Sunday, January 21, 2018

miracles at old navy & baptism!


It has been another wonderful week! I love this area! Also today we went to Old Navy and I got two lovely dresses that were FIVE DOLLARS each! Miracle! Hence the first half of the subject line. There is a sister in our mission who calls small miracles “smiracles”, so I would say that finding two $5 dresses at old navy is a smiracle. 

Brother (Norman) Ricketson got baptized on Saturday! It was so great! That day was NON STOP. We had lessons all day and then the baptism was in the evening and then we had another lesson afterwards. I looove non stop days like that! They are so fun! I love teaching people the gospel and helping them to experience a change a heart through the Holy Ghost. 

Whoa this email is super short, I don’t really have much else to say................

Ok i thought of a funny story:

I lied, I didn’t even think of one. I thought that maybe if I typed out that I had a funny story then one would come to mind, but nothing came to mind. Sister Losee and I did laugh at a lot of random things this week though! We have fun! 

OH I thought of one:
The other day we talked to a super drunk guy named George (he introduced himself like five times to us) and he was saying how great it was that we were spreading gods word and he said “I feel, like, a numb sensation right now. Do you feel that?” And we were like uhhhhhhh we’re going to go nowwww.... it was pretty funny. 

Yesterday during sacrament meeting we were singing the hymn “How Great Thou Art” and I had a sweet experience as we sang the words “my burdens gladly bearing”. I felt the spirit witness to me that those words were true. I truly felt my Saviors love at that moment, and knew that He really did bear my burdens GLADLY. It brought tears to my eyes as I thought about how he not only bore MY burdens gladly, but he bore the burdens of everyone in the world, gladly. He did it because he has so much love for all of us individually. I know that Jesus Christ has carried and will continue to carry all of YOUR burdens, everything you have ever gone through and are going through. He knows you personally. He loves you. And he invites you to come unto Him and has promised that if you do, he will lift your burdens and help you to feel joy and gladness no matter what. I love my Savior! 

I hope you all have a great week. Stay close to the Lord and He will stay close to you. Also read the Book of Mormon every day. I love you ALL! And so does HE! Remember: don’t think about how inexperienced you are, but think about how experienced HE is. ❤❤❤

Sister Carina Brown 
California Redlands Mission 

Forgot to mention we had ZONE CONFERENCE on Tuesday and it was amazing! Moral of the story: President Dixon basically started the church in Pakistan. I will tell you the whole story when I get home!

Sister Losee as a child and she is adorable

Sisters day today 

Saturday, January 13, 2018

I am finally a spanish missionary!

It’s been another great week, I love this area, I love Sister Losee (wow yeah really though I loooooove Sister Losee she is an amazing person and so kind, it is so refreshing and relieving to be around her, she is so christlike and wonderful, it is a privilege to be her companion) and I love my mission!

Sorry for not responding to some of you who emailed me, we were bad on time management today so our email time is cut a little short unfortunately 😢 but! I love you all! And I read and greatly appreciate every email I receive, so thank you! 

Okay so that subject line was total clickbait. I am not officially a spanish missionary, BUT I did FINALLY go on exchanges to spanish land (that’s what we call the spanish areas, idk why)! It was so fun! My dream! I went with Hermana Caldwell, and her spanish is awesome. She was helping me out all day. She told me that if I read the Book of Mormon in Spanish every day, and speak Spanish more, then I WILL learn it! I’m telling you, Book of Mormon = POWER. So now I have a goal to read from the Book of Mormon in Spanish (out loud) every day. It’s going well so far! 

It was so neat because the Spanish I learned when I was younger was totally coming back to my memory, and I was able to understand a lot of what the people were saying, and speak it too! Hermana Caldwell says my Spanish is better than I think. She is so encouraging and helpful. We had a spanish Book of Mormon class that night, and we all took turns reading verses. When it got to my turn, the dialogue went something like this: 

Me: “no hablo mucho espanol, so... como se dice... pass?” 
Everyone in the class: “necesitas practicar” (or something) 
Me: “no no, hablo solo un poquito espanol”
Everyone: “read!” “You can do it!” “Yes read!” (All that was in espanol) 
Me: “okay okay solo uno versiculo” *reads one verse* “ok no mas”
Everyone: *oohs and ahhs* “otro mas! Otro mas!” 
Me: “ahhh ok” *reads again* 

It was good! My Spanish isn’t as bad as I thought! Everyone was soooo nice (oh my goodness seriously I love Hispanic people they are sooo nice and inviting non judgmental). Also there was an older woman from Guatemala there so we got to talk for a while! It was so great. I love spanish land. 

We are needing to do a lot of finding lately, so we made a solid finding plan this week! I am very excited about it. Also Brother Ricketson is getting baptized this Saturday! Yay! We will be busy preparing for that. Also zone conference is tomorrow! Yayyy I will get to see Sisters McNary, Hinckley, and Vest ❤️ 

I was so sad to hear about the passing of our beloved prophet, Thomas S Monson. He was such an exemplary man and he will be greatly missed! I definitely cried when I heard the news. One of my favorite quotes from him is “never let a problem to be solved become more important than a person to be loved.” There are people out there right now, even the people sitting right next to you, that need love! There is just no time to be unkind. Remember that quote this week as you interact with people, especially the people closest to you. Also remember that often times “the people that are hardest to love need love the most.” Love one another, as Jesus loves you! 

I hope you all have a fun week, send me pictures, read your scriptures, and love each other! LOVE YOU ALL! 🌞

Sister Carina Brown 
California Redlands Mission 

P day 

Cards at night 

It’s alive I promise 

Exchanges and a member randomly bought us dinner 

Tuesday, January 9, 2018

H A P P Y 2 0 1 8 🎉

HAPPY NEW YEAR!!! Can you believe it is 2018??? 

We celebrated the new year by going to Brother Brown’s baptism, having a night of renewal, playing Go Fish with the Hermanas, going to bed at 10:30pm, and sleeping. What did you do? 

Seriously though I cannot believe it is 2018. I remember January 1st last year thinking “I am going to be on a mission for this entire year” and feeling slightly overwhelmed, never thinking I would get to this point. But HERE I AM, January 1st, 2018. No wonder Nephi always says, “and it came to pass.” Because TIME DOES PASS. As Shakespeare once said, “this, too, shall pass.” Hmm, I bet Shakespeare and Nephi would have been good friends. 

Well this email is off to a weird start 

We are having a zone activity in a couple hours where we will play sand volleyball and ultimate frisbee and possibly soccer! I am excited! Also a member fed us PEPUSAS earlier this week, mmmm it was so good, I haven’t had pepusas in a while. The members here are awesome. 

Anyway, Brother Brown got BAPTIZED yesterday! He has been investigating the church for a few years, but it was never really the right time for him until now. His wife is an active member and they have the CUTEST two year old son named Ashton. Such a great family. There was such a special spirit at the baptism, as usual, and a LOT of people came! It was so good. I feel blessed to have been a part of it after just coming to this area less than two weeks ago. 

This week went by sooo fast, there was so much to do to prepare for the baptism. A lot of planning took place! We have been focusing on the importance of setting goals and making plans lately in our mission, and I am realizing that the principles of setting goals and making plans can be applied to pretty much all aspects of life. There is a great quote by Elder Ballard in Preach My Gospel that says:

    “I am so thoroughly convinced that if we don’t set goals in our life and learn how to master the techniques of living to reach our goals, we can reach a ripe old age and look back on our life only to see that we reached but a small part of our full potential. When one learns to master the principles of setting a goal, he will then be able to make a great difference in the results he attains in this life.”

Something I have been thinking about is that we should be setting goals ALL throughout the year, not just at the beginning of the year. Maybe your New Years resolution can be to set goals throughout the year (ie daily, weekly, monthly, etc), and not just to make a goal that you will forget about in a month. 
Use this process: Start out by setting a GOAL. Then create a VISION. What do you want achieving that goal to look like? Feel like? Write it down. Then, make PLANS. This could be a long list of things that need to happen in order to make the vision a reality and to achieve your goal. Then EXECUTE those plans. 

A couple months ago we received a new chapter for Preach My Gospel called “How do I Fulfill my Purpose?” And the goal setting and planning process for each individual person/situation is as follows:
1. Pray and seek inspiration. 
2. Review progress. 
3. Set goals. 
4. Make plans. 
5. Pray again. 

You can use this process in all aspects of your life! For example, school, work, relationship with your spouse, helping your children, family council, getting more involved in missionary work, etc etc. Include the Lord, he WANTS to help you. I invite you all to use this goal setting and planning process at some point this week in order to get a good start for 2018. I know that this process is inspired, and as you take your goals and plans to the Lord, he will help you accomplish more than you ever thought possible. Even God sets goals; check out Moses 1:39. The goal He had for us led to the PLAN of Salvation. Goal setting and planning are eternal principles. 

Well I have big plans for 2018. I am going to serve the Lord with all my might, as I know the end of my mission is approaching. I am grateful to all of you for the support and love you offer to me, and just know that I pray for you every day. LOVE YOU SO MUCH! Jesus Christ lives! Happy new year! 🎉🎉🎉🎉🎉❤❤❤❤❤

Sister Carina Brown 
California Redlands Mission 

Another Sister missionary drew all of us sisters - I’m the one with the jerky haha 

Ashton, he always comes and sits between us during Brother Browns lessons ❤️

GUATEMALAN FLAG (it looks like we are holding hands but we are not) 

This member couple met on their missions and had both their tags and call letters and it was cool 

Wedding that was happening in the church gym - pretty beautiful for a church gym

Brother Browns baptism! 

Ashton held our hands and walked around with us after the baptism 😍