Monday, April 30, 2018

called to the work FOREVER ❤️


Well, here we are. My last mass email on my mission. It has been an emotional week! It’s also been wonderful and sweet to cherish my time with our investigators and the members and Sister Tomisin. All the goodbyes have been so sad. Of course this is a bittersweet time, endings always are. I know I can’t stay on a mission forever! But it’s still sad. The tears come so easily lately.

Highlights of the week:
- we met with our golden investigator Alexa TWICE 😃
- I had my departing temple trip on Wednesday! We went to the temple with the Dixon’s and it was such a beautiful experience ❤️ I saw Sister Gunter, my MTC comp! 
- we had dinner with Ed and Rebecca on Saturday (our faves) (also, they came church on Sunday for my last Sunday!!!) and dinner with the Griffins on Sunday (also our faves) 
on Saturday, one of our gated communities was having a community garage sale so we decided to do a “free lemonade and family history” booth there! We talked to some people and involved our ward mission leader and his daughter and it was so fun! 

So, I’m going to miss California. I love this place. Also I have definitely acclimated to the weather here. It’s been 100 degrees this past weekend and I loved it. I am so nervous to go back to Utah because I hear it’s about 60 degrees there (brrrr ❄❄❄️). 

Today I will finish packing up my stuff and Hermana Lopez (she is also going home) will head to the mission home. We will have our interviews with President, then dinner, then testimonies from the departing missionaries. I also have to say goodbye to Sister Tomisin today. 😭😭😭 Basically I’m just expecting a lot of tears today and tomorrow

At the beginning of my mission I remember my trainer telling me, “when you’re called to the work, you’re called to the work.” This means that I’m not called to the work for just 18 months. I’m called to the work for LIFE. Being a missionary doesn’t stop when I take off that tag. I’ve been called to the work, so I’m going to work and serve the Lord for the rest of my life. The scripture on my missionary plaque is 3 Nephi 5:13, which says: “Behold, I am a disciple of Jesus Christ, the Son of God. I have been called of him to declare his word among his people, that they might have everlasting life.” 
Being a disciple of Christ is something that never ends. 

I love this great work and I love my Savior Jesus Christ. I know that He lives. I know that the Gospel Of Jesus Christ has been restored, and that Christ’s priesthood authority is on the earth today. God has a plan for us. We are here for a reason. One thing I know for sure is that I don’t know everything. But I know that God does! And that knowledge allows me to trust Him. My ways are not his ways (Isaiah 55:8-9), and knowing that he is motivated out of love for me allows me to trust that what he asks me to do is right. I know that Joseph Smith truly IS a prophet of God, and that he translated the Book Of Mormon by the gift and power of God. I love that book and I plan on reading it every day for the rest of my life. If I know anything it’s that Heavenly Father loves us so much! He wants us to come home. 

I just want to say THANK YOU for all the support and love and encouragement I have received from all of you while being on my mission. It means the world to me and has allowed me to cherish this experience even more. Thank you for all your prayers, service, emails, and love you have shown to me and the people around you. I will always appreciate the generous kindness you have all offered to me over these last 18 months. 

AH! The end is here. But really this is only the beginning. A new chapter in life, my next mission. Luckily I know that with God in my life, things just keep getting better and better all the time. I love my mission so so much, and I will forever remember the experiences and knowledge I have gained, not to mention the incredible people I have met. I just can’t believe this time has come. 

I love you all SO MUCH and I will see you TOMORROW!!! ✌❤🙉

Sister Carina Brown 
California Redlands Mission 

Last district pic 😭

Sister Dean and Avery ❤❤❤❤❤❤❤❤❤

Departing temple trip 

Last BOM class! (Ed and Rebecca are on the far right)

Alexa!!! Cutie 

The grams 

Red Robin, broccoli vs. shake

I LOVE HER SO MUCH how can say goodbye for 15 months 😭😭😭😭😭😭

Wednesday, April 25, 2018

Last week in the mission field 😭😭😭

Wow. Here we are. Coming up on my last week in the mission field. I really never thought I would be at this point! It just snuck up on me all at once. Let me tell you, missions are SO short. I plan on working harder than ever this week and to use my time wisely. 

Also let me just mention that I LOVE sister tomisin! I am going to miss her so much. We have SO MUCH FUN together every single day, and we work really well together too. What a blessing to have such a great last companion. I’m sad that she won’t be getting home for another year or so, but she’s about to be a great leader in the CRM. She already is!! I love her soooooo much. Also we are seriously so weird together. Let me tell you some things that we do:
- named our car and talk to it regularly 
- sing our conversations (and it’s not good singing)
- pillow talk about deep things 
- say “heyyy” to each other from our separate bathrooms because sometimes when we get ready in the morning we miss each other 
- get frosters from Circle K a little too frequently 
- talk like this out of nowhere: fleeshleeeebleekeeshlopjkhldnsifnlspamxlsm
I know we do a lot more strange things but I can’t think of them all right now. Basically we are very comfortable with each other and basically I just love her a lot. 

It’s been a great week! We have seen LOTS of miracles this week. 

Miracle #1:
On Tuesday we got a referral from the elders for a girl named Alexa. She is 23 years old and she is AMAZING. Apparently the elders were just randomly going through Facebook and adding people from La Quinta and messaging them about the gospel. So they added her and she seemed interested so they referred her to us! And it turns out, she has met with missionaries before and was praying about whether or not to meet with them again. And THATS when the elders randomly messaged her! She said her goal in meeting with us this time is to work towards baptism! So we put her on date for baptism for May 26th!!! 😃😃😃🎊🎊🎊🎉🎉🎉 AND she came to church on Sunday

Miracle #2:
We had our Book Of Mormon class on Wednesday, and some of our FAVORITE less active members came! Their names are Ed and Rebecca. It was awesome that they came, and Ed was giving some great insights. It was a huge miracle because he experienced a turning point in his life from the class and the spirit told him some things he needed to do. 

Miracle #3:
WE WENT TO THE TEMPLE ON THURSDAY!!! ❤❤❤❤❤️ it was amazing as usual! I looooove the temple. 

Miracle #4:
On Friday and Saturday we had a Book Of Mormon read-a-thon with the young women (some of you saw that I Facebook-lived it) and our investigator Ashley got to come! It was so good for her to be there. And it was fun for us to be there too and to unite with the young women of the ward! We had a great night. The young women did end up reading the BOM all in one weekend! We only went on Friday night and for a few hours on Saturdaymorning, but it was fun to participate when we could.

Miracle #5: 
We had an awesome dinner with Ed and Rebecca on Saturday. They are SO NICE. They are always willing to serve us and help us out as missionaries, even though they are less active. They actually gave each of us gifts since I am going home soon, and they gave me a BEAUTIFUL pandora bracelet! It was sooooo kind. We had a powerful lesson with them afterwards, and they talked all about how it was a strange miracle that we came into their lives when we did. No missionaries had visited them before us, and we randomly came into their lives right when they were struggling with a lot of things. They said they really appreciate our spirituality and that we have had a huge impact on their lives. They were crying and I was definitely crying and it was just a powerful experience. Definitely one of the most memorable moments on my mission! 

Miracle #6:
Ashley AND Alexa came to church on Sunday, and also our recent converts Pauline AND Sister griffin! Also we couldn’t find anyone to feed us dinner yesterday and so we finally asked Sister griffin and she said we could definitely eat with her! She always pulls through. She always posts pictures of us on FB by the way, in case you want to see what I’m up to throughout the week 💁‍♀️

So CLEARLY God is a God of miracles, and miracles have not ceased. I love this great work. I am so happy to serve my Savior every day. He has given so much to me and this is the least I can do to give back. I recently heard a quote that said, we become what we think about the most. This has been on my mind a lot lately, especially as I have been thinking about who I have become on my mission. What do you think about the most? What is on your mind day by day? Are you thinking about things that are of eternal significance? I know I definitely have room to improve in this area. If we become what we think about the most, then Jesus Christ should be on our minds the MOST. HE is who we came here to be like. HE has shown us the way to happiness. 2 Nephi 25:26 says, “we talk of Christ, we rejoice in Christ, we preach of Christ, and we prophecy of Christ.” I invite you each to REJOICE in Christ this week and to keep Him on your mind. Do the things that prompt you to think of him and remember him. I know that Jesus lives, and his gospel is the only way to peace and happiness in this life and eternal life in the world to come. He is our Savior and Redeemer, and he IS the Christ. 

I love my mission. I LOVE IT. I love participating in this work and serving the Lord. I am about to make this my best week yet! And don’t worry, I will still send one more email next Monday. I hope you all have an AMAZING week, and don’t forget to remember your Savior who has given everything to you and for you. LOVE YOU ALL!!! See you in a week! 🙊🙈🙉


Sister Carina Brown 
California Redlands Mission

Temple pics 

Cute sister pics 

In n out with the Griffins