Monday, August 31, 2015

Back to the Barn

Hey Y'all!

This week has felt especially crazy. It seemed like two weeks put into one. To start off, I got some horse time! One of the members we ate dinner with this week owns a bunch of horses (and races them). He let us go look at them before dinner. Even though I wasn't able to ride, it was just fun to be with my 'people' again ;) 
Lindsay digs the little red barn!

Honestly, this week Sister Cattin and I met one of our biggest challenges yet. Our amazing investigator, Clay, had a huge set back. Long story short, he isn't really progressing anymore and we aren't focusing on teaching him at the moment. He will need to come to the gospel by himself before we will be able to continue helping him. Lots of little things built up to make it a difficult week for the work, but Sister Cattin and I both kept our chins up and know that God is always with us. Everything has a purpose. Ultimately, what needs to happen in the grand scheme of things will happen. We do not see the full perspective. We can only understand what we can see at this point in time. It is crucial that we realize God has so much more planned than what we can hope for at the time. Often, a small set back is there because it will allow for increased growth and progression in the future. 

This week we helped yet another family move. Whew. It seems like everyone in Cochran is moving! As we were packing, Sister Cattin and I realized the moving truck could be packed much more efficiently and would be able to fit a lot more of the things this couple needed to move. So we played some fantastic life-sized Tetris. It really was a blast and I was so excited for the extra workout!

On Sunday we had a great experience. We met a member's girlfriend at church (we weren't expecting to see her there, so it was a wonderful surprise!). She was so sweet! We asked if we could come by later and visit their family. Later that afternoon we stopped by the member's home to talk with them and the son's girlfriend. We got to know her first and then had a short lesson with her on what this gospel could do for her ("10 points" for those missionaries who will know what that is). As we were leaving, the mother came up to us, thanked us for coming, and then said, "I don't know what you did, but whatever it worked and was awesome! I could feel the spirit so strong. Thank you!" Agh! That is the best thing a missionary could hear! We were so happy :) We're excited to get to know this young lady better. But honestly, it wasn't us. The reason this gospel is spreading so quickly is because the truth can be felt. It is the Holy Ghost bearing witness that the things being said are true and are from God. It's incredible to feel that presence. The Holy Ghost is the real teacher. 

Oh my goodness, I almost forgot to write about this! I started again on the 15th of July and finished the Book of Mormon this past week. It was wonderful! As I was reading in Ether, I realized I would be finishing soon and said a prayer to receive a witness if it was true and from God. First, I love love love Ether 12 which is all about Faith. Such an incredible chapter. I would definitely challenge you all to read it this week! Then, I read in Moroni 7:9 which says, "If he shall pray and not with real intent of heart; yea, and it profiteth him nothing, for God receiveth none such." At first, I started thinking of Clay and how he wasn't receiving an answer (or recognizing the answer he was receiving) because he did not have real intent. There was no way he was going to change his lifestyle even if God told him to. Then I thought "How am I like Clay?" "How do I need to pray with real intent?" I was the one who really needed this verse. I prayed yet again with as much 'real intent' as I could. Later in the chapter I read verse 16 I read "I show unto you the way to judge; for every thing which inviteth to do good, and to persuade to believe in Christ, is sent forth by the power and gift of Christ; wherefore ye may know with a perfect knowledge it is of God."  BOOM There was the answer as clear as day. I thought back to everything I had read in the last 54 days and it all testified of Christ. It all persuaded those who read it to do good. I truly felt at peace and a great joy and gratefulness for the Book of Mormon filled my heart. How wonderful this book is! If you have not read through it all before or recently, please do so now! It Is True and it is for US! 

I love you all so so very much. You have all made a difference in my life. Keep up the good work! Sorry for the length of this email. Oops. 

Until next time, this is Sister Brown signing off :)

Monday, August 24, 2015


What a week we have had! Okie dokie, I'm going to start off with saying that yesterday and this morning were the first time it has felt anything but HOT in Georgia. It was in the 80s and sooo good feeling :) I could even wear a jacket if I wanted. (ha. I will never complain about it being hot in Utah again). 

Sister Cattin and Sister Brown
Dynamic duo!
For the last few weeks sister Cattin and I have been making certain sacrifices in order to show Heavenly Father just how much we truly want our investigators to take their commitments seriously which will allow them to truly come closer to Jesus Christ. Well, we hadn't seen much happen until this week. 

Having people come to church has always been something super difficult for us. The people here are absolutely wonderful and so so sweet..but they don't like to actually take action and DO things. Well, this week we had 4 people come to church! Oh my goodness, we were so happy! In fact, tying back to the story I shared last week about Clay receiving a blessing of healing, we were talking with clay one night about how things in his life have been. We were discussing this new job opportunity that had opened up to him and how excited he is to hopefully get the job. Out of the blue, he says he thinks he needs to go to church. Woah. This is the same man who refused to be in the same room as his wife when she was taking the discussions because he hated the church that badly. I have seen a change in this person within just the short time I have been here and it is amazing! I never realized just how precious and incredible missionary work is. Even with all the hardships in his life (he seriously has a ton right now!) he has come closer to Christ and his heart has been softened. This journey has been amazing. 

Next, we have been meeting with this young man, Brandon, who is a friend of a young family. This family has a hard time coming to church although their testimonies are very strong. While we have been working with Brandon, we have seen some amazing things. The dad of the family who doesn't come actually came to church this week with his WHOLE family. We have been teaching Brandon in their home and it has strengthened both Brandon and this couple so much. It is amazing to see their testimonies of the Savior grow as they testify to Brandon of their love for Jesus Christ, The Book of Mormon, and the truth found within the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. Wow. What an experience. 

Lastly, we met a very unique young man this week. While we were knocking doors in a particular apartment complex, we ran into a young man who is Muslim and from Africa. He had just moved to Georgia (and the US) that day! Talk about timing. He spoke English very well, but as we continued to talk to him we found out he is from a little town near Nigeria. Where he is from, people mostly speak french and some English. BOOM. Sister Cattin got super excited! She actually speaks French. So they were able to have a wonderful lesson in French. We have been back to see him one other time so far. When we go, we sit on a little rug in the corner of his apartment. It's so amazing to discuss the differences in culture and to see how he lives and what he believes. We hope we can help him experience the joy that comes from knowing Jesus Christ truly is our Savior and Redeemer. It's interesting trying to teach someone who doesn't believe in Jesus because everyone in the South usually has that common ground with us already. I'm so excited for him and this adventure he's on! 
One of my favorite things about Georgia-> the clouds!
They are so so fluffy and there are always so many
of them. It's crazy. No picture I take will do it justice.

I will stop here as to refrain from boring everyone..but that's been our week :) It has been full of much hard, hard work...but also some miracles in the making. :) 
I love the gospel and I am eternally grateful I know where to find the truth. Count your blessings because they truly are wonderful and many.
Love you all!! Have a blessed week. 
-Sister Brown

Monday, August 17, 2015

1st transfer gone :(

Hello Everyone!

One transfer has already flown by. I am staying in Cochran (don't be too shocked :D ) and am super excited to continue working with the people here. I feel like we are about to see a huge breakthrough in meeting people who want to hear our message. I'm so excited for all of them! Whoever they are :)
Jazmin and I became best friends from the first
moment I met her and her family.

This week was crazy. We ended up going to Macon (about an hour away) twice! Talk about a blow to our plans. Even with these trips (one expected, one not), the Lord still put those people we needed to see in to our path. For example, last week we were going to visit one of our investigators but she and her two back ups (people we were going to see if she wasn't there) fell through. On our way back to the car, we ran into 3 people who all wanted to talk to us one right after another. It happened so fast we could barely keep up with all the conversations. One of the men is coming to church next week (a ride has already been arranged and he is so excited!) with his fiance and his godmother. The other man we met just had a death in the family and could truly use our message. He was having such a hard time coping. We plan on meeting with him more this week and bringing him cookies or something to show him we love him and are here to help. It is amazing the people God will place in your path when you are willing to listen to the spirit no matter how small the prompting. 

A neat story from this week: 
For the past several months we have been working with a man. His name is Clay and is married to a sweet woman who was just baptized in January. She read the Book of Mormon in three days and wanted to be baptized as soon as she could. Her husband, Clay, was very much against the church. To keep the story short, he basically told her she was joining a cult and it was either him or the church. Well, she said "see ya later." this shocked clay and he quickly told her she could be baptized and he wanted to learn more about this church she felt so strongly was true. Months later, he is still being taught by us. It is amazing to see the progress he has made so far from where he was. It is slow, but it is progress. Recently he got very sick. He was against the idea of receiving a blessing of healing, but one day we got a text from his wife saying it was so bad and that Clay had asked for a blessing. We set one up and went over there. The experience was incredible. After the blessing, Clay said he could not remember the last time he felt that much peace. He kept saying thank you, thank you. His wife was so happy and we told him this was the comfort of the Holy Ghost that God was blessing him with. We explained that he could have that all the time after baptism. It was a wonderful experience.
With a church on every corner here (literally),
we thought it was funny this one had a traffic sign.
Other than that, things were a little cooler this week (hallelujah) or we just weren't outside as much. We met someone who speaks French! That's almost unheard of in Georgia. Sister Cattin is very excited because she served in France before coming to Georgia. Everything's good in Cochran!

Thank you all for being so wonderful! The Lord has a plan for each and everyone of you. When things get tough, remember that if we put our trust in Him, He WILL direct our paths. It's hard to do completely, but it is most definitely the best and only way to go. 

Sister Brown

Monday, August 10, 2015

Week 6 Already?

I don't have a ton of time today, but I'll give y'all a few quick stories from this week.
To begin, this week my companion and I have decided to have a week of sacrifice in hopes that the Lord will be able to touch our investigator's hearts and that they will be willing to keep their commitments so they can receive spiritual witnesses of the truth! We have decided to cut our lunch hour to 15 min in the car and proselyte instead. We also have some personal sacrifices we are making. We know that the Lord will see our sincerity for our investigators and will soften their hearts if it is right for them. 

One of the young men from our ward here just left on his mission to Salt lake city! How awesome :) So, if anyone sees and Elder Grafton in SLC, make sure to say hi to him. 
Sister Cattin got a laugh from me feeding this poor little
puppy some water on a super hot day. It looked like his
family had moved out of the house and left him :'(
They might just come back later though
because there were some boxes left outside.

Every week we have an FHE activity for recent converts, less active members, investigators, and really anyone who wants to come. This week sister Cattin and I had a crazy scavenger hunt. It was based on the 13 articles of faith. All the kids loved it! They were so excited. Hopefully they remember a few of the principles actually taught about what we believe. The articles of faith are a great way to spread what we believe and help others come closer to Christ. So that's my challenge to all of you! Find someone to give an articles of faith pass along card to! :) Missionary work is an absolute blast when you get going. Not only that, but you are offering an incredible treasure to those you share the gospel with. 

We had some large disappointments with a few of our investigators this week. We love them SOOO much that we just want to see them put forth the time and effort to act on their faith so they can receive a spiritual witness. A witness of truth will not come at once and cannot come without action. So this week I have learned the valuable lesson of doing all I can, but then putting my complete trust in the Lord. God loves His children even more than I do. For this reason, I know He will help to soften their hearts at the perfect time for them. 
A fun story to close on, this week we ate dinner with a couple who absolutely loves the missionaries(especially the sisters)! They had asked us before hand what our favorite holiday was...we ended up deciding it was Christmas.
Christmas in August in Georgia!
When we got to our dinner appointment, we walked into a Christmas dinner complete with music, snowmen plates, and some cute presents! We had just had some sad news before this appointment, but when we were able to talk with them we felt their love so strongly. They lifted us back upon our feet and reminded us that the Lord is mindful of our every situation. 
I love this Gospel and I testify that Jesus Christ is the son of God! This truth brings me such joy. Let it touch your heart again and again. :) 

Love y'all!
Sister Brown

Monday, August 3, 2015

Service, Meetings, Broken AC Units

Hello Everyone!

This week was full of many service opportunities and lots of meetings! On Tuesday, we went to help a young married couple prepare their house for a big move they are going to make at the end of this month up to Minnesota! We were there for hours cleaning. It was quite the experience. There was a whole lot of mold, cat hair, and dirty dishes and clothes involved, but it was all worth it. I love this young lady so much, and we want to help her out as much as we can. Love trumps all.

Wednesday we had a service project cleaning someone's yard and yet another incredible day in Eastman. There is a particular apartment complex we have spent almost two full days in during the last week. Seeing how we only get to go to Eastman twice a week, that says something. Every way we turned, we ran into someone who was ready for the gospel. If you are being obedient and trying your hardest, the Lord will put those you need to talk to in your path. Realizing this makes me hope I have not missed any previous opportunities the Lord gave me to strengthen someone. Our life is our mission.

Friday was our "Greenie" conference. One of the most important things I was reminded of was that our attitude means everything. No matter what you are doing in life, I promise that it is what you make it. WE decide what our success will be the second we get out of bed. It was a neat experience, and it was great to see some 'old' mission friends. :) That night we got home to a pretty toasty apartment. Actually, it was the hottest place I have ever been in and it smelled like fire. Turns out our AC unit blew out and we had a bit of an adventure that night. In the end, we are all safe and sound.

Saturday finished off our service projects as we set up for a wedding reception. While decorating, we had a chance to talk with family members of the couple who were not members of our church. It was wonderful to build relationships with them and hopefully bring them closer to Christ. :)

That's all for now folks! Have a wonderful week! Find someone to serve!!
-Sister Brown