Sunday, January 29, 2017

WEEK 64: The Church is True, The Book is Blue

Look what I learned how to say in Spanish! Yo juro solemnemente que mis intenciones no son buenas. It's a quote from Harry Potter so hopefully you know what part.

Hey Fam and friends! It's going to be shirt one because we went on a hike this morning so it kind of made our day shorter. But that means I have more pictures to send than words! Haha. We had an awesome week. The Escondido branch is just amazing and I think I'm just barely coming to realize that. We had missionary correlation And branch council this week and they couldn't have been better meetings! Seriously, the leadership in this branch is amazing and everything works out better when your leaders know how to work with you.

I went in exchange with Sister Escobar This week and I got to go back to pueblo! We actually saw a lot of the people I was still visiting so that was super fun. And it was great being sister Escobar companion again!

So we were walking in these apartments the other night and it was kind of a hard day/week as far as finding new people to teach and so we've been trying to be better about that. So we saw this guy that was fixing his car and so we went to go talk to him. Turns out he used to meet with missionaries about three years ago, still remembers the names of the missionaries, and went to church for 3 months straight! Unfortunately he got a little scared by the big decision of baptism and stopped going. But it was such a miracle that we found him that night!

We also have two more people on date for baptism! One is trying to change his life because he's addicted to drinking and he is just tired of it. I unfortunately wasn't there for the lesson because I was on exchanges but I did get to meet the mom Berta! And she really wants this for her and her son. We had an awesome lesson with her about the BofM and she really wants to feel the spirit and know it's true. In fact at the end of the lesson, she got up from he couch and began looking for her glasses, because she was like "I have to read! I have to know if this is true!" So I'm really excited when she receives her answer! Love you all! I hope you have an amazing Week!

Hermana Brown

Back with Hermana Escobar!

Cool picture of the Arizona sky.

Bathroom selfie ­čĄ│ 

More Arizona beautifulness!

Snow! We had missionary correlation on Saturday which we were calling our ward mission leader to see if he was still good to do it at the time we set, but then he said he was going to be late because him and his family were in flagstaff (the place in Arizona with all the snow) so we changed the time, and when at the end of the call I jokingly said "bring us back some snow!" But he actually did! God answers prayers everyone!

Pictures from the hike!

Sunday, January 22, 2017

WEEK 63: I Love My Mission

Title cred: Gracie Brown. She's the only one that sent me suggestions.

This week was a really good one! We had zone conference and as always those are always really great! I love hearing from our mission president because he is so inspired. He always knows exactly what our mission needs and gives us the best guidance and advice that we need. Mission presidents are people that the Lord really puts his trust in. When it is there time to renew their temple recommend, usually your temple recommend will have three signatures, but his only has two. The Lord has so much trust in him that he interviews himself and renews the temple recommend himself. When I learned that I put even more trust in him and knew that he is a chosen servant of the Lord!

We also had stake conference this weekend which was really good! Before the actually conference our Spanish branch had a special meeting with Elder Zeballos from the seventy! He spoke at stake conference as well, but we had a special Spanish conference before the other conference started. He talked about 5 things we need to be
1. Obedience
2. Repentance
3. Patience
4. Forgiveness
5. Bringing Souls unto Christ

I really like those things. They are very basic, and things we have all heard before, but I think we sometimes forget even the simplest things, are what make the biggest difference. Also in the stake conference he was talking about different things and brought up the hymn, "I'll go where you want me to go." One if the phrases he pointed out was "I'll be what you want me to be" I love this hymn and especially that phrase, because it takes so much humility to let go of all the worldly things you could be and be the person the Savior wants you to be. But in the end, that's the best person you can become. We went on exchanges with two sets of sisters this week, which, by the way is kind of scary, but cool as well. I never would have guessed how much these sisters trust us, but I think I'm learning more from them than they are learning from me. These exchanges are supposed to be based on goals to help the sisters grow, and so we usually ask them, "Who do you want to become?" Everyone's answer is different, but the answers that they give are very humble and true. They recognize the things that need improvement so they can be more like the Savior and they work toward that. I know since the beginning of my mission I have always desired to be Gods daughter. There are so many examples in the Book of Mormon that relates the People as the children of men, rather than the children of God. But wait, we are all children of God, not men? Right? If God is Perfect, and he is our father wouldn't that mean we should be perfect too? Unfortunately, that is not the case. Some thing is missing. In Mosiah 5:7 it says, "And now, because of the covenant which ye have made ye shall be called the children of Christ, his sons, and his daughters; for behold, this day he hath spiritually begotten you; for ye say that your hearts are changed through faith on his name; therefore, ye are born of him and have become his sons and his daughters." We are here to become his sons and daughters, and the only way that is possible is through Christ. He is the one that makes up for our faults and makes that connection between perfection and imperfection. No matter how imperfect you think you are Christ can fix that.

I used this title for more than one reason, because I really do love my mission and I glad Gracie suggested it. We were at the Spanish fireside last night, and we got the chance to sing as a missionary choir. As I looked out into the congregation, I saw members from every single ward I had served in and when I made eye contact with them, they smiled. And I realize I have found a family here in mesa. So I love my mission and I would trade it for anything! Love you all so much! Remember who you are and the potential you have!

Hermana Brown

Hermana González and I! She's from Chile!

Hermana Olivas bought us Mexican elote! That is the elotero (elote man) and they are all over mesa and it's sooooooo good!

Exchanges with sister Lopez! She's from Huehuetenango, Guatemala! 

Zone Sports this morning!

It rained a lot one day and there were lots of rainbows!

Sunday, January 15, 2017

WEEK 62: Someone send me subject title suggestions...

Wow! What a wonderful week! Kind of crazy with transfers, meetings, and all but it's been good! Update: I play the piano allllllll the time. I got asked to play at the English missionary fireside for a musical number, got asked for a musical number for the relief society in February, and someone from another Spanish branch somehow got our number and asked me to play at the Spanish fireside next week. I'm really really grateful that the Lord is giving me opportunities to share my talents and grow! The only thing is I don't have much time to practice all the time, but it's turned out well so far. And my new companion plays the violin so maybe we can do some sort of duet sometime! By the way, my companion, Hna. González is AMAZING! I'm learning so much from her and I don't know how I got so lucky to be with her. It's been really good so far!

So this week we had Mission Leadership Council (MLC) where all the leaders of the mission get together and we have trainings, look at the numbers from the previous month, and discuss with president what would be best for the mission. It was really cool to be with all these missionaries. They are all very inspired, and very good missionaries, so it was a little overwhelming but very motivating and up lifting. One of the trainings given was on inviting people to be baptized, and we really wanted to put that into action. So that same day we went to go visit a family we've been teaching it is so hard to get them to focus sometimes, and they have so many questions. However we taught about the restoration and the Plan of Salvation and The Spirit was really really strong we both felt it. The only thing was, as we were walking away from the house we realized we had so many opportunities to invite them to be baptized, but we didn't. And we felt really bad. So we repented and decided to go back another day and do a follow up visit with them, and at the end we extended the baptismal invitation and they accepted a date for February 4! It just showed me 1) the importance of inviting them to be baptized and 2) how merciful The Lord is. There's going to be many miracles this transfer, I can feel it!

Here is a look into Hermana Brown's thoughts recently. So I was thinking about home (I promise I'm not homesick or trunky I was just daydreaming and thinking about a lot of things) and how long it's been since I've called someone mom or dad, just because, well, my family isn't here. So I was thinking about the moment when I will finally be able to call my parents by name again and give them a hug. It's going to be such a happy time and good to see my family again. Then I was thinking about how the mission is an MTC for life, kind of a mini life, and I went on a deeper level of when we are going to see our heavenly parents again. They're going to be standing there with open arms at the doors of the celestial kingdom and saying "Welcome home!" With smiles and tears of joy. It just kind of made me smile and realize, the mission is so short, which means life is going to be so short as well, and that moment when we meet our heavenly parents is sooner than we think. It's just going to be such a happy time! Anyway, things are going really well here and I love mission life! Thank you so much for all the examples and love you have shown me. I appreciate it and I want to pay it all back to you, and more importantly to Jesus Christ, al though that debt is unpayable. But yeah! Hope you got something out of that. Love you all so much! 

Hermana Brown

Sunday, January 8, 2017

WEEK 61: Dude, Where's my car?

We had a super busy week! It was filled with service, lessons, meetings, and the temple but it was all really good! On Friday the familia Velez went through the temple and got sealed! We were invited so we got to attend and it was really special. They were really happy and there was definitely a strong spirit there in the temple. And in this branch they are very into decorating for everything, so guess who got recruited to help again! Us! Like when we decorated for that homecoming, this time we helped with the reception. Hermana Sanchez is the one that does it and she immediately asked us. She is really good at it but a little intense about it all. We invited all the missionaries to come help so we could get it done soon, and she kept asking me for help and my opinion, and I was like "uhhhhhh." I mean, you all know how opinionated I am...... but it all turned our really well and we got some good pictures from it.

We met with Adela this week and she is just SO AMAZING. She has so much real intent and I think she teaches us more than we teach her, just brought her example. We asked her to be baptized on January 28 and she got so excited and said she would do everything she needed to to prepare and be ready for that date!

Yesterday we met this guy from Germany who is an exchange student here and is in 11th grade. It was such a miracle we found him that night because he doesn't live in the area and he's never talked to missionaries before. We stated our purpose and stuff and he said he is grateful for what we do and hat he couldn't be doing what we're doing. I kind of realized that it is hard what we do everyday, but it's SO FUN! So I was glad he told us that. He asked us what our purpose is here on earth and so we basically taught a mini plan of salvation, and he was like "woah that's cool" so he agreed to have missionaries come over! Unfortunately we won't get to teach him but hopefully we'll be able to keep contact and see how it all goes!

So I think I forgot to mention last week that it's transfers this week and I'm going to stay in Escondido! Unfortunately Sister Howard is leaving to go to Valencia. My new companion is going to be Hermana Gonzalez from Chile! And one more thing, we have been called to be a Sister Training Leaders (STL) together! Our first time for both of us so it should be interesting. Pretty much just means we go on exchanges with all the Spanish sisters and we go to mission leadership council every month. It's going to be a great learning experience!

HAPPY NEW YEAR!!! I can't believe I spent all of 2016 in Arizona, but it's pretty cool! Recently read a talk called "Reflections on a Consecrated Life" from the October 2012 General Conference and it talks a lot about how we can live celestial lives here on earth. I've decided to set my New Years resolutions based off of the principles it talks about in that talk and I encourage you all to do so as well. On Sunday in church they talked about setting goals. It Preach My Gospel it also talks a lot about setting goals. Goals definitely help us grow, and if we don't set them we will never know if we're improving. So I would encourage you all to set good meaningful goals this year to help you grow and love more like Christ. Love you all and best of luck in this new year!

Hermana Brown

Saw Yvonne and her mom again!

Met an hermana brown from another mission at Christmas lights!

Helping hermana Sanchez with the wedding

Familia Chac├│n is moving out of he branch!

Played zombies at zone sports

Sunday, January 1, 2017

WEEK 60: Feliz Navidad!

Well we had kind of a harder week due to a few things. First of all we got sick, like with the flu and still recovering a little bit. Second of all we dropped about nine of our investigators this week. Not to mention it all happened in one day. Three of them told us they're not interested, the second three (two adults and a brother) are going through a divorce so they said it would be better to postpone the visits right now ugh they are really interested! The last three moved back to Mexico, but they gave us their exact address so the missionaries in Mexico will be able to continue teaching them. It was kind of sad, but that just means we are about to find a lot of prepared people! And I know that missionaries in the future will come by when they are ready and they will accept it. It's just cool to know that I was able to be an instrument in the Lords hands and help them in their conversion process.

We were able to go to Christmas lights with Adela his week! She is such a golden investigator that the English Elders referred to us. She recently got a divorce with her husband and that's why she began to meet with the missionaries. When we went to Christmas lights she just kept saying like, I just love that! With everything. We even got to see a little bit of the concert. She did have to leave though because she has a cute little baby boy. Now we just need to meet with her more often!

On Christmas Eve we went caroling with our district to our investigators and members and it was really successful! We made a list of all the people we wanted to visit and they were all home so it was a good way to show them love and they all loved it! We also go to sing at Christmas Lights on Christmas Day! It's such a great way to share the spirit is through music, and I love performing so that's also a plus.

I just love Christmas so much! A paragraph I have just been dying to share with someone this week is the first paragraph of the living Christ. "As we commemorate the birth of Jesus Christ two millennia ago, we offer our testimony of the reality of His matchless life and the infinite virtue of His great atoning sacrifice. None other has had so profound an influence upon all who have lived and will yet live upon the earth." I just love this because I think it perfectly describes the reason we celebrate Christmas. The reason he was born was so that he could perform the atonement and allow for all of us to be resurrected and live with our Father in Heaven again. There is absolute no one that has lived a life as perfect as His, but he is so humble in the middle of all of it. I would like to invite you all to read the entire testimony of The Living Christ and find a way to apply it to your life, so you can have a stronger testimony if Him. I love you all! And I'm so grateful for the opportunity I had to talk with my family yesterday. It really helped me and motivated me even more to continue to share the gospel. Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year!

Hermana Brown

I had to reset my iPad this week so I don't have all the pictures from the week. Don't worry I saved them, but here's what I do have! Matching pjs!

From Skype! Sorry I didn't realize I wasn't smiling...