Monday, July 22, 2013

Remember those weeks when I felt like nothing really happened? Well, this isn't one of them!

This week SO much happened! It really was incredible. The beginning of the week was kind of slow, and then I feel like my life exploded.
For the sake of how I'm going to write this email and your anticipation, we'll get transfer news out of the way now :)

I am headed out! I am really nervous about it, and really sad to be leaving these wards. But Sister Stuart is (already) needed as a trainer, and I am needed elsewhere. So we get trainer calls on Wednesday, and Transfer News on Saturday night. Sister Stuart will be working in the Volcano Ward, and new missionaries will be serving in the Ventana Ward. But Saturday, just before we received transfer news, I got a call from President asking me if I would accept the call to be an STL (Sister Training Leader). (I think I told you about that position a couple transfers ago). Basically me and my future companion will go to all the big meetings, and we will be over the sisters in 2-3 zones, to help them with anything that they need, and to go on exchanges with them, and I am probably the youngest STL in the mission. This IS only my 4th transfer. I'm terrified, but it will be really good :)
Monday and Tuesday were more of the same. Except we were referred to go and see a LA family. We called her Tuesday morning, and set up to go and visit that afternoon. We realized how fortunate we were, because we caught her on her only day off. While talking, we shared a message on families, and realized that they haven't been to church in about a year, and her youngest son is 9 and not baptized. So they will be taught this week!!

We also went and taught Naomi. (They are the family that gave us the Elk roast). I was a little bit terrified, but it went really well!! We got to know her a little better, and talked about what she was feeling and what she wanted. Turns out she has taken the discussions a couple of times, and it always has come down to "you need to really read and pray". But, she hasn't really done that. So, we asked what was something that she wanted to focus on or learn about. She wanted a story about someone coming closer to Christ, so we read Mosiah 27, and talked about Alma the Younger. She had a lot of really good questions, and the lesson ended up being very powerful. There is no way that we could have taught that lesson without the spirit guiding us.

Then after Naomi we taught the minks about the 10 commandments. We learned some hand signs for them which was super awesome... because they actually payed attention! haha so their new bap date is Aug 24th. Way exciting :)
Wednesday was not much. We tried a few homes... and transfer news was the big thing.
Thursday Sister Stuart had a training meeting to go to, so I spent most of the day in a tri-panionship just hanging out and getting to know each other. So that was nice. Then dinner and we taught Louise. She is absolutely incredible!! I love her with all of my heart, and I am going to miss her SO much. The spirit was definitely present in our lesson, and we talked to her about letting Christ into our lives, and gave her the picture of Christ knocking, but there is now doorknob on his side. She even said that she went and bought 2 new dresses so she could come to church!! She is too cute :)
Friday we had a district meeting on diligence, which was wonderful, of course. We talked about how sometimes we know what is right and what we need to do... and then we just don't do it. And there are a slew of reasons and excuses, but we need to be diligent and obedient, and just do what we are asked and expected to do. Then we went to a park and finished our weekly planning. It was beautiful outside... until it starting pouring. Luckily, Sister Stuart broke a button on her shirt so we headed to a member's house to get it fixed, just before the torrents began.

But later that night, we had a lesson with Bobbie N. We discussed enduring to the end, and committed her to baptism. She said she is having a hard time thinking about giving up her entire lifestyle for the last 50 years, but she would like to get baptized! Again, the spirit was SO strong. A good member friend was there, and invited her to come to church. (And she did!). Sister Stuart will be setting a date with Bobbie to get baptized this week, probably mid-September. (!!!!)

Then after Bobbie we went and had a lesson with Tina, Christi's mom! (Just know, that going in we were super nervous, and I prayed like a million times). But we went, and she had a lot of questions from her experience in church a couple months ago, and from things she has just heard. So she told us everything, crazy or not, and we did our best to answer her questions. Again, this lesson HAD to be led by the spirit. It was great :) She is trying to understand everything because she loves her daughter (understandably and respectfully so). Sister Stuart will be meeting with her again later this week or next. Slow, but positive progress. And we meet with Christi in her home now. Miracles are happening!!
Saturday we talked with a LA family we have been working with... and they told us about how they have decided to not come to church anymore. I have learned a couple things on my mission. I've learned how to love strangers. People that you have never met, you learn to love with all of your heart. And you care for those you work with in a different way. So when they told us this, I was devastated. For their situation, and their struggles, and that I couldn't do anything. After I did everything I could, it’s hard to watch someone still struggle in ways you can't help. I've learned a little about how Heavenly Father must feel for His children.

Saturday and Sunday were kind of hectic. Flooded with saying goodbyes, which are always hard. We had 2 dinners. Again. (That’s what happens when you don't have a dinner scheduled at all, and suddenly everyone wants to feed the sisters, and you can't say no to all of them. we almost had 3 dinners). But one was with this cute old man, brother Stolworthy. He's kind of our adopted grandpa. His wife is not a member, and he comes to church every week. Just the sweetest man ever. We always go and talk with him, and though you have to talk loud and stand close so he can hear and see you, you can tell he loves you. He tells the best stories :) and when he really wants you to listen, he grabs your hand and holds it while he talks, or kind of holds your arm. And he gave me a book of all his family history on one side, because he said there was a lady with the last name of brown, and he wanted to know if we were related. Haha well, there a lot of browns, so I kind of doubt it. But, you never know I guess ;)
Hope that covers everything.
So pretty much, I'm going to miss serving here a TON. But, I know that somewhere else needs me. Or maybe I just need somewhere else. But the work of salvation is progressing, and it is such a blessing to be a part of it, no matter where I serve.
Love you all SO much!! Thanks for all you do. Keep working hard, and stay true to who you are. You never know when someone will need your kind words or smile. Truly, God works in mysterious ways, and we are all His tools. Make sure that you are where you need to be, when you need to be there, doing all that you are supposed to be doing. He knows, and loves, and will direct us always.
Sister Brown

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