Monday, September 29, 2014

We Never Know

Hello Everyone!
The great thing about companions is that it is always SO inspired on who the Mission President puts you with. I am so grateful for Sister Sowards! We have just become the best of friends and have so much in common! Including our love for cafe rio, and the University of Utah football :)

I really enjoy cooking lately.... breakfast lunch and dinner!

I have even started a new thing. It's called Sister Brown's brownie sunday. On sundays I make brownies and then my companion and I pray about who to take them to, and then we go and visit those that need brownies!!!!! It's brilliant and a great excuse for people to let you inside! No one turns away brownies.

I went to a play at a baptist church this week called "the voice and the judgement."
It was a great play, but I was a little sad at how many people in this world think there is only heaven and hell, and if you aren't perfect when you die... you are going to hell!

Heavenly Father's plan is for all of his children to return to live with him again. There are many people that do not have a knowledge of Jesus Christ, or who have been raised in trial and agony. There will be an opportunity for all of God's children to learn about Jesus Christ, that he can save them! If you would like to study more about the plan of salvation.... feel free to click below!

Missionary life is a lot like normal life, but a million times better. I am happier than I have ever been in my whole life! I wake up every day excited to study my scriptures... to pray, and to hurry and get ready so that we can get out to work!!!

 I love setting goals and accomplishing them. I love to do Heavenly Father's work of saving souls! I love to share the love of Christ with everyone I meet!

There are lots of new rules in our mission lately... one of our new rules is that we can only listen to music that has been sung at conferences of the church, or we can listen to talks.
This has been a hard adjustment for me because many of you know that music is my life! And I love some good christian music and efy music.

But I have noticed that I am much more in tune with the spirit since this new rule came out. And I am aquiring much more knowledge from all the talks and devotionals we have been listening to!!!!

A couple of my favorite talks that I have been listening to i will post below so I can share!
His Grace is Sufficient by Brad Wilcox --->
Remember Lot's Wife by Elder Holland --->
You Were Born for Glory by Sheri Dew --->

Here is a picture of the church down the street that used to be a mall! They bought the mall and turned it into "summer grove baptist church"

Candy Bar posters and a softball game on Pday for one of the Young Women that we love - Tiffany Williams! She will be an amazing missionary someday and we had a blast supporting her!

We were shopping the other day and a really cute black lady walks up and hands us roses!!!! I guess she doesn't like the guy that gave them to her... so we were happy to take them off her hands! :)

Our can opener has been broken and i have been trying to open things with knives. Probably not the safest idea.

Here is me on a motorcycle

And here is a longhorn cow!

Something I love about the south is all the big hats. I think i want to take one home with me because they are so fashionable!

A miracle that happened was that Sister Sowards and I were tracting... it had been a long day and we were really tired. We decided to stop by the gas station and get a snack to perk us up! After we were done we didn't feel prompted to go back to that street that we were on before, so we picked a new street.
We are going down the street and meet some pretty cool people! But we decided to knock on 1 more house before quitting for the day. Well we knock on the door and a lady cracks the door open and sticks her head out. She looks at us and says
"I know who you are... My sister is one of ya'll."
"We say, oh really?! That is exciting! Who is your sister?"
Turns out that her sister was Sister Linda Jones, the one who always takes us out so that we don't have to ride our bikes! She is the one that had a birthday a couple weeks ago and I was so grateful for ya'lls help in getting her a birthday gift!

anyway, Sister Jones HAPPENED TO BE THERE at her house. And he sister let us inside even though she made it very clear that she is a baptist and doesn't want to hear anything about our religion! But we were able to sing her a song and be friendly and nice, and it made a big difference.

It was just a tender mercy to me that the Lord leads us to where he wants us to go, exactly WHEN he wants us to be there! I don't really know what the purpose of that experience was, but it was a miracle none the less and I am grateful for it, perhaps some seeds were planted just by us being kind!

I know that we never know of all the good that we do! Sometimes we may feel like we are failing but that is because we don't always get to see the fruits of our labors! But when we lose ourselves in service to others, Heavenly father knows that our hearts are pure and righteous. And someday I know that we will see the fruit of all the good things that we have done.
Please watch this video! I know you will love it!
It's all about how we never know how much good we do.

Well I have to wrap it up for this week, but I will talk to you soon! Thank you for all the good that you do!
Love yall!
p.s. I hit my 11 month mark today!

Tuesday, September 23, 2014


There is an awesome film coming out about members of our church.... who they really are!!!!

To learn more click here! ------->


This little light of mine

Don't have a lot of time to write this week but I wanted to update you on my progress!

Monday was Labor day..... and we had a BBQ (southern style) with a family here in the area that we love!

BBQ. Is not the same thing as a GRILL. To consider it a BBQ you must - as the people of the south - actually BBQ something. Like sausage or ribs. If you make hamburgers and hot dogs.... that is "GRILLIN." Southerners sure know how to do a BBQ the right way :) and i'm very glad for it!
I even got to churn the ice cream. It was very exciting. And now my arms are sore.


I heard a great quote this week.... thought I would share.
"If he can lead you to it, he can lead you through it."

So on tuesday, it was SO hot. Sister Sowards and I were riding our bikes and decided to stop at Sonic's drive in to get a slushie. We got a couple funny looks from the cars, but overall, it was a very good decision. Did you know that sonic makes powerade slushies?

We had a cool district meeting and talked about how we can bring people light.
It is sad that our brothers and sisters are suffering in darkness. And it is sad, that sometimes... we let ourselves suffer. Don't we all know that the Savior already suffered for us so that we don't have to anymore? We just need to give him all of us.... and he will turn us into something better.

A quote by C.S. Lewis comes to mind.

“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.”

WE as Christians need to share this light that we have with everyone! We need to band together as Christians!

Something that has stuck out to me recently, is that us Christian people need to find what we have in common.... and talk about it. And share it! Instead of comparing our differences and bashing one another.

We are all children of our father in heaven, and he loves us. He wants us all to return to him.
God wouldn't just want to save a few of his children! He wants us all!!!!!
And that is the message I get to share everyday.
God is our loving heavenly father, and wants us to return to him.

Well speaking of returning, we got to travel out to Mansfield this week... (In our area but about 30 miles away so we don't get to go there very often!) One of our members, Sandy Sanders took us out there to find some lost sheep! Some of our brothers and sisters that we haven't seen at church in a long time... to see if they need anything, and just to let them know that they are loved.

Everyone wants to be loved!
Love is the fundamental principle of the Gospel of Jesus Christ.
Without love.... we would have no purpose!
"For God so loved the world.... he gave his only begotten son."

I sure felt loved this week when our next door neighbor Christian brought us a little loaf of blueberry bread. How did she know I needed that? God must have told her my spirits have been a little weighed down recently!
It made my day.

Also had a cool opportunity to give out 6 copies of the Book of Mormon this week! What a miracle!

One of my good friends, miss Donna showed me something really cute that she got! I want to make some! Look how cute, everyone.

And of course I love little kids. Just one of the crew.

And only in the south do you see things like this.
I love it.

Oh my goodness poor Sister Sowards fell off her bike this week, it was tragic. That girl and her bike! She is alright. Just kinda rolled over when she was trying to get off it and we were in someone's driveway!
Well the guy we were talking to is really cool.
We met him a couple weeks ago and he was headed to go square dancing with his wife.
Well any of you that know me, know I love to square dance and that my uncle von is a "caller" and I would go with him all the time!
So he told us to come back another time!
This week we did.
Turns out he is from IOWA... what are the odds...
and all his kids were music majors at school.
We just had too much in common... it was insane! He told us that he is a missionary for his church and that he has been all over the world! It was so fun to swap a couple stories and he told us that his wife would love to meet us and gave us his card so we could call him another time.

Over all, it's been a good week, and things are looking up. Satan has been getting in my head recently, but I am kicking him out. Thank you for your prayers! I have felt your love and strength.

One more thought.... why do we care what everyone thinks of us?
We should care how they feel when they are around us.
Let's all let our light shine!
The great thing about being a missionary is that I am able to not think about myself so much... and don't really worry what people think about me anymore.

I care what my Heavenly Father thinks... and how he feels about the way I treat his other children.
There is hope in loving our neighbors. Let us be kind to everyone that crosses our path!

Looking upward,
Sister Brown

Monday, September 8, 2014

New and Improved

Hey ya'll! So I bet you are wondering if i really cut my hair or not, and the answer is YES!

and i'm loving it.

I have had a pretty good couple of weeks here in Louisiana.
I have been sick the past week and that has been really hard... but I am on the mend and keep me in your prayers that I will quickly be able to return to 100% awesomeness.

Last P-day we went fishin on the scout ranch in Stonewall. Some members of the ward here live on the ranch and wanted us to come fishing!
I caught a fish as big as..... my ear. Haha.

We celebrated Sister Jones' birthday this week. She is one of the sweetest ladies in the ward here and she always drives us missionaries wherever we need to go and comes to all our appointments with us! We also go out to dinner with her sometimes and of course we always love it.
Thank you to everyone that helped provide Sister Jones's birthday surprise!!!
She absolutely LOVED all the new church books, movies, and music.

Funny moment: We had dinner with the cutest little family - the Larsons.
We called them the night before and asked if there was a specific message we could teach their family about when we came for dinner.....
They told us we should share a message on telling the truth. So, we took two empty present bags and told them we had a they were way excited and then there was nothing inside.....they were sad and we talked about how when we lie to our parents it makes them feel sad, and how we shouldn't do that. They understood and didn't want to lie anymore....then we gave them a fruit roll up for being so great in the lesson!!

WELL we had transfers last week and we were all sad to say goodbye to Elder Loftin. He has been a great misisonary and a great district leader, and now he gets to go home to his family and start the next phase of his life!!! I am still here in Stonewall, and I am guessing I will be here for a couple more weeks, but we never know!
I also got to say goodbye to my good friend and my companion from Brownlee - Sister Matson!
She finally got her visa to Brazil after waiting for a year and I am so happy for her! She has greatly blessed so many people here to be serving in the Mississippi Jackson Mission and we will all miss her.

Saturday we were biking back home and were almost there when I looked up and saw this red truck and had this feeling it hadn't see us (the still small voice was warning me!) and in a matter of seconds he rolled through the stop sign and came about 6 inches from hitting Sister Sowards and I head about an adrenaline rush! I am so glad we didn't get hit and as he sped away - embarrassed to even stop and say sorry.... I had the thought that my guardian angels were looking out for me and jumped in front of the truck because it stopped so abruptly... I said a silent prayer that we would continue to be safe because there are no sidewalks here in Louisiana... It's always a game of balance as we try to ride the line and not get in the cars way.

We went visiting Teaching with Mattie (our recent convert) and got to meet someone new always fun!! then she came tracting with us! She is such a trooper! I love Mattie very much and although she has a lot of reasons to not join the church, she has one of the strongest testimonies, she really is amazing! She gives me hope to find people like her to teach that are just ready to hear the gospel and will accept it, no matter the cost!

We have been having lots of people come to church lately which is very exciting. I love to see the members that haven't been to church for a while remember why they love their Savior and man i'm telling you... sometimes all people need is some love.
We need to all love those around us! There is too much hate in the world! It's amazing what a little love can do.
We asked one of our members Sister Jackson to call and invite one of our investigators Miss Kirby to come to church with her Sister Jackson called us back and said "When I called Kirby to invite her to church she picked up right away telling me that she was just about to call me and tell me that she is ready to give it a try!"
We were so happy to hear that because we have been wanting Miss Kirby to come to church for quite a while... she always tell us that she believes in what we teach but she is too old to change! SO it was a miracle! And she came this past Sunday as well! 2 weeks in a row!

Our Relief Society President - Sister Adams does so much for us, and takes out to Logansport (a 40 min drive) to teach some people that we have out there! So we tried to "repay" her this week by scraping paint off her walls for a couple hours!

Oh did I tell ya'll that I ate some frog legs??? They were okay. Not quite as flavorful as I wanted them to be!

Well, I got pretty sick a couple days ago and we got home from working that night... walked into our apartment and hit a WALL of heat! Our air conditioner had gone out.... it was about 90 when we went inside. Well it was late, so no one could come fix it that night. We got permission to have a sleep over at a member's house and of course we stayed with Sister Jones since she loves our company so much.

The next morning I fell asleep during study time because I was pretty sick... Sister sowards of course put her quilt on top of me and snapped a picture.

Other exciting news is that our dear friend Bailee Glass got her mission call!!!!!

She has been called to serve in the Provo, Utah mission.... speaking Spanish!
Haha it's pretty funny she's going to Utah but there are lots of people up there that need the gospel too! She is going to be a wonderful missionary and I have loved the great friendship that we have made since I got to live with their family for a while and we got very close to them :)

There is a funny cat - his name is Max, and he sits on my shoes every time we go visit the Quick family. I find it quite hilarious and guess that he must love stinky missionary shoes because this is not the first pair of shoes he has loved to sit on... in fact he sits on all the missionary shoes.

One more cool missionary moment for the week. We try to go about once a week to visit a Sister in the ward who is very sick and has a lot of health problems. Her name is Sister Williamson and a lot of the time when we go over there, her physical therapist CJ is there helping her.
Well CJ has been sitting in on our spiritual messages and has been curious about our beliefs and about what we do. We have been able to share a bit with him. Well this last time we went, CJ was there again and we talked about the Book of Mormon and read a bit with Sister Williamson. As we were about to leave - Sister Williamson went to the bathroom and Sister Sowards and I offered CJ a Book of Mormon to read for himself.

He surprised us by smiling and saying "I already have one.... I picked one up from a friend last week from the missionaries that visit her because I have been curious. I haven't read it yet but I am excited to."

WELL that made us pretty excited! And then - of course Sister Williamson comes out of the bathroom and asks CJ if she could give him a copy of the book of mormon.... haha we all laughed at the funny moment and we are excited to see CJ again and see what he is thinking about the book!

That is all for this week but I hope I am feeling better next week! Please keep me in your prayers as it has been a struggle lately and Satan is discouraging me!
I know the best medicine to get rid of Satan is to get out and work and share the gospel but it has been hard since I have been so sick!

I love you, I love this gospel. I love the peace it brings to a world full of turmoil!
Talk to you soon,

Sister Marissa Brown