Sunday, October 30, 2016

Where did October go!?

It has been a very crazy month.  I've had so much on my plate, which has never slowed me down from blogging before, but I have just not felt like writing.  This morning, on Halloween, I'll do a little catching up. October whizzed by with lots of busyness! This month:
  • Our five days at Bear Lake
  • Five days with Carol to St. George
  •  I was in charge of decorating for the Ward Halloween Party (I created the ideas, gathered the goods and had the young women make the decor!  It was a great activity and what they didn't finish, my girls did!)  That was a week's work!
  • We've had YSA kids dropping by
  • YSA Stake Conference weekend
  • Doug finished the entryway and I got to fall decorate!
  • Young Women in Excellence, which is coming up soon...decorations, food, program... it's my baby.  I have spent hours and hours and days and days getting things ready so that it's lovely!  Coming up soon!
  • My birthday celebrations
  • Quayd's birthday (two packages... birthday and 3 months out!)
  • a YW lesson
  • SLC with Marilyn
  • Another day in SLC with Doug
  • We finished redecorating Quayd's bedroom into a guest/craftroom.
  • Grace's final IEP and some graduation planning
  • LOTS of hottubbing
  • YW YW YW  
  • Girls Girls Girls!
 My birthday:  I celebrated my fun birthday with Aylabelle in St. George.  I did blog about that last, when I returned, but then I came home to a wonderful little birthday dinner prepared by Zeej.  I was able to have birthday lunch with my closest friends throughout the month.  Kara, Natalie, Denise, Ann and I all had fun lunchdates and catch-up time.  I love it when that happens! It's my favorite way to celebrate my birthday... with those that I love!
Quayd:  Quayd's birthday was hard for me!  It was so hard to not be together and have a treasure hunt, cook him his favorite foods and celebrate his favorite things.  However, a very sweet lady, who lives in the area that he's serving in, delivered cinnamon rolls to his apartment for me.  I cried when I read her "report"...The cinnamon rolls have been delivered.  My family enjoyed doing it.  No need to pay me back.  You are a good Mom.  Another Elder answered the door. He called for your son.  I had the cinnamon rolls in a bag and while handling them to him, I told him, "Your Mom wanted to make sure you had cinnamon rolls for your birthday.  Happy Birthday!"  He was very grateful and happy and said, "Thank you SO MUCH! "  I think that they were all very excited to eat them!  One day, I may need the same favor.  My son is only 11, but I hope he serves a mission one day.  I can only imagine how hard it is to send them off on a mission, but, I'm sure you feel the blessings of his service and you see how it blesses his life personally.  He is a very handsome young man and a good young man.  You must be so proud of him!  Have a wonderful day!"  I cried all day!

Quayd felt terrible that they didn't get a photo of him with a cinnamon roll!  He didn't take one picture all day long, but he had a wonderful day.  A family actually celebrated their daughter's birthday and invited Quayd to celebrate too.  He felt guilty taking a little of the girl's celebration thunder.  I love that Quayd is growing in humility.

The girls:  The girls are not working.  ZJ has had football.  Grace is beginning her Bella performances through the holidays and they are just plain busy.   So, while they should be home more, they are still out and busy all the time and I'm fine with that!

Grace:  Grace is talking quite a bit about serving a mission.  Girls are not expected to serve missions, but today, I heard that about 1/3 of the LDS missionaries are female.  As I look at Quayd's mission photos, it looks to be true.  She could change her mind before next year, and that would be perfectly fine with us, but she's beginning her own personal preparation.

Zeej:  Zee is really busy with school and her social life.  This girl!  She's got a "boy" friend.  They are both not yet sixteen, so they are "not-dating".  But, he spends time here and she spends time with his family, who we've known for.ever and adore! Doug's dying over it, but they are good friends...With hand-holding benefits.  We heart him. 

Doug has been busy with work, with Melaleuca, with his church callings and doing the normal fall things that need to be done around the house and yard.  How he keeps up, I don't know. He's pretty awesome like that!  And best of all, he does it all with a smile!

Here's the rest of the month in pictures...

 It's been, without a doubt, the most beautiful fall ever in Cache Valley.  Everyone is talking about it.  We've just never had a more beautiful, longer fall than this!

  It's been so nice to relax in front of the fire after so busy, crazy days.  We've loved having friends and family drop by in between happenings.  There is nothing in this life that I love more than having loved ones in our home. 

October tablescape!  It's time to create November's tomorrow and I just am not ready to make the change yet.  I love October!

Here's one of my highlights of the month!  Zee brought me breakfast in bed.  (Actually, I was in the chair in my bedroom, but close.)  My favorite breakfast is served at the Crepery... a maple bacon egg crepe and a nutella strawberry crepe.  ZJ made both at home!  She's amazing!

 I was able to make a quick day trip to SLC with friend, Kristy, who was spending the day with her daughter.  I got to meet up with friend, Marilyn. We discovered "Poutenes", pronounced "Pwa-teens"... french fries covered in gravy and cheese curds... or you could just call it an expensive heartattack on a plate.  Mmmmmm.

Could she be any cuter!?  What a blessing our frienship is!  BTW, we shared and still didn't finish them!

Our weekly selfie for Quayd's letter.

ZJ is taking the adult roles class at school.  It was her turn to bring home an electronic baby.  This baby doll is theirs for 24 hours.  It cries when it's hungry, wet, tummy ache, you name it.  It hiccups, whimpers, coos.  It has a computer chip that registers the time that it spends crying, if it's shaken, how quickly it's diapered or fed.  You name it.  Technology!  It's amazing.  ZJ named the baby "Rodney Copperbottom", but after about two hours, she renamed it, "Electronic Devil".  It was the crankiest baby EVER!  She never slept because ED never slept!

She texted me from school the next morning.  She got 100%, the highest grade in the class PLUS extra credit for her excellent care of ED... because.... Apparently, Rodney Copperbottom, aka ED, was taken from the top shelf...the dolls that had not been programmed.  He had a "mind" of his own!  That's why he was crying non-stop and ZJ managed to still give him every attention he needed in a timely manner.  She will be a good mommy!  She was not amused!  I was.  (wink!)

That's it!  Life is good... just busy!

Saturday, October 29, 2016

Ward Halloween Party

The Young Men/Young Women were asked to be in charge of the Ward Halloween Party last weekend.  The men took on the meal and left the decorations and games to the women.  Everyone was given an assignment and mine was decoration.  I wanted to keep things simple because I had a big week with lots of other things on my plate, as well.

So, Pinterest to the rescue!  Here's the cute decorations...

Our cute little door monsters were made from plastic dollar store tableclothes.  We trimmed them off to make them short enough to fit the wall panels and used the trimmings for eyeballs and faces.

The tables were completed with candy corn and white plates and napkins.  No pix of that.

A photo booth in the corner. SO cute!

 That banner! SO CUTE!  It was borrowed from a friend of Ann (the other counselor, who is fast becoming one of my favorite ladies on earth!)  We were forgiven by our bishop for bringing hay into the church after we promised not to do it ever again.  (Bishop asked if I brought the hay.  I said no but that I knew of it.  He reminded me that no hay, live Christmas trees or candles ever in the church.  I told him that a member of another bishopric delivered it for us.  We asked forgiveness instead of permission in this case.  When I turned in the receipts for the expenses on Sunday, he asked, "Are these for the hay?"  Then, he joked and laughed about it.  No more hay in the church.  Doug was dying over the mess, more than the fire hazard.  He swept and swept and swept to keep it from tracking everywhere!

 Seriously, the cutest and most fun wall decor!  So easy!

Ann created this cute tic tac toe game!

More wall monsters!

I'm missing lots of the pictures.  We had several fun games and a cookie decorating station.  After the meal was served, everyone kept busy visiting and playing games.  The costume prizes were candies and these cute ribbons, made by the girls last week at our activity.

Doug's costume was only recognized by fans of the movie, "Forrest Gump".  He walked around offering everyone some of his chocolates (thanks, Ann!) and telling everyone, "I ate some."

 ZJ, the zombie, won the prize for spookiest costume... she's not looking too spooky here, with that big smile!  Grace was "an accident waiting to happen", our old standby costume. She wasn't sure if she was going to wear a costume until ten minutes before.

ZJ and Kendall, her future husband, so we tease.  He's Layne and Julie's son, ZJ's friend, her big surrogate big brother since Quayd's gone.  They have so much fun teasing each other.  He's not the boy she's "not-dating".  He's just the girls' friend/brother.

This is Anne and Kelli, the two great ladies that I am blessed to serve with in the Young Women.  They are just wonderful, exemplary ladies and we have sooooo much fun together!  Following the party, Ann came over for an afternoon of hottubbing and gab.  Kelli had a family party in SLC and left as soon as the party was over.  

Life is good!  And so is having the Halloween Party behind us!

Wednesday, October 26, 2016

Letter #11

I apologize for not getting this out last week.  I thought I'd hit "post" and I hit save instead.  It was a crazy week and I never got back to doublecheck.

Here's Quayd's latest news.  We visited for an hour and he's had an up/down week.  The family with the dad with Diabetes was suddenly (and unexplainably) sent to jail for 6 months for something that happened five years ago.  Quayd was brokenhearted by this news.  He actually wrote a beautiful letter to give to Joe, along with a Book of Mormon.  The letter bore witness of the truthfulness and that the Book of Mormon can help you through any adversity in life.  I'm in awe of the things he writes. He gave me permission to share it, but not tonight.Transfers will be next Tuesday.  Quayd will be getting a new companion.  This will be another big change and experience for him. He didn't have any pictures this week, so I asked him to send me a quick selfie.  I heart this boy and that smile! OH MY!!  As always, we appreciate your love, prayers and support!  

There is an opposition in all things! This week has been something else.  Very eventful.  We've had more lessons than I've had in the first 12 weeks.  It's crazy and it's been really fun!   

So, right now we are teaching Brandon and Kevin.  Brandon… I have high hopes for, but, Kevin… we’ll see.

This week, we've had 3 lessons with Brandon.  His family is slowly coming to accept our message, as well.  Actually, his older brother is listening.  We talked about the plan of salvation and how it applies to them.  He talked about his grandma a lot .  She was a Mormon, but, passed away at 49. She was that young, but they look up to her.  Then, we talked about the gospel.  We invited them to be baptized.  They both said if they received an answer or had permission from their mom, they would! 

The mom has been really nervous about them getting baptized.  She, actually, was, mostly, saying no. Brandon came to church and told us something that made me so happy.  He said that his mom told them that she would think about it, which typically means “no” in parent language.  Anyway, he told me that his mom was dreaming and Brandon's grandma told her to baptize her son or she would herself.  At first, I was like, a women don't hold the priesthood, but, that's who Brandon looks up to a lot.  Then, I guess that was the invitation to get baptized.  The mom told him this and was crying, so, I was really happy.  They are both on date for the 26 of November!  

 BTW,  this month has flown by fast - like what happened to 2016!? It's almost 2017! Craziness! 

 Anyway, that's Brandon for ya.

Now for Kevin…He's really nice.  His family is Catholic or Christian, I can't remember. Anyway, we have been teaching him.  Our last lesson was on the Plan of Salvation, which was really good but… he's doubting a lot about Joseph Smith because the Bible says there will be false prophets.  Yep, he thinks Joseph Smith is a false prophet, so, it's really hard. We received a text message saying that he doesn't want to visit with us anymore, that he thinks the Bible is the only true book.  My companion didn't tell me about it, but, I overheard them talking about it. I was devastated, heartbroken. I was mad, furious!

I questioned why does it have to be this hard.  Why can't people accept the truth?  Well, the truth will always be opposed, but, why does it feel like we are wasting our time?  What are we not doing?  That's right… I was angry and I needed to do something.  So, I did. I started to text him, just bearing testimony of the book.  He said that he would actually try to read it before he tells us it's not true, so that made me happy.  I hope I didn't push him though. 

Mission life is hard!  It's exhausting – physically, mentally and spiritually exhausting… but, it's worth it!  I hope and pray that the work will continue!  Thank you all again very much for listening.  I pray for you.

Love you all!
Elder Corbridge

Wednesday, October 19, 2016

Quayd Letter #10.

A long letter from Quayd!  I sent him a letter last week with nineteen things that I love about him.  He responded with this list of things he loves and is thankful for.  

Since it’s my nineteenth birthday, I just wanted to take the time and share 19 things that I'm grateful for...Haha because I can! No legit, I really can... 

1. I just want to thank all those who wished me a good birthday! It meant a lot to me! I love you all! 

2. I want to thank those who are reading my weekly emails, or my mom’s blog. I mean it! it means a lot knowing, that when hard times come. I've got friends and family to share it with. I know that your support, along with my Father and His Son. This Is the reason I'm getting through this, when the hard times come! So, thank you for being there for me! 

3. your prayers and fasting. I love when my mom tells me that I've got people praying for my safety and for the mission! haha I don't know how many times, I've gotten hurt on my bike, or sitting on a chair with 4 screws poking out the top so I can sit on it and be able to stand... so your prayers are being answered!  Thank you again!  Were it not for you, I'd probably be in a worst condition haha

5. A body… it's funny I love my body! I love my sandy brown hair, my mouth, my voice! my broken nose, my egg shaped head, my scar that I bear on my cheek, my strong back, even my flat feet!!!! haha I love everything! I know it's a gift from God… the gift to run in the forest!! the gift to having strength so I can climb mountains and trees!!! the gift of hearing the sounds of people! hearing the words I LOVE YOU!! or “good job!” or hearing a child laugh and play Or hearing a young women laugh with a unique laughter. Or touching the cool wet water, smelling my moms cooking and, hopefully, a wife's. I'm grateful for God's plan to have a body. I love the body I've been given a body that God has given so I can use my talents and strengths to teach the gospel here in Redlands California. You can do that too!!!! 

6.  Life in general. I'm so great full for this plan that my Heavenly Father has given me this plan of peace and joy or trials of grief or sadness. They are meant for something and I might not know what that is right now, but, that's why I am here to figure out who I am or who I'm meant to be! That's why God gave us a body, so that we could Learn and grow and develop as children of our Father, learn as He did and have eternal joy. I love the world that He set up for us! I love the mountains, the rain, the clear blue sky, the sunsets, the amazing trees to climb or take pictures of the beautiful lakes and oceans. I can't wait to find out more, learn more, grow more.  This plan is amazing and so many of us take it for granted, but for those who look and are grateful, you see beauty, peace and the love of our Heavenly Father.

7. I love the Book of Mormon! I don't know where I'd be or even my family without that book! It truly is a blessing in our lives. Read a page each day and you will find something in there that applies to your life.  It's so true!  This book is meant for me and for you and I'm so grateful we have that book in our lives, thanks to the prophet Joseph Smith.  This book is true!!! 

8. My home! I miss it!. I miss the love that dwells within it I miss the priesthood authority that brought us closer as a family, that taught me so much how homes and families are truly closer when founded upon the teachings Jesus Christ!

9. My toys and laptop. I'm so grateful for the toys I have that have taught me to use imagination and to dream and write them down on my computer.

10.  The gospel! I love this gospel! I love the plan that Heavenly Father presented.  I love what Jesus Christ, our Savior, has taught us, to have a better life and how we can live that way for eternity.  Have faith in him and repent of our sins through baptism and after that a caustant companion to help us remember him and live to take upon ourselves his name Jesus Christ and endure to the end with blessings beyond comprehension. I have lived to these principles so far in my life and have seen many miracles from it. the miracle of families being together forever! The miracle of changing our lives, the miracle of having second chances, and the miracle that Heavenly Father gave to us. his only begotten son Jesus Christ who taught these eternal truths 

11. The ranch! I love that place! It is like heaven on earth!  A lot of people would look at it as boring, but I love that it's where I've learned to grow and work hard and learned to love. The ranch will always be in my heart.

12.  I love my decision to serve a mission!  This has truly been a blessing and privilege. I love proclaiming the truth and the gospel to those who want to find it. I'm so grateful that I have a chance to serve with all my heart, might, mind and strength! I hope that I will make every second count. I love it!

13. Temples I love that the gospel brings family closer and with the priesthood and keys restored. I love that we can be sealed together as a family. I love that I'm sealed with my family for all eternity. I love each and every one of them.

14. My friends!  There are so many of you who have strengthened me who have taught me by example… some by just your smile and attitude towards life.  I appreciate those of you who have shown me how to live a good life.I love to see your goodness. Your example.. when things are hard, you still smile and keep your head up high and whenever I've had a bad day you have always been there.  So, thank you so much for being a part of my life.

15 My extended family lets just say all those who matter to me!  We live by one rule and that is to “never ever give up!” I love that during my life, I have been taught to follow that rule and I've learned it from so many from my uncles, aunts, cousins, siblings and my parents. I love that I have been taught to work hard from each and every one of them and for my extended family. I love that I have been taught how to love, help, care and how to live the gospel! You inspire me!

16. My siblings They may be annoying at times, but there is something in each of them that has truly made me feel joy and love. I love that they have been raised in the gospel and have found truth in it. I love that they have taught me also through their trials and challenges, but also through their joy and happiness. I've seen their faith and have become strengthened because of it.   It just adds to my faith and they strengthen me so much. I want them to know that I couldn't do this without them.

17. My parents Mom, Dad, I love you so much and I want you to know that you are the best! I love how you have taught me these things. I'm grateful that I can look to you whenever things are bad in my life. I care so much for you and I am inspired to be your son.  You have taught me to love others, to serve others, to never let my testimony and faith wander.  I will always carry this gospel amd truth in my heart. I love that you trust me when I'm doing the dangerous things in life. I love that you took me into your home. I've felt true joy because of you guys and your willingness to let me become your son. I will always be your son.

18. The atonement  Jesus Christ came on this earth, brought his gospel through his prophet named Joseph Smith and continues through his prophet today, Thomas S. Monson.  But, that's not all the Savior did.  He didn't just show us the way, by being humble, or by being a teacher, friend or leader.  He did what no one else could do! He atoned for our sins. I can't imagine having suffered every pain and affliction, grief and misery that he felt. Being beat down by the sins of the world, along with the sweating of blood from every pore and begging His Father to remove this cup because of our wrongs and transgressions. I can't comprehend that, nor will I ever understand it, no matter how many times I read it or listen to general authorities talk about It. I can't imagine it. I can only have faith and know that he did what he did and that because he did, every joy can be obtainable and reachable for eternity.  It's because of him because of that moment where he took our sins and was slain for them. Because of that I have a chance and so do you and so does everyone else. I'm grateful that he didn't change his mind I'm grateful that he used his agency for good and for being willing to give his life for me, so that I could attain eternal happiness and not only for me, but for all those I care about. I’m grateful that I have a brother that I can look up to and know that when things are hard, He is there.

19 Experience  All these things, everything I've said I've learned through experiences in life and it's because of Jesus Christ and our Heavenly Father and the gospel. I wouldn't have met the people I have met today, I wouldn't have had a chance to meet all my great friends who continue to inspire me and strengthen me because of their faith. I would not be who I am, doing what I'm doing without my parents or without the priesthood or without my faith that I hope will never fail. 

I'm thankful for all these things.  Now for my mission, we taught a couple lessons, which were really good. We taught the plan of salvation and I think Kevin understands the importance of it.  Members are awesome! Anyway, I love this gospel! I know that the things the prophets say are true and I know that Christ is with each of us. I love sharing these things!  Thank you again for all those who continue to inspire and strengthen me. I love you all.

Elder Corbridge

Friday, October 14, 2016

Quayd - Letter #9

This week was hard on us all. Quayd's weekly letter to would never show it.  He shared some challenges in a separate letter, and let's just say, he is definitely growing. Again, thanks for the prayers!  Here's his letter. It's VERY long, but WOW, he's growing! BTW, my computer is having issues a.  I hope it works.

Man this week has been amazing! I think something is happening... Now, the past couple weeks I've told you all that we have been doing....nothing! But, we have met amazing people each time a lesson or an appointment has fallen through, so God has kept us busy by talking to new people or just giving blessings or saying prayers. But we want to help change lives and that means teaching the gospel not just bearing testimony of it. I've prayed super hard for a successful week and I think thus far that's what I've been having!!
Brother Brown is one of the coolest guys ever!  This man loves working! I mean he's 80 and he's climbing palm trees. He's 80!!!!!!!  It's so funny every single time we see him, he's always asking what can he do to help. He's always trying to get involved. I don't know why this man does not have a calling! He wants to serve!!!!! 

 Brother Brown was willing to drive us to a store so we could get my companion some shoes.  I feel so bad  because we said that we were going to get shoes, not look around the whole store.  This man, who even though he is old, still has a life, a wife, a tree to climb, waited for an hour.  Brother Brown was driving us home and there was this car parked in the middle of the street.  Being Brother Brown, he pulled over and hopped out of the car. I was willing to do the same, but no one really wanted to get out. I have learned the rule stay within sight and sound and it's hard!!!!

 Like this one time, I was trimming down trees and doing yard work for this member that reminds me of my nana.  Meanwhile,, Joe the guy that had his toes chopped off, was in his wheelchair and asked for some help to move something. I dropped the branches and ran towards him, totally leaving behind my companion and the other missionaries in my district just so I could help, totally forgetting the rule that says stay within sight and sound of each other.   I was running over and I heard the rest of my district yelling at me!! "Hey Corbridge! What do you think you’re doing!?!?" "Elder New Guy or Cornbread, what about your companion!?!?" I responded  "I'm helping Joe move this. Oh, that's right,  I've got to stay within sight and sound....oops!!"  

Anyway back to Brother Brown… he was helping the lady and called us over.  I hopped out of the car and ran over to see what I could do to help.  She told us that she couldn't get the car started. We didn't know what to do but my companion has the smarts and brains. He figured it out and we were able to push the car out of the road.  But, before That, I got the chance to proclaim the gospel and share my testimony.  She shared with us her beliefs also about Jesus Christ. It was a real nice experience.  After that, Brother Brown offered to take us to lunch. I mean, this guy was treating us like kings!  After that I emailed a friend of mine then talked with my parents online, which was the highlight but Brother Brown, there's something about him!

 I've been kinda depressed that we aren't doing anything…no teaching or anything and district meeting did not help at all.  I actually became a little discouraged because the week before, they gave me an assignment to do - The First Vision. On that very day that we were teaching our investigator the importance of the Book of Mormon, he asked us why it was important and who was Joseph Smith? I was so happy! I had a chance to do the commitment! I recited the whole vision by heart and told him before to think of this moment, to be in Joseph Smith’s shoes and feel the spirit.  We gave him a few seconds to ponder and then I asked him how do you feel? I was devastated, heartbroken, crushed, whatever… I was distraught, as he responded "Honestly, I felt nothing except the wind,the people yelling and laughing, music, etc…" He didn't want to feel the spirit. I was devastated that he didn't receive the message like I hoped.  Then, listening to these elders do the exact same thing as I had done and say what I hoped Phillip would have said "wow I felt something!" I was sad feeling a little hopeless,  but I still had faith something would happen...

 Elder Villegas and I came to a spot somewhere that I did not recognize.  He was talking to this one guy in Tagalog and there were these three guys drinking and talking.  One of them looked young like sixteen. I was shy.  At first, I didn't say anything, but I waved at them. The oldest asked what religion I was. My companion was a couple houses down and I was alone in this. I have never had the chance to talk to someone about the gospel by myself. But I was ready.  I told them, “"Mormon. I am a Mormon." To make things short, I was scared to death! I thought they were going to yell, mock, throw things at me because I was alone. I answered every question and soon I was becoming their friend.  Their names are William, Juan and Brandon.  I felt like the apostle Peter or some scriptural hero, teaching the gospel to these strangers!  They were agreeing and laughing with me and were saying how people told them that us Mormons were bad, that we had ten wives and other things, but I explained to them and brought scriptures to their attention. In the circle, as I sat with these men, I bore testimony of the Savior. I actually read to them something I wrote that I was going to email to someone. It was my testimony of the Savior. I never sent it and now I know why. It wasn't time to send it because it was meant for these men and not for the person I had in mind.

 I read them my testimony and they listened intently to my message. For peace or comfort or understanding, I do not know, but they were all eyes and ears and asking questions. I asked if they would like us to come back. they said yes. I was thrilled. They asked if we could pray.  We did!  My companion came back and started talking to them.  It was a good experience, so I learned never to shut your mouth, speak up boldly and Heavenly Father will fill your mouth with power and with truth like Elder Holland said "unbind your tongues and watch your words work wonders.”
 Another highlight interviews with President Dixon, which was awesome! Iearned so much and got great advice from him and his wife. I love them!  They are such fun people and I’m so happy they are my mission presidents.

 We taught Brandon the restoration.  Now I told you that when I taught the restoration before and the investigator did not want to listen. I was worried this would be the same for Brandon. I told him that I was going to recite the first vision. I was still afraid that after I had told him, Brandon would leave. I guess this is where courage and trust must happen, in order to speak boldly and with power and with faith.  I said, “Brandon this part of the message is the most important part. It's what makes all this matter.  I'm going to tell you what happened when this boy had the faith to pray to our Father and before I begin I want you to be in Joseph Smith’s shoes.  Think about your question  and act like you are praying to your Father. Be in his shoes, think of that moment where you prayed for the first time with faith that God our eternal Father would answer.  I promise you that as you do so, you will feel something.  Maybe you've never felt before something peaceful or happy or full of understanding and I want you to know that this is the Holy Ghost testifying these things unto you.  Then, after I'm done I want you to ponder this moment take it within your heart."

  I told him about Joseph smith and his prayer and what he saw! After I had finished, I worried that Brandon was going to get distracted like Phillip. I saw something else! I saw this boy one year older than the prophet of the restoration pondering this moment of truth and I was filled with joy as I watched knowing that he knew this was true! What he said made me come on the verge of tears, as I saw him smile and say “Wow I felt something. I don't know what it is, but I feel this. It just feels nice, I feel like if I ever have a question, I know that I can ask God and he will show me the way or tell me how to follow him.” I told him your absolutely right!"
 We gave him a Book of Mormon. We are going to meet him again this Monday, along with his family. Imagine an eternal family could be taking transformation here!! My testimony was strengthened about Joseph Smith that day. I've always had one about the prophet of the restoration, but seeing the truth come out onto Brandon's face no not his face, but in his eyes was the highlight that made it so much stronger.

 I know that Joseph Smith was called by God to restore Christ’s church and His gospel. Not only that, I know that he translated the Book of Mormon which contains the fullness of it.  This man, like our Savior, suffered much, was persecuted, tarredd and feathered, suffered many trials along with his name being for the good and for the bad of all nations until the end and for what!?!? Because he taught the truth! Because he taught faith in Jesus Christ and repentance! Why didn't they leave him alone? Because they knew the truth! JESUS CHRIST IS THE TRUTH!!! And, yet, even, today, the truth will always be opposed and rejected.

 I know that Joseph smith is and was the prophet who restored all this, who taught me that families can be forever! Or who taught that Christ is the way.  Live his gospel and be saved. He is and was the Savior’s chosen prophet. D&C 128 is one of my favorite scriptures to read. Here are is a couple verses that stuck out "What do we hear in the gospel which we have received? truth! coming from the earth! Mercy from heaven, a voice of gladness for the living and for the dead; tidings of great joy. how glorious is the voice we hear from heaven, proclaiming in our ears and in our hearts the glory, and salvation, honor, immortality, and eternal life; Shall we not go on so great a cause?” I know this to be true! Joseph smith is a prophet of God! And president Monson leads us today.

 Before I end this weeks email,  I just want to say this. That light that Christ and our Father has is in each one of us.  We carry some of that light. When Joseph felt like he was doomed to sudden destruction, when the devil tried to stop him, from what could have ended the restoration, what was it that Joseph Smith saw? He said he saw a pillar of LIGHT!! and when that light rested upon him, he saw two personages, who's brightness and glory defy all description. I believe we carry a flare of that light, in our continence and in our eyes,  just by being who we are. Who are we? We are children of our Heavenly Father, sons, daughters, teachers, fathers and mothers, soldiers,warriors, volunteers, whatever it be.

 We are in this battle together. His battle for truth and light.  We are here together to declare it and gather others to fight for it and proclaim it. We are willing to live the gospel and fight for this gospel. The truth that Christ is the way, the only way. We have this light by doing those things. People either come to us, because they see that light and want to get closer to Christ our Savior, or they leave because they see that light and are opposed to it. I love the words from Elder Holland said:  "I ask for a stronger and more devoted voice, a voice not only against evil and him who is the personification of it, but a voice for good, a voice for the gospel, a voice for God. Unbind your tongues and watch your words work wonders in the lives of those who are only kept from the truth because they know not where to find it."

 We are the voice. Joseph Smith taught that to all of us and in so doing, he sealed this truth with his own blood, claiming that Christ is the way. We either follow him, accept him and testify of him and by so doing find eternal joy or we don't. It's time now to speak boldly, courageously and proclaim the gospel to our friends, our families, our brothers and sisters in the world who have not yet not found that light... the light of Christ, which is in us!

 In this week I have seen what happens when we speak courageously and testify with love.  People can see the light in us, it's just a matter of sharing it with others.  So, let us continue to live the gospel, proclaim it's truth and be ambitious for Christ!!  This is what believers do. THIS IS WHAT MORMON'S DO!!!! and those who listen to us, their lives are changed and our testimonies are stronger.

 I know this email was long but sharing it just builds my testimony and I'm so grateful for the chance to share this truth with you! It's a blessing serving my Heavenly Father and his son Jesus Christ! I'm so thankful for this successful week! It's been absolutely amazing! I want to thank you again for those who have enlightened me, inspired me and there are so many of you that have!! All those who are reading this, you inspire me and I admire your faith!!! those who have prayed for me and the mission. I've seen the miracles of your prayers and those who read my emails I know that I'm not alone. Thank you!  It helps knowing I've got people who care.  May we continue to share our light as members of God’s army!

 The battle is the Lord's!!!!

 -Elder Corbridge