Monday, December 26, 2016

He Was Born a Babe. He'll Return a King. Are You Ready?

Found a butterfly during the warm Christmas week.
(it was around 76)
MERRY CHRISTMAS! What a week! To put a cherry on the top, I was blessed with the chance to talk with the most incredible family out there.

Saturday we held a special practice during lunch so we could feel a little more prepared for the musical number. About half way through our practice, the Bishop of 2nd ward walks in and introduces this lady to all of us. Her name was Rosie. I found out where she lived, and then suggested sister Boyer and I step outside with her into another room.

Christmas eve we went caroling and saw SO many people who wanted us to come sing to them even if they weren't in our original route. Such an amazing gift to spread the light of Christ with those around us.

Christmas dinner was with the Davis family. Love them!
Sunday we sang our musical number along with a few other special musical numbers. It was such a sweet experience to see both wards and all the families come together. We had a couple investigators there. It was an amazing experience to feel the spirit and hear the testimonies of those who shared their feelings on the Savior.

For the Christmas conference we were able to watch the Errand of Angels. I was thoroughly upset to hear it end sad when the sister had to return home to school. ;) Thankfully, we can all be missionaries even if our full time service out in the field has to end. We had a fun gift exchange and were spiritually uplifted by the trainings given.

Love you all to the moon and back!
Christmas Caroling

Have a blessed week!
Sister Brown

Monday, December 19, 2016

If the Christmas Spirit Isn't in Your Heart, You Won't Find it Under the Tree

Merry Christmas!
This week was so incredibly busy. Let me start off with an apology. I do not have a picture of Tiara's baptism to send this week but I WILL have one next week. With that being said....Tiara got baptized!!!!!! How exciting. She truly is a woman of great strength. I was in awe to see her stand by what she knows and believes even though she has been abandoned by her family in a great way. She is a pioneer for this city, and I believe she will do great things. She has already started to see ways in which the Lord is working miracles. Even without the additional blessings, however, she would still be completely obedient because she knows what God is asking of her and she follows that instruction with exactness. 
Christmas pic by the cute music store in town :)
Sunday was a whirlwind. We were supposed to be having about 4 investigators come. We typically like to sit by those who we teach so they can have an easy way to meet more ward members and so we can explain any questions they may have about the service. There are only 2 of us so we were already spread thin. Not only that, but I was speaking this Sunday which left sister Boyer quite nervous because there was no way she could be in 4 places at once. Well, the meeting started off with Sister Boyer sitting with Tiara in the front (we left the Lanes by themselves sister Lane said, "We've got this." They're so awesome!! We're praying they will make the decision to be baptized near the end of this year or the beginning of next.)

I then sat near the doors with a less active lady whom we absolutely adore (she has come for three weeks in a row now!! We're hoping she keeps it up!). We had a few people who were planning on coming in late, so I figured this would be location to be able to spot them quickly. I was the first speaker on the program. As I stood up to speak, two more of our investigators walked in--both from different ends of the chapel. Already walking toward the podium, I smiled as welcoming as I could at them and was relieved to see a fantastic member finding a seat with the first. Sister Boyer quickly left Tiara and headed for our other investigator. As I looked out at all of our less active, recent convert, part member, and investigator families my heart was about ready to pop with happiness. They made it! Of course not everyone was able to be there, but it was amazing to see a room full of people we are teaching. I have been here for many months and have seen complete miracles take place within that time. How incredible!

A little on Tiara's baptism...before being baptized she was a bit upset because the few family members who had agreed to come and watch changed their minds. Her morning was a bit hectic, but she made it and that's what matters. After being baptized, her smile was the size of the moon! She was filled with the spirit and completely over joyed. 

We saw so many amazing miracles this week but I am down to 2 minutes. I will talk to y'all more next week. Love y'all! 

Have a Blessed week! 
Sister Brown

Monday, December 12, 2016

Come Experience the Greatest Gift. We Call Him Jesus

To be honest, this week was absolutely crazy. It started off with a trip to Macon for our Mission Leadership Conference, followed closely by Zone Training Meeting, the ward Christmas party, a tragic experience for our most progressing investigator, and a spiritual Sabbath full of miracles.

Every preparation day when we go to Walmart I feel like
the store is counting down to the end of my mission.
It makes me so sad to see us come to the end of the year,
but I am so excited for the day we get to celebrate Christ's birth.
The Mission Leadership Conference was incredibly inspiring and uplifting! We felt the spirit surround us in the room as we discussed inspired methods for finding new people who are prepared to accept the gospel. Sister Boyer and I are ecstatic about incorporating these new methods into our missionary work. I had the unique opportunity to prepare and give a training at the meeting as well. It was the first time I believe I have been truly nervous to speak in public. Thankfully, the message was well received, and I am sure the other zone leaders and sister training leaders will do an even better job relaying the message back to their missionaries than I did on Tuesday. :D That's what matters most! My training made me consider my testimony of the Book of Mormon. To put it simply, ANY question we have concerning the church or doctrine can be resolved through the Book of Mormon. What an amazing truth! So many of my own concerns have been hushed by the quiet spirit of peace I feel each time I pick up that book. No mortal being could create a book that touches my heart in such a way. Only the spirit of God can accomplish that task. 

Those crazy Davis boys. We went over for dinner and a lesson.
They make us laugh. The family is still active and doing well.
Kaleb has not been able to be baptized yet..but he will soon.
In between meetings and preparing for the ward Christmas social (which we had at least 10 non-members attend), we had to rush to try and find enough time to teach lessons. We had an amazing experience having one the families we're teaching join with another family in the ward for a family night. It was such an amazing experience to see them not only read from the scriptures together, but it was so good to simply see the fellow-shipping take place. As we played the game for family night, I felt as if I was back in a family. There is a special spirit that enters in the home when a family is working toward the same goal: coming closer to Christ.

The ward Christmas party was a huge success. Sister Boyer did a beautiful job accompanying two young mothers in the ward as they sang Silent night in English and Spanish. The Christmas season brings out the best in people.

Saw Santa at the Christmas social! One of the funniest
little girls in the ward started screaming when Santa
walked in the room, "Santa! Santa! Santa!" Sooo cute
how crazy she got.
Tierra (a lady we've been teaching for a few months now) will still be baptized this Saturday, but that poor woman has gone through so much. I feel so close with her. It's hard to see bad things happen to those we love. Although she's experienced some road blocks, we saw little miracles this Sunday. The bishop was able to give her some good counsel and encouragement. Afterwards, he told her she didn't have to go through with the baptism for this weekend if she didn't want to. It was her personal decision and should be done at the right time and for the right reasons. She responded quite firmly, "No. I want to be baptized." She then smiled and laughed a little after seeing the expression on Bishop's face. I think we were all pleased to see she understood baptism and receiving the Holy Ghost is ultimately the thing which will give her the most spiritual power and support at this time.

Love y'all SO much! Have the most blessed week yet :)
Sister Brown

Monday, December 5, 2016

Today's forecast: God reigns and the Son shines forever

I thought this title was especially fitting for the family this week. Remember that regardless storms that blow in, Jesus Christ will always shine forever. He truly lights our way.

Group photo with the #LIGHTtheWORLD end of the float
We've been teaching an older woman (83) this past week. The first time we met her we left a "Finding Faith in Jesus Christ" pass along card with our contact information on it in case she wanted to get a hold of us. Well, she ended up calling the Salt Lake number and ordering a DVD. We received a notice the next day and scheduled a time to bring her the DVD. Little did she know we would be the ones coming back to deliver her movie :) She was pleasantly surprised. We've gone back a couple of times since then and introduced her to the Book of Mormon. The last time we were over, she was so excited to read the first chapter of Nephi. She has that humble heart which allows her to genuinely and sincerely ask God if our message is true. We're excited to hear what happened!

Sister Boyer and I. You can see some of the float in the
background...not too much though. I'll see if the members have
more photos.
Saturday was the huge success of the annual Christmas parade. Apparently the church hasn't done a float in a while. This year was quite different! Second ward made a float. They spent every night for an entire week constructing a breathtaking parade float. It was flawless. As we were walking down the streets of Douglas, many people said with wide eyes, "Y'all's float is gorgeous!" They were right. We're hoping to get first place because if we do, we will have a picture on the front page of the newspaper. What fantastic publicity to move the missionary work forward here! In addition, we handed out roughly 1,000 pass along cards. More importantly, however, it was wonderful to see the entire town of Douglas come together in a joined celebrating of Jesus Christ. The theme was 'Peace on Earth.' Jesus Christ is truly the one who can offer us true peace. He can calm the troubled hearts, lift up those who have fallen, strengthen the weak, and wipe all our tears away. I know He is my Savior, and I love Him with all my heart.

The Spanish Elders convinced us to all try a habanero
pepper. All I have to say is I will never be doing that again.
Sunday we saw the miracle of a less active lady whom we love so dearly come to church. She has some health concerns, but could be coming every week if she made the effort. She kept telling us she was going to surprise us one day by coming to church. Many people say that. I have been here 8 months and hadn't seen her at church once regardless of how hard we pushed for her to come. Amazingly, I looked over Sunday morning and there she was! Now if we can only keep her coming.

I love y'all! Have a Blessed week!
Sister Brown