Tuesday, August 30, 2016

Prayer Works!

What a wonderful week!

This week I gained a stronger testimony of prayer. Prayer totally works people!! It's just so cool to see God answer your prayers. For instance, we had extra time to tract and we wanted to know what street to tract, so we prayed for guidance. Sister Campos and I both thought of different streets so I had a thought to go look at them. We decided to tract the street connecting the 2 different streets we thought of instead, partly because it was super short :) but as we prayed before we got out of the car, I prayed to receive a confirmation that this street was where God wanted us to be at that moment. And when we got to the second to last house, a lady pulled up in her car right when we were at her door step! She proceeded to tell us that she would love to hear the message we had to share and told us the days she is available! I know that that was the confirmation and the answer to our prayers and that that thought I had to drive around and go look at the streets was a prompting so we could see this other street. So cool! Another story of prayer: Sister Campos learned early on her mission that you pray for people to be nice to you before tracting, and it totally works! She prayed that people wouldn't be rude to us and that they'd be nice and even though we got rejected multiple times, they
were all by very nice people and not one was rude to us :) Another!: we were praying for a street and we're looking at a particular neighborhood, but when we came to each other to share our thoughts, we
both said the same street that was in a different neighborhood than the one we were looking at! So we went straight there and tracted the long street for the next hour, hour and a half. The second to last
house was a member that no one has met before, so even though it was almost 8:30, we decided to knock on her door. Well she answers and was so happy to see us! She explained that she only became inactive because she got a job that she works on Sunday's and that she still believes in all the doctrine. We told her about activities for her boys and she was happy and said that they would love to go! So even though we tracted that long street with no potentials, we got in contact with one member that hopefully we will see a lot more now :) Prayer so works!!!

In District meeting this week we talked about taking with everyone that we see, and sometimes that can be a little hard. But because we have these neat little name tags, it makes it a little easier because
people really don't see us as real people. So it's great! It would be a lot harder without the name tag to talk to strangers, because they would be like, "uhhhh why are to talking to me stranger" so it's nice
to have the tag as a little buffer to break the ice, even if we don't start talking about the church right away :) but right after district meeting we felt guilty not talking to some people because it is still
a little awkward even with the tag, but when we did talk to them we didn't regret it! We met some really cool people by talking with everyone :)

Ok, so we teach Jesse, the 8 year old, right? Well he says the funniest things! Sister Campos and I were just laughing so hard throughout the whole lesson. We were just going over everything and
the funniest thing he said was when he was explaining the plan of salvation. He was naming the 3 kingdoms and said that they were "Celestial, terrestrial, ...and... Cholesterol?" But he said it like
"Cholestrial" We were laughing sooooo hard! There were a couple others, but that was the funniest :)

We met with Val again this week, but there were miscommunications and we didn't have another female to sit in with us, so we sat on the front lawn with him and a Ward missionary, brother Drewes. The member we were going to be there with invited brother Drewes instead, and it was by complete inspiration because he was perfect for our lesson, and for Val! Our lesson was about the Book of Mormon, and before we even started the lesson and talked about the Book of Mormon, Brother Drewes shared his conversion story and it was mainly based off the Book of Mormon!! It was perfect! Other things helped me gain a testimony of the inspiration of Brother Drewes' calling and the fact that he was there that night, and it was just perfect :)

So today school started for the kids here in Vegas. A couple days ago one of our investigators, Vanessa called us, asking for help with school supplies and backpacks. So we made a phone call and that phone call led to other phone calls and on Sunday we were given enough backpacks and school supplies for her 3 adopted grandsons! When we arrived last night with everything, it was the greatest site to see those boys be so excited! It was seriously like a mini Christmas. Even the 7th grader had a huge smile and was very appreciative for his new, second hand backpack. It was so wonderful! And that led to more conversation about the church and we are hoping she will come to church with her boys next week :)

I just have continued to see miracles throughout being here on a mission and it is seriously the best thing ever :) I absolutely love being a missionary and I am so great full for the chance I have to be
here and to continue learning and teaching what I love. Thank you all for the prayers, because I know that they are answered and I feel so blessed :)

I love you all! Good luck to all of you who are starting school, no matter what kind or level it may be :)

Sister Brown :)

Wednesday, August 24, 2016

Why my p-day was so crazy last week

So last week on Friday we got a call from someone asking for help moving. They weren't in our area but their storage was, so we contacted the elders in her Ward immediately so they could contact the
elders quorum, who can transport easily from zone to zone like missionaries can't. So we contacted them and was like, "alright they've got it handled" but Monday morning she called us again to make
sure someone was still coming. We called the elders again, and they said they texted the elders quorum and they never texted back.  So no one was coming to help her, and the other elder who are assigned to her area said they couldn't because the storage unit wasn't in their area. So we changed into service clothes and drove down there, calling our elders in our zone to beg them to come help us because she said she needed man power. Well, last week was transfers. And every elder companionship in our zone changed. So it was kind of crazy to ask them to come down and help with a service project on pday and transfer day. So they came for about 45 min, helped move the super heavy stuff, and then left. But sister Campos and I stayed from 11-3 and moved things down from storage and organized it all into the truck pictured here. I never thought I was going to die of thirst more than I did here. But it was great to see it all done and sweat worthy. So that's why I
emailed so late, because my pday was spent packing this truck :)

Tuesday, August 16, 2016

Such a great week, no time to explain!

This week was absolutely fantastic!!!

So I have very little time, and really so much to say, so this is going to be a struggle. But so many miracles happened this week! It's been an amazing time to be a missionary :)

Soooooo because I am seriously completely out of time, I just sorta copied my email that I sent to my mission president, because it's at least something about my week instead of nothing. So, sorry if I said
anything really directed to him, but I want you to hear something...

"We tracted into Melvin, which I'm sure Sister Walker talked to you about :) She was such an answer to our prayers that night! We were searching and searching for another Female to attend our lesson and we're having no luck. So instead of having to cancel, Sister Walker made it possible for us to teach him! He was very talkative and loved talking to us about his family and God, and we were able to put a few points of the restoration in there and Sister Walker was a big help with trying to refocus our lesson on the lesson :) We are having a lot of trouble with that and a lot of our investigators, which is getting off topic and not actually talking about he lessons because the investigator just talks and talks and talks! It's good because we get to know them better, but not really because we really aren't doing anything and most of them don't end up progressing at all because we can never really teach them... But Melvin came to church yesterday!! It was really awesome and he seemed to enjoy it, so we can't wait to go back and meet with him to see what he thought about it.

We tracted into this man named Greg on Friday and he told us to come back on Sunday, so we did and we pulled up at the same time he did at his house. Perfect timing! We chatted and got to know him and we found out he works with a Bishop in one of our wards! Not his Ward, but the other Ward we're over. So we taught him he restoration and it was so awesome! It was a wonderful lesson with him participating and asking questions, but not too much that we weren't able to teach hi, it was a
nice change :) but when we got to Joseph Smith he stopped adding to the lesson and just listened and read things we asked him to read. At the end after committing him to pray if Joseph Smith was truly called as a prophet by God, we asked him if he'd be baptized if he found out that that was true. He said he would!!! Sister Campos and I were honestly speechless. We didn't know what to do after that! I've never had that happen before!! It was seriously and amazing lesson and we cannot wait to go back and teach him more and see if he has recieved an answer and to set him with a date :) It is amazing to see how God put him in our path and how he has been prepared by him through friends and church throughout his life. I love being a missionary!!

We also went and saw someone we tracted into a while ago and haven't been able to meet with, but we met his wife when we've only ever talked to the husband, Matt. Matt is a young pastor of a baptist
church and said that he would love to hear our beliefs, but he's always busy. So we met his wife, Erin, for the first time and we can tell that she is very passionate about her church. She did a lot of
teaching to us, and also asked us questions about why we believe certain things, especially about the godhead. I felt horrible, because she spouted out her information and bible verses and then asked us
specific questions that made sense and I knew that we believed them, but I didn't know how to explain them. I felt like she was thinking that we didn't know anything, like she had stumped us. So she told us to study and come back and we'll chat. I don't want to be confrontational when we go back, but I wonder if she'll even be receptive to our message at all, and that's if she'll even let us give
it. I wonder how we can let her know what we believe without arguing with her and just being nice. Like, there's a possibility that she'll listen I guess, but because this couple is so envolved and active in
their lot her church, is it a good idea to even teach her? Part of me believes that when we go back, all she is going to want to do is prove us wrong.

Genet, the one before who was struggling with the concept of the priesthood, is still not grasping it. We taught her the plan of salvation this week and she absolutely loved it! She understood it and
believed it and is just soaking up all the information about the gospel and just loves it. So we asked her to be baptized again, but she said she doesn't see the point. Even though we talked about the
priesthood authority many times, she says that she doesn't see the point in being baptized again and doesn't see the difference in her baptism and our baptism. So I've been studying about the priesthood,
really trying to find a way to help her understand."

So, a lot, but not everything! But I seriously am out. It's so sad.
But I love you all and can't wait to hear from you!

Sister Brown :)

Monday, August 8, 2016

Little answers to prayers

Hello everyone!

Miracles are happening in Vegas! It's so cool to see how God answers prayers or every kind! Not much happened with many investigators. We started teaching this care giver for one of our members and she's from Ethiopia. She speaks good English, but she doesn't quite understand the concept of the priesthood. And did I tell you we're teaching an 8 year old? His name is Jesse.  It's hard to teach him sometimes because he has a short attention span, but we gave him a Book of Mormon stories book with pictures and easier words, so hopefully he'll read and enjoy that. But he's on track to be baptized with the rest of the 8 year olds in the stake in September, so we're really excited for that.

So one day we were tracting a really super long street because we had a bunch of time without appointments, including a dinner appointment. So we walked and walked and knocked and knocked, and we both got super thirsty to the point of kind of feeling sick. So we both said silent prayers individually. In my prayer, I thought not to ask if a door would open and they would give us water, but just that we would be able to get water soon by any means. So we kept walking and knocking and hoping a door would open. We finally decided to go back to the car and finish the street later, after we went and got some dinner and water. But in our way walking back, a man was out doing things in his driveway and about to get in his car. No one is ever outside! So we said hey, he said he wasn't interested, so we started walking away. But 2 seconds after we said goodbye, he asked us if we wanted some water! We gladly accepted as he handed us 2 ice cold water bottles from a cooler. Such an answer to our prayers!

I had the opportunity on Friday to go to the temple with Jay who was going through for the first time! He is the Dad of the boy I helped teach the tail end with and was here for his baptism. Because I even just played a small part in his deactivation, I was blessed to be able to go with him on Friday with Sister Southam. She was the one transferred out of the area when I got here, so she played a bigger part in reaching his kids and reactivating him. But it was so nice!

He is such and awesome dad, member, and just man in general. He is funny, great, and just has such a strong testimony because he's been through so much. It's amazing!

Another blessing with the temple, I ran into my Uncle Wayne! He lives in Henderson, so this is his temple he's assigned to. It was so awesome to be able to see him in the Celestial room and talk with him and even hug him :) That was such a blessing in my life and helped me get through the rest of the week.

I've been reading an studying the War chapters in Alma this week. I'm really trying to get everything I can from it, and I'm seriously learning so much! Like a lesson in humility, as the Nephites win their wars because they know it's God and not them. And a lesson in making sure you are driven with the right purpose, as I read about the Lamanites fighting hard for power and the Nephites winning because they are fighting for their families. And a lesson in Faith, as I read that none of the 2000 Stripling Warriors died in battle because they had faith in the Lord their God. I am loving reading and following the stories like never before! It seriously is such a good book. I found myself the other day reading so intently and then gasping subconsciously when a surprising event happened :) I then just laughed at myself because I was so surprised that I gasped out loud :) but I'm serious. The Book of Mormon is so amazing and I am learning so much from it by ACTUALLY reading it. I never realized that I have always read it, but never actually read it and payed attention to what I was reading. It's so good!

Well that's about all I have time for this week. I love you all and I hope you are doing well! I want to hear all about all of your adventures and happenings because I miss you all.

Hope you aren't as hot and sweaty as I am!
Sister Brown :)

Look at this fantastic view I saw after the temple! Temple and strip. SO pretty : )

Monday, August 1, 2016

A good reason to be out of time

Thank you for everyone who emailed me this week! Because I had so many
people email me, I am out of time to write a mass one. But just know
that I am grateful for you all and I love you and I had a great week!
Many miracles, learned a lot, and an investigator interrupted me as I
was extending the baptismal invitation to him. He didn't know what I
was about to say, but he interrupted me right in the middle. Funny and
but a little frustrating :)

It also rained twice this week! I call that a miracle in itself :) and
the members here are wonderful and they treat me well, so mission life
is really the greatest right now :)

At least they stay hydrated!  : )