Sunday, May 29, 2016

WEEK 29:🌑☄🌍🕳💤🌓🔨☀️🌖🌟

Hello everyone! It was another great week I know I kind of left you on a cliff hanger from last week haha so the new Hermana came and her name is Hermana Escobar! She is so sweet and does know some English because she went to Salt Lake Community college for 2 years before the mission. I think I mentioned this last time but she's from Guatemala and is super fun! She came in on Monday last week and we went to go pick her up at the mission home at 5:30pm and then we went into our areas! And president told us right then and there that she was going with Hermana Hershey into the south area (my original area) and I was going to be with sister Gutierrez in the north Liahona 4th area. I cannot even tell you how hard it was to leave my area behind! It was hard because I didn't even get to say goodbye or tell them I was leaving so I was sad because I love the people in that area so so much. But it kind of works because I still get to see my recent converts and all the members at church I'm just in a different area now. And the area I'm in is a great area as a well!

We met this guy named Raymundo yesterday and he is really ready! We had a hard time finding his trailer, because the address said "trailer behind #### n street" so we even had a member with us but we couldn't find it at first we told them to go home with their family. But then we knocked on a members house hat gave us the referral, and it was a really boujee house by the way, and we took a bit of a walk to find it, but we eventually found it! He's told us he has talked to missionaries for about a year now and he likes it. He went to church a few times but I guess he got baptized in the Christian church three years ago, but he said he feels like something is missing in his life. He already has a triple combination and a gospel principles book and he reads them both and really likes it! So we set up another time to meet with him and invited him to pray and read Moroni's promise. He is so great!

So then Saturday we had the baptism for Jesus! We didn't get to finish teaching him this past week because he is in the south area but it was good we got to teach him for most of the time! The baptism went really well! We had a lot of support from the members and especially the Pozos family. When Jesus bore his testimony after the ordinance it was really sweet and he even bore it about the law of chastity. Probably the first and the last time that will ever happen.

Sorry for the shorter email is week! It really was a good one. Thank you so much for all of your support and love, I feel it so much! Love you all!

Hermana Brown

So some weeks I'm really good at sending pictures others I'm not... This is one where we didn't take as many, sorry!

Hermano Beltran bought us pupusas!

Jesus's baptism!

Sunday, May 22, 2016

WEEK 28: Baptism Week!

This week was baptism week! We were really busy all week but it was a really good one. 

On Tuesday we went to go knock on a door for this referral we got named Abraham. As we talked to him he told us he was Christian and liked to learn about God and doesn't have anything against other religions. He said the only thing he doesn't like about our religion is that we worship Joseph Smith. So then we clarified that we don't worship him, but we know he was a prophet called of God. And after we clarified that he was okay with us coming back and teaching the restoration to him! So we did that later on in the week and it went so well, the only problem is he works a lot so we still need to try to get a hold of him for the next appointment.

On Wednesday it was temple trip day! It is such a blessing that we have a temple in our mission because in the temple is where you feel the most peace and the spirit. So it is really great that we have the chance to go once a transfer. We also had lunch with Socorro which was really good! She also told us how excited she was for her baptism. She really is sooo happy all the time now and it's really great to see.

On Thursday was Andreas baptism!!! It was a bit of a stressful one but it still went well. We went an hour before it started to set up chairs and make sure everything is good for the baptism. It was supposed to start a 7:30pm and as time got closer and closer the Estrada family wasn't showing up. We kept calling them and calling them but they would not pick up. And the. President And Sister Jenkins show up and they still weren't there. And finally it was time for the baptism to start and they all finally show up! We took a few photos with Andrea in white and then we started right away. It was absolutely beautiful! The talks were really great and the ordinance went perfectly. The spirit was so strong and it was so cool to see Andrea to take that step. Then after the baptism president pulled he three of us aside and we thought he was going to be mad because it wasn't the most organized of baptisms. But he actually wanted to tell us  that a sister from Guatemala just got her visa to come to Mesa and he is going to send her out as soon as possible, and since we are in a trio and there used to be two areas she's coming here with one of the three of us! He still hasn't told us who but we know she's either coming today or tomorrow! So hopefully I'll be able to tell you all before 6 what happens.

On Friday we had a miracle! So not sure if you all remember but we used to have an investigator named Eric Gallardo and he was really golden but he moved to California. So we got a text from him that morning asking how we were so we decided to call him. And turns out he's back in our area living with his uncle and his wife and kids are now living here too and they just came from Mexico! So he told us he still had his Book of Mormon and read a little bit of it but he wanted us to come over to teach him! So we went that day and had such a good lesson on the restoration. He really wants to learn and his whole family are so cute and willing to learn. The only problem is it's
going to be hard to teach the whole family because they are with his uncle who isn't very fond of Mormons. But I know we will figure something out. It made me so happy because when we used to be teaching him he was so golden and loved learning and then all of a sudden he just moved. I was so confused because I thought this would be his time to accept the gospel, and it was really hard to drop,his teaching record. But now I realize it was for the better because now we have the opportunity to teach the whole family. The Lords time really is best :)

On Saturday was Socorro's baptism!!! It was honestly the happiest day of my mission. Sister Conway was playing the piano and Sister Judy was doing the presentation so the original trio was back! And oh my goodness, it was the best and smoothest baptism ever and the spirit was so strong. Socorro was really happy and full of the spirit. Her sister and her mom also came to support her! I really think that through Socorro's example they will accept the gospel really soon. At the end we sang, "Soy un Hijo de Dios" and the spirit was really strong. At the end when we sang "lead me, guide me, walk beside me, help me find the way. Teach me all that I must do to live with him
someday." The spirit was very strong and it really testified to me that we will live with him someday if we follow the example of Jesus Christ. It was very special to see Socorro take the first step on the path to live with our father in heaven and I know that we will all live with him again.

So I will try to send out an email later to let you know what happens with the new Hermana if I have time. But I love you all and keep choosing the right!

Hermana Brown

Us with bishop and his family at a dinner!

Temple Trip

Everyone that was at Andrea's baptism!

Andrea's baptism!

We went to this really good shave ice place called Bahamas Bucks for my first time!

Socorro's baptism!!!

All of us and Sococrro's mom :)

Us with Jesus at the charla on Sunday!

And I found my dad in the bible videos!!!
Christ's Authority is questioned:

Sunday, May 15, 2016

WEEK 27: Feliz Día de Las Madres!

It was an amazing week! And also such a pleasure to talk to my family yesterday and wish my mom a happy Mother's Day! This week was definitely a good one full of great experiences.

Socorro is doing really well and she is very ready for baptism! We went to go see her Tuesday morning because she offered to make us breakfast (she is so good to us). And we had a little lesson with her then. We talked a lot and got to know her better. She told us a lot about her time growing up and she has not had it easy, but based on the experiences she's had in the past, she told us has helped her know what she really wants now. And so Its amazing to think that all the things that have happened in the past have helped her prepare to accept the gospel now in her life. Sometimes its difficult to understand why people don't accept the gospel, but we just have to realize it's all in the Lord's time and he is preparing people from the moment they start their life here on earth, accept the gospel when they are ready.

On Wednesday, May the 4th it was Star Wars day, my parents anniversary, and my 6 month anniversary! Pretty crazy but very eventful day. We had interviews with president that morning and they were really good! When we do interviews he always asks us to come prepared to discuss something with him. This time we were asked to study the idea of "becoming." What does it mean to become? How do we become? What do we want to become? One of the best scriptures that I found was in Mosiah 5:7 and it talks about how through baptism we literally become his sons and daughters. So it's our choice to become and be the person he knows we can. He knows our potential better than we do, so as we trust in the Lord and keep his commandments we can literally become his child. So just want to invite you all to think about who you want to become, and study it and the Lord will reveal unto you the the full potential you have. :)

On Thursday we went to the visitors center to watch "Meet the Mormons" with Osman, and also Hermano Beltran showed up with a friend from work! He's always finding people to share the gospel with. Also the Estradas showed up in the middle of the movie, because Andrea was going to have her baptismal interview after that! The movie went so well and Osman really loved it. The thing he told me he learned from it is that we all are different, but we all have a place in this world and that's why we're here in this day in age. So after the movie Andrea had her interview with Elder Hoffmann. Before they started, she told us she had a dream that Elder Hoffmann would be the one to interview her. So that was really good because it's nice for them to have someone they're comfortable with when interviewing. And the interview went so well! Andrea is all ready for baptism, and it's so amazing to see and feel the change that had taken place. You just grow so much love for these people and when you're told they can be baptized and enter into a covenant with God your heart is just so full of love. Andrea also told us she felt the spirit really strong in the interview and she started crying, so I think she knows she's ready as well. Then the familia Castillo makes churros every Thursday so we went there on our way home and we ate them all that night, not to mention they gave us homemade doughnuts too! They were soooooo good but unfortunately we all woke up a little sick. I think we learned our lesson there!

On Friday we had a ward activity for mothers Day! Unfortunately we couldn't stay for the whole thing, but our ward mission leader, Hermano Beltran, sang a few songs and he's really good! We also didn't try the food because we had already eaten dinner, but it smelled really good. Also Socorro came and brought her mom and her sister! It was so much fun and everyone enjoyed it.

On Saturday a lot of people weren't home but we went to go see Jesus. It was kind of late so we didn't have a lot of time, but we showed them the video called, "good things will come" and his mom was listening too. They both really liked the video and it really touched them. His mom is going through a really hard time right now and it's so sad to see. She was telling us all about it and all we knew what to tell her was they we know that his gospel would bless her life. So hopefully we'll be able to meet with her in the future, and as we teach her son she'll see a change in him.

On Sunday was Mother's Day! Fun fact: Mexicans celebrate mothers day on the 10th of May. But we still got to skype our families that day. We had 4 investigators at church so that was good! The we went to Hermana Gonzalez's house to skype and I go to to see my wonderful family!!! It was so good and and I'm so glad we live in a day and age to be able to communicate with each other.

So it definitely was a great week and I'm so excited for the one coming! Andrea is getting baptized on Thursday may 12 and Socorro on Saturday May 14! So we will be very busy but it's going to be so good!

Love you all so much!

This is kind of gross but we found this devoured bird outside of our
apartment and it was eaten by ants! It's kind of cool though :)

Trio on Mother's Day!

At the familia Guandiques!

Today we all bought ponchos!

A member gave us roses, not really sure why, but they did!

Skyping fun!

Sunday, May 8, 2016

WEEK 26: Jesus Es Mi Luz!

It was kind of crazy week. So they joined our area with the other sisters area, and now our area is huge and we have sooooo many people in our area book. So the first few days we were struggling with knowing how to use time effectively but still spend time in both areas and also getting used to being in a trio. But it's getting better and my companions are great! Some of you asked and Sister Gutierrez was born in Mexico but comes from Wyoming, and sister Hershey was born and raised in California, but comes from Idaho.

So on Tuesday we had a lesson with Jesus! I can't remember how much I told you all about him but he's a 16 year old that is friends with one of the young women in the ward and she invited him to seminary to find out for himself what it's like and he loved it! So that night we went to go see him again and it was our first lesson in our new companionship. We taught him the restoration and we set him on date for the 21 of May! He is sooooo prepared and really wants it and is going to do what it takes to build a strong testimony. Also later on in the week we went to go see him again and he wants to graduate from seminary. So he has this huge Old Testament booklet and is doing all the make up work to graduate by the time he's a senior.

On Wednesday we went to go walk with Socorro in the morning and she gave us breakfast! We also talked a lot about her baptism and she is sooooo excited! Unfortunately later on in the week she called us and something came up on the 7th and we had to change the date to the 14th. A bit of a bummer but at least she will still get baptized! We also had a fun lesson with the Estrada girls! As we were walking to their house all of their friends started following us, so when we got to the house we had a whole bunch of kids with us. We weren't really sure what to do, so we started singing primary songs and "Do as I'm Doing" and someone yelled out that we do push ups for it so we did them in our skirts! It was really fun, and eventually the kids dwindled down and we taught Andrea and Gabby about baptism and confirmation.

On Thursday we went to go do a service project and we painted a house! That took a lot of the day because we did it for four hours and we didn't even finish! But then that night we met with a lot of people in the other area and frankly I don't remember a lot of the people we saw, but it was still a good day!

On Friday we had a ton of lessons! We met with Osman and read with him in the BofM on the part where Nephi breaks his bow and it was really good because they had talked about it in church but he didn't really understand, so he's finally on that chapter! He's doing really good and I really wish he had more support from his family.

On Saturday morning Socorro had her baptismal interview with Elder Moreno. It went really well and she is ready! She was just really happy coming out of the interview and I think she is very excited for her baptism. We also met with the Estradas again and taught then the law of chastity. It was good and they are doing well.

Sunday was and awesome day! We had 8 investigators at church! Also Socorro was sooooo happy at church and she told me without asking that she is so excited for her baptism. Also I think she felt good because the Pozos family invited her to sit with them and usually she just sits by herself because she doesn't want to intrude on everyone's families. But it was really good!

Our area is being so blessed right now and we have baptisms coming up! It's going to be really great and I really am so grateful to be in this area. Love you all so so so much!

Hermana Brown

Us with our Estrada and friend clan!

We matched on Sunday!

And more selfies!

Sunday, May 1, 2016

WEEK 25: Adventure is Out There!

Oh my goodness it's been such a crazy week but definitely a good one! I can't wait to tell you all about it.

So Monday we had a great noche de hogar with Socorro at the Familia Orona. They are a great family and a bit older but so sweet. We talked about the Holy Ghost and stuff like that. We ended up not even doing most of the talking but it's good Socorro is making lots of friends! But we were talking about how one Hermano Orona is going to get his other leg amputated (yeah he already lost one of his legs) and then Socorro brought up how she is having circulation problems in one of her legs, and if the treatment she's doing right now doesn't work she's going to have get it amputated:(. So hopefully that won't need to happen. We've been going walking with her a few mornings this week to give her full support and know that we're here for her.

On Tuesday we went over to Socorro's with the elders to give her a priesthood blessing for her leg and it was so good. Also she is sooo smart! The elders asked her a few questions about the priesthood and she answered very logically. Sis Judy and I were very proud of her. We also had a lesson with the Andujo boys and we taught them the restoration. It went really well! Julian (the 16 year old) had a lot of good questions for us and seems really interested and curious as to what the church is all about. Chris is a little harder to connect with because he doesn't talk much, but eventually he will open up.

On Wednesday we went walking with Socorro and she gave us breakfast afterward and we talked about the BofM! She is soooo great! We also had a lesson with Andrea and Gabby. They live in a trailer park so they're pretty close with all the kids that live there. So as their friends were walking by they invited them to come join the group. So we taught a group of about eight kids that night and it was so fun! We talked about prophets and why they're important, the. We played "the prophet says" like Simon says and it was so fun! It's so much fun to teach kids because they are so loving and always want to be our friends.

On Thursday we got to help out with something they were doing at the seminary! So basically they're trying to better prepare the kids who want to go in a mission but also for those experiences we have when a non member asks a question about our religion and they want them to feel comfortable asking those questions. So what we did is, as they studied for scriptures and ways they could answer these questions we would go around and help guide them and find scriptures or quotes they could use. Then they would go around to different rooms and role play with other missionaries! It was so great to see these high school kids preparing to share the gospel. A lot of them are already very prepared and did really well answering the questions. A lot of very prepared missionaries are coming our Way! And at the end we got to share our testimonies about the restoration and give them a boost. So that was a really cool thing to help with and I think all seminaries should do it! We also met with Hermana Ledezma that day and she's doing really well. She told us her son in the marines wants to get baptized and that she fully supports him, and she still wants to keep learning more. We read President Monson's talk about choices with her and she LOVED it. I hope she can gain a stronger testimony of prophets that way. That talk is so great because it's short but very powerful, so we read it with people all the time.

On Friday we had seminary again and also weekly planning! So good. We also met with some members for the night because we were supposed to teach English classes but no one showed up so we left.

On Saturday we went to the VC with Socorro to watch Meet the Mormons! She absolutely loved it and it was a great one to see. Her favorite story was the guy without the leg (the missionary dad) and we know she was thinking about her leg, but she is so strong and will get through everything. Then we went to go help he familia Novak move from their apartment to this cute house! They have the cutest two little kids that wanted to help clean. And by the end Abby and I were best friends. She wanted to play hide and go seek with me but unfortunately we have to stay within sight and sound of our companion and we can't be alone with kids. So it was hard to tell her no, but we played with blocks instead.

On Sunday we had six investigators at church: Socorro, Osman, Brent, Andrea, Gabby, and Alma! And also Andrea and Gabby went to primary! That's going to help there progression. It was so good to see them all there and also the familia Cervantes came again for sacrament meeting!!! It's so great to see them, coming back and renewing their covenants. There were also amazing talks given by this young couple and they both talked a lot about faith. One of the best sacrament meetings I have ever attended. Then we had a lesson with Andrea and Gabby that night about the sabbath day. It was so fun and they a such great girls. We also officially set Andrea's date for the 12th of May, so we will be having a busy month of May! But then later the elders showed up to do an inspired visit with the whole family, part of the Idaho initiative. And it was so powerful! The two girls got priesthood blessings and the parents did as well, and then they did a blessing on the home. The Spirit was so strong and I think that's just what the family has been needing. Hermano Estrada is going to prepare to receive the priesthood and they're also going to prepare to go to the temple one day! It's going to be so good for them. We also got our transfer news that night and.......... I'm staying, but unfortunately Sister Judy went to Pueblo :( we transferred today and it was hard to say goodbye but I'm oficially greenie broke! I was sooooo lucky to get Sis Judy as a companion. But the really interesting thing is, is that I'm going to be in a trio again! They combined our area with the other sisters area and now we are a trio! So it's me, Hermana Gutierrez, and Hermana Hershey. It's gonna be fun!

So yesterday we had a family night at the familia Pozos and so many people came and it was a huge success! Socorro came with the familia Perez, the elders and their investigator came, and Valeria Pozos friend Jesus! Jesus is so prepared, before the noche de hogar we met with him. He is Valeria Pozos friend and she invited him to seminary and he really really liked it! He loved what he learned and told us he wants to become Mormon and he got permission from his parents, so there's another baptism that will probably happen this month because the Pozos are leaving at the end of this month to Washington. But the family night was great. Socorro shared a scripture, Keyla Perez taught the lesson, and we did a fun activity at the end. Then we all ate cookies and socialized and Sister Judy said bye to everyone. We also went to visit Osman last night and had another lesson just kind of about decisions and did a little bit of a test. It was so good and we are so lucky to teach him. He always expects us to come over when we set appointments and then he said he prepares himself for the visit. He also told us he wants to prepare to serve a mission one day! He's not even baptized but we know he wants it so bad.

So this morning we did all the switching and now I'm with my new companions. Trio round 2! Haha. It's going to be a good transfer and Socorro's baptism is coming up as well as Andreas!!!! Love you all so much I really do appreciate all the love and support that you send out to the missionaries, it makes a big difference!

Hermana Brown

Bad quality picture, but this is from Andrea and gabby lesson and we
taught all of their friends too!

Sister Judy taking selfies on my ipad while I'm praying :)

The brunch Sis Judy and I made :)

At the Novaks new house!

A family we ate dinner with! The kids kept wanting to play hide and go seek with us so we finally did outside and this is our ninja picture! The little boy is getting baptized on Saturday!

Noche de hogar with the familia Pozos! Not everyone is in this, there
were a lot of people there!

One last picture with Socorro. We are her missionaries!

Don't know where I'm looking, but last companionship picture!

Us with the familia Estrada!

Us with Osman! The real trio!

And he's always with the phone :)

First companionship picture!