Tuesday, August 22, 2017

I'M GOING TO THE DESERT

HELLO!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! 

YUP YOU HEARD ME. I'M GETTING TRANSFERRED TO THE DESERT! aaaaaaaaahhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh

Okay so I'm actually really excited. I always wanted to say that I'm getting transferred to the desert and now here we are. 

Details:
I am going to the Yucca Valley zone, to serve in the Onaga Trail ward. My new companion will be Sister Blalock! I have been on exchanges with her once before (maybe you remember? idk) in Fontana, but that was about 8 months ago so it will be cool to see how we both have grown! She is a fun one. This upcoming transfer will be her last one, so I will be sending her home! Sister Vest will be staying in Smiley to take over the area and her new companion will be Sister Trussell (dont know her). 

IM GOING TO THE DESERT WHAT 

Its basically going to be the opposite of Redlands. But! I have heard a lot of great things about the Onaga Trail ward. Its going to be a new experience for sure, and Im looking forward to experiencing a different part of the mission. 

HOWEVER

I am soooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooo sad to leave Sister Vest and the Smiley Ward. I LOVE THIS WARD. And Sister Vest. I can't express that enough. The members here are just PHENOMENAL and I have so much love for all of them. There have already been quite a few tears and I doubt that they will stop in the next few days. Goodbyes are HARD! I just don't want to leave! I will for sure be coming back to visit everyone here after my mission, after all its only 9-10 hours away! :D #perksofservinginthestates #arehashtagsstillathing

People have been soooo nice about my birthday coming up too. The Kuaea's (FAVE PEOPLE EVER) had us over for dinner last week and they bought me a birthday pie and sang to me and everything! Amazing. It was so thoughtful. Also today, the Lugonia hermanas and the Yucaipa sisters (so 6 sisters total) surprised me this morning by all walking into our apt singing happy birthday to me! Soooo sweeeeeet. I love them all so much. They also collectively bought AN ENTIRE COFFEE CAKE FROM CAROLYNS CAFE (best coffee cake in the world) and we all had a cute little bday brunch together, it was so fun. Also Sister Vest made me a little birthday banner which is SO CUTE. She is so sweet. I will send pictures of it all. 

btw i have about one million pictures & videos to send today so just be prepared.

OH ALSO LINDA GOT BAPTIZED ON SATURDAY!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Everything went so well and the spirit was there in abundance. Yay for Linda. Sister Vest and I sang for the musical number (acapella) a mashup of "Baptism" and "When I am Baptized" which was fun. Sister Dixon sneakily took a video so I will send that for sure. 

Ohhhhh on friday 
ok preface first: every summer, Redlands has this thing called the "Redlands Bowl" which is a free organization thing where they have performers come from all over and people can just come watch! For freeeeeee. I'm sure you can google it if you want more info. So a few weeks ago they did Tarzan the musical, and this past friday it was Cinderella the ballet. 

So! We have members that live right down the street from the bowl, so we decided to set up a "free lemonade and family history" stand/booth thing so that we could talk to people on their way to the bowl! it was SO FUN. I love doing things like that! And it was really successful too! The kids were attracted to the free lemonade, and the parents seemed to be really interested in family history. Will send pics. FAMILY HISTORY HAS DONE IT AGAIN. so fun. 

ATTENTION, NEW DEVELOPMENT:
we are getting SMART PHONES in our mission soon!!! :O  and the missionaries are going to start coming out with smart phones instead of ipads in the future. Crazyyyy right?? Also, we are soon going to become an "online proselyting mission" whatever that means. The Dixons were telling us about these things when we had dinner with them last week. Thats all I know so thats all I will say on that subject for now. EXCITING. 

I saw the eclipse today, 10/10 would recommend, way cool

Thiiiissss is the longest email ever but also, this past weekend we put Stacy Halloway on date for baptism! Not sure if i have mentioned her before, but we have been working with her for a whiiiile. She knows its all true but has some health problems (she is bed-ridden like 90% of the time) which prevents her from progressing. But we had a lesson with her and I promised her, as a representative of Jesus Christ, that if she had the faith to set a baptism date, then God would allow her strength to come back so that she could be baptized at the end of september. Its exciting to be able to promise blessings, and Stacy seemed excited to work towards that date. We will see what happens! 

Some of you may know, it is President Monson's birthday today! In honor of that, lds.org posted an article about his 90 years of service in the church, and a birthday wish that he had about ten years ago: "When asked to describe his ideal birthday gift in 2008, President Monson said: 'Do something for someone else on that day to make his or her life better. Find someone who is having a hard time or is ill or lonely and do something for them. Thats all I would ask.'" I love our prophet. I love how pure his motives are, and how much love he has for all of us members of the church, and for how faithfully he has served for so many years. 

Since my birthday is coming up this Thursday, August 24th, (im about to be 23 yall!), I would like to ask for the same thing as President Monson. Like he said, FIND SOMEONE (that means seek it out! don't wait for the opportunity to present itself, go find the opportunity) who is having a hard time and make their life better. Serve them. Turn outwards. That would be sooo wonderful if you all would do that on thursday! And let me know how it goes. Thats what I want for my birthday. And I will strive to do the same. I know that as we turn outwards, we feel joy. There are so many people out there that are just waiting to be blessed by our service, we just need to take the time notice them and seek them out. I know you will all feel happiness and satisfaction when you do your best to serve God's children! Let's change the world! 

Alright, well thats all for now. Get ready for TONS of pictures and videos, seriously. so many. Have fun serving this week. Also good luck to everyone starting school! I LOVE YOU ALL!!! 

mucho amor, 
Sister Carina Brown

xoxo

PS talk to you next week when I'm in the DESERT WOO 































Tuesday, August 15, 2017

Road Trip to the Nudist Colony

Good morrrrrrniiiiiiiiiiiiinggggggggggggggggggg!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! It will probably be afternoon by the time I send this.

Hello. How's it going?? Things are going so well here in Redlands. This is probably my last week here so I am cherishing EVERY MOMENT and EVERY beautiful palm tree. 

Today for p-day we have some funnn things planned! We are taking a self-defense class (taught by a retired law enforcement guy in our ward) with some other sister missionaries, going to Deseret Book (WE HAVE A DESERET BOOK HERE NOW YESSS CAN I GET A YAHOO), and then we are going to the Biberstons with other sister missionaries to sing karaoke and have a BBQ and just have a good time. 

Oh yeah, so the subject line explanation! There is a nudist colony on the OUTSKIRTS of our area, and we got a referral for a man that lives there and wants to come to church (he has come to church in the past, just not our ward). There is no way for us to get there except by going outside the mission (NOT THAT WE WOULD EVER GO TO A NUDIST COLONY ANYWAYS), but we have been working closely with President Dixon to figure out what to do with the situation. Mostly I just thought it would be a funny subject line. Yup, 100% click bait. 

LINDA IS GETTING BAPTIZED THIS SATURDAY WOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO so exciting. She is so ready and things are going well with her! I will definitely send pictures of that next week! 

Okay so TRANSFERS ARE NEXT WEEK. (Sorry I'm using a lot of caps lock in this email, MAYBE I SHOULD JUST LEAVE IT ON FOR THE REST OF THE EMAIL nope changed my mind) anyways, transfers are next week. I know I'm leaving, I just don't know where to or who with. So I could go annnyyywherrrrrrrrrrre which is scary. Dream areas? Probably Crestline (cute little mountain town) or any other area in Redlands. Honestly though I would be just fine with staying in the Smiley ward for the rest of my mission, I wouldn't even be mad. But of course that won't happen. Stay tuned. I will probably be super anxious on sunday when we find out. 

What else has happened this week? Oh! Its funny, sometimes members will ask me about my major/hobbies before my mission and usually the fact that i have a vlog channel will come up in the conversation. So a lot of members have been looking up my vlogs this past week and its just really funny! One girl in the ward, Grace, was like "i watched all your vlogs the other day, so funny" so anyways its just been funny for people to find out about that. One member of the ward has a hilarious son who loves dinosaurs, so i'm going to visit the mission later in life and make a vlog with him in it. I will send a video of his "dinosaur museum tour". 

I was reading a conference talk this past week called "Stay by the Tree" by Elder Pearson of the seventy (April 2015) (10/10 WOULD RECOMMEND) (so good read it ok) and he just talked about the Tree of Life vision in 1 Nephi 8 and chronologically went through talking about how we can apply it in our lives. There was a really great quote from it that said, "If enduring to the end is essential to eternal life, why do we struggle to be faithful? We struggle when we are caught between competing priorities. Casual obedience and lukewarm commitment weaken faith. Enduring to the end requires total commitment to the Savior and to our covenants."

I loooove that quote! Its so important for us to be committed to the Savior and to the covenants that we make with him. Thats the only way to receive eternal life, which is the GREATEST of all the gifts God has to offer. Being happy with our famillies for eternity is desirable above all other things, we just have to remember that, even when it gets hard. Remember that it takes baby steps and we just have to focus on having faith and repenting every day. We can do it! i invite you all to increase your commitment to the Savior this week by eliminating something from your life that is not in harmony with God's will. You will feel more joy, and you will be on the path to eternal life! 

Ok have a great week, sorry i don't have tons of pics this week, but I LOVE YOU ALL SO MUCH!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! 

love, 
Sister Brown







Saturday, August 12, 2017

Blessed with the Vest

H E L L O  E V E R Y O N E

Hows it going??????? Its been another great week!!! 

First of all i just LOVE Sister Vest, she is so funny. For some reason these past few weeks, our senses of humor have aligned and now nothing is not funny. Funny things Sister Vest has said this week:

- after I tell her that we still have to go to ward council even though its fast sunday: "that sounds like a trial"
- after a member took us to cafe rio for dinner and we got super full: "I feel like sister carter" (sister carter is a pregnant woman in our ward due in like a month) 
- after a random member bought us ice cream at baskin robbins:
member: "get anything you want girls ok? anything"
sister vest: *under her breath* "ok im getting an ice cream cake"

hahaha she is sooo funny and we have way too much fun. Our time together is short though, because we had interviews with president this past week and he told me that I am most likely getting transferred out of Smiley. :( :( :( SAD. It was expected, but sad nonetheless. So we will see where I end up in two weeks! Stay tuned! 

OH MY GOODNESS okay so you know Linda?? The one who wants to get baptized (and IS getting baptized on the 19th)!!! So we taught her the word of wisdom this past week which was scarrrryyyyy because she has been drinking coffee for FIFTY YEARS and at the beginning of the lesson she was all, "now girls, i've been drinking coffee for fifty years and im not planning on stopping anytime soon" and we were like oh boyyyyy, but then our member present, Sister Hull, just bore powerful testimony and told Linda she could do it (they are good friends) and so we committed Linda to live the word of wisdom and she said she would try. 

FAST FORWARD TWO DAYS

So we had that lesson on thursday, and then we stopped by on Saturday to see how living the word of wisdom has been going and she goes, "I haven't drank coffee in two days" and we were like YESSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSS GO LINDA GO LINDA U S A  U S A WOOOOOOOOOOOOO isnt that so exciting????? Wow. Christ really does change people!!! Miracles are a thing! 

so yeah, that was cool. Also, my bff Blair got married on friday, but it was inspired because we had interviews with President Dixon that same day and I told him that my best friend was getting married, and he was sooo sympathetic and prayed for me at the end of the interview! SO NICE WOWWWWWWWW i love the dixons!!!!! 

Yesterday I bore my testimony in sacrament meeting because it was the last chance i would have to do that in the Smiley ward. :( MY GOODNESS i love this ward. its gonna be difficult to leave. 

Today we made tortillas with Sister Kuaea!!! It was so funnnn, i felt like a real hispanic woman. Also the Kuaeas are amazinggggg. 

Yesterday the Adlings (ward mission leader) had us over for dinner and made us CREPES for dinner and woowowowowow it was so so good. 

Does anyone else feel like this email is strangely hyper-active?? Its probably because I am quickly running out of email time. 

On a more spiritual note: this week in my studies I was reading my plaque scripture, 3 Nephi 5:13 that talks about being a disciple of Christ. I learned that the word "disciple" means "learner", meaning that a disciple of Christ is simply someone who is learning to be like Christ. What a comforting word, "learner". It means that we dont have to be perfect! Which is a comforting thought for me, because I get impatient with myself a lot in my quest for obtaining Christlike attributes. But as long as we are learning to be like Christ and repenting daily, we are his disciples! So lets keep on learning! Learning = progressing, and progressing = joy. Lets experience JOY this week as we continue to learn about Christ!

And of course, keep reading the Book of Mormon EVERY DAY. I know that will bring you closer to Christ than anything else and will allow you to feel at peace. 

I hope you all have a delightful week, stay cool and stay Christlike. 

LOVE YOU ALL!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!


love, Sister Brown 

<3



NEW BEEHIVE CLOTHING STORE IN REDLANDS WOOOO


I made her popcorn

Me at Blair's wedding woo it was so fun


Ward pool party


Making tortillas


Tuesday, August 1, 2017

San B is not for me

HELLOOOOOOOOOO whats up everyone 

Actually I'll tell you whats up:

- SHOUTOUT to my dad because it is his BIRTHDAY on friday!!! Happy Birthday dad!!!!! I love you so much. Keep on running. 
- Also on friday, the time has come, the bff Blair is getting married. WHAT. I CANNOT EVEN BELIEVE IT. So happy for you Blair and Derek, I will be there in spirit and in cardboard. Love you both. 

So, this past week was GREAT! It was pretty weird actually. Weird in a good way. Missions are a lot of things, and sometimes they are weird. 

We had Zone Conference on wednesday! We talked all about finding, and I am super pumped to find God's prepared children. I know there are prepared people out there, we just have to find them! We revised our finding plan this week so we are excited to implement some new ideas and feel the fire that comes from preaching the gospel. YEAH. 

Also this week, we put Linda on date for baptism!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Can you even believe it??? We have been teaching her the ENTIRE time I have been in this area, and she was being taught long before that too. Eternal investigator. But! She feels that she needs to be baptized! We read Mosiah 18 with her on thursday and she got emotional and said it was something that she really wanted to do. So, she is on date for August 19th! WOO!!! YAY LINDA! So excited. 

Also this week we went on exchanges with the Highland sisters!!! I went to Highland with Sister Brindley while Sister Vest stayed in Smiley. Sista V totally rocked it of course. Also, I don't know if you remember, but I've gone on exchanges with Sister Brindley before! It was during my first transfer, and she was in the tongan ward at the time. I love her so much, she is hilarious. She goes home in October. We were getting ready for bed that night and she was sitting on her bed, and all of sudden she just whips out this afghan she is making and said, "i've picked up crocheting." hahahaha it was SO FUNNY. 

So yeah, Highland is right next to San Bernardino, aka SKETCHIEST OF THE SKETCH. It was actually shocking, it made me realize that I have been taking Redlands for granted! Redlands is sooo nice, the people are nice and fairly well-off, its safe, its a beautiful city, palm trees line the streets, the members are amazing, etc etc. And San B is basically the opposite of that. Its the poorest city in the NATION of its size, and the crime rates are through the ROOF. So it was just really different from Redlands and I learned a lot and gained a lot of appreciation for being in Redlands in the Smiley ward. I better cherish it because I know my time in this area is short, and getting shorter. 

While on exchanges, we taught someone in prison! Don't worry, we didn't go to the prison, but we skyped him. He is the husband of less-active member and we skyped him at her house. I know, strange situation, but he was super nice! The highland sisters call him prison mike. So funny. He actually has two life sentences. Crazy. Sister Brindley told me that they were too apprehensive to ask him why he was in prison, so when we were skyping him I was all, "Mike, I have a question for you. Why are you in prison?" and everyone in the room goes OHHHH and mike goes "oh shoot" but he didn't say shoot, and his wife actually ended up telling us why he was there haha. He even invited his celly (cell mate) to join in on the lesson too. Anyways, it was cool! Gotta love San B. 

Ohhh another cool thing we did this week was teach during the third hour of church on sunday, because it was the fifth Sunday so everyone was combined! We made it fun and first had everyone stand up to get the blood flowing because remember "sitting is the new smoking" (you'll see me in some pictures that Sister Kuaea sneakily took of us, it looks like im leading the crowd in some stretches haha), and then we told them to journey with us to the MMTC, the Member Missionary Training Center. We had some of the members act as investigators and the congregation had to act as the missionaries and answer their questions and resolve their concerns. It was way fun! We had a blast doing that. 

Side note: watch the new Mormon message "The Music of the Gospel." I am obsessed with it. It can be found on lds.org

At Zone Conference we watched a few minutes of Elder Hollands talk at the new mission presidents seminar, and it was SO GOOD. At the end he said, "welcome to the work of salvation." It was just so powerful. He also talked about how we need to include our third companion, the holy ghost, more throughout the day. The spirit is not just something that we need during lessons, or during church, etc. Its something that we need to be worthy of ALWAYS, in everything we do. One of my favorite scriptures is 2 Nephi 32:5 where it says that the Holy Ghost "will show unto you all things what ye should do." What a comforting promise! There are A LOT of times when I don't know what to do, and I am so grateful to have the constant companionship of the Holy Ghost to help me out there. I need it. We ALL need it. I invite you each to think of one thing you can do this week to have the Holy Ghost with you more constantly. I KNOW that as you strive to include the spirit in all that you do, you WILL find that you are guided and directed in all aspects of your life, and your joy will increase! 

Hopefully this email wasn't too long. I hope you all have a faith-filled week. Who's ready for some MIRACLES?! YEAH! 

ok LOVE YOU ALL SO MUCH!!!


<3 Sister Carina Brown 

xoxoxoxoxoxo





Skyping in to the Lorton's FHE 


The kuaea's ❤❤❤❤❤️ my faves


Dinner with Sister Beall
We are all weird










Zone conference! Our faces are so shiny, what great lighting.............

 

Sister Brindley

Skyping prison Mike and his celly

Sister Brown we love her

A picture I received of my wonderful daddio so adorable happy bday





I have the cutest comp ever love her










Awesome tablecloth 

Party at a less actives they gave us cake woo