onward and upward (Jan. 11, 2016 letter)

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Hermana Cole and i are feeling extra blessed this week. So many cool experiences to tell.

So last monday night the high council member over missionary work invited all the missionaries serving in the stake for dinner. (so us, the zone leaders, and the spanish elders) Sister cole had mentioned to me before hand that Bro baker (the High council member) was going through some health problems and would soon be released..At the end of the dinner after sharing a thought brother baker told us all that they found a brain tumor and that last week he began Chemotherapy. Said he’s been given a little over a year to live. one of his 6 kids were there and his wife too, and they just sobbed. But brother baker said all of this with the most peaceful look on his face. he said “ya know, ive just realized that some of us have a long time in this earth life! others dont…” he then proceeded to show us all the wristbands that him and his family members are all wearing now, he made them and they say “onward & upward” He said thats truly all we can do when we hit trials. keep goin forward and that takes us upward…or closer to our heavenly father. The spirit was so strong in that home, it was the perfect start to the week forsure. Made me count my blessings and made me so thankful for the knowledge that we have of the Plan of Salvation.
still so pretty even when its closed :)

still so pretty even when its closed 🙂

The week had its share of letdowns… 2 different times we set up appointments with Nick, and both fell through…got chewed out by a some dude who says that im preaching false doctrine and told me “one day you’ll see..one day you’ll find the truth..” hahaha okay sir. But once again, gave me a powerful opportunity to bear a powerful and simple testimony. Anyway, the weekend brought the blessings forsure.
We had stake conference this weekend and Elder Erickson of the 70 came. He told a story of his daughter who served her mission in Cambodia. She served in this tiny country village with a branch of 30 members. It was the rainy season while she was there and they were on bikes. It was a 9 mile bike ride to the village. so everyday they rode their bikes through the flooded streets 9 miles there…9 miles back..in 90% humidity. There was no work when they arrived there and they were struggling to find it. Their job as the missionaries was to get to church early and set up chairs for sacrament meeting. The first week they did as they were told and set up 30 chairs. Then the second week they decided to set up 120 chairs. when the members showed up and saw the chairs all confused, the sisters told them it was to show everyone and get the image into everyones minds that there were people missing. Brother Erickson then posed the question and said to all of us: “Do we have empty chairs at our tables? or in our sacrament meetings? or relief society meetings? go seek the lost ones. Bring them back. And bring new people too!!” i loved that message. He said that when his daughter left that area 130 chairs were filled every sunday at church, and they had 27 convert baptisms..all just over a 4 month period of time. Craaaaaaaaaaaaaazyyyyy story. It touched me forsure. There was so many things in that conference that came as answers to prayers for me.
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To top off our week we had a Sunday miracle. We were in sacrament meeting at one of our english wards yesterday, and as soon as the meeting ended we saw this family go up to talk to bishop. Sister cole nudged me and told me to look at their “sick tats” haha they both had these legit sleeves, but both looked so nice in their sunday clothes. After talking to bishop the brother came up to us and says “hey sisters, my name is brother oliver, these are my sons Collin & Trevor, and they were never baptized…i dont know if you ladies would be interested in teaching them but we would really like that.” ……………hahaha dont know if we’d be interested. yeah. Sister cole and I literally almost bursted into tears. We set up a lesson for this week and we are so excited. Turns out that brother oliver was in the army, came back from war with some really bad PTSD, he couldnt handle the big crowds at church, so they stopped coming for awhile and kinda just got swept away for a time. But now they’re back! and theyre a blessing from above. The boys are so cute!! Collin is 11 and Trevor is 9. it was a tender mercy if ive ever seen one.
have a good week errrybody. love you all

hermana brown

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El salvadorian food? yes.

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