Friday, July 14, 2017

hitting halfway & transferssss

HELLO!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Transfers are this week!!! I had a feeling that I would stay and I was right! Sister Vest and I are here to stay for another transfer! By the end of this transfer, I will have been in this area for six months. Time FLIES.

Speaking of time, I hit my NINE MONTH MARK on Wednesday and i am PANICKING how does time go by so fast, i feel like i just got here??? So weird. I love being on a mission though. LOVE IT. 

This week was the fourth of july!!! :D we ran a family history booth with the APs (mom, one of them is Elder Richter!) and it was AWESOME, I seriously love talking to people about family history lately. Also the guy in charge of the booths said that normally we would have to pay, but he waived the fee for us! Miracle! So we got to have a family history booth for freeeeeee. Will include pics. Later that day we had dinner with the Dixons which was loooovellyyyyyyy. A bunch of other missionaries were there too because a lot of us didn't have dinners with members scheduled. So the Dixon's were all, "if you don't have a dinner, come to our house!" So we all did hahaha. It was so great. Later that night we had a meeting with all the missionaries in the Redlands zone and watched a talk by Elder Bednar that he gave to the MTC  couple weeks ago. Super inspiring. 

Oh yeah, also with transfers this week, the elders in the Smiley ward are getting taken out! So basically we are taking over all of their investigators and everyone they are working with. Its going to be an adventure! We are going to be the only missionaries in the Smiley ward for at least a transfer! Crazy! 

Okay what else happened........... we helped Sister Dixon make enchiladas one day. So that was way cool. She needed help, so we helped. 

Ummmmmm we got in contact with Neil and Kim (have i EVEN mentioned them?? probably not, oh no, i don't even talk about our investigators sorry y'all i'll be better)

Neil and Kim are basically this suuuuuper prepared couple that we met through street contacting. They are both retired (i think?) and they loooove the Mormon values and are actually planning on moving to utah in a couple years because they love the values so much. So yeah, they are GREAT. They recently had some family members pass away so its been hard to get in contact with them, but we saw them twice in the past few days and Kim said she was reading the BOM!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! YAY!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! They'll be baptized for sure, its only a matter of time. 

I came across a scripture this week in Matthew 10:8 which is when the Savior says, "freely ye have received, freely give". And i LOVE that, its just so true! We have all freely received the glorious gift of the gospel, and we need to freely give it to everyone who doesn't have it. I invite you all to keep that in mind this week as you come in contact with different people. FREELY GIVE! The Gospel of Jesus Christ has been restored!

tips:
send me pics of your lives
read the BOM every single day
be good

Ok love you all so MUCH!!! Have a great week!!! 

Love,
Sister Carina Brown



The beer booth was ironically right next to us hahaha





WEEKLY PLANNING POPCORN

Blair's getting married it's fine I'm fine but ISN'T SHE GORGEOUS EVERYONE 😭😭😭😭😭


Wednesday, July 5, 2017

my one and only fourth

HI HI HELLOOOOOOOOOO

Wooooooo happy 4th of july tomorrow!!! I only get ONE fourth of july on my mission, so I plan on making it amazing and talking to a lot of people. Luckily Redlands goes all out for this holiday (parade, festival, fireworks in the U of R stadium, etc) so there will be no shortage of excitement. I can't wait!!!

Its been a great week!!! So much has happened! 

My favorite thing that happened this week is that WE GOT TO GO TO THE TEMPLE WITH LAURA!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! And Tonga, her husband who baptized her. She made it to the temple!!! It was AMAZING. And it was also great because WE GOT TO PARTICIPATE in baptisms for the dead!!! It recently became a thing a couple months ago for missionaries to be able to participate in those, so we are pretty lucky! What a blessing! We even found some family names to take. So cool. Highly recommended. 10/10. 

Also this week, my love for family history grew exponentially. We do service sometimes for this place called Linda Valley Villa (in Loma Linda) (a retirement home) (basically the coolest retirement home ever btw), and this past week we got to help some of the elderly people there get started on family history! We set up accounts for them on familysearch.org, and helped them put in their family info. 

COOL EXPERIENCE:
I was helping this 90 yr old lady named Alison Hayashi (originally from Japan, later moved to Hawaii), and we put in some of her information and FamilySearch found her dad! Which was so cool, all of his info was already in there. So we are looking at his info and it shows his wife's information too, Alison's mom. So we click on her and there was actually a PICTURE of her mom that someone else (she had no idea who) had put there. The thing is, Alison's mom died around 30 years ago, and before that, she lived in Japan so she didn't see her mom much. So basically at this point in time, Alison hadn't seen her mom (or pictures of her mom) for AT LEAST 30 years! A long time. So I click on the picture and ask her, "Is that your mom?" So she looks closer, squints at the computer screen and then her face lit up. "That's her! That's my mother!" And she put her hand over her mouth because she was so surprised, and she got emotional. I was feeling the spirit so strongly in that moment that I got a little teary-eyed too! I'm even getting emotional now just thinking about it. She said, "why is that in there? who put that there?" And all I could say was that I didn't know, but I was just so happy that she was able to see her mom and find her family on there! She said all her family has passed away except her. 

(FAMILY HISTORY PEOPLE ISN'T IT AMAZING)

Anyways, the point is, families are where its AT. They are central to God's plan. We feel connected to our families when we learn about them through family history, and it just makes everything so much more real. I was so grateful that God allowed me to experience that tender moment with Alison! It was really so special. 

We have been struggling with finding people to teach in our area lately, and it has been hard for Sister Vest especially. We are just doing our best to work hard and to be patient, we know that the Lord is preparing people in this area, we just need to find them! 

This week I was reading from a talk called "The War Goes On", an article in the Ensign (which btw, SO GOOD, highly recommend, again 10/10, read it ok), and it talked all about the ways that Satan gets to us. One thing I have been working on lately is only saying positive things about words and situations, because I don't want any negativity flowing out of this human being right here. So this talk just validated what I was working on, JUST READ WHAT IS SAID HERE: 

"Another significant limitation is that Satan does not know our thoughts unless we tell him. The Lord explained, “There is none else save God that knowest thy thoughts and the intents of thy heart” (D&C 6:16). Perhaps this is why the Lord has given us commandments such as “Do not murmur” (D&C 9:6) and “Thou shalt not speak evil of thy neighbor” (D&C 42:27). If you can learn to bridle your tongue (see James 1:26), you won’t end up giving too much information to the devil. When he hears murmuring, complaining, and criticizing, he takes careful notes. Your negative words expose your weaknesses to the enemy."
[btw idk why the spacing is weird now in this email but i'm just rollin with it] Ohhhhhh isn't that interesting??? The devil can't know our thoughts, but once we say negative things out loud then he can have power over us!  But seriously doesn't that make sense?! I just thought that was the neatest insight. I invite you each to try a little harder this week to say positive things about people and situations, no matter what circumstances you are put in. I know that you will be filled with the spirit of God as you do so, and you will feel greater joy and gratitude for the world around you! 
Ok well gotta go, i hope you all have an AMAZING fourth of july, I probably should have shared something about how great America is and how it is such a blessing that we have religious freedom here, and how that foundation was set hundreds of years ago for us so that the Gospel of Jesus Christ could be restored. Well, I guess I just shared something about it, so there ya go. 
We are having a BBQ at the Dixon's tomorrow for dinner (#smileywardperks), and we will also be at the parade talking to people and at the festival making ourselves known. I am so STOKED. 
Ok love you alllllllllllllllllllllll MWAH
-Sister Carina Brown

BTW we played volleyball with the sisters and sister Beall today and it was SO FUN I haven't played volleyball since the MTC so I was craving it fo sho. Also here are pics of exchanges with sister whitehead (who is HILARIOUS love her), also last week we played pool at the Dixons, and also pics of the temple and other things. Enjoy. 

















Friday, June 30, 2017

life is peachy

HELLO!

How are you all??? Summer is going well? You're all having a good time? Good. Glad to hear it. 

Its been a good week! This week has FLOWN by, once again. I don't even know what happened. How does time go by so fast??? Its crazyyyyyyyyyyyy. 

We had interviews with President Dixon this week which was great! I got to talk with Sister Dixon one-on-one while Sister Vest was in her interview and that was just wonderful. I feel like I talk about Sister Dixon in every email. I'm not even sorry though. #smileywardperks. Oh also we had dinner with the Dixons this week! Good stuff. 

So peaches are BLOSSOMING all over Redlands and there happens to be a few members with peach trees in their yards. And they are so nice and so willing to give us tons of peaches! So we have a lot right now which is such a blessing. Let me tell you they are just the best peaches you will ever taste ever. Deeeeelicious. Plus some members even gave us peach jam. So nice! Love it. We are going to the mission home later to make peach cobbler. 

Ohhhhh also we asked the Dixons if they had over-the-head headphones to play the headphone game and they did! So we tested it out and the game works. We are going to play that today with some other sisters, I'm excited. so funny. 

Sad news: Sister Jamsa went home last week. :( She's only been out about ten months, but she was pretty sick and thought it would be better to handle it at home. She was at peace with her decision though, we got to see her right before she left because she came to the mission home and we took her companion with us for the day. But yes, just keep her in your prayers! 

Ohhhh also we started a Book of Mormon class last week and it went SO well!!! We did that in Fontana too and it was successful, so I was excited to start it here. We taught the class this week and it was really great, we are excited to invite our investigators and recent converts and everyone to it. 

Oh also we did a Family History thing at market night on Thursday! SO FUN! I love being at Market Night and being able to talk to everyone that passes. Plus Family History is so great. If you haven't yet, check out rootsmapper.com and relativefinder.org. Also I have some pictures of what we did so I will send them. Also more memes haha. We discovered that some of the BOM children's stories pictures are pretty funny, so we went to town with them. You'll see. 

Lately in our mission we have been focusing on the importance of the Book of Mormon. It is SO important to be consistent with reading the BOM, even if its just a few verses. Sister Vest always says, "six verses a day keeps Satan away." Now we tell that to people all the time, because it is so true! Here is a quote from a talk we have been studying:

"It is not just that the Book of Mormon teaches us truth, though it indeed does that. It is not just that the Book of Mormon bears testimony of Christ, though it indeed does that, too. But there is something more. There is a power in the book which will begin to flow into your lives the moment you begin a serious study of the book. You will find greater power to resist temptation. You will find the power to avoid deception. You will find the power to stay on the strait and narrow path. The scriptures are called “the words of life” (D&C 84:85), and nowhere is that more true than it is of the Book of Mormon. When you begin to hunger and thirst after those words, you will find life in greater and greater abundance."

(thats a really long quote I know but if you skimmed it and got to this point then repent and go back and read the whole thing, its GOOD)

Its so true though, there is SO much power in the Book of Mormon! Its the keystone of our religion, and it needs to be the keystone of our testimony as well, otherwise everything else will crumble. I invite you each to at least read six verses a day this week, as well as to pray about it to get that confirming witness that the Book of Mormon is true. I KNOW that the Book of Mormon is the word of God, and that you will come closer to God by reading it than by any other book! Ahhh I love it! 

Okay I hope you all have an amaaaazing week. Stay cool. Go swimming. Have a good time. 

LOVE YOU ALLLL byeeeeeeeeee

Love, 
Sister Carina Brown
















Wednesday, June 21, 2017

"perfection achieved"

HI

Subject line explanation: Sister Vest and I think we are funny and we do this "robot missionary" voice where we just pretend we are robots saying missionary things (yes its pretty weird) (we laugh at weird things as missionaries) and one time this past week we were standing on someones doorstep waiting for them to answer the door, quietly talking about something we did well, and then we both say in a robot missionary voice at the SAME TIME "perfection achieved." And it was SOOOO funny oh my goodness. Not planned. So no, I am definitely not perfect, but its great for a subject line yes??

What a great week its been! What a HOT week its been! Wow. Seriously it is going to over 100 degrees every day this week so that's really fun. I wish I was one of those girls who looks all glisteny (thats probably not a word) when she sweats, but let me tell you that is not the case. Its baaaaad. So we went out and bought some cooool clothing today so that we don't die. Sister Vest calls sweat marks in the armpits "arm tacos". Hahaha probably didn't need to include that here but it was funny, so. 

ANYWAYS

We found FIVE new investigators this week! Which is pretty good for us, especially in this area. It was very exciting. We had a lesson with a couple named Neil and Kim who live up in the hills (boujie). We found them through a street contact. They are actually planning on moving to Utah in a couple years because they love the Mormon values. Can you say PREPARED? Amazing. And guess who came to the lesson with us: THATS RIGHT, SISTER DIXON. And of course the lesson was just amazing. Sister Dixon is my role model for all things in life. You all know that, I rave about her enough haha. 

Also we went to market night this week and brought Sister Kuaea with us! It was fun and we talked to a lot of people, plus Sister Kuaea (pronounced Kuh-why-uh) is an awesome member missionary. We also talked to this person in this cool chocolate shop where they have chocolate from Guatemala!!! So cool. Downtown Redlands is so cute. I just want you all to go there okay. 

What else happened this week? Sister Vest and I have been laughing a lot so thats been great. 

Oh yeah I forgot to mention last week that Laura was confirmed! So that is great. We are hoping to get her to the temple in a couple weeks! So excited! 

Also we might be doing a family history booth thing at Market Night this thursday which would be SO FUN I love doing stuff like that. So stay tuned. Also yesterday we had dinner with a member who was on The Price is Right a few years ago. So cool! I am saying a lot of random things lately. 

I really love this area. There are just so many great things about it! Like Market Night, the Dixons, amazing members, prepared people, its not the desert so its only 100 degrees as opposed to 115. Perks. I'm hoping I stay here for one more transfer to finish training Sister Vest! She is so great by the way, she knows the gospel so well. 

Something that I have been focusing on a lot lately is having charity and turning outwards. And sometimes I get frustrated with myself because from my point of view it feels like I'm not changing or becoming more Christlike, and I really want to come home from my mission different than when I came out. But I know that change happens little by little. Line upon line, precept upon precept. So each day I have just been focusing on turning outwards more than I did the day before. I know its going to be hard for me to notice changes in myself because I'm with myself all the time (haha). I read a quote this week that said: "we need not worry if we can't simultaneously do all of the things that the Lord has counseled us to do. He has spoken of a time and a season for all things. In response to our sincere prayers for guidance, He will direct us in what should be emphasized at each phase of our life. We can learn, grow, and become like Him one CONSISTENT step at a time." All we need to do is be willing, and take consistent steps towards Heavenly Father! And over time, we will become who HE wants us to become. I know that as long as we stay worthy and remember Christ always, God will mold us into something we never thought was possible. How amazing is that?! We have so much potential as children of God! 

Okay well I hope you all have a great week. Also I'm going to send some missionary memes that Sister Vest and I have made this week haha. Idk why but thats been a thing in our companionship. Mostly I make memes of her face hahaha. Its great. Anyways, stay on the path and remember Christ ALWAYS!

Love you all!!!

Love, 
Sister Carina Brown

Me by my dream car: a white jeep

CRM health challenge meme 



A member gave us popsicles!

Guy who was in our peace video!


Only people who have seen the district will get this one haha



My shoe tan line is getting baaaaad