Hellloooooooooooooo!!! I literally sat here for like three whole minutes trying to figure out a subject line and I couldn't come up with one. Maybe I will receive some inspiration on that by the time I'm done writing this email. ***note: I have now finished writing the email and nothing came to mind so I just wrote the word "love" four times. #creativity)
It has been a goooood week. It started off kinda slow, but by the end it was just ROCKIN. I met Elder Dallin H. Oaks of the QUORUM OF THE TWELVE APOSTLES. WOOOO missionary life!!!
But before I get to that, here's a quick embarrassing/funny story:
We were having dinner with a member named Sister Gunderson last week, and I asked to use her restroom. I had to GO. So, I'm in the bathroom, and there is this nice big scale on the ground, and I'm like, "yeah let's see how much weight I've gained woo" (haha) (missionary probs) (I haven't gained THAT much weight ok). So I go ahead and stand on the scale, see my weight, cry a little (just kidding), and then it starts READING MY WEIGHT OUT LOUD. And there was NOT a lot of talking out in the dining room at the time okay, so it was heard. So I'm standing in the bathroom, hesitating leaving because I have to shamefully walk out knowing 1. She knows I used her fancy talking scale, and 2. They heard my weight. *Side note: I really don't care that they know how much I weigh, it was just a funny situation altogether.* So! I shamefully walk out of the bathroom, hoping maybe they didn't hear anything, and I go sit down at the table, and then the scale CONTINUES TALKING about my weight and talks about how it is recording it for future reference. Perfect. And I'm like welp. There it is. Of course I laughed it off and I was like, "sorrryyyyyyy I used your scale" etc (which totally wasn't even awkward, proud of myself there), and Sister Gunderson says, "yeah that's a scale that the doctor gave me. It records my weight so he can keep track and help me with controlling it. He's going to think I lost a lot of weight!" Hahahahaha. Oh my goodness. She was okay with it and it turned out to be fine, I just thought it was really funny. Luckily it was only her and Sister Jamsa there and not a whole family or something.
I met an APOSTLE this weekend! Wow! Elder Oaks is the coolest, he really is. Who knew he was a real human? He shook alllll the missionaries hands, as well as Elder Miskin and Elder Gong from the seventy! What a spiritual treat! They spoke to all of us missionaries on Saturday which was AMAZING, and Elder Oaks also came to FONTANA for a special stake Conference yesterday! He could have gone to 20 other stakes around here and he came to Fontana. So cool. Stake Conference was just so happy, one of those "I couldn't stop smiling I love being a missionary" times. One thing I like that Elder Oaks said to us missionaries: "I'm just an ordinary Latter Day Saint with an extraordinary mantle and responsibility." And he really seemed like an ordinary man! He was so nice and also so funny. I love that the apostles have a sense of humor. But yeah, it was so good. One thing he emphasized: just like we pray before meals (before we are physically fed), we need to pray before we are spiritually fed as well! So before we study the scriptures. The Book of Mormon was written under the influence of the Holy Ghost, which means it can only be understood under the influence of the Holy Ghost. And we invite the Spirit by praying! I thought that was cool that he emphasized that.
One story we heard this week when we were having dinner with the Diaz family: Brother Diaz was talking to his friend at work who is currently taking lessons from the missionaries. We will call his friend Sarah. Apparently Sarah approached him and said, "if this really is Christ's restored gospel, and if this really is what is going to bring true happiness, why hasn't anyone shared it with me? I've worked with Mormons all my life and none of them have ever shared this with me. If they are so happy, why don't they share that with others?" BOOM. I heard that story and I was like, WHOA. So true! Why don't we?? And it's because we forget! We forget how good we have it as members of Christ's true church, and how happy it makes us! But it is SO important to share it with others! We are basically carrying around loads and loads of treasure, and when we don't share it we are selfishly keeping it all to ourselves! I mean this is the REASON we are here on earth, to make it back to our Heavenly Father, and we as members know how to make that happen! I invite each of you to reach out to someone, anyone, this week and share the message of the restored gospel with them. Quote: Clayton M. Christensen, who has impressive experience as a member missionary, states that “over the past twenty years, we have observed no correlation between the depth of a relationship and the probability that a person will be interested in learning about the gospel.” You don't have to know these people personally! It can be anyone! And pray for the courage to act on promptings you receive, because it absolutely can be scary. But I know you can all do it!
Also, we saw LORI this week (the one who we felt was breaking up with us a while ago), and she is back on board for getting baptized!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! I am seriously so excited. She is the coolest most hilarious human being and I just can't wait for her to become a member. She is going to do great things! I am seriously so excited! I will keep you updated on her!
Well I hope you all have a happy Valentine's Day. I keep forgetting that holidays are a thing! Haha. I really love you all. Let me know if there is anything I can do for any of you! You are constantly in my prayers!
Ohhhh by the way, Christ lives, and he loves all of us, and he knows everything that we have ever or will ever go through, and he wants to help us! Let him in! I know miracles will happen when you do!
LOVE YOU!!!!!!! ️️️️️️️️️
Sister Carina Brown
California Redlands Mission
Lots of photos of my beautiful mission, as well as sister jamsa finding out that I'm weird, as well as our weird outfits when we study because we still have to wear skirts but we want to be warm, as well as valentines gifts from Lori, and a whole mission pic with Elder Oaks! (Do NOT try to find me in that, I look pretty terrible)
Love you all