Monday, January 23, 2017

Elder Bednar!!!

So this week was fantastic! On Saturday we got to be so privileged as a mission to hear from Bishop Causse', the presiding bishop of the church, Elder Maynes of the Presidency of the 70, and Elder David A. Bednar, one of the 15 Prophets, Seers and revelators that are on the Earth today!!!!! We got to have 3 hours with them and it wasn't just sitting and listening to them, it was more of an interactive question and answer thing and I leaned so much!!! Elder Bednar talked a lot about being agents unto ourselves and not being an object. There are
two different types of people in this world. Agents who act, and people who are acted upon. So when you sit wait for an answer to your prayers so you can be told what to do, you are being an object, waiting to be acted upon. Of course Elder Bednar explained it way more fluently and spiritual than I could ever explain it. He also talked a lot about how the most important lesson we can learn on our mission is to trust God because when we trust God, we know that whatever happens in our life, any ups or downs, is because God is trying to teach us something, or he has something better planned for you. So yeah, stuff like that. It was really overall just an amazing experience and we got to shake his hand at the end and it was so wonderful! He bore his testimony at the end of how he knows that Christ lives and that he speaks and how he knows he is our Savior, and the spirit was so strong!! I was so privileged to sit in front of one of Christ's 12 apostles, a witness of Christ, and hear him bare his testimony of the truthfulness of this gospel and of the reality of his, and all of our, Savior and redeemer.

Sister Lemmon and I are still running around like chickens with our heads cut off, trying to visit people and get to know them in the Discovery Park Ward. I really love this ward though. They were formed about a year ago, so all of the leaders of auxiliaries and things are all fairly new and figuring out things together. they are all so
missionary minded and I feel so blessed to be able to work with them! We weren't able to meet with any of our investigators this week, but we've been able to meet a lot of less actives and get to know them.

Ok, story time. So we met an older couple this week who are both on the records of the Church and used to attend regularly. They were so nice! They let us in, they gave us chocolate milk and cookies, and we just talked and talked and they were wonderful people! We were in there for a lot longer than we anticipated, so I began to wrap things up a bit by sharing a little thought. I read Romans 8:38&39 which talks about how there is nothing that will ever, ever come between you and God's love. I think I shared my thoughts about it last week. Well we shared this scripture and then were going to leave soon after that. Well, the wife began to tell me how they used to be very strong members in the church, but now she belonged to the Presbyterian church
and how her husband was now atheist. She told us her story of why they left the church, and it mostly had to do with the people of the church judging her and her children. It just made my heart so sad. But what
made me cry, was when she told us that she used to believe that families were forever, but now she does not. She would love to be with her family in heaven forever, but that's not how it works. I left that house so sad. They said they would love to be friends with us, but they don't want us to get the wrong idea and try to bring them back to church. Again, so sad. After that experience, I thought hard about my testimony of eternal families. I am so glad that I know that God's purpose in this life is to help us receive joy in this life and
to be happy. And if you want to be with your family after this life, if that would make you happy, then why would he not want that for you! I know that because of Heavenly Father's wonderful plan, and the restored gospel that we have now, I am able to be sealed to my family for eternity and be with them forever. I am so glad that I am able to be here in Vegas at this time and declare that to everyone, because it's just so sad that people don't know! So that was really broken up because I'm in a hurry, but I hope you got the gist of what I felt :)

So, I love you all!! I'll leave you with a thought my Ward Mission Leader shared with us in gospel principles yesterday. He called it the "So That Principle" and it's about when you pray. When you ask for things, add "so that" to it. i.e. "Please bless the Atlanta falcons will win the super bowl so that..." if you can't finish the sentence,
you shouldn't be praying for it. Because you should pray for things that God wants for you and for others. He explained it much better, but I hope that makes sense :)

I love you all so much! Have a fantastic week :)

Sister Brown :)

Monday, January 16, 2017

Discovery Park

Hello all!

This week has been so great! I talked about the new ward that Sister Lemmon and I gained, the Discovery Park ward, and this week was us trying to figure everything out in the new ward and driving around like chickens with our heads cut off. Basically :) But it's been good! It's been a miracle this week that about 90% of the doors we've gone to have opened to us!! Usually you get a lot of people not being home or just not answering, but this week most everyone answered and talked to us :) (this is for knocking on doors knowing who they are and
trying to contact them, not knocking door to door, Tracting :))

The Discovery Park Ward consists of a retirement community called Sun City, so we have a lot of older people in our ward. And it's so great!! It's so fun talking to them and getting to know them and hearing their stories and things :) we met this Less-active/recent convert 85ish old women and she is the absolute cutest! She let us
right in her home and said, "My name is Thelma, but they call me Dub. Like rub-a-dub-dub, 3 men in a tub." Then she proceeded to tell us how she was playing basketball last weekend and the adults were tossing it
to her like she was a toddler, but the young boys know that they need to chest pass it hard to her. SHe was just the cutest ever! She told us to come back this week to teach her how to use her ipad (which a member told us that he's taught her 3 times already :) and we should come at 3:00, because that's when she starts getting bored. Haha I love her!

So in our Area book we looked for the people that the elders previously were teaching, and made an appointment with one of them. His name is Jeremiah. Because the Elders left a note saying that they
needed to give him the faith/scripture reading lesson, we prepared a lesson about reading the scriptures and how that relates to faith. But when we got there, we started asking questions to get to know him and what he knows and likes from what the Elders had been teaching him. Well he started talking about how he knew that the Book of Mormon was a holy book and that meant that he knew that Joseph Smith was a prophet called of God. So every though we weren't planning on it, right then and there we committed him to be baptized on February 11th! It was such a wonderful experience :) after that, we then gave him the lesson that we originally planned on and then he came to church on Sunday! Miracles happening everywhere :)

Well other than that and just walking around in the cold rain and trying to visit other members, we've just had a great week! Here's a scripture that I've tried to share with everyone that we visit:
Romans 8:38&39 "38 For I am persuaded, that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor powers, nor things present, nor things to come, 39 Nor height, nor depth, nor any other creature, shall be able to
separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord." God loves you so much, and nothing can or will ever stop that. No power. No mistake you've made. No bully. No nothing. Can EVER separate
you from the love that God has for you, which is made possible because of Christ's atonement. Anything that ever makes you think otherwise, is from Satan. Because he is the father of all lies.

Next week, stay tuned for an update on the meeting that all the missionaries are going to have with Elder Bednar!! I am super pumped and will definitely tell you about it next week :)

Love you!!

Sister Brown :)

Monday, January 9, 2017

I don't know goodbye in Samoan, but let's pretend that's what this subject says...

Hey ya'll!

Well this week was good. Not too much to report on. Except one major change. So, it's not transfer time, because thats not till the end of this month. But because of the beginning of the year, all of our wards
changed times and that prevented us from going to all 6 hours of our 2 wards. So President Walker called us last week to let us know that he was switching one of our wards. So, Sister Lemmon and I are no longer
over the Tropical Breeze Samoan Ward :( instead, we now cover our other Ward, the Eldorado Highlands Ward, along with a new ward, the Discovery Park Ward. It's pretty exciting for them, because they have
never had sister missionaries before! So Sister Lemmon and I are what we like to call pink washing the area. We both have no clue of anything about this ward or area, so we will both definitely learn a lot in the coming weeks. It will be fun! And from the little that I've seen from the Ward yesterday at church, I know that this Ward is super missionary focused and has a good pool of investigators, so I can't wait to start and help these lifetime missionaries with the missionary work that they have already learned to love :)

So, normally loosing the Samoan Ward would mean loosing the investigators in that ward as well. But we are blessed and that's not the case for us! The only investigators we have in that ward is the Percell family who is getting baptized. I believe I mentioned them a couple weeks ago when we committed them to baptism. We haven't seen them in the past couple weeks because they've been out of town, but they are set to be baptized on the 28th of this month. So because they are committed to be baptized, they are pretty solid, and they won't
let Elders teach them, President is allowing us to continue to teach them :) But they haven't been answering our texts or calls for us to come over this week, and we were a little nervous they wouldn't come to church and then we would have to push back their baptism date, and we were scared that meant we wouldn't be able to teach them any more. So even though they live on the other side of Vegas, we decided to drop by without an appointment so we could talk to them. And it worked out wonderfully! They welcomed us in and we even ended up having dinner with them! They talked about how they were so excited to get baptized, and then we shared a little spiritual thought about keeping the Sabbath day holy and going to church. And because we don't go to the Samoan ward anymore, we actually don't know if they went or not... but we are going to see them again tonight and then we'll know if they actually went to church yesterday :)

Oh! Have I ever told you about Tricia? She is a former investigator that we've met only when we see her in her garage. (Which are miracles in timing in of itself) But we were able to make an appointment with
her! She is this wonderful lady, probably in her late 50's, early 60's, and we love talking to her. She is a sweet God-fearing lady and lost her husband a year ago. Hopefully more to update on her later :)

In my studies this week I was reading about how God helps us remember him. Because if we mortals don't remember Him or even believe in Him, we won't recognize the blessings that we receive from him as such.
That's why pride is the root of all evil. Because without humility, we don't recognize the good things that happen to us as coming from our loving Father in Heaven. And why would Heavenly Father want to keep
blessing us if we keep not recognizing that he's even there, let alone that He's blessing us with all we have. So through our trials and weaknesses, we learn to completely depend on Christ, the one who makes it possible for us to become whole, and then we come to see and learn that truly everything that is good comes from God. If that makes any sense at all. It's hard to put my mind in words, let alone write them down :)

Ok so Sister Lemmon and I have been listening to this CD by Nashville  Tribute band, and it's all about missionary work. I love all of these songs and they all make me want to cry. There's this one song that I
wanted to share the lyrics of because it's so cute :) It's called "Children Go Where I Send Thee," but they've mormon-fied it :) they do one by one, two by two, three by three, and then ten by ten. I'll just
write 10 by ten because it encompasses all of them. 6 is my favorite because I think it's the most clever (see Ezekiel 37:16 if you're confused :)
"Children go where I send thee. How shall I send thee?
I'm gunna send thee 10 by 10.
10 for the 10 commandments
9 for the miles we ride our bikes
8 for the girl who just wouldn't wait
7 for for the prayers we send up to Heaven
6 for the books that we call sticks
5 for Alma who came back alive
4 for the Lord who stands at the door
3 for the tree in Lehi's dream
2 for Alma and Amulek
1 for the little bitty baby born in Bethlehem"

Well, I hope ya'll had a great week! Stay safe and warm in all the wild weather! Send me some highlights of your week :)

Sister Brown :)

Oh I almost forgot!! Elder Bednar of the Quorum of the 12 apostles is
coming to the mission, along with President Maynes of the Presidency
of the 70, Bishop Causse' who is the presiding bishop of the Church,
and Elder Larkin of our Area 70!!!! We will be so privileged as a
mission to hear them speak on the 21st of this month, and I absolutely
cannot wait!!

Monday, January 2, 2017

Happy New Year!

Hello everyone!!!

Not much to report on this week. Its been great. A little cold, but nice. yesterday's sacrament meeting consisted of what they called hymn testimonies, and it as my favorite! People went up, just like they do
in testimony meeting, but you share your favorite hymn and why, and then the whole congregation sings it. Its so wonderful! The spirit was there and it was just so special and fun :) Sister Lemmon and I also taught Gospel Principles AND Relief Society, so that was eventful. Definitely learned a lot :)

We ad exchanges on Wednesday, so that was fun. We went to Joe's Crab Shack because dinner took a nap and gave us money instead, so we had a fun time. We also had some success knocking on doors and finding
people who were interested in talking with us.

A lot of nothing happened this week because sickness is still going around and the holidays mean no one is home, but it was still a fun week. I hope y'all had a happy new year! 2017 is going to be a wonderful year full of blessings and miracles and the passion for conversion.

Sister Brown :)