Elder Tanner Brooksby

Elder Tanner Brooksby
Rancho Cucamunga California Mission is getting one great missionary! Tanner has chosen to serve the Lord by giving 2 years of his life to dedicate his heart to testifying of the Savior. Thank You Elder Brooksby! We are so proud of you.

Monday, March 27, 2017

Twenty-Seven Hours Of Service 3/32/17

It's honestly ridiculous how much service we do up here. Missionary? Pshtt, please honey, its pronounced gardener.

Hello everyone! I hope you are not as weed covered as everything out here is! Because I couldn't do anymore service for you if you were anyways!

This last week was pretty crazy busy, as evidenced by the fact that I didn't email last week. Anyone with sensitive ears, please cover them.

I'M SO SORRRYYRYRYRYRYRYRYRYRYYYYYRYRYRYR ABOUT THAT!!!!!!!

I didn't even send an intermission email! Those are like, two sentences long!!!

But now I am back! And I have a new story to tell all of you!

So you know Kristen, the investigator I always talk about but never really talked about? Well, she exists. And because she exists, she's going through some really rough stuff financially and emotionally lately. I can't talk too much about it, but it involved a fight, and I was very worried for a long while that she'd fall away from the church and stop meeting with us.

HOWEVER! I was talking to Sister Bennitt (Another investigator) who happens to text Kristen alot, (nonmembers fellowshipping nonmembers. It's pretty dang awesome.) and she said that Kristen had texted her and told he that she wasn't going to let this get in the way of her progress with finding out the truth. I was so happy!!!

Even though she's not a member yet, Kristen is so strong. She's come leaps and bounds from where she was, and it's all thanks to God :D She's a really good example to me too, because sometimes I tend to wallow in self-pity and give up too easily, but she's in a much worse situation than I am and she keeps pushing! It's amazing the things you learn when you're willing to :)

Anyways folks, I've gotta get back. There's a hula hoe calling my name in some weed-infested yard somewhere! But don't give up, no matter what! That's what I learned from this week, and I hope you guys have learned a lot too :D

Love you all! Don't cross the Canadian border if you've got more than one pair of trousers on!
See you next time!
Elder Brooksby the III

Sunday, March 26, 2017

The Worlds Twenty-Six Most Deadly Creatures 3/13/17

The first one on the list is change.

First off, hello to all! And might I just add, if you read this email in the voice of some British dude narrating a documentary, it'll be WAY more fun.

*Ahem*

Good afternoon, class! Today we will be studying the wild Elder Brooksby in his natural habitat. Look at him run and jump and do missionary work! What a wonderful specimen of pure, unbridled, somewhat unfocused enthusiasm! But oh no! The wild Elder is being challenged! It's a new companion!!! A wild Elder Plautz is on the scene, and it looks like the wild Brooksby is sad to have lost his old companion, Elder Gibbons!

These are real missionaries, not actors. And this is the story of... THE TRANSFER.

In other, less confusing, words Elder Gibbons got transferred out today to head down the hill to Upland 3rd ward, and I am very sad. Elder Gibbons was honestly the best dude I've ever met out here, and one of the only people who I think I'dve been best friends with back home. Those of you that know me know that that's saying something!

But!

Now he is gone, and my new companion is Elder Plautz, who I first met in Ontario ONE HUNDRED YEARS AGO. It's gonna be super sweet because he's a nerd too, so things'll be awesome :)

To summarize, what I've learned this past week, I'll sing you all a song.

AAAAAAAAAAAAHHHHHHHHHHHHHHGGGGGGGGGGGGGGGGGGGGGG.

I've been pretty hysterical for the past couple days stressing about transfers :) I honestly don't llike change and I never have. It's really the only thing that gets me stressed. Lesson falls through? No problem! Crazy schedule? We'll figure it out! Transfers? Welp, kill me now.

But, throughout it all, I've remained sane through one thing, and that's Jesus Christ. A talk by Jeffery R Holland I listened to a little while ago talked about how during the sacrament we remember Christ, and how through remembering Him we gain the power we need to keep pushing forward. Once I heard that, all I could think was that more than anyone else, Christ knew what it meant to be alone.

My biggest fear of transfers is always that I'll get a companion that makes me feel alone. But by remembering Christ and how terribly alone He must have felt, it made me feel better. I knew that no matter what happened, I wouldn't be left totally alone like He had been. He's watching out for me :D

And that's what I learned!!! It was a doozy of a week, but it was a good one. Change makes us grow, and I'm gonna grow for the better!

Now tally ho, old chaps!!! I'm off to sip a spot of (herbal) tea and nibble a crumpet or two whilst watching a sporting good cricket match! Until our next adventure, keep your pith helmets shiny and dust free!

Love you all a ton!
Don't explore ruins is there are bones outside!!!
Elder Brooksby the III

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That's The Twenty-Sixth Project This Week! 3/6/17

Hello all you peoples of the Earth-type-kind!

Firstly, a question.

Do I look like a professional landscaper?

Now, an answer.

Apparently yes.

Reason being! I have done three straight days of service projects up here!!! All three involved kneeling in the dirt and gloves! I am very tired!

The first service project was on Thursday, at a place called Squash 4 Friends where we do service every week. It's a community garden, so we were weeding in the Californian sun for three hours. Way fun, right??? (It was actually pretty fun)

Next service was on Friday at the same Jewish persons it was last time, so we were ALSO weeding in his backyard for three hours! It wasn't really that bad because I was talking to Elder Olson about cool books and things, plus we got cookies and such :D

And then on Saturday we poured cement! There were two jobs available, wheeling the cement and dumping it, or leveling it out with a big wooden board. We were with the other Elders, so Elders Gibbons, Olson, and I went to wheel cement, leaving Elder Ruiz to "Skreet" as it is apparently know. Only problem was that the wheelbarrows were extraordinarily heavy.

Anyone that knows me knows that I have the arm strength of a malnourished squirrel that's been treading water for two hours, so nobody was surprised when five minutes in I had already dumped a HUGE load of cement on the ground and was promptly kicked over to skreeting duty ;D Tell me you're proud of me, mother.

In a SHOCKING turn of events, I shall now include something spiritual!

Folks, family is important. I've seen it more and more out here where people are born into bad family situations, don't know how to fix it, and so they just get stuck in a descending cycle. Family provides a foundation of trust and love, something that everyone needs but few people get these days. People from good families stand stronger, work harder, laugh more, and at the end of the day are better equipped for the trials life throws at them :)

So if you're part of that sort of family, be grateful! If not, then it starts with you. The gospel provides a way out of the cycle of pain and heartache that the world so often gets people stuck in, so hold onto that. Build something that's worth being eternal!

TIME FOR A RANDOM RANT BY ELDER BROOKSBY.

DON'T BE LAZY OR GIVE UP ON TRYING.

There are SO many people out here that are content to sit at home and watch TV all day, literally doing NOTHING else. They give up and figure life's gonna be easier for them if they just quit trying and sink into the oblivion of daytime TV talk shows.

DO NOT. DON'T. EVER.

Please please PLEASE just try to be better every day! Even if it's just by a little :) It's so much easier to keep going than to try and start again, and I'm a sad witness to that every day.

I love you all as much as one can love a kitten rainbow!
Until next time!!!
Elder Brooksby the III

Twenty-Two Graves, The Old World Is Dying 1/30/17

Wow.

That's depressing.

I bet you're all wondering why the title is so tragic and sad! Well, there is a very good reason for that, and I will explain it in detail.

No, there is too much. I will sum it up. Her follows a short obituary of everything that is dying this week!

1. R.I.P the nerd zone. Or, in laymans terms, transfers.

So our zone is/was made up of the most nerdy missionaries out in the field :) And I mean Magic: The Gathering on the daily, Dungeons and Dragons going down on P-day, and just generally nerdly conversations at ALL TIMES. It was truly a glorious era of innovation.

But no longer.

When transfers came sweeping round, literally all of the outgoing nerds got punted and replaced by the most testosterone-fueled missionaries in the whole mission :D Needless to say, we are probably going to be sportsing pretty hard now, which brings us to our next death!

2. Me.

I kid, I kid! I'm not dying anytime soon :D Though I did realize a little while ago that I've been out here for six months now, which was odd. Ladies and gentlemen, don't let time slip away. I have a testimony that the length of our lives is no accident. We are here for a reason, and that is to grow and love God more than ever before, and every minute we spend here is a gift. Use it wisely :D Anywhoo, another death, one that has been heralded by those greater than me, Laura and Sierra!

3. The old schedule/key indicators

I'm not gonna rag a whole lot on this one cause it's been covered before, suffice to say that the change to the schedule is so that missionaries stop working themselves to death! In fact, when all is said and done, we lost a half hour of proselyting time a day, proving that sometimes it's better to take a step back and make sure you're mentally and physically ready for something before you jump right in :)

On a more serious note, there was an actual death over here. An older woman in my ward who was medically less-active passed away this last week. We visited her pretty regularly, and It made me sad to know that she had moved on. However, now she is not plagued by Alsehimers, so that's a true blessing!
The point I wanted to bring up with her was that not effort is wasted in the church. Before she dies she was visited by home teachers, visiting teachers, and others who all helped her through this. It made me so glad to know that our Heavenly Father has put things like that in place so that we are never forgotten :)

Well, that about wraps up the funerals! Hopefully I don't see anymore in the near future, except SINS!!!! OHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH!!!!! BUUUUUURRRRRRNNNNNNNN!!!!!!!!

I love you all! Please don't buy soda if the cap is off! Also, why does everyone give the missionaries the inedible food??? As much as I love cigarette ash covered spaghetti...

See you all just around the river bend!
I'll send an inspiring roar in your direction when I next get the chance!
Until next flower-filled glade of a Monday :)
Elder Brooksby the III

When The Twenty-Fifth Star Alights 2/27/17

An email will be sent. And on that day, a hero will arise from lands forgotten... 

I would tell you where, but I forgot.

Well hello all! It's me! The flake!

Sorry for the lack of email last week, time was crazy and I let my urge to quest get the better of me. But I am here now! In the here-and-now! Which is both here and now! (Can anyone tell I'm just filling space because my life's not all that exciting?)

Cause I am.

If I didn't know better, I'd say that I've gotten all of my memories stolen by a pink brain-sucking alien who intends to build a theme park based off of the ideas he finds! But I do know better. It was a GREY alien, and I feel sorry for him. He should have invested his talents into the video game industry, theme parks are on their way out.

Well, I suppose a missionary story is in order! A story about DANGER! About FRIENDSHIP!! AND ABOUT BIONICLES!

In all reality, this story is about Bionicles.

So, Elder Gibbons and I were doing some service for a Jewish dude along with the other Elders in our ward, Elder Ruiz and Elder Olson. Before I begin, you need to know who these people are! Elder Ruiz literally invented stonewalling and if there was a "Strong Silent Type" contest, he wouldn't win because it's not pertinent to his salvation. Elder Olson is akin to a unicorn movie buff who hangs around Comicons because he wants to get the lighting director of his favorite film's autograph.

Anyway! So we were doing service, hula hoeing weeds and the like, and somehow the topic of conversation moves to old toys. Somebody then made the mistake of saying the word Bionicle.

Elder Gibbons loves Bionicles so much he would literally pay everything he owned to BECOME one. If you don't know what Bionicles are, please find out or this will make very little sense :D

CUT TO: Three hours later, Elder Gibbons has now told all of us the ENTIRE HISTORY of the Bionicle Universe, whipping Elder Olson into such a nostalgic frenzy that he appeared to have become his unicorn self in real life and was violently shooting rainbows everywhere. To those of us that know the Myers-Briggs test, he's an ENFP. It shows.

TO WRAP IT ALL UP: Jewish guy we're doing service for comes outside to show us his knife collection, (Cool) let us throw actual steel throwing stars he'd made himself, (WAY cool) and give us all free knives. (The coolieist) And even though Elder Olson almost got stabbed because the dude has really bad Parkinsons and shakes a lot, it all turned out really well!

Though apparently the letter J is a lie.

I'm sorry the story isn't more exciting this week! I will send cool stories and pictures next week, I promise!!!

I love you all! I would give all of you free knives as well if I could!
See you next time!!!
Elder Brooksby the III 

I Know What You Want... More Popcorn! 2/21/17

Yep folks, another intermission. If you'd like a more regular emailing scheduled, please contact the federal government (Preferably by the smoke signals of a burning town hall, THAT'LL get their attention) and tell them to stop placing holidays that close the library on Mondays.

Until the government falls and I'm able to email when I want (Provided I survive the anarchy) I apologize for janky email times! And lengths, cause this is fetching short.

I love you all!!! Please don't go to jail for me!
Elder Brooksby the III

Twenty-Four Emotional Breakdowns 2/13/17

Most of them mine, but some that belonged to others!

Howdy, folks! Welcome to the wettest watering hole this side of the Mississippi! (Because of all of the tears, but a little rain as well)

I don't have a whole lot of time today, but I'll tell the most important story for all of yall!

So for the past while Elder Gibbons has been strugging with some stuff that's been really heavy. I've been doing my best to help in any way I can, but it's pretty much out of my pay grade... So I was praying. I was praying so hard that I'm pretty sure I pulled a praying muscle.

Anyways, so that leaves us on Sunday night bone tired and a little bit discouraged. Elder Gibbons was sad, I was sad because he was sad, and we weren't very confident in what was going to happen that night. We started on our way to visit a less-active lady who we'd been visiting on and off in the past, expecting nothing more than to share a random scripture and leave back to our slump.

However, when we got there we found that she was in a real crisis of faith of her own! She'd been to church that day but was really struggling to feel refreshed and edified by going. She was trying to find the feeling she'd felt after she'd been baptized 3 years ago, but couldn't seem to feel it again. It was a really scary situation, and if we said or did the wrong thing than things could have very easily gone downhill FAST.

I didn't know what to do and Elder Gibbons was in the same boat, so I just started talking. I shared Helaman 12:5 and talked a little bit about building our foundations on Christ, then addressed a few of her concerns. All in all I felt as if nothing I said was making much of a difference, and that I'd basically just turned the whole thing into a huge mess...

But, just in that moment of great alarm, Elder Gibbons started to testify. He told her that sometimes we don't quite know where to go or what to do, but that we always need to remember those little bits of spiritual knowledge that we've been given by God, and that He's the only one who can answer all of our questions. It was pretty much the best thing I've ever heard in my life, and by the end both he and the sister were in tears. As we left she mentioned that she felt at peace, and that she felt much more calm.

Back inside the car I told Elder Gibbons how amazing it had been, and he told me that as the sister had been having a crisis of faith, he had as well, of a sort. The power and majesty of the Spirit had helped him rekindle his fire and have faith again in missionary work, and the fruits that come from it. The whole night had been an answer to my prayers for him, and we went to sleep for the first time in a while entirely happy :)

All in all, it was a good week.

I love you all, and I hope that you can all find whatever you need to find to move your faith!
Love,
Elder Brooksby the III

P.S: Tyson and Zoo are gonna be parents, and I'm pretty jazzed about that. Just thought you should all know!!! 

Twenty-Three Seconds To Total Nuclear Apocalypse 2/6/17

Someone should really get on that before we all die.

Hello all of you peoples!!! Sorry the reception is so bad, but I'm currently relaying this message to you from my bunker in deep Siberia, and the zombies keep chewing my radio tower. It's a real bummer.

A far as life outside the concrete goes, glowing and radioactive as it is, I'm doing really well! In fact, I'm doing SO well that I'm having a hard time remembering what I was even going to talk about! A bit of a problem when the gas-powered generator won't stay fueled forever.

Oh! I can tell you guys about how Elder Gibbons and I are handling the new schedule!

Question: How are Elder Gibbons and I handling the new schedule?

Answer: We are not.

In other words it's been SUPER WEIRD to adjust, and it's made this week seem excruciatingly long :) But we made it! and are still unzombie bitten! (Mostly.) It's just been weird that we don't plan at night and shtuffs like that. Makes me feel like I'm a greenie again, fresh out of the MTC!

I really wish that all of you were out here so I could just have you meet all of the amazing people that I've been able to meet :) I love California for a number of reasons, and the people are number one. 

Oh yeah! People story! I have one!!! Hey, wait, what's that noise...?

*Assorted screaming noises and the moans of the undead* ZAMBIES! YOU ALL BETTER STAY AWAY, CAUSE I'VE GOT TWO CAN OPENERS AND A LEAD PIPE, AND IF YOU'VE EVER PLAYED CLUE YOU KNOW WHAT THAT MEANS!!!!

*Moans fade into distance*

Can openers. Works every time.

Anywho! So a former member/current investigator named Sister Bennitt just underwent a nig surgery a few days ago for her shoulder, which, due to really bad family situations and alcohol, she had to drive an hour home from. Needless to say, she was wiped! So she asked Elder Gibbons and I to pick up some Subway for her because she was home alone and couldn't get up from the couch. So, being good missionaries, we said "Sure!"

We'd just come from a service project we do every week called Squash for Friends where afterwards they always feed us some veryyy.... Questionable homemade soup. This particular time it really rubbed Elder Gibbons the wrong way, especially in the digestive area of things. SO here we are, picking up Subway and driving to Sister Bennetts house, when Elder Gibbons relates to me that he is going to need to take a quite urgent bathroom break.

Long story short, he DESTROYED Sister Bennetts bathroom while I sat and talked with her for a really, really long time :D (It was some bad soup, that's for sure.) 

It was fun for me, though!

Anyways, I've gotta get back to surviving in post-apocalyptic conditions and also teaching and doing things of that nature! I love you all! I'd even lend any of you a can opener if you needed it!

See you all next time, if I don't kill everyone in my group by hiding my zombie bite from them until it's too late!
Love you!
Elder Brooksby the III 

Channel Twenty One, Reporting Live! 1/23/17

Hello folks, I'm Chief Reporter Elder Brooksby, not because I'm a good reporter but because all of the other ones are dead or too busy eating copious amounts of marshmallows.

I'm reporting to you live from the only place in the world where a missionary is a total airhead and doesn't send a group email for two whole weeks! And then, to make it ABSOLUTELY BETTER, he goes and sends a tiny message that makes it sound like he's super depressed when the only reason he actually sent that was because his email time was WAYYYY limited and everyone else told him to as a joke!

To clarify for all of the viewers at home who skipped self-passive-aggressiveness class, I'm sorry that I sent a dramatic email last week :) I didn't have a whole lot of time, and so I copped out and just sent that as a joke. I'm doing awesome! (Though the thoughts and encouragement were greatly appreciated anyways :D )

Anyways! We're on live television here! Time to get the people the stories that matter to THEM. *Insert cheesy news anchor smile*

Out top stories for the past two weeks! (Because I'm a terrible person and didn't email!)

A wild investigator family named the Bennitts jumped into the teaching pool a little while ago, causing some massive damage to Satan's beachfront property! We'd be sad for him, but we frankly aren't that concerned. Anyways, the Bennitts! Sister Bennett used to be a member, but isn't anymore. She and her husband started coming back to church a little while ago because of her husbands daughter, Cambria. They were worried that she was having a hard time and needed a little boost, so thusly, CHURCH.

They came for a few weeks to just sacrament meeting, but then one of the members introduced himself to Brother Bennett and they became insta-best friends! All of a sudden, Brother Bennett is interested in the church and wants to come to all three hours! And they did!!! That was the first time Sister Bennett has been to all three hours of church in eight years!!!!

But this is all made better by the fact that they have us over for dinner a ton, and now they come to all three hours of church every week. We were a little bit worried because Cambria can only come to church every other week due to family things, but then. Guess. What.

She went to a Stake Dance with a bunch of other youth from the ward, and the next Sunday Sister Bennett told us that she'd leaned over during sacrament and said that she felt really warm and good when she prayed and that she wanted to be baptized :)

I LOVE EVERYTHING SO MUCH.

And now to Jim for the weather!

Well, it's a wet one down in Hesperia! And by that I mean that we literally could swim down the roads. CALIFORNIA IS IN A DROUGHT, THOUGH. Oh yeah, and it snowed this morning. SNOW. Wat. Da. Heak.

Well, the television station is about to cut us from the air because we've gone over our time slot by a million years, so I will now do shout outs!

Shout out to Kadin and Denver for beating the odds and living another year!!!
Shout out to Laura! Because of heads and bodies and such! (Super cool but also super creepy)
Shout out to Sierra because she does, in fact, talk to me a lot!

And a big shout out to anyone who needs/wants a shout out! You are all doing super amazing and you will all be blessed for your service, wherever you are called!

I love you all and want you to know that spiritual health is directly connected to temporal health! So eat healthy or you will lose ALL the energy, as my companion and I found out the hard way :)

See all of you punks in Hollywood after this news channel gets picked up as a comedy!
Love you all to death! And marshmallows!
Elder Brooksby the III

​The water is NOT a lie.



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​​​Only REAL 90's kids will remember this. (Also avid Magic players)


​Remember that one time we played ghetto Monopoly with some other missionaries over the phone on New Year's Eve? I do.


​And we played for 134 minutes? Plus more because the phone dropped the call and this picture was taken when we weren't even finished?

The Twentieth Beginning 1/3/17

I say that because not only is it the start of the new year, but also BECAUSE I'M BEGINNING MY TWENTIETH EMAIL! (Didja get it? :D It's a funny little joke.)

Hello to you all! And to you small! And to you tall! And to that wall! (Well, actually, that wall still owes me money, so he's not allowed to read this.)

I hope you all had a wonderful Christmas and New Years! (Except the wall for obvious reasons) Hopefully you all didn't eat too much and throw up or something, because that would be pretty bad. But if you did, at least you have a cool story!

My Christmas was pretty ordinary? I question it because I'm really not sure what counts as an ordinary missionary Christmas. We opened presents, I called my family, went to church, (Investigator was there, awesome!!!), and ate a lot of food. The problem is, I only have one more Christmas to be able to tell if this one was ordinary or not. Who knows?!?!?!

I'm trying to remember what happened these past two weeks, but the only things that are coming to mind are either boring or too exciting to share! Well, not that exciting. Hmm... 

I went on an exchange! Twas with Elderen Kelly, who has been out here for a little over a month now. It was really interesting because I was thrown back a few moths ago to my trainee days. It was a wild exchange because Elder Kelly lives in the Mojave Mansion, which is actually just a house members rent out to the church for missionaries, but hey, the rest of us live in apartments, so it counts! I wen't to bed late that night, and I will NEVER DO THAT AGAIN. I value sleep too highly to throw it away like that...

You know what's weird? I'm currently in the midst of my 6th month out here. I'm nearly a 1/4th of the way through already. I'M FREAKING OUT. THAT'S NOT ENOUGH TIME.

Momma', yall are gonna be proud of your ol' son! Because I have to attend a 7 hour long meeting on Thursday that normally only missionary leadership go to, but because I was "luckly" drawn from a pile of names, I "get" to go as well. It has a lot to do with the new year and the mission department and stuff like that. I'm obviously VERY EXCITED to spent 7 hours sitting in one place and not proselyting, but I guess it's a test of patience! Pray for me! Oh, though I will be able to see my trainer, Elder Croft, again. That'll be pretty cool :D

Okay, so I'm tired as heck because of various struggle-bus related things that are happening down here, so I'm gonna sign off with this quick note:

1. Don't forget Christ.

Seriously! Christmas is over, but there is no reason we should be thinking of Him any less :D

I love you all! Sorry I didn't email last week! Life continues after the holidays!
Don't go tasting any crazy New Years stuff!
Elder Brooksby the III 

Brief Intermission 1/9/17

So called because I have no time right now, so I'm calling an intermission! You may all close the book, go get some popcorn or a soda or whatever floats you boat! (Though popcorn won't float a boat, silly! It's not a liquid!)

I won't be emailing on Monday next week due to MLK day, so expect to return to the Epic Saga of Elder Brooksby next Tuesday!

I love you all! I hope you are all doing well! Miracles are happening in this little corner of California, don't you doubt that for a second!
See you after the break!
Elder Brooksby the III 

The Eighteen Wise Men Traveled Far... 12/12/16

And so did I!

Howdy, kings and queens of the wisest sort! You know how it says the wise men traveled far? Well, I did. Because Transfers.

As far as the news on the Wise Elder Brooksby's travels, he is now in the desert, in a ward called Mojave River! That's in Hesperia, in case anyone cares :) I've only been here for a couple of hours, but my new wise man companion is Elder Gibbons, and he's a chill dude. Should be fun!

Now that THAT'S out of the way, lets gather ourselves from our caravans and huddle around a fire to discuss the events of our journey to the King of the Jews! I hope you all brought your pots and towels, because you can't be a wise man without them.

The first event on my travels was actually the experience of transfers itself. This is my first time leaving my greenie ward AND my trainer... When I got the call on Friday I was pretty bummed, because I love this ward to infinity and Elder Croft is amazing. That bummed feeling followed me as I wandered around and said my goodbyes for the next two days, and I didn't know how I was going to get rid of it.

BUT THEN.

I remembered that Jesus Christ had needed to say goodbye, too. He said goodbye to His Apostles, the Nephites, and many others I'm sure. But! When He left, He didn't leave without first giving everyone He talked to a charge to live righteously. If I dwell on the fact that goodbyes happen, like the Apostles did as they gazed up into the sky after Jesus rose back to His father, then I won't be able to fulfill what He's asked of me! So I've gotta keep trying and saying goodbye until I don't have to anymore :D

The second event was very very cool, and it happened at a ward party after I'd gotten the call that I was leaving. I'd volunteered to sing a Christmas song for the program, but I hadn't really given it a whole lot of thought until a few minutes before I was meant to sing. I Was singing, by my choice, "O Little Town Of Bethlehem" and it was going to be acapella. A few minutes before I got up to sing, I realized that I didn't want to sing for the right reasons, I just wanted to show off... So right before I went up, I said a prayer.

In the prayer I asked that God would accept my song that night as a gift to His son on His birthday. I asked God to carry the message of the song into the hearts of those listening, and above all, I asked Him that he would help me lose myself in love of His son and of everyone I served.

That was the best song I've ever sung, but not because it sounded good. It was because I was giving my best to the Lord.

So I ask all you wise me with me today to please think about a way that you can give your best to the Lord as well, as a Christmas gift to me :) Thank you for all being amazing!

Sorry this email isn't as ridiculous as the usual, but I'M TIRED, OKAY?!?! Goodness gracious, carrying all this gold is HARD, don'tcha know?

Okay, I love you all! Wear those wise men outfits all day! They look snazzy!!!
I'll probably be cooler next week, I promise!
LOVE YOU GUYSSSSSS!!!!
Elder Brooksby the III

It's Literally Nineteen Degrees Out Here, Unless You're Near The Car Fire 12/19/16

You know how I told you guys that it never got cold in California and winter was fake?

I lied. The desert has changed me. And by that I mean it's really cold and windy.

Hello to you all, and to anyone new joining us today! It should be a fun one!
I suppose you're all wondering about the last part of the email title. I bet you're thinking, "That sounds dangerous! And thrilling! And full of hilarious comic relief! AND DANGEROUS!!!" and you would be totally right if you are thinking that, but you should probably calm down before you have a seizure.

But.

Because I am an AWFUL person, I'm not going to tell you about it until the very end! MUAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA!!!!

Instead you get to listen to me ramble about the normal (kinda) parts of my week. It may surprise you to learn that the desert is significantly different from the valley. I shall give a comprehensive list!
1. It's a LOT colder. Which is why it's called... The desert...?  ' ___ '
2. Sand.
3. Sand.
4. Lots of cool people to teach! I have actual investigators now!
3. Creepy ghetto houses.
5. LOTS OF RIDICULOUS HILLS THAT ARE NO FUN TO BIKE OVER. (Bet you didn't notice I put 3 twice, didja? ;D )

But Elder Brooksby, you say, you're in a car area! Why must you bike a lot?

Well, that's a great question! And it would be best answered in song form.

~We have no miles for our car~!

And... Scene.

I blessed a house that was supposedly haunted! And we're going back there to teach 4 people that were voleentold to take the lessons! It's fun, and the Priesthood is real, by the way. Other people can feel it :)

Ah, well. I've tortured you guys enough. Ready to talk about a flaming car???

So last Tuesday we were waiting in out apartment for the ZL's to pick us up for a baptismal interview (Elder Gibbons is District Leader) when we got a phone call that the ZL's were stranded because their car had randomly stopped working. So we heroically drove to the rescue and found them standing next to their lightly smoking car in the middle of the night. None of us thought it was that bad, so we all were just talking and laughing while Elder Smith called the vehicle coordinator to tell him.




video
Whilst he was on the phone, we all catch sight of a red glow coming from underneath the car, and a few seconds later there was a "POP" and a bunch of flaming fuel dropped out from underneath the car. Needless to say, we mad a hasty retreat and called the police. Withing a few minutes, however, the car had already gone from tiny fire to Hollywood inferno. I'll let you watch the video and see for yourselves :D 

Elder Gibbons and Elder Smith raced off to the interview, and Elder Memmot and I took care of the rest of everything, then got a ride in the back of a police car to the church. (Yes, I pulled up to the church building in a cop car like a criminal. Sorry Mom!)

The interview went well, though! (By the way, if you skipped all of the rest of the email just to read this story because I told you I wouldn't tell it first, curse you. You've foiled my evil plans once again.)

Alright, this email is super long so I should probably sign off here... Suffice to say that Christmastime is amazing! It's truly wonderful to see everyone get a little bit nicer :D And we can make it last all year, if we try!!!

I love you all! I hope that Christmas is amazing for each and every one of you!
Remember the real reason, and don't go into haunted houses!
Elder Brooksby the III


Fly Away, Little Seventeen 12/5/16

*Up, up and away! Into the puffy white clouds, where a concourse of angels are patently waiting for their cue to freak out some innocent shepherds and praise the Lord at the same time!*

Hello! We'll be singing in a moment, but we have a little time to talk before then. Fluff our your wings, straighten your halo, and get ready to hear about Elder Brooksby's sojourn in mortality this week! 

So do you guys remember how last week I told you I'd be singing in a supa' cool festival and shtuffs?

WELL. I DID.

And it was awesome. Missionary choirs must get some extra help from our angels, though, because we didn't sound very good in our last practice :D But as is common in singing and plays and anything that has to do with a theater, it all came together in the end and we sounded great!

I was really happy because we got lots of less actives, members, and a random lady who volunteers at a food bank we work at all came to watch! And the Crush Festival was really amazing as well. You can't stand in a place filled with hundreds of nativities and NOT feel the Christmas spirit :)

That wasn't the end of the singing, though! So I didn't realize it at the time, but the double quartet that I was a part of was actually singing at TWO events, the Crush Festival and a memorial for those that were killed in the San Bernadino terrorist attack a year ago. I'll tell you, I've never felt more blessed than to sing "How Great Thou Art" for a group of people who really needed to know how much God loved them. In a strange way, I suppose I'm connected to that attack now, at least in the healing process. I hope that our mortal missionary voices were carried by the Spirit into the hearts of those that needed it :)

Hmm? Oh man! Gabriel's ready! It's time to get a singin'!~ We'll give him a few seconds to calm down the shepherds and then we'll go!

*If you all feel so inclined, you may now join with the angelic choir in singing hymn number 201, "Joy to the World" If you don't feel so inclined, you can stand there and brush your wings and look pretty or something :D*

 *As the heavenly lights fade out and the shepherds leave to seek the baby Jesus, we angels flutter back up to our puffy white clouds, lit by the light of the new star.*

Well that was fun! And you know what else will be fun? TRANSFERS.

Because this last transfer was a five week transfer, the next one will be a seven week transfer. Seven weeks is a LOT longer than five. And, chances are I'm either moving or getting a new compeniaro! Needless to say, I'm shedding angel feathers due to anxiety that I'm REALLY trying hard to fight with faith. It's a difficult battle! But, like always, it's one that I can win as long as I'm paying attention to what God would have me do.

Though prayers would definitely not hurt :D

Though it comes sooner than we all wish, it's now time for all of us to return to the earth and re-enter the crazy mess that is mortality... I love you all, and I'm glad you guys read these really long emails! Fly away now little flock, but don't forget what it felt like to have wings, if only for a moment :)

Have a wonderful Christmas lead-up, guys! Tell me if there's anything you'd like to see in these weekly emails!
I wish for the best blessings on you all!!!
Elder Brooksby the III

P.S: Please come prepared next week to join the wise men in their ministrations by wearing a pot on your head and a towel around your shoulders.

P.P.S: For the record, angels don't actually have wings. If you have wings, please consult a doctor and also show me, because that'd be supa' rad.


​At teh Crush Festival with the Koszyks!


​Before photo of the rainstorm!


​After photo of last weeks rainstorm :D

A Sixteen In The Snow 11/28/16

Well, it's not snow because this is California, but it IS getting down into the upper 40's at night! Obviously, this is a cause of great alarm to anyone who's lived here all their life. They've gotten out the heavy winter coats and gloves! Can't be too careful when it's only 62 degrees outside!!!

I wish you all a wintry welcome! *Throws white confetti in the air* Look!!! It's snowing!

Now, before you all get mad because Thanksgiving was only a couple of days ago and I've already abandoned that holiday to the mists of time, let me explain. I really, really, really, really, really, REALLY like wintertime, especially Christmas :D But before I go crazy on that subject, I'll find it in my cold, frozen heart to give you an update on Thanksgiving :)

I ATE A LOT OF FOOD AND I HATE MYSELF FOR IT.

*End of update*

I kid, I kid :D I'll tell you more... We ate two dinners, and I ate way too much at the first one and barely anything at the second. I've discovered that I really can't handle eating large amounts of food, which is good because I always have extra money after I go shopping, but bad because last week was a holiday dedicated to EATING. But thank goodness! Because I lived, and now I have less than a month before ANOTHER holiday where you're expected to eat a lot. :'(

Hey, guess what!!! It RAINED!!! Figures the only time it's gonna rain in Cali is the one day that we're actually out in it :D We were going to visit a less active when it started POURING. And it wasn't pleasant warm rain, it was cold, soulless rain. But I loved it anyways! And we got rescued by a member of the Tongan ward. She pulled up and was like, "ELDERS!!! Get in!" And I couldn't see her very well so I took a chance that she was not a stranger and got into her van. It was fun! Pics to come next week cause I forgot my bag :D

OKAY. CHRISTMAS STUFF.

So do you guys know what a "Crush" is? I thought I did, but apparently it's actually another word for Nativity, and there's a whole festival in Upland dedicated to them! It's an LDS run thing, but all sorts of people donate Nativities to be displayed (Over 300!) and lots of churches and high schools send choirs to preform at the stake center on all three nights. In fact, the missionaries in the Upland and Ontario zones are going to be singing as well! It's a really great opportunity for missionary work, but I'm also just glad I get to sing :D

Oh yeah, and apparently it got out that I actually have a good voice, because I'm singing tenor in a 9-person- Well, I suppose it's not a quartet- something or other. Whatever you call it when 9 people all sing songs together. It should be fun, as long as I can figure out the tenor part in time!

Alright! I'll let you all go so you can drink some hot coco or dance a jig or something like that! But remember, this next month is Christ's time, so be sure to pay attention to how the Spirit directs you to help out this season! Oh, and are all of you guys aware of the #LightTheWorld thingamajig that the church is doing? Look it up if you haven't, it should be awesome!!!

Goodbye for realsies this time! I love you all like a reindeer loves a non-genetically-mutated nose! (And why would one make fun of someone else because of a bioluminescent nose, anyhow???)
Have a good jump into December! I'll email you guys next week, if I can reach over the puffy arms of the heavy winter coat I'll be wearing! (After all, it might get down to 58 next week!)
Love you!
Elder Brooksby the III

It Was A Dark And Stormy Fifteen... 11/21/16

Pisst! *A dark figure beckons you over to an even darker alleyway and hands you a scroll from underneath his really, really dark cloak. As soon as the darkened parchment is in your hand, the figure leaps into a substantially dark doorway and vanishes from sight in the dark darkness. You unroll the scroll and read...*

"To whom it may concern, and it definitely concerns YOU, you are invited to a banquet of knowledge hosted by the roguish and charming prince of Rancho Cucamonga castle, Elder Brooksby!"

Welcome to the banquet, madams and sirs! Tis I, Elder Brooksby!

Let me just start off by saying that this last week was pretty cool. I say that because I don't actually remember what happened, so I'm assuming it was pleasurable! Here, munch on some appetizers while I attempt to recall the past!

Dish one! A story of goodness and light! We were at dinner with a elderly member of our ward, and we were just wrapping up the message and getting ready to pay when the waitress came back and said something that I only thought happened in movies. Someone, we don't know who, had paid our bill for us! We looked around for anyone we knew, but to no avail, for they had speedily departed... But it gives me a little more faith in the world :)

Dish two! Elder Croft is District Leader, and that means that he gives the baptismal interview for anyone in the district that's having a baptism. So! I got to go with him to Chino to interview a really awesome young girl who is getting baptized soon! It was really grand to see her so excited :D

Okay, I think I have a vague idea of a few things that were cool this week now. 

We had a six hour long meeting this last Thursday! It was about working with members, so a bunch of members spoke about what missionary work meant to them. Twas fun! I doodled all the way through it! (Don't worry, I payed attention WHILE I doodled)

We also got to meet with a buncha' people we don't normally, so that was super amazing as well :)

Now for a spiritual dessert to top off this informative meal! It's a cool hash of faith topped with a light drizzle of the Holy Spirit.

So I've been having a lot of issues with worries lately, and I'm sure you all know that one of the for sure best way to DEFINITELY help solve ANY PROBLEM is to worry about it, right??? Well it's not. That's why we eat dessert.

I realized a little while ago that worries are pretty much poison in a goblet at a fancy banquet. *Cough cough* They give you something to hold on to, and they may taste nice to indulge in, but they just end up with you dead and a succession crisis because nobody knows who your firstborn child was.

To combat poison such as that, I use faith! Because faith and worries cannot exist together, I rob myself of faith when I worry. So I decided that instead of freaking out, I'd faith out instead. Just go with the flow and be happy knowing that as long as I'M living righteously, God will take care of the rest :)

Also, we are ENTITLED to the Holy Spirit when we are being righteous. No ifs, ands, or buts! We just are! It's a promise that God gave us when we were baptized, and I like God's promises because He's perfect so that means he won't break em'! So don't worry, and fight fears with faith!

Before you all finish your dessert though, there's something you must know... *Elder Brooksby pulls his cloak off, revealing that- "GASP!" He is none other that dashing and sly Master Thief Elder Brooksby!*

I hope you all enjoyed this marvelous dinner as much as I enjoyed stealing all of your valuables! Better luck next time!!! *Master Thief Elder Brooksby laughs triumphantly and jumps out the wide palace widows, catching hold of a zip cord and disappearing into the stormy city night...*

I love you all a lot more than gold, though! So next time a dark message is delivered, be sure to answer!
Don't drink the wine!
Elder Brooksby the III