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Monday, March 28, 2016

March 29, 2016

Ahh this week was another trying one, but the harder it gets the stronger I get! I think that’s how it works. That’s what I’m telling myself at least. Being spring break and Easter, not many people were home and not many people wanted anything to do with what we were saying, but we still had a MIRACLE!

The last few baptisms in the area have been through part-member families who have fallen into the laps of the missionaries. We've been working hard and finding a lot, but haven't been able to keep those we find. But this week we go see the “M” family, who just got their records moved into our ward from the Spanish ward in the stake and sure enough, the Dad goes, "I need my daughter baptized, could you help?" Of COURSE we can! It's yet another Hispanic family who wants to be taught in English and go to and English ward, so there is a slight barrier like with the “B” family, but never fear! The spirit is real! And so is the blessing of having their 13 year-old be fluent in both. We told Anna, the 11 year-old, that for every chapter she reads of the Book of Mormon in English we'll read it in Spanish. She got really excited, but we took her up on the challenge this morning and it truly is the struggle. El Libro de Mormon, man, it makes NO SENSE.

We had exchanges with the La Cresta Sisters! They serve in Arvin, a tiny town in the mountains, and there isn’t even a branch there, just a group. I went out with Hermana Badger who is only in her second transfer. We had a blast! It was crazy to see how far I’ve come in my 8 months out. It's like 
I'm not even the same person. Missions are the best! They make you feel comfortable walking up to strangers and inviting them to be baptized! At least I've changed in that sense. Maybe it's a good thing that that part of me came out in THIS portion of my life.

So.... Sister Bryan and I........ are now..... MOVIE STARS!!! sorta. We filmed a video for the next zone conference on cleaning with our WML on Friday. So we're like one step away from an Oscar, so stay tuned! That was actually tons of fun. We went to the east side of town to film and it had HILLS and TREES and it didn’t even look like Bakersfield. T’was a bit scary though. All in good fun.

Also, we ran into a friend from a few months back! She moved to Fresno, which explains why we could never get in contact with her again, but we knocked at her grandma’s and she happened to be visiting for Easter. She said she wanted to meet with the missionaries up in Fresno, so we're all grateful God somehow put us all on the same porch, haha. She's so cute, she says she wants to be baptized because the restoration "Makes sense, so why wouldn’t I?"

We went to the Women's Broadcast on Saturday and I can't believe it's already been 6 months since the last one! I was still in training during the last one, and my trainee was in the MTC. Time flies. But I LOVED IT!! For all else who watched it, did anyone feel like they had to house a refugee family? Because those stories were intense. I feel like I'm not doing enough to serve the Lord, even while serving a mission. So inspiring!

But the crowning event was, of course, EASTER!!! I love how the Spirit was extra strong and our bellies were extra full. I think I had 5 pounds of cheesy potatoes. But celebrating holidays like that are way cool on the mission because we ONLY focus on the Savior, no other distractions.

I've been pondering Isaiah Chapter 53: 
3 He is despised and rejected of men; a man of sorrows, and acquainted with grief: and we hid as it were our faces from him; he was despised, and we esteemed him not.
4 Surely he hath borne our griefs, and carried our sorrows: yet we did esteem him stricken, smitten of God, and afflicted.
5 But he was wounded for our transgressions, he was bruised for our iniquities:  the chastisement of our peace was upon him; and with his stripes we are healed.

Hope it's familiar, it's in the Easter video the church came out with! But every time I feel like I've done some hard thing for Christ, I'm humbled to remember that he's done even more for me individually. When I stand at a door with someone slamming it in my face, I know I don't stand alone. I'm with Him, who was rejected by all, yet loved us perfectly. Loved us enough to suffer and die for us so that we can find new life! He did this so we can be healed from the heartaches that are a part of life, and THAT is what gets me up and keeps me going on days when I feel like my legs can't carry me anymore. I remember Him, and I can never thank Him enough, through my words or deeds. Let’s all give a gift to the Savior, let’s all pray a little harder and do a little more every day to help others. I am so thankful for this gospel and all the support I've gotten. I hope EVERY day can be as great as Easter!

Sister Bryan, Sister King
March 2016
Bakersfield, CA

Eating Oreo Cookies the right way!
Sister Bryan, Sister King

March 2016
Bakersfield, CA

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