Friday, July 28, 2017

happy PIEoneer day


Literally there is no reason for me putting the word "pie" in the subject line besides the fact that I really like pie

and also its pioneer day

WOOOOOO WHAT A GREAT DAY YES??? The pioneers were some solid and truly faithful saints. I mean do you even REALIZE what they went through?? Lets all just take a moment to ponder and reflect in gratitude for our pioneer ancestors. 

Also since its pioneer day today, the Dixons had the whole zone over for a zone activity and we watched the movie Ephraims Rescue! It was good! It made me cry. Mormon movies are so great. Also it was weird to just sit and watch a movie, its been a while since i've done that! But it was really nice because their couches were comfyyyyyyy. 


- Laurence Gonzaga, the asian guy in our peace video, is currently being taught by some elders in our zone and he is PROGRESSING!!!! Isn't that so cool??? The peace video paid off! He will probably get baptized, its only a matter of time. 

- we are teaching a man named Kevin, and he is just the greatest. He is this sweet 60 yr old man and he is on date for August 12thOn Saturday we taught him the Word of Wisdom at the Dixons home with the Dixons present, and it was a POWERFUL lesson. The spirit was strong. Kevin struggles with smoking, we it was a crucial lesson, but it went really well. We will be following up with him tonight to see how he is doing. 

- I don't know if I've talked about her yet, but we are teaching this woman named Linda (we have been teaching her for a while, basically since i got to this area) and she was progressing really slowly and we weren't sure if we should drop her or not. We brought up baptism multiple times and she just wasn't feelin it. So we told the Lord, if she doesn't come to church on sunday then we are going to drop her! But guess what, SHE CAME TO CHURCH! Not only that, the talks were on ordinances and covenants, and apparently she told Sister Hull, a good friend of hers in our ward, that she feels like she needs to be BAPTIZED in the next month!!! WOW! Miracles!!! So we are not going to drop her of course. It was just a really neat answer to a prayer, and we are just so excited for Linda. 

- ALSO OMG this week we were helping this 90 yr old woman in our ward named Terry Brown (LOVE HER SO MUCH WOW) weed her garden (well, we were doing the weeding and she was sitting down, because ahem 90 yrs old), and all of a sudden she said she was in a lot of pain. So we help her walk slowly back to her bedroom so she could lie down, and she really couldn't even walk. We stayed with her and called a bunch of people to help, and finally a member in the ward named Sister Wallender came to help, who is good friends with Sister Brown. We all eventually came to the conclusion that she needed to go to the hospital, so another woman that came called the ambulance and the paramedics came within five minutes, sirens and all. It was crazy! Sister Brown is doing better now, but I have never been in a situation like that so it was a little shocking! Everything is good now though. 

I heard a saying this past week: "People can't drive you crazy if you don't give them the keys." I love it. Doesn't that just make sense?? I feel like a lot of times, as humans, we allow others to be in control of our lives when we really need to focus on the things that WE can control, and focus on the things in our own circle of influence. We really never have to be stressed, frustrated, or angry if our foundation is on Jesus Christ. Helaman 5:12. I know I find myself getting frustrated with people at times, but I just have to remind myself that I have the keys, so no one can "drive" me crazy as long as that is the case. Maybe it would be a good idea to give Christ the keys and let him drive us where he will. #epiphany. I invite you all to strive to focus on the Savior more this week, and seek to build your foundation on HIM. Lets be champions for Christ! 

Well thats it for now (whoa was this a long email or what), we have an exciting week this week with zone conference on wednesday and exchanges with the Highland sisters on friday! Yay missions! Love it! Have a great week yall! <-- i am now a country girl?? idk

LOVE YOU!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Love, Sister Brown

ps keep reading the Book of Mormon every day ok love you all 

Blair's wedding invite lookin so good 

This is carol we love her 

Woo relief society activity! This is Sister Beall (left) and Sister simpson! They are my faves 

Us and Sister Dixon (we drew on plates, cool right)

We went to a reception (our ward mission leaders son) and scooped ice cream for people 

At the Dixons for a Zone activity

Tie for my dad

Sunday, July 23, 2017

happenings in Redlands


First things first:
Shoutout to my MOM whose BIRTHDAY was last week on July 13th!!! Happy b-day mom, youda best. really though, literally wouldn't be here without you. 

Its been another great week! We have a looooooot to do now that the elders are gone. We took over all their people and are now teaching a lot more which is really nice! Things are going really well and Sister Vest and are having a lot of fun. Lately we have been focusing on having open and honest communication with each other so we can always be united and resolve problems right when they come up. If I've learned anything on my mission, its the importance of proper communication. It makes our companionship so much better when things are just out in the open so we can know how to help each other! Things are going great. 

Heyyyy guess what! I had a hard time yesterday! I feel like I never talk about the hard times, mostly because I just love the mission and there are just so many good things that happen that the hard times seem so small and insignificant in perspective. But yesterday I was feeling somewhat overwhelmed because I felt that I wasn't being trusted as a missionary by certain ward leaders, and that led to me thinking that maybe Sister Vest didn't trust me as her trainer either, so I just felt a little overwhelmed and sad. But it only lasted for a short time. Sometimes you just have to have a good cry, you know? And that's not the mission, that's just life. We all cry, in all walks of life. Life is hard, not the gospel. 

Anyway, last week on p-day we played LASER TAG with the other sister missionaries in yucaipa!!! We got creamed by some kids we were playing against. But we had a LOT of fun and got some good pictures out of it, so. Love that. 

Also on Saturday we did service for a recent convert in the ward named Leslie Sewall (have I talked about her at all??) and she is just AMAZING. I have plans to go to the Getty (spelling?) with her after my mission. Its really happening. But yes, we cleared out her backyard with some other members, including the dixons (yay), and it was a lot of fun. Missionary work is all so mental, so its nice to get out and do something physical every once in a while. And wear pants. 

Also funny story: we meet with this girl named Levantia in the ward every Friday, and she has mild autism so she is just so cute and fun to teach. We usually show her some sort of video every time we meet with her, and we have been showing her some of the youth Mormon messages (which, some of them are WAY good! Look up "Choose the Light"). Anyway, we realized that lately all the videos we have been showing her have used outdoor analogies, and so the other day Sister Vest goes: "I'm afraid Levantia thinks we are trying to teach her wilderness survival techniques rather than the gospel...." hahaha it was SO FUNNY because seriously all the videos we have shown her relate to wilderness survival in some sort of way. Not intentional. Whats up with the church and making outdoor survival Mormon messages for youth?? I  actually love it though. Anyways, she is great and that was just really funny. 

Lately I've been thinking a lot about my relationship with my companion and the people around me, and I'm really trying to become more Christlike so that I am a different and better person when I get home from my mission. I came across this quote in my studies this past week, and you can relate it to any relationship that you have with anyone:

Read the following statement by Sister Marjorie P. Hinckley, wife of President Gordon B. Hinckley, about her first year of marriage: “We loved each other; there was no doubt about that, but we also had to get used to each other. I think every couple has to get used to each other. Early on I realized it would be better if we worked harder to get used to each other than constantly try to change each other.” 
That quote just really changed my perspective on relationships! I think I have a problem with trying to change people to fit into a mold that I create, but that's not how it should be. We should love each other for who we are, even if that means we are way different and that we have faults and weaknesses and that we do weird things. Love people anyway! We are all children of God, and we are all different for a REASON. So embrace it! Love it! I invite you each to be a little more loving and tolerant when it comes to your relationships with people this week. I know you will be happier and that people will be able to come closer to Christ through you! 

There you have it folks, relationship advice from Sister Brown. 

Well I hope you all have an amazing week!!! Remember to read the Book of Mormon EVERY SINGLE DAY OK??? LOVE YOU ALL!!!

Sister Carina Brown

We had to take a creative pic with my CRM water bottle that I won for doing our mission health challenge, so that is included here.  

Friday, July 14, 2017

hitting halfway & transferssss


Transfers are this week!!! I had a feeling that I would stay and I was right! Sister Vest and I are here to stay for another transfer! By the end of this transfer, I will have been in this area for six months. Time FLIES.

Speaking of time, I hit my NINE MONTH MARK on Wednesday and i am PANICKING how does time go by so fast, i feel like i just got here??? So weird. I love being on a mission though. LOVE IT. 

This week was the fourth of july!!! :D we ran a family history booth with the APs (mom, one of them is Elder Richter!) and it was AWESOME, I seriously love talking to people about family history lately. Also the guy in charge of the booths said that normally we would have to pay, but he waived the fee for us! Miracle! So we got to have a family history booth for freeeeeee. Will include pics. Later that day we had dinner with the Dixons which was loooovellyyyyyyy. A bunch of other missionaries were there too because a lot of us didn't have dinners with members scheduled. So the Dixon's were all, "if you don't have a dinner, come to our house!" So we all did hahaha. It was so great. Later that night we had a meeting with all the missionaries in the Redlands zone and watched a talk by Elder Bednar that he gave to the MTC  couple weeks ago. Super inspiring. 

Oh yeah, also with transfers this week, the elders in the Smiley ward are getting taken out! So basically we are taking over all of their investigators and everyone they are working with. Its going to be an adventure! We are going to be the only missionaries in the Smiley ward for at least a transfer! Crazy! 

Okay what else happened........... we helped Sister Dixon make enchiladas one day. So that was way cool. She needed help, so we helped. 

Ummmmmm we got in contact with Neil and Kim (have i EVEN mentioned them?? probably not, oh no, i don't even talk about our investigators sorry y'all i'll be better)

Neil and Kim are basically this suuuuuper prepared couple that we met through street contacting. They are both retired (i think?) and they loooove the Mormon values and are actually planning on moving to utah in a couple years because they love the values so much. So yeah, they are GREAT. They recently had some family members pass away so its been hard to get in contact with them, but we saw them twice in the past few days and Kim said she was reading the BOM!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! YAY!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! They'll be baptized for sure, its only a matter of time. 

I came across a scripture this week in Matthew 10:8 which is when the Savior says, "freely ye have received, freely give". And i LOVE that, its just so true! We have all freely received the glorious gift of the gospel, and we need to freely give it to everyone who doesn't have it. I invite you all to keep that in mind this week as you come in contact with different people. FREELY GIVE! The Gospel of Jesus Christ has been restored!

send me pics of your lives
read the BOM every single day
be good

Ok love you all so MUCH!!! Have a great week!!! 

Sister Carina Brown

The beer booth was ironically right next to us hahaha


Blair's getting married it's fine I'm fine but ISN'T SHE GORGEOUS EVERYONE 😭😭😭😭😭

Wednesday, July 5, 2017

my one and only fourth


Wooooooo happy 4th of july tomorrow!!! I only get ONE fourth of july on my mission, so I plan on making it amazing and talking to a lot of people. Luckily Redlands goes all out for this holiday (parade, festival, fireworks in the U of R stadium, etc) so there will be no shortage of excitement. I can't wait!!!

Its been a great week!!! So much has happened! 

My favorite thing that happened this week is that WE GOT TO GO TO THE TEMPLE WITH LAURA!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! And Tonga, her husband who baptized her. She made it to the temple!!! It was AMAZING. And it was also great because WE GOT TO PARTICIPATE in baptisms for the dead!!! It recently became a thing a couple months ago for missionaries to be able to participate in those, so we are pretty lucky! What a blessing! We even found some family names to take. So cool. Highly recommended. 10/10. 

Also this week, my love for family history grew exponentially. We do service sometimes for this place called Linda Valley Villa (in Loma Linda) (a retirement home) (basically the coolest retirement home ever btw), and this past week we got to help some of the elderly people there get started on family history! We set up accounts for them on, and helped them put in their family info. 

I was helping this 90 yr old lady named Alison Hayashi (originally from Japan, later moved to Hawaii), and we put in some of her information and FamilySearch found her dad! Which was so cool, all of his info was already in there. So we are looking at his info and it shows his wife's information too, Alison's mom. So we click on her and there was actually a PICTURE of her mom that someone else (she had no idea who) had put there. The thing is, Alison's mom died around 30 years ago, and before that, she lived in Japan so she didn't see her mom much. So basically at this point in time, Alison hadn't seen her mom (or pictures of her mom) for AT LEAST 30 years! A long time. So I click on the picture and ask her, "Is that your mom?" So she looks closer, squints at the computer screen and then her face lit up. "That's her! That's my mother!" And she put her hand over her mouth because she was so surprised, and she got emotional. I was feeling the spirit so strongly in that moment that I got a little teary-eyed too! I'm even getting emotional now just thinking about it. She said, "why is that in there? who put that there?" And all I could say was that I didn't know, but I was just so happy that she was able to see her mom and find her family on there! She said all her family has passed away except her. 


Anyways, the point is, families are where its AT. They are central to God's plan. We feel connected to our families when we learn about them through family history, and it just makes everything so much more real. I was so grateful that God allowed me to experience that tender moment with Alison! It was really so special. 

We have been struggling with finding people to teach in our area lately, and it has been hard for Sister Vest especially. We are just doing our best to work hard and to be patient, we know that the Lord is preparing people in this area, we just need to find them! 

This week I was reading from a talk called "The War Goes On", an article in the Ensign (which btw, SO GOOD, highly recommend, again 10/10, read it ok), and it talked all about the ways that Satan gets to us. One thing I have been working on lately is only saying positive things about words and situations, because I don't want any negativity flowing out of this human being right here. So this talk just validated what I was working on, JUST READ WHAT IS SAID HERE: 

"Another significant limitation is that Satan does not know our thoughts unless we tell him. The Lord explained, “There is none else save God that knowest thy thoughts and the intents of thy heart” (D&C 6:16). Perhaps this is why the Lord has given us commandments such as “Do not murmur” (D&C 9:6) and “Thou shalt not speak evil of thy neighbor” (D&C 42:27). If you can learn to bridle your tongue (see James 1:26), you won’t end up giving too much information to the devil. When he hears murmuring, complaining, and criticizing, he takes careful notes. Your negative words expose your weaknesses to the enemy."
[btw idk why the spacing is weird now in this email but i'm just rollin with it] Ohhhhhh isn't that interesting??? The devil can't know our thoughts, but once we say negative things out loud then he can have power over us!  But seriously doesn't that make sense?! I just thought that was the neatest insight. I invite you each to try a little harder this week to say positive things about people and situations, no matter what circumstances you are put in. I know that you will be filled with the spirit of God as you do so, and you will feel greater joy and gratitude for the world around you! 
Ok well gotta go, i hope you all have an AMAZING fourth of july, I probably should have shared something about how great America is and how it is such a blessing that we have religious freedom here, and how that foundation was set hundreds of years ago for us so that the Gospel of Jesus Christ could be restored. Well, I guess I just shared something about it, so there ya go. 
We are having a BBQ at the Dixon's tomorrow for dinner (#smileywardperks), and we will also be at the parade talking to people and at the festival making ourselves known. I am so STOKED. 
Ok love you alllllllllllllllllllllll MWAH
-Sister Carina Brown

BTW we played volleyball with the sisters and sister Beall today and it was SO FUN I haven't played volleyball since the MTC so I was craving it fo sho. Also here are pics of exchanges with sister whitehead (who is HILARIOUS love her), also last week we played pool at the Dixons, and also pics of the temple and other things. Enjoy.