Sunday, October 15, 2017

O N E Y E A R

HELLO!!!

This week I will hit my YEAR MARK of being on a mission!


WHAT


HOW


Actually, one year ago today I gave my farewell talk in sacrament meeting. YUP, TIME FLIES LET ME TELL YOU. I never thought I'd get to this point! This is crazy!

Anyway, it's been another eventful week! Yesterday we moved out of the 29 Palms sisters apt (Sister Angelovich and Sister Hinckley) (they are so fun) and into a house in Yucca Valley with some older members of our ward. This is a temporary living space until we can move into our permanent residence later this week. Lots of moving!

Oh yeah, I'm training!!! My new companion is Sister McNary. She is amazing! She was baptized just three years ago which is sooooo coooool. She is from San Antonio, Texas. It has been the neatest thing to have a recent convert companion, she has so many great insights and perspectives that I have never thought of before. She is a very focused missionary and ready to work hard which is great!

We had MLC this week and it was awesome! Great way to kick off online proselyting aka I'M ON FACEBOOK NOW (ahem feel free to add me if we are not already friends). It was really strange to initially get on there after not being on Facebook for a year. It was somewhat of a harrowing experience, but I made it through and my Facebook is cleaner than it was before! Feel free to share my posts and like and comment, as long as your comments are gospel centered and not a distraction! I will not be using it to communicate with family and friends, so just keep using email if you would like to contact me. I am excited to use Facebook as a new tool to fulfill my purpose as a missionary. I will attach a PDF from the Dixons on suggestions to you all for helping me as I use Facebook on my mission.

Also we have SMART PHONES now! Weird but wonderful! It is a lot easier to maneuver than that tiny blue brick phone we used to have (though I did really like that phone). It is an exciting time to be a missionary. The Lord really is hastening His work.

I've been thinking a lot about social media and technology lately and how these tools were created primarily to move the work of the Lord forward. We have this booklet called "Safeguards for Using Technology" that includes safeguards and guidelines on how we can stay focused on our missionary purpose through the use of technology, and how we can protect ourselves from using social media the way the adversary would want us to use it. The four safeguards are:

1. Be in tune with spiritual promptings
2. Be focused on your missionary purpose
3. Be disciplined
4. Be one

The booklet also gives guidelines on what to do when you are feeling vulnerable or susceptible with technology/social media, and those guidelines are:

1. Be aware and acknowledge
2. Choose to act
3. Learn and improve

The thing is, we will all be tempted to use social media and technology in ways that are not in harmony with the Lords standards. This could include: scrolling for hours on end with no purpose, focusing on a large number of likes rather than focusing on the individual as the savior would, comparing ourselves with others, viewing content that will only bring us further from god, etc etc. We have all been and will be tempted to do this these things! I still am! And that's why I am so grateful for the safeguards. God is given us a way to make our smart phones our servants and not our masters. He has given us the gift of the Holy Ghost to guide us and He will not lead us astray. I invite you all to keep these safeguards in mind as you use technology and social media this week, and follow the three guidelines if you are feeling vulnerable or susceptible. God will be there to help you. Let's use these tools for the purpose that they were intended, to hasten the work of salvation! You CAN break bad social media habits with the Savior's help. That's a goal I have set for myself. Let's do this together!

Okay well that's all for now. I appreciate all the love and support I receive from each of you, thank you for all you do. Here's to another great week! Let's GO! LOVE YOU ALLLL!


Sister Carina Brown


Me in Palm Springs last week



Two of my FAVE sisters 

SISTER VEST! 

Me and my two trainees together! What a picture! ❤️❤️❤️❤️❤️❤️❤️

Sister McNary! Cutie 

Family history with Debra 

Ambers baptism! The elders taught her. She is so sweet. 

Thursday, October 5, 2017

CRAZIEST WEEK OF MY MISSION

OH. MY. GOODNESS.

HI.


Literally so much has happened. I really don't even know where to begin. I can't even explain to you how crazy this week has been.


Wow.


Okay here we go.

FIRST OF ALL:
TRANSFERS ARE THIS WEEK! Can you even believe six weeks has passed since I got to the desert???? Also sister Blalock goes home tomorrow!!! We have had a lot of fun together and I will miss her! She said she will email me a lot so it's all good. Transfer news: I am going to be TRAINING a new missionary again!!! Exciting! I feel humbled and I am looking forward to bringing a new missionary into this area. The desert really is blossoming as the rose, right before our eyes!

Also, quick shout out to my sister Kailee who's BIRTHDAY is this Wednesday!!!!!! I love you sooo much Yakel, you inspire me. ❤️❤️❤️

TUESDAY (WHAT A DAY, LET ME TELL YOU): So Tuesday started out normal. We went to district meeting, we had some lessons, we went out walking and talked to a lot of people. It was a good day. We also found two new investigators! Yay (we found four this week and it was awesome!!!)!

So! We came home at 8 pm to do companion study (we do companion study at night now because it's too dark in the desert to do anything else) and we have this little tiny backyard thing with a fence. So we walk in through the fence and I am opening the back door when sister Blalock goes "what is that white paint on the fence?" And I go "idk never seen it before.." and then at the same time we both realize what it is: a spray painted outline of a LARGE KNIFE/MACHETE. CREEPY. So we then were able to infer that someone (or someones) came INSIDE OUR FENCE and propped this large knife up and spray painted around it in the middle of the night while we were sleeping or something. I will send a picture so you can see. So naturally we got scared. Not to mention that odd/suspicious things had been happening in the past couple weeks (trash on top of our car, being followed, hearing that we live in sketchy area).

So we go inside and I just had a really scared feeling like we were now some sort of target and that we were being watched. So we called the elders, and things escalated so we ended up calling the Dixons and they were like "yeah that's really creepy and weird" and Sister Dixon said that she didn't want us staying there that night because we didn't want to take any chances. So the bishop and the ward mission leader ended up coming over to make sure we were safe while we packed an overnight bag and drove to stay with the sisters in 29 Palms (30 minutes away from our area). By the time we left Yucca Valley it was like 10:40 pm, so we didn't get to 29 Palms until past 11 pm. That's the first time I've stayed up past 10:30 pm on my mission so that was weird! We went to bed late that night.

WEDNESDAY:
Sister Blalock went on her departing temple trip in Redlands so I proselyted with the 29 Palms sisters. That was fun! I love those sisters. We also talked to the Dixons and they said for us to just stay with the 29 Palms sisters until further notice because they didn't want us living in that apt anymore. So basically our living situation is currently pending.

THURSDAY:
The Andersons (senior missionary couple, AMAZING) left 😢😢😢😢😢 so we helped them pack up and leave and then didn't get going with our day until after that.

Basically after the Tuesday night incident, everything became crazy and we lived 30 minutes away from our area and the apt was really messy and then later in the week we got ants and the Andersons left so that was sad and when we were in Yucca Valley we were basically homeless because we were not about to go back to 29 Palms for a 30 minute lunch so that was wild and then also it was Sister Blalock's last week in the mission so she was stressed and then Sister Angelovich and I found out that we are both training new missionaries and we are bringing them into this situation and we are also being STLs still and it's hard to explain it all for you to understand but just know IT WAS CRAZY. Also it was kinda funny, I mean sometimes you need to just laugh. Even though it's been the craziest week ever, it also been reeeeeally fun and spiritual because CONFERENCE.

So yes, General Conference was a breath of fresh air. If you didn't get the chance to watch it, I invite you to do so!

And since this email hasn't already been a NOVEL (sorry), let me just add on some exciting things that are happening in our mission this week:
- WE ARE GETTING SMART PHONES THIS THURSDAY AT MLC
- THE DISTRICT 3 VIDEOS ARE NOW AVAILABLE TO US AND ITS AWESOME
- We are getting a new "Area Book 2.0" app so that's cool
- Our mission is becoming a full online proselyting mission, so yup Facebook here I come

Also something sad that happened this week: do you all remember Stacy Halloway that I was teaching the whoooole time I was in the Smiley Ward? Well sad news, she passed away yesterday. 😢😢😢 it made me soooo sad to hear that. I loved her so much. She was going to get baptized but she wasn't physically able to at the time. My heart goes out to all the people in the Smiley Ward who knew and loved her! You are all in my prayers!

Even though this week has been crazy, it's amazing how much I have still been able to feel at peace with everything going on. I know that God has a plan, and because of my Savior Jesus Christ, I can feel peace no. matter. what. General Conference was a great reminder of that. I am so excited to apply what I have learned. Remember what President Dixon has said: "you have 72 hours to apply training before it falls by the wayside." So i invite you all to APPLY the things that you have learned from conference this weekend, within 72 hours! Set goals and make plans to be better and to come closer to Jesus Christ. I will try to do the same. I know that as we incorporate into our lives the things we have learned and act now, we will receive heavens help in all that we do and our joy will increase.

Okay this email is seriously so long.

Well congratulations for making it to the end of it! We are dropping off Sister Blalock in Palm Springs today so that the assistants can take her to the mission office, so we are going to have part of our pday in Palm Springs! 🌴🌴🌴 I am spending the next two days in a trio with the 29 Palms sisters until Wednesday when I get my new companion! Exciting things are happening!

I love you all!!!!! Have an amazing week!!!! 👋


Sister Carina Brown
California Redlands Mission
Discover.mormon.org



Creepy part 2 

Basketball with the Andersons 

Bye Andersons, see you soon cause you live in Layton 

VOLLEYBALL for exercise wooooo so fun 

Lunch with sister smith she is so cool 


Service at animal shelter I love dogs so much 

Ward mission leaders wife aka African princess 

Selfies from today bye sister Blalock 


Sunday, October 1, 2017

Miracles in the Mojave

HELLO!!!! 

It has been another exciting and eventful week in the mission field. There are so many things happening and I don't even know where to begin. 

Oh my goodness funny conversation that just went down like 30 seconds ago among the 29 Palms sisters as we are all emailing:

Sister Martin: how do you spell proselyting 
Sister Angelovich: yeah I never know how to spell that word and it's my literal job 
Me: *puts conversation in mass email without their knowledge*

HAHAHA
Anywayyyyyyyy

WEEKLY HIGHLIGHTS:

- TUESDAY: we found 2 new investigators!!!!!!!! I don't have time to write all about them, sorry. Will write more when we meet with them more. 

- WEDNESDAY: we went to REDLANDS for an STL training meeting on service and the JustServe app. It was held at the mission home and it was wonderful. If you don't have the JustServe app downloaded on your phone, download it now! Go find service opportunities in your area!

- FRIDAY: I went on exchanges with Sister Martin in 29 Palms! There is a marine base in that area which is SWEET. We had dinner with a young marine couple. Also in their area, they play volleyball every Friday with members and non members (a thing to invite investigators to), specifically Samoans (there is a Samoan branch in 29 Palms). So I got to play volleyball with Samoans! It was so fun, it's been too long since I've played volleyball. I found out Samoans are reeeally good at volleyball. 

- SATURDAY: General Women's Session of conference!!! It was soooo goooood! So much of it was exactly what I needed to hear. 

- ALSO SATURDAY: we found out that we are receiving 8 evacuated missionaries to our mission from Puerto Rico! They only came with the clothes on their backs, so Sister Dixon sent out a message to all the stake relief society presidents in the mission to tell them to collect clothing and other items from the wards and give it to the STLs in the area so we can get it to the new missionaries. The donations were awesome, ONLY MORMONS COULD PRODUCE THAT MUCH STUFF IN 24 HOURS 

SUNDAY: we went to the 29 Palms sisters apt and sorted through the donations we had received. We also slept over at their apt because of a Zone activity happening today! 

Which leads us to

TODAY! We had an awesome Zone activity and went to JOSHUA TREE NATIONAL PARK!!! Wowowowow it was so fun and so beautiful and the weather was so great, we were climbing on rocks and going into caves and it was a BLAST! Someone from the 29 Palms ward named Scott (he's a marine) led us through the park because he knows it really well and knows the fun and cool and secret places to go. I HAVE SO MANY PICTURES so get pumped. Seriously there are awesome things to do in the desert. 

Okay are we SO EXCITED for general conference this week???????????????? Wow I love Conference. I hope you all plan on taking the time to watch/listen to it this weekend. This is inspiration and revelation SPECIFICALLY for OUR DAY. We need revelation from the prophets!!! One thing I LOVED that was said in women's conference this past weekend was "the worth of a soul is its capacity to become like God." It changed my perspective on the way that I view others and the way I view myself. We all have so much worth, and our worth is measured by who we are and who we are becoming, not by what we look like or who we are in comparison to others. I invite you all to ponder on your true worth this week and allow that perspective to seep through to the way you view others as well. You will feel the confidence that comes from knowing that you are a child of God and that you have the potential to be like Him. 

I hope you all have a wonderful time watching conference and reading from the Book of Mormon and doing all the other things you do in life. I LOVE YOU ALL!!!!!!!

Sister Carina Brown
California Redlands Mission
Discover.mormon.org 

PS we just found out that we are getting SMART PHONES NEXT WEEK so stay tuned 

I will probably not attach explanations to all these because it will take a while. 



























This is my fave Zone pic below