Monday, December 26, 2016

It's gonna be a WHITE Christmas

HELLOOOOO!!!!! Hiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiii hello. I just get so excited to write you all. Woo!!!

It has been an amazing week full of miracles! (If I had a dollar for every time a missionary said that. It's true though, lots of miracles!!!) The biggest miracle was that we set up a Light the World stand on Saturday and it was a HUGE success! We were so grateful that the Lord made it happen because we were so stoked about it. Here's the story:

So we got word that there was a big Light the World poster in our area and we wanted it so we could set up a stand and hand out pass along cards! And the more we thought about the idea, the more we LOVED it, and we knew there was a reason that God placed this idea in our brains. So we were thinking about places where we could set it up, because there is no downtown Fontana or anything, and we thought of D.I.! Deseret Industries. Which is basically the downtown of Fontana, okay. It's kind of like how every TV show sitcom has a "hangout spot", well Fontana,s hangout spot is DI. Tons of cool (LDS) people work there and everyone knows everyone and it's the coolest. We do service there every week and it is so fun.

So! We go to DI, and we find one of the managers named Dennis, and we tell him our idea (which was: we want to set up a light the world stand here and have signs that say "I love you mom" that people can take a picture with and send/post for their mom, because the way of the day was 'Jesus cared for his mother and so can you'. So we want people to participate in the initiative and also give out pass along cards so they can learn more if they want.) and Dennis (who is a really nice guy) shoots it down. He's like "we can't have a stand, we can't have a table, nope nope". So the answer was no. And were like ahhhh whyyyyy. So we go to countless other stores and they all say no or tell us this crazy process we have to go through and we were like um no. We even went to city hall! No luck anywhere. (At this point you may notice that we are like Nephi going to get the plates and having no luck)

So we go back to DI on Friday because we felt soooo good about having it there, and there was a different manager there named Aaron. So we told him our idea, and he LOVED it! He was all for it! We were like what! So he told us "I love it. Talk to Dennis tomorrow because he is scheduled to work and see what he says." And were like ahhhh Dennis okayyy. So the next day (Saturday), we go into DI with all of our supplies, ready to face Dennis and bracing ourselves for rejection. But here's the miracle: Dennis wasn't there. He was nowhere to be found! And he didn't show up all day, even though he was scheduled. And we had no idea why. So Aaron was there and he was like "yeah go for it woo yay yay" and we set up the stand and it was AMAZING! The Lord prepared a way for us! We still have no idea why Dennis wasn't there, but we are so grateful haha. Miracle. I will attach pictures of
the stand! It was so fun!

Now for the explanation on the subject of this email: Addy, Sarah, AND Ray are all getting baptized this Saturday the 24th!!! WOOOOOOO!!! What better way to celebrate Christmas than by making a covenant with Christ?! And these are all separate people with completely different stories, and they have all been taking the lessons for a looong time. It is seriously the coolest thing. I feel so blessed to be a part of it! The Lord really is hastening his work! So, white Christmas, white baptism suits, you get it. Amazing!!! It's going to be an amazing Christmas!

I invite you all to think of what gift you can give to the Savior this Christmas season. It is all about Him! Think of something you can change each day to come closer to Him. The Light the World initiative is still happening, so participate! Let's continue to light the world! You are each individual lights and can be a light on someone's pathway to the Savior.

I love you all SO much and I hope you have an AMAZING Christmas!!!

Ps. My p-day will probably be on Wednesday next week! Just FYI!

Sister Carina Brown
California Redlands Mission
Discover.mormon.org

District selfie right before transfers!

Santa service!

City hall is closed on Fridays. 

Our light the world stand!!! The cutest. It turned out so nicely. 

Aw

Our apt was 59 DEGREES the other day okay. Our heater is broken. A member gave us a heat dish thing. 

The CUTEST Christmas package from my family! I love it!

Sunday, December 18, 2016

BONUS CONTENT

Christmas Car Jams by Sisters Brown and Peterson 

Hahaha

Enjoy 



The Blessing, the Breakup, and the Baptism

HELLLOOOOOOOOOOOOOO GOOD TO SEE YOU ALL 

Well, talk to you. I hope you're all doing well! Ah! I just love you all! I'm serious, I'm very aware of who gets these emails because I still haven't had time (or figured out how) to create an email group on my iPad, so I have to manually add everyone to this group email every Monday. It's fun. 

What a WEEK!!! First of all, I have a cold. Again! I had a cold in the MTC too. It's rough having a cold on the mission, because it's this awkward sickness where it's not bad enough to stay home, but it's uncomfortable to deal with when proselyting. Today after we did our laundry I just snuggled with all my warm clothes for a while and that helped me feel better. Haha.

THE BLESSING: 
Okay HELLO HIIIIIII GUESS WHAT. SISTER PETERSON IS NOT GETTING TRANSFERRED!!!!!!! WE ARE BOTH STAYING!!!!!! WOOOOOOOOOOOOO U-S-A  U-S-A  YEEEESSSSSSSSSSS MXKXJKSKANXIJANXISKLOAIOQJSNJ. We are both so happy. We get another six weeks together! Seriously this is such a blessing. I am so full of gratitude! We are going to rock this next transfer! Only with the Lords help, of course. Ah. So excited. 

THE BREAKUP: 
Okay, this past week our investigator Lori (who is the most hilarious human being I have ever met, seriously she is so funny, it's hard sometimes to stay focused in lessons because sister Peterson and I are just laughing at what she says) was not getting back to us. She was supposed to get baptized on the 10th, but then she wasn't getting back to us, and prior to this we had been meeting with her like three times a week! So we just have so much love for her, and all of a sudden she just wasn't getting back to us at all. It was weird. And it felt like we were going through a breakup! Sister Peterson and I would ask ourselves questions like: 

"It's been a day. Why hasn't she called us?" 
"Was it something we said?" 
"Should we text her again, or do you think three times is enough?"
After stopping by and no one answered: "Try and look through her window. Do you think she's home and just doesn't want to talk to us?" 
"She's probably going to other churches. Are we not good enough?" 

Hahaha. I'm serious though, we asked ourselves all those questions. And tried looking through her window. But! On Thursday she finally got back to us!!! We sent her a text that day and had to just WAIT for her to text back (I'm telling you, it was a breakup), which was scary, but she got back to us!!! And told us that her ex husband stole all her money and now she has to find a third job to support her family. Crazy! And ONE week before her baptism! Can you believe it?! Satan knows how many people she's going to bring into the church and he is trying to stop her. The opposition is so real! We have a spiritual war on our hands! The good news is, God has already won. Everything is going to be okay. But please keep Lori in your prayers! 

THE BAPTISM: 
Angie got baptized on Saturday!!! It was such a special day. Oh, and I did play the piano for a special musical number! It was cool. The font started DRAINING while the baptismal service was going, but luckily there was still enough water for her to get baptized. The spirit was so strong, and Angie was just glowing! She was so happy! And it made us so happy to see her that way. She is going to do great things in the church. I just feel so blessed to be able to know her and teach her and be a part of her baptism. And when she got confirmed on Sunday, she said she could feel the Holy Ghost during the blessing. She is so amazing! We love her! 

I challenge you all this week to be aware of each decision you are making. In my studies this week, I came across a quote by C. S. Lewis that said: "Our leisure, even our play, is a matter of serious concern. There is no neutral ground in the universe: every square inch, every split second, is claimed by God and counterclaimed by Satan." Every decision we make either brings us closer to or further from our Father in Heaven. Be aware of each decision you are making. Our eternal salvation is at stake! I know that every choice that brings you closer to Christ is a good choice. 

Okay I love you all!!! Have an AMAZING week!!! 

Sister Carina Brown 
California Redlands Mission 

Pedicures on p day! Last week. 

My toes never looked so good.

Okay AH GORGEOUS. The sunsets here are amaaaazing, and I just love Palm trees.

Carolingggg

Service at Santas workshop!

Woooo members bought us dinner 

Angie's baptism! 

More of Angie's baptism! 

You are kidding me. I mean really. Amazing.

Dessert potluck ward party! The bottom two plates are mine and Sista Petersons, and the top empty plate belongs to a five year old girl. ??????? We are pigs. 

Can't forget our weekly car selfie. 

Sunday, December 11, 2016

Hi I'm on a mission and I love it

Helloooooooooooo!!!!!

It has been an amazing week!!! This is the week that I really started to love being on a mission. Before this week I was thinking, "man, 18 months is a long time," but now I'm like "woo! I get to do this for 18 months!" (Or 17 now?? Idk wow crazy time flies). I just realized what a delight it is to share the gospel with a lot of people EVERY day and to be able to testify of Christ every day! What a blessing! And it really is so fun. I love finding joy in the work and laughing even when I mess up, because this work IS joyful! Plus I'm meeting so many amazing people. It's awesome. Missions are awesome.

We had exchanges this week! My first exchange. Wooooo! I went with Sister Brindley to her area, and she serves in the Tongan ward! It was cool. She had to learn Tongan this transfer. It is a crazy language, I tell you that. But Tongans are awesome! Plus it was cool to go out of my area into Rialto and San Bernardino. And Route 66 goes right through my area btw! (Cars, anyone??) It's cool. Going on exchanges with someone new made me appreciate and realize how amazing of a trainer Sister Peterson is and how blessed I am to be able to learn from her. She is SO genuine and sincere with people, and I am learning how to be like that too.

Okay, so AWESOME news, apparently our companionship has the most investigators with a set baptism date in the WHOLE mission! What! That is CRAZY! I seriously haven't done anything, it's all the Lord. This is His work and He is moving it along, I am just here to be his instrument. He has blessed us with a lot of people to teach! We have been so so busy, and I love it. Angie is getting baptized this Saturday, so that has kept us busy. It is soooo exciting!!! She's the one that we started teaching after I got here, so she is like Sister Peterson and my baby. We taught her the whole transfer and to end it with a bang, she is getting baptized! We love her so much. She is the sweetest. Also I might be playing the piano for a special musical number at her baptism?? I don't love reading music, but I made up this rendition of When I Am Baptized and it doesn't even sound too bad. So that would be cool.

Yeah, transfers are NEXT WEEK. I'm like literally where has the time gone?? I am praying for Sister Peterson not to get transferred. But it's the Lords will, not mine! Ahhhh. We will see.

Today for preparation day we are going to WINCO! I am stoked. I love winco. Hahaha. It sounds so lame, but I really am so excited. There's not much to do here in Fontana on p days except shop, so we have to be creative. Next Monday we might plan an excursion outside the zone to Palm Springs or something. We are allowed to leave the zone on p days once a transfer! So that would be cool. There are a lot of exciting things happening in December, like transfers, a multi zone conference (I could see my MTC companion and some of my MTC district!!!), going to the temple, and skyping my family. Plus LOTS of awesome service opportunities! Ah! Missions are the best. It is so fun to be here. I am LOVING it.

I have learned this week that the secret to missionary work is loving the people. Once you care about them more than yourself, you're good. Just love them and do everything for them out of love, and you can know you are doing the right thing! I'm grateful for the Saviors perfect example of charity and I am striving more and more for that each day. I invite each of you to do the same! Pick one way that you can be more like Christ, and work on that throughout this Christmas season.

Okay have a GREAT week everyone! I LOVE YOU ALL!

(We're going to winco now!!! WOOOO!!!)

Sister Carina Brown
California Redlands Mission
Discover.mormon.org

Half day exchanges with Sister Angelovich

Exchanges with sister Brindley in a super nice car woooo

Us after exchanges! Yay missionaries! 


We are so blessed to have an in n out in our area. 

Her mom sent us a tree and presents! 

Investigators at church!

Sister Johnson! She is the ward mission leaders wife. She's funny. 

Our investigator addy! (She's getting baptized on the 24th! Woo!)

Sunday, December 4, 2016

Lighting the World on Black Friday

HELLOOOO EVERYONE
Okay I am so short on time today so I gotta be quick. First of all, love you all. Hope all is well.

Some things:
-apparently our investigator Lori's daughter is famous on YouTube?? Her named is Maureen. Someone look her up and tell me if she's famous.
-the Christmas video came out on Friday!!! If you haven't seen it, go to Mormon.org NOW and watch it! Let's #LightTheWorld this Christmas season with the 25 days of service!
-my resolve to eat less slash eat healthy went out the window on thanksgiving. I had SO much pumpkin pie. Amazing.

It's been a great week! It went by fast! Thanksgiving was good, the food was GREAT, but it was one of the harder days of the week. Probably because I'm usually with family so I was missing them, plus no one really wanted to talk to us because they were all with their families. I need to repent though, because obviously I have SO much to be grateful for, and I felt bad that I was getting discouraged that day.

The longer I'm here, the more I realize how much I was meant to be here, with these exact people, this exact mission president, in this exact area at this exact time! It's so true when people say "you're called to the people, not the place." The people are so cool here and I get along with them so well. We have so awesome investigators. I just know that I'm meant to be in this mission at this time, and everything that has led me up to this point happened for a reason, and there's a reason I'm here right now! It's so cool to know that.

Another thing, and listen carefully to this: one day, everyone will know the truth about this gospel. Everyone! And they will know whether or not you shared with them what you have. They will say, "you knew! All along! Why didn't you share it with me?" And this is why we MUST share this gospel with everyone we know, everyone we see, everyone we come in contact with. We have a responsibility to share this light with others! Having the gospel in our lives doesn't just make us "lucky", it makes us responsible for doing everything in our power to make it known to the world. I challenge all of you to use the Light the World initiative or do anything you can to bring the light of the gospel into someone else's life this week, in one way or another. This is the GREATEST work on planet earth, and God is letting us be a part of it! What a BLESSING! And what better message to share?? Let's go LIGHT THE WORLD!

I know the Savior lives, and he is the light of the world. I am so grateful for this Christmas season and the chance we have to become more like him.

I LOVE YOU ALL! Have an amazing week!!!

Sister Carina Brown
California Redlands Mission
Discover.mormon.org

These pictures were sent to me by a member where they were eating. Happy Thanksgiving to me!!!



Cutest dog ever at a members home.

LIGHT THE WORLD 

We found the sweetest dog on our morning run and gave her water. 

Holla Holla for the Spanish ward and always giving the sisters food. We walk in and were like "oh what? Food? Huh" and they're like "feed the hermanas!!!" It's amazing. 

Sister Peterson is super weird 

Thanksgiving car selfie with hair from junior high. Nice. 

We ate jolly rancherssss. Yes I still love candy. 

It's been rainy and coooold the past few days. Sweaters, scarves, and tights are my best friends.

At the car wash on p day wooooo! Yeahhhh another selfie. Also notice I'm wearing a scarf because it's cold. 

Sunday, November 27, 2016

The week we gained 20 pounds. IN SPIRITUALITY

Hiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiii!!!
Okay okay, we gained weight physically too. Listen, the ward mission leader gave us a FIVE POUND TUB OF COOKIE DOUGH. Like, what??? I'm sorry??? What are you thinking??? Granted, he said to make cookies for our investigators and other people we teach, which we did! But naturally there was collateral damage. We ate so much cookie dough. Ah. Plus the members feed us most nights (blessed) so we are eating large amounts of food along with all the cookie dough. But no more! We have committed to eating healthier this week. 

It has been a GREAT week! It went by so fast! I feel SO blessed to be here in Fontana in the Oleander Ward with Sister Peterson, because we have SO many people to teach and we are so busy! We always have investigators at church too and it's amazing. And to top it off I get along SO well with Sister Peterson, we have a lot of fun and we also work and teach really well together. But now I'm afraid I'm getting my hopes up too high for the rest of my mission! Sister Peterson is like "this isn't normal." Haha. Hopefully this is setting a standard for the rest of my mission so it will only get better? Yes? That sounds good to me. 

On Friday we had a Thanksgiving Dinner activity for the ward and it was SO GREAT! Seriously it was the best. Activities with food are amazing because no one can pass up free food, which means we had TONS of investigators there! Lori, Maureen, Angie, Tiffany & Davin and their 7 kids, Addy, and some of them even brought non member friends. It was awesome. I love being able to go around and talk to all the members and investigators and to have everyone in one room eating food, getting along, having a good time, AH! So great! I love activities! And I keep forgetting that thanksgiving is this week! Not to mention Black Friday. ❤❤❤️ I keep forgetting that there's still holidays and people still live non mission lives! Haha. 

On Thursday we had Zone Conference! My first zone conference, aww. It was amazing! This years Christmas Initiative for the church is going to be SO great so all of you better be excited about it. 25 days of service in December. It's gonna be awesome. I'm serious. Get pumped. 

This week we met a 40 year old man who started telling us his life story, and how we are so young and have our whole life ahead of us, but his life is like halfway over. It really got me thinking! Time goes by SO fast, even if we don't realize it. Think of how long it's been since Christ came to the earth. Like 2000 YEARS! And that time just passed like normal! Which is why we have to make the most of EVERY moment. I know people say "make the time count" or whatever, but listen, every moment you are in is fleeting, and you will NEVER get that moment back. Right now, you are sitting here reading this, but in a few hours you'll be doing something different and this moment will be gone. And you'll never get it back. You will never get that EXACT moment back. Time passes, whether you like it or not. Do you see what I'm saying? EVERY moment counts, no matter what. The only way you're not going to look back at life with regrets is if you appreciate each moment you are in and make the most of it, no matter what. Whether you're having the best time of your life or going through really difficult challenges, appreciate it! Because soon it will be gone, and you'll be looking back at it thinking, "that happened. Did I make the most of it? Did I appreciate that moment for what it was, and not what I wanted it to be?" Every moment counts. 

I feel confident that if we live life with this attitude then we we will be more grateful overall, we will feel more joy, more lasting happiness knowing we appreciated each moment we are given by God. And that joy and peace, even during trials, comes from the Savior! HE is the reason we can be happy and appreciate every moment, no matter what it may be. He suffered so that we don't have to! Ever! God doesn't want us to only be happy sometimes, he wants us to be happy ALL the time! And we can! This is not some outrageous, unattainable thing. We can have lasting joy. Every day, all the time. We just have to do His will. Joy is as lasting as the things that produce it. So allow that peace and joy into your life by accessing Christ's Atonement, repenting daily and getting back on track, and doing the things that God has shown will make us happy. There is no other way to be truly happy! The only way is His way. 2 Nephi 31:21

There's my rant about making the most of your time. I feel very passionate about it! I realized that being on a mission at this time in my life is a once in a lifetime opportunity, so I better make the most of it every single day and love it. That's the plan. 

I am so grateful for all of you. Thank you for the support and love you give, and for the wonderful examples you all are to me! God is so aware and proud of all of you for the good things you do, even if they may be small. And I feel so blessed to have such amazing people in my life. Ah! You're all the best. I'm serious! Every single one of you! Especially if you read this whole email. That's way cool. You made it to the end. Nice. Hahaha. 

I LOVE YOU ALL! HAPPY THANKSGIVING! 

Love, Sister Brown

Selfie in the car. Classic. 

Our investigator Jasmin took us to dinner at King Taco!

Weekly planning in the park.

Tiffany and Davin and their seven kids at the thanksgiving dinner activity. 

Selfieeeee with investigators 

Angie! The golden investigator! And her kids! She is SO prepared.

And the sun and clouds have done it again. Beautiful. 

Popcorn for dessert at a members home. Amazing. 

Yesterday and today have been cloudy/rainy which means SWEATER WEATHER! So happy. 

Hilarious texts from our investigator Jesse (male). We were laughing. 



Sister Carina Brown
California Redlands Mission
Discover.mormon.org