Tuesday, December 23, 2014

HE is the Gift

I have so much to write about this week!
I have been so grateful for all the support from my friends and family!
I have loved so much receiving some letters from my family on thanksgiving! They all took a minute to write something nice to me! I read it over and over again because it is so encouraging and uplifting! Thank you, family!
Thank you also to those who have been concerned about all my winter clothes getting stolen! Your kindness means the world to me!
I love the Christmas season on the mission. We REALLY get to focus on the reason for the season... the Savior! I'm not so worries about "stuff." It's so wonderful.
Well first things first, Sister McGregor and I  are being so spoiled by our ward here. They gave us a Christmas package this week of essential items... like paper towels, oatmeal, soap... etc. I loved it and I am so grateful for the ward here!
I love the widows of the ward... they have such pure sweet hearts and just adopt us Sister Missionaries as their grandchildren.
Sister Maisch is the great grandaughter of Wilford Woodruf - one of the Prophets of the church. She always makes us the most elegant meals and I love going to her house. There is even an elevator in her house because it is built so high off the ground since she lives down by the beach!
We loved her beautiful tree and I love going over to her house because she always has some of the other widows, or just older sisters come over and have a nice dinner with us!

We helped Ashley with a service project this weekend called "Baking DaY" where we made lots of treats and delivered them to people. Boudreaux, her sweet puppy helped us out too! We love Ashley and she does so much for us missionaries, I don't know how we will ever repay her! I learned how to make some new treats and we had a great time helping her!

A miracle that happened this week!
The Harris family! Stephanie, the mom has been a member of the church for a while and we have been teaching her husband, Bobby and her son, Gabe Harris!
We have been teaching them for a while and I didn't know quite where to go with their lessons! They have been coming to church for a couple months and Sister Nielson and I worked hard to get them ready to be baptized, but I guess it just wasn't quite the right timing.
Sister McGregor and I went over on Tuesday to see them and the first thing Bobby says when we get in there is
"Do you have any dates open that I can get Baptized?"
OH IT MADE MY DAY! Tears came to my eyes! I love the Harris family because they remind me a lot of my family and I desire nothing more than to help them become an eternal happy family!
They came to the ward Christmas party this week and just looked so happy. I love them! They will be getting baptized this weekend, so look forward to it! This is such a wonderful day in their lives!

Speaking of the ward Christmas party, I got to meet "Santa" and tell him that what I wanted for Christmas was Stamps :)

A highlight of my week! We had a stake devotional yesterday and some sister missionaries needed a place to spend the night because it was such a long drive! I got to have Sister Sowards sleep over with us last night and we just had the best time being together again! I love her! 
A Christmas miracle!

The pet feature of this week is a little snuggly chinchilla! His name is Uchtdorf - named after one of our Apostles in the church!

We also had interviews with our mission president this week! I know everyone probably says this, but I have the best mission president! He is so caring and loving and I don't know what I would do without him!
I wish he could be my lifelong therapist!
I have never met a more Christlike man, he truly emulates all the Christlike attributes that we mortals try and strive to achieve.
Humility, Charity, Patience, and complete and total faith in the Lord.

Well, if there is anything I can give ya'll this Christmas, it is a message of joy and peace to spread to the world!
We are "sharing the gift" with others this season by inviting people to watch this short video of the Savior and the reason for the season.
I have posted it below, and would invite all of you to please watch it, and share it with friends and family.

I know our Savior lives! I feel so close to him at this time and know that he hears my prayers when I am not sure if I can go on! But he lifts me up, turns my weaknesses into strengths, and carries me when I am weak.
Let us all keep the Savior in our hearts all year long, not just during the Christmas season.
Merry Christmas,
Sister Brown

Sunday, December 7, 2014


I've seen lots of miracles this week.
We will get to them in just a sec!

I haven't had the opportunity to introduce you to my new companion yet!
Everyone meet.... Sister McGregor :)

She is from Illinois, 19 years old, dog lover, and was adopted by her family when she was a baby, as well as her twin!
She loves the gospel and has such a spunky bubbly attitude that people love.
WELL let me tell you about my week.

Michael is a member of the church that has been away for a while. He contacted us early this week and said that his girlfriend wanted to take the missionary lessons! So we were able to meet with them and start teaching Megan.
Tears came to her eyes as we taught her about the Plan of Salvation... the question of "where is my grandma" had been weighing heavily on her heart this week.
I was so excited to share my testimony of a loving Christ that has provided a way for us to make it back to our Heavenly Home.

Later that day, we were traveling around to all our different appointments.
Well... everyone that we had set up appointments with missed them! I was getting frustrated.
Then I hear someone yell
So we met this guy "Andre" he is very gangster haha... but we had a good conversation and told him we would love to do a bible study with him if he would be willing to also experiment on his faith and we asked if we could teach him about the book of mormon as well, and how it goes right along with everything in the bible, and we could show him how it does!

He said okay and we went back later on in the week! unfortunately he wasn't home when he said he would be, but we are hoping that we can meet up with him again soon.
That night, we were helping the Thomas family make thanksgiving dinner. I got my hair braided and I don't think it's a very cute style on me, but I have to tell you a story of something amazing!

We all had to run to the dollar store to get some last minute things for cooking.
Turns out Sister Thomas knew someone at the store that works there and the lady was telling us that the dollar store had gotten broken into last night and that she was held at gunpoint and saw he life flash before her eyes!
Well right there she asked me to pray for her in the store, and in the middle of dollar general, I felt the Lord's peace for this poor heartbroken woman! It was a cool moment for me, and I really know that there are people all around us that need us just at the right moments.
Thanksgiving was wonderful! We ate with the Thomas family and had a real southern cooked meal complete with greens, smoked ham, a deep fried turkey, and banana pudding.
We had dessert at the Waters home, and they are so wonderful. They feed us every Tuesday and they also have a ton of chickens so they are always giving us eggs!

I actually really missed my family and was feeling pretty homesick! I know that I was missed too though, but I really was grateful for the awesome family I have. I am really blessed to have a family that will support me as a missionary and I really can't wait to see everyone when I come home.
by the way......... mark your calenders, i come home MAY 5. :D

one of the biggest miracles this week I have to tell you about may indeed be one of the biggest miracles I have heard on my mission.
We have been teaching Marionna, Michael and Tommy for a couple months now - i think i sent home a picture a couple weeks ago...
anyways, they are some of my favorite investigators.
their aunt - bessie - was in a really bad car accident a couple weeks ago and she has been brain-dead, and comatose since then.
they called all the family together because they were going to pull the plug, but Sister Cannon (the grandma) really felt inspired that bessie needed a priesthood blessing before they did so.
Bessie received a blessing from the Elders serving in Jackson and the next day, she opened her eyes. :)
The day after that she was remembering everything and everyone and talking..... she asked the doctor "can i have your pants because i am ready to go home"
every bone should have been broken in her body, yet the next day she was up walking!
A true priesthood miracle has touched that family's life FOREVER and it really strengthened their testimonies that the priesthood is real. The same power that Jesus Christ used to raise the dead, and heal the sick is held by worth members in Jesus Christ's true and living church today!
I really do know that the priesthood is real and am grateful that the long apostasy that occurred after Christ and all the apostles were killed has ENDED

I got the best package ever this week from my family! Mom sent me a package of pumpkin spice muffins and Sister McGregor and I have eaten all of them already! haha!

Well the weather here is holding up pretty nice and I am a little cold since my coat and sweaters got stolen, but ah, alas is life. I am thankful that my friend Ashley in the ward let me borrow one of her coats! I thought this manatee mailbox was pretty sweet.

I also had fun straightening Sister McGregors hair.

I am so grateful for the wonderful things and miracles that I get to see everyday as a servant of the Lord!
I am grateful I get to be training Sister McGregor and I am grateful for all my precious companions who have taught me so much! I love them!
I am grateful for my family and friends that support me wherever I go...
and I am MOST GRATEFUL for..... the reason I am here!
A noble and great cause in declaring the good news to the world of the Savior, Jesus Christ.
I hope that all of us may choose a "gift to the savior" something that we can sacrifice to help us focus on the reason not only for the season, but the reason for EVERYTHING! I would love to hear what your "gifts to the savior" are because I want some inspiration!
<3 Sister Brown <3

Sunday, November 23, 2014

Great Finish, New Start!!!!‏

This weeks update is going to be pretty short.... but i will give yall one none-the-less.

We went fishing for P-DAY at the Lippencotts in our ward.
They have a stocked pond and we caught 21 fish together as a district.
I am the proud "catcher" of a whole single fish  of that above number.
Fishing is all about luck anyway.

Teaching Merissa and Tiara slowed down for a bit because they kept missing appointments, but we got the prompting to go and see them this week and stopped by their house right when they needed us. Merissa was telling us that she REALLY wants to change... and that she feels like she is being a bad mom because she has so many addictions.

So we are going to do the stop smoking workshop sometime soon with her and i'm hoping that she can be committed because her daughter Tiara has SO MUCH FAITH it amazes me, and I love teaching her! 
She asked more amazing questions about:
"During the apostasy is Jesus Christ's authority on the earth?"
and such. So she is so smart and I love her.
here is a pic of me with them

So I had a very weird experience this week. We were walking down the street tracting and this lady drives up her car REAAAALLLy slowly... rolls down her window and TAKES A PICTURE OF ME
with her iPhone. Interesting. 

Then she tells me that she's going to post it online so that everyone knows we are in the neighborhood and so they won't answer their doors....

Well I thought that was pretty rude and one of the strangest things that's happened to me on my mission. So if any of you see a MEME of me holding a Book of Mormon with a super surprised look on my face, you know where it came from...

We had a baptism this week for Scooby Thomas and it was so awesome. All of his family came to support him and there were a lot of people in attendance!
I sang the song "Come Unto Christ" as a special musical number with Scooby's sisters and I felt the spirit SO STRONGly! Music has always helped me to feel the Holy Ghost and feel close to Heavenly Father.

The Thomas family is one of my favorites here in Ocean Springs and they are my true blue southern family!

Shunta (shawn-tay) - Scooby's mom, joined the church last spring. We missionaries have been teaching her family and she feeds us every monday (and makes the best food) and slowly, her family has been joining the church! Now almost all her kids have been baptized, as well as her brother.
They do so much for us and love the missionaries. The ward loves having them too and they are such a big part of our family!

I had to say a sad goodbye to Sister Nielson this week. She is going home from her mission and onto the next phase of life! She was such a good companion for me and we did a lot of awesome work here in Ocean Springs. We have so many good memories and I just love how inspired our companions are for us; I have loved every single one of mine!

I am actually  getting to TRAIN again.... and very much looking forward to it :)
I will miss Sister Nielson as she was such a good teacher in lessons and really knows her scriptures so well. So it's time for me to step up to the plate again and be a good teacher and leader. It's fun to have a brand new missionary with you because they help you be really excited about being a missionary!
I remember when I was brand new... it seems like yesterday. Yet, a whole year has flown by.
I have grown so much and I love to teach and read my scriptures. I can't even begin to say how grateful I am to serve a mission, and especially to serve these wonderful people of the south.

Oh, i almost forgot to tell you that teaching Marionna, Tommy and Michael is going well. I really love teaching them and they are going to get baptized in a couple weeks.
For Marionna's birthday we sang to her and got her a little present. She really loved it.
They are some of my favorite investigators from my mission.

I know Christ lives, and I know he loves us.
I love you all and can't wait to update you next week with my new companion!
Much love,
Sister Brown

Sunday, November 16, 2014

Sacrifice brings forth the blessings of Heaven‏


Haha that is a movie quote, but our district decided to wear pink to our district meeting this week... Per my request.
I taught our district about
"Living up to our Godly Potential"
and how we get lost and confused and distracted sometimes and forget that we are CHILDREN OF GOD.
I also talked about Lehi's dream in the Book of Mormon and how the mists of darkness confuse us if we are not holding on tight enough to the Iron Rod.
Sister Nielson drew a really good picture of it.

Everybody knows that missionaries get one day a week to get done all the things that they need to.
Elder Zwick of the 70 came to visit our mission a couple weeks ago and he promised us that if we taught at least 2 lessons on monday nights.... we could double the baptisms in our mission because so many missionaries just check out for the day!
So Sister Nielson and I decided to go the extra mile. We teach 3 lessons on mondays. I am learning and living the law of sacrifice. I may not get as much time to email/shop/other things but I know that because I am making a sacrifice, the Lord has been blessing me so much!

We have 9 people right now that are preparing to be baptized that we are teaching! The Lord is blessing us so much with so many people to teach!
We got to play at the beach last p-day and got some pizza and played some card games with the other missionaries.
We decided to bury Elder Tonge haha and it was pretty funny. I also found a couple jelly fish on the beach so I got a little scared of walking barefooted...

Some of my favorite investigators we are teaching right now are some kids of a family that has been astray for a while.
Tommy is 13, Mariana is 12, Michael is 11 and Christian is 11.

And ask some of the best questions and say the cutest things
Like we were explaining what the holy ghost is, how he is like our conscious and that he delivers messages to us from Heavenly Father.
Mariana says "So the Holy Ghost is like a Mailman?"
There was an 8 year old girl named McKenzie that got baptized this Saturday. We were able to teach her the missionary discussions before she got baptized! She is so precious!

We got some of our investigators to come to her baptism!
We biked to their trailer an hour before it was supposed to start and got them a ride and it all worked out!
They loved watching her get baptized and were asking questions and talking on and on about how excited they are to get baptized on November 29th.
We had a Relief Society super saturday this week....
Relief Society is the Women's organization in the church and a lot of time when we do activities it's awesome because we actually
APPLY AND UTILIZE the skills we learn on pinterest.

So we brought Celeste with us, she got baptized back in August and I really love her. She understands and reads her scriptures everyday and we are so happy that she joined the church!
Funny story - as we are walking into the church she sees the Young Women tending the kids and she made a comment about how she wishes that she had a calling in the church and how much she loves little kids!
That night- I prayed that we could help get Celeste a calling because I know that she needs it and it would really help her with her life right now, and I made a mental note to talk to the Bishop at church about it the next day.
The Lord is much smarter than I am
And Bishop felt inspired THAT VERY DAY to give Celeste a calling to teach the 5 year olds with another girl that is her age named Teagan.
Teagan is going to be such a good friend for Celeste and maybe they can start going to institute classes together as well as enjoy teaching the little kids.
SO, my testimony that prayers are answered was strengthened, as well as my testimony that callings from the Bishop are INSPIRED was strengthened.
It was just amazing. Simply Brilliant. THE LORD KNOWS WHAT WE NEED.

I know that the callings we get wether they be as a missionary, a nursery worker, a bishop, or even the prophet are not any better than another and that we are each special for our certain calling, because we are children of a HEAVENLY FATHER.
God wants us to sacrifice the things that are hard to give up so that we can be closer to him. HE wants us to be free. and happy.
In the Old Testament times..... many people were required to sacrifice their animals.... or in the case of Abraham their SON!
So we don't have to offer sacrifices like that anymore.
But the Lord still expects something of us....
What he requires now of us to sacrifice is
2 Nephi 4:32
"May the gates of hell be shut continually before me, because that my heart is broken and my spirit is contrite! O Lord, wilt thou not shut the gates of thy righteousness before me, that I may walk in the path of the low valley, that I may be strict in the plain road!"

And I know that the further away we are from Satan
The closer we are to Jesus Christ.

To close, I will share one of my favorite quotes by C.S. Lewis
“Give me all of you!!! I don’t want so much of your time, so much of your talents and money, and so much of your work. I want YOU!!! ALL OF YOU!! I have not come to torment or frustrate the natural man or woman, but to KILL IT! No half measures will do. I don’t want to only prune a branch here and a branch there; rather I want the whole tree out! Hand it over to me, the whole outfit, all of your desires, all of your wants and wishes and dreams. Turn them ALL over to me, give yourself to me and I will make of you a new self---in my image. Give me yourself and in exchange I will give you Myself. My will, shall become your will. My heart, shall become your heart.”

Love you all!
Sister Brown