Monday, May 1, 2017

WEEK 78: The Last One ⌛️

Well, I never thought I would be putting that as my email title, but the time has come. This will be my last weekly email as a missionary as crazy as that sounds for me and maybe for you too! But here we go, it's gonna be a bumpy ride. 🚌

This week we had a lot of crazy things happen. First, when I first got into this area (7 months ago. Woah.) we got moved into what used to be an elders apartment. You could say it wasn't the tidiest or most quaint apartment. When we walked in there was so much dust in there, there was stuff splattered on the walls, the bathrooms were really gross, so I've been doing heavy cleaning in that apartment ever since I got there. Mom & Dad, all the cleaning techniques you've taught me have been very useful here as some people don't know how to clean very well.7 months later, the apartment looks a lot better and we felt a lot more comfortable, still a little gross in there but livable. We found a HUGE sewer roach in our apartment one day and you better believe incas really freaked out! Anyway, also a few months ago, since we talk with literally everyone, we one day met our maintenance man and got fairly acquainted with him and we gave him our number if he ever needed anything and he also said he wanted to come to church so we were going to text him the information. Keeping that in mind, especially this transfer we have had to call the maintenance to fix things in our apartment. Our maintenance man started texting us weird things like "Are you home?" Or "look outside your window, I'm going to pass by there soon." So we just kind of ignored those because they were really creepy. We also informed our mission president, district leader, and zone leader, so everyone was aware of the situation. Many other weird kind of creepy things kept happening but we just kept doing our job until one day we needed to get our door fixed and he texted us asking us when we would be home to fix it (and we don't need to be home for them to fix it). We decided to leave first before we texted him back and we also were on our way to district Meeting. And as we left Sister Nickles saw him standing at the bottom of our steps waiting for us! So she quietly signaled to me that we need to go back inside. We looked out our window and he was still there waiting. So we were really creeped out at this point, because he wasn't doing anything. We eventually had to leave anyway and we told him very plainly to fix it whenever he can. So after that we did NOT want to go to the apartment. We felt we should inform our mission president again of what was going on, and he told us to move in with some other sisters immediately. So that whole day we were packing and moving to the other apartment. It is a lot more clean and safe now so we are all good now! Especially now I am already pretty much packed and got rid of stuff I don't need.

On Saturday morning at 6:20 am (earlier than we usually get up,6:30we got a call from the first counselor in the branch presidency. His name is Hermano Castle and speaks both English and Spanish. Sister Nickles answered the phone and he was speaking to her in Spanish, but because of the earlier morning she handed the phone over to me. Haha. He was calling to ask us 5 missionaries in the branch to speak in sacrament meeting the next day because the other speakers canceled! And the topic was the Restoration of Priesthood. We were all a little confused, why would he has 5 Sister missionaries to speak on the priesthood since we're not priesthood holders? But I was really grateful for the opportunity because I learned a lot of things about the priesthood I didn't know before. I also think it is cool that all though we are sisters, we are missionaries set apart by the priesthood power. That is the power of our calling. It says in Preach My Gospel that "When [I was] set apart by priesthood authority, [I] received the right and privilege to represent the Lord." This has definitely been one of the greatest privileges I've had as a missionary. Being able to attempt to teach in the way he taught, comfort in the way he tried to comfort, being able to promise blessings to others in His name, teaching others about His gospel, the list could go on and on. Apart from speaking in sacrament, we also had a great fifth Sunday class on member missionary work! I do not have hold of the video we made, but it was a great class! We're hoping a great kick off in the branch happens now.

Well, in one week I will have graduated from the MTC of life! It's now my time to move on to the next chapter of my life! I still don't know all that lies ahead of me, but I'm ready for it. I am so grateful this time I have had to be a missionary for the church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints, to represent the Lord Jesus Christ and His church. I'm so very grateful for my parents who raised me in the church and in a good environment where I could feel the spirit and receive the prompting to come here. I'm grateful for all my grandparents who listened to the missionaries and were able to accept this glorious message. I am so grateful for the missionaries that decided to serve missions in that time and that talked with my family to share the message of the restored gospel. There are so many to thank but most of all I need to thank Heavenly Father for guiding me here and giving me is wonderful opportunity. I just want to tell you all there definitely is nothing else that could replace my experiences and change I've had here in the mission. Everything I left behind at home: family, ballet, music, friends, school, work, etc. NONE of that could have been more worth while than the time I've been able to spend being a missionary and I'll tell you why: 
1. The gospel is what matters most. "For behold, this is my work and my glory--to bring to pass the immortality and eternal life of man." God want us to have all of His blessings and to return to live with him again. That is why we're here on earth. Not to mess around and do whatever, but to live with purpose so we can see him again. 
2. As members of the church we must share the gospel! The Restoration of the gospel is just starting. Because we have this knowledge we must take part in the restoration and helps the work move along.
3. If I hadn't have come on a mission I never would have realized the price the gospel really has and how important it is. When you're on a mission it is impossible to think about yourself. If you are thinking about yourself, you will be miserable. You are constantly thinking about others, not about how hungry you are, that you have to use the bathroom, that it might be awkward to go talk to those people over there smoking, how your family is doing, who your companion might be next transfer, what your going to do when you get back home. But instead you are focused on others and you completely give yourself to the Lord.

On my mission plaque I put the scripture Matthew 16:285 it says, "For whosoever will save his life shall lose it: and whosoever will lose his life for my sake shall find it." I can testify to you all that I truly have "found myself" on my mission. Through the help of the Atonement of Jesus Christ I was able to leave all hat behind and give myself to the Lord. And he has taken me and shaped me into the person he wants me to be. Although I am weak, imperfect, and still give into temptation, because I am trying I am progressing and becoming the daughter He wants me to become he is helping me.

Well this has been a really long email, but it's the last one! Although it is the last one I can still receive emails from you throughout the week and on Monday. I would love to hear from you all before I go home. If you email me I will respond! I am so excited to see you all! Have a great week!

Hermana Brown

Super hipster picture, but I feel like I look like Carina in this picture! Haha.