Monday, September 28, 2015

Craziness in Cochran

Well, this week was full of crazy..but that's good. 

To start off, the news of transfers is that Sister Cattin is moving on to another area. With that being said, there have been lots of goodbyes this weekend. so sad :( I am staying in Cochran and will be training a brand new missionary. It's crazy to think that after just 12 weeks I'll be training someone else, but really, if I do my job right, it will be the spirit training and not me. Whew. I can see many prayers in my near future. 

Jazmin (one of our investigators) loves animals and
catches them...then they jump into my face :)
This week I also got to experience what it is like to be a mom with crazy kids during Sacrament meeting. Yesterday we had a wonderful investigator, Desaree, come to church. She lives about 20-30 minutes away from the church building, but we set up a ride for her to be able to come and she didn't cancel!! That's amazing :D Plus she brought her two kids! I was so, so happy to see her there. There is nothing better as a missionary than seeing people come closer to Christ. When we go to church, it is not the physical building that is important but the saving doctrine we learn(whether from a speaker or the spirit) as well as the renewal of our most precious and sacred covenants. Each week I am absolutely Giddy to walk through those doors and be welcomed into the chapel. But back to yesterday's story.. sacrament meeting is last in our ward, and by that point, Desaree's children were tired. We were trying our best to help keep them quiet..but that was really all we could do. Oh how my heart goes out to the mothers with small children! Something I hope to do when I have my own kids is to "practice Sunday" with them throughout the week in preparation for sacrament meeting. Even with such practice, I can't imagine how difficult it would be to continue going to church every week with noisy kids. I'm so grateful my mom did. Keep it up moms!! You're superstars :D 

Heavenly Father understands how hard you're trying. Not a hair of your head goes unnoticed from God (D&C 84:116).

This week I have been thinking about what I've learned throughout my training that I want to keep with me all my mission. The 'motto' I guess you could call it that I've come up with is that I want to Teach with power, authority, and love. As a missionary, we have been given a special authority to teach the true restored gospel. We have been given a special job and a special power to accomplish this job. I never want to limit God's work because I doubt His ability to work through me. While I am weak, He is not. Where I would fail, He never would. I don't have to worry about my shortcomings, because this is not my work, it is His! He can work through us. "If ye have desires to serve God ye are called to the work" (D&C 4:3) Let Him work through you!
The Baptism:D:D:D:D

Oh my goodness, I almost forgot... One of the families we have been working with to help "reactivate" them had their son baptized this Saturday!! By his father!!! That's so amazing :D It was a huge miracle. Oh I am so happy for their family! The parents are hoping to be sealed together (with their family) around Christmas time. 
Love you all so much! Be safe! Rely on the Lord even when it seems He is too far out of reach. He is there. waiting for you to truly come back to Him.

-Sister Brown

Monday, September 21, 2015

End of Transfer #2

Wow, time has flown and it is already time for our next transfer call. It will be interesting to see what happens because Sister Cattin has been in Cochran for 6 months already. There is less and less of a chance we will both be staying here. I guess I'll let y'all know next week what happens :)

This week we had some wonderful experiences. To start off the email, I'll talk a little about Josh. When I very first came to Cochran, we tried multiple times a week to get a hold of this person who Sister Bradford (the sister who I replaced) said she just couldn't get off her mind and wanted to try to contact. Well, we had NO luck. So we stopped trying for a while. Well last week we felt inspired to swing by his house. When we did, he was actually home! A miracle! He had met with sister missionaries in the past so as we were talking to him, he brought up a bunch of wonderful questions. It was such a good discussion! Later, when we came back the next week, we asked him about his BOM reading assignment (the intro page). He had read it! And he had yet more wonderful questions. Sister Cattin kept saying that she feels so strongly that she had known Josh in the life before this because he seems so familiar. There's a reason we've finally been able to meet with him. He's probably one of the most open minded baptists we've talked to while here. Maybe not now, but at some point we pray he will accept the gospel and start on the pathway to eternal life. Anyway, at the end of our discussion, he said, "Well since you've taken up some of my time..can I take up some of yours?" We said sure, and he went to go get his guitar. Apparently he plays for his church's band. He played some commonly known worship songs (thank goodness I listened to the k-love, the christian radio station, before coming out :D ) and we all sang along. The spirit was so strong. It was a wonderful experience! We were then able to testify that how we all felt while singing is exactly how he can feel when he reads the Book of Mormon. 

Exchanges were this week and sister Cattin was almost too sick to have them. Luckily, she was able to feel well enough to get up and push through the nausea. I stayed in Cochran while she went to Warner Robins. I got to drive for the first time in about 3 months! ha that was exciting ;) Only teasing, everything went really smoothly. It made me realize just how much pressure is put on the person who has been in the area for the longest though. It was a good experience to have seeing how I'm not guaranteed to stay with my trainer after this week. 

We had a fun service project where we painted part of a house! I was so nervous I wouldn't be doing it right, but apparently it's a whole lot easier than I'd thought. Oh the things you learn how to do on your mission :) 

One of the Elder's investigators was baptized this week. He has had a very long journey while learning about the gospel. It was wonderful to see him finally step into the waters of baptism! So exciting :) 

That's all for this week. I wish you all a safe and wonderful upcoming week!
-Sister Brown

Monday, September 14, 2015

A Week to Remember

This week seems so jumbled, I'm not sure what to share. We had some really crazy experiences and also some pretty amazing miracles. As a sister missionary, people tell you everything. We become really close really quickly with some of these families. After a certain experience at a less active member's house, Sister Cattin and I looked at each other and had to just laugh because of everything that had happened. We figured we must be considered family to them at that point. 

As a quick service update: This week my companion, Sister Cattin, said something very true. She said, "Sister, you will probably help more people move in this mission that you will see baptisms." Ha. yep you guessed it, we helped two more families move this week! 

A story from this week, we got to meet with this young man. His name is Jordan and he's about 16. Long story short, he pretty much announced on Facebook that he was looking for church because he lost faith in his pastor and he wanted to find a better church. Well, one of our less active member friends commented on his post and told him about our church. Fast forward a few weeks...She has now been teaching him with us, and it has been amazing! Not only is he learning, but it is strengthening her testimony so much. 

This young man has some mental disabilities. We have been trying to decide what to do in this situation because he has a hard time remembering things we have taught and we aren't always certain about how much he understands. This experience reminded me of my wonderful cousin who has down syndrome. He is such a huge example to me. Even though he doesn't understand everything in the same way we do, my cousin had the strongest desire to be baptized. Through much help on his parents' part, he was able to be baptized and even receive the Aaronic priesthood later on. While he wouldn't need to be baptized in order to enter the kingdom of Heaven, he still had the strongest desire to because, somehow, he understood that he wanted to follow Jesus Christ's example. Jesus Christ did not need to be cleansed of sin. He lived the perfect life. However, he was still baptized to "fulfill all righteousness." What an amazing experience it has been to reflect on my cousin's decision in parallel with this fantastic investigator we are working with. We are so excited for Jordan. He loves the church so much and we pray his parents will see it truly bringing light into his life. 

Now for a miracle... This week we were talking to members/investigators in the hall right before church started and in walked Susan! Susan was a young girl (one of the most mature 13 yr. old I've talked to) who was so so so ready for the gospel. She was amazing! The only reason she had not yet been baptized was because her dad had suggested she wait a year. We would go read the Book of Mormon with her, she would find quotes for us from apostles, and she would come to church and Wednesday night activities every week. One day she called us and told us she had talked with her dad and hadn't seen how this church had made a difference in her life, so she wasn't going to come anymore. We were so, so sad. We weren't sure what her dad had said, but we just prayed she would be able to feel the difference without the church in her life. Well, out of the blue, she came back for a week! We aren't going to push anything..but we are praying for her with all our heart!

Oh, also something funny I just remembered. I don't know if it's just in the south or if really the whole world is scared, but everyone here believes the world is about to end/world war 3 is starting. ha. To add onto that, Sister Cattin and I both run into the second coming (whether in study or conversation) multiple times every day. So...prepare ye prepare ye ;) But seriously, what an incredible time we live in to prepare the way for the Jesus Christ's second coming! How glorious it will be when we see Him again :) Love yall!

That's all for this week. Love you all. Be safe and trust in the Lord so He may direct your path :)
<3 Sister Brown

Tuesday, September 8, 2015

Cooking, birthday parties, and miracles

This week we have been running from one thing to the next!

We had zone conference this Tuesday and a few hours of that were dedicated completely to the Sabbath day training given by the quorum of the 12. I believe all the stakes were supposed to watch the videos during combined Sunday School on the 5th Sunday, so hopefully y'all were able to see them. I have learned so much about the Sabbath! What an incredible opportunity we have to show our commitment to the Lord. In Ezk 20:20 it talks about the Sabbath being a sign to God. What sign do we want to send to our Father in heaven? How can we make our sign of love for Him more evident by how we act on the Sabbath day? 

Miss Sharon moved to Atlanta this week :'(
we sure do love her. There have been so many
people moving recently. Miss Sharon was baptized
several months ago but we would usually try
to visit her about once a week.
On Saturday we went to this cute 2 yr. old's birthday. His Grandma isn't active, but we've been visiting her recently and she really wants to start coming back to church and eventually go to the temple. It's amazing to see the changes within her :)

We also had a little miracle yesterday morning. Last Wednesday we ran into this sweet lady named Chrystal who had just moved with her husband and two kids from Minnesota. We were driving to an address we had been told to go visit, but I felt prompted to pull over and knock at a certain home. So I quickly told Sister Cattin to pull over. As we were praying I asked for guidance concerning this family we were about to meet. It was crazy because I had this picture of a man who would answer the door but I felt that I needed to pray for a family. It turns out we did meet a man at the door but then the family we were led to was visiting him and his wife at their home.

Long story, sorry. Well, we met Chrystal at this home which is in a city about 30 minutes away from where we live, but it turns out she was moving to a place just a few streets over from where we live in Cochran. She had also met the missionaries when she was in High school! 
EVERYONE has a pet in Georgia..some people
have many. :)

Monday morning we went over to her apartment but couldn't get into the building at all because you had to have a key card. We were devastated. We realized there was NO way we could get a hold of her. We turned it over to the Lord and realized that if He wanted us to meet her again, we would. We start to drive out of the parking lot and, no joke, we both look to the right and say, "Is that Chrystal?" YES! Clearly, we are supposed to get to know this wonderful lady. What a miracle.

Have a wonderful week! Remember, WE have to be the one to open our heart and let Christ enter.

Love you all!
Sister Brown