MAILING ADDRESS

Sister Brieanna MacCall Gould
Nebraska Omaha MIssion
11027 Martha St
Omaha, NE 68144-3107
United States

Monday, December 28, 2015

White Out

So today.. it's SNOWING. SO MUCH. AND IT'S SO COLD. On Sunday, it was 3 degrees. 3! Wow. But I'm loving it, I really am :) Just makes this whole experience an even cooler adventure!

What a great week. Getting to see my family was the best! Focusing on the Savior as we taught everyone we met was so cool. I am loving it here in Sioux City, I really am. I already have developed such a love for these people!

Just listen to this story.

Two weeks ago, the sisters were teaching this lady named Ruth. They were talking to her about her divine potential as a daughter of God, which led to a conversation about patriarchal blessings. Ruth told the sisters that she was scared about what her blessing might say. With love, the sisters told her that she would learn more about her relationship with her Father and some of the gifts that she was given. They invited her to come to church the next Sunday, fasting and praying. 

Well, now fast forward a bit. The first Saturday I was here, we went to a branch Christmas party, where I met Ruth. She was sitting alone, so I went and grabbed a seat and started talking to her. (funny side note: she spoke perfect English but I had no idea so I just kept talking to her in my rough Spanish hahah and then my companion came over and they both talked to each other in English! So funny). She was so kind, and I could sense that the Lord loved her very much. I could feel it! 

The next Sunday, we were in Relief Society, and I was able to sit next to Ruth again. The class started, but the teacher didn't show up. Another sister, completely unprepared, got up and taught the class on how we can focus our lives on the Savior. It somehow took a different turn... about patriarchal blessings. Ruth's jaw fell open, and so did all of ours. It was amazing - she got her answer. The lesson was all about how we can better know God's will and plan for each of us. By the end of the day, Ruth had decided that she needed to get that blessing.

All because of her faith! It was amazing! 

It's pretty cool how God answers our prayers. Sometimes it takes a long time - He teaches us patience. Other times, it just seems to come like that *snaps fingers.* However He decides to answer out prayer, we just need to continue to trust in Him. He really knows what He's doing. It's incredible.

I love you all! Keep being good!

xoxo

Hermana Brie Gould

pictures: SNOW! And yes, I know I'm only wearing one sock. Also SKYPE WITH THESE FOOLS.

Monday, December 21, 2015

Life is funny‏

Well y'all, the rumors are true. I got TRANSFERRED. Can you even believe it!? After 6 transfers in my baby area Omaha, I am now in Sioux City, Iowa! I'm here in a trio with Hermana Bacy (again! WOO!) and Hermana Castagnola! It's been craziness since I got here on Friday - all so good though. I am now serving in a branch, which is quite different from a ward, but I love it! All of the active members are so strong. It's pretty cool. We live in a nice little house, right in downtown Sioux. It's sweet! We're also the only sisters in the WHOLE zone. Woah.

Adjusting has been weird - I feel like a new missionary all over again. It was hard leaving a place where I knew everyone and everyone knew me to a place where it's the complete opposite! But it's so good because I already know I am going to learn so much. Being in a trio is really cool, we learn so much more from each other. So far, all is well!!!

So before I left Omaha, I had some pretty big goodbyes to say. It was hard! Especially saying goodbye to Esmerelda and Jose. Those two have changed me. As we were sitting in their living room, Esmerelda started to tear up as she said how much she would miss her "big blue-eyed, blonde sister." Haha! Both of us cried together - the Spirit confirmed to me that I was meant to meet her. We both changed each other. I will never forget the memories I had with her and her family - we will always be family!!!! :)

After several goodbyes and pictures and tears, we finished the night at the Urquidez home, where we had a family home evening all about the Savior. They had surprised us with a buffet of treats and even Christmas presents for each of us! I was reminded as we talked about the Savior and His birth that I am here serving a mission to help others remember Him. That's what this is all about! Not me, Him.

Hermana Miller and I kneeled in prayer one last time as a companionship and cried as I thanked our Heavenly Father for the precious time we've had together. 

Leaving my "home" was really hard. I had grown to love each and every human I had met. But I know that the Lord needs me in Sioux City right now! Saturday night at the branch Christmas party, the Spirit whispered something so sweet, so needed as the opening prayer was said. "The people might be different, but the language is the same - Spanish and the gospel." It was so obvious yet so perfectly profound. Don't you love how God works like that? :)

Overall, life is good. So good. And Christmas is in 4 days which makes it incredibly good.

Ah, life.

I LOVE YOU ALL. MERRY CHRISTMAS!!!! :)

xoxo

Hermana Brie Gould

ps new address is 419 Main St. Sioux City, Iowa 54103.... sooo... write me :)

Monday, December 14, 2015

Love of God‏

So this week was crazy, and I don't have time to write about all of it so I'm gonna tell you about Sarah :)

A couple weeks ago, we were at church and noticed Sarah, sitting with her boyfriend, Angel (a member). We realized that she had been coming to sacrament for quite a bit of time now - why we didn't talk to her sooner, I really don't know. We talked to her, set up an appointment, and planned a great lesson with her! Turns out, about a year ago, she was actually set for baptism. A few family complications made it so she wasn't able to. As we started talking to her, we realized that she is incredibly prepared and ready. Her testimony is already so strong. She is willing to do what she needs to to get an answer about this church and about the decision to be baptized. Yesterday, we felt that she was ready to be baptized... the 19th. In like 5 days. So we prayed fervently, came up with a plan, and just showed up at her house unannounced. As we started the lesson, the Spirit just took over. Hermana Miller and I were able to start a really good discussion by following the different promptings we were receiving to get Sarah to start thinking about what she wanted in life. She said that this is what she wanted. She knew that it was what she needed as well. It was amazing to feel and be apart of something that was clearly being led by the Spirit. We asked her all of the baptismal questions - which she completely answered perfectly - and we set her for the 19th. She told us that she would start praying specifically for that date, and we told her we would as well. We have another appointment with her today, one on Wednesday, and one on Friday! Haha! She just wants to learn all she can - she really wants to take this step as soon as possible. And it's going to happen, we all have so much faith :)

We also had the opportunity of visiting a couple of our ward members in the hospital this week. That place is incredibly humbling - especially seeing someone you love in a hospital bed, so helpless. It was cool to see how just talking about our Heavenly Father and His love really lifted everyone's spirit. We just shared our love, our testimonies, and some of our favorite scriptures, with a couple ward members by our side. I am also so impressed when the members open their mouths and share their love for the gospel. Their testimonies are so powerful! We sang a hymn and ended every visit with a prayer. Just a really cool experience.

I'm so sorry this email is so short! So many miracles are happening every day. I was able to go to the temple again this last week. I have just been reflecting a lot about the life that I've been living and who I am becoming. Being in the temple always helps to put things into perspective. This life is something incredible, it really is.

I love you all so much! Have an AWESSOMMEE week!

Also, just in case you didn't know, CHRISTMAS IS NEXT WEEK.

Ok bye.

xoxo

Hermana Brie Gould

PHOTO ALBUM: Christmas Zone Conference

Christmas Zone conference and the ward Christmas party! Both so fun, both so crazy.


I was able to go to the temple again this last week.


Monday, December 7, 2015

Goodness, all around‏

*me singing* Thiiiis weekkk was soooo goooood!!!!!!!!!!!!!


Did you hear my voice in your little head when you read that? Ok good.


I am like just overwhelmed with everything all the time. Every Monday, I get here and can't even properly form my thoughts - God is just so good. So good. I am so happy, despite the struggling and the pain and the exhaustion and everything, I am so happy. No puedo expresar todo que esta dentro de mi corazon - he cambiado muchisimo y voy a cambiar mas. Solo por medio de El, nuestro Salvador y Redentor. LA VIDA ES BUENA.

So yes, life is good. Let me tell you about it.

On Tuesday, we met with Flor again. We had an incredible lesson, all about our Heavenly Father. She opened up to us and told us crazy stories from her past. During one in particular, she couldn't hold back the tears as the painful memories came flooding back in. She said through quiet sobs, "I know God was with me. I know He lives." I myself fought back tears as I promised her that He was, that He loves her, and that she is una hija tan especial de su Padre Celestial. The Spirit was so strong, it was incredible. She looked both of us in the eye and said, "Sisters, if my family wants this - the church and everything - I promise you that I will be all in." I about had a FREAKING heart attack haha but I swallowed hard and looked her right back and said, "Flor, this is what your family needs." Prays and fasting, prays and fasting, prays and fasting - our schedule for the next couple three days until a miracle happens. Gosh dang. The next day her family came to mutual, where the boys played basketball and soccer, we all ate cake and ice cream, and we all just chatted and had a good time. They enjoyed it! But honestly, you have no idea how hard we are praying right now. We need a miracle. This family is amazing.

Thursday, we had lunch with a member in our ward, Hermana Bernal. About an hour before, she called us and invited her to her friend's house instead to eat. Can I just tell you how INSPIRED that was? We were sitting there, eating lunch, and Hermana Bernal started talking all about the church, which led to the Book of Mormon, which led to a discussion all about our beliefs. Her friends, Lizet and Lucy, happened to be looking for a church - they just wanted to know the truth. Lizet had been reading the Bible, and she loved what she had been learning. She had expressed a desire to know where the truth was. We testified that we knew the best way to look for an answer was to go to the source of all truth. She ended up taking a Book of Mormon, promising that she would read, and we finished with a closing prayer. See? GOD IS SO GOOD.

Right after that, we went and visited Esmerelda and Jose. This might've been the most emotional visit of mah life. We had a lesson planned about prophets and the Restoration, but as we were reading and whatnot, they started throwing question after question at us. Jose asked me to write them down so we could have someone else better answer them. As I struggled to answer their questions in Spanish, I was so overwhelmed. A couple days earlier at a zone training, we were reminded that "we as missionaries have the power to promise these people blessings. We have been set apart to do this work." I was reminded of this during the onslaught of questions, and as I tried my best to answer, I just stopped. I couldn't hold the tears back any longer, and I just testified. I said, "Esmerelda and Jose, I know that I can't really speak the language very well. I know that I am not the perfect teacher. But I know that we have been set apart by a prophet, by a living, breathing servant of the Lord. We have the right and authority to promise you these blessings." It was silent for a minute or two, and then Esmerelda spoke up. What she said changed my life, honestly. She said, "Hermana Gould, you are the reason our family is more united. I have never met anyone else who I can speak to. You listen to me and try your best to help me because you love me. You understand me. Our family is filled with love because you first showed us that love. We are better because of you." She wiped away tears as I wiped my own. 


I was filled with an understanding in that moment: I'm not perfect, but He is. The Spirit practically yelled at me, "You are a missionary - not a perfect teacher or a fluent one either. You are a vessel in which the Lord needs to work!"


I left her home feeling uplifted, with a better understanding of my purpose.


"My way is oh so lacking, limited, and inferior to the way of Jesus Christ. His way is the path that leads to happiness in this life and eternal life in the world to come."



I've come to learn a very important lesson: I am nothing, as to my strength I am weak. But I've also learned: In Him, I can find strength - my weaknesses, my will to keep moving forward, my faith, my abilities... all become stronger only in and through Him.


So trusting my all to thy tender care

and knowing thou lovest me

I'll do thy will with a heart sincere

I'll be what you want me to be



I could never have imagined how hard this whole experience would be. It's been so incredibly humbling. I love it.



xoxo



Hermana Brie Gould

PHOTO ALBUM: sunriseeeee in Omaahhhha!

sunriseeeee in Omaahhhha!


Monday, November 30, 2015

Snow, snow, aannnnd more snow‏

So YES IT'S SNOWING! And it's so pretty everywhere! Ah! CHrisTmas!

Ok so this week was another really good one. So many miracles. Like for instance, Saturday night all of our plans got cancelled for Sunday after church, so we scrambled to come up with some new plans and prayed, asking God to help us fill our day. And guess what happened? Our day was completely filled! From the moment church started to the moment our heads hit our pillows, we were busy working. It was actually kind of crazy. We saw Flor, got a referral, met some members, had a meeting with our ward mission leader, ate dinner, got a new investigator, set up a family home evening with a couple families, visited Shana and Victor... so much goodness. It was amazing.

Sundays just seem to be the best ever lately.

The rest of the week was really great too! We went to the Mormon Trail Center with Flor and her little girl, where we saw all of the gingerbread houses, went on a tour, and watched a video focused on families. The spirit was so strong, Flor was just glowing. She was so happy. Flor is amazing, I love her! She wants her sons to start coming to mutual activities, and she asked us if she could come to a family home evening with us! Umm yes! She told us last night that she had felt the spirit, and that she felt really good about this church. She just needed the rest of her family on board. We feel soooo good about this - the Lord loves this family so much, He's watching out for them and slowly but surely softening their hearts.

Thanksgiving was a blast. We met up with Shana and made like 10 pies! So yummy! And then we ate with her and the elders and shared a little message about how the gospel has all blessed our lives. After that, we headed to the Torres families house for our SECOND dinner! If our ward had their way, we would've had like 7 dinners haha we got so many calls throughout the day - members just asking us if we were good :) We are sure loved! We love them right on back.

I've been thinking a lot about my mission so far and who I'm becoming and everything that I have learned. Never would I have imagined how much the Lord would bless me, my family, my friends, and my family here in Nebraska. I was overwhelmed this last week as I realized how much I had grown to love these people - purely and unconditionally. I want the absolute best for these people. And then it hit that this love wasn't a result of anything I had really done, it was Jesus Christ working through me. I have been humbled and chastened and purified these last 9 months - I still have 9 more to go! But it was an incredible feeling when I realized just how far I've come. 

Never again will I be the same.

So grateful.

xoxo

Hermana Brie Gould

PHOTO ALBUM: SNOW & Thanksgiving!


Monday, November 23, 2015

Estoy agradecida‏

Wow, what a great week. We had a zone conference with Elder Martino of the seventy and that changed my life. I don't have my notebook on me of my notes, so you're just gonna have to believe me that it was really good. I left that meeting feeling so pumped and ready a cambiar el mundo con el evangelio!!!!

So anywho.

After zone conference, we headed back to our area and met up with Flor and her little girl, Flor :) Confusing, I know. Florcita will be celebrating her 4th birthday in January and they are planning a huge Frozen-themed birthday! And of course, they are already planning for it! Flor invited us to come with her to go dress shopping! It was a lot of fun, and she was grateful for the company. We found a beautiful, little blue dress, perfect for Frozen, and Florcita was in loooove. It was so cute. Afterwards, we went and got ice cream and chatted for a bit. Flor told us that she actually loved going to church the last Sunday. She said it felt really good and peaceful, and it was cool for her to see the little Primary children testifying of the Savior. We talked all about how she can continue to feel that feeling - through prayer and scripture study. I honestly feel so good about Flor. We are told we should be finding people are good, Christian people - those who are going about doing good. Flor is so strong, her desires are so real, and she just wants the best for her family. I have so much faith that she will take the step of baptism. I can already see her dressed in white, not only for baptism but also to go to the temple. She's amazing.

After we finished up our ice cream, we said our goodbyes and parted ways. Hermana Miller and I decided to go visit Esmerelda and Jose, to see how they were doing. We only have about 30 minutes, and we wanted to share a quick, powerful message about the Restoration, but when we got there, we just kind of lost control on the situation. It was pretty chaotic and the Spirit was not able to dwell with us. I struggled to teach, the words just weren't coming, and as we left, I felt like I had failed as a missionary. I didn't think we had done anything to help build their faith. As we drove to our next appointment - which we were 45 minutes late too - I prayed fervently for help and to feel the Spirit again. 

We parked in front of Casandra's house, went over our lesson plan, and then said a prayer. As we were walking up to the house, a feeling of peace just rested over me. Casandra welcomed us in, and I noticed that she looked a little more tired than usual - not just physically, but emotionally. We asked her how she was doing, and she said fine. And then a thought came to me of a video full of amazing advice from Elder Busche. I asked her if we could watch it, hoping that my companion wouldn't be too thrown off by the change of plans, and prayed that we would be able to teach according to Casandra's needs, because obviously something was wrong. As we watched, I swear the Spirit just filled the room - it was tangible. I payed attention to the feelings I personally was feeling, trying to discern what the Spirit wanted me to say after the video finished.

We asked Casandra what stood out to her. We kept the conversation going, asking different questions, and found out that she had stopped praying recently because she just didn't have much faith that God was listening. We testified powerfully that God loved her, that he had a plan for her, and that "we receive no witness until after the trial of our faith." It was incredible to see the Spirit working on her, and it felt so good to teach according to her needs. As we finished, we knelt in prayer and she offered a simple but beautiful prayer, asking for forgiveness for not praying but giving thanks for all that He had done. That girl... amazing.

We had another really cool experience last night up at the Mormon Trail Center at Winters Quarters. We were able to get Shana and Victor to come along as well. BUTTTT they took so long to get there, I was stressin' for like 45 min, pacing back and forth. It was the third time that we had tried to get them to come, and the last two had both failed... oh ye of little faith, I know. But anyway, it just made it THAT MUCH BETTER when they walked through the door :) We watched a little video about eternal family, which set the tone perfectly. We did a little tour, but ended up just mainly focusing on the sacrifices of the pioneers and early saints. It was really neat to see the Spirit working so powerfully on Victor, he was just soaking it all up. He was so interested to know more. As we finished in a little room that looks out to the temple, the Spirit was so strong. We bore testimony that Victor could feel and would feel the power of the Atonement in his life every day for the rest of his life if he took that first step of baptism. We testified of the truthfulness of this gospel - that no one would ever make so many painful sacrifices for something that wasn't true. And we held back tears as we promised both Shana and Victor that God had a plan for them - a wonderful, glorious plan. Victor, a little choked up by emotion, told us he wanted to be baptized. So we set him right there, for December 5th :) So amazing.

GOD IS A GOD OF MIRACLES.

I am so grateful for everything. Literally, just everything.

HAPPY THANKSGIVING.

xoxo

Hermana Brie Gould

PHOTO ALBUM: Half Way

also it's my half way point in 2 days.. what


Monday, November 9, 2015

The Hope Project‏

Oh my gosh, oh my gosh, oh my gosh, I don't even know how I'm going to fit everything into this email in like 39 minutes, but guys, this week WAS AMAZING.

Not only did we have Spanish Conference, Zone training, and exchanges with our sister trainer leaders, we also practically lived "17 Miracles" yesterday. So that was cool.

So our zone recently started something called, "The Hope Project." Each day, a companionship is chosen to fast all day long while everyone else in the zone prays for them. So many amazing miracles have been happening, it's super cool. Well, our day hadn't come, but I jokingly told Hermana Miller that we should have it on Sunday (yesterday) because we needed all the help we could get getting people to church. Plus our area just hasn't been progressing too much - we need more progressing investigators! Believe it or not, the zone leaders called us Saturday night and asked us to fast the next day. BOOM.

SO MIRACLE TIME.

We have been working with some members, the Urquidez family. So sweet, so awesome. They contacted us and told us that they wanted to come back to church, that they wanted to be sealed as a family. They just never come to church! They have the best of intentions - they really want to - but when Sunday comes around, they just don't come. This has been happening for the last 5 months or so. We've been encouraging them, talking all about primary with their 5 little kids, reading the Book of Mormon, taking them to the Mormon Trail Center, etc. just trying to help them recognize how great church is. Well, Sunday morning, we decided to physically go to their apartment and invite them in person to come to church. We had a plan all ready to go, we were going to kneel in prayer with them, the works. But when we walked up to the door, before we could even knock, the dad opened up the door wearing his slacks and a white shirt. The little kids all tumbled out onto the front porch, talking all about their new dresses for church and how excited they were. The littlest one grabbed my dress and asked me to sit with her! I choked back tears as I said, "Yes of course!" We rushed to our car to meet them at church, and I vocally thanked my Heavenly Father. I couldn't hold back my tears as we drove. I was amazed. I was so grateful. That experience changed me. Those moments are what I live for now.

So after I composed myself, we called our investigator, Victor. The night before, we had a great lesson all about the Book of Mormon and the Holy Ghost, and he was just eating it up. We had Brother Shumway, a member of our ward come with us as well. Brother Shumway offered to pick up Victor for church the next day as well! YES MEMBERS ROCK. So we were all set, ready to go, but then Victor told us that he wasn't going to be able to make it because his keys were locked in his car. What!? We sent Brother Shumway Victor's number and just prayed. We didn't hear back from either of them, and they didn't show up for sacrament meeting. We went to the next two classes, still not knowing what happened. After church ended, our ward mission leader came up to us and said, "Su investigador, no?" And pointed down the hall. I was like, "SHUT UP." Victor came! And Brother Shumway brought him!

What ended up happening was that Brother Shumway drove all the way to where Victor was, tried for about 30 min to open the car door, and when all else failed, they prayed together and tried one more time, popping the door right on open. Victor was amazed. During the two hours while he was at church, he just loved it. He was so grateful that God answered his prayer. It was a testimony-builder and evidence that God not only heard his prayer but that He loves him dearly. Amazing. So grateful for members who sacrifice so much. So grateful for a loving Heavenly Father who gives so freely. Gah so grateful.

After church, we headed to a meeting with our ward mission leader, where we talked a little about Jose and Esmerelda. Remember them? LOVE THEM. We just aren't sure what more we can do to help Esmerelda progress. We were planning on visiting them after the meeting, and our ward mission leader offered to come. Right when Esmerelda opened the door, she just looked so happy. So so happy. It was sure different - usually shes exhausted or just not in the mood - but this time, she was just glowing. We started talking and found out that Jose and Esmerelda had been READING THE BOOK OF MORMON TOGETHER AND PRAYING. Ok what!?!? That's actually just flat-out amazing. Like AMAZING. We have been trying to get Esmerelda to read forever, like since May, and now she's doing it. They have read a couple chapters even. They just had a few questions about Lehi and his family, but honestly, they said they loved it. Esmerelda even prayed to know if the church was true, and she said she got a really calm, peaceful feeling, which meant to her that it was in fact true. (I about bawled at this point). We then asked her if she would be baptized, to which she actually said yes, but that she wanted some more time. She wanted to make the decision for herself, not for anyone else. Incredible. Her desires are so on point, she is acting on her faith, and she has recognized the Holy Ghost testifying to her already. Now all we gotta do is be patient. It's all in the Lord's timing. He knows best.

We finished the night by FINALLY getting in contact with Flor, Esmerelda's sister. She asked us to come visit her today! We are so excited, we haven't been able to get in contact with her for about 2 weeks now. It was yet again, another miracle.

Guys, I know that God is real. These experiences don't just happen. There are no coincidences in this life. Nothing beats seeing God work His power and affect everyone with His love. Nothing. I am so happy, I love this work. I love helping others feel and experience what I've loved and experienced my whole life. I know God lives. I know He loves us. I know through His Son, we can be redeemed, we can find happiness, we can feel peace. Gosh, every fiber of my being just knows that this is God's Kingdom on earth once again. He loves us, He is taking care of us, He is guiding us. And we are so blessed.

So blessed.

xoxo

Hermana Brie Gould

PHOTO ALBUM: Birthday Week!!

Thank you all for your sweet birthday wishes!!! 20 YEARS OLD. Crazy. My first and only birthday I'll celebrate in the mission field! So excited! Guess it's time to say bye to being a teenager, huh..? :)



I LOVE YOU ALL. Have a wonderful week!!!!!

Monday, November 2, 2015

Not going according to plan‏

So something that I've learned is that when things don't go according to plan, it only means that God has something else in store. It makes change a lot easier to deal with when you remember that there's an Almighty watching over you, guiding and directing you.

We had a day when absolutely nothing went according to plan, but we ended the night feeling satisfied with the work that was done. The Spirit let us know that what we had done that day was enough - that we had followed the Lord's plan, though in the moment of it all, we felt pretty hopeless. Wednesday afternoon, we headed up to Elkhorn for a district meetings. So much inspiration! I learned so much. We were ready to go afterwards! We finished some studies that we weren't able to do earlier that day, got lunch, and then waited at the church for a member to meet us. A couple weeks back, we got a referral from a member from Elkhorn who asked us to come teach one of her friends. Of course we would! Elkhorn is about a 20 mile drive for us, so it had to be planned perfectly because we can't waste any miles. We were able to set up a couple more appointments in the area, which we were so excited about. 

We were planning on meeting with another couple investigators! Well, what ended up happening... no one was home :( All of out appointments fell through! So we were practically stranded in a mainly English-speaking area with no one to visit. We prayed, got some dinner, and figured our lives out.

That's when I felt prompted to try some less-actives who lived closer to Papillion, which would be on our way home. BOTH were home and BOTH needed us. Well not "us" but they need Heavenly Father. We were able to share messages with both that very visibly opened up their hearts. We set up return appointments with both of them, and then headed home for bed. So simple, but so profound. The Lord guides His missionaries. Sure, we didn't get to teach any new investigators, but we were able to teach His children. I felt uplifted by the end of the night, and I knew it was because we had done what the Lord needed us to do.

Another crazy moment turned into a miracle.. we got a referral last week from some English sisters for a woman named Maria. She had just moved into our area, but they didn't have her new address, just the name of the apartment building and her number. We tried to number - nope. So we decided to just go on faith. When we showed up at the apartments, it ended up being like a COMMUNITY OF BUILDINGS hahah plus you needed a key to get into them! So, of course, we prayed fervently for a miracle, and then just started walking around, waiting for someone to open the door haha

Well, a family showed up, and we creepily followed them into their building. The odds of it being where Maria lived was super slim, but we just knocked a few doors anyway. Feeling discouraged but not completely hopeless, Hermana Miller suggested we tried the family we followed in, knowing that they spoke Spanish. So we did! And sure enough, they were interested. We set up a return appointment, got their number, and finished out night with a new investigator! We were able to finally get in contact with Maria, but it was such a cool little miracle. God prepares someone every day to receive the gospel, you just gotta be on your feet and working to find them :)

Everyone else is doing so great! Esmerelda and Jose were at church on Sunday and invited us over for dinner! WOO! And tonight we're having an FHE with Casandra! We have a really great week ahead of us, like always :)

I love you all so much!

xoxo

Hermana Brie Gould

PHOTO ALBUM: Happy!

Happy cuz it's my birthday month.
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Adventures with Miller&Gould.
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And the best sunset ever. Love Nebraska.
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Monday, October 26, 2015

The Spirit of God‏

This week was SO GREAT.

I don't even know where to staarrtt...??

So this week we got a crazy amount of referrals from people, it was awesome. (As I was typing this, we got another one lol). We were able to find some "lost sheep" and a couple new investigators! We also met someone who was definitely not interested... haha I think that was my first straight-out rejection! YEAH! All part of the experience! Haha it was so cool to meet lots of new people this week, we had a good time.

We were also able to visit with Casandra and Flor again. On Tuesday, we sat with Casandra and read from the Book of Mormon, talking about miracles and faith and courage. She told us that she's been seeing some miracles happening in her life, and we're like, "DO TELL." because we always love a good miracle :) She told us that the date we set for baptism, November 28th, was suddenly clear and open - all of her plans somehowgot changed to different days! And her mom randomly came home one day with a new outfit for Casandra to wear to church. Super small miracles but strong evidence that God is slowly working on the heart of Casandra's mom and paving the way for her baptism. Casandra was in tears as she too recognized the hand of the Lord working in her life. Such a special moment.

We met with Flor twice this week, and I always leave her house feeling so good. She is just feasting after knowledge - she loves learning. She told us that she is just scared of baptism, that it is something, she thought, even more important than her wedding! Haha well, that only proves how highly she holds her Father in Heaven. We told her that this life is a time to prepare to meet God, that no one is expected to be perfect, but that we are expected to try and improve ever day. This helped her fears a bit, though she's still not comfortable with setting a date. She wants us to come back often though! I have lots of hope for her, she's amazing. She can feel the Spirit, I think she just needs to know how real her Father in Heaven is and His unending love for her.

So craziest moment of the whole week - a less active member in our ward called us up and said that her and her boyfriend wanted to get married and come back to church and that she wanted our help! Uhh.. yes. A thousand times yes. So we met up with her and talked all about how the ward can help, the importance of building a foundation on the gospel, and raising a family in the way of the Lord. Her boyfriend, Victor, walked in, and joined us as we read from the Book of Mormon. He was quiet at first, and then when he realized that we spoke Spanish, started opening up. He told us how important God is to him and grateful he is that he can start a family based on God. Shana, the member, turned to us and said, "I want to be married in the temple, but I need to be active right?" yes... "And he needs to be a member?" ..yes.. "Victor, how would you feel about being baptized?" ..omg.. "You know, I think I'd really like that." ..OMG... So without missing a beat, I asked him if he would prepare for baptism by the end of November, to which he happily answered that he would. We had an appointment that we were already running late to so we got his number, set up another appointment, invited him to church, and said a closing prayer (which he offered). We called Shana yesterday to confirm out appointment, and she told us Victor was already reading the Book of Mormon and that he had read a lot of it!

OKAY WHAT!

Being in the right place at the right time, everyone.

God is so involved in our lives, it's hard for me to just call moments like these "coincidences." God is real. Never before have I been so aware of the Spirit working miracles and guiding my life. It's amazing.

I love you all so much!

xoxo

Hermana Brie Gould

PHOTO ALBUM: Dream Team - Gould and Miller


Monday, October 19, 2015

Recognizing Him‏

Life changing thing I learned this week

In the church we are asked to pay tithing, which is 10% of the money we earn. This money goes towards building temples, churches, publishing the Book of Mormon, etc. All good things. Compared to how much the Lord has blessed us, 10% is nothing. So... compare this to a mission. The typical age of a missionary when they first leave is about 18-20 years old. A mission is either 18 months or 2 years, depending on if you are a sister or an elder. This amount of time spent serving the Lord is consecrated time. It is meant to be given wholly to the Lord - all efforts, all attention, all thoughts into the mission to serve our Heavenly Father. So in an essence, we are giving up 10% of the life we have already gained on this earth back to our Father. It needs to be done faithfully, willingly, and lovingly, just as with tithing. And the blessings are beyond comprehension :

ALLLLLLRIGHT now my week!

We had zone training AND a trainer/trainee meeting this week! So I was pretty much bombarded with revelation and the Spirit. Amazing. I left both meetings with a determination to step it up, to work harder, and to love deeper. This gospel is just the best EVEERRRR.

We had two amazing lessons this week with Flor, Esmerelda's sister. The first was last Monday, where we focused completely on the Book of Mormon. We actually weren't planning on visiting her, but when our appointment fell through and nobody else was home, we both felt super prompted to stop by and visit Flor. Turned out to be just what all of us needed! We read from the introduction of the Book of Mormon and used the Bible to show Flor just how much God loves us by giving us another book of scripture. We testified of its truthfulness and asked her to read it. The spirit was just so strong - mainly, I feel, because Flor is just so willing. She has real intent, a sincere desire, and faith. She's amazing! We came back a couple days later, and we taught the gospel of Jesus Christ. We talked all about faith and repentance and baptism. We talked about the gift of the Holy Ghost and what that means for us. We talked about how we endure to the end. The spirit, again, was so strong, the question of baptism almost exploded from my mouth! She told us she that wanted to be baptized, that she wanted the peace we talked about, and that she wanted to be clean from her sins... BUT.. that she wasn't ready to set a date. GAH. Her desires are so pure, though, we have no doubt that she will be baptized within the next couple months or so :)

We also had an awesome lesson with Andreina, a member of our ward. She has been through a lot, but she is just now getting up on her feet and it's amazing. To see her come so far has been an honor - I'm so grateful I have been able to witness the Atonement in action. When I first met her, she was at her lowest of lows, and now she's talking about wanting to serve a mission! It's just amazing. But there are those creeping fears that come back, and she finds herself doubting her potential to be someone great. Dang adversary. So we talked about fear and the Atonement, and how ever since the fall of Adam and Eve, God has been trying to subdue our fears by replacing them with confidence in His son, Jesus Christ, and the redeeming and atoning power he has. As we talked, I felt prompted to open my scriptures - to what, I actually wasn't sure - but then my finger landed on a set of scriptures I had previously marked as, "How to live a happy and successful life." PERFECT. We read them together, and Andreina looked up at me and said, "How in the world did you know I needed to hear that?" Honestly I just said, "God." If nothing else, I have learned that you just need to put yourself in a position where God can use you to help someone in need. If I hadn't had studied my scriptures, marked those specific ones, and prayed to have the Spirit guide me that day, who knows if I could've helped her! The Spirit has been doing this whole teaching thing a lot longer than I have - I just need to be worthy of the gift and always follow promptings. 

Update on Jose - HE IS NOW A PRIESTHOOD HOLDER. He came to church yesterday, all dressed up in a nice white shirt and tie, and honorably stood to be recognized as a priesthood holder. I can't even tell you how big my smile was, probably too big.

GOD IS GOOD AND HE IS REAL AND HIS LOVE IS REAL.

I so testify.

also I love you all.

xoxo

Hermana Brie Gould

Monday, October 12, 2015

Learning to be a vessel‏

This week was another gooood oonnneee :)

Hermana Miller is a fantastic missionary - she's so diligent and so kind and so loving. So happy to be her companion! I mean for crying out loud, she got up and bore her testimony on Sunday in such great Spanish and the bishop got up right after her and just raved about how awesome she was! Love her!

So we've been studying and role playing and all sorts of good things and one day, I decided to do something new for language study. I took her to a Hispanic grocery store, handed her three pass-along-cards, gave myself three, and then said, "Alright! Let's do this!" Haha we spent about an hour in the store. Afterwards Hermana Miller said that she was terrified, but I couldn't even tell! She was a natural. Haha we practiced a little bit, and then we tried to find some people to talk to. She handed one card to a super nice lady, I was able to hand out two. The second lady I talked to was golden. I went up to her and told her that I was learning Spanish and asked her if she could help me with some of the words around the store! Oh man, she was moooooore than happy to help haha as we started talking more, she ended up telling me her life story. Funny how learning how to say "banana" in Spanish turns into a whole 30 min discussion about God and family. Super cool. It ended with her telling me that "we were both on the same path, headed towards God." I took that opportunity to bear my testimony and hand her the card. I invited her to learn more, and she accepted! After I got her address and number, she gave me a great big hug and left, smiling. It was such a cool experience! It's all about being in the right place at the right time.

SO remember Casandra? She is the cutest 14 year old girl. She's an investigator! She is so ready for baptism it's crazy. She already tells people she's Mormon! Haha she loves the Book of Mormon, she knows she's received her answer... she's just wants to be baptized, but her mom would like her to wait a few more years. While we were planning on Friday for the week, we felt prompted to set someone for baptism. Looking at our list of progressing investigators was a little discouraging, but then I felt prompted to talk about Casandra. We both felt she was ready and that if she had faith, the Lord would provide a way and that He would soften her mom's heart. We prayed, felt good about it, and then headed to teach her. The lesson was completely led by the Spirit. We talked about miracles and faith and acting on that faith. We talked about our Savior and about the miracle of the Atonement. The Spirit was so strong, we didn't even hesitate to ask if she would set a goal to be baptized by the end of the year. She said she would! She picked the date - November 28th. We are so excited! We have so much faith, and the faith of this amazing girl can and will work miracles.

This last Saturday was a bit of a bummer - we had no set appointments and no one was home when we went out. Lame! There was a scripture that kept coming to my head, but I was like, "Ok yes, I know I need to share this, but with who??" Haha it was about 7:30pm, and we headed back closer to where we lived to try and visit some members. No one was home, of course haha, but as we were sitting outside of the Rey's house, a family in our ward, trying to figure out what to do, they pulled up! We waited a couple extra minutes, figured out exactly what we were going to share, said a prayer of gratitude, and then headed up. As we shared some scriptures in Alma 5, the conversation turned to fasting. On Sunday, we had our fast and testimony meeting, so I felt prompted to remind Hermana Rey about the blessings that come from fasting. She instantly looked up and said, "Ah! I forgot!" Haha we talked all about fasting and fasting with a purpose and praying as we fast - the Spirit was so strong. Hermana Rey thanked us over and over again for reminding her. She assured us that we would see her at church the next day! 

Fast forward to Sunday, Hermana Rey was there! She was one of the first to get up and bear her testimony. She started telling the congregation about the experience we had shared with her the night before and how she absolutely needed to be reminded of the importance of fasting. She said that I had been her angel, sent to remind her of God's love for her. It was so kind, my heart was just happy, but I know that it was just me and Hermana Miller following the Spirit - being vessels in which the Lord can help His children. It wasn't us - it was the Lord. We were just where we needed to be in order to best help our Heavenly Father :)

Over all - LIFE IS GREAT. I love seeing God work so many miracles. That might be the theme of my mission so far... just absolute amazement at God's miracles.

I love you all!

xoxo

Hermana Brie Gould