Monday, February 9, 2015

Finding Joy through Obedience!‏

That is my motto lately. FINDING JOY :)
See, iIeven put it on my planner cover!
How do YOU find JOY????? Let me know!!!!

The time is slowly slipping away from me! Another transfer is coming to a close.
I only have 2 more transfers left!
So, I am pretty sure that I will be staying here in Ocean Springs for my last few transfers. But I will let ya'll know!
The work right now is amazing and I can't wait to tell you all about my week.
On Monday Shunta Thomas and the girls who are some of our recent converts came with us to teach the Melton family! Sister Melton served a mission in Hong Kong, China, but her husband is a member of another church and so are their children. They allowed us to come practice teaching them about the restoration of Jesus Christ's church, and about the Book of Mormon! It was an awesome visit, and afterward we made a trip to Krispy Kreme and ate some donuts.

On Tuesday I had a tracting miracle!
We knocked on someone's door and she opened it and yelled "MORMONS! :)" with a huge grin on her face! That's not usually the reaction we get so I didn't really know what to say!
But then she asked what we were doing and we told her that we were just going around the neighborhood looking for people to teach!
She told us that she had gone to quite a few girl's camps and youth activities with the church because she grew up in Las Vegas and there are actually a lot of members there.
Then she told us she was busy helping her kids with homework but told us to come back friday.
Well, we had a meeting in Gulfport on Friday so we asked if we could come back another day and agreed to a Monday meeting.
So we are going to ride our bikes to her house right after we are done emailing and hopefully it goes well! I'm pretty excited and I don't have a problem with sacrificing some P-DAY time to teach someone! I'm just glad to have people to teach!
We have been going out with a lot of the members here to see other people! I guess working with the members is one of my special talents because at the end of the week almost all my lessons have been with a member present at our lesson! But I LOVE IT and our members here are awesome! I have had awesome members my whole mission!
An amazing miracle happened!
Do ya'll remember a couple of weeks ago when I wrote about the sweet girl that was healed from a priesthood blessing? Named Boosie? I think in my email I might have called her Aunt Bessie.


This is Linda Bingham AKA "Boosie."
She is a MIRACLE. She is the reason my testimony of the priesthood is so strong!
Before we even started teaching her, she moved down here and found our church.
She told sister Cannon in our ward about how she needed a white dress so that she could get baptized!
So needless to say, our first lesson with her was amazing! We were all crying because the spirit was so strong and Boosie has such a testimony!
She was so excited to read the Book of Mormon, and she has probably taken reading this book more seriously than any people I have taught on my mission. 
Yesterday we also watched the movie about the History of  Joseph Smith and the restoration of the Gospel of Jesus Christ. We had a big party with the Bingham kids who were recently baptized, Julie their mom, and a couple members! It was a very spiritual night and all our testimonies were strengthened by watching that movie together!
We are going to try and teach Linda every day before her baptism so that she can learn everything! I feel so trusted that Heavenly Father has given me the most elect investigator ever!!!!!!!
I got a really exciting txt message the other night saying that my investigator from Stonewall, Louisiana - Ashlea Smith - had been baptized! I was so excited because Sister Jenkins and I knew that she would get baptized and have just been praying for her to make the decision!

On Friday we went to teach the Olivers and Josh Oliver decided that he wanted to teach US the lesson. He did such a good job and I am just so proud of that family!
Josh taught us about the priesthood and he did a wonderful job sharing his testimony about how he got to take the sacrament to the shut ins and bless it for them in their homes. That was his first time! He also bore his testimony on fast Sunday this week about how we Sisters have changed his family's life and I of course cried! I secretly hope that Josh will think about serving a mission! He is 18 and he would be an amazing missionary.

On Sunday I had to say a very sad goodbye to the McLain family! They are one of my favorite families in the ward. They got baptized in August but I have still been teaching them every week since I got here. REALLY.... they have been teaching me. I have never met more Christlike people in my life! It breaks my heart but I know that the Lord has a purpose for them in North Carolina and they will be such a light to the ward up there! I think this is really going to help them grow as well! They always do so much for us and I will cherish my memories of them feeding us dinner on Christmas, having fun at the ward Halloween and so many spirit filled lessons in between.

So I have the great news, that Gabe and Schylar Harris will be getting baptized this weekend by their father, Bobby Harris who was baptized about a month ago! He has been ordained to the priesthood and is excited to take part in his childrens' baptism. I will make sure to post pictures!
They fed us tacos this week and I was so happy! I love tacos and can't wait to go straight to Cafe Rio when I get home. :)

The last thing I must say is that I have gained a testimony of doing things even when we don't want to do them!
Yesterday was SuperBowl Sunday. I didn't really want to go tracting. Sister McGregor REALLY didn't want to go tracting. But I promised her that if we were obedient and got our tracting done, the Lord would bless us! Turns out after a few doors people were pretty cordial, but it was obvious that we were interrupting "football time"
I remembered that I was promised in my setting apart as a missionary to 
"not give up before the miracle."
And that when i feel darkness.... to keep going because something good is about to happen!
That when I kept going even though it seems pointless... there will be a light at the end of the tunnel!
THE LAST TEN MINUTES OF TRACTING...... we were able to give out 2 Book of Mormons and get return appointments to come and talk to them about it.
See, obedience brings blessings!!!!!

I know that Jospeh Smith once said:
"When we obtain any blessing from God, it is by obedience to that law upon which it is predicated."
Doctrine and Covenants 130:21
And I have really understood that this week between all the blessings I have been given, and as I watch and take part in of the lives of the people I am teaching around me.
I testify that we don't always know EVERYTHING. But that is because the Lord wants us to show our obedience. And as soon as we do that, we will understand and He will bless us. I have seen that as we first try living the commandments.... then we understand better their purpose.
Our Father in Heaven wants nothing more for us, than our happiness and our joy.
May happiness and joy through obedience be our eternal quest!!!!!!
With Love,
Sister Brown

I hope that I don't get transferred because I would miss the beach and all of my friends here!!!
Hope you enjoy a few more pictures.
Including me conquering my fear of jellyfish! I held this dead one!
And a homemade face mask made of mineral clay.
And my BFF's Ashley and Boudreaux, my cuddle buddy!

This from the editor/poster: For some reason Marissa didn`t send the rest of the pictures (2), sorry! 

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