had forgotten my GPS and I was a little bit lost for a while there. But we somehow ended up in a trailer park we had tracted a couple weeks ago. We went to three houses right in a row and picked up one potential family and four new investigators! All of this happened between 8 and 9 pm. It was really amazing!

Brother Bruneau, our branch mission leader, is great! We're trying to put together a branch fast starting in May to get the members more involved in the missionary work in this area. We have really great auxiliary leaders in branch council who really want to help, but the other members of the ward aren't as involved, so we're working on that.

We were able to see one of our investigators Barbara this week! Maybe I told you about her adn her cute daughters Emma and Eleanor. When we knocked on the door, Emma said to her mom "The God girls are here!" Haha I liked that. I wish everyone would recognize us that way!

The Weeks family is doing well! They're opening up to us more and more! We're going to be helping on their farm this week and the elders will be joining us so they can meet them too. They're not available to come church right now because of farmer's markets they're doing on Sundays, but the teenage daughters could come. The Young Women's President and her daughter are coming with us this week to meet them. It will be great! The members are really excited about the Weeks family!

This week went so well with Sister Trapane! We've really become good friends! I'm grateful we stayed together this transfer so we could work things out. We're great friends now and we've both learned so much! We really do love each other. She thinks I'm hilarious so that always helps :)

Thank you for all your support, prayers, advice and encouragement! I'm doing better at not freaking out about coming home! I was making myself sick cuz I wasn't sleeping at all because I was stressing so much about everything. Haha But I am doing much better! The Lord will work all of it out. Although it still doesn't feel totally real, I'm getting more excited to see you all in two-ish weeks! I sure love ya!

Love,
Sister Hallsted

Monday, April 11, 2016

Cooperstown #10 “From Pooperstown to Cooperstown!”



Did I already use that dumb joke? Can't remember…

Hello Family!

I have so much to say and so little time! This week we went to blitz the STLs in New Hartford and as a special treat we got to stay in the mission home that night! Hooray for bed bugs in the STLs apartment! I love it! We had ZTM the next day so it just worked out perfectly. Since we were having interviews with President Rogers at ZTM, he decided to just interview us before we went to bed Thursday night. Man, that was the most amazing interview of my life. He said it didn't have to be long because he's interviewing me for my departing interview in a few weeks, but I made it go on for like 30 minutes by having a break down! Hahaha I don't enjoy doing that, but as I apologized for crying, he said "Why do you think I keep that tissue box right there?" I look to my left and there's this big tissue box. Haha I love him and Sister Rogers so much. I'm working on a beautiful drawing of Sister Rogers right now. I love her!

ZTM of course was wonderful. President told me we were going to talk about being "the urgent missionary" and that it was going to be hard for me, but he also included Alma 26 and talked about not being discouraged when it gets hard. He looked at me like the entire time! At one point, he was talking about how fast missions go by and of course I already have tears in my eyes, but he turns the attention on me and says, "Sister Hallsted knows this. She doesn't even want to think about it right now!" He thought that was funny :) At ZTM, everyone made me very aware that it was my last one. It actually felt real for the first time! But it's gone back to feeling like I'm going to be doing missionary life forever here in NY :)

We have seen miracles since we were in Utica! We found 7 new investigators this week! And things went SO WELL with the Weeks family! The husband wants the whole family baptized immediately, but they're not sure. They're willing to give it another try though. Yayayaya!!!! I'm now more motivated than ever to build this area. Sister Trapane is as well! Tuesday through Friday are totally booked for us in this upcoming week! That makes me so so happy! We actually have return appointments with the newer investigators we have found. It's also interesting that we've been invited to three different churches scripture study classes. The Episcopal church, the Jehovah's Witnesses, and the Quakers (I love the Quakers!). This has never happened to me my whole mission. I think it's a great opportunity though!

We're very excited for this week!

Gosh, I have so much to say, but no time! A lot more weirdos wanting to marry us or destroy our testimonies. I'm keeping a detailed journal and I'll inform you all at some point! Thank you so much all of your help, love and support. And PRAYERS! I truly am so grateful for it. I sure love you all!!!!

Love,
Sister Hallsted
P.S. The best part of my week was an unexpected call from SISTER SAUNDERS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! There is no end to my love for that lady. It was all done in obedience though. They had a potential to give to us. But of course we talked for like 45 minutes! Haha I miss her so so much.

Monday, April 4, 2016

Cooperstown #9: "merry christmas...."

Hello family!

Mylanta, we've gotten more snow in the past two days than we have all winter. It better melt soon because I want all the NY summer humidity I can get!!! But, I've been on such a spiritual high this week that I didn't even rage when I woke up and saw the snow yesterday. I'm grateful for a companion who will listen to Christmas music in April :) Things in my companionship are going much much better!

I am SO happy to report that things are going so well here!!!

I am focusing on the things that the Lord teaches me each day and, wow, it is beautiful! In doing so, I am really feeling more of His love than ever before as I see the small, simple things He wants to teach me. When our companionship was at the height of its struggles, I felt like I was doing so many things wrong. I made it my rule that as long as I was doing what Christ would do in each situation, I couldn't be doing too bad of a job! Looking back, I see that the Lord WAS guiding me. I was doing just what He wanted me to do! I really do love her and it's much more rewarding to see her improve than myself. It's taken sacrifice, but I really am coming to love it.

I know this is getting long, but she's also told me that in her patriarchal blessing it says she will strengthen her faith in all areas of her life. She gave me the greatest compliment ever the other day and told me I have really helped fulfill that for the first time in her life. We're setting exercise/health goals, goals in our companionship, and having more faith than ever in our work! That comment from her has really been encouraging for me. And rewarding!

We had a wonderful miracle happen yesterday! After conference, the elders gave us a record they had found in their area book for a family in our area. They haven't been taught for a few years. The father was in prison for 11 years, but while there, he was taught about the church and wanted to be baptized. The same situation as Sister Coy in Oswego! Brother Weeks (the father) and his family moved to New York and were taught just a few times it seems by the elders. But his wife wasn't in favor of him being baptized. We went over immediately after we got the records from the elders! We talked with the wife and her and I really connected! We can tell she's opening up so much more to us than she did to the elders in the past. Sometimes that happens. She said she wants a "church family" and we promised her that is exactly what she'll feel in the Oneonta branch! It was wonderful!!! They didn't have time right then, but we're going back on Wednesday.

We were also able to find 5 new people to teach this week, all of which were found by following those small impressions from the Spirit to change our plans.

General Conference was TOO AMAZING FOR WORDS!

The Lord truly is blessing us! Thank you thank you for supporting me through this!

Love,
Sister Hallsted