Monday, January 25, 2016

Last week of the Transfer

I don't have much time this Monday, so this will be my only email today. If you usually get one from me, I'm sorry. :/ 

This is the last week of our 7 week transfer. Lots happened even thought I just emailed last Tuesday :) This week was one of the more normal weeks so far this transfer. We had a wonderful world wide missionary training on Wednesday! We went to Pooler to see it. The missionary council had asked us to study a few specific topics these last few weeks while we were preparing for what they would say to us on Wednesday. It was amazing!! When we put in the preparation, it really makes a world of difference. Some of my favorite things that really sunk in that day was just how critical it is to have the Holy Ghost with us while we teach. That way we can bring the Holy Ghost and it's converting power unto the hearts of those we teach. Only they, however, can bring it INTO their hearts. 

When we are listening to others, that is when we can understand what Heavenly Father would really have us say to them. I know that as you truly listen to your friends in need, you will be given what you can say to help them. 

Thursday we had a fun relief society activity that was all about having a 'Healthy new you' this year. It was a great activity where we not only had some physical exercise..but we had a few brain teasers and learned how to strengthen ourselves spiritually. I promise the scriptures are here to be our spiritual weights! Use them :D 

It has finally gotten cold here in Georgia! Shocker right? It was about 40 degrees. I know that doesn't seem like it's very cold, but it totally bites to your bones. 

Recently, we have really been working on strengthening the ward by visiting those who haven't been to church in a while. It has been amazing to see the friendships we have already created with them. While we're on base, we'll go to a neighborhood that we have been to MANY many times before, yet we meet two new families that we never knew lived there. It showed me how important it is to get to know those people around us, because your neighbors are probably the ones who need your love the most. 

Lastly, this week we helped a new family move into the ward. It was wonderful to see how many people came out to help them move in. This gospel is truly meant for us to become one big family. That's what we are. A big, eternal family! 

So with that being said.. Love you family!!

Sister Brown

Tuesday, January 19, 2016

Pioneer Children Sang as They Walked

"But verily I say unto you, that it is not needful for this whole company of mine elders to be moving swiftly upon the waters, whilst the inhabitants on either side are perishing in unbelief."
Lindsay went to the beach this week.

Not having a car this week pushed Sister Lewis and I to be better missionaries than we other wise would have been. Because we did not have a car, we were able to do a whole lot of walking (and searching for new people to teach..which is greatly needed right now) and utilizing the members in the areas. I hate asking for things from this was particularly difficult. There were a couple of times when, late at night, we all of a sudden did not have a ride...or plans would change...and we were pretty much stranded. The sweet members of our ward and the Cottles (senior couple) were very willing to come and help us with whatever we needed. It made me want to always be selfless just as these people were to me. I want others to feel comfortable with asking me for any favor at any time. 

Driving to the beach with Wesson.
Because we were walking when we normally wouldn't have been, we met a sweet single mother and her two daughters. She told us she was looking for a church and that we were welcome to come by her apartment to talk any time. She then asked for a ride to church that week. How amazing it was to see that she was taking the initiative to go to church. She did come this week and we are going over again tonight to teach them. We're praying she's truly interested to increase her faith in Jesus Christ which will naturally lead to repentance and the desire to make covenants with Heavenly Father. 

This Tuesday and Wednesday we had exchanges. Wow, I think the theme of exchanges this transfer was for me to see in how many ways I need to improve! I've got really far to go, but I won't let that discourage me...only encourage me to continue progressing and learning from my mistakes. 

Sister Lewis and I have decided to try a few more finding activities. One of these is using Family History and! So many people really are interested in learning about their ancestors, so we're going to put up posters in every store in Hinesville! At least those that will let us. 
Eating seaweed I bought from a Korean marketplace
(good thing about living close to a military base).

The funny story for this week comes from the fact that we were car-less. We wanted to get a giant map of the city so we can map out where everyone is...well, we decided to go to the courthouse and see if they could lead us in the right direction. Long story short...the courthouse led us to a few real-estate agencies which led us to the city hall which led us to one last place...I forgot what it was called. Basically we were walking all afternoon, no one had a map, but they told us everywhere else would have a map. As we got to the last place, Sister Lewis said, "If they tell us to go back to city hall, I'm going to rage." The words out of the receptionist's mouth were..."We don't have one right now, but you could probably find one at city hall." I am eternally grateful Sister Lewis waited to "rage" until after we left the building. Ha. Her craziness is good for me :) 
We just smiled and lots of people saw us out and hopefully someone will stop us in the future because they saw those two crazy girls walking, walking, walking. 

Lindsay and Sister Lewis. Made it to the beach
and a cute wooden walk way!
I realized I never really explain much about my companion. So here's a little sum-up. Sister Lewis is an absolute sweetheart! She's also crazy and just loves to have fun. She puts it perfectly when she says, "I just love to laugh." If our missionary work isn't fun, then we must be doing it wrong. What a wise lady!! She's training me, just as sister Demann also was. Really, I learn so much more than they do I think. I've been blessed with wonderful companions. She's super sporty. She's trying to teach me sports teams and people...but it all goes over my head. 

For P-day we went to Tybee beach. Talk about amazing! Going to the Beach in January sure is a new one. But really, it was such a nice relief. I needed to get rid of some stress, and the beach was perfect. I'll send a couple pictures. 

Have an amazing week! Share the light that is within you! No matter how bright it is, it will be bright enough for those who have been in darkness to see a difference. 

Sister Brown

Handstands on the beach. I had to take this one for Abby!

Tybee Beach

Monday, January 11, 2016

Road Trip and Heart Attacks

This week proved to be quite the week! It was full of all sorts of out of the ordinary events. 

Wednesday evening we decided there were a few people who needed some extra love. So Sister Lewis and I (Sister Lewis actually did the cutting and craftiness while we were driving from appointments in the car) cut out a bunch of hearts and wrote cute little messages to the people we were going to "Heart attack." This is why I love being a sister missionary. We can do all sorts of cute things! Sadly, all three of the individuals guessed it was us...but it put smiles on their faces and that's what we were going for. 

Thursday we had Zone training meeting. I Loved Elder Peterson's training on Repentance! Hopefully I'll have time to write more about it later. Repentance is truly a sign of love and comes before we make any true change that brings us closer to our Father. When we are truly repentant, we won't question the need for change and trusting God's plan over ours. 

In all honesty, Macon is my favorite city I've been in.
I pray so fervently that sisters will one day serve here
because I want to serve there so badly! It's beautiful
and yet in desperate need of the gospel. It's a big city,
yet without the sounds and smells of the city.
This is a picture of one of the first baptist churches
there. Beautiful! 
Friday we got to take a road trip! We went up to Macon for the 3 week trainer and trainee meeting. It's kind of like a "check-up" appointment. Guess how long it took to drive to Macon? 3 hours! and then guess how long it took to drive back? yes 3 hours. 3 hours up, 4 hours of meeting there, and 3 hours driving back. Whew. It was a wonderful, yet long day. Sister Lewis and I get along really well, so it was an absolute blast. In fact, while we were in Macon, we decided to take a dinner hour and grab some Chipoltle. That's the type of restaurant sister Lewis would have gone to back at home, so it was fun to see how happy it made her. :) I learned so many great things at the meeting. Mostly my perspective on how you can love any companion as long as you decide to love them and pray to the Lord for help was strengthened. With that being said, I've always been blessed with wonderful companions.

Saturday was our ward missionary fireside. We focused on how to set spiritual goals for 2016. Sister Lewis and I taught the 'breakout' session titled "How to respond to questions and accusations." It reminded me just how crucial it is to have the Holy Ghost leading everything. If we rely on God, He will put what we need to say in our mouths. This makes me even more eager to study because then I will have something for Him to work with. Scripture study is so important!

Sister Mims! We teach her granddaughter. Sister Mims
is so, so cute. She tells us all sorts of stories. She loves
her western shows, marshal arts, she was a police
woman, and she absolutely loves the Lord.
She's an amazing woman! :D
Sunday we had so many people at church! Many of the younger military families came back from leave. That room was packed tighter than I've ever seen! Yes, our building is quite small, but it was wonderful to see so many people at church :)  It makes me happy to know we're all meeting together because we love God and truly want to repent and come closer to Him. Repentance is so important and such a blessing!!

This upcoming week we will be doing a LOT of finding. We need to search for those who are truly ready for the message of this gospel. Since we won't have a car...we will face many challenges which will push us to be better missionaries. I am excited (and a little stressed) for this opportunity! I know Heavenly Father is preparing those people we need to meet right now. I'm excited to meet more of my eternal family!!

Love you all! 
-Sister Brown

Monday, January 4, 2016


Wasn't 2015 Amazing? I seriously hope y'all were able to look over the year and notice all the amazing experiences and blessings God has provided you with. I know He has helped me out in every aspect of my life. Now we get to make 2016 even better! It's such a blessing to know each day is the start of a new year. 

This week was full to the brim of many learning experiences. We've been working quite a bit with a young couple this week. The husband is a less active member and the wife is investigating the church right now. While working with them, it has shown me how important it is to base your family on the gospel. There is a lot of sadness in their marriage (although they're super awesome and don't often admit the struggles) because they haven't been following the commandments. I love to consider the words of King Benjamin when he explains why the commandments keep us happy:

41) And moreover, I would desire that ye should consider on the blessed and happy state of those that keep the commandments of God. For behold, they are blessed in all things, both temporal and spiritual; and if they hold out faithful to the end they are received into heaven, that thereby they may dwell with God in a state of never-ending happiness. O remember, remember that these things are true; for the Lord God hath spoken it. 

How amazing is that?! I love the commandments. They truly keep us so, so blessed and protected. I know a home that is centered around following ALL the commandments of God will be a happy home. 

Something I have noticed about how the missionary work has been different here than in the past is my relationship with our investigators. We have tried our best to just sincerely be friends with everyone we are teaching first. It's such a neat and yet different setting. Often, I feel like our lessons turn into a more of a 'heart to heart late night conversation' you would have with your best friend than an actual lesson..but the same principles are still taught. I have a far way to go before I find a good balance of both teaching and being a friend, but I have loved the shift in the work.

This week we ran into a testimony building experience. Well, all of life is a testimony building experience...but you'll understand what I mean. We went back to visit this lady whose daughter we had talked to once before. The Elders before us had left them with  a restoration pamphlet which they read over. The daughter told us to come back after the break because her mom had some questions about it. Well, we went back to the house, and as we were driving up..I had this feeling that they just weren't ready for the gospel yet. I thought 'ok, we'll answer a few of their questions and leave it as a seed of faith to be nurtured until a later date.' Looking back on the experience, I wonder if the Holy Ghost was trying to tell me not to go..I'm clearly still learning :) Regardless, we did the best we could. We started out by chatting with the mom, showing her how much we loved her, and then asking her about the questions her daughter had mentioned. Well, long story short it was not a very good experience..they were not questions but accusations. Normally that would be fine, except for that her heart was not sincere and so there was no chance we could help her find the answers her spirit really needed. We bore testimony as best we could, even though we could not get a full sentence in without being talked over, and left. I was so sad for this woman. I pray that her heart may be softened one day. She is my sister, and I look forward to the day when I will see her again. I know that if she is willing, God will try everything to allow her to accept the fullness of the gospel.

That is the amazing truth, God is full of second chances. 

A little bit on our new years celebration, Sister Lewis and I did weekly planning during lock down and then had some sparkling apple juice and cake before we went to bed. It was fun to get a night to just enjoy each other's company and look forward to the amazing year ahead of us. We were then lulled to sleep by the overly loud music of our neighbors. ;)  Good thing missionaries are super tired every night! 

Love you all lots! Be safe and enjoy the new year! :)

Oh, and fun news we got this morning...our car is going to be in the shop next Monday for 8 days! Boy howdie. We're going to be FIT. We're considering just running from appointment to appointment. But seriously, we're going to have some awesome stories for you in a couple weeks!

Sister Brown