Monday, August 24, 2015

Holy 1 year mark....‏

Hello my cute family!!

Wow sounds like you all had a great week this last week. I bet it sure is fun having Brandon and Haley around for the last couple of weeks :) I am a little shock that all 5 of you have been sharing the one bathroom down stairs.. that's nuts! but pretty cool!

This week was a lot of fun!

First off, we talked with our investigators Aida and Jose about praying for a specific date for their baptism. Since they have to still pay the judge for the divorce from Jose's others marriage, we thought we would show the Lord our faith, and set a date for baptism :) They are so awesome. I sure love this family so dang much! It will be the best day when they enter the lovely waters of baptism!!

Also, this week we got to go to the temple!! Yahoo ! sooooooo much fun! I sure do love the temple so much. It was a great session and I truly felt like I learned so much during that temple trip. I was the last of the missionaries to actually get into the celestial room, and after being in there for about 5 minutes President and Sister Andersen asked Hermana Dansie and I if we would like to go and do a couple sealings with them. It was a really cool experience to have ! I sure love the temple. I just love the peace I feel there. I don't want to complain, but it is rough only being able to go to the temple 2 a year, but I am so thankful and blessed to at least get to go :)

When we were driving home from the temple it just started POURING rain! like so crazy and we had to bring in a bunch of stuff from the car to our apt, and since a member drove us we couldn't just wait it out... So lets just say we got soaking wet and then I got sick.... yahooooo.. not. But I am feeling better, so that's good :)

This week we went on an exchange with the Mt Juliet Sisters and it was so much fun. I went to Mt Juliet with Sister Wayment, and wow she is so awesome. she only has bout 4 months in the mission, but she is a rockstar. Such a hard working missionary! We had a lot of fun on our exchange! but I also realized that I am terrrrrible at teaching in English! so I guess that is a sign I am really supposed to be a Spanish speaking missionary ;)

Saturday was a great day too! We have been teaching this family, the Cervantes, and I LOVE this family! They have been taught for about 3-4 months but aren't really progressing because they never come to church.. but we had the idea of having a church tour on Saturday with them, so that they will be ready and feel comfortable at the church. It went great! they showed up about an hour and a half late, but they still came! we had a great tour and we ended the tour by watching the 20 minute Restoration Video in the chapel. it was so cool and the spirit was so strong! I am so excited to see this family grow in the gospel :)

Okay the BIGGEST miracle of the week!!!!
So yesterday we went over to have dinner with the cardiel family and have a lesson with Mario and his wife. Well we finish dinner and Mario asks what lesson we are going to behaving tonight and then he just kind of looks at us, we pull out our scriptures to start the lesson and he says "I have been thinking about my baptism, and I am thinking about getting baptized in 2 weeks" it was so quiet and I was nervous I didn't understand right because my companion just kind of had a blank look on her face, so we just sit there for a little bit and I just am like "wait what? did I hear that right?! you want to get baptized in 2 weeks?!" and he just starts laughing and says "well I would like to, before the transfer is over" WHAT!!!! GUYS I WAS FREAKING OUT!!!! This guy who has met with missionaries for over 10 years tells us he wants to get baptized in 2 weeks. AHHHHHH miracles :) He is totally ready, but his biggest problem is that he just likes to drink coffee. haha those are his exact words. "pero me gusta mucho" We talked a lot about fasting and prayer, and decided that all of us would fast from a habit we do this week. Wahhhh I am just so excited and I feel so blessed to have seen Mario change so much over the last 4 weeks that I have been here. The church is so true and the gospel can truly change any and everyone :)

Oh also, yesterday I had to give a talk in sacrament meeting. I was soooo nervous! since I have been in English wards my whole mission, every talk I gave was in English, and then yesterday was my first talk in Spanish.  I prayed and prayed and prayed and I think it went pretty good! so that is nice! I shared a story from President Eyring and yall should read it! its in the January 2009 Ensign called "Let Us Raise our Voice of Warning" its a good one and definitely will get you all pumped to do some missionary work :)

Anyway, this week was a good one. A little bit slower, but great :) I love serving here and I am so happy. I am so grateful that I am a missionary and that I chose to serve a mission. This last year has been to fun and full of spiritual life changing experiences. I will be forever grateful for my mission. and crazy only 6 months left.. wahhh!

I hope yall have a good rest of your week! I love you soooo much!!

Hermana Brown

Rainy Monday here in TN‏

Hello my cute familia!

Sounds like everything was fun on the vacation! And i am glad yall made it back home safe, thanks for all the great pics and everything :) i am excited for next year!

This week was GREAT!! it was a weird week, but at the same time, it was incredible! First off,
MARI AND ENRIQUE GOT BAPTIZED!!! yahoo. it was a little bit stressful getting them all ready for the baptism, but it was incredible. Monday night we were a little stressed because we knew we had to teach them a few of the commandments, like the word of wisdom, and we didn't know if they had any problems with it or not, BUT it is really truly amazing to see how the Lord truly is preparing his children to receive the restored gospel. It was a really cool experience because as we were about to teach them the word of wisdom i had all these doubts and everything come into my head, but as we taught them and asked them questions, we found out that they live the word of wisdom PERFECTLY. in that moment, i heard a little voice in my head tell me, "i told you they were prepared." I was definitely called to repentance in that moment for sure! learning to have more faith and not to doubt, but i am so grateful that i am able to work with this incredible family! and that i was able to be here in Hermitage and be apart of their conversion to the true church of Jesus Christ! So to say the least, it was a great day when they got baptized! and guess who came? Hermana Torres! it was so great to see her :)

Also this week we did a really fun service project with some members of the bishopric and stuff. one of the recent converts here lives kind of out in the country and has a ton of land, and her husband has been gone away for business for a while now, and her lawn was like a literally a forest! so we went and mowed it and cleaned it all up for her. it was so much fun! we had like 6 lawn mowers and everything it was great! and the first time i had ever mowed a lawn! so that was fun, but i can definitely say that my back has kind of been sore since then ;) haha it was fun because we actually had a few investigators come help and even a non member (who will soon be our new investigator :)) come help us too! i love service, the best part was that the family didn't even know we were coming, and so they just woke up to a ton of lawn mowers going off. it was a fun surprise!

This week we also went on another exchange with some sisters. I stayed here in hermitage and sister mcbride came up here with me. it was so much fun! Sister mcbride is from orem, and a super hard working missionary. she has been out for about 5 months, but really truly has the desire to share the gospel with everyone. We had a really cool experience when we were knocking doors together. we knocked on this door and we met an older hispanic lady, Rosie. She was so cute and inviting. we talked to her for a little while. she actually lives in mexico city and only comes here about every 4 months to work and then she goes back to mexico. i asked her if she had ever talked to or seen the missionaries in mexico before, and she said yes! she said that they always come and help her when she needs things or help around the house. We started to talk about the church, and then she started to cry, she said that she has been a widow for about 5 years now and that she feels so alone all the time. We talked about the restoration and the plan of salvation with her and testified that heavenly father has a plan of all of us, and he wants all of us to find happiness in our lives. She was so sweet. She was leaving back for mexico like 2 days later, so we gave her our number for when she comes back for work, and the information to have missionaries come to her own house when she goes back to mexico. I am so grateful for this opportunity i had to meet her, and give her a message about hope and peace! I know that heavenly father is aware of her and that there is not a coincidence in the world that we knocked on her door that day. I know that she will find the peace the gospel brings sooner than later in her life :) Its moments like this i am so happy and grateful that i am a missionary!

Also this week we had a way super fun activity! All the wards that meet in our building got together and we had a big "Meet the Mormon's" movie night and potluck dinner! It was so much fun! They gym was all set up and had a huge projector screen and twinkly lights and everything. it was so cool. We were able to set up another tv in the relief society room to watch in spanish too. it was so fun! we had 2 investigators come and 2 non members! and yesterday we were able to have a lesson with one of the non members that came too!  it was so cool and it just reminded me of how truly grateful i am to be apart of the Saviors church ! :) by the end of the movie there wasn't a dry eye. it was so great and the spirit was so strong :)

Overall it was a GREAT week!! I am so happy to be a missionary and to be doing the work of the Lord. In my studies today I was reading about the gathering of Israel, and i read a really cool quote by President Hinckley. basically, he said how blessed we are to be living on the earth at this time. and how we were chosen to be apart of the restoration of the gospel of Jesus Christ, how we are living in the time that was prophesied of being "a marvelous work and a wonder among the children of men" How cool!! What a great opportunity to do the work of the Lord, but also what a great responsibility :) I hope yall will be able to think of things yall can do to remember that you are apart of this marvelous work and a wonder! 

Anyway, I hope yall have a great week! I love yall so much! thanks for all your love and support you give me, i couldn't do this without yall! 

Hermana Brown

Saturday, August 15, 2015

I don't think I could ever get tired of Mexican food‏

Hello Family!!!

I am grateful yall made it to California safely! i hope yall have a great trip! i think that sounds awesome! Jealous yall already went to an Angels game too. Thats too bad that they lost so badly, oh well, i bet mike trout looked cute as always though! Also that sounds terrible about the hotel in vegas. i probably would have rather slept out in the car, but after being in tennessee where EVERYONE smokes, maybe i would have been used to it ;)

Well this week was a great week! but it went by wayyyyy to fast!!

First off, i want to tell you about Aida and Jose! So they are just super awesome and have been taught since about December. They both want to be baptized, but they need to get married and jose needs to get divorced from his first wife, so thats been kind of tricky, BUT the divorce papers came in! and so hopefully in about 1-2 weeks the divorce will be final, they will get married, and then baptized! they are both soooo awesome. Aida has the biggest heart for everyone and just makes you feel so loved. And jose is like a big friendly giant. We went over to their house this last week, and Jose had caught 3 wild turkeys and 8 babies! so we helped them move the turkeys to another cage where they will raise them. SO much fun :) i will send you some videos, it was a blast.

Next is about Mari y Enrique 
They are getting baptized on SATURDAY!!!! yay! this is so exciting! :) they are so awesome and soooo prepared for the gospel. its so amazing how the Lord is truly preparing so many people to receive the restored gospel :) They still need to be taught a couple more things, but overall they are excited and ready to be baptized. Every lesson with them is great, and they just know that this is Christ's true church! We are pumped for their baptism!

Also i went on my first exchange this week, I went to Shelbyville TN with a cute sister who only has about 1 1/2 months on the mission, Sister Therhault. It was sooooo much fun! we didnt have a car that day, or bikes so we got to walk walk and walk some more in the rain :) it was really fun. i have grown a love for tracting, i think its just soooo fun! especially when we are walking, we have the chance to talk to sooo many people :) We tracted into one family, and they are so nice and kind! the dad used to be taught by the missionaries but stopped after a little bit. He is super nice, but he had to get his voice box thingy taken out from smoking, and so he had one of those holes in his throat, and he did have a cover over it... you could like see all the way down his throat. at first i was freaked out! i probably had the worst look on my face, BUT after a while i got used to it. Then he got a drink and started drinking and i was terrified it was going to like seep out of his throat of something, but it didnt :) so that was good. haha Sister Therhault is from Bakersfield California, and is so sweet. She is pretty shy, but has a heart of gold and has the desire to be the best missionary in the field! i know that one day she will! Also, on our exchange the ward mission leader and his wife (the relief society president) came out to a couple of lessons with us. They are both really awesome, and supppper young. like 24 years old. buuuut The husband he works for nissan, and he was able to lease nissans sports car, a GTR or something like that for 6 months, and so we got to drive in it on thursday night. it was SO awesome. I had never reallly driven in a sports car before, they are really small, but also so much fun. It was a great exchange but i was happy to come back to hermitage and be with hermana dansie.

So one of the less active members in our area is living in a hotel. A very sketchy everyone who lives there drinks like bad and smoke things that shouldn't be smoked.... like its worse than that awful place we stayed at in Kansas City, comfort suites! Well the A/C broke in her room and so her room was basically a sauna! HOT! HUMID! and GROSS! Well because she has been living there for 3 months she got really sick. Like really sick. Hermana Dansie and I were out with a member and we felt like we should go see her. We went to see her and good thing the member was with us because he gave her blessing! I am so grateful for the priesthood! Then the branch got on it right away! She got a new hotel room with working A/C WOOT!!! And the good thing is now she wont be dying of breathing 2nd hand marijuana smoke! And neither will we when we go visit her! We went and helped her move all her stuff over,..i hope she finds somewhere to live soon, because that hotel is messed up.   

Friday we had an AWESOME Zone Conference. I am just so thankful for President and Sister Andersen. They are seriously so amazing and I feel so blessed to have them as my mission president and wife. We learned a lot at zone conference, and it really gave me that energy and desire to get out and get to work. One of our main focuses was having the faith to do. This really stuck out to me. There are 2 types of faith. the faith to try, and the faith to do. This really hit me and made me think about what kind of faith i truly have. I hope that i can always have the faith to DO! to do what is needed to be done, to have faith in Jesus Christ and his atonement, to have the faith to align my desires with Gods, and then to have the faith to work with all my heart, might, mind, and strength with unfailing determination. :) i know that this is the kind of faith that Nephi had, and Alma and if i want to be a successful missionary like them, I must DO like them :)

Okay i am sorry that this is like the longest email EVER, but i just have one more thing to tell yall about! So, we went and saw the Cardiel family yesterday ( the part member family, and the husband has been investigating for church for 10 YEARS) and we had like the best lesson EVER with them. This family is amazing. I love them so much. We decided to talk about goals and all set our own spiritual goals. We set goals for 10 years from now, where we want to be spiritually, and then goals from 1-2 years from now that will help us reach our 10 year goals, and then we set goals for this week that will help us reach our 1-2 year goals. it was incredible. It was so cool to go around the table and all share our spiritual goals.  The best was when we got to the dad, mario His goals were 1 to be baptized 2 be sealed with is family in the temple and 3 serving a mission with his wife. WHAT!!! How incredible is that? I really feel like this activity helped him get a vision and helped him realize what he needs to be doing NOW to get where he wants to be :)

Okay sorry to drag on and on and on! But this week was a great week :)

I hope you all have so much fun this week in Cali! Enjoy the beach for me and watch out for those sharks! I love you all so much and i am so thankful for the chance i have to serve as a missionary and for my amazing family who supports me so much. I love yall so much! Les quiero MUCHO!!

Hermana Brown :)

Thursday, August 6, 2015

Welcome to Buena Vista!‏

Hello my cute family! Are yall getting ready to go on your fun trip out to the west coast? i am jealous! I hope yall have fun in Cali! it sounds like you had a busy fun week! i am glad everything is going well back at home. Hopefully the bathrooms can get finished soon too. they sound like they will turn out awesome :)

well as for me, things are going GREAT! seriously. So i am in my new area, its called Hermitage, and its a little bit on the outskirts of Nashville. its so awesome and guess what? i am in a spanish branch! The Buena Vista spanish branch. its awesome. i love this area so much and all the people and i have only been here for 6 days. its awesome. my new companion, her name is Hermana Dansie. She is so cute and we have so much fun together! she is from herriman Utah and has been out only a transfer longer than me. 

This place is seriously so golden! there are so many Hispanics. its like my dream i think! haha its awesome. and we have so many investigators. yesterday we had 9 investigators at church! i haven't had that many since Columbia!  wahhh its so much fun! we also set 2 baptismal dates the first night i was here. literally what a miracle! Thats for Mari and Enrique. They are a cute couple that just moved here from San Antonio, and they went to church a couple of times there and moved here and called the missionary to know where the church is at! how crazy is that?? well now they both have baptismal dates for August 15! keep them in your prayers! 

Next i want to tell yall about our investigator of TEN YEARS! hermano Mario cardinal. he is like the nicest guy ever. all of his family is baptized except for him. His daughter also just left on her mission about 2 months ago. he comes to church every week and everything and he participates all the time and reads the book of Mormon too! well, i have to tell you, he reminds me SO much of my own father. But like a Hispanic version. Well, after meeting him, and realizing how much he reminded me of my own dad, it made me think of how important it is for me to help him and teach him with all my heart to help him understand the gospel so that he can be baptized, go to the temple and sealed with his family for all time and eternity. please also pray for him! he has been "investigating" the church for 10 years, i think its about time for him to join his family and be baptized! 

seriously i could go on and on about all the amazing people here. I am so happy and i feel so blessed to be here and serving here, especially in this rama! we are going to see some big things here, i just know it :) i just love being a missionary. seriously. i think i say that about every week, and everyday, but its so true. I am so happy to be here and sharing this wonderful message, that the gospel has been restored and that families can be together forever! 

There was a really cool talk I read today, by Elder Neal A. Maxwell called "Swallowed Up in the Will of the Father" i love this talk. its all about why we need to give our will to Heavenly Father, how we do it, and the results of doing so. There is a really awesome part that i want to share with yall. it says:

 "So many of us are kept from eventual consecration because we mistakenly think that, somehow, by letting our will be swallowed up in the will of God. we lose our individuality. What we are really worried about, of course, is no giving up self, but selfish things - like our roles, our time, our preeminence, and our possessions. No wonder we are instructed by the Savior to lose ourselves. He is only asking us to lose the old self in order to fin the new self. It isn't a question of one losing identity but of finding his true identity!"

 I just love that so much because its sooooo true! like seriously. When we give our will to Heavenly Father, we are allowing him to help us become who we really are, and by doing that we are able to over come the natural man and truly be a good and faithful servant to the Lord.

I hope you all have a great week! and have so much fun in Cali! Please be safe safe safe! thanks for all your prayers and support and everything yall do for me! i love you all so much!!

Hermana Lizzy Brown

ps get a nice Epic Burrito and a good glass of SWAG juice for me :)