Tuesday, May 27, 2014

Go and DO.

Oh how I love my new area! I love Shreveport.
Except for the fact that it is getting very hot!!!!

I am now a biking pro... I will have to post a picture of my cute bike next week because it's currently under construction.... :)

Gladys Knight and the Saints Unified Voices devotional last week was amazing.

In a presentation of music and testimony, people from all different cultures were united together to feel the spirit of the Lord! I absolutely loved it.
WE ARE ALL BROTHERS AND SISTERS! We may as well act like it!
Our friends Gwen and Sandy accompanied us and we all had a wonderful time together. We went to dinner at outback steakhouse afterwards!
Sandy and Gwen also gave Sister Jenkins and me a Mary Kay foot kit for our sore feet and matching rings! It was so sweet of them!!!

My new area is going really great. I love that I am still in Shreveport!
Here is a picture of my new District!!!! The Stonewall and Coushatta missionaries.

The Stonewall Elders and the Senior Couple Elder and Sister Dean who came from Jackson to help us... got us all moved into our new apartment! And then we went out for pizza afterwards! It was a great day.

I have also started giving Elders free haircuts! Here is me carefully cutting Elder Loftin's hair! Woo hoo!!!

We did a service project last weekend called "Paint your heart out Shreveport" where we were able to go repaint this really cute lady's house! We painted it a nice light color of blue.
Afterwards there was a thank you dinner, and I was able to have my first CRAWFISH!
...... yes. They do look creepy! There is a very special technique to opening crawfish.
I got frustrated with the "said technique" and had someone else peel them for me.....
It's a lot of work, for just a little meat!!!!!

An amazing miracle happened this week. As you all know... I am moving into a brand new apartment! Therefore... we have just been getting by with food.

Jerry and Bibbet who are members of the ward here in stonewall took us shopping last week. They told us to get 2 of everything that we needed.... wow. We filled up 2 shopping carts and they paid for everything! It was such a tender mercy! SUCH a blessing! I cried as we loaded all the new groceries into our bare cupboards.

We had a wonderful night of fellowship the other night. People of different faiths all came together as friends and we were able to have supper together and us missionaries were able to share our testimonies about what we believe and who Jesus Christ is to us.
It was a beautiful night and I am so grateful for all the friends I am getting to make here! Look at all these beautiful Children of God!!!

I love mosquito eating Geckos! Aren't they so cute? These little guys snuck into our bags!

Probably the best moment of my week was getting to Skype my family for Mother's day! It was so great to see them. I was really impressed that I didn't cry and I wasn't sad when I had to say goodbye! I was happy to see them, but I really value my time here on my mission and know I will get to see my family again soon!!!!

One of my favorite scriptures in the Book of Mormon is this -

And it came to pass that I, Nephi, said unto my father: I will go and do the things which the Lord hath commanded, for I know that the Lord giveth no commandments unto the children of men, save he shall prepare a way for them that they may accomplish the thing which he commandeth them.

I love this scripture because Nephi states so plainly how the Lord will never give us more than we can handle! EVER! :)

I have had a lot of challenges lately. But I know that the Lord will bear up my burdens so that I cannot feel them! He does that for each one of us because he loves us and wants us to be happy.

Sometimes it is hard to press on. Sometimes our burdens seem to heavy.
Or we think that no one knows how we feel.

But I testify to you that someone DOES.
His name is Jesus Christ.

And as we follow his commandments... we will prepare a way for us... just like my favorite scripture says. ^^^^

There's always a way, and there is always a light.
We just have to GO and DO.

Keep your dreams present and hope in your heart,
Sister Brown

Monday, May 5, 2014

Welcome to Stonewall, Louisiana!

Part of the fun of being a missionary is getting to serve in many different places!!!!
Everybody meet my new companion....
SISTER JENKINS! :) (she has a blog too!) sisterjenkinsmission.blogspot.com

This has been a crazy week.
Sister Jenkins got here on tuesday, but we had to stay living where I was before because we didn't have a place to stay in Stonewall!
But on Friday, some members of the church down in stonewall asked if we could come live with them until our apartment is ready!
That worked out great because we were doing a lot of traveling and using a lot of miles!

SO we packed up our suitcases, said goodbye to a couple friends, and waved goodbye to Brownlee!

We are brand new in this area.... we don't have a map... we don't know where we are going.... It's crazy! But we just picked a random street to go down, praying that the Lord would lead us to someone who needed us!
We are walking down the street and walk pass this little girl! As we keep going, part of my brain says "wait little girls don't smoke cigarretts." Hmm.
Then the Spirit says GO BACK AND TALK TO HER!
But I say "Lord.... we already walked past her and I don't want to turn around!!!
But the Lord said "Feed my Sheep."

So I grab Sister Jenkins and we glide back over to her.
Turns out her name is Robin. And the Lord wanted us to find her.

This is the text she sent us after we left!!

"Thank ya'll for stopping by here. I have really been wanting to learn more about the Mormon faith. That is why I have been asking if there is a church anywhere around here and it seems like people have been blowing my question off. I would love to come to your church and learn more about it and hopefully this will be the church I feel most comfortable with thank you again we will see ya'll on sunday. :)"

Oh miracles.

We have been having fun meeting new members, including the Family that we are living with right now! They are the Glass family. They are so sweet! I love living with them! We get to stay in a super cute room. Can you tell Sister Jenkins and I are getting along? :)

Oh not to mention puppy cuddles while doing my scripture study....

But anyways... our new apartment should be ready by thursday!!!! ALSO THE DAY GLADYS KNIGHT IS COMING TO SHREVEPORT!!!! WHOO HOO!!!!! #gladyknightisamormon
It's going to be amazing.

We have had some really amazing experiences this past week and I am so excited to be in Stonewall! I can already feel all the miracles that are about to happen!

Did I mention I love my companion - Sister Celeste Jenkins? She is from Newton, Utah :) Close to Logan. I can already tell that we are going to be best friends. She goes home in July, so her mission is coming to a close!!! That is so crazy! I have a lot I am going to learn from her!

In other news - here are my new Elders! Elder Loftin and Elder Jones.
They are great! We are excited to join them here in Stonewall.
Here is Elder Jones with a dead squirrell and Elder Loftin with a kitten blanket.

Well as always, I would like to express my love for the Savior.
Sister Jenkins and I were talking about why we think we got sent to the south for our missions.
I think that we needed to learn more about the Character of Christ. I love being in the Bible Belt - where everyone loves and talks about Jesus. He is a part of life here. God is everywhere. There is no other place like the south!

My testimony of Jesus Christ has grown so much by being able to serve here. I am learning so much about Christ's life... by learning of him, and feeling the love of God radiate from me to the people around me. I am not perfect... but I know that God's love is perfect, and I am becoming a better person each day as I share His love.
I am finishing the end of reading the Book of Mormon. This morning I read a wonderful verse about that perfect love...
..."Behold, I speak with boldness, having aauthority from God; and I fear not what man can do; for bperfect clove dcasteth out all fear."

I love Christ. Look at these beautiful pictures of Him.

I hope you have a wonderful week. Hopefully by next week I will be moved into my new apartment!
God Bless you,
Sister Marissa Brown

Farewell to Brownlee

Well Everyone.... we got the news! Turns out I am leaving my area here in Brownlee and headed off to new adventures!!!!

When we got the phone call I was so surprised... I was certain Sister Holbrook was leaving!!!
But to my surprise I am the one going.
My heart is broken to leave this area I love so dearly!
But the good news is... I'm not going very far...... :)
I will still be in Shreveport!!!!
I am going about 30 minutes away from where I currently live.

I am going to OPEN a town called STONEWALL
There is a set of Elders there right now, but I will be the first Sister Missionary to ever be there!!!

It's actually a pretty big deal, and shows that our mission president really trusts me :)

My new companion will be Sister Jenkins and she is coming from Bougalousa, she only has 3 months left of her mission!

President Huston said that the Stonewall branch has been BEGGING for sister missionaries for a long time,
and that I will be an answer to MANY prayers.

I feel so honored and I am so excited.
I still get to go to the Gladys Knight Devotional, and baptisms of anyone that I have taught since I am close enough!
Hopefully Tori and Alexis get baptized soon and I would be able to come!

The other news is that they don't even have an apartment ready for Sister Jenkins and I yet,
so she is coming to live here in Brownlee until they have one for us! That will probably be another 2 weeks. We are going to borrow a car from the mission and drive down there every day for right now, but we will sleep in the apartment I am currently residing in :)

Also I won't have a car, so I get to start using my bike finally!
I am so excited! Hooray for helmet hair.
I will tell you all about Stonewall as soon as I get there!!!

I hope everyone had a wonderful easter.
Easter is so much more than a Pagan holiday! This was the closest I have ever felt to the savior.

I have been saying some goodbyes to some of the people I love and it has been hard!

I found some new friends this week...

Sorry I don't have too much time to share miracles, but I will next week.
We have been teaching and been very busy which is always amazing!

I am truly becoming the person I have always wanted to be! What a fulfilling and amazing opportunity it is to serve the Lord.
I love Him, and I know this is his work. I know that angels surround us and I have felt their presence leading me to where I need to go. I am so grateful for a Savior who loved me and everyone else enough to die for me. It's because of Him, that we have joy!

May God bless you as always! Thank you for your support!
Love, Sister Brown