Tuesday, December 29, 2015

WEEK 8: And a Happy New Year!


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

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