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

Wednesday, November 5, 2014

HaPPy HaLLoWeeN‏

It's Halloween eve... I was thinking that I wanted to do something special for my companion! So I decorated our house while she was sleeping.
On Halloween we woke up and our living room and kitchen were all decorated with spider webs and candy and there were candles lit everywhere and there was a note on our whiteboard that said 
"happy halloween sisters! Love, the thing under your bed."


So Sister Nielson started freaking out trying to figure out WHO got in to our apartment WHILE WE WERE SLEEPING and did all this, dead bolting the doors behind them! 
I thought it was pretty funny and so I just went along with it.
So all day she was accusing people and everyone was denying it...
FINALLY that night I couldn't keep it a secret anymore and spilled the beans. She couldn't believe that I did it, and I couldn't believe that she didn't ever even guess it was me that did it!

For Halloween, our ward did a trunk or treat and all us missionaries made our hair a crazy color! It was pretty exciting.

Sister Nielson and I decided to make some banana bread for some of our investigators this week for a Halloween gift :)

Speaking of investigators, we taught the Harris family the word of wisdom and they accepted very readily! It is sure hard for people in the south to give up their sweet tea, but the Lord doesn't want us to have any addictions, no matter what they are!
While tracting this week we met a lady who was selling local honey, and I learned something new this week that local honey can help with you allergies. :) Sister Nielson and I have been sharing our jar and we eat it on toast, cereal, everything!
Kirby, the 80 year old SWEET lady that I was teaching got baptized a couple weeks ago, and I forgot to mention that! I am so glad that I got to teach her! I wish that I could have been there for her baptism, but Sister Sowards sent me this picture!

We got to watch "meet the mormons" over in Gulfport at the church there this week --- which was an awesome movie! I really enjoyed it and it was fun to see that there are members of the church ALL over the world and they are so different, but we all have the same beliefs!

I had an awkward moment after the movie was over.... everyone had to go to the bathroom! I accidentally walked into the boys bathroom. OH it was so awkward! Well that is all i'm going to say about that, don't want to get into detail.

Sister Nielson and I have been working a lot with the members of the church here. It is so fun to be able to teach their family members, and friends. We love to teach anyone, but especially those that know or have friends that are mormons! They usually have questions and we love to answer them!

I will give an example.
Carla Cannon is a wonderful member of our church. She was away for quite a long time, but she is back now, and she wants us Sister Missionaries to start teaching her grandchildren! We are teaching 4 of them right now, ages 13,12,11, and 10. All the kids were so excited for us to teach them, and I was excited too because I am a kid myself!
So we got 4 new people to teach from one of our memebers this week and we were very excited!

Well to finish off today I just want to write how we need to love our companions! As missionaries, and in the real world too!
How I show my companion that I love her is by making us french toast for breakfast, and by drawing her diagrams of how to wash her feet in our shower :) shower markers make every shower lots more fun.

I love being a missionary! I love representing the savior and to help love others the way that he has taught us. It is the best thing I ever did with my life! Thank you to all who support and love me!
Love, Sister Brown