Sunday, March 15, 2015

The Lost Sheep

"What man of you, having an hundred sheep, if he lose one of them, doth not leave the ninety and nine in the wilderness, and go after that which is lost, until he find it?
And when he hath found it, he layeth it on his shoulders, rejoicing."
I have learned so many lessons on my mission. One of the biggest ones is that the Lord loves ALL his sheep. Those that are lost, and those who are already a part of his fold. He wants them all to come to him and he is earnestly searching for them.
I am grateful to be a helper in the field. I guess you could say at this time I am a sheep-herder.
But I will never be the shepherd...... Christ alone is the shepherd, the savior.

A tender moment of my week. One of my recent converts was really struggling. He was at the church wednesday night for scouting activites and he was crying about some personal challenges. I gave him my pack of tic tacs and told him I loved him and to cheer up! But I watched in amazement as a very special sister in our ward saw this little boy crying and filled his need. She asked him to come help her and he vaccumned the library.. and She just talked to him and told him he could come play at her house sometime.
I just love the spirit. It speaks to us differently, but so clearly... we just have to listen. I was just praying someone would give him some attention and help him to feel better. After he was given a little job to do, he got a smile on his face and felt like HE was helping someone. He felt valuable.
That's the beauty of the gospel. It's not easy, we have to be willing to contribute. But there are others to help us along the way and there are angels watching over us giving us opportunities to make a difference and to feel loved.
We never know who is ready to learn more... who needs to be loved.

On thursday Sister Nash and I went out to the country part of our area.... out to Vancleave! We visited with some members that aren't active in the church, but all of them were so sweet. We talked about the Plan of Salvation a lot, and that Heavenly Father allows us to go through trials because he knows that is how we grow and prove if we are faithful.
It was raining a lot. And I missed Sister Dagupan as my shoes were getting stuck in the mud and how the mud would act like quicksand back in shreveport and her shoes would completely come off! haha!
Awkward moment of the week, I thought it was Elder Odies birthday. So I texted our district to all call and sing him happy birthday and I was going to bring a cake to district meeting.... but then somehow I had been mis-informed.... and it wasn't his birthday. he will never let me forget that! all day he was getting happy birthday texts and wishes. haha.

Here is a picture from President Mcdonough's birthday last week - I made him birthday muffins and we all sang to him!

A time I felt inspired this week was to contact a referral we got from the other ward of members that aren't active but thought they might want to visit with us. Well we have stopped by a few times the last few months.. we were heading somewhere and I just felt like we needed to try them. So we did. Well they were moving to Tennessee in about 10 mins and had everything packed up and loaded! It was perfect timing. They know some Browns who might be from my family in Signal Mountain, Tennessee. We had a great conversation about it and they said they would give us a call when they come back to visit their kids here. It was a small and simple miracle and I love being in the right place at the right time. 
We met a catholic deacon this week, he was SO nice! I asked a lot of questions about what he does and he told us... well then i wanted to tell him what we do as missionaries. That we invite people to increase their faith in Christ! And I invited him to read the book of mormon! he said he already had one. So I told him he should really give it a chance and try reading it again! It was strange that he asked me if I was going into sales.... because I was very persistent and good at what I am doing....!
I didn't like that! I am not selling anything! I am offering people complete happiness.... for 100% free :) Anyways... i just told him my only motivation is that I KNOW this message is true. I don't get paid... i am not loved any more by the savior than he is. But I have to share what I know because it has seriously just changed my life!!!! Before we left he said he might look at the book of mormon again and he blessed us! It was great.
The senior couple in our area for the military base here in Biloxi went home this week and i forgot to mention that they - The Jordans - are the parents of my drumset teacher in Cedar City! I am sad they are leaving but they told me to come visit them when I go back to school at SUU!

My miracle for the week was teaching a part member family who the mother served a mission in hong kong and she has been feeding us every now and then! Her husband and kids aren't members so we have been teaching her children the missionary lessons. Our sister in the ward told us that there wouldn't be a chance for them to be able to be baptized though, because their grandmother wouldn't allow it. But this week we taught them a really good lesson about the gospel of Jesus Christ and what he has asked us to do while we are here on the earth! Well the sister was crying, and her daughter was crying.... because we all felt the spirit very strongly. So much - that sister melton told us that if her kids wanted to get baptized - they could. It is THEIR choice. I was just so grateful for that.
We are in charge of our own salvation.

We invited one of our investigators Adrienne who comes to sacrament every few weeks to stay for ALL 3 hours of church with us! and to come on a 3 hour adventure :) church really is an adventure and we can learn so much! that's why i love going! I always learn something new!!!!
Well Adrienne DID stay the whole time. We even went to Young Womens class with her so that she wouldn't feel alone being the 'new girl'
We also watched the Joseph Smith - Prophet of the Restoration movie with 2 of our investigators Brandon (16) and Gabe (13) this week. Their mom is a member and I feel such a strong connection to her... like we were friends in the previous life! They really enjoyed the movie and I was surprised at how much information they retained from it! I am grateful the church makes such awesome resources because I know I learn a lot from movies too... I am a visual learner. :)
Last night we taught them about the Book of Mormon. What it is. Why we have it. Why we NEED it. How it testifies of Jesus Christ. How it completes and is a fulness of Jesus Christ's doctrine. How it is the keystone of our religion and how everything we believe weighs so heavily on that book!
If the book of mormon really is true, then joseph smith really was a prophet. And the gospel really was lost over time but has been restored to the earth again.
We have to gain a testimony of the book of mormon if we really want to know if everything we are learning is true! so we have to read it and pray about it!
We asked Brandon and Gabe to pray about the book of mormon, and to pray about getting baptized. If it was something that they wanted.
Here is me with Gabe's bird.

We also celebrated national oreo day with Ashley by deep frying some oreos. Have I mentioned they deep fry everything here in the south?????

Well yesterday was my last zone conference. I woke up feeling very anxious! It was so humid. I curled my hair but it died within about 10 minutes... haha. I got to see a lot of my friends from my mission!!!! And we also won the clean car award!

Zone Conference was great and I left feeling very motivated. "YES, I CAN be a missionary!" It is so great to gather wish all the missionareis serving here along the coast and to know that there are other people out there besides me and my compaion that are doing the same thing I am doing and going through the same things that I do everyday! Then I remember there are almost 90,000 misisonaries in the world.... and I feel a little insignificant! :)

I did a musical number of "I Stand All Amazed" about the love Jesus offers us and all that he went through for us. I played the piano and sang at the same time and I hope that people felt the spirit, because i know that I did!
I got to bear my "goodbye testimony" because it was my last zone conference. It was so surreal. I talked alot about how I have learned how to make celestial choices that will prepare me for the next life and how I have learned to help others make celestial choices as well... and to see them for the potential of what they can become.... how to see others through God's eyes of the persons of Glory and Light they have the potential of becoming. That sometimes people just need to know or be reminded that they are loved.
I did. I know that God loves his lost sheep, because I know he loves me.
Time is slipping by too fast! I love feeling like people need me... like the Lord needs me to help him with his lost sheep. But I can do that when I go home too. It will just be a little harder not having all my time dedicated to one glorious purpose! I know that soon I will be home and this will all feel just like a dream! So I am just going to try not to think or talk about it at all... and just enjoy my time here one day at a time.
Love yall.
Sister Brown xoxo

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