Tuesday, March 28, 2017

Big Dreams & Flat Tires

HEYYYYYYYYYYY HIIIIIIIIIIIIIII who's ready for the longest mass email ever? Haha. Commit to reading it. It's a good one.

I have no idea why I start all of my emails in all caps. I think I just get way excited to talk to you all and I'm like HEY WHATS UP STILL HERE and ON A MISSION WOO

Wow, what a WEEK!!! It's been really great. There are some exciting new developments happening here Smiley, and it's awesome. Where to begin??

Okay, so first of all, the Easter Initiative is happening soon and I am SO EXCITED. The theme is #PrinceOfPeace and it's just perfect because this world is so crazy right now. That being said, we had dinner with a member named Sister Bowman the other day and together we cultivated this new IDEA to make the most of this initiative. And the idea is all coming together so perfectly so there is no way it's not meant to be! I'll explain what happened with specific events relating to the idea on a day-by-day timeline:

5pm: Dinner with Sister Bowman at Sizzler. She was asking us what we did before our missions and I mentioned that I studied film production and Sister Marstella talked about how she studied graphic design. Sister Bowman then starts talking about how we can implement our interests into missionary work and also use technology as well. We also told her about our idea of having some sort of booth at market night and that idea got swept up in this new idea.

The idea is this: we want to film people (ALL sorts of people. Members, non members, etc) on the street (or at MARKET NIGHT WOO) and ask them something like, "what does peace mean to you?" The goal here is to really build on common ground and unite everyone by talking about peace. Everyone can relate to peace! After we film them, we would tell them that this video will be shown at a future time on some specific date for a certain event (held at the church, something like a fireside) or it will also be shown AT market night (is this all making sense?) so that the people being filmed can come back and see themselves in the video! Then providing a missionary opportunity for us, considering we will either get a lot of traffic at the booth at market night where the video will be shown, or we will see a lot of people at the event where the video would also be shown (because who wouldn't want to see themselves in a cool video?).

Some initial complications that we needed to figure out were: who will film/edit this video? Do we need waivers to film random people? Will the Dixons be on board with this idea? How do we get a booth at market night? And more. So we started to figure it out.

6pm: we went to market night again to scope it out. We talked to the market night people to find out more info.

8pm: Missionary Coordination Meeting with the Adlings (ward mission leader and wife). We tell our idea to the Adlings and they love it, and sister Adling says her son knows a 17 yr old member who owns his own production company and has a drone and all this awesome camera equipment. Perfect! Like is this not meant to be???

2pm: Meeting with the Dixons at the mission home.(mission president and wife) (because they are in our ward and we can do that) (Smiley Ward perks) So we meet with the Dixons and pitch this idea to them, and they LOVE it. They are 100% behind us. They gave us the name and number of a woman named Judy Cannon, who is the public affairs representative for the stake, and tell us do what you need to do, you have our permission, talk to Sister Cannon, etc. She attends an interfaith council every month too, which means there are a bunch of people there we could interview for the peace video! Connections.

3pm: leave the Dixons home. Sister Marstella goes over the curb. The tire rips without us knowing. All of a sudden we are driving and the tire pressure is declining FAST, so we get to the house of our next lesson and come to find that our tire is completely flat. Cool. Hahaha.

4pm to 6pm: pep boys.

1pm: Meeting with Judy Cannon at her bougie house. We meet with Judy Cannon and she loves the idea too. She said she would be able to talk to the other members of the interfaith council to see if they would be willing to be interviewed. She also told us she would find out about the waivers. Woo!

6:30pm: Meeting with Seth Hendrickson (17 year old kid with his own production company) at the Adlings home. We tell him our idea and he says he would be willing to do it! For freeee! He has tons of great camera equipment and is willing to edit it too. (Kailee he has a super nice black magic cinema camera that is huge and weighs a lot)

So! It's all coming together! We kinda felt like business women all week haha. Luckily we are mostly just delegating so this won't take away from our proselyting time! Right now we are just waiting to hear back about the waivers from Sister Cannon. But we are SO EXCITED FOR THIS. I'm sure that everything I just explained probably made little to no sense to all of you, but if it did then that's great! I love the initiatives that the church comes out with! So cool!

Also I am SO EXCITED FOR GENERAL CONFERENCE ON A MISSION. I've been excited since like, December. The other day I was reading Mosiah chapter 2 and it was so cool, because they even had General Conference in the Book of Mormon! I invite you each to read that chapter with a lens of seeking to prepare for general Conference, and prayerfully consider what you need to do to receive a spiritual FEAST this weekend! I am so stoked.

Okay I gotta go, just know I know that the gospel of Jesus Christ has been RESTORED! And it is seriously the best thing!!!


PS. Shoutout to my cousins who I would LOVE to hear from anytime!!! (I'm looking at you Shayden) ❤️❤️❤️❤️❤️❤️

Sister Carina Brown

Sleepover with the mountain view sisters (one time thing)

Sunday, March 26, 2017

Not Even a Sacrifice

Do you know how hard it is to come up with a good subject line these days??? It's like an instagram caption, geez. I thought I was getting away from that, but no. (Missionary probs??) Anyways.


Okay hi where to begin?! I feel like I always say that. I can never remember what happens each week. But it has been a GREAT week! My goodness it's been great. Being a missionary is such a delight. I'm still getting to know the area and the members, but everything is going well and I am just loving Redlands.

We had dinner with a member named Sister Beall the other night and she is just the COOLEST. Her house is the cutest beachiest house, she has great taste. She is like 60 years old, but it seems like she is way younger! When she was younger she was on the BYU basketball and volleyball team, and she skateboarded, and she taught herself how to surf and still has a surfboard! I told her I'm coming back to visit her after my mission so she can teach me how to surf. Stoked for that. She is so cool. I feel like I have met so many cool people as a missionary!

ALSO we went to Crestline today (near Lake Arrowhead, you know the arrowhead water bottles?? That's in my mission. Supah cool) for our once-a-transfer excursion, and Sister Beall and Sister Simpson took us! It was SO FUN. It is up in the mountains and it was just so gorgeous I couldn't even handle it. I couldn't even believe I was still in California! That's what I love my mission, because it is so geologically diverse. We have the mountains, the desert, and adorable palm tree towns like Redlands. So cool.

I've really been trying to eat healthier lately because I'm realizing that what I eat not only affects me but also my future children. Processed foods cause things like ADD and cancer and all this stuff. I need to be more aware of what I'm putting in my body! Healthy eating, here we go!

Ohhhh also there is this thing in Redlands every Thursday night called Market Night, and it's like a street market where there are vendors selling produce, jewelry, clothes, stuff, etc., and it was SO FUN. There were so many people to talk to and we handed out tons of pass along cards! It was so much fun! We are hoping to set up a booth there one of these weeks. Like a Just Serve or Family History booth or something. Really cool vibes there. I just love events with a lot of people, so it was such a fun finding activity.

Something cool I realized this week is how much of a blessing it is to be on a mission. Everyone says that it's such a big sacrifice, but if you think about it, it's really not. Not even a little. I'm giving only 1.5 years of my life to the Lord, and in return, he gives me a LIFETIME of knowledge, experiences, friendships, and enduring conversion. It's not a sacrifice when we get back way more than we give. It's kind of like saying, "Here, I'll give you $10 right now if you don't go on a mission, but if you do go on a mission, I'll give you $100 every week for forever." Of course I'm going to choose the latter! It's not even a sacrifice to give up the $10! And thats how the Lord works! He is just so merciful and so ready to bless us if we let him. God just love us soooo much, everything he asks us to do is out of love. I invite you each to think of one thing you can do better on this week to allow Gods blessings in your life. I know you will be so much happier if you do!

Man. This gospel is the best. Isn't it?! I mean it's the reason we're all here on the earth, and we have the truth. How crazy is that?! It's the WHOLE reason we are here! And we know that! Let's go tell all our lost brothers and sisters! Who's pumped?? WOOOOO YEEESSSSSS


Sister Carina Brown

Pictures of Redlands, and Market night, and Crestline, and hiking to
Heart Rock in Crestline. So fun!!!!!!

Sunday, March 19, 2017

Welcome to Cali

Ohhhh myyyyy goooodnesssssss HIIIIIIIIIIIIII IM IN REDLANDS NOW Ok ok ok where do I begin???

Let me start out by saying that I feel like I'm on vacation. I don't feel like I'm on a mission! Here's why:
- there are wayyyyy more palm trees here and green hills and it just feels a lot more like California.
- our apt is pretty nice and it kinda feels like I'm staying at a hotel.
- also our apt complex is called Redlands Lawn and Tennis. Doesn't that just sound bougie?? (I'm going to be using the word bougie a lot in this email) (idk if I'm spelling it right, but for the context of this email: bougie = fancy, rich, nice, expensive, etc) (pronounced: boo-schee) anyways, it's really nice. We each have our own bathroom.We are spoiled little missionaries.
- we drive a 2017 Chevy Malibu. TWENTY SEVENTEEN. And it feels and smells like a rental car, which also explains the vacation vibes. Bougiest of the bouuuuge.
- a lot of the houses here are east-coast-victorian-style houses and they are way cool. So it feels  different. Feels like caliiiiiiiii.
- also for transfers, we all go to the mission office and switch cars and luggage and companions etc, and it felt like I was at the airport or something. Again, vacation vibes.

Anyways! I am loving Redlands! It is soooo beautiful here, and much different than Fontana. The Smiley Ward is great! Being in the mission presidents Ward is going to be an adjustment, but an AWESOME adjustment because the Dixons are just the best ever in the whole world I love them so so much. All the members in the ward are suuuuper missionary minded which is awesome. Also there are some WAY bougie houses in our area with beautiful views. I'll send pictures. One thing I've noticed is that the people here are not quite as humble as they
are in Fontana, but that's fine.

We had a baptism on Saturday for a woman named Kawanna and her five kids. So SIX baptisms! The elders were teaching her so it wasn't our baptism, but we got to teach the Restoration and show the new First Vision video while everyone was changing.


Whoa I freaked out way more than I probably should have there, but really the video is so so soooo good. It is called "Ask of God." Watch it!!! It's on lds.org! Watch it on a tv if you can for an amplified experience. It's only six minutes long. I love it!

Also we had an Irish ward activity on Saturday too! I got to meet a lot of the members there which was nice. I love being able to meet so many new people all the time as a missionary! People are so cool. Oh, speaking of people, my new companion is Sister Marstella! She is from kaysville! She graduated the same year as my sister Sidney (diddle, do you know her??). She has been out for 16 months! Crazy! I'm learning a lot from her. We are still getting used to each other but that's how it always is at the beginning of a transfer. Everything is going to be

Oh yeah, saying goodbye to all the people in the Oleander Ward was so sad. I cried. I love that ward! We got to meet with Lori Frietze on Tuesday night right before transfers, and she was sad that I was leaving and got me a forever 21 gift card as a goodbye gift! She is so cool. ALSO GET THIS: her son Denny is apparently a model, and he was leaving the house when we were meeting with Lori, and after he left Lori was like "he's going to Kylie Jenner's birthday party in LA at some expensive lounge." She just said that all casually. And we were like, sorry what?!???? And she said that he has a bunch of connections in LA and goes there all the time. Apparently he was on icarly and also knows Ariana Grande. Whaaaat! Lori thinks he will be rich and famous one day. Crazy.

One thing I realized this week is that The Gospel of Jesus Christ really is what brings true, lasting joy. We have been focusing on the GOJC as a mission lately, and I have just felt so so JOYFUL lately! So happy. Sometimes I wish I could smile bigger because my smile size can't contain how happy I am. Being in a new area with a new companion can be hard, but I can still feel joyful as I stay grounded in Christ! The gospel of Jesus Christ WORKS! Try it!

I am just loving Redlands. We are going to some unique thrift shops today downtown which will be fun. We also went on a beautiful hike this morning. I will finish emailing people back in a couple hours because I am breaking up my emailing time today. I LOVE YOU ALL SO SO MUCH!

Sister Carina Brown

Sunday, March 12, 2017

Transfers and Jamaal Williams

How's it going? Can you believe it's MARCH?! 

Well, TRANSFERS are this week!!! We usually get an email on Sunday night saying where we are going, and I was sooooo anxious yesterday because I just wanted to know! It's kind of like when you audition/apply for something and you just want to know if you made it or not. And I knew I was leaving (I just felt it) I just didn't know where, so I was just so anxious to find out. 

Drum roll please! I'm going to......

REDLANDS!!!!!! Ahhhhh I am so STOKED!!!! Everyone who has served in Redlands has said that they love it, so I am just so excited. I will be serving in the Smiley Ward. Yeah, that's literally the name of the ward! Haha. 

Fun facts about the Smiley Ward: 
- that's where Sister Jamsa just came from!!! I have heard nothing but good things about it from her. 
- it's where the Dixons (mission president and his wife) are living, so I will be in their ward! 
- it's in REDLANDS! WOO! I already mentioned that, but it's fine. I'm excited. 
- I will be serving there with Sister Marstella (sister Jamsa's last companion haha) who I've met once a couple months ago on an exchange, and she is from KAYSVILLE! What a small world. The smallest of worlds. So cool. She is such a sweetheart, it will be great serving with her. 
- I hear the members are AWESOME and there's not a day that we won't be fed. I'm gonna gain weight. 😭😭😭 here we go. 

I am so excited. I am so sad to leave the Oleander Ward and Sister Jamsa, I seriously love it here, but I am excited to have new experiences! It's gonna be so great! 

Anyways, other news of this past week ummmmmm gosh I'm so bad at remembering little things and telling you all about the people we are working with and the things we do from day to day. I usually only talk about the highlights soooo sorry about that haha. 

Ohhhh on Saturday we tried going to the Swap Meet as a finding activity, but it turned out to be unsuccessful and unproductive because everyone spoke Spanish so there wasn't much we could do. So we left, a little bit discouraged, and went to go see a referral that we've been trying to get in contact with. It was SO cool, because there was a party going on at his house at the time with TONS of people there! All non members. We met so many nice people. They were so eager to feed us, they gave us each HUGE plates of food. And they were SO FUNNY. Seriously, HILARIOUS. So fun to talk to. I just love when people are funny. The ones we mainly talked to were named Jerome and his cousin Monica. And, cool story, Jerome happened to be Jamaal Williams' (used to be the running back for the BYU football team I believe) high school football coach! Jamaal Williams grew up in FONTANA!!! What the heck?! So random and cool! We got a picture with everyone, and Jerome even air-dropped us a picture that he took of Jamaal a few months ago. So cool! 
Anyways, they were all so nice and really appreciate what we do as missionaries. They brought out like six teenage girls in front of us and told them, "stand here, these girls are going to teach you about Jesus". Hahaha it was awesome! A few of them seemed really prepared! It was just cool to have such an amazing experience after feeling a little discouraged. God is so aware of us! 

I came across an amazing quote in PMG the other day that I'm sure many of you have heard: “There is neither man or woman in this Church who is not on a mission. That mission will last as long as they live, and it is to do good, to promote righteousness, to teach the principles of truth, and to prevail upon themselves and everybody around them to live those principles that they may obtain eternal life” 
We are all on missions!!! How cool is that?! I will be a missionary my whole life! What an amazing thing! If you have a knowledge of the truth, you have a great responsibility to share it with others. I invite you each to think of one way you can reach out and share the gospel with someone this week. You can do it! God is on your side! How cool is it that we are alive in this dispensation, when the gospel will never leave the earth?! Were all here until the glorious finish when Christ comes again. Let's prepare the earth for his coming! Allllrrriiiiight! WOO! 

I can't wait to share my experiences with you all next week of transferring to Redlands! It's gonna be great! LOVE YOU ALLLLLLLL 👊✌🍿🍿🍿🍿🍿

Sister Carina Brown 
California Redlands Mission 

Trio exchange with sister Hess!

Ramone from scripture study class. He's awesome. I think he's a third Nephite.

Scripture study class selfie

Face timing sister kagle and reading the BOM


Picture of Jamaal Williams (on the left) from Jerome (taken a few months ago)

Jerome and familia