Tuesday, November 14, 2017

By This Shall All Men Know

Hello to all of my wonderful friends and family!!!

“A new commandment I give unto you, That ye love one another; as I have loved you, that ye also love one another.
By this shall all men know that ye are my disciples, if ye have love one to another.”
This is a very well known scripture, and it’s one that I strive to live by. But not until this week have I really understood it. I have learned to love others as I try to help them come closer to Jesus Christ. First because I knew I needed to love them, and then because I grew to really love them. But as I read this scripture this week, I realized that Jesus was saying more than just giving a commandment. He was giving a promise, saying that people will recognize us as deciples of Jesus Christ as we love those around us.
I have been so privileged to be able to wear His name on my chest for the past 18 months and represent Him as I walk the streets of Vegas. Words cannot describe to you the love that I have for the people here in Las Vegas. This city will always have my heart for many reasons. Not only do I love many people who are here, but it is the place where I grew a love for my Savior and also realized the love that he has for me.
I know that the Gospel of Jesus Christ is the way that God has given us to return back to him. I know that through faith in Jesus Christ and his atonement, repentance is possible. And faith isn’t simply believing, but believe in it so much that you do something about it. Faith is a principle of action. And I know that one can come to know the truthfulness of this gospel not just by learning about it or hearing about it, but by living it, or acting upon its principles. Having faith enough to do something about your belief. I have gained a testimony of this gospel by being able to see how living these principles changes lives. I know that living the gospel is the only way that we can be truly happy and receive a fullness of joy. The gospel truly is the way, “and there is none other way nor name given under heaven whereby man can be saved in the kingdom of God” (2 Nephi 31:21).

Thank you all for your support and for enduring through all of my long emails :) I love you all so dearly and can’t wait to see many of you as I return home. The mission has changed my life and strengthened my testimony in this gospel and if any of you are debating on serving, just do it. It will be such a blessing to your life and you will not regret any moment.

Have a wonderful week!!!

For the last time,
Sister Brown :)

Monday, July 31, 2017

Miracles is what you get for waking up in Vegas as a missionary :)

Hello everyone!! Another week has come and gone, and tomorrow is
August. That blows my mind. It has been great over here in Vegas! Hot,
but we have seen miracles every. Day. It is amazing!! I love my
companion, Sister Cochran, and we have been seeing miracles because of
our diligence when we keep going, even when it's hard. I am seriously
so blessed to be able to have the wonderful Sister Cochran in my life

Just to name a few of the many miracles: We had 5 investigators attend
church!! We were able to set two people with baptismal dates and will
hopefully be setting a date with one of our investigators, Jackson,
with his date. We had a lesson with his mom, sister, their friend
Annette, and he walked in a little late. As we were setting up an
appointment for when we would come over again, we heard him ask his
mom, "When am I getting baptized?" We looked at each other and were
like uhhhh yas!!  We were so excited!

We had zone conference this week which is always so good! Well, that's
pretty much it! Not much to say this week. Just the wonderful miracles
that take too long to write down and explain.

I love you all! So does your Heavenly Father, and He is so aware of
you and your needs!

Sister Brown :)

Monday, July 24, 2017

If you know but don't do, then you don't know

It has been quite a week!!

Sister Cochran and I have been trying to get to know the area and investigators this week and it has gone really well!! This was the area she started in, so she knows the members pretty well already so
that's really nice.

We had a lesson this week with a man named Tom. He has been taking discussions from missionaries for a long time, and this was of course our first lesson with him. It was such a spirit guided lesson! We didn't really know much about him, so we went into that lesson with a plan, but as we got to know him we followed the spirit and it went in a completely different direction. The spirit was so strong and it was 100% guided by the spirit! I love feeling the love that God has for the people that I get to teach!

This week i learned an interesting principle. If you know, but don't do, then you don't know. At first i was a little confused, but now it makes so much sense to me!! If you know something, but if you don't do anything about it, then you don't actually know it. Like if you say you know the gospel, but you don't go to church or do anything about your knowledge, then you really don't know it. Because if you truly knew it, you would do it... if that makes sense. Well it makes sense to me and i really like it and it makes me realize that action means a
lot. It is proof of faith and so much more. If you aren't wiling to act on something, than do you really believe in it? Just a food for thought :)

I love you all!! Stay cool

Sister Brown :)

Monday, July 17, 2017

Just a short 6 weeks :)

Hey Everyone!!!

Ok no time at all, but I wanted to let y'all know that I have surprisingly been transferred!! Thats why I have no time... but I am back to the South Zone, and I am so super pumped!!! I am covering the Painted Mountain and Coranato wards with SIster Cochran, and we are both coming into this brand new, because Elders were here before. But we won't be completely lost, because Sister Cochran was here at the beginning of her mission, so thats cool. She only has six weeks left, so she will start and end in the same ward in Vegas :)

Well this week was pretty good, but it has been so super hot!! We have just been out alllll week knocking on doors and trying to find people and talking to people. Pretty uneventful, but still super great. On Sunday night we went tracting with our STL's Sister Lemmon and Sister Southam and it was so great! We saw awesome miracles there and I got to talk with Sister Southam and pick her brain out before she flew home today!! I love her and will miss her so much, but she has absolutely served an amazing mission.

I am going to miss Sister Stroud dearly because we have become good friends, but I cannot wait to start this amazing next six weeks with Sister Cochran!! I have a testimony that God knows exactly what we need. I did not expect to only be in the wonderful YSA ward for only a short 6 weeks, but it was a privilege to serve there at all and I know I am supposed to be here in this area now with Sister Cochran. I know that President Walker is inspired and we are going to do amazing things here and see so many miracles.

I love you all!! Stay cool :)

Sister Brown :)

Monday, July 10, 2017

Will the heat ever stop???

Hey y'all!!

Well I hope everyone had a happy 4th!! We were able to go to a BBQ party for FHE with the YSA on Monday night and it was so great to get to know all of the members and have fun with them!! We had a great
district meeting on the 4th and took pictures afterwords. Over all it was a great day as well!!

First, Kyle. So we initially taught kyle a couple weeks ago and set him with a baptism date and everything and it was such an awesome lesson! We could really tell that he was so ready to make such a change in his life and couldn't wait to get baptized!! Well after that, he didn't show up to the next lesson we had and he just dropped off the face of the Earth. Like, his phone was disconnected, someone who lived at what his address was said he didn't live there any more, he wasn't answering his friend's facebook messages, nothing. Literally
just gone. Well we have been praying and praying for him, that missionaries would find him where ever he is and that he is okay. Well his friend called us this week and said that Kyle finally messaged him back on Facebook! He said that he was in rehab. At first when he said that, I was like "man that's what we expected. Something to do with drugs. Man!" But hold that thought, because he told us that he entered himself into rehab because he wanted to be entirely clean before he gets baptized. That makes the story way cooler, right??? Right. :) so it's been really hard to communicate with him, but I know that God answered our many prayers and has been watching over Kyle because he has bigger plans for him in his life :)

We are still teaching Robbie and he is doing so great! Always so excited. To learn more when we come over and he is so excited to get baptized :)

This week I have read a lot in Alma and it is talking a lot about missionary work, like how Alma's sons go with him to preach the gospel in other lands and such. It is just really amazing to think that missionary work is something that has been going on for a suuuuper long time, and it is so important. I am so privileged to be a part of this great work! It is amazing to see the miracles and the blessings that God brings to his children's lives. There are so many of us, but He loves us each individually and personally. How amazing is that?!!

I love you all and I hope you have a fantastic week!

Sister Brown :)

Monday, July 3, 2017

You do you

Happy 4th of July everyone!!!

I can't believe it's July already. But the good news is, one month of summer down, 2 to go. It is getting hotter and hotter and I'm afraid it will get even hotter... that's Vegas summer for ya. But nevertheless, it is worth it!!! Being a missionary is the best thing ever, and it's even more rewarding when you do it when it's hard. And
hot :)

This week we had a miracle happen! There is this family we have been trying to get in contact with, because they are less active, but their two grandkids go to church, one of which isn't baptized but wants to be. We have tried to set up multiple appointments which eventually fall through some how. But this week the grandmother texted us randomly, asking to set an appointment! Of course we were thrilled and set up a time right away. His name is Robbie and he is 9 years old. We were able to teach him last night and it was so great! He was so
engaged and participated and asked questions and it was so fantastic. You could tell that he definitely was the one who wanted us to be there and he wants so badly to be baptized. He's so great and he should be baptized within the next couple of weeks!

We stopped by a less active YSA member this week and he said it was about time, because he thought everyone had forgotten about him by now. I thought that was so sad! Well nope, Max you have not been
forgotten! We set up an appointment for later that week and were able to sit on his porch and talk about how he joined the church and why he doesn't come now. It was a much different lesson than I have ever been
in before, because I was so distracted by the fact that he looked and acted exactly like someone in my life that I really care for and love.
As I was in that lesson and listened to his struggles, I realized that his struggles were much like the ones that I struggle with. I was able to testify to him of the Savior's love for us and how it brings peace to every aspect of our lives. I definitely felt the spirit guide me as I said words to him that I knew I should follow myself. IT was
strange, giving counsel and encouragement from the spirit to someone, but feeling like the words were meant for me as well. The spirit was so touching and reminded me again that God loves each and every one of
us and knows us personally and doesn't forget us at all in the slightest, we are the ones who forget him.

Ooo another cool experience: We were supposed to have a lesson and our ward mission leader was supposed to join us, but the lesson was canceled. So our WML asked if he could go on some visits with us, and
we asked him if he had anyone in mind. Well, the person he mentioned was a less active who had a son who had a lot of Mormon friends and we are trying to find a way to ask him if he would like to take the missionary discussions. The catch is that his less activemother is on a list of the church as someone who does not want to be contacted. My whole mission, I have avoided people who are on a list like this, because I don't want to make anyone irritated or upset. So when he suggested to go visit her, we hesitated but agreed. And I'm so glad we did! Even though we didn't make contact with the less active or the son we were looking for, we were able to talk with someone else in the household and get some more information, and also see that they are
very nice! They even invited us to their firework show they are having tomorrow! I definitely know that our WML followed the spirit and I am so glad that we followed him instead of doing what we were comfortable
with :)

Man oh man does God know me so well. I have learned this over and over again on my mission, and I will most likely continue to realize this over and over again still through different experience. I have a testimony that every single one of you are in the place you are in for a reason. I had a thought yesterday in Relief Society. If you ever feel bad about yourself or about your circumstances, change your thought to, "what is Satan trying to prevent me to do right now?" Because the only reason why you would be thinking negative is because
Satan out that thought there and he wouldnt be making you feel bad for nothing. God needs you to be you, not for you to be trying to be like someone else. So, you do you. Because that's exactly ho God needs you
to be :)

Well, I hope y'all have such a happy 4th! Watch lots of fireworks for me!! I love you all, and I hope you stay cool in this sweltering heat.

Sister Brown :)

Monday, June 26, 2017

I Know that My Savior Loves Me

Hey y'all!!!

This week was really great! On Tuesday we had a Mission Tour and Elder Costa of the 70 came and spoke to us. Sister Costa was there also and I fell in love with her and her sweet spirit. They both are wonderful people and they made me want to become a better missionary and all together a better person. I know that this is possible through the Atonement of Jesus Christ, the sacrifice that he made in my behalf. Elder Costa gave a talk this past Conference about his conversion and he basically addressed it to investigators. If you haven't had a
chance to hear it, go to lds.org and look it up! It is fantastic and really shows his personality and the way he was with us the whole day :) it was such a great experience!

We had a lesson with Katrina this week about the Plan of Salvation and it was so good! Katrina is so fun and just has this constant desire to learn more and take in any knowledge that we give her. She loves this gospel and her faith is amazing! We talked to her about what she wants out of life and out of us teaching her, and she expressed her love that she has for the people of this church and her desire to want to be apart of this gospel that she sees makes others so happy. We set her with a goal to be baptized July 29th! We are super excited for her and I am happy I get this opportunity to teach her :)

This week we got a TON of referrals, well at least a lot more than we usually get. One of them was for a girl named Lisa. She was referred to us by her fiancĂ©'s brother in law in Montana, and he had us call him before we stopped by. It was cool to see the other side of referrals and hear how he feels about Lisa and how he just loved her and wanted this gospel to be a part of her life, knowing that it would bless her. He just gave us some encouraging words and told us to go try and stop by, so we did! She was super nice and let us in and right
away Sister Stroud and I were excited to talk to her more because we heard he wonderful sound of a Southern accent :) She was thrilled to see that not only were we sisters, but that we were both from the south! She is originally from Arkansas and has a true, thick, super cute southern accent that I so desperately want :) but anyway, we just had a nice conversation with her about how the gospel blesses families and how she has a desire to learn more and feel more of the peace she feels when she searches for knowledge of her Savior and his love for her. She asked us for a Book of Mormon and when we could meet her next, so of course that made us super happy too :) one of He best parts was having a couple phone calls that night, back to back, thanking us for our visit we had with her. One from the man who referred us, and another from her fiancĂ©, who is a less active member. It was really neat to see the love that people have for one another, and that the way they express that love is by sharing the gospel with them. And hen they care enough to spend the extra time to thank us! It really meant a lot :)

But by far, the highlight of my week was being able to attend Amelia's baptism!! It was so great to see her again, especially in such a wonderful day!! She was just so happy the whole time and it was wonderful to see the joy that she had because of this decision she has made. I cried the whole time, of course, because I felt so so privileged to have been able to teach her. Amelia may never know the effect that she has had on my life, but I thank God everyday for placing her into my life and loving me enough to give me the chance to teach such a sweet soul, an opportunity that I truly didn't deserve. I love her with all of my heart and it was such a wonderful experience to see her be an example to her mom and to her friend as she bore her testimony and expressed the love that she has for this gospel. Here was such a sweet spirit there at the baptism, one that I will never
forget. It was the same spirit that was there in the room when we taught her the Restoration that brought everyone in the room to tears.

Experiences like these are ones I will hang onto are are He memories that I will cherish from my mission forever. I will be forever grateful for Amelia, and for my Heavenly Father who sent her to me because he knows me personally. He knows exactly what I'm going through and knows exactly what I need to get through it. I have such a strong testimony on prayer and I know that God hears those who kneel down in faith and pray. He may not answer it in the way you want, and most likely it's not. But I know he answers them in the way he knows you need. Which is sometimes very hard, but you will look back at your experiences and realize that you wouldn't have had it the way that you wanted in the first place, even though you thought that's what had to
happen. I love my Heavenly Father, I love the love he has for me even if I don't completely understand it, and I love this work that he has called me to, even in the blistering heat of Vegas :) I love you all, and I hope you are doing well. Thank you for all the prayers and love you send my way. I appreciate it so much! Have a great week, and don't forget to tell me about it :)

Sister Brown :)