Monday, November 28, 2016

History is HIS Story

One of Sister Boyer's top quotes from this week:

The best things about the South: 1-The southern hospitality 2-The food.
The worst things about the South: 1-The southern hospitality 2- The food

We were most definitely able to experience all the best and worst things about the South this week. How amazing that so many people welcomed us in and invited us to visit, eat their food, and share feelings of gratitude for our Father in Heaven and all He has given and done for us.

Thank you all for being so grateful and showing your thanks by the way you live.

Thanksgiving we visited a few people in the old folks home, saw many part member and less active families. How wonderful it was to see everyone's family getting together, enjoying the holiday spirit. The spirit of Christ.

This is Chaplin Smith. She invited us over for Thanksgiving
about a month ago when we tracted into her. Because of the
example some earlier missionaries set through loving service,
 she let us right in and told us about how much she loves us and
our church. She is determined to not leave her church,
but look at the power our examples carry!
Never underestimate the weight of one simple decision.
We had an amazing lesson this week with a part member family (the Carvers). From the past two visits we had, we didn't feel like they would progress very well. The husband told us he wasn't sure about Joseph Smith, and that he never felt like he had received an answer that Joseph Smith was a prophet of God. So at this point, he didn't believe Joseph Smith was called as a prophet. They were still kind to us and allowed us to come back if we would like. Of course we wanted to come back! Quitting is not for us! Tuesday we took their home teacher to visit them with us (he is also in the mission presidency-president Fussell). We decided to use a new method of presenting the Book of Mormon as described to us in Zone Conference. We spent the time before hand to mark a special copy of the Book of Mormon that they can read in 90 minutes. We then had a great lesson where we drew a map explaining where the record came from and why we are nicknamed Mormons. The spirit was strong during the lesson, especially as we were testifying of Jesus Christ. At the end of the lesson, we asked what questions they had. The husband (who told us he doesn't believe Joseph Smith was called to be a prophet) said, "I don't have a question..just a comment." Oh dear, we thought. We were preparing for the worst--for them to tell us we weren't invited back ever again. What followed, however, amazed me. He told us how he believed the Book of Mormon was true. What?! We were astonished. He then went on to tell us what he believed about Jesus Christ being loving, merciful, and a few other aspects of his testimony. It was incredible. He then asked us to pray for his family to be on the right path-whatever that may be. Our hope for this family has been renewed, and we look forward to further lessons.

Friday night our plans were shaken up, and we weren't sure where to go. Sister Boyer had this idea to meet with a family we had dropped for a few months but just started seeing again last week. As soon as she said it, I thought, "Wow, that's perfect. It's even on the way." As we drove into their driveway, however, we became nervous they wouldn't appreciate us stopping by because it looked like they had lots of company over (different cars). We debated for a few seconds but then knocked on their door because we knew we had been directed here. As it turned out, the spirit was right again (as always). We had a wonderful lesson with the parents and their son who was here from out of town.
A southern thanksgiving.

Saturday we saw a miracle of a baptism! It was one of the Spanish Elder's investigators. He is 14 years old and SUCH a good kid. It has been wonderful to see the ward adopt him in. He will do amazing things. He is a pioneer for his family. I feel he will bring many people into the church one day. We should, hopefully, be having 3 baptisms to report on for December. I'll send pictures :)

Check out the new Christmas video and make sure to join in on the "25 Ways in 25 Days." Don't forget to share, share, share this on social media!! I promise it makes a difference. Here's an idea, pray about who you could specifically show the video to then send them a little message with attached as a link! Share away :)

Love y'all! 
Have a blessed week.

Monday, November 21, 2016

God Gave You 86,400 Seconds Today. Did You Use One of Them to Say Thank You?

Are you prepared for Thanksgiving? Countless apostles have taught the importance of being grateful. As a missionary, I have seen the drastic difference in my work when I have had an attitude of gratitude verses an attitude of self pity. We are commanded to be grateful. We should be grateful before, during, and after both our trials and blessings. How incredible to be as the one leper who returned to Christ to express his gratitude. In addition, we should be grateful before the healing even comes. Gratitude is a state of being. To be happier, start by being more grateful. Will you take the challenge to find 100 things you are grateful for? Try thinking of subcategories such as being grateful for certain living people, deceased people, gospel topics, physical abilities, things in nature, places on earth, food, you name it! I'm so grateful for this season!!
I couldn't remember if I've ever sent a picture of
Sister Boyer and I. oops. Here's one.

One of the new senior couples in the mission shared a neat training on the Book of Mormon with us at Zone Conference this week. We tried sharing it with one of our investigators and it went SO well! We were so happy to see the power behind the Book of Mormon. When we share with our friends in a simple way which they can understand, they will feel our love for the truths found in this sacred record and the Holy Ghost will "prick" their heart to learn more. Take the challenge to FIND someone to share your testimony of the Book of Mormon with someone this week. Let me know how it goes!

**A neat side note--the husband in the senior couple had a stroke 9 years ago that left him really bad off. It was amazing to see how far he has come. He told us to encourage our investigator who had a few years back to never give up and keep reading the Book of Mormon. He promised her that's what would help her most. That's exactly what we've been doing with her. AMAZING!**

 Nikita and her family :) Such a fantastic lady!
She's got so much spunk. She agreed to giving
Sister Boyer a few braids sometime. Her daughters
are SO sweet. The youngest came right up to us
when we were helping out at a service project
and gave us hugs in front of all her friends.
One of the things I was most grateful for yesterday was to see one of our part member families at church. Sister Boyer were saying hello to people for about 10-15 minutes before the meeting. We were waiting for a few investigators to show up, so we left the one investigator we were already sitting with and told her we would be right back. We walked out in the foyer to 'get a drink' and our heads turned to the front doors at the same time. Guess who was walking up? None other than the Lane family! I could feel sister Boyer's face light up at the exact same time a huge grin broke across my face. They looked so happy to be there! We could tell the spirit is working on them. The daughter still wants to be baptized. The son will get there pretty soon. We're not sure if their dad will join them or not. It's one of the hardest things when the father is never home because of work. Work is important, but it's one of the easiest ways for Satan to work his way in.

This one more accurately describes Sister Boyer ;)
Friday night we had a fantastic lesson with a man who recently got out of jail and his girlfriend. One of the most touching things I've seen was the video of his little boys running up to him when he got home. Even more than that though, was when the man had to leave the room to wipe the tears from his eyes as he was reminded of the moment he got to see his children again (about 6 months ago). As he said to us, he would never do something that resulted in him being pulled away from his children again. He bore to us the sweetest testimony of how he knows missionaries are representatives of Jesus Christ and he will always tell his friends to listen to us when they see missionaries. The spirit was strong that evening.

Love y'all! Have a blessed week!

Monday, November 14, 2016

Feed Your Faith and Your Fears Will Starve

This week we've been working on meeting new people. Wednesday we were on exchanges. I stayed here while sister Boyer ventured over to Hazlehurst. On Wednesday we visited with a less active lady and then went to see a good number of our investigators. Nobody was working out, so we tried a few people that have met missionaries a long time ago. We met this amazing family. A single father with 4 children. At the end of our lesson, he asked us with the most genuine desire if we would pray for him and his family. We're excited to meet with him more regularly. 

I bought a starfruit this last week and was
pleasantly surprised by how good it was. :)
We had a lunch appointment with an older couple in the ward this week. As sister Boyer and I sat down with our plates, we felt so posh. We felt so fancy to be in a nice, southern home and eating good food. It's amazing to realize just how humble of circumstances those we usually teach are in. 

Saturday sister Boyer and I had the 3 week meeting. It was really amazing to see all the companionships. Their experiences they shared strengthened sister Boyer and I. 

Finally, we had a little miracle last night. Everything was falling through, but we had the faith to see a miracle. We prayed about where we needed to go. We quickly went to the investigator who first came to mind. It turned out to be a great lesson in which the spirit led, and we now have a greater chance of preparing her for baptism. 

Love Y'all! Have a blessed week!
Sister Brown

Tuesday, November 8, 2016

No Matter the President, Jesus is King

This week's email is a bit scrambled...

To start off, we had a neat experience regarding one of the part member families (well, they're not married… but basically a family) we used to visit. As we were preparing for a service project at the old folks home, we got a call from Sister Jensen in the mission office. She asked us if we by chance knew such and such person. After a minute or two I was able to recognize who she was talking about. She told us how this inactive member's sister (who lives in Utah) had called the mission office asking if she could speak with the missionaries in Douglas so her brother could receive a priesthood blessing. He got incredibly sick at the last minute. Sister Jensen couldn't hand out our number, but she said she would try to work something out with us. We told her not to worry about it, and that we would set something up here. Within a matter of minutes we had called two worthy priesthood holders in the ward and asked them if they could administer to this inactive brother. They were quite willing and acted in a timely manner. I was overcome with a gratitude for these men and the Priesthood authority God has blessed them to use in order to administer to His children. We were not able to attend the blessing with these gentlemen, but we called all of them and followed up with what had taken place. As we kept in close contact with the girlfriend of this inactive member (who has never showed an interest in the church for years), she sent us a text that evening which read, "The power of the priesthood is real." Her boyfriend has and continues to improve. I stand amazed at the miracles we still see today! 
We went to a Thai restaurant! It turned out to be more like
american-ized Chinese food (and a lot of it),
but it was still fun :)

This week we have been dropping those people whom we don't see any progression with. That can be a really difficult process for me because I know these people have so much potential... they just don't always act on it. We've been praying to know who is ready, who we should continue working with, and who we need to take a break from teaching. We went to a house that we've been looking forward to teaching because this man, his mom and his son all have great potential. We had a pretty good first lesson on Faith. Well, they didn't answer the door one time after the first visit. The next time we went to see them, I saw a white paper on the door and felt it was for us (ha that's never a good sign...). We still prayed before walking out. As we got to the door, and read the note, my suspicions were confirmed. Their note wasn't mean, it just basically asked us to never come back again. Even though it always hurts because you just want to give these people one more chance, I realized it could have been an answer to our prayers. Even though we had it in our mind that this family would make it far, perhaps the Lord has another time prepared for them to learn the gospel that will truly prick their hearts in a way we could not. I pray I will get to see them again and get at least one more chance. We will never stop praying for them.

We had interviews yesterday (that is the reason for our late emails--our p-day was moved). The interview itself went well, but President Grayson's prayer at the end was absolutely beautiful. I think that may have been the most sincere prayer I have ever heard someone say in my behalf. I could feel the sincere love he had for the work we are doing in our area. He even prayed by name for two of our investigators which we had discussed. Everything I have been pleading with the Lord for these last few weeks he repeated in his prayer. The desires to work with the members, find those who are ready, have the power promised with our calling, and more... he said it all. I know President Grayson has been called of God to lead our mission. He relies on the spirit for every decision he makes. I pray to walk that closely with God one day.

I have felt the Lord's strength flow into the work as I rely on Him. My happiness and success does not rely on how many lessons we are teaching or how often we are accepted. Rather, I have found true joy in turning my will over to my loving Father above. We can know when we are about his work. We truly are encircled in the arms of His love. I am not adequate for this calling—but He is. That's all that matters. :) How blessed we are to be in the service of our Lord!

Love y'all and have a Blessed week!

Sister Brown

A few funny things from the week:

*We searched for a missing cat. (no luck yet :( poor lady) I'll tell ya... that's a hard task.
*I had some of the best tasting oranges from the back yard of a member
*A 48 year old lady in our ward is pregnant! It took her 10 years to have her first child, and now (10 more years later) she was surprised to be having another! The Lord works in mysterious ways. All I know is she's my hero. So crazy.

Here are some additional pictures found on the mission facebook page.

Halloween fun, missionary style. It's a cool fishing pond in the trunk of their car!

Sister Brown with her cohorts in Douglas, GA. Mission interviews!

Sister Brown with her trainee, Sis Boyer and Sis Tammy Fussell,
Tifton Stake and Macon CC Public Affairs Director.