Sunday, August 28, 2016

WEEK 42: There's No Place Like Home 🌅

We had an amazing week this week, as always. But many miracles came our way. First of all. Yesterday morning we went to the house of the familia Aguirre to go make waffles. When we got there they were all getting ready for church and all we had to do was make the waffles! While we were making them my companion had never used a waffle iron before, so on the first batch she put a ton of batter Into the thing and as it was cooking, a ton of the batter just started gushing out of the machine and it got all over the counter. So we kind of made a mess and we were already running late to church. But we ate the waffles and everything and left to go to church! And although we were fifteen minutes late, we all made it to church in time to partake of the sacrament! Ahhh man it was such a good feeling to have them there and know that they did want to come! They only stayed for the first hour but they said they would come for two hours next week!

So the old lady named Zulma that we're teaching right now is doing really well! After our last lesson with her where we read in the BofM with her she started praying on her own before she started reading and she's says now she's understanding everything and remembering everything too! She loves the stories as well and says she always imagines herself in the story, she says her mind takes her to another place. So it was just super cool to see that she is taking the counsel we gave her to pray before she reads, and she did it and now she has gained a testimony of the power of prayer which is going to help strengthen her testimony of the Book of Mormon. If only everyone would realize we invite them to do these things to help them. But they all will come in their own time. But Zulma does has a baptism date for the 10 of September! She is very excited and really is obtaining the light of Christ in her eyes. I think it's the coolest when not only do you see a spiritual change in people but their physical appearance changes as well when they accept the gospel.

We found a new absolutely golden family one night! We were out walking in a trailer park visiting members and investigators. As we were walking we saw a few people outside their house playing with their dogs and so we went to go talk to them! They are the familia Perez and we met Emilia who is the mom and her son Eric who is in his late twenties. Eric has dialysis (kidney problems) and they are patiently waiting for a donor to be a match. So later on in the week we went over to have a lesson with them and teach them about the restoration. Plans changed so we wanted to have a shorter lesson with them. But then our member was talking about her conversion story and about how she got baptized after already being baptized in the Catholic Church. So they asked about how that worked and we got into the restoration. And it turned out to be a little bit of a longer lesson but it was just what they needed. At the ended we invited them to be baptized and they were totally on board! They were just really receptive and both my companion and I had really good feelings in there house. So we are really excited about them!

So it really was as a special week. I really felt a sense of belonging this week and a sense of home here in Arizona this week. I just really feel like this is exactly where I am supposed to be and where the Lord wants me and it is such a good feeling to have. All the experiences I am having I know I am having them for specific reasons although I may not know why. I kind of feel like Nephi in a sense when he is learning about the vision of his father when he said "I know that he loveth his children; nevertheless, I do not know the meaning of all things." But I know that God has so much love for every single one of us and has a specific plan for everyone of his children. If we live faithfully and keep the commandments, we will come to know him. Love you all and have a great week!

Two quick things! I forgot to mention that next week is transfers so my p day will be on Tuesday rather than Monday. And we just went to go watch the three new segments of "Meet the Mormons" and they are SO GOOD. You can go watch them at any visitors center so if you haven't done that yet I highly suggest you go to watch them because they are awesome! My favorite was The Entertainers, but they are all really important things to learn from all of them. I think they are specifically made for the things that are going on in today's world.
So go and check them out!

Hermana Brown

Sorry for the lack of pictures this week but here's a picture of one
of the many beautiful Arizona Skies!

Sunday, August 21, 2016

WEEK 41: God is Good

Super amazing week this Week! So full of miracles and everything good. I've been learning a lot too. We are teaching this person online who asks us a lot of questions that usually we don't get asked so I'm learning a lot about church history and everything and it's super interesting. And right now in specific I recently read an article in the Ensign about the Dead Sea scrolls, it's super interesting and very cool. I am also reading the Book of Mormon again! I'm also learning a lot from it this time around. Something that really has been helping me a lot in my studies is having a specific question in mind. Right now mine is focused on repentance and faith, so there's a study tip if you want! One of my favorite scriptures at the moment is 1 Nephi 10:19.

We got to go to the temple this week and like always it's really really peaceful and beautiful to go. It always helps me feel relieved and renewed to continue to do the Lord's work. It's amazing the things we can feel in the house of the lord when we come with an open heart. The temple is always the right place to go.

So this week we met with the Aguirre family, who are a less active family that don't really want to do anything. We've been meeting with them for the past few weeks I've been in this ward and they just haven't changed at all. But we went to go visit them with our bishop this time and it was super powerful. We shared a few things and really just told them how it is. It was kind of bold what we did but it definitely made an impact on them. A few days after our visit the mom texted us and said, Hi how are you? I hope you have an excellent day... And stuff like that and this was all in Spanish of course, but she had never texted us before! And it was a really nice text as well. So then Sunday rolls around and we send her a text inviting them to church. They were planning on it but unfortunately didn't make it because her dad just got out of the hospital from surgery and they needed to visit him (valid excuse). So that night we decided to visit them and their home just felt different in a good way. They were really nice and we laughed a lot. And they committed to coming to church next Sunday! We convinced them by telling them we would come make pancakes with Nutella before church but they're still going to come! It's amazing to see the change they've made just in the four weeks that I've been here! I just love how the gospel changes lives and blesses families!

So I would just like to say that I am so so so grateful for my family and that they took the decision to accept the gospel and live it as well. It really is one of the biggest blessings that I think I took for granted a lot before the mission. I've just met and come to know a lot of people lately that come from hard situations and have it hard because they either don't have the gospel in their lives or they don't live it. So thank you so much for making that decision and allowing me to be here so I can help others find that same happiness I have in my own family. I love you all so much and am so grateful for every single one of you! Thanks for all you do!

Hermana Brown

From the temple!

We made blanket forts for weekly planning!

If you ever get stuck in a zombie apocalypse jump into this vehicle.

Sunday, August 14, 2016

WEEK 40: Ye shall know the truth of all things

Hey everybody! We had an awesome week full of miracles and meeting new and cool people so at was pretty awesome!

So one of the miracle people we are teaching right now is the Zavala family. So the husband is a member and he has a super cool story! He's from Mexico but moved to LA because his parents died when he was really young. And so then when he was in California he picked up the guitar and writing music and people saw a lot of potential in him. So he went to Mexico to get big and he joined this band called "The Smiles" which I guess is like the Beatles in Mexico so he was like SUPER famous. But missionaries would pass by his house all the time and try to talk to him but he kept telling them no. They came by around five or six times and eventually he let them in and gave them ten minutes to share what they wanted to. They shared basically that we have a loving Heavenly Father, because Hermano had no belief or knowledge of God. But at the end he told them not to waste their time on him and that he doesn't want to meet with them. At one point in his life he came to a point where he had a lot of health problems because he was drinking a lot. He was at the hospital and pretty much on his death bed and the doctors would say that he wasn't going to live. But he remembered what the missionaries had told him about 2 years before, that if he had faith in God he can to anything. So right then and there he made a promise with God that if he saved him he would do anything and everything to serve him. So miraculously he was healed and he knew the church was true. By he time he got out the hospital he lost a lot of his money because of all the things he had to pay for medically, so he just became like a regular person. But he went to Mexico to share BofMs with everyone and he helped a lot of people. But then later he met his wife and they just recently got married three weeks ago! So now we are teaching his wife and she is going to be baptized on the 20th of August! Super exciting and she is so ready. She asked us at our last lesson, "what do I need to do to get baptized?" So it was just great! They are a really cool family.

One day we were outside walking to go to a lesson and a lady was talking with her family and then saw us and smiled and waved really excitingly. She later walked into the building and we were just standing outside figuring where the trailer is. She then came back out from the building and came to talk to us. She is from Georgia and is a recent convert from about four years. She was here visiting her aunt and uncle who are having a lot of health problems right now and they are in the middle of moving. So luckily we were put into her path so we could help them move! We did that pretty much all morning on Saturday and it went really well! The rest of her family aren't
members but she knows they will be someday! We actually had an English fireside that our stake was hosting so we were able to go to that and we invited the family we helped move as well! They came and it was absolutely beautiful. A lot the message was focused on the Book of Mormon and the power that it has. This week definitely the BofM had been a huge influence on my day to day knowledge, and diligence in the gospel. It really does contain the fullness of the gospel and everything in there is to help us know the bible is true, I know that Christ died for us, and sooooo much more. I actually finished it this week for the first time reading it in Spanish. But I never get tired of the promise that is at the end in Moroni 10:3-5. I definitely invite you all to read it and find out for yourself if it is true, and it will be manifest to you thought the paper of the Holy Ghost. Don't take that book for granted because it is a lot more precious than you think!

Hermana Brown

So one day this week pretty much at every house that we went to we
were given something  is what I ended up with at the end of the night.

Hit my 9 month mark this week...

At the service project we did, they had a BUNCH of old antique stuff that was all rusted that her dad gave her. It makes for a really good picture!

We are all but crazy if you can't tell, but we do have a lot of fun!

Fotos from district meeting :) and it was sister Duiais birthday so
that's why she has a cake.

WEEK 39: The Best is Yet To Come

Hello everybody!! Super amazing week this week and the Pueblo ward is just so amazing. There are miracles and prepared children of God everywhere you look.

We had interviews with our new mission president for the first time this week! I think it's so cool how you can tell that they are chosen people to lead and guide the Arizona Mesa Mission. We talked a lot about the work and got to know each other and things that we can work on. So it was definitely an edifying experience.

We also had exchanges this week and I got to go to Valencia with Sister Judy! She is now in her last transfer and goes home in 4 weeksI don't want her to leave! But it was a really good exchange. We met with Sandra and Her son Richie and talked a lot about prayer. How it is the essential thing to having that testimony of the Holy Ghost and communicating with our Heavenly Father. A study tip that sister Judy gave me while we were on the exchange was to read my patriarchal blessing and ask, What does my patriarchal blessing teach me about becoming? SUPER awesome thing to study and I suggest all of you who have your patriarchal blessings to do that. You will learn a lot about yourself and the person God wants you to become.

So super cool miracle of the week. So when I was serving in Liahona 4th we were working with the familia Ruelas who was a less active family that we were helping reactivate and come back to church. I don't know if you remember them, by they had a lot of changes and really became converted in the time we were teaching them. Unfortunately while we were there, they told us they were going to be moving and we didn't get the chance to get there new address before they moved. But this week one of our dinner appointments was a birthday party for a little girl in the ward so a lot of the ward members and the neighbors were there. As we went around to greet people, there we found the familia Ruelas! We talked to them for a little bit to see how they are doing and they told us right now they are going to another ward that is not where they're supposed to go, which is Pueblo. So we were super excited and set up an appointment to go visit them the next day. Later that up night we were planning and I realized I was too excited to go visit them that I forgot to get their new address. It was super sad, and of course we missed that appointment. But we were in an area leaving a lesson and walking back to our car, and a car drives up to us and rolls down the window and it's the Familia Ruelas! Thank goodness Heavenly Father makes up for our mistakes. We now have a set appointment with them and we do know the address. It was just amazing that He put us where we needed to be so we could find them and start teaching them!

Just want to end by sharing a scripture that I read this week, and it's actually one of my favorite scriptures in the Book of Mormon. Ether 12:27 "And if men come unto me I will show unto them their weakness. I give unto men weakness that they may be humble; and my grace is sufficient for all men that humble themselves before me; for if they humble themselves before me, and have faith in me, then will I make weak things become strong unto them." I love this verse so much because it helps me realize that we don't need to be perfect and everyone has weaknesses. I am almost done reading the Book of Mormon and I think the thing I have learned most from this time around is that not only can we learn from the examples that are given in the book, but it helps show us the people we are able to become if we have the faith in Jesus Christ.

So birthday shout out to my dad on Thursday! Make sure you all tell him happy birthday! He's getting pretty old, and so am I because I hit my half way mark on the same day. But I know this next half has so many more opportunities and miracles ahead of me and I can't wait to share them all with you guys! Thanks so much! Love you!

Hermana Brown

So I'm still super bad at taking pictures but here's a few!

Arizona skies are super beautiful!

Still trying to be a flower photographer