Monday, May 30, 2016

SHARE YOUR TESTIMONY!

Heller!

This week we decided that it was time for us to go and visit the Jones family because we hadn't seen them in a few weeks. The Elder Brother Jones had an operation and we wanted to see how everything went. When we texted Brother Jones he told us that we could come by and have dinner. Missionary's will NEVER turn down free food! The Jones are a part member family meaning that not everyone has been baptized. I really wanted to start working with this family so after dinner we were able to talk about the Book of Mormon with them. Brother and Sister Jones said they would read the Book of Mormon and Sister Jones actually asked if we had an app for it because she reads the bible off of her phone. We showed her the gospel library app and showed her how to work it. She said that work better for them than it would reading the actual book. She was pretty excited about reading it after we had explained it's purpose! #NewGator

Isaac wanted to come out with us because we are his best friends! We decided to get out of Alva and go to Cherokee to track down Gwenna and Tim because it has been a while since we heard from them. We found Gwenna at home, Tim was working, and we were able to read the Book of Mormon with her. She told us that Tim wants her to give the cowboy church as fair of a chance as she gave the LDS church and so she is. She knows it isn't true and she doesn't like it. She told us that she is pretty much going to interrogate the preacher about things he said that she does't believe in. (example: Celestial,Terrestrial,Telestial Kingdom's and outer darkness instead of Heaven and Hell) She said if he won't answer he questions or gets offensive she is walking out and never going back and Tim said OK! Gwenna will be coming back to church with us soon! I know she has a testimony and I love her enough to not give up on her. I won't let her lose the testimony she has!

In Preach My Gospel there is a quote about testimonies from President Monson

It says: "Regarding one's testimony, remember, that which one willingly shares he keeps, while that which he selfishly keeps he loses....Teach and testify. There is no better combination.

We need to constantly be building up our testimonies and sharing them with everyone! Our testimonies are what we used to defeat Satan in the Pre-existence and they are what we can use on earth against him as well. SO SHARE YOUR TESTIMONY! :)

We got a referral for a guy named Michael Ashbaker. He requested a bible and we decided to give him a call to set up a time we could go talk to him and he said we could come by Saturday. He told me that him and his family are looking to learn more about Jesus and become more united as a family. He is going to be super solid and I am excited to go teach them! He had to reschedule so we are going to see him Sunday after church!

On Thursday we got a call from Elder Gorshe from the mission office. He has called us almost every morning this week about the places we looked at for the senior couple. On Thursday he told us he made the mistake of telling one of the landlord's he was talking to that he was from The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints and she hung up on him and wanted us to contact her! LOL We found out that the house they were going to rent was taken and so now we were back to square 1 (house hunting) Elder McVey and I spent the entire afternoon looking at places for rent and non of them were making the cut. We were driving around in frustration and I saw a for rent sign so we drove over to it!

While we waited for the landlord to come show us the duplex Elder McVey went across the street to ask these people if he could use their bathroom. Apparently he told me he had to go to the restroom and I didn't hear it?? WHOOPS! They let him use their restroom and I was able to turn it into a great tracting situation! They even said we could come back!

When we walked into the duplex Elder McVey and I were stunned because we didn't know a nice and clean place for rent existed in Alva. We both just looked at each other nodding our heads in awe! We can finally stop house hunting!!

We found out that Joy was in the Hospital Friday night but she is home now and she will be alright. She had some chest pain and did something to her ribs.

Elder McVey found a bug in my hair and he thought it was lice but it wasn't and so we decided to pull a prank on Sister Smiley by telling her I had lice and needed her help and she was up and ready to run to Walmart and get some supplies. We told her we were just kidding and she still feed us dinner!! Sister Smiley is probably my favorite member in Alva :)

Sister Johnson broke her foot and ankle 2 weeks ago and everyone at church told her she needed to take it easy and rest. Sister Johnson is always running around the place! Well this week Sister Johnson fell down her stairs and broke her other foot so she is in a wheel chair now! Everyone has just been shaking their head at her for trying to go down the stairs with crutches. It is kinda funny!

Please pray for Joy and Sister Johnson to have a swift recovery!

Transfer calls were Sunday night and Elder McVey will be getting transferred to Del City with Elder Debenham and Elder Smith. Elder Debenham is going home halfway through this next transfer because his dad is going to go through the temple! Elder McVey won't be in a trio for very long.

I will be getting Elder Bills! Elder Bills came out at the same time as me and we actually sat by each other on the plane from Minneapolis to Oklahoma. He is a super funny kid and I am so excited to serve with him!! :)

GOD ANSWERS PRAYERS! MIRACLES ARE FUR REAL!!

Have a great week! As a true Okie would say... "Love Y'all!"

Elder Brisk

That is all.


Smiley's + Missionaries = Best Friends Forever! :)




The clouds in Oklahoma are really cool!




Isaac is basically a missionary :)



MORE BIRTHDAY CAKE!!


LOOK WHAT RYLEE SENT ME FOR MY BIRTHDAY!!!

It is us at manners tea in 2nd grade 😂





Monday, May 23, 2016

Pay attention to the spirit!!

Heller!

I have officially been 19 for a week now and thank you to all who contributed to making it a great birthday!

I have been out for 10 months now....what?? How in the world is that even possible? If you asked my mother she would probably tell you it has definitely been 10 months. That is usually how the whole mission thing goes.

ALVA IS GETTING A SENIOR COUPLE!! There names are Elder and Sister Holland. No it is not the apostle..

On Wednesday we played house hunters instead of being missionaries.  Elder Gorshe came up from the city to look at places for rent with us. He had recently gone to purcell which is a 3rd the size of Alva and it took them 10 minutes to find an apartment. We didn't even find one. We looked at 50 bajillion places for rent and he didn't really like any of them. There is no such thing as luxurious living in Alva Oklahoma. We are still on the search for a place for the senior couple and hopefully we will be able to look at a house that sounds very promising this weekend. The Holland's will be here on June 11th so we need to find a place and we need it NOW!

We took Isaac to play bingo at the nursing home with us and he didn't like it! I don't understand why Elder McVey and I are the only ones that find joy in bingo!?!? I guess the outsiders just get stuck with the moody seniors! We took him another time and he immediately went to sit by someone else😂 

We had exchanges this week and Elder Warren got to come join me in Alva. We went to help Sister Menzel move and when we got there and of course nothing was packed... We called the Smiley's because there was no way we were going to be able to move any of that stuff with our little truck. Luckily the Smiley's are awesome and love the missionareis! While we were moving Sister Menzel's roomate/boyfriend showed up... He didn't know she was moving out and I don't think he does either. She hasn't told him yet... Luckily we were able to take our big load and unload at her new place in Cherokee!

After moving it was dinner time so we went to pizza hut with Brother Durrence and his roomate/coworker Harold. Harold doesn't want to be preached too. He just likes to laugh at Brother Durrence. Somehow Brother Durrence got conned into some deal and we had SO MUCH PIZZA! We had to have 2 take home boxes... and there was 4 of us. That might help you understand how much pizza we had.

We took Brother Durrence with us to see Don! Don's brother just bought a Harley so we were outside talking with them. We were able to read the scriptures with him and it was a great lesson! He promised me that he would come to church next Sunday so I am really hoping he keeps his promised! Once Don and his kids come to church they will want to be baptized so fast!

While we were reading the scriptures Don's 9 year old son Gabe came racing through the front door yelling "I'VE GOT TO PEE! I'VE GOT TO PEE! I'VE GOT TO PEE!" It was probably the funniest thing of the week!

Shout out to Drexel for being the only investigator at church the past 3 weeks! Church starts at 9:30 and Drexel text us at 8 telling us he was ready for church but he couldn't figure out how to tie his tie. We tried to teach him over text messaging but that didn't work. 1.5 hours later he figured it out! I think he thought church was kind of long though!!

We teach our investigators to Read, Pray, and attend church to find out if what we are teaching them is true. Sometimes they don't understand why their prayer wasn't answered right away. I was reading in Mosiah chapter 21 and learned something about prayer in verse 15.

15 "And now the Lord was slow to hear their cry because of their iniquities; nevertheless the Lord did hear their cries..."

Even though the people were being wicked the Lord still heard their prayers. The Lord is always going to hear our prayers. He wants to help us but he can't unless we let him. Our prayers are answered in His time and in His way. We have to show Him that we want an answer to our prayers and we do that by exercising faith. The Book of Mormon is a book of answers. If we will exercise our faith in reading our scriptures we will find the answer to our prayers within them. If we attend church for the RIGHT reasons we will feel the spirit teach and testify to us. The Lord answers our prayers through the spirit.

In Galations chapter 5 it tells us the type of things we will feel when the spirit is with us..

22-23 "But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace,longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, meekness, temperance.."
Pay attention to the spirit!! If we are living righteously the Lord won't be slow to hear our cries for help! He wants to help us and He will if we will work for it! Live righteously! There is no better alternative.
Love Elder Brisk 💙
That is all.
                                      Isaac graduated middle school!!                                            

The Longhurst family left to Utah.
 When they get back there could be 2 new missionaries,
 a senior couple, and a new mission president!


Monday, May 16, 2016

Our teaching pool is growing!!!

HELLER!

Thank you to all who contributed to the 30+ birthday emails I received when I logged on today! It means a lot to have your support. I love and miss you all!

This was a really great week! We were able to find 4 new investigators! Our teaching pool is growing!!! MIRACLES ARE FOR REAL!

Sister Leavitt is the key to this area! It is great having a connection with her so we can go and visit her. She always has some random person there that we can start teaching! Through her we will be able to convert Alva to the gospel of Jesus Christ!!

We gave our investigator Shyann a blessing because she is going to have to have surgery on her heart this coming october. Please keep her in your prayers!

I went on exchanges this week with the woodward Elders and Elder Hansen came to Alva with me. We went to Beedles Nursing home to help them play bingo like we always do on Tuesday's and Thursday's and he didn't like it at all! The guy he helped wouldn't talk to him because he said he use to be a baptist preacher and he doesn't like us 😂

We went to have a lesson with Don, Tristain and Gabe but Gabe said his dad was asleep and to come back in an hour. So we didn't know what to do and then we saw the Longhurst family and we went over to talk to them. We found out that there was race going on and that Sister Longhurst and their son Skyler were running in it. We found them and ended up running with them on the last little bit. It was super fun! Then we realized how out of shape we are!

We went back to Don's afterwards and he was awake and we were able to have a lesson with him! We read Joseph Smith's history found in the beginning of the Book of Mormon and helped him understand more about Joseph Smith and how the Book of Mormon came forth. It was a great lesson!

Jimmie is so funny!! He told us that he couldn't come to church this week because he had a dream he was a twister and he flew out of bed and hurt his leg. Investigators always have some excuse of why they can't come to church but the funny thing is I actually believe Jimmie! 😂

We were able to find Drexel this week and have a lesson with him at Brother Durrence's house. We were having our lesson and the Armstrong's called Brother Durrence that dinner was ready and he told them he was in a lesson with us and they said we could all come over and eat! So we walked next door to the Armstrong's and had a nice home cooked meal! Sister Armstrong said that she put all 7 potatoes in the pot for some reason even though she was originally going to have 3 people and that she bought 2 packs of pudding for no reason. It was because the Lord knew that we would be having a lesson!! Being in the Armstrong's home was a great thing for Drexel! The spirit of their home really helped us in our lesson with him.

Thanks again for all the birthday wishes and your support!

Have a great week!!

Love Elder Brisk 💙

That is all.



Rainy days=severe weather=possible tornadoes!
Just kidding Alva doesn't get those


I had to wait to open my birthday presents so I played with the box instead! The blurry picture is when the box ripped and I fell backwards 😂



This is my district!

This is Josh and Sadie. Josh is constantly singing during sacrament and I am sadie's favorite missionary ever!!









Monday, May 9, 2016

Understanding the Atonement is so important!

HELLER!
(Hi Uncle Jim!)

Because it was Mother's day yesterday I got to talk with my family! That means that they already know about a lot of the stuff contained within this email. Therefore this email is meant for you the people who like to keep up with the Elder in Oklahoma!

This week was a lot better than last week!

Once upon time their were 4 missionaries headed home from a meeting in Enid and on their way back they got pulled over! 🚔 Well the nice policeman asked for the drivers license and insurance card and then asked the missionary driving to get out of the vehicle. This missionary was a little confused but the nice policeman assured him that he wasn't in any special trouble. So the missionary got out of the vehicle and the nice policeman asked him to take a seat inside the passenger seat of his vehicle. The missionary was really confused at this point but did as the nice policeman asked. The missionary sat in the police car with the nice policeman and talked to him about missionaries and the church. The nice policeman asked why they had a chair lift on the back of their vehicle and the missionary had to tell him it was a bike rack and not a chair lift....silly policeman!! The nice policeman said that he pulled the missionary over for going 70 in a 65 and his intention was just to give him a warning. The missionary was very relieved but kind of bitter he got pulled over for going 5 over. Overall it was a fun experience for the missionary! 😄

This week Elder McVey and I got to go to Gwenna and Tim Kimball's house! We haven't been able to have a lesson with them in forever! We were able to take Isaac with us and he did great! I totally stumped Tim though! There we were surrounded around the table enjoying sopapilla cheesecake. Elder McVey and I were asking Tim questions that really made him think and search his soul. I asked him what it would mean to him if Joseph Smith really saw God the Father and his son Jesus Christ. He thought about it for a second and then stood up in his chair and said NO. He said he wasn't going to fall into that trap! I started smiling/laughing a little bit and asked him what trap. He just walked into the living room giggling saying I was smart. Gwenna kept winking at me! It was pretty good! We told Tim to think about that question I asked him and we would get his answer next time because it was almost 9:30 PM and we needed to get home.

We were able to meet with Don this week and that was great! We don't get to see him very often because our evenings are the busiest time of the day and that is when all our investigators are available!

We helped Sister Johnson clean up a flower bed for a less active member in the branch. We met Sister Johnson at the house and the Sister we were doing the service for was still there so we hid around the corner for a minute. We thought that she wasn't going to leave and so we decided to say a prayer and go do the service. After we prayed she left and we were able to clean up her flower bed without her seeing us! Tender Mercies of the Lord!

We found a frog while we were doing the service and it kept scaring Sister Johnson because we put it in the bucket with the plants. We decided to take it to Rusty Smiley and put it in the bed of our truck but somehow it escaped. Either that or it got incinerated by the sun.....anyway!!

We had exchanges with the zone leaders in Enid on Friday and Saturday. I was with Elder Slack and we held a booth in downtown Enid. The first Friday of every month they set up a booth and are able to talk to a bunch of people! The Marshallese and Spanish elders we there as well. Elder Nicholas and I were having so much fun the entire time we were around each other. We were constantly laughing! We decided that we have to be companions one day! So please pray that Elder Brisk and Elder Nicholas can be companions!!

We found out that Sister Garris, a less active member we visit quite frequently throughout the week, passed away Friday night from a heart attack. I have had her and her family on my mind and in my prayers a lot recently. The Plan of Salvation can help us through times of losing a loved one. Because I know the plan of Salvation I know that she is in a better place. Sometimes it is hard for others to accept that. We were able to talk with her daughter who hasn't been to church in years this morning at Walmart. She said she was trying to find our number so she could inform us. That really meant a lot to me because the rest of Sister Garris' family wouldn't really talk to us. They are doing alright but please keep the Garris family in your prayers!

Since I am a district leader I get the opportunity to interview those preparing for baptism in the district. I was able to interview a lady named Doris Bain. I didn't really know what I was doing but as a district leader I have learned over the past few weeks how important it is for the spirit to guide us in this work. As I held the interview with the spirit I was able to see how prepared Doris was for Elder Warren and Elder Hansen. She truly had a testimony about the Atonement of Jesus Christ and how it can heal us. Some people know about the atonement and some people have no idea what it is. As we come to a true understanding of the Atonement of Jesus Christ it will improve the quality of our lives. Christ suffered for each and every one of us! Understanding the Atonement is so important!
I invite you to read 2 Nephi chapter 2 this week. Focus on the thoughts and feelings you get as you study that chapter. I know that if you will sincerely study that chapter with real intent to increase your understanding of the Atonement you will be touched by the spirit. The teachings found within the Book of Mormon will guide us through our lives. PLEASE don't take the scriptures for granted. Study them daily and I guarantee you will find more peace and happiness in your live.

Love Elder Brisk 💙
p.s. I may be the missionary in the story...

That is all.




#OverallSquad


Exchanges with Elder Slack in Enid! #Wendy's


The view from the booth we set up in Enid was men walking in high heels.




When you tell your mom you're under tornado watch and the clouds start spinning...








Monday, May 2, 2016

Visit to Kansas

Heller!

This week was terrible. So Terrible that if I try to tell you about it I will just get livid and I don't need the spirit of contention in this new week. So I will be focusing on the GOOD and EXCITING that happened this week.

We were finally able to meet with Don, Tristain, and Gabriel this week! We had a really good lesson with them and we set a baptism date for May 21st but we realized that they can't make that date but we are going to help them do their best to make it around there!

Elder McVey and I really needed to get out of Alva and so we went to see some members that live in the great state of Kansas! I actually kind of liked it! We decided that Everyone and their dog in Oklahoma has a dog and Everyone and their cat in Kansas has a Cat. We went out of our mission boundaries to visit some of these people but our mission president said it is ok because they are members of our branch! We were in the Great town of Sharon Kansas and we got to meet Martina McBride's dad!! That was really cool!! It felt good to get out of Alva! :)

Sister Smiley took us to El Maya for dinner Saturday night. It was really funny because we went to El Maya for lunch! We were very concerned about how our bowels were going to react to that but we survived!!

Well that is the good that happened to us this week. I could write another book about the bad that is happening this week but I did my best to stay positive!

I hope you all have a great week. Please pray for Elder McVey and I!

Sincerely, Elder Brisk

That is all.



Isn't Kansas so fun!!!!!




I MET A FAMOUS PERSON'S DAD!!!! 
Martina McBride wasn't there unfortunately but her dad was really nice to us!




Tuesday we got the chance to be threatened by Tornado's. 
Those little red circles headed towards Alva are circulation clouds that produce Tornado's!!