Sunday, October 30, 2016

WEEK 51: Life Here in Mesaco

Hello everybody! Mesa is really awesome and the white washing is coming along slowly but surely. Escondido is an awesome branch and the leadership is really great! Everyone is super supportive of missionary work and they all really want to help the branch grow into a ward. The weather is getting really nice here in Mesa as well! So we definitely take advantage of walking when we get the chance.

White washing and opening up a new area comes with a lot of finding, and with finding comes a lot of interesting stories. We went to go find an investigator that was dropped about a year ago and their wasn't a lot of information on him so we decide to go knock his door to see if he was home. After we knocked an Asian man opened the door and we introduced ourselves and everything, but he just looked at us in a very confused way and he shrugged like he was very confused. We tried to keep talking with him but he wouldn't say a word. Then he walked away with the door open and we looked inside the house and it had no furniture, it was unfinished and there was no one there with him. So we just said bye and left. We decided to refer him over to the sign language missionaries and see if maybe he was deaf. We are still waiting to hear back from him. 

We also did have a great find this week! We found his man named Alfredo and we were going back for his return appointment one night, but we met his wife Dora. We talked to her and she said that she spent a lot of time with the missionaries in the past but has found that she likes the Christian church. As we talked to her she said a lot of contradicting things and she definitely stated at the beginning that she does not want us to come by and visit her. But he more we talked with her at the end she told us when she is home and said it's not bad to hear! So she definitely had a change of heart, so we'll see what happens in the future with her as well!

Sister Howard is doing so great and I am amazed at how fast she is improving in Spanish! Also in everything. She is a very hard worker and very determined to help others come unto Christ. I am very lucky to have her as my companion! She is also feeling better, but on the down side I got sick this week. Nothing too bad, but it wasn't too fun. We are all better now though! All is well here in Mesa and I wouldn't want to be anywhere else! Love you all!

Hermana Brown

This is a crazy house that
we knocked on and a bunch of dogs came out and almost bit my
companions foot!

There's this neighborhood that we work in and they all have super decorated Halloween houses and it reminds me of Disneyland during Halloween time!

Really dark, but this is with the Chavez family after the visitors center!

Sunday, October 23, 2016

WEEK 50: Sounds Groovy!

Hello! Wow, it has been one crazy week and it all went by soooooo fast. First of all, shout out to Carina, or now, Sister Brown! She went in to the MTC on Wednesday and I was just so ecstatic when I got her email on Friday! The MTC is soooooo great and she's going to be an amazing missionary! And also has a lot of great adventures ahead of her. 

So, I got my new companion and her name is Sister Howard! She is from Nashville, Tennessee, and I already got permission to go stay with her when I want to go visit. She is doing awesome so far! She came in sick from the MTC with a sinus infection and an ear infection so we went to the doctor on her second day and she has been doing a lot of resting. But luckily today she is feeling a lot a better and looks like we're going to be able to pick up the pace this week! She is into hunting, fishing, and hiking, so that's pretty cool and her Spanish is really good for how much time she has. So it makes my job easy! She really is such a hard worker and I'm so excited to be her companion.

As for the branch were in, it is Escondido and it is very small. Our area is fairly big, not as big as my last one, but it's a good size. There are not a lot of members either but hat just means we have a lot of work to do! There definitely is a ton of work to be done in this branch and we are up for the challenge. It is already growing the work is! We actually had a baptism this weekend, it was all the work of the other sisters in our branch but it was really exciting! They are the Chavez family and it was the mom and her three children that got baptized! They are soooooo sweet and really had a huge conversion. We went to the visitors center yesterday and watched the Joseph smith movie. They ahead already seen it but wanted to watch it again because their son didn't t see it. So it's been really cool to see them take the decision to be baptized although we don't know them super well yet. It was actually really funny, when we went to go meet her for the first time we knocked on the door and she let us in and said " so you are the missionaries at are going to be visiting me." And we walked in and saw the English sisters in there. We were all a little confused, but the sisters were there to drop off a package from the Gladys knight fireside, and we were there to meet her because we were now her missionaries. And then when they found out she was getting baptized it was just all really funny. But we had a good time and we were able to sing a song with her at the end.

So it's been a bit of a crazy week but a good one! I'm sure we will have a lot of more stories next week but the Lord is already putting people in our path to talk to. I'm excited to see what this branch has been hiding (hahaha that was a Cee Ryle joke, you'll only get it if you know what Escondido means). But it's all good! Love you all so much!

Hermana Brown

Sunday, October 16, 2016

WEEK 49: I'm Pregnant.

Hola Familia y Amigos!! What a great and busy week it's been here in the Pueblo ward! We had a lot of service projects, meetings, and lessons keeping us really busy. We also got to go to the temple this week! That was a really great opportunity since it's been a while since I've gone. 

So this week we had the great opportunity to go to the Gladys Knight fireside! It was really awesome and such a great experience. If you ever hear about her and the SUV choir coming to your state, MAKE AN EFFORT TO GO! Gladys Knight only sang one song, but she led the whole choir and everyone was sooooo talented. It was interesting because it was in a chapel, like in the sacrament meeting room, but they were all singing gospel songs and we were applauding, dancing, and saying "amen!" And stuff like that, but it was an amazing experience. Gladys Knight and her husband shared their conversion stories and their testimonies, and it is amazing to see how the gospel has impacted there lives. One thing i really loved about the whole fireside was that it was all centered on the restoration and praying to know if the Book of Mormon is true. It was all geared toward investigators and non members of the church. So that was definitely a highlight of the week!

We had a lesson in the visitors center with one of our new investigators named Jose Perez. We actually found his brother and Mom before we found Jose, but it turns out Jose really really wants to learn and is a lot more prepared. During one of our weekly planning sessions we were discussing about his mom, and we know there are a lot of people that live in that household that we hadn't met yet, so we had the feeling that what Heavenly Father wanted to have happen with this person is to get one of them really excited about the gospel and then share it with the rest of the family. And after a few weeks it turns out that is Jose! At the VC we were able to watch Gods plan for his families, and one of the new Meet the Mormon segments (they are playing at all visitors centers) called "The Horseman" and it was all perfect for him. You could tell he really felt the spirit and he said he wants to come back and show his son everything there at the VC. I think it's amazing that when we set goals, Heavenly Father always provides a way to accomplish them. The goal we set was for the mother of Jose, but now we know Jose is going to be the one to help his family get excited about the gospel.

One of the goals that our bishop and also our mission president has set for the recent converts in all the wards is that they go to the temple to do baptisms for the dead within 30 days of their baptism. In order to accomplish this in our ward we are setting a day this week to go with all of the recent converts! I really love his standard that our mission president has set because our focus should always be on the temple. In my studies this week is was reading in Mosiah 2 when King Benjamin is wanting to address all of the people in the land. As people gathered to listen "they pitched their tents round about the temple, every man having his tent with the door thereof towards the temple." Our first goal in mind should always be regarding the temple. I know that the houses of the Lord are very sacred grounds and he wants all of his children to stand in his holy house. Many blessing come from doing the work of the Lord, he just can't wait for us to get inside and feel of his love when we make covenants with Him.

So regarding transfers, I am being transferred to a new area, with a new companion! In fact I found out that I will be training one of the new Spanish sisters coming straight from the MTC (hence the title)! I still don't know who she is, but I will find out tomorrow. I will be going to the Escondido ward which is the ward that borders Pueblo. I sure it will be rough the first couple of days as it will be a new area that I'm not familiar with, as well as a new missionary that I have to show the way. But I'm sure the Lord has it all figured out! It was hard to say goodbye to everyone in Pueblo because I think it's been my most favorite area so far, but I know I will come back to visit them! Love you all a lot! 

Hermana Brown

Saying goodbye to Abigail Chavez and Rosa Dominguez!

The Salazar Family

Sunday, October 9, 2016

WEEK 48: The water feels magical!

Hello family and friends! We had an awesome week this week and general conference was awesome! It's going to be a shorter email this week because we went on a hike this morning and we are very tired. But first miracle of the week we found a family to go to the Gladys Knight fireside with us! It is the familia Martinez, they are a part Member Family and so this is going to be a really great experience for them! They are also feeding us enchiladas today.

We found a new investigator this Week! His name is Jose and we've been meeting to meet with him for a while but I think between all of us there was some miscommunication. But we had a lesson with him in the park with his really cute 2 year old son and it went really well! He's been through a lot but he really is ready to learn. He went to the visitors center about ten years ago, so he said he wants to go back and remember the things there. So we are going tonight with him! 

And then general conference was amazing as always! I think this is the first time I don't have a favorite talk, they were all really good and I felt like they all helped answer the questions I had. I felt like some of the most frequently said words during the conference were "sincere" and "desire." Sincere being defined as "proceeding from genuine feelings" and desire as "a strong feeling of wanting to have something or wishing for something to happen." Another popular word from conference was "repentance." If we put these three words together I think we understand he power of the atonement. When we sincerely desire to repent is when we really unlock the fully enabling power of the atonement. I invite you all to find how you can sincerely desire repentance and I promise you you will have the beautiful feeling of being cleansed from your sins. 

Love you all so much! Thank you for everything and continue to study the talks from conference. Heads up! Transfers are next week, p day will be on Monday, but just so you all know!

Hermana Brown

Man. I really need to get better at taking pictures 

The view from our hike today!

Mom, this is from a service project and the lady with the red hair is the one who was in charge and sent you a photo 

This is Rosa Dominguez a recent convert and she loves the missionaries!

Sunday, October 2, 2016

WEEK 47: Fourth Floor, Last Door

Hello family and friends! We had another wonderful week here in Mesa Arizona. It rained a few days out of the week too so that was a plus! One of the sad parts of the week though was that Cristal went back to Mexico. šŸ˜„. Her visa expired so she has to go back to Mexico until she gets it renewed. We didn't even get the chance to say bye to her! We were going to go the visitors center but they were just too busy getting her to go back. But we can still keep in contact with her through Facebook! On the bright side though, we still got to go to the visitors center with a recent convert Abigail. We watched one of the new Meet the Mormon segments with her and also learned more about the temples. She is very passionate about the temple and really wants to get all the work done for her family. She also really wants to visit all the different temples, so I may have offered my house for her to come stay at, hopefully that's okay mom! Haha. We haven't been to the VC much because it's kind of far away, so it was nice to make it back there and feel the spirit on the temple grounds.

Another highlight if the week, we had a ward activity his week called "Noche HISPANA"  where everyone from the ward comes and we celebrate the Independence Day of all the Hispanic countries, because they were all around the same time. So everyone brought a bunch of REALLY good food from where they're from. They also had a mariachi band come play while we were eating! The ward has been preparing for this night for a long time now, they prepared dances and songs and stuff for a performance, and I even got to participate in one! All of the ward missionaries sang a son called "Vive" by NapoleĆ³n. We got special permission from president Townsend to sing the song and it was really fun! They also had people perform traditional dances from Mexico, and sing famous songs and stuff, so it was really cool to see all the culture come out from everyone. I'll send videos from it, unfortunately I don't have the video of us singing. It was a really good turn out as well! And hermana Escobar met one of her dads missions companions while we were there! Super small world here in Mesa. 

Veronica is doing really well! She found work and we invited her to ask for Sunday's off so she can come to church and she said she would! She wasn't able to come to church this Sunday, but she committed to coming to conference next week. Speaking of conference, the women's conference on Sunday was absolutely amazing! I really loved how the emphasis was on studying the doctrine of Christ. When we understand the doctrine everything else makes sense. My favorite talks were from Bonnie L. Oscarson and from Dieter F Uchtdorf. He talked about when we go looking for an answer it may not be found right away so we need to keep knocking on all the doors to find our answer. It takes diligence, perseverance, and patience. I know general conference is the one of the best ways to receive answers to our questions so if you haven't prepared any questions for conference yet, I suggest you do it now! I know you will receive an answer.

One more funny story if the week. We went to go do service with the English elders to help someone move. Unfortunately they didn't ask ahead of time where they would be moving too. So we took a fun adventure to the Gilbert mission to help someone with her house. All of this with the permission from president of course. But it was quite fun! Well I love you all and I hope you have a wonderful conference weekend!

Hermana Brown

Well once again I was bad at taking picture this week but I promise I will get better!

This is from Sandra's baptism last week in Valencia with all the sisters that taught her and her son Noel!

Noche Hispana!

Picture sent to me by someone who they were helping clean up a store.

One of the dances from noche Hispana!