Monday, September 18, 2017

Past challenges are the fertilizer for our growth!

Training is going well...sometimes I feel like I'm learning more that Sister Austin is and its humbling. 

Some highlights from this week:
We had a meeting with Bishop on Wednesday night and discussed some things that we can do to get the ward more involved. We have some pretty great ideas, now all we need to do is put them into action!

Scott came to church for all 3 hours yesterday!!! And he has another meeting with the bishop this week! :)
We've been making cookies at night after we get in and are delivering them to active members to show our appreciation, then we ask for referrals and share a thought, song or prayer and we've actually gotten some referrals! We are really focusing on getting the ward more involved in all that we do, and it's only going to pick up from here! :)

I am so grateful that I get to be here in Cortez 4th Ward for my last transfer! The people here are incredible and so loving! 

I know that this gospel is true! I know that Challenges are a part of life so that we can learn and grow and change...if we didn't have challenges we would never become anything special. One lady that we talked to this week said: "The past challenges, and mistakes don't have to define you, they can be used as the fertilizer for your growth!" I really know that to be true, I would not be the person that I am today if it wasn't for my past and current challenges! We are given the opportunity to rely on the Atonement of Jesus Christ in times of trial and can begin to fully reach our divine potential if we choose to rely on Him! I love you all and you are in my prayers always!

I hope you all have such a wonderful week!

Sister Brown

Monday, September 11, 2017

Unforeseen opportunities to serve!

I love scripture study! It's the best! I love being able to tell others about the gospel and How important the Book of Mormon truly is!

This week has been a little crazy! Sister Anderson went home on Wednesday! It was really sad to have to say good-bye to her! Good news though: Sister Austin and I are staying together for my last transfer!

Monday we saw Scott and he decided that he wants to work towards getting re-baptized and he finally set up an appointment to meet with the bishop! 

Tuesday we had many opportunities to serve (Which is really neat because I've been keeping a prayer journal where I write down the things I want to pray for that morning and then record that night how I've seen my prayer answered and one thing that I've been praying for is unforeseen opportunities to serve...and I've really seen that happen!) 

Wednesday we met with some less-actives named Brooke and Tanner that night and it seemed to get a little contentious because he asked questions in a way as if to test us or to try to challenge our faith and testimonies...But we just bore testimony and I was grateful for the opportunity to stand up for all that I know to be true with a conviction unlike any other! We will be meeting with them again this week and hopefully it will go better! 

Thursday we had a very powerful district meeting and I felt such an immense love for my savior and the gospel! He didn't just suffer for us as a whole but quite individually! 
We also got to pick green beans again for the Steeles and they gave us some too!

Friday night we were able to meet with the young men's president and discuss some ways to help a non-member who came to seminary 3 times this past week! He only stayed for the whole thing once, but still!!!

Bishop Smith is on fire! We had ward council with him yesterday for the 1st time and He is so incredibly missionary minded, We are so excited to be able to work with him! We have a meeting set up this Wednesday to discuss some more too!

A less-active named Daeshawn also called us up yesterday and said she wanted to come to she did! And so many of the things that were talked about spoke directly to her! 
We saw the Bells for a lesson yesterday and little Payton made some really good sushi for us for dinner too! We love their family!

I've determined to make this the most enjoyable, fun, and hard-working transfer yet! Satan is so real right now, but I know that God's power is greater than anything and that I can fight against all opposition with the Lords help! 

I love you all have such a wonderful week!
Sister Brown

Sister Austin, Sister Brown, Sister Anderson

Monday, September 4, 2017

Cleanest car award and canning peaches!

We had a great week! We started off the week by seeing Judy Martin and Scott Cox. They are some of my favorite people (although let's be real...I have too many favorites to really have a favorite). Judy is struggling a little but will hopefully keep progressing. Scott is progressing in his own ways, but we hope to really understand what some of his goals are after our lesson with him tonight, so that we can know how best to help him. 

We got to see Rhonda on Tuesday and she had her daughter KaCee over too. We were able to talk to them both about the plan of salvation and challenge them to set a date by which they will work towards to go to the temple! Rhonda has really grown since I've been here and it's been incredible to see the change in her.

We had Zone Conference on Wednesday and it was really good! I was able to receive some guidance and inspiration as to how to improve myself and my missionary work! The spirit was very strong and I couldn't help but tear up a the departing missionaries bore their testimonies I realized that the next time we have Zone Conference, it will be me up there giving my departing testimony and I couldn't help but be sad for the moment that I have to leave this wonderful mission and all the people that I have grown to love so much! 

Our companionship tied for first place for the cleanest car! These are pendents with the four corner states on them.

Sister Darlington and Sister Brown with their companions tied for first place for the cleanest car.

My Zone taken August 30, 2017

Sister Brown and Sister Austin who she is training.

Thursday we had interviews with president Adams and I can't help but feel so much love for that man! He is so inspired and I know that he has been called by God to lead this mission! I know that it has to be exhausting leading a mission but President and Sister Adams are so dedicated to helping each individual missionary in their own progression as well as their areas, that I am so grateful for their devotion and strength!

Friday, we were able to help the Stepp's can peaches, I enjoyed it! We were also able to see the Bells this week and I have so much love for that family! They are all so incredibly strong and even in the face of trial's they still seem to find happiness in the gospel and in the little moments of life.

Saturday we had an interesting encounter with an intoxicated couple...I'm just going to leave it at that for now. 

Sunday we had such a spiritual sacrament meeting! We got a new bishopric and Bishop Smith is now our bishop with Brother Jorgenson (our used to be Ward Mission Leader) as his 1st counselor and Brother Snyder as his 2nd counselor. They are all fairly young and quite missionary minded so I am so excited to work with them! Bishop Cook will be missed though! He is such a great man and has a heart of gold!

This morning I ran 5 miles straight! I was exhausted by the end but It felt so good to have accomplished that! You can do anything that you put your mind to! Satan will try and stop you from reaching your potential but I know that through the Atonement of Jesus Christ that you can do all things! God's power is stronger than Satan's as long as you choose to rely on him!

I love you all and hope you have such an amazing week!
Sister Brown

Sister Brown, Sister Austin, Sister Anderson

Celebrating wining the cleanest car competition with Jacque Cook

Tuesday, August 29, 2017

Powerful Testimony!

We had a great week! Just a few High-lights:
It was Stake Conference this week and WOW, it was incredible! Elder Larkin of the 70 came and he made the meeting so powerful! So very filled with the spirit! I am still on cloud 9 from it! A less-active family who are becoming more active (the Mom is now basically active and relying on Heavenly Father more than ever!) came to stake conference and I guess Sister Adam's talk (our mission president's wife) really spoke to her! She realized that she needs to have us in her home once a week to help strengthen her family as they are going though some challenges right now! She came up to us right after Stake Conference and said "Would you be able to come teach my family and I once a week!?" We were like "of course!!! :)" and we had a very powerful lesson with them yesterday! We each had the opportunity to bear pure, strong, powerful testimony and it really seemed to help! She texted us later on after the lesson and talked to us about some of the miracles she saw from us coming over that evening!

Another testimony building experience we had was when Sister Anderson was on exchanges in 1st ward and it was just Sister Austin and I for the day. I had the feeling that we should go see an investigator of ours so we started walking that direction...well we have some recent converts that live on the way so we thought we'd try to see them too on our way over. They weren't home, but because we tried them it put us on a different road than we would have been on which gave us the opportunity to meet a man who was painting the outside of his house. He didn't become a new investigator but he's had a lot of death in his family and he's stopped believing in Jesus Christ because of it. His heart didn't seemed hardened, but rather he seemed to have a tone of sadness. I felt so much love for this man that I had just met and was able to bear powerful, sincere testimony right from the heart about eternal families and the strengthening power that comes through Jesus Christ as you rely on him. I also was able to bear powerful testimony about the Book of Mormon and the peace and comfort that comes from reading it's pages! He seemed taken a-back by it and really touched! Heavenly Father works in mysterious ways! We never even got to see the investigator that came to my mind (he wasn't home), but Heavenly Father placed us in that man's path and I don't know if he will get baptized or even start taking the lessons, but I know we were lead right to him for a reason and if nothing else I was strengthened by the experience! 

I know with all of my heart and soul that this gospel is true! I know that the Book of Mormon is is one of my most cherished possessions and I testify of the peace and comfort that comes from reading its pages! I know that my Savior lives and that he loves me and every single one of us! I testify of the power of prayer and the power of the temple.

Thank you for your prayers and support! I love you all! Have a wonderful week!
Sister Brown
Me and Sister Darlington

Making fry bread

Me, Sister Anderson, Sister Austin

We received a care package

Sister Garner came back for a visit after her mission.

Monday, August 21, 2017

August is flying Bye!

Ya' ta' hey!
I got to pick some green beans this week for some service and It brought back so many memories! I kinda miss snipping and snapping beans to be honest....not because of the beans, but rather because of the memories with family I think.

This week flew by but then looking back on it, it feels like it was months ago! I can't believe we are already almost done with August!!! 

Just some of the high-lights this week: We saw Scott for a great lesson on the Word of Wisdom and I felt prompted to make him a powerful promise that if he lived the Word of wisdom that he would receive the guidance and direction that he is looking for! We Also saw Kylie for a lesson and taught her the plan of salvation. She's accepted a baptism invite and we are going to put a set date on it tonight! We also got a new investigator this week named Ali. She's 12 and wants to get closer to Christ. 

We got to see Paul and Margaret this week! They are such good people! Unfortunately they will be moving in a week or so, so we'll have to hand them over to the elders to teach. We saw Hannah and her husband Harley. We had a great lesson with them. 

Saturday we found lots of great potential investigators and will hopefully get to follow-up soon and Sunday we had our "invite your friend to church Sunday" with the linger-longer after and 3 non-members ended up coming and tons of members told us that they invited friends but they just didn't come. The success is in the invitation anyway though, so I'm just glad that the ward is becoming more missionary-minded! 

We also had a meeting in Durango last night and I got to see Sister Darlington again! It's been a great week with lots of success! 

I love you all and hope you have a wonderful week!
Sister Brown

Thursday, August 17, 2017

Work is really picking up!

Ya' ta' hey!
I love this ward! The people here are incredible and very complimentary! Training has been going well. I'm really hoping that I'm doing all that I can for Sister Austin! 

Sister Anderson and Sister Brown are training Sister Austin
This week has been crazy and full of exchanges! 
Tuesday we were on exchanges and we met a woman named Daeshawn who grew up in the church but fell away in her teenage years due to family issues. She has had a really rough past with people abusing her and bad choices. We taught her a couple times but we don't know where she's at right now, because her boyfriend got her kicked out of the hotel they were in and whatnot, but she has a strong testimony of Heavenly Father and the plan that he has for her!

We also had our last lesson with Jason this week because he's fully active now! We'll probably have him come to lessons with us now though! oh and we also had the most delicious omelets with Brother Venegas for dinner that night too! 

Wednesday we ran into Daeshawn again, before she had gotten kicked out of the hotel. We also saw Judy again who came to church yesterday again for the 2nd or 3rd time in forever! We also knocked some doors on the county roads and met a man from Kenya! He was pretty great, but had no interest unfortunately...We sure got a lot of mosquito bites though, from walking those county roads!

Thursday we had lessons with Antonio and Jori as well as dinner with Paul and Margaret (our new investigators as of last week). She made the most delicious enchiladas! 

Saturday we were on exchanges once again and we were able to put Hannah (a new investigator as of last week too) on date for baptism for September 9th! He husband sat in on the lesson too and would like to investigate too! So he was our new investigator this week!

Sunday, we were given the privilege to talk in Sacrament meeting about missionary work/how to invite your friends to church since next week is our "invite your friend to church Sunday!"
We also were able to see Tanner again finally for a recent convert lesson! 

This week over all was pretty good! I absolutely love the people here! The Bishop is incredible...He has a heart of gold! The members are so kind and the work here is really picking up!

Monday, August 7, 2017

Being led to those who want to hear the truth!

We are in a trio and it's been great having Sister Austin here! I've never trained before so it's a new experience but I pray every single night that I can be the trainer that Heavenly Father and Sister Austin needs me to be! We are both training her and its been fun. Sister Austin is from Oakley Idaho, her favorite color is purple and she loves potatoes and her mom's homemade bread sticks! 

I'm thinking I'll stay in Cortez for the rest of my mission! :) ...because Sister Anderson will leave just before the transfer ends and I'll probably end up finishing Sister Austin's training (training lasts 2 transfers), but who knows! We'll see what the lord has in store for me! :) I love Cortez and there are so many incredible people here!

This week has been crazy, but great!
We had a training meeting all morning on Tuesday and picked up Sister Austin. When we got back to our area we taught Antonio (our new investigator from last week) as well as taught Paul and his wife Margaret (who are two new investigators as of this week!). It was a miracle the way that we found them! Bishop had given us the name of someone to go try to visit and we'd tried like 3 times over with no success. Well after the 3rd time we were like there has got to be a reason we keep coming all the way out here! So we stopped and said a prayer, we thought for a little bit and felt prompted to knock on a door close by. Well no one was home, but as we were about to head out, a car pulled in. We talked to him and he invited us back to meet with him and his wife this week! We were able to teach them twice this week and they want to feed us a meal this upcoming week! They are incredible people and I know that we were lead right to them!

Wednesday we were able to see Judy Martin. She hasn't been feeling too well lately but at least we got to see her! We also saw Scott and he's really doing well! He didn't come to church this week because of work, but he mentioned being re-baptized! We also saw Jason Morgan and He is basically fully active again!

Thursday we had District meeting and Elder Birch is our new District Leader and he invited the spirit so strongly to our meeting! It was incredible!

Friday we were able to see Sister Pixler (who we haven't seen in forever!) and that's when we saw Paul and Margaret for the 2nd time! 

Saturday we double worked our area because Sister Anderson is still a Sister Trainer Leader so she has to do lots of exchanges but because we are in a trio and the other sisters are also in a trio we could double work our area! We were able to find a new investigator because of it! She seems to have tons of potential too! We also saw Rhonda that evening and she seems to be doing ok. She wasn't feeling too well, but when we saw her briefly, earlier in the week she seemed so much happier! 

We've been walking A TON and we've seen so many miracles from it, but we were walking home from Rhonda's lesson and the city was doing this hot air balloon festival so we got to see them and it was really neat!

Sunday we had a wonderful fast and testimony meeting, and got to meet with Bishop about doing a "Bring a friend to church Sunday" where we specifically focus all the talks on the basics of the gospel and make it really powerful and spirit filled! Each member will be invited to bring a friend to church (whether that be a less-active or a non-member). We will be doing a linger-longer after too! We are so excited to see how it all pans out! 

I love you all have a wonderful week!
Sister Brown

In a Trio with Sister Austin and Sister Anderson.

Hot air Balloon Festival
Sister Anderson, Sister Brown, Sister Austin (In a Trio now)