feelin so grateful

 

 

one of my favorite families in the branch- familia flores

one of my favorite families in the branch- familia flores

 

well im typing this last email with lots of tears- thanks to the email from you, Papi, that i just read.

This mission experience has been the most enriching experience of my life. I will not say that it was the easiest..because that would be far from the truth..but the most enriching, fulfilling, edifying experience of my life. Im so grateful for Hermanas Challman, Jones, Tapia, Disner, Vargas, Fermoso, Cole, and Lopez. I feel unworthy of the amazing companions ive had and all that they’ve taught me. Im grateful for the people i met in Grace, Pocatello, Idaho Falls, and American Falls/Aberdeen…both investigators and members. Every single one of the people i’ve met have a special place in my heart.
Yesterday was a day of pure joy. I got to say “see ya later” to some of the people that i have grown to love so much. I thought it was going to be a day of pure sadness and tears ( and of course there were tears) but it was mostly a day of gratitude. just the feeling of “im so grateful that this happened. im so grateful that i came out here.”
one of my favorite hermanas- hermana carrillo

one of my favorite hermanas- hermana carrillo

 

The Millets, the family we live with

The Millets, the family we live with

 

I wanna keep this short cause i dont have too much time and i don’t want to be too dramatic and theres like a bazillion missionaries in this family history center watching me cry…haha but i just want to bear my testimony of the truthfulness of this church. Never have i ever seen so many witnesses of the truth of it. I saw with my own 2 eyes the physical light that comes into the lives of those who embrace and live the gospel of Jesus Christ. Its so dang true. And ive had too many personal experiences to deny that. I know that after the death of Christ, the fulness of the gospel and the priesthood authority were taken from the earth..leaving so many people in confusion- resulting in the making of so many different religions. But i know that thanks to a young Joseph Smith and his sincere prayer, the Church of Jesus Christ was brought back to the earth in its pure fullness. And with that gospel comes eternal happiness. its the only thing on this earth that can offer us that. Im grateful to have witnessed the reality of the Atonement of Jesus Christ. I know that Christ truly took a moment to feel the pain and sufferings of each of us individually. and because of that sacrifice we can come to him and he can heal us and strengthen us.
Thank you thank you for all the love and support and prayers. It carried me through the hard days. Im excited to see everyone and love you all so much.
con amor,
Hermana Brown
Karin

Karin

the farewell feast they made for me :')

the farewell feast they made for me :’)

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temple blessings

4th of july sunset hike

4th of july sunset hike

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Another roller coaster ride of a week. im grateful for the tender mercies the Lord has extended to sister lopez and i during our time here in Aberdeen and american falls.

So first blessing of the week- I’ve talked about Sue a couple times before. The tiny little ex-military sergeant. So this week bishop called her in for an interview to talk about her goal to go to the temple. she was so cute she was like “yeah i dont even know who told him that i was thinking about preparing to go to the temple! so weird!”….it was totally us that told him…..duh.
So she had this amazing interview with bishop. And then this week she was at church for all the 3 hours. Apparently she hasnt done that in years. She started up with the temple prep class and so she’s now on her merry little way. She looks different every time we see her now. So happy and lit up. Im grateful for the experience that i’ve had to meet her and help her get on the road to entering the temple. I hope and pray that everything works out that i can come back and go through with her whenever that time comes.

yesterday hermana lopez and i taught relief society in the branch, the theme was on temples and how we can embrace the “supreme” blessings they bring. We shared this quote from pres monson-

“Until you have entered the house of the Lord and have received all the blessings which await you there, you have not obtained everything the Church has to offer. The all-important and crowning blessings of membership in the Church are those blessings which we receive in the temples of God.”

thats so dang true… Baptism is just the first step..it doesnt do anyone much good to just be baptized and then never enter the temple. That’s where all the eternal blessings are at. Im grateful for the opportunity that the Lord has given me to help people on their path to both.


my life ( in a nut shell says- this is the home of a catholic. we dont need the propaganda of other religions. long live the virgin.) hahaha love it.

my life ( in a nut shell says- this is the home of a catholic. we dont need the propaganda of other religions. long live the virgin.) hahaha love it.

 

I cant remember if i’ve ever mentioned Kylee. She’s 22 and one of our investigators. she is so dang cute. She’s been investigating the church for years,ever since she started dating this RM dude. but she never wanted to commit to baptism because she was so scared and worried that she was maybe just doing it for him. Well- the Lord works in mysterious ways, and after 2 years of dating, they broke up this week. So she calls us this week and is like “hey sisters! do you want to come over tomorrow? now that me and so & so have broken up i feel like i can finally focus back on preparing to be baptized and now i can know for sure that im not just doing it for him.” It was SUCH a tender mercy of the Lord.

 

this week we had exchanges and i got to go serve on the ISU campus with one of the sisters for the day. it was soooo legit. so many different ethnicities and cultures. It made me see that this message truly is for everyone. Doesnt matter where you’re from- the gospel of Jesus Christ is the only thing that can bring every human being on this earth eternal happiness. How blessed we are to get to share that.

 

love you all.

 

Hermana brown

 american falls wants everyone to know what its residents struggle with

american falls wants everyone to know what its residents struggle with

menudo

got all my snacks for weekly planning...new favorites- agua de coco and chicharrones

got all my snacks for weekly planning…new favorites- agua de coco
and chicharrones

 

The weeks are racing by i feel like i can hardly wrap my head around
everything thats going on. I’m so grateful for another week of
blessings and tender mercies. And i’m especially grateful for Hermana
Lopez and her “greenie fire.” She’s teaching me soooo much and is
helping me stay pumped up til the end.

Karin is doing awesome. She was at church with us this week and just
looked so happy and comfortable with all the members there. they’re
taking her in like family. Please continue to keep her in your
prayers.

little chicky friends

little chicky friends

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This week we met a lot of awesome less-actives. We’ve been working
with this 65 year old lady, Sue. She is the tiniest little lady ever,
you would never guess that she was a sergeant in the Army for 31
years. haha she is seriously one of my favorite people here. Since she
was in the army for so long, she never got married and she kinda got
out of the habit of going to church. A few weeks back she told us that
her lifelong dream is to serve a mission..so we’ve started helping her
prepare for the temple. Her one hold up is her old self-doubt. she
always says “i feel like im not qualified for the temple!”  This week
we had a lesson with her and we read D&C 4 with her..

Doctrine & Covenants 4-
5 And faith, hope, charity and love, with an eye single to the glory
of God, qualify him for the work.

I think Sue was amazed that thats truly all God asks of us. In order
to take part in the blessings of his work and his gospel..we just have
to have to be worthy and have those qualities. Sue thanked us for
sharing that with her…and thanked us for being there to help her.
She talked about how she knows the Lord put us in her path for a
reason. It was so cool. I think we all feel unqualified and unworthy
of the Lord’s love and blessings sometimes. but He’s truly so merciful
and is just waiting to give us those blessings.

This sunday was hard. I bore my testimony in all the wards we went to,
but nothin got me like the spanish branch did. I looked out at that
congregation and just cried like a baby. I feel so grateful for the
privilege that God has given me to serve the hispanic people here.
Their testimonies have strengthened mine. I wish i could put it all
into words, but its too dang hard.

I love this gospel and i love you all. Have a great week!

con amor,
hermana brown

Got to check it off my list- tried menudo ( cow stomach) - hispanic delicacy. kinda gross but not too shabby

Got to check it off my list- tried menudo ( cow stomach) – hispanic
delicacy. kinda gross but not too shabby

aberdeen daze

 

 

bikeride by the resevouir on pday

bikeride by the resevouir on pday

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a week of small town fun. Haha this weekend was the biggest weekend of
the year for good ole aberdeen! i couldnt even tell ya how many people
come here but it was craziness. We took the opportunity to do LOTS of
service. which consisted of flipping and serving pancakes in the park
for 3 hours to a neverending line of people. it was quite the
experience. They also do this thing where hundreds of people line up
on main street and then some farmer dude flies his crop duster plane
right over the street and drops a tonnnnnnnnnn of ping-pong balls from
the plane. so these balls come flying down bouncing all over the place
and everyone is pushing and shoving and screaming trying to catch
these ping pong balls because you turn them in for prizes. hahahaha
apparently you could win anything from 4-wheelers to a free drink at
the gas station. needless-to-say…for the people of aberdeen, this
was a big deal. i captured the event on video- don’t worry.

waiting for the ping pong balls to drop at Aberdeen Daze

waiting for the ping pong balls to drop at Aberdeen Daze

The past couple weeks have kinda been slow. So ive been studying a lot
about  how we can find new people to teach- particularly about opening
our mouths and being bold. As i studied that the Lord gave us so many
opportunities to put it to work during the week.

This fun young couple took us out to dinner the other night…ya know,
to one of the 2 restaurants in town. He used to be a teacher in the
mtc so he’s all about missionary work. Right when we got seated and
after the waitress brought us our drinks he goes “Sisters, do you know
the waitress? Have you ever taught her before?” Us: “nope! never seen
her!” Brother somethin: “okay sweet me neither. im gonna get her info
so you can start teaching her.” so we get our food, chat and i kinda
forget about the whole thing. And then we go to the cash register to
pay before we go and he goes “so, have you ever met with these sisters
here? You should. The message that they have is awesome. It’ll change
your life” Then the spirit was kicking me in the rear so i stepped in,
testified and boom. we got her to accept the invite and she gave us
her phone number so we can go visit and teach her. The people in the
kitchen behind her were staring at us all funny and sure it was a
little awkward. But i gained so much respect for that brother. He had
ZERO fear of inviting some stranger to listen to the missionaries.
i’ve thought about that experience a lot ever since it happened and
have thought to myself “wow, what if every member and every missionary
was that fearless when it came to sharing the gospel?” So many souls
would be blessed with the truthfulness of this message.

aberdeen in the summer= mexico. Mangonadas for sale. its like a mango popsicle drowned in chile syrup

aberdeen in the summer= mexico. Mangonadas for sale. its
like a mango popsicle drowned in chile syrup

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So saturday night we were at the fish fry dinner thing at the park and
i knew we needed to take the opportunity to talk to some random people
and find some new people to teach. So we got our food and went and sat
down next to this cute family- A mom and her 3 cute little girls. We
chatted casually and then asked her if she had ever met with the
missionaries before. She hadnt but said she gladly would. We ended up
getting her address and we’re going to visit her tomorrow. Its so
crazy how many people will accept the invitation we have if you just
open your mouth and share it.

I read this scripture this morning and loved it.
D&C 24
12 And at all times, and in all places, he shall open his mouth and
declare my gospel as with the voice of a trump,both day and night. And
I will give unto him strength such as is not known among men.

I know that promise is true. And we’re so blessed for trying! even if
it doesnt result in a baptism every time. Im so thankful for Christ
and our loving Heavenly Father. They really do want everyone on this
earth to return home to them.

con mucho amor,
hermana brown

had smores and a campfire with the family we live with and their grandkids

had smores and a campfire with the family we live with and their grandkids

Shoutout to Dean Aaron Bonin

i have another beautiful nephew that i cant wait to meet! I love you
all so much and am so grateful for my family and the support you
provide to me.

This week was slower than others. Summatime is here! therefore
everyone is out doin fun stuff and no one wants to talk to the
missionaries…haha its sad. But we’re worked around the obstacle and
ended up having a wonderful week full of service opportunities!

There’s this old lady named Nancy that we met. She lost her husband 3
years ago and lives in this big house out in the country all by
herself. This week we went over and washed her windows and she was
just thrilled. She made this big lunch for us to have with her after
we were done, and then after we shared a message about the plan of
salvation. She listened so intently and then when we were done she
said..”i have a question…do you believe that we’ll still have our
memories with us in heaven? Will my husband remember me as his wife?”
We assured her that she will most definitely have all of her memories
with her, and her husband will be able to be together as husband and
wife. We don’t know how interested she is in the church…but i’ve
come to realize that our missionary purpose doesn’t just include
baptizing people. We’re here to help others come unto Christ. So any
opportunity to share the hopeful plan that Christ has provided for us
is fulfilling our purpose.

The miracle of this week was with our investigator- Karin. The sweet
intern from Peru. She’s really good friends with Hermana Carrillo in
the branch, so she came with her to the relief society dinner this
week. Afterwards we watched the Restoration movie with her there in
the chapel. She’s been taught the restoration before, but we werent
sure that she truly understood the importance of the prophet, Joseph
Smith, and what he did. Watching the movie cleared that up and then we
asked her about her desires and thoughts on baptism. She said that
everything that we have taught her makes sense. And that its answering
the questions that she’s always had, but she wants to have a sure
answer from God before she decides to get baptized. The spirit kinda
took over at that point and we ended up setting a baptismal date for
her-the 15th of July. She was hesitant to commit at first…worried
that she wouldnt know enough by that day. But she’s been to church
like 5 times..she believes everything she’s been taught. So the spirit
told us she was ready. We assured her that as representatives of Jesus
Christ, we invite people to do the things that He himself would invite
them to do if He were here. We promised her that if she keeps meeting
with us, comes to church every week, and sincerely prays to God she
will be absolutely ready to be baptized by the 15 of July. The spirit
was so strong i knew she couldn’t deny it. So she accepted to prepare
for that date. It was such a cool lesson. So please please play for
Karin!! I know Heavenly Father has already given her so many signs
that this is the right thing for her to do..she just needs to open her
eyes to them.

Sorry i slacked on the pictures this week… But ill make up for it
next week! love you all.

con amor,
Hermana Brown

elder christofferson

 

sent FOUR of my companions off home last week. love em all so much.

sent FOUR of my companions off home last week. love em all so much.

This week was a special week! Elder D. Todd Christofferson of the 12
came and visited our mission. For the first time in the 17 months that
i’ve been here in the IPM, our entire mission got together for a
conference. Elder Christofferson spoke and it was so powerful. I’ll
never forget the feeling of him walking into the chapel…everyone
went silent and we all stood. Then we all go to come up and shake his
hand. From the words he spoke and the way he spoke them, theres no
denying that he’s a man called of God. i feel so blessed for the
opportunity that we had to meet him!

making camarones a la diabla the other day. so. stinkin. good.

making camarones a la diabla the other day. so. stinkin. good.

This week we got to have another lesson with Pooria. We went to
bishop’s house and taught him the Restoration and it was so cool. We
were talking about Joseph Smith and the persecution he experienced
after he restored the Gospel of Jesus Christ and Pooria says ” you
know, i’ve come to realize that the better and more true something
gets….the more enemies it gets. That was actually first caught my
attention about your church. I kept hearing so many strange rumors
about your faith and i figured they werent true. And then i realized
that if theres so much gossip about it…it must be true. People are
probably just afraid and intimidated by the truth of it. So thats why
i wanted to learn more about your church!” I’m pretty sure my mouth
was hanging open…hahaha who on earth thinks like that!?? Someone
prepared of the Lord, thats who. We had stake conference this week and
he came. The speakers talked a lot about temples. He has lots of new
questions now, but he loved what he heard. His wife is coming to visit
for a month, so hopefully we’ll get to teach the both of them this
week!

This sunday we also got one of our less-actives to church, Ellie. That
family is one of my favorites. She’s a single mom going through a
divorce. she has 3 cute kids. She’s gone through so much in her life,
and right now she’s facing divorce, depression and addiction. We’ve
been trying to get her to church ever since we got to the area! And
this weekend she came with her kids. It was so awesome. During the
opening him she leaned over and whispered to me “i feel so good being
back here.” It was the highlight of my whole week!

I have to cut this email short cause we’re gonna go learn how to make
amazing mexican food from hermana flores. we’re so spoiled.

Love you all and hope its a great week for everyone. Church is true!

Hermana Brown

0294f648-e1d4-44fe-a42c-51cd03870170

mission accomplished.

Tom from Oakland

Tom from Oakland

Guess what? i….met…… a black guy from Oakland. hahaha my mission
is complete. (not really, but it really was one of my mission dreams)
So theres literally one black man that lives in the Springfield area.
His name is Tom and he’s not a member but he goes to church all the
time just because he loves Jesus. So a member took us to go meet him
and he lives in a RV thing in the middle of absolutely no where……
He said he wants to do “bible study” with us. haha so anyway, we went
and visited with him and he sang us gospel music. He said he goes down
to the gay pride parade in SLC every year and sings/performs…So
yeah, it was kind of the highlight of my life to meet this guy.

zone full of goofs!

zone full of goofs!

 

 

Reunited with Hermanas Cole and Vargas before they head home!

Reunited with Hermanas Cole and Vargas before they head home!

 

OKAY. so this week was probably one of the most miracle filled weeks
of my whole mission. The Lord is blessing Hermana Lopez and i so much
here in this area. who woulda thought that aberdeen idaho would be
such a gold mine!?

So Karin, our cute little investigator from Peru. She’s doing an
internship at this agricultural center thing here in town. So she
lives in this house with all the other interns and they are all from
foreign countries! its so cool. The other day we went by to visit with
Karin for a minute and while we were there one of her roommates comes
out of his room and goes, “are you the ones from the church!??!” So
here is where the little miracle story begins. His name is Pooria and
he’s from Iran. He’s like 35 or somethin and he’s doing the same
internship thing. So anyway he proceeds talking to us and is all ” i
met this guy from your church a long time ago! and he gave me this
book!” *pulls out book of mormon* “i want to read it so bad and ive
been trying to! but my english is not that great and this is really
hard english..so i am having trouble understanding it.” He was sooo
surprised when we told him that we could get him one in his home
language- Persian/Farsee.

Lunch with the lovely Hunts and Hermanas Cole and Vargas before they leave for home tomorrow

Lunch with the lovely Hunts and Hermanas Cole and Vargas before they leave for home tomorrow

So two days pass and we’re about to have a lesson with Karin! we went
with a member to go pick her up from work and as we’re driving out of
the parking lot guess who we see!? Pooria 🙂 So i roll down my window
and invite him to join us at our lesson with Karin and he was
thrilled. Long story short we had this amazing lesson with the both of
them. Not going to lie, it was pretty difficult trying to teach a dude
from Iran and a girl from Peru in the same sitting… It was like half
spanish…half very basic english. haha but it worked out perfectly.
Shows that the spirit is the true teacher. At the end of the lesson we
asked Pooria if he’d like to join us at church the next day and he
didn’t hesitate to accept. So sunday comes around…its 1 oclock and
sis Lopez and i are circling the outside of the chapel waiting for
him. I started getting so nervous! did he forget!? was he just being
nice and is he really not that interested!? so finally were like,
okay…lets just go check inside the chapel..MAYBE he’s in there
already. So we peek our heads in the chapel and sure enough! theres
Pooria all dressed up in a suit, sitting in a pew with his book of
mormon in hand. AND sitting next to him is this girl from China!
another intern living in that same house. They loved church and later
that night we get the coolest text from Pooria: “i forgot to tell you,
i read the gospel of jesus christ pamphlet like i promised. Now i feel
happy, peaceful and hope. i have experienced many different religions
but i confess that the church of jesus christ of latter day saints has
the best plan for salvation and i want to continue learning. Thank you
so much.” ……..i literally read that text probably 10 times because
i thought i was dreaming or something. but nope, the church is true.
It doesn’t take too long for anyone to realize it.

Patricia and her lil boy Santi. it was his 3rd birthday

Patricia and her lil boy Santi. it was his 3rd birthday

From so many experiences i’ve had on the mission i now have the most
solid testimony that the Lord prepares his children. The Lord does the
preparing and the guiding…we do the teaching. I feel so blessed to
have witnessed so many experiences like these. as these people are
gaining testimonies of the church, my own is getting strengthened.
this is truly the best work there is. Im so grateful to be apart of
it.

Quick update on Brian- we’re still waiting on a response back from the
first presidency. So keep prayin!

Love you all.

Hermana Brown

I will miss this so much!

I will miss this so much!

its pretty beautiful out here in the middle of nowhere ( and yes we drive a jeep. We're kinda really spoiled)

its pretty beautiful out here in the middle of nowhere ( and yes we
drive a jeep. We’re kinda really spoiled)