Thursday, April 19, 2018

The Wedding, The WEEKND, & the Waters Of Baptism



So yes it was amazing! But before we get to that, the rest of the week was awesome. Actually, Sister Tomisin had a pretty bad migraine all week so she had to get some extra sleep every day, but it was still a full and busy week.

We basically saw Donovan and Destiny every day so that we could teach them the lessons in preparation for his baptism. We always teach them at the Vanbuskirks who are in the other ward, but D&D live in our ward boundaries which is why we are the missionaries teaching them. By the way I LOVE THE VANBUSKIRKS, especially Sis Vanbuskirk, she is like a mom away from home and it was so fun to spend so much time with her this week. We helped her a lot with the wedding prep! PS the Vanbuskirks house is MASSIVE and so beautiful.

The Wedding for Donovan and Destiny was Saturday and it was absolutely beautiful! And it was so sweet, they are he cutest. It was at the Vanbuskirks house and everything turned out so well. We helped with food prep and were able to talk to Donovan and Destiny’s families so that was really good. It was a really wonderful day! Pictures to follow.

So Coachella Fest was this weekend (EVERYONE is in town, traffic was crazy), and the Vanbuskirks neighbors (the Thatchers) have a reeeeally nice house that they rent out for Coachella. Sis Vanbuskirk told us that music was BUMPIN until like 4am the night before the wedding, so the Thatchers ended up coming over to talk about it (they were still in town, just not at their house because they make TONS of money renting it out). Well come to find out, THE WEEKND IS STAYING AT THEIR HOUSE. For those of you who don’t know, The Weeknd is a popular musical artist. So basically we were RIGHT NEXT DOOR to The Weeknd. Pretty exciting.


We couldn’t just let The Weeknd slip out of our hands. Its not every day that The Weeknd is in your area on your mission. So. I kid you not WE TRIED TO TRACT THE HOUSE. We drove by a few times to make sure it was the right house, and it was (there were red solo cups all over the grass - classic) (btw Sis Vanbuskirk lovingly gave us their GATE CODE). So we drive up and we couldn’t park on the street because their were “no parking” signs everywhere, so Sister Tomisin gets out and tries to type in the gate code but then A CAR CAME OUT AT THE SAME TIME and he drove away slowly (he definitely looked like a bodyguard), and then this foreign man came to greet Sister Tomisin and she played it off like “oh, were missionaries” etc etc and the foreign man pretended to have no idea what she was talking about. So eventually we had to leave. So that story may have been anti climactic but we can now say that we TRACTED THE WEEKNDS (rental) HOUSE. Good times.🤘

The baptism went soooooo well. The spirit was so strong and it really was an amazing service, especially for putting it together in a week. After the whole service ended, Donovan said, “I didn’t want it to end!” He loved it so much and was so happy. The Vanbuskirks did so much to help too and everything just turned out so well. I am just so happy for Donovan! What a huge miracle. They are moving to northern Cali TODAY so we are working on getting in contact with the missionaries where they are moving to. I just love Donovan and Destiny ❤️

Lately I have been doing a little something called MyPlan (a program that you do the last transfer of your mission) and it has been talking a lot about remembering. It shared some quotes from the talk “O Remember Remember” by Pres Eyring (I invite you to read it) and he talks about how the ACT of remembering helps us to notice the blessings in our lives, that we wouldn’t notice if we didn’t try to remember in the first place. I have been thinking about this a lot lately and reflecting on how far the Lord has brought me throughout my mission. And I know he will continue to lead me throughout my life. Though the end is near, this is actually the beginning! My aunt Ruth just told me, “now you have the chance to enjoy what you’ve learned on your mission for the rest of your life.” And I love that! God is teaching us every day, and we can enjoy the knowledge he has given us and be confident that he will continue to help us learn. In MyPlan it asked me two questions:
- what spiritual truths has the Lord taught you?
- what christlike attributes has the Lord helped you to develop?
I invite you each to ponder on these questions, and to write down the answers this week. You may reflect on the past month, year, two years, or five years of your life, but just try and remember how far the Lord has brought you! I know that Gods hand is in each of our lives every single day, and when we take the time to notice those small blessings, our lives will be more beautiful and sweet. God is SO aware of you!

Okay I gotta GO but we have a great week ahead of us, we are going to the TEMPLE on Thursday! Yayayayayayayayyyyyy I can’t wait. It’s going to be another great week in the mission field! I love you all so much!

Sister Carina Brown
California Redlands Mission

Contacting the Weeknd


Cutest kid, son of Ashley brown in our ward who cut sis. T’s hair today 


Sis t did Destiny's hair 

We are obsessed with frosters from circle k


Tuesday, April 10, 2018

how to: plan a baptism in one week


WOW what a great week, I don’t have too much time to write this so I will do my best to include all the important things. 

First of all Sister Tomisins 20th BIRTHDAY was on Wednesday! It was so fun! She and I have been making random “desert sisters” vlogs, so a few weeks ago I asked my sister Kailee to put them all together for me with cute music in the background so I could show it to her on her birthday (link to vlog She LOVED it! I loved it too! It was soooooo cute, so thank you Kailee. I also got Sis T a paper with personalized “scripture helps” on it. I will attach a picture of it 😊 we went to Olive Garden on her birthday, and the day before Sister Griffin threw a big bday bash so it was fun! 

We had zone conference on Friday! And OH MY GOODNESS I had to give my departing testimony and let me tell you, IT WAS SO SAD. I was seriously BAWLING before and after giving my testimony, luckily I was able to compose myself to speak to everyone. It was really hard though, my last zone conference. 😢 I’m going to cry just thinking about it. The tears were freely flowing and it was sad. But also it was good, the Spirit was so strong and I learned so much! 

Okay on Saturday GUESS WHAT HAPPENED. So we were having a lesson with our NEW investigator Donovan. We just started teaching him a week and a half ago. We were having a great conversation and he was sharing his feelings with us and how he knows this is the right path for him, and we brought up the subject of baptism. He said he would definitely be interested in that, but the only problem was that he would be moving to Northern California on Monday, April 16th. He said, “ there any way I could get baptized before I leave?” And we were like ummm YES ABSOLUTELY. 
Side note: he and Destiny (his fiance) are getting MARRIED this Saturday, April 14th. So basically the only day he could get baptized would be Sunday, April 15th. So we asked him how he felt about that and he said, “what better wedding gift than to get baptized?”  And he said he was all for it! And on the inside Sister Tomisin and I were like:

But of course we remained calm (until we got in the car afterwards) and started figuring out the details. So basically he is getting baptized NEXT SUNDAY so we have ONE WEEK to plan his baptism!!! AND he is getting married on Saturday, AND he is moving on Monday. So we have a busy busy busy week ahead of us. But it was a HUGE miracle! We are just beyond excited for him! 

Also we are going to be helping some members clean their houses because some of them are renting out their houses with AirBNB and will make tons of $$$$$$$ when people stay in their house for Coachella fest this weekend.

I read a scripture this week in Alma 43:1 that says, “the sons of Alma did go forth among the people, to declare the word unto them. And Alma, also, himself, could not rest, and he also went forth.” 
I relate to this scripture a lot, especially since my mission is getting shorter and shorter with each passing day. I love the example of Alma. I imagine he was older at this point, I would imagine he was tired, and that he had been through so many things in his life. But it says he could not rest. He went with his sons to preach the gospel. It doesn’t even say that he did not, but that he COULD NOT rest. He was so converted and a true disciple of Christ that he just could not rest from declaring the word and preaching among the people. His motives were pure, and he felt so much love for the people that he also went forth to bring them the joy of the gospel. 

This is what I want to continue to do after my mission! I cannot rest, there is no time to rest. I plan on continuing to be a missionary the moment I get home, and for the rest of my life. I invite you all to study the scriptures and to pray to God, and ask him what he wants you to do to more fully share the gospel with others. That may be through setting a good example, or engaging in a gospel conversation, or even just simply reading the Book of Mormon. I know that God will tell you what he wants you to do. I know that THIS is the greatest work on the earth, and that when we are on the Lords errand we are entitled to his help. 

So I’m excited for this full and busy week we have ahead of us. If anyone has tips for planning a baptism in one week, feel free to send them my way. LOVE YOU ALL! The church is true! ❤❤❤


Sister Carina Brown 
California Redlands Mission

BY THE WAY I forgot to mention a BIRTHDAY SHOUTOUT to my best friend Blair this week!!! Her bday is on Thursday! LOVE YOU BLAIR ❤️❤️❤️❤️❤️

Palm Springs tram last week

Zone conference, saw Sister vest and love her so much 

Sis t let me borrow her dress 😍

Sand volleyball today with the sisters! It was HOT outside

Elder pic 

Elder pic