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

Monday, June 27, 2016

Double the difficulty, double the blessings‏

My companion asked me this week, "If you could start your mission over knowing everything you know now, would you?" Ummm... YES. Without a doubt. I feel like I could serve a thousand missions and never get tired.

Ok maybe that's a lie, but my soul says I can do it.

But honestly, it would be so amazing to start over - knowing the language now and knowing how to teach. But that's what real life is... it really is just a continuation of the mission. I get to apply everything that I have learned into my life back home. I will never, ever be the same! 

I remember when President Gardner first got here to the mission, he stood up at the pulpit and looked at us and said so boldly, "You can never be the person you were when you got on the plane and said goodbye to your family. You can never revert back. Promise me you will never be that person."

It was so bold and caught everyone by surprise, but it has stuck with me. I know now so much more than I did a year and a half ago. There's no way I'm going back.

My companion also said that it must be special to be a Spanish missionary. Why? Because it's "double the difficulty, double the blessings." I am exhausted after months and months of striving to learn a new language and yet now, I have become a part of a completely new culture, and I can now speak their language. Double the blessings for sure.

So this week, I have one cool story for ya.

During weekly planning, I felt prompted to call one of our investigators, Danida. She hadn't been progressing; we were just never able to get in with her! It was frustrating because the ONE lesson we had was so amazing, and I was just like, "Come on, lady!" Haha but alas, my patience was being tested.

So we called her and she FINALLY answered! She told us that she was in the hospital with her husband who had just gotten heart surgery. She asked us if we could come visit her. Of course we could! We finished up planning and then headed straight over. We got talking to her and she told us what has been going on. She said every time she tries to come to church, come to an activity, have us over, or read the Book of Mormon, something always gets in the way. And not just something small, something big, like her having to go to the emergency room or her husband having an emergency heart surgery.

It was very humbling to me and all of those thoughts of, "Oh she's just ignoring us" or "She obviously doesn't care" just completely left. I sat there in awe of the way our Heavenly Father chooses to teach us lessons of humility and love.

We talked to her for about half an hour, sharing our testimonies of the plan of salvation and the reality of our Savior and His love. She told us she had read in the Book of Mormon, and what she had read had really brought her peace.

The next day, after church, we came back with a brother from our branch and the elders. They were able to give her and her husband a powerful priesthood blessing. She hugged us and thanked us.

What would've happened if I had ignored that prompting? What if I had just thought, "Nah, she's not interested"? We would've missed out on an incredible opportunity to teach about the atoning power of our Savior Jesus Christ and invite someone to feel the power of the priesthood in their lives.

Never ignore a prompting.

The Atonement of Jesus Christ is sufficient for all people - no matter what.

I quote Elder Holland... because we all know his words are more powerful than mine.

"I do not know who in this vast audience today may need to hear the message of forgiveness inherent in this parable, but however late you think you are, however many chances you think you have missed, however many mistakes you feel you have made or talents you think you don’t have, or however far from home and family and God you feel you have traveled, I testify that you have not traveled beyond the reach of divine love. It is not possible for you to sink lower than the infinite light of Christ’s Atonement shines.

Whether you are not yet of our faith or were with us once and have not remained, there is nothing in either case that you have done that cannot be undone. There is no problem which you cannot overcome. There is no dream that in the unfolding of time and eternity cannot yet be realized. Even if you feel you are the lost and last laborer of the eleventh hour, the Lord of the vineyard still stands beckoning. 'Come boldly [to] the throne of grace,' and fall at the feet of the Holy One of Israel. Come and feast 'without money and without price' at the table of the Lord."

You are loved, you are not forgotten nor forsaken.


Hermana Brie Gould

pictures: hiking with mi hija, teaching her my ways. Also we brought our baby soccerball, Wilson, along.. lol

Monday, June 20, 2016

God is love‏

"There is no fear in love; but perfect love casteth out fear: because fear hath torment. He that feareth is not made perfect in love.

We love him, because he first loved us." 1 John 4:18-19

The biggest lesson I have learned on my mission? How to love.

I have seen myself change because of love and I have seen the lives of others change as well. It has been an absolutely incredible adventure, my mission. So many ups and downs, so many failures and triumphs. But through it all, God always comes to me and teaches me about His love and about His Son. 

Nothing too exciting happened this week - we actually had 0 investigators at church yesterday, which was a first in a long time - but I thought a lot and felt a lot. 

I just want to share a couple little experiences I have had with learning how to love.

1. Nicole. There's a family here from Toga, Africa. They are so special. Recently, the mom's sister moved to town with her little family. They come to church every Sunday and participate in all that they can, with their limited knowledge of English. I have absolutely fallen in love with her little daughter, Nicole. She is 2 years old and only speaks French - so trying to communicate with her has been a little rough. But every time I have seen her for the last 2 weeks, I have just smiled big, crouched down, and made a heart with my hands to tell her that I loved her. I don't know her, she doesn't know me, but she has stolen my heart completely. She must be scared in a country where hardly anyone speaks her language! She's adorable and so small and has the most beautiful smile! Yesterday at church, she saw me and instantly ran to me and hugged me. I had tears in my eyes! This precious little daughter of God, whom I can't even communicate with, was able to recognize the little love I tried sharing with her since day one. She held both of my hands and just smiled at me. For real, I was this close to taking her home with me.

Haha lol just kidding.

But honestly, I want to adopt a French speaking African baby.

Okay number two.

2. Manuela. There's this lady in our branch who's a little crazy haha in the best way possible! Since day one in Sioux City, she has meant so much to me. Yeah, she's crazy and she says crazy things, but I felt something when I first met her. Yesterday, it was her turn to give a class in relief society. She got up, all nervous and fumbling with her books, and then she started teaching. The sisters usually don't like her classes, but something was so different yesterday. She gave the most incredible lesson I have ever been in. It affected me so deeply, I couldn't even get out my pen and paper to write notes. She shared a beautiful testimony of the Savior and everyone in that room felt it. When the class ended, the sisters all thanked her for her lesson and told her how much they had needed it. I put my arm around her and thanked her. She turned to me with tears and said, "That wasn't me who taught, that was the Lord." It was so incredible.

Can you see how the love of God affects people? It's the most special gift and we should seek to feel such love and share it every day of our lives.

Experiences like this just testify to me that my mission was meant to convert me. And it worked. I will never be the same.


Hermana Brie Gould

pictures: Our weekly FHE being an absolute SUCCESS and saying goodbye to E. Jensen... I'm also a giant.

Monday, June 13, 2016

El Milagro: La Tortilleria‏

So this week was SO SPECIAL.

Okay I'm only going to share one story.

I promise.

Benjamin&Maria - The elders gave us a referral for this young lady who works at a tortilla shop. They said she was pretty nice and probably interested. Works for us! So last Wednesday, we planned to go contact her. Well, little did we know, it would be the most awkward contact EVER. Like seriously. She wasn't really interested in talking, and yet we kept trying to talk to her. Neither of us wanted to end the conversation. So awkward, we just like made small talk for 2 seconds and then shared our message to a brick wall. She just would not have it! 

When I started to feel just way too awkward, a guy walked in carrying boxes. He came in and out a few times, and then he stopped at the cash register to deliver his paperwork. He then turned to us and asked, "Which church are you from?" A little taken back, we sputtered out, "Oh uh the church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints!" He thought for a second, and then got distracted by the worker.

We officially ended our awkward conversation with the girl and left. But we both felt prompted to wait outside for the guy with the boxes! We grabbed another tarjeta and just waited. When he came out, we started up a great conversation with him, after he got over the fact that I spoke Spanish.
Guys seriously, you should see everyone's face when I start speaking. I'll be like speaking Spanish, this super white American with blonde hair, and they ask me, "Wait do you actually speak Spanish?" ...YESSS! 


Turns out, he and his wife have been thinking about finding a church for their family to go to. He really loves his children and he wants them to be happy. He's earnestly seeking for the truth. It was amazing! We invited him to our cultural activity and church, and he said that he would come!




Last night we had our first real lesson with him about the Book of Mormon and the power of the priesthood. Oh, this family is so special. His precious little 7 year old daughter, Elois, has already stolen my heart. She drew me a picture during the lesson of a huge heart with both of us in the middle and written above it, "I love you very much."


I love being a missionary, dangit! Families are so special, and God promises us that we can have eternal happiness with them if we are faithful and follow the example of His Son. Such a special promise. 

I love my family - and I can't wait to have a family of my own someday.


Hermana Brie Gould

pictures: The Cultural Activity! The most successful event we've had YET! It was so amazing!
Saying goodbye to Yaretd... she's heading off to Mexico and when she gets back, I'll be home! I definitely cried and it was embarrassing. Oh well!

Monday, June 6, 2016

The prayers of the faithful‏

It's getting to the point where I don't even know how to open my emails without saying WE SAW SO MANY MIRACLES THIS WEEK.

It's so crazy guys.

1. Son. So we were sitting outside of our dinner appointment, getting ready to go in, when I saw out of the corner of my eye, a man walking out of his house holding... 2 BOOK OF MORMONS. I was like, "What in the world..." I had never seen this guy before! He came up to our car, knocked on our window, and started talking in really broken English. We found out that he was from Vietnam and that he had been to our church before. He was given a Book of Mormon in English and in Vietnamese - he reads them both! He asked us for any type of reading material from the church, like magazines or pamphlets. He said that someone a long time ago introduced him to the church and would take him every Sunday. But then, that guy left and moved to Omaha. He was so sweet! I have never wanted so badly to speak EVERY LANGUAGE IN THE WORLD. He was so grateful for anything that we could give him! It was such a cool moment. He said that he saw us and the elders visiting his neighbor all the time, and he finally had built up the courage to come talk to us. He was waiting by his door with those 2 Book of Mormons in his hands! Ah! So precious! And his name is Son :)

2. So we had 5 investigators at church yesterday which is a record for me. And for our branch. HAH! It was so crazy! About a week and a half ago, we tracted into this lady, Juana. I talked about her last week! Well, anyway, she's so solid! We gave her and her daughter a church tour, which they both loved, and they told us that they would try their best to come to church. We prayed and fasted for this family... and they came! I was sitting up behind the piano when I saw them walk in and I about LOST IT. Everyone was just like, "WOAH!" Haha! Seeing new people in our branch is really cool! A family of 5 walked in and it was one of the best moments of my mission. A family! It was so so special! And everyone just loved them too, they were all so kind and welcoming. Miracles guys!

So many other things happened, but mainly, my testimony is just being strengthened every single day of the power of prayer and fasting. I know without a doubt that all of our hard work and all of our diligence and obedience and pure love for these people is truly paying off. God is strengthening our area and we are finding some of the most prepared people! I have so much faith in the God's promises to those who endure!

"A la vista del Señor, no es tanto lo que hayamos hecho o dónde hemos estado, sino mucho más a dónde estamos dispuestos a ir. "
Élder Edward Dube. de los Setenta



Hermana Brie Gould

ps. 1. My sweet little Camila is going to Texas ALL SUMMER :( So sad! I will miss her! 2&3. Adventures with some posin'

Monday, May 30, 2016


I actually can't believe it's already Monday again AND it's already almost June. For all of you missionaries counting the weeks and the months and the transfers.... stooppppp. Because you'll get to a point when you realize that you only have 8 weeks left in the mission LIKE ME AND THEN YOU'LL FREAK OUT. But no, like I'm good, I'm accepting it. This mission has been the best decision I have ever made, and I know it won't stop when the tag comes off. There's more and more just waiting for me :) But honestly, stop counting the days. Just stop.

Ok HI EVERYONE! What an amazing week!!!! I don't know what's happening, but seriously ever day lately has been so incredible. We are both just exhausted today - our week was packed.

So let me tell you about some miracles.

1. Camila. Camila is Bertha's 9 year old daughter. She is the cutest little human I have ever met. We haven't been focusing too much on her only because we've been mainly teaching her mom, but I had this feeling that maybe we should turn our attention to Camila for a bit. She comes to church and the activities during the week, and she loves it! So we left her a children's BOM with some treats on her doorstep like a week and a half ago, and then this last Monday, as we were sitting down to teach Bertha, I asked Camila if she had gotten our gift! She said she had! And that she loved it. She pulled it out and showed me how much she had read. She read 26 chapters... 26 CHAPTERS. In a week!!! She said she had taken the book to school with her to read! Not only did she read so much, she remembered EVERYTHING. She told us about Lehi's vision, the conversion story of Alma the Younger, the baptisms of over 200 people in the waters of Mormon, the preaching of Abinidi and his encounter with King Noah... I was so blown away. I couldn't even hide my excitement. Later on in the week, we watched the Testaments with her, and I wish you could've seen her reactions! She just exclaimed, "This movie is so cool!" She bore such a powerful, simple testimony of her Savior... she said that she wants to be like him, that she wants to follow him, and that she wants to help her family follow him as well. ISN'T SHE SO COOL.

2. Jacqueline&Roberto. So this couple is my favorite. I talked about them in my last email, but they are both just progressing so amazingly. It's so cool. This week we were able to have a lesson with President Hemmingsen, the stake president. My goodness, it was so powerful. We had gone to a baptism on Saturday and as he was bearing his testimony, I felt strongly that he needed to come with us to visit Jackie and Roberto. He said that he would love to! The lesson was so good. Jackie still doesn't have a date for baptism, but she said that her goal is to be baptized and be sealed to her family in the temple. She said that although she still has a lot of questions, she has more faith now than ever before in her life. We have so much hope for them!!

3. Talking to everyone. So a huge focus in the mission has been talking to everyone, no matter who it is! We've made a huge effort lately to make sure we talked to everyone who was put into our path. We saw some incredible things! First, we were walking to our car after a lesson, and I saw a couple walking with their family to the park. I was about to go talk to the husband, when I felt I should cross the street and talk to the wife. Well as we start talking, she says, "You know, I was actually baptized into this church like 5 years ago. I haven't gone in forever. Now that i have a family, I think it's about time we go back." WHAT! Second, we went to go try a former investigator, but when she wasn't home, we tried her neighbor. This super nice lady, Fransisca, opened the door and started talking to us! She instantly told us she was verrry much Catholic, BUT she kept talking to us! Turns out, her son had been taught by missionaries about a year or so ago. She even knew where the Book of Mormon was in her house. We tstified of the Restoration and how the Book of Mormon answers the questions of our soul. That morning I had made a list of all of the different questions and answers found in the Book of Mormon. I took it out and gave it to her. She then said, "I'll read all of these! I'm actually really interested. You can come back too, whenever you have time..." WHAT! Third, we went to go try a potential, but turns out, they don't live there. BUT! We asked the boy who lived there for some referrals! He gave us one for a lady named Juana. We contacted her immediately. She was super friendly and instantly let us in. She too said that she was verrrry Testigos de Jehova, but I don't know... she didn't act like it. LOL! She told us that when she was younger, she remembered having the missionaries over to teach her family! WHAT! We taught her the Restoration and it was so powerful. She took the Book of Mormon and said that she would read it :)

SO many cool miracles, right?! Life is so good!

I love you all so much!!


Hermana Brie Gould

Monday, May 23, 2016

Broken back won't get me down‏

So you are probably sick of me saying this, but... THIS WEEK WAS SO AMAZING. WE SAW SO MANY MIRACLES.

Maybe it's just because I'm a missionary, but I am able to recognize now just how many miracles happen every day. It's seriously incredible.

Quick side-note though. Sister Gould was out of commission this week for about a day and a half. We had zone Olympics on Thursday, and of courrrseee I participated! I won the basketball competition actually, believe it or not. But with all the strain to my already-weak back, I woke up Friday not being able to walk at all. With several hours of no-movement and ice packs on my back and thighs, I was able to walk a little bit so we could make it to our branch Family Home Evening on Friday night. I was able to hobble around on Saturday as well, with the help of a priesthood blessing from the elders. Yesterday, I visited a brother in our stake who's a chiropractor, so he was able to bring some relief. But YEAH. So that's my life right now!

BUT HEY, BESIDES ALL THAT, God is so good and we had some of the coolest miracles ever this week.

We got to go on exchanges with the Omaha sisters this week! When I was serving there, we had an investigator who just wasn't progressing atttt aaallllll. She had so much potential, and so it was frustrating that she wasn't progressing! Her name is Eduimar :) So yeah, every time we tried to visit her, she just looked so sick and so tired and just so sad. When I first met her, I remember her telling us that she wanted to be a mom so bad. She wanted a family, but doctors had told her that she just couldn't have children. This caused a lot of distress in her life. She dealt with depression because of it. She loved the gospel of Jesus Christ, though, especially the power found within the temples. But she just never could progress. It was so hard.

So fast forward. In Omaha, I got this feeling that we should go visit Eduimar. I didn't know why, and I honestly doubted she wouldn't let us in. Wellll heeeyyy I was wrong!

She let us in AND SHE LOOKED SO HAPPY. I was like, "Hermana, what happened! How are you!" And she grabbed my arm and with tears in her eyes, she said, "Hermana! I had a baby!"

I swear time stopped for like 5.6 minutes.

I just stared at her and with tears of my own, I asked,"Hermana, are you kidding me?" No she wasn't joking! God had blessed her with a beautiful baby boy! She didn't even know she was pregnant until after I got transferred so all those times she was too sick and sad to let us in was because she was pregnant!

Oh my gosh, I about passed out.

She told us that she was ready to start again and to come to church and to unite her family forever in the temple.


He is so aware of all of us. EVERY single one of His children! He knows our needs and He knows our wants and our desires. He will bless those who are faithful and who ENDURE. My goodness, such a special moment for me and her. I am so grateful I was on exchanges and had that prompting to go visit her.

The second miracle was with Jacqueline and Roberto. To keep this story short, we ended up going to breakfast with one of our investigators after a doctor's appointment that I translated for. As we were walking out, we saw Roberto and his wife! 

Background story: our branch president is so faithful - he is the ONLY active member in his entire family. Recently one of his sons has come back really strong, but the rest? Nope. Including his wife. It's so hard for him, yet he magnifies his calling without complaints. My dream is to bring back all of his family!!! Or at least start the process :) So his oldest son, Roberto, moved here from Chicago with his wife, Jackie. President Lagunas asked the missionaries to focus on him, so we honestly had to fight with the elders to choose who got to teach them. 

Well when we saw them walk in, we figured... WE WON.

So we set up and appointment for the next day and taught them the message of the Restoration. The Spirit was so strong - it was one of the most powerful lessons I have ever been in. Both are so ready - he's ready to come back to church and she is ready to be baptized. Both mentioned that they have been feeling a strong need to read the Book of Mormon and come to church. They want to unite their family and be strong members of the church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints. They want to change. We testified powerfully and lovingly that nobody is too far gone and that God is no respecter of persons. We met with them again later on in the week, both of them having read the Book of Mormon in between the lessons, being so prepared to learn and to change. And yesterday, they both came to church. WHICH APPARENTLY WAS HUGE.

I just have zero words. 

I will never not believe in God, you wanna know why? Because things like THIS ^ happen EVERY SINGLE DAY. Yeah, this life is hard. Sure, it's unfair sometimes. But more than anything, God is real, and He loves us so much. So so much.


Hermana Brie Gould

pictures: That one time we posed for a magazine.. lol, exchanges with my bffs, & zone Olympics!

Monday, May 16, 2016

You are enough‏


I just have a couple of cool experiences to share with you all, enjoy.

A week ago today, last P-day, we were in Walmart buying our groceries. We got in line to pay, and I purposefully chose the line with a mom and her daughter who looked Hispanic... work don't stop on P-days everyone. 

This little girl though hahah she just stared at us with the evil death glare and started pushing our cart away while saying, "No.. no....!" Hahah it was hilarious. She kept doing that "I'm watching you" sign with her hands at us! We started giving it back to her and eventually we were just laughing. The mom noticed what was going on so we started talking to her! They just recently moved here from Kentucky and she told us she'd love for us to come visit! PERFECT.

So fast forward 2 days. Nightly planning for Wednesday. We decided to go to some contacting in Walmart and try and find some new people to teach! We also planned a couple former investigators and less actives later that night in the same part of town.

Wednesday afternoon, we walked into Walmart, looking for pretty much anyone who spoke Spanish haha well the first lady I saw was walking with her son, so I turned to Hermana Villarreal, "Let's go talk to her!"

We started up a conversation and when she told us her name, I was like, "...HOLD UP."

THIS LADY WAS A FORMER INVESTIGATOR WE WERE PLANNING ON VISITING THAT SAME DAY. I had never met her before in my life, I had just read her name on a teaching record. And she was the first person we talked to!!!!!

Planning, everyone. Miracles.

Stuff like that happens all the time, like just 2 hours ago we were at the doctor's, translating for our investigator, and we ran into another former investigator who we hadn't seen in weeks.


The last thing: We had our day all planned out - Thursday, I believe - but as we were driving to another house, I had the strongest impression to go visit a potential we hadn't been able to get in with yet, Danida. I have been wanting to teach her because her story is amazing! There's a story in her family that has been passed down from generation to generation that Christ came to the Americas. #bookofmormon 

But she works allllll the time. WELL. NOT THAT DAY, EVERYONE. We taught her the message of the Restoration on her front porch, and I can't even accurately explain how perfect it was. Even before we taught about the Great Apostasy, she was like, "I truly believe that the teachings of Christ were changed after he was killed, that's why there are so many churches with different doctrine." UM YES ACTUALLY.

She about flipped when we gave her the Book of Mormon. When she gave the closing prayer, she prayed that she would find the truth and pleaded with the Father to know if our message was true.

We both cried when we got in the car.

I've spent this week thinking about who I am and who I am becoming. There are things that are hard for me to do as a missionary, like tracting for example. But when that voice of negativity and doubt are pushed away, I can hear that gentle yet powerful reminder, "You are enough." You are enough. You don't have to be perfect, I don't have to be perfect. As we try, as we work, as we have faith... we will grow. 

God cares more about the direction of our progress than our speed.


Hermana Brie Gould

pictures: FIESSTAAA! also we found some bunnies while tracting... you really don't see that every day

Monday, May 9, 2016


So... some crazy stuff happened to the Nebraska Omaha Mission this week........

I got released as a Sister Training Leader :( so sad. BUT NOW I AM A TRAINER! WOOO!!! I will be training until the end of my mission here in Sioux City! Can you say "two area missionary"? HOLLA. I love this place. It's so special.

But get this... my companion IS THE MOST AMAZING HUMAN. Her name is Hermana Villarreal, and she is from Mexico! Like born & raised, doesn't know any English... so Spanish 24/7 here! I'm so excited to not only practice my Spanish and perfect it, but I also get to teach a native speaker English! Such a cool opportunity!

She is the most diligent missionary. She didn't go to the MTC (I don't know why...), but she already knows how to be a missionary, she's so amazing. She was baptized at 17 years old and has been strong and faithful ever since. I'm so blessed!

This email will be short mainly because this last week was filled with packing up Sister Castagnola's stuff and saying goodbye to one of my best friends... and unpacking Hermana Villarreal's stuff and saying HELLOOOO! Hahaha

Bertha came to church again yesterday! She is so amazing and she is progressing so well. Her daughter, Camilah, loves church and loves being with all of the primary kids. It's so cool to see how much of a change has taken place in this family. We also had 8 returning members at church, it was so special. Such an amazing Sunday yesterday. Plus being able to see my family was great! I LOVE THOSE HUMANS.

Well, I just have a little quote to share with you all today:

"All that we suffer and all that we endure, especially when we endure it patiently, purifies our hearts and makes us more tender and more charitable, and it is through toil and tribulation that we gain the education which will make us more like our Father and Mother in heaven." - Elder Orson F. Whitney

I've experienced a lot of different things here on my mission. A lot of pain and heartache, but a lot of joy and peace as well. I know that God has been with me every step of the way. This church is true, everyone. With the changes this last week, I have felt so out of my comfort zone, but when I stepped into the chapel yesterday, I was overwhelmed. No matter the changes that happen in our lives, the church will continue always to be true. This gives me so much comfort.

I love you all.


Hermana Brie Gould

pics: Beautiful Iowa, my new comp!. and my craaaazy family lol

Monday, May 2, 2016

You're welcome mom :)‏

My mom always asks me for more pictures... so that's what you get this week!

And because my email last week was like an actual novel and it took me the whole hour to write (I got really good at multitasking last week), this one will be just a little shorter lol and with more pictures!


1. Yesterday at church, the Leal family, the cutest little couple who live about an hour and a half away (and still FAITHFULLY come to church every Sunday), motioned for the missionaries to come follow them down the hall of the church where they had two HUGE bags just full of groceries for us. Such a sweet, tender, perfect mercy.

2. We visited with Briana, our most solid investigator and like the cutest human ever, and we went over her reading in the Book of Mormon. When we asked her if she had prayed to know if it was true, she was like, "Well, honestly no... only because I already feel like it's true, like I already totally understand and believe it." As you can imagine, we sat there silent for about 36 seconds and then I opened my mouth and said the only thing I could think of, "Well, um, could you maybe pray just so you are for sure for sure?" HAHA she is so amazing.

3. We had a church tour with Bertha and her daughter Camila and it was so great! At the end, Bertha asked for a hymn book so she could study and learn the hymns. She also asked for the gospel principles book so she could study and come up with questions before class. She came to church yesterday with her daughter and just absolutely loved it. She is so amazing and so prepared! And to think we almost dropped her...

4. Hace mucho tiempo... I had a best friend named Alexis Mejia in elementary school. We lost contact and parted ways when we got into high school and college. When I got my mission call to the Nebraska Omaha Mission, I got a message from her saying that her family was from there! And that they were hispanic! #score. also #perfect. Well, to make this story short, because I am a Sister Training Leader I have the opportunity to go on exchanges in Omaha, though I am serving in Sioux City. So this last Thursday I was able to meet my childhood best friend's grandma and teach her the message of the Restoration and give her a Book of Mormon. It was the most special moment of my mission.

I LOVE MY LIFE. I am learning so so so so much and I am so happy! I have overcome my fears and my weaknesses, I have learned how to better love God and myself and those around me... I just am so grateful for my mission. I will never be the same!


Hermana Brie Gould

pictures: We went hiking last week in a little place called... Bacon Creek.

Monday, April 25, 2016

It's beginning to look a lot like...‏

SPRING TIME!!!!!!!!!

And I love it a lot.

Yesterday we were driving to dinner and neither of us knew where we were going and our GPS got all whacked out BUT hey we made it... ANNND on the way, we somehow wounded up in the middle of the most beautiful area of Sioux City, which I didn't even know existed, so that was nice. (pictures below)


Actually there's too much.


The sister missionaries here have been teaching Bertha long before I got here, and she has never ONCE come to church. I was able to teach her once a long time again, like back in December, and then a few times in February. And then just recently, like starting in March, she became more of like a legit investigator. She had an accident at work which made her unable to go back, so she's home all the time (which means perfect for missionaries...). We had some incredibly powerful lessons with her, helping her understand and realize that she indeed does have strong faith and that that faith can bring about miracles.

Well one time, we asked her if the elders could come to give her a blessing. We had come the day before and she was in a neck brace. She told us how frustrated she was that the doctors didn't really know what was wrong with her, so they just put on a neck brace and gave her some medication. SO we brought up the priesthood blessing, and she said she would love one.

The elders - I am so grateful for priesthood holders dangit! - came and gave her a beautiful blessing. She said she felt at peace afterwards, and we continued to teach her the plan of salvation. She was absolutely amazed when we told her that before this life she lived with her Heavenly Father. She never knew! She was honestly without words, and just sat there, soaking it in. 

We spent so much time and effort in these lessons, trying our best to help her continue to learn and feel that her faith was sufficient.


She didn't come to church that week. And she still says no to baptism.

At that point, I was like, "Ok, ok is all of this worth it right now? Is she actually going to progress??" We came to the conclusion that right now may not be her time, and so we decided to drop her. I KNOW IT SOUNDS HARSH but sometimes you have to do that as a missionary!

So we planned our last lesson with her and had a member and her daughter come with us. 

And guess what? Something INCREDIBLE happened during this lesson.

God's plan was obviously different than ours! He had something prepared for this woman and her family. We get into the lesson and its just perfect, the spirit was so strong. The member, Penny, was just bearing solid, amazing testimony. But somehow along the way, the conversation got a little off topic... okay actually a lot off topic... and we completely lost the focus. We still don't know what happened haha but as time just continued on, I was starting to lose my patience as I felt the spirit leaving the room. The member was practically arguing with the husband about why they haven't come to church and why they aren't getting baptized and so many others things. It just wasn't the best situation. My companion was getting really antsy! 

So Sister Castagnola just blurts out, "OK WE HAVE AN APPOINTMENT WE HAVE TO GET TO SO WE GOTTA WRAP THIS UP." hahaha everyone got all quiet.

And then I took that opportunity to be bold.

I looked at the husband, Salvador, and at Bertha and I just said, "We have come into your home, we have shared our message, and we know that you have felt the spirit. We know that this is what your family needs. We know that God sent us to bless your family. But we know that you will never know for yourselves in your don't do something. You will never feel the Holy Ghost testify to you if you never allow it to. You will never, ever know the truth if you never go to the source. We can't keep coming here just to share a spiritual message. Our purpose is to help others come unto Christ through baptism."

The room was quiet.

So we sang a hymn, said a prayer, and left.


She came to church! And not only did she come to church, but she participated in class, she regurgiated EVERYTHING we have ever taught her while we were in class as she helped answer other peoples questions, she told us that she recognized the miracles of that priesthood blessing because her doctors FINALLY found out what was wrong, and that she knew that good things ALWAYS happened after we would leave her house. She felt that what we were teaching her was actually changing her. She could feel it!


"Have miracles ceased? Nay."


Hermana Brie Gould

Monday, April 18, 2016

100 days‏

Starting that 100 day countdown, can you even believe it? I will forever be grateful for the chose I made to serve a mission for my heavenly Father.

"Opposition permits us to grow toward what our Heavenly Father would have us become." - Elder Dallin H. Oaks

So I have a rock-solid testimony of that quote after what I just experienced this week. Never have I experienced so much opposition in a short amount of time. From crazy, rude humans to my companion getting the flu to our top investigator dropping us out of nowhere... it was something else this week.

BUT I don't want to focus on any of that. I want to focus on what came AFTER all of the opposition. I know that God blesses those who not only endure but those who endure patiently and with full confidence in Him. 

Last week we recieved a call from this lady in our branch, Sister Flory. She told us that she had a friend who needed help filling out some paperwork to try and adopt her granddaughters, and she asked us if we could come help her. She said it wasn't really a "referral" but kind of! Haha "kind of" is good enough for us! The first time we met with her, Martina, I sat with her at her kitchen table and helped her the best I could fill out some of her paperwork while Sister C entertained her little 3 year old daughter. It was hard! It was all in Spanish! But I'm telling you, the gift of tongues is real.

Half way through, we both got a little discouraged, and I felt the Holy Ghost prompt me to offer a prayer. I ignored the prompting, only because I didn't want to make Martina feel awkward by suggesting it. Well, the prompting kept coming back, stronger and stronger, so I was like, "Martina, esta bien si ofrecemos una oracion?" I explained a little bit about prayer and the power of the Holy Ghost and testified that I knew it would help. She agreed, so I offered a prayer. At the end of the visit, she told me that she felt peaceful and that everything would be okay, that she would be able to help her granddaughters. I invited her to offer a prayer of gratitude to end the visit as well as before going to bed. Just like a good missionary, I told her I would follow up! :)

We followed that same pattern for the next 4 visits - opening and ending with a prayer. Throughout the visit, I would try and relate whatever we were doing back to the gospel and back to God's love for families. I would bear testimony as often as I felt I could. On Saturday, I invited Martina to come to church.

And guess what.

SHE CAME TO CHURCH. And she loved it! She said she felt so good and so welcomed. The branch just loved her and loved her daughter, Alexia. It was amazing. We had only met her a week earlier and now she was at church and had agreed to take the lessons! SUCH A HUGE MIRACLE.

While we were at church, our investigator Yaretd and her family ALSO WALKED IN. I was sitting up on the piano, playing the sacrament hymn, and I couldn't help but cry. They both stayed for all three hours and participated in classes with everyone. Gosh dangit, it was so cool.

And the best part - if you can imagine it ANY better - we met Briana. First of all, so cool because she has a GREAT name.. :) But secondly, SHE IS THE GREATEST HUMAN. She was a referral from the elders from like forever ago that we were never able to contact. We finally met her and I'm so glad that we did.

She is 14 years old, loves to write and loves photography. #bestfriends

We started to get to know her, set expectations, etc. and she was just so open to the spirit and she was eating it up. She is so mature for her age - as we started teaching the Restoration, she kept saying how amazed she was. She understood the apostasy and said how much it made sense to her, that NOW she understood why there were so many churches in the world. When we shared the story of Joseph Smith, she was like, "Yeah, I totally believe that happened. I'm sure it did, it had to!" Annnnnd theeennn, when we went over the Book of Mormon, she was looking at it and said, "Wow, I feel special holding this in my hands!" SHE FEELS SPECIAL HOLDING THE BOOK OF MORMON.  Is that not the most amazing thing!? We asked her to read 1 Nephi 1, focusing on Christ, and she asked, "Well, is it ok if I read more? I'm really interested!" hahaH YES.

At the end of the lesson, she said that she would be baptized and accepted a date for May 14th. She is so prepared and so excited.

God is so good, everyone. God loves His children. And He WILL fulfill His promises if we hold out faithful and endure.

I love you all so much. So so much.


Hermana Brie Gould

pictures: Alexia & crafts, selfie taken with my mission president BY my mission president, and crazy Journy