Saturday, June 28, 2014

Wetter than a dolphin.‏

What a great week! We are preparing some people for baptism... lots of people are coming to church.... I am more wet than a dolphin.... and Jesus loves me.
Life is good.

Oh man, have you ever had so many mosquito bites that when you shave your legs, you shave all them off, and now you have oozing wounds and your legs look like you got git by a train?
That's me right now for ya.

Today I am 8 months of my mission life old. That means that next month I will be halfway done.
Time flies WAYYYYY too fast out here.

Well I wasn't able to give an update last week so here is what I have been up to LATELY.

Happy Father's day from Sister Jenkins and I! I love when members take pictures of us on their phones and send them to our parents. I think they love it too.

I've been pickin' some berries for service projects!

I have been feeling kinda "pugly"

Sister J and I always have sunglasses on top of our heads to keep the hair out of our faces.

Turtle saving.

Ice cream truck chasing.

Riding in the back of member's jeeps!

Feeding goats potato chips.

Sunset admiring..... By the way did you know the more pollution in the air, the prettier the colors of the sunset? At least that's what an Elder told me. Kinda burst my bubble.

Smiling at the fact that everything in the Bible Belt is named after Jesus Christ, even auto shops.

Sister Jenkins getting her information about her flight home... she goes home in 22 days!!! ah! She is so nervous to go home! you can see it on her face.

Goofing off... Having a best friend.

And of course... with all the craziness posted above.... I preach the gospel all day long.
Rain or shine... we are out there... on our bikes! In the heat!
How great is the calling to be a missionary.... to live a moment in the savior's shoes.

You know what, Jesus didn't even have a bike. He had to walk everywhere.
I am blessed.

One of the best parts of my week was going to one of the member's of our ward's ranch/home/cabin and getting to talk about the gospel with her.
She has had so many trials... her husband cheated on her and was abusive for a very long time. It caused a lot of family damage, but she is one of the strongest women I know!
Here are a couple pictures from our evening with her. She has the most beautiful cabin, pet goats, and lots of fish ponds. We are going to go fishing sometime in the near future!!

The work here in Stonewall is going really well. We have been blessed to have lots of people joining us at church! People that are learning about the church, and people that just haven't been for a long time.

It's a blessing Sister Jenkins and I are here because we are able to visit all the single women in our area that the Elders couldn't visit, and the Lord is extending many miracles because we have been doing so!

One of those miracles came when a single sister in the ward wanted to take us visiting teaching. And man it was a relief to be off our bicycles! After visiting a less active sister, she asked us if there is anyone else that we would like to go see.

We had gotten a refferal from the MTC of someone to go see that lived far away from us, she we asked if we could try that person!
Sister Jones said yes we could. So away we went.

Well we pretty much drove to narnia, and 40 minutes later couldn't find the house! Just as we were about to give up hope... the street we were looking for came into view!

Kim - who we were trying to find - just moved here from another town in Louisiana and has been taught by the missionaries for quite a while. She says she wants to be baptized, and so.... the Lord gave us someone who is very prepared to work with! We are going to review some lessons with her, but her baptism is scheduled for July 12! Woo Hoo :)

We also had an amazing lesson this week with some other investigators that we are working with. A couple in our ward invited us and the investigators over for dinner and we had Gumbo, Grape Salad, and an awesome lesson about the Restoration of Christ's church.
The investigators have been coming to church as well! The work is moving right along.

I think it's important that we take time each week to visit the people we are working with, but to also make sure we are constantly finding new people as well. Missionary work should be like an Escalator, not an Elevator!
It's great to take an Investigator all the way to the top floor, that's what we want to do, bring them Eternal Happiness.
But we need to be finding and helping others progress as we do so! Every day we pray for new people to teach and become friends with.

I know this is the Lord's work! I have had too many miracles to ever deny it.
I have felt the spirit in too many ways to ever doubt that God is real, and that he loves us.

May the Lord bless you in your missionary efforts this week, I will be praying for you! :)

Love, Sister Brown

Monday, June 16, 2014

Optimism and Progress

I feel I have grown a lot this week. There haven't been any huge miracles, but rather, I have had some simple prayers answered. I think back to how much I have changed since I first came here to the mission field... and I am just so blessed to have this opportunity.
I really feel it is preparing me for the rest of my life!!!
I now know how to make decisions... with God.

Well for a service project this week we got to wash puppies. Oh man, I love me some puppy therapy!!!!! They are boxer pups with a little pit bull mixed in I think.

We also got to go to a part of our area called Mansfield Louisiana.
This was awesome because my Mom's maiden name is Mansfield! And my Grandpa Mansfield was a big impact on my decision to serve a mission.
I remember him saying "I hope you don't get married yet and choose to serve a mission."
And him talking all about his mission in Argentina and how amazing it was to teach people the gospel... that's a lot of what he talked about the last time I got to see him before he passed away last summer.

Cassity - a recent convert who got baptized last year had her sweet little baby this week!
Sister Jenkins and I were out walking down a busy road and a car pulled over and yelled "hop in!"
then we realized that it was Cassity's husband and parent in laws! They said they wanted us to be the first people to meet their new sweet baby! It was a privilege!

Babies are just such miracles! They are so close to their Heavenly Father. I love looking at those little miracles and just knowing what they will be someday! I can't wait to have my own someday! Cassity is such a great little mother, and she is so grateful to be raising her precious baby in the gospel.

My friend Trail - who joined the church about a year ago... got his mission call to Philadelphia and is so excited. The church threw him a missionary-shower type of thing because his family doesn't have very much to send him with, and you need a lot of things to go on a mission! It was so great to be there for him and his family.

Since he's the first one in his family to join the church, he has been a great example to them. And now his sister Samantha is going to be getting baptized this upcoming weekend!

I made a couple new friends this week.... Jacob would be the cute little boy and Penelope would be the adorable miniature greyhound!

It's been an emotionally tiring week for Sister Jenkins and I.
Biking everywhere is hard... and it is so hot. Sometimes I just want to lay down in the middle of the road and take a break!
I also had to have some bike repairs done because my bike is not cooperating!!! The brakes and gear shifter broke along with my back tire popping!
This is me about to get really sweaty!!!!

We decided to make ourselves a nice dinner. The mixer shorted out and lit a fuse... and popped and started smoking. FAIL!
We failed with the cookies.... oh well. We ate the cookie dough anyways.

Sister Jenkins finishes her mission in a month, and I can't imagine feeling that way! There are so many emotions! Wanting to go home to see your family, but not wanting to leave this wonderful part of your life behind...
We are teaching lots of people right now, and seeing lots of progress happening.

Our most progressing investigator is the most wonderful woman, her name is Dyann.
We knocked on her door and no one answered, so a card on the door with a picture of Christ coming to the Americas. We walked past her house on our way back home again a while later.
She was sitting on her rocking chair on the front porch.... looking at the picture!!
The spirit said:

After talking, she noticed how sweaty and hot we were and asked if we would like a drink and invited us to have a tour of her house. Cutest house ever by the way! Her husband built it from scratch.

She said she knew a lot about our religion - she did some research when Mitt Romney was running for President and that she like a lot of the things that we believe!
She showed us her food storage, and said "look, i'm practically mormon!"

Eventually her brother came home. He had dated a mormon girl for a while and said that he really respected what we do and our standards!

They eventually stated talking about more famous people that are members of our church. Eventually some pizza arrived and the discussion became more of:
"So what REALLY is the Book of Mormon?"
and "what is a temple? What do you do there?"

We answered all their questions while eating pizza and they have invited us back a couple times since then! They have even come to church with us and are really enjoying learning more about what we believe - our message of joy, hope and love.

Well I have had a lot of prayers and questions answered this week. I am so grateful. I am especially grateful for all of ya'll that I know keep my in your prayers!

It is not easy to serve the Lord. But I will do it for him!
If he died for me... the least I can do is give up a year and a half of my time to serve him.
I will never be able to repay him, but I feel that this is an opportunity for me to give back, and thank him for what he has done for me.

I know the Lord lives. I know that God desires our happiness and joy!

Have a great week,
Sister Brown

Sunday, June 8, 2014

Example of the Believers‏

For some of my missionary moments of this week, I will start out with a picture someone caught of Sister Jenkins and I talking to someone and offering to help them move out of their house :)
This was semi-awkward because after we offered to help, the guy we were talking to said
"This box is really heavy..."
Sister Jenkins: "I can handle it!!!!!"
......................"Actually you're right it's really heavy...."

That's what we call "awkward turtle." If you've never heard that term before, I don't remember where it comes from... but you make an awkward turtle with your hands..
So that's what Sister Jenkins is doing.
It was great.

There is a member of the church down here that has done a lot of research of historical artifacts pertaining to the Book of Mormon. His name is Jerry Ainsworth. :) He has written a great book about the Ruins of Ancient america and the people that lived here and how they relate to the Book of Mormon and the people the Book of Mormon testifys that lived here in the promised land :)

SO since Jerry is such a researcher... he has had some models and replicas of things that the Book of Mormon talks about. I will tell you a little about the things we got to see!

1. We have the Sword of Laban.

The sword of Laban is talked about in the beginning of the Book of Mormon. Laban was a very wicked man living in Jerusalem, and Nephi is commanded by the Lord to obtain the plates and genealogy of his family. After Laban tries to kill Nephi and his brothers... The Lord delivers Laban into Nephi's hands to slay him.
Nephi did not want to because He had never killed any person before and knew that it was against the 10 commandments.
13 Behold the Lord slayeth the wicked to bring forth his righteous purposes. It is better that one man should perish than that a nation should dwindle and perish in unbelief.
You can read more of the story here:
or in Chapter 4 of the Book of 1st Nephi.

But anyways, this sword is a replica of the sword of Laban that Nephi used to slay him.

2. The Golden Plates

Here we have the Book of Mormon record before it was translated and published for the world.
God always protects records of Jesus Christ.... so the plates were found in a box like the replica that these are placed in.
Ancient prophets formed these by melting and melding metal and hammering them out into plates to inscribe on. What a process!!!!!
Since the people that are talked about in the beginning of the Book of Mormon were from Jerusalem, (they were commanded to leave because it was about to be destroyed) the records were written in some form of ancient Hebrew.

3. The Urim and Thummim

"Hebrew term that means “Lights and Perfections.” An instrument prepared of God to assist man in obtaining revelation from the Lord and in translating languages."
Learn more about the Urim and Thummim here:
The Urim and Thummim have been used since the time of Adam and Abraham!
This is what Jerry thinks it looks like.
(pic 13)

4. Mormon and Moroni

This is a picture of Jerry and I with a beautiful painting he had done.
Mormon and Moroni are two prophets from the Book of Mormon.
Moroni is Mormon's son and this is what Jerry thinks they looked like in the time of the Book of Mormon being written. Here you see them writing on the plates as well.

5. Mayan Carving

This is a carving Jerry got down somewhere in South America, I don't remember where.
But those of you who are familiar with the Book of Mormon, and the story about Lehi's dream - you will see here carved the story about the Tree of Life!

Well that's all for show and tell.
I had to say goodbye to my sweet friend Bailee Glass yesterday because she moved to Monroe. I can't wait to find out where she goes on her mission!!!

Something about the south.
The weather changes about ever five minutes here. I laughed very hard the other day when Bibbet and Jerry (who bought us all the groceries when we first got here) took us to dinner at Cracker Barrell. We didn't have umbrellas, so Bibbet just ran to get the car with a bag on her head. :)

And I also love seeing church vans parked at Walmart all the time. Everyone loves church here, and loves God so much! I don't know why but it just made me smile to see a church van at the store..... #onlyinthesouth

Well everyone I am out of time for this week but stay tuned for next's week post.

I also got the best news this week.... my old investigator - Alexis (the sweet 11 year old who made me the Jesus cake before I left Brownlee) - who I love very much....
Has gotten permission from her mom to get baptized!!!!!!!!!!
AH! I am so happy!!!! So I get to travel back to Brownlee to be there for her baptism because I am in a close enough distance!!!! I am so proud of her!!!!

Hope you all have a great week and God Bless,
Sister Brown

P.S. 1 Timothy 4:12
Let no man despise thy youth; but be thou an example of the believers, in word, in conversation, in charity, in spirit, in faith, in purity.