Wednesday, November 25, 2015

Attitude of Gratitude

What a week! :) We have seen miracle after miracle this week. We have also had to deal with heartache. Even among the sadder moments, there is something to be grateful for. That is what I have realized this week.

One of our investigators is in a difficult situation. He is absolutely incredible, yet facing challenges that no one should need to face all because of the decisions of others. After much searching for guidance, Sister Demann and I just sat together and cried in our companion study because our hearts ached for his well being. We then realized how truly grateful we should be. There was so much good in the situation! We discussed how God has led His life and how He IS being strengthened in Christ. I am grateful Heavenly Father allows us to feel for others. I am so grateful for moments of sadness because they cause me to look for the good. As I look for the good, blessings can be found in every moment of our lives. I am SO thankful for a Father who allows us to become more like Him through the experiences we face in this life. I know He is there. I know that He is watching over you, me, and all of His children. He loves us. He LOVES us. Amazing :)

Something funny this week, we have been sporadically teaching this lady named Sheri. She wanted us to teach her husband, so we kept trying to go back and meet him. Well, we went back one day and a man opened the door. He introduced himself as Patrick. Hmm we were thinking...that's the name of Sheri's firstborn son. We kept talking to him and figured out he was not Sheri's husband, but he was Annie's husband (we thought Annie and Sheri are sisters). Ok, cool. So we keep talking and he mentions that his twin is actually married to Sheri. Oh, ok... so sisters married twins. Then the twin pulls into the driveway. Patrick introduces us to his twin (Sheri's husband) saying, "This is my twin, Patrick." WHAT? Yes. The twins married sisters, and are both named Patrick. Really? Well, to make matters worse, they both named their firstborn sons Patrick. Goodness, that was one of the most confusing doorstep contacts I've ever had. Now we just call them Annie and Sheri's husbands.

I don't have a ton of time left, but I just want to say I'm grateful for the driving experience I've had with 4 wheelers and my Uncle Matt's land rover while driving in sand and clay. There are some pretty sketchy dirt roads here, and the rain has led us to some great adventures. Last week was the first time we almost got stuck, but the Lord prepares his servants with the knowledge we need. Thanks for all those who helped to prepare me beforehand!

Be safe and find some way to express how grateful you are to your Father in heaven this week :)
Love you all!
Sister Brown

Monday, November 16, 2015

Pigs and Pecans

Surprise! It does get cold in Georgia! Well, in Cochran anyways. Sister Demann and I were both quite shocked by the weather this week..but when the sun's out, you couldn't ask for more perfect weather. 

This week we had our Zone Training Meeting. One of the "trainings" was on the Book of Mormon. I absolutely love this book! While being on my mission, I have found a greater love for this book of scripture that I didn't know I could have. It has always been a source of peace and comfort for me throughout my life. When I needed to find an answer to a question, I would study its words. However, since I have been out sharing it with others and studying it more intently, my love for the teachings has blossomed. One morning about a month back, I picked up my copy that is marked with the individual pieces of the Doctrine of  Christ in different colors, and a sweet, pure love filled my heart. I cannot describe how much closer this book has brought me to my Savior, Jesus Christ. It is a treasure! I promise it can change your life. But back to the training, something that stood out to me was the thought of "How are we introducing the Book of Mormon to those we meet?" If this is something more valuable than gold, how do we present it? We should tell people, "I am privileged to share something so precious to me with you.." What an incredible give for free. Something their salvation depends on! Something that can and will change their life. How incredible. We should share our love for the Book of Mormon with all we meet. It was not given to us in this day to be hid. 

We have been trying to find some of the less active members that we've never met before this week. While we were looking for one gentleman, we ended driving to a sketchier part of town. It was really confusing where we were supposed to be going, so we got out and decided to walk up to the community of trailers and ask someone if they know where he lived (one nice thing about the south...people know a lot about their neighbors ;) Love them!). Anyways, we were walking on this dirt road up to two men working outside. They were trying to cut something in half with a chainsaw...neither of them seemed drunk though, so we continued along our journey. As we got nearer to them, I noticed what they were trying to cut...a pig. Like a full on pig. Yep. To spare you the details, it was quite messy and I wasn't planning on shaking hands with either of them. I'm not sure if they did get the head off or not. Sorry, that may have been a bit much. Sister Demann didn't notice at first, but when she did she kept saying sister, sister, sister. Under my breath I just said, "I know" and had a short conversation with the men. Good news is, we found the less active! Yay! We'll try to visit him again later. 

As far as the Pecans go...they are everywhere! It's crazy.. everyone here seems to have pears and pecans :) I've started noticing pecan trees are everywhere. Not just at people's houses...but in the random lots that no one owns. Pretty neat. We went out with a member and she was picking them up from the side walk. She told us we should take them home with us because she already has tons from her yard. It was so cute! She's such a funny lady :D 

Be safe, share what you love with someone else :) 
Sister Brown

Monday, November 9, 2015

Stayin' in Cochran!! :)

Good Afternoon!! 

Yet another amazing week here in Georgia. This week, however, is especially fantastic. Why is that? I'll tell you why. Because we had 8 investigators come to church! Nope, that's not a typo --> 8, eight! Ack. Eight people kept the commitment they made to their Heavenly Father that they would set aside time to purely worship and deepen their relationship with their Him and their Savior. How wonderful!! Church is more than just attending is commanded that we attend church. ALL the commandments God has given to us are given in order for Him to more freely bless us. These people were allowing God to pour even greater blessings upon them. As sister Demann and I were discussing church in the car ride home, I literally squealed. How incredible that these people are preparing for an even more important commitment and ultimately a covenant between them and their Father. Oh, how I love this gospel! As Doctor Suess would say, "Try it, try it and you will see." Or something like that. Experiment upon the Lord's word and you WILL see how wonderful it is!
Sister Demann and I have loved having our rain coats!!
So much rain here :D There were rivers on the road.
I'm buying boots here..that's for sure :D

hmm what else happened this week..Oh, it was also transfer call weekend. Ya, forgot to mention that last week. Sister Demann and I are both staying in Cochran! Surprise ;) seeing as she's only 6 weeks through the 12 weeks of training, that didn't come as too big of a shock. But you never know...My old companion (sister Cattin) lost her trainee and she will be trained by someone else for the 2nd half. Wherever the Lord needs go :) I'm so glad I don't have to make the decisions. 

We were planning on holding Haley's baptism this Saturday, but because her dad hasn't signed the permission slip looks like we'll have to push it back, and keep working with him. She may be able to be baptized the same weekend as her Grandma, Rose, though. We are praying her father will allow her to do so! :) I have faith it will all work out. She's such a cutie and has wanted to be baptized for so long. 

Also, Louise (Who is preparing for a baptism in the first of January), has continued the quit smoking program! She is doing so well! We are excited for her! she is smoking considerably less and is on her way to seeing the blessings living the word of wisdom truly brings.

Love you all, be safe and LIVE the gospel because it DOES bring true happiness. 
-Sister Brown

Tuesday, November 3, 2015

Happy Halloween :)

First of all, can I just say that we had the best FHE activity this week? We do a Recent convert, less active FHE activity every week. Last Monday, we went to a member's home to have it. We had a family come who we have worked with for the longest time, but they have a  hard time keeping their commitments. It was so wonderful to see them there. Not only that, but we had the funnest activity! The lesson was based off of President Monson's General conference address. We talked about how we are supposed to be an example in everything we do. We discussed Matthew 5:14-16 "Ye are the light of the world. A city that is set on a hill cannot be hid. Neither do men light a candle, and put it under a bushel, but on a candlestick; and it giveth light unto all that are in the house. Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father which is in heaven." We then gutted a pumpkin. The seeds represented all the bad within us and all the gunk we need to sometimes get rid of. We can do so through the repentance process which is made possible through the Atonement of Christ. Lesson summed up, we carved a pumpkin and let our light so shine. :) how cute, right? 
District Pumpkins!

Something I was reminded of was that sometimes people need their physical and emotional needs met before you can really help them with their spiritual. Remember the spicy shrimp story? Well, we went back to the lady's (Donna) house this week. We were hoping to talk with her and her husband. When we got into their little house, we realized they really needed someone to just listen and love them. We talked with them both separately and tried to talk them through their fears and tired spirits by using uplifting scriptures and our love for them. We then helped her husband with little things around the house such as stirring the dinner that was on the stove and baking the corn bread so he could have an evening just to sit down and not strain his recently operated on neck and back. It was crazy hearing all he had unexpectedly gone through. One moment he was outside talking to his buddies, the next he was 5 minutes away from being completely paralyzed. We pray they could feel our love for them, but more much their Father and Savior love and understand their situation. 

Saturday we were in lock down all night. In order to use our time more productively, we had been asked to wait until then to complete our weekly planning. It was a unique Halloween experience, but one that I wouldn't trade for the world. No worries, I was festive and had popcorn and hot chocolate. :D plus, one of the cute families in the ward stopped by and said a quick hello :) we were able to give them cupcakes we had made that morning from a package sis. Demann's parents sent. They were so happy! 

I pray you all were safe this weekend and continue to enjoy life's smallest treasures :) Even things like a rainy morning can make us smile if we let it. I love the power we have to choose! 

Keep up the good work,
Sister Brown