Monday, May 27, 2013

Some More Pictures!!

Here are some new pictures that Joe was able to send us. Today (5/27/13), Joe flew to Guadalajara, Mexico to begin the next step of his journey! We are all so excited and proud of the progress he has already made. He seems to be learning the language very well and is stoked to serve the people in Mexico!!! :) I will post Joe's new address here shortly, on this blog, so you all can continue to write him letters or send packages!

Wednesday, May 22, 2013

He Has His Visa!!

"I GOT MY VISA YESTERDAY!! My companion and I flew to Las Vegas yesterday morning at 5 am and got our visas!! We had to go to the Mexican consulate in Las Vegas, and then we flew back last night and got home at about 10 pm. It was a nice little break from the MTC haha I'm going to Mexico on Monday! Can you believe that?? I CANT! I feel like I don't know enough spanish still! haha but I am stoked to go! When I get home in 2 years, I might not be able to speak english very well haha I handed out my first Book of Mormon by myself yesterday while I was in the Las Vegas airport!! This little old lady came up to me and asked me who I was and I told her that I was a missionary and I explained the church a little and then she asked for a Book of Mormon and I gave her one and bore my testimony to her! It was sick! The spirit was super strong and I felt so good after. We as a group handed out 3 other Book of Mormons and this one couple was a young couple and we were talking to them and they weren't married yet so we bore our testimony on marriage and on how the gospel blesses families and how our church is all about families and how Heavenly Father gave us families so we can be happy and the guy started crying and we gave him a Book of Mormon! It was wild! The things you are able to do when you get set apart is amazing. The Lord really does work through you. I will be able to call you at the airport!!! :D woot woot! I can't wait! I will email you later today and let you know what time I can call you ok??
Te Amo Mucho!
Con Mucho Amor,

Su Hermano, Elder Brinkerhoff

Thursday, May 16, 2013

Another update with PICTURES!

"I am way excited that I only have 2 more weeks! The MTC has been fun but I'm definitely ready to get out haha I was pissed yesterday though because 6 kids in our class got their visas and are going to Idaho tomorrow to meet with some guys from the Mexican consulate and are getting to stay in Idaho overnight in a hotel.. I wish I was going. The 4 of us who are going to Guadalajara haven't gotten our visas yet. I hope I get mine in the next couple of weeks so I don't have to stay here longer... that would suck.. I LOVE BEING THE ZONE LEADER! It is so fun. I just get to go around and help people in our zone all day, and I am meeting tons of new people. The new district we just had come into the MTC is was cool and we are already all really close. I really like being the go-to guy for everybody in our zone. I like that responsibility a lot and our president says everybody looks up to me in the zone and that is a really cool feeling. It's cool to be able to lead by example and see how it effects the other districts in my zone. I feel like I have gotten a pretty good grasp on the Preach My Gospel but I definitely don't have it down yet. I don't think I ever will because there are always new things to learn. It's crazy...
Just stay strong and rely on the Lord as much as you can. You need to have COMPLETE faith that He will help. You can't doubt Him. You have to just rely completely on the Lord. The only way to make your faith stronger is by exercising it. It's like a muscle... the more you exercise it, the stronger it gets. I want to challenge you to read the whole section on FAITH in the True to the Faith book. It's really great. I love it and it has helped me so much! That book is great. Read it and start using it as a guide. It has every subject in that book that you can think of. It's a great resource. I challenge you to really exercise your faith and that book will tell you how! I love you so much!
Con Mucho Amor,
Elder Joe Brinkerhoff"

Above picture: Joe is on the far right

Thursday, May 9, 2013

Zone Leader!!!!

So one thing about Joe, that some of you may not know, is that he is really into health and fitness. Not body building type stuff but eating healthy, non processed foods (for the most part). He doesn't even like candy really or soda. So this will explain his complaints about food in almost every email he has sent haha. He is used to being able to eat healthier, within his standards of eating, and then being able to go for runs whenever he felt like it. SO being at the MTC has been a big adjustment for him :) Here are some more updates I once again pulled together from different emails he sent us. Love my brother for making it so convenient :P

"So the MTC has been a lot of fun! but its been way hard too for me. There are a lot of days where I just wanna go home but there are more days that I am having a lot of fun though so that is good because the good is outweighing the bad. Im just trying to stay positive and focused as much as I can even though it can be way hard sometimes. Im also trying to remember that Mexico is going to be way better then the MTC haha...But the spirit is definitely always here at the MTC. It is a constant companion. Im learning a ton of stuff. Last night we had this thing we went to called the Training Resource Center where members of the church volunteer to just converse with us in spanish to help us learn to speak it better and me and my comp had an old man and this really cute old couple and his wife was from mexico and we had a lot of fun talking to them. The old men and the wife didnt want us to leave because they liked us so much haha I love old people. The old lady was like, "I hope my grand daughters find young men like you.". she was a way cute little old mexican lady. haha" 

" i miss you guys so much. Yes you can send me packages! as many as you want! but PLEASE only healthy snacks because the food they have here is so bad for you haha and i feel like I am gaining weight haha I hate the food here haha it sucks... you can send me other stuff to though if you want. like things i can put in my room or something."

"...I just have no time to write actual letters right now. I am trying though and I am writing little bits of letters here and there so it takes a lot longer. sorry. please be patient...literally every minute is planned...dont stop sending letters because i do get them and i love to read them. even if it feels like [you are writing to] a brick wall. dont stop. I am so much more busy now too because they just called me last week to be a zone leader! i am super busy all the time. so it has made it even harder than before to write letters. but it is a lot of fun being a zone leader. tonight i am meeting with 2 brand new districts in the MTC and teaching them about the MTC and giving them tours of the campus and teaching them the things in the white bible (mission handbook: rules and guidelines) and teaching them about the importance of companion relationships and serving each other. It should be cool :)
Love, Elder Joe Brinkerhoff"

Thanks for stopping by to read about Joe's journey! :) We couldn't be more proud of him!