HELLO! It's me! Sorry last weeks email was so short. Also heads up, I'm going to send a loooot of pictures today because it's basically been two weeks since I've updated you all!
Okay hi hello HAPPY NEW YEAR! It's 2017! What the?!?! I hope you all had a great New Years. We had to be in our apts by 6 that night, and President Dixon told us to have a night of renewal in preparation for the new year. I LOVE my mission president by the way, he is literally the best. I am so serious. But yeah, we renewed by organizing things in the apt, catching up on journaling, and just making everything fresh for the new year! It was great!
I feel like so much has happened, I don't even know where to begin. I have learned so much in the past two weeks!
On Christmas Eve and Christmas, we were able to visit some less active women who were alone, and I just felt so much love for them. It made me feel bad for indulging in presents for the all the past years of my life rather than going out and loving those in need. Every soul is so precious, and everyone deserves to feel gods love, especially on Christmas! This may have been the most fulfilling Christmas I've had!
Going along with how every soul is so precious (really sad story here, fair warning), a few days before Christmas something really sad happened. There is this woman in the ward named Megan, and she would always text us asking really bizarre questions about the gospel that we wouldn't exactly know how to answer, and usually we would just kind of laugh about it and respond to the best of our ability. Well on the Wednesday before Christmas, she texted us a strange question and we thought nothing of it. We later found out that she committed suicide that night. I was so shocked when the bishop told us and I felt so horrible. She was someone who really needed help, and here we were, disregarding her questions and not recognizing her needs. I had only interacted with her one time, but it still is so sad. After that, sister Peterson and I made a goal: rather than treating life like it's your last day, treat people like it's their last day. What if she had had faithful visiting teachers? Or if someone had just smiled at her that day and expressed their love? We never know the difference we can make, so just make sure that you always let your light shine and share it with others and SMILE, because there are so many precious and lost souls out there that need YOU!
On a happier note, I just remembered we had multi zone conference a couple weeks ago and it was amazing!!! I love my mission! And my mission president and his wife! Also, I got to see sister Gunter and elder Wiest from the MTC! Woo!
Another cool thing: Before Sister Peterson's mission, she had to delay her papers about three months because of "health problems" that the doctors couldn't seem to figure out. It's crazy, because by the end of this transfer, three months will be how long we have been companions! And then the next transfer she goes home! I just know our companionship was so inspired, and everything happens for a reason. I always wonder why I didn't get called Spanish speaking, but I am so glad I didn't because otherwise sister Peterson and I wouldn't have been companions! God always has a plan!
With this new year, I've been thinking a lot about 2017 and how I'm going to be on a mission for this WHOLE year! And not gonna lie, it's overwhelming to think about. A year seems like a long time when it's only January 2nd! But I was reading in 2nd Nephi 3 the other day and i was able to relate it to me and my mission so much. I decided to replace the word "land" with "Year" in verse 2: "And may the Lord consecrate also unto thee this [year] which is a most precious [year], for thine inheritance and the inheritance of thy seed... for thy security forever"
I know that me being on a mission will not only affect me, but my future children and family as well for years and years to come, and I am so excited to give this year to the Lord! It's going to be such a good one, I know it!
I'm so grateful for this new year and for a fresh start, and I'm so grateful for the Savior. he's the one that makes a fresh start possible, not only every year, but every single day! Because of him we can have endless fresh starts! He LIVES!
This email was kinda long, so congrats if you made it this far! Haha. Just know I love you all so much, and Heavenly Father loves you SO so much! Never forget it!
Sister Carina Brown
California Redlands Mission
I might not even explain all these haha. Here they are!