Saturday, May 26, 2012

Dear Family and Friends, First off, Michael, congratulations on becoming a high school graduate. Now it's time for the big stuff! Whoo! Second of all, I have to sincerely apologize to all friends and family who have written me. I don't think I've written more than a couple letters in several months, and I'm really, truly sorry. I certainly think about it every preparation day, and then I look back at the end of the day and say, "Oh, uh, what? Maybe next week." I've made a new commitment to write more often, so you can expect letters in the coming months. As many passerbys say to me on the street, "Nezlobte se, ale nemam cas!" ("Don't be mad, but I don't have time!") :)) Well, it's been a busy, busy, busy week. Full of work and good stuff! Coming into a new area, especially one like Prague, where the branch is the largest of them all, and the area has been open for the longest of all areas, there is a lot of learning and catching up to do. I love it, though. It's been wonderful to come into a new area with a lot more knowledge of missionary work than I had in my last two areas, and to be able to approach the work with a better strategy and perspective on what is most important. Sister Sears and I have got big plans! The nights have been a bit overwhelming sometimes, as we're just swimming in so many things we want to get done, but it's just reminded me of how much I love being busy. I love work, and I'm the happiest when I'm working hard. There are some beautiful people in this area that we've had the privilege to teach. One of them is a middle-aged man and new father from England. The sisters had been teaching him for about a month and a half before I came. He has been in the Czech Republic for 14 years and has a child with his girlfriend, who is Czech. He plays in a fairly famous band here and teaches music on top of that. I can tell that he has this incredibly magnetic personality and is just full of life, humor, and happiness. He would probably be the music teacher that everyone in school wants. However, since we are mostly speaking to him about serious and spiritual things, we don't get to see that as much, but we can see that he's a super likeable and just cool guy. He is this middle-aged man, with a 7-month old son, who has never had much experience with religion, but has realized that his values in life differ from the values he sees in the world and people around him. His mind started to turn to God and the kind of life He wants for him and his family. I think he is the most fun investigator I have ever taught! He is PACKED with personality. He can hardly stay on his seat, he just gets so excited about everything and asks the most incredible, thought-provoking questions during our lessons. The great thing about him is that he wants to know how everything works in practice. We move quite slow through all the principles, because he asks questions about how it works in real life, and how it influences us and those around us. We tell a lot of personal stories and experiences when we teach him, and so the lessons are just super duper enjoyable. This week we taught him about the gift of the Holy Ghost, which we receive after baptism. He really likes to see how things can apply to him being a father, and so I testified of how the gift of the Holy Ghost can be one of the most incredible tools in parenthood. He asked us one of his good questions, "Well, hold on. Hmm. Let me see.. Will the Holy Ghost really ever tell us to do something that is against our common sense?" Good question, right? Do we ever recieve inspiration or guidance that would go against what we may naturally have chosen anyway? If not, then maybe that Holy Ghost really isn't needed, or maybe it's influence is just something we make up in our minds, and all that's going on is the workings of our conscious. In less than a moment, the story Mom told once when she spoke at stake conference popped into my mind. She told about taking Abby up to study at BYU-Idaho. Perhaps I don't remember all the details correctly, but I told our investigator that story. I told him that you had each prayed about it, and that Abby felt that BYU-Idaho was the place she needed to go and begin her studies. The whole family was aware of the fact that there were absolutely no real services for her there, and that the school had never really dealt with a hearing-impaired student like her. There wasn't even an interpreter set up to get her through her classes. Now, why would Mom and Dad agree to take their daughter up there, and drop her off in such a situation? That doesn't make sense! However, thank goodness, I have parents and a sister who rely on the promptings and guidance of the spirit. For some reason, it felt right, and so they packed up and the started to drive her up to Idaho. I remember Mom saying that she was crying on the road up, because she couldn't believe what she was doing to her daughter. After getting her there, a miracle occurred, and a professional interpreter had just moved into the city, following her husband's work. She was out of work herself, and was hoping to find some way to use her skills. Little did we know, and little did she know, but how very well Heavenly Father knew that He had set it up quite perfectly for each individual to be able to bless the other. I know that the influence of the Holy Ghost and the hand of our Heavenly Father in our lives are very real. In a country where many lack that faith in a god who guides our lives and the happenings of this world, I have thought very often on my testimony of that very simple concept - we have a Father in Heaven, and He loves us very much. I have spent much of my time on my mission thinking about the evidences of His hand in my life, and the manifestations of His love for me. I've had so many powerful experiences and impressions throughout my life, that the only way I could deny His existence and His love is if I allowed myself to forget and push those memories out. I've made a personal commitment that I will never do that. He has been so kind and so merciful towards me and my family and the many people I love, including the investigators and members I have taught, that I owe it to Him to remember, to acknowledge, and to thank. May we all take the time to remember those moments when our Heavenly Father has clearly expressed His love for us. If you haven't felt that, I commit you to pray about it, and then watch. He will show you, and He will let you feel it. I know that is true! I love you all very much! Sestra Lucy Brimhall

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