Monday, November 13, 2017

miracles have not ceased 🔥

HELLO 

I have no time to write this email but SO MUCH happened this week and it was just an AMAZING WEEK! 

Highlight reel: 
- halloween on Tuesday was SO FUN we went to the ward trunk or treat and handed our candy with pass along cards on them and it was just a blast! Tons of non members came through and we just had so much fun! 

- MLC on Thursday where we talked a lot about being a Christ centered mission and it was WONDERFUL 

- on Saturday Brother Gonzalez from the Missionary Dept in Salt Lake came out with us for the day! It was AMAZING we seriously learned soooo much from him. He Skyped into our daily planning, our companion study, and then Skyped in to a lesson we had with our investigator Gabby who we put ON DATE FOR BAPTISM in December! Miracles! We love Gabby, she is awesome. Then Brother Gonzalez came out proselyting with us for a few hours and it was great. We asked him a lot of questions and he helped us with our finding approaches and gave us lots of great suggestions. It was an amazing opportunity to have him with us! 

- yesterday we found TWO new solid investigators! Names are Valerie and her daughter Abby, they are so awesome and said they would come to church on Sunday! They were formers in our area Book. They live in the outskirts of Joshua Tree (hippie land). It was so cool! 

I received a halloween package from my family this week (THANK YOU) and my 10 year old sister Gracie included a card in there that said “have a nice day today. Be happy. Be grateful” and it was just something I reeeally needed to hear that day! It’s so easy to make life so complicated and to be dramatic about things, but it was so nice to have a simple reminder from Gracie that being happy is a CHOICE, and we can choose to be happy every day. Gracie’s words reminded me of a scripture, Alma 26:37, which says:

“God is mindful of every people, whatsoever land they may be in; yea, he numbereth his people, and his bowels of mercy are over all the earth. Now this is my joy, and my great thanksgiving; yea, and I will give thanks unto my God forever.”

God loves us! He has a plan for us! He wants us to be happy! To experience joy is literally the purpose of this life. I invite you all to CHOOSE to be happy every day this week, no matter what may happen or what trials may come your way. I know that you will feel Gods love for you and that you will notice His fingerprints in your life! 

Well I hope you all have a great week! I have lots of pictures because a member took us to Joshua Tree National Park today. SO FUN. love you all!!! ❤



Sister Carina Brown 
























Friday, November 3, 2017

B O O 🎃🎃🎃

HELLLOOOOOOOO EVERYONE 

HAPPY HALLOWEEN TOMORROW 

**ps if you are not planning on reading this whole email feel free to scroll to the very end it is quality ok 

By the way I love Sister McNary a lot she is so funny and is teaching me words from the world like “fam” and “lit” and “extra” 

The desert is really nice right now, the weather is in the high 70s. It’s gotten to the point where anything below 70 degrees is basically freezing to me and is certified sweater weather. Maybe I just want an excuse to wear cardigans and sweaters? Or I’ve acclimated to the heat and will die next winter in Utah. Who knows 💁

It’s been a great week!!! I have been focusing on humility a lot this week and it has been really wonderful. I have been feeling a lot more at peace with myself and who I am and it is refreshing. 

We have been doing a lot of finding this week! We dropped some of our investigators who weren’t progressing, so we have been talking to lots of people and knocking on lots of doors and asking for lots of referrals. It’s been strange, because we feel like we are working so hard but not seeing many results yet. But it will happen! We will just keep moving forward and have faith that the Lord has big plans for us. 

ALSO like twenty minutes ago President Dixon called us and told us that there will be people from the missionary dept coming to our mission this week, and ONE OF THEM WILL BE COMING OUT PROSELYTING WITH US ON SATURDAY. Noooo pressure haha, but I’m excited! He is a former mission president in Fresno, and I know we will learn a lot from him. Definitely a privilege to have that opportunity! 

Also this week will be MLC, again with the members of the missionary dept. VERY exciting! I am super pumped for that. 

OH we had exchanges this week and Sister Hinckley came to the area to be with me! She is an awesome missionary (and yes she is related to President Hinckley) and it was good to be with her. She is from Provo, so we talked about how we both love Provo and how there really is so much to do there. We had a great day together! 

Also, Sister McNary and I fasted yesterday! We did it in preparation for a “40 day fast” we are doing, to fast from the things that are keeping us from feeling the spirit ALWAYS. We are starting the 40 day fast today and I’m excited! We both want to be more consecrated missionaries and we know this will really help. We got the idea from an document we read, and I will attach it at the end of this email BECAUSE I want to challenge you all to participate in the 40 day fast to be more consecrated disciples! Since this Sunday is fast Sunday, it will be perfect! 

HERES THE CHALLENGE (and you can read about it in the attached document for more details): 
On Saturday/Sunday, start your fast. Throughout your fast, write down things that come to mind that are keeping you from feeling the spirit ALWAYS. This could include many different things, like thoughts, actions, or desires that you know are keeping you from feeling the spirit. You know yourself, so don’t be afraid to add things to the list that may be really difficult for you to fast from. Some people refer to these as “favorite sins.” Put those on the list! At the end of the 40 Days, I know that your desires will change and you have the Holy Ghost more abundantly in your life, and you will be a more consecrated disciple of Jesus Christ. Let’s GO! Who’s with me?? Let me know if you will be participating! 

I heard a quote this week about Halloween that said, “let the only Ghost that comes your way, be the Holy Ghost to guide your way.” Have a fun and exciting Halloween, and make sure to live worthy of the companionship Holy Ghost! We need His divine help. Have an AMAZING week! I love you all! ❤


Sister Carina Brown 
California Redlands Mission 

👻👻👻

P.S. FUNNY STORY: 

for some reason last night I had a dream that I was dating Justin Bieber 

it was so cool 

yes I am a 12 year old girl 

ok byeee


Purification Process

One day, a member informed us that he had an investigator that was ready to be taught and he volunteered to attend the first discussion. The discussion went along as usual. At the conclusion my companion and I bore witness of Joseph Smith and then turned to our friend. He paused for a moment, looked at the young lady and said, “I know that Joseph Smith was and is a Prophet of God.” The room was filled with an extraterrestrial force. The investigator started to cry.

As we walked home, I was baffled. That man said the exact same words that we had said, but the result was dramatically different. When he spoke, he had an influence that we did not have. There was no question that the influence was the Holy Ghost, but this man seemed to have it in a different way. There was still something to be learned. I had to find out what the secret was, so I returned to the scriptures. It seemed like we were so close to being effective and yet we just could not make it happen.

A Challenge to Purify

After several weeks of searching and praying, we attended a meeting and heard a well known Church leader. He spoke about the scriptures as a source of strength and about the process of spiritual influence. His words caused a burning in my soul. When he finished his address, I intentionally lingered behind. When I was finally alone with this man, I asked him for a few moments of his time. I explained my desire to be effective. I told him about the lesson I had learned. I told him that something was still missing. Finally, I asked him if he could tell me what it was.

He looked into my eyes and said nothing. Nearly a minute went by and I began to feel very uncomfortable. Finally he spoke. He said, “Elder, when those pretty young ladies pass you on the street, what do you think about?” Before I could answer, he asked, “Do you ever speak sarcastically to your junior companion?” “Do you get up at the designated time every morning?” “Do you keep every mission rule?”

His list of questions grew longer. Finally he said, “These are the things that keep the Holy Ghost from being your companion. If you want the constant companionship of the Holy Ghost, then you must purify yourself. I will tell you how to do it. Go home and fast for a day. In the attitude of fasting and prayer, make a list of every behavior that pokes at your spirit. Once you have made your list, then go to the Lord. Covenant with the Lord that you will fast from the things on that list for 40 days. In other words, for 40 days, you will do nothing that appears on that list.

“You cannot just stop the old behavior and start the new ones. You need the help of the Lord. So each morning, go to the Lord and specifically promise Him that you will start each item on the list. Ask for His help so you can have extra strength and then, at night, go over your list with the Lord. If you failed on some items, figure out why. Tell the Lord. Ask for more strength the next day. Go through the process for 40 days. If you do, you will find that your most basic desires will change. Your spirit will flourish and the Holy Ghost will become your constant companion. You will become an effective tool in the hands of the Lord.”

The Process of Purification

We went home determined to make the concept work. We began to fast and we began to make a list. It proved much harder than we assumed it would be. I would pray and then I would feel impressed to write down some item. Then, arguing that there was nothing wrong with the particular thing, I would fight the impression. For example, I felt impressed to put golf on the list. My response was, “There is nothing wrong with golf. We only play on preparation day.” I ignored the fact that on the other six days, my mind continually dwelt upon how to play better. I wrestled with the Spirit and then finally wrote golf on the list. It is interesting that from the moment I wrote it on the list, I experienced the most intense desire to play golf. Everywhere I turned, there was some reminder, some temptation to break the commitment. So it was with each item on the list. Each day, I had to fight all my natural inclinations and turn to the Lord for the help necessary to overcome myself. Sometime between the 30th and 40th day, I suddenly realized that my desire for the things on the list had disappeared. It was as if a great anchor had been cut from me.

The Process of Surrender

The last morning, my companion and I knelt in prayer and then started out the door. I was impressed to go back and again pray. With unusual confidence, I addressed the Lord, “Father, these are thy children. We are now doing everything within our power to live the gospel. We turn the burden over to Thee. Please carry us the rest of the way.”

The Gifts of the Spirit

We went to our first appointment. Halfway through the discussion, our investigator began to make an excuse that he could not be baptized, because he did not believe that Joseph Smith was a Prophet of God. I interrupted him. “That is untrue. You do know that Joseph Smith is a Prophet. Your real fear is that your mother will disapprove if you join the Church. In the name of Jesus Christ, I promise you that your entire family will embrace the Gospel because of your courageous example. The Lord wants you to be baptized now and it is necessary that you comply.” I never before had done anything like that. In fact, I knew nothing about his mother. He had hardly mentioned her. While I could hardly believe what I had said, a familiar spirit filled the room. This brother began to weep. He committed to be baptized the following Saturday.

The experience repeated itself. At our very next meeting with each investigator, there was a celestial manifestation and everyone one of them was committed to baptism. In an eight-week period, sixteen people were baptized. It was an unusual number for our mission. While the number of baptisms was large, the truly impressive thing was the change in my companion and I. We were different people. Our most basic desires and motives had been altered. Credit and recognition were no longer of any consequence. For the first time in our lives, the things of God were more important than the “things of this world and honors of men.”

Our sensitivity deepened. We noticed how often we would cry. Several times a day we would be brought to tears by a prayer, a talk, a discussion, a scripture, or almost anything would deeply touch us. Our concern was continually focused upon others. For the first time, we could understand Nephi’s claim, “For I pray continually for them by day, and mine eyes water my pillow by night” because of them. We could understand the statement because for the first time, we could understand Nephi’s motives.

The Holy Ghost became our constant companion because our motives had changed, because we had an eye single to the glory of God, the Lord could trust us and we experienced the power of the Priesthood and became effective tools in his hands.



Exchanges




Sister McNary wanted me to try on her dress but I didn’t want to take off my PJs so here is this picture

We play soccer at the church for exercise! I LOVE SOCCER

Firehouse subs with the 29 palms Sisters today I LOVE THEM SO MUCH 

Sister Trammell and I ❤❤❤❤❤❤️ she is the woman we are living with and she is the sweetest angel ever I am surprised she has not been translated yet

Sunday, October 29, 2017

Happy Tuesday 🙂

Heyyyyyyyyy what’s upppppp everyoooooone 👋👋👋

My pday is on Tuesday this week because we had interviews with President Dixon yesterday! It was much needed, I always love talking with him because I learn so much and his advice is always so helpful and loving. Also we got to see Sister Dixon as well and that is alllllways a TREAT. 

I have been on an emotional roller coaster this week! A lot was happening and there were many different factors for said roller coaster, but I am emotionally stable now and everything is great. Emotional roller coasters happen on and off a mission, so it’s just life! It’s good, because it helps me to remember how much I really need to rely on the Lord. We NEED him in our lives! Sometimes I get prideful and think I can do everything on my own, and then I think “hmm probably a bad idea considering God literally created the universe and everything in it, he probably knows better than I do huh”. It’s just funny how often as humans we think we know better than God, when of course we don’t. So it’s just good to have reminders, even if it means that life gets tough. Everything always turns out okay! 

Oh my goodness funny things happened this week let me tell you about it:

Funny thing #1: we invited our investigator Carlinda to a Relief Society Activity on Thursday and she asked if she could bring a friend! So we said yes of course! So she walks in to the Relief Society Activity and it turns out that her friend was a MAN. WE BROUGHT A MAN TO THE RELIEF SOCIETY ACTIVITY. Way to go us, hahahaha it was so funny and we just didn’t think to ask if her friend was a man or a woman. He was pretty chill so it was all good. 

Funny thing #2: we accidentally double-booked ourselves for dinner one night, and the situation didn’t allow us to cancel on either dinner. So, we contemplated it for a while and decided to go to BOTH DINNER APPOINTMENTS. Yup, so we had one at 5 and one at 6. It was so funny, we were praying so hard that all the food would fit into our stomachs and it did! What a miracle. God takes care of us, even in trivial matters! Good stuff. 

Ohhh also we had Zone Conference this week! It was GREAT! I love Zone conferences. We talked all about social media and technology and I am just even more pumped about being an online proselyting mission! Also we found out that the Christmas initiative this year will be Light the World again! SO EXCITED. WE ARE GONNA GO BIG. GET READY. ITS GOING TO BE GOOD. 

I was reading in Alma 22 this week in the Book of Mormon, where Aaron is teaching the King about the Plan of Salvation. In verse 15, the King asks, “what shall I do that I may be born of God... and receive his Spirit, that I may be filled with joy?”  So essentially he asking, “how do I have joy??” And Aaron is so awesome, he immediately gives him a clear answer in verse 16. He says, “if thou wilt bow down before God, yea, if thou wilt repent of all thy sins, and will bow down before God, and call on his name in faith, believing that ye shall receive, then shalt thou receive the hope which thou desirest.” 

So according to this Book of Mormon prophet, what can we do to receive joy?? REPENT! Change! Learn! Improve! Repentance IS the plan of happiness. It is a joyful thing. It’s that simple. Jesus Christ made it so that we can always improve and come closer to God. So make sure to use the atonement of Jesus Christ in your life by repenting daily. I invite you each to set goals and make plans on how you can implement repentance more into your daily life, and also I invite you to study Alma 22! I can promise you that as you read from the Book of Mormon and repent daily, you will feel JOY and you will come closer to your Savior. 

Listen, the gospel of Jesus Christ HAS been restored. The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints IS Christ’s church. I know that with all my heart. Jesus Christ really truly lives, and he loves us. He loves YOU, and he knows you personally. Never forget that! God does have a plan! He has not left us alone! 

Okay I gotta go. Thank you for all the love and support and prayers I receive from each of you every week. Stay amazing. I love you all sooooo much! Have a GREAT week!!! ❤❤❤

Sister Carina Brown 
California Redlands Mission