Sister Megan Brunelle

Mormon Girls Missionaries

Mormon Girls Missionaries (Photo credit: More Good Foundation)

Brunelle laciniée

Brunelle laciniée (Photo credit: didier.bier)

Khmer children outside the Khmer Literacy School.

Image via Wikipedia


Well,…this is my first email from the MTC and WOW is it an amazing experience. I already feel that I have grown and changed SO much, and built my testimony so much stronger…and I haven’t even been here a week yet. It is incredible how quickly and deeply the Lord can change your life. So, after my grandparents dropped me off last week, everything was a blur. I was led through a thousand hallways bustling with Elders and the occasional Sister, up two escalators, and to my room. I literally had to drop my bags on the floor and go to get my ID stuff taken care of. As soon as I had my name tags and my ID, I was taken to class….where my teacher was eagerly awaiting our arrival. I was the first person there, and he just started going CRAZY talking to me in Cambodian, bowing, gesturing, smiling…and I seriously thought I was going to throw up I was so overwhelmed. A few minutes later, the rest of my district started trickling in…..all in all, we have five elders and FIVE SISTERS!!! It’s unheard of to have an equal amount of elders and sisters in a district. nine of the ten of us are going to Cambodia, and one Elder is going to California Long Beach, Cambodia Speaking. My district is AMAZING. they are so fun and energetic. The boys are all huge goofballs and totally still kids in a lot of ways, but when we start talking scriptures, they all become so reverent and spiritual, it is amazing. The five of us girls all share a dorm room! It’s so fun. Two of the sisters are a companionship, and then I’m in a trio with the other two girls. One of my companions, sister Tsuchida, is from Japan. She is awesome, because shes only been speaking English for 18 months and now she has to learn Cambodian through English translation…but she is such a good sport. The first week was rough. our teacher (aka our “lookruu”) WONT speak English to us, which is good, but frustrating when we can’t interpret what he wants us to understand. Everyone says that if you can make it to your first Sunday, you’ll be fine and….THEY WERE RIGHT!!! Sunday was AMAZING. I feel like I’m using that word a lot…amazing amazing amazing…but thats what the MTC is!! I love it here so much. I love being a missionary. Funny story before I go: We have our first fake investigator, Hol Moon, who only speaks Khmer, and in our first lesson, i wanted to teach him how to pray. So we gesture for him to get down on the ground and fold his arms, and I use my notes to say the prayer. it goes so great and we can all feel the spirit…and then I realize I don’t know how to tell him to get up. So I played it off and we ended up teaching the entire lesson on our knees. The rest of our district was cracking up when I told them that story.
So far, I know how to pray, bear my testimony, ask basic questions in Cambodian. I seriously learn a months worth of information every single day. It is incredible what we are capable of with the help of our Heavenly Father. So, I’m reading the New Testament right now, and I found a great missionary scripture in Matthew 9:36-38. READ IT! I love you all so very very much. OH!!!! DEAR ELDER ME PLEEAAASE! just go to the website and type in my name and my mission, and the letter will find me. And it’s free bec I’m in the provo MTC.
Oh! I forgot to mention that i’ve also been called as coordinating sister of my branch. It’s like relief society pres. I am so honored to be able to serve and lead these amazing sisters!!!
Cum riab lia!
Sister Brunelle

Describe the miracles done by the disciples of Jesus

among the people?

This is spelled out fairly clear in verse 5.  However what do you think the biggest miracle is here in this verse?  Can you find a supporting verses in the NT & D&Cs that work with this verse?

5 And there were great and marvelous works wrought by the disciples of Jesus, insomuch that they did heal the sick, and raisethe dead, and cause the lame to walk, and the blind to receive their sight, and the deaf to hear; and all manner of miracles did they work among the children of men; and in nothing did they work miracles save it were in the name of Jesus.

4 Nephi verse 5

4 Nephi verse 5

I love studying these words, so I wanted to show you some info on the word ‘works’ from verse 4 Nephi verse 5:

The Topical Guide references John 14:12-14 

12 Verily, verily, I say unto you, He that believeth on me, the works that I do shall he do also; and greater works than these shall he do; because I bgo unto my Father. 13 And whatsoever ye shall ask in my name, that will I do, that the Father may be glorified in the Son. 14 If ye shall ask any thing in my name, I will do it.

So the word ‘works’ is a Greek word simply meaning labor.

I think this also ties in with D&C 46:21.

So we are to describe the miracles done by the disciples in  4 Nephi.

Then yesterday I researched the word ‘works‘ hoping to find something really deep, and it is simply a Greek word meaning to labor.  I saw no layers of meaning.  Really a common unexciting term.

But then going back to reading verse 4 Nephi verse 5 and it references Doctrines & Covenants 46:21: And again, to some is given the working of miracles;

And then I wanted to look at the word ‘miracle‘.

This came from a Greek word dunamis.  

Ability, Able:


(a) “power, ability,” physical or moral, as residing in a person or thing;

(b) “power in action,” as, e.g., when put forth in performing miracles. It occurs 118 times in the NT. It is sometimes used of the miracle or sign itself, the effect being put for the cause, e.g., Mar 6:5, frequently in the Gospels and Acts. In 1 Cor 14:11 it is rendered “meaning;” “force” would be more accurate. Cp., the corresponding verbs, B. 1, 2, 3 and the adjective C. 1, below.

Spiritual Gifts

To some is given....

D&C 46:26 And all these gifts come from God, for the benefit of the children of God.

So we think of the word ‘miracle’ as something extraordinary unique, explainable, unusual.  But what I see here is an oxymorom.  To have the words ‘miracle’ & ‘works’ together seem contradictory.  Didn’t Jesus like to do that?  I am thinking that was a big tool of how he taught described in the book of Luke…

So what I see here is that through knowing our Savior Jesus Christ that the miraculous becomes simple.

The word ‘heal

‘insomuch that they did heal the sick…’

To heal of God, to be a healer of men, to restore favor to a Nation, to heal individual distress

Take that in for a second.  How relevant does that feel?  Do you need to be healed of distress?  Does our Nation need to be restored?

Of water & pottery (this is very interesting)  I have been studying MASKS in the MAP section on Compass and the author Candice Smithyman talks about our flaws being cracks in a vessel that allow Jesus to ‘shine’ through.  In this image though I am thinking of Jesus being Living Water.

John 4:10

Jesus answered and said unto her, If thou knewest the gift of God, and who it is that saith to thee, Give me to drink; thou wouldest have asked of him, and he would have given thee livingwater.

We are human with flaws meaning we need each other and we need Christ.  We came here and are born with need.  When we are honest about who we are and our needs and faults we allow Christ in.  I think there are some cracks that need to be ‘filled’.  But I think there are other cracks that Jesus just flows through, they remain but are healed in Christ working through them.  He wants to pour out of us on others, and he wants us to allow our selves to be poured into.  So perhaps to be healed and heal others we have to be honest about our cracks.

In order to be healed…

Our cracks let the light of Jesus Christ shine through

Our cracks let the light of Jesus Christ shine through -by Elizabeth

Mysterious Gentiles!

I recently had some questions posed to me, that upon ‘googling’ (that is a verb right?) the question I realized it wasn’t an ‘original question’  but a piece of a  list of  questions posed by a couple (the Tanner’s) who are notoriously ‘anti-mormon’.

Painting by Rembrandt of Paul, one of the most...

But I thought it was a good question and dove into it last night.

Question posed:

The Bible plainly states that the gospel, with its inclusion of Gentiles, was not fully revealed until after Christ’s death.

It is being assumed when reading what Paul wrote in Colossians 1:26-27 that Paul meant the inclusion of the Gentiles was not revealed at all to anyone prior to the birth, death and resurrection of Christ.  However we see that the Greek word for  ‘mystery’ is misunderstood:

26 Even the mystery which hath been hid from ages and from generations, but now is made manifest to his saints: 27 To whom God would make known what is the riches of the glory of this mystery among the Gentiles; which is Christ in you, the hope of glory:

I love using the concordance and Vines (non-lds tools).  What Paul is saying does not mean  that there was NO knowledge  of the Gentile world being included in the plan of salvation.  You have to look at the meaning of the words.

I used the concordance to look up ‘mystery‘: Concordance: Greek word mystērion From a derivative of muo (to shut the mouth). Mysteries, religious secrets, confided only to the initiated and not to ordinary mortals. A hidden or secret thing, not obvious to the understanding. The secret counsels which govern God in dealing with the righteous, which are hidden from ungodly and wicked men but plain to the godly. In rabbinic writings: of an image or form seen in a vision or dream. In the NT it denotes, not the mysterious (as with the Eng. word), but that which, being outside the range of unassisted natural apprehension, can be made known only by Divine revelation, and is made known in a manner and at a time appointed by God, and to those only who are illumined by His Spirit.

I’ll also note that in Col 1:26 the word ‘from’ means separation of or apart from a whole. Separation of 1 thing (from fellowship). As in 2 parts that are to be 1 that are separated. Interesting huh?

Then ‘saints’: its moral and spiritual significance, separated from sin and therefore consecrated to God, sacred.

The sense (my feeling, not doctrine at all) I got when reading this was that prior to Christ the ‘Israelite world’ and the ‘Gentile world’ had no ‘common’ knowledge of each other in Christ. They were separated spiritually. But that ultimately now after the resurrection that the separation is not to be from each other because we are all being ‘gathered in’. The separation is to be from sin and fleshly behaviors that separate us from God.


An internal Response

If I know how to use my Topical Guide this word ‘gift’ is associated with the Greek Word ‘dorea’ (a spiritual or supernatural gift) used in Romas 5:17:

17 For if by one man’s offence death reigned by one; much more they which receive abundance of grace and of the gift of righteousness shall reign in life by one, Jesus Christ.

and also Ephesians 4:7:

7 But unto every one of us is given grace according to the measure of the gift of Christ.

I jotted down these key words:  righteousness,, being made right with God, grace, joy,loving kindness, mercy, governed by the divine, gratefulness.

Now the root word of ‘dorea’ is the Greek word ‘dōron’ meaning ‘sacrifices and other gifts offered to God’ or ‘money cast into the treasury for the purposes of the temple and for the support of the poor’.

Internal Response

An internal response to our relationship with Christ

In this I see two things.  The first maybe obvious, Jesus Christ being the ultimate sacrifice.  But I also feel it signifies an internal response.  One that I have written about a lot the last few months.  It is the internal change that begins to take place if we have truly given ourselves, devoted our selves to Jesus Christ.    It may be (as it is for me) a very slow change, but I believe as we devote ourselves to Heavenly Father’s plan & marvel at the sacrifice of His son that there is an inward transformation where we begin to seek obedience to their plan.  We begin to thirst to obedience (righteousness).  I believe this becomes a form of worship.  Not obedience out of duty or service or obligation, though sometimes those things are OK.  But the deep desire to please God through our actions and our lives, worship by obedience.

So I believe this gift is the gift of:

1) knowing Jesus Christ, having this work of righteous begun in us, the ‘payment’ of this immeasurable debt

2) then with baptism the receiving of the Holy Ghost

3) the inward transformation where we begin to respond to the above gift, by pouring out our lives in worshipful obedience to Heavenly Father & Jesus Christ

Did you get something else?  Please, post it here!  I’m not teaching (in no way qualified).  Just sharing.

What are some possible meanings

of “they were all …partakers of the heavenly gift” in verse 3?

Together, neither rich or poor, all made free

All Made Free Together

3 And they had all things common among them; therefore there were not rich and poor, bond and free, but they were all made free, and partakers of the heavenly gift.

OK, I have said it in the introduction I am not ‘teaching’ this. I am providing a platform for discussion. Does the word ‘the’ mean that there is one gift being spoken of here? What ‘heavenly gifts’ could be referred to? What ‘heavenly gifts’ do you have in your life?

I think this is a great opportunity to pause in gratitude. Would you post what you are grateful for today?

My amazing children, freedom to worship, my neighborhood, my children’s schools, our health, Compass, new friends, new clients, new ideas, writing…

I believe ‘the heavenly gift’ is Jesus Christ There are a multitude of amazing blessings to be grateful for everyday. However None of these other blessings matter or might not even be possible without the sacrifice of Christ. Maybe it was written this way so we would pause, consider all of our blessings, then consider them with the lens of Christs love for us, devotion to his Father’s plan, and consider what was given so we could have these blessings in our lives today.

Maybe write a couple things you are grateful for, and consider historically who sacrificed what so that you have that.

Hopefully I’ll circle back and enter a couple examples here later. But right now I have to go wake up my little blessings…

Final thought along the line of being a daughter with devine purpose

Along the lines of needing God, service, serving, accepting help… which I think we struggle with these things because of our perceived value:

Ether 12:27

27 And if men come unto me I will show unto them their weakness. I give unto men weakness that they may be humble; and my grace is sufficient for all men that humble themselves before me; for if they humble themselves before me, and have faith in me, then will I make weak things become strong unto them.

moroni hide

moroni hide

A daughter of Heavenly Father with Devine worth?

Romans 8:15 For ye have not received the spirit of bondage again to fear; but ye have received the Spirit of adoption, whereby we cry, Abba, Father.

Do you see yourself a daughter of Heavenly Father with Devine worth?

If not can you find some verses that show your value to Him?  Why would you believe differently?


Romans 8:15 For ye have not received the spirit of bondage again to fear; but ye have received the Spirit of adoption, whereby we cry, Abba, Father.

Ye have received the Spirit of adoption

I am working on a lot of this.  I had a hard time seeing how it was effecting me, because I had the knowledge.  I am using the Compass MAP here ‘Take Off Your Masks’ and it is so good.  It is all about recognising our flaws and our hurts being honest about them.  It is about recognising how pride, anger and fear limit our success and our relationships.  It is about  being honest so people see our needs and allowing others to serve us

Romans 8:15-18


15 For ye have not received the spirit of bondage again to fear; but ye have received the Spirit of adoption, whereby we cry, Abba, Father. 16 The Spirit itself beareth witness with our spirit, that we are the children of God: 17 And if children, then heirs; heirs of God, and joint-heirs with Christ; if so be that we suffer with him, that we may be also glorified together.18 For I reckon that the sufferings of this present time are not worthy to be compared with the glory which shall be revealed inus.

OK here are a few scriptures that tie into this issue:



2 Corinthians 3:16-1

Genesis 3:1-8

Philippians 4: 19

1 John 4:8

Romans 10:9-10

2 Corinthians 4:7-10 (one of my personal favorites)

1 Peter, 3:3-4


Romans 8:15 —Abba


Elder BruceR. McConkie taught: “ Abba is the Aramaic term for Father; and the adopted sons in the family of the Eternal Father are privileged to address him who is the Ruler of the universe in this intimate way” ( Doctrinal New Testament Commentary, 2:261).

Doctrine and Covenants 84:33–42

I really like:


36 For he that receiveth my servants receiveth me;

37 And he that receiveth me receiveth my Father;

38 And he that receiveth my Father receiveth my Father’sakingdom; therefore all that my Father hath shall be given unto him.