Sunday, November 27, 2016

WEEK 55: You can be simultaneously a masterpiece and a work in progress

Hello! Good news! Sister Howard are staying in Escondido together! Another six weeks in this amazing branch. Super grateful for it especially since it's thanksgiving this week! Not sure exactly what our plans will be but we are having dinner with a member. It's weird to think that a year ago I was in the MTC having thanksgiving dinner. The time goes by sooooo fast.

But we had an amazing week! We set three people on date for next month! Two of them are brothers who are eleven and nine years old and never got baptized due to family issues. They are still a little hesitant as to when it's going to happen but they are slowly getting there! The other one is this kid named Juan and he is 17 years old! So we found him last week and he seemed really interested in the Book of Mormon and what we believed, but when we came back for our return appointment he wasn't home, but luckily this week we found him and he is sooooo good! He has questions such about what happens after we die and how we know when God is answering our prayers. So we taught him the restoration and he loved it! I was really trying to keep my cool during the whole lesson because we just felt the Spirit really strong as we were teaching it and you could tell he was listening. Then as we got to the end of the lesson we invited him to pray and read and also to be baptized and he accepted the invitation! So his date is for December 17 and we're so excited! We've been trying to meet with the rest of his family but lately its just been him. And we are not sure if they're not interested or what but Juan turns 18 on December 24 so there will be no parental issues if he wants to get baptized. So that was definitely such a beautiful miracle. 

Since it is thanksgiving this week I would like to thank all of you! I know there is absolutely no way I could be here doing the Lord's work if it wasn't for all of your support. I would also just like to say I'm grateful for my savior Jesus Christ. I know it's only through him that we can change and become better sons and daughters of God. On the mission I have definitely learned that we can become whoever we want to, but it is only possible to change when we use the atonement and acknowledge our Savior. So I hope you all have a wonderful week and thanksgiving! Love you!

Hermana Brown

Fancy reindeer napkin and I was so happy!

From district meeting

Sol Canyon Zone!

We had a Charla foganera on Sunday and a lot of people fro Pueblo ward were there and were very happy to see me as I was them! 

We had a NOCHE de Talentos in our branch on Friday and it was soooo fun! I'll send videos :)
Christmas lights starts this week and we had a meeting with the other missions in Arizona to prepare us! The missions from Tempe, Gilbert, and Scottsdale. So there were sooooooo many sister missionaries in one place. Although these are in the day time, here's some of the statues and stuff they have!

And guess who I ran into from the Tempe mission.... Toni Oka!!! Or I guess it's sister Oka, but she came up to me and we were just like, what?! And then we took a picture

Sunday, November 20, 2016

WEEK 54: A Light Shines Through the Darkness

This past week it has probably been one of the busiest weeks on my mission! We've just had so many meetings, lessons, service, and everything. It's been really cool to see though at the beginning of the transfer we didn't have many investigators, people to visit, or anything. But now we know the area, have a full teaching pool and we're so busy every hour of the day! But Sister Howard finally got her iPad this week! So that has been nice during planning it doesn't take as long. This upcoming week looks like it's going to be pretty similar as far as business goes, but it will be great!

This week we don't even know how it happened but we found 11 new investigators! Mainly because we talked with all the members of the families that we're teaching, so that was pretty cool. We were able to contact the Alex, and Rubi again and we met the rest of their family! We talked with the mom and she said she's met with missionaries a lot before and they really helped her get through some hard times. So we are excited to keep teaching them! 

Something that really has effected us here in Mesa and especially the Spanish work is the fact that Donald Trump won the election. Before the election everyone was asking us who we're voting for and now everyone is complaining. We've heard a lot of sad stories about Hispanic kids getting bullied by other kids at school, and it all really shows that we're truly living in the last days. But on the bright side I think it's really going to be a great opportunity for everyone to strengthen their faith in the power the gospel really has. The gospel is really hung that will shine during these dark times. That is something my faith has really grown on that this week. There is so much power in the gospel and if anything can get us through this crazy time the gospel can! 

Our branch presidents daughter came home from her mission this week from the Salt Lake City South mission! So on Saturday we helped them decorate for her homecoming dinner and wow it looked like a wedding! I'll be sure to send pictures. But it's the last week of the transfer, but I think sister Howard and I will stay together since she's still in training. I will let you know! Love you all!

Hermana Brown

Zone pictures from ZTM!

Sorry the picture is blurry but they started testing the Christmas lights!

Homecoming of the branch president's daughter. Mexicans do not mess around.

Sunday, November 13, 2016

WEEK 53: Estoy Escondido en Escondido

Hello everybody! We have seen a TON of miracles this week! Things are really getting good! And the work is moving along. I'm going to be honest, I am not super motivated today to write a weekly email so it might be short. But still good!

Thiss past Friday I hit my year mark! The time has passed by soooooo quick but I'm glad I still have 6 months to keep doing this work, because it honestly was amazing! We also had a miracle on Friday night. We just really noticed that the timing of the Lord was perfect. We went to a lesson we had and the parents were busy, but we were able to teach one of the kids really quick. Then as we were leaving we had a lesson at 7 so we were going to work around that area for about 20 minutes so we wouldn't be late. As we were walking to our car we ran into a little boy named Alex that we met a few days before and asked if it was still okay to come on Saturday, but it was such a miracle we ran into him because he said he had a soccer game on Saturday. So we went over to his apartment and met his sister Ruby! We taught them about prayer and it was soooooo special to teach those kids and to see them say a prayer on there own. We also set another appointment for tonight! We were very short on time, but we drove over to our next appointment as fast as we could, and our member arrived at the same time. It was with the Chavez Rodriguez family but only Jose was home so we couldn't go inside. But we did have a nice little contact with him and he got to know hermano Solorzano, who is amazing! So then we had finding time for the rest of the night and at our dinner appointment hermana Allison had mentioned someone that popped up in LDS tools that she tried to visit but they didn't answer. We too tried to visit them a while back but we had not luck, so we told her we would try visiting them tonight! We kind of got lost on our way there but we finally found it. It looked like no one was home but we decided to say a prayer and try to knock the door. As we finished saying the prayer we saw a car pull up in the driveway and it was the family! They are the Mendosa family and they moved about a month ago but they haven't known where the church is so they couldn't make it to church. So they invited us in and it turns out, Aldo the dad is a return missionary and he's from the Dominican Republic, and his wife is a nonmember! So we are going to have a part Member Family to teach! They also invited us for dinner to eat Dominican food! So we really saw the Lord's hand tonight. Although some appointments fell through, we showed up late to a few places, we know we were exactly where we needed to be that night.

One more quick cool story. We went tracting in some apartments the other day and we met a family from china! They were really nice and invited us in and gave us some water and Chinese candy, which was not very good. We had a nice friendly conversation with them and they said they wouldn't mind having the missionaries come over again! It was just really cool to share my testimony with them because they're from China and the gospel is not in China. They are moving back to China in a few months but they were so nice and it was a neat opportunity.

Haha I guess it kind of turned out long! But I love you all so much! I hope you have a wonderful day and never forget how much the Lord loves and how well he knows you!

Hermana Brown

The Asian candy we got! The wrappers are so pretty!

Since we eat at the VC a lot there is a Dairy Queen right there, and so knowing me we go over and get ice cream a lot!

It is sooooo pretty when it rains!

We ran into these members yesterday that used to be in the Spanish branch but switched to English and they're from Colombia! But they had a pet hedgehog and let us hold it!

Sunday, November 6, 2016

WEEK 52: Challenge Accepted!

HAPPY HALLOWEEN!!! Tonight we have a mission Halloween party and we're going to be doing family history work, watching videos at the VC, and playing games! It should be fun! Unfortunately we can't dress up... but it's all good. Speaking of the VC, we eat dinner there a lot since the other sisters in our branch are VC sisters. So they decided to heat up tortillas in the microwave for 30 seconds but they accidentally put them in for 3 minutes and forgot about them. So the timer beeps and the microwave is steaming and everyone starts freaking out. So they unplugged the microwave and took it all the way outside, and meanwhile my companion and I and the other two greenies there, we all kept eating our food, while we watched them make a big deal about the microwave. Haha, Not sure why but I thought it was really funny!

Also another time we went to the VC for dinner, we got something that Sister Howard couldn't eat so we went to Backyard Taco (a place we go to a lot as missionaries because we get half off) for dinner and we met these really nice guys! One them is a recent convert of one year, and his friend is investigating the church! They invited us to sit with them, so we were able to get to know them and share a scripture with them about faith! It was just cool that we were able to meet them and that God put us there at the restaurant so we could talk to them. They also committed to go to the visitors center!

So we have gone through most of the former investigators in our area book but we know that there are more Hispanics than those that show, so we really do have to ask referrals from EVERYONE, And it's turning out really well! A less active we ran into referred us to her neighbor and she turned out to be soooo good! Her name is Esther and she just came here from Mexico about a week  ago. We gave her a Book of Mormon and she kept thanking us for coming over to visit and she was very grateful that we knocked on her door! And we actually found 8 new investigators his week! Which is a lot usually. So the Lord is definitely blessing us with people to teach. 

From my studies, I've been studying a lot about charity and in 1 Nephi 19:9 it talks about how the Lord shows charity, "And the world, because of their iniquity, shall judge him to be a thing of naught; wherefore they scourge him, and he suffereth it; and they smite him, and he suffereth it. Yea, they spit upon him, and he suffereth it, because of his loving kindness and his long-suffering towards the children of men." He never fought back, but it said that he suffered. In Moroni 7:45 we learn that "charity suffereth long." When we have charity we literally have the love of God, and we are using the atonement of Christ through having charity. In any moment when we are suffering, if we use the atonement of Christ we are developing the trait of charity. I'm so grateful for the atonement of Jesus Christ and I invite you all to increase your knowledge of it. I also invite you to have charity as you are trick or treating tonight asking for candy... haha I don't really know how you do that, but it is a challenge that should be accepted! I hope you all have a wonderful Halloween and be safe! Love you all sooo much!

Hermana Brown

This is our ward mission leader giving a presentation to our branch
council about the Idaho initiative. Super boujee.

At our ward Halloween party with Adriana!

Temple trip!

President and Sister Townsend, engagement picture edition...

Exchanges with sister Morris this week! She goes home this transfer :(

Beautiful Arizona sunset!

We got Idaho spuds from a member, this picture was in honor of sister Judy :)

I straightened my hair for Halloween and tried on someone's glasses, and I look really different! I feel like I look like someone, but i can't tell who... any help?