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

Sunday, November 20, 2016

Last Days, Here We GO

HIHIHIIIIIIII. 

Okay first of all, sorry this is attached to the other email? Idk what I'm doing on this iPad yet?? If I don't do this I have to attach everyone all over again. So. 

Hello! What a week! 

Things I found out this week:
-Donald Trump is president. Alright. Okay. Hence the subject line of this email. Has America gone insane??? I wanna hear some stories. 
-GET THIS: there is most likely going to be a natural disaster in my mission, while I'm on my mission. Like a big earthquake or something, Idk. Apparently the last mission president here felt that there would be one after he was no longer mission president, and now the current mission president has been bringing in emergency preparedness senior missionaries because he felt the same thing. And emergency preparedness has apparently been emphasized in a lot of zone conferences and stuff, because they felt that the spirit was telling them to talk about that. Sister Peterson told me all of this. It's a scary thought, but if/when this happens, the people will be so humbled and it will be an amazing opportunity to bring others closer to Christ! Last days are here, I'm telling you. I'm confident that the missionaries will be protected though, so mom and Blair please don't freak out hahaha. 
-Coachella is in my mission! Cool! 
-One of my Vlogs on YouTube is doing surprisingly well. Love that. 
-Dinosaurs??? Can someone please tell me where they fit in before Adam and Eve??? These are the things that keep me up at night. 

It's been a great week! We are teaching an investigator named Angie who is SO prepared, and we told her to pay attention to how she felt as we taught the restoration. She said that she felt "a weird feeling" that she hasn't felt before, and that that feeling just got stronger and stronger as we taught. In our heads we were like "YESSSSS WOOOOOO THATS THE SPIRIT WAAHDKSNDKAMXLMXKSLSMSKS" but in reality we just quietly nodded and smiled. Hahaha. It was awesome. 

One of the coolest things about being a witness of Jesus Christ is that we actually get to witness Jesus Christ change people. So we are LITERALLY witnesses of Jesus Christ! We may not see Him, but by Him, we see everything else. 

The epiphany came to me this week of how important this gospel really is, for EVERYONE IN THE ENTIRE WORLD. Growing up I always thought my life was lame because nothing crazy ever happened, but I realized that it's because I was raised in the gospel that I was protected and was able to have the spirit in my home and in my life, even if I didn't realize it. It's BECAUSE of the gospel that my life has been smooth! And I just want that for everyone!!! This gospel and the teachings of Jesus Christ can literally solve every problem in the world. How amazing is this gospel?? Am I right??? God is so incredible! He knows everything and has a specific plan for each and every one of us!!! I love it! 

Sometimes when I get these revelations and epiphanies, I picture myself turning into the hulk and saying "ITS SOOOO TRUUUUUUUE AHHHHHHHH". In case you were wondering. I just want everyone to feel that! 
Anyways. 

This church is true. It is so true. And being on a mission is awesome. But don't get me wrong, i struggle with things. I'm not perfect. I get worldly songs stuck in my head sometimes. I get discouraged occasionally. Being patient with myself is sometimes really hard, because I want to be a good teacher immediately! And Approaching literally everyone we see is not easy for me. I'm naturally introverted so it's something I'm still getting used to! Especially when I feel like I'm not that great of a teacher and don't know much yet. But guess who DOES know everything? God does! The battle is the Lords! And even though I may struggle, I know that God will make up for my weaknesses as long as I am doing His will. Thank goodness for a merciful Heavenly Father and a loving Savior who make it possible for me to be strengthened and overcome my weaknesses! Do your BEST and God will make up the rest! 

Well I gotta go. I love you all SO MUCH! Have an amazing week!!! 

Love, Sister Brown 

Pictures belowwwwww. Hopefully this works and you can see them all. Mom let me know if you can't see them! ❤

matching pink skirts from DI.

Candy from members?? Hahaha we did not eat them.

We lost our phone for like 12 hours but then we found it in the road. Tender mercy.

My face when sister Peterson falls asleep at the wheel. 😉 she didn't, for those of you who are worried.

This guy played the accordion for us. 

Amazing picture. Ded. 

AHHHH SUNSET OMG

This.

We had FOUR investigators at church yesterday! Amazing! 

We were wearing black and white, so of course we got a picture. Luckily sister Peterson loves pictures as much as I do! 


Sunday, November 13, 2016

FIRST WEEK IN THE FIELD WHAT

HOLAAAAAAAAA. Idk I just felt like saying hi in Spanish. I've actually been putting my small amount of Spanish knowledge to good use here.It's cool.

SO WOW HELLO I'M IN CALIFORNIA!!! The weather is amaaaazing. What a week it's been. First of all, my mission president and his wife are the BEST. Honestly, I am so blessed to have them. Plus they have teenage kids so they are somewhat youthful and it's great. They are both so Christlike and so welcoming and kind when we got here.

I got here on Tuesday. On Wednesday we had transfers. It actually kind of felt like some sort of choosing ceremony like the hunger games or something. Less dangerous of course. But equally scary. Hahaha.

So, I am in the FONTANA zone!!! And my trainer/companion is Sister Peterson. Okay, I don't know what I did to deserve her, but she is seriously the best trainer I could have asked for ever in the world. She is from Mesa, Arizona!!! Which is where my sister is serving right now. She's 21 and has been out 14 months! Plus, weird connection we have, we both went to UVU and were in the same institute class a couple years ago!! Crazy! She looked so familiar to me and she said the same thing about me. I can't believe we both remember that! We get along SO well. I am not kidding, it's weird. I have no problems with her. Like, none. She is everything I could ever want in a companion. She is obedient (thank goodness, I was praying for an obedient companion), so Christlike, funny, gooohgeous, she has great style and she loves shopping!! Haha. We have that in common and it's awesome. There are some great thrift stores here in Fontana so we will definitely be going shopping later today. I just never thought a relationship like this with another human was possible, but when both parties are striving to be Christlike and are living consecrated lives, it totally is possible! It is so cool. The Spirit is so strong in our companionship and we are so united. She is setting the standard HIGH for all of my future companions, including my husband hahaha. 😉

Oh yeah, I have an iPad now!!! I don't know how anyone does missionary work without an iPad. It is INCREDIBLY handy. And it's cool because it helps us to learn how to more effectively use technology and have self control so that after our missions we are better equipped with a personal filter when it comes to technology. Amazing. Okay so Wednesday and Thursday were only slightly overwhelming. Mission life is not what I expected. But it's great!! And I am loving it! Really I am, I feel so blessed to be here. But those first two days I was like whooooooa whaaaaat.

Thoughts that went through my head on the first couple days in the field: 
"Whoa what we have a car sweet!"
"Oh we're praying again? ok"
"Omg sister Peterson why are you talking to literally everyone?"
On an exchange on Thursday (because Sister Peterson is a sister training leader): "we're just gonna knock on random doors what?"
"Members are feeding us dinner? SWEET!"
Hahahaha.

We only knocked on doors that one day on the exchange. Other than that we haven't! Which is kinda good because that wasn't very successful haha. We just talk to EVERYONE we see about the gospel, and we have a lot of investigators! I love them all. And we have a lot of potential investigators, so we always have SOMEone we can go see or meet with. Sister Peterson is so loving and she is a great example to me. I want to be her when I grow up. Haha she says she doesn't even feel like she's training me because I'm doing pretty well, and I'm like uhhh good because I have no idea what I'm doing still haha. I'll get there.

I am loving the mission. One of the coolest things is that we ALWAYS have the Spirit with us. I've honestly never felt the Spirit so fully and constantly in my life until now, and it is truly amazing. I love it! As we commit to turn our will over to the Lord, he blesses us with his guidance and spirit! How cool is it that we can rely on Him COMPLETELY?? Ah! I love it. My favorite scripture lately is John 14:27. Look it up! I know that if I am ever feeling troubled or afraid, I need to check myself and see what is off in my life so I can get back to feeling the peace that the Savior has to offer. I know that when I feel peace, that the Lord is pleased with me because I am doing the best I possibly can. It's so cool that when we feel the Spirit, we can know that the Lord is pleased with us! I bore my testimony on that on Sunday. Peace is one of the greatest feelings that this gospel brings. If you don't feel that peace I challenge you to do whatever you can to get that peace and joy back into your life, because it is the best thing! Don't just take my word for it, ACT! I know that my Savior LIVES! He lives. I feel more strongly about that each time I testify and learn more about him. I love this gospel!!! And I LOVE YOU ALL!!!

Love, Sister Brown
💩💩💩💩💩💩💩💩💩💩💩💩💩


We put our string cheese in the ac vents in the car so that they would be cold again.


Me trying to do math when we were adding up our miles.


Sister Peterson and I

Us and investigators



Sunday, November 6, 2016

Sister Brown has arrived!

Dear parents,

We wanted to send you a quick note to let you know that your missionary has arrived safely in the California Redlands Mission! What an impressive group!

Today we went to a lookout point in Redlands and President Dixon and I shared a message and then we had authentic Mexican food at the mission home. We visited the temple and had training at the stake center next door. We ate dinner on the patio overlooking the temple. We are home now and they are interviewing and preparing for bed. They will stay overnight and have more training tomorrow at the mission office where they will meet their trainers and get to work. You can plan to hear from them by email on preparation day Monday. Until then, here are a couple of pictures to help pacify the time.

Thank you for your sacrifices to share your child with the good people of California. We are excited and anxious to work alongside such incredible missionaries!

Sincerely yours,
President and Sister Dixon




Week 2: Last week in the MTC!

Hellooooooooooooooo everyooooooooooooone!!!

I hope you're all doing well. Know that I love you and pray for you often! Seriously I do. We say like 80 prayers a day here. Its awesome. 

It has been an amazing week! And it has seriously FLOWN by. ITS CRAZY! Time blows my mind, i can't even think about it. Every day here feels like Sunday haha, so I never know what day it actually is. Its weird! 

So last Friday was a pretty hard day. We taught an investigator and it just did not go well, it was all over the place and I was like WHAT JUST HAPPENED. I think one of the biggest temptations here in the MTC is discouragement. It is so easy to get discouraged after a lesson doesn't go well, or after you mess up or something. But that is exactly what Satan wants! He wants me to get discouraged because he knows that will distract me from the work and take me away from my Heavenly Father. But God knows my potential so I just have to trust in Him and trust that I can reach that full potential through Christ. 

Sunday was AWESOME though! I was on a spiritual high all day, and it totally made up for friday. Sister Gunter and I taught relief society and it was AMAZING! We taught on repentance and the sisters were all commenting and it was so great. We could all feel the spirit so strongly. I heard this week that people often say "the spirit was so strong" but in reality, the spirit itself is always strong! It is just up to us to feel it. Having the spirit in your life takes a conscious effort and hard work! There is nothing passive about this gospel, it always takes ACTION! 

We also had choir and devotional on Sunday and it was ameeeeeeeeeeeezing. Choir is SO GREAT. SO MANY MISSIONARIES go to choir and every time we sing I'm just like YEEEEEEEEAHHHH THIS IS AN ARMY OF THE LORD WOOOOOOO!!!!!!!!!!! I get so pumped hahaha. Plus the choir director has an amazing combination of humor and spirituality, so it is always an enjoyable experience. I love it. 

Weird things my district does*:

-talk about gas. that's all i'm gonna say. i have no idea why that's a thing but it is.
-we chant "do it and you're cool! do it and you're cool!" usually when we want Elder McDaniel to fit his whole hand in his mouth. 
-shoot rubber bands at each other
-laugh at our teacher Brother Robins when he falls asleep during the lesson. hahahaha
-flatten out the sand while we play volleyball
-talk in Indian accents and say "PAR-TEE TIIIIME"

*note: I promise we have amazing spiritual experiences together and that this is not all we do. We do take advantage of our study time and I think that is why we are all so close, is because the spirit is involved! We enjoy our time together. :)

I AM LEAVING NEXT TUESDAY TO GO TO CALIFORNIA! AMAZING! Also since I am the oldest, I am the "Travel Leader" for our group so I am basically responsible for my whole district while at the airport. Which includes like 7 elders. This is gonna be fun. Haha I am so excited though! Seriously its gonna be awesome! 

Oh this Sunday, Sisters Gunter, Houston, and Sjoblom and I are all singing a Capella "Nearer my God to Thee" in sacrament meeting! I am so excited! I love singing and am so glad that the sisters in my district do too. 

I heard a story this week: an elderly lady was baptized into the church, probably at like 80 years old. A little after that she got her patriarchal blessing, and it said she would have received the gospel 50 years ago if a boy had gone on a mission, but he didn't. CRAZY! It just made me glad to be where the Lord wants me to be, because he knows best!!!

So one of the best things we do with my teacher Sister Smyth is our Book of Mormon read. This is how we go about it: (and I challenge you all to read your scriptures this way every once in a while!) Basically we start with a question that we have, so we are reading with a purpose, and then we read one verse at a time and don't move on until we get something out of that verse. We do that by picking one word from the verse that stands out to us and then discussing what everyone picked and what they think about it! And it is so cool, because everyone has different questions so even if people pick the same word, they get totally different things out of it. So much spiritual revelation! It is AWESOME. So yeah, I challenge you all to read your scriptures that way every once in a while! I get sooo much out of it every time! 

So, next time I email I will be in CALIFORNIA! I'm so stoked. ahhhhhh yessssss. so stoked. I hope you're all doing well! Remember how much God loves you and knows EACH of you individually! I love this gospel!!!!!!!!!!!

I LOVE YOU ALLLL

Love, 

Sister Brown




temple pics





basic pic of badges in the grass hahaha


Me knocking on a hollow brick on the wall

I was doing an exit questionnaire thing and my keyboard was stuck on caps lock. i was laughing so hard so i had to take a picture!

I've had a cold this week so this has been my desk. I'm pretty sure i have caused a tissue shortage at the MTC