Tuesday, December 29, 2015

WEEK 8: And a Happy New Year!

Hola!

Wow. It has been quite a week! Lots of ups and downs this week.

So last Monday we had this white elephant party with all the Spanish missionaries in the mission, which was super fun! And it was also fun to meet some of the other hermanas because I'll probably be companions with some of them in the future!

On Tuesday we had such an awesome day. So we had a lesson with someone named Reyna and her family and they've been reading in the BofM and they had questions and stuff! So that was really awesome. Then we had a lesson with a lady named Socorro, and she is soooo awesome. She came to church with us last Sunday, and then in our lesson we read in the BofM with her, which she is also reading in outside of our lessons, but she asks so many questions and analyzes everything and really tries to understand. And so she already has a testimony of the Book of Mormon and she thinks it's really interesting! Sooooo yeah. Then we had a lesson with the Cervantes Family, which they got baptized about 7 years ago but haven't come to church for about three years. But when we got there for our lesson, the missionary that converted them was there with her family just visiting, which was super good for them. And then they told us they were going to come to church on Sunday!!! So we were super happy about that. So that day we were super happy because most of our planned lessons didn't fall through, and they were home, and they were progressing!

So on Wednesday we got to work at the Visitors Center for a shift because they are a little short VC sisters right now, especially for the Christmas Season. So for these last few weeks in December the full-field sisters got to work at the VC for one night. It was super fun and I really liked it because at the end of each exhibit you just got to bear your testimony. So it was really cool to just keep on sharing it over and over again.

On Thursday it was Christmas Eve! We didn't really have any lessons so we had a lunch with the zone, which was way fun and I'm starting to get to know everyone a little bit better. Then for dinner that night we ate at a Salvadorian families house. And she fed us SO MUCH FOOD. We had to very large tamales, bread, and ice cream. So I kind of felt a little sick after that, but I'm good now. We did do Christmas lights that night. And then after we went to the Familia Beltran, who is the ward mission leader, and they were just baptized about a year ago! We had a little party there. Elder Jensen ate a jabanero pepper which was super funny! But they are such great people and they gave us Christmas gifts! They are the nicest. And everyone else in the ward is soooo nice.

On Friday was Christmas Day! So that morning we got up to get ready, and then we opened presents! Thanks to everyone for the gifts and cards that were sent, it means sooooo much to me! I then got to skype my family, which was sooooo nice and I loved seeing and hearing from all of them! And although it was Christmas we still had to do our weekly planning, but it wasn't too bad. Then that night for the concert at the Christmas lights all the Mesa Missionaries got to sing! It was so fun and such a good way to spread the message of Christmas.

So on Saturday we had a lot of lessons planned because it was after Christmas, so after our studies we went out to go teach and find. And it was probably my longest day so far. Every lesson we had planned, they either weren't home, or told us to come back another time. And all the people we had on our list to visit didn't answer. And trust me, it was a long list and we weren't sure if we were going to make it to all of them. It was also really cold and windy that day so it was just really hard.

So then on Sunday it was also a little disappointing. So we texted a bunch of people reminding them about church, and drove around to see if people were coming. And when we got there, Socorro never came and neither did the Cervantes Family. So just a little sad. But the good thing at church was that I'm starting to understand what people are saying better now! It's hard sometimes because everyone talks soooo fast, but I'm starting to get the hang of it!

So although the last few days have been a little rough, we just have to remember to still be diligent and try to take every opportunity we can. But since it was Christmas, I just want to say how grateful and what a great blessing it is to have a Savior on the earth. And because of Him, who loves us and knows us all personally, we have someone to lean on and to rely on in hard times. We have a way to return to live with our Heavenly Father. So because he has given us so much, just want to challenge you all to think of what you can give back to the Savior this year.

Love you all soooo much and I can't wait to see what is awaiting for us this week! Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year! Also, happy birthday to Gracie yesterday!!! I love you so much and I can't believe you're already nine!

-Hermana Brown
The Arizona sunsets are sooooooooooo pretty!

On Saturday when it was really windy, we found this beheaded snowman. I don't know, I thought it was entertaining!


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Tuesday, December 22, 2015

WEEK 7: It's gonna be a bompy ride!



Hola! Might be a short email this week because I don't have a lot of time. But normally I have 2 hours of email time. And once I get my ipad things will be a lot more convenient and I'll be able to read your emails all day!

But I'm in Arizona! So we were supposed to report to the travel office at but unfortunately the alarm didn't go off. So someone knocked on our door at about to get us. So me and Hna. Mitchell were super stressed, but we got to ride to the air port in the trucks with the luggage, and we both made our flights just fine. When we flew in to Arizona President and Sister Jenkins were their to pick us up and we went to the Mesa temple Visitors Center. Which I believe my family received pictures from that. After that we went to the mission home and got a small nap which was super nice! And then we got assigned to a companionship for the night to do some missionary work. I was with Sister Gruber and Sister V, and also Sister Colbert who was the other sister who flew into Mesa with me but she's English speaking. So all four of us were together. We went to eat dinner at a members house and went to visit a few of there investigators. Then that night we got to go to the Christmas lights! So as a Mesa missionary we have the Mesa temple which is decorated with lights all around. Sorry I don't have any pictures but I"m sure you can find some somewhere! But we pretty much just get to walk around the temple and talk to people and ask for referrals. It is soooooo cool and such a privilege to get to that!

So on Wednesday we had transfer meeting where we got to meet our companions! So I am in a trio because there is an odd number of Spanish sisters now. So my trainers are Hna. Conway and Hna. Judy. They are super nice and such great teachers. I learn from them so much! That day we got to go teach people again and do Christmas lights, but this time I got to experience the Spanish culture. My first few days I was already really tired and everything was kind of overwhelming so when people started speaking Spanish it was super fast and I only could pick out a few words. Things are getting better now and understanding it is coming. I just have to work up my confidence on speaking the language in our lessons and stuff. But I know it will come, because seriously the gift of tongues is real!

So over this whole week we taught so many people and we're busy all the time, so frankly I don't remember a lot of the names of the people we taught, but next week I will probably have more stories. 
However... On Saturday I was SUPER lucky. We got to go to a and endowment session and temple sealing, in the Mesa temple in Spanish! Seriously how meant to be is that. Just wanted to pay tribute to my grandparents on my first attendance at the Mesa temple. It was such an amazing experience. Kind of difficult because it was in Spanish but it went so well! It was for a recent convert family, the Guatemala's! Their actually from Mexico, so it's kind of interesting that that's there name. But I think that was the highlight of my week. Oh and we got to eat food at their house after the sealing and they had carne asada, and carnita's, and they had this Horchata hot chocolate which was SO GOOD! If you guys can swing that one seriously try it.

So on Sunday we had church in Spanish (obviously. I guess I should stop emphasizing that.) And it was still a little hard to understand because everyone talks soooooo fast. But it was good to go. And also one of our investigators, Socorro, came to church and she's only been taught I think twice! My trainers said they've never had a baptism, but I seriously have such I hopes for her. She is sooo ready. We teach a lot of less active families so I'm assuming that's why.

But had a white elephant party today with all the Spanish missionaries in the mission and it was super fun! I just want to wish you all a very merry Christmas!!! I love and miss everyone so much but I have a good feeling about Mesa! Thanks for everything, I feel your prayers every single day. Love you all!

-Hermana Brown









Tuesday, December 15, 2015

Surprise emails!!!

HEY FAM! So we get to email all day today since it's like our unofficial p-day and we won't get another chance to email until next monday so I will check my email as much as possible if you decide to send me something I can respond back! So if you have any questions for me about traveling or just wanna talk, write me up!!!

By the way last night for our devotional we got to here from the BYU men's chorus and it was AMAZING!!! They are seriously sooooooooo good. And the best part was they sang "Come Lord Jesus" from Savior of the World!!! It was definitely my favorite part of the night and I was thinking of my memories from SOTW and all you guys who are in it are soooooo lucky to be a part of it!! Seriously best thing ever. 

Any way send me an email and we can chat. Thanks!!!

-Hermana Brown


DUDE I am soooooooo excited!!! It's been snowing hard all day and I can't wait to get to the nice Arizona weather. That's awesome to hear about the ASL performance! I love watching the ASL translators at our devotionals on Tuesday and Sunday and it's soooooo cool. I'm gonna learn ASL on my mission maybe... because one of the elders in our zone is from Arizona and he learned ASL from the ASL missionaries in Mesa! So maybe I'll be tri-langual when I get back. But don't worry, I'll focus on Spanish first. Speaking of Spanish, I LOVE IT!!! The language honestly makes so much sense and sometimes I look back on the English language and wonder how in the world I learned that. So I may just act like I only know Spanish when I get back. I should probably also take an English class because my English has gone down hill because all we study is Spanish soooooo... Entonces... I'm soooooooo excited!!! I get to talk to you all tomorrow and fly into Arizona and meet my mission president and everything!!! Love you!

Here's a few pictures from the last few days! Also the selfie with the girl is the other Hermana Brown. I think she looks kinda like Cecily Strong from SNL she even sounds like her too! She is awesome btw.





Awwwww Muchos Gracias!!! Thanks for the pictures! CEERYLE IS SOOOOOO CUTE!!!! Tell him to respond to this email. Btw gracie is super cute in that selfie and especially in those pictures from Savior of the World! And of course Zuri es siempre so so so so so cute! I feel like I should write in Spanish. But maybe not. I don't know I just love hearing from you guys! And, in 12 hours I'll be leaving the MTC! So crazy! I love the mtc and I'm going miss our teachers sooooo much. We had to say goodbye to about half our district yesterday and it was so sad! We said a final prayer last night all together and it was so hard not to cry, but I got through it. We are all best friends and have made soooooo many memories at the MTC. We decided we're doing a district reunion when we're all back, and it's gonna be in Florida at Harry Potter World and Disneyland. It's gonna be so much fun. 
Anyway we just got out of class with Hermano Woodbury and we were writing down what we want to become when we're on our missions or coming home from our missions. And I said I want to become myself in God's eyes. And I finally figured out the way that it works and I really wanted to share it with someone. So we want to know who we are, and the way we do that is by submitting ourselves unto the Lord, which is by serving Him and becoming an instrument in His hands, and the only way we are an instrument in His hands is if we are serving Him and doing his work. So therefore (kind of algebraically) we find out who we are by serving Him. And that's one of the main reasons why I am here. And it really goes back to the scripture that I put on my plaque which is Matthew 16:25. Love it! I don't know, I just had that epiphany in class and everything made so much sense now.
Anyway thanks for hearing my theories. Love you all! keep writing!!!

The last picture of our district at the temple walk

Me in probably my last snow for a year and a half

The Hermana's in our zone!



Monday, December 14, 2015

WEEK 6: Just Go With It



HOLA!!!
I can't believe I leave on Tuesday! this will be my last email from the MTC! Crazy how the time has just flown by! We started packing today, and it's just sooooo weird. But it was such a great week!

So last Sunday was fast Sunday! It was super great and surprisingly easy to fast mainly because there is no food, but also because everyone else is doing the same thing with you. Also my first 24 hr. fast, which was hard, but we did it, and it was so worth it! Also we got to watch the 1st presidency Christmas devotional which was AMAZING! I loved how all the speakers on spoke for a little bit, and they had A LOT of music, which is my favorite. Also me and my companion were obsessed with the song that was "Unto Us A Child is Born." We literally sing it all week, all day, and listen to it everyday. It's great!

So on Monday we had our service in our residency in the morning and we were supposed to take out the trash on all the floors. But for some reason all the trash bins were SUPER full. So by the time we were done with one floor, our bin was literally filled to the ceiling. It was super funny! Anyway. On Monday night we did this thing called "Pracitcamania!" it's where we draw from a hat and get a new companion, or were an investigator, and we did this with our district and 2 others. It was super fun and interesting to see other people's teaching styles and learn things from them. Unfortunately I never got to be the investigator, but that's fine.

On Tuesday at choir practice, we got to sing "Jesus Once of Humble Birth" which I love that song because it reminds me of "Savior of the World" which my family is in right now! So it was so nice to sing that song at our last time to perform in the MTC choir. My family should know I was thinking of them and SOTW the whole time and how they're probably singing it too right now! I just love. I felt the spirit way strong when I was singing it. Then for our devotional we got to here from Bonnie L. Oscarson, the Young Women General President! It was really good. She talked a lot about making the most of our mission and that it is tailored specifically for our lives, and we need it for things that we go through after our mission. She showed this video and I think it's called "The Gardner" or something like that, but it's from one of Elder Christofferson's talks (who I recently LOVE his talks and stuff), and it was just super good. So definitely go watch it!

So on Wednesday we got to teach Daniela for the last time, and it was an interesting lesson because the lesson before we challenged her to read 2 Nephi 31, but she read chapter 32 instead, so we decided to "Just Go With It" and it went surprisingly well! But Hermana Thomas talked with us after ward and she said that was our best lesson we taught so far. So it was most definitely the spirit teaching and not us. Then we got to host AGAIN on Wednesday, but we only had to host 1 missionary because this is the last bunch coming in before Christmas. But before we started, Stephanie Nielson and her husband asked to take a picture with us! If you don't know who she is there is a mormon message on her called "My New Life" which you should DEFINITELY watch, because her story is amazing! Also she is a famous blogger, which is : nieniedialogues.blogspot.com. So go check that out too!

On Thursday we had our last class with Hermana Thomas and Hermano Clark with our whole district. We still have class on Monday, but some of the people from our district our leaving on Monday and others are leaving on Tuesday. We had a great class. In Hermano Clark's class that day we read the parable of the talents, which is definitely one of my favorites if not, my favorite parable. We just talked about finding the talents that we have, and taking those and putting them in our mission and making them most about them. Because with the servant who does nothing with the one talent he is given he is called "a wicked and slothful servant." Which I don't know about you but, I do not want to be a sloth. Especially while I'm here on my mission. I just have to remember that I am on the Lord's time and he knows exactly what I can and can't handle. And he will give me whatever talents and abilities I need to teach and bring the people of Arizona closer to Christ.
We got to do TRC skype on Thursday and this time we actually got to teach someone! Her name was Ruth, and she lives somewhere in the United States, but she's from Chile. It was really cool to take to a member and just kind of teach them, but also see what they can teach you. 

On Friday we had In-Field Orientation, which is where they teach you everything you didn't learn in class. It was soooooo long, we had it from 8 am to 5:30 p.m. I was really dreading the whole thing but it turned out to be really good! We learned a lot about planning, and working with members and stuff. But I met some really cool people because they make you teach with people other than your companion. So we were doing this practice and I was the missionary teaching another sister. And it turns out she's a convert to the church and she joined just about 2 years ago. So when she told me that I was just hoping my teaching was as good as the missionaries were when they taught her. But she said I did a good job though! She was super awesome and so good to get to meet her. It was really weird in all our practices because we had to teach in English, because a lot of the people their were going English speaking. So it was a little weird to teach in English because all we've done is teach in Spanish, but it went fine. At the end of the day it felt really good to speak Spanish again. I just have really grown a love for that language, and it's just so beautiful and it makes way more sense than English does, so I can't wait for the day when I can speak fluently!

Anyway, we get to go to the Provo temple for the last time today and I am muy animada!!! And next time I go to do a temple session it will be in Mesa, where my grandparents got sealed!!! I still think that is sooooo cool. Thanks for everything and I love everyone! Leaving the MTC is going to very bittersweet and it's going to be hard to say goodbye to my companion, because we are literally the bestest of friends and it's only been 6 weeks! But we're going to stay in touch for sure! Gracias por todo! Hasta Arizona!

-Hermana Brown
 I decided to draw a Christmas countdown on our chalkboard in the classroom because we wanted it.

My companion and I have matching scriptures! So cute!

So they have these little peepholes on every door of the classrooms and for some reason I just love to look through them and see what the other classes are doing. My companion calls me a creep, but I like it sooooooooo... it's a really cool picture though!
  
Classic picture in the mirror pic w/ Hna. Mickelson. It's actually a window that we love to look out and see the real world.


Random picture of Elder Johnson and Elder Hoffman, which I did not take by the way.


District G with Hermana Thomas (in the bottom right) She is the greatest, and my companion and I are gonna be best friends with her when we get back.

Our district with Hermano Clark (also bottom right) He is seriously such a great teacher and we will miss both our teachers so so so much!

Tuesday, December 8, 2015

WEEK 5 -- It's gonna be a BOMPY ride...

Hola! Familia y Amigos! So my time here is coming to an end and it's soooo sad! We got our flight plans on Friday, so I leave in about a week and a half! But I'm seriously so excited to go to Arizona! it's gonna be so warm!

So on Sunday, It was my turn to speak in sacrament meeting. It's so scary because you don't know until right before. And they called Hermana Brown, and I was like, "sldkfooekjwfoijweojfow!" in my head, but I think it went well! At least I don't have to worry about it any more! And also on sunday my companion and I got called as online coordinators. So we basically just teach the new districts how to use the different things on the computers and stuff and the rules of emailing and using the internet. Haha, it's not much but it's nice to have a simple calling in the zone to help out :) For our sunday Devo we heard from President and Sister Hutching, and he gave tips on how to recognize the spirit better which were 1)keep it in your mind and heart 2) Bask in the spirit (muscle memory, remember how it feels) 3) Ask if there's more. I loved this because Sometimes I have the hardest time knowing if something is the spirit or not. So it was really good to hear.

On Monday we taught Benjamin, and we realized (or Hermano Clark helped us realize) we didn't know a ton about his religious background or why we were meeting with him so or lessons later in the week got a lot better.

On Tuesday we got a new TRC investigator, Diana! We were a little nervous and frustrated that they switched our investigator on us, but we really liked teaching her! She asks a lot of questions, which can be hard when we don't know how to answer all the time, but it's good to know that she's interested.
We also had choir practice again for the christmas banquet on tuesday night! And it was sooooo good! I love all the songs we sing although they're just primary songs. But Brother Eggett is AMAZING! He is really good at what he does and it is such a privilege to get to work with him. We had practice on Wednesday and Thursday morning too, and everytime I was just amazed by the things he was able to do with us, in the short amount of practice time we had. 

On Wednesday we got to host again! It was really fun, but my arms were sooooo sore the next day from hauling all the luggage around. But it is fun to see the new missionaries. We also got 2 new districts in our zone! Most of them are going to Argentina and a few are state side. But I still haven't found another sister going to Mesa! Hopefully I'll meet an english speaker when we fly.

On Thursday, we taught Diana again! And I got to say it was a pretty good lesson, probably our best one yet! We taught her about the restoration, and she still had a lot of questions but we were able to stay on track with our preparation, and we challenged her to read the book of Mormon! Unfortunately we're not teaching her again, so we don't get to see how it goes. But we know the lesson went well.
So also on thursday we got to do TRC skype, except kind of not. So they are supposed to have someone, who is a member of the church, for you to skype and practice teaching in spanish, and work on teaching lessons. But unfortunately the person they had planned for us didn't answer, so we just had to send her a video message. Hopefully next week it works!

On Friday we had our Christmas Banquet performance! It went super well and it felt soo good to perform even though i was only in the choir! I love to express my self through music. Especially for sharing my testimony. I just feel like it speaks for me better than I can speak for myself. So I was super grateful for the opportunity to be in that choir! We also got to talk to our branch presidency after the performance, and they were just so proud. They're like our parents here at the MTC. Although they could never replace my parents at home.

Language is coming! Our Branch president told us that based on how many districts he's seen in the past, he thinks our district is doing very well with the language and we've picked it up better than most districts. So that's really good to here! We have an amazing district that works sooo hard in our studies so I know the mission field is going to get some great missionaries soon! Also our teachers have told us that our lessons have gotten significantly better this week! So it's good to know that at this point we're still progressing and not plateauing.

Thanks for all your support! I could not be here without all of your wonderful examples inspiring me to be better everyday! I love and miss you all SO SO SO SO much!

-Hermana Brown

Sunday, November 29, 2015

WEEK 4 -- Dia de Acción De Gracias!

Companion and I with the lights at the MTC

Hola Familia! Ah what a week! So many good things and Thanksgiving was awesome! And I can't believe we're already on our fourth week! Only two more to go till I'm in Arizona.

So on Sunday they finally didn't call "Hermana Brown" to speak, and that felt soooo nice. Haha, I'm sure my time will come though because a district is leaving this week. So my district will be the oldest in the zone! So that will be pretty exciting. But I honestly think our district does a great job of studying and staying on task. And our teachers keep telling us we're one of the best districts they ever had, and that we're progressing a doing really well. Which is really nice to hear. For the devo on Sunday, Stephen Allen talked to us, he does something at the MTC, but he was WAY funny! He talked about that while we're on our missions we need to leave everything else behind because we are one the Lord's time. He had some people get up and say something they gave up to be out here, and it's really incredible that around 1500 people put aside their past lives to come and serve the Lord. Something I'm really going to miss when I leave the MTC is the weekly devotionals. We also watched the Joseph Smith movie on Sunday. Which is definitely one of my favorites. He is just soooo amazing and the thing that I love the most about him is that he always glorified everything up to God, he would never take any credit for himself. Which is such a great example to me, but also really shows that there is no way he made any of it up.

Monday we had class and learned how to apply lessons more personally to our investigators.

Tuesday we were supposed to teach Viridiana, but she wasn't there. Which I was sad about because it was getting really fun to teach her. So instead we had to give our lesson over email in Spanish, which was a little difficult, because speaking it has come a long way, but writing it you have to get all the grammar and spelling and stuff, so hopefully we were able to get some sort of message across. But we found out we're not going to be teaching Viridiana anymore. :( We also taught Daniela on Tuesday and it went really well! We taught her on studying the scriptures and praying and the spirit was super strong.

For our devo on Tuesday we heard from Jorge Zabellos of the seventy! So similar to last week, he have 4 points to having a successful mission which were: 1) Live your purpose 2)Teach by the Spirit 3)Love the People 4)work diligently. It was interesting to compare those to the one from last week but all in all anything that comes from a general authority is amazing!

SO, this week me and my companion found out we made it for the Christmas banquet performance thing! We kind of lost hope because it had been a while since we auditioned and we hadn't heard anything. But I was sooooo glad we made it! It's really a privilege too because around 150 people tried out but on 40 people made it, 20 boys and 20 girls! So we are super lucky! But we had our first practice on Tuesday after the devo, and it was super fun! We get to sing a lot of Christmas songs, which are my absolute favorite. And we get to work with Brother Eggett, who is one of the directors of MOTAB and he directs a bunch of other choirs to, so it's such a privilege. I am also super blessed because before my mission I prayed that i would have performance opportunities on my mission, and I happen to be at the MTC at the right time to perform in this, and I get to be a part of the easter pageant when I get to Mesa! Honestly I am so blessed and Heavenly Father really does hear and answer every prayer, when we're obedient.

On Wednesday I got my families package! it seriously mad my day! all your cards were the best, and the book of pictures is perfect! Especially Zuri... haha! I could not ask for a better family.

On Thursday it was Dia de Acción De Gracias!!! Honestly one of the best Thanksgivings ever. So in the morning we had a devotional with... ELDER DALLIN H OAKS!!! And the rest of his family  too! It was such an amazing experience. My personal favorite part of the devotional was that we got to hear Jenny Oaks Baker!!! She is sooooooo amazing. I loved hearing her play but also watching her because she was so into the music. She played with other members of the Oaks family too, and they are all very musically talented. Elder Oaks gave a great talk though. He talked about weak things becoming strong. Which was really good because you can get pretty hard on yourself here with learning a new language, teaching "investigators", etc.
After the devo we had a Thanksgiving luncheon and it was really good! We got turkey, real mashed potatoes (usually we get the fake instant mashed potatoes), pumpkin pie and ice cream. It was sooooo good! But after lunch we had another devo with the people who were running the service project. We heard from one guy who is a member of the church, then one who wasn't, but you could still tell he had a religious background. It was interesting as the mood changed when they each spoke, because the nonmember still said good things but the spirit was just so different when each of them spoke. 

After that we got to watch "17 Miracles" which is such an amazing movie and very appropriate for Thanksgiving. Really allows us to remember how fortunate we are to be in the situation and the things we have.
So for dinner we had PB&J. Which most people were sad about but my companion and I loved it because at least for me it reminded me of home. And it was nice to have a less grande meal for once. But after dinner we got to do our service project! We made lentile casseroles for kids in Utah. The time literally flew by. And not to brag, but my table got the record for the day with 23 boxes! And each bos had 383 meals in it. Then later they told us that the whole MTC made 357,000 meals total! That's A LOT of food! They also told us they've never made that many before at the MTC. I was so glad I got to participate in such an amazing project.

At the end of the day they had a talent show sort of thing and showed little Thanksgiving clips. Then the MTC presidency were the first to wish us a merry Christmas. And they now have Christmas lights turned on at the MTC! I had such a great Thanks giving here, and although i wasn't with my family, I still loved it! Best thanksgiving for sure. 

Just want to close the email and say I'm so grateful to be here in the MTC learning Spanish and learning and teaching about the gospel. I wouldn't want or can even think of a better place to be. I am soooo grateful for my family and friends for being so supportive and always being there for me. I could not be here if it weren't for all of you! I'm so grateful for this church and this gospel and that I'm an active member of the greatest work there is. This gospel is one of the greatest things on the earth, and its capabilities are way beyond my knowledge and capacity to learn, but it works. And finally I am grateful for my Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. I know that he is our Savior and Redeemer, and because of His atoning sacrifice we can be forgiven of our sins, and be able to live with him again. He is always standing right next to us in hard times, and because of the atonement, we are able to lean on Him and rely on Him in any time of need.

Thank you everyone for your letters and emails. I know I say this every week but i absolutely ove hearing from everyone, and I never can get enough of it. Love you all and I am so very grateful for all of your support!

Con Amor, Hermana Brown

Lol, kind of awkward pic with Elder Rudder

Hermana Mickelson and I on Thanksgiving day!

More of the MTC christmas lights! with some random girls

Monday, November 23, 2015

WEEK 3 - WE'RE GETTIN' DEEP!

Our zone at the temple!


Hola! This has been such an amazing week! Seriously on a spiritual high here, and I can't get enough of it!

So on Sunday, in sacrament meeting it was super scary, because they pick at random who's going to speak in spanish, and there's two other Hermana Browns in our zone, and so they called Hermana Brown, and I was like "AHHHHHH!!!!!"  But I got super lucky it was the other H. Brown that didn't speak last week. It'll probably be me next time but at least I'll know it's me! Those to H. Brown's left this week, however we got another Hermana Brown in our zone on Wednesday! I don't know why buy our zone love's Hermana Browns. Haha I just can't win, but it's kind of fun i guess!

So about that Christmas Banquet thing that I auditioned for, no one has heard back from anyone yet! I guess they held more auditions on Thursday again, is what they said at choir on Sunday. So I'm assuming that if i don't hear anything by this Sunday, I probably didn't make it, which i'm actually fine with because I love learning so much in class.

So at the devotional on Sunday we got to hear from Greg Droubay who works in the missionary media department! And it was super cool! We got to see the Christmas video that they are promoting this year. I think it's out now, and its called "A Savior is Born." He told us they're trying to get 50 million views on it this year, so share it if you get the chance! He also showed us the memes and gifs that they will have for social media for every day in december, It was just way cool. But the coolest thing they're doing is they're putting it on the jumbotron in NYC times square, and they planned it so it's going to be in the background of the new year's eve thing with Ryan Seacrest! So if you go to New York this year, keep a look out for it!

The film we saw on Sunday was The Testaments! It was really funny because well you're watching it with a whole bunch of other missionaries so it's probably only that funny in the MTC. But it reminded me of when we watch movies with all our cousins, because we have such a good time.

On Monday we got tot teach a new "investigator" Daniela (who is Hermana Thomas acting like an investigator from her mission). They're going a lot harder on us now, but that's good because it's more realistic. She was a little hard to teach, but we gave her our testimonies of the BofM on little notes because she wouldn't take the Bof M. But it went fine!

On Tuesday we got to teach Viridiana again! Our lesson's with her are going soooooo much better than they were before. We taught her about the resoration that day, and the spirit was SO STRONG. At the end of the lesson I bore my testimony of the Restoration and although it was really simple I could tell she was listening to me, and the spirit was so strong by the end of the lesson. We walked out of there feeling soooo good!

Also Tuesday we had a devotional from Elder Kim B. Clark from the Seventy. It was super amazing! He gave four points to having a good mission: 1) Obedience 2) Work Hard 3) The spirit of the Lord 4) Love the People. He also talked about making the mission more than just an episode in our life. After our mission, we still have sooo much work to do. After the devo, we had our district review that night. But we actually combined with all our zone because we had 4 districts leave this week! It's just amazing how everyone is so close to Christ, and everyone has amazing testimonies and is so willing to share their stories. My testimony has grown SO much since i've been here. The MTC is literally an extension of heaven.

On Wednesday we got to teach Benjamín (Hermano Clark acting as an investigator). It went fairly well. We taught about the Restoration and he took a Bof M so that's good! we were also the only companionship to invite him to read. But we found out he likes to play guitar, and I was like, "Yo Tambien!!!" because i've been waiting to have a connection with an investigator, and finally I did. Not sure if he actually plays the guitar, but the character does. Anyway, it made me happy :)

So after we taught Ben, he had class with Hermano Clark, and we talked a lot about prayer and how to make it more meaningful. Recently i've been opening up to D&C 42:14 a lot lately and it talks about a "prayer of faith." And so another teacher was telling us about his experience with learning how to pray. So then we all went into separate rooms and we got to pray for just like 15 minutes and it was such an amazing experience. I really learned that prayer isn't just a list of things we give to God. It's really a meditation with yourself and the Lord, and it's a way for us to really organize our thoughts and receive revelation from the Lord. So i've been trying to listen a lot more when I way my prayers and it makes a huge difference. And if you think about it, it's not really a conversation with the Lord if we're doing all the talking. Just something to think about.

So also Wednesday we got to be Host Missionaries for  all the new missionaries that came in that day, which was like 600! Sooooo many! It was lots of fun though, to greet and help all the newbies! It was super tiring because you have to haul everyone's luggage around while your hosting, but I'm glad we got to do it! My arms were sooo sore the next day though!

On Thursday we taught Viridiana again, and it was another great lesson! We taught a lot about faith, and the spirit was soooo strong again! Such an incredible experience! She's also really starting to open up to us a lot more and ask more questions, which definitely helps and lets us know that she's interested. We taught Daniela that day, and she said she read our notes and so she wanted to talk about the Book of Mormon! So that was super good. She had a lot of questions that sometimes we didn't really know how to answer in Spanish, but she took a BofM and said she would read on verse a day, which is all it takes. And not to brag, we were the only companionship to get her to take a BofM (HOLLAAAA!!!). We also got to teach members of the church on Thursday. They are just volunteers who speak spanish, and are there for us to practice how to teach in Spanish.

Friday was such an incredible day! Like spiritual revelation day. So that morning we had class with Hermano Savio because H. Thomas was sick. And so he taught us on "how to share scriptures like a boss" (his words, not mine. haha). But we had the most incredible experience. So he paired us with someone in our district who isn't our companion, mine was Hermana Mitchell. And we prayed to know what scripture we needed to share with them. And it was sooooo weird but cool, because we both shared scriptures that complimented each other and we both agreed that they were exactly what we needed to hear. It's just amazing how good can reveal things unto us personally, and it is exactly the right  thing. 

So for the best part of the day on Friday in class with Hermano Clark, we did another personal revelation exercise. If you want answers to your questions I know this is what you need to do. So he had us write a question on the board, that was for us an investigator or just whatever. So then we all we sitting in a close circle in our desks. And we prayed to be able to receive revelation and answers to our questions with great faith. After the prayer we decided to read in Mosiah 15 (it was one of the Hermana's favorite chapter), and we just went around each reading one verse at a time, and if someone was inclined to share something the rules were you had to share it. It was just an amazing experience. I don't need to go into detail about what was said, but everything was completely lead by the spirit. And everyone said they felt like they had an answer to they're questions. So that just proved two things to me. 1: Personal Revelation works. Before I came here, i didn't really think I was capable of receiving personal revelation, and I honestly didn't really believe in it. But after today and specifically that activity, I learned that I probably just didn't know how to receive it, or I wasn't prepared to receive any answers. 2: It proves that the Book of Mormon contains all the answers to any question. I did this in my personal study with some more questions that I had and they were answered completely and personally! Everything about this gospel is so amazing! no matter how complicated it can get. I honestly don't know how or why personal revelation works, but it does and for me that completely proves the truth.

I was honestly blessed with the most AMAZING teachers at the MTC. They are such good role models for us as missionaries and I learn sooooooo much from them every minute of the day. The MTC is great, and I wouldn't want to be anywhere else. Before I left,Ii kept telling myself that I didn't want to change who I was, but now that I'm here I have changed and I couldn't be more glad.

Thanks so much for all of your dear elders and letters! They seriously make my day, and I love to hear from everyone.  And those pictures of Zuri were absolutely the cutest thing! please send more! Because I love them, and so do my roommates.

Thanksgiving is coming up and I can't wait! Still not exactly sure what it's going to be like, but i heard it's super fun! Love you all sooooooooooo much! Thanks!

-Hermana Brown


Our entire zone at the temple walk on Sunday. Well before the 4 districts left.

All the Hermana's in our district 

Tuesday devotional :)

This is what Elder Rudder drew of me and Elder Jensen (from kaysville). But the one on the right is what Hermana Mickelson drew of us! Haha Elder rudder also drew a picture of me getting thrown off the roof of Davis, but I didn't get a picture of it sadly :( He has something against Utahn's, but don't worry it's all good. 

 Me and my companion at the temple! Aren't we soooooo cute?!

Sunday, November 15, 2015

WEEK 2 -- This is soooo my type of Purple!

 

HOLA!!! I've been waiting to write to you all, all week! Once a week just isn't enough to talk about EVERYTHING that happens.

So last Saturday after I sent my email, my district and I got to go to the temple! It was so nice to go after our first few stressful days at the MTC. It's the greatest place to just really fell close to God. After the temple we got to teach our "investigator" Marcos! We were planning on challenging him to read the book of Mormon that day, but we forgot to grab an extra one before we left. So in the middle of the lesson we had to go back to the classroom and get one. But other than that, the lesson went really well, and he said he would read!

So when we got here at the MTC everyone kept telling us to make it to Sunday, and we finally did! On Sundays we have Sacrament meeting in Spanish, with everyone from our zone. Everyone has to prepare a 3 min. talk in spanish on one of the chapters from Preach My Gospel. Because then in sacrament meeting, they pick 3 people on the spot to speak! Luckily I didn't I have to go the first Sunday. But I have a feeling I'll have to speak soon! We have 3 or 4 districts leaving our zone this upcoming week, so we will be getting 3 new districts! It's going to be kind of weird, because we're still known as the "new" district, but in a little bit, we will be the oldest district in our zone! Kind of crazy. So after sacrament we go to Relief society with the sisters from our zone, and a companionship teaches the lesson. They taught us on Faith and Humility, and during the lesson one of the hermanas said something really cool. That we are so lucky and so fortunate to be able to have our name on the same tag as Jesus Christ's. I just thought that was an interesting and super inspiring thought. On
Sundays we get to go on a temple walk with the zone! We pretty much just walk to the temple and take pictures and stuff. But it's so nice to be able to get outside, especially because we're sitting in class most of the time. Also on Sundays they have MTC choir practice, which is soooooooo amazing. It's directed by Brother Egget, who is the other guy directs MOTAB! SO COOL! The MTC choir performs on the Tuesday devotionals. We were practicing and arrangement of nearer my God to thee, and he was just explaining the whole song throughout the practice, how t's talking about Jacob's Ladder. And it was just soooooo incredible. I really look forward to choir all week. After choir we had a devotional from Richard I Heaton who is an administrative director at the Provo MTC (not really sure what that means, but it's pretty bouje). He talked about dealing with stress, which was really good after our overwhelming week! So also on Sunday nights you get to watch a church movie. Some are devotional talks from previous years, or Meet the Mormons, or Legacy, and stuff like that. Our branch president recommends we go see this devotional talk from Elder Bednar given a few years a go at the MTC on Christmas. IT WAS SOOOO AMAZING! Bednar talked about the character of christ, and how Christ always is thinking outward, rather that thinking about himself, and that truly is the Character of Christ. So in my scriptures I've started coloring in purple the characteristics of Christ, because the character of Christ is sooooo my type of purple. Any way that devotional was amazing, and if you can find it somewhere, I really recommend you watch it and take lots of notes!

On Monday we had lots of class again, which is fine, just long days that require you to be responsible the whole time. We also got to teach Marcos again, which was really great and every time we teach him, even though he's just acting, we feel the spirit and are guided in our lessons in what to teach. But the spanish is definitely getting easier.

On Tuesday we had our first TRC, which is where we still teach investigators who are acting, but they're a little more fluent in Spanish. So me and my companion got to teach a girl named Viridiana. It's hard because you have to teach for  45 minutes in Spanish! But it was fine. She said she would pray about our message though! We have a hard time getting to know her because she is kind of quiet, but I think she'll open up eventually! On Tuesday night we had our first devotional! and we got to sing the "Nearer my God To Thee" song! it was super amazing! But we got to hear from Elder Hugo Montoya from the seventy ("My name is Hugo Montoya, you killed my father. Prepare to die." He actually said that! it was super funny!) But he gave us 3 be's while we're out on our mission 1)Be Alert 2)Be genuine 3)Be obedient. He was a great speaker and it was great advice. After the devotional we had a district meeting and talk about what was said at the devotional. It was really great to hear everyone's thoughts and testimonies. And it's good to know that all of are district is here for the right reasons (sounds like the bachelorette. haha). All of our district gets along super well and we are all such great friends now even though it's only been about a week! And I was just telling my companion how it feels like we've been friends for years now, but it's been such a short amount of time. It's crazy to think about how we never knew each other before we were here.

On Wednesday morning we taught Marcos again! And the spirit is so strong when we teach him, which is why I like teaching him. So the elders in my district have started calling me "Hermana Café" (brown in spanish) because there are 2 other Hermana brown's in our zone! Pretty crazy! But it's kind of fun to  have a nickname.

On Thursday we got to teach Viridiana again. We taught her about the plan of salvation, which was probably a lot to take in, but.. we asked her to prepare to get baptized in about a month and she said she would! So that was super exciting! So when we were in the choir the director told us about this Christmas devotional going on for the MTC staff on Dec 4. And they wanted missionaries to perform for them this year! So me and my companion and Hermana Mitchell(from our district) all auditioned. It was kind of scary, but it went pretty well! There were A LOT of people auditioning though, and they said they would only take about 50 (about 25 boys 25 girls). So I guess we will find out! Except we don't know when we find out... but I will be sure to let you know if I make it. On Thursday night we also got to teach Marcos, and we asked him to be baptized as well! He said yes too! It was pretty amazing to get to commitments to baptism in one day!

So on Friday we found out that Marcos, is actually our second teacher and his name is Hermano Clark! He is a GREAT teacher and he is super easy to talk to, and he jokes around a lot. So I'm super glad we will have two teachers now. But we were taught by Hermana Thomas on Friday night and it was just a really great class that night. We were reading in Alma 32, and I guess I've never really noticed this story before, but it is AMAZING! It's about when Alma and Amulek go to teach the Zoramites. And I'm not going to go into a lot a detail about it because you should just go read it. Some of the way the words were written (especially in verses 6-8  I think) they were just really beautiful, and really made me feel something. But I definitely would challenge you all to read it with a question or two in mind, then you will definitely get something out of it!

Well that was really everything for this week! SO MUCH! I love you all and I love getting the Dear Elders throughout the week as well as hand written letters. If you write me, I will definitely try to find time to write you back because then I will have your address!

Love you all so so so so much and I miss you everyday!

-Hermana Brown

 District at the temple!

My drawing of the Provo temple on the chalk board!

My view in the classroom

Saturday, November 7, 2015

WEEK 1 -- It's Gonna be Legen...WAIT FOR IT


Hola mi familia y amigos!

So first of all my p-days here at the MTC is on Saturday. So you get to hear about my first 4 days here! I will try to tell you everything I can, so it may be kind of long...

So after my family dropped me off I had a host missionary take me pretty much around the entire MTC campus to pick up a bunch of stuff. First we went to go pick up a packet with our name tags, MTC card, room key, etc. After that she took to go get my spanish materials. Which was a HUGE  heavy bag full of spanish learning materials, gospel teaching books that help you teach in spanish, and a bunch of stuff like that. We then went to my room/dorm to drop off my luggage. Then we went straight to the classroom.

On my first day of class my teacher immediately greeted me in spanish. I think I would have been able to understand her better if I wasn't already so overwhelmed with everything that had happened in the morning! So she took me to a computer room to watch some videos and take a survey about the MTC. By the time I was done pretty much everyone in our class was back and we started doing get to know you stuff. Oh! And I also met my companion! Her name is Hermana Mickelson, and she's from Oklahoma!  She's going to the Washington Federal Way Mission speaking Spanish. She is super awesome and we get a long very well. Not to mention she loves "How I Met Your Mother" and "Friends"!!!!! Haven't found out about "Just Go With It" yet but, don't worry I will definitely bring it up some time.

So our first class was a little rough but we finally got through it. One of our teacher's is Hermana Thomas (we haven't met our other teacher yet) and she is super cute a way nice! And mom, she served her mission in Guatemala! First day of class we just kind of talked about simple rules, and things that are important. It's a lot of learning all the time here so your brain gets a little fried. But you also learn sooooooo much really fast. Our classes are also really long, usually 3 hrs. at a time. So after our first hour class, we got to eat dinner, which was like fried steak and vegetables (Kailee's favorite). It was actually surprisingly good! I was afraid I wasn't really going to like or have an appetite for it but the food here is really good. After dinner we had this sort of orientation thing called "People and your Purpose."started with our teacher talking to us about different teaching things, and stuff like that. Then they had some missionaries come out to teach an investigator. Our instructor paused that, and then let us know that (this was in a large group of about 30 people) these were real investigators and we were about to started asking them questions and teaching them! I guess I was just a little shocked because I didn't think they would have us, first day missionaries, teach real investigators on our first day! Just a little crazy. But they definitely have you learn by doing, which is good for me because that's how I learn best! So that thing was just kind of an eye opener that they really trust us young people of the church to teach these investigators, no matter how much experience we have.

So after that we went back to our classroom to meet our Zone leaders and our Sister training leaders. They are super awesome and the seem really chill! They told us all of the in's and outs of the MTC and gave us a tour of the entire campus. So that was super nice. After that we pretty much just went to bed at 10:30.

So the next day (Thursday) me and my companion went to this exercise class they have just for sisters, because both of us want to stay in shape, and hopefully not gain weight. Haha. but that morning it was yoga, which was super nice and relaxing after our overwhelming day the day before. After that can you guess what we did next? We went to class! Our first 3 hour block of class we did some computer stuff about teaching and learning about personal/companion/language study. So after that we had a small break and went to Part 2 of People and your purpose. Which we kind of just learned more about our purpose during that. After lunch we went to more class! On Thursday our teacher was Hermano Woodbury, however he's not our regular teacher, he was just substituting for our teacher that isn't here this week. He was a great teacher though! He was really good at making sure we the pronunciations and the accents of the words correctly. The spanish the second day went really well! I feel like I can understand our teacher most of the time (of course they're talking some what slow), and coming up with sentences and things to say is getting better and better.

After lots of class we finally got to meet the branch presidency that night! Our president is President Swenson and Hermana Swenson, and I don't remember the other counselors names, but they are all super sweet and funny too! They met with our district that night and we really got to know each other better. We each got up (including the presidency) and told a little bit about ourselves, and we all had the opportunity to share why were serving a mission, and a brief testimony. After that I think our district really grew closer to each other, and we all know that we are here for the good reasons. They also called our district leader, Elder Johnson! He's also going to Mesa! There's also another Elder in my district going to Mesa (Elder Jensen) and he's from kaysville and he graduated from Davis in 2015! We never new each other before but it's cool we're going to the same mission! We like to call ourselves the Kaysville Clan! haha! So I am the only Sister in my district going to Mesa, and I haven't met any other sisters in other districts going there. But maybe Someone else will come later going to my mission! Anyway, we also got to meet with a member of the branch presidency, to make sure we're doing alright. And just so you all know I am doing just fine!

So the next day was fairly similar but a few things were different. Days here are reeeeeeeeaalllllyyy long, so it kind of feels like I've already been here for weeks, but it's only been 3-4 days! But on Friday we had to teach our first lesson in Spanish to an "investigator." It was kind of scary because we don't exactly know the language incredibly well yet, so we just kind of had to memorize and write down phrases and questions to ask Marcos (the invesitgator). It kind of caught us off gaurd, but we did our best and he said we could meet with him again today (Saturday)! So something must of gone right. With the language you kind of get a little frustrated with yourself, because you feel like you been learning it for a while, but we haven't even been here a whole week. So I kind of have to just keep reminding myself that, and don't get down on myself. But the language really is coming back to me from when I was little.

On this day we finally got gym time which felt really good! It was kind of a long tiring day though because we had about 6 hrs. of personal/companion/language study on our own without a teacher. So sometimes its a little hard to stay focused. But our district discovered last night that when we're all a little brain dead, it really helps to sing a few hymns to help us all calm down a bit. Just want to say that i absolutely LOVE everyone in our district! We all encourage each other and laugh at each other, and we've all really become each other's family here at the MTC.
I'm really enjoying my time here, and I have been so lead by the spirit! This truly is an incredible place and I am learning so so so so so much!

If I have time Iater I will send a few pictures! And I get to go to the temple today with my district! Sooo excited for that! But I would love to here more from you guys! I really loved the letters you gave me when I was leaving, and the dear elder letters I got! Thanks so much! I love you all!

Con Amor,
Hermana Brown

DARY!!!!!!

p.s the computers here a little weird so if there's a lot of typo's it's not my fault!


Me and My companion! You can't tell, but it was snowing when we took this!

Our entire district! from left to right: Back Row: Elder Lutes, Elder Rudder, Elder Eskelson, Elder Jensen (from kaysville, going to my same mission!), Elder Hoffman, Elder Johnson (district leader, also going to my mission!). Front row: Me, Hermana Mickelson, Hermana Mitchell, Hermana Rigby 

We both like to wear socks and sandals on p-day!