Saturday, April 29, 2017

WEEK 77: Short & Sick 😷

Hello everyone! We had a fairly good week! I actually got sick with something so we were inside for a few days so I could rest and get some sleep. I also have been having trouble sleeping due to we think headaches. Not even a NyQuil could get me to bed, so hopefully I will get more sleep this week. Other than that though things have been really good! We have been visiting a lot of members and less actives to help them know we are here to help them do missionary work. We are actually going to be teaching the combined class on the fifth Sunday to introduce our branch mission plan (yeah it's kind of late) and it's going to be so cool! We planned out everything we are going to do in the class so people are excited and interested into what we are saying. We thought of a cool a idea. We wanted the members to stand up in the class and give just a five word response to why they got baptized, but we knew that would be impossible for them to narrow it down like that. So we decided to take short videos of them on Sunday after church and we are making a video of it! I'll send it to you when I'm done! It's going to be really cool! 

This week we were able to go to the temple and as always the temple is so great and here is so much peace, calm, and tranquilidad in the temple. I will never get tired of it! I felt a special spirit and comfort in there as it was my last time as a missionary to attend the Mesa temple. I hope you all can find the same peace in or on the temple grounds! 

So not too much happened this week other than that I was sick. Here's a verse I found in Helaman 5:30 that I really like about the Holy Ghost, "And it came to pass when they heard this ​​​voice​, and beheld that it was not a voice of thunder, neither was it a voice of a great tumultuous noise, but behold, it was a ​​​still voice​ of perfect mildness, as if it had been a whisper, and it did pierce even to the very soul—" I think especially on my mission I've come to know the power the Holy Ghost can have on us when we are living worthy of it to have its constant companionship. There are so many little things that can impact how receptive we are to its voice. Such as the music we listen to, the conversations we have, or event the way we think about other people. But giving up these things is so worth it to have that member of the God head to guide us each day. I hope you all have a great week and I invite you to think of one thing can do or stop doing to be more receptive to the spirit! Love you all! See you in two weeks✌️ 

Hermana Brown

Sunday, April 23, 2017

WEEK 76: I'm feeling 22...

So some of the elders decided to be mean and count how many days I have and tell me so if you didn't know I come home in 22 days. It's kind of scary, exciting, weird, and a whole lot of emotions going on. I really love the mission and Mesa and it's going to be really hard to leave this place! If i could stay longer I would, but that's not an option sooooo yeah. Today we went to Krazy Air (trampoline park) as a zone and it was SUPER fun. I'm just really tired now. And I've been tired all week. It's been a busy one because of Easter pageant and everything.

The Easter pageant is soooooooo good! We watched it 4 out of the 5 nights this week. 2 of them we were working the other two we brought our investigator Ernesto, and the less active from Brasil, Ruti. It's honestly so cool to watch it, and see the story of Christs life being portrayed every night especially before Easter! I will send you pictures of the pageant so you know how real it actually is. I personally think it's the best pageant the church puts on. On Tuesday night we were scheduled to work and before we go out to talk with the people we attend the cast devotional which only lasts about 30 minutes, for every one they pick a missionary to share "missionary minute" with the cast and they picked me that night! It was such a cool experience. I honestly still get nervous about talking in front of big groups of people and the cast for the Easter pageant is 501 people. But for some reason I wasn't nervous at all in front of them. I don't know if it's because they're all performers or what. But I decided to share 2 Nephi 32:9 which is a scripture we picked as the theme for our Savior of the World performance one year, it says, "But behold, I say unto you that ye must pray always, and not faint; that ye must not perform any thing unto the Lord save in the first place ye shall pray unto the Father in the name of Christ, that he will consecrate thy performance unto thee, that thy performance may be for the welfare of thy soul." I love this scripture because anything we do, I especially relate This to the talents and gifts we've been given, should be consecrated to the Lord. Meaning, we should use anything we've been given to serving the Lord. This scripture has definitely had a big meaning to me, and especially now that I'm on a mission I really know what it means to consecrate something to the Lord. This scripture really came in handy too in our guitar class this week. We shared it as well and everyone really enjoyed it.

Oh yeah, HAPPY EASTER!!! I hope you all had a wonderful day thinking about the resurrection of Jesus Christ and celebrating that He lives! Isn't that such a glorious knowledge? He was crucified, died, and resurrected so that all of us can have that same gift of being resurrected too, for free! I was reading the events of the Holy Week in my studies this week and in the last chapter of John he tells the story of when Jesus asks Simon Peter three times the question, "lovest thou me more than these?" And basically what is learned from the story is that we need to follow Jesus Christ and show Him that we love him. In the other three gospels, this story is not told but more of a commandment or what they learned from this story saying, "Go ye therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost: Teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you: and, lo, I am with you alway, even unto the end of the world. Amen." There are many ways we can serve God, however, as Jesus told to Peter three times we need to "Feed His sheep." I believe we all know how it feels to be hungry, and we would never wish that upon another person. So feed them with the glorious news of the gospel! Jesus is always with us and will help us through and through. I have a testimony of this. In the mission there are many times when I feel tired, discouraged, depressed, unmotivated, bored, wanting to do something else, and so on. These are all normal feelings but they can be overcome through the help of Jesus Christ and His Atonement. But the first thing we need to do is act and try and he will then give us the necessary strength to continue on. I love you all so much and I am so grateful to be a be able to share my testimony with you every week. Know that I pray for you all constantly and fervently and that God loves you and wants to help you! Have a great week!

Hermana Brown

With sisters at the Easter Pageant!

We sat on the front row on closing night!
 Here's a bunch of pictures I got from the Facebook page "Mesa Easter Pageant" go there to find more! These are just my favorites

Sunday, April 16, 2017

WEEK 75: Music Lessons & Miracles 💥

Hello family and friends! I hope you all had an amazing week .We have had so many miracles and great experiences this week I don't even know where to begin. It could be a long email. But it all started last transfer when I was with sister Gonzalez. We were weekly Planning and trying to plan creative ways to find. As it has been a little hard to find new people to teach. As we thought of our circumstances and the talents we've been given and we decided to offer free classes of music as service for people because there are so many people that we tell them that we played instruments and they want to learn. So we created little papers that tell people about the classes and we dispersed them in an apartment complex in our area that has a lot of Hispanic people. As we did that there were many people that told us they would be interested but we would never get a call. So after putting papers on all the doors, we just waited with faith, hoping someone would call.

So then this week as I was working on "My Plan" (ew), we get a call from an unknown number. This guy started speaking to us in Spanish and we were a little shocked and asked him again what he said, he explained that he found our little paper on the door and he was really interested in learning guitar. So we explained our missionary purpose and he was really cool with it, and we set up a time to do the lesson. Sister Nickles and I were in such shock! So when we had planned to do these lessons, Sister Gonzalez was in the area and she is a native Spanish speaker and so anyone in Spanish would probably be better taught by her. And I can play the guitar, but I do not know any of the Spanish terminology, so luckily our branch President is very talented at guitar and also a native Spanish speaker. So we called him to help us and he was really excited and totally on board to help. 
So we had the lesson on Sunday, and our branch presidents daughter, Rocio came as well! THe class went really well and it wasn't too long because there was a Spanish Fireside that night at 7 that our members wanted to go to. So Rocio explained the situation and invited him to the Fireside and he really wanted to go! So he rode to the Visitors center wit our member family and we all attended to Fireside together! After the Fireside he said he had never been to or seen the Visitors center before so we gave him a mini tour showing the different videos and exhibits that the VC has. Our members were really awesome being friends with him and explaining different things and bearing testimony of how The gospel has blessed them. We got to the last exhibit in the VC which is the "I'm a Mormon." He asked us why we call ourselves "mormons" which allowed us to teach him The Message of The Restoration. It was so powerful, and he completely understood it. We gave him a Book of Mormon and he gladly excepted and said he would read it! So we now have a day set to go to the Easter pageant  this week! From what we see he is so prepared and we are excited to see what's next, and it has been so cool to see the lord work in this area. I am so blessed to be at the front seat of seeing these miracles!

So another highlight of the week, we had entire mission meeting this week instead of Zone conference, with Elder Brent H Neilson, who is the head director of the Missionary Department. So it was a HUGE privilege to hear from him. His wife talked to us about being a good companion and he talked to us about The Enabling power of the saviors atonement. It was a super good meeting. He also gave us time to ask him questions and someone asked him for an update on President Monson, and he said he is back in the office working. He also showed us the ages of the apostles and it was interesting because people at this age are usually in nursing homes, but these men are up working everyday. He told us President Nelson goes skiing every Monday! 
89 Monson
92 Nelson
84 Oaks
87 Ballard
87 Hales
74 Holland
74 Uchtdorf
65 Bednar

So the church is true! But after the lunch, the Neilson's left and we had the rest of what was planned for "zone conference." And every transfer the departing missionaries get to bear there testimonies at zone conference, which usually only 2-3 zones attend. And so since I'm a departing missionary this transfer I got to bear my testimony in front of, not just a portion of the mission, but the ENTIRE mission. So it was a really cool experience! I'm really glad I got to do that because President Townsend said a meeting with the whole mission would NEVER happen again. When I first came in they used to have here things called "transfer meetings" with the whole mission and I got to introduce myself to the whole mission, and that was the last transfer meeting there ever was. And then I got to umm don't know the word for this in English but despedir my self at the end of my mission to. I'm just so grateful for my mission experience thus far. 

This week we also had the Easter pageant which is always so good! I will attach photos. It definitely is the best pageant I think. Especially since it teaches the doctrine of christ in the play! So it's great to bring investigators to. I have just really found a love for the gospel this week. There really is nothing else like it. I don't think I would have ever found this love if it weren't for my mission. As we share it with others our love for the savior grows. So even if you don't know how or what to share with others, just start and the lord will give you the things you need to say or do. As it says in Doctrine & Covenants 24:12 "And at all times, and in all places, he shall open his mouth and ​​​declare​ my gospel as with the voice of a ​​​trump​, both day and night. And I will give unto him strength such as is not known among men." That strength is what the apostles use, that strength is what missionaries use everyday as we open our mouths to talk with everyone. That is the strength you all can receive as you declare the gospel to those you know. That strength comes from our savior Jesus Christ. You all have access to it, so use it! Best of luck as you do and know that Sister brown is always rooting you on! As well as Heavenly Father (that's more promising). But I hope you all have a great week! Love you so much!

Hermana Brown

Kind of bad quality, but this is a picture with me and the ten virgins! They are my favorite dance in the pageant so of course I had to get a picture with them.

Cool picture form the Easter pageant.

Entire mission picture!

Sunday, April 9, 2017

WEEK 74: Trapped in the Church

Hello everybody! It's been a good week! We switched companions and everything so now I am companions with Sister Nickles! She is really sweet! She is from Iowa and has been out 7 months on the mission. She just came from the area in Apache Junction (Indian reservation) and now she's here in Escondido with me and is loving it! We both feel like it's going to be a good transfer. And it's my last one so it has to be good. I started this thing called "My Plan" this week which is an online course the missionaries have to do there last transfer where you're supposed to set goals and plans for when you go home. Ahhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh! I don't know what to do! Don't ask me what I'm putting on there because I have no idea. Luckily though, with general conference this week I was able to receive a lot of guidance and help on how to obtain those answers. General Conference was SOOOOOOOOOO good! I loved it so much! I ink my favorite talk was from President Russell M Nelson who talked a lot about the atonement. It answered a lot of some of the questions I've been having about the atonement lately so that was good! 

Also after general conference we had an interesting situation. We were just sitting in our chapel studying and we usually do it in the foyer area where there is couches and stuff, and here is the main entrance too. And the doors are slightly mirrored so from a distance you can't see what is inside. And we were just there role playing teaching the restoration and al of a sudden we see this man on a bike approach the doors of the church and on the side of his head is a big gash and there is blood dripping down the side of his face. He was just using the doors of the church to see himself and we couldn't let him in because we were alone in the church. We were a little creeped out so we moved locations and went into a classroom and we could here him trying to open the door. Then in the classroom we were in he knocked on the window and we were super creeped out and didn't know what to do. We decided to say a prayer which helped calm us down and then we called our district leader and he came over with his companion but by the time they got there the man was gone. So we are all safe and the thought of calling 911 for some reason did not come up until after the whole situation went down. So hopefully that man is okay! Haha, we are, so that's good. 

This week we were able to teach piano lessons to someone! It's something that we've been trying to do to find more people but co far we haven't had much luck, people said they would call us but so far no one has. But we taught it to Bryan who is the son of a member the one who has a daughter that ran away leaving her two kids with her parents. So that was really good! He liked it and we also going to be helping with the viola since Sister Nickles knows how to play that. We've see a huge difference in what service is doing for this family, because tonight we are going to have a family home evening with them and hopefully they will accept to be baptized after hearing the message of the restoration. I think they're really prepared. But I know that now matter how perfectly or non perfectly we teach the lesson tonight, he most important thing that matters is that they learn by the spirit. We could teach it in the best way possible but if they are not prepared they will not feel inspired to accept which is totally fine. It's all on the lords timing. As long as I am being obedient, and doing everything I possibly can to be prepared an have the spirit to be with me they are going to be able to make a correct choice. Having that knowledge gives me a lot of peace. 

Speaking of peace, have you all seen the new #PrinceOfPeace video?! It's really good! Go see it at! They also have a lot of videos on how others found peace in there lives and hose are super good! Go watch them and share them on social media please!!! Something I learned during general conference, well I guess more of a reminder, was that not only is the Holy Ghost someone that gives us direction and tells us when something is wrong or right, but he is the comforter. I don't remember who said it but it was a good talk on the Holy Ghost. But it's the same with the savior, he not only gives a strength when we need it but we can find peace in him. That's something I forget sometimes. I'm so focused on the serious sometimes and I forget the calm that comes from the savior and the Holy Ghost. They are here to help us, to comfort us, to be with us when we need someone or something to help us feel loved. I believe also that as members of the church who have this glorious knowledge of the saviors atonement, and who have received the gift of the Holy Ghost through priesthood power, we as members are to comfort others as well. Since we have these amazing gifts, the Holy Ghost can work through us to help others feel peace and comfort as well. One of my favorite scriptures that was quoted in conference by someone and that I've been thinking about a lot ever since the conference was Doctrine & Covenants 11:12 "And now, verily, verily, I say unto thee, put your trust in that Spirit which leadeth to do good--yea, to do justly, to walk humbly, to judge righteously; and this is my Spirit." So I leave with that same invitation. Do anything that the spirit tells you that is good. Literally anything! Sorry for the long email, but I can promise as you do this you will not be alone. You will have God on your side as well as the many other people around you, helping you and building you up! I love you all so much! I hope you have a great week!

Hermana Brown

This is what the opening screen of My Plan looks like, scary right?!

Companion picture!

We were looking up how to say light bulb in Spanish and we found this example sentence used...

Lunch with the Hermanas. None of them have been my companions but Sister Nickles was with two of them in a trio before. 

Sunday, April 2, 2017

WEEK 73: Meet My Killer 🔪

So we got transfer news and......... I'm staying in Escondido for my last transfer! It's going to be so good and this week we've been seeing the Lord preparing people for the next transfer. Sister Gonzalez is also staying in Escondido, but she's going to the other half of the area in a trio with the other sisters! It's going to be way fun! And my companion is going to be Hermana Nickles! She's from Iowa and plays the cello and will be killing me in the mission. Super excited for that. She's also gluten free so that will help me be a little more healthy.

This week we finally got to go to the temple for our temple trip of the transfer! The temple was closed last transfer, and we went this transfer at the end of it, so it's been nearly three months since I've been to the temple and it really does make a difference. I can't imagine being in a mission or living on a place that the temple isn't as readily available as it is here or in Utah, because being that long without going to the temple has an effect on my emotional and spiritual well being, well at least I think it was that. When I entered the temple doors and even just being on temple grounds felt so much peace and comfort from being in the presence of the Lord. Go to the temple as often as possible! Elder Quentin L Cook said, "Just think, across the entire world women and men can through 'sacred ordinances and covenants available in holy temples … return to the presence of God and … be united eternally.'" Go to the temple as much as possible to feel of this love and I can promise you you will feel filled with power and knowledge that cannot be found anywhere else.

So as I mentioned earlier we have seen many cool experiences, and by cool I mean ones that have really allowed me to feel the spirit this week. Yesterday at church we saw the husband of one of our members (Hna Angel) that is not a member and is very catholic. That family has four kids and none of them are members either. Their oldest daughter, who is about 20 has a two year old son and just barely had another baby. Unfortunately something sad that happened was she left the house leaving the two kids with her parents to take care of (were not sure if she ran away without saying anything but that seems to be it). So they have been going through some rough things. The sons we used to be teaching but had dropped them (Bryan, Donovan, and Giovanni) hadn't been to church for three months but then they came this past SundayTheir dad had said in the Sunday school class that his family has been going through a lot of things and now he realizes the gospel is what he needs to cling to. He really wants this for himself and his family. So it was just really cool to see the family all sitting together in sacrament meeting  listening and learning. I felt so grateful for the gospel in my family. I know the gospel doesn't stop bad things from happening when we live it, but I can only imagine the difference it would have made in this family if all of them would have just experimented on the invitations extended by the missionaries when they had come over. Fortunately for them, the mom does have the gospel and has been a great example to them throughout the years since she's been a member. The gospel definitely strengthens family relationships, and centers the family on the teachings of Jesus Christ. That is what's most important. So all of you who do have the gospel, treasure it. Not everyone has it, or even realizes it's there! As Nephi describes when all of his family decides to obey the commandments of God, "And it came to pass that we lived after the manner of happiness." The gospel is the manner of happiness! If you're not happy, find out how you can more fully live the simple principles mentioned in the fourth article of faith, and I can promise you, you will find true happiness. I love you all so much and I hope you can have a happy week by applying this! Last six weeks here we go!

Hermana Brown

This is my new companion Hermana Nickles! We won't change companions
until tomorrow, so this is a picture I stole from her Facebook.

Our district at the temple!

Hahahaha, because I'm an STL. But I actually go released for my last transfer soooooo yeah.